Surprise, Surprise… State Board of Education approves “special school leadership program” for Vallas

25 Comments

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.”

  • Mgister

    I cannot even pull the words together to react to this nincompoopery.

    Does it count as class contact time for Vallas when he communicates with “Professor” Adamowski?

    After my academic career completely implodes, can I take a quickie, three credit independent study to become a hedge fund manager or edu-consultant or something?

  • buygoldandprosper

    ” Nancy Pugliese, chief of the bureau of educator standards”… what standards?!
    This is a perfect example of the impromptu leadership of Dan Malloy, making it up as he goes along. A fw days ago Comer. Now this?

    ANY educator in this state should be livid and should also consider a new line of work. Dan Malloy has sold out just about everyone and he is shopping for real estate in Stonington while the rest of us pay for his follies.

  • brutus2011

    The new mafia?

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Wait a second Vallas is a liar…………He should definitely get a Semester’s credit in Adam-OW-Ski’s class….BS 101

  • Apartheid First

    What’s next? An honorary doctorate for Vallas from the NEAG school of education at UConn? A chaired professorship for spectacular reformer, Steven Adamowski? A building named after Pryor?
    Besides the outrage of the State Board of Education’s approval of this “fast-track”, individualized degree-program for Vallas, there is the travesty of UConn’s involvement. Perhaps this is payoff for the funds Malloy is proposing to send UConn’s way?

  • Educator

    As a former employee of CSDE I’m suprised that Nancy would attach her name to this nonsense. I considered her to be an honorable professional who took her responsbilities seriously. Why ould anyone in that area cosign this unethcial and inappropriate behavior from the commissioner. As far as UCONN is concerned the value of their product has decreased. How can they require everyone else to meet certain criteria but not him. If I were considering attending UCONN I would tell them I want the vallas treatment so no requriements neccessary!

    • Apartheid First

      Too true about UConn. For a brief moment it looked like they were concerned to elevate the teaching profession by making the education program have stricter entrance requirements, as well as a very comprehensive series of classroom observations, student teaching stints, and clinics. It looks like the pull of school reform profiteering is too strong. (Witness the Renzulli brand.)
      And just look at the way UConn/NEAG is promoting Adamowski by having him “mentor” future school leaders! Outrageous.

      • buygoldandprosper

        UConn is a basketball school. Another $35M spent today for another basketball facility on campus. Lab rats and basketball. And they want to capture the kids who go to MIT!!
        Dan Malloy is John Rowland, lite….

        • msavage

          Have you been to the campus lately? I’ve never seen so many young (students?) people driving around in BMW’s. Is this the kind of student they’re wanting to attract there? Rich, spoiled kids from out of state? Or maybe in-state (Fairfield county?). This isn’t the school that I attended more than 20 years ago, that’s for sure. I hate to say it, but I have no alumni pride.

          • msavage

            And this–another $1.5 billion to expand UConn further. A precious few spoke out against it, having the sense to say that maybe, just maybe, it’s not a very good idea right this moment, in this economy. The rest of the useful idiots just go right along with the flow. Seriously–I’m beginning to think that these people are just plain stupid.

          • msavage

            Seriously, why even bother trying to fight it anymore? The idiots in the legislature
            have just approved another $1.5 billion in borrowing to further expand
            UConn. On top of the $2.3 billion they borrowed, and haven’t yet
            finished paying off, in 1995. Have you been out to the campus lately?
            The new Storrs Downtown is a hideous eyesore that sticks out like a sore
            thumb. Geno Auriemma celebrated the girls’ basketball team’s eighth
            championship win by pointing out what a great party town Storrs is. Atta
            way to set an example for the 18, 19, 20-year-olds under your care,
            Geno! I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so many BMW’s driven by
            20-somethings before in my life. That’s the kind of student they’re
            trying to attract with their multi-billion-dollar finance
            packages–rich, spoiled kids from out of state. It’s not a public, state
            school anymore. Like everything else in this godforsaken country, it’s
            become a for-profit entity. Every few months there’s a new, mass
            slaughter of innocents. Desperate people are setting themselves on fire
            at the neighborhood gas station in Willimantic. The privatizers have
            taken over our public school systems–again, turning them into
            money-making ventures. The sociopaths and the useful idiots have taken
            control of the government at every level–local, state, national. Why
            bother to fight it anymore? What chance do we have?

