Thursday, February 05, 2009

Odyssey - Paul Vallas Returns to Ithaca ( Palos Heights)

The wandering Greek and his Dutch Bride with the Micks of Beverly in March 2002.

The Illinois Greek Peregrine, Paul Vallas, is coming home from his journeys in the land of Polypehemus ( Philly) and the Laestrygonians ( Louisiana) after many years and many labors to right the schools of those cities - this is classic:

Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered full many ways after he had sacked the sacred citadel of Troy. Many were the men whose cities he saw and whose mind he learned, aye, and many the woes he suffered in his heart upon the sea, seeking to win his own life and the return of his comrades. Yet even so he saved not his comrades, though he desired it sore, for through their own blind folly they perished—fools, who devoured the kine of Helios

Paul G. Vallas is currently superintendent of the Recovery School District of New Orleans, Louisiana.

He first gained fame as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). During his tenure from 1995 to 2001, he led an effort to reform the school system, and his work was cited by President Bill Clinton for raising test scores, improving relations with the teachers' 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 M. Daley after he successfully convinced the Illinois State Legislature to place CPS under mayoral 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 ran for Governor of Illinois as a Democrat. Vallas placed second in the Democratic primary, losing narrowly to now-Governor Rod Blagojevich while running ahead of former state Attorney General Roland Burris.

Following the election, Vallas was appointed CEO of School District of Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he presided over the nation's largest experiment in privatized management of schools, with the management of over 40 schools turned over to outside for-profits, nonprofits, and universities beginning in Fall 2002.
In 2005, Vallas considered challenging Blagojevich again for Illinois governor in the Democratic Primary but decided against it. He then signed a two-year contract (2007-2008) as superintendent of the Recovery School District of New Orleans, Louisiana.

On April 28, 2008 he appeared before the City Club of Chicago and on Chicago news shows discussing a possible run for governor in 2010.[1][2][3]

February 2009 Vallas publicly announces to Carol Marin of his interest in running as a Republican for Cook County Board President and discloses his plan to return to Cook County at the end of 2009 to run in the 2010 election.

Waiting for the return the peripatetic Hellene is the Dutch girl, Sharon, who raised his three boys, Paul, Gust, and Mark and kept his hearth ever-ready from the return of man who 'fixes things.' Paul Vallas is returning to repair Cook County Government and take the reigns of the President of the Cook County Board from from young Todd Stroger.

Cautionary note to those who would contend with Paul - lay off the kine of Helios - that is some bad beef.

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