I didn’t leave my political party, my party left me

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I’m often asked why, considering I’m a life-long Democrat, I am “leaving” the Democratic Party and running as an independent for Governor.  I start by explaining that as hard as it is to run as an independent, I thought the institutional barriers to winning a Democratic Primary were even greater.

But then I add that, to be blunt,  I don’t believe I am “leaving” the Democratic Party, I believe the Democratic Party has left me and tens of thousands of other people who understand that many Democratic leaders have turned their backs on Democratic ideals, principles and constituencies in order to kowtow to the corporate elite.

Former Democratic State Senator, State Comptroller, and Democratic candidate for governor, Bill Curry has an extraordinarily powerful piece on Salon.com today about this very issue.  While I’ve had my differences with Bill Curry through the years (probably more often my fault), he is one of the smartest, most astute, political observers on the scene today. In his latest piece for this national audience, Bill Curry writes;

 My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats

In 2006 the Atlantic magazine asked a panel of “eminent historians” to name the 100 most influential people in American history.  Included alongside George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain and Elvis Presley was Ralph Nader, one of only three living Americans to make the list. It was airy company for Nader, but if you think about it, an easy call. Though a private citizen, Nader shepherded more bills through Congress than all but a handful of American presidents.

If that sounds like an outsize claim, try refuting it. His signature wins included landmark laws on auto, food, consumer product and workplace safety; clean air and water; freedom of information, and consumer, citizen, worker and shareholder rights.

In a century only Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson passed more major legislation. Nader’s also the only American ever to start a major social or political movement all by himself. The labor, civil rights and women’s movements all had multiple mothers and fathers, as did each generation’s peace and antiwar movements.

Not so the consumer movement, which started out as just one guy banging away at a typewriter. Soon he was a national icon, seen leaning into Senate microphones on TV or staring down the establishment from the covers of news magazines. What lifted Nader to such heights was the 1965 publication of “Unsafe at Any Speed,” an exposé of the auto industry’s sociopathic indifference to the health and safety of its customers. In little more than a year Congress put seat belts in every new car and created the forerunners of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington’s rapid response affirmed Nader’s belief that people provided with critical facts will demand change and that sooner than one might expect politicians, however listless or corrupt, will give it to them.

This faith in the power of ideas and of public opinion — in the educability of people and thus in the viability of democracy — distinguishes Nader from much of what remains of the American left.

[…]

Throughout the 1980s Nader watched as erstwhile Democratic allies vanished or fell into the welcoming arms of big business.  By the mid-’90s the whole country was in a swoon over the new baby-faced titans of technology and global capital. If leading Democrats thought technology threatened anyone’s privacy or employment or that globalization threatened anyone’s wages, they kept it to themselves.  In his contempt for oligarchs of any vintage and rejection of the economic and political democratization myths of the new technology Nader seemed an anachronism. His critics would later say Nader was desperate for attention.

For certain he was desperate to reengage the nation in a debate over the concentration of wealth and power; desperate enough by 1992 to run for president. His first race was a sort of novelty campaign — he ran in New Hampshire’s Democratic and Republican primaries “as a stand in for none of the above.” But the experience proved habit-forming and he got mottre serious as he went along. In 1996 and 2000 he ran as the nominee of the Green Party and in 2004 and 2008 as an independent.

The campaigns defined him for a new generation, but he never stopped writing. His latest book, “Unstoppable,” argues for the existence and utility of an “emerging left-right alliance to dismantle the corporate state.” The book is vintage Nader and ranks with his best. The questions it poses should greatly interest progressives.

The question is, will any read it. It’s a question because on top of all the hurdles facing even celebrity authors today, Nader is estranged from much of his natural readership. It goes back, of course, to his third race for president, the one that gave us George W. Bush, John Roberts, Sam Alito, the Iraq War and a colossal debt. Democrats blame Nader for all of it. Some say he not only cost Al Gore the 2000 election but did it on purpose. Nader denies both charges. Both are more debatable than either he or his critics allow. In 1996 I served as counselor to President Clinton and met often with Nader to discuss that campaign. Early on he told me he wouldn’t be a spoiler. Judging by his message and schedule and the deployment of his meager resources, he was true to his word. In 2000 his allocation of resources was little changed: He spent 20 days in deep blue California, two in Florida; hardly a spoiler’s itinerary. But he was in Florida at the end and his equation throughout of Gore with Bush — “Tweedledum and Tweedledee” — outraged Democrats.

The Democrats’ dismissal of Nader in 2000 was of a piece with our personality-driven politics: a curmudgeon on steroids; older now and grumpier; driven by ego and personal grievance. But Nader always hit hard; you don’t get to be the world’s most famous shopper by making allowances or pulling punches. The difference was that in 2000 Democrats as well as Republicans bore the brunt of his attacks. What had changed? It says a lot about the Democratic Party then and now that nobody bothered to ask the question, the answer to which is, a whole lot.

Bill Curry’s complete piece can be found at:  Bill Curry article.

I urge all of you to take the time to read it. Had we done a better job of listening to Ralph Nader and Bill Curry we very well might not be in the mess we are today.

There is no need to agree or disagree with Nader and Curry on every issue to recognize that they speak the truth about the fact that we did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left. Us.

The question is how best to re-build a political movement that will ensure our beliefs and principles are heard and acted upon. That is one of the very reasons I am running for Governor this year.

