In Greenwich, Malloy throws “heavy support behind the charter school movement”

At last week’s ConnCAN Block Party (it took place in Greenwich – go figure), Governor Malloy “spoke about the dismal graduation rate in urban districts.  He told the crowd that on average, four in 10 students never receive a diploma.  “We cannot compete as a state with the other 49 states, or the rest of the world, when we’re willing to throw away year after year after year, 40 percent of our students in the urban environment,” Malloy said.

Surrounded by charter school supporters, owners and operators, Malloy explained that Connecticut has 31 low-performing school districts that educate 41 percent of the state’s students.

Malloy’s solution, according to a story in the Stamford Advocate, is to “replicate” what the charter schools are doing when it comes to keeping high school students in school.

Do what the charter schools are doing?

Well here are the facts when it comes enrollment decline and dropping out:

New Haven’s public high schools lose 46% of their students between 9th and 12th grade

Amistad Academy, a New Haven high school run by the charter management company, Achievement First, loses 51% of their students between 9th and 12th grade.

And Elm City Prep, another New Haven high school run by Achievement First, will have its first graduating class this year.  It looks like it will have lost about 53% of its students between 9th and 12th grade.

The fact that we lose half the students in Connecticut’s urban high schools is a major problem that deserves a lot more attention, but having a Governor who fails to tell the truth in his effort to pander to the charter school industry is hardly the answer.

School Enrollment Decline
New Haven 46%
Amistad (charter) 51%
Elm City (charter) 53%* projected
Wilbur Cross High 49%
Hillhouse 49%
Cooperative High 23%
Hill Regional Career 28%


You can find the full Stamford Advocate story at:

  • I wonder how Patrick Scully’s “I have nothing to do with ConnCan” blog will spin this?

    • jonpelto

      Good question – we can be sure it they will mention the status quo a lot.
      Over the decades I’ve been called a lot of things – but to be called an advocate of the status quo is unique.
      Even now I can imagine my new business card.

      Jonathan Pelto
      Advocate for the Status Quo
      & Change Fighter

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

    • Linda174

      He must stick with the rheeformy talking points: we must put children first, this is the civil rights movement of our time and we can’t wait. This is what the Rheebots have been programmed to spew. Rheepeat, rinse, etc.

    • magister

      Speaking of Patricks and groups like ConnCan, whatever has happened to Riccards? It seemed like he was all over the place and then dropped off the face of the earth.

  • LaurieLima

    Those numbers are absolutely staggering. (and sad)

  • Wilton Businessman

    Until the fundamental question of “Why are we losing 50% of students between 9th and 12th grade?” gets answered, it is pointless to come up with a solution.

    I realize that it’s not a simple answer, nor should it be. But my gut feeling says that the kids that drop out don’t care about teacher tenure, curriculum, kickbacks, or reform. I think the government focuses on the wrong thing.

    Find out why the customer is leaving before you design an ad campaign.

    But WTF do I know? I’m only a Fairfield County maker.

    • Linda174


    • LaurieLima

      Until the fundamental question of “Why are we losing 50% of students between 9th and 12th grade?

      Here is a direction to research the answer.

      According to CT SDE:

      I was stunned to learn that a teacher with three dui’s can be allowed to teach, however normal that may be to any of you…it’s stunning to me.

      The fact is a Teacher can be arrested and convicted for any one of the following crimes and still keep their certification to be a teacher and be employed as a Teacher in our schools







      Dealing drugs.

      Prescription drug addictions, arrests and convictions.

      Breaking and entering.


      • JMC

        Wha…? Maybe, LL, you could show us the depth of this “problem” by listing, from conviction records, 10 CT teachers who have in the last 2 years been convicted of these crimes.

        • LaurieLima

          You cannot keep track there are no records kept. HOW MANY Teachers have been arrested convicted and still teaching according to CT SDE. “They do not know” SDE “Teacher’s are not lawfully required to report their own arrests and convictions” PA just changed all these laws (2011)

        • Linda174

          You are assuming then and from the links left by others on Ravitch that has caused problems for you in the past. Believe me…teachers convicted of a crime are pushed out if they do not resign. Your one situation at East Hartford High is not the one to determine set policy for the entire state of CT.

        • None is the answer

      • Wilton Businessman

        You think so, really? You think the 51% of kids that drop out of Amistad care about the teacher’s moral fortitude? It’s a serious question.

        I don’t think so. I think you’re looking at it through the eyes of a logical taxpayer. But what do the kids think?

