School Board Meeting To Address Vallas Status, Working Families Party Opposes Public Funds For Vallas Defense

UPDATE: A special meeting of the Board of Education will take place today (Tuesday) 5:30 p.m. in room 305 of City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace. According to the agenda the board will discuss 1. “Retention of, and funding for, Legal Representation in the Matter of Carmen L. Lopez, et al. vs. Paul Vallas for the Board of Education in amicus status/and or for Paul Vallas. 2. Transition Planning and Search Committee for the position of Superintendent of Schools.”

Statement from Lindsay Farrell, Executive Director of the Connecticut Working Families Party:

“Last year, the Bridgeport Board of Education voted to establish a search committee to begin the process of finding a qualified superintendent. Working Families Education Board members have pushed Board Chair Moales to start this process, and finally, tonight, the Board of Education will take up the issue. Unfortunately, they will also vote on whether to waste public funds defending an unqualified superintendent, instead of educating our children.

“Paul Vallas is not qualified to be superintendent, legally or substantively. His record in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans proves this: the school districts he managed are in dire financial difficulty and are being forced to close schools and lay off teachers. The sooner Paul Vallas is replaced, the better off Bridgeport students will be.

“We are calling on the Bridgeport Board of Education to begin looking for a qualified superintendent who can work with our teachers, students, and parents to address Bridgeport’s most pressing educational issues, with a real record of success in urban districts. We are also calling on the Bridgeport Board of Education to make sure public money is spent educating students, not defending an unqualified superintendent.”



  1. Do you find all of this a bit confusing? There has been a legal attack by former Judge Carmen Lopez and a Bridgeport parent as plaintiffs on Superintendent Vallas’ meeting certification educational standards with a decision by Judge Bellis that Vallas failed the ‘educational plan.’ He has been ordered out of office and therefore there is some activity regarding searching for short- and long-term replacements.

    Yesterday it appears the Chair of the State Board of Education commented they believe Vallas completed the process satisfactorily. What action will they support? Where were they during the court action? Did I miss something?

    Confused yet? Are the Executive and Judicial branches in conflict here? And what do you do in that instance? Take it to a higher court?

    New voices from the community at large, Letters to the Editor this morning, seemingly without anything more than the future of their children at risk are speaking up in favor of what they have observed since Vallas’ arrival. That is a counterbalance to the voices with a work or party supporting agenda that have called for Valla’s removal.

    “May you live in interesting times,” supposedly an Oriental moral (or curse) seems to apply at this moment. Time will tell.

    1. Interesting, interesting times; I agree, Mr. Lee. As one of the voices from the Connecticut Post, a teacher (therefore, by definition, out of the sphere of influence of the Parent Group Excel), I will continue to stand in support of the changes I see on the horizon with the Vallas administration. Thankfully the Chair of the State Board of education has stated the obvious: Judge Bellis stepped beyond herself when she ruled a course approved by the State was not sufficient. Now the Supreme Court will need to be considering the question of certification. What an unfortunate waste of time.

      1. The chair Alan Taylor, who rubber stamps anything Pryor says, also violated the law by changing the 13-month program to a 6 paper, one phone call sham. He doesn’t determine the role of our judicial system. He’s just covering his butt and his buddy’s to save face. Read the full reform law, it reads THIRTEEN MONTH PROGRAM. Vallas said he didn’t have time. He admitted not following the law.

        A proud teacher who supports Vallas would be very safe and he or she would name their school and themselves and would proudly attend all rallies and BOE meetings. Where have you been? Paul needs you publicly behind him now more than ever.

        1. So jakedog, you are out to get a school employee to give up her “posting name” to become a proud teacher? Yet you continue to post without providing any hint to your residence, your occupation, your participation to the Bridgeport community, whether you have been a student in the system or have family members in the system. Are you kidding or does being hypocritical come naturally to you?

          Of course I will defend your right to post any opinion (of any length), on any subject under the name ‘jakedog’ and will continue to guess at the questions I raised above. MamaVaz has revealed more in a handful of postings than you have bothered to include in scores of entries, so I salute her rights as well. I will not defend your choice to be a hypocrite, however. Time will tell.

          1. You miss the point, but nothing new for you. Why would a real supporter hide their identity? There lies the rub.

            If one supports him, then he or she would certainly make their presence known, not just on a blog but at the tabernacle rally, the BOE meetings, etc.

            Why not if he is so great Not sure YOU should be deciding on hypocritical actions. Pot calling kettle.

