Part of the Bay Area News Group

Live blog of 3-25-13 MDUSD meeting

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 7:57 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

7:51 p.m. Meeting is underway, with board voting on expulsions.

Here’s the agenda:

1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info

2.0 Announcements
2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info

3.0 Public Comment

3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.

4.1 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action

4.2 Readmission Action

4.3 Expulsions Info

5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 7:30 p.m. Info

6.0 Preliminary Business
6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info

7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
7.1 Negotiations Info
7.2 Readmission Info
8.0 Expulsion Recommendations
8.1 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #13-13 Action
8.2 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #14-13 Action
8.3 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #15-13 Action
8.4 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #16-13 Action
8.5 Expulsion Recommendation – Student #18-13 Action
8.6 Stipulated Expulsion Agreement & Waiver of Student Expulsion Hearing and Agreement to Complete Readmission Plan for Student #17-13 Action

9.0 Student Representatives
9.1 Student representatives will report on activities at their schools. Info

10.0 Consent Agenda
Action
10.1 (Item #1) Items listed under Consent Agenda are considered routine and will be approved/adopted by a single motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items; however, any item may be removed from the consent agenda upon the request of any member of the Board and acted upon separately. Action
10.2 (Item #2) Minutes of the meeting of February 25, 2013 Action
10.3 (Item #3) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
10.4 (Item #4) Request to decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2012-2013 school year Action
10.5 (Item #5) Student/Intern Teaching and Administrative Intern Agreement between Notre Dame De Namur University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
10.6 (Item #6) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
10.7 (Item #7) Classified Personnel: Request to Increase/Decrease Positions Action
10.8 (Item #8) Classified Personnel: Resolution of Reduction or Discontinuance of Classified Employees (Classified Layoff) Resolution No. 12/13-36 Action
10.9 (Item #9) Student Success Team Management System License Agreement between San Joaquin County Office of Education and Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
10.10 (Item #10) Approve contract with Resource Development & Associates (RDA) for evaluation services for Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) grant evaluation for the 2012-2013 school year Action
10.11 (Item #11) Procurement and Installation of New Synthetic Track Surface for the Outdoor Athletic facility at Clayton Valley Charter High School Action
10.12 (Item #12) Authorize submission for the Contra Costa County Family and Children’s Trust (FACT) grant to support the Crossroads Program Action
10.13 (Item #13) Contract Amendment: PHd Architects: Site Addaptive and Design Modifications Required to facilitate new classrooms and use of District Pre-Checked (PC) 1440 square foot design to meet Eagle Peak site needs. Action
10.14 (Item #14) Award of Lease-Leaseback Agreement to Taber Construction, Inc. for Chemistry Classrooms 2013 at Concord/Nueva Vista and College Park High School Action
10.15 (Item #15) Final Change Order – for LLB #1594 for New Chemistry Classroom Construction at Mt. Diablo and Clayton Valley Charter High School Action
10.16 (Item #16) Notice of Completion for LLB #1594 Action
10.17 (Item #17) Request Approval to Purchase (5) 2013 Ford F-150 Pickup Trucks Action
10.18 (Item #18) Request Approval to Purchase a 2013 Ford F350 One ton Flatbed truck Action
10.19 (Item #19) Adoption of the German Honors course of study Action

11.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion

12.0 Recognitions

12.1 The Board of Education will recognize Teacher of the Year Nominees Info

13.0 Public Comment
13.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info

14.0 Communications
14.1 District Organizations – At regular Board meetings, a single spokesperson of each recognized district organization may make a brief presentation following the Consent Agenda. Items are limited to those which are informational. Info

15.0 Superintendent’s Report
15.1 Northgate High School – United Nations Team Info
15.2 Concord High School Boys Soccer Team – Coach Alfonzo Munoz Info
15.3 Bond Refinance Update Info
15.4 School Safety Report Info
15.5 Bay Point Attendance Boundary Process Info

16.0 Business/Action Items

16.1 Amended Contract for Assistant Superintendent, Student Achievement and School Support, for Board Action Action

16.2 Amended Contract for Assistant Superintendent, Personnel, for Board Action Action

16.3 Amended Contract for Chief Financial Officer for Board Action Action

16.4 Amended Contract for General Counsel for Board Action Action

16.5 Amended Contract for Superintendent for Board Action Action

16.6 Appointment of Construction Manager II for Measure C Action

16.7 Update on Mandated Reporting Policy and Protocol (carried over from March 11, 2013 meeting) Info

16.8 Strategic Plan – Follow-Up and Next Steps Action

16.9 Technology Advisory Committee Info

16.10 Explore the potential multi-year lease of KVHS non-commercial FM Radio license: would not interfere with District’s right to provide KVHS programming via an internet-only-stream. Action

16.11 Public presentation of District’s Initial Proposal for a Succesors Agreement with Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA) 2013-2016 Info

16.12 Public presentation of the Successor Agreement Proposal for California State Employees Association (CSEA)to the District Info

16.13 Procurement and Installation of Surveillance License Upgrades with Three Year Maintenance Agreement for 950 Cameras Action

16.14 Update on the Board’s Response to the Public Records Act Request of the Contra Costa Times/Dan Borenstein Info

16.15 Graduation Requirements Update Info

16.16 Title I Policy MDUSD Proposed BP/AR 6171 Info

16.17 Meeting Extension Action
17.0 Future Agenda Items
17.1 Future Agenda Items Info

18.0 Board Member Reports
18.1 Board reports Info

19.0 Closed Session
19.1 Public Employees Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Complaint Action

20.0 Reconvene Open Session
20.1 Report Out Action Taken In Closed Session Info
21.0 Adjournment
21.1 Adjourn Meeting Info”

Live blog:

Board just recognized seven teachers who were in the running for district teacher of the year, including two district teachers of the year from Monte Gardens and El Monte elementary schools.

UPDATE: Here are the names of the seven teachers recognized:

District Teachers of the Year: Carissa Sugden, El Monte; and Shannon Prichard, Monte Gardens Elementary

Additional candidates:

Elisa Peters, Oak Grove Middle School
Janet Gowers, Ygnacio Valley High
Nicholas Sanchez, Shore Acres Elementary
Nina Pate, Woodside Elementary
Virginia Hewgley, Valhalla Elementary

8: 08 p.m. Student reps are now giving their reports.

8:17 p.m. Superintendent wants to move up recognitions for high school students.
The board recognized Northgate High’s United Nations Team and Concord High’s Boys Soccer Team.

8:25 p.m. John Parker just asked board to scrutinize lease-leaseback contracts.
Hansen pulled item 10.14 and Oaks pulled 10.9.

