Malloy can’t contain himself, uses speech to criticize lobbying effort by teachers and education unions…

As readers are aware, Governor Dannel Malloy traveled to Washington D.C. yesterday to speak to the right-wing, neoconservative American Enterprise Institute.  His speech was entitled, “School reform dos and don’ts: Lessons from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.”

As originally proposed, Malloy’s “education reform” initiative was the most anti-teacher, anti-union education reform legislation proposed by any Democratic governor in the nation.  Even after the proposal was modified by the Connecticut General Assembly is still held out as a prime example of the corporate education reform industry’s obsession with more standardized testing and inappropriate teacher evaluation programs that utilize standardized test results.

What as most noteworthy about the Malloy’s speech to the American Enterprise Institute was that while taking full credit for the legislation he tried to re-position himself for the 2014 gubernatorial election by praising teachers rather than playing his traditional role of criticizing and demeaning them.

As the CT Mirror reported yesterday, in his speech to the American Enterprise Institute, “the governor acknowledged that he could have been more delicate when introducing his proposals…’I’ve probably used the wrong language more than once. I know I have,’ he said, routinely pointing out how important teacher buy-in is to the success of the initiative.”

Apparently his remarks were supposed to appease teachers who might still be upset that in Malloy’s major education speech in 2012, he called for doing away with tenure while saying, “In today’s (public education) system, basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years. Do that, and tenure is yours.”

Malloy infamously added, later that year, his observation that he didn’t mind teaching to the test as long as the test scores went up.”

But despite a carefully written script yesterday, Malloy’s real personality and opinions couldn’t stay hidden for long.

During the question and answer period following Malloy’s talk, Jennifer Alexander, the CEO of ConnCAN and co-founder of A Better Connecticut, the corporate education reform lobbying group, tossed Malloy a soft-ball question about the town meetings Malloy held around the state to promote his education reform initiative in 2012.

Readers will recall that A Better Connecticut, ConnCAN and other corporate education industry organizations have spent a record $6 million and counting lobbying in support of Malloy’s education reform initiative to date, including more than $2 million in television advertisements thanking Malloy for his “leadership.”

In response to a question from ConnCAN’s CEO, Malloy talked about how people were mad and how he stood up to the angry teachers and led the way forward for the General Assembly.

Malloy summarized the situation saying he was needed because “folks [were] spending a lot of money to try and defeat an organized effort at school reform….”

It was another great truly another great Dannel Malloy moment.

When teachers, parents and public school advocates came out to public meetings to speak out on behalf of public education, Malloy says that they were part of a group of “folks” who were “spending a lot of money to try and defeat” education reform.

But there he was – speaking at the ultra-right wing American Enterprise Institute and happily taking a question from the paid lobbyist whose organization has led the most expensive lobbying campaign in state history.

Tucked into the safety of a right-wing “think tank,” the Malloy we have come to know couldn’t resist the opportunity to attack teachers and their unions while accepting the accolades of the corporate education reform industry.

That said, not everyone who watched Malloy’s performance came away with the same reaction.

While you can read my take on the Malloy speech by reading the Wait, What? post entitled “Malloy tells right-wing American Enterprise Institute he is the “education governor”, you may also want to read what the Connecticut Education Association posted to their blog yesterday.

While both blogs report on Malloy’s speech at the American Enterprise Institute, the different interpretations of same event is rather extraordinary.

From the 12/2/2013 CEA Blog: Malloy on Teachers & School Reform

Governor Dannel P. Malloy told a national audience today that teacher concerns about the rapid pace of change in Connecticut public education are real, adding that “we’re going to get through it.”

The governor called teachers “good, hard-working people.” Malloy said, “I probably used the wrong language more than once. I know I have. It’s not because I don’t appreciate what teachers do.”

Malloy’s comments came in an interview this afternoon at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Malloy talked about the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that are being implemented and new CCSS tests—so-called Smarter Balanced Assessments that could be linked to teacher evaluations down the road. According to Malloy, teachers are ready, but that doesn’t mean they are not scared. “Far better a carrot than a stick,” he said.

Apparently referring to Connecticut’s new teacher evaluation system, Malloy said “the vast majority of Connecticut teachers are doing a great job,” and they will be recognized for this. Malloy said he’s taken steps to make the magnitude of education reform easier on public schools. Connecticut school districts have flexibility on two fronts: administering just one test to students during this school year—the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced Assessments or the CMT and CAPT—and giving local school districts the power to decide whether or not to include that test data in teachers’ evaluations.

Malloy took questions from an AEI audience, including one about the legislative battle over Connecticut school reform. Referring to his role, he made a number of comments, including that somebody had to be the leader, somebody had to bring the discussion to communities, and that somebody had to emphasize we needed to change direction in public education.

