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Achievement First forerunner to head CT schools

September 7, 2011

Connecticut wants the co-founder of Amistad Academy to run its public education department. The charter school was the first in what is now a network of charter schools looking to move into Rhode Island.

Stefan Pryor currently serves as a deputy mayor in the city of Newark, N.J, and has worked as a policy and business development advisor in New Haven and New York. Pryor was expected to be recommended as the new education commissioner for the Nutmeg State at a meeting Wednesday.

The group Achievement First has replicated the Amistad Academy model in several schools in both New York and Connecticut. The group’s attempt to open charter schools in Rhode Island has been controversial, with the State Board of Education voting not to endorse the proposal because of objections raised by some parents and elected officials.

Governor Lincoln Chafee has suggested that Achievement First move its proposed school from Cranston to Providence and re-submit the application. Chafee has promised to visit Achievement First schools in Connecticut, where proponents say they have a good track record of raising test scores for urban students.

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