Considering Governor Dannel Malloy won the last gubernatorial election with less than 50% of the 1.2 million votes cast and his margin of victory was only 6,404 votes, virtually anything could cost him his re-election dreams.
But forget the Republicans and their propensity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory…
Forget Malloy’s tax increases that have fallen disproportionately on the middle class…
Forget the combined $3.2 billion deficit that Malloy’s budget gimmicks have created for the three years following the next election….
Forget his warped “economic development” strategy that gives multi-million dollar companies scarce public funds that should be going to preserve vital services…
With nearly 500 teachers showing up at a Fairfield County meeting last night to meet with their state legislators we are reminded, yet again, that Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and his entourage of high-priced, out-of-state consultants and personal assistants is the factor most likely to put an end to Malloy’s political career.
Commissioner Pryor, the co-founder of Achievement First, Inc., the large charter school management company has led Governor Malloy’s relentless effort to undermine Connecticut’s teachers, parents and public education system.
It was Governor Malloy, with the help of Pryor and a series of no-bid contracts with out-of-state corporate education reform industry consultants that introduced the most anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-public education bill of any Democratic governor in the country.
And thanks to Malloy and Pryor, the Common Core freight train and the inappropriate Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment testing scheme will end up costing Connecticut taxpayers tens of millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars…while turning Connecticut’s public schools into nothing more than testing factories.
The truth be told; Every day teachers, along with more and more parents of public school students, understand that Malloy was brutally honest when he said that he didn’t mind teaching to the test, as long as the test scores go up!
Add in Malloy and Pryor’s absurd teacher evaluation system, along with Malloy’s failure to properly fund Connecticut’s Education Cost Sharing school funding formula and you have a situation that could easily cost Malloy ten times the number of votes he won by in the 2010 election.
In addition to the millions that Commissioner Pryor has wasted on no-bid contracts and his ongoing effort to divert scarce taxpayer funds to his charter school agenda, the record is clear.
Pryor hired his personal friend, Adam Goldfarb under one job classification and then immediately bumped up his salary and made him chief of staff. Goldfarb’s educational experience? Serving on the board of directors of a New Jersey charter school.
And it was Pryor who turned over the State Department of Education’s School Turnaround Office to Morgan Barth. This is the same Morgan Barth who worked illegally for six years as a teacher and administrator at Pryor’s Achievement First, Inc. Despite a state law requiring all teachers and administrators to hold state certification, Morgan Barth refused to go through process required to be in a Connecticut classroom or principal’s office. What does Stefan Pryor do? With six years of illegal teaching and administration under his belt, Pryor puts Barth in charge of the effort to undermine the teachers and schools in Connecticut’s 30 Alliance Districts
And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Stefan Pryor is Steven Adamowski’s biggest supporter – Adamowski got a $225,000 no-bid contract from the Malloy administration to serve as “Special Master” of Windham and New London. When the contract period ran out, Pryor gave Adamowski a six-figure state job without posting the position or going through the proper selection process. And all this time, “Special Master” Adamowski is wreaking havoc with the public schools in two of Connecticut’s poorest communities.
Malloy’s popularity has been in the tank since he was elected. There are many challenges to his re-election plans, but none more serious or significant than his the way and his Commissioner of Education have treated Connecticut’s teachers, parents and public schools.