Southwest Side Native comes back to town

Yes, Paul Vallas is coming back into town. One of the good things Mayor Daley did was to take over the CPS -Chicago Public School. I went through the CPS all the way until HS graduation, and it was in need of a lot of work. I did not realize how bad it was until I got older and saw other than CPS. No, I was not one of the parochial school kids that all hung around with each other and stayed away from us CPS kids. But seriously the CPS has improved tremendously since 1995, and I give Mayor Daley and Paul Vallas a lot of credit for it. I wonder if Paul Vallas got the Democratic nomination over Rod Blagojevich what things would be like now?

Paul Vallas
CEO of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). From 1995 to 2001 as CEO of the CPS, Vallas led an effort that was acknowledged by then President Bill Clinton as a model reform of a large school district. His accomplishments included rising test scores, successful relations with the teacher's union, balancing the budget, and instituting several new programs included mandatory summer school, after school programs, and expanding alternative, charter, and magnet schools.

The position of CEO of the CPS was created by Mayor Richard Daley after he successfully convinced the Illinois State Legislature to place CPS under the mayor's control. Vallas had previously directed the budget arm of the Illinois State Legislature and served as budget director for Daley.

Controversy plagued Vallas towards the end of his reign as CPS CEO. Following criticism from the mayor, and the election of a union president who ran on an anti-Vallas platform, Vallas resigned in 2001 and announced shortly there after he would run for Governor of Illinois as a Democrat. Vallas lost in the Democratic primary to now Governor Rod Blagojevich by a slim margin.

Vallas coming back to Chicago
April 13, 2007

Southwest Side native Paul Vallas is coming home.
Vallas will be leaving his post as chief executive officer of Philadelphia's public schools, and relatives say he's been looking at homes in the Beverly community and the south suburbs via the Internet.
His brother Dean Vallas said the schools chief wants to buy a house and spend more time with his children.
"The decision is, where do you want to plant your roots?'' Dean Vallas said. "He's coming home to Chicago. ... His wife and kids want to come home.''
Vallas has led the 174,000-student Philadelphia system through major changes, but financial troubles still affect the schools.
Vallas, 53, became the district's chief executive in July 2002 after leading Chicago's public schools for six years. He has declined to set a departure date but said he will finish the school year.
Vallas disclosed in October that the district's $2.04 billion budget had a $73.3 million deficit and large cuts would be necessary.
"This will likely be my last budget. But I haven't decided what I'm going to do next," Vallas said.
His brother said Vallas is "looking at opportunities in the public and private sector,'' including consultant work.
Asked if Vallas would consider another political run here, Dean Vallas noted that he and Vallas finally payed off a $537,000 gubernatorial campaign debt in January.
"When you've had to extinguish hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign debt and rent a house for five years, do you want to go out and go back into debt?"
In 2002, Vallas ran for Illinois governor, finishing second to Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the Democratic primary.
AP, Chicago Sun-Times


  1. Dan L said...
    ain't it the truth?

    I went to a sout side catholic school myself and can count on one hand how many CPS friends I had.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    Yes, Dan I know! I know that very well. Can't say I had a whole lot of parochial friends, very few, but I had the CPS plague.
    SP Biloxi said...
    "I wonder if Paul Vallas got the Democratic nomination over Rod Blagojevich what things would be like now?"

    What was Mr. Vallas like as a candidate when he was running against Blagojevich? Would he had made a great governor of your state? I know that Blagojevich is up to his neck with graft.
    Third Generation Chicago Native said...
    A lot of unions, including the teachers backed Rod Blagojevich. Rod ran all kinds of ads on how his parents migrated here from Serbia and worked hard for the American dream He was in all the ads with his baby and toddler daughter.
    About Vallas: I don't know, maybe because people were still upset with CPS being taken over by the city and test scores improved but not enough, also Vallas put in metal detectors and made kids wear uniforms. He also closed and consolidated schools, and some areas were good and fluffed up because of what schools closed, and where new schools were built or added on to.

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