Malloy’s Commissioner of Education signs another $1 million contract with out-side consultants

Governor Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor’s education reform and economic development strategy came into greater focus this week with news that a few months ago Stefan Pryor continued his un-ending effort to divert scarce taxpayer funds to consultants.

As previously reported, last month Pryor and his “Chief Turnaround Officer,” Debra Kushan, let go a major portion of the pool of experienced, talented professionals within the Department of Education, Pryor dumped the four Leaders in Residence and three former superintendents who have been providing Connecticut’s poorest districts with the help they’ve needed to improve their educational programing.  Instead, Pryor signed a contract with Mass Insight, a well-connected out-of-state consulting company for nearly $1 million dollars.

Connecticut experts with decades of educational experience working with Connecticut educators were replaced by five out-of-state consultants with virtually no experience working with the biggest issues facing poorer school districts; poverty, language barriers and the large number of students who need special education services.

As if that outrage wasn’t bad enough, Pryor and Kurhan then announced that they were transferring the state’s experts on bi-lingual education, English language learning, multi-cultural programing, bullying and improving school climate out of the State Department’s “Turnaround Office.”  This time, Alliance Districts are losing direct access to the very experts and services they need to improve academic achievement in districts that are confronting the greatest impact from language barriers, diverse populations and school climate issues.

And now comes news that, only a few months ago, Stefan Pryor quietly signed a contract for more than $1 million with a politically connected organization called the Connecticut Center for School Change.

In the “small world” department, the Connecticut Center for School Change’s Board of Directors includes Governor Malloy’s campaign treasurer, Len Miller,

Other members of the Connecticut Center for School Change include the former CEO of People’s Bank; Elsa Nuñez, the Vice President of Malloy’s Board of Regents and President of  Eastern Connecticut State University; Richard Sugarman, Founder and President of The Connecticut Forum whose son just “won” a lucrative contract from Pryor and the State Board of Education to set up an “Our Piece of the Pie” charter school in Windham Connecticut. Another Board member is Dudley Williams, a senior executive at GE Asset Management who once worked for the Connecticut Department of Education and has been one of the most outspoken proponents of Malloy’s Education Reform initiative.  Most of the rest of the Board turns out to be other corporate leaders and consultants

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the story behind this new contract.

More details to come…

  • Apartheid First

    Outrageous.

  • Castles Burning

    Is it not the role of the Commissioner of Education to “oversee” the activities that he continues to silently contract out for? We know the answer obviously and we suspect why he continues to do so.

    What needs to be made clear to those who are not regular readers here is that each decision he makes further dismantles Connecticut’s system of education and leaves us without the experts who might object or offer an alternative or who might rebuild the institution when he is gone.

    As always, thanks for exposing and informing. Anyone with true academic credentials, experience, dedication, etc. seems to be excluded from current “contracts.”

  • Apartheid First

    Interesting that the CCSC is plugged by none other than Superintendent-maker Robert Villanova of the infamous independent-study option “program” at UConn http://www.ctschoolchange.org/success-stories/district-success/

    • Castles Burning

      Very interesting indeed. I noted that he emphasized “adaptation,” certainly one of his specialties.

      • jonpelto

        Ha! Good one….. Adaptation…. As in —- when living among those who don’t respect the rule of law, there are those who adapt by cutting corners and dismissing the rule of law….
        There could use this as a case study in a course on evolution….. Especially one that you could take without having to apply for the school, be accepted, pay the mandatory fees or even show up for class.
        Aka uconn if you know the right people.

  • rswprof

    Did the million dollar contract go out to bid?

    • Linda174

      If Vallas doesn’t follow the state procedures, why would Pryor? These boys do what they damn well please.

  • buygoldandprosper

    This was on another site that referenced your blog. It made me laugh, which is hard to do!

  • Sue

    I was on the year’s board of directors for Len Miller’s SoundWaters – small world! Fondest memory – was given the red carpet treatment by Clearwaters to use their learning stations, which even included lunch in the cabin with the captain. I also recruited the state’s storyteller at the time to come aboard.

    Worst memory – Len’s best friend’s wife took credit for both.

    • jonpelto

      That is really funny!!!!!!!

      • Sue

        Funnier yet, this guy divorced her, and I later spotted both he and his new 85 pound, 40 year old extremely blonde mini-skirted spouse staggering down the main aisle of St. Mary’s Church on Greenwich Ave. as she tried to support him.

        • jonpelto

          The trials and tribulations of being an eduphormer!

  • jschmidt2
  • jschmidt2

    looks like Malloy has his hand in every questionable aspect of education where money is involved. He’ll get something out of this and it won’t be in the interest of the state.

  • Bill Morrison

    And we paper tigers continue to roar and growl but do nothing. It is a sad commentary. I honestly don’t know who to blame anymore; Malloy and his band of thieves, or we teachers who allow them to get away with it.

  • Guest

    What was the bidding process for either contract: (M)ass Insight or CCCP (oh, CCSC)? WHo were the other finalist organizations? WHat solicitation for services did they answer? Who evaluated them and what type of scoring instrument?