Commissioner Pryor and entourage are the biggest threat to Malloy’s Re-election…

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.

  • cindy

    Where was this meeting?

    • jonpelto

      Trumbull Marriott – CEA Regional Meeting with legislators

    • JMC

      There’s one this afternoon at The Norwich Inn and Spa. I’ve heard.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Dan Malloy is his own worst enemy but I think he has bought enough votes over the past three years, with public debt, to win another four years. Sad, but true.
    He has clearly been as corrupt as any politician before him and it is business, better than usual, in Hartford. And the really sad thing is that it could have been so very different.
    An interesting indication regarding real change will be how the teachers and “left” deal with the Tea Party types when the move against Common Core gets under way. Will common ground turn into the usual battle ground? My guess is that the powers behind Malloy and others will exploit what should be an odd alliance to continue to push their twisted agenda.

    • cindy

      Do you think there are that many “tea party” types in CT, or that people who oppose the reforms will be painted with the Tea Party brush? If there ever was a time for people to unite, it should be around the issue of education. There needs to be an outright collaboration campaign to bring left and right together to ensure that control over education is returned to state, and local municipalities, and vote for whichever party brings us closer to that goal.

      • buygoldandprosper

        Can you? Will you?

        If educators put Dan in office knowing how bad he would be and fearing the unknown represented by the rich but simple-minded Foley will they be able to embrace everyone who is against Common Core?

        The far right is ranting about CommonCore calling it ObamaCore…so you know where that is going.
        Will you be able to join arms with Sarah Palin types??
        I think not and I also know that Dan Malloy, and politicians like him, will use the opposition to their advantage.

        • realsaramerica

          That is their mistake. Duncan is already made that one with his disparaging “suburban moms” comment. Well now those suburban moms (and DADS) in places like Saddlebrook NJ are suing against unfunded mandates. Now that this is starting to affect Chip and Taylor in the suburbs Mom and Dad are finally waking up and smelling the Starbucks. Malloy and Duncan can pretend that this is all “Corespiracy” RWers at their peril. In their arrogance they’ve been “misunderestimating” their base all along. Too busy listening to Gates, Walton, Broad and Pearson.

        • guest

          I think you have hit on something. I think the real pushback needs to be organic – think parents writing letters to their local newspaper to share and educate other parents in town. I don’t think parents realize the scope of this – I don’t think taxpayers realize what their education budget is funding. Think end user. Teachers are not the end user. Parents and taxpayers are.

        • Linda174
        • R.L.

          There was one that was more supportive of the reform movement and common core. It was written by a ConnCAN representative.

        • cindy

          How do we get the “simple-minded” rich people to understand that privatizing education is not good?

          Malloy and others like him have already made up their minds that the greater good will best be served by taking over public education.

          Maybe the only hope will be to educate the other side (aka suburban moms and the dads who take the train to Wall Street while disparaging unions and lazy teachers) that “investing” in public education is not what they think, and will in fact destroy all that was ever good about public education.

        • R.L.
      • buygoldandprosper

        Dan Malloy and the education reformers would do ANYTHING to jam their agenda down the throats of anyone who stands in their way.
        Big money is a big motivator in Hartford and almost anywhere else. And the money at stake is basically guaranteed and endless.
        YES! Perry-types will go into high gear. There will be many more “blogs” devoted to attacking people like Pelto…who is this Education Bridgeport, anyway?
        Forget it. Our society is too Balkanized to recognize the benefits of common ground and people like Roy-the-Maggot Occhiogrosso are paid huge money to make certain that there is no unification.

    • mookalaboona

      The teacher unions may not represent the wishes of the teachers…..I’m a teacher represented by CEA and wrote a letter to the brass at CEA and AFT 7 months ago about not endorsing Malloy, which went unanswered, except for one person at AFT who wrote ” i assume AFTCT will endorse Malloy since he made our last AFTCT PRESIDENT LABOR COMMISSIONER – oh well – she gets a fat job the rest of us pay the price – gotta love politics-
      I personally will not lift a finger – except maybe one – to help Malloy get re-elected– but i will get my pitchfork and torch ready for battle if Foley wins- sometimes we need to see what really bad is….so we can re-learn the basic skills to fight a good fight even harder to get better leaders than Malloy – Wisconsin and other states are learning that stuff the hard way – maybe we will too….

