OUSD’s latest personnel report

Some of you have asked for the district’s latest official reporting of new hires, promotions, departures, etc. I know this list isn’t up to date — e.g. Ash Solar, who headed the effective teaching task force, has left OUSD, but his name wasn’t on there — but here you go:

Personnel Report June 2011

Katy Murphy

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

  • Sad Teacher

    Ash left OUSD?! When did that happen??

  • Ms. J.

    Where did Ash Solar go? What happened there? I am very curious I must say.

  • Katy Murphy

    I called Ash to find out, but have yet to hear back. His email autoreply message said he wouldn’t be reachable at that OUSD address of June 23, and Troy Flint confirmed that he had left OUSD.

  • Turanga_teach

    His kindness, integrity, and level-headed professionalism will be deeply missed. OUSD has an unfortunate tendency to eat its best and brightest through overwork in impossible assignments: I’m hoping that didn’t happen here.

    Katy, I look forward to an updated, clearer statement on transitions when you have it. My school released an interim to a different site and got a former AP as its permanent administrator, and none of those names or placements show up on this thing.

  • Debora

    I, too, will miss Ash. He helped my daughter’s school choose a new prinipal and was genuinely concerned with the process and helping to achieve the best oucome for all. He was one of the few in the process who did not seem to put on a dog and pony facade.

  • seenitbefore

    Looks like Ash was in a 2 year residency program that just ended…..

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him moving on to a higher position in another district. But… I have no hard information. He was definitely a nice person and someone who seemed to speak the truth and not shy away from looking into issues that needed addressing.

    Not to be a cynic.. but that usually doesn’t allow a person to last long working for OUSD.

  • Wonderin’

    I kind of thought Ash Solar was a Broad fellow. Although he was nice, I really question how someone so young and with very little classroom experience had gotten such a high-level and exalted position as working directly with Maria Santos. It is part of the OUSD pattern of putting very young principals, who have two or three years of classroom experience, in many of their open positions. The fact that Ash may been a nice person does not negate or excuse his association with the Broad foundation, whose missions is to corporatize public education. Eli Broad, a multi-billionaire, has done much to damage the Oakland public schools.

  • Ms. J.

    Exactly. And not just OUSD either.

  • J.R.

    You are forgetting one very important fact.This district(as well as others) have been damaged for decades, long before any reformers were even heard of. That excuse just doesn’t work. If the job had been done correctly nobody would or could be stepping in NOW!

  • Oakie

    Watch out, 7 and 8. Hell just froze over:


    I suspect public education in dysfunctional districts like OUSD will never improve until those who fight against reform die off. I would prefer that these districts die off even sooner. Of course if you look at the trajectory of the OUSD budget, it looks like more and more Oakland parents are showing their good judgement and abandoning this cesspool of an unreformed system. At this rate of loss, this district has a distinctly short life left. Hoorah.

    I can think of a few more billionaires that are trying to do the right think like Broad. George Soros. Michael Bloomberg. Elon Musk (not quite worth that much yet, until Tesla really gets successful).

  • Ms. J.


    I infer from your comment that you assume I and Wonderin’ do not believe that teachers should be rigorously evaluated, or that we don’t believe student progress should be part of the metric (the article referenced states that the NEA explicitly endorses such practices now). I won’t speak for Wonderin’, but that is not what I think of as ‘hell freezing over.’

    As I have often written before in this space, I WELCOME rigorous evaluation, especially if it includes observation and constructive feedback from people who know what they are talking about. Broad and Bloomberg do NOT know what they are talking about. (I don’t address Musk as I don’t know his policies or impacts, and I think that you are actually wrong about Soros if you think he is a proponent of the cunningly, erroneously named movement called ‘education reform.’)

    Broad and Bloomberg are not attempting to save public education. Not if the definition of public education is education which the government provides, out of taxpayer money, for every child in this country, regardless of her family background, home language, or special needs.