        • Linda174

          The point with Jon’s post WB is that the charters Malloy is touting are NOT more successful than the inner city public schools. The problem is not the teachers, but that sells these days. Maybe we agree on something?

        • Wilton Businessman

          The fundamental question is not which model is worse. The fundamental question is why do we consider a 28% dropout rate successful?

          I don’t fault the teacher’s for the dropout rate. The teacher directly impacts the _quality_ of education or the level that the student can achieve. You can have the best teachers in the world, but if the kids don’t show up to class, what’s the point?

        • Linda174

          Who here or who has said that any dropout rate is acceptable? No one.

          You have no idea the insurmountable problems these kids, families and teachers face. I have had students report sexual DCF…the family then disappears. I have no idea where they went.

          Students report suspicious activity or exhibit strange behavior, and then the dad is in the police blotter for selling drugs…this student is now at Somers. I have had a student murdered. Other students with unstable home lives are now in prison or dead due to reckless activity: drugs, suicide, car accidents, etc..

          Our societal problems are increasing and a teacher alone cannot solve all of these issues, but we have become the convenient whipping boy and this favors the privatization agenda. Spread fear, uncertainty and doubt and then swoop in and take from the public trough…is that a maker or taker?

          You sign off now as a “maker”. I don’t make anything you can buy…or something tangible to put in a bag.

          But I will tell you I make kids think. I make kids read
          and respond. I make kids say please and thank you. I make kids wait their turn. I make kids do their homework. I make kids stop and consider someone else’s feelings. I could go on and and on and I will spare you the monotony.

          But does that count for anything? Or am I merely a taker because my salary comes from your taxes?

        • Wilton Businessman

          That is the point. You’re not “making” anything when the kid doesn’t show up.

          Look for the forest, not the trees. If you consider yourself a victim, you are a victim.

        • Linda174

          I do not consider myself a victim. I am making a difference. It is just that people like you dismiss others so swiftly and you feel so superior to those who do not agree with you or those who do not fit your description of a “maker” and that is the reason why Romney lost. I will not give up on the kids, but I do give up on you. Self righteousness belongs to the narrow-minded.

        • Jeff Klaus

          Where do the charter students go when they leave? Where do the district students go when they leave? Don’t you need to know that before you make your claims?

        • LaurieLima

          My daughters went through the system…are now in College and Grad School…I did the research on this.

        • Linda174

          And so have thousands and thousands of CT teens. We have many, many, many successful students.

        • LaurieLima

          apparently on 50%

        • LaurieLima

          “You think the 51% of kids that drop out of Amistad care about the teacher’s moral fortitude? It’s a serious question” And here is the serious answer…role models are important…how important we don’t know that..obviously.

        • And every role model fails as they are only human–so there are none–their parents are their model(they see them everyday) We teachers try to be superhuman and believe we need to be great role models–and most do a great job playing this role–but in reality we all have failings and should not pretend that there are perfect human beings–for this would be disengenuous–and a disservice to those younguns who look up to us–T

      • Linda174


        I sympathize with your situation, but you cannot indict an entire state or nation based upon a situation with your daughter and one swim coach. I have to disagree. I have seen teachers never get tenure and they were competent. I have seen teachers with tenure get bullied out of the system and the crimes you list a above, if proven guilty of such an offense, teachers would be “convinced” to resign before proceedings are started against them. Your anecdotes seem to be based on one situation only. My experiences and readings for close to 27 years are very, very different.

        • LaurieLima

          Simply change the laws like Pennsylvania just did and we will never have to talk about it again…we’d know!

        • Linda174

          But you are still assuming and you are applying a broad blanket to the entire profession and every school in CT based upon your one experience and that is foolish and honestly, a bit self absorbed.

          Should I condemn all mothers for the one with munchausen by proxy?

        • LaurieLima

          Just change the laws. I am sure all those GREAT TEACHERS would welcome it…

        • Linda174

          It appears that is your only argument and since you used all caps should I assume you are doubting the number of great teachers in CT? Your basis for this point is weak.

        • LaurieLima

          Having laws the require Teachers, Administrators, School employees and school vendor employees report their own arrests and convictions is not an “argument” it simply a smart move. Takes the guesswork out of the equations and stops the ability of the media to make our decisions. IF the media WANTS us to know of an arrest they slap it on the front page…if they don’t they bury it. PA had Sandusky I think that prompted them into full transparency and a higher standard…they changed their laws. A dui in PA can keep you away from our kids for three years…it’s fair. GOOD Teachers would have no objection to a law change…if they are good they would WANT transparency and law changes if those law changes would ultimately keep their industry cleaner in the long run.