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Today’s “MUST READ” Columns on the Malloy/Pryor Charter School scandals

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Another Week, Another Scandal (By Sarah Darer Littman)

Another week, and another education scandal here in the Nutmeg State. The FBI served subpoenas on charter school operator FUSE last Friday morning, and shortly after their visit Hartford Courant reporters found the receptionist shredding documents. “Asked what was being shredded, she said the documents were associated with the state-subsidized Jumoke charter schools.” Obstruction of justice, anyone?

Meanwhile, after the notoriously opaque state Department of Education declined to issue reporters a copy of their own FBI-issued subpoena, the Courant received this statement Monday from Department of Education spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly: “We have been assured that the department is not a subject of this investigation.” Okay then. That’s clear.

Yet by Tuesday, it was another story. Apparently, the subpoena seeks, among other things, “All emails of Commissioner Stefan Pryor” since January 2012.

Read the complete piece at: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op-ed_another_week_another_scandal/

 

A charlatan in charge of children (By Wendy Lecker)

It is becoming painfully clear that in Connecticut, the refrain that education reform is “all about the children,” is a sad joke. To Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and his allies, children are merely collateral damage.

Recently, there was the scandal involving Hartford’s Milner school, in which the children were used as pawns in a scheme to expand the charter empire of now-disgraced Jumoke/FUSE CEO Michael Sharpe. Pryor never bothered to discover that Sharpe is a former felon and falsified his academic credentials. Instead, while Milner was floundering under Sharpe, Pryor, a longtime Sharpe supporter, handed him two additional schools. The fate of public school children was clearly the last thing on Pryor’s mind. Currently, the FBI is investigating Pryor’s, Sharpe’s and Jumoke/FUSE’s connections.

And now — New London. In 2012, Pryor decided to take over New London’s school district. His pretext was that the school board was dysfunctional and “rife with personal agendas.” Pryor never provided any causal relationship between the board’s behavior and student performance.

On the contrary, Pryor acknowledged that “many of the problems of New London and the New London School District are the direct result of economic decline and poverty.”

Instead of providing New London with adequate resources, the Malloy administration, through Pryor, appointed Steven Adamowski as New London’s powerful special master.

Adamowski was simultaneously the special master of another impoverished district, Windham. Adamowski’s reign in Windham was characterized by pushing unproven reforms while gutting services that actually helped children. He cut funding for Windham’s successful pre-K program and reduced the capacity of Windham’s bilingual program-even though over a quarter of the students are English Language Learners. He pushed the use of Teach for America, replacing experienced local teachers with temporary recent college graduates; and promoted “choice” for a select number of parents who could afford transportation to an out-of-district school.

 Read the full article at: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Lecker-A-charlatan-in-charge-of-children-5647661.php

 

Search Firm Faulted For Overlooking ‘Ph.D.’ Claims In Carter’s Past; Says It Will Make Good (By Jon Lender)

You’re in front of a Google search screen. You type in “Terrence Carter” — in quotation marks — and then add Chicago, his hometown. Hit “Enter.”

On the first page of results there’s a link for some speakers’ biographies for a 2011 education conference. One of the “Presenter Biographies” is about “Terrence Carter, Ph.D.” and it says he holds doctorate from Stanford University — which he doesn’t.

That’s the process that The Courant went through two weeks ago, finding a public document listing Carter as the holder of a doctorate — several years before his scheduled receipt next month of a Ph.D. from an accredited institute, Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

Expanding the search terms slightly — to combinations such as “Terrence Carter, Ph.D.” and Dr. Terrence P. Carter” — yielded a dozen such references.

A member of the search team Nebraska-based McPherson & Jacobson — a Nebraska-based human resources consultant — said she didn’t come up with any Ph.D. or Dr. listing. Carter was never asked about those references during the application process that led to his selection last month by New London’s Board of Education for the job of school superintendent effective Aug. 1.

As a result, the questions that could have been asked in the relatively relaxed setting of a job interview now will be asked in an overheated pressure-cooker situation. The school board Thursday night postponed a vote to approve a contract with the superintendent’s job and ordered its law firm to investigate Carter’s background. The probe is expected to take a month.

The action came after a series of Courant stories starting July 18 raised questions about Carter’s use of the titles Ph.D. and Dr. dating back at least to 2008.

Some officials and citizens in New London said they are wondering why the search consultant that pledged in March to perform “extensive background checks” on the candidates didn’t turn any of this stuff up.

“Why did it take someone from the Hartford Courant to vet the whole situation?” New London resident Eric Parnes asked the school board at its meeting Thursday night.

Read the complete article at: http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-lender-carter-resume-0727-20140726,0,1585462.column

 

And one more – file this one under – What the heck was “Dr.” Terrence Carter and the corporate education reform industry geniuses thinking?

PDF: Comparison Of Terrence P. Carter’s 2011 And 2014 Biographies

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What is this race for Governor all about – take a look at the new article from In These Times

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I recently conducted an interview with Cole Stangler, a reporter for “In These Times.”

Although not everyone reads “In These Times,” they should.

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “If it weren’t for In These Times, I’d be a man without a country.”

In These Times was created by author and historian James Weinstein in 1976.  His goal was to, “”identify and clarify the struggles against corporate power now multiplying in American society.”  You can read former Senator Paul Wellstone’s observation about In These Times at the end of this article.

