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Sunday, July 30, 2017

We Need a New Schools Superintendent: Time For Rubio To Go

Three Board Members Hold Emery's Future in Their Hands

Opinion
It has become increasingly clear that it is time for the Emery School Board to fire Emery Schools Superintendent John Rubio.
Seemingly every week, fresh revelations centered on the Superintendent brings the drip, drip, drip of more scandal to a District that's already up to its neck in it.
This last week we are spectators to the ECCL warranty train wreak: the Superintendent hiding the fact that the District only has a few months left on the construction warranty for the new ECCL schools/community center campus, the remainders of just one year, after assuring us for months we would have two full years.  Taxpayers will likely be left holding the bag on a poorly built project, with no recompense because we'll have run out of time to effect repairs under warranty.
A thorough investigation of the construction defects at the ECCL, actively (albeit reluctantly) under discussion by the Board, becomes more imperative with the revelation of the new time constraint.  But in a one-two punch to the taxpayers, this is unlikely because of obstinacy from the Superintendent.  As such, Mr Rubio let his insubordination flag fly last month when he told the Board that he wouldn't be willing to do work towards initiating any audit of the ECCL project, neither construction, performance nor financial.

It was pretty unseemly hearing a superintendent tell his employers he won't do as he's told but three years into the Rubio administration at Emery, we weren't really surprised.  Before last week's scandals, Mr Rubio has been called out for racism by the teachers, accused of breaking the law by hindering transparency by community members, chastised by a City Council member for not paying taxes for the District, failed to provide required documents to the press, booed by parents at an after school celebration (!), charged with holding secret white staff only interviews, and yet another teacher has resigned from the district, despite the Superintendent's assertion that would not happen, bringing the total this school year (2016-2017) to fourteen, fifteen if you include the Elementary Principal.
That degradation only adds to another Rubio fiasco; the deplorable state of teacher retention at Emery, the worst of any school district in the entire Bay Area on his watch.  And of course we shouldn't leave out mention of the 'mandated reporter' scandal; Superintendent Rubio's failing to call police after two reported cases of student sexual assault on campus.  Parents believed their children's accounting and went to the police with the assault allegations on their own but the Superintendent said the students were lying and he never notified the police of the incidents as the law states he must (please use the search bar above for more information on all these scandals).

Indeed, Mr Rubio's entire term here at Emery has been one scandal after another, starting his first week on the job when, without even a cursory public records check,  he hired a well documented sexual predator to serve as principal of the elementary school, costing the District almost $100,000.  Mr Rubio's penchant for secrecy net Emery at least two disparaging newspaper articles by the East Bay Times after he orchestrated a major Brown Act violation.  He was caught holding a behind closed doors meeting in his office with a Board quorum before a regularly scheduled Board meeting.  Under discussion at the secret meeting were fiscal matters, as the District was preparing to sell another municipal bond. After at first lying about the meeting, he later apologized after the East Bay Times made hay of it.

As reported in the Tattler, on June 15th, nine individuals spoke to Rubio's racism and incompetence. Board members Donn Merriam, Cruz Vargas, and Bailey Langer sat in disinterested silence as the parade of disgruntled educators described the toxic environment Rubio has created at the ECCL.  Given the number of speakers and information covered, Mr Rubio took the video of the meeting home to "prepare the minutes." The result was a white wash of the Board minutes; all reference to his poor job performance scrubbed from the official record of the meeting.  
The Board's refusal to rewrite the minutes to accurately document the teacher's charges against Mr Rubio tells us this Board majority isn't interested in doing the work needed to provide a base level of stability or competency any education agency needs to properly function, let alone teach children.  
And that is at the root of Emery's existential problems; a deluded and compliant board majority in the thrall of a dysfunctional superintendent.  Outwardly, this is a seemingly intractable problem for Emery.  That's why we need to throw a monkey wrench into the gears of this thing; cause a change up.  We've been demoralized having now had two bad superintendents in a row.  But we don't believe in fate or the turpitude of original sin.  We're not paying now for some past horrific transgression; we can find a good superintendent for this beleaguered school district.  There are good people out there, we could find one.  Any change in leadership will almost certainly bring relief to the long suffering citizens, teachers, parents and children of Emery Unified.


For these reasons, we call on Board members Donn Merriam, Cruz Vargas, and Bailey Langner, so far inextricably standing by the Superintendent, to acquiesce to the ceaseless drip, drip, drip and fire Rubio now for cause (plenty of that) as opposed to waiting out the end of his contract.


Bailey Langner
Donn Merriam

Cruz Vargas

The three Board members above need to stop looking out after the interests of John Rubio and start looking out after our interests: citizens, parents and children.  We don't deserve all this chaos.


3 comments:

  1. "It's become increasingly clear..."? What kind of talk is that? It's been clear for years he isn't right for this district. The board won't fire him so the point is moot. We're going to have to fire them before we can fire him I'm sorry to say

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  2. We need to get together and file a class action lawsuit against the district on behalf of the students for a failure to educate. The teachers need to sue for a hostile work environment. There has got to be numbers of parents who were treated unprofessionally. The board fires Rubio then resign and we start from scratch or we sue.

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  3. Rubio sent a letter to veteran teachers today asking us to come to a meeting on the 18th so he can hear our complaints. Sorry. Too little, way, way too late. Dr. Rubio, we DON'T trust or believe you. Actions speak louder than words. It's time for you to go!

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