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Conn. Judge: Paul Vallas Must Step Down

Updated
A Connecticut state judge ruled Friday that Paul Vallas, the superintendent of the Bridgeport school district, must step down because he did not complete a state-mandated leadership program, the Connecticut Post reports.

Connecticut's law requires superintendents to have a certification that Vallas, who was appointed by state education commissioner Stefan Pryor, had not obtained. An independent-study program, at the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education, was created specially for Vallas.

The Post reports that in arguments, the course was described to the judge as requiring between a week and ten days of work for Vallas. Vallas apparently got an A. Other superintendents in the state were required to take a 13-month course at the Neag school.

Local blogger Jonathan Pelto, who has criticized Vallas' appointment, outlined the differences between the Bridgeport superintendent's course of study and that of other district leaders here.

On Monday, Bridgeport's school board voted to ask the state to waive some of the state's requirements for superintendent, the Post reports. But this decision overrides that vote.

Before arriving in Bridgeport, Vallas had highly publicized stints in the Philadelphia and Chicago school districts and in Louisiana's Recovery School District, which was designed to run low-performing schools in the state.

Update:

Connecticut education commissioner Pryor said in a statement, "We disagree with and are disappointed by the court's decision. Paul Vallas' superintendency—affirmed by Bridgeport's democratically elected school board—has brought to the city invaluable expertise acquired over Mr. Vallas' previous 15 years as Superintendent of three major urban districts. We support Bridgeport's decision to pursue next steps in the legal process."

The Post reports that a rally will be held to support Vallas early next week and gives more context on the reaction to the judge's decision.

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