ConnCAN, StudentsFirst and Corporate Education Reformers roll out new Connecticut “pro-reform” blog?

A new Connecticut-oriented pro-corporate education reform blog has appeared.

The stated reason?

“Unfortunately, the naysayers and protectors of the status quo seem to be the only ones being heard. There needs to be an informational voice to even the playing field, to hold the obstructionists accountable and most of all, put the kids first!”

This rationale comes from the blog’s owner, Pat Scully, a political operative, apologist for Governor Dan Malloy and former press aide to the Connecticut Senate Democrats.  Scully also worked for a brief period of time for Sullivan & LeShane, a Republican serving lobby company.   In addition, Scully served as the campaign manager for former gubernatorial candidate Jim Amann.

Scully’s press release claims that his blog, “is intended to be a balancing and informational source for readers to get objective information about education reform in the state.”

Scully’s press release implies that the new blog is not affiliated, in any way, with ConnCAN, 50CAN, StudentsFirst, Achievement First, Council for Education Reform or any of the other corporate education reform groups.

However, in a rather funny side note,  the graphic of the graduation cap on his blog is virtually identical to the one used on the ConnCAN, 50CAN, RI-CAN, MINNCAN, PENNCAN, NYCAN and MarylandCAN blog sites. [Interestingly, Scully’s new website also shares the same internet server as 50CAN, MINNCAN, MarylandCAN AND GNEPSA.ORG (the front group for Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst organization).

Scully has devoted his first post to the task of rebuilding Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch’s image, by revising the facts associated with Finch’s failed attempt to do away with a democratically elected board of education and replace it with one appointed by the mayor.

According to Scully, Finch is saying that his effort to prevent Bridgeport voters from choosing their own board of education was completely misunderstood.  Finch explains, “I’m a father first and a mayor second…The coalition that supported the change was made up of more than 14,000 parents, some of whom I see when I put my kids on the bus.”

According to Scully, the problems were all associated with the elected board of education.  He writes, “It was an elected school board that threw up its hands in July of 2011 and asked for a state takeover. Fast forward past a lawsuit and a special election, the city has new board.  However, with the required minority representation, there is no evidence the board will be able to do what it’s supposed to do, particularly pass a budget. Again, no consideration of what’s best for the kids.”

I guess Scully missed about 99% of the facts surrounding the events leading up to the Malloy Administration’s illegal attempt to take over the Bridgeport Schools, nor has he actually been to a board meeting or he’d realize that his comments about a “failing” board are completely untrue.

Scully, like the rest of the Finch operatives, never manages to explain why he thinks minority representation is destroying Bridgeport when it works perfectly fine in more than 150 of Connecticut’s elected school boards.

Apparently winning controversial votes by a margin of 6-3 rather than 9-0 is just not sufficient for politicians who want to make sure there are no questions or opposition to their proposals.

  • Linda174

    Try leaving comments. I am sure they will be censored and flooded with paid Rheebots to fill in with flowery vague “it’s all for the children, we can’t wait… It is the civil rights movement of our time” bullsh%%!

    Test their comment “option”. We shouldn’t even acknowledge their terminology of reform. It is quite simply privatization and union busting.

  • Apartheid First

    I can’t wait to see the exposes on the CTED180 blog (what a clever title!)! An evil public school teacher breaks the law about supreme obedience during Standardized Test Week (or Month) by handing a new pencil to an 8-year-old whose pencil broke! Another teacher asked for accomodation for a child whose arm was in a sling, skewing the year’s stats. Other selfish teachers allowed children to have bathroom breaks during Cultural Improvement Exercises.
    Worst of all is when teachers and parents cannot put up with the bare-bones budgets and they break down and spend their own money on needed supplies.
    I wonder if any Broad Residents are helping out Mr. Scully? There are scads of them in the State Dept. of Ed. to help Stefan Pryor find positions for talented TFA alums who want to work in Ed Leadership.
    OH, and a word for Finch–many suburban districts do not allow vote after vote on the Ed Budget. Finch could have changed the charter to prevent multiple referendums that slash the budget. That might indeed be a positive direction for charter reform.

