Achievement First – Bridgeport Academy is among Connecticut’s worst offenders when it comes to charter schools that fail to provide students with properly certified teachers.
According to the records filed with the State Department of Education, of the 59 teachers working at Achievement First – Bridgeport last year, 21 (36 percent) did not have Connecticut certification or were teaching outside of their certification parameters.
Among the list of non-certified personnel at Achievement First – Bridgeport Academy was Morgan Barth. Barth was recently named by Commissioner Stefan Pryor to be the Director of the State Department of Education’s Turnaround Office, the entity that is assigned to overseeing state support for Connecticut 30 Alliance Districts.
It is incredibly telling that Stefan Pryor, the co-founder of Achievement First, couldn’t find anyone more capable of managing the Malloy administration’s ongoing effort to “help” the state’s thirty poorest school districts than someone whose only experience was at Achievement First, Inc.
It’s even more telling that the Malloy administration, who can’t stop belittling and undermining teachers chose to hire someone who has never held state certification despite a state law requiring them to do so.
According to his resume, Morgan Barth was a “founding teacher” at Achievement First – Elm City Preparatory Academy in New Haven from August 2004 to June 2008 and then went on to serve as a principal there and then as principal at the Achievement First – Bridgeport Academy Middle School.
But in direct violation of state law, Morgan Barth apparently never held Connecticut state certification to be a teacher or an administrator.
On July 1, 2010 a new state law took effect that allowed charter schools to use up to 30% non-certified teachers and administrators, although Connecticut’s regular district public schools were still required to have 100 percent of their staff certified.
Despite that law, Achievement First Inc. has consistently had more than 30 percent of their staff non-certified.
And that 2010 law doesn’t erase the fact that it appears Morgan Barth was illegally teaching and serving as a principal for at least 6 years.
There are over 45,000 public school teachers who meet Connecticut’s certification law and nearly as many retired teachers who met the law when they were teachers.
Add in at least 8,000 plus school administrators (except Paul Vallas and Steven Adamowski) who also have proper state certification.
But despite more than 50,000 certified teachers and administrators, Governor Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor chose to put Connecticut’s “Alliance Districts” in the hands of an individual who has consistently failed to do what is legally required of Connecticut’s real public school teachers and administrators.
The arrogance and sense of entitlement that surrounds the corporate education reform movement is not unlike the arrogance and sense of entitlement that surrounds the clowns in Washington who are purposely tanking our federal government and our economy.