Here is the In These Times article about the race in Connecticut;

Pelto-Murphy

Spoiler Alert, Connecticut: Jon Pelto Says He Isn’t One

Meet the blogger and former legislator who just might be incumbent Governor Dan Malloy’s worst enemy.

At first glance, Jonathan Pelto seems like another run-of-the-mill Democrat—a time-tested party loyalist. He was first elected to the Connecticut State House in 1984—his senior year at the University of Connecticut—where he served until 1993. During that time, Pelto worked as political director of the state party; after leaving the Capitol, he made a living as a high-profile liberal political consultant. In recent years, however, Pelto has explicitly concentrated his energies on reform: He has emerged as one of the state’s most prominent left-wing critics of Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, elected in 2010.

On his highly trafficked blog “Wait What?” Pelto regularly serves up acerbic columns interrogating Malloy’s stances on a variety of subjects, including education reform, taxes, labor relations and budget cuts. “Jon Pelto,” the anti-corporate education reform crusader Diane Ravitch recently proclaimed on her own blog, “is standing up for teachers and parents and everyone else who is not in the 1%.”

On June 12, Pelto announced he was running for governor under the self-created Education and Democracy Party ticket. He and his running mate Ebony Murphy need to collect a minimum of 7,500 signatures by August 6 in order to appear on the ballot; they expect to reach that goal.

The major unions—the state AFL-CIOConnecticut’s SEIU localseven the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut—have all endorsed the incumbent Democrat. (“I love Jon Pelto and am supporting Gov. Malloy,” tweeted AFT President Randi Weingarten last month.) The Connecticut Working Families Party is expected to follow suit when the state committee makes its final decision, which likely won’t be until August.

Speaking to In These Times on the phone last week, Pelto says he’s frustrated by the lack of official endorsements, but insists he’s committed to the campaign. This interview has been abridged and edited.

Why are you mounting a challenge to Dan Malloy?

I supported Dan Malloy. I worked with Dan Malloy. But when he was sworn in as Dannel Malloy, he reversed course on a lot of policies.

In Malloy’s first year, for example, he really went after state employees. What really changed my mind about his work, though, was when he became a huge advocate of the corporate education reform industry. He is the only Democratic governor to introduce a plan to do away with teacher tenure, which he did in February 2012. At that point, my blog really shifted to focusing on education issues and the education reform effort.

That was a key topic, although there were many others. What was clear was that Malloy had no intention of pivoting leftward on a variety of things I perceived to be major issues.

What are those issues?

The privatization of public education was number one.

Number two is tax policy. When Governor Malloy introduced a $1.5 billion tax package to balance the budget in 2011, he said to a joint session of the House and Senate that he didn’t want to raise taxes more than 0.2 percent on those making over $1 million because he didn’t want to “punish success.” The taxes he have issued have disproportionately affected the middle class. We have the highest gas tax in history; the sales tax is fairly narrow and hits a lot of people in the middle-class and working families. We’ve created a perfectly regressive tax structure.

Number three is that Malloy has pushed through the biggest cuts in Connecticut history to our public colleges and universities.

Number four, he is—for lack of a better term—a fan of these corporate welfare programs that give nearly $1 billion in state funds, either in tax breaks or low-interest loans, to major companies. The most famous of these is Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world. Its CEO, Ray Dalio, was paid $3.9 billion three years ago, and made $3 billion last year. Malloy offered Bridgewater $115 million in incentives if it agreed to move to downtown Stamford. He gave ESPN $25 million for a new studio, even though the studio had already been built. He gave more than $50 million to CIGNA Corp. to move their headquarters from Pennsylvania back to Connecticut. Malloy has been a real aficionado of giving money to companies with the promise that they create jobs over the course of 10 years.

And finally, Connecticut used to have the best campaign finance law in the country. But Malloy and the Democrats have really cut back its effectiveness by creating massive loopholes that allow for lobbyists and PACs—and even state contractors—to give money to candidates.

Why not run as a Democrat like Zephyr Teachout in New York?

In Connecticut, it would have been, in my mind, impossible to win a Democratic primary.

My fear was that Malloy would win and claim that those issues were not as important, because he won by 70-30 to win the Democratic primary. Running as a third party ensures that once you get on the ballot, you get to be heard all the way through the process.

In campaign management, we look at the percentage of people who want to reelect the incumbent. The highest that Malloy’s ever gotten was 46 percent. Compare that to Andrew Cuomo, who has a 54 to 60 percent, depending on the candidate: Malloy is on the ropes anyway.

In the polls that have been conducted so far, you’re not showing up. They’ve shown a very small percentage of people chose the option of somebody other than Malloy or Foley. Do you really think you have a chance of winning this election? And if you don’t, what’s the point of running?

These questions weigh heavily on me as I’ve thought about the issues, and I have to say my answer has changed a little bit over time. I stuck with the line—“I would only run if I was a credible candidate. I wouldn’t run simply if I was a spoiler.” But credible is a relative term. The goal is to win, but it’s also to impact the debate on what it means to be a Democrat and the corporatization of government. And the best way to do that was to run as a third-party candidate.

I think I am already having an impact on the debate. I was an opponent of the Common Core, for example. The only one left in the field [of potential candidates] who still supports Common Core is Malloy. All the other candidates have pledged to do away with Common Core if they’re elected and that has happened, in part, because of my positioning in the debate.

The idea of a credible candidate is one that can have an impact, and I believe that we are and we will have a significant impact on the race.

Do you think you can win this race?

