Stefan Pryor, the controversial state Department of Education commissioner who joined the Malloy administration in September of 2011, is looking for a new job. The governor’s office just announced that he will not be seeking a second term, which would coincide with the re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Pryor’s tenure was marked by major changes to student testing and teacher evaluations that turned off many parents and educators. Earlier this year, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney called for his resignation.
“Commissioner Pryor has worked hard and well on behalf of Connecticut students,” said Malloy. “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. And we’re seeing strong results. Graduation rates have gone up each of the last four years, national high school tests show that Connecticut students are leading among participating states in reading and math, and that we are making real progress in closing the achievement gap. It has been a pleasure working with Stefan.His energy, intellect, and work ethic are exemplary. I wish him well in his next endeavor, and I want to thank him for his service.”
“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’s been a true honor to serve this Governor, the State Board of Education, and the people of Connecticut as Commissioner of Education. Despite the admittedly long hours and the tremendous challenges, I have enjoyed this job thoroughly. We have accomplished a lot over nearly three years. The work has not always been easy but, start to finish and top to bottom, it has been extraordinarily worthwhile. 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.”
I want to thank the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the State Board of Education for giving me this chance to serve. I’m forever grateful.”
Subsequent announcements will be made regarding Commissioner Pryor’s plans and his transition period as new information becomes available.