Just over a month ago, Governor Malloy took the the microphone to announce his election year effort to persuade teachers, parents and public school advocates to overlook his three years of failed education policies and throw their support behind his re-election aspirations.
In essence, Malloy said, “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.
But proving, yet again, that action speaks louder than words, Malloy has been pushing full steam ahead with some of the worst aspects of his corporate education reform industry agenda.
A re-cap of Wait, What? posts from the weekend are a shocking reminder that Malloy has the habit of saying one thing and doing another.
Posts to read include,
Parents, teachers and the community that makes up Hartford’s Clark Elementary School in Hartford are still reeling from the Malloy Administration’s threat that the Clark “Turnaround Committee” must agree to turn their local Hartford neighborhood school over to Washington D.C.’s Friendship Charter School Inc or else they won’t get the funds necessary to improve their school.
But there is much that Clark School parents and the Clark School community have not been told.
This development comes despite a state law that requires an inclusive “turnaround” process in which parents, teachers, school officials and community members are supposed to play the primary role in deciding the future of their local school.
The Malloy Administration’s plan to force the “Clark School Turnaround Plan” to hand the day-to-day operation of the Hartford elementary school over to Friendship Public Charter School Inc. first came to light in a February 10, 2014 Wait, What? article entitled, “NEWS FLASH: Pryor reportedly giving Hartford’s Clark Elementary School to Washington D.C. Charter School Chain (2/10/14).
“The Brave New World of being ‘College and Career Ready (By Sarah Darer Littman)
One of the oft-stated goals of education reform is to ensure that students are “college and career ready.” Like “excellence,” it’s probably one of the most over-used phrases in the education reform movement.
But as I’ve asked before, what does this phrase really mean? Do our policy makers even know?
Judging by their actions of late, I’m starting to think they don’t.
On March 18, the window opens for field tests of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the computer-based adaptive test that will go live next year to replace the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT).
SBAC, or the Smarter Balanced Consortium, is one of the two consortiums that states have signed up with to develop new assessment systems for the Common Core State Standards. Funded by a four-year, $175 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (which runs out in September of this year), SBAC claims its system “will measure mastery of the Common Core State Standards and provide timely information about student achievement and progress toward college and career readiness.”
But there’s a slight catch. They haven’t yet defined “college and career ready.”
“The Consortium also will establish performance benchmarks that define the level of content and skill mastery that marks students as college- and career-ready. These performance benchmarks will be determined through a deliberative and evidence-based standard-setting process, which will include input from K-12 educators and college and university faculty,” the website says. “Preliminary performance standards will be established in 2014 after student data have been collected through pilot and field testing. Following the Field Test in spring 2014, the Consortium will conduct standard setting for the summative assessments in grades 3-8 and grade 11 in ELA/literacy and mathematics. These performance standards will be validated in July/August 2015 using spring 2015 operational data.”
So basically the people who are pushing Common Core — Mssrs. Gates, Obama, Duncan et al, need our kids to be lab rats for this project, while their kids are safely ensconced in private schools, immune from such pedestrian concerns.
What does being an unpaid test subject for SBAC entail exactly?
Sarah Darer Littman’s entire piece can be found at: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/the_brave_new_world_of_being_college_and_career_ready/
“A crisis of low standards” (By Wendy Lecker)
Not poverty. Not inadequate resources. Not toxic stress. Not segregation. According to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, low standards are the cause of America’s educational disparities.
The solution, he maintains, is national standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the accompanying national tests.
“For far too long,” Duncan declared, “our school systems lied to kids, to families, and to communities.
They said the kids were all right — that they were on track to being successful — when in reality they were not even close.” Duncan claimed states’ low standards made “educators, administrators and especially politicians” look good but did not prepare students for the rigors of college work.
Before the Common Core, according to Duncan, high school success was a “lie” — it certainly did not mean that students were “college ready.”
What a compelling, but false, narrative. A new peer-reviewed longitudinal nationwide study confirmed that the most reliable predictor of cumulative college GPA and college graduation is a student’s high school GPA.
Read the Wendy Lecker’s entire piece at: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Lecker-A-crisis-of-low-standards-5298374.php
Clark Elementary School’s parents, teachers and community have a right to know what is really going on behind the scenes in the ongoing effort to stifle parental involvement and hand Clark over to an out-of-state charter school company.
The corporate education reform industry has targeted Clark, but who exactly is pushing these unfair, discriminatory proposals that seek to take over the school, fire all the teachers and hand control of the school over to those who have no understanding of the community?
It is time to find out,
Pursuant to the Connecticut Freedom of Information act, the proponents of this Clark takeover need to produce any and all memos, documents, notes, emails and attachments that have been sent, received or produced over the last 60 days and relate to the Clark Elementary School.
If elected and appointed officials won’t do the right thing for the Clark community then at least the community deserves to know the deals that have been cut behind the scenes.
This Freedom of Information request will cover Stefan Pryor, Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Morgan Barth, Pryor “Turnaround Director” and Andrew Ferguson, Pryor and Barth’s point person on the effort to destroy Clark.
In addition FOI requests are being submitted for the same information from Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and Hartford Portfolio Director Oliver Barton.
Clark parents should refuse to engage in further discussion until these materials are handed over.
The request for these documents are being submitted today, it will be noteworthy to see if Malloy administration and the City of Hartford fulfill their legal duty and hand over the requested information in a timely fashion.