10.9 Student Success Team Management System License Agreement between San Joaquin County Office of Education and MDUSD:
Oaks: This is a $44,000 item that I’ve not heard about. I’d just like some information about who’s in charge of documenting this. I know it used to be done by hand. Is there a reason we’re now going to an online management system?
Lock: Yes, it used to be done by hand by principals. We found data very inconsistent. Last year, there was a committee of staff who explored this new product. Every SST is documented. This process is going to really assist us in significant disproportionality monitoring because we are required to monitor all referrals. This product was originally approved by the board last year. Sold to Accelify, then back to San Joaquin County Office of Education. This contract reduces our cost by $10,000. Three year cost. Typically there could be 20-25 per school. There could be two or three for one student over the years. Administrator can be monitoring to see if staff is staying on top of the actions. We did a trainer of trainer model back in August. Those trained went back and trained their staff.

8:32 p.m. License agreement unanimously approved.

Supt announced 11.2 was pulled by staff to be brought back later (I didn’t catch which original item that was.)

Extensive discussion of lease-leaseback with outside counsel talking about it.
Approved lease-leaseback contract in 4-1 vote (Hansen no)

Annie Nolen spoke about mandated reporting requirement and ID theft porgram.

Two district residents complained about their grandson being bullied.

Willie Mims spoke (I didn’t catch all his comments because I was talking to the grandparents in the lobby).

9:38 p.m. Back to rest of Superintendent’s Report:
15.3 Jon Isom is giving a bond refinance update with a PowerPoint.

9:40 pm. Superintendent is reporting on safety. Locks will be replaced along with several older doors, for a total cost of about $2.5 million. Current RFQ going out for locks. Hopefully will bring back firm responses in May and expect to bring doors back in near future.
Brian Lawrence asked about Ayers crossing guards.
Superintendent said he would have to ask principal, but the district is trying to re-evaluate the opening of the parking lot.
Brian Lawrence asked for an update from the superintendent and general counsel on the liability issues around crossing guards.

9:43 p.m. Superintendent is giving a Bay Point Master Plan update.
He said the growth projections don’t bear out a new high school, but Delta View is overflowing 100-200 students. So, a committee recommended having a public forum and asking for parent input. He said anybody can join the committee (I wonder how they’re promoting that?) The committee is meeting Wednesday.
Hansen: This surprised a couple board members because we didn’t know about the meeting. We didn’t know there were three scenarios. This has to be a team effort, where the board is informed and the board is participating.

Willie Mims: I was at Bay Point and we learned a lot and we heard a lot. One of my concerns is when you’re discussing boundaries, you have some new sections and some old sections. Concerned about possible Gerrymandering effect. I did not get a copy of the boundary proposal and would like to get one.
carries 3-2 (hansen and oaks against)

16.1 Amended contract for Assisant Superintendent, SASS (Rose Lock):

Rebecca Jensen comment:
Chastised the press. Said the FCMAT report about CVCHS costs seems to have been the match (to ignite this situation). The superintendent is very transparent. It feels as if this whole debacle is being used to do some housecleaning. Mistakes have been made, but I don’t believe them to be egregious enough to warrant this. If administrators can be so easily dismissed, what message does this send? Why would any qualified person ever want to work for our district?

Unanimously approved.

16.2 Amended contract for Assistant Superintendent, Personnel (Julie Braun-Martin):
Dennler moved approval and Oaks seconded. Then Dennler told Braun-Martin that one of her responsibilities is to interact with teachers who may lose their jobs. “This is a time of disappointment. I ask you to go above and beyond. Listen with patience and compassion. Four years ago, when I faced this position, I found you to be heartless and rude.”
Unanimously approved.

16.3 Amended contract for Chief Financial Officer (Bryan Richards):
Hansen said she is looking for a CFO who can answer questions about the budget. “I get concerns that requests for information are made and there’s not responsiveness. We have to have a CFO who can anwser questions quickly in language and terms that really answer those questions so people aren’t wondering what the heck’s going on. We need a CFO who really can be among his staff in fiscal. I think movement across the hall has not been helpful. I think people may not be managed as effectively as they could be. Payroll and fiscal is not a department where you want any unhappy campers.

Mayo: I want to express my concern that a ministerial action has been used to create firestorm of controversy. In them meantime, these employees have carried out their duties. Since December 2012, at least six attorneys have given input about these contracts. Despite this, the board still seeks other opinions. Attorneys have indicated that the action on April 23 is legally binding. I want to caution that comments made about employee performance may expose the district to a complaint. Although tonight’s action is legally unnecessary, I will support the extension as legally prepared by Roy Combs, attorney at law.

Hansen: Legal opinions are legal opinions and the only way something becomes legally binding is in a court of law with a judge making a decision. I am personally concerned that I was on this board last April 23 when these contracts came forward. I asked last April, ‘Where the heck are these contracts and why aren’t they posted for public viewing?’ I asked in the summer, ‘Where are these contracts?’ And I was ignored. The fact that we have spent money on outside attorneys is appalling to me, but I couldn’t get a second. Here we sit with a new board having to spend the first three months of their tenure having to fix the last mistakes. I am very concerned and offended. I am very unhappy that people on this board chose not to follow through. I’m also unhappy that the district administrators failed to follow through and advise the board. I resent the outside attorney fees.

Unanimously passed.

16.4 Amended contract for General Counsel (Greg Rolen):
Jack Weir: I expect the general counsel to be the district’s watchdog. The very manner in which these contracts were handled is all the evidence I need to know that there has been complete mismanagement in this regard. The public is very unhappy. Here we are trying to clean up a mess and we ought to be trying to make things better. We need new leadership at the top so we can move forward.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

128 Responses to “Live blog of 3-25-13 MDUSD meeting”

  1. Anon Says:

    failure of yet another child. so proud of the grand parents that stood up! This district says it has a zero tolerance on bullying. Not true! it happens, it is reported and nothing is done. Over and Over again

  2. Doctor J Says:

    Why did Deb Cooksey replace Greg Rolen on the dias ?

  3. Wait a Minute Says:

    OK, full mobilization by Supt Lawrence of a “fan club” to try and save his job and take a few cuts at Theresa and the CCC Times because of the blog.

    The first speaker is lauding the superintendent for his newsletters which are few and far between according to the superintendent’s own promise and schedule to do so.

    Basically astroturf.

  4. Doctor J Says:

    Lynne Dennler blasts Julie B-M as heartless, consdescening, and mistrepresenting. But she still votes for her. wow.

  5. Wait a Minute Says:

    Amazing, Dennler calls Asst Supt Braun-Martin “heartless” and disrespectful AND THEN SHE VOTES FOR BRAUN-MARTIN’S CONTRACT!!!

