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Mt. Diablo school board names superintendent finalist from San Diego

By Theresa Harrington
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 at 7:21 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

I received an e-mail from Mt. Diablo school board President Cheryl Hansen this afternoon that names Dr. Nellie Meyer, who is a Deputy Superintendent in San Diego, as the finalist for the superintendent position.

Hansen said she sent the following letter to district staff updating them on the appointment process and she wanted to make sure that I also received the information, which she said I could share with the public. Here is Hansen’s letter:

“August 7, 2013

TO: Mt. Diablo Unified School District Staff

FROM: Cheryl Hansen, Board President

RE: Update on Appointment of New Superintendent

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District Board of Education is pleased to announce that we have unanimously chosen Dr. Nellie Meyer as the finalist for the position of Superintendent. Currently, Dr. Meyer is Deputy Superintendent in San Diego Unified School District.

Final negotiations for a contract are in progress. As part of the final process, the board will conduct a validation visit within the next two weeks to Dr. Meyer’s district and hold teleconferences between MDUSD and SDUSD stakeholder groups. The Board expects that ratification of the appointment of Dr. Nellie Meyer as our district’s next superintendent will occur at our regular board meeting on August 28, 2013.

Based on the feedback received from our parents, staff, and community
members and, after a rigorous screening and interview process, Dr. Meyer was chosen from an outstanding field of candidates as the best match for our district needs.

Dr. Meyer’s experience and credentials are exactly what we need in our district.

She has developed strong connections among community, district, schools, and classrooms and worked to ensure that schools are positive learning environments that are supported and focused on improving student achievement and preparing students for college and careers. She has engendered trust, fostered collaboration and communication, built and maintained relationships while raising expectations and increasing student success.

Dr. Meyer, a native San Diegan, began as a teacher’s aide at Jackson
Elementary while she attended San Diego State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also received her Master’s Degree in Administration and her Doctoral Degree in Education from SDSU. Dr. Meyer holds teaching credentials in Social Science, English, and Language Development. She has taught everything from fifth grade literacy to eighth grade Algebra to twelfth grade Economics.

Dr. Meyer has presented at national conferences on topics including school turnaround, dropout prevention, and school system best practices. She has also led and served on numerous community task forces designed to further student achievement at all grade levels, partner with universities, and support at-risk youth.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Meyer served as a middle school teacher, high school teacher, dean of students, vice principal, principal, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools, Chief High School Improvement Officer, Executive Director of Dropout Prevention, Interim Chief Elementary School Improvement Officer, Interim Deputy Superintendent, and Deputy Superintendent of Academics.

The Board of Education made our decision with input gathered from key
stakeholder groups in Mt. Diablo USD regarding the qualities desired in the next superintendent. Dr. Michael Escalante and Dr. Sally Frazier, consultants from the firm of Leadership Associates, assisted us in our search.

Dr. Meyer is honored to have been chosen and excited about serving our community. She looks forward to the opportunity to share successes that she has implemented as well as to support programs that are successfully in place in our district.

The Board of Education is equally excited and optimistic about the positive leadership that Dr. Meyer will bring to our school community.”

Do you agree with the school board’s decision?

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

  • Doctor J

    And why do we have months and months of unapproved minutes ? There doesn’t even seem to be an effort to do minutes for the last few meetings. Why ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Another significant change is the creation of two districtwide bilingual interpreter/translator positions: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/30e983fa-9140-4e48-a39f-e864d1168240.pdf

    There has been no discussion of the AIS contract, although Bryan Richards and Deb Cooksey both told me they expected to bring it back for board approval, after Marisol Padilla apparently agreed to match the terms of other interpreter/translators in the district.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a particularly amusing section of the resolution to approve the YVHS EIR:

    “The documents and other materials that constitute the record of proceedings on which the Board’s findings are based are located with the custodian, the Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, 1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, California, 94519-1397. This information is provided in compliance with Public Resources Code § 21081.6 and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations § 15091.”

    What assistant superintendent for administrative services? There isn’t one! So, who is the REAL custodian of these important documents and materials that constitute the record of proceedings on which the board’s findings are based?

