School Board Tanks Public Hearing To Evaluate Vallas

From Linda Conner Lambeck, CT Post:

The city school board will get to weigh in on the job Paul Vallas is doing as interim superintendent but not the public.

By a 3-2-1 vote, the board voted not to have a public hearing in advance of the evaluation. Board members Sauda Baraka, Bobby Simmons and John Bagley voted against the hearing, Thomas Mulligan and Hernan Illingworth voted in favor of it and Maria Pereira abstained.

Baraka said she wanted to hear from people but questioned the scope of the public hearing and the kinds of concerns not related specifically to the superintendent’s job performance that would be expressed.

“I want to be clear about exactly what it is we’ll be getting,” said Baraka, who made the motion to hold no public hearing.

Simmons said he doesn’t recall the public ever being allowed to weigh in before the board evaluated past superintendents and was not supportive of it.

“I don’t see how that is going to affect our evaluation of the superintendent,” he said.

Illingworth said getting public input was important.

Full story here.



  1. Can anyone share the criteria, objectives, or other measures by which the BOE will perform an evaluation? Personally, I don’t feel a need to “weigh in.”
    However, it would be helpful and modern, too, to understand what are the bases to be covered. I would think Superintendent Vallas would find it helpful, don’t you?
    Bridgeport institutional governance has a distinct aversion to evaluations, it seems. And one of the easiest ways to avoid matters is to operate silently (not releasing your tools), secretly (not letting the public attend) or privately (not letting the public speak).
    Just look at Mayor Finch’s request to City Council for funding of two positions within the past week. He hired an education czar nearly six months ago, a position not in the City budget that was approved eight months ago, set the compensation at $102,000 and comes to the Council for permission in 2013. When asked about duties and responsibilities, the Council persons were given no specific information as to what he may be evaluated on. And so it goes. Is there a better way to spend the public’s money? Time will tell.

  2. *** Though having a public hearing to evaluate Vallas may be “politically correct,” I would have to agree with Mr. Simmons, it’s not going to affect their evaluation therefore “not” needed. Besides most of the public doesn’t have a clue as to what a superintendent’s job really entails, no? ***


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