Paul Vallas: Grow up or get out…

23 Comments

For the second meeting in a row, Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas stormed out of a Bridgeport Board of Education meeting.

Last night, according to the Connecticut Post, “The audience was dwindling. So Vallas and much of his staff got up and left. Vallas said as he left, he wasn’t going to make reports if there was no one there to listen.”

Paul Vallas makes $234,000 plus benefits, meaning taxpayers are paying well in excess of a quarter of a million dollars a year for his services – despite the fact that he has a lucrative private consulting business on the side.

Vallas was hired by the former, illegal, Bridgeport Board of Education after Stefan Pryor, Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, asked him to take the Bridgeport job.  Now he serves the democratically elected members of the Bridgeport Board of Education.

Whether it is arrogance or an anger management problem is unclear, but what is clear is that Vallas apparently lacks the emotional disposition to work in an environment in which the People’s will is represented through a democratically elected board.  (All of his previous positions have been in situations where he worked for a mayor or an appointed board.)

To walk about during a board of education because it is going on too long is beyond unbelievable.

Vallas serves the Board and the Board serves the People – not the other way around.

His duty to provide detailed updates and reports is not for the benefit of the public who may be attending the meeting, although they are certainly welcome to come and hear those reports.  Under Connecticut law the superintendent of schools provides reports because they give the board of education the information it needs fulfill their legal duty to set education policy in that community.

Vallas’ pattern of apparent disregard for the laws and rules that apply continue to grow.  Upon arrival in Connecticut last year, he signed more than a dozen no-bid contracts, in violation of state and local laws.

And since Bridgeport has failed to properly adopt a school budget this year, it appears that Vallas is spending public funds in violation of state law.

The CT Post story – see link below – seems to imply that it was the Board of Education’s fault since they “voted to rearrange the agenda” to take up other issues.  But of course, that is the right of any board, as long as the change is made in a procedurally appropriate manner.

A longer than expected meeting certainly doesn’t provide Vallas with the right to storm out of the meeting or give him the right to take the other public employees that work for the school system with him.

Perhaps the most ironic part of all is that the last item on the agenda – an agenda created by Vallas and the chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education was supposed to be:  12.  New Business: Need meeting to evaluate and consider contract extension of Superintendent

Once again Vallas reveals why he shouldn’t be Bridgeport’s superintendent of schools and certainly should be granted yet another contract extension.

See CT Post story here:  http://blog.ctnews.com/education/2013/01/14/bridgeport-boe-will-still-keep-talking-when-staff-and-audience-walk-out/

  • Luv2Teach

    Arrogant is his middle name! And those who have had the dis-pleasure of seeing him in action, know this quiet well. Vallas has been “visiting” schools and meeting with teachers (for breakfast, which is BYOB because apparently we’re not worth a cup of coffee) His MO is to talk from 8-8:20 and then open it up to the teachers…. which leaves about 12 minutes, because we need to get our students at 8:35. He spends the 20 minutes talking about his greatness and all the things he’s done for Chicago, and New Orleans (which we all know the truth about that:( and when it’s the teachers’ turn, he quickly turns defensive and annoyed. He mentioned at one meeting, during his ramblings, that he is a former History teacher (still haven’t found proof of that), He talks about next year, next year…. well, hopefully he won’t be here next year so what’s the point..? Get OUT and STAY OUT Vallas! The students and teachers of Bridgeport deserve BETTER than this arrogant, short-tempered man who cares NOTHING about our kids and community! Get OUT before you destroy Bridgeport more than you have!! This 2nd round of Benchmark tests are disgusting!!! I am in tears for my kids that are being forced to take these… and now I have to use all my energy to make them feel better about themselves, after this abuse has ended!

    • Sue

      So true. He came to our elementary school and talked about all the wonders he’s done for the high schools.

      We all left wondering if we were high school teachers (and the kids were midgets).

      • Sue

        And then he went to the principal’s office and told her about everybody who had a complaint.

    • Linda174

      BYOB…bring your own bull$hit….he never runs out.

  • Guest

    I have been at board meeting in many places where you could count the audience on one hand, and even have a couple of digits left over Jonathan. I also noticed at those meeting were broadcasted on public access TV. Thank you Jonathan for always keeping them honest, and for keeping the heat on Superintendent Vallas. These special appointments often forget the work for the district not the district works for them.
    Ready to occupy the DOE,
    Jesse

  • http://twitter.com/readdoctor Jesse Turner

    I have been at board meetings in many places where you could count the audience on one hand, and even have a couple of digits left over. I also noticed those meetings were broadcasted on public access TV. Thank you Jonathan for always keeping them honest, and for keeping the heat on Superintendent Vallas. These special appointments often forget they work for the district not the district works for them.
    Ready to occupy the DOE,
    Jesse

  • pureparents.org

    My experience of Vallas from his years of experience is that his behavior is part arrogance, part anger management, and part ADHD. Keep the pressure on him.

