Tom Foley’s bizarre move on Education Policy and its potential impact on the CEA endorsement

In what appears to be an ongoing effort to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, Tom Foley, the Republican candidate for governor, has proposed an education policy that looks eerily similar to Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s corporate education reform initiatives.

Over the past four years Governor Malloy has earned the reputation as the most anti-teacher Democratic governor in the nation and remains the only Democratic governor to propose doing away with teacher tenure for all public school teachers and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the state’s poorest schools.

However, instead of providing Connecticut’s teachers, parents and public school advocates with appropriate policies that would support and strengthen public education, Tom Foley has proposed an education plan that appears to be designed by the very same corporate education reform industry groupies that are behind Malloy’s ill-conceived education initiatives.

In fact, elements of Foley’s plan appear to be a virtual copy of the proposals being pushed by Steven Adamowski, one of Malloy’s top advisors who presently serves as Malloy’s “Special Master” for New London and formerly worked in the same capacity in Windham.

While Foley’s plan is vague and lacks details, the foundation of his education agenda, according to media coverage, would “mandate that parents in struggling schools be allowed to move their students anywhere within their local school systems, with money following the child.”

It is a system that has been tried and failed repeatedly around the country and is a particular favorite of Steven Adamowski, who previously served as superintendent of schools in Hartford before taking that same inappropriate approach with him to New London and Windham.

Tom Foley is quoted as saying,

“What I’m hoping is that when you have in-district public school choice and money follows the child that the marketplace starts to exert pressure on schools to perform better…So, right away, that schools are on notice that if I’m governor, I’m going to try to make sure this gets passed and implemented, so if they should start trying to be better schools right away, to the extent they can.”

The Foley plan would be a disaster for Connecticut, but in what may be one of the biggest ironies of the entire 2014 gubernatorial campaign, Malloy and his legislative supporters have blasted Foley for announcing his plan…despite the fact that Malloy and the Democrats in the General Assembly have supported very similar policies.

In a story entitled, Malloy sees, seizes opportunity in Foley’s school plan, the CT Mirror reported,

“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy moved quickly Thursday to exploit what Democrats say is an ill-considered and impractical proposal by Republican Tom Foley to allow urban parents to pick the local public school of their choice and strip money from failing schools as their children go elsewhere.

Malloy said the education proposals Foley made Wednesday as part of a larger urban agenda show that the Greenwich businessman has no grasp of current education policies and resources, nor does he appreciate how devastating it would be to urban school systems to begin denying funds to schools that need more resources.

“You can’t treat a school like a factory. You don’t sell it. You don’t close it. You have an obligation to make it work,” Malloy said.”

This from the Democratic governor whose “Commissioner’s Network” program has undermined local control, handed public schools over to the disgraced Jumoke/FUSE charter school chain in Hartford and Bridgeport and devastated a number of urban schools by implementing a “money follows the child” system that has left troubled schools without the resources they need to even serve the students that have remained in those schools.

According to the news article, Malloy went on to blast Foley saying,

“It’s a bunch of mush. It’s a mouthful of mush is what it is, except it’s dangerous,” Malloy said of what he called an ill-defined plan. “It’s defeating. It underlies an absolute lack of understanding of how education works in Connecticut. He gets an F for homework. He gets an F for plagiarism. And he gets an F for new ideas.”

Malloy’s quote is truly incredible considering the ideas that Foley is “stealing” come from Malloy, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor, and the gaggle of education reform industry supporters that surround Malloy.

As the CT Mirror reports, Malloy and his campaign operatives are hoping that they can use Foley’s blunder on education to persuade the Connecticut Education Association to endorse Malloy tonight when they meet to decide whether to endorse a candidate for governor or make no endorsement in this year’s election.

The fundamental problem with Malloy’s latest strategy is that it would require the CEA leadership to overlook Malloy’s record of failure and destruction when it comes to his own policies on public education.

To endorse Malloy, the CEA would be throwing their members “under the bus” since Malloy’s record includes the following:

