Search The Tattler

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Recalling Emery's Greatest Hits

'Outlook Not So Good'

Readers will note there aren't links embedded in this story (except for the first one)...the whole story would be chock-a-block with links and distract from the readability...please feel free to use the Tattler search bar instead.

On Wednesday evening the parents and community members that attended the Emery Unified School Board meeting learned that their input was utterly immaterial to the Board majority's already-made-up minds.  The majority on this Board made it very clear; they can really do without any community input, thank you very much.  So it seems an appropriate time to reflect back on all the great decisions made by Emery Unified School Boards of the past.  It will surely support the idea that these decision-makers know what's best for us.

Presenting... Emery's Greatest Hits (partial list)
  1. Employ an architect for a district of less than 800 children. Keep him on payroll for 10 years. 
  2. Hire the fabulous and divisive Debbra Lindo as Superintendent.
  3. Stick by Debbra Lindo, even after she receives a vote of “no confidence” from your teachers.
  4. Go into receivership.
  5. Get a loan from the City of Emeryville in order to get out of receivership.
  6. Tell the City you can’t repay that loan.
  7. Make a plan for a K-12 school site that would make use of the property of the existing High School and the AC Transit site.
  8. Lose the AC Transit half of that real estate, but refuse to revise the plan and instead decide to shoehorn every child in town into what little space you have.
  9. Hire a superintendent with a history of corruption that bilks the district out of cash.
  10. Hire another superintendent that lies on his resume about his qualifications.
  11. Close a school site in order to rebuild (rebuild...a good decision, Magic Eight Ball says "decidedly so" to this one). But then move a daycare over to the middle school site making that site unavailable, and then pay Oakland Unified $500K* a year in order to rent another school site to house our older kids.  Wait, what?
  12. Move the middle schoolers from the middle school site to the high school site. Watch middle school enrollment drop. Wait, no.  Move them to go to the elementary school site.  Watch enrollment drop.  Wait, no.  Everyone (do we still have any middle schoolers left?) go over to California State Highway 123 aka San Pablo Avenue.  Wait with breathless anticipation for our enrollment numbers…these are gonna be GOOD!
  13. Pass out Measure J money to consultants.  Because we have bond money, and as it just so happens, they have advice...they've got as much advice as we have bond money.
  14. Just before Sacramento makes them illegal, issue a Capital Appreciation Bond that will cost Emeryville taxpayers nearly $70 million over the course of 33 years in order to receive just $17 million for our ECCL building project.   
  15. Pour hours of consultant's time into charts that show when buildings will “sleep” but do not construct enough room for actual elementary school students to play.
  16. Pay some consultants thousands of dollars to conduct a "listening campaign".
  17. Do not listen, instead assemble a 'negative public relations (Tattler) story rapid response team'.
  18. In the summer, hire an elementary school principal with multiple past allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.  Don't bother Googling his name before hiring.
  19. Wait until his first day on the job on the first day of the new school year.
  20. Fire that elementary school principal after he faces more allegations of sexual harassment.  Pay his salary for many months that he never worked.
  21. Use the PTO as your propaganda arm; disallow parents making critical presentations to the group and criticism of District policies in the list serve.
  22. Pay a construction oversight firm $1.1 million to watch over the contracting firm building out the new school site, a job the former District Architect would have done for $487,000 had he not left before the actual building started.
  23. Promise the community a chance for them to weigh in on the wisdom of closing Anna Yates Elementary School after the passage of Measure J school bond ballot initiative.
  24. Take away the chance for the community to weigh in after Measure J passes.  Tell the community it had all been decided ten years earlier.
  25. Don't reveal to the community exactly who decided to close the elementary school ten years ago...let 'em guess and work on your best smug demeanor when they erupt in anger.
You know, with a track record like this, it's hard to see why parents or community members thought this School Board majority needed their input.  Stop worrying!  Like their predecessors, this School Board majority has it all under control. 

Outlook Not So Good
This District gets it wrong almost every time.
A better way for the School Board to make decisions:
use a Magic Eight Ball.
Statistically, better policy would result.

Correction: the Tattler originally posted 
$200,000 per year.  The real number is 
$500,000 per year the District is spending. 
We apologize for the error.


  1. Make that $500,000 per year rent for the Santa Fe location. If you read and "oversaw" Measure J's paid invoices, you would have known this.

    1. Good sleuthing Tattler reader! We should have read our own story from March 29th 2012 on this subject. We were wrong. We wrote $200,000 per year, the real number is $500,000 per year. Sorry for the error and thanks for the correction.

  2. Good reporting Brian. Stay on this one. The whole Conspiracy of the ECCL, and the total incompetence of it's administration, has burdened Emeryville's taxpayers for our
    lifetimes. We HAD all the bases covered, and a lack of enrollment. Then the Conspirators decided to fix what wasn't broke. And here we are; SCREWED.

  3. You forgot: Acclimate our students to being treated like criminals by paying for a fingerprint-scanning biometric system just so they can get school lunch.

  4. School Administrators (Superintendents included) do not have business/finance degrees and yet their main charge is budget. This is why public schools fail our children. Dr. Rubio has NO BUSINESS going from teacher, to technology coordinator to the person in charge of spending millions of tax payer dollars on anything!

  5. The High School has 1 English teacher and I think 2 math teachers. The Middle School will now also have 1 teacher for ELA and 1 for History. If you graduate from Emery you will have had 2 English teachers over the course of your Middle and High School experience. No one is thinking about what is best for our students.

  6. Another memorable note is that there was also plans for Anna Yates to be developed as Condo's. I believe the City Attorney was embarrassed when this was revealed. There is no shame in Emeryville.

  7. Actually, the High School has 2 English teachers. However, one of them was not offered a contract for the 2015-2016 school year. That teacher happens to be the ONE Black core subject teacher at Emery Secondary. There have been MULTIPLE studies put out by leading institutes in educational research/policy that says that students of color learn better from a faculty that reflects the students' racial diversity. Further, it is especially important that core subject teachers in a school like Emery Secondary, where the majority of the students are Black, have teachers that LOOK LIKE THEM. This is just one example of how much decision-making in EUSD is NOT student-centered. One has to wonder whether there is an ulterior motive to change the demographic of the student population to that of the new "monied" residents of the Oakland and Emeryville area.

  8. The whole plan for the ECCL, including rolling the Elementary school into was decided by many, many focus groups that included students, parents and school staff throughout 2003, 2004 and 2005.
    So, the community made the decision, now the community wants to blame the district because they changed their minds.

    1. This is untrue. There were in fact many ECCL design public meetings but co-location, the moving of the elementary school onto the site, was never a topic of discussion, because that had already been determined the District said. Co-location was presented as a fait accompli, decided earlier by forces not revealed.