I think there is a scenario, an outside chance, particularly in a four-way race. This guy Joe Visconti is also collecting petitions [to run for governor]. [In 1990], Lowell Weicker won with 40 percent of the vote as an independent candidate for governor. It was different; he was well-known and well-financed. And coming from the Republican side, John Rowland became governor in 1994 with 36 percent of the vote. Is there a scenario where I can get 35 or 36 percent of the vote? Yes, I think there is.

You’re regarded as something of a spoiler candidate. The former Senator Joseph Lieberman has compared you to Ralph Nader. The political director of the eastern states conference of Machinists made the same case—that you’re a spoiler siphoning off votes from the Democrats. The alternative to Dan Malloy is Tom Foley, who is this viciously right-wing hedge fund guy, who’s made no secret of his admiration for the policies of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. What do you make of those spoiler charges?

I have two different but parallel responses, the first is that this is not Wisconsin.

So Tom Foley famously said Connecticut needs a “Wisconsin moment.”

Yeah, we don’t know much about Foley. He’s not a Teabagger. On the other hand, he said that.

But more importantly, thanks to gerrymandering in 1990, 2000, and 2010, Connecticut will remain Democratic for generations to come, so there will be a Democratic legislature—unlike in Wisconsin where you had a [Tea Party] governor and [Tea Party]-controlled House and Senate. Here we will have a Democratic legislature. And it did its job. For example, when Malloy introduced a bill that did away with tenure, the Democratic legislature stripped it of that provision. The idea that Foley would make Connecticut the next Wisconsin is just fearmongering and just not true.

Now, would Foley be worse than Malloy on some issues? Undoubtedly he would. But on education, I don’t think we could get much worse than Malloy. He is anathema to everything we Democrats, liberals, and progressives [stand for].

The fact is that Dan Malloy, at any point, could have addressed the concerns of educators and the middle-class people who are against corporate welfare and he chose not to. It’s not like these are issues that they would agree with him on—it’s just that the union leadership has said, “Suck it up and vote for him because the alternative is worse.” My feeling is that if there is a spoiler in this, it’s Dan Malloy for not being willing to come to the base of the Democratic Party and the people of Connecticut and address their concerns.

The Education and Democracy Party you are running with, is that a vehicle that will last beyond this campaign? Do you see this as building any long-term political power or is it just focused on this one campaign?

I think that’s yet to be seen. Watching the Democratic Party, I’m convinced that big segments of it have moved away from its base. Here in Connecticut, the leadership of the Democratic Party is not speaking out about representing the middle class, it’s not speaking out for teachers and higher education; it’s so aligned with corporate interests.

If this battle ends up with the Democratic Party retrenching into its own corporate approach, then I’d see the Education and Democracy Party as a long-term effort to provide an alternative to the Democratic Party or to elements within it. I’m not opposed at all to using this as a vehicle towards long-term change.

Let’s say you get 5 percent of the vote, or something that’s greater than the margin of victory for Tom Foley and Malloy loses. Is there a certain amount of success in something like that, where you’re sending a message to Democratic leadership? Do you see that as a positive thing?

I wouldn’t be running if I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that that might be an outcome. I feel strongly enough about these issues. After campaigning and talking to many people, lots of other people feel strongly as well.

While I’d like to do more than that—get more than 4 or 5 percent of the vote—and I certainly do not want to throw the election to a Republican, I feel comfortable with that outcome. I feel comfortable that I will be able to impact the system and impact the debate in a positive way, regardless of whether I win or not.

Read the entire article at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/16997/jon_pelto_dan_malloy_governor_connecticut

Cole Stangler is an In These Times staff writer and Schumann Fellow based in Washington D.C., covering labor, trade, foreign policy and environmental issues. His reporting has appeared in The Huffington Post and The American Prospect, and has been cited in The New York Times.

Finally, as for In These Times, “The late Sen. Paul Wellstone, one of the first subscribers to In These Times, put it this way: ‘Meaningful democracy cannot survive without the free flow of information, even (or especially) when that information threatens the privileged and the powerful. At a time of growing media concentration, In These Times is an invaluable source of news and information that the corporate media would too often prefer to ignore.’”

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State Seeks “Dr.” Terrence Carter’s Withdrawal

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From the Hartford Courant’s Jon Lender and Kathy Megan;

State Seeks Carter’s Withdrawal As Incoming School Chief After Doubts About Use Of ‘Ph.D.’

The state Department of Education asked Terrence P. Carter to withdraw from consideration Thursday as superintendent of schools for New London – after a week of damaging disclosures that he used the titles of Ph.D. and Dr. for at least five years without holding an accredited degree.

“On behalf of the Department, Special Master [Steven] Adamowski has asked for his withdrawal. At the request of the Commissioner, the Special Master is participating in ongoing conversations with the local board regarding this evolving situation and potential next steps,” said education department spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly.

There was no answer yet from Carter as of 2:45 p.m.The message was delivered to Carter only hours before a scheduled 5 p.m. meeting in New London at which the local Board of Education planned to grill him over what he has said, or not said, about his education credentials.

The board had planned to question him behind closed doors before considering whether to approve a contract for Carter to take over the city’s troubled school system on Aug. 1.

The state holds more sway in this local hiring decision than it typically does with municipalities. That’s because the low performance of the New London schools brought about the decision by the state education department, more than a year ago, to install a “special master.” Adamowski, the former Hartford schools superintendent, oversees the system.

