What is Commissioner Pryor’s Chief of Staff doing as the Vice President of a Charter School Board of Directors?

Add one more item to the list of real or perceived conflicts of interest surrounding Commissioner Pryor, the State Board of Education and Governor Malloy’s education reform efforts.

It turns out that in addition to serving as Chief of Staff for Connecticut Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor, Adam Goldfarb has been serving as Vice President of the People’s Preparatory Charter School Board of Directors in Newark, New Jersey.  Goldfarb also served as an intern for Steven Pryor when Pryor served as the Director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

Adam Goldfarb was Pryor’s first hire when Malloy’s new Commissioner arrived in Connecticut.

Despite purportedly making $75,000 as a senior policy advisory for Pryor at Newark’s Brick City Development Corporation, Pryor asked Malloy’s Chief of Staff if he could hire Goldfarb as his Executive Assistant at a rate of $99,000 a year plus benefits.

That was just fine with Malloy’s office.

And soon, Goldfarb’s title was changed to Chief of Staff.

And while Connecticut deals with the destructive ramifications of inadequate funding for its schools, Goldfarb’s salary is now up to $106,000 plus those valuable benefits.

But perhaps the most interesting piece of news is that while serving as the Chief of Staff for the Connecticut Department of Education, Goldfarb has been serving as an officer for a charter school in Newark, New Jersey.

People’s Preparatory Charter School was granted a charter by the New Jersey Department of Education in July 2011. The school started with 95 ninth graders in the fall of 2011 and is scheduled to reach its capacity of 380 students in 2014.  It is co-located with two other schools in Newark.

According to documents filed with the State of New Jersey, Goldfarb has been with the charter school from the beginning and his term as a member of the People’s Preparatory Charter School Board runs through June 2013.

Of course, we have a Commissioner who co-founded Achievement First, Inc. the large charter school management company and only resigned his position on their Board to become Malloy’s Commissioner of Education.  In his capacity as Commissioner he is overseeing policies that are pushing millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to his former company.

More recently we’ve seen Governor Malloy nominate Andrea Comer, a high-ranking official from FUSE/Jumoke, Inc., another charter school management company, to the State Board of Education.  FUSE/Jumoke, Inc. is also benefiting from millions in taxpayer funds.

And now we learn that even Pryor’s Chief of Staff is serving on a charter school board of directors.

It makes one wonder…

The list of real and perceived conflicts of interest associated with Commissioner Pryor and the Malloy Administration seem to grow on a daily basis.  More to come, but we’ll leave the list as is for now…

  • cindy

    What will it take for parents/taxpayers to see that we are all being fleeced by the state and federal government in their well-orchestrated take-over of public education? Parents and teachers have become sheep who let all these unproven”research-based” reforms fall into place, our children’s brains will be turned to mush with non-stop data-driven instruction and assessments, data collection and sharing done without parental consent, goodbye creativity, children marching through the halls like good little widgets!

    It might end when we all run out of money, but by that time, our leaders will provide us all with pastures to graze in, and feed/water us daily while they live and dine lavishly in the empire they have built!

  • mookalaboona

    Malloy—-the wealthy people’s governor.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Heads up Dan Malloy! You spent a couple of years actually working for a living as an ADA, or so you have claimed. Your clout in Stamford might have worked to sweep “things” under the rug but Hartford is another story. The junior senators don’t have the ability to keep investigators out. Yet.
    Racketeering. You know how broad a charge that can be and lots of people can get dragged in…


  • WesternCTteacher

    “People’s Prep”…………sounds like the People’s Temple or the People’s Republic of Korea.

  • Apartheid First

    Don’t forget Allan Taylor, chair of the State Board of Education and a member of ConnCAN’s advisory board. ConnCAN is a charter school lobbying group. ConnCAN is currently planting editorials and op-eds around the state of Connecticut, some of which are being signed and submitted by “parents” and “concerned citizens”, in an effort to pretend that there is a ground swell of support for charters and Stefan Pryor.
    Reformy pro-charter types seem to be running the State Department of Education and the CT legislature doesn’t give a damn. Come on, Don Williams! Why the sell-out?

  • Apartheid First

    In the previous thread, Jonathan mentioned a scary-sounding CT school Leadership Academy (you will have to see how this Orwellian institution was almost written into law!), but I wonder if, in addition to Achievement First, TFA was not going to be involved? http://www.teachforamerica.org/corps-member-and-alumni-resources/alumni-leadership-initiatives/educational-leadership/school-leadership-initiative
    If it had been approved, I’ll bet Vallas would have been certified by now!

  • AM

    Does the FBI investigate state departments of education?

    • 1987tsd

      HA! Even our own Attorney General doesn’t do that. It took two private citizens in Bridgeport to start the legal ball rolling concerning Vallas.

  • Buygoldandprosper

    But in his defense…!

    “Let it be known that prior to Vallas, every single superintendent was certified and look at the data, look how bad our district is,” said Moales.

    • Apartheid First

      Yeah, reverend Holy Moly (he recently thanked god for expanding his opportunities to cash in on and convert the little ones of Bridgeport–and I thought it was by a vote of the BoE! God sure works in mysterious ways)–anyway, Holy Moly might be forgetting that not everybody in Bridgeport can cash in on poverty, unemployment, racism, social disintegration, the drug war, etc. It’s kinda hard to do well in school when, as documented by medical studies, Bridgeport school children have a condition very similar to post-traumatic stress disorder just because they are living in such deplorable conditions. But our man of the cloth is not interested in that. Suffering children should still be able to pass a standardized test and “close the achievement gap”. Just look at the stunning successes of Paul Vallas in the vastly-improved districts he once led–Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia. Bridgeport–you’re next! And the reverend Moales, with his family, is waiting for that promised land of profit, cash, and charter schools.

  • Apartheid First

    Don’t forget to read Jonathan on Ravitch plus the priceless comments, some of which are by those who suffered under CEO Vallas (there is a great comment explaining how CEOs need no qualifications, but Superintendents actually do have to meet some type of standard and certification). http://dianeravitch.net/2013/04/02/lawsuit-filed-in-connecticut-claims-vallas-contract-illegal/
    I guess Pryor can try to say that B’port does not need a Superintendent, only a CEO. The foolish CT State Board of Ed will lap that up, and rubber stamp it–maybe Comer will be approved by then.

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