Malloy – You can’t hide the sham 2015 SBAC results forever!

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The January 2, 2015 the Wait, What? headline read;

Governor Malloy – Our children are not stupid, but your system is!

The initial Wait, What? post of 2015 may very well be the most important of the year because it reiterates the disturbing truth about the Common Core, the Common Core testing scheme and what students, parents and teachers will be facing in the next few months.

The shocking truth is that Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration have agreed to a Common Core testing program that is designed to label the vast majority of our children as failures.

Here we are eight months later and tens of thousands of Connecticut children were given a Common Core test designed to label them as failures.

Two months after other SBAC states like Washington and Oregon have released their Common Core SBAC results, Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration continue to play games.

The Common Core Testing scheme is a scam that cost Connecticut taxpayers tens of millions of dollars… And yet the State Department of Education continues to rationalize the disastrous testing program.

Here is another powerful commentary piece from fellow public education advocate and regular Wait, What? commentator Jack Bestor.

It appeared first in the CT Mirror: Whither the elusive Connecticut SBAC results?

Whither the elusive Connecticut SBAC results? (By Jack Bestor)

Those oh-so-elusive SBAC results: after millions of dollars squandered on broadband improvements, tedious test prep, and time diverted from actual learning, our students, parents, and teachers have been prevented from getting the test results because no one in educational leadership today has figured out how to “spin” the results without facing the consequences of this poorly designed, invalid, questionably-standardized assessment that was perpetrated on our public school students.

Despite the reluctance of school administrators to speak up and push back against this ludicrous accountability exercise that has been promoted by politicians and corporate education reformers who have many self-interested reasons for maintaining this misguided testing endeavor, it is well-known that the “standardized” testing mandate only serves to continue the false narrative of failing American public education in order to drive the profit-making agenda of those who seek to privatize education and undermine the public trust.

For an insightful look at the test industry, Todd Farley’s under-publicized 2009 chronicle, Making The Grades, recounting his many years working in the test industry would make anyone question why we place any stock whatsoever in our children’s “standardized” test results.  Any test that is designed to fail the majority of test takers has no purpose in the education of children.

Rhetorical flourishes citing “rigor” and “higher critical thinking” are nothing but empty words, as repeatedly the test questions have been criticized by both parents and educators and the test answers have been notoriously ambiguous and often wrong.  There is no amount of test industry algorithms that can justify this educational malpractice.

Since the parents of all students in public schools were discouraged from opting their children out of this state-mandated “standardized” test experiment, it should be gratifying to those who saw through the misinformation and controversy associated with the Common Core testing requirement and, with courage and conviction, refused to allow their children to take this unnecessary and unproven test.

When the results are finally reported to your child’s school, you can be thankful there will be no “sticky label” to apply on your child’s permanent record card and no single data-point to upload into your child’s computerized learning profile.  Furthermore, there will be no woefully inadequate measure of your child’s reading, writing, and math skills for teachers and school administrators to use in any future planning of your child’s school program.

Instead, you can rely on your child’s previous teacher — who for a full school year strove to understand and nurture your child’s individual learning needs — to share with receiving teachers what was found to work in developing each student’s academic skills, confidence, and interpersonal abilities.  You are to be congratulated for advocating for your child against the pressures to conform and I hope you will be able to trust that the teachers working with your child will care and protect him/her from any unfair practice derived from this unproven test experiment.

Although unable to come right out and say it for fear of retribution, most teachers do not believe in the top-down, dictatorial approach of the corporate education reform movement that has a stranglehold on American public education today and hope that it will implode of its own malfeasance.

Until then — as parents — you must continue to ask probing questions of district administrators who are mandated to adhere to the flawed educational policies developed by politicians, lobbyists, business leaders, and millionaire philanthropists who have strong opinions, but no actual experiential knowledge of how children learn.  It is only when school administrators, elected board of education members, and state legislators hear the anger and frustration of parents (and voters) that there can be meaningful pressure brought to bear on those who promote the continuation of these failed educational policies.

Jack Bestor of Sandy Hook is a recently retired school psychologist who, for 41 years, enjoyed working with students, parents, and his many colleagues.  He is a past recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the CT Association of School Psychologists.