    Here’s the complete resolution: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/d4175667-dead-40ad-8c15-0cf39bf43f39.pdf

  • Doctor J

    @TH#53 So typical of the habitual sloppy work by Mitchell Stark and Tim Cody, who both approved the resolution. I will give Dr. Bernard a pass on this one.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It’s very surprising that this YVHS EIR staff report was not approved by the district’s legal counsel, since the documents were created specifically to comply with CEQA laws: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=7289&mtgId=381

    And this paragraph in the resolution appears to expect the public to accept things that aren’t presented clearly in writing as being part of the board’s findings:

    “In addition to the specific findings contained herein, the Board hereby incorporates by reference the applicable portions of the staff reports and studies, oral and written evidence submitted into the record, the Final EIR, items of common knowledge and the resolutions related to the Project as findings.”

    What are the “items of common knowledge” that the district doesn’t feel it is necessary to spell out? And why isn’t the actual EIR attached to the staff report? Not only does the district appear to have abandoned the creation of minutes, it is also failing to attach the very document under consideration to the official record. The public shouldn’t have to hunt all over the district’s website to find the final EIR. It should be attached to the staff report, where it can be easily referenced now and in the future. Also, if Cody and/or Stark plan to present a PowerPoint, it should be attached to the agenda BEFORE the meeting begins. If not, paper copies of the PowerPoint should be made available to the public BEFORE the meeting begins, so anyone who may want to speak about the issues raised can have a chance to look at it and comment on it BEFORE the board votes.

    The resolution states:

    “Through the Draft EIR process and the Final EIR process, a good faith effort has been made to seek out and incorporate al (sic) points of view in the preparation of the Draft EIR and the Final EIR.”

    Some YVHS neighbors who spoke at the community meeting disagree with this. But, even if the board finds this to be true, the “good faith effort” should not stop with the creation of the EIR. It should continue with the public hearing. Why make a good faith effort to seek out and incorporate all points of view before the public hearing, then fail to make the final EIR available to the public AT the hearing?

  • Doctor J

    I can’t even get the EIR to pull up from the Community Page on he MDUSD website, where it says it is located from the link on the face page of the website.

  • Doctor J

    Has anyone noticed the “new entry” on agenda items ? “Strategic Plan”. Every agenda item needs to be aligned with the Strategic Plan. So the YVHS Sports Complex lists Strategic Plan 5.3. Here is 5.3 and can someone tell me if a sports complex is really in line with 5.3 which talks about (1) enhance student learning and safety (2) Common Core State Standards (3) 21st Century learning modalities (4) technology (5) enrollment trend data

    This idea of “giving” schools a ton of money to use any way they want — violates the central principal of the 55% Bond requirements for specific projects at specific schools to be identified in the ballot measure. Taxpayers v. San Diego Unified School District. Dr. Nellie is most familiar with that case.

    “5.3 Ensure that our facilities and infrastructure support and enhance student learning and safety.
    1. Design and construct new or modernized facilities that support the Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning modalities and technology.
    2. Utilize enrollment trend data to facilitate evaluation of existing and prospective site usage as reflected in the District’s Facilities Plan.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    On the subject of the Grand Jury reports, it looks like the Contra Costa County Board of Ed. plans to discuss the solar report on Wednesday (item 7.2.4): http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/supe/13mtgs/081413Agenda.pdf

    And regarding Measure C and the San Diego case, I have been told by YVHS neighbors that they raised that in their EIR comments and the district’s response was that it was irrelevant to the EIR. Again, I question why this issue is being brought to the board WITHOUT anyone from the legal department approving the staff report. Yet, the legal dept. DID review the contract for Solution Tree Marzano Research. The legal dept. is not only responsible for contracts. It should also be reviewing important legal documents such as EIRs.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#58 Cody is probably using outside counsel so they can charge it to Meas C — using in house counsel would probably violate the no administrator expenses of the 55% Bond.

  • Theresa Harrington

    If that’s the case, then the outside counsel should be present at the board meeting to address this issue and other questions that may arise.