  • Governor Malloy is the ONLY Democratic governor in the nation to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers working in the poorest school districts.
    • To date, Malloy has never publically renounced his anti-tenure, anti-collective bargaining position nor has he admitted that he made a mistake when he originally introduced the proposal.
  • Governor Malloy’s education reform initiative requires teacher evaluation programs to be linked to standardized test scores despite the fact that standardized tests scores are primarily influenced by poverty, language barriers, and the lack of special education services for students rather than teacher performance.
    • To date, Malloy has not committed to “de-coupling” the teacher evaluation program from the unfair and inappropriate standardized tests.
  • When running for governor in 2006 and 2010, Malloy admitted that Connecticut’s present Education Cost Sharing Formula is outdated and inadequate (even unconstitutional).  As Mayor of Stamford, Malloy was one of the original plaintiffs in the critically important CCJEF v. Rell court case, but as governor he has spent the last four years trying to get the case dismissed and then postponed until after this year’s election.
    • To date, Malloy has not promised to settle the CCJEF lawsuit and develop a constitutionally appropriate school funding formula.
  • As Governor, Malloy has increased state funding for privately-run charter schools by 73.6% while providing Connecticut’s public schools with only a 7.9% increase in support.  Connecticut has learned from the Jumoke/FUSE Charter School debacle that charter schools are not held accountable and it took a raid by the FBI to ensure that charter schools are held responsible for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
    • To date, Malloy has not announced a moratorium on additional charter schools until mechanisms are developed and put in place that will ensure that taxpayer funds are not being misused, wasted or stolen.
  • And while tens of millions of dollars are being wasted on the massive Common Core Standardized Testing Program, Malloy and his administration have repeatedly lied and misled parents about their fundamental right to opt their children out of the new tests.
    • To date, Malloy and his administration have FAILED to tell parents that they do have the fundamental right to opt their children out of the Common Core standardized testing scheme.

Despite Tom Foley’s decision to join Malloy in backing the corporate education reform industry’s agenda, any endorsement of Malloy – prior to him publicly reversing course on the issues listed above – would be an insult to every Connecticut teacher and the tens of thousands of parents and public school advocates who are counting on the Connecticut Education Association to stand up for public education in Connecticut.

You can read more about Foley and Malloy’s antics in the following articles:

CT Mirror:  http://ctmirror.org/malloy-sees-seizes-opportunity-in-foleys-school-plan/ and http://ctmirror.org/foleys-urban-agenda-something-borrowed-something-new/

CT NewsJunkie: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_stands_his_ground_on_education_policy/ and http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/democratic_lawmakers_criticize_foleys_education_policies/

Courant: Malloy, Unions Criticize Foley’s Education Plan

 

Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto

  • cindy

    I’m starting to think that Foley does not really want to win.

    • msavage

      Maybe he doesn’t. He sure gave in easily last time. They’ve gotta have SOMEONE to run against Malloy, to keep up the theatre of “Democracy” that so many seem to still buy into. After all, Malloy is doing a fine job carrying out the agenda of the Corporatocracy.

    • 27Reasons

      Foley & Malloy seem to belong to the same #establishment. EliteD or EliteR… where’s the party for the people?

  • elsa lee

    I’m starting to think everybody is right. Foley would be worse than Malloy on Education. Good Grief…

    • R.L.

      Not everybody. Foley may sound worse than Malloy, and I’m sure both of their campaigns are being financed by the same corporate plutocrats, but Foley will not have the same clout with the “democratic” legislature as Malloy does. It will be much more difficult for him to carry out his destructive policies than it is for Malloy to carry out his SAME destructive policies. Don’t vote against anyone out of fear. Vote for someone because it’s what you believe in.

      • 27Reasons

        Foley is trash, but #MalloyMustGo

      • Philip Stull

        It is better to have a R Gov. acting like a R with a D legislature, than a D Gov acting like a R with a D legislature for many many reasons.

        • msavage

          Yes!

      • msavage

        Absolutely, R.L. That’s the key–they both want THE SAME THINGS because they are financed/supported/approved/controlled by the SAME PEOPLE. Happily, not all of our representatives at the state level are carefully groomed sociopaths. Timid and easily cowed–maybe. But not totally bereft of a conscience and incapable of empathy. With a Republican governor to wake them from their stupor, they are MUCH more likely to fight back against policies that go against their values. And no, we don’t have a crystal ball to predict that with 100 percent certainty. But it makes sense psychologically. And we don’t NEED a crystal ball to know that Malloy will continue to carry out actions that are damaging to the middle class and the poor. We’ve seen plenty of that in action over the past 4 years. In fact, common sense says he will get worse, because he’ll be emboldened by having done all the damage he’s already done–and then getting elected again.

        • Bill Morrison

          Melanie,
          I fully concur with you and R.L.! Contrary to Peters’ lapdog rhetoric, it would be better for us to have Foley contend with the democratic legislature than having Malloy dominate and intimidate the same legislature.
          I will write in “PELTO”! Let the chips fall where they may.

