Malloy full steam ahead on Common Core, Common Core Testing and “education reforms”

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,

Malloy Administration: Clark Elementary Parents – You must accept Friendship Charter School or else

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:


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:

Who is behind the effort to destroy Hartford’s Clark Elementary School?

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.

  • Linda174

    How Bill Gates bought the common core, money trumps evidence:

  • buygoldandprosper

    Do charter schools insist on parental involvement and want community members on their boards only as non-voting members?
    They seem to want the tax dollars for their scholars but shut you down if they hear hollers.
    Just ask where MALLOY sent his three spawn to school and you will know how committed he is to public education. His act is wearing so thin he recently had to go to another state to tell his election-time tale of woe about being challenged as a student with dyslexia.
    Where will he go to tell the story about his mom organizing nurses? Sikorsky?

  • jschmidt2

    Low standards are only 1 factor in poor schools. Parent involvement is another. But Common Core only adds additional testing and that takes the time away from teachers to do their job, which by and large they do well. The administration of schools spends its time implementing the programs dictated from above or their jobs suffer. The school districts have the sword of funding cuts over their heads unless they do what the state dictates. So only the parents can force change. And the next major opportunity is at the voting booth.

  • mookalaboona

    It’s a simple truth: Don’t trust Malloy….period. He is going to lie to get re-elected. I have a feeling that he doesn’t think he has the votes so he is courting Obama (picking fights with Jindal, minimum wage, etc) for a Washington appointment. He may be wealthy and powerful, but he is a real loser.

  • jrp1900

    It’s interesting to watch Malloy dance on eggshells. His instincts tell him that education reform should be tempered for now: it’s causing him too much trouble. The struggle for re-election tends to focus a politician’s mind like nothing else can. Malloy is no exception to this rule. Malloy does not impress as a man of character or principle; we have seen enough of him to know that his uppermost thought, at this difficult moment, is do what you have to do to get back into office. This is the context for his overtures towards teachers and other cynical machinations.
    But as much as he might want to slow down some aspects of education reform, with a view to political survival, Malloy is already in too deep for that to happen. The deals have been made. The IOUs are coming in. It’s time for Malloy to deliver to his patrons. Malloy is trapped. The political animal in Malloy would like to beat a careful retreat, but Dan Malloy the paid servant of the hedge fund plutocrats has no choice but to march on–quite possibly to his electoral doom.
    Tom Foley must feel like he has died and woken up in heaven. Mr. Foley is not an attractive candidate. He is bullish and boorish in ways that are all too typical of rich guys who believe that their money gives them expertise on the great issues of economy and society. In short, one does not associate charm with Mr. Foley’s brand of Republican. However, he has the great good fortune to find himself matched against Malloy, who is up to his neck in doo-doo. Foley has a real chance of winning simply because Malloy has alienated so many of his natural supporters. And independents will be hard-pressed to vote for the man who foisted Stefan Pryor, the high-priest of privatization, on Connecticut’s public schools…
    Don’t be surprised if Malloy serves up Pryor as a sacrifice at the last hour…But, even then, it will probably be too late.

    • Philip Stull

      The CT Working Families Party will be on all CT for Govenor ballots so they stand in a strong position to affect the outcome of this contest and they say that they value public education. Their efforts in Bridgeport to take the Bd of Ed away from the corporatists attests to their commitment to public education. Maybe we should encourage and help them to challenge these corporatists.

      • jrp1900

        Philip Stull: I could not agree with you more. Malloy needs to be challenged from the left. Foley’s challenge from the right will still lead to the destruction of Connecticut’s public school system, as Foley has no problem at all with privatization. The Working Families Party will have a hard time of it in the suburbs, but the party could play a crucial role in the big cities. If Malloy wants the party’s endorsement, they should make him pay for it, big-time…

        • Philip Stull

          My preference would be for them to run a candidate and not endorse. Malloy’s word is not good and his defeat would send a powerful message to all other Democrats that they too must fight the corporatist or face similar fate.

        • Mary Gallucci

          Working Families endorsed Malloy once as well as the ed-reform friendly, Special Master-blessing state rep Susan Johnson from Windham–let’s hope WF does not make these mistakes again. It would be better not to endorse anyone than these kinds of Democrats.

        • Philip Stull

          If they repeat it will be a huge indictment of their stated values. Another voice on the stage and on the ballot will cause the earth to quake.

    • guest

      But most people are not the people on this blog: most people vote for other issues besides education. You need to take that into consideration with all your proclomations of doom for Malloy.

      • R.L.

        Educate them. Spread the word. I can tell you from the number of new posters here that more and more people are beginning to pay attention. Malloy, one and done!

    • ReTired

      My thoughts exactly; you hit the proverbial nail on the head!

  • JMC

    I urge all Pelto devotees to access “Stop the Common Core” on Youtube. It is a crystal-clear presentation in several 10 min parts and gives a superb take on the CC. A woman in suit jacket with a red shirt front narrates most or all of them.

  • guest

    Should my evaluation be based on a test scored from a student who has missed 22 classes so far for the second semester? And if you are curious we have had 28 classes for second semester. I have another student who has already missed 15 classes. Can anyone explain why student accountability is NOT part of my evaluation? Come on you lurking politicians. We all know you are reading this so please, let me know how this is a fair evaluation of my teaching?

    • jonpelto

      Excellent question…

      Let’s put It out there as standalone post…and I’ll send to legislators as well

      Any teachers or administrators are welcome to send me some additional examples at jonpelto gmail before we ask that question

      • Castles Burning

        Guest, a good question. Jonathan, you are very brave and may be up late reading your email. THANKS.

  • guest

    Here is reading comprehension question. Read the following passage and then answer the questions. Justify your response using common sense and logic; that will omit any politicians and hired hands of politicians right from the get go.

    Over 20 years ago I became a teacher. As the years go by there are more and more obstacles placed before me as I try to accomplish a task that everyone seems to know how to do; especially politicians. This year I started “just showing up” as one individual is proud to say. I told myself I could persevere, that the new teacher evaluation/obstacle represented just another hurdle I had to clear. It wasn’t too long after that when I realized this year was going to be different. What happened was simple. I determined a quiz date for my kids and told them days in advance so they could have plenty of time to prepare. There was a very loud comment from one young student regarding what he thought was the appropriateness of the quiz date. He was very adamant that the date be two days later. Now it doesn’t matter what the material in question was over or the fact that the kids had plenty of class and home time to prepare, what does matter was his response. So I did something I do not normally do and I asked him why he thought I was so clearly in the wrong. His response, “You have to make us like you. Your evaluation depends on the test scores that we take.”

    Question #1 – True or false. Do you think this actually happened?
    If you answered false then you are either a politician or a hired hand with very little if any teaching experience.

    Question #2 – What did the teacher do?
    A. Put off the quiz to make as many friends as possible.
    B. Stand my ground and keep the quiz date as planned.
    C. Calculate how long before I could retire.
    D. Thank my lucky starts that someone like Danny Boy can show me the error of my ways.

    If you picked A – see number 1 above.

    B and C are correct. I stood my ground and instantly calculated how long before retirement which is a shame because I am an excellent teacher and Connecticut schools need teachers like me to teach your kids.

    If you picked D then I want some of your kool-aid.