You can read the original piece at: http://ctviewpoints.org/2015/08/24/whither-the-elusive-connecticut-sbac-results/

Luke “The Job Creator” Bronin didn’t even create jobs when he could…

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Luke Bronin is violating Connecticut campaign finance law.

Luke Bronin is lying about when he lived in Hartford.

Luke Bronin isn’t even paying his fair share in Hartford property taxes.

And now Greenwich Native Luke Bronin is “going negative” in his campaign against Mayor Pedro Segarra, sending out misleading mailings to the voters of Hartford.

Claiming he’ll be  positive force for Hartford, the newcomer is spending his massive campaign war chest belittling Hartford’s mayor with attacks in mailings, in press releases and on television.  Many of his attacks have been misleading, but that hasn’t stopped Luke Bronin.

In a recent debate, Bronin attacked Segarra for not getting enough state aid from Bronin’s former boss, Governor Dannel Malloy and then claimed that Segarra wasn’t doing enough to get city residents employed at state-funded construction sites.

Bronin yelped,

“I walk by that site, I don’t see an awful lot of Hartford residents working on that job right now.”

This from a man who failed to use Hartford contractors when completely renovated his Hartford Brownstone in 2012-2013.  A renovation that took a year and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When a whole construction project was in his sole control the man who wants to lead Hartford hired more than a dozen major contractors… AND only one lived in Hartford.

As we know, in the real world, politicians love to say one thing and do another.

Luke Bronin has made it painfully clear that he is nothing but a modern politician.

 

Charter School and Corporate Education Reform Industry lining up for Luke Bronin

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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.

Yelping about Hartford taxes, Luke Bronin doesn’t come close to paying his fair share

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File this one under the wonderful world of the rich and famous.

Greenwich Native Luke Bronin, whose short-term goal is to be Hartford’s next mayor, owns a fully renovated 5,227 square-foot Brownstone off Bushnell Park in Hartford. Built in 1865, Bronin paid $400,000 to buy the building in May 2012 and then spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to completely renovate the property.

According to the City of Hartford Assessors records, Bronin’s Brownstone is now in “excellent” condition.  In fact, the renovation project even earned Bronin and his architect wife the 2014 Alice Washburn Architectural Award for best renovation and addition project in Connecticut.

While the prestigious Bronin home is potentially worth $1 million or more, for tax purposes it is assessed at $112, 779 leaving Bronin with a paltry 2015 Hartford tax bill of $8,378.36 plus a few hundred more for his BMW 328XI.

In recent days Bronin and his political operatives have been attacking Mayor Pedro Segarra for raising taxes in order to try and maintain city services.

Yet at the same time, Bronin has utterly failed to address how he would deal with Hartford’s unfair and discriminatory property tax system, except to suggest that he would give major companies more tax breaks.

Bronin has also conveniently skipped over how he is personally benefiting from Hartford’s warped property tax system.

But that appears to be the Bronin way.

Luke Bronin’s campaign is violating Connecticut campaign finance law.

Bronin is also lying about how long he was a resident of Hartford.

And now he is claiming that he’ll solve Hartford’s problems and challenges without having to raise taxes.  (A protégée of Dannel -I won’t raise taxes- Malloy for sure.)

So what is the truth about Luke Bronin and his failure to pay his fair share in taxes?

In January 2013, Luke Bronin sold his $1.9 million home in the Georgetown area of Washington D.C. and moved “back” to Hartford.

Half a year earlier, on May 21, 2012, Bronin purchased an old brownstone off Bushnell Park for $400,000 and the Bronin’s began their renovation project.

According to a story in CT Magazine, the renovation project won them the Alice Washburn Awards for best renovation and addition.

As CT Magazine explained about the award,

“….when you move through the grand residential home of Luke and Sara Bronin and their three small children, it is easy to see why.

They were able to move into the home after nearly a year of work, and now that they’re settled Bronin admits the location is as wonderful as they always imagined it would be. Bushnell Park is directly across the street from the brownstone and they are immediately adjacent to the State Capitol, which allows her husband, who serves as the governor’s legal counsel, to walk to work every day.

The dramatic 32-foot kitchen-dining room, with two working fireplaces, was created by combining four different rooms. The owners painstakingly restored the historic mahogany paneling at right, and added a complementary wine cabinet.