    Broad, Bloomberg, and the other edupreneurs believe that the market is the best way to change education. They have made a lot of money as good capitalists, and they attribute their success to their own hard work; they extrapolate from their individual stories and have a stake in believing that anyone can make it if they only want to (by believing this they can deny the fact that they were not only hardworking and deserving but also LUCKY, MALE, WEALTHY and/or WHITE to start out with).

    The reason they want to ‘reform’ education is not because they want to help all children achieve. They want to help ‘deserving’ children achieve. They may be genuine philanthropists at some level (I don’t doubt that Bill Gates sincerely wants to give something back to the country in which he has made so much money) but they also know (if they are as smart as everyone says they are) that they will benefit from the privatization which is the inevitable result of their efforts.

    As for the logic of ‘education reform,’ it only works if you subscribe to the idea of meritocracy. People who cling to the ideology that everyone in our free country can succeed on their merits refuse to take into account all of the historical, societal handicaps confronting many of our students. Broad, Rhee, Duncan, Walton, and other like-minded ‘reformers’ insist that schools and their students must succeed in a vacuum, without any investments in the families and communities around them.

    Possibly some in this school of thinking are simply ignorant, but I believe many are aware of the fallacy they propound and do so cynically, because they don’t really want to reform education. They want to privatize it. This is not the same thing. Education ‘reformers’ use the term reform because they understand most of us don’t want to give up on public education, but are unfortunately duped by their argument that competition will work to improve schools and students.

    Some good reading on the context of city schools: City Schools and The American Dream, by Pedro Noguera; and Race in the Schoolyard, by Amanda Lewis. Neither of these books excuses schools, districts, or teachers from the responsibility of doing more than we currently manage to do to help students grow and learn. But they give coherent pictures of the challenges surrounding schools without blaming the neighborhoods for their struggles, understanding the historical contexts or racism and poverty in America.

    BTW, OUSD is not a cesspool. That is an insulting, ignorant comment. And out of the 30 teachers with whom I have worked closely in the past 12 years, I can think of 3 who would have objected to being evaluated with reference to their students’ progress. The rest have consistently embraced all opportunities to become better teachers and raise their students’ abilities. The majority of teachers do. Those who don’t, should not be teachers any more.

  • EO Teacher

    Wonderin’ – OUSD hires young principals, but “two or three years of classroom experience” is a GROSS exaggeration that severely undermines your argument. Five or six MAYBE for assistant principals. Check your facts before you start making claims.

  • J.R.

    EO Teacher,
    Thank you for setting the record straight(it is quite a gross exaggeration at that, as I have subsequently found through research).

  • J.R.

    You couldn’t be more wrong, choosing to learn and effort are personal decisions that anyone can make. It is not about the money(except for the union’s perspective). here are some links showing that poverty does not matter as much as “YOU” would like it to(once again).



  • http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/ Sharon

    @ J.R. re his video (#2) about the SEED school. Here’s a page with a graph of SEED school attrition.

    The per pupil spending at the SEED boarding school is $35,000/year. Do you really think that the people pushing ed reform have the idea that Americans should be spending that kind of money on our large population of under-performing urban African American and Latino kids? Au contraire, what they’re pushing hard now is quicky, meaningless high school degrees that are earned by completing cyber high classes at the lowest cost (= sans human teachers). Then the graduates are off to a bunch of years of unemployment (which the existence of teachers unions did NOT cause).

    Others might be interested in this article about how the Black/White unemployment disparity has not budged in 60 years even w/increased levels of education.

    “Educational levels have, in fact, steadily climbed over the past 60 years for African Americans. In 1940, less than 1% of black men and less 2% of black women earned college degrees; jump to 2000, and the figures are 10% for black men and 15% for black women. Moreover, increased education has helped to narrow wage inequality between employed whites and blacks. What it hasn’t done is close the unemployment gap.”

  • J.R.

