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Musical chairs at MV Whisman

Original post made on Jun 19, 2008

In a surprise announcement at the last meeting of the school year Tuesday, Mountain View Whisman administrators and trustees said they will rotate the positions of some of the district's top leaders.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 19, 2008, 1:58 PM

Comments (37)

Posted by Ronald, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Typical spin and smoke and mirrors. Hold a meeting and spring this on everyone after school is out, make changes without explaining why, proclaim it "makes sense" but don't explain why. So why? What's the reasoning behind this? What happened to good old-fashioned journalism? Half of this is just a regurgitated version of the district's press release. How about some investigative reporting for once instead of feeding the ego of the superintendant and his bike trip to nowhere.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Everything Dr. Crates has touched in the district has turned to gold. This is a good move that bodes well for Castro.


Posted by Cynthia Greaves, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Another, less skeptical view might be that a Superintendent with a Ph D and a wise and dedicated school board might have insights that the general public and parents may lack and that, rather than being smoke and mirrors, it is actually an intelligent reassignment of talent to improve our schools. Perhaps if more parents attended school board meetings, we'd understand more of the issues and content behind decisions that, on the surface, appear "unexplained." Just food for thought...


Posted by Mostly smoke, a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Wow. The glare of a doctorate has won you over Cynthia. If your heroes have insights, they should share those details with the public. If not, then it's a good bet that it's smoke and mirrors, at best.


Posted by Claudia, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2008 at 12:50 am

The district finally made a move that makes sense.


Posted by Daisy, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 20, 2008 at 12:57 am

To Ronald, Bulls-eye :)


Posted by resident, a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm

I think the current district administration is dedicated to putting its resources where they will be best used for the benefit of the kids. I think this is a good move, though I also wondered why it was done.

The bottom line is--for personnel changes, the district is NOT obligated to tell us every single reason for reassigning someone. Employees of a school district are still entitled to some confidentiality in regard to their employment status and assignments. Managers anywhere don't == can't == tell the public every employee's strength and weakness when reassigning personnel. School districts are no different.

I think Dr. Crates will be a fabulous addition to Castro. She worked closely with them to help them achieve the great gains in achievement they have made over the past couple of years. Carmen Mizell did a great job at Castro and will be great for Landels, I'm certain. I don't know what Phyllis Rogers' strengths are because I don't know her at all, but I feel certain that the district does know and is putting people where they can do the most good for the kids.

It would be nice if people could stop seeing conspiracies in everything the school district does. Happens in every district, I know (just read all the posts on the Los Altos School District redistricting issues!), but it gets old fast.


Posted by resident, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:01 am

Mr. Ph.d can thus explain to us how all this makes sense I guess. I stopped taking the word of public official on face value a long time ago, and I suggest other people do the same.

The Voice got it right with the Musical Chairs header. That's about all it is. And brilliantly poor timing is about all our non-contested school board electees can claim credit for. Let's talk facts for once. Carmen Mizell was never fluent in Spanish, barely functionally literate would be more precise, and she completely dismantled what was once a dynamic computer laboratory, so don't tell me it's not spin. A nice lady, but just a stand in for an incompetent administration which seems to be constantly shuffling principals. This does nothing for an organization's chances of improving. Landels has nothing to look forward to. There was no community involvement in this process either. Parents and teachers have no say in this process. Meanwhile, performance of Mountain View schools remain flat at best, so the Voice would benefit from some real journalistic research on this point.

Now bring on the same school district trolls to counter everything. They always come out like henchmem to keep the spin spinning.


Posted by A Stanford Ph.d., a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:05 am

He's got an Ed.d. from a third rate university. Hardly a Ph.d from Stanford. Dr. this, Dr. that. Save it. I've always been weary of Ph.d.s or Ed.d.s that masquerade behind their titles. Having a doctorate does not automatically mean you know how to make decisions or lead as evidenced here. There should have been community involvement in these decisions. Few will go to a meeting once school is out and folks are on their vacations.


Posted by concerned about the schools, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:36 am

I think the district did this in a bad way, having it announced after the summer break.


Posted by Joy, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Ok Mr. Glysels lets see you back peddal out of this one.


Posted by Old Smoky, a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Ghysels will easily pedal his way out this one, he just completed almost 140 miles of pedaling last weekend. As for the Ph. D, I think the alleged Stanford doctorate holder overestimates the relationship between the degree and his or her merit. I also think characterizing Ghysels's alma mater as third-rate was a overly harsh. It is merely second-rate.


