Sarah Darer Littman’s MUST READ – “A Discouraging Day for Democracy and Education.”

In her latest CT News Junkie column, Sarah Darer Littman confronts those that are celebrating their latest efforts to buy up the public policy making process at the federal and state level.

In Washington it was the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case that removes the limit on the amount of money individuals can give to all political campaigns.

In Hartford it was Governor Malloy’s State Board of Education and their ongoing efforts to undermine, demean and demoralize public education while promoting Malloy’s charter school privatization scheme.

Upon watching Malloy’s political appointees in action at the State Board of Education meeting, Sarah Darer Littman concludes,

What we witnessed Wednesday is called “a done deal.” Although both the Courant and the CT Post reported the day before the hearing that Commissioner Stefan Pryor was only going to recommend approving two of proposed charters, once the crowds from Bridgeport and Stamford left, Charles Jaskiewicz asked, “Why are we delaying the opportunity to front-load success? . . . My feeling is all these schools should be approved.” Taylor announced that Pryor just “happened” to have a resolution to approve the two additional schools already prepared.

And thus, the appointed state Board of Education, against the expressed votes of two elected city school boards and with ample evidence of the negative financial impact to the existing public schools in the cities involved, voted to approve these new charter schools.

American democracy is dying and despite their press releases to the contrary, Connecticut Democrats are aiding and abetting its demise as surely as the Republicans who brought the court case of McCutcheon vs. FEC. It will come back to haunt them in November.

As Littman makes clear, public policy has become a commodity to be bought and sold.  Big donors are more than willing to write out the campaign checks and many of our elected and appointed officials are more than happy to do their bidding.

The proof of this corrupt system can be seen right here in Connecticut.

Do take the time to read Sarah Darer Littman’s entire column at:

  • henryberry

    As I predicted a while ago, as the next gubernatorial election appoaches (and Obama’s time as president dwindles), we can see Malloy try increasingly to ram through centerpieces of his Democratic version of the plutocratic state. Education in Connecticut is being determined for the next fifty years and probably more by nervous politicians and their moneybags, not educators. With Malloy’s poor standing, he has nothing to lose. In creating his educational empire, he further enriches his corporate partners and at the same time seems to be offering something to African Americans in the state’s major cities he is depending on to reelect him as governor. African Americans and inner cities have been so neglected in the Obama administration that they large numbers are expected to align themselves to anyone who seems to be paying them any attention, no matter what this somone holds out. It’s more politics than education accounting for trying to get as many nonpublic schools into the works in the shortest time possible. Malloy is running out of time to pander and plot.

    • RJEastHartford

      “large numbers are expected to align themselves to anyone who seems to be paying them any attention, no matter what this somone holds out. It’s more politics”

      Yes, I agree. Republican’s imbued with cash from corporate interests, investor class and individuals have successfully changed policies to favor their benefactors, anything with a revenue stream can be monetized and education is no different. Slaying adversaries that have collective power, unions, parent’s groups, “the middle class” is all part of the core philosophy. If these “Republican’s” make inroads into the cities under the guise of “opportunity and social mobility” Changes will occur exponentially, starving public school budgets, “jury-rigging” political processes etc. It is happening now, but reasoned argument has little effect because it is a philosophy backed by money, lots of it.

      People do vote against their own interests, or do not prioritize their interests. We in the inner ring suburbs have seen what is happening, and I know people, parents looking for a change in education as the system in their view has failed them. Governor Malloy, is clumsily responding to some in the inner city and inner ring suburbs but he is responding. Voters in outer ring suburbs have no vested stake, as long as their district is not further integrated, will vote for this policy.

      Democrats do need to have a different education policy, especially for the cities. We all have heard the rhetoric about teacher’s unions, collective power being part of the problem; from the economy to education. People do believe this nonsense and refuse to prioritize their interests and then vote against their interest. I have heard “things cannot get much worse with a Republican.” Look at what is going on all around us; from the political system, business and the economy to education. Yes they can and when that happens the fight is lost for a generation.

      • henryberry

        What makes the Democratic version of the plutocratic state hardly any different from the Republican version is that each abandons government, though for different rationales and in different ways. As you note, it’s all economics, not politics and not in any way reflecting traditional values or aims of democratic society.

  • Castles Burning

    The “bought and sold” is almost too clear and so pernicious, self-righteous, and chauvinistic. When I have time, I plan to study the “stream of emails” for all that they demonstrate about the “will to power” that ultimately failed. The triumph of the citizens of Bridgeport as they worked to take back their Bridgeport Board of Education remains an inspiration for many.

    We need such reminders after the SBOE’s decision to totally disregard the will of the Bridgeport and Stamford’s BOEs and to not even address the valid concerns of what would happen to the REST of the public school students (as I understand it). Clearly, they had made their decision on how to vote (in fact, many had been chosen for that very reason) but perhaps it is the every-growing paternalism that led them to think that they did not even need to explain themselves to the children, parents, and teachers from whom they were appropriating state funds in order to pay the management fees of the charter enterprises.