With the 2014 gubernatorial election ten months away, Governor Dannel Malloy held a press conference yesterday that would have made Saturday Night Live or the satirical website, The Onion, proud.
Malloy removed his blinders and took out his ear plugs long enough to announce that the unfair teacher evaluation system should be delayed until after the election, a task force should study the implementation of the Common Core and that Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, would be ordered to hold off spending that “$1 million on a public relations campaign to promote the Common Core.”
In his effort to “win” over (aka snow) teachers, parents and public school advocates, Malloy’s plan appears to be to push off a couple of elements of his corporate education reform industry agenda until he can make it past November’s election for governor.
Malloy’s message was a simple one.
The essence of which is, “I hear you and we’ll wait until after I’m re-elected” to proceed with some of our efforts to undermine Connecticut’s public education system.
According to Malloy, in the meantime, simply overlook and forget about the time and effort wasted on the SLOs that teachers were required to develop and the new software towns had to get to track that information.
Forget about the time and money wasted to “calibrate” and train administrators to conduct the faulty evaluations.
Forget about the time wasted on the evaluations that have been done to date and forget about the waste of money and time towns spent to purchase and set up the “teacher evaluation” software that the state has forced towns to use.
Forget about the millions of dollars wasted to purchase Common Core compliant computers and Common Core test prep software.
Forget about the hundreds of hours that children have already spent prepping or the absurd Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Field Test and forget that instead of informing towns that only 10% of their students need serve as rat labs for this test, Malloy and Pryor decided that ALL Connecticut public school students should be used a guinea pigs – test subjects for a testing that will run from March through June – all without the approval of their parents.
And forget about the massive changes in instructional schedules as schools have been forced to reduce “specials” like art, music, PE and academic subjects like social studies to make room for the Common Core mandated subjects.
In fact, just forget all that ugly stuff until after you cast your ballot in November’s election.
Note however, that Commissioner Stefan Pryor, his Turnaround Director Morgan Barth and “Special Master” Steve Adamowski’s destructive policies will go forward as a planned. No slowing down on the Commissioner’s Network or Special Master’s efforts that are quickly ruining schools in Connecticut’s 30 poorest school districts.
It’s hard to call Malloy’s announcement as anything other than a sick political joke.
As part of Malloy’s “bold” move, Governor Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, and Senate President Donald Williams wrote in a joint letter (see joint letter) that read, in part;
“Since the beginning of the school year, we have heard from teachers and administrators voicing their concerns that too much change is hitting their classrooms at once…This confluence of changes jeopardizes the success of our teachers, and thus our students…We’ve hear their concerns loud and clear, and understand.”
Apparently Malloy and company are saying that they failed to hear the concerns and warnings articulated when Malloy’s education reform initiative was announced.
They missed the concerns and warnings brought up at hundreds of meetings at the local, regional and state level since Malloy’s bill become law.
And instead they wasted tens of millions of scarce taxpayer funds on out-of-state consultants, inexperienced staff and expensive new software in their race to the bottom.
Meanwhile, organizations like Achievement First, Inc., ConnCAN and other corporate education reform industry advocacy groups have spent more than $6 million lobbying on behalf of Malloy’s “education reform” initiatives and the education reform industry money continues to pour in to support Malloy’s political aspirations.
As if the whole move wasn’t unbelievable enough, according CT Newsjunkie;
“Malloy, Wyman, Sharkey, and Williams asked the [PEAC] council to create a subcommittee of classroom teachers to share the obstacles they face and have them make recommendations to the council, General Assembly, and state Education Board by Jan. 1, 2015, nearly two months after the election.”
Teachers, parents and public school advocates are certainly not going to fall for this hoax.
If you want to read more of the details about Malloy’s “proposal” go to:
CT Newsjunkie: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_would_delay_teacher_evaluations_state_wont_spend_1m_to_promote/?utm_source=CTNewsJunkie.com&utm_campaign=70cf981eba-MCP557_Jan_29_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a493d2308d-70cf981eba-92882173
Hartford Courant: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-common-core-push-back-0128-20140128,0,4058443.story and http://courantblogs.com/capitol-watch/read-the-malloy-letter-on-evals/ and http://courantblogs.com/capitol-watch/malloy-delays-teacher-evals-sets-up-common-core-task-force/
Check back for updates as they become available