What emerged was a meticulously decorated, four-story home where each generation is given its own private living space—the kids on the top floor with parents below on the third. ‘We thought the kids would love having their own floor, and they do!’ said Bronin. ‘From their playroom, they can see City Hall and most of Bushnell Park…The third floor is the ‘adults’ floor.’

The second floor, which is the main floor of the house, is arranged for versatility, allowing the couple to throw small dinner parties or large family gatherings. Bronin explains that, ‘There’s a flow on that floor but with distinct spaces separated by the historic staircase.’

‘There are nice details; the new front bay was perfectly rendered,’ said the Washburn jurors. ‘Given the tone of much of the work entered, the jury appreciated the wit that was shown in the blending of aesthetics celebrated in this project. This is a good example of what this award program is hoping to achieve, bringing the traditional to the present.’

Working with Sarah Bronin’s own Architecture, Interior Design and Furnishings Company were a series of other contractors.

Interesting, for the man who says he will bring jobs to Hartford, only one of the contractors he used apparently even lives in Hartford.

According to published reports, the renovation of Bronin’s property was completed with the help of the following companies;

MEP Design: LN Consulting, LLC, Winooski, VT

Lead Carpenter:  Hartford Builders LLC, Marlborough, CT

Mason for Brownstone Restoration:  Damiata Masonry, Cromwell, CT

Mason for Interior and front courtyard: K&G Masonry, Farmington, CT

Mason for Interior:  Capital Masonry, Hartford, CT (Owner actually lives in Bloomfield)

Mechanical/HVAC:  Connecticut Heating & Cooling LLC,, East Hartford,  CT

Electric: CLG Electric LLC, Somers, CT

Plumbing:  TC Plumbing LLC, Hartford, CT

Painting:  Washbond Custom Painting LLC, West Hartford, CT

Custom Cabinetry:  Heartwood Custom Cabinetry, Marlborough, CT

Back Courtyard Landscaping & Design: Earthworks LLC, Tolland, CT

For those who want to pictures of the home, they can be found on the Connecticut Magazine website at: http://www.connecticutmag.com/Connecticut-Magazine/July-2014/2014-Alice-Washburn-Architectural-Award-Winners/

But while the property has been significantly improved, the assessment on Bronin’s property for Hartford property tax purposes has remained almost unchanged.

A  house that should be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is actually assessed at $112,779

2012-2013 Assessment:         $95,659

2013-2014 Assessment:         $91,159

2014-2015 Assessment:         $110,023

2015-201 Assessment:           $112,779

In each of those years, the Mill Rate Bronin was charged was 74.29 mills

So the question remains – what would Luke Bronin do about a system in which his Hartford property tax payments aren’t even close to what he should fairly be paying.

Media coverage of Malloy administration’s refusal to release SBAC results

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The power of the media to frame or interpret a news event can be clearly seen in the way Connecticut media outlets covered the Malloy administration’s latest effort to withhold the results of the 2015 Common Core SBAC results.

The CT Newsjunkie focused on the real issue at hand.

Malloy’s Commissioner of Education used the Hartford Courant article to pontificate about the “benefits” of the Common Core testing scheme and the CT Mirror didn’t even bother to cover the breaking news at all.

Across the country states that gave the 2015 Common Core SBAC tests last spring started providing their citizens with information about the test results nearly two months ago, but the Malloy administration has been withholding Connecticut’s results from the public.

Yesterday, the State Department of Education provided town-specific results to each local superintendent of schools but refused to release the statewide results and threatened local officials that they could not publicly discuss the results – in direct violation of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act – because the results were “embargoed” – a concept that is not allowed under Connecticut’s open record law.

To read the Commissioner of Education’s bull about the benefits of the Common Core SBAC testing scam go to the Hartford Courant’s “Education Commissioner: New Test Scores To Usher In New Era.”

To learn more about the Malloy administration’s ongoing effort to withhold public information read the CT Newsjunkie article, “Education Dept. Releases SBAC Test Data Only to Local School Superintendents.”

CT Newsjunkie writes;

Early Wednesday morning, Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Ellen Cohen sent an email to every school superintendent in the state to let them know not to share the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam with anyone.

The school superintendents have access to the raw data through an online reporting system that’s password protected.

In her email, Cohen warns superintendents not to share the information, even with their boards of education.

