PELTO: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

I think the idiom is supposed to mean you can't get away with fooling someone twice, but that was before we all met Mr. Paul Vallas.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Paul Vallas claimed that a new million dollar contract that his company, The Vallas Group, received to help turnaround failing districts in his home state of Illinois, would not impact his work in Bridgeport

Now, thanks to an exclusive story in today's District Administration Magazine, we learn that The Vallas Group is also "partnering with Dallas-based Cambrium Learning Group."

The new partnership will be selling "The Vallas Turnaround System" to school districts around the country and perhaps world-wide.  According to the article Vallas says that his "turnaround model" will actually turnaround a school district within one year.

But, yet again, Vallas assures us hayseeds that his new business endeavor won't reduce his commitment to his $229,000 plus benefits job as Bridgeport's Turnaround King.

And yes, the new product's official name really is "The Vallas Turnaround System."

Furthermore, it turns out that The Vallas Turnaround System "includes not just improving academic performance but also stabilizing districts by balancing their budgets and reorganizing their administrations."

Vallas told the writer for DA Magazine, "You will be amazed at the efficiencies and cost savings you can bring to a district." Vallas goes on to brag that he was able to "reconstitute" the Bridgeport School's central office operation in just 30 days, cutting 40 percent so that "more resources" could go to student learning instead of administrative costs.

The writer didn't both to check the accuracy of Vallas' claim since even a quick call would have revealed that Vallas' view of his accomplishment doesn't count at least a dozen new consultants who are working on central office operations.  Nor does his assessment explain how shifting resources to actual education costs resulted in laying off as many as 50 teachers and school professionals.

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In what we observers have now recognize as "The Vallas Style," when asked about this new Vallas/Cambrium operation, Vallas would only say that he has a "large and growing" group of "prominent educators, administrators, finance and operational people" who have signed up to be part of the transition teams that he will dispatch to turnaround failing districts.

DA Magazine reports that Vallas "will be involved personally in larger, district wide projects that call for major reform while he continues to work in Bridgeport, at least until his contract there expires at the end of December. The contract allows him to take on other projects elsewhere."

No mention, of course, of the fact that the illegally appointed members of the Bridgeport Education Board is rushing to finalize a multi-year contract with Vallas before a democratically elected board can be elected and seated.  Vallas supporters have openly said that they want to prevent an elected Board of Education from changing the course the appointed board as set out for city's education system.

Meanwhile, the President of the Cambrium Learning Group's  "intervention division", Voyager Learning, told the magazine that "the Vallas model is designed so that districts with tight budgets can afford it by using federal, state, local and special education funds, or "other funds they might already have."

Yeah, there you go, redirect special education funds to pay for the Vallas Turnaround System, that will go over well with the feds and the courts.

You can find the press release from the Cambrium Learning Group here: http://cambiumlearning.investo...

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