The New London school board asked state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor to interview Carter last month after it voted to select him after a national search. However, no contract was yet approved.

The request for him to withdraw came the day after The Courant reported that a national research organization said Carter submitted a biography in 2011 that indicated he had received a Ph.D. from Stanford University, an assertion that contradicts what the embattled educator has said.

Stanford has said that Carter never attended, which Carter has acknowledged. Carter has previously told The Courant that he was not the source for either the 2011 biography or a 2008 biographical article that also indicated he had received a Ph.D. from Stanford.

Larry McQuillan, director of public affairs for the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday emailed to The Courant what he said was “the original bio submitted by Carter.” It indicated that he held “a Ph.D., in Organizational Leadership from Stanford University.” The institute used the biography in a “Presenter Biographies” document for a June 2-3, 2011, education conference in Rosedale, Ill.

That story was the latest in a series that began last Friday with a Courant report revealing that Carter has been calling himself “Dr.” and “Ph.D.” for more than five years on the basis of what he described as a degree from an unaccredited university — Lexington University, for which no campus address can be found, and which offers no website for online instruction.

The Courant found more than a dozen documents listing him as a Dr. or Ph.D. Carter first said that he had earned a doctorate in theology in 1996 from an unaccredited school called Hamersfield University in London. Educators in London told The Courant that they never heard of it, and, when pressed for more information two days later, Carter emailed a copy of a transcript from Lexington University. Hamersfield has changed its name to Lexington since he attended, he said.

The Lexington University transcript indicated that Carter received an A in each of 45 graduate courses on the way to a Ph.D. However, the transcript says that the degree was in Human Resource Management and Organizational Learning, not theology. The Courant was unable to locate a school by either the name Hamersfield or Lexington.

There is a website headed “Lexington University,” which advertises for people to obtain their degrees at prices of up to several hundred dollars but doesn’t include working links that allow enrollment. It was unclear if that website is connected with the transcript sent by Carter — and he has declined to answer more questions about it since Thursday.

However, a cached webpage from 2002 – found via the Internet Archive “Wayback Machine” – is headed “Lexington University” and displays the same two toll-free phone numbers that are printed on the transcript that Carter provided to The Courant last week. One number has been busy since last week, and the other, a fax number, rejected an attempt to fax a document. The cached web page bears the motto “Order Now, Graduate Today!”

Carter completed requirements in late May for a Ph.D. in education from an accredited school, Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., and is scheduled to receive the degree on Aug. 25. He and some New London school officials say he has the right to call himself “Dr.” since he completed the degree requirements in May.

The full Courant story can be found at: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-carter-resume-0725-20140724,0,7482548.story

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Will the Malloy administration force the New London Board of Education to hire “Dr.” Terrence Carter?

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New London’s elected board of education will be meeting tonight, first behind closed doors, and then in a public meeting to decide whether or not to hire “Dr. Terrence Carter, the individual who has claimed that he had a Ph.D. for the last eight years when it turns out that the only “doctorate” he had appears to be from a diploma-mill, on-line website that explains – Pay Now, Graduate Today.

Last night, the Hartford Courant reported even more revealing and embarrassing developments surrounding “Dr.” Terrence Carter.

The Courant wrote,

A national research organization said Wednesday that Terrence P. Carter, the incoming superintendent of schools in New London, submitted a biography in 2011 that indicated he had received a Ph.D. from Stanford University, an assertion that contradicts what the embattled educator has said.

Stanford has said that Carter never attended, which Carter has acknowledged. Carter has previously told The Courant that he was not the source for either the 2011 biography or a 2008 biographical article that also indicated he had received a Ph.D. from Stanford.

Larry McQuillan, director of public affairs for the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday emailed to The Courant what he said was “the original bio submitted by Carter.” It indicated that he held “a Ph.D., in Organizational Leadership from Stanford University.”

The institute used the biography in a “Presenter Biographies” document for a June 2-3, 2011, education conference in Rosedale, Ill.

“I don’t know where they got it from, but they did not get it from me,” Carter, 49, who has been an education administrator in Chicago for a decade, said in a telephone interview with The Courant on July 15. He said that a request for information “was submitted to my secretary” at the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago, but that he had not responded personally. Ultimately, Carter did not attend the conference.
Efforts to reach Carter on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

[…]

McQuillan provided The Courant with a string of emails from May 2011 — which included an attachment containing the bio that McQuillan said that Carter sent. The string also included a note from Carter: “Here it is…sorry for the delay! Terrence P. Carter, Ph.D.”

As observers now know, over the past eight years, “Dr.” Terrence Carter has been listed as having a doctorate from Stanford University, a doctorate from a non-existent program run by Stanford University and Oxford University and a doctorate from Lesley University.

But he was never enrolled at Stanford, Oxford and is only now (apparently) getting his Ph.D. from Lesley University in Boston.
In a related story yesterday, the Hartford Courant also revealed that “Dr.” Terrence Carter demanded that people call him “Dr.” despite the fact that his only doctorate appears to have been from a mail-order website.

As the Courant explained,

It is clear from public records that Carter made formal mention of his unaccredited doctorate while he was principal of Clara Barton Elementary School in the Chicago public school system.

Illinois State Board of Education teacher service records show that for Carter’s first three years at Barton school, he had a Master’s. The state records list a “doctorate” – with a notation that it was obtained “Outside U.S.A.” – for the first time in the 2008-09 school year.

