News

School board approves big superintendent pay raise

New contract includes 10 percent salary boost

In a 3-2 vote last week, Mountain View Whisman School District trustees agreed to increase Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph's pay by 10 percent following his first year on the job. The increase raises the salary to the level advertised by the district last year when it was seeking a superintendent.

Board members Greg Coladonato and Steve Nelson cast the opposing votes.

The contract approved at the June 16 meeting sets Rudolph's annual salary at $220,000, up from $200,000 last year. The contract includes a provision for administrative coaching, paid for by the district, by the firm Peter Gorman Leadership Associates. Rudolph had not served as a superintendent before his hiring by the district, and board members agreed to foot a $57,000 bill for coaching services last year. The cost of coaching services for the coming year is also set at $57,000.

"I appreciate your continued faith in the direction of the district, and I am excited to continue moving forward," Rudolph told the board after the contract was approved.

Board president Ellen Wheeler said she believed that the 10 percent salary increase was a matter of fairness. She said that when the district advertised for a new superintendent in 2015 it listed the salary at $220,000, and that Rudolph had "generously" agreed to come to the district for less than that amount.

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"Now that you've worked here for a year, it's only fair to bring you back up to that advertised level," she said.

Coladonato said he agreed with all the terms except the 10 percent raise. He said he had trouble giving the best-paid employee in the district a bigger raise than everyone else, and noted that the tentative agreement with the teachers' union calls for an 8 percent salary increase.

Coladonato argued that it's difficult to effectively rate Rudolph's performance after only one year on the job. The superintendent, he said, was able to pull together a strategic plan and keep the district afloat, but student performance and other measures still need to be addressed.

"Now that he has a strategic plan to execute on, next year we'll find out if he is doing a great job against those goals and maybe he'll deserve a good raise."

Nelson said he wanted the salary increase to match the 8 percent offer to teachers. He said he was also concerned about teacher survey results that he believes show "large teacher dissatisfaction" with the district office. Nelson conceded, however, that the problems were not caused by Rudolph, and that the long-term strategic plan hasn't been in place long enough to realistically expect a noticeable change in teachers' attitudes.

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Despite his hesitance to support the big salary bump, Nelson said he supports the continued coaching allowed in the contract, saying it's worth the cost.

"I think it was an excellent idea," he said. "I think it was worth $57,000 last year, and it will be worth $57,000 in the future."

Payroll data compiled by the website Transparent California shows that Rudolph's salary remains lower than superintendent pay in neighboring districts. Data from 2013 and 2014 show that superintendents in the Los Altos School District, Sunnyvale School District, the San Mateo Union High School District and the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District made between $223,792 and $253,197 each year in base pay. The three-year contract for former Mountain View Whisman Superintendent Craig Goldman called for a salary of $224,951 in the 2015-16 school year.

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School board approves big superintendent pay raise

New contract includes 10 percent salary boost

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 11:14 am

In a 3-2 vote last week, Mountain View Whisman School District trustees agreed to increase Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph's pay by 10 percent following his first year on the job. The increase raises the salary to the level advertised by the district last year when it was seeking a superintendent.

Board members Greg Coladonato and Steve Nelson cast the opposing votes.

The contract approved at the June 16 meeting sets Rudolph's annual salary at $220,000, up from $200,000 last year. The contract includes a provision for administrative coaching, paid for by the district, by the firm Peter Gorman Leadership Associates. Rudolph had not served as a superintendent before his hiring by the district, and board members agreed to foot a $57,000 bill for coaching services last year. The cost of coaching services for the coming year is also set at $57,000.

"I appreciate your continued faith in the direction of the district, and I am excited to continue moving forward," Rudolph told the board after the contract was approved.

Board president Ellen Wheeler said she believed that the 10 percent salary increase was a matter of fairness. She said that when the district advertised for a new superintendent in 2015 it listed the salary at $220,000, and that Rudolph had "generously" agreed to come to the district for less than that amount.

"Now that you've worked here for a year, it's only fair to bring you back up to that advertised level," she said.

