Political Science 101: Today’s Lesson: Some politicians lie…

Last week, the Secretary of Education for the United States of America, Arne Duncan, joined by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, held at a “town hall meeting” at one of Hartford’s magnet schools.

In response to a question from a high school student in attendance, Duncan taught the students an extremely valuable lesson…some politicians lie.  In fact, in an attempt to “bond” with the students, Duncan lied through his teeth.

In this case, America’s Patron Saint of Standardized Testing claimed that when he was the CEO of the Chicago School System he cut the amount of standardized testing by 50%.  Of course, that statement isn’t close to the truth.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone by the likes of the U.S. Secretary of Education, Governor Malloy weighed in on the issue of the overuse of standardized testing by saying, “We need a multifaceted approach which doesn’t overemphasize [testing],”

A particularly funny, if not ironic statement, considering over Malloy’s term in office we will be seeing a 50 percent to 100 percent increase in the use of standardized testing in Connecticut’s public schools.

Fellow columnist, Sarah Darer Littman, dug into the Duncan/Malloy extravaganza with her usual depth of research, humor and outrage.  The product is an absolute “MUST READ” piece that appears on the CTNewsjunkie website.

An Open Letter to Connecticut Students (by Sarah Darer Littman)

Last Friday, during a town hall meeting at the Classical Magnet School in Hartford with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and assorted other luminaries of the Connecticut political firmament, one of you — Justin Vega — raised a great point with Secretary Duncan.

According to a CT Mirror report, Vega told Duncan that he felt “as if all the time and money spent on standardized testing has compromised the quality of his education.”

The responses given by both Governor Malloy and Secretary Duncan provided us all with a teachable moment in politics, critical thinking, research, statistics, and media literacy.

Malloy warned Vega that Hartford schools could potentially have a 40 percent dropout rate and said:  “We have to do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen. We need a multifaceted approach which doesn’t overemphasize [testing],” the CT Mirror reported.

Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned from parenting my own kids is that they learn as much from what I do as from what I say. They don’t hesitate to point out when there is a discrepancy between my words and my actions. I ask them to do it politely. It’s important they respect my authority, but in order to maintain a healthy relationship, it’s equally as important that they question it, particularly if my words and actions don’t ring true. The same is true of democracy.

So ask yourselves — is this the same Governor Malloy who said, “I’ll settle for teaching to the test” if it means raising test scores? Note that he didn’t say he would strive for you to have a meaningful learning experience and develop critical thinking skills. He made it all about your test scores.

Despite Malloy’s assertion that we need a “multifaceted approach which doesn’t over-emphasize” testing, his policies do the opposite.

You can find this absolutely must read piece at:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/op-ed_an_open_letter_to_connecticut_students/

  • buygoldandprosper

    People, young and old, are just sources of revenue to Dan Malloy. He feeds upon the body politic like the bloodsucker that he is.
    Truth? From Malloy?!! By now anyone who cares knows that Dan’s honesty is redefined to suit his purposes. Truth is in a constant state of flux for Dan and as we approach 2014 a tsunami of misinformation will sweep across this little state. We will be drowning in Malloy Mendacity.

  • Castles Burning

    What I especially appreciate is that Sarah wrote directly to the students, using such well-loved words as: a teachable moment, critical thinking, research, statistics, and media literacy.

    May this be read by many students throughout the state. One of my colleagues was having hers read:Carmen Lopez’ “Dissent in a Democracy” last week. As we all know, what is good for the students is good for everyone (that is, when we really mean GOOD).


  • Magister

    Sorry to lower the level of discourse, but If Dan Malloy or Arne Duncan were to get an ***hole transplant, it would reject him.

  • Linda174

    Duncan is the privatizer in chief and he takes all direction from Gates and Broad. He rarely tells the truth…that is the modus operandi used by all the Broadies, Gates sychophants and Koppsters.

  • Apartheid First

    What the Malloy? I can hardly believe that after 4 “spectacular” years of Steven Adamowski as Superintendent/CEO (although it is very possible that he was never once in all those years certified as an administrator according to state statute) of Hartford Schools, there would be the possibility of a “40% dropout rate,” as Malloy says to student Justin Vega. Didn’t Adamowski turn the schools around–for good? Isn’t that why he is Special Master of Windham and New London?

    • Fredda Friend

      Excellent point. These students were miraculously reformed from grades 6-10 under Adamowsi and since then under Adamowski’s hand-picked successor Kishimoto. If everything improved so much – graduation rates, test scores, etc then why were Mr. Vega and his classmates subjected to an unprecedented number of tests yet again for their senior year?

    • realsaramerica

      Great point. Perhaps we need to turn our investigative skills to Mr. Adamowski’s Mad Turnaround Skillz next.

  • brutus2011

    We all focus on the “manipulations” of the education managers at the state and national level more than at the district level.

    We perhaps should pay as much attention to principals, district supervisors, and the many central office admins whose aim is to protect their management organization and their jobs, pensions, and reputations.

    It is not only Bridgeport and Vallas or Hartford and Kishimoto or Adamowski and Windham–it is also New Haven and Mayo and when Ramos ran Bridgeport’s schools.

    These public school district’s management teams are essentially secret societies that reward and punish with impunity. They make good livings and when the municipal leadership changes, these public school bureaucrats manage to perpetuate their organization to the detriment of everyone but themselves.

    Public school district mismanagement and corruption is all around us. And the privatization movement has seen this and now is zeroing in on sharing the plunder of public education tax funds.

    Sounds a bit shrill? Maybe so, but I think it explains a lot.

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  • robert5359

    You says correctly that there are more number of people are say lie and they try to get sympathy from the crowd. So i think we need to protect this politicians forever.

  • michael65413216

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