Pryor schedules Corporate Education Reform Industry Lobby Group for Alliance District Meeting

And that is just the tip of the iceberg…

Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, and his sidekick and aide, former Achievement First principal Morgan Barth, are pushing the ethical envelope ever further while telegraphing where Malloy really stands when it comes to teachers, parents and public education in Connecticut.

While Malloy is touring the state claiming that his goal is to “win back” the respect of teachers, parents and public school advocates, later this week, Commissioner Pryor and SDE Turnaround Director Morgan Barth will be handing the microphone over to the Connecticut Council for Education Reform, a corporate funded lobby group that has spent over $160,000 lobbying on behalf of Malloy’s “education reform” initiative.

The event is this Thursday’s State Department of Education’s “Alliance District Convening Meeting,” a publicly funded event for school officials and community members from the 30 Connecticut school districts receiving funds through Malloy’s Alliance District program.

According to the agenda, Pryor and Barth have scheduled the Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) to, “share best practices and tools for district-wide, long-term strategic planning.”

CCER’s Executive Director, Jeff Villar, who once served as the superintendent of schools in Windsor, left his position there three months ago to become the six-figure executive director and lobbyist for the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER).

Apparently the CCER lobbyist’s presentation will include, “strategies to establish Board of Education goals, develop district indicators of success, and design a process to monitor implementation. Districts will also learn about how the CCER can help districts workshop their Year 3 Alliance and Priority School District consolidated applications.”

REALLY?  How CCER can help districts workshop their Year 3 Alliance and Priority School District consolidated applications??

Beyond the fact that “help districts workshop their applications” is a bizarre concept, what the hell is a registered corporate education reform lobbying group doing instructing school districts on how to work with the State Department of Education?

Has the system become so corrupt that the Department of Education has turned to a corporate lobbying group to help Connecticut’s school districts fill out their applications to the state agency?

The ethical issues surrounding such a move are significant and extremely serious.

But Pryor and Barth’s actions also raise extraordinary political questions.

Over the last two years, some of the most anti-teacher, anti-union and anti-public education rhetoric has come out of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) public relations operation.

Allowing this industry lobbying group the opportunity to speak to all the Alliance District participants without giving equal time to those opposed to the corporate education reform industry’s agenda is unfair, insulting and a clear and concise indicator where Governor Malloy really stands on these issues.

Handing state functions over to CCER is even more stunning.

Malloy famously said teachers need only show up for four years and they get tenure…. The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) has been lobbying, from the beginning, to do away with tenure altogether.

Malloy also added that he didn’t mind having teachers teach to the test as long as test scores go up… The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) has been one of the most outspoken proponents of more standardized testing, the absurd common core testing scheme and pushing the unfair concept of using standardized test scores as part of Malloy’s teacher evaluation program.

Malloy can claim his anti-teacher position has “changed”  or “evolved” but actions speaks far louder than his words.

Putting the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) on this week’s Alliance District Convening Meeting agenda speaks volumes about where the Malloy administration really stands when it comes to teachers, unions and pro-public education advocates.

Oh and it gets worse… much worse…

After CCER’s Executive Director speaks, CCER’s Chief Operating Officer will be joining another out-of-state consultant in a session called, “School Budget Hold’em – Strategic resource use is the name of the game.”

According to the meeting agenda, “School Budget Hold’em is more than a game. It’s an interactive exploration of the thoughtful trade-offs school district leaders must make, especially in challenging budget times. It evolved out of ERS’ [the out of state consulting company’s] experience working with urban districts across the country. Hold’em helps change the conversation from “Where do we cut?” to “How can we best use each dollar to achieve our long term vision for student success?” Experience the game and see how you can use it in your district. Each participating district will get a set of “Hold’em” cards to take back to their district. ERS and CCER will also discuss their joint collaboration to perform a school district funding analysis for a Alliance District and how they can help your district.”

So there you go…

The Malloy administration’s approach to public schools;

(1) Hire out-of-state consultants and (2) hand over State Department of Education responsibilities and operations to a corporate education reform industry lobby group.

  • educationmatters


    • Castles Burning

      Yes and too believable.

  • Castles Burning

    The “agenda” for the Alliance Districts becomes clearer and clearer. As someone I know is fond of saying, “Beware.”

  • Linda174

    Little did the alphabet allegiance know (CAPSS, CABE, CASCIAC, etc) that when they threw the teachers under the bus (thanks Joe C), they would be coming for you, too: supers, local boards, etc.

    Yes, beware and be aware.

    First they came for the teachers, but I did not speak out because I was not a teacher…….

