Former Bridgeport School Chief Paul Vallas Takes His Campaign Valiance To Streets Of Chicago

If nothing else former Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas is a valiant campaigner. This time will the payoff reach the mountaintop of Chicago politics?

Historic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is clawing for her political life, crime and other issues major concerns.

A recent voter poll shows Vallas, the only non-minority in the race, leading a nine-candidate field for mayor. The top two finishers in February’s voting will square off in an April runoff election.

Labeled an education fixer including stints in Philadelphia and Chicago, Vallas stormed into Bridgeport more than a decade ago after the mayoral administration of Bill Finch engineered a state takeover of beleaguered city schools, with the backing of the local school board, eventually overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Vallas lasted about two years in Bridgeport. In 2014 he ran for lieutenant governor of Illinois losing on the ticket of incumbent Pat Quinn. In 2019 he fell short running for mayor of Chicago. Prior to that in 2002, he lost a tight Democratic primary for governor. He’s well schooled in Chicago politics.

Tall, policy driven, residing Downtown a few blocks from his City Hall office, the media savvy Vallas’ tenure in Bridgeport, though short, was loaded with personality conflicts and controversies.

While Vallas was on the job, city voters rejected a Finch-proposed charter amendment question in November 2012 authorizing the mayor authority to appoint school board members. Black voters in particular, with Barack Obama on the ballot for a second term, eschewed the call for a mayoral-appointed, rather than elected, body.

In November 2013, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a ruling by Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis that Vallas lacked the qualifications to lead Bridgeport schools. Read the decision here. The Supremes validated the authority of State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the Connecticut Board of Education to qualify Vallas who was hired for the school system in December 2011, and subsequently given a three-year contract by the city school board.

Vallas announced days prior to that decision his departure as chief of Bridgeport schools to run for lieutenant governor in the state of Illinois. The lawsuit was brought by retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, a Vallas critic, who had declared that Vallas’ legal fees should not be covered by the Board of Education irrespective of this case involving the performance of his duties. Appellate specialist Steven Ecker, now a state judge, represented Vallas.

Ecker said a lot of taxpayer money was wasted because the plaintiffs (Lopez) did not follow the proper administrative remedy as cited in the Supreme Court decision. “A lot of arrows have been flung at Vallas by folks. That he wasn’t following the law,” Ecker said. “Guess who wasn’t following the law? This lawsuit never should have been filed.”

In the two years he led city schools Vallas leveraged his relationships in Hartford to bring back millions of dollars that had escaped the city in the past: school security, school construction, technology in classrooms.

As Chicago mayoral candidate, Vallas is marrying crime and education as key issues.

Could this be the one?

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12 comments

  1. I have to weigh in on this. This sound retarded, people 🙂

    Pencil holder, where you at? I thought transparency and accountability are essential to public governance bodies such as the Board of Education that you were elected to. You voiced many concerns and levied charges on OIB against elected board members and employees regarding their lack of transparency and policies and the negative impact they had on the education of the Port’s students and on its governing body, BBOE., especially White (R’s) Weldon and Superintendent Testani. Where is your voice for the people who elected who you said you beheld to?

    https://www.facebook.com/100000914211819/videos/703550351420535

    While I believe it’s important for the community to have an input and work together with BOE. Ultimately, it’s the BOE members who the community elected as its representative and the people they hire to implement the best practices for the education of its students, resolving any issues that arise regarding that education. As well as best safety practices for the students and staff.

    The lack of qualified teachers in the classrooms will have a significant negative impact on the quality of education for the Port’s student body. It is quintessential in providing quality education
    Clearly, recruiting efforts and greater efforts to produce more teachers, particularly minority teachers is a long-term goal to address the crisis, along with the implementation of technology in the classroom.

    In the short term, it seems consolidation of classrooms, and enlarging the class size is the only immediate solution. Though it is not enough to just consolidate classrooms to address this emergency crisis. The community needs to know what its elected official body is doing to address its long-term needs and how it going to address its short-term needs.

    Your silence on the matter can be deafening, considering how vocal you were with Weldon and Testani leading the helm. What gives, besides the “whiteness” of those that led the BBOE helm when you rail against them on such matters of policies and lack of transparency? Shouldn’t those currently leading the helm to be held to the same scrutiny?

    (Part 1 @BESTESLCLASSEVER 🙂 )

    Cool version

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

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    1. RT,
      Perhaps time for you to apologize for another “bad”? Or bad behavior in crowding out other commentary with few “thumbs up” responses? Specifically I am concerned that your eight (8) comments on this Vallas/Chicago news from OIB contains an imperfect quote, back to mid-November 2022, attributed to me, that is not in evidence in the Archives as to subject matter.
      It follows a comment about school boards, liberal indoctrination, and CRT, saying that I have promoted CRT many times, without evidence. Do you call an accusation without evidence a lie?
      And RT can refer to folks applying to serve the public as a “racial political game” but I have never said that.
      RT praises his opportunity to use OIB to advance his English as a second language skill set. But it is important for us to point to errors in comprehension, quoting, and learning when fewer comments may keep folks coming back for more, rather than avoiding erratic commentary? Time will tell.

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      1. To be fair John, it was one post, eight parts 🙂

        Are you denying to are/were not a CRT proponent? Do I have to dig in Lennie’s archives? 🙂

        Lennie even has a tag for your name. 🤣

        I believe I said and have said the current political game is a racial political identity.