        • Linda174

          Sooner or later you will have to move on. Your daughters have I believe. There was a judgement against you for harassment. I am not sure of the exact wording…close to $88,000 in damages to the teacher. And you have posted criminal proceedings against her, but you did not get off Scott free from what I read. I believe you opened a can of worms on
          Ravitch and it appears mistakes were made on both sides.

        • magister

          We get fingerprinted and vetted by the federal government when we are hired. Or do you mean while employed? I think it would be pretty hard for a teacher who gets arrested to conceal that fact. The very few I’ve known who have experienced this certainly were not able to, and were dismissed pretty quickly.

        • Linda174

          Yes, even mentors, chaperones, speakers, volunteers, must be finger printed to be in the building and work with children. She is referring to one incident with one daughter at one high school. She linked the case on Ravitch.

        • LaurieLima

          I realize transparency ruffles your feathers…no I don’t have to move on I can work to get the laws I have been and have a lot of support.

        • Linda174

          Not transparency…..that’s not the problem, but revenge on your part appears to be the true motivation and all based on one incident. You are applying a very broad brush to all. The same could be applied to you. Be careful what you wish for:

        • LaurieLima

          I noted you nastiness on my initial view of this site. You did not disappoint.
          “How I Raised Successful Children in a Turbulent World 1990-2012”

        • Linda174

          Advice not needed…both of my children are very happy and successful. Somehow I missed your upbeat, cheery vibe. My bad! I think I hit a nerve.

        • LaurieLima

          I think education reform is serious. Very serious.

        • Linda174

          Me, too IF that is what we are discussing.

        • LaurieLima

          “Child Safety” is my true and only motivation.

        • magister

          I don’t actually object to your notion much. Teachers all understand that they are done with the profession if they find themselves on the wrong side of the law, and legislating arrest disclosure would simply formalize what happens in those instances. What bothers me are the feelings of hostility and suspicion towards teachers that a law like this could engender or enflame, as if we are as likely to be depraved sociopaths as not.

        • LaurieLima

          I don’t think transparency breeds hostility…except from people who have something to hide. Trust is not something we have to have with public servants transparency is. And the fact is…CT SDE emailed me repeatedly and repeatedly wrote “arrests and convictions do not preclude a teacher from being Certified to teach or employed” I think that is a very scary scary thing.

        • Then you would be more surprised that CT has laws protecting convicts from discrimination in state jobs and its been proposed to pass it as a state law for all businesses to prevent discrimination and recividism.

          Tell a prison convict or arrested or accused they can’t get a job or work? Perhaps you are thinking that being miss prim and proper makes you qualified for all positions everywhere.

          Connecticut’s public policy is to encourage employers to hire qualified ex-offenders (CGS §46a-79). Law enforcement agencies (which include Sheriff’s Department court house security and transportation personnel) are the only governmental entities in the state that by law can deny employment based solely on a person’s criminal history (CGS § 46a-81). In all other cases, state officials cannot deny felons employment, occupational licenses, or permission to engage in state-regulated professions without examining (1) the relationship between the crime committed and the job or license that the person is being considered for, (2) the convicted person’s degree of rehabilitation, and (3) the time elapsed since conviction or release (CGS § 46a-80).

        • Felony equals termination in CT–period–over and out–Tom

        • LaurieLima

          At this time in our State we have (transparency) a great Judicial Website with a case (conviction too) look up by name… would be surprised what you find there. The transparency already exists…but I don’t think too many people know it’s there or how to use it. I do.

        • magister

          Regarding the myth of not being able to get rid of tenured teachers who are unacceptable: when this happens, they are generally persuaded to resign or face dismissal proceedings. They typically resign, but this does not register as a “firing.” They are gotten rid of though, as Linda mentions. Teachers are more intolerant of true incompetence (as opposed to the VAM/test score kind) and moral turpitude among their colleagues than anyone else.

        • LaurieLima

          Then I would guess changing the laws would be easy

        • Linda174

          Since that is your mission, the new legislative season is beginning soon….lobby at the state Capitol…good luck.

        • LaurieLima

          it’s a curser move.

        • Tenure protects noone–the process of going through arbitration is fruitless–if the teacher wins in arbitration the BOE fires them anyway–talk about fairness—there isnt any and this must be changed–the arbitrators decision is just a suggestion (it is not binding) and therefore teachers have no rights at all–T

      • magister

        Thanks – I needed some suggestions for ways to supplement my income in spite of the largesse of my teacher salary.

