If you haven’t had enough already, read my column, which was written last night before the senate voted on a compromise education reform plan. Gov. Dannel Malloy and the unions finally agreed on some tentative steps toward figuring out how to close Connecticut’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap. Malloy still deserves a lot of credit. I’m not sure anyone realized how hard it would be for a Democratic governor to convince his own people that the system doesn’t work. My overall view:
… it is sadly revealing that so much of the “reform” debate over the past few months about improving schools that serve our poorest students revolved around how well-compensated adults would be affected. Third-graders who can’t read have always been too easy for Connecticut to ignore. This year was no different.
The bill can be found here. A comparison showing what the bill would do, prepared by the governor’s office, is here. There are good explanations of it all in the Courant and in the Mirror.
Union leaders, Gov. Malloy and legislative leaders generally praised the compromise deal, which would add $100 million to education spending, allow for more charter schools, expand preschool and reading instruction and test controversial ideas such as linking teacher evaluation to student performance and give more power to the commissioner of education.
Newly minted unionist Joe Markley, a Tea Partyin’ senator from Southington, had this view of the bill that passed in the dead of night, as reported by the Junkie:
This is vampire legislation … A bill emerges out of a backroom after midnight and it passes through the Senate before dawn and the debate never sees the light of day.
Poor Jonathan Pelto, he too can’t resist declaring victory over the charter school vampires and Count von Malloy. Interestingly, the blogger found a silver lining in legislation that permits some of the very reforms that he and the Connecticut Education Association have so vigorously opposed:
… the people who worked so hard to protect Connecticut’s children, schools and educational system from the national privatization effort, should be very proud of themselves and Connecticut’s Democratic legislators.
The legislation moves to the House of Representatives today.