        • RJEastHartford

          I am looking forward to a decline in my property taxes. Mr. Foley with a Democrat GA hopefully will give my town the tools to cut property taxes. The pesky teacher and employee contracts must go, too much in raises, steps, health care premiums and pension contributions….. and accumulated paid days off. My neighbors would agree, so will “conservative” Democrats in the GA.
          Stand in the way, not likely. What unions should communicate is “You can have your anger or your job and benefits”. Kinda reminds me of the private sector. Sure Mr. Foley will be a boon to anyone whose high income is from a w-2, but Fairfield county will love this policy on municipal / town property taxes.

        • Bill Morrison

          Your own comment about “pesky teacher and employee contracts” speak volumes! Without Unions, employers were free to exploit workers with extremely long hours, extremely unsafe working conditions, and extremely low pay. Between the 1880s and 1950s, Unions fought and won the 8 hour work day, higher pay, OSHA regulations, anti-trust legislation, the Safe Food and Drug Act, etc. By 1960, the Unions had helped to create the strongest middle class the world had ever seen. This began to decline in the 1970s, when corporate Amerika began to castrate and kill the private Unions. Today, private workers have not kept pace with public salaries because they have few Unions powerful enough to protect them, nor do most private employees see the need. Like sheep, they accept the crumbs thrown to them by the 1 percent. And, the middle class is dying as a result.
          Today, public Unions have become the target of the 1 percent, so aptly represented by the Malloys and the Foleys of Corporate Amerika. We need to take back our Unions for our own good!

        • RjEastHartford

          Your right, Mr. Foley and his national backers (The1%) vs. Unions (public employees) i.e. Collective Bargaining. You can have your anger at Governor Malloy or your contract as you know it; but you cannot have both. `Work “to take your union back” in the next four years, under Governor Malloy.

        • Bill Morrison

          Foley is the Antichrist to Malloy’s Satan.

  • mookalaboona

    I just sent Foley this link on his Facebook page. What a boneheaded move he just made.

  • Bill Morrison

    In an interesting aside . . . I visited AFT-CT’s Facebook page, opened the story about Foley’s educational policy, and left the comment that, while Foley is proposing the move towards charter and magnet schools, Malloy has practiced it. His support of charter schools and magnet schools has been the cornerstone of his policies. I also commented that his administration is under FBI investigation for the Jumoke/FUSE scandal. The story had the caption inviting us to join the discussion.

    My comments were deleted in less than five minutes! Therefore, I reposted the comments. They were again censored out of the “discussion” to which we had been invited to join. Therefore, I posted

    them again; again, they were censored.

    Of what is the leadership of AFT-CT afraid? They certainly do not encourage us to “join the discussion”!

    • jonpelto

      There is a sickness growing in our society when unions and other entities that purport to promote justice censor their members or inhibit the public discussion of public policy.
      Bill, as you have repeatedly noted on this blog, some of the most serious enemies of public education can be found in the Democratic Party and even with in the union movement if you can call it that.
      It reminds me of the poem that includes the line “when they came for the trade unionists I did not speak up for him I was not trade unionist.”
      The teachers of Connecticut and their supporters will not stand by Idly when the corporate effort to destroy public education goes unchallenged.
      It is beyond comprehension that the AFT-CT would see fit to delete comments that question their position.
      We are witnessing the destruction of the most fundamental values of our American democracy.
      The fiction that was the book 1984 has become the reality.

      And the enemy can far too often be found amongst us.

      • Bill Morrison

        Jon,

        Thank you for your insights! Having been a lifelong Democrat, I long for the day when the party rediscovers its “roots”, the workers, the teachers, and the unions. Today, the party has morphed with the Republicans into the “Democrapublican Party”. We desperately need a viable third party to pick up the slack. We need to keep fighting for that which is rightfully ours! Jon, we need you to actively campaign. What help do you need from us?

        • Bill Morrison

          Perhaps we need the Socialists to step up.

        • R.L.

          Don’t hold your breath! You can vote for the Demorapublican Party and I’ll vote for the Republicrats. Then we can argue about splinter issues while drinking beer and watching football or “Duck Dynasty” and they both slight-of-hand us out of our democracy.

        • 27Reasons

          It almost seems like the same establishment who propped up Foley, is now sabotaging him to ensure a Malloy victory. There’s nothing these men say that’s not completely scripted.

      • Bill Morrison

        Halleluiah! Faith and Begora! AFT-CT restored one of my comments and we now have a discussion going on the Foley story in the AFT-CT Facebook page. Come and join in!

      • Tom Burns

        If that really happened then the AFT should be ashamed–our union the NHFT Local 933 invites all opinions as I believe our parent union does–

        • Bill Morrison

          Tom,
          The Facebook page still has omitted two of my previous comments. Melodie Peters is notorious for not listening or tolerating dissenting opinions. If she had a hand in this, she should be deeply ashamed.