  • Doctor J

    Maybe its time that Meas C got a PRA request for all legal expenses from Meas C funds ? The public can then see all the legal bills they get to pay for the next 40 years.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#58 The EIR probably doesn’t have much to do with whether the bond funds are being spent legally, but think what would happen if the neighbors got a court order prior to August 28 preventing further action on the project — that would delay the whole EIR and they could not move forward until the lawsuit was resolved. The alternative, is that if the district moves forward and then the neighbors pursue it, it might have to be taken down or the money repaid from the General Fund to Meas. C. like happened in Taxpayers v. SDUSD. I just think the District is counting on the neighbors not taking any action except speaking at the Board meeting, which will unlikely sway the Board who already voted for the project.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anyone could sue the district, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be the neighbors.

  • g

    Theresa @47, I believe this is just one more (of many) cases of hire the person/friend, then create the new position/title to accomodate a huge increase in salary. June 17: Julianna Sikes was appointed as Administrator of School Support.

    Compare 6/17 agenda with 8/14. Susan Petersen’s job of Director of Elem Support gets eliminated, and then changed in title to Administrator of school support, and the new hire is budgeted at more than $11,000 higher salary than Petersen made last year.

    Also, 6/17 they asked for approval of new Administrator of Equity and Disproportionality, and that same position is on the agenda next week (again–but with funding from different account). What’s going on. Did the one from 6/17 not get approved, or did that person leave already, or are we getting two–and paying double?

    Again/still, no names of any new hires on the agenda as Brian has repeatedly asked– to allow both board and public a chance to vet who will have contact with their children. I would think hiring principals, admins, vp’s etc should not be any harder to name on an agenda 4 days before appointment than a new Supt!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is a San Diego grand jury report that was sent to me by one of the San Diego parents who is raising questions about Meyer’s leadership: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/grandjury/reports/2012-2013/Adult_Child_Bullying_Report.pdf

    Meyer is not named in the report and I am still reading through all the information that has been sent to me, so it’s unclear whether she played any role in the issues raised by the Grand Jury.

  • Doctor J

    Ironically, it seems that MDUSD Board Policy 5131.2 adopted in June 2012 is pretty student oriented as far as who the perpetrator might be and doesn’t seem to include adults as potential perpetrators. I note that San Diego USD doesn’t have a Board meeting until Sept 3.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, the issue of adult bullying came up with the Sun Terrace parent complaints, as well as the vote of No Confidence in Kate McClatchy at MDHS. Some people on blogs even accused former Trustees Gary Eberhart and Paul Strange of bullying. I also heard from a very reliable source that former Supt. Steven Lawrence was once overheard speaking in a very harsh manner to a department director. Also, Trustee Lynne Dennler publicly called Julie Braun-Martin cold.

    Now that there is new leadership coming, will anything change? Bill Morones has championed the mantra that disrespectful treatment of others will not be tolerated. But, who is policing this? What recourse do district employees have if they are bullied? El Dorado MS employee Debbie Hicks publicly spoke about being thrown under the bus by a school administrator at that site. Perhaps MDUSD should adopt a policy that addresses adult bullying.

    Here is a news article the San Diego woman who contacted me sent about LAUSD’s change of philosophy regarding disciplining teachers who act inappropriately: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23220307/lausd-cracks-down-teacher-misconduct-100-fired-200

    The San Diego group is pushing for a similar zero tolerance policy there.

    As has been alleged by some Woodside Elementary parents in the CC Times, the Woodside Elementary teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with students was allowed to stay there for years before he was finally let go. Could there be other teachers or administrators in MDUSD who believe they can get away with inappropriate or bullying behavior?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s an article about the complaints in San Diego, which also doesn’t name Meyer: http://m.utsandiego.com/news/2012/nov/21/teacher-was-abusive-parents-say/

    However, the parent who contacted me says she is Judy Neufeld, who is named in this story.

  • Anon

    Theresa 67 . Unfortunately there are many more adults in mdusd that treat parents, co workers and children poorly because they can get away with it. There are plenty examples of adult bullies. These very small people take the attention away from the great ones. Once you have been bullied by a teacher or administrator it is hard to find the good.

