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Education Bill Subject Of Closed-Door Meeting

by Hugh McQuaid | Apr 17, 2012 6:45pm
(8) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Education

Hugh McQuaid photo

With three weeks left in the session, Democratic legislative leaders were meeting behind closed doors Tuesday with the Education Committee chairs and representatives of the Malloy administration, trying to find agreement on the governor’s education reform package.

It was one of the first formal meetings on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s education bill since the committee made significant changes to it, opting to study many of its proposals rather than implement them.

Malloy has indicated he would not sign the bill passed by the Education Committee unless it includes changes to teacher tenure.

“We need to make substantial headway if we’re going to have a meaningful package that I can support,” he said last week.

Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, co-chairman of the Education Committee, seemed optimistic that some headway toward agreement was made during Tuesday’s talks, which he described as cordial.

“There are some obvious areas where there’s distance between what the governor proposed and what the Education Committee passed,” he said. “Without getting into the details, to be respectful of the process, I see some progress.”

While Fleischmann said the group was trying to work out agreements on some of the more contentious issues, House Speaker Chris Donovan described the meeting as more of a clarification process.

Donovan said the discussion mostly consisted the parties answering each others’ questions and clarifying what they mean when they ask for certain things.

So far, the conversation hasn’t gotten to some of the more controversial aspects of the governor’s proposal like tying the new teacher evaluation process to tenure, he said.

The group did spend some time discussing the best process for turning over control of a network of schools to Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. Donovan said they were looking at previous experiences like when the state took over Windham public schools last year.

Senate President Donald Williams declined to comment on the ongoing discussions. The governor’s office was also tight-lipped.

“We continue to have conversations with legislators,” spokesman Andrew Doba said in a one-sentence statement.

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(8) Comments

posted by: Linda12 | April 17, 2012  7:23pm

Everyone knows Achievement First is hiring for Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford. Pryor is already to pounce and take over. Out with the old teachers, in with the TFA parade.  Anyone close to retirement start packing. They will find a way to get rid of you anyway.

posted by: state_employee | April 17, 2012  8:27pm

malloy keeps telling teachers that his ed reforms are NOT about teacher tenure… he is outright lying.  see above. Malloy has indicated he would not sign the bill passed by the Education Committee unless it includes changes to teacher tenure.  he is grand standing at the expense of teachers.  He will dump Connecticut quick fast and in a hurry given the chance.  He is about HIM… no one else.  he will destroy education and this state.  the democratic legislators need to step up and stop him. 

posted by: ConcernedVoter | April 17, 2012  9:06pm

Didn’t Malloy, Pryor, Pat Riccards, etc. cry to the press a few weeks ago that CEA and AFT were influencing the comittee behind closed doors? Huh, I guess that door only swings one way.

Remember this statement Governor?
“Six groups that support education reform criticized Wednesday the “weak version” of the education reform bill the legislature’s Education Committee approved Monday, saying it was developed behind closed doors with a “lack of transparency.”

Oh, it’s ok if you guys do it!  Now I get it!  Just like the time all of your “reformers” developed the bill by yourselves. Now this makes sense!
Read more

posted by: Linda12 | April 17, 2012  10:11pm

Very good point Concerned Voter. I suspect you will be the only one to point this out. 

Yes, when everything goes their way, it is fair and reasonable. When it doesn’t, the legislators are asked to set aside their “alliances/relationships”.

Yet, we are expected to accept the relationships between Pryor/Achivement first/ ConnCan/State BOE/Alan Taylor etc.

Very deceptive indeed!

posted by: Noteworthy | April 18, 2012  8:04am

Malloy’s charter chums at AF and ConnCAN Take It From You - are salivating. Private meetings behind closed doors never yield good results.

Here’s a special shout out to Andrew Fleischmann: Every time I read your comment about how you bar the public from witnessing these meetings, and then give cute little updates about making progress that you can’t disclose “with respect to the process” makes me cringe at what that actually means. It means, Mr. Fleischmann that you are being a lapdog but you don’t want anybody to know it; it means you are selling out the public for the charter chums of the governor; it likely means you are even selling out your own committee who made it clear Malloy’s faux reform is not selling.

Governing in secret means you have something to hide. We all saw it in the budget process, the union “concessions” and now this. And we all see how well that has turned out.

uh, Andrew - there’s a huge deficit. Get it?

posted by: justsayin | April 18, 2012  10:52am

I agree open the doors open the conversation. The gov traveled the state spinning his tale…Let the other side do the same. Does anyone know what the turnover is in the “troubled” school areas? I do not believe the majority of the teachers and administrators are bad.

posted by: Bronx | April 21, 2012  5:40pm

I hope it’s just not rhetoric, but it seems Senator Andy Fleischmann the co-chair of the education committee sees right through these big business jackals…I’d love for this bill to get veto’ed by Malloy. But it’s total grandstanding on his part. There is no way he’s going to crawl back to all his Achievement First hedge funders, after all their campaign contributions and lobbying, or face his crony Stefan Pryor, and arrive empty handed…I hope the education committee sticks to its guns…This Commissioner’s Network, besides being unconstitutional, will fail when they don’t get to cream the best students anymore.As much as I’d like to see that failure occur, I don’t want it happening at the expense of children, and as we know anyway Pryor, Achievement First, Conncan, Riccards, and all the other stooges would lie about the numbers anyway or skew them in a way to make themselves look better…

posted by: WakeUp | April 23, 2012  11:16pm

Commissioner Pryor is clearly dedicated to privatizing education, reaping profits for investors and decimating true public education in CT.  I urge all readers to look into the compensation packages of these “do-good er” CEOs of Charter schools- for example,$250,000+ for the Achievement First co-CEOs.  Check out the CEO compensation packages of any of the “top” charter Schools- it will boggle your mind!  Also check out the profits of the test-publishers to assess “progress” and make millions (while teachers teach to the test and students learn to get good test scores but do not learn to think and learn). Pryor’s agenda is evidently NOT improving education for our kids.  Rather, it’s making education another source for corporate profits without any concerns for true positive impacts on the educational experiences of our children.  Pryor has bypassed the bidding process to make sure his business friends cash in with “consultant” fees in CT.  Pryor does not appear to believe that quality public education should exist- he seems to be pushing for private investors to be able to tap into public education funding, without regard to educational program quality. DO NOT LET PRYOR CASH IN FOR HIMSELF AND HIS CRONIES! If quality public education dies, so dies the middle class and any chance for equal opportunity.  WAKE UP!!!