    I guess its like Dennler’s old “educational malpractice” statement at another time, but then she did nothing effective to fix the issue or hold the leadership accountable.

  6. Wait a Minute Says:

    You beat me to it Dr J.

  7. Anon Says:

    Lynne always votes against something before she votes for it and vice versa. Depends whether or not she gets the signal from Linda or not.

  8. Anon Says:

    I have my fingers crossed for new leadership but I am now thinking that we are going to be with this bunch of jokers for another year.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    Jack Weir calls for new leadership.

  10. Anon Says:

    GO Wendy GO!!!!

  11. Doctor J Says:

    “We are tired of scandals.” wow.

  12. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    If the board is unwilling to get rid of these jokers of administrators then it is time to recall a few of them.

  13. Anon Says:

    Once we recall Mayo maybe the board will appoint Wendy Lack to the seat.

  14. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    John Parker is a moron.

  15. Anon Says:

    And here it comes……Will B. Lawrence stand on his own or with his friends Strange and Ebberwhatever?

  16. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Here comes Cookesy. She read which way the wind was blowing and is now defending her boss.

  17. Wait a Minute Says:

    Oh, oh, Brian Lawrence is going to support Greg Rolen’s.

    And Cooksey is showing her loyalty to Greg Rolen. After the recall she needs to go too.

  18. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    Time to recall Brian Lawrence. I guess he showed his true colors tonight.

    He is a puppet of Eberhart and Strange.

  19. Anon Says:

    So glad I didn’t vote for Brian Lawrence. You turned out to be a JOKE!!!!!!

  20. Doctor J Says:

    Steve Lawrence has his Rotary shills supporting him.

  21. Wait a Minute Says:

    Looks like Brian Lawrence was a trojan horse candidate all along.

    I look forward to supporting a recall and I hope Wendy Lack organizes this recall.

  22. Anon Says:

    Who voted which way?

  23. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    I will be joining Wendy Lack in this recall effort. RECALL LAWRENCE AND MAYO.

  24. NHS Resident Says:

    That tears it….. Northgate must go charter now!

  25. Doctor J Says:

    As Yogi Berra said, its not over until its over. there is is still a closed session that may decide the events tonight.

  26. Anon Says:

    Ms. Hansen, No one is looking at you badly. Willie Mims has no idea what he is saying.

  27. Wait a Minute Says:

    Willie Mims is showing how he aligned with Steven Lawrence and Greg Rolen as soon as Cheryl Hansen stated her concerns about CFO Richards as he blasted Hansen.

    Gee and I wonder why Willie would do that?

  28. Anon Says:

    Who voted no on Rolen?

  29. Anon Says:

    and the vote will pass 3 – 2

  30. Anon Says:

    uhhhhhh….Hate to say it Ms. Follow the money, the Times did report about pittsburg schools and Theresa always points out the good she sees. Perhaps you should read the paper!

  31. Anon Says:

    Who is the 2nd vote against?????

  32. Anon Says:

    Brian Lawrence is a dirt bag! Hope you enjoy your head up your friends butt

  33. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    John Parker is a bumbling idiot. He just said the Times sucks. No Mr. Parker you are a moron.

  34. Wait a Minute Says:

    And is it any wonder why people are frustrated with politics?

  35. mike Says:

    You heard it. The CC Times SUCKS. What happened to Theresa’s declared “new board majority”. Wrong again

  36. anon Says:

    It’s time to recall Hansen. Mr. Mimms spelled it out pretty clearly.

  37. Anon Says:

    Parker is one of the old boy holdovers dealing with bonds. His judgement about anything is questionable.

  38. Teacher Says:

    When will the board start focusing their discussions on what is best for students?

    The good news is most people don’t read the blogs and many don’t read the paper. I see great things happening at schools around the district; teachers teaching and caring about students and students learning and feeling cared about. There will always be exceptions but great things are happening in MDUSD every day.

    For some reason, people thrive on negativity. I challenge those of you who continually post here to try and shift gears. If you try, you will begin to see the positives. This would be a much more productive use of your time.

  39. LV Says:

    I wanted to see a change tonight, but the air was full of fear…

  40. Not Always as it Seems Says:

    John Parker is a good and decent man. If you had ever served on a committee with him you would know this. He asks tough questions and speaks his mind. He is ethical and fair.

    Brian Lawrence showed courage tonight. He was right about the scope of the Board’s authority and the sanctity of a contract. He voted the right way.

  41. Parent Says:

    The District isn’t improving or wisely investing my taxes. In fact, the cost of the Charter School, and the reduction of hours of the librarian and ELD teacher at my daughter’s school.

  42. anon Says:

    Thank you Teacher. You are spot on. This new board has spent their first 3 months chasing their tails and spending money on investigations that have proved nothing. I wonder how many tens of thousands of dollars Ms. Hansen has caused the district to spend on her pet investigations. Look around at all of the surrounding school districts and they are well ahead of our district in terms of planning for the needs of students. Our community has been duped. We need a new board that is focused on students, not hell bent on revenging personal vendettas.

  43. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The two assistant superintendents and CFO were unanimously approved. The general counsel and superintendent’s contracts were both approved 3-2, with Hansen and Oaks voting against.

  44. Jack Weir Says:

    It’s now clear that Mayo is motivated to continue the cover-up of the scandals committed under the old board. She lectures Hansen on speaking ill of Lawrence and Rolen, lest the district face a “complaint,” but fails to acknlowledge her role in the stealth contract shenanigans.
    I think I see Brian Lawrence’s strategy: okay the contract extensions, and then move to terminate the superintendent and counsel for cause. Same end, with less cost? Can’t wait to hear the outcome of the closed session.

  45. Anon Says:

    Mayo is a hapless apologist for Lawrence and Rolen. Her major concern is that the stench left in their wake doesn’t extend to her.
    Perfect example of Mayo’s hypocrisy…
    She and Sherry Whitmarsh, along with Steven Lawrence, took it upon themselves to approve a secret FCMAT report last fall. None of them had the individual nor board authority to do so but she did anyway but she lectures others about proper process and protocol.

    As for the stealth contract manipulations she was at the heart of them. Her Brown Act Violations from April to the present day would keep a DA working overtime if the DA really cared about such things, but the DA doesn’t.

    When you start the recall on her, count me in. I’m tired of my tax dollars going to her very expensive health care benefits especially when she voted to take away those benefits from some of my friends.A final point of hypocrisy: when the Grand Jury issued a report last year suggesting that school districts look at their benefit packages, particularly health care benefits,
    trustee Hansen repeatedly asked that the item be placed on the agenda. Linda Mayo was instrumental in keeping it off the agenda.

