As if Connecticut’s Alliance School Districts (the 30 poorest school districts in the state) weren’t having enough problems, Stefan Pryor has managed to pour even more salt into the wounds that are dragging down public education in Connecticut.
Over at the State Department of Education, Stefan Pryor got rid of Connecticut’s experienced Leaders in Residence and the team of experts who were dedicated to helping Connecticut’s Priority School Districts improve educational opportunities in the state’s poorest districts.
In addition to dumping the four Leaders in Residence, Pryor got rid of the three retired superintendents, all of whom had extraordinary, real world experience in Connecticut’s communities.
Malloy’s Commissioner of Education even transferred out the expert in English Language Learning and bilingual programs, the expert in helping schools create successful multi-cultural environments and the expert on reducing school bullying, making schools safer and improving school climates.
He replaced all of this expertise with a $1 million contract with an out-of-state corporate education reform company that sent in five inexperienced consultants to tell Connecticut’s education leaders what to do.
The result has been chaos with many Alliance Districts unable to get the money and help that Malloy and the Connecticut Legislature promised them.
To make matters worse, a majority of the MassInsight company consultants have left and been replaced by even less experienced individuals.
With Alliance Districts twisting in the wind, Stefan Pryor brought in a new Director for his “Turnaround Office,” a principal from one of Pryor’s Achievement First, Inc. charter schools.
Morgan Barth is noteworthy in his own right. He says he worked as an Achievement First, Inc. teacher in Connecticut for six years. However, it appears that he was in those classrooms illegally because despite a state law mandating that all teachers be certified by the State Department of Education, Barth never bothered to become a Connecticut certified teacher.
Ironic that Morgan Barth, who refused to follow the laws of the State Department of Education, is now a senior manager at that very state agency.
But if it wasn’t already clear enough, Stefan Pryor has now proven that he is completely and utterly tone-deaf to the anger and frustration that is building up around the Malloy administration’s handling of public education policy in the state.
This week Morgan Barth proudly pronounced that Nasir Qadree, an Education Pioneer Fellow, Class of 2013, has joined Pryor’s “Turnaround Office.”
Nasir Qadree is new to the education management industry.
According to his bio, Qadree has been working in the “Investment Manager Services sleeve” of State Street Corporation where he was “responsible for covering North American Business Development and Sales.” Nasir worked with prospective clients to “review and align their current operations with State Street’s servicing model.”
Before that, “Nasir worked in the Institutional Equity Sales Research group of State Street Global Markets (SSGM). In this role, he introduced portfolio managers, analysts, and traders to SSGM’s proprietary macro and quantitative research.”
And “Prior to joining State Street, Nasir worked at Goldman Sachs in New York where he worked as an operations analyst on the Fixed Income Sales desk. At Goldman Sachs, he supported municipal bond and money market sales traders.”
Nasir Qadree received a B.S. from Hampton University in Marketing and reports that he did some tutoring in New York City.
It is unclear who is paying Nasir Qadree’s salary. He doesn’t show up (yet) on the state’s payroll but State Department of Education hasn’t gone through the necessary steps to take him on as a non-paid employee.
According to Morgan Barth though he is a “New Team Member,” with Barth writing, “Please join me in welcoming Nasir Qadree to the turnaround team. Nasir joins the SDE as an Education Pioneer Fellow…Nasir will initially support several projects pertaining to the Commissioner’s Network and charter schools.”
And rest assured that Nasir Qadree likes charter schools and charter school advocates;
Among his recent social media texts and posts were the following;
“I love this. Tireless KIPP teachers showing how much they care for the future of their KIPPsters (students), all through Hip-Hop.” (KIPP being one of the biggest charter school chains in the country).
Last week Qadree also tweeted, “Excited to participate in the Northeast Charter School Conference. #StudentsFirst.”
In conclusion, it is certainly clear that Governor Malloy reiterates his commitment to undermining Connecticut’s teachers, schools and our state’s system of public education.