When push came to shove on public-school reform, we found out who really runs Hartford. And it isn’t the lawmakers at the Capitol

 

It’s the unions.

 

On March 26 it became apparent that the Democratic co-chairs of the General Assembly’s Education Committee surrendered to teachers’ union pressure when they stripped the teeth from the bold school-reform package that had been pushed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

 

Rolling back lifetime tenure for teachers regardless of their performance? Obviously critical to any meaningful reform is the ability of districts to fire lousy teachers.

 

No longer in the bill.

 

State takeover of the lowest performing schools when local boards of education prove unable to make them better? A no-brainer.

 

Gone.

 

That, faced with blowback and threats from unions like the Connecticut Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, the lawmakers blinked first proves this depressing but irrefutable truth: Connecticut’s public schools are run not for the benefit of Connecticut children.

 

They are a jobs program for the politically connected.

 

One can only hope Malloy has the backbone to veto this fatally weakened attempt at critical reform.

NEW HAVEN — The Southern Connecticut State University School of Business is holding its first of what may become an annual “Business Etiquette Dinner” March 6 in the Grand Ballroom of the Michael J. Adanti Student Center. The event is designed to give business students practice in how to handle those business lunches, dinners and other occasions, such as interviews conducted over the course of a meal, when business dons the disguise of pleasure.

 

Some 100 students will sit at tables of eight people and try to be on their best etiquette behavior and not spill sauce on someone’s lap. At each table will be one “authority” figure such as a faculty member, businessperson, etc. who will take note of how the students are doing.

 

 The program also includes a panel discussion on putting your best foot forward when interviewing for a job, plus a presentation on dressing for success.

 

WEST HAVEN — The University of New Haven has introduced a master’s degree program in emergency management — the first institution of higher learning in Connecticut to do so. The new degree program, which commenced in the fall, has some 20 students. Coursework focuses on preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery. The new program was not created in reaction to the freak weather events of 2011, including Tropical Storm Irene in August and an October 29 snowstorm, according to Wayne Sandford, former deputy director of the state’s Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security, who runs the UNH program. Sandford added that most students in the program and professionals in the field of emergency management.