  46. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Jack: A few of us hung around to hear the report out, which I videotaped. There will be a closed session meeting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday March 27 to discuss employee discipline, dismissal, release, for about two hours. The board will also meet in closed session from 4-6 p.m. March 28 to discuss negotiations.
    Regarding benefits, I believe Hansen did get that item on agenda and the board voted to keep the benefits. But, the board NEVER publicly discussed Greg Rolen’s Grand Jury response.

  47. Alicia Says:

    Thank you John Parker for asking the Board to scrutinize lease-leasebacks. Mr. Parker and the CBOC made excellent comments and asked great questions at last week’s Measure C meeting. It’s important that the district ensure that projects are competitively bid in accordance with the Public Contracts Code as a means to preserve public funds.

    As Hansen pointed out, legal opinions are just that and whether such lease-leasebacks are lawful will be judicially determined. There are currently a few lease-leaseback lawsuits against school districts across this state.

    Theresa…do you remember the name of the lawfirm that spoke about the lease-leasebacks? Did they give any definitive guidance, law, point of reference that would 100% guarantee the legality of Mt. Diablo’s continued use of lease-leasebacks especially with our bond dollars being used to pay for such leasebacks?

  48. Wendy Lack Says:

    @ Teacher #38:

    You have said: “When will the board start focusing their discussions on what is best for students? . . . I see great things happening at schools around the district; teachers teaching and caring about students and students learning and feeling cared about. There will always be exceptions but great things are happening in MDUSD every day . . . people thrive on negativity. I challenge those of you who continually post here to try and shift gears. If you try, you will begin to see the positives. This would be a much more productive use of your time.”

    No one denies that “great things are happening in MDUSD every day.” The point is, there are not nearly enough “great things” happening every day. There could be infinitely more if the District had competent leadership at the helm and on the Board of Trustees.

    If you consider such things as misuse of personal identifying information of past and present employees from two school districts to be excused by saying “there will always be exceptions,” you are mistaken.

    In short, the rose-colored glasses you wear are not well-suited to everyone.

    The staff members (mostly administrators) present in the audience tonight were either good politicians in their own right — showing up, as expected, to play the part of good soldiers — or are genuine victims of a twisted and pitiable kind of Stockholm syndrome.

    It’s astonishing that staff would support Board members (Mayo, Dennler) and top administrators so clearly unsuited to their roles. This administration, through the actions of these Board members and administrators, is riddled with scandal, incompetence, PR faux pas, corruption and cover-up to the point of painful embarrassment.

    We can do better. We must do better, for our kids’ sake.

    You may consider it “negativity” to acknowledge reality, but others prefer to look the truth straight in the eye and, by God, deal with it.

    Since those staff present at this Board meeting were largely administrators, their presence was likely, and perhaps understandably, about self-preservation. After all, breaking in a new, accountability-oriented Superintendent would bring new demands and change that some could find uncomfortable. And staying on the good side of the current administration may be strategically advantageous in the current fractious community climate.

    I believe the conversation about new District leadership is not over. In fact, it has barely begun.

    The fact remains that the Mayo-Dennler Trustee duo and Lawrence-Rolen-Richards staff trio are unfit for office and will continue to leave destruction in their wake. If the past is an indicator, you can set your stopwatch and just wait for the next gaffe. As long as they remain in place, problems (and the concomitant human. financial and political toll) will continue.

    And the “great things” happening in the District will continue to occur despite District leadership, not because of it.

    Finally, those who seek to marginalize and dismiss critics in the press and community are misguided. Neither the press nor concerned residents, such as me, have gone looking for this struggle — trust me, we all have far better things we would like to be doing with our time and energy. Personally, I’m not motivated by a need to preserve my job or curry political favor –- my sole motive is to speak out about problems in order to affect positive change.

    The point is: The community clamor for new organizational leadership –- including my own — is in direct RESPONSE to the actions of certain Board members and administrators. Mock or ignore community critics and this blog at your own risk.

    As Newton taught: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” As it is in physics, so it is also in politics.

  49. Wendy Lack Says:

    Theresa Harrington:

    I had to leave last night’s meeting early. Either on this blog or in an article, I presume you will share the gist of the Board’s discussion about this informational agenda item:

    16.14 Update on the Board’s Response to the Public Records Act Request of the Contra Costa Times/Dan Borenstein

    Specifically, I’m wondering what target date is now being used regarding this matter.

  50. vindex Says:

    Unbelievable. I’m in for the recall. It will pass easily. Dennler, Mayo, and lawerence are gone

  51. Anon Says:

    @38 Teacher – You ask the Board to focus on what is best for students. Do you believe the top Administrators are best for students? If so, why? As a parent who is considering placing their child in MDUSD, the tone at the top keeps me away. I don’t see how teachers and other staff can thrive when the administration of a district appears chaotic. I appreciatiate Trustee Hansen for trying to improve this area.

  52. Jack Weir Says:

    Wendy’s right, as usual. The defenders of the old regime know the community has reached critical mass in terms of recognizing the need for new leadership, so they’re attacking the citizen watchdogs, and Hansen and Theresa. One speaker asked who would want to work in a top leadership role if the superintendent and counsel are fired? Having just participated in a leadership recruitment task at the community college district, I can affirm that there will be many fully qualified applicants. With 38 years in public education, Hansen probably knows a dozen people who would do a great job as interim or permanent superintendent.

  53. Anon Says:

    Teacher 38 and Anon 42,
    Wake up, students are failing because this district is failing the students. Even Northgate has a large percent of students receive Ds and Fs. Most Northgate parents hire tutors. You might ask this superintendent if he has personal experience with hiring tutors.

    Hiring tutors creates inequality between students and between schools. Where is the superintendent’s initiative to improve classroom teaching for all the students at all the schools.

