Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lots of Education News

It is hard to believe how much activity the realm of education has experienced this summer. And Connecticut has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it seems.

First, there was the Board of Education drama in Bridgeport -- in which the elected members decided to throw their hands in the air and leave all of the most difficult decisions to unelected persons appointed by the State. The sad thing is, the unelected Board looks much more promising than the disbanded Board that had been picked by the voters. Coleman has put together an impressive list of people to serve on the Bridgeport Board -- the retired President of Bridgeport Hospital, a professor of teacher preparation from Sacred Heart University, an executive from People's Bank in Bridgeport, and the list goes on. I wonder -- why didn't these people run for the Board? How come people of high caliber are willing to serve on the Board of a troubled school system, but are not willing to stand for election for the same Board?  Actually, the answer is obvious, when you think about it. There are very few things most of us would find more unappealing than standing for election in any city in this country.

Second, the Waterbury School system continues to be rocked by the cheating scandal. In case you missed it, Waterbury teachers are suspected of changing student answers on the CMT to improve the scores of the students they failed to teach. The latest reports are that 17 teachers and administrators have been placed on leave. Seventeen! But the State insists that there's no evidence of widespread cheating in Connecticut. I wonder how hard the State is looking for such evidence?

Finally, the Connecticut teachers union made the mistake of posting on their website a power point presentation that was shocking in its self-congratulatory tone describing in detail how the union "succeeded" in denying parents the right to insist on closing or reforming perpetually failing schools. If you'd like to take a look at the power point -- here's a link to it: Parent Trigger Power Point

That seems like enough bad news for today.

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