        It’s important for me or at least beneficial that people (comment/post) and point out errors of any kind, on an ESL level they make me stronger. 🙂

        However, perhaps there are fewer comments by folks because I point out errors, or should I say analysis on their line of thought/position. It is called critical thinking. As a liberal, I would have thought you would be pleased.:)

        I depart with the apostle Ye 🙂

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsO6ZnUZI0g

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  2. Pencil holder, I don’t know if or what discussions or potential decisions have been made, and it is unclear what actions the BOE and the Supt are going to make to address this crisis regarding the lack of teachers, especially at Wilber Cross. Not much information is being communicated to the community. The BOE may hold a meeting on the matter they may not, I guess. The community may be invited, if there is, they may not. But is very possible that the decision-making process has already been taken if Maria’s post is validated, and measures have been taken to accommodate the incoming students at Thomas Hooker School. Where are the community’s input and transparency of the BBOE fall if it has? Is it on par with Weldon?

    It would have been nice to have some light shined on the fact Port’s school system has a massive teacher crisis and many substitute teachers in the place of qualified, certified, teachers to the point students are being shuffled around because they can’t even find even long-term substitute teachers. Don’t you think, for accountability and transparency wise?

    tranhttp://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/joe-so-throws-light-on-school-chief-testanis-dim-departure/sparency wise.

    Food for thought. Retardation is bliss. #BESTESLCLASSEVER. 😂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBQ5YILNGXE
    (ACT 2)

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  3. Pencil holder, like pencils in a pencil box, people can find themselves in a box too. While it is true in nature that individuals may indeed face less pushback when criticizing White R’s in their racial political rhetoric in a heavy minority Democratic city like the Port, especially in the current racial identity politics we find ourselves in like you have done on OIB against Weldon and Testani.

    It’s a balancing act to criticize actions or policies, be right or wrong, that is emotionally and politically acceptable, even praised, in our racial identity politics against the leadership of white Rs like Weldon or Teston.

    It doesn’t play well, even problematic without causing collateral damage. ie your seat. When it is against black (D’s), Bobbie, and Perrin, who are now at the helm of leadership, Ironic isn’t it, being white? 😂

    Though it begs questions beyond the hypocrisy of it all. How much are the kids being used, and what’s in their best interests that are being neglected in this political game for political power for control of a proposed 288 million dollar BBOE budget?

    The school boards have been a bastion for liberal indoctrination. CRT has been on the front burner in recent years. JML has promoted it many times in its efforts for the racial progress of America. Though he some it up eloquently in the racial political game for Port’s chief of police.

    “John Marshall Lee says:
    November 14, 2022 at 8:42 am
    “When the times got tough, I didn’t resort to litigation,” said Garcia.
    What did she resort to, since she must have suffered through some tough times? Did she retreat to silence and put some distance between her and whatever or whoever was aggravating? Did any of this build up a learning or memory that later showed itself in what consequences were meted out to those under her command?

    When the going gets tough, life and things start to build in oneself. How will learn, CRT, channel what will show itself and the consequences meted out against those who they may perceive to have aggrieved them, that built up that pent-up aggression, suffering? But is it the LOGICAL choice to learnedness to combat life’s struggles? Sorry, John if you perceive I called you out. Progress comes in many forms, as Yahweh works in mysterious ways.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6PPJ2Usouw

    Speaking of Yahweh, but to be fair to Ye. Ye saying he’s going Defcon 3 on the Jews is anti-semitic. The term is defensive, not offensive. So the suggestion/perception would mean Ye views the Jews as planning to attack him, and the image of the Star of David and the Swatica suggests the Jews are like Hitler when he went on the attack across Europe. JS

    Either way, Ye’s didn’t get anything for Hanukkah or Passover. You know that day God killed a bunch of kids. JS people

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYF7H_fpc-g

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  4. To be fair to John. There may be parts of a systematic racial system in America, white racism, that’s more than just the game of life, along with its struggles.

    Perhaps there may be the need to look inward to value life’s tough/struggles. Sometimes, in most cases, people are born with something,🍆 or into a “situation” that just doesn’t seem fair which puts them in a state of mind of negativity and aggravation that tends to deepen their life suffering.
    I mean, why would a white, rich, famous, good-looking man living in America take his own or some white kid shoot up his school?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_tcoBOn6Mk

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  5. Back to myPencil holder, 🙂

    I don’t know if or what discussions or potential decisions have been made, and it is unclear what actions the BBOE members and the Supt are going to make to address this crisis regarding the lack of qualified teachers, especially at Wilber Cross, not much information is being communicated to the community.

    The BOE may hold a meeting on the matter, but they may not. I guess. The community may be invited, if there is, they may not. But the decision-making process may have already been taken if Maria’s post is validated and measures have been taken to accommodate the incoming students at Thomas Hooker School. Where are the community’s input and transparency from the BOE leadership?

    It would be nice to have some light shined on the fact Port’s school system has a teacher crisis with many substitute teachers in the place of qualified, certified, teachers in its classroom. It is so bad students are being shuffled around because they can’t even find even long-term substitute teachers.

    tranhttp://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/joe-so-throws-light-on-school-chief-testanis-dim-departure/sparency wise.

    Food for thought. Retardation is bliss.

    #BESTESLCLASSEVER. 😂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBQ5YILNGXE

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