Working Families Party Claims Vallas Vote A “Shocking Abuse Of Democracy”

The day after the Bridgeport Board of Education approved by a 5-4 vote a three-year contract for Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas, members and supporters of the Connecticut Working Families Party are lashing out, including Maria Pereira, one of three WFP school board members who voted against Vallas.

“I am obviously disappointed,” said Pereira, in a statement issued by the Working Families Party. “It is unclear if it is legal for Vallas to serve for more than the year he has already been interim Superintendent. The board had previously voted to establish a search committee for a new Superintendent that would have heavily involved the community, but that never happened. Instead a vote on Vallas’ contract was rushed, and that is a shame.”

The WFP news release begins … “Last night, Working Families Party members of the Bridgeport Board of Education pointed to the latest shocking abuse of democracy, as Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas’ contract was renewed just an hour after it was first unveiled. The meeting was moved up by a week after questions were raised about Paul Vallas’ qualifications and performance. The Board of Education finished its official evaluation of Vallas and then immediately voted on the 3 year contract.”

Former State Senator Ed Gomes, a supporter of the Working Families Party, is also quoted in the news release.

“As soon as questions were raised about Paul Vallas’ performance and credentials, a special meeting was called so quickly that it can only be designed to confuse everyone,” Gomes is quoted. “This follows a clear pattern of anti-democratic actions in Bridgeport, starting with the illegal takeover of the Board of Education, and continuing with Mayor Finch trying to grab control of the Board for himself.”

Working Families Party board members Pereira, Sauda Baraka and John Bagley joined Democrat Bobby Simmons in opposing Vallas. Democrats Jacqui Kelleher, Ken Moales, Hernan Illingworth, Leticia Colon and Tom Mulligan voted to approve.



  1. Boo boo boo! WFP should be ashamed of themselves! They tried to play judge, jury and executioner before all the results were in. Did they expect everyone else to play fair?

  2. More of the same from the Working Families Party. Since they didn’t have the votes to get their way, they immediately launch yet another lawsuit against the schools. They won’t be happy until they bankrupt the schools with all these nonsense legal expenses.

    This whole evaluation process has dragged on for weeks! Meeting after meeting and still they called this “rushed?” Give me a break!

    Then they bring out Ed Gomes! The same guy who couldn’t even beat Ernie Newton in a primary last summer! He’s not an elected official, not a teacher, not a parent. Why again does his opinion matter? It doesn’t.

    And why can’t Maria Pereira issue her own statements? Why does it always come from the Working Families Party office? That’s because Maria Pereira doesn’t write her own statements. She’s an empty suit controlled by Lindsay Farrell! Real democracy at work! A Bridgeport elected official serving as the mouthpiece of a political party not even based in Connecticut!

    1. Try to focus on the man who will “transform” your schools, Booster.

      Your concern should be with potential results and how will you measure those results. For such a successful reformer with so much experience he is classified as a “rock star” by Finch, why are you all so touchy and defensive when people question his motives and methods?

      Shouldn’t his good work speak for itself?

      Why does he need all the pitbulls posting under anonymous names to defend him?

      Is this Josh, Bill, Excel, Goldfarb and AF adminstraters with too much free time?

      Get to work all of you and close the achievement gap. Hurry … isn’t that your priority?

      Instead you are busy insulting people who do NOT get paid for their time.

      Kind of pathetic, don’t you think?

      Opposition does not bother to smear what it deems insignificant.

      What do you have to fear? Are those who question hitting a nerve?

  3. Teachers must have certification to teach in CT. You don’t get a waiver from your buddy at the SDE.

    Why should there be an exception for the “leader” of teachers?

    Vallas claims Arne and Joel would not qualify and guess what, they shouldn’t.

    Arne never even taught … he is Obama’s basketball buddy and an Edushyster from Chicago. Those ARE his credentials.

    Joel is Bloomberg’s buddy and Rupert’s hand-picked puppet. He has hooked up with Rupert to steal your children’s data … your kids are data points and they are for sale … google inbloom or check out class size matters in NYC. I wouldn’t let either one of them near my children nor walk my dog. Read more here:
    K-12 student database jazzes tech startups, spooks parents

    So if the Vallas standard is Joel and Arne, that is laughable and ridiculous. He considers them the gold standard? He doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know.

