The salary and benefits for Oakland’s new supe

The three-year contract for Oakland schools superintendent-to-be Tony Smith includes a base salary of $265,000 plus health coverage, a retirement contribution, and five weeks vacation. (On the agenda, the salary is listed at $275,000.)

The contract hadn’t been posted online as of a few minutes ago, apparently because of technical difficulties, but the board secretary sent me the attachment. You can read it here.

This is on tomorrow night’s agenda, along with the 2009-10 budget. (Although the agenda says that Vince Matthews will adopt the budget tomorrow night, spokesman Troy Flint checked and said that it won’t, in fact, be adopted until the June 24 meeting.)

What do you think about the contract?


Oakland school district hires San Francisco attorney for top legal post

Jacqueline Minor, a former deputy city attorney from across the bay, will soon take charge of the Oakland school district’s legal department. Minor will fill the void left by Deborah Cooksey’s departure in January (shortly after the district filed a lawsuit in federal court against an Oakland law firm, alleging racketeering). 

In 2001, SF Weekly reported that Minor tried to put a stop to an illegal meeting of — get this — San Francisco’s Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, which was formed to increase public access to government.

Here’s what the district put out about Minor’s appointment and her legal background: Continue Reading


Principal Search 2009

As promised, here’s the list of Oakland schools that will have new principals in the fall — well, as of now — that I requested from the district office, along with a personnel report from mid-May that has some more information. Please feel free to fill in the gaps.

Crocker Highlands (Beth Rhine)
Joaquin Miller
Martin Luther King
New Maxwell Park
Redwood Heights (Sara Stone)
Sankofa Continue Reading


Another year, another Skyline principal search

Pleas from Desley Brooks and dozens of Skyline parents, teachers and neighbors were not enough to convince the Oakland school board to rescind the dismissal of Al Sye from Skyline High School.

So, less than a year after the previous one disbanded, another Skyline High School principal selection committee is about to form. Any takers?

I hear that a meeting Thursday evening to elect committee members was so poorly attended (most likely because the notices apparently didn’t arrive until that day!) that the elections were postponed. Those interested in participating in the interview process — or deciding who will — can attend a PTSA meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Skyline.

photo courtesy of the Skyline Oracle


Superintendent search committee: Who’s on it

After the May 20 public forum in which we’ll meet the two or three finalists for Oakland’s top job, a seven-member advisory committee will take a closer look and give the board a non-binding recommendation. The committee was officially formed this afternoon at a special board meeting (that I just happened to learn about while checking for Wednesday’s agenda).

Of the seven members, three once served on the Oakland school board. Here is the full list of appointees next to the name of the board member who chose them: Continue Reading


Update: No internal candidates made the cut

I just spoke this afternoon with Stan Paz of Ray & Associates, the firm hired to help find Oakland’s next superintendent of schools.

Paz wouldn’t tell me much, but he did say this: None of the four semi-finalists selected by the board were internal candidates. So much for the hopefuls presented here thus far…

These four people will be interviewed by the school board next week. Continue Reading


Oakland school board president steps down

Alice Spearman, Oakland’s new school board president, won’t hold that title for much longer.

Spearman just called me up to say she was about to resign her presidency, a post she has held for just four months. She said she came to this decision on her own, and that no one else pressured her to do so. She will remain on the school board.

“I just don’t think I was effective,” she said. “My management style is just different than most.” Continue Reading


Another OUSD veteran who would be chief

Denise Saddler, a former Chabot Elementary School principal who now supervises elementary schools in North and West Oakland, tells me that the rumors are true: She, too, is vying for the Oakland superintendency.

Like Michael Moore Sr., Saddler is an Oakland native with a long history with the school district, beginning as a teacher in 1979 (She attended the Anna Head School for Girls, which is now Head-Royce, for 12 years).

While chatting with her briefly today, I learned that she was the teachers union president between 1986 and 1992 Continue Reading


Yes, their hats are in the ring

At a closed session special meeting tomorrow night, the Oakland school board receives a short list of semifinalists from Ray and Associates, Inc., the firm hired to help with the district’s superintendent search. The rumor mill is churning, of course, and I’m working to confirm some of the names I’ve been hearing again and again…

For now, I present you with two would-be leaders of the Oakland Unified School District: Michael Moore Sr. and Hae-Sin Thomas. They won’t know until tomorrow night whether they are among the candidates that the school board and its advisory committee will interview. Continue Reading


Superintendent search: Who will fit the profile?

Based on input from the hastily scheduled superintendent search forums (I went to one at Westlake Middle School with about 10 people, including the school principal), the search firm Ray & Associates created a profile of the ideal candidate, which the Oakland school board approved this week.

You can find the complete document, which touts Oakland’s assets  — diversity, weather, professional sports, even the zoo — here. Candidates have until April 21 to turn in their applications for this $275,000-plus-benefits job (which, strangely enough, might seem like a deal after paying two executives $250,000 apiece.)

The characteristics sound pretty generic, actually. Do you agree that the profile (below) describes the sort of leader/superhuman Oakland needs? What would you add?

Continue Reading