  54. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Wendy: Hansen reported that an outside attorney from the Thomas Griffin law firm in Sacramento has been going through the documents provided by Rolen, but she didn’t give a timeframe for the final response. It was getting late in the meeting and she wanted to be sure to sunshine the union proposals. Although she initially said she would come back to that item, she didn’t end up having time. I videotaped it and will post that clip later.
    Also, thanks for your comments about attacks on the press. I would like to point out that editorials are written by our editorial department, not by news reporters or news editors. I also agree that there are lots of great things going on in the district and I do write about them, when I have a chance. In fact, I am doing a Hometown Hero story about an MDUSD teacher that will run next week. And at a recent Hometown Heroes event, three of the featured guests had been profiled by me, including MDUSD’s HOPE administrator James Wogan and Olympic HS teacher Skip Weinstock.
    However, it would be remiss for me to spend all my time writing about good things, while ignoring the very real conflicts that exist in MDUSD. Former Trustee April Treece was ousted largely because she was a great cheerleader for all the great things going on in the district, but many felt that she failed to admit or address problems. Former Board President Sherry Whitmarsh, who was soundly defeated in November, also often claimed that there were really only a handful of people who were disgruntled and that the press was blowing conflict out of proportion. If that were true, she probably would have been re-elected.
    It is also very telling that Lynne Dennler and Barbara Oaks are both former MDUSD employees who have experienced first-hand some of the dysfunction in the district. As I previously mentioned, Bill Morones optimistically said during the board retreat that the strategic plan aims to create a warm and welcoming district, where students, employees and parents feel like people care about them. Yet, even Dennler said Braun-Martin failed to do that for her. Jessica Preciado also had a similar story of being treated poorly when she went to administrators for help.
    There are many “positive” stories I have on my list of things to do. But, right now, this contract issue is not over. The closed session on Wednesday could be round two.
    Alicia: I didn’t catch the name of the attorney, but I videotaped that and will post it also.

  55. g Says:

    Alicia, The attorney that spoke about Leases was Philip Henderson, from Orbach Huff & Suarez. That is the attorney Pedersen hired last summer to handle Lease contracting, and Cody just got the board to increase his contract.

  56. g Says:

    Theresa, I’m confused about a couple things. In #46 you say they voted to keep benefits, but I don’t recall that.

    I’m hoping you got a recording of the little banter between Hansen and Rolen over the PRA issue. She said he had turned over all items that he called privileged for the Sac. attorney, and he said; no, that he had been told to turn over ALL documents, and it sounded like maybe there was something holding up that review. There was just too much movement, noise, and I didn’t get the whole thing.

  57. anon Says:

    @ Wendy Lack #48: you are correct; the administrators that were there last night were protecting their continued employment. Check out how many great administrators and teachers have left since Lawrence came on.

  58. Doctor J Says:

    Is Thomas Griffin law firm one name or multiple last names ? I can’t find it.

  59. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s what I found: http://www.hsmlaw.com/tpg.html

    g: It’s possible there was not vote, but I do remember it being on the agenda. I think Hansen may have made a motion to do away with board benefits and it didn’t get a second.

    Regarding the PRA, I was videotaping, but the quality of my recordings is not great, so I’m not sure if it will be any better than the livestream. One interesting tidbit was that Trustee Linda Mayo referenced a document that the board had received after Dan Borenstein submitted his PRA and she was wondering if that was passed along to the outside attorney. Rolen said there were two PRAs and that he had handed over everything.

    Alicia: Please not that I have uploaded all of the videos from the CBOC meeting to YouTube.com/tunedtotheresa, including the discussion of lease-leasebacks and John Parker’s criticism of the Bay Point spending.

  60. ret3ver Says:

    Its funny how MDUSD can lose hundreds of legal documents, yet they use their so called lawyers to try and prosecute employees for mistakes they dont even make…tell me where is the justice in that. They all need to GO!!

  61. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Video from the meeting has been posted: http://www.livestream.com/mtdiablounifiedschooldistrict/video?clipId=flv_9b2b22b7-b592-485d-842b-282949502fa2

  62. Anon Says:

    g@55-Phil Henderson and Rolen are friends and worked at the same law firm

  63. g Says:

    Anon: Yes, there are enough ex-Miller, Brown & Dannis employees now on MDUSD payroll to fill a small theater.

    Last night’s holdover presentation by Henderson was at a mere $200/hr!

    Is Measure C financing (for 25 years) attendance at board meetings?

  64. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, CAC chairwoman has announced that the district will not begin clustering in the fall: http://mtdiablosped.blogspot.com/2013/03/update-on-clustering.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MountDiabloUnifiedCommunityAdvisoryCommitteeOnSpecialEducation+%28Mount+Diablo+Unified+Community+Advisory+Committee+on+Special+Education%29

    However, there appears to be no guarantee that it won’t be implemented later in the year.

  65. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDEA has extended deadline for “Academy Awards” nominations to April 10: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=5co6dgdab&v=001qwhULkbmHDuvRQP_bGq83RS9vzer1eL6xbgFsFSXVakc9VbaRLUJYGQ-VXkpJ2gr_-OFIoDNvOngs8bdu9WPdNwXUhHzeAJP7VZCgY2cUeaw4llsiqys1QGEP06AmyX7BEKfV3ZbKjLKM06ujxGOWaJJw7C2h_TODKFvg47zU-axW-8kEdE6Iy9gTvdwCw831tB9mxN9Zs8%3D

  66. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Agenda for Wednesday meeting is up on Electronic School Board: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/

    Board expects to act on: “Consideration of the dismissal of employees #22936 and #28941.”

  67. Wait a Minute Says:

    OK then,

    Maybe Brian Lawrence was telling the truth that he voted to reaffirm the contracts of Rolen and S Lawrence last night and would consider dismissal for cause at the special board meeting Wednesday.

    Hopefully for the sake of the vast majority Brian puts their interests and his duty above that of the corrupt few (2).

  68. Doctor J Says:

    What does this Thursday meeting mean” “Provide staff further direction on the Board’s goals and guidelines for collective bargaining including identifying and clarifying any portions of the District’s proposals that hinder efforts to meet the Board’s objectives.” ?????

  69. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It sounds like the board may not agree with portions of the district’s proposals: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/com/agenda_print.aspx?mtgId=400

    However, it’s unclear which “Board Goals” are being referenced.

  70. Doctor J Says:

    I think its pretty clear that Steven Lawrence is history in MDUSD. I don’t know what else the message could mean.

  71. Doctor J Says:

    Empty box donations are now being accepted at Dent for “employees #22936 and #28941.” Priceless. The Wizard of OZ song “DING DONG! THE WITCH IS DEAD” is being sung by staff, albeit, a little prematurely. I sure hope Cheryl has a temporary replacement in mind. In West Sac, they used Michele Lawrence [former Berkeley USCD Supt] to clean up after Steven Lawrence [no relation] and that might be a good idea here too. Steven, have a few wiskey sours tonight. Adios.

  72. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s my updated story on last night’s meeting, including the mysterious closed session Wednesday: http://bit.ly/Zt87Ez

    Hansen said in a voicemail message it’s for two “contract employees.”

  73. anon Says:

    Please define “contract” employees.
    thanks!

  74. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I believe it means employees who work under contract, which includes most administrators, I think.

