Bridgeport Superintendent Tapped By Illinois Governor As Running Mate

Posted in the Dixmoor Forum

Comments

Showing posts 1 - 7 of7
Running Mate

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#2
Nov 9, 2013
 
Vallas said Friday, "I will not leave the district suddenly, or in a lurch, but will work with the new board as it searches for a new superintendent, set a timetable and ensure that it is fully equipped to build on the progress the district has made during the past two years."
Vallas has been regarded by many, including state Education Commisioner Stefan Pryor, as a superstar in the world of education reform. It was Pryor, who had worked with Vallas in Haiti, who asked Vallas if he would talk to the state-appointed Bridgeport board in December 2011.
The board opted to hire Vallas, who at one point said he expected that it would take him about a year to turn the district around.
However, the district — although a fraction of the size of others where Vallas has worked — has proved a substantial challenge because of political and educational obstacles.

Just months after Vallas was hired, the state Supreme Court ruled in February 2012 that the state-appointed board was illegal, that previous board members needed to be reinstated and that an election had to be held to fill the vacant seats.

By the fall of 2012, Vallas faced a school board that was polarized with a narrow 5-4 majority in favor of his views. School board meetings were long and contentious, with steady opposition to many of his initiatives.

His critics on the board and in the community saw Vallas' close association with charter schools in previous cities and his private consulting businesses as evidence of an interest in privatizing much of public education.

They also attacked his credentials for the job, saying that a University of Connecticut program that Vallas took to qualify for a waiver to certification was not adequate. A lawsuit was filed by two Bridgeport residents who questioned whether he was qualified to do the job. That matter is currently before the state Supreme Court. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said that the high court might now consider the matter moot.

In last week's election, several candidates who had been critical of Vallas won office — a development that was expected to tip the 5-4 majority to Vallas' critics. The thinking among many was that Vallas would probably be ousted by the new board.

Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, whose party members have wanted to oust Vallas, said in a statement: "It's not surprising Vallas is leaving town. His brand of corporate reform turned out to be toxic, and the voters have rejected him. But the last thing he deserves is a promotion."

Marie Zambrano, executive director of Excel Bridgeport, an education reform group that has supported Vallas' initiatives, said in a statement that although Vallas has been "a polarizing figure, he has helped Bridgeport make important gains."

Zambrano said the district must "select a dynamic leader" who will follow on Vallas' "successes, but also find ways to build bridges in our community."

Earlier this year, the school board gave Vallas a three-year contract, which was to end in March 2016. Thomas Mulligan, a current school board member who has been a Vallas supporter, said the contract allows Vallas to break it with 60 days' notice.

Sauda Baraka, a longtime school board member and critic of Vallas, said, "From my perspective, it's fine, he can leave."

She said: "I think he left a lot of people frustrated. Our district is in disarray.… We have parents who are frustrated because their children aren't getting all of the services they need."
Running Mate

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#3
Nov 9, 2013
 
"Children are taught to the test rather than prepared for careers and higher education," Baraka added. "They know that in their schools a lot is lacking.… I don't think he leaves us very well off. I think we are ready to make the change."

Mulligan, whose term will end Nov. 30, said he doesn't fault Vallas for pursuing the chance to be lieutenant governor in Illinois, but he had been hoping that Vallas would stay for three years.

"I felt we had a talented administrator," Mulligan said. "I think he has been a very good superintendent."

Six months ago, Vallas told The Courant: "I'll stay until I feel we have reached the point where we can safely say these reforms have been institutionalized."

One of Vallas' major achievements, Mulligan said, was to close a significant gap in the district's budget and to present a budgeting process that is clear and transparent.

But Mulligan said that it has been "constant warfare" on the school board and that he hopes that with a new superintendent, the board will be more unified.

Mulligan said the board's reputation for divisiveness could make it difficult to attract top candidates for the position. "If this board becomes more unified and cooperative, I think that could change ... but I do think that the reputation that we currently have will dissuade some talented people from being interested in the job."
The Last Thing IL Needs

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#4
Nov 9, 2013
 
His critics on the board and in the community saw Vallas' close association with charter schools in previous cities and his private consulting businesses as evidence of an interest in privatizing much of public education.

They also attacked his credentials for the job, saying that a University of Connecticut program that Vallas took to qualify for a waiver to certification was not adequate. A lawsuit was filed by two Bridgeport residents who questioned whether he was qualified to do the job. That matter is currently before the state Supreme Court. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said that the high court might now consider the matter moot.

Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, whose party members have wanted to oust Vallas, said in a statement: "It's not surprising Vallas is leaving town. His brand of corporate reform turned out to be toxic, and the voters have rejected him. But the last thing he deserves is a promotion."

Vallas left IL and should stay gone.
Ties

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#5
Nov 10, 2013
 

Judged:

1

Vallas has strong ties to the south suburbs. His family resides in Palos Heights and has remained there while he has taken various school leadership posts around the country. 

Vallas has maintained his legal voting address as his Palos Heights residence, Crain's Chicago Business reported. His wife, Sharon Vallas, is the daughter of former Palos Heights Mayor Dean Koldenhoven.

The family lived in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood during his tenure as CPS' chief executive officer. 

Dean Vallas, Paul's brother and close political advisor, owns a casino shuttle service in Crestwood and the Country House restaurant in Alsip. He resides in Palos Park. 
Not a Good Look

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#6
Nov 11, 2013
 

Judged:

1

First Rahm then Paul.
IL. Democrats really are fed up with all of these sorts of nickel SLICK side deals.
You are making the entire Democratic Party look bad.
More Appointments

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#7
Jan 27, 2014
 
It is highly unlikely the Appointiment of Arthur Bishop to Director of DCFS help Quinn and Vallas elected. State employees are absolutely fed up with Quinn and the party not being truthful.
Stick in the Eye

Chicago, IL

|
Report Abuse
|
Judge it!
|
#8
Jan 28, 2014
 

Judged:

2

1

Faith and trust with Quinn has been broken. His lastest round of appointments will never raise his approval rating. It will take decades to get out of the worse debt he and Madigan have ever delivered to Illinois state employees, working poor, retirees, and taxpayers.

Tell me when this thread is updated: (Registration is not required)

Add to my Tracker Send me an email

Showing posts 1 - 7 of7
Type in your comments below
Name
(appears on your post)
Comments
Characters left: 4000
Type the numbers you see in the image on the right:

Please note by clicking on "Post Comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Other Recent Dixmoor Discussions

Search the Dixmoor Forum:
Topic Updated Last By Comments
Review; Polekatz Gentlemen's Club. (Jul '12) 23 min soled 3
IL Ill. House Approves Legalizing Same-Sex Civil U... (Dec '10) 37 min Chicagobunny 47,068
Badon hires daughter 2 hr Jacko O Really 10
IL Who do you support for U.S. Senate in Illinois ... (Oct '10) 3 hr jimtownhounddogsniffing 6,535
IL Who do you support for Secretary of State in Il... (Oct '10) 3 hr Be kuel 505
the blue island forum (Nov '09) 4 hr mind games 41
More corruption in South Suburbs 5 hr arby 9
•••
•••
•••
•••

Dixmoor Jobs

•••
•••
•••

Dixmoor People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

•••

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]
•••