    All of these guys, Paul included, have one thing in common … they are well connected and they operate as opportunistic eduvultures. If they couldn’t even do the front-line workers’ jobs, what do they know about leading the profession?

    Teachers do NOT respect Vallas … just like kids and dogs … teachers can sense a BS artist a mile away. Top down doesn’t work … you will get compliant newbies at best.

    Education is the only industry in our nation where failure is blamed on the front-line worker and not the leadership. Over 20 years of “reform” has been taking place under Vallas’ leadership. Where are the results? Why are we still reforming? There is a circle of reformers reforming each others’ reforms and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

    Who doesn’t believe Pryor will enact a waiver for Paul whether he takes classes or meets the standard? Vallas is not going to submit himself to having to listen to lectures from a professor and complete homework. If he isn’t the center of attention, he can’t exist.

    Pryor will take care of his boy and his boy will take care of him. This isn’t about the kids or Bridgeport. Their “reps” and their earnings are most important. Funneling money to their corporate cronies is a top priority. You’re being used and abused.

    Pryor, Malloy and Finch will take care of him; they could care less about your children and their teachers. Egomaniacs travel in a cluster.

    Welcome to “reform” Vallas style. Best of luck … you will need it.

    1. beware–The failure of the students is blamed on the teachers because they stood up and said ‘we need more money. We are responsible for the education of America’s young and the future of the country.’ Does something like that sound familiar? When a kid does great things there is always a teacher standing next to them on a stage but when a kid fails where are they?
      The guy who runs IBM does not know how to build a copier. Donald Trump does not know how to build buildings. Knowing how to run an organization has little to do with what the organization does. It is more about knowing how to organize, plan, manage, etc. It is a lame excuse ‘he has never taught so he can’t run a school.’ You cannot build a car or maybe even change a tire, but you can still drive.
      There are ~2000 teachers in BPT. It was said in another post they are evaluated and observed all the time. In the last five years how many have been fired for not doing a good job? I have been reading the BOE minutes for some time and I do not remember any. So they must be an incredible workforce. Out of 2000 (or so), not one slacker. If this is true, how did 4 out of 10 kids at Harding get through grade school, through middle school and into high school and NOT know how to read? Are the evaluations a bunch of BS or did the kids see Vallas’ new curricula and forget how to read? There must be some way to blame this on Vallas.

  4. Let’s see a copy of Vallas’ IRS W-2. This is an important issue. Did we hire a statutory full-time employee or a contracted consultant? I don’t object to the $900/day. In fact, I think the comp rate is appropriate. However, if Vallas is a contracted employee, he will be spending time on other issues his consulting company is working on. We have been led to believe we hired an employee. We need a dedicated employee 100% focused on the Bridgeport problems. WFP, ask the question.

    1. yahooy,
      Let’s have a little bet on time worked by the Super. I would wager a hot dog at Tomlinson’s or the Merritt Canteen or other Bridgeport venue of your choosing that were you to look at Vallas’ work for this City on days he claims is head and shoulders above City side employees, for instance, Labor relations attorney and City Council President Thomas McCarthy.

      What you are worried about (as I am too) are conflicts of interest between the time owed by a taxpayer-funded employee to performing their duties in contrast to things they do for fun or other rewards. Vallas has posted his days on the Public Schools site. Can you find McCarthy’s schedule for Labor Relations work? Let’s get some balance and fairness back into oversight, OK? By the way how many hours per day do taxpayers expect from a hired consultant or an employee hired to do a certain type of work? Bet you can tell me. Maybe Vallas and McCarthy will join us? Maybe Lennie can have a party? Time will tell.

        1. beware,
          Just like $900 per day, that equates to $235,000 per year according to previous posts, an amount we have spent in recent years for public school CEO.
          And my point is there are full-time paid employees of the City on the Council with jobs that require how many hours per week? Or don’t we care if the people are both effective and efficient and their department meets its goals? Is this too serious a subject to discuss: results over time against established goals for all of those who are paid by taxpayers? Time will tell.
          Get more serious about the larger issues facing City taxpayers, voters and leaders.