  • Michael Langley

    The allegations in the San Diego elementary school can be addressed by the principal, even if they do not meet the requirement for criminal action by the police. In MDUSD, if a teacher was observed behaving in the way alledged, the principal could give that person an Unsatisfactory evaluation, the first step in termination. Administrators are not helpless, nor are they magically controlled by the Union. They do have to actually know that the behaviour is taking place, have to intercede with the teacher and offer effective student management options and then monitor to make sure the teacher does not continue or revert to bad behaviour.
    Do schools have competant, well trained principals? Are those principals given the time to monitor what is happening in the classrooms? Are they aware of the procedure to terminate staff who should not be in the classroom?
    Many principals don’t even know what is in the District contact with their teachers. So, they let problems slide until they get outside pressure. Then they claim they can’t do anything. IF a teacher is a bully, then action can be taken using due process. Due process protects the innocent from arbitrary punishment.
    Our administrators on site don’t need to be policemen, nor do they need to be firemen. (racing from one emergency to another) They need to be competant Principal Teachers who can maintain excellence by way of their experience and real leadership.

  • Md Tech

    @Michael Langley,
    Thank you for your reasonable and informative post. Too often unions are blamed for poor quality teachers, or in this case, dangerous teachers in the classroom. More often than not, principals DO have the ability to take action. Too many principals, especially in this district, are afraid of confrontation, and treat teacher evaluations as a formality and don’t offer true constructive criticism or spend the time to make the evaluation effective. The teacher evaluation process can be a positive one for teachers, one that can be productive and really improve the teachers skills. But it needs to be conducted by someone that is not afraid to be critical of teachers. On the other hand, these evaluations can also be used as a tool by some admins to nitpick and criticize effective teachers. I’ve been in the district for over 20 years with 5 principals, and I have yet to have an evaluation that was meaningful. Once, my principal even forgot to do it. When I brought it to her attention, she brought every teacher being evaluated into her office one by one, and signed off on their evaluations without any formal discussion or classroom visits.
    If principals are going to be effective in their jobs, they need to be strong leaders with experience in the classroom ( recent experience would be best ) and they need to be well trained and evaluated themselves.

  • Doctor J

    Theresa, isn’t the YVHS EIR only on for “info” and not action ?

  • Doctor J

    @MikeL.#70 You make an excellent point about “training” principals — who has responsibility for that in MDUSD ? Isn’t it Rose Lock who after SASS first year took away the authority of the two Directors and transferred oversight of the principals directly to herself ? Mike, do you know of any specific trainings that Rose Lock has offered to new principals and principals who transfer to MDUSD ?

  • Md Tech

    @Doctor J,
    Regarding proncipal trainings: our principal is off campus a day or so a week for meetings at the district office. We hear about some of this information at our monthly staff meeting, but much of the information that they get is not communicated to us. I’ve never heard of any trainings offered to principals like that, and we don’t see anyone from SASS on our campus ever. The SASS department admins are strictly Dent Center employees who, to my knowledge, are not out on school campuses.

  • Theresa Harrington

    In March of 2011, SASS presented a survey of principals to the board to show that the dept. was effective. Here is my blog post from that time, highlighting the results: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2011/03/29/new-mt-diablo-student-achievement-and-school-support-division-gets-generally-high-marks-from-principals/

    Since then, however, no future surveys have been presented. When SASS was created, Supt. Steven Lawrence said the department would be held accountable for schools’ academic achievement and that SASS employees would be evaluated based on that. Has that been happening?

    Back on the subject of keeping “bad” teachers, here’s a background article the San Diego parent sent me about tenure: http://www.teachersunionexposed.com/protecting.cfm

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: You are correct, I misread the staff report. I’ll talk to my editor about running a correction, clarification or just re-printing the YVHS EIR “news brief” as an information item, with action expected Aug. 28.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is another article sent to me by San Diego parent Judy Neufeld about the failure of some mandated reporters in the San Diego district to report suspicions about a sexual relationship between a teacher and student to proper authorities: http://learningboosters.blogspot.com/2011/12/failure-to-report-student-teacher.html?m=1

    Although this doesn’t name Meyer, Neufeld alleges that Meyer “could have implemented child Abuse reporting procedures and training after this high profile case but did not.”