    • jonpelto

      So funny – let’s do a whole post thoese terrible things teachers are doing in a last stand attempt to provide children with an education.

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • BridgeportTeacher

    Howdy. Here’s what I posted to the 11/13 entry.

    “Picture the search for the future superintendent to replace Mr. Vallas at the close of his service to Bridgeport. Now imagine two hypothetical candidates. One, from the area, with experience in Bridgeport and a history with the resident families and local stakeholders. The second, connected to the burgeoning corporate education world and well funded EdReform interests in Hartford, perhaps nationally.

    Now, would anyone with a history of caring for the city of Bridgeport *ever* stand a chance of selection by a board appointed at the pleasure of any mayor? No. The fact is that an appointed board would be under de facto control of Hartford.

    Remember, “functional” is not necessarily a synonym for “doing what corporate reformers desire.”

    As for accountability, it’s much easier to hold a one-issue board member accountable for school related issues than it ever will be to hold a mayor accountable for what is for him or her only a part of their responsibilities.

    Mayoral control effectively insulates educational decisions from rebuttal at the voting booth– for all but maybe the most egregious misdeeds.

    This is about creating that insulation so that certain concerns can channel textbook, software, building, etc. contracts to themselves. Everyone believes that the school system does not have enough money, but anyone in the know– well they know that there is a lot of money that flows through a school system. And they are after it.

    May democracy continue to prevail against slick websites like this one with their stock photos of smiling children and their promotion of the agenda of the profiteers.

    I’m interested in your rebuttal to these points. Hopefully they will contain more than insulting denigration of my school system and unfounded dismissal of my intentions as simplistically “status quo…”

    Or perhaps you’ll simply refuse to allow this voice to remain on your site.”

    God bless,

    Bridgeport Teacher

    • JMC

      Beautiful Work, BT!

      • JMC

        BTW, I just checked out the Patrick Scully website link at the top of this excellent article of Jon’s (and perused the inept, maladroitly plagiarized boilerplate eduspeak BS on it), including Scully’s Bio section, which makes it clear that it’s all about…HIM! For which reason I shall henceforth refer to him as Blarney Scully.

    • Linda174

      Well done! Interesting to see if it will even be posted. We have had testing for twelve years now…..this “reform” movement IS the status quo. I refuse to call it that anymore. It IS privatization.

      • BridgeportTeacher

        Exactly! 🙂

        • Linda174

          I left a comment, too. We should bombard this repair Finch’s “rep” site. It has nothing to do with students.

  • What voice does this man Scully have-who is he–why would anyone listen to him?? please answer these questions—-what has he ever done-accomplished?? I really dont know and would like to know if he deserves a voice or is just another self-promoting do nothing, empty shell–what say? Tom

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  • LaurieLima

    Thanks for letting your readers post freely…the blog you are now dueling (cteducation180) does not. Although guidance is sometimes needed “Freedoms” are a great thing, thanks for respecting them.

    • jonpelto

      Thank you for saying that.

      The goal of a blog, or at least my blog, is to educate, persuade, mobilize and generate discussion and debate.

      Personal attacks are not welcome – unless – of course – it is me attacking someone else, but except for that, the readers are now only allowed but encouraged to join the fray.

      Even when I disagree with a comment I generally find that I still learn something or it makes me stop and think – both of which are incredibly valuable contributions readers make.


  • Linda174

    Jon, check out the newest Scully hissy fit He must have attended the Ochiogrosso school of diplomacy. He is also censoring comments. We know he did not post BT.

    • jonpelto

      So funny! Didn’t take him long to prove why it won’t be worth reading his blog. He is so predictable… now we can return to the valuable fight.

    • Apartheid First

      It’s not worth visiting such a pro-rheeform blog. The guy will just claim to have a successful blog that sparks creative dialogue. No need to support his idiocy. He’s already set himself up as an open-minded advocate of children, as opposed to the envious J. Pelto.

      • jonpelto

        I truly have the best readers! Do doubt about that.

        Fact is – if he wants to generate (debate) he is welcome to post his thoughts in the comment section here at Wait, What? and I’m sure readers will explain reality to him.