“Releasing results (including discussing with the press or sharing results at Board of Education meetings) prior to the lift of the embargo jeopardizes your district’s access to future embargoed releases,” Cohen writes in the email.

CTNewsJunkie requested access to the aggregated draft reports for school districts, but was told they were “drafts” and releasing them would not be in the “public interest.”

There is an exemption under the Freedom of Information Act for preliminary drafts.

These drafts are exempt if “the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

Kelly Donnelly, chief of staff at the Education Department, said they are citing that exemption and they don’t want to release the data until it’s finalized because it could be inaccurate. The superintendents and district test coordinators are pouring over the data at the moment for accuracy.

Data isn’t finalized?

While the Malloy administration claims the statewide information is in “draft form,” school superintendents were provided data that is not in draft form nor was it labeled as being in draft form whatsoever.  While the names of individual students cannot be released, the basic information towns were given cannot be withheld by claiming the information is “embargoed.”

Connecticut’s parents, teachers and taxpayers deserve the truth.  The state of Connecticut has spent more than $50 million over the past two years on the sham of Common Core testing.  Local communities have spent even more.  It is time for the Malloy administration to release the data!

For the full  CTNewsjunkie story go to:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/education_department_releases_test_data_to_superintendents_but_not_public/

Malloy administration gives towns the Common Core SBAC test results but not the public

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Action violates Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act.

This morning Governor Dannel Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Diana Wentzell, held the state’s annual back-to-school meeting for Connecticut superintendents at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford.

Considering his anti-public education agenda, it was not surprising that Malloy was a no-show at the meeting.  Instead, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman attended, despite the fact that both Malloy and Wyman are attending a joint event at 10 a.m. in nearby Middletown.

State Department of Education staff informed school superintendents that starting today they could access their district’s 2015 SBAC test results via the State Department of Education’s website, but they could not share the information since the results were “embargoed.”

Embargoed?

Superintendents were warned that the state will not be making the test results public until the week of August 31st, 2015.

Local school officials were told that they were not allowed to inform parents, teachers, their local Board of Education or the public about the SBAC results until they are released by the state.

In a companion memo provided to superintendents, the State Department of Education wrote;

“It is critical that districts do not make embargoed results public before the embargo is lifted.  Releasing results (including discussing with the press or sharing results at Board of Education meetings) prior to the lift of the embargo jeopardizes your district’s access to future embargoed releases.”

States such as Washington and Oregon provided their citizens with their statewide Common Core test results nearly eight weeks ago, but the Malloy administration has consistently failed to make Connecticut’s results public.

Providing school superintendents with the 2015 SBAC results but claiming those results are “embargoed” is particularly inappropriate and offensive.

“Embargoed” is a PR term used with reporters when issuing selected press releases and has no meaning when it comes to the notion of public access to public information.  Connecticut’s Freedom of Information law makes absolutely no exception for “embargoed” information.

Making public information available to a select group of people but withholding it from others is a serious violation of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information law.

The Malloy administration should immediately make the 2015 SBAC results public.  If they refuse, the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission should force them to release the information and investigate who was behind this effort to keep public information secret.

Luke Bronin – Truth optional when trying to become Mayor of Hartford

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Greenwich native Luke Bronin moved to Hartford and now wants to be the city’s next mayor.

Bronin’s goal is to defeat the only big city Puerto Rican mayor in continental United States.

The problem is that Luke Bronin just won’t be honest with the people of Hartford.

He certainly hasn’t come clean about himself or his campaign.

Having raised a record amount of money to fund his political aspirations, he has failed to take ownership of the fact that about a third of his donations come from out-of-state donors and well over $50,000 has poured in from his hometown of Greenwich.

More importantly, Luke Bronin hasn’t even told the truth about his time in Hartford.

As the Hartford Courant reported;

“We lived here from 2006 to 2009, and then I was in D.C. “ Luke Bronin, Candidate for Mayor

But that isn’t really true…

In fact, it is not even close to being the truth.

Bronin wants to make it seem like he lived in Hartford in 2006, but didn’t even take the job of Chief of Staff to the President & COO of the Hartford Finance Services Group until the fall of 2006 and of more consequence, he was gone by October 2008, when he headed off to India to work as a Council on Foreign Affairs Fellow at the Centre for Insurance and Risk Management in Chennai, India. Bronin cut that job short in April 2009 to take a position at the United States Department of Treasury in Washington D.C.