  • Michael Langley

    TH@75 the “background article” in your link is from an organization opposed to teacher unions and cherry picks data while quoting dubious experts and a movie. michelle Rhee is a failed teacher and a failed admininstrator which makes her a qualified education expert.
    Unbiased data shows that the presence of a unionized teaching force or non union teaching force are not factors in the success of students. The quotes from isolated union leaders are again misleading. I have defended more good teachers from arbitrary termination than I have seen poor teachers keep their jobs because of union representation. The few times I have represented poor teachers, it is only because the principal has not attempted any action as conditions began to deteriorate in the classroom. There has to be some evidence, not just a principal’s whim. Since the link compares teacher retention to lawyer disbarment, the removeal of due process for termination is akin to saying we should not let defendants have lawyers because then prosecutors could convict anyone they wish.
    It would be interesting to find the percentage of lawyers who quit practicing in the first five years compared to teachers. Many of the teachers opt out of the profession because they are unsuited. This self selection is not statistically reflected in the denial of so called tenure.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#75 The surveys have been “top secret” for 2012 and 2013 — which one can only assume means that they were negative or else Rose Lock would have been breaking her arm to pat herself on her back. Lets remember that after 2011 Rose Lock took away from the directors the supervisory responsibility over School Support Administrators and took that upon herself. She demoted one of the directors this summer, and we see on the agenda for tomorrow a “reorganization” but no indication of how the responsibilities will be divided up. Soon with the API scores we will see how effective a leader Bill Morones was with the High School Principals — based on his poor track record of success, I wonder if that will spill over to the high schools. Two high school principals were demoted, with one resulting in a resignation. We lost some elem principals, and still have an opening two weeks before school. Historically, principals hired from outside the district have not done well in MDUSD. Soon principals will be advised of their estimated API scores from the MDUSD vendor.

  • Doctor J

    Before the API scores are released, anyone care to speculate [we do that a lot here don't we] on which high school had the biggest API gain and how much. Which high school had the biggest API loss and how much ? Just the 5 traditional high schools.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have just spoken to another San Diego parent named Susan Hopps-Tatum, who said she was one of the people who filed a Grand Jury complaint and named Meyer as one of the administrators who failed to report suspected abuse to authorities. Although Meyer wasn’t named in the response, Hopps-Tatum said Meyer was named in the complaint. She said she and other parents would like to speak with MDUSD school board members when they visit San Diego, as part of MDUSD’s outreach to “stakeholders.”

  • Doctor J

    Fensterwald on the LCFF input meeting in Sacramento: pay attention to some comments about parents not just ratifying a plan but being involved in formation of the plan. http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/state-board-must-find-balance-between-rules-and-flexibiltiy/37224#.Ugp5CaPn_IW

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have just received a copy of the Contra Costa County’s Grand Jury response staff report. The letter from the foreperson says the response is due no later than Sept. 3. So, MDUSD still has time. I wonder if this will come up during the solar report on Wednesday.
    Another interesting item is this: “Due to the high volume of interdistrict transfer appeals, it has been determined that a special board meeting needs to be scheduled to accommodate those requests.” The County Board is considering meeting Aug. 28. It will be interesting to see how many of these will be students requesting transfers out of MDUSD.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. J #80: My guess – the biggest API gain would have to go to CVCHS. Huge increases, maybe 50 points. Biggest API loss – perhaps Northgate, they had pretty much across the board decreases. The overall API scores might be close between Northgate and CVCHS this year.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s an interesting stat from the County Board agenda: The county has issued three temporary county certificates to MDUSD administrators who are still in the process of getting their administrative credentials and one who is still in the process of getting a Pupil Personnel credential, along with three emergency CLAD/BCLAD permits, one multiple subject preliminary/clear single subject temporary certificate, and two preliminary/clear single subject CLAD/BCLAD permits, for a total of 10 temporary county certificates processed for MDUSD in July. MDUSD is surpassed only by the County Office of Education, which had 12. Antioch and Pittsburg had nine, Oakley and West Contra Costa had six, San Ramon had four, Liberty had two, and Acalanes, Orinda and Walnut Creek each had one.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. J #80: My guess – biggest API score increase among the traditional high schools: MDHS. Small increase.
    Biggest decrease in API: Northgate.

