FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) is calling on Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor to resign.
“Commissioner Pryor’s chief assignment was to implement Governor [Dannel] Malloy’s education reform initiatives, including Common Core and teacher evaluations, and he has failed," McKinney said in a release Tuesday. "By choosing to implement these new programs with limited input from teachers and on an overly ambitious schedule, both the governor and the commissioner have lost the confidence of parents and educators across our state.
"The rollout has been met with confusion and frustration by teachers, administrators and parents."
McKinney represents the 28th District, including Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He has announced he is seeking the Republican nomination to run for governor.
“As we take a step back and reassess the implementation of education reform in Connecticut, I feel it is imperative to do so with new leadership," McKinney said in the release. “This time, the department must listen to parents, teachers, administrators and students, and learn from the examples, both good and bad, of state’s that began the implementation of Common Core before us.
“There is a national debate on the effectiveness of the new common core curriculum, the smarter balance tests that accompany the new curriculum, and their eventual effect on the evaluation of teachers. No matter where one stands on these issues, it is clear to me that successful education reform needs be accomplished through new leadership that earns the respect of those most affected by such major changes – parents, teachers, and administrators.”
Mark Ojakian, Malloy's chief of staff, released the following in response to McKinney.
“Time and again, Sen. McKinney has proven that there is literally nothing he won’t say if he thinks it will bring him press attention," Ojakian said in the statement.
"While the administration is working with teachers and parents to improve public education, John McKinney is working to further his political ambitions by scoring political points at the expense of Connecticut’s children. It’s beneath his office and, frankly shameless, even for him.”