In addition, while Bronin now claims that he was “living” in Hartford from 2006 – 2009, legal documents say otherwise.

Bronin says he was living in Hartford in 2006…but according to federal and state campaign finance reports he listed his Greenwich, Connecticut home as his official address when he made a $1,750 campaign contribution to Dannel Malloy’s 2006 campaign for governor.

And while now telling Hartford voters that he was living in Hartford in 2007… Bronin again listed his Greenwich estate as his home address when making campaign contributions to Christopher Dodd and Barack Obama that year.

By June 2009… while still claiming he was living in Hartford, he was not only working in
Washington D.C. but he was already reporting his address on campaign finance reports as an apartment in the historic Woodward Building, a location which advertises itself as a series of luxury apartments one block from the White House, with 24 hour concierge service as well as a 24 hour state-of-the-art fitness center, business center, and valet garage parking.

Just a few months later, in November 2009, Bronin and his wife purchased a “a three-bedroom, four-bath home in the Washington D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown from Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt for $1.53 million.

Four years later, when Bronin actually headed to Hartford to become Dannel Malloy’s chief counsel, he sold that property to a fellow high-ranking Air Force official for nearly $1.9 million.

The truth is that Luke Bronin is on a mission to become Hartford’s mayor, it is a mission funded by people from around the nation and equally clear is that Luke Bronin is not only failing to follow Connecticut campaign finance laws but he isn’t even willing to be honest and truthful with the people of Hartford.

For more about Bronin’s campaign finance issues start with:  Luke Bronin breaking the law with illegal corporate in-kind contributions

Common Core tests succeeding in labeling children as failures

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“It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.”  – Franz Kafka, The Trail (1925)

Or are we the stupid ones for letting the “education reformers” get away with undermining our children, their teachers and our public schools?

While Connecticut parents and teachers continue to wait for the Malloy administration to release the results of the 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing scheme, updates from other states around the nation are pouring in.

The message is clear and consistent…

The Common Core tests were designed to fail the vast majority of students and the vast majority of students are failing.

The corporate education reform industry and their lackeys are yelping with glee as they pontificate about how bad our schools, our teachers and our children are doing – but their claims are nothing short of a lie.

Perhaps they believe that parents don’t know the underlying truth about the Common Core testing scam, but the harsh reality is that when you test children on subjects that they have not learned, they don’t pass.

And not only are the Common Core tests unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory, but to make matters a thousand times worse, thanks to Dannel Malloy’s “reform” initiatives, Connecticut will be using the outrageous test results to not only label children as failures, but to punish public school teachers.

According to published reports from Pennsylvania, that state’s Common Core testing scheme has translated into a nearly 80 percent drop in proficiency rates among some groups of students.

According to the Times-Tribune newspaper, in Old Forge, Pennsylvania;

“Only 13 percent of students in eighth grade scored at proficient or advanced levels in math, down from 79 percent in 2014”.

In nearby North Pocono,

“Math proficiency at the middle school went from 76 percent to 38 percent. At Valley View, eighth-grade math proficiency dropped from 74.4 percent to 18 percent.

The statewide numbers in Pennsylvania paint a grim picture;

Here are the state-wide results from the “math” portion of Pennsylvania’s Common Core test which is called the PSSA;

Grade: Math  Math  Difference:
2013-14: 2014-15:
3 75.1% 48.5% -26.6%
4 76.3% 44.5% -31.8%
5 77.2% 42.8% -34.4%
6 72.0% 39.8% -32.2%
7 76.7% 33.1% -43.6%
8 73.6% 29.9% -43.7%

Note that the absurd test has determined that 3 in 10 8th graders have “failed.”

Sooner or later, the Malloy administration will release Connecticut’s 2015 SBAC results and parents and teachers will see what tens of millions of dollars in wasted public funds has produced.

Luke Bronin breaking the law with illegal corporate in-kind contributions

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If elected Hartford Connecticut’s s next mayor, Greenwich native Luke Bronin says he’ll successfully plow the streets, solve the city’s crime problems and provide jobs for the residents of Connecticut’s poorest city.

