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Matthews: One foot out the door?

By Katy Murphy
Friday, May 8th, 2009 at 2:33 pm in local control, OUSD central office.

State schools superintendent Jack O’Connell has been mum about the return of local governance to the Oakland school board, five months after OUSD passed muster with state auditors from the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team.

Maybe his Oakland appointee, Vince Matthews, knows something we don’t; he’s looking for another job. 

In fact, Matthews was recently one of six finalists for a school district in Reno, Nevada — the Washoe County School District. But he later withdrew his name (as did a few of the other finalists). He told me this afternoon that he was still job hunting.

“I’m looking at all of the options that are available,” Matthews said. “At this point, I haven’t accepted anything else.”

Once local governance is returned — “I imagine at some point in the near future,” Matthews said —  Oakland’s state adminstrator would become a trustee. Matthews said he’s not so sure he wants to take on that role.

Maybe he isn’t so keen on his current job, either. It sure pays well to be a state administrator, but Matthews often looks pretty miserable up there at board meetings. Six years into a state takeover, and the third state administrator in, it’s got to be awkward.

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  • Chris G.

    Hell I dont blame him! Get Out of Oakland. Anyhone who takes the Supe position at OUSD is crazy. In these times though, the money is tempting but with the recognition that the board are a group of idiots!

    a 2 year post at best.

  • harlemmoon

    Can anyone point to some definitive “wins” at OUSD under Mr. Matthews’ tenure? After Randy Ward, the position has been held by folks best characterized as ghosts. Anyone remember Kim Statham? I didn’t think so.

  • TheTruthHurts

    The job sucks. Do something and be lambasted as the State/Corporate/Right-wing conspirator. Do nothing and be lambasted as a worthless figurehead. Either way, not good background when job hunting.

    Frankly, I’d prefer someone who did something.

  • Nextset

    It’s not like you were a super at a real school district. OUSD pretends to be a “school” district and the super pretends to run a “school” district. Take the money and run.

    The OUSD students are just being trained to be second class citizens in this Brave New World. Poor things, they don’t understand.

    I spoke to a (black) OUSD high school student this weekend, asked her how’s school going. She showed me a high scoring essay she wrote about how deportation to Mexico is “unfair” to Mexican families because it makes them leave the USA, etc. She seemed proud of her work.

    And this is what they pass as education.

    We had a nice conversation about Nationalism and what happens to Americans in Mexico who get too comfortable. The girl had no clue about what is normal treatment around the world for foreigners who hang around a nation waving their flags, demonstrating for their rights, trying to buy real estate, having children, etc. Her lesson was to hate the US and it’s government, not to understand how any nation protects it’s territory. My concern also is that she is being taught that it’s wrong to protect yourself – that the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few. Socialism, Collectivism.

    She’ll be roadkill when she encounters the people in this Brave New World. I work with them. I went to grad school with them. Believe me, their children are being raised to protect their positions at all times.

  • harlemmoon

    So, let me get this right: We’ve got Vincent Matthews who is highly paid as the State Administrator and Roberta Mayor who is highly paid as the interim superintendent. But we’re only getting half the work?
    Where is the outrage?

  • cranky teacher

    Wow, Nextset, it sounds like that essay led to a good, critical-thinking conversation with an elder about values, politics and history.

    In other words, you just convinced me it was a great assignment!

  • Nextset

    Sorry Cranky, it’s not a great assignment. The school is putting it’s seal of approval on open borders as the only possible state of affairs, and in order to be critical of that leftist canard the child has to cross her teacher. It has been made clear that there is only one “right” answer on these subjects. “Wrong” statements of any kind result in markdowns.

    By the way, the child’s mother is an African Immigrant who is a naturalized US Citizen. The mother and mother’s siblings went through years of hoops to immigrate legally and acquire their US Passports. They can’t afford private secondary schools, the children transferred to OUSD when the Scholarship money ended at church schools.

    And as the kids near high school graduation they have learned nothing beyond uncritical repetition of the leftist version of reality. My point is that Jewish, White and Professional Class students of all colors who go to private schools are not so taught (and I know plenty of such families). When these OUSD kids leave OUSD and try to compete with the kids who are “more competitive” the results will be embarrassing. It’s a pity that these OUSD kids, black in this instance – who may have a chance of compete at college level – are so woefully unprepared for that day.

    While being taught to babble that US policy is evil, they have no idea of historical or international precedents and norms on the same issue. In short they are not being taught to think and to try to understand why things evolved and became the way they are.

    You will not see this approach to education in Piedmont. Or the Jewish secondary schools popular in Los Angeles. This is the “education” we give our black and brown kids. Repeat-after-me propaganda.

    How does all this apply for Matthews? Chris G is right. OUSD is in the business of hiring black folks to sit by the door (like the here today gone tomorrow principals). These aren’t schools, but failure factories. Take the money and run like hell. It’s only a 2 year job to decorate the resume.