On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the three top performing states are Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut. You would think that the governors and legislatures of these states would shower praise on their successful educators and schools and protect and strengthen them. But none of these states is immune from the assault on public education by the privatization movement.
The notorious corporate reform lobbying group Stand for Children has pushed to remove due process rights from teachers in Massachusetts and to lift the cap on charter schools. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie speaks of his state’s schools as “failure factories.” In Connecticut, Governor Dannell Malloy hired a charter school founder as state commissioner and has been a darling of the super-rich who fund the privatization movement.
In this post, Jonathan Pelto describes just how closely tied Malloy is to the privatization movement. One of its main advocacy groups is ConnCAN, which is now 50CAN, whose goal is to spread the message about privatization nationwide.
The corporate reformers have Malloy funded his priorities:
“Since Malloy introduced the most anti-teacher, anti-union education reform bill of any Democratic governor in the nation, the corporate reform industry has spent more than $6 million lobbying on behalf of Malloy’s initiatives. One education reform group, A Better Connecticut, which was formed by the present and former CEOs of ConnCAN spent in excess of $2 million television advertisements “thanking” Malloy for his leadership in promoting charter schools and the privatization of public education.
“Malloy has also been going to the corporate education reform industry for campaign contributions.
“Last year Malloy, a held a lucrative fundraiser for the Prosperity for Connecticut Political Action Committee at the home of Jonathan Sackler, the corporate executive who helped finance Achievement First, Inc., ConnCAN, 50-CAN and other education reform organizations. The fundraiser netted in excess of $40,000 for the Malloy related PAC.
“This year the money from the corporate education reform industry has been funneled through the federal and state accounts of the Democratic State Central Committee.
“Malloy’s recent contributions include another $20,000 from Sackler and his wife, at least $15,000 from other members of ConnCAN’s Board of Directors and at least $11,000 from members of Achievement First’s Board of Directors. Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, co-founded Achievement First, Inc. and the larger charter school management company has received a major increase in funding since Pryor took over the State Department of Education.”