In order to persuade the voters of Hartford to dump the only big city Puerto Rican mayor in the 50 States, Bronin has raised a record breaking amount of money.  Nearly a third of his campaign funds come from out-of-state donors and an additional $55,000 plus are from residents of his hometown of Greenwich.

But his 5 to 1 cash-on-hand advantage isn’t enough for the golden boy.

Among a series of questionable campaign finance issues that show up in his campaign finance reports is the fact that Bronin is breaking Connecticut law by accepting a massive in-kind contribution from Stu Loeser & Company, a New York based public relations firm.

Andrew Doba works as Bronin’s spokesperson and public relations flack.  He is also an employee of Stu Loeser & Company.  Bronin’s press releases are sent using Doba’s work email, [email protected]. It is the same email address found for Doba on the Stu Loeser & Company website and the same email address Doba uses to communicate with reporters about his other clients.

After working as Governor Dannel Malloy’s spokesperson for past two years, Doba left state employment earlier this year to join Stu Loeser & Company.

On his corporate website, Stu Loeser, who was New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s press’s secretary, describes himself by stating,

“Stu now puts these skills to use for some of the most prominent technology companies, Fortune 100 corporations, thriving start-ups and high net-worth individuals around the world.

[…]

Stu has been profiled as the “city’s foremost practitioner of the dark art known as opposition research” … Earlier in his career, he served as U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s Communications Director and worked on the Clinton/Gore and Gore/Lieberman presidential campaigns.

As for Doba, Loeser.com writes;

Andrew is a veteran communications operative with nearly a decade of experience in city and state government.

As the chief spokesman for Governor Malloy in Connecticut, Andrew was the architect of earned media campaigns advancing the Governor’s economic and public policy priorities…

He directly managed or had oversight of nearly 100 people in 30 state agencies, quasi-public entities and other cabinet level positions.

As an aside, who knew the Governor’s press secretary had management and oversight responsibility for 100 people in 30 agencies.

But back on the issue of  breaking state law, not only are Bronin’s press releases sent out by Doba, and Doba is by Bronin’s side at almost every public event, but Bronin’s Twitter account is dedicated to helping Bronin and Doba’s other corporate clients including the corporate funded charter school advocacy group “Save our Schools” and the UBER corporation.

Although Doba has been working for Bronin for months, Bronin’s campaign has failed to make and report appropriate expenditures to Stu Loeser & Company for Doba’s work, meaning Bronin is accepting an illegal campaign contribution from a corporate entity, a major violation of Connecticut law that would undoubtedly lead to a fine and other potential penalties if investigated by the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Why would Luke Bronin think he is above the law?

Perhaps is it is because he spent the last two years working as Governor Dannel Malloy whose 2014  campaign intentionally and flagrantly violated Connecticut’s campaign finance laws and continues to try and derail an investigation in Malloy’s political fundraising violations.

The following are just a few examples of Andrew Doba’s use of his Twitter page to promote his corporate clients, including Luke Bronin for Mayor.

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  Outrageous that @segarra2015 needs a hand delivered invite to talk with #Hartford residents about gun violence http://cour.at/1IQNKpA 

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  .@segarra2015 my job would be easier if you told the truth.

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  With strong push from @GovMalloyOffice, Leg. made the right call in meeting its financial commitment to charter schools

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  Thank you to our state leaders who showed a strong commitment to ensuring access to great school #ForEveryChild.

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  Awesome video from the #SaveOurSchools rally #ForEveryChildCT http://bit.ly/1Fqu9gr 

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  FYI – @Uber hearing being moved to 2E because so many Uber driver partners came out to show their support

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba   Thanks! RT@StamfordiCenter: We welcome our newest coworker, @AndrewDoba of Stu Loeser & Co. http://ow.ly/Ino0Q 

Andrew Doba ‏@AndrewDoba  New website (http://stuloeser.com ) AND new flack? Congrats to @AndrewDoba + thanks @mikeallen for nod in Playbook: http://www.politico.com/playbook/0115/playbook16920.html …

For more about the Bronin Campaign’s attempt to buy Hartford see;

Luke Bronin – Buying Hartford with the help of Greenwich money

Big Money flowing through Bronin’s New York to Hartford pipeline

Ridiculing Latino Leaders says volumes about Luke Bronin’s Campaign for Mayor of Hartford

More and More and More out-of-state campaign money pours into Hartford for Bronin