Over a two year period, his pay jumped from $133,203 with a Master’s in 2007-08, to $142,128 with a doctorate in 2009-10. In the middle year, 2008-2009, the first year that a doctorate is listed, his pay dipped by $369 to $132,834. It’s unclear why the unaccredited doctorate, which Carter said he received in 1996, appeared for the first time in that year. Attempts to reach Chicago Public School officials have been unsuccessful.

A onetime Chicago teacher also said that Carter required staff and students to refer to him as “Dr.” from his start at Barton in 2005. Barton Elementary’s letterhead stationery also listed him at “Terrence P. Carter, Ph.D., Principal.”

“He wanted to make sure you called him Dr. Carter. Don’t call him mister, you better call him doctor,” said Marcia Brown-Williams, a former Chicago teacher who was a delegate for the teachers union and attended meetings at Barton when Carter was there. “That was an important thing to him.”

In 2008, Carter wrote a letter on Barton school stationery to Shawn Gowder, a local school council member and parent, recounting a disagreement they’d had a month earlier in which he had said: “[I] ask that you address me as Dr. Carter.” He signed it “Terrence Carter, Ph.D.”

So why is someone like “Dr.” Terrence Carter still being considered for the top job in New London’s School System?

Well, last we heard from Special Master Steven Adamowski, the person who serves as Governor Malloy and Commissioner’s Pryor’s mouthpiece, was saying that there is nothing that he has seen that would suggest the New London Board shouldn’t go forward with handing New London’s schools students, parents and teachers over to Terrence Carter.

Really?

Nothing that would suggest that New London could do better than “Dr.” Terrence Carter?

One thing is absolutely certain – if Malloy, Pryor and Adamowski do not pull Carter out of contention before tonight’s vote, they and the New London Board of Education will become the laughing-stock of the nation.

The latest Hartford Courant article can be found at: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-carter-resume-0724-20140723,0,6761650.story

You can also read more about Terrence Carter and his on-line doctorate at: Now exactly what is “Dr.” Terrence Carter’s Lexington University? or http://jonathanpelto.com/2014/07/23/now-exactly-dr-terrence-carters-lexington-university/

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

Corporate Welfare to the rescue – NOT!

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Known as “corporate welfare” to any reasonable person, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s economic development policies has been primarily geared toward picking winners and losers in the “free-enterprise system” by giving away large amounts of public funds to selected corporations in return for various promises to do something over the next ten years.

Literally hundreds of millions of dollars in scarce public funds have gone to extremely successful corporations.

Adding to the fiscal irresponsibility of Malloy’s policies is the fact that most of these funds have been charged to the state’s credit card meaning Connecticut taxpayers must not only pay the principal but the interest.

This, of course, comes on top of the fact that Connecticut’s debt ratio is already sky high compared to the other states in the country.

And to prove the foolhardy nature of this corporate welfare system, comes this breaking news from the Day newspaper of New London;

Sprague – The town’s largest taxpayer and employer, Fusion Paperboard, will be closing its Sprague facility in September and laying off about 140 employees, state Sen. Cathy Osten, the town’s first selectwoman, confirmed on Wednesday.

The news comes one year after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Osten welcomed news that the state Department of Economic and Community Development had approved a 10-year, 3 percent loan of $3 million to help Fusion expand operations, retain 147 jobs and create 20 new jobs with a $6 million improvement project.

On year after Malloy gives the company $6 million of our tax dollars, the company announces it will be closing down and laying off about 140 Connecticut residents.

File this one along with the other “great deals” that have gone belly-up….all while taxes increase and vital state services go unfunded.

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

Now exactly what is “Dr.” Terrence Carter’s Lexington University?

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Thanks to the investigative reporting of the Hartford Courant, we learned a whole lot about Terrence Carter and the various references to his Ph.D(s).

For eight years “Dr.” Terrence Carter has claimed, implied, suggested or was introduced as having a Ph.D.

As we now know, some documents report that he got the doctorate from Stanford University in California, but it turns out that he never actually attended Stanford University.

Other documents report that he got it from a non-existing joint program between Stanford University and Oxford University in England….but he didn’t attend Oxford either.

At yet another point, “Dr.” Carter claimed he had his Ph.D. from Lesley University in Massachusetts – but turns out that wasn’t true either – although he is quoted as saying ne now is going to get that degree any day now.

But in the end, the only document he could produce for the Hartford Courant was a “Ph.D.” from a place called Lexington University.

But what and where is Carter’s Lexington University.

As noted in a recent Wait, What? blog post, “Dr.” Terrence Carter – Lexington University:  Order Now, Graduate Today, there is a Lexington University.  You pay a few hundred dollars and they send you a degree and provide “lifetime” verification to potential employers.

$300 and you too can call yourself a Doctor… or for that matter… can buy almost any other degree you want.

But is this the actual Lexington University that “Dr.” Terrence Carter “graduated” from or did he find another on-line diploma mill called Lexington University?

While Special Master Steven Adamoski and the Malloy administration continue to claim there is no reason not to give “Dr.” Terrence Carter the six-figure, lucrative job as New London’s superintendent of Schools, the students, parents, teachers and taxpayers of New London (and Connecticut) at least deserve a clarification as to which Lexington University Carter received his Ph.D. form.

For starters, is “Dr.” Terrence Carter’s Lexington University the same Lexington University that was under investigation by the United States General Account Office?

