What does U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan think about the recent court decision that the superintendent of Connecticut’s largest public school system is not eligible to run Bridgeport schools?

“A superintendent is told he can’t hold his job. That’s fascinating to me,” Duncan told The Huffington Post.

Vallas has said he intends to appeal the Superior Court judge’s ruling

State law requires all superintendents in Connecticut to be certified by the State Department of Education, which requires that a candidate has a master’s degree, 30 credits in courses related to becoming a superintendent and eight years of teaching or administrative experience. These requirements can be waived for up to one year by the state’s education commissioner while the candidate completes an “educational leadership program” approved by the State Board of Education.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Vallas did not complete a necessary program, despite Vallas’s enrollment in an independent study created for him by the University of Connecticut. 

“The court orders Paul Vallas be removed from his office,” she ruled.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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