Diane Ravitch features Madison Superintendent Tom Scarice’s powerful letter on “education reform”

Diane Ravitch, the nation’s leading pro-public education advocate, has used her blog to highlight the letter Madison Connecticut Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice sent to his legislators about the failed education reforms that are being pushed through in Connecticut. 

The letter is one of the most powerful statements to date about the failure of the corporate education reform industry agenda and the need to re-take control of our public schools and preserve local control, parental involvement and the values inherent in a true system of public education.

Diane Ravitch’s blog is the most read education blog in the country generating up to 70,000 or more hits a day.

In the piece entitled, “A Connecticut Superintendent Speaks Out Against Failed “Reforms”, Ravitch writes:

Tom Scarice, superintendent of schools in Madison, Connecticut, has already been named to the honor roll for his leadership and vision in bringing together his community to plan for the future of Madison public schools.

Now, he steps up and speaks out again to take issue with those, like Governor Dannel Malloy, who call for a “pause” in the implementation of misguided reforms.

In a letter to his state representatives, Scarice explains that education policy must be based on sound research and experience. What Connecticut is doing now, he writes, is merely complying with federal mandates that harm schools and demoralize teachers.

If every superintendent had Tom Scarice’s courage and understanding, this country would have a far, far better education system and could easily repel the intrusions of bad policies.

You can read Superintendent Scarice’s letter here on Wait, What?:  A CT superintendent speaks: Madison’s Thomas Scarice and the Power of truth  (http://jonathanpelto.com/2014/01/31/ct-superintendent-speaks-madisons-thomas-scarice-power-truth/)

The Washington Post has also covered Scarice’s letter, see:   CT Superintendent Thomas Scarice’s letter on “education reform” makes the Washington Post

  • Linda174

    Pryor promised a webinar two weeks ago to clear up ALL the confusion, as stated in Kathleen Megan HC article.

    We got a cut and pasted website, sources teachers already know about: engageny, Khan academy, achieve.org, teaching channel, learn zillion.

    However, he includes a CAUTION for every single lesson and unit. I is will post a few and check them out for yourself.


    • Linda174

      English Language Arts

      Grade 4: Scientific Research – Researching Simple Machines “How Do They Help Do Work?”


      Connecticut teachers should be aware that this curriculum unit is specifically designed for New York Public Schools. While the curriculum is available at the site listed, access to materials used in the lessons may be limited. Teachers should also understand that some science lessons are intentionally designed as ELA to have students practice reading, analyzing and drawing conclusions about scientific text.

    • Linda174

      Grade 1: Listening Strand – Fables and Stories


      Connecticut teachers should be aware that this curriculum unit is specifically designed for New York Public Schools. Teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. The unit would be enhanced with additional supports for students who are ELL or have disabilities. Instruction and activities within the unit do address all of the Common Core standards listed; however, in the summative assessment students are only evaluated on domain/academic vocabulary and core content of stories and fables. Teachers using this unit will need to create a more comprehensive assessment with an aligned rubric that provides sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance in all areas.

    • Linda174


      Grade 5: Order of Operations and Whole Numbers


      Connecticut teachers should be aware that Standards for Mathematical Practice are listed for activities, but are not directly addressed Greater coherence and intentionality between activities would be useful. Explicit instructional supports English language learners are not provided. Differentiation for students with special needs, struggling learners or high achievers is very limited. The unit assumes significant prior knowledge without direct explanation on how to address student gaps. There are no assessment rubrics/criteria to assess performance.

  • Linda174

    CAUTION…..be careful when implementing the lessons/units provided by the Pryor SDE….proceed very carefully.

  • cindy

    Wow. LInda, CT is simply playing “Follow the Leader” to NY but yelling warnings over their shoulder as a disclaimer!

    • Linda174

      The emperor is naked and stupid. Picture Malloy and his minions:

  • Linda174


    HOW BILL GATES HAS GROWN TO INFLUENCE PUBLIC POLICY: Though Gates is stepping down from leading Microsoft, he won’t be stepping back from influencing Washington, Stephanie Simon reports. So far, his foundation has spent about $5 billion on education projects in the U.S. ($1 billion on scholarships alone). Gates and his foundation staff “have assembled an agenda and a mechanism to achieve their objectives, plain and simple,” said Scott Thomas, dean of the education school at Claremont Graduate University. They’ve shown, Thomas said, that “you can leverage foundation resources to really affect federal and state policy – and the funding that comes along with that.” He’s also a major donor to the Clinton Foundation. More from Stephanie and Erin Mershon: http://politi.co/1iqwuvQ