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Parents slam school board for firing principals

Original post made on Mar 16, 2018

Dozens of frustrated parents and community members laid into top Mountain View Whisman District officials Thursday afternoon, demanding a complete reversal of a decision earlier this month to remove four school principals.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 16, 2018, 2:55 PM

Comments (44)

19 people like this
Posted by Boom
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Let the fireworks in the comments section begin!

40 people like this
Posted by Demoted
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Both parents and district need to understand two things. Change is inevitable, but getting to the point of going from good to great takes time and patience. Seems like the principle at Crittenden is doing well and she's not originally from here. I just hope the animosity stops, Mountain View is better than that.

180 people like this
Posted by Lack of goodwill
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:48 pm

I truly believe that the ill-will that Ayinde has built up with this community is fueling this outcry.

I've had kids in MVWSD for going on a decade and have seen a revolving door of principals in 3 schools now. For the most part, people were a little unhappy about it when a principal left, but there wasn't much of an outcry. Personnel files are private, after all, and I think parents understood they might not know all the reasons a principal left but basically trusted the district leaders.

That is not the case at this point. Between his abrasive style and leadership by fiat approach, his ineptitude shown by the TTO scandal in the middle schools, his ridiculously poor communication skills despite having a PR "expert" on staff, and his hostile approach to our highly successful choice programs, Rudolph does not have the backing or support of the community. The school board should take this outcry as a vote of no confidence in our superintendent and act accordingly.

113 people like this
Posted by Parent Posse
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

28 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Hi Parent Posse,

If you would like to talk about whatever is on your mind I'll be at RedRock coffee shop tomorrow morning from 9:00 to 9:30 am.

Trustee Jose Gutierrez

25 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 16, 2018 at 5:29 pm

Hi Parent Posse,

I forgot to mention, my wife Shannon will also be there at the coffee shop with me, in case you'd like to ask her questions about her being a substitute teacher in the district, or when she taught after school Lexia to help ELL's try to reclassify or her help with the Castro/Mistral library.

Thanks again,
Trustee Jose Gutierrez

17 people like this
Posted by @parent posse
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

32 people like this
Posted by Bravo
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm

@parentposse thank you for your efforts. On the right path here. Some folks trying to come up clean from the mud.

24 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 16, 2018 at 6:22 pm

Hey, let's stop the personal attacks, please. This is not an easy situation, we need to show respect.

Thank you,
Trustee Jose GutierrezDodv

47 people like this
Posted by Is it possible?
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm

I’ve heard that the principals who were reassigned were given an outside coach based on previous performance feedback. I’ve also talk with a few teachers who felt that they don’t have full confidence in their principal leaders. (Disorganized, no follow through, lack of in-class support). It was also rumored last year that one principal announced to their teaching staff, that if she/he didn’t improve, they would be fired next year.

So, is it possible that these individuals knew beforehand and were looking to not have THIS much attention drawn to them. The parents want answers, and maybe this isn’t in these individuals best interests to have dirty laundry aired for all to see.

All the comments from the board meeting last night focused on how great these individuals were at building relationships and making people feel comfortable. These are excellent qualities to have, but none of them focused on the leadership of their teachers. At the end of the day, a principal has to make teaching and learning their priority

27 people like this
Posted by Respect
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Shining example of "respect" for how these administrators were treated, right.

Don't believe the hype.

32 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm

When will the servay come out to evaluate Superintendent Rudolph.
His behavior and inability to perform at quality stander should be treated the same as our school principals.

22 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 16, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

Every member of the MVWSD school board thinks they are doing what's best. And every one of them dedicates 10-20 largely uncompensated hours a week because they want better schools.

They are however stuck in group thinking and unwilling to admit error. A culture of fearing dissenting voices can be seen in the maneuvers done each year to keep Trustee Coladonato (elected four years ago) from becoming board president.

The board's refusal to go back to a traditional rotation of board presidents, based on time served, means that board presidents are learning as they go, rather than the past precedent of serving their time as clerk, vice president, and then president. Rotations help the board president see their role as a temporary facilitator and meeting manager, there to serve their colleagues. But when you stop rotating, the board presidency takes on an outsized role, too close to the district staff, one above their colleagues. Our current board president does the very best she can, but restoring institutional traditions would have helped.

