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Nope, Gary Yee is not in the running for supe

garyyee.jpgAlways the eager recipient of good scuttlebutt, I was intrigued by rumors that school board member (and former teacher, assistant principal, principal and administrator in OUSD) Gary Yee plans to resign from his post in the hopes of becoming the district’s next superintendent.

As usual, the rumors were tinged with truth: Yee tells me he was on the verge of stepping down to make himself available as an interim superintendent. But in December, he learned that board rules require members to be out of office for a full year before they can be considered for the position.

“The cost was just too huge,” Yee said. “The board would have to overturn its own by-law. How would I explain it to anybody?”

Yee said the board is considering one of three approaches at the moment when the state supe allows the local officials to pick a leader (likely in a matter of weeks):

1) appoint an interim superintendent immediately while launching a thorough search for a permanent leader

2) allow the current state administrator, Vince Matthews, to continue while the board conducts a thoughtful search

3) begin a permanent search now, and try to find someone as soon as possible

Yee says the board is leaning toward Option 1, which will allow them to take action immediately while giving them the time they need for a thorough search.

“If we get our local control back and we have the right to hire a superintendent and we take no action, then people will say, `What difference did it make?’” Yee explained.

Which option do you think the board should take? And are there any interim candidates who you think could carry the district forward while a permanent leader is chosen?

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Sue

    I like options 1 or 2 – taking the time needed to find the right person.

    I lean a little more towards option two, because it would be one less disruption in the administration. I’ve previously expressed my view that we need stability, and there’s been too much disruption from all the previous turnovers in the district.

  • hills parent

    OUSD needs to seek out fresh talent by conducting a national search. Kimberly Statham was promoted from within and looked what happened. It’s time now to seek out an individual who has the courage, intelligence, and experience to turn around a school district on the fringe of extinction. We need someone with experience in doing this.

    Gary-prove yourself on the school board first…and support your constituents.

  • JC

    I’ve always had a lot of respect for Gary Yee, both before and after the state takeover – so Hills Parent’s last comment mystifies me a bit…

    I agree that the board needs to take time and perform a through search; if Supt. Matthews is doing a decent interim job, let him stay while searching.

  • jim2812

    I think option 1 is best. And, I want to say that my former Vice Principal, at Franklin Elementary, Gary Yee is the single individual most qualified to be the interim Superintendent having been Oakland teacher, Principal, College instructor of teachers and School Board Member.

    If the Board is not willing to change its bylaws to get the most qualified interim Superintendent, then the voters should vote out of office a school board not willing to select the best qualified person to run the District.

  • hills parent

    If Gary is the “single most qualified to be the interim Superintendent” then I am concerned what this says about those that are currently leading the school district. I am sure that the district has hardworking, qualified, astute administrators that can step in during this difficult time. Rather than changing by-laws, the school board should take this opportunity to conduct a thorough search for the best candidate for Oakland.

  • parent 01

    The district needs to highly consider candidates from within the district. There are several managers and directors who are familiar with the district and understand the need for culturally sensitve curriculum and instruction. They understand that the current test scores and drop-out rates are disgraceful and needs to be addressed in an aggressive manner.

    Gary Yee certainly is not the most viable candidate because he doesn’t even adequately serve the constituents in his district. He is too focused on politics and saving face instead of the best interest of the children. Let him retire.

  • jim2812

    Whatever your opinion about Gary Yee serving in the elected office of Oakland School Board Member, Gary Yee teacher, principal, Professor of teachers, has more credentials and more experience in the Oakland public school system than any of the newly minted or surviving OUSD administrators.

    And, don’t forget that Gary Yee has the experience of having gone through the Oakland Public School system and graduated from Castlemont. And, also, guided his two children through OUSD to graduation.

    I am sorry that you don’t feel he serves his constituency. I assume he’s taken a stand you disagree with.

    But, his OUSD experiences is unmatched by any OUSD administrator; a fact, unlike your assertion that his chief motivation is to look good in the public’s eyes.

    Make Gary Yee interim OUSD Superintendent and I’ll be one of the first to question his actions but not his motivation. I believe in a viable democracy that public officials should be accountable to the public that needs to question their actions.

    And, as for your assertion that Gary Yee is not adequately serving his constituency, an election is the way a democracy determines the truth of that assertion.

    Jim Mordecai

  • hills parent

    I concur with you that an election is the way to voice one’s feelings. However, we cannot vote for interim superintendents, so voicing one’s opinion in forums such as this blog is all that we have in this instance.

  • John

    Hills Parent: Yes indeed! Voicing one’s opinion in forums such as this IS all that we have in this (and most) instances pertaining to the administration and happenings of the OUSD. The audience is small and our words (sometimes rightly) fall on a lot of deaf ears BUT one should never under estimate the value, and opportunity, of a cathartic experience. THANK YOU KATY!