Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks to an audience after taking the oath of office, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, inside the William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, Pool) Jessica Hill / AP
Gov. Ned Lamont makes a point. mark Pazniokas / ctmirror.org

OK, so Ned Lamont isn’t FDR. He hasn’t yet passed 15 bills. His toll and regionalization proposals became toxic issues. Stevie Wonder could see that coming. But he put it out there anyway, largely because our states to the south (New York) and north (Massachusetts) have been able to pull themselves out of fiscal doldrums by adopting the very same strategies.

So let’s give him credit for what he has done.

Even before he was governor, Lamont helped to secure Infosys’s investment in Hartford, which has honestly struggled to get new, big corporations to say yes to making the city home  – although as a resident I appreciate the insurance companies’ financial commitment and Stanley Black & Decker’s much-welcomed presence.

He has ensured the most diverse administration in some time, which matters as the state’s demography changes. He walked the talk in terms of the importance of teachers of color as a means to close the state’s shameful achievement gap by proposing legislation that would do just that. And he worked his networks to secure a $100 million investment from the Dalio Foundation to support Connecticut educators and students. I’d call those Xs in the win column.

Lamont’s style of pressure-testing ideas, assembling a table that includes diverse voices, and getting his influential friends to buy into the Nutmeg State deserves affirmation.

No, he isn’t FDR. Maybe he’s just Ned. Can’t that be enough for now?

Andréa Comer lives in Hartford.

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5 Comments

  1. Lamont is a clueless imitator who doesn’t know how to marry assets to need… He neglects developmental space and the labor transportation options of underdeveloped cities, such as (especially Bridgdeport and Waterbury and instead looks to overcrowded Stamford transit, Hartford political action proximity,and New Haven Yale false boosting power…) Looks Malloy II. He’s persversating in Dan Malloy quicksand policy. Timevforcaccoil change…

  2. “He has ensured the most diverse administration in some time …” Diversity for the sake of diversity does not matter as much as capability to get the job done. Only time will tell on that score.

    “He walked the talk in terms of the importance of teachers of color as a means to close the state’s shameful achievement gap by proposing legislation that would do just that.” Where is the effort to get to the real cause of the achievement gap? Is it simply the race of the teachers, or might it have more to do with the students’ parents?

    “… he worked his networks to secure a $100 million investment from the Dalio Foundation to support Connecticut educators and students.” While VERY laudable, that $100M will disappear in a heartbeat into black hole of education funding, and its dispersal will hardly, if at all, be noticed in raising the achievement gap.

  3. (Edited/rewritten — from below)
    Lamont is a clueless imitator who doesn’t know how to marry assets to need… He neglects developmental space and the labor/transportation options of underdeveloped cities, such as (especially…) Bridgdeport and Waterbury, and instead looks to overcrowded, transit-compromised Stamford, and totally dysfunctional Hartford, because of Gold Coast, hegemony-facilitated tax-base greed, and political action proximity, respectively, in these cases, and to dysfunctional New Haven because of Yale’s presence and ability to raise his political profile… Ned Lamont is approaching Connecticut with a politically-jaundiced, regionally-prejudiced eye, and is displaying economic -development cluelessness in regard to the state as a whole, otherwise… Lamont is just Malloy $ and a smile, and with an abundance of political and social naivete. His economic development policies aren’t even recognizable as such, and it can be observed that he is displaying perseverative behavior, with respect to maintaining Dan Malloy’s policy of rebuilding Connecticut’s economic base on a foundation of ill-considered, regional-preference quicksand. It’s already time for a change in the governor’s office… If we’re lucky, maybe he’ll commit political suicide and try to run against Blumenthal for his senate seat in 2020…

  4. In thinking about the achievement gap locally, it is useful to consider national trends in average test performance for students who take an internationally recognized test, such as the SAT, for example.

    As indicated in the table, below, the All Student average for SAT Critical Reading in national samples of examinees, hasn’t changed materially in recent decades—true as well for average scores of groups classified by race/ethnicity, except for Asian-Americans,
    who have closed one reading achievement gap and opened another! They now lead the pack! How did they do it? Quien sabe.

    Table 1. SAT Critical Reading average selected years
    1987 ’97 2001 ’06 ’11 ’15 ’16
    507 505 506 503 497 495 494 All students
    524 526 529 527 528 529 528 White
    479 496 501 510 517 525 529 Asian
    …………………………………. 436 Hispanic
    457 451 451 454 451 448 Mex-Am
    436 454 457 459 452 448 Puerto R
    464 466 460 458 451 449 Oth Hisp
    471 475 481 487 484 481 447 Amer Ind
    428 434 433 434 428 431 430 Black
    SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.(2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001), Chapter 2. SAT averages for college-bound seniors, by race/ethnicity: Selected years,1986-87 through 2010–11 Data for 2015&2016 https://nces.ed.gov/fastfac.. . Note 2016 data were not provided for Hispanic subgroups.

    If SAT averages haven’t changed materially for almost 30 years, despite the effort, time and money expended to improve educational programs for all students, it seems reasonable to assume that we shouldn’t expect any meaningful change in average level of performance in this critically important ability in the foreseeable future.
    Which leads to the $64 question: what if the achievement gap is here to stay? Unless we can find a way to emulate Asian-Americans.

  5. The Governor obviously is in a tough position due the States financial distress. But his only “solutions” so far have been taxes and tolls. Where are his proposals for spending cuts? If he’s such a great negotiator, why has he not seriously attempted to wrest give backs from the overly generous union contracts?

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