  75. vindex Says:

    Let’s hope. Let’s hope that this means Rolen and Lawerence are gone. This gives us an opportunity to hire GOOD people to replace them. WHO CARES about the initials next to their name? HIRE GOOD people. People of STRONG CHARACTER. The rest they will be able to learn.

  76. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s an interesting piece about the influence of teachers: http://transformed.teachingquality.org/blogs/03-2013/teacher-know-thine-impact

  77. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#74 I think only the top administrators have written contracts — I have never seen any other contracts come before the Board of Education. The rest of administrators are covered, I believe, under the secret agreement with MDEA.

  78. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, are you camping out at the closed session today to give us a live report on the announced “action” ?

  79. Doctor J Says:

    Mt. Diablo left holding an empty bag. Why didn’t they join with the other districts for a NCLB waiver ? No leadership at the Supt level. One more strike against Steven Lawrence.

  80. Doctor J Says:

    Ooops, forgot the link. http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/u-s-ed-department-agrees-to-review-9-districts-plan-for-nclb-waiver/29331#.UVKf2hza3gV

  81. g Says:

    Dr. J: There may be two answers to why MDUSD was not a participant in the formation of the CORE band of districts.

    1) Lawrence/MDEA simply were not invited.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out if they were, in fact, invited to join?

    2) In the link you provided it states: “Like other states, the districts must commit to high standards based on career and college readiness goals, improvement plans for low-performing schools, [AND] teacher and administrator evaluations that use measurements of student growth.”

    I didn’t see even a hint at that in either the MDEA or District proposals—and we’re not likely to anytime in the near future.

  82. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, I will camp out. Also, I just spoke to Board President Cheryl Hansen. She said “contract employees” are “somebody who’s under a contract.”
    I asked if the superintendent and general counsel would be included in the closed session and she said, no, it will just be the trustees.

  83. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#82 I hope your Editor saves you a place on the front page. :-)

  84. Theresa Harrington Says:

    We’ll see how soon they announce their action, if any. We have earlier deadlines now than we used to.

  85. NCLB Waiver Says:

    I contacted the Superintendent in early February about the CORE (CA Office to Reform Education) districts applying for the waiver and sent him back-up information from the Ed Source website.

    His initial response to me was that the unions wouldn’t like assessement data as part of the evaluation process.

    I support the teachers, and generally the unions, but not on everything. To be relieved of the onerous provisions of NCLB would be a big help for our districts and ultimately the teachers. The waiver does not require union approval and while I understand working together with the union, I can’t abide by not trying to pursue this option out of…fear?

    I wrote to the Superintendent again to give him additional information about how CORE was going to work with the unions to soften the requirements and how they were going to try to develop their own district evauations systems that included other measures besides test scores.

    He wrote right back and said that he would share the information with the district’s negotiations team so they are aware of what the CORE districts are doing.

    While I appreciate the Superintendents quick responses to my inquiries, I was disappointed that as a lay person, I knew more about what CORE was doing than the district. This is a problem.

    A subsequent article that I read mentioned that even after approval, CORE might allow other districts to join in on the waiver. Now that Torlakson’s office has written a letter in support of the waiver, I think the MDUSD should definitely join in.

    In fact, my next email was going to ask the board to look into doing just that.

  86. Doctor J Says:

    What happened to “STOP THE PRESSES!” :-) And “EXTRA !, EXTRA!” Oh, I miss the old days.

  87. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Ha! Our Walnut Creek presses have been shut down for over a year. I’m not even sure where the papers are printed anymore. And of course, we’ve never had an afternoon edition, as far as I know. So, it’s highly unlikely the morning paper delivery people will shout anything as they toss the papers into driveways.
    But, we’ll try to post the story in a prominent spot on our website! And of course, I’ll tweet the news as soon as it’s out. Follow me at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa.

  88. Doctor J Says:

    @#85 What you have described is a classic lack of leadership by Supt Steven Lawrennce. Nine distircts will benefit — but not MDUSD. In a few hours we will know if his office is vacant.

  89. NCLB Waiver Says:

    There’s just a lot of dysfunction. I have been around for a long time and leadership has been lacking for many years. I really do believe that despite what people say, there aren’t enough people at the district to handle everything that comes up.

    It’s a district of 33K kids and there’s no publicity person. There were deep cuts made at the district recently–not to say there isn’t more dead weight to cut–but education is a labor intensive business, and unfortunately, there are only a few very top notch folks who are doing the work there.

  90. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s CC Times columnist Tom Barnidge’s take on what happened Monday: http://www.contracostatimes.com/tom-barnidge/ci_22884267/barnidge-search-harmony-continues-mt-diablo-school-district

  91. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The board has gone into closed session, after hearing public comments. I videotaped and will post clips soon, along with new blog post.

  92. Anon Says:

    Didn’t Lawrence have to vote yes to even hold this closed session today?

  93. Theresa Harrington Says:

    There was no report out of a vote to hold the closed sessions, so it’s unclear if Hansen was able to unilaterally schedule them or if the entire board had to agree to hold them. In the past, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh called special closed session board meetings without allowing for a board vote.
    A video clip of Hansen’s Monday announcement about the upcoming closed sessions has been posted at YouTube.com/tunedtotheresa.

  94. Concerned MDUSD parent Says:

    This message goes to the Executive Editor Dave Butler all I can do is express why I do not purchase the CC Times – the reporting on the MDUSD leadership by Theresa Harrington is tainted and one sided just like the junk magazines and other National media giants that sensationalize false news stories. She is no different than the witch hunters from Salem… and appears to be in collusion with Cheryl Hansen. How come there is no reporting on what goes on behind their closed doors? I am a parent that moved to Walnut Creek in 2002 from the Fairfield area – One reason to get to a public school system that our daughters could excel in, the second reason to be close to our offices and airports that reduce our travel time. The third reason to live in a community that we could become more involved in as a result of number two. Our oldest who has since graduated from high school in MDUSD and University did not have the high school experience academically and socially that she expected. Nor did we feel that we made the best choice at the time. However she made it through but not without sacrifice. However, our other daughter currently in the system under the leadership of Dr. Lawrence has done well with her high school experience as well middle school. The common denominator is Dr. Lawrence he came in with a passion for students and improving where they go to school, his mantra is about the students and not the political views of Harrington and Hansen. With regard to the community our family as many others has witnessed the Lawrence family in action there is not a major event that goes by without the involvement of that family – I question the validity of the malicious statements made. How can pillars of the community become so malicious – is it Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the works I doubt that. I am a tax payer and my desire is that the tax wasting efforts called upon by Cheryl Hansen and her team of witch hunters along with the CC Times Theresa Harrington are removed and allow the saved money to be better used for the good of the students. Speaking of which has anyone from the CC Times ever conducted background research on Cheryl Hansen and why she is no longer a Principal in Fairfield? Has anyone looked at her bio and to confirm her credentials? Has she actually done what she says she has, or even empowered to do so? One would think that in her position it would have been top of mind as it has with Harrington on Lawrence. Hmmmmmm great investigative reporting there Dave… If Dr. Lawrence is removed I can share with you that many parents within MDUSD will withdraw from the CC Times in one form or another. I also ask that Theresa be removed from this posting immediately and have someone that reports objectively without collusion. Perhaps the National Enquire or Fox news can use her where her one sided collusion for sensationalism has been accepted in the past.

