This week, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney called for the resignation of Connecticut Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor, claiming that educators “lost faith” in his implementation of the Common Core and new teacher evaluation system.
I would like to know where Senator McKinney is getting his information.
How can McKinney claim “widespread” dissent, when nearly three out of four Connecticut Math, English, Science and Social Studies teachers support the Common Core State Standards, according to a Scholastic study? [Scholastic, Common Core State Standards, Connecticut]
In fact, nearly every teacher survey, including those conducted by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Associations, has concluded that about 75 percent of all teachers are supportive of moving forward with the Common Core. [Edutopia, 1/8/2014]
The new state teacher evaluation system is no different. While there were some concerns about implementing both the new evaluation system and the Common Core at the same time, the State Department of Education has responded to these concerns by rolling back the evaluation system for another year.
A University of Connecticut study found that with proper support and professional development, the new teacher evaluation system could improve student achievement. The study also found that 94 percent of teachers felt that the observations under the new evaluation system were either “somewhat” or “very” valuable to them. [Hartford Courant, 1/2/2014]
Where are all these educators McKinney speaks of that have “lost faith?” Where are these “widespread” complaints?
It’s easy to take political pot-shots at someone in the trenches, who is forced to make tough decisions that will have lasting effects on Connecticut school children. While McKinney is flinging ill-founded accusations, what is he doing to make sure every child in Connecticut gets the quality education they deserve?
Pryor on the other hand, has helped develop programs like the Commissioner’s Network that provide much needed resources to help turn around failing schools. The State Department of Education has provided additional support and funding to eleven schools, including Dunbar and Curiale Schools here in Bridgeport. Almost all the Commissioner Network Schools have seen significant improvements in test scores.
While Pryor’s detractors pander to a loud minority with vague statements and unfounded accusations, I can think of several reasons why Stefan Pryor must stay!
In fact, there are over 21,000 reasons in Bridgeport alone!
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