School's out for Vallas
Posted in the Trumbull Forum
#1 Jun 28, 2013
During his short time at the helm of Bridgeport's failing education system, Superintendent Paul Vallas was both hailed as savior and demonized as an arrogant, inflexible dictator.
Now school's out for summer -- and for Vallas.
In a decision expected to rock the city's education system, a Superior Court judge Friday ordered Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas removed from his job.
"This could be disastrous for our education system," said Thomas Mulligan, a city Board of Education member and local lawyer. "If Superintendent Vallas is unable to continue serving, this will mean Bridgeport will have gone through four superintendents in a three-year period --John Ramos, Vallas, the interim superintendent who replaces Vallas and a permanent superintendent."
No interim had been picked as of Friday night.
Although the Board of Education voted Monday to elevate Vallas from acting to permanent status, Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Vallas is not qualified under state law to serve as superintendent.
In her 27-page decision, the judge agreed with critics of Vallas that he had taken a "sham" course to become qualified to serve as superintendent.
"The evidence was overwhelming that from the start, efforts were made to accommodate the appointment of Vallas as superintendent of the Bridgeport public school system at every level," the judge ruled. "The court orders that Paul Vallas be removed from his office."
"Thank heavens we had a forum and justice has prevailed," exclaimed City Activist Carmen Lopez. "This was not a technicality this was a serious matter."
The ruling comes just shy of the two-year anniversary of the state's takeover of the Bridgeport Board of Education and the ousting of the elected board, which was later reversed by the state Supreme Court. Vallas was appointed to the job in December 2011, and he started Jan. 3, 2012.
"I am going to continue to do what I have for nearly 20 years and focus on improving schools for students desperately in need of a better education," Vallas said in an email sent Friday night. "That has to remain our focus despite any other distractions as our students deserve nothing less. I'd like to thank my staff for their hard work in bringing the school system back from the edge of bankruptcy, laying the ground work for improved and sustained academic quality, and for always keeping the best interests of our students as their number one priority, regardless of the challenges."
A number of Vallas' supporters reacted with shocked surprise at the court ruling.
"Only in Bridgeport would the likes of Mr. Paul Vallas not be qualified to serve as superintendent," lamented Board of Education President the Rev. Kenneth Moales. "This ruling crosses the line; Mr. Vallas has proven his commitment to the children of this city."
Moales said a rally is planned in support of Vallas for Monday night. "This ruling will be appealed," he vowed.
"We anticipate a reversal so Superintendent Paul Vallas can continue his great work on behalf of the students of Bridgeport," said Mayor Bill Finch. "We disagree entirely with the substance of judge's decision. We believe it goes against the great weight of facts presented at trial and the applicable law."
Lopez, a retired Superior Court judge, had sued Vallas claiming he had not taken the school leadership program required by the state to become a superintendent for the state's largest city.
Vallas, who never took a graduate education course, was appointed last year by state education commissioner Stefan Pryor to the $234,000 job.
During a hearing before the judge earlier this week Pryor testified he is friends with Vallas and was impressed with Vallas' work at other school districts including New Orleans.
But Vallas lacked a state leadership certificate to serve as a superintendent, a certificate that at the time could only be obtained by completing a 13-month program at UConn.
read the rest....
Since: Aug 10
#2 Jun 28, 2013
Vallas makes more then Finch, both are worthless and hopeless. The students cannot learn until they are safe from the thugs and bullies.
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