Supporters Rally For School Chief, Vallas: My Focus Is Getting The Job Done

Vallas hugs Claytor
Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas receives hug from Prophetess Gerry Claytor at East End rally. CT Post photo.

Still on the job pending an appeal of a state judge’s ruling he lacks legal certification to serve, Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas received the love Monday night from supporters. From Denis O’Malley, CT Post:

“I’m used to this,” Vallas said prior to Monday’s rally, during which he also spoke. “I’ve been in tough districts in the past … My focus is on getting the job done.”

Among the more ardent supporters on Monday were Mayor Bill Finch and the Rev. Kenneth Moales, president of the city’s Board of Education.

Finch, who spoke first, likened Vallas to a knight, imagining him atop a “white horse” when he came to Bridgeport.

“And now they’re throwing mud on that horse,” he added.

Full story here.



  1. Mayor, we thought you were the knight on the white horse. I am not going to attack Vallas and I have no reason to support him. I do know the teachers if given the opportunity would have a vote of no confidence. I know the Mayor does not need the support of the teachers union. They supported Caruso and Foster. Most of them live outside of Bridgeport. I do believe the Mayor is concerned about the students of this city. I do know his son is in the Bridgeport school system. I believe the future development of our city is totally dependent on the quality of our schools. I believe Mayor Finch believes that also. My only concern is the certification. I know first hand the difference of having it and not. I also believe Moales having a rally and being on the board is just ignorant politics. And I am wondering if the kiss on the cheek by the “prophetess” could be the kiss of death for Vallas. I believe in our schools and I am hopeful what is right becomes the way. This is beyond politics. If he can turn the schools around, fantastic. There are thousands of qualified candidates across the country who are not connected and highly qualified. Let the search begin.

  2. How sad …
    Only 30 people including the mayor, Vallas’s highly compensated staff, employees of charter schools, etc. rally in support of the Greatest Educator in the Western Hemisphere.
    How very, very sad.
    PS did the city or BOE pay Moales for the use of his facility?

    1. *** No, that’s not me and the East End is not my district even if I were looking for petition signatures, etc. Though I believe in giving Vallas a fair shake in turning things around, I don’t believe the president of the Bpt BOE should support a rally for the Supt. (conflict of interest) and plays into the WFP complaints of preferred treatment and pro-admin on his part, etc. *** LET’S SHOW A LITTLE COMMON SENSE HERE! ***

  3. Check out comments here … overwhelming against the knight in shining armor putting out fires … the boys are falling all over each other expressing their love for Paul.

    Notice how Vallas promotes himself, not efficient school systems (kids, teachers, classrooms, schools). It’s all about him and how he “gets the job done.” He is the only one who cares. He is the only one working. He is the only one who can save us from ourselves.

    And this is why his “reforms” fall apart … they are not meant to improve a system for the customers. They are to create an image and further his rep. He’s mostly concerned about his next gig right now.

    He will leave by year three or four. He can’t be around when it all falls apart. It’s a smash and grab and you got to keep moving.

    1. Yeah, check out the comments here. Take out the ones from the, screw the kids protect our jobs, teachers and people who live out of town and I only see Steven’s. He is only a wanna-be teacher.
      Paging Steve Auerbach: Vallas is hiring ~70 people.

      Maybe he is hiring so he can make his huge layoffs more impressive.
      He emptied 925, hiring ~70 people, he is putting boots on the ground and people in the classroom, balancing budgets and he brought his own money. Regardless of where or why he got it, he got it. Money BPT would not have otherwise had. He initiated common core requirements, new books, new smartboards, laptops for the kids. He cleared the snow away from the schools faster than BPT cleared the streets. All this in ~19 months and the guy is only working part time. He puts in more hours than the teachers but still part time. Looks like reform is happening up in here.

      1. There are openings because people are retiring, quitting or looking elsewhere. There already were boots on the ground way before Vallas. What money did he bring? He spent our money … he didn’t contribute his own funds. Everyone has corporate core requirements. That is national. All teachers do not have Smartboards. Kids do not have laptops. They did not have enough books. They ran out of paper and ink for copiers. Looks like your information is false.

        1. The $5 mil forgivable loan from the state. You remember that money? Counting that alone, Vallas will work for free in BPT for the next 20 years. He gets about 1/4 mil/year, he got us the $5 mil. Yeah, 20 years. Your school does not have a big Mercedes truck that brings smart board installers? Are you in a school or are you an office guy?
          You did not get new books this year to replace the hodgepodge of miscellaneous books we used to use. Sometimes 2-3 different text books in the same classroom. What is common about that? Granted, the laptops are promised for next year.

          1. I’m sure you already know about the hundreds of uncovered special education hours that can’t be covered by existing staff–some of whom have to teach 4-6 grade levels–without materials.
            All elementary schools have huge amounts of unused sets of grades K-3 Mondo books, most with unopened CD’s.
            I’m sure there’s money to be made for them on e-bay.

          2. Since you have SPY capabilities, can you check into Sue’s report and ask Paul to do some work on this? We don’t want to waste money, resources and the time of our already overburdened teachers. Please report back ASAP, BOE SPY.

