Surprise, Surprise… State Board of Education approves “special school leadership program” for Vallas
Paul Vallas doesn’t have the credentials necessary to be a superintendent of schools in the State of Connecticut.
Governor Malloy’s “education reform” law included language that would allow Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, to waive Vallas’ certification requirements IF Vallas successfully completed his one year probationary period and completed a school leadership program at a Connecticut institution of higher education.
Last month, the Bridgeport Board of Education voted 5 to 3 to give Vallas a three year contract as Superintendent of Schools in Bridgeport, despite the fact that he had not completed his probationary period or even begun an education leadership program. Soon after he announced that he had enrolled at UConn and would be done by the end of the semester.
Part of the problem was that the State Board of Education had never approved a “school leadership program” as required in Malloy’s law.
According to a story in the CT Post, “The 6-0 approval came with no discussion after the board spent more than a half-hour in executive session to discuss a lawsuit filed earlier this month over Vallas’ credentials to serve as superintendent.”
The CT Post story went on to explain that, “The pathway being created is a narrow exception open only to someone Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor deemed exceptionally qualified, Nancy Pugliese, chief of the bureau of educator standards and certification for the state, said Monday to the state school board.”
The CT Post article went on with, “Developed by the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, the program requires Vallas to complete a curriculum that meets the same standards that exist for all who seek to become school superintendents, but can be completed in a shorter amount of time.”
So on the one hand, the State Department of Education is claiming that, “The pathway being created is a narrow exception open only to someone Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor has deemed exceptionally qualified” while at the same time, UConn is saying that Vallas will “complete a curriculum that meets the same standards that exist for all who seek to become school superintendents.”
UConn is saying that Vallas has to meet the same standards that exist for all who seek to become school superintendents?
Okay, what does a “normal” person need to do if they’d like to get the certification necessary to be a superintendent?
(1) To get your CT-093 certification, you’d have to meet the criteria required for acceptance to UConn’s Executive Leadership Program that is located within the Department of Education Leadership. That program requires students to have “a Master’s degree and a minimum of 15 appropriately related graduate credits beyond Master’s…”
(2) Then, “A committee consisting of UConn faculty will review all applications and select qualified candidates for admissions interviews in March and April.”
(3) And then you’d actually have to complete The Executive Leadership Program which, “is structured using a cohort model, and requires 13 months to complete 15 Credits. Five (5) three-credit courses including an internship (3 credits). Participants can expect to attain their CT-093 certification in one year upon satisfactory completion of this program.”
So “normal” people who want the necessary certification must have fifteen credits beyond a Masters; you must go through a rigorous application process that requires a full faculty review of your application and you must complete an additional 15 credits of course work in the program..
- Plus you need to pay the following tuition and fees:
- A non-refundable $75 application fee.
- A tuition payment of $5,112 per semester for a Connecticut student registering for nine or more credits or $13,266 per semester for an out-of-state student. (Vallas would probably be considered a resident of Illinois).
- A General University Fee of $612 per semester.
- A Graduate Matriculation Fee of $42 per semester.
- An Infrastructure Maintenance Fee of $220 per semester.
- A University non-refundable fee of $13 per semester for taking courses.
- A graduate student Transit Fee of $35 per semester.
- A non-refundable Student Union fee of $13 each semester.
- A deposit of $50 which must be maintained by every registered student.
- A one-time, refundable Cooperative Bookstore payment of $25.
The total cost for an out-of-state student to complete the UConn Education Executive Leadership Program would be in the range of $28,552
Or alternatively you could be Paul Vallas, who apparently DOESN’T EVEN HAVE the fifteen credits beyond a Masters that is necessary for acceptance to the program, but who is considered “special” by Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor.
As the CT Post noted in an earlier article, “Vallas said he has enrolled in a three-credit, semester-long independent study course to become a certified Connecticut school superintendent. It will cost him about $3,881 in tuition and fees, according to university officials. Robert Villanova, an associate research professor and director of the Executive Leadership Program at UConn’s Neag School of Education, who will lead Vallas through the program.”
Almost makes you feel bad for all those normal people out there.
Or, more to the point, so you want to get your CT-093 certification.
Well, as the modern-day phrase goes; “it sucks to be you.”