The parents made a powerful case for why Graham and Landels stand by their principals, the first hour of Thursday's board meeting is a beautiful testament to the work of great principals (only a great principal can move parents to action in this way): Web Link yet there is no indication from closed session reporting and future agenda discussions that there is any change in their thinking.

On-going efforts to protest their decision will not change it. I encourage parents to consider shifting their energies to lobbying for future board policies on parent inclusion on principal selection or redefining what makes a good principal at the district level, and at their school sites: celebrating their departing principal.

It's tricky business asking a board to undue decisions of its one and only employee, the superintendent. It's far less messy for a board to question things before a vote, so help the board formalize its role and the community's role in giving future collaborative feedback to the district.

The board forgets its role as a "canary in the coal mine" towards caution the district office doesn't see. And that parents (or teachers) also see things that the board does not see, and when parents (or teachers) trouble themselves to come to a board meeting late at night, they have valuable perspectives the board may have missed.

22 people like this
Posted by You're FIRED
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 16, 2018 at 9:10 pm

You're FIRED is a registered user.

@Christopher Chiang Every member thinks he or she (not "they") is (not "are") doing what's best. Does the current Superintendent fashion himself a local Donald Trump who likes to display his power by firing or demoting others?

34 people like this
Posted by Cleave Frink
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 17, 2018 at 1:48 am

Cleave Frink is a registered user.

Once again, I’m tickled by the lack of understanding of how our schools work. There are people who claim to be involved in our schools who honestly believe that principals aren’t given evaluations? Seriously? The first thing this Super did when he got here was evaluate the entire district. Every school, every principal, our plan for the future. So, yes they all get evaluated. I’m certain they all saw it coming. While all these oblivious parents seemg to have been caught off guard, there were plenty of other parents who also saw this coming and witnessed the difficulties that made these actions necessary. Based on the needs of the district, and the performance of its administrators, it was decided that some changes needed to be made. This is a common thing. It seems strange that nearly everything our school district does becomes a topic for hysterics. We can’t build schools, try new programs, remove ineffective administrators, clean up our boundaries or do anything else without a certain group of knuckleheads feeling like their being bullied because the superintendent is doing his job. Like I’ve said before, I never saw any of this complaining when either of the last two Superintendents did any of this same work. Hmmm.....I wonder what that could mean.

19 people like this
Posted by Robin
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 17, 2018 at 2:09 am

Robin is a registered user.


Kim Thompson Named as Principal of Graham Middle School for 2010-11

Last night the MVWSD Board of Trustees approved the selection of Kim Thompson as the Principal of Graham Middle School, starting in August for the 2010-11 school year.

Currently serving as the Assistant Principal of Graham since January, Ms. Thompson is a 12-year team member of the district having taught at Bubb Elementary School, served as a teacher leader in mathematics and professional development, and is a graduate of MVWSD's Leadership Academy. Ms. Thompson is also a parent of two students who are Graham School graduates.

Dr. Maurice Ghysels, Superintendent, exclaimed, "We couldn't be more thrilled with Ms. Thompson’s leadership for Graham. Kim's warmth, work ethic and dedication are inspiring and remarkable. She's the right person for this position, and we're excited about her passion and vision for Graham."

Web Link

11 people like this
Posted by Robin
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 17, 2018 at 2:12 am

Robin is a registered user.

Salem Superintendent candidate Ayinde Rudolph stresses urban experience
By John Castelluccio Staff Writer
The Salem News, March 4, 2015

SALEM — Ayinde Rudolph confessed he’s a Reds fan since he’s from Cincinnati, but his hometown doesn’t have a pro basketball team, so he has no problem rooting for the Boston Celtics. That drew laughs from the crowd of 25 parents, teachers, school administrators and local officials in the Saltonstall School auditorium Wednesday evening.

Rudolph, one of three finalists for the job of school superintendent, was in Salem to visit the city’s schools, meet teachers and parents and field any questions they had for him. The community forum was held at Saltonstall School prior to his formal public interview with the School Committee last night.