        2. Would Vallas get to do that for only 185 days? Like all you underpaid teachers. $42,000 (to start)/(8*185) = ~$28.38/hr to start plus benefits and defined pension plan. After a while if you do the right things teachers make up to $90K or ~$60.81/hr for a part-time job.

  5. Thank you for telling me what I am worried about. Why is it a source of irritation to you that I have inquired as to Vallas’ employment status? Is he a statutory employee or a contractor? I dine at places other than Tomlinson’s or the Merritt Canteen. You should know a hot dog has inordinate amounts of MSG widely regarded as a contributor to delusions of grandeur especially on bow-tie bozos. I want to know if Vallas is an employee or not. Period.

  6. We should expect 8 to 10 hours a day for a day rate of $900/day. It’s not an inordinate amount of money for that position. I have no objection to his rate of pay, but I do have a problem with the basis of his pay. Is he a contractor or an employee? I really don’t care which. But we have the absolute right to know the facts.

    1. Teachers put in 10 hours easily for 25% of what he makes … he should put in much more than that and he gets other perks, including a free car. The lowly teacher buys her own.

      1. Good point. My wife and two of my children are teachers. They work long hours too; weekends included. I really don’t care how many hours Vallas works in a day. Somehow he has to demonstrate accomplishments. Maybe someday he will. He hasn’t thus far. Nor has he in his past three gigs. All three have stated they would not have him back. I wonder if they regret the decision to hire him in the first place.

  7. I have an idea. Let’s pay all the educators $200,000 per year. Let’s look at everyone’s W-2. Then when we get done with that let’s buy or lease cars for all educators. When we get done with that let’s put a lawyer on retainer for the Working Families Party.
    Now that we have done that and satisfied petty bullshit let’s now start thinking about the KIDS AND WHAT IS GOING ON IN SCHOOL.

    1. Andy … you know that’s only for the “leaders” … the ones who don’t have to spend time with children. The ones who never taught or dabbled as a sub many, many years ago. Don’t get carried away. You can’t put Vallas on the same level as the lowly teacher. Get real.

      1. Bridgeport governance structure including the DTC and successive administrations have treated voters as children. And so we get lots of people who indulge in name-calling personal attacks. Check out the system itself and see what Charter Reform missed correcting and sharing with voters last year in their anxious rush to provide Mayor Finch with desired control. And begin to speak up about what needs repair, without regard to who is in a position.

        So instead of coming back to the real world we are dealing with who gets a W-2 and who gets a 1099. I’ll go out on a limb and guess our interim Superintendent probably received a 1099 for 2012. And another guess, with the new contract he will be an employee and get a W-2. But I have not asked him and do not understand the immediacy of the question. It has never been explained by the questioner. Relevance? Time will tell.

        1. Relevance? As a statutory employee we may expect he be fully committed working exclusively for the Bridgeport BOE. As a contractor he can pick and choose when he will work for us and when he will work for someone else. Not a good deal. That what’s relevant.

  8. *** Get over it already and move on towards working on getting new faces on the city council and BOE who are not city employees to start! Crying over Vallas’ salary and what other educators make is a bit late and overkilled with the whole Vallas extension and all, no? Time to move on OIB to other adventures and political mishaps in the Park City. *** HERE WE GO! ***

  9. A professional day rate contractor typically works for pay 47 5-day weeks per year. The remaining 5 weeks are expected non-paid downtime that are used for holidays, sickness, vacation and other self-chosen reasons for non-work non-paid days. Do the math. 5 x 47 x $900.

  10. I want to make myself perfectly clear on my position regarding Paul Vallas.

    (1) His day rate of $900 is reasonable.

    (2) I am not supportive of the contract condition that permits him to engage in projects outside of Bridgeport BOE issues. We deserve and absolutely need a professional who will be 100% committed to resolving our issues. Give the sorry state we are in, my expectation cannot be construed as unreasonable.

  11. Fabrizi was hand-picked by Vallas to assume high-level executive responsibilities within the BOE at a six-figure salary. What did Vallas use as a selection criterion, his admitted use of cocaine while at work?
    I assume when Vallas is away from Bridgeport working on other projects, he will rely on Fabrizi to carry out his objectives.

  12. We need a new and comprehensive Charter Review Commission that will focus on governance, financial and education related reforms for a vote in 2014.


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