Coladonato said he agreed with all the terms except the 10 percent raise. He said he had trouble giving the best-paid employee in the district a bigger raise than everyone else, and noted that the tentative agreement with the teachers' union calls for an 8 percent salary increase.

Coladonato argued that it's difficult to effectively rate Rudolph's performance after only one year on the job. The superintendent, he said, was able to pull together a strategic plan and keep the district afloat, but student performance and other measures still need to be addressed.

"Now that he has a strategic plan to execute on, next year we'll find out if he is doing a great job against those goals and maybe he'll deserve a good raise."

Nelson said he wanted the salary increase to match the 8 percent offer to teachers. He said he was also concerned about teacher survey results that he believes show "large teacher dissatisfaction" with the district office. Nelson conceded, however, that the problems were not caused by Rudolph, and that the long-term strategic plan hasn't been in place long enough to realistically expect a noticeable change in teachers' attitudes.

Despite his hesitance to support the big salary bump, Nelson said he supports the continued coaching allowed in the contract, saying it's worth the cost.

"I think it was an excellent idea," he said. "I think it was worth $57,000 last year, and it will be worth $57,000 in the future."

Payroll data compiled by the website Transparent California shows that Rudolph's salary remains lower than superintendent pay in neighboring districts. Data from 2013 and 2014 show that superintendents in the Los Altos School District, Sunnyvale School District, the San Mateo Union High School District and the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District made between $223,792 and $253,197 each year in base pay. The three-year contract for former Mountain View Whisman Superintendent Craig Goldman called for a salary of $224,951 in the 2015-16 school year.

Comments

reader
Waverly Park
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm
reader, Waverly Park
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm
65 people like this

Hey MVWSD, stop saying "it's all about the kids" while continuing to throw money at the administration, consultants, architects, etc.

Try spending money on the only thing that counts: TEACHERS and STUDENTS

Nelson and Coladonato made the right call on this one.

How do the teachers feel about this? Getting 8% while the big cheese gets 10%. So wrong.


Otto Maddox
Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm
Otto Maddox, Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm
36 people like this

How many people does the school district employ? Does it really warrant a coaching budget? That's the stuff CEO's of billion dollar companies typically get.

$57,000 a year for coaching. Amazing.


big picture
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm
big picture, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm
11 people like this

I think he should be paid accordingly (i.e., he should have been paid the 220k last year since that was the advertised rate). He should also get the coaching, too. The 57k divided among the schools would not make a huge impact on students or teachers. The 57k invested in the leader of the whole district likely will.


Bruce Karney
Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2016 at 4:01 pm
Bruce Karney, Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2016 at 4:01 pm
19 people like this

I wonder how many hours of coaching one can get for $57K. Let's do some math. If the coach charges $150/hour, then it's 380 hours/year or nearly 7.5 hours per WEEK. This would be an extraordinarily large amount of development time for anyone, let alone the senior leader of an organization. The Board's willingness to continue this level of development investment into a second year does not fill me with confidence in their judgment. Even if the Superintendent is getting this coaching "after hours," it seems excessive. And if the Coach is getting paid much more than $150/hour I would say that too seems excessive.


Coaching hours
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 4:29 pm
Coaching hours, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2016 at 4:29 pm
13 people like this

@Bruce - what's your reasoning behind your assumption that more than $150/hour is excessive? Do you have experience in this area? Because my immediate thought upon reading your comment was that you're low-balling it - and a very quick google search brought this article:

Web Link

which includes the quote, "Standard hourly rates for coaches coming out of a certification program are $100-$150 per hour, but those can be higher depending on the coach’s background, other expertise and location." Wouldn't we assume that someone at the Superintendent's level would not be working with someone straight out of a certification program? That his coach would have more expertise than a typical "life coach"? And that the Bay Area would probably be seeing significantly higher rates than average?

Personally, I'm not invested either way in whether he merits 7.5 hours per week of coaching. It just bugs me when people make assumptions about others' pay grades without putting any thought or research into it.