Opt-Out Movement Grows as parents fight back against unfair Common Core tests

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New York’s Common Core testing madness is one year ahead of Connecticut’s, which means parents know more and are taking action to protect their children. Last summer, the majority of parents in New York State were told their children were failures as a result of that state’s version of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core testing scheme. As a result, parents were prepared for this year’s testing scam and record numbers of public school students were opted-out of the testing fiasco. Yesterday, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) finally released their test results, admitting that nearly a quarter of a million New York students did not take the test as a result of parental action. The New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), an anti-common core testing advocacy group which is made up of more than 50 parent and educator groups across New York released a major statement calling on parents to step up the opt out movement by handing in their test refusal letters on the first day of school. The NYSAPE statement;

Opt Out to Sharply Rise as NYS Continues to Sacrifice Children With Flawed Tests & Policies Yesterday, released the results of the 2015 3-8th grade English Language Arts (ELA) & Math exams. ELA scores were essentially flat, and the small increase in Math scores (less than 2 percentage points) was smaller than last year’s modest jump. There was also an increase in the percentage of Level 1 students in ELA, and an unchanged percentage of Level 1 students in Math, suggesting that the ratcheting up of high-stakes is leaving our most struggling students behind. Test refusals, also known as opt outs, rose to a record number of 222,500, surpassing advocates’ estimates. More New York parents across the state are informed and have said no to the high-stakes testing regime that is disrupting quality education and harming their children. With no relief in sight, opt out figures are expected to grow significantly again this year until damaging education laws and policies are reversed. Jeanette Deutermann, Nassau County public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out said, “How many more children will we sacrifice to a narrow education, excessive testing, and failure, before New York calls a timeout? How many veteran, master teachers will we watch flee the profession before we untie testing from evaluations? How many schools will close before New York State recognizes that public schools are the foundations of every community? Instead of dreaming up sanctions, SED should be working with educators and parents to change course and right this wrong.” “Governor Cuomo, the Regents and SED have been quick to judge teachers through a sham accountability system that wrongfully reduces highly effective teachers to an ineffective rating and claims public schools are failing when, in fact, they are not. But they are slow to accept responsibility for the devastating consequences of these flawed testing and evaluation measures on our children, the teaching profession, and our public schools. Threats of sanctions will not deter opt outs. Parents are onto this sham and will continue to opt out children in order to protect them,” said Anna Shah, Dutchess County public school parent. “Considering the amount of time, resources and money devoted to the state assessment system, the resulting data does little to help pinpoint specific student, educator or school strengths and weaknesses. The entire testing system is a boondoggle to taxpayers and continues to limit our children’s educational opportunities,” stated Chris Cerrone, Erie County public school parent, educator, and school board trustee. Bianca Tanis, Ulster County public school parent said “Chancellor Merryl Tisch has publicly stated that she would think twice before allowing a child with special needs to sit through an ‘incomprehensible exam’ and has called state exams ‘cruel and unusual’. Yet neither the Board of Regents nor NYSED leadership has taken action to inform parents of their right to refuse harmful testing, let alone curb the eighteen hours of harmful state testing that disabled students as young as eight are compelled to engage in. Until the abuse stops, opt outs will continue.” Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public school parent, educator, and General Manager of the BATs stated, “As research shows, test scores will not close the achievement gap. We need to begin to invest in proven strategies that close the gap, or we will lose an entire generation of children.” “The NY State tests are an illegitimate way to evaluate kids, schools and teachers – as shown by the recent NY Times article, in which questions on the 3rd grade exam stumped the author of the relevant passage. These tests are designed to make it look like the vast majority of our students and schools are failing, when they are not. Until the state provides less flawed exams – and a better teacher evaluation system not linked to them – parents will continue to opt out in growing numbers,” said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters. “Pearson has been fired as the state’s test vendor, yet our children will be subjected to their tests for another school year. This is outrageous. If Governor Cuomo and members of the legislature who voted to increase the contribution of test scores to teacher evaluation think this is ok, they should prove it by taking the tests themselves. Let our public officials prove that they are smarter than a 5th grader,” said Nancy Cauthen, a NYC public school parent.

The reaction in Connecticut will undoubtedly be similar when the Malloy administration finally releases the results from this year’s Common Core SBAC test.

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