  • Andi

    Hmm, sounds like a case of insubordination to me. Or perhaps, if he is too tired to stay for the entire meeting, he needs to decide which of his multiple part-time positions he wishes to devote his full attention to.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Vallas’ demeanor and rude behavior was 100% predictable. His deal was predicated on Finch winning the right to appoint the board. Yes the board is horribly disfunctional, but so is Bridgeport. BUT they are our board and now Vallas does not have a rubber stamp any more.
    He is the Mad Hatter and there are two things he doesn’t like to inerrupt his soliloquies: 1. Someone stopping his stream of BS and outright lies, and 2. Criticism of any kind.
    He is two fries short of a Happy Meal and he will crash and burn at some point and leave the children of Bridgeport in the ashes.
    What is disquieting is the potential funnelling of limited resources to selected suppliers and companies he or his cronies might have ties to. This is Connecticut……..home of Malloy,Ganim and Rowland……and this is Bridgeport….home of PT Barnum who knew a sucker was born every second.
    This guy’s next stop should be Uranus.

    • Apartheid First

      to This is just like Adamowski. He disdains to speak to lowly parents and he ignores teachers as much as possible. But, sadly, Adamowski has the ability to treat people this way, with the full backing of the State–all the way to the Governor and Senators like Williams and Reps like Johnson–because no one in Windham can gainsay him.

      I have no idea if the Board of Education is ready to revolt and speak the truth of the takeover, but Vallas must salivate thinking about such a subservient BoE.

  • msavage

    The country is filled with wounded little man-children who didn’t get what they needed from mommy and daddy and are therefore going through life behaving like dysfunctional, spoiled little tyrants. They manage to attain positions of power because other wounded little man-children are the ones doing the appointing. How much healthier would the U.S. be if everyone were required to participate in at least a nominal amount of counseling to help deal with whatever issues mommy and daddy left them with? What if George Bush, for example, had gotten some counseling instead of working through unresolved issues with mommy, daddy and big brother through his position in the White House? Vallas is just one more wounded little man-child wreaking havoc wherever he goes.

    • jonpelto

      Oh you are so so right!

      Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

    • Apartheid First

      I think the only person in his family that George Bush didn’t have issues with was Molly, the family dog.

      I object to blaming parents for everything… and for suggesting that children do not have some positive impulses and motivations which end up getting squashed by adults…

      When Romeo buys the deadly potion from the Apothecary, he pays him saying, “There is thy gold–worse poison to men’s souls”–I think the petty and not so petty tyrants of School Reform are addicted to that foul poison to men’s and children’s souls.

      • msavage

        I’m having a hard time making sense of your second and third paragraphs/sentences. You object to blaming parents for everything. I wouldn’t suggest blaming parents for everything either. But you cannot ignore the influence that the family of origin has upon a child. No parent is perfect. We all make mistakes. Mistakes that end up hurting our kids in one way or another. Some parents make BIG mistakes that leave BIG wounds. To ignore that fact, and to fail to seek counseling to help sort out those wounds, is gonna lead to dysfunction as an adult. As the child of a parent who desperately needed to get some counseling before having children of her own, I can tell you that failure to seek help for childhood hurts/damage can have devastating consequences for one’s child. It took me

        YEARS of therapy to even begin to discover and heal the wounds that were caused by my very kind at heart, well-meaning, but very wounded mother. I will probably never be done with working on them. I see it as my responsibility, to my own children, to keep at it.

        What does “for suggesting that children do not have some positive impulses and motivations which end up getting squashed by adults” mean, exactly?

        • Apartheid First

          Sorry for the chopped logic. I intended to defend children by criticizing the use of “childish” as an insult… in other words, Vallas is a tyrant, period. I also meant to say that it might be a good thing if Vallas had some child-like qualities.

          That doesn’t mean Vallas doesn’t need therapy and maybe a real job with real work. I am somewhat harried these days. Apologies if any child was slighted, even in theory by my comment.

          • msavage

            No worries. Harried, I can definitely identify with.

    • Linda174

      It sounds like a man-sized hissy fit, but really history is merely repeating itself….just a different city who dared to question and challenge the Emperor.

  • Sue

    Word is that the results of the district wide benchmark test scores are arriving at central office all screwed up. The computers keep stopping and telling students to retake the test. Wonder how they’ll ‘splain this one.

    • Luv2Teach

      This doesn’t surprise me, Especially since the tests keep freezing, kids get bumped off and logged off 2-3 times during the testing time. We even have to tell them what number to stop at, because they can’t find a test that stops where it’s suppose to stop! No teacher manuals or training… It’s a joke and waste of time, energy, resources and money!

  • Sue

    Another item on the agenda was Teacher Absenteeism (with 2 little stars ** next to it). Must have been very important,

  • begtodiffer

    Nothing surprises me anymore with Vallas and his crew. On the day he was to come to our school, he didn’t show up and didn’t even call, reschedule, or apologize, so his message was clear, at least for the teachers. I wish he would go away.

  • tom burns

    Jon–we cant let this continue-please call me 860-227-6668 and I will do whatever it takes to take this imposter down–he doesnt belong in Ct–he is a pariah in a real education state and I am embarassed that we let this imposter fllourish here—–lets stop this self serving individual now–I am the VP of the New Haven Federation of Teachers–what is going on in Bridgeport sickens me–Tom

  • GloriaB

    Rumor has it Vallas wants to leave- so get the Board mad- they will want him to leave and buy out his contract. More money from the people of Bridgeport.