Last night, Governor Malloy made his understanding of public education clear – teaching to the test and handing over low performing schools to private entities is his solution to the problems facing Connecticut’s urban schools.
Speaking at the Milner Core Knowledge Academy (The Milner School in Hartford), Governor Malloy, once again, called for passage of his “Education Reform” plan and those who oppose his proposal – defenders of a status quo in which urban school systems have languished.
It’s either Malloy’s Way or “you are a defender of the status quo…”
Listening to a parent from Achievement First-Hartford, the Governor criticized the Milner School’s standardized test scores and said that his “Commissioner’s Network” would help low achieving schools like Milner.
In classic fashion Governor Malloy left out far more of the details than he included;
|Achievement First -Hartford||Milner Core Knowledge|
|Home Not English Speaking||5%||39%|
The Governor knows that the two greatest predictors of lower CMT scores are language barriers and poverty. But although he was quick to use those test scores to condemn the Milner School he failed to reveal the truth about the very real challenges facing the Milner School and other schools like it face.
The Milner School’s student body is 43% Hispanic and 39% go home to non-English speaking households.
Meanwhile, Achievement First- Hartford’s has a student body that is 10% Hispanic and only 5% go home to non-English speaking households.
Of course their test scores are going to be different.
The Milner School also has far poorer students, students who have had less pre-school experience and a much larger number of students who have special education needs.
But Malloy didn’t say a word about those issues either.
And when it came to his “Commissioner’s Network” schools and the offer of “more money” for schools like Milner he failed, yet again, to explain what would happen at his “Commissioner’s Network Schools”
Commissioner’s Network Schools:
Commissioner selected schools by July 15th of this year.
All staff (teachers and administrators) are fired
Collective bargaining is outlawed
The Commissioner turns the school over to a third-party to run
The new entity is exempt from the Connecticut laws concerning consultants, purchasing and bidding.
And the “new” money the school gets?
In Windham, where the state named Steven Adamowski as the “Special Master,” he is using half of the $1 million that is supposed to help the schools for his own salary, benefits, personal staff and expenses leaving only $500,000 (at best) for the “failings” schools.
Not once in this “education reform” debate has Governor Dan Malloy been honest about what his “Commissioner’s Network” proposal is really about.
Malloy doesn’t mention that the entire staff is fired or that collective bargaining is banned.
Malloy doesn’t mention that the school is turned over to a third-party or that the company getting the school is exempt from the state laws limiting consultants and ensuring open bidding.
And Malloy doesn’t mention that in the one existing, at least half of the new money is going to MORE administration and not to educational services.
And the only thing that can save Connecticut’s public schools from Malloy’s proposals are the Democratic members of the Connecticut General Assembly.
The Courant story can be found here: http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-hartford-malloy-0410-20120409,0,2734084.story