School & District Management News in Brief

Paul Vallas to Lead Bridgeport, Conn., District

By Christina A. Samuels — January 10, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Paul G. Vallas, who has led school districts in Chicago, Philadelphia, and, most recently, New Orleans, took over the leadership of the troubled Bridgeport, Conn., district last week.

The 23,000-student district is one of Connecticut’s least affluent and ranks among its lowest on test scores. The state released statistics last month showing that just 55.5 percent of Bridgeport students graduate in four years, compared with 81.8 percent of students for the state as a whole. In July, the state took control of the district at the city’s request.

Mr. Vallas, 58, said he was approached by Robert Trefry, the chairman of the district’s state-appointed board, and asked if he could help stabilize the district.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to move very, very fast,” Mr. Vallas said. He said he has committed to spending a year in Bridgeport. His plan is to craft a financial and academic plan, and then help the school system find a permanent administrator.

“I love running districts, but I don’t need to be here four years to fix what’s wrong with this district,” said Mr. Vallas, whose title is interim superintendent.

Mr. Vallas has carved out a reputation for taking on districts facing deep problems. In Chicago, after then-Mayor Richard M. Daley took control of the school system in 1995, he appointed Mr. Vallas, his budget director at the time, to serve in the newly created position of chief executive officer. In 2002, Mr. Vallas was tapped to head the Philadelphia district, where he stayed until 2007.

He then moved on to Louisiana’s Recovery School District, which started running most of New Orleans’ public schools following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Mr. Vallas left that position last year and has since been offering education consulting services to Haiti and Chile, both devastated by earthquakes.

He will earn an annual salary of $229,000 as interim superintendent.

A version of this article appeared in the January 11, 2012 edition of Education Week as Paul Vallas to Lead Bridgeport, Conn., District

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Pandemic-Seasoned Principals Share Hard-Earned Leadership Lessons
The COVID crisis has tested principals’ resolve to an unprecedented degree, but many have gleaned valuable takeaways from the experience.
6 min read
Boat on the water with three people inside. Leader pointing  forward. In the water around them are coronavirus pathogens.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management This Intensive Internship Helps Principals Get Ready For the Job
A two-year program in Columbus City Schools gives aspiring principals the chance to dive deep into the job before actually taking the reins.
10 min read
Sarah Foster, principal of North Linden Elementary School, talks with Katina Perry in Columbus, Ohio on November 30, 2021. Columbus City Schools has a program that lets principal “test out” the principal role, before actually fully taking it on. Through the program, they work in a school for two years under a mentor principal and fill in as principal at different schools during that time.
Katina Perry, right, principal of Fairmoor Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio, meets with Sarah Foster, principal of North Linden Elementary School and Perry's mentor in a school leader internship program.
Maddie McGarvey for Education Week
School & District Management Q&A School Libraries and Controversial Books: Tips From the Front Lines
A top school librarian explains how districts can prepare for possible challenges to student reading materials and build trust with parents.
6 min read
Image of library shelves of books.
mikdam/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion ‘This Is Not What We Signed Up For’: A Principal’s Plea for More Support
School leaders are playing the role of health-care experts, social workers, mask enforcers, and more. It’s taking a serious toll.
Kristen St. Germain
3 min read
Illustration of a professional woman walking a tightrope.
Laura Baker/Education Week and uzenzen/iStock/Getty