  95. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, since I am inside the district office, YouTube is blocked, so I am unable to upload the videos the from the closed session. However, I will upload them after I leave.
    In the meantime, I’ll do a blog post about what has happened so far.

  96. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I can only respond that I am not in collusion with anyone and I am only reporting what is going on in the district. There were a few people who spoke in favor of retaining the superintendent at the beginning of today’s closed session and I will post a summary of their comments shortly.
    I have never heard anyone question whether Cheryl Hansen was fabricating her credentials and I have no reason to believe that she is. I assume that the Contra Costa County office of Education did a background check on her before they hired her.

    FYI, Hansen has just come out of the closed session to announce that she estimates it could last another hour. Deb Cooksey has been providing legal counsel to the board. She has also been popping into Greg Rolen’s office behind closed doors.

  97. Doctor J Says:

    Deb Coooksey has cooked her own goose by aligning herself with Greg Rolen — birds of a feather flock together.

  98. Doctor J Says:

    If Deb Cooksey is telling Greg Rolen what is going on in closed session, she is violating state law and should go to jail.

  99. Anon Says:

    Concerned MDUSD Parent-

    You are so wrong on so many levels. Congratulations that your younger child is doing better but there are many possible reasons for that, and Dr. Lawrence is not the savior that you make out. Theresa Harrington is an excellent reporter. Enough said.

  100. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Hansen has just emerged and said she expects to report out in about 10 minutes. She asked Deb Cooksey to join trustees behind closed doors.

  101. Simone Says:

    Concerned Parent:
    I reside in the PH area with my husband and two children, one at CP, the other at VV. I also teach at an elementary school in the Northgate attendance area. My husband is a secondary administrator in another district
    We read the CC Times. And I read the blogs infrequently although my husband keeps up daily.

    Despite your not identifying yourself I think I know who you are. I received a letter from you several years ago attacking my character and professional ethics,the language, sentence structure and syntax are all giveaways to your style. The same hysterical tone reveals you. After your daughter’s last year with us several of my colleagues and I nominated you for ” Mother of the Year – Joan Crawford Division”.

    Speaking of your attack on Hansen – My husband took some courses through the CCCOE for his credential work five or six years ago. The instructor was Cheryl Hansen. He told me he got more out her classes than he did in his graduate school work. I met her at a campaign event in 2010 and she is exactly who she is – she is not going to be cowed or intimidated by anyone and I admire her vision, obvious passion for excellence, willingness to speak truth to power and her representing the entire educational community while the holding district leadership accountable.

    As for Mr. Lawrence’s involvement with the schools, we’ve only seen him once in three years on our site. I’ve never seen him at a CP or VV event. Here in PH, he is known as Northgate Lawrence, or, as one of the teachers at VV, christened him, “The Man Who Isn’t” We don’t get much attention over here.

    And he next time you feel the urge to release your inner “mother”, buy some wooden hangars.

  102. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is my somewhat “live blog” of today’s closed session: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2013/03/27/live-blog-of-mdusd-3-27-13-closed-session-regarding-dismissal-of-two-employees/

  103. anon Says:

    Concerned Parent’s family obviously lives in the same school attendance area as Steve Lawrence’s and that’s why she sees him at events…

  104. Northgate Parent Says:

    Theresa,

    Perhaps this is a good opportunity to look into Ms. Hansen’s credentials? I know you have a vested interest in taking down Dr. Lawrence, and that seem’s to be a full-time job!

    How about a exposé on how much Ms. Hansen’s “witch hunt” is costing the taxpayers? Then maybe look at how many great teachers will have to be laid off to pay for this personal vendetta?

    Maybe someday Ms. Hansen will “get a clue” and start doing what is in the best interests of the children of MDUSD. This Board President must be in favor of “Full Employment” for the attorneys of the Bay Area. This will undoubtedly be a long, expensive fight no matter what happens in that Board room this evening. In the end Ms. Hansen’s new slogan should be, “Putting Attorneys First.”

  105. anon 4 Says:

    you mean what is in the best interests of NGHS students in the MDUSD

  106. Anon Says:

    Northgate Parent-

    Give it up and get some counseling.

  107. Anon Says:

    Concerned Parent, Northgate Parent, Name to Be Determined, or Whoever You Decide to Be When You Grow Up – choose one and stick to it.

    I believe it has been Linda Mayo, like a demented whiplash victim, who demanded legal counsel from everything from Cure and Correct to the updated contracts. The Board voted on all of those requests and I believe that Hansen voted against employing most of those attorneys, the only time coming when Rolen was arguing he didn’t know how many documents he had for the PRA and some were confidential and the board voted to hire one from outside to go over them.

    Get rid of Rolen and we save over $225,000 plus all those lawsuits from Spec Ed parents who can’t get transportation for their kids.

  108. Theresa Harrington Says:

    NG Parent: I do not have a vested interest in any outcome for the superintendent. This is a board decision.

  109. g Says:

    Some of us rely on information gleaned from somewhere other than the Northgate cocktail circuit, and base our opinions on something more substantial than sharing a ride or getting a favor/promotion from a “charming” conversationalist.

    Facts count most when you look beyond just your neighborhood and personal friendships.

  110. Northgate Parent Says:

    Anon,

    I use only one name, and if you don’t think this will ultimately cost this district $500,000 plus in legal fees, you are only kidding yourself. This case will go on for years!

  111. Anon Says:

    Yeah, right, first no superintendent is going to be going out there looking for another job while suing his former district. Those cases end up in mediation and adhere to the contract language dealing with termination or dismissal. Lawrence is going to be looking for a job while suing his former district? It would be career suicide.
    As far as general counsel is concerned, he
    is owed really nothing. He could be working for a law firm tomorrow, perhaps Paul Strange or Matt Juhl Darlington would offer him a position.

    “This case will go on for years” – OMG!

