Reading Luke Bronin’s “education position statement” entitled “Closing the Achievement Gap” is actually very educational.
Filled with lots of rhetoric, but not substance, Bronin makes it clear that he is either unwilling or unable to raise, let alone address, the critical actions that will be made to improve educational opportunities for Hartford’s public school children.
Bronin starts by blaming Hartford’s Mayor for the inaction of his former boss, Governor Dannel Malloy, to fix Connecticut’s illegal and unconstitutional school funding formula.
Luke Bronin ducks the most fundamental issues surrounding educational success by never once mentioning the impact poverty, language barriers or unmet special education needs have on the ability of Hartford public school students to succeed.
Bronin’s hollow statements about Magnet Schools and complete unwillingness to even mention the crisis surrounding charter schools and their lack of accountability speaks volumes about his own lack of experience and understanding when it comes to Hartford’s school system.
While you can read Bronin’s political meandering on education on his website – See CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP, what is far more telling is the amount of money that is pouring into his campaign from the corporate education reformers, the charter school industry and the people who are pushing the Common Core and Common Core SBAC testing scheme.
At the top of the Bronin’s donor list stands Greenwich corporate executive Steven Simmons who serves as Chairman of the corporate-funded “education reform” front group that goes by the name of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform. The organization’s Vice Chair also gave Bronin $1,000.
In defending the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC test earlier this year, the group’s Executive Director praised the disastrous test claiming they were no more than a simple blood test. Imagine a blood test that was rigged to label the vast majority of children as sick.
CCER’s political agenda includes more taxpayer funds for charter schools and support for the incredibly unfair “teacher evaluation” system that is designed to denigrate and undermine Connecticut’s public school teachers and the teaching profession.
Other major donors to Luke Bronin’s campaign for mayor of Hartford is New Haven charter school activist Alex Johnston who, as the original head of ConnCAN, consistently pushed for diverting scarce public resources from public schools to the privately owned, but publically funded charter schools.
Hartford was particularly hurt by this corporate giveaway program. Johnston now makes his living feeding at the trough of the corporate education reform industry.
Andrea Comer, the former COO of the disgraced FUSE/Jumoke Charter School chain is yet another Bronin donor. With the FBI investigating the alleged illegal activities of one of Governor Malloy’s favorite charter school chains, Comer resigned her position as a top executive for FUSE/Jumoke, as well as her seat on the Connecticut State Board of Education, a position she held because Malloy appointed her to that Board despite her very obvious conflict of interest.
Bronin’s donor list actually includes many of the top board members and sponsors behind the various charter school companies and education reform groups in Connecticut.
And perhaps most telling of all is that Bronin’s mouthpiece and PR person also works for Families for Excellent Schools, the corporate-funded front-group that bused charter school parents and students into Hartford from as far away as New York and Boston when the organization was lobbying on behalf of Dannel Malloy’s initiative to give even more public funds to the unaccountable and discriminatory charter schools.
As if all of that wasn’t clear enough, Bronin’s donor list even contains most of the lobbyists who represent the pro-privatization, anti-teacher and anti-public education groups in Connecticut including the lobbyists for ConnCAN, the Northeast Charter School Network and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.
While it is not clear whether Luke Bronin simply doesn’t understand education policy or is hiding his true positions from Hartford voters, the reality is that the charter school industry and the education reformers are lining up for the golden boy from Greenwich and that, in turn, makes it very clear whose side he will be on if elected mayor of Hartford.