Update: Vallas out because he lacked the qualifications necessary to be superintendent

Despite the best efforts of Governor Malloy, Commissioner Pryor, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport Board of Education Chairman Kenneth Moales and Paul Vallas himself, the issue they simply couldn’t overcome was the fact that under Connecticut law (even after it was changed to try and accommodate Vallas), Vallas was unwilling or unable to do the things necessary to meet Connecticut law.

Perhaps the most telling moment came when Paul Vallas whined that asking him to be certified to serve as superintendent of schools was like asking Michael Jordan to become certified to coach basketball.  What Vallas refused to understand was that if Michael Jordan wanted to coach basketball at a Connecticut public school he would have needed to become certified for the job.

ConnCAN, the charter school advocacy group is calling the violation of Connecticut law nothing more than a technicality

They, along with Malloy, Pryor and Vallas seem unwilling to accept the notion that we are a nation of laws.

There are 45,000 certified teachers and more than 8,000 certified administrators.

Governor Malloy added language to his “education reform” bill to make it much, much easier for Paul Vallas to serve as Superintendent and still Vallas and his ally, Commissioner Stefan Pryor, refused to take the steps necessary to meet the law.

The arrogance and sense of entitlement was evident in the embarrassing, pitiful testimony Vallas and Pryor provided in this court case last Monday.

In the coming days we’ll review the story in greater details, but for now, those interested in this issue should read the Connecticut Post’s story about the case, which can be found here: Connecticut Post: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/School-s-out-for-Vallas-4637246.php and the CT Mirror story which can be found here: http://www.ctmirror.org//story/judge-rules-bridgeport-superintendent-not-eligible-run-district and a Connecticut Post editorial which is here: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Vallas-ruling-just-the-latest-failure-4637077.php

In addition, readers can find Judge Bellis’ decision ousting Paul Vallas as Bridgeport’s superintendent here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/150609033/Vallas-Bridgeport-Decision

Be sure to check back for later for more details.

  • Chris Liebig

    I think you’ve buried the lede here: Vallas actually thinks he is the Michael Jordan of education??

    • Citizen

      Save the students from the likes of folks like Vallas.

    • reino

      He is like the Head of Operations Michael Jordan, not the basketball player Michael Jordan.

    • Angry Educator

      Vallas is more like Aaron Hernandez than Michael Jordan, though Hernandez was at least a good football player. Vallas, Pryor, CCER, ConnCAN — even Villanova — they’re all aiming to kill public education as we know it, destroy teaching as a profession, and put in place a new corporate-controlled order of widget worker supply houses (aka charter schools) that are staffed by the 2-year temps of TFA and managed by non-educators like Vallas and Pryor. It’s disgusting that our legislature and the Bridgeport BOE can’t see through all this. How can they be so damned gullible?!

      And UConn has a lot of serious ‘splaining to do — beginning with why the powers that be are allowing Villanova to continue leading the supt’s certification program when it’s clear that he’s but a pitiful pawn of Pryor. First class institution, my foot!

  • Linda174

    Jacqueline Rabe, CT Mirror:

    The judge also ruled that Pryor, the state’s education commissioner, improperly waived the certification requirements.

    “The evidence submitted at trial established that Pryor did not adequately vet Vallas when evaluating whether he was ‘exceptionally qualified’ because Pryor was unable to provide specific details of that process in his testimony,” the judge wrote.

    It is unclear what this decision means for Vallas’ three-year contract with the Bridgeport school board for $234,000 a year while Vallas appeals. Vallas was the education leader of Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

    Carmen Lopez, a Bridgeport resident and former judge that filed the lawsuit, called the decision a “triumph.”

    “We are still a nation of laws, and not of men, which I am sure comes as a shock to Paul Vallas and Stephan Pryor. The message of this decision is simple, no-one is above the laws,” she said. “Fortunately, when the executive branch is arrogant and unresponsive, Citizens can still have redress in the courts in order to check unrestrained abuses of power.”

    This is the second time in the last two school years that the state’s involvement in district’s governance has been overturned by a judge. After the state ousted the former, locally elected board of education, the state Supreme Court ruled that that takeover was illegal because the proper steps were not followed.


  • buygoldandprosper

    Just a distraction? Malloy and his cabal are showing their actual distain for the public and their lust for power.
    Amazing. Just another distraction…

  • Lee Barrios

    Vallas got away with it in New Orleans just as his replacement and now state superintendent John White did because of an exception made in our statute when Paul Pastorek (lawyer) was appointed state superintendent. The Board of Education can waiver qualifications which included a Masters of Administration and five years experience in school administration.that opened the door for political interference by our Governor Jindal. But he giveth and he taketh away. Just as Jindal booted Paul Pastorek, it is hoped he will shove White out the door. We need to change our law next session. Of course this is simply a precursor to deprofessionalizing teaching. A new state law allows charters to hire 100% uncertified teachers. Taxpayers are now footing the bill of over a million $ a year for Teach For America.

  • mookalaboona

    The arrogance of this bully governor, “non education” commissioner Pryor, and the others are unbelievable. Vallas probably should get a basketball scholarship at UCONN.

  • msavage

    Check out the last two lines of the CT Post article. Let them sink in. Could it be any more clear that the executive branch of this state needs a complete and thorough scouring?

    “‘Fortunately, when the executive branch is arrogant and
    unresponsive, citizens can still have redress in the courts in order to
    check unrestrained abuses of power,’ Lopez said.
    This is the second time in the last two school years that the state’s
    involvement in the governance of a school district has been overturned
    by a judge.”

  • msavage

    Excellent editorial by the Post. Especially the opening–a reminder that as much as we might feel jubilant over this ruling, in the end it means more chaos and more uncertainty for the children and families of Bridgeport. Because we have allowed sociopaths like Malloy, Pryor, Vallas and Moales to gain control of the situation, the children will suffer more uncertainty in their lives. Because the “grown-ups” have been more interested in lining their pockets and engaging in power-struggles, the children will undergo more chaos. Oh, and let’s not forget about Villanova at UConn. Only too happy to participate in the game. Disgraceful. And look at the statements coming from Pryor and Vallas. They plan to fight it. So the district won’t even be free to pick up the pieces and move on so that there might be some relative order by the time the next school year starts up in the fall. Surely there are mentally and morally healthy adults in Bridgeport besides Carmen Lopez and the four Working Parties members of the BOE. The sociopaths in your midst don’t feel shame and don’t give a shite how much more chaos they reap upon your kids and families. It’s up to YOU to roll with this ruling–which is, despite the spin of Pryor and Vallas, a huge moral victory here–and push them out of control. Keep the momentum going and wrestle them the hell out of your city. And then we need to do the same for the state of Connecticut.