      • Charlie Puffers

        Are you saying that on the fourth DUI the teacher is out? Are you saying that students drop out because so many teachers are convicts? It must be the prison to classroom pipeline that we keep hearing about. You make some great points. Why don’t you call the governor he may be looking for a replacement for Ochiogrosso soon.

      • Your whole post is wrong

  • Linda174

    He is pandering to his future donors for his reelection campaign. He knows what they want to hear and he can only memorize 5-6 talking points as given to him by Stefan Pryor, our commissioner, the guy with no prior teaching experience.

  • AM

    How about modeling yourself after what the Greenwich public schools are doing? High parental priority on education, less test prep time, high expectations.

  • Apartheid First

    Funny how Malloy does not stand in front of a crowd in Greenwich or Westport and say, X percentage of students in Connecticut are homeless, and that is intolerable; X percentage of students in Connecticut have chronic illnesses due to the poor urban living conditions exacerbated by heavy commuter traffic between city and wealthy suburb and by rapacious landlords who do not bring buildings up to code, and that is unconscionable; or that X percentage of children suffer in families where losing jobs (yes, many people had them before the recession), losing health care, stress-induced sickness, etc, etc are all shortening the lives of children and the adults who care for them–and that is obscene.
    Despite the grave problems that families and individuals face in urban areas and in the more remote rural sections of the state, Dannel Malloy thinks they can all graduate at the top of their Test-Prep Charter School and then go on to become Rhodes scholars–regardless of life circumstances.

    • Linda174

      That speech wouldn’t get him any donations from Greenwich hedge fund managers…that’s why.

    • Great post

    • Beth

      I guess you didn’t hear his speech, but I did: He did indeed talk about inequality, homelessness, hunger, and other perils facing so many CT children. He was mayor of Stamford, which has plenty of hidden poverty–he may not be as familiar with rural issues, but he well knows how poverty affects educational attainment, and he addressed that throughout his speech. So my question is: Were you in the room not listening, or did you just make this up based on your dislike of Malloy?

      • And what is he doing about it–other than talking

  • Sue

    Greenwich is probably the most effective place for Malloy to cheer charter schools because of the difficulty for parents to get their kids accepted into the private schools. Getting into Brunswick, Greenwich Country Day and Greenwich Academy require that the family truly love and support the educational process and have a history and connection to Greenwich. Mel Gibson’s children were not accepted into GCDS.

    Private schools in Greenwich are viewed as a social conduit. Money can’t buy entry but it can buy charter schools – which are just another way for Greenwich families to secure themselves into an exclusive social circle.
    Both myself and my family have a long history with GCDS, and it’s inexcusable that Malloy is feeding on these parent’s insecurities to get their support.

  • Sue

    Note – both myself and son attended Greenwich public schools – but my mother and I taught or were school heads for over 30 years. Did Gov. Malloy make the distinction between private and charter schools for these parents?
    Probably not – and they should do their research.

  • Governor Malloy is working hard not to get elected again–if he does not change his tone and message from the last time(which was so wrong)–I will work tirelessly to make sure he doesnt get teacher votes nor urban votes—w/o us he has nothing–I’ll hold my nose and close my eyes as I vote for someone else–Ill take Larry Cafero or a different democrat—wake up Dan and get to know the real teachers in the public schools who take ALL kids—no fads and no fakes–you cant be that uninformed to believe in the charter school movement as the answer–Tom Burns VP NHFT Local 933


    The Commissioner is trully onboard with the Charter School movement. The job positing for a person to work in the Turn Around Office is insulting to career educators. The Commissioner thinks that the only person who can interpret policy is a person with a law degree.I guess a person like him.

  • John, where did you get your drop out figures from?
    Laurie: never mistake a clean record for a good teacher. I’ve worked with teachers who are excellent and were recovering addicts or alcoholics and others that had their youthful misadventures.
    I’ve also worked with some fairly lousy teachers who are the little miss perfects in every respect but are poor performers: they aren’t inspiring, they aways do the contractual minimums, and they push students at-risk out of their classes.
    The nice thing about Charter Schools; one could advertise teachers with a 3.5 average or better who were never arrested as a selling point. Others would be more than happy to hire what you woud call damaged goods because they relate to the kids.
    Sexual abuse is an entirely different issue…..

    • LaurieLima

      “Laurie: never mistake a clean record for a good teacher. I’ve worked with teachers who are excellent and were recovering addicts or alcoholics and others that had their youthful misadventures.” I agree with this and know many from the rooms…what I don’t agree with is withholding information from us AND no numbers to work from. What I believe when reforming anything is to work with viable numbers (for tracking) no records means no real information to make decisions from (and still withholding) I believe in transparency…