    What’s your guess?

  • Hell Freezing Over

    TH @ 83

    It would be interesting indeed to see how many students transfer out / in of MDUSD (and where – which district to / from) each year to help better understand the steady decline of students in MDUSD.

    A lot of the decline can be based on large companies moving out of Concord (BofA, Chevron, etc.) and employees losing work / moving away with their families for work.

    But I have always wondered how many MDUSD students have transferred out to other schools each year within the district – we know YVHS is only at apprx 50% of capacity, maybe lower now – and also to other districts altogether as a choice (either to another school in the district, a private school, home schooling, online school, etc.).

    The 2010 MDUSD school closure docs had a lot of information on student counts by schools in MDUSD. I found it very interesting to see how many students at each school attended their ‘home’ school (in their neighborhood), and how many attended a school outside of their ‘home’ school (outside of their neighborhood).

    I wonder if stats like that are available every year?

  • Sue Berg

    Re: 70, 71, 78
    I keep waiting for Michael Langley to acknowledge that the teachers union has a strong, impactful role in our public school districts (and in shaping California’s education policies). In a few districts (and, I believe in most charter schools), the role is in collaboration with administrators and the other employees/unions–to great success in many areas. Such was the case in MDUSD in the late 90′s and early 2000′s. Unfortunately, in most districts the roles are adversarial; in the two Bay Area districts in which I worked, the adversarial relationship has been the teachers union’s preferred model.

    In this model, the teachers union leader is rare who has anything good to say about administrators, site- or district-level. In both my districts I saw highly regarded teachers, some even active in their unions, move into administrative positions and quickly become personae non gratis in union leaders’ regard. It seemed as if, by putting on an administrator name tag, the teacher had crossed to the dark side and was no longer a valued educator.

    Langley says, “In MDUSD if a teacher was observed behaving in the way alledged (sic), the principal could give that person an Unsatisfactory evaluation, the first step in termination.” He should add that any teacher who receives a negative evaluation is entitled to have a union rep attend when meeting with the principal to discuss the matter. In fact, a teacher may ask for a union rep at any session with the principal, and many won’t attend such a meeting without one. Gotta hope that any union rep, hearing of a teacher’s alleged unacceptable behavior, would then work actively with the principal to investigate and resolve the matter ASAP and not just sit back and judge the principal’s handling of the case.

    In both my districts, I have seen the union support teachers who did not belong in the classroom, seen principals driven to distraction by the amount of evidence the union demands in discipline cases. In each, the union leadership is also actively involved in planning in-district teacher training and makes a point of visiting sites, both routinely and in response to specific issues.

    The union leadership is, by choice, on the field, not along the sidelines in MDUSD. That’s as it should be, providing it believes administrators and classified employees belong on the field, too. Each employee group needs to recognize and treat the others as essential, valued, and capable members of the same team. A good start would be by ending the employee bashing that keeps popping up on this blog’s comment threads.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I think the Student Services Dept. has that info, since they approve transfers in and out. Schrader and ?Associates did the detailed reports for the school closures and Bay Point attendance area studies, but Board President Cheryl Hansen said the district already had most of the information or could get it from publicly accessible sources.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s another San Diego report about teachers accused of inappropriate behavior who were allowed to continue teaching: http://www.10news.com/news/teachers-accused-of-misconduct-back-in-classroom

    Although this report also doesn’t mention Meyer, the parents who have contacted me said she was second in command and was in charge of a safe schools task force, so had the authority to act.

  • Doctor J

    @84&86 My guess is based on my cursory review of the STAR results but I am going to factor in also the two principal transfers, one of which resulted in a resignation. While I agree that CVCHS will have some massive gains, they are no longer part of the district, and we just have 5 traditional high schools. Although Northgate’s STAR scores looked pretty jumbled, I don’t think they are the lowest — no action against McMorris. I do think they took a significant hit though. CVCHS may have surpassed them on the API. I think YVHS scores looked worse, and we saw Sue Brothers get demoted and then resign. I will go with YVHS as the lowest. As for the highest, although Mount looked like it held its own on the STAR tests, the fact that the principal was demoted, is a sign she was not that successful. On the other hand she has a lot more issues with staff and students. If indeed Mount had the highest increase, it would be like Toby Montez at Meadow Homes gaining 57 API points and getting fired. Not out of the real of possibility, especially with Rose Lock doing the decision making. However, I am going to go with the odds of College Park having a single digit increase, but being the largest increase in the District. Those are my guesses.

