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Monday, February 20, 2012

Anonymous Tattler Writer Sparks Furor

An anonymous written comment to a Tattler story about the School District last week has the town abuzz with speculation over the identity of the author but more pressingly, the allegations of corruption contained within it.  The writer seems to be an insider at the School District, with an extensive knowledge of the workings there.  In addition to stirring up much consternation around town, the written comment has drawn in at least one council member according to sources close to City Hall.  The unnamed council member is indicating the need to "firm up disclosure standards" at the School District in the event that the allegations made by the anonymous commenter are found to be true.  The writer of the comment piece is invited to contact the Tattler privately to help investigate these allegations, with the pledge that their anonymity will be respected if so desired.
The original Tattler story  dated February 15th, should be read first.  Here then is the anonymous comment piece dated February 16th:

     .             .             .             .
During the search for a new [schools] superintendent, Emery Unified School District (EUSD) staff asked the School Board for someone who would give the district a fresh start.  They were tired of the old ties and backroom politics. Instead, the School Board hired a superintendent who came in the door pushing through a $200,000 contract for the National Equity Project (NEP), formerly known as the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, i.e. BAYCES - the same group that was here just a few years ago doing school improvement work that failed.  Keyword: “FAILED.”  Who got blamed?  The same people who asked for a fresh start: EUSD staff. The School Board doesn’t care about their morale. 

So what do they care about? Reinforcing the same old ties, the stinking crap we’ve lived with for years.

[Former Emery school Superintendent] 
Tony Smith worked for NEP when he came to EUSD after the State of California took over [running the School District].  The Emeryville Center of Community Life is his legacy.  As a superintendent, he left behind a mess.  Three superintendents later and this small community is still struggling to make sense of that over-sized project.  According to NEP’s website, John Gooding, the architect of Smith’s appointment as superintendent, has been an NEP board member since 2004.  Anakarita Allen, Emery Secondary School Principal, has been on NEP’s board since 2006.  Current superintendent Debbra Lindo also served on NEP’s board up to the point when she was hired by EUSD.  Do you see the ties?  Obviously the School Board wasn’t interested in a fresh start or hiring a superintendent capable of leading change.  If they were, they would expect Lindo and Allen, the two highest paid “educators” in the district, to apply what they’ve learned from NEP instead of our having to pay “their” organization $200,000.

Let’s add up the cost of this scam game: $200,000 contract to pay NEP for school improvement; $170,000 (est) Superintendent Lindo’s salary and benefits; $140,000 (est) ESS Principal Allen’s salary and benefits; and $110,000 (est) AYES Principal Lathan’s salary and benefits.  That’s roughly $620,000 to pay administrators and consultants to improve school culture in a district that serves less than 750 students at two sites that sit three blocks apart.  Although Lathan doesn’t appear to be involved in this scam game, her salary matters in the overall scheme of things.

Here’s an alternative: spend $200,000 to hire a kick ass K-12 school leader who knows what they’re doing, who can build trust by giving the district the fresh start it deserves, and $120,000 to hire someone to assist them.  That’s an annual savings of $100K in administrator salaries alone.  Forget the $200,000 in consulting fees.  That money would be better spent on a community bonfire of the whole ECCL project.

Einstein said it best folks: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”  If bringing NEP back to EUSD isn’t doing the same thing all over again, what is?  It would be different if NEP was productive during their last stint at EUSD.  They weren’t!!!  How much did EUSD pay in consulting fees for NEP when Smith was here?  That’s why none of the officials, including Ruth Atkins, who authorized the new NEP contract, who’ve been shoving ECCL down our throats for years any way they can, can complain about anything.  It’s all one big pile of stinking crap and all of their hands are in it!  The only way we can get beyond this era of insanity is to elect people who will put education first, who are free of these old ties or at least willing to end them once and for all.  Until then, [what] we should expect is failure.

It’s time to revolt. Enough is enough!

1 comment:

  1. Why do you think Pat Hooper kept her head down, and high tailed it out of here as quick as she could?
    She probably saw the crony politics at work, and felt getting out the way was better than getting steamrolled by the Emery elite.

    You want to know why the school is ALWAYS failing? The rotating school board every couple of years. It's the same incompetent boobs with different titles. The same people that believed Stephen Wesley, when they confronted him about his lies, told them there was nothing to worry about, and there was nothing behind the story. Instead of vetting him on their own, they let him sweet talk them into doing nothing.
    Not may people know this, but the reporter that broke the Stephen Wesley story called the board, and gave them a chance to refute, or deal with the issue before they went to press with the story. The board, in all it's wisdom, called Stephen Wesley into a closed session and confronted him with the allegations. He told them they were lies, and there was nothing to the story, and it would go away. 2 weeks later, the story breaks. NOW, the administration of the school, independent of the board, spent something like $60 and half a day to check into Wesley's background and find out that he doesn't have any degrees, had his admin credential had been revoked in six states. AND THEN, they let the jabroni resign when he should have been fired.
    What the hell kind crony politics is that?