        • Linda174

          They claim on twitter that nothing has been deleted and that they contacted you and you thanked them. Will post tweet if you want to see it.

        • Bill Morrison

          Linda174,
          Actually, my thanks were for your comment that you would take steps to ensure that nobody else could remove comments. My comments in question were the third submission, not my first and second. I just want to keep the record straight.

        • Bill Morrison

          I meant to say “their” not “your”. The site is still missing my first two comments. Censorship is an ugly thing!

        • Linda174

          AFT Connecticut ‏@AFTCT 6h
          @Linda1746 @ongoingly @BadassTeachersA @DanMalloyCT See above Tweet – informed Bill his comments not deleted – he expressed thanks in reply.

        • Linda174

          AFT Connecticut ‏@AFTCT 6h
          @Linda1746 @ongoingly @BadassTeachersA Comments not deleted or censored by admin of FB page – still appear & informed Bill of status

      • Tom Burns

        Jon–I propose that you run as an executive in your town/city –for Mayor or whatever as a stepping stone and to make a difference where you can–a voice without position is just a sound and can make no difference–you need to have a title and we need you to have a title so you can show the bigger crowd how it is done–what city do you live in? I’ll assist for sure–you da man–Tom

    • R.L.

      According to Melodie Peters, “We are a democratic institution with member participation and operates on the will of the majority.” This was her response to me when I wrote about my concerns with her strong-arming an endorsement for the current one-and-done governor. My reply…..”B.S.”

    • Tom Burns

      You are wrong Bill–Tom Burns

  • truthsayer

    CT… you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I swear, I don’t even feel like voting this year…

    • Bill Morrison

      Please, please vote! Write in PELTO!

      • truthsayer

        Yes, but is disheartening since it is just a protest vote with no chance of winning.

        • msavage

          Well, coulda been on the ballot, but that ship has sailed. But, get enough people to register a “protest vote,” and you have the opportunity to send a real message.

        • Bill Morrison

          Amen! Enough protest votes would equal a Pelto victory. Let’s make it happen! But, we need a viable, loud, and active campaign!

  • Ed McKeon
    • R.L.

      WHY?! Write Pelto in instead. He’s actually registered as a write in candidate. Pool the anti-corporate energy together in one candidate.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Don’t worry…everything will be taken care of AFTER the election.
    I hate to ruin a weekend but Danny has this election bought and paid for…with your money.
    All the idiots that helped him get elected the first time only have themselves to blame. We are in for a very rough four years of mind-blowing Malloy Mendacity, Danny’s Bag of Gimmicks, and the bar being lowered so low that instead of shimmying under, the Malloy Mob will just have to hop over it.
    Dan Malloy…the corrupt Clown Prince of Connecticut.
    That is who he is. That is what he is.

  • JMC

    Once again, the big elephant in the room, i.e. the Blue legislature which enabled Malloy and gave him the keys to the vault with carte blanche, gets a pass in the discussions on this page. It is ninth-grade civics that the legislature writes the laws and determines the budget. This discussion shouldn’t only be about two gunslingers named Wyatt Earp Malloy vs. Bat Masterson Foley having it out at the OK Corral. Teachers need to realize that they have been sold out by the Democratic Party.

    • Bill Morrison

      JMC,
      We teachers do, in fact, understand that point. That is why many of us want to see Malloy lose. It might serve as a wakeup call that we have had enough.

      • JMC

        Bill,
        I stand with you as a retired CT public school teacher and longtime building rep. Your own personal courage and dauntless concern for students, teachers, and parents have been an inspiration to me here in NE CT as we battle the corporate interests.

        • Bill Morrison

          JMC,
          Thank you for your kind comments! I appreciate it, as I appreciate the efforts of so many for this cause!

  • buygoldandprosper

    Danny bought a few more votes with the announcement of funds for low income housing…nice that it happens around election time.
    Everything Danny does is calculated to buy votes.
    Let’s see how he spins LazyBoyFoley’s tax returns…zero taxable income in 2011 and adjusted gross income of $20,462 in 2012.
    Heck! He qualifies for disaster relief like the rest of the state employees! Accounting is a wonderful thing…sort of like Danny and GAAP and a really large deficit!

  • Philip Stull

    It is important to remember the real Democratic Governors we have had here in CT. Dannel Malloy is not even in the same universe with many of the man and woman that help build CT. In this dark blue state if we say that this is the best Democrats can put forward, I fear for our future. NY has a DINO Gov and they can’t get rid of him but we can here, so get your pencil.

