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In Reelection Bid, Pro-Common Core Gov. Dannel Malloy Says He Wants to Cut Time Students Spend Taking Tests

In Reelection Bid, Pro-Common Core Gov. Dannel Malloy Says He Wants to Cut Time Students Spend Taking Tests

After embracing the Common Core standards and their associated testing in his state, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-WFP) is now up for re-election in November and says he wants students in Connecticut to spend less time taking tests.

According to the Stamford Advocate, Malloy asked the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Friday to consider that high school juniors who are taking SATs, ACTs, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams are also now asked to take the new Common Core-aligned multi-state standardized tests developed by the two federally-funded consortia.

Connecticut belongs to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), and the required additional testing led to an uproar by many of the state’s parents.

“I am eager to explore solutions for the students who may be our most overtested: our 11th graders,” Malloy said in his letter to the USED.

According to the Advocate, a USED spokeswoman said the department had not yet had time to review Malloy’s request.

The Hartford Courant reported that Malloy’s way of addressing the problem of student testing time was to assemble a “Connecticut working group” of education officials and outside experts to work on the problem.

Malloy and outgoing state education commissioner Stefan Pryor also announced Friday that school districts may begin applying in October for grants to reduce the amount of time students spend taking tests at all grade levels. Up to $500,000 in grant funding will “support local efforts to eliminate tests that are outdated and do not contribute to student learning – thereby increasing classroom time for teaching…”

Malloy’s request for less testing for high school juniors comes as he defends his record on all fronts in a rematch with his main gubernatorial opponent Tom Foley (R), as well as from progressive blogger and anti-Common Core activist Jonathan Pelto, who was unable to win enough signatures to appear as an independent candidate for governor on the ballot, and from Republican conservative Joe Visconti, who did qualify as an independent gubernatorial candidate.

According to a blog post at the New Haven Register, Foley says he will have to meet with teachers, school board members, and administrators before he decides whether as Governor, he would recommend Connecticut stop implementing the Common Core standards.

Visconti and Pelto are clearly against the Common Core standards. In his blog post for September 8th, Pelto wrote:

After wasting tens of millions of taxpayer funds instituting his massive Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Coalition (SBAC) tests, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy has now said that he wants “to reduce the time Connecticut students spend taking standardized tests” and has even come up with $500,000 in grants to hand out to schools to help them figure out how to undo the very plan he pushed through…You gotta love election years!

A Rasmussen survey released several weeks ago showed Malloy trailing Foley by seven points, but Quinnipiac University describes the race as a toss-up.

“I’m glad the quote-unquote education governor is finally catching up with parents and Connecticut boards of education on this issue,” Greenwich Board of Education member Peter Sherr, a Republican, said regarding Malloy’s sudden concern about student testing. “To me, this is consistent with the incredibly botched introduction and implementation of education reforms during the Malloy administration.”

Stamford Board of Education member Julia Wade said, for students, testing has become a part of their lives.

“It’s what they do,” she said. “They just see it as another thing to get through.”

“This is a good politician addressing the concerns of his constituents: the parents,” Wade added.

Jessica Chiong, a Connecticut parent-activist who is opposed to the Common Core standards, told Breitbart News Malloy is trying to deceive parents with his recent supposed concern about student testing time.

“He wants to move forward with the Common Core education reform but wants to cut down on testing?” Chiong asked. “If he is going to allow Common Core to get the funding for it, he will have to abide by the rules of the federal government.”

“This is smoke and mirrors and Malloy is trying to ‘pacify’ parents and teachers,” Chiong continued. “It’s not going to work.”

“We opted our kids out of the SBAC because that was our only way of showing Malloy we do not agree with Common Core,” she added. “So Malloy can try to pacify us but it’s not going to work. We are opting out of anything we can related to Common Core.”

“He can’t say one thing about going forth with Common Core and then say we don’t need to test them on it,” Chiong said. “That’s just hypocrisy and it goes to show he has no idea what he is doing and he has no place messing with our children’s education.” 

As Breitbart News reported in June, Malloy announced that he would be including additional funding for implementation of the Common Core standards. The state education department would allot $2 million from its existing budget for professional development for language arts and math instruction, and an additional $10 million, to the $24 million already allocated, for school technology upgrades to support transition to the Common Core.

The $10 million for school technology upgrades were to be added to the state Bond Commission agenda.

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