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Conn. Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor says he's leaving

AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Connecticut’s Education Commissioner has informed Governor Dannel Malloy that he won’t serve a second term should the governor win re-election. Commissioner Stefan Pryor was in charge of implementing the Democratic governor's education reform agenda.

Pryor came under fire from teachers and parents for overseeing that agenda. It included efforts to implement the Common Core education standards, new teacher evaluations guidelines, a program for failing schools, and other changes.

State Senator Toni Boucher of Wilton is the ranking Republican on the Education Committee.  Pryor was trying to do too much too fast, she said.

“He came into this position under very strong direction from Governor Malloy to push education reform. And there was so many of them that right off the bat there was tremendous opposition, and you could feel it. You could feel it locally. You could feel it on the education committee,” she said.

“I see this as a good sign.” said Jonathan Pelto. He’s a former Democratic state lawmaker, who’s now running for governor as an independent because he rejects Malloy’s education agenda. Pelto had opposed Malloy’s hiring of Pryor.  He’s not surprised the move is happening 80 days before the November election, he said.

“One can only assume that it is a political decision. I’m just glad to see that the decision is made and its good news, in fact it’s great news, for Connecticut because if Dannel Malloy gets a second term at least we won’t have Stefan Pryor around to do the damage that he’s been doing,” said Pelto.

Pryor is actively seeking new professional opportunities but there is no set timeline for his departure, Malloy’s office said.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.
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