  • Tom Burns

    Bill–I love your energy and passion concerning real education of our children–but you are wrong here–Malloy has taken the wrong road in the past (yet it has been a sort of slow road to date) Foley has no idea about education and is wrong across the board–Dan has grown a little bit in this area and is not the total destroyer of public education(but certainly not our advocate)—-Foley (while not even understanding his stance) is the simpleton who would destroy all that we worked for–and would work to destroy the State that has turned the tide against the corporate takeover—we must stay the course and continue to fight for our children and their families who attend our great public schools–with all due respect–Tom

    • R.L.

      You’re way off. You think the state has ” turned the tide against the corporate takeover”. Really? “It has been a sort of slow road to date.” Not if you work in Hartford, or Windham, or New London, or Bridgeport…..
      Really Tom, he’s made a few empty gestures but that’s about it. There is that delay in having evaluations based on test scores. Well, they are delayed until it’s not an election year. The embarrassing Stephen Pryor, commissioner of education, is stepping down. Well, not because Malloy and his corporate masters don’t appreciate the hatchet job Pryor has executed, but because he’s being investigated by the FBI! He did have an “election year epiphany” that students are taking too many tests. So, he is allocating $500k for schools so they can figure out (with help from some high priced corporate reform consultants, I’m sure) how to reduce the number of tests that 11th graders have to take. What about everyone else? He did apologize for his remark that teachers merely show up for four years before they are granted tenure, but he never back-tracked on his intention to eliminate tenure. What is the deal with you union leadership types? You are pushing this guy and taking advantage of peoples fear of Foley to do so. If the democrats can’t run a candidate that can run on his own merits, they don’t deserve to have that candidate elected. Selling candidates based on fear of the other guy is politics as usual in this country and is why our political system has become as dysfunctional as it is. DON”T VOTE OUT OF FEAR! Vote for what you believe in. JONATHAN PELTO, WRITE IT IN!

      • Bill Morrison

        Tom,
        Please accept my comments with an equal measure of respect. But, how has Malloy grown? There has been no progress in repealing his destructive education reform law, no progress in repealing the extremely unfair teacher evaluation law, no progress in stemming the tide of shifting to a charter school system, there is no progress in his refuting his position on teacher tenure, there is no progress in refuting Common Core and Smarter-Balance, and we have yet to hear about the progress in the FBI investigation of the Malloy/Pryor charter school scandals and corruption. Peters has only achieved a ridiculous “postponement” of the evaluation law.
        Granted, Foley is repugnant. But, a Malloy reelection would be a disaster of epic proportions for education and teachers whereas a Foley election would not because of the Democrat-controlled legislature. Foley’s powers would largely be checked by a legislature shocked by Malloy’s loss, forcing them to return to the true Democrat fold. Malloy dominates the Legislature; the Legislature would resist Foley.
        Remember, Malloy has already done that which Foley is proposing to do. Foley would simply be a castrated Malloy.

        • Tom Burns

          Bill–there has been progress and a slowing of the administrations plans–and some education–but Dan is certainly no friend of ours–but Foley needs to get a job (busdriver, construction, retail) something of merit before he gets anyones vote–there isn’t a good choice and you are right–if Foley wins we can hold him in check–but how do you vote for either one of them–with a conscience–but you are correct–it really doesn’t make a difference (if you can stomach Ted Cruz or Michele Bachman–North)–which I can’t–keep on plugging friend–Tom

      • Tom Burns

        RL you are so right and should be so angered and disgusted–I hurt for the actions taken in our other great cities to the detriment of the education of our students and the denying of our educators expertise in those districts–Come on-Adamowski has a job-but Vallas and Kishimoto are gone–how does this guy survive–but not for long–My union in New Haven doesn’t take orders from the state–we tell them how real educators should be treated and when they see what we do they agree–we will never just follow dictums from the state that hurt our kids–Ever–so I hope those other districts say no when it is appropriate also–Listen–of course I am going to vote for Pelto cause he is the best candidate–but in the end its a fools game–but at least I can feel as I voted my conscience–In New Haven we make the rules–if you would like to know how–just say so–Tom (you are not helpless–an election wont change anything but we can) we did in New Haven and we want you other cities to have what we have–call me 860-227-6668–Tom

  • buygoldandprosper

    When Danny brags about how safe he has made the state, take a look at the numbers or just read your local paper, or what passes for one:

    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/policereports/article/Stamford-man-pistol-whipped-for-medical-marijuana-5783249.php?

    Dan Malloy. Making Connecticut safer for all of us. That is who he is and that is what he is.