Malloy said “I had to fly in the face of traditional Democratic constituencies.” He added that reform cannot be accomplished top down. He called it a combination of leadership, getting buy-in, and staying at it year after year.

You can see Malloy’s performance at the American Enterprise Institute here:  http://www.aei.org/events/2013/12/02/school-reform-dos-and-donts-lessons-from-connecticut-governor-dannel-malloy/

Malloy tells right-wing American Enterprise Institute he is the “education governor”

As reported earlier today, Governor Malloy traveled to Washington D.C. today to speak to the ultra-right wing American Enterprise Institute.  (see Wait, What? post: Malloy speaks to right-wing American Enterprise Institute in ongoing effort to alienate every teacher and public education advocate).

The purpose of his trip to D.C. was to brag about his Education Reform Initiative, the most anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-public education bill introduced by any Democratic governor in the United States.

The American Enterprise Institute introduced Malloy’s speech with the following:

“Since taking office in Connecticut in 2011, Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT) has made K–12 school reform a centerpiece of his agenda, calling education “the civil rights issue of our time.” To date, the state has passed key legislation surrounding teacher accountability, charter schooling, and turning around underperforming schools. At the same time, Connecticut has one of the nation’s largest academic achievement gaps, and Governor Malloy has faced pushback from teachers unions on his efforts surrounding teacher evaluation.”  – American Enterprise Institute 12/2/2013

Malloy who said teachers need only show up for four years to get tenure

Malloy who said he didn’t mind teaching to the test as long as the test scores went up

Malloy who dramatically expanded the amount of standardized testing

Malloy who pushed through an unfair and inappropriate teacher evaluation program linked to those standardized tests

Malloy who dramatically increased the amount of taxpayer funds diverted to charter schools and private companies.

In fact, when looking at Malloy’s record in support of the corporate education reform industry, the American Enterprise Institute was the perfect place for him to crow about his “successes.”

Who is the American Enterprise Institute?

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan called the American Enterprise Institute “one of the beachheads of the modern conservative movement.”

The Walton Foundation, one of the country’s three biggest funders of the corporate education reform industry is also a major funder of the American Enterprise Institute.  The Walton Foundation has relied on the neoconservative group to back their education reform ideas and the Walmart Company itself.  According to the New York Times, Wal-Mart “has discovered a reliable ally: prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise Institute…”

From 1985 through 2005, the American Enterprise Institute received more than $40 million from right-wing foundations.

In addition to their work on behalf of the Tobacco industry in which they sought to downplay the social costs associated with smoking, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has played a major role in the effort to deny Global Warming.

From 2006 to 2010, the American Institute received more than $1.7 million from fossil fuel interests including major funding from the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil.  In return they’ve published numerous studies downplaying the effects of Global Warming

And when it comes to collective bargaining and the right of Americans to join unions, here are just a few headlines from recent American Enterprise Institute publications and speeches;

“Public Unions Must Go…Public unions have been a 50-year mistake.”  – American Enterprise Institute 2/22/2011

“Break up the big… unions!” – American Enterprise Institute 10/19/2012

“Despite wins in last night’s elections, teachers unions are weakening” American Enterprise Institute 11/7/2012

The more you know, the more fitting it is that Governor Malloy went to the American Enterprise Institute to deliver his “education reform” message.

Malloy speaks to right-wing American Enterprise Institute in ongoing effort to alienate every teacher and public education advocate

With the 2014 gubernatorial election on the horizon, Governor Dannel P. Malloy remains true to his never-ending effort to alienate every teacher and public education advocate in Connecticut.

Today he travels to the ultra-right wing American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. to speak on “School Reform.”

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is the leading “think-tank” for the neoconservative movement.  Their primary areas of interest are “America’s culture war, federal spending, education reform, affirmative action, and welfare reform.”

More than a dozen American Enterprise Institute leaders were appointed to senior positions in President George W. Bush’s administration.

AEI is known for a number of “independent” studies.  In 1980, for example, the American Enterprise Institute was paid by the tobacco industry to publish a study entitled “Cost-Benefit Analysis of Regulation: Consumer Products.”   The report was part of the “global tobacco industry’s 1980s Social Costs/Social Values Project” which was used to try and refute the social cost arguments against smoking.

The American Enterprise Institute has also authored a number of studies designed to “cast doubt” on the notion of Global Warming or the role humans play in the creation of climate change.

According to the CT Mirror, Malloy’s speech to the right-wing audience will be live-streamed at 1:30 p.m. and will be available later via a video that will be posted on the American Enterprise Institute website.