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MDUSD board to evaluate superintendent during special meeting tonight

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, November 28th, 2011 at 12:31 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board will hold a special closed session meeting at 7 p.m. tonight to evaluate Superintendent Steven Lawrence.

Members of the public can address the board regarding the superintendent’s evaluation before trustees adjourn to closed session.

The meeting will be held at the district office, 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

Are you satisfied with the superintendent’s job performance?

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20 Responses to “MDUSD board to evaluate superintendent during special meeting tonight”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    What has he done positive for the District in nearly two years ?
    Its easy to list the failures — the list is long.

  2. Jim Says:

    I did not see this meeting on the MDUSD web site last week. Was it just posted? How can the board be serious about soliciting public feedback if people don’t know about the venues where it supposed to happen?

    Boards get the kind of superintendent that they want. I can’t imagine how Lawrence’s performance has been a surprise to any board member, except perhaps Cheryl Hansen, who has voiced considerable disagreement with the Board/Lawrence approach to management.

  3. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The superintendent’s secretary told me the agenda was posted Friday.
    Trustees Cheryl Hansen and Lynne Dennler did not hire Superintendent Steven Lawrence. They were elected after he came to the district.
    Board President Gary Eberhart and trustees Sherry Whitmarsh and Linda Mayo hired him, along with former trustees Paul Strange and Dick Allen.

  4. g Says:

    It seems to me they “evaluate” him every 3-4 months. Or at least they hold meetings three or four times a year where they say that is what they are doing. Remember the last minute meeting to evaluate him and Rolen in July? It seems to me they never “report out” on those closed sessions, although if financial “action” takes place they should report that either immediately, or at the very next open meeting, shouldn’t they?

  5. AnonParent Says:

    It doesn’t matter who is in this spot, paranoia about big-government and conspiracy theories would attach itself to anyone in this position.

    The effort spent on outrage could be put to much better use.

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The agenda says that the meeting is for “information.” I’m not sure if the board needs to report that out.
    If a vote is taken, the action should be reported out.

  7. Linda L Says:

    The reviews happen several times per year. It was the same during McHenry’s tenure. I get the impression they are just part of the standard employment process at MDUSD.

    AnonParent, I disagree with you. There are some amazing Superintendents out there. Superintendents that communicate and plan. Superintendents with qualities we would be thrilled to have in this District.

    Read about this Superintendent:

    Take a look at his entry plan when he was first hired:

    And take a look at the strategic plan he spearheaded:

  8. Doctor J Says:

    Read what MDUSD and MDEA were supposed to agree to in order to qualify for the SIG Grants. If they don’t there will be a PAYBACK of the grants ! They are described as “high quality teacher evaluations.”

  9. Theresa Harrington Says:

    In guest commentary, teachers’ union president questions value of testing:

  10. Number Eight Says:

    During the break I’ve been wondering about one question on the long list raised by the CVCHS fight. Theresa quoted CFO Richards that substitute costs are “substantial” but have not been itemized even by school. REALLY!!??!! Teacher absence is not only an expense but also impacts learning. My kid had trouble with 8th grade Algebra and guess what the teacher was absent at least once a week probably to district and staff meetings. We need more disclosure about substitutes in the district and why this problem is not monitored. What is being done by Richards and Lawrence?

  11. Anon Says:

    Number 8,
    With two children in high school, at least one of my children had a substitute teacher at least one day almost every week.
    Districts have really made an effort to reduce absences of students in order to drive revenue. Shouldn’t the same emphasis be put on teacher absences in order to reduce costs and MORE importantly to increase student learning? Unfortunately, a substitute teacher often means “movie day” and a complete waste of time for our kids.
    A student with 45 days absent would fail; a teacher with 45 days absent got a complete pass.

  12. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Richards said he was trying to code more things to specific sites. Last year, for the first time, aides were coded to sites, he said.
    I believe he intends to try to start coding substitutes to sites in the future.
    The movement to secede Walnut Creek from the district began with a string of substitutes in a ninth-grade geometry class at Northgate, as I recall.
    And the CVHS charter movement began in large part because of parents’ and students’ complaints about inadequate math instruction at the school.

  13. Wait a minute Says:

    So, did the board report out its board-majority rubber-stamping of Stevie Lawrence?

    Stevie is without a doubt the worst superintendent in CA as so amply evidenced by the entire CVCHS charter fiasco that Stevie (with help) has put the MDUSD through.

  14. MDUSD WC Resident Says:

    When do they report out on the superintendent’s evaluation? It should be public, I would think. The board represents the community and they owe the community a public accounting of their evaluation. Plus, does anybody know what criteria they are using to evaluate?

    @ Wait A Minute – Eberhart, Whitmarsh, and Mayo hired this guy. Do you really believe that they would be honest enough to admit the monumental stupidity of their choice?

    Northgate, Foothill, Walnut Acres, Bancroft, and Valle Verde to WC in 2012. If not, charter them. We need to get out of MDUSD.

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I don’t believe they report out the evaluations, since they are personnel proceedings.
    However, if they were to vote on an action, I believe they would need to report that. As I mentioned, this meeting was for information, not a vote.

  16. Doctor J Says:

    Supt Lawrence promised twice a month “newsletters” — I think that lasted two months. What is his record since then ? You cannot even find them listed in the same place on the website ? Who is saying that they posted the Notice of the Special Meeting on the Website on Friday, a District holiday ? Oh please.

  17. Anon Says:

    Theresa #12,
    The Walnut Creek petition was motivated by substitutes but it was because of teacher turnover, when there was no teacher for the classes. The students had no math teacher for three months because a math teacher quit (after half the math department had left), and this turnover had been happening for years with Spanish teachers, Biology teachers, etc. The main reasons were: teachers can earn more at another district; and MDUSD personnel/hiring issues; and Northgate principal issues. The first two problems still exist and there is still teacher turnover at Northgate. That’s bad enough, but it’s different from paying substitutes because a teacher is absent a day here and a day there with no accountability.

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Yes, that’s what I meant — that there was a string of substitutes and no permanent teacher. Also, there was a lack of accountability from the substitutes and the administration, as you point out.

  19. Doctor J Says:

    Apparently Lawrence’s evaluation did not go smoothly last night — today he suddenly posts the “video” and “powerpoint” from the Nov 21 Charter “impact” meeting even though it is not properly considered in the Charter decision. Interesting since he was “on vacation” the rest of last week. I have not watched the video to see if it is unedited, and includes all the Q & A.

  20. Doctor J Says:

    Could MDUSD’s grants or special funding be in jeopardy for non-compliance ? Already this year MDUSD had to write a “Corrective Action Plan” for SIG Grants Cohort 1 for non-compliance, was rejected and required resubmission for SIG Grant Cohort 2. Now Pittsburg may lose some QEIA funding for non compliance.
    How would Mt. Diablo fare in a compliance audit for its special funding programs ?

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