    The high cost is due to the boarding aspect and having staff long hours on site( please note that regular education per child spending is grossly under-reported). Black/white unemployment disparity has not changed, and neither have attitudes,nor the reliance on public assistance for that matter. Children learn what they live, and if they have poor role models it will be harder to break the cycle of poverty. The high school diplomas have been utterly meaningless for decades(the equivalent of an 8th grade education for most kids). This education system as it exists has been broken for decades, and only the truly involved parents and children that value education are succeeding(it’s not about the money). Online schooling requires self motivated students,and will not work with the majority of our demographic. Attitudes and minds must be changed in order for true reform to take place, the public at large is mistaken when it comes to the enormous amount of education spending.


  • J.R.

    The point is that, poverty is not that big an obstacle to learning. We created a system of taking care of people cradle to grave(money for pregnant unwed mother,food stamps, subsidized housing, money for any any and all ensuing children. We are responsible for people who can’t or wont take care of themselves, and you think it’s still not enough? Teachers unions are responsible for overstepping bounds in an arena where no market forces exist(neither side of the negotiators table has the taxpayers well being(and by extension the country itself)at heart when they dicker with someone elses money.They are part of the problem, the results speak for themselves.

  • David Laub


    What is your PERSONAL HISTORY and FAMILY GENERATIONAL HISTORY with poverty? Have you come to your conclusions regarding the impacts of poverty upon the cognitive and affective domains and processes that impact learning through definitive personal experience, or is it more of a superficial assessment that you have BOUGHT INTO regarding the impact of poverty?

    Just so this doesn’t feel too personal a question, my father lived through true poverty in the Lower East Side of NYC, NY in the early 1900’s, when scarlet fever, typhus, polio, childhood mortality, families facing hunger, unemployment and eviction ran rampant through the most populated impoverished ghetto in the industrialized west, during the early 1900’s. My mother grew up working poor, not impoverished.

    I myself grew up in a family that lucked out when living month to month, often week to week, and occasionally day to day.

    I am acutely aware, as a PUBLIC SCHOOL teacher, as to the extremes that poverty places upon my students, greatly impacting the consistency of effort which they can apply to their education. This is given not as an excuse, rather it is a fact that family survival, and family circumstances-caretaking sick elders and siblings, helping to pay the bills, will trump a day at school in a minute.

    So, I feel, after reading your comment that it would help me to understand your rejection of the impact of environment-in this case socioeconomic. On what theories and practices of psychological development and learning do you base your statements?


  • Jesse James

    I still want to know about positions filled!!! Help!

  • J.R.

    There is nothing superficial about any of it. I have walked the wretched streets for the first part of my life. Too many people think this is just a game, but it is so much more often a cycle of stupidity than it is a cycle of poverty borne of circumstances out of ones control. Comparing people during the depression to current citizens is night and day. The work ethic is all but gone, and we have irresponsible people out birthing the responsible people. This is a recipe for disaster, and has been for decades now. I hope you don’t deny this, do you? This is based on the reality of the numbers, and the situation as it exists, theory is meaningless here. Here is a film that shows what the bay area was like in 1958, before the avalanche of public assistance hit. How can we as a nation expect prosperity for our people when we make it possible(even preferable) to a become taxpayer supported being with all the rights and privileges of tax paying citizens, but none of the responsibilities? Is this a fair question or not?


  • J.R.

    You are a school teacher, and you want all these people to succeed, I understand that and agree to an extent. Success for all is a worthy goal but totally unrealistic in the real world. You cannot pursue progressive goals( public assistance, section 8, welfare etc) and yet expect people and their offspring to then rise above and become responsible. Work ethic and honesty are learned behaviors that are(or are not) modeled by adults, and this is part of the problem in this particular community.

  • Nextset

    JR is right. Poverty is not very important when you are trying to determine why some students “can’t learn”. Intelligence is the primary issue for this.

    Students of dull intelligence should be handled as they have always been handled across history. They are to be evaluated to see what they have aptitude for and routed into fields of study that are within their ability. That’s how you keep people working and productive. You don’t missmatch the students and the programs.

