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Lavielle working to weaken public education

By Elsa Peterson Obuchowski

NORWALK, Conn. – It is no surprise that state Rep. Gail Lavielle proposed an amendment that would allow public schools to opt out of state mandates, and that she supports a bill that would allow public high schools to award credits based on mastery, not time.

Why no surprise?  Lavielle is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The website of Parents United for Public Schools sums up ALEC’s education agenda:  “to privatize education through charters, vouchers, watering down teacher certification, breaking teacher unions, increasing testing, discrediting public schools, and eroding local control.” 

An Education Week article provides more details about ALEC’s education agenda. (Go here to read it.)

In this difficult economy, with America’s students falling behind other countries in proficiency for crucial subjects, we need to strengthen public education, not water it down.

Elsa Peterson Obuchowski

4 comments

Mike Lyons May 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Gail Lavielle has been the strongest supporter of the Norwalk public schools in the state legislature. While our other Norwalk legislators have been silent or have issued meaningless press releases, she has been fighting to end the abysmal mistreatment of Norwalk in the ECS formula. The bill she supported will let wealthy suburban school districts that get practically no State funding off from unfunded State mandates, based on their high performance. It will not in any way affect the Norwalk schools; our lack of funding is the result of upstate Democratic Party politics, not mandates on suburban schools. I commend Gail (who doesn’t even live in Norwalk) for her steadfast efforts on our behalf.

Mike Lyons, Chair
Norwalk Board of Education

Steve Colarossi May 16, 2013 at 1:07 am

Let me briefly echo Mike Lyons’ comments. Gail is dedicated to helping Norwalk’s schools obtain as much state funding as possible so that we can assist all of our children. She has taken a very personal interest in our kids, as is evident by her regularly attending school forums and events (even when they occur outside of her district).

Bryan Meek May 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Elsa would do better to explain just how it waters down teacher cert requirements. How does expanding the potential talent pool of educators work against children’s educational outcomes?

Elsa could also explain who has been running the show for decades while our children have fallen behind. Explain how 100% of Central Catholic’s graduates back in the day went on to college and how less than 50% of NPS graduates do. Then she could explain how explosive property taxes forced parents to enroll in NPS and forego tuitions for the Catholic schools that had to close for lack of enrollment.

Elsa could then explain how a few dozen developed nations have higher literacy rates than we do while spending a fraction on public education. How much more money does Elsa advise we should spend on the same failed approach?

Bravo to Gail for her efforts to bring about real change. The current model is unsustainable.

Peter I Berman May 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm

No area legislator has been more committed by word and deed to supporting public eduction in Norwalk than Gail Lavielle. Criticism of her continuing efforts is completely unwarranted. She is a role model for other legislators.

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