Bruce Karney
Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2016 at 5:14 pm
Bruce Karney, Old Mountain View
on Jun 22, 2016 at 5:14 pm
6 people like this

In response to the person calling him/herself "Coaching hours," I worked in the corporate education field for many years at HP. I'm not familiar with the rates for School Superintendents, but $150 seems reasonable to me because of 2 specific circumstances: (1) this is a very long term contract and many consultants will lower their hourly rate when they are bidding on projects that will allow them to bill hundreds of hours/year; (2) I assume (and hope) that this was a competitively bid contract for which the lowest qualified bid was accepted, not a sweetheart no-bid contract. I don't know if the contract is a public document or if the hourly rate would be redacted, but I'll bet that someone reading this knows the answers to both those questions, and I hope they will reply with that information.


Old Steve
Rex Manor
on Jun 22, 2016 at 6:17 pm
Old Steve, Rex Manor
on Jun 22, 2016 at 6:17 pm
16 people like this

Easy folks, It was also pretty easy to search for the firm involved. Folks with multiple advanced degrees in profession specific subject areas likely have rates similar to top attorneys. I have not searched for the agreement, but likely some expenses involved. Our district seems to have something of a personality disorder. Some think we should be a leading "destination district" and some think we should still be trying to get things as cheaply as possible. Not strictly analogous but in our business, one can ask for good work, performed quickly, and for a low fee. I said you can ask, usually you can only get two of the three.

Good Schools are Not Cheap!


Nailed it
Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm
Nailed it, Monta Loma
on Jun 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm
16 people like this

"Like" wasn't enough. First commenter, you nailed it.

We'll never succeed if we don't put money towards the little people that _we_ think matter.


juan olive
Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2016 at 5:54 am
juan olive, Old Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2016 at 5:54 am
13 people like this

What a racket.


Concerned Parent
Gemello
on Jun 23, 2016 at 6:46 am
Concerned Parent, Gemello
on Jun 23, 2016 at 6:46 am
25 people like this

The board is once again a huge disappointment.

I agree with Coladonato, "It's difficult to effectively rate Rudolph's performance after only one year on the job." "Now that he has a strategic plan to execute on, next year we'll find out if he is doing a great job against those goals and maybe he'll deserve a good raise."

And BTW, did anyone else see this bomb that was dropped by the Board just yesterday? Where is all this money going to come from? Get ready for a wild ride.

Bids for this $2.5 million summer construction work recently received were almost twice (approximately $4.7 million) the estimated budget. The total budget for the Castro/Mistral campuses cannot absorb a $2 million increase at the start of the program. The District will start the process of repackaging and rebidding the temporary housing project (Phase I) over the summer for a fall 2016 construction start and estimated completion in December 2016. Bidding of the new campus construction (Phase 2) is scheduled for Fall 2016 with construction starting in January 2017. Instead of a summer move for some classroom teachers, a move to Phase I temporary housing portables will happen during December break.

The District is still assessing what impact delaying the removal of existing portables and classroom demolition will have on the overall project. As is often the way with construction, there are delays and frustrations that are outside of our control. Although the delay is disappointing, it is unavoidable. By bidding in the fall, we hope to attract a more competitive pool of bidders and work within the budget.


Concerned ML parent
Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2016 at 7:17 am
Concerned ML parent, Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2016 at 7:17 am
12 people like this

We also got an email yesterday about construction.

We've been passed over for years and this was our summer.

Then we were told 2017 was our summer. Super disappointing.

THEN yesterday we were told summer 2017 through December 2017 was our time. Super, super disappointing.

As you stated, Concerned parent, with delays, that equals construction throughout the school year. How horrible for the students to listen to! Enough is enough, MVWSD.


Concerned Teacher
another community
on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:25 am
Concerned Teacher, another community
on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:25 am
28 people like this

I feel it very unprofessional that Rudolph would take a higher salary raise than the teachers. I also know that the district at first offered only 4% teacher raise, and they difficult times negotiating for 8% increase. Then to see the highest paid employee in the district take a larger raise than teachers is wrong. Under the circumstances, I feel the Sup. should give the teachers a bonus to make up for these inequitable business practices.


Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:34 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 9:34 am
6 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]


Interested Observer
another community
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:09 am
Interested Observer , another community
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:09 am
13 people like this

@Concerned Teacher: when Dr. Rudolph's position was first advertised, the listed salary was $220,000. He agreed to take $20,000 less when first hired. He's earned and deserves the raise the Board approved. There is no understanding that the superintendent should get the same raise as the teachers or vice versa. In fact, haven't the teachers received a 13% raise over the last 2 years!!


Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:22 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:22 am
10 people like this

My memory was that there was an advertised range of salary $200,000 to $220,000. Depending on experience.


zoop
Waverly Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:25 am
zoop, Waverly Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:25 am
21 people like this

The superintendent job in this district is a revolving door. Most recently because the Board is difficult to work with. Maybe the Board could use some coaching.


Disappointed Parent
Slater
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:27 am
Disappointed Parent, Slater
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:27 am
13 people like this

WHAT A CROCK! a bigger pay raise after 1 year! That is insane! Put the money in the teachers pockets since they are the ones that have pay for extra supplies in addition to the money the PTA gives each teacher!AND the district has to get the Leader of our school district a flippen COACH cause he clearly needs help?? WHO HIRED THIS GUY?? Just another disaster created by the board.

Side note--the proposed approved construction for HUFF has the relocated PORTABLES to blocking a play structure behind and right in front of 2 basketball courts so the classrooms get distracted BOTH SIDES!!! ! Just in time for MY KID to get stuck in there I bet.. Well if she is then the principle and I will be having alot of meetings regarding the disturbances affecting my child's education due to poor planning.


Blind leading the Blind
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:30 am
Blind leading the Blind, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:30 am
15 people like this

So Coladonato says, "It's difficult to effectively rate Rudolph's performance after only one year on the job." "Now that he has a strategic plan to execute on, next year we'll find out if he is doing a great job against those goals and maybe he'll deserve a good raise."

But yet he was willing to give him 8%? So he says he couldn't evaluate the guy and decided to give him ohh 8%. And no one thinks something is fishy? In my line of work, you don't give raises out unless you can justify them period. So he obviously has information, that we are not privy to, that suggests that he deserved at least 8%.

Just more politics, and the sheep are willing to follow as usual.


ML Parent
Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:32 am
ML Parent, Monta Loma
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:32 am
25 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]


who's running for school board?
Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 6:39 pm
who's running for school board?, Cuesta Park
on Jun 23, 2016 at 6:39 pm
14 people like this

Mr. Nelson, you said you wouldn't run again. Is that still true?


Cfrink
Registered user
Willowgate
on Jun 24, 2016 at 1:26 am
Cfrink, Willowgate
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2016 at 1:26 am
22 people like this

Whether or not the Superintendent deserves a raise isn't really debatable. He does. If you've been paying attention to his work over the past year, you'd know that. He's cleaned up a lot of the messes left behind by years of indecision and gridlock, created a plan for the district that can be executed and improved. He's worked extremely hard to create efficiency and consistency at our schools. People on this message board are always "outraged" about this or that. The same people complaining about the Superintendent's pay this year will be complaining about our need for more revenue to increase teacher pay next year. It's always something. It's a little disappointing coming from such an intelligent community. The Superintendent has invested and believes heavily in professional development as it helps relieve the frustration quotient in our teachers and staff. It makes perfect sense that we would provide the Superintendent with coaching so that the decisions he makes are decisions he can believe in and decisions we can see results from without delay. It's not enough to just pay teachers more and buy more books or programs. We've been doing that without focus for years. Now, we're providing a focused and concerted effort to help teachers reach goals that make sense. Our Superintendent is a great find. He's going to accomplish great things for us as long as we get out of the way and let him work...and, of course, pay him for his time.


Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 9:07 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 9:07 am
5 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]


@ Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 10:26 am
@ Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 10:26 am
16 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]


MV MOM
Slater
on Jun 24, 2016 at 1:27 pm
MV MOM, Slater
on Jun 24, 2016 at 1:27 pm
5 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]



Steven Nelso
Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm
Steven Nelso, Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 1:48 pm
5 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]


@steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 2:37 pm
@steven Nelson , Cuesta Park
on Jun 24, 2016 at 2:37 pm
12 people like this

[Post removed: off-topic]


CuestaParkResident
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jul 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm
CuestaParkResident, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm
11 people like this

@Cfrink--

I think I've been paying attention to the new Supe's work over the last year but it really is not clear to me what his accomplishments are. Would you please expand on these in detail? I'm not trying to be difficult; I would just really like to understand the substance better before trying to reach a conclusion and the article/other comments really aren't helpful on this point.


Cfrink
Registered user
Willowgate
on Jul 14, 2016 at 12:36 am
Cfrink, Willowgate
Registered user
on Jul 14, 2016 at 12:36 am
10 people like this

@CuestaParkResident

Hmmm....Not sure you have been paying attention if you're asking me to provide you with all these details. However, I'll indulge you just a bit. But before I start, perhaps you should invest some of your time and go back and watch a few of the Board Meetings. Go back and read his 100 days assessment...that's really a massive blueprint of what needs to be fixed and for me kind of lays out his value from the start. Maybe you should try to join one of the task forces that are currently about to begin working on some issues, or possibly just subscribe to his newsletter. It's all in there.

Let's see, one of the biggest problems of our district has been that we don't have a strategic plan. The Strategic Plan does so many things but among them, it allows the district to take full advantage of all the local resources that are available to us by knowing exactly what to do with them. For instance, both NASA and Google have innovative learning programs and classroom facilities that are the kind of projects our students could greatly benefit from. However, because we don't have a plan in place for how the district will manage growth and success for our students long term, it's difficult to utilize these kinds of tools (and there are many, I've only mentioned two). Dr. Rudolph was able to get a plan in place fairly quickly, and still get massive amounts of public input and participation in the process. The heavy work of diagnosing the district and each school and it's staff for strengths and weaknesses and mapping all those qualities so that we can know what needs improvement and where to start (District Quality Review and the School Quality Reviews - you should read these too). Spent his summer last summer speaking to just about anyone who he could get hold of to find out from a resident/parent/community stakeholder what's wrong with our district, what's right, what's the potential and put all that data to work. Figured out how to work with our Board and has kept them on track and on topic in our meetings. Figured out how to get all the schools renovated in the quickest amount of time possible and streamlined the renovation process to save as much money as possible, while retaining as many new resources for each school site as possible. Literally, all of our schools are in some phase of construction and millions are being spent and managed. Negotiated a new teacher contract, has engaged top talent to manage critical issues facing our schools such as special education, and achievement gap.

Seriously, I could go on and on and I haven't even gotten to the work I'm doing with him on my own task force. You may or may not value the work I cite above. I do. In fact, I think that the work he's done is probably the most important work our District has seen in many years. I have a child in school benefiting from this work right now. I'm extremely excited to be working with him on some of these efforts and since he took the job at a pay scale which was lower than what was advertised, I think he's served his time on the low end and deserves to be compensated for being the fabulous Superintendent he is.


CuestaParkResident
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jul 15, 2016 at 3:16 pm
CuestaParkResident, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jul 15, 2016 at 3:16 pm
13 people like this

@Cfrink--

Thanks for your note. My confusion is that I'm certainly aware of all the "work" that has transpired over the last year, but I'm not sure what accomplishments relate to that work. My recollection is that the teacher contract is not finalized. Many of the other things you mentioned also are good first steps (a 100 day "assessment", hiring "top talent," and engaging stakeholders) but they don't seem to rise to the level of "accomplishments" or otherwise demonstrate real, measurable achievements. There are countless examples of and planning that never leads to real progress so I'm skeptical of counting analysis and planning as real measurable success (although both are important steps towards success). It seems to me that the Supe is taking the right steps - the critical question will be whether he can actually implement and produce results. That said, progress takes time and we shouldn't expect too much after a single year.


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