    OUSD takes the PC position that all people are created equal in intelligence – a fashionable bit of nonsense that was created after the Civil Rights movement of the mid-60s as part of an appeasement campaign. OUSD and schools like it scramble the students and the programs until real education ceases and students become frustrated and unemployable. They they want their budgets increased so they can intensify the madness because the kiddies aren’t learning suficiently.

    We wouldn’t be having so many problems if the population here wasn’t “diverse”. But it is, and the government is hell bent on making it more diverse. Throw in welfare policy and other state policies (diovorce on demand, tax policies) that destroy family formation and cohesion and you have an explosion of high need, dull students. OUSD and it’s educational policy is overwhelmed.

    The only way this is going to turn around is to have an administration that openly throws the PC book out and embarks on a course that works. Sort students into campuses and programs by ability. End appeasement. Restore discipline, deportment and decorum. Focus students on goals of industry (employment paths), Military enlistment readiness, and higher education readiness including Tech Schools and 4 year colleges.

  • Cranky Teacher

    Haha, no Summer break for resident ideologues J.R. and Nextset, although they pretend to agree when they are diametrically opposed:

    J.R. is all about the bootstraps and pulling up of said, while Nextset is all about Brave New World sorting of DNA-marked Alphas and Epsilons.

    How about seeing a little complexity, fellas?

  • J.R.

    I know it’s hard for you to imagine: a)Working year round and b)The taxpayers providing for your lifestyle, without you having to actually go out and earn it, and maintain it by merit. I digress there is no summer break for most true taxpayers. This is not about bootstraps, and all that. This is about making up your mind to take advantage of the educational opportunities available in this country, and make yourself valuable so that you won’t be stuck in the servitude of low wage or no wage hell. It’s about choice, and when you don’t give your best you ultimately will have no choices.

  • J.R.

    As for complexity, there are two types of people:

    Producers/earners and then there are takers/enablers, and its not too hard to see why the country is in such a mess. There are proportionately far too many takers/enablers to be sustainable. Sure some people make ridiculous sums but as long as it’s a portion of profit, then that is not my concern. When money is taken from me and redistributed in a manner that is ultimately destructive, I have a huge problem with that. The declaration of Independence enumerated rights, and one of those is the pursuit of happiness(essentially by merit) not a guarantee of it through income redistribution.

  • Ms. J.

    I *think* Cranky was joking. Unless you are actually being paid to write your commentary? Do you consider it part of your job?
    BTW, what is a ‘true taxpayer’? If someone disagrees with you does that mean s/he is not one? Are the taxes which teachers pay worth less than those paid by computer programmers?

    And the Declaration of Independence’s guarantee of the pursuit of happiness (as well as life and liberty) did not extend to everyone who ‘merited’ it, whatever that means. Only to white men of property.

    To dispute the myth of meritocracy and the American dream is not to embrace communism.

  • J.R.

    In simple terms a true taxpayer is one one earns money(by offering his/her skills on the free market), and is paid or not(by freewill choice) by the consumer/beneficiary of those same skills. Simplifying even further, my employment, and or rate of pay(increases),terms of employment,sanction or dismissal is not forced upon my employer without benefit of free market controls. My employer decides how much my toil is worth(I don’t dictate what he does with his money)and if I merit raises and or bonuses. My work brings money(value to the company and I am paid accordingly). In short I pay taxes out of my hard earned and continually merited resources, I have never, and will never already earned my next 10,20,30 years of employment(how smug and arrogant it would be to believe that you have earned your future in just a few short years). So while I endeavor to keep earning my checks and employment, you just keep enjoying the checks that keep rolling in(in perpetuity or until the district financially collapses of course).

  • Ms. J.

    No earning or work involved. Just checks rolling in, month after month. Bwa ha ha ha. At taxpayer expense. (Visualize Monty Burns drumming his hands together while chortling maniacally.)