Connecticut Education Commissioner Will Step Down
Governor Dannel Malloy's office announced on Monday that Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor will not serve a second term. "I have decided to conclude my tenure by the end of this Administration's term," Pryor said in a statement.
"We have accomplished a lot over nearly three years," Pryor said. "I'm proud of the progress that we've made together. Thanks to the great work of superintendents, principals, teachers, local boards, parents, and advocates, we've laid the groundwork for Connecticut's continuing success in providing a high-quality education to all of our young people -- regardless of income or ZIP code."
Malloy praised Pryor's work, and said in a statement, "In the three years he's led the department, we've taken tremendous steps forward to improve education, with a particular focus on the districts that have long needed the most help. We needed someone who could act as a change agent, and Stefan fulfilled that role admirably."
Malloy said graduation rates have gone up and that Connecticut is making "real progress" in closing the achievement gap.
Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, said Pryor brought a "truly amazing" work ethic to his job. He appreciated Pryor's willingness to phase in a new educator evaluation system, and to grant districts flexibility in testing a statewide assessment system last year.
Jonathan Pelto, a petitioning candidate for governor this fall, also issued a statement on Monday about Pryor's pending departure, calling it a step in the right direction. "As a leading proponent of the corporate education reform industry," Pelto said, "Stefan Pryor and his team of anti-teacher, pro-standardized testing, privatization zealots have done immeasurable harm to Connecticut's public education system."