          2. jake,
            My point (which you continuously miss) is why do you not set the example? Reveal who you are in all of your glory! Don’t you just love details? So do other readers. Give some to get some. Your example may be just what is needed to convince MamaVaz to do as you suggest. Then again, it may not.
            And if you are a real Vallas opponent as your daily posts suggest, why would you hide your identity? Do you see? It may be you missing the point, possibly? Or avoiding the point? Maybe you want to look up hypocrite while you are at it. Time will tell.

  2. John,
    You seem to be the only one who is confused here. But you need to read and retain all of the facts and apply a little common sense to the thought process.
    Are the Executive and Judicial branches in conflict here? YES. Take it to a higher court? YES.
    Happens all the time. It is just a question of how much money the city or BOE wants to spend. The attorneys for Vallas have already filed with the State Supreme Court to overturn the removal of the stay and to hear the full matter. It’s been in the papers; it’s been on this blog.
    If they lose there, they can try to file with the US Circuit Court in New York and possibly the US Supreme Court. Again, how much money will be spent is up to all of us. Once the message is loud and clear enough is enough, then and only then will it end.
    The letters to the editor and all of your other new voices in the community are old voices being pressed into service by Excel Bridgeport, Mayor Finch, etc.
    So get smart or start acting smart.

    1. Thank you again Bob, for responding after it was announced the Supreme Court will consider the matter. I happened to be speculating at 10:00 AM when I posted.
      Since I had never previously seen the names of those writing Letters to the CT Post today, I call them ‘new voices.’ You call them ‘old voices being pressed into service by Excel Bridgeport, Mayor Finch, etc.’ And you offer in evidence? By the way I am not the only person in this City who fought against the YES Charter initiative last year alongside Carmen Lopez, yourself and many others yet because I support Superintendent Vallas’ planning and actions of the past 18 months, at this time you criticize me for ‘acting smart’ or failure to ‘be smart,’ pray tell. Time will tell.

  3. A balanced budget does make a good superintendent. Sustainability of reform efforts do make a good superintendent.

    Kenneth Moales has been negligent in not performing his duties as president of the BOE. His first action after asking Mr. Vallas to stay through this current school year was to form a committee and begin the search for a permanent superintendent.

    People ask who would ever want to come to Bridgeport. Very good question. There are plenty of very successful superintendents who are masters at healing fractured communities, identifying strong community partners and leading with the premise there are many excellent practices and educators in the system and who knows how to be inclusive, not defensive, positive not negative, and will start from the bottom up not the top down.

    AND the changes will be sustainable and take into consideration the needs of the population of the district.

    It can be done.

    1. That’s not the Vallas style and it never will be. He answers to no one and Moales and Finch are his protectors since they lost state and mayoral control. Moales will continue to bully and only let members speak if they agree with him.

      A real eye-opener on the Vallas methods:
      VALLAS FACTS: Resume padding and doubletalk about his ‘teaching’ experience and certification began in Illinois a long time ago … By the time he ran for Governor in 2002, Paul Vallas had been getting away with padding his resumé for a long long time.

  4. Research and comments from Pelto blog:
    The whole thing is a farce. Looking back at posted minutes from the April 15 2013 CT State Board of Education minutes, I found this:
    The SBE passes a motion “to approve” the Ed. Leadership *Program* submitted by Vallas (the 2-page description is not attached–I’d love to see it!). This motion comes 10 days after the State Marshall messed up in serving Stefan Pryor the warrants from the original lawsuit of C. Lopez et al. v. Vallas et al… Did this lawsuit spur the SBE into action in reviewing the Leadership program? And Vallas into writing his first paper, handed in April 10–5 days after the lawsuit was filed!

    Anyway, here’s the motion, from page 10 of the “approved” minutes of the 4/15/13 meeting (found archived on the CT SBE website):

    B. Approval of School Leadership Program – University of Connecticut Neag School of Education

    Mr. Jaskiewicz moved, Mrs. Keavney-Maruca seconded that the State Board of Education, pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of Section 10-157 of the Connecticut General Statutes, approves the school leadership program offered by the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education, as described in Attachment A, to satisfy the statutory requirement for completion of a probationary period by an acting superintendent, and directs the Commissioner to take the necessary action.

    Of course, I am able to construct this chronology from Jonathan’s blogs, especially this one.

    He has been steadily covering Vallas’ lack of compliance with the law created especially for the School Reform Superstar.

    For fellow researchers, here’s the CT SDE website:

  5. Special ed teachers were asked to provide the mandated hours needed to cover their assigned students to the administration. Each teacher had hundreds of uncovered special ed hours due to cutbacks. Unfortunately, a grievance couldn’t be filed because the aggrieved parties were the students, not the teachers.

    This is probably some of the funding Vallas is using.


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