      2. Arne is calling Vallas back to Philly to save it again. Read here … so he can go now. Bye:

        U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged city and state officials Tuesday to resolve the Philadelphia School District’s $304 million shortfall to avert a crisis in the city’s schools. “There’s no excuse for a public school system anywhere in the U.S. to be in this situation in the 21st century, and it’s even worse to see it in Philadelphia, the cornerstone of this great country and the cradle for our founding principles,” Duncan said in a statement released late Tuesday. “I strongly urge everyone involved to continue working together to avert this educational crisis.”


      3. BOE SPY,
        You do not seem to think highly of teachers and have little understanding of how much time certified professionals devote to the education of students. Teaching is more than a full-time job. Vallas is not a role model for any educator or student.

        As beware says, the common core standards were being introduced long before Vallas arrived in town. I do find your verb INITIATE to be interesting as he has SAID smart boards and laptops would be provided and I would find it interesting if you (spy that you are) provided us with an actual count of how many classrooms do indeed have the PROMISED technology. In fact, other readers might have questions for you about libraries, guidance counselors, etc. Yet somehow you do not seem to be clued in to what is really happening in the schools. Maybe you should take a harder look.

        1. You seem to think very highly of yourself and have little understanding of how much time everybody spends doing their job. Everybody else works 240 days a year. You work 185, so I am crying in my soup for you. Common core may have been initiated before Vallas but few were actually doing it.
          In the schools that have been finished, all the classrooms have the technology. In the schools that have not been finished, the number is something less. I would think those numbers will rise as time goes on. You seem to be a fan of instant gratification, but like education, these things take time.

          1. Hard to do in a state with a strong union, when you lost the bid for mayoral control and when you have people leaving and slots to fill.
            He would if he could, but he can’t so he doesn’t. The money came from the state and taxpayers. He didn’t “get” money, it was coming no matter who was there. Teachers work more than their contracted days and hours. You must be the desk kind of guy because you are seriously out of touch. Maybe you are Paul or Josh T, but since you are so well connected maybe you get the teachers some paper and can you talk to those in charge about less testing. We are abusing the kids with constant never-ending assessments, assessment of assessments, bubble sheets and can you find out if the credit recovery course answers are online for the kids to access to make passing so much easier. He knows all about credit recovery.

          2. Of course not, I am pointing out why Vallas has not been able to privatize as much as he did in NOLA and Philly … mayoral control would have given much more power as Finch would have followed the V like a forlorn puppy.

          3. jakedog, thanks. Vallas had to answer to NO ONE in New Orleans and they are doing terrible.

          4. He would have answered to no one under Finch also. He would be solely in charge only having to deal with the union and silly state regulations, which do not apply to superheroes on white horses.

            The defeat of the referendum, the complaint filed by CEA, the recent court decision have all thrown wrenches in his plans.

            His track record is catching up with him. NOLA was a disaster (Katrina) as opportunity ploy. Even Arne said Katrina was the best thing to happen to NOLA schools. They are from the same Broad cloth.

            Notice the cities getting smaller … notice the people becoming more aware. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

            He needs to repair his rep for his next gig IF he ever finds another unsuspecting victim.

      4. Spy guy,
        Do you consider those from “out of town” to also be the hedgefund supporters from Westport? What about the rest of the self-appointed “reformers” who are suddenly interested in the poor children but would never live in Bridgeport? Are they also on your list?

  4. Two comments from the Ravitch blog:
    I worked under Paul Vallas in Philadelphia. He destroyed our school district and left it in a state of devastation–morally and ethically, and of course, academically and financially. It has been down hill ever since.

    He turned many of our most student centered programs into test preparation factories.

    Terra Nova results for Vallas’ last year in Philly were also released “without fanfare” since they were flat. In fact, the poorest results, those in science, were not released to the public at all.

    Absolutely wonderful summative article on Vallas–-loaded with links:

  5. And look where they had the rally, at one of Moales’ churches that are under foreclosure procedures … And this is one of Vallas’ biggest supporters and let us not forget the million-plus dollars that are going from the Bd of Ed to Moales’ church schools, which are also under foreclosure procedures.

    1. Yeah, but Vallas did not hire Moales. He was elected. The people of BPT hired him and the WFP arranged that. Democracy working in BPT. Don’t forget the WFP had the chair and they walk away and gave it to Moales. So they arranged that, too. The millions of dollars going to Moales’ schools are coming from the state. I am not sure if anyone can decide which schools get the money and which ones don’t. That wouldn’t be fair. I think they all get an even amount or a per-student quota. Even if Moales is a bum, Vallas can’t control who supports him.

  6. “Moral and ethical” would not be the way to describe Philadelphia, Philadelphia politics and the Philadelphia public school system.

    Vallas was permitted to disrupt a school system feeding on its own failures for generations. The city has been forced to try different things. Results are inconclusive: They seem to be better in some areas. Other areas are about the same.

    Could someone catch me? Am I talking about Philadelphia or Bridgeport?

  7. Looking at the photos I see people who don’t have children in the public schools, hedge fund guys, people who live in Westport, charter school parents … what is wrong with this picture???

    1. His kids went to Westport Public Schools, the majority of his friends who support his charter work sent their kids to Hopkins–even though they too lived in Westport.

  8. Great quote:
    “Mayor Finch is hoping that Vallas will do for Bridgeport what he did for Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.”

    Let’s hope Paul Vallas does for Mayor Finch what Michelle Rhee did for Adrian Fenty.

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