If hired to lead the Salem schools, it would be Rudolph’s first superintendent post. He has spent 21/2 years as an associate director of school transformation at Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, a federally funded public-private partnership in a neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. He spent eight years in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a principal and administrator in multiple posts, turning around struggling schools. Prior to that, he taught for four years in Virginia.

“You’re all passionate about the same thing,” Rudolph told the crowd Wednesday, adding that they may have disagreements on how to accomplish certain goals but they’re all “passionate about kids.” He said that’s one reason Salem is an attractive community for him.

Rudolph fielded a wide breadth of questions over an hour, ranging from how he would preserve unique identities of each school while sharing best practices to why he chose Salem, his ideal type of teacher and classroom setting, and the superintendent’s relationship with the School Committee.

“We know that there are a set of qualities that all schools have to have in order for kids to be successful,” said Rudolph, responding to a question about school cultures and practices.

He said great schools must have a student voice, good teachers that work together, academic rigor and good leadership.

“Great teachers work for great leaders,” he said. “Great teachers don’t want to work for poor leaders. You’re not just going to say my kid is a number. Well, the same thing has to be said about schools.”

Community partnerships, data-driven instruction and accountability, and parental involvement are all key to success as well, he said, while administrators should work with principals on problem-solving, best practices and pragmatic approaches to issues.

Why Salem? “I love Halloween,” Rudolph replied, smiling.

“I think there’s a couple of interesting things about Salem. The first one is you have this commitment — we value diversity within our schools,” he said, such as arts focus at one building and a Montessori approach at another. “The second is that I have yet to meet a person who isn’t concerned with the outcome.”

From the people he’s talked with so far and the comments he’s read, Rudolph said, everyone is committed to making sure Salem picks the right superintendent and people are committed to enacting change. He highlighted his background in urban education and said Salem still a small enough community where he could interact with most parents.

The School Committee’s job is to set the vision for the district and the superintendent’s job is to execute that vision, Rudolph said, responding to a question about the relationship between the two.

“It’s my job to develop a plan of action,” he said. The superintendent should also facilitate dialogue on schools’ needs and balance that with what people want. A third important role, he said, is to shepherd the board through reflection on major initiatives to see if the district has lived up to what it intended to do.

Superintendent finalists Margarita Ruiz and Ventura Rodriguez will have their community forums and interviews Thursday. The School Committee plans to decide who to hire on Friday.

Web Link

21 people like this
Posted by Robin
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 17, 2018 at 2:19 am

Robin is a registered user.

Does anyone know why Dr. Rudolph left mid-year the position he held prior to being hired by MVWSD?

12th candidate applies for Lafayette superintendent
The Daily Advertiser, March 31, 2015

Ayinde Rudolph of Buffalo, New York has applied to be the next Lafayette Parish school superintendent.

Rudolph is the 12th person to apply for the position. The other applications were opened Monday. Rudolph will be considered because his application was postmarked by the March 27 deadline.

Rudolph most recently was the associate director of school transportation and a principal at the Westminster Community Charter School in the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood. He held that position from October 2012 to January 2015.

Before that, Rudolph was a principal and assistant principal in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System in North Carolina.

He received a bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University, a master's degree in education and an educational specialist degree from George Washington University and a doctorate of education from Vanderbilt University.

Web Link

60 people like this
Posted by ELAC Voice
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 17, 2018 at 1:42 pm

ELAC Voice is a registered user.


instead of coffee with Parent Posse, why not meet with ELAC to explain why you get rid of our Director Kim Thompson?

28 people like this
Posted by Former MV Parent
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Former MV Parent is a registered user.

I have utmost respect for Chelsey, who also happens to be very personable and great with kids.

Having said that, the unfortunate reality is that we live in one of the most expensive areas where things like GreatSchools rating matters a whole lot. It doesn’t help that GreatSchools has revised their rating metrics recently and Landels now rates 6 out of 10 (formerly 8). And when such thing happens, the property value can take a hit (not that I see property price falling from last year’s sky high price).

It is worth pointing out that most schools experienced severe drop this year. Bubbs is now an 8, which used to be a 10 school.

Instead of focusing on the kids, school educators need to game GreatSchools system to boost the score, ultimately property price, which brings in more tax revenue. It’s a selfish money driven system, and Chesley