  • Michael Langley

    @Sue Berg #88. As a retired teacher, I cannot speak for any current union/administrator relationship. A healthy relationship depends on cooperation from both sides. I agree that there were elements of that around 1999. In fact that is when I agreed to spend three years as a mentor teacher before returning to the classroom. I had very good relationships with many administrators. When I was elected President of MDEA, I sometimes came into conflict with administrators and sometimes administrators came to me for help. I tried to keep a positive and constructive relationship with administrators. However, I did protect the negotiated rights of the teachers I represented.

    I speak out in support of unions in this blog when I feel they are used as a scapegoat for a much greater problem in education.

    I do this because I no longer part of MDEA, so my opinions freely my own.

    My experience at the local level is that the union in an adversarial relationship becomes less relevant. Yet cooperation needs mutual respect and true input rather than rubber-stamped acquiescence. Some teachers felt I was too accommodating to various administrators while others took me to task for being too hard on administrators.

    My goal was to make MDUSD a better place for students. As a teacher, a mentor and as a union member, I used the ethical and legal means at my disposal to move towards that goal. As a private citizen, I continue, in my own small way, to work towards that goal.

  • Remembering

    Once upon a time, MDUSD had some of the best trainings around for teachers, administrators, and those who wanted to move up. Before there was a budget crisis and schools had vice principals at all levels, teachers could gain experience in the classroom, become a VP, and learn even more about being a principal by working with the site administrators. Also, the district did a lot of hiring from within. There was support fom the district to the administrators and a strong sense of unity between schools with principals calling and helping each other. This was easier to do with people familiar with our district. Now we are not training or grooming our own and many of the administrators are from outside the district. There was a time when teachers and administrators stayed in our district for a long time. In order to improve student learning, we need to hire, train, and continue to support our staff!

  • Martin

    Re: post 90
    What exactly would Meyer have to do with teacher misconduct at a Charter school? You do understand that Charters have their own administration? San Diego Unified closed that charter down at the first opportunity. It was a perfect example of Charters not being the solution to public school problems as they have been promoted.

  • Theresa Harrington

    The point of the video is that the teachers accused of misconduct were transferred to other San Diego schools, where they continued teaching.

  • Doctor J

    MDUSD still advertising for principals at Woodside Elem and Sequoia MS. Who is getting these schools “ready to open” ? The office manager ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    And don’t forget that the previous board cut back on the hours of office managers and secretaries, due to budget cuts, so I think they don’t come as early in the summer as they used to.

  • Doctor J

    @94&95 I am not taking sides, but lets remember that the investigating agency is NOT the school district nor the Charter, but either CPS or law enforcement. So if the teachers passed the CPS/law enforcement investigation, what would be the reason for denying them employment ? Unsubstantiated allegations ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    In this case, it looks like the allegations weren’t considered misconduct. But, there were witnesses who saw behavior they didn’t think was appropriate, so the allegations weren’t unsubstantiated. If the allegations were investigated and deemed to not be misconduct, perhaps the parents should have been told that. Instead, it appears the district quietly transferred the teachers to other schools, without informing parents.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#97 It might be these two openings are due to promotions to Dent to be approved tonight by the Board. Perhaps the Board should put its foot down and not approve any promotions from principal to Dent on the brink of school being opened until new Principals are in place. What is more important, the children or filling another administrator spot at Dent ? Can you imagine the anxiety now with parents and children at Woodside and Sequoia, two weeks before school not knowing who their principal is ? The “new” principals have already missed several trainings in the last two weeks, including training on Aeries and the new SPSA format. Any principal candidate with “quality” already has a job ! What the heck is Rose Lock thinking ? I think the STAR tests and the soon to be released API scores have her panicked. Come on Board, lets put the children FIRST for once.