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

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

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 Divisive Politics Are Harming Schools, District Leaders Say
A new survey reveals how tough the politics are for some leaders, especially in the suburbs.
8 min read
Illustration of tug of war.
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week, SvetaZi, and iStock/Getty
School & District Management Leading a City School District Is Tough. A New Program Aims to Ease the Way
Its creators hope to drive down big-city superintendent turnover by preparing candidates for the stresses of leadership.
3 min read
Woman standing on a paper boat with a tsunami wave approaching.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management 5 Tips for Switching From Snow Days to Remote Classes
Two district leaders say communication, flexibility, and adaptability are key to success.
4 min read
Close up of hands holding a smartphone and working at a laptop near a window showing a snowy day
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Will Schools Actually Ditch Snow Days for Virtual Learning? The Outlook Is Still Cloudy
More districts are substituting some remote learning, but snow days are still an option in many places.
5 min read
Buses parked covered with snow
iStock/Getty