  • buygoldandprosper

    Sound like a Malloy proposal…School Budget Hold’em.
    Classroom Keno to follow?
    Testing for Life?
    Malloy has always shown bad judgement and this is further proof of his inability to govern.
    Vote for Malloy at your own risk, no matter who else runs.

    • Linda174

      Malloy plays all sides…fake empathy for the teachers, appear concerned, meet in private with privatizing pariahs, pocket their money, use the alliance district template to control local autonomy and fend off lawsuits, let Pryor run amok while pretending to care about the destruction of a once respected profession. Anything for votes Dannel, but a fraud is a fraud is a fraud.

  • Missy Anthrope

    Where and when Thursday?

  • mookalaboona

    I’ll say it again….if CEA and/or AFT endorse this bully, they are not representing the teachers of this state. I had a teacher tell me today “They have finally made it impossible to be a public school teacher in this state”. Sad, truly.

    • R.L.

      If OUR unions do endorse Malloy, we should organize teachers to quit en masse and reduce our dues to that of non-members, the minimum required. We should then start a new union that actually represents teachers.

      • Bill Morrison

        I would suggest that all AFT members log in to their website and email your feelings about endorsing Malloy to Melodie Peters, who seems to have forgotten that she works for we teachers.

      • Mary Gallucci

        Is it possible for the rank and file to start asking what the union honchos are doing? Maybe it is time for a vote of no confidence in the union leadership. Seriously. Malloy may wish to avoid a primary challenge–so it might be worthwhile for the union to play hardball. Malloy has utterly screwed the teachers and other public sector workers so far.

        • R.L.

          I wonder if it’s possible to file a class action law suit against the unions for misrepresenting their membership.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    And the CEA bends over and smiles.

  • Bill Morrison

    I will NEVER vote for Malloy again! And, I agree with R.L.; our state-level unions had better NOT endorse Malloy! Ever!

  • Mary Gallucci

    The whole alliance thing is an outrage.
    I decided to check on what “we”, as an alliance district, were on the hook for, here:
    Maybe it’s me, but whenever I click on the “summary” pdf for Windham, I get Winchester.
    I have a burning desire to know the summary of our alliance–the summary includes some $$$. But it is not there. Is anyone else able to access it?
    I cry foul. The whole thing is a joke, and the fact that parents are told nothing about the Commissioner’s Network nor about the Alliance District is a travesty.

  • JMC

    How about this one? – The CCER seeks in the 2014 legislative agenda to “Remove unnecessary barriers that discourage talented district leaders from working in Connecticut” See this at Prepare for a deluge of zombie Vallas and Adamowskis. And as for the value of a CT Administrator Certificate – Fuggedaboudit! And I bet this turd also contains wrapped within it free access to the State Teachers Retirement Board pension benefits.

    • Linda174

      Most definitely..CCER will continue to destroy public schools and the profession. The goal is to decertify so they can bring in Broadie supers and teach for a while test prep newbies. They will also beat the data drum, the crutch for edudilettanates who never mastered the art of teaching. Bust the unions, rip away collective bargaining & due process rights, focus non stop on test prep and miraculously all kids will be college and career ready.

  • Mary Gallucci

    Boys and Girls, look at all the great stuff CCER is doing! They are intimately involved in public schools–especially when they are charters!
    This piece is really warm and fuzzy, especially because, just as this school was forced into the Commissioner’s Network by Paul Vallas, they hired a principal whose mother is a big booster for ed reform! Marsilius is the founder of Bridgeport Public Education Fund, Here’s another heartwarming story of a Commissioner’s Network school–with Dannel Malloy on hand to pay a visit! Just like he’s doing right now, to show how much he cares (that foundation presidents and their sons get lots of “value” out of the public schools).
    and look! the union is so supportive of this effort.
    Just to make sure you’re paying attention, boys and girls,
    the original staff at Milner were not very committed to closing the achievement gap, because initially only 6 of 46 teachers chose to stay with Milner as it entered the CN, with 29 additional schools days, one additional hour each day, many Saturdays, and–well, did you expect more pay, you greedy teachers???? Just to emphasize, at Milner/Jumoke a child is loved as long as he/she is in line, in order, wearing a belt, properly cultured, and complete with a per pupil expenditure.

  • Jim Spellman

    Don’t worry folks, “Badass Teachers” has a demonstration planned in July in DC ! .NEA/ CEA and CFT/ AFT are jokes. It is happening NOW and all the Blog commentary under pen names, letters to those who could give a damn less, self-righteous commentary counts for squat. A State Wide pre announced sick out or a massive State House Demonstration is now necessary..

    • msavage

      “A State Wide pre-announced sick out or a massive State House Demonstration is now necessary..” This was necessary more than a year ago. But perhaps folks are finally beginning to realize it? Has it sunk in yet?