Posted by Biker, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2008 at 1:06 am

Mr. Ghysels would make a great spin instructor at the local gym. If you've never taken a areobic spinning class, I highly recommend one.


Posted by Vickie, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Gee do you think the Superintendent reads the "Voice" If you do
Mr.Ghysels be a stand up kind of guy and answer our questions.


Posted by no flip flops at school!, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2008 at 11:08 am

MVSWD needs to realize that we need people to stay in their positions for more than two years if we are going to develop lasting relationships that will lead to positive change-be it in test scores(blah, blah, blah) or more importantly in school climate and community trust. As parents we want someone that will go the distance and stay the course.We want a principal that wants to lead our school. We want you to figure this out before you hire them so that you don't have to shuffle them around after you hire them. It must be very difficult for teachers, parents and students to have a revolving door in their principal's office. It takes a lot of time to familiarize a new principal with a school's routines and then all that energy is wasted when you switch them out. If you are making this switch, make sure it is the right one and stick with it, please!


Posted by MVWSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2008 at 9:33 am

This is a good switch. Both principals are amazing, but Crates has vast experience in ELL. As educators we're not robots that you can plug into any: grade, school, subject, position. We each come with unique experience and strengths.


Posted by Margie, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 26, 2008 at 12:26 pm

MVWSD-Teachers are the salt of the earth. The district office and the board are the problem.


Posted by Not that different, a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Teachers are not at all that different from the district office personnel or the board members. All of you work together, and when doesn't work, you should not point your fingers at one another, but instead regroup to meet the needs of children.


Posted by Fed Up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2008 at 12:41 am

Dear trustee Ed Bailey:

Make "a bold move" and fire the superintendant. "In the short run it might take the breath out of people, but in the long term it makes sense."


Posted by MVWSD Teacher, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:36 am

During the school year I work 7 days a week. I am in my classroom on Saturdays and Sundays and i'm not alone. On most weekends my entire grade level will be there, which is significant. When you talk to ANYONE who works for the district, it's ALWAYS about the kids. We are one of the lowest paying districts for teachers and I wouldn't go anywhere else. MVWSD is going through some growing pains right now, which is hard. I have confidence in the leadership and where the district is headed.

The real issue is money and class size above third grade .....


Posted by Teachers are Angels, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Growing pains?!? This is getting ridiculous-while my child has been in school we have gone through two years of school closure pains and now two years of musical chair pains. It MIGHT be acceptable from a teacher's point of view, but these four years of growing pains(I thought we didn't have enough kids-isn't that why we had to close Slater?)have constituted the majority of my child's elementary education and it is NOT acceptable. The district is responsible.


Posted by Get real, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Teachers, stop whining. For one, if you are working seven days a week, then you are doing something wrong. Two, being a martyr doesn't help the students. Your active participation and input will be more useful. All employees of the district are hardworking, but I think there is a feeling that this switcheroo of administrators doesn't make sense.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 11:37 pm

"Teachers, stop whining"?? What a foolish, insulting statement! Do you realize what an amazing group of educators MVWSD has? Not only do they work ridiculously hard for too litle money, but, in light of the state's potentially draconian budget cuts, they agreed to extraordinary salary concessions (yes, a lot of people in this valley didnt get raises this year. Most of them make more than teachers).

"Active participation"? Get Real, you clearly have no idea what a ludicrous comment that is. Do you know how many teachers and administrators were actively involved, for example, in the parcel tax campaign? Do you know how often you see teachers donating their time, money and effort at PTA fundraisers?

I sympathize with the (I assume) PACT parents complaining about the 11th hour shift at their campus, but principals are not picked by a vote of the parents. MVWSD is sending Castro a rock star to tend to the campus in the district that needs the most attention. That is a good thing. Enjoy it and the extra resources your program recieves (thats not a complaint on my part-- good districts make programs like PACT available. I'm glad its there, as Im glad to see some niche programs at the high school level that dont benefit my family).


Posted by Fed Up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2008 at 12:07 am

Crates is now a rock star? If you read past articles and quotes by our idiots in the district officer, they are all rock stars and stellar leaders, and now they are all changing. If they are so good, why are they being moved after only two years? The schools need stability, not musical chairs. What about the Graham principal last year, advertised as a true leader when he got to Graham, and then gone within a year????? The superintendant hasn't a clue as to how to pick leaders.

Eric, you need to stop being a cheerleader for the district office and start thinking about parents and kids who are the most affected by this.