      • ReTired

        CEA and AFT should NOT endorse any candidate in the next election. Local presidents need to gather some brave souls and attend several CEA board of directors’ meetings and stage an old fashioned protest. Unfortunately, many teachers won’t have the time to abandon correcting papers and planning lessons. The opposition has instilled fear that if those scores aren’t where they should be, jobs will be lost. Sounds communistic to me!

    • JMC

      I think, Gold, that it is the Democratic party and one-party CT voters like yourself – and you have said you are leaving CT – who have created this latest Democratic hellhole here. The Tea Party, as I understand it, is not even a party, but it certainly is a convenient hobgoblin with which to frighten Dem voters who may stray off the reservation.

      • buygoldandprosper

        JMC, you have no idea how I vote so shut yer pie-hole.
        Yup. As soon as possible I would love to relocate to a state that is managed better, or at least is so large that the impact of mismanagement is not as great on the individual.
        Oh! And I would really like to locate to a state with an AG who might enforce laws.

        • JMC

          You have mentioned your “bedrock” liberal principles before. That gives me a very good idea of how you vote. To me it means you pull the “D” lever when in doubt. And you did. This is your mess, And now you’re deserting.

        • jonpelto

          JMC/Buygoldandprosper – we have a common purpose, a shared goal. Let’s focus on that and then we can return to debate other matters.

        • buygoldandprosper

          OK. I will bite, but only to advise you to review my many comments. You are clueless and perhaps should go teach Malloy Math…2+2 equals whatever you say it is…
          I will give you this…I have liberal roots going back to the sixties. One thing that has remained constant with me is that I am able to embrace change.
          Now, shut yer pie-hole and crawl back to bed.

        • JMC

          Gold, I owe you and everyone an apology in that I voted for Mae Flexer (D Killingly) in Nov. 2010, who at Don Williams’ prompting in Jan 2011 introduced a new EITC entitlement which has since cost CT at least a quarter of a billion dollars. Rather than bed, if you will permt, I will go back to reading Herodotus in Greek and playing Bebop on my saxes, which is how I plan to spend the next 10 hrs..

  • Jonboy

    The CEA has been holding a series of regional teacher meetings with legislators to give educators direct contact with state leadership. The meetings, which are being held on a county by county basis, began on 1/13 and wrap up on the 29th. The CEA’s main focus is on the loss of planning time caused by the new SEED evaluation program, but teachers are sounding off about the many, many flaws in Common Core also.

    • jonpelto

      This is the path we are headed down – if Malloy/Pryor aren’t stopped.

    • R.L.

      2014 Southeastern Legislative Meeting
      Saturday, February 1, 2014
      8:30am – 10:30am
      Filomena’s Restaurant (Utopia Centre)
      262 Boston Post Road – Waterford
      This is an opportunity for members and area legislators
      to have an informal, sit-down discussion on
      AFT Connecticut legislative issues.
      Please RSVP to Teri Merisotis,
      AFT Connecticut Political Coordinator
      at 860-257-9782 or by email [email protected]

      • ReTired

        Unfortunately all talk-in the end no action from CEA. They’re just placating membership by sponsoring these regional meetings. This weak common practice historically speaking has gotten them nothing and resulted in the demise of more than loss of instructional time. The next Malloy push will demand more hours in the school day and a longer school year. Try getting more money from local towns to pay for that when its time to negotiate! Never going to happen!

  • Gloria A. Brown Malloy is trying to get teachers’ votes by tweaking the “edreform” passed last year. Is it too little, too late?

    • R.L.

      YES! It’s waaaaay too late.

    • Linda174

      Yeah his task force will be filled with reformy sychophants led by ConnCon, CAPSS, DFER, Pryor and his charter loving brigade. Throw out a few carrots and back to stabbing us in the back as soon as he can. Never ever ever ever vote for Malloy.

      What’s the “relief” anyway? When does he reveal the details? Seems rather vague now.

    • ReTired

      It would appear so!

  • husky56

    Why isn’t CEA taking a firm stand against CCSS and the SEED evaluation? Where are the media ads ? Where are the protests against CCSS and high stakes testing? We are drowning in paperwork, meetings, data and over testing our students! We just want to TEACH and be evaluated fairly!

    • ReTired

      Don’t count on them for anything! Their “play nice” philosophy and attitude are long standing and have always been counter productive (demise of the BEST program, supporting RTTT 1 and 2). Time for them to change leadership there also and not only listen to complaining teachers, but act accordingly. They’ve definitely got the war chest amounting to thousands of dollars, but unfortunately no one at 21 Oak Street has the gumption to draw the line in the sand and advocate for kids let alone teachers!