Malloy Gives Teachers a Break on Evaluations; Critic Still Finds Fault

Governor Malloy and Rep. Rosa DeLauro

If Gov. Dannel Malloy found a cure for cancer, union toadie/blogger Jonathan Pelto’s blog headline would be, “Millions Die Before Malloy Finally Cures Cancer for Political Gain.”

Governor Dannel Malloy and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro listen as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlines USDA efforts to raise a healthier generation of Americans and highlights efforts to improve school meals
Malloy surprised many this week by significantly slowing a major component of his previously aggressive education reform policy—new teacher evaluations linked to students standardized test scores. He is also forming a working group to study the best way to implement the Common Core State Standards. The plan to spend $1 million in marketing the Common Core has been scrapped.

These adjustments in Malloy’s policy should make the teachers unions happy. They have long complained that Malloy was foisting too much change on them too fast. In a letter to the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, the governor showed he gets it. “We’ve heard their concerns loud and clear, and understand…Too much change all at once impedes teachers’ ability to be effective in their classrooms.”

One would think Malloy’s move in response to teachers concerns would garner props from Malloy critic-in-chief Jonathan Pelto whose blog is dedicated to two things: ripping down Malloy no matter what he does and protecting the status quo in the state’s failing public education system—a system with the biggest achievement gap in the country and a horrendous drop-out rate.

Guess again. Pelto calls Malloy’s common sense modifications, “A bizarre political ploy.” This despite the fact that Republicans watching school reform issues say it isn’t political. quoted Republican state Rep. Tim Ackert as saying at a news conference, “This [Malloy’s changes] isn’t about an election year because that’s every other year for us…This is really about doing our jobs as representatives. Listening to the concerns and then saying, ‘Hey, where are the problems at.” So even politicians who want Malloy swept out of office realize his change of course is not political but Pelto doesn’t. That puts him pretty far out there on the fringe.

Three years into Malloy’s term, Pelto still can’t get over the fact that the governor didn’t come calling, offering Pelto some spot in the administration. It’s common knowledge at this point that the perceived snub is an insurmountable obstacle to clear and fair public policy analysis by Pelto.

Another Pelto-fueled controversy is getting a lot of attention in Connecticut political circles. He is in a battle of words with a 20-something female education reform blogger from Bridgeport. His tactics are getting troublingly personal. Apparently, he emailed the woman’s parents.

Pelto would do well to be very careful here. He is one Google search and one subsequent Facebook message away from being that creepy guy in a wood-paneled basement skeeving out young women.