          • Magister

            Doesn’t UConn have a faculty hiring freeze right now (as they built a 35 million dollar basketball complex), or am I thinking of somewhere else?

          • Apartheid First

            UConn had a hiring freeze, but this year, under who knows what divine signal, they decided it was imperative to hire 100+ new faculty in digital subject areas: mostly in things called “digital humanities” which sounds like an oxymoron (robo-”human”ities?). So, even though most profs cannot define what exactly it is, they did hire an awful lot of people who think that, if it’s not legible on a tablet or audible on a pod of some sort, it’s not worth reading/hearing/remembering/saving.
            Next up is a massive hiring in the–you guessed it!–STEM fields. Thank goddess, because if we did not hire hundreds of new STEM profs all the 5-year old STEM “majors” and specialists would have nothing to study in college.
            Thank you, Bill Gates! and Steve Jobs! and Rupert Murdoch, and all the other cyber deities and rich bastar*s.

          • Apartheid First

            UConn had a hiring freeze, but this year, under who knows what divine signal, they decided it was imperative to hire 100+ new faculty in digital subject areas: mostly in things called “digital humanities” which sounds like an oxymoron (robo-”human”ities?). So, even though most profs cannot define what exactly it is, they did hire an awful lot of people who think that, if it’s not legible on a tablet or audible on a pod of some sort, it’s not worth reading/hearing/remembering/saving.
            Next up is a massive hiring in the–you guessed it!–STEM fields. Thank goddess, because if we did not hire hundreds of new STEM profs all the 5-year old STEM “majors” and specialists would have nothing to study in college.
            Thank you, Bill Gates! and Steve Jobs! and Rupert Murdoch, and all the other cyber deities and rich bastar*s.

          • msavage

            Yep, as Apartheid pointed out–DID have a hiring freeze. Briefly. Part of the “need” for this new $1.5 billion is so that they can do a massive hiring of STEM faculty. Here–here’s an article about the whole, pathetic mess: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/lawmakers_give_uconn_financial_boost/

          • Magister

            I don’t suppose they particularly care that there is already a surfeit of STEM grads who can’t find jobs.

          • buygoldandprosper

            The cars that helped make the Quandt/Goebbel clans rich are a status symbol in Connecticut. That figures, and says a lot. Anyone who owns one should have to spend time in a history class at UConn, if they even teach history. It is a basketball school with something curiously close to an Alsatian as a mascot. Good dogs for keeping the workers in line…

  • buygoldandprosper

    How can anyone take these clowns seriously?!!

    Dan Malloy’s Nutmeg cartel raising the bar only to drop it to new lows for Dan’s hires!

    http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-state-education-board-0416-20130416-1,0,644767.story

    • Apartheid First

      The state of Connecticut has some of the strictest teaching requirements in the US–and the ed programs at UConn and the CSUs are quite stringent when compared to those of other states. Of course there are things that can be done to enhance teaching. Learning how to administer standardized tests and how to analyze and over-analyze data are not things we need to foster (too much of this is ruining education at all levels).
      Most college students–regardless of their major–could use a more rigorous curriculum. That’s why even the Video Gaming and Film Studies majors who go into TFA with their straight A averages are not really helping. And why didn’t the State BoE and Pryor condemn the use of teaching temps when they stated they wished to “beef up” teacher training programs? How do you beef up 5 weeks of practice before on the job immersion?

  • msavage

    UConn–honorable? Since when?

  • Linda174

    All students or professionals pursuing education or administrative degrees should flood the CT Charter Board of Ed, previously known as the CTDOE, for a waiver to skip coursework, student teaching, observations, fees, etc.

    Let us all dial it in remotely to the lawyers, Pryor and Malloy.

    No need to show up for four years anymore.

    Fast track all the unqualified “reformers”, TFA interns/novice temps….
    This is how we close the achievement gap and end the civil right$ i$$ue of our time. See photo of the puppet masters:

  • Castles Burning

    I have become very curious to learn more about Vallas’ academic record. Do we know what degrees (where, when received, and in what subject area) he actually has? Now that the basic requirements have been “waved,” I would like to see how far.

  • Freeda Friend

    Why is it that the lowly teacher has to succumb to countless hours of training and re-training and training some more every time a new supt comes in and changes reading and math programs but the supt has no training beyond fetch, sit, and roll-over?