Posted by Fed Up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2008 at 12:07 am

Crates is now a rock star? If you read past articles and quotes by our idiots in the district office, they are all rock stars and stellar leaders, and now they are all changing. If they are so good, why are they being moved after only two years? The schools need stability, not musical chairs. What about the Graham principal last year, advertised as a true leader when he got to Graham, and then gone within a year????? The superintendant hasn't a clue as to how to pick leaders.

Eric, you need to stop being a cheerleader for the district office and start thinking about parents and kids who are the most affected by this.


Posted by Fed Up, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 28, 2008 at 12:08 am

Crates is now a rock star? If you read past articles and quotes by our idiots in the district office, they are all rock stars and stellar leaders, and now they are all changing. If they are so good, why are they being moved after only two years? The schools need stability, not musical chairs. What about the Graham principal last year, advertised as a true leader when he got to Graham, and then gone within a year????? The superintendant hasn't a clue as to how to pick leaders.

Eric, you need to stop being a cheerleader for the district office and start thinking about parents and kids who are the most affected by this.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2008 at 10:25 am

Fed up, you need to look into the facts.


Posted by Get real, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Eric,

You did receive raises. It's called step and column. My advice to you to stop whining and stop being a martyr is not intended to insult you. While I respect an administrator's right to make changes, when it happens after school gets out, it does raise another red flag. I also cannot parrot that whole "rock star" drivel from the district.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2008 at 11:03 pm

umm, Im not a teacher,nor am I a district employee. Just another person fed up with pact


Posted by seems sneaky to me, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 29, 2008 at 4:24 pm

No matter what, making these changes AFTER school gets out and without any community input, SEEMS sneaky!!


Posted by Lynn, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 29, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Wow I'm also a parent fed up with the PACT. The program caused an inbalance across the whole district. What a big mistake!!!!!!


Posted by Dr. Spock, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 30, 2008 at 6:12 am

Crates is a rock star? Well she does have the hair, but she looks more like a prison warden to me.


Posted by PACT parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 9:47 am

Eric, please do not assume these are PACT parents who are complaining. I AM a PACT parent and we are not complaining.

The many PACT parents I have talked to assume that this move was due to Personnel issues, which is private for the sake of the Principals involved. It is not strange that it happened after school let out for summer. I really do not think it is "smoke & mirrors", and I KNOW it has nothing to do with PACT.

We welcome Judy Crates. She was a big help in the transition of PACT's move to Castro. In addition, she has done a fabulous job working long, hard hours at Castro and elsewhere in the District helping ELL students.
We are extremely happy for Carmen Mizell - she did a great job at Castro and think she will be an asset to Landels as well. We will really miss her.

Lastly, I am not sure why Lynn of The Crossings Neighborhood feels the need to accuse PACT of causing an imbalance. PACT has been around for over 12 years. We have a diverse group of parents who love our community, including our families and staff. I am not sure where an impalance occurs?



Posted by Parent, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:04 am

Dear PACT Parent:

You review everyone's accomplishments and the great success of everything which begs the following questions to be asked: Why the musical chairs? What makes so much sense about all this? Does this not disrupt the lives of students as Teachers are Angels writes above>

Google Crates and it appears to me that she has bumping rights to go where she pleases, just like she did in Redwood City where her second husband was the superintendent. Schools and children be damned. Is any one person so important to cause this chaos? What narrow-minded thinking suggests that only one person is the solution to one problem. This whole scenario wreaks.


Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:20 am

It seems appropriate here as well.

A little Max Weber needs to be invoked. The cult of the personality, bureaucracy, political and insider appointments, an obscure hiring process, empty decrees such as "it makes sense" I forgot the systematic brainwashing of residents to believe there is no other way and no need for democratic and transparent public institutions. Oh, and control of the media. This is how fascism takes root.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment]


Posted by Carlos, a resident of Castro City
on Oct 29, 2009 at 7:35 pm

From another poster, too funny

If you can't laugh, you gotta cry...

Top Ten Key Strategies of Superintendent Letterman's latest Deployment Plan

10. Arrives at your school humming Love Train by the O'Jays.

9. Asks you if you'd like an EFWA sticker on your bumper.

8. Gives you personal coaching on how to be a CI "quality employee" and get ahead.

7. Is always talking about his Big Rocks management theory.

6. Ask you to come over to help film a clip for the next "all-hands" meeting.

5. Asks you to come to his office and discuss SMART goals--Stretching, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, Timely.

4. Leaves you wondering why he keeps saying "you have to go fast to go slow."

3. Asks you to be on his staff.

2. Reassigns you to a choice position after you've blown your job.

1. Leaves your school on his moped with a smile.


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