If it was, there is a whole lot more explaining to be done before handing New London’s students, parents, teachers and schools over to this guy.

Just take a look at what the GAO found when its investigators looked into a diploma mill called Lexington University.

United States General Accounting Office (http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/91621.html)

November 21, 2002:

The Honorable Susan M. Collins:
Ranking Minority Member:
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations:
Committee on Governmental Affairs:
United States Senate:

 Subject: Purchases of Degrees from Diploma Mills:

Dear Senator Collins:

This report responds to your request that we investigate issues concerning the proliferation of diploma mills, which sell bogus academic degrees based upon “life experience” or substandard or negligible academic work. Specifically, you asked that the Office of Special Investigations, acting in an undercover capacity, demonstrate how easy it is to purchase a degree from a diploma mill. You also asked us to identify and interview individuals who have purchased degrees from diploma mills and determine whether those individuals have used their bogus degrees to increase income, defraud employers, or gain positions of public trust. We briefed your office on our investigative findings. This report summarizes those findings and includes documents referenced in that briefing.

[…]

Posing as Susan M. Collins, we first contacted Degrees-R-Us to obtain information regarding the steps to follow in purchasing degrees. Following those instructions, we successfully purchased a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology dated June 13, 1975, and a Master of Science degree in Medical Technology dated June 10, 1988, in the name of Susan M. Collins. The degrees were awarded by Lexington University, a nonexistent institution purportedly located in Middletown, New York. Pursuant to Degrees-R-Us’s request, we provided the names and telephone numbers of individuals who could provide references and vouch for Ms. Collins’ job experience in biology and medical technology. However, Degrees-R-Us did not contact any of our references. We paid $1,515 to Degrees-R-Us for the “premium package” The package included two diplomas from Lexington University, honors distinctions, and a telephone degree verification service that could be accessed by potential employers wishing to verify information regarding the school transcripts and degrees purportedly conferred.

To test the degree verification service, we posed as a potential employer of Ms. Collins. An individual associated with Degrees-R-Us confirmed that Ms. Collins had been awarded a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Lexington University.

Since the investigators “purchased” the premium package, they were provided with the following:

1) Bachelor of Science in Biology, dated June 13, 1975 – diploma.

2) Transcripts for a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a GPA of 3.8.

3) Master of Science in Medical Technology, dated June 10, 1988.

4) Dean’s List Certificates for all 8 semesters on your Bachelor’s Degree.

5) Envelopes from Lexington University.

 

Wait, What? readers can find the full GAO report at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/100/91620.pdf.

In fact, there you will find the fake diplomas as well as an “Official Transcript” from Lexington University.

It is pretty impressive what a few hundred dollars will buy you.

And when all is said and done, rather than vote to hand over the keys of New London’s schools to “Dr.” Terrence Carter, the New London Board of Education should tell the Malloy Administration to back off the pressure.  Instead of saying they see no reason not to hire Carter; Malloy’s operatives should be helping the New London Board of Education to determine exactly what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to Mr. Carter’s educational background.

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

Hey Look – “Dr.” Terrence Carter – went to Columbia Teachers College too…

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The famous, infamous, hilarious and just plain absurd controversy surrounding Terrence Carter, the proposed new superintendent of schools in New London, just keeps getting worse and worse.

According to various resumes, articles, websites and bios, “Dr.” Terrence Carter received his Ph. D. from Stanford University, from Stanford and Oxford Universities, from Leslely University and from a university outside of the United States.

But the apparent truth is that Mr. Terrence Carter got his ‘doctorate’ from a notorious diploma mill called Lexington University – and if it is the same diploma mill that has received national news coverage – it is the one whose website explains – “Order Now, Graduate Today”

Lexington University photo

 

But in the latest twist, it turns out that “Dr.” Terrence Carter’s educational achievements even go beyond the institutions reported by the Hartford Courant.

In an article about his experience at Barton Elementary School in Chicago, the Chicago Catalyst, a Illinois-based media outlet wrote,

“Carter also brought in a reading and writing curriculum he learned about while enrolled in Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. (Carter was a teacher before joining the corporate world.) He also launched a before-school reading program to help youngsters who are behind and emphasizes professional development.”

Terrence Carter went to Columbia?

Wonder why that isn’t on his resume….

You can find the full Chicago article at:  Principals get creative within the bounds of district bureaucracy

Questions Grow On Incoming School Chief’s Use Of Ph.D. Title, Financial Problems

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Claiming that he was “hand-picked” by Arne Duncan to be part of the corporate education reform industry, “Dr.” Terrence Carter has become a national example of what is wrong with the education reform movement.

The latest article on Carter, entitled, Questions Grow On Incoming School Chief’s Use Of Ph.D. Title, Financial Problems, can be found in today’s Hartford Courant.

Courant reporters Jon Lender and Kathy Megan write,

Questions about Terrence P. Carter’s background multiplied Tuesday, a day after the New London school board delayed a vote on approving a contract for him to start Aug. 1 as superintendent of schools.

Board members want to ask Carter about The Courant’s disclosure Friday that the Chicago school administrator had called himself doctor and Ph.D. for more than five years on the basis of a degree from what he’s called an “unaccredited” school – Lexington University – for which no campus address or Internet website can be located.

