As a result of the polar vortex (otherwise known as a polar cyclone, polar low, or a circumpolar whirl), some Wait, What? readers may have missed some of the latest posts. Here is a re-cap:
Are there any elected or appointed official in Connecticut who have the courage and conviction to actually ensure the laws of this state are equitably enforced?
Student-athlete recruitment by interdistrict magnet schools such as Capital Prep Magnet Schools is illegal in Connecticut. (For example, see Sec. 10-220d.of the Connecticut General Statues).
According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, “All eligible applicants are either offered a placement or placed on a waitlist for Regional School Choice schools and programs through a random lottery process.”
Based on state law and state regulations, “The RSCO lottery is the computer-based method that places students who have submitted a complete and on-time application to available RSCO schools and programs. The Connecticut State Department of Education manages the RSCO lottery process.”
Diane Ravitch, the nation’s leading pro-public education advocate, has used her blog to highlight the letter Madison Connecticut Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice sent to his legislators about the failed education reforms that are being pushed through in Connecticut.
The letter is one of the most powerful statements to date about the failure of the corporate education reform industry agenda and the need to re-take control of our public schools and preserve local control, parental involvement and the values inherent in a true system of public education.
Diane Ravitch’s blog is the most read education blog in the country generating up to 70,000 or more hits a day.
In the piece entitled, “A Connecticut Superintendent Speaks Out Against Failed “Reforms”, Ravitch writes:
Tom Scarice, superintendent of schools in Madison, Connecticut, has already been named to the honor roll for his leadership and vision in bringing together his community to plan for the future of Madison public schools.
Now, he steps up and speaks out again to take issue with those, like Governor Dannel Malloy, who call for a “pause” in the implementation of misguided reforms.
In a letter to his state representatives, Scarice explains that education policy must be based on sound research and experience. What Connecticut is doing now, he writes, is merely complying with federal mandates that harm schools and demoralize teachers.
If every superintendent had Tom Scarice’s courage and understanding, this country would have a far, far better education system and could easily repel the intrusions of bad policies.
Don Michak of the Journal Inquirer newspaper has a blockbuster story on the way Governor Malloy, Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the corporate education reform industry have contaminated the public policy making process in Connecticut.
The JI story, entitled, Hedge fund founder buys leadership ‘pipeline’ in Malloy’s office, raises extraordinary legal and ethical issues about the possibility of illegal lobbying and ethics violations, as well as shines a light on how a billionaire Malloy donor is not only giving the Governor campaign cash but paying for Malloy staff who are in the unique position to help push the corporate education reform industry’s agenda.
Don Michak explains:
“A hedge fund billionaire’s private foundation is paying three “fellows” to develop public policy in the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and two state departments.
The arrangement is eye-catching because the foundation is bankrolled by Stephen F. Mandel Jr., the founder of the Lone Pine Capital hedge fund in Greenwich and one of the biggest financial backers of Malloy’s Democratic Party.
But it also is extraordinary because of the controversial role Mandel’s foundation and its executive director, Meghan K. Lowney, played in Connecticut’s education policy — particularly in the state’s failed takeover of the Bridgeport Board of Education.
And more posts on the never-ending drama and controversy surrounding Capital Prep Principal Steve Perry
Last August, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference stepped in to investigate serious allegations of inappropriate even illegal, recruitment of student-athletes by Capital Prep Magnet School.
The CIAC Board of Control authorized an independent investigation and then met to review and act upon the recruitment investigation reports that had been lodged against Capital Preparatory School.
In a letter dated August 23, 2013 the Associate Executive Director of CIAC wrote to Capital Prep Principal Steven Perry on behalf of the CIAC Board of Control.
The letter included the following passages:
“….the Board expressed serious concerns about two issues both of which could be viewed as a form of recruitment.
It appears that student-athletes involved may have been admitted to the school through other than the lottery process and may have been given special preference because they were athletes.
Allowing student-athletes from another school to attend conditioning sessions prior to attend the school is not in the spirit of CIAC rules and gives the appearance that recruitment was taking place.