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

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

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 Opinion 5 Reasons Why Education Leaders Avoid Controversial Topics
Understanding why we shy away from challenging conversations can be a path toward empathy and an opportunity for learning.
4 min read
Let's brainstorm!
Created on Canva
School & District Management Most Superintendents Try to Avoid Politics. This Group Encourages Them to Lean In
Superintendents increasingly face politically tricky situations. A new collaborative hopes to support them.
3 min read
Illustration of person riding a unicycle on a tightrope over shark infested waters.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
School & District Management Superintendent of the Year Focuses on How to ‘Do More’ in Minnesota
The 2024 winner of the national honor didn't want to spend pandemic relief funds "in the way that we’ve always spent our money."
2 min read
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021, where new federal school funding will help to hire staff, buy books and be used for building renovations.
Joe Gothard, superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools stands for a portrait at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on Aug. 21, 2021. Gothard was named the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year on Thursday by AASA, The School Superintendents' Association.
Andy Clayton-King/AP
School & District Management The Average U.S. School Building Dates Back to the End of the Vietnam War
New federal data highlight widely varying ages and offerings in school buildings nationwide.
4 min read
School Renovation in Washington Heights, Chicago
E+ / Getty