  112. Anonymous Says:

    Anon is right. I believe there contracts have clauses that allow them to be released with a severance; that was reported in the CC Times. Voting yes on the contract extensions just means the contracts are valid and legally binding. Within those contracts are clauses that say they board can let that person go at an earlier time, but if they do, they have to pay a 6 or 7 month severance. That’s legally binding on the employee who agreed to the contract term. So, no litigation, just a buy out. The Superintendent of Brentwood just got released and bought out for failing to discipline an employee who hit a child.

  113. Concerned MDUSD parent Says:

    Simone – It is great that your husband learned so much from MS Hansen, taking courses and learning something is the objective and important otherwise you are wasting time and money (right). Ms Hansen may have been a good educator however this is bigger than that, at the meeting she did not have a clue about RFP’s how they are responded to how vendors approach them and how to measure a winning bid and it takes more than just being an effective educator to run a business. Unfortunately you are clueless as to who I am and I have no idea who you are, our paths have never crossed as our daughters did not go to VV. Nice wrongful character attack though especially for a teacher. To the point, there has been research conducted on Ms Hansen and it is clear that her online resume does not match. CC Times is not doing the community any favors with their collusion and should conduct an investigation and bring her to the public eye as her friendly reporter has done so well with Dr. Lawrence and others. I have seen Dr. Lawrence at a variety of schools.

    Anon – nice statement “get some counseling” really.

    These all really sounds like the Hansen Rotary Shills over and over again to quote Dr. J :-)

    Theresa – you have never heard about Hansen because no one took the time – someone did and you should be encouraged to do the same – prove it wrong this is your opportunity what have you to lose?

  114. g Says:

    Concerned. When Ms. Hansen asks questions at the meetings, such as you mention about vendors, contracts etc., she may be doing it that way because her constituents have asked her to–for the public’s understanding.

    Do not for a minute believe she is ignorant or does not do her own research.

    I think if you have proof that she is not who we think she is–it is upon you to point it out. Be specific. Some of Eberhart’s old claims were pointed out as misleading if not outright erroneous. Maybe he realized it would not be a good idea to put that test before the voters again.

    By the way, she is not trying to run a business. That’s what the overpaid CEO should be doing.

    Hansen is trying to be a primary operator of a well oiled education machine.

    Big – big difference!

  115. Concerned MDUSD parent Says:

    G no one said she is ignorant. In fact I find that she is very well spoken, direct, has some humor and is obvious that she does her research. There are facts about her past that should be reviewed, however it should be conducted by a qualified Human Resource staff to ensure that it is conducted in private and with respect. FYI this is a business, whether you like it or not, we all pay into it and I expect that a knowledgable educated CEO/CFO type run it. That has the experience and a ideally a Doctorate in education to fully understand the business requirements (to educate), who also understands state and federal policy. Have you seen the guidelines to follow? It’s overwhelming to the even the best.

    If you want a well oiled education machine thats what it takes. Just my 2 cents about running a district that has varied economical geographies, aging infrastructure, declining population, labour laws, unions etc.

  116. g Says:

    Concerned, we agree about a lot. I too have said that Steven Lawrence has the potential ability to be a good superintendent. Coming from, at best, poorly executed experience with a district 1/4 the size and with even less demographic diversity than MDUSD did not make him an adequate candidate.

    He has now had three-plus years to get in the groove and learn the ropes. He has progressed–he has not excelled.

    As I have iterated before, he has been sorely hampered here by his own lack of proper experience, but mostly by poor prior board leadership and egregious legal advice.

  117. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Concerned Parent: As I have previously stated, the CC Times is not in collusion with anyone. What are the specific allegations that you are asking to be proven wrong?

  118. g Says:

    If I may add…Hansen is an elected official—and in that roll is not at the behest of ANY human resources department—in fact, quite the reverse is true in this case.

    I would think Concerned’s claims and any proving documents should go to the FPPC, if they go anyplace.

  119. Rocco Says:

    Didn’t Oaks say that staff in the District are afraid of retaliation by the two administrators? What if “Concerned MDUSD Parent” is part of some retaliation against Hansen for having the courage to stand up to these guys?

  120. Anon Says:

    Dear Concerned Parent,

    You criticize Ms. Hansen’s questioning about the RFP process. Could you please educate us all on why you believe Ms. Hansen’s questioning regarding the RFP process for the district’s lease-leasebacks was unwarranted. Perhaps she is concerned that the district is not in compliance with the Public Contract Code –
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pcc&group=20001-21000&file=20110-20118.4 Isn’t that her job to perform somekind of due diligence before approving such a large contract? Could you tell me where in the law that an invitation to complete an RFP equates to a competitively advertised bid process?

    Also, based on your posts, it concerns me that you may be a district employee or a construction worker being paid with school bonds. Either way, your mentality is precisely why school districts continue to get away with breaking laws and abusing taxpayer dollars. Your accusations about Ms. Hansen appear nothing but a tactic of deflection.

  121. Anon Says:

    Concerned Parent…You should also know that literally anyone can become a school board member, if elected,…even persons with a criminal record. Voters need to do their own due diligence rather than relying on a newspaper. I call out to the legislature to prohibit persons from running for school board who have committed crimes…especially offenses that make a person inappropriate to be around children.

  122. Theresa Harrington Says:

    For those who received pink slips, the Alameda County Office of Education is holding a job fair April 24: http://www.acoe.org/acoe/Home/calendar-events/28027?utm_source=ACOE+InTouch+-+Spring+2013&utm_campaign=ACOE+InTouch+-+Spring+2013&utm_medium=socialshare

  123. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have updated this blog post with the names of the seven teachers recognized when the district Teachers of the Year were announced.

  124. Doctor J Says:

    Does anyone else find it is fascinating that the next closed sessions will be April 2 during Spring Break ?

  125. help the kids Says:

    What about the Technology Committees report that got cut off Monday night. Super important for our kids-lot more important that the stuff this blog is focusing on. What do you know about the work this committee has done? Do you know what it means for the future for our kids? Do you know how what this committee has recommended will effect the districts ability to implement the new Common Core Standards. Do you know what the new Common Core Standards mean for the future of education. What year are we preparing students for? How do we prepare them for the future? These are questions you might want to consider.

  126. Theresa Harrington Says:

    HTC: I will write more about the tech recs in the future. I have also already written about the Common Core. It’s too bad the work of the Tech Committee was completely under the radar until it was ready to make recommendations. This would have been a great topic for occasional Superintendent’s Reports and/or Superintendent’s News Updates.

  127. help the kids Says:

    Not sure what radar we are talking about. They said in the presentation Mar 25th that the committee was people from all levels including parents and students.

    Trusting and waiting for this process to happen maybe hard but it is the best way to get fair and with no pressure (including from the press) input from everyone.

  128. Theresa Harrington Says:

    How were the committee members selected?

Leave a Reply