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Malloy Ploy: CT Education Commissioner Steps Down to Appease Teachers in Election Year

One of Gov. Dan Malloy's biggest re-election liabilities takes one for the team...or was he shown the door?

Stefan Pryor announced Monday he will not seek another term as state education commissioner and is seeking a new job -- a step that could diminish some of the teacher dissatisfaction with the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as the governor seeks re-election.

"Having served for nearly three fulfilling years as Commissioner, I have decided to conclude my tenure by the end of this Administration's current term and to pursue new professional opportunities," Pryor said in a statement.  "Because I believe it's important to communicate my decision proactively to the Governor and the public, I am doing so now."

[...]

It is not unusual for commissioners to step down after one term, but Pryor's announcement of his intentions now, when it is not known if there will be a second Malloy term, is a sign that he is a liability to the governor's re-election.

Malloy's relationship with teachers has been tense over his approach to education reform and its implementation of the Common Core curriculum standards.

With cover from the state's two largest teachers unions, Malloy in June kicked off "Connecticut Core," the administration's latest effort to quell the political and policy clamor over how Common Core curriculum standards should be implemented.

"Some people would rather concentrate on what divides us. I'd rather look at what divides us and find ways to bring them together," Malloy said at the time.

AFT Connecticut has endorsed Malloy's re-election, but it also sponsored a resolution adopted by the state AFL-CIO that calls for setting credentialing standards for the commissioner of education, a tacit slap at Malloy's commissioner, Stefan Pryor.

If you don't think Pryor's announcement isn't a calculated attempt from team Malloy to make amends with rank and file teachers and union members who are taking a serious look at Jon Pelto, then the embattled governor of New Jersey has a bridge to sell you...

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