In several developments Tuesday:

•Records emerged showing that Carter, 49, filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in California in 1999, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Illinois in 2012. Neither petition was granted, records show, because he failed to follow through on required procedures or paperwork. In 2012, he stated his liabilities at $768,649, with more than $200,000 stemming from student loans, and assets at $338,654. Two creditor banks filed objections in 2012 saying Carter “failed to accurately describe” what he owed.

•Documents from his time as a Chicago school principal show Carter used Ph.D on emails and letterheads. Some of his supporters have said it was others who attached the title to his name. The Courant found more than a dozen public documents that referred to Carter as Dr. or Ph.D.

•The resume Carter submitted to the New London school board lists a “Certificate of Advance Graduate Studies” from National Louis University in Chicago, but that school’s director of communications, Susan Barnett, said Tuesday that he never obtained the certificate.

“He was never officially awarded the degree,” even though he completed the 36 credit hours of course work, because he didn’t submit “a degree finalization form that is required,” she said. “He does not actually hold a degree from here because he never submitted the paperwork.”

[…]

Criticism of the vetting process has been growing since it was disclosed last Friday that New London’s recruiting consultant, Nebraska-based McPherson & Jacobson LLC – which conducted a national search for candidates and pledged to perform “extensive background checks” on them – failed to turn up any of the Dr. and Ph.D. references The Courant found.

As a result, Carter was never asked where he obtained his “unaccredited” degree and whether it was appropriate to claim a doctorate.

[…]

When The Courant asked Carter more than a week ago about his unaccredited degree, he said he had earned a doctorate in theology from Hamersfield University in London. He said the doctorate would have enabled him to “practice in the ministry,” although he never did that.

A number of London educational institutions’ representatives said they’d never heard of the school. When pressed further, Carter sent The Courant a printed transcript from Lexington University. The transcript listed no campus address or Internet website for online studies.

Carter said in his email that Lexington University was “formerly known as Hamersfield University back in the 90s when I attended.” He said Tuesday that he had to be in London for several weeks annually during the three years he was pursuing his doctoral studies at Hamersfield.

An Internet search turned up a site headed “Lexington University,” which advertises for people to obtain their degrees at prices of up to several hundred dollars. It was unclear if that website is connected with the transcript sent by Carter — and he declined to answer more questions.

The Lexington University transcript said that Carter, now 49, received an A in each of 45 graduate courses on the way to a Ph.D. The transcript says that the degree was in human resource management and organizational learning, not theology. Many of the course listings related to human resources and organizational learning.

You can read the full article with all the various quotes at: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-carter-resume-0723-20140722,0,6040752.story

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

New London Superintendent candidate Terrence Carter’s Financial Problems

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The Day of New London has posted a breaking story highlighting financial problems that have plagued Terrence Carter, the “education reform expert” that Special Master Steven Adamowski and the Malloy administration have been pushing for the job of superintendent of schools in New London.

The Day of New London newspaper is reporting,

according to court documents, Carter has a history of defaulting on financial obligations and has filed for bankruptcy in two states. His claims, though, were dismissed because he failed to appear at a court-scheduled meeting or file required paperwork.

In a Feb. 3, 2012, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Carter claimed a total of $768,649 in liabilities, including $211,224 in student loan obligations, and reported $338,654 in assets. He listed his average monthly income as $7,134.53 and claimed $4,758 in monthly household expenses, according to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Northern District of Illinois.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows a debtor who earns a regular income to propose a plan to repay debts over a three- or five-year period, according to court documents.

Carter’s filing lists 14 creditors, including American Express, Citibank, Sallie Mae and the U.S. Department of Education.

Panos Brothers Construction and Painting, an Illinois-based company listed as a creditor in Carter’s 2012 bankruptcy filing, placed a contractor’s lien on Carter’s Chicago condo in January 2012.

According to forms filed by the company’s attorney, Carter hired the company to renovate and paint his Chicago condo but never paid the $18,512 bill.

A copy of the signed contract, which was included in court filings, details the anticipated prices for painting and carpeting three bedrooms, installing engineered wood flooring in a handful of rooms, and other work.

The contract was signed June 30, 2011, and Panos Brothers completed the work by Sept. 8, 2011, documents show. On Nov. 29, 2011, Panos Brothers sent Carter an invoice for the outstanding $18,512.

The bankruptcy case was dismissed by the judge on July 19, 2012, because Carter “failed to file the required documents,” according to the court order. Carter’s repayment plan was not confirmed by the court and “appears to be unfeasible as the debtors disposable income is less than the proposed plan payments,” according to the order.

The contractor’s lien on Carter’s property was released on Sept. 25, 2013, after he and Panos Brothers agreed to a settlement, according to records from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

And in 1999, while Carter was living and working in California, he filed paperwork in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Northern District of California for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the chapter of the bankruptcy code that allows for the liquidation of the debtor’s property to repay creditors.

Court documents show that Carter filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 4, 1999, and was indebted to a number of banks, student loan companies and Saks Fifth Avenue.

On Dec. 22, 1999, the California judge dismissed the case because Carter had failed to appear at a meeting with his creditors, according to the court documents.

In an email Monday, Carter said, “These events are of a personal family matter, and have been settled. They were disclosed to the search and selection committees, and Board of Education.”

While many recognize that family and personal issues should not automatically prohibit someone for a public post, considering that a superintendent of schools is responsible for tens of millions of dollars in public funds, “Dr.” Terrence Carter is likely to face additional questions as he faces a contract vote on Thursday.

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

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