With a rudderless Mayor, the CT Post is reporting “Frustrated city residents clear their own streets,” “Dig-out continues; more schools, roads closed” and “Some roads may not be plowed till Sunday, state calls for volunteers.”
Meanwhile, Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools, Paul Vallas whines about needing more time to force kids to practice taking the Connecticut Mastery Tests. As the CTPost’s Linda Lembeck writes, “The last thing Bridgeport school officials say they want is for students to miss two weeks of school before state standardized testing that starts March 1. But that just may happen. Interim Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas said Monday he has reached out to the teacher’s union to see if it would consider switching a scheduled Feb. 18-22 winter vacation with the three to five days students will miss this week because of the blizzard cleanup. At the same time, Vallas said he has asked state officials to consider changing the testing schedule for the Connecticut Mastery Test and Connecticut Academic Performance Test.”
What an extraordinary statement – this isn’t about losing instructional time. That will be made up regardless. This is about having enough “practice time” so that students will get a few points higher on meaningless standardized tests.
Well not meaningless, considering the test scores are the core of the education reformers warped sense of success.
Meanwhile, the CT Post (and Vallas) are silent when it comes to Vallas’ use of no-bid contracts and the resulting waste of time and taxpayer funds.
For those who missed this post over the weekend, here it is again.
Paul Vallas’ No Bid Contract with the Public Consulting Group
It is a familiar tune.
When Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas arrived in Bridgeport, he quickly signed a series of no-bid contracts.
One was with the Public Consulting Group (PCG), a company that he had done business with when he was the CEO of the Chicago School System and again when he was the CEO of the Philadelphia Schools. In fact, PCG even features the Chicago and Philadelphia projects on its website.
Word of the contract came when a memo arrived from Team Vallas announcing that the school system would be dropping the software that the Bridgeport Schools had been using for their special education program. Gone was the software program called Clarity and special education teachers, guidance counselors and others would be using the Public Consulting Group’s software package, called EASY IEP.
The memo didn’t explain why Vallas had chosen to make this big shift, it just instructed teachers and guidance counselors that the change was being made.
Additional memos went out, payments were made, and even more memos went out.
July 1, 2012 rolled round, but no EASY IEP
September 1, 2012 rolled around, but no EASY IEP
October, November, December and still no EASY IEP
Below are a few of the Wait, What? updates on the issue
January and February … still no EASY IEP.
Now Paul Vallas has announced he wants his contract extended another year.
The Bridgeport Board of Trustees is going through an evaluation process. Superintendent Vallas reports that he has done an outstanding job. On January 30, 2013 Vallas even provided the Board of Education with an eight page self-assessment that would be the envy of any administrator in the nation.
Of course, there was no mention of the dozen no-bid contracts that are costingConnecticut and Bridgeport taxpayers $12 million and counting.
There was no mention of the no-bid contact with the Public Consulting Group (PCG).
There was no mention of the fact that when it comes to tracking special education students, teachers are still using the Clarity Software and that as of February 11, 2013 there is still no sign of the software known as EASY IEP.