October 2nd, 2007

Paul Vallas in New Orleans
Episode 1 - Rebuilding a Shattered System

This program was made by possible by support from the Annenberg, The Eli and Edythe Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates, William and Flora Hewlett and Wallace Foundations.

Meet Paul Vallas. Known as the “turnaround” superintendent, he’s credited with fixing the broken school systems in Chicago and Philadelphia. And now he has taken the reins of the much smaller, but deeply troubled Recovery School District in New Orleans.

Even before Hurricane Katrina wreaked further damage on the system, the district suffered from dismal test scores, immense poverty, and crumbling facilities. In this episode, we meet teachers and parents who are skeptical of yet another reformer taking the reins and promising change. Paul Vallas talks about the challenges he’s facing and how optimistic he is about turning around the Recovery School District.

(Originally aired October 2, 2007)

Download transcript (pdf)

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I am glad to see that you guys are keeping New Orleans in the national spotlight. Especially the Lower 9th ward and education. As the former principal my heart still aches for Alfred Lawless High School. The pictures don’t tell the real story of the people and the importance of the school to the community. It is my hope that I am around to one day see Lawless and the Lower 9th ward rebuilt. Again, thank you sharing some of our story. As an educator who lost everything I also mourn the loss of my school family and our beloved Alfred Lawless High School.

Anyone who’s examined Paul Vallas’s career as CEO of the Philadelphia schools has to come away with an incontrovertible conclusion that Vallas’s management abilities are sub-par. Is Vallas a personally engaging fellow, a man who presents a positive image? Sure he is—but the record shows it’s not enough to be a big city school system CEO.

[...] - Curbing the Dropout RatePaul Vallas in New Orleans ~ Episode 2 - Facing a Tough Road to RebuildingPaul Vallas in New Orleans ~ Episode 1 - Rebuilding a Shattered SystemPaul Vallas in New Orleans ~ Episode 11 Bonus Video - Turning a New Page in New OrleansPaul Vallas [...]

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