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Malloy: 80 Percent of the $$$ to the Worst Schools

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy keyed in on education during his State of the State speech, saying school reform is imperative for economic growth.

Editor's note: More information on Malloy's proposed education reform has been added to this article, as well as a poll.

Asking for boldness and big ideas, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy urged lawmakers and business owners to come together and commit to "nothing less than a full-scale economic revival."

One of the main elements of Malloy's plan involves reforming schools to allow incentives for the best teachers, to restructure tenure so that it has to be continually earned and to provide more money to troubled schools.

"Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away," Malloy said in prepared statements made available to the press. "I propose we do it a different way. I propose we hold every teacher to a standard of excellence."

"We cannot and will not fix what's broken in our schools by scapegoating teachers. But nor can we fix it if we do not have the ability to remove teachers who don't perform well in the classroom in a timely fashion," he said. "In this new system, tenure will be a privilege, not a right. It will be earned and retained through effective teaching, not by counting years of service."

Cash Going to the Lowest-Performing Districts

Under his proposed $128 million education agenda, 80 percent would go to the worst districts. In order for the schools to get the money, districts would have to "embrace key reforms," with tenure changes being one of them.

Malloy's plan includes allocating $40 million to newly established "alliance districts" that would be made up of 30 of the state's lowest-performing school districts.

To receive funding, each alliance district would need to successfully implement a reform plan subject to approval by the state Department of Education.

In the proposed plan, no town in the state would receive less funding from 2011-12 levels but the bulk of the money would go to the alliance district schools.

Looking Ahead

In ten years, Malloy said he sees Connecticut -- which has the largest achievement gap in the US -- as a leader in biosciences, precision manufacturing and a "Mecca for digital and sports entertainment."

He acknowledged detractors in his closing comments, saying that cooperation is necessary.

"Some people will surely say an economic revival is beyond our grasp, that I'm asking too much, that I'm setting an expectation that is too high. They'll say we should be content to just make progress," Malloy said.

"I say those people are dead wrong."

Pam Landry contributed to this report.

What do you think about Malloy allocating 80 percent of his proposed $128 million education agenda to school districts with low achievement? Tell us in the comments and vote in our poll below. 

Charles Cornwallace February 08, 2012 at 10:51 PM
LOL. The plan is to make you beg for the cure. Create the problem and then offer the cure.
Patrick Lipp February 08, 2012 at 11:19 PM
i think it's partly money. We certainly don't have equal education in Connecticut because of property taxes funding the highest taxed towns. that should be addressed.. Maybe we should just close some of these schools and move the students to schools where other students are accomplishing the needed work and studies to succeed later. Perhaps this would help with gangs, also. another idea is to make schools relavent to the students. Instead of closing Tech Schools we might have more of them in the areas where the low performing schools are located. Since many medical fields are open to HS graduates as well as clerks and possibly other careers not needing college this would give the students a achievable goal.
Gabriel Kotter February 09, 2012 at 02:05 AM
One of my old students, Vincent Barbarino just shared this with me and asked that I pass it along: “What Connecticut lacks is equilibrium. We should try to stabilize the distribution of connecters by increasing the amount of used Christmas trees that are wastefully tossed to the Long Island Sound each year. This might also assist with the gang problem in the state because it is empirically proven that gangs like the scent of pine and, not knowing where to look for it, they will be effectively neutralized and forced to return back to working for hedge funds or they may even choose to return back to college and get an associate’s degree in celebrity party planning. I also believe that the redistribution of property taxes to cities that pay less is a worthy consideration and may work even better if the ‘Haves’ are forced to endure soundless viewings of the Twilight Zone while the Librivox audio version of Capital read by Carl Manchester can be played into their ears in its entirety. FYI: when they tried the displacement thing with gangs in Connecticut prisons, the gangs became networked and spread throughout the State. When you expose the functioning classrooms to dysfunctional students – guess what happens?” What do you want me to say? Writing was never one of his strong points.
Jason Bagley (Editor) February 09, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Here are a few comments coming from the Stratford Patch Facebook page: Matt DeBernardo: "sounds like a bad investment." Bobby Stefanik: "I liked the part about record increases in subsidised housing... such an incentive....to be lazy" Robert Antonelos: "All the money in the world will not help a student who's parent or guardian does not take an active role in their education. I agree bad investment. Reward the students that work hard. Maybe the parents will learn about causality" http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
Jason Bagley (Editor) February 09, 2012 at 02:16 AM
And a couple more: Bonnie Reynolds: "so sad you think the majority of people in subsidized housing are lazy. It is just not true. One of my favorite and most wonderful clients was a woman who moved out of subsidized housing and was able to buy a home for her and her children. I have a friend who is unemployed now for 3 years and would need help with housing if she did not have family able to help her, does this make her lazy? I think not! It is never a bad investment to make sure all children have access to a good education!" Sharon DeBernardo: "Thank God my kids are no longer in the Conn public schools and hopefully they'll escape before they have children of their own. We've already "dumbed down" our honors classes, taken away opportunities from bright students so others can "catch up". In a race, the only way that you can even things out is to intentionally slow down the best and brightest. Yes, all children deserve a good education, but not at the expense of others."
Dom DeCicco February 09, 2012 at 06:36 AM
They are depressed and lazy -- not all, but most I would say. They have been hit with the welfare stick. That could change. They could learn new skills and be off and running in no time.
Tom February 09, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Sharon -- well said my freind, well said. I count the years that are remaining.
Edward Bernays February 09, 2012 at 03:53 PM
You have to make the people want something so bad that they feel as if they cannot go on without it. This is done by pairing what it is you wish to force on them with visuals of things that they cannot reasonably have – such as a new car or even a pretty girl or good looking guy. Subliminal, If they can’t get one, they will certainly go into debt to get the other. We all would like to see every student perform well -- so you pair it with an INDUSTRY. Sub ligation: something that is used for binding things or tying things up. In this case, INDUSTRY and EDUCATION. Propagated effectively the engineered will barely be able to separate the one from the other.
ann stockman February 09, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Important for parents or guardians to take an active role in the students' education and life development. A strong motivation to middle and high school students to participate in a positive way in the community is to feel that they are cared a bout and belong: Cultural equity in education staff and adult role model speakers will increase interest and co-operation of students and parents or guardians. Like Patrick's suggestion to have Tech schools in low-performing areas. Students may work harder if they receive Positive Re-enforcement and Support from parents and a more equal cultural teaching staff.

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