State Education Board Supports Malloy's Original Education Reform Bill
Members Vote Unanimously To Urge Lawmakers To Restore Bill To 'Original Intent'
BY KATHLEEN MEGAN
April 04, 2012
The State Board of Education gave Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's original education reform bill a vote of unanimous support Wednesday and urged lawmakers to restore key aspects of the bill that were revised last week.
Allan Taylor, board chairman, said that the bill reported out of the legislature's Education Committee last week "does not accomplish what needs to be accomplished. It steps back from some of the very important proposals in the governor's package."
Malloy's original reform package was "a coherent proposal," Taylor said, while the revised bill is a "less-than-coherent set of measures and studies that give the impression that the state continues to be unwilling to look at what we need to do to get our education system moving in the right direction."
The board's vote followed a presentation by state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, who pointed out differences between Malloy's original bill and the revised version.
Pryor provided board members with a handout that outlined the Education Committee's changes, including a steep cut in funding for the governor's proposed plan to turn around low-performing schools, from $22.9 million to $7.9 million.
The handout also noted that the governor's bill called for tying tenure to a new system for evaluating teachers; the committee's proposed substitute calls for a study of how that might be done.
The board members' resolution says that the original bill "contained many solutions" to begin to address the state's educational challenges and was "immediate and progressive."
By contrast, the resolution says, the revised education bill was modified in a way that "meaningful and immediate education reforms" are at "risk of being compromised," including the state's application for a federal waiver of the No Child Left Behind Act.
The resolution says the board "urges lawmakers to restore" the education bill "to its original intent."
The board had a short discussion of what do do with their resolution. Board member Charles A. Jaskiewicz of Norwich suggested that the resolution should be the first step in a campaign to inform lawmakers and the public of the board's position.
Board member Ellen Camhi disagreed, saying she didn't think that board members should "lobby" to get the original bill restored and passed.
Pryor thanked board members for the resolution, saying he was appreciative of their decision to pass a resolution of their "own volition, offering such affirmation."
"You have fashioned it," Pryor said of the resolution. He urged them not to "feel constrained" in airing their views.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at