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Hayward school board considers sending pink slips to all principals, vice principals

By rparr
Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 8:20 pm in Alameda County, Cherryland, Fairview, Hayward, Layoffs, Schools, Union City.

A proposal to send out potential layoff notices to all Hayward Unified principals and vice principals will be taken up by the district trustees on Wednesday, March 13, their last scheduled meeting before the state-mandated March 15 deadline.

Trustees talked about the idea for more than two hours this past Wednesday without taking action. But before they went into closed session, they got an earful from angry teachers who said the notices would be demoralizing. Several teachers spoke about how after years of high turnovers of principals, the district seemed to be moving forward and there was starting to be a sense of stability and team-building.

All of the principals and vice principals were evaluated, and the school board earlier approved dismissal notices for five principals and two vice principals. However, the notices discussed this past Wednesday would go to administrators who received good reviews. An email that was sent to administrators said the move would allow the superintendent more flexibility in any restructuring.

Several people said it appeared that the board had taken action of some form in closed session without reporting it, resulting in allegations of lack of transparency. Trustees are not allowed to disclose closed-session discussions.

Trustees only allowed 20 minutes for public comment, and limited each speaker to one minute at Wednesday’s meeting. Board president Will McGee, with the approval of the rest of the trustees, extended the comment period so that everyone who had asked to speak could.

The meeting was packed, with the conference room where trustees were meeting full and others in an overflow room.

Under the state Brown Act, trustees could not respond to comments made.

Sending out pink slips, as it is commonly referred to among educators, to all principals and vice principals in a school district appears to be an unusual move. It is true that Oakland did it a couple of years ago, but that district was having to close schools for financial reasons, and it didn’t have a plan in place by the March 15 deadline.

Those I spoke to at several state agencies and groups said sending out the notices was not something that they tracked, but many agreed informally that it seemed to be out of the ordinary. None would go on the record, because they didn’t have any data, but a spokesperson at one expressed surprise that pink slips would be sent out for reasons other than financial.

Hayward, like all school districts, is preparing its students for state standardized testing that will start soon. The district also has begun contract talks with its teachers union. Many of those who waited outside the more than two hours of closed session expressed concern that sending out the pink slips could disrupt things at an important time for Hayward schools.

Wednesday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.

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  • Teresa Conti

    We are now in the loopus interegnum. God help us who still need to go downtown. Although truthfully, I have been working on eliminating this need, which is not good for the businesses that I support (such as they are). Getting to city hall looks to be a big pain in the behind.

  • Monica

    All I can say is that is dangerous to walk, bike or drive downtown. My trips are limited also. The stores I patronize most often are Kraski’s, Cobblers, Lucky’s, Ace and some of the restaurants are China Bistro, Buon Appetio, Buffalo Bills, Kokyo’s. And we only go out to eat maybe twice a month. I just checked out Snappy’s coffee on A St., and the coffee was delicious. It’s located in the heart of the loop so it may be difficult to get to in the future. My number one trip downtown is to the library. I go there at least once a week. I will do my best to avoid the loop also. I don’t think I will need to drive in circles any time soon.

  • Michael Moore

    Teresa and Monica, I had hoped you would be commenting on the article and not on the Loop. The article from Rebecca is about the discussion of whether all the HUSD Principals and Vice-Principals should get a pink slip next week. Better to see thse administrators replaced in schools with no success and progress towards meeting or exceeding the average for the state scores on standardized testing. I think that we should replace every single administrator in their job three years whose scores remain below the mean.

  • Teresa Conti

    It would seem the point of giving these out is not because of low scores but to “reform” the administration. The real issue is what causes the low scores. I hardly think that replacing administrators which has been done over and over is going to fix the problem. And, how come the super is not getting pinked as well? Things certainly have not improved much under his watch, have they?

  • Teresa Conti

    If I had kids at this time, I could not in all good conscience send them to Hayward schools. The schools are not providing a learning environment at this time except with a couple of rare exceptions. How hard is it to look at the things the schools are doing well and export them? Apparently, quite hard.

  • http://N/A Kathi Booth

    It would seem to me that if an administrator at a school site was showing continued progress that perhaps his/her expertise should be used at a site where there are problems. The staff at the successful school will have developed all of the techniques, strategies and methodology to continue the progress and should not suffer if the administrator is transferred.

    In the case of the Senior Staff working at the district offices, perhaps they should be replaced. Clearly with all of the struggling schools in HUSD, the top administration has not been done their jobs. No matter how much money is thrown at this district the leadership has consistently failed our teachers and students!

  • Sherry Blair

    Well, well. I have just discovered that the Hayword is back. Was it a secret? How come nobody told me?

    I think giving pink slips to a whole class of people regardless of their individual differences is very ignorant. It’s an answer that can only come from someone who cannot tell the difference between someone who is valuable and someone who is not. Do we really want to chase away the good ones? Let’s show a little gratitude! Do we really want to agitate the whole community in that way?

  • Sherry Blair

    What I posted yesterday is gone today.

    We need to quit thinking in terms of whole classes of people and begin to see that people within classes are individuals who are different from one another. Then we must treat them accordingly. For example, not all administrators are evil, not all teachers are bad etc. Then instead of making broad generalizations that hurt the whole class, we can actually improve our system by selecting the ones we like. We cannot afford to arbitrarily dismiss good people just because they belong to a class of people. Good people exist in all classes and we must seek them out and learn to see them as they are.

  • Michael Moore

    Sherry, I am not sure about the definition of We that you are using. Without the definition of We, how does it differ from the Silent Majority, Marxist, Parents, Young People, Seniors, Republican, Abused Women, North Koreans, Jihadists, Wahabi, Klan, Minutemen, Progressives and Pentocostals?

    All are generalizations and involve a good deal of stereotypical characterizations. Are you suggesting that We is the same as a stereotype, a generalization or a prejudice?

    I have always thought of We as the third person or plural of I. If I understand your suggestion, you are suggesting that I see everyone as an individual and not as a group. If that is so, I am sure you are right. One should always feel the best possible thoughts about Scott Haggerty, a politician, who is under investigation for fraud and significant irregularities. He should be thought of as an investigated person and not as a privileged politician who uses his authority to flaunt the law and abuse his constituents. The issue is really about Haggerty the man and not that he is a corrupt long term public representative. Now I think I understand your point, but when it is applied to Hayward, well it seems we either select mean spirited spineless people for office who follow the corporate money that put them in office or they become corrupted to be the voice of the money that selected them.