Tag Archive | "Dannel Malloy"

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Quinnipiac Poll Shows Foley Leading Malloy in Gubernatorial Race

HARTFORD — Eight weeks before the gubernatorial election, Connecticut voters are thinking Republican candidate Tom Foley would do a better job than Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
That’s according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released on Wednesday. The poll shows Foley leading with 46 points to Malloy’s 40– when asked who would do a better job at handling the economy/jobs.
Hartford-VotersFoley leads 82 to 9 percent among Republicans and 48 to 35 percent among independent voters, while Malloy takes Democrats 77 to 10 percent, the poll finds.
However, Malloy has a 45 to 38 percent lead with women. And Foley has a 54 to 35 percent lead among men.
But it’s too early to call this race, said Douglas Schwartz, PhD, director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
“In our first likely voter poll, Tom Foley has the edge but Gov. Dannel Malloy is certainly within striking distance,” Schwartz said. “Foley has a double-digit lead among the key swing group, independent voters. With eight weeks until Election Day, there are 6 percent undecided and another 30 percent who say they could change their mind.”
Schwartz added that Malloy’s difficulty is that he has a high negative favorability rating, 53 percent as opposed to Foley’s negative favorability rating of 33 percent.

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Williams to Malloy and Pryor: This is not a Test

By Yohuru Williams

With the effort to convert the Clark Elementary School into yet another Charter school in Hartford by the apostles of market driven education reform intensifying, there is now more than ever the need for statewide collaboration and action against the other venomous serpents formed from the Medusa’s head of such so called reform efforts in Connecticut. These include the adoption of Common Core State Standards, the teacher evaluation system aligned with student assessments, the promotion of charter schools, and inclusion of Teach for America educators in high needs, impoverished school districts. Each in its own way has contributed to the current crisis in public education in Connecticut, and will continue to exacerbate achievement gaps rather than close them.

Yohuru_WilliamsConnecticut politicians have played a critical role in bringing about this crisis. Along with promoting so-called reformers like outgoing Hartford Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto and the equally divisive outgoing Superintendant in Bridgeport Paul Vallas, Governor Malloy and State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor eagerly embraced the Common Core State Standards as the panacea for boosting student performance. The preliminary results, as anticipated, have been less than stellar. The announcement of this year’s NAEP scores, which still showed Connecticut at both the top and bottom of the mountain, is a the-hartford-guardian-Opinionstrong indictment of the problems associated with this approach. While Malloy and Pryor tried to make the case for vast improvement, in Math at least, the gains were negligible with the state improving from a score of 242 in 2011 to 243 in year 2013. In the area of the achievement gap between white and minority students the results were more telling with Black and Hispanic students scoring just 14 percent and 19 percent respectively, while White and Asian students scored 58 percent and 64 percent.

With the persistence of such a wide achievement gap, one would hope that state officials would be moved to reassess their current prescription for reform. It would be a welcomed change if, in the process, state officials also looked to the state’s teachers as an authoritative voice and invested in them as  a resource to help solve these problems. They, of course, are the ones who work with Connecticut learners every day. They are the researchers, organizers, and educational consultants who have dedicated their lives to our public schools.

I suspect the reason politicians have avoided this approach is because they do not want to deal with underlying issue of poverty that remains at the root of the problem in public education, especially in urban school districts like Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stamford. To invest equitably in all schools would require a true examination of the state’s zip-code apartheid.

It would also require politicians to investigate the solutions offered by teachers themselves including smaller class sizes, greater opportunities for professional development, the restoration of programming in music and the arts, and the flexibility to explore new interventions through the scholarship of teaching and learning. To address a heterogeneous population of youth including English language learners, they have adopted a homogenous assessment through high stakes testing and teacher evaluation. This is unlikely to provide any knowledge to help us reform schools.

Furthermore the insistence that untrained “teachers” from Teach For America can be the engine for this change is absurd and especially pernicious. Rather than ensuring that recruits have the opportunity to prepare for instruction by taking real education classes and working with veteran teachers, TFA opts for a five week training program that would not satisfy even the most cursory of professional credentialing bodies. Youth in urban schools deserve highly trained and qualified professionals and if political leaders in Connecticut believe this to be true, they will invest in resources that attract and keep the most highly trained and qualified professionals to these districts.

It also does not bode well for increased student performance—unless learning outcomes are limited strictly to student performance on standardized tests. In recent years, cheating scandals related to the adoption of high stakes testing-ushered in by market driven educational reform rocked Florida and the District of Columbia. Connecticut joined their ranks just last week with the revelation that someone tampered with dozens of Connecticut Mastery Tests administered at Betances Early Reading Lab School in Hartford earlier this year. Is this the model we wish to emulate?

Governor Malloy and Stefan Pryor, this is not a test. Connecticut teachers are among the best trained in the nation and are more than prepared to meet the challenge of reshaping the educational landscape. They must however have a voice and a seat at the table. The best teachers know that the greatest way to reach students is through listening to them and through building relationships to promote achievement. The same should be true for politicians in Connecticut. The future of Connecticut’s youth is at stake. Prove your sincerity in bringing about real change by having the courage to return to the drawing board with your best resources. Initiate dialogue with your primary stakeholders in this struggle: the parents and teachers of this state. Look to the Universities and Colleges in Connecticut for assistance – there is tremendous potential for what can be done to improve education. Blaming teachers for the social ills that come with poverty is too easy a scapegoat.

If you really believe in education, you’ll find better a way to invest in the local, professional resources we already have in Connecticut.

Yohuru Williams, Ph.D. is Chair and Professor of History at Fairfield University. Follow him on Twitter@YohuruWilliams

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Dan Malloy Fresh Off Tuesday’s Victory: “I’m A Closer “

By Ann-Marie Adams and Evan Lawrence, Staff Writers.

HARTFORD —  Fresh off a decisive victory over his challenger Ned Lamont, Democratic-nominated Dannel Malloy on Wednesday faced a room full of eager journalists, wanting to know how he came from behind in the polls and engineered a commanding lead in the primary election.

“I’m a closer,” Malloy said, matter of factly at his Hartford-based headquarters. “I’ve been saying this all along. We stayed on message, and the people of Connecticut decided who has the experience to do the job.”

About 20 percent of Democratic voters had their say on Tuesday, and Malloy captured 105,203, or 58 percent of the vote over Lamont’s 77,521, or 42 percent of the votes.

Up until Tuesday morning, Malloy trailed in the polls. But as results rolled in Tuesday night, he pulled ahead, winning by a surprising margin because the former Stamford mayor was outspent by millionaire businessman, Lamont.

Days leading up to the yesterday’s Democratic primary, many city delegates said they knew they had picked a winner at the state convention in May.

“Hartford went for Malloy at the convention,” said Sean Arena, a delegate. “We knew he’d be good for Hartford, just like how he was good for Stamford.”

On Tuesday, they were ready for a victory party as they awaited news of the latest polling numbers.

Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman on Tuesday greet supporters at City Steam, Photo by Evan Lawrence

Vice President of the AFSCME and Political Action Committee Chair Chuck Flynn agreed. He said Malloy has lots of municipal experience and maintained a budget every year in Stamford. So he was confident Malloy can do it in Hartford, too.

That sentiment echoed throughout the room shortly after 8 p.m. as hundreds packed  City Steam Restaurant downtown Hartford. There  were many of Malloy’s long-time supporters. The majority of the people seemed to be middle- aged, working class people. A number of black supporters sprinkled the primarily white crowd. And many college students dotted the room. The big issue for those students was  jobs after graduation.

Hannah Brown, a student at Boston University, said job availability in the state was a big issue for her, but she also liked Malloy’s energy and transportation policy.

“He was willing to go greener,” she said.

Mike Piersall, a University of  Connecticut student, said he gravitated toward  Malloy’s ticket because he outlined specific plans, “gave cold hard facts” on policies and how they would implement them.

Nancy Wyman, Malloy’s running mate for lieutenant governor, captured 110,749 or 63 percent of  the votes compared to Lamont’s running mate, Mary Glassman’s 63,863 ,or 37 percent of the votes.

When Malloy and Wyman, entered the room at City Steam, the crowd erupted.

Malloy’s speech touched on transparency and accountability to voters.

“I want to start by saying if I’d known it was going to turn out this way, I would have gotten a bigger room,” he said.

The crowd went wild.

Listen to audio of Dan Malloy’s victory speech:

Here’s a run down of the Tuesday night’s events at City Steam.

8:00 P.M. – Polls close. City Steam is empty save a few reporters and a couple of early show supporters.

9:00 P.M.- The room has now filled up with Malloy’s supporters. Everyone is drinking, eating and conversing with another. There is no tension to the room, though in talking to people everyone is a little bit nervous about tonight. There are cheers when Malloy’s name is flashed on the TV screen.

9:18 P.M.- The voting count is at 26 percent. Malloy has 58 percent and Lamont has 42 percent.

9:21- A small eruption of cheer. People look around confused trying to figure out why as rumors of Lamont’s concession begin to float.

9:29- The official word. Ned Lamont has conceded.

9:48- The room breaks out into cheer as Lamont comes onto the TV and delivers his concession speech. Smiles can be seen throughout the crowd as people gather to watch.

9:51- Malloy and Wyman enter the room and it is as if a small bomb has gone off. He walks through a sea of supporters hugging, kissing, shaking hands with all of them. The room is electric. Hooting, hollering, and cheering are at the highest volume and does not cease until Wyman takes the stage.

9:55-  Wyman takes the stage and delivers her victory speech.

10:01- Dan Malloy takes the stage and once again the room goes crazy. Throughout his speech the room’s volume goes up and down from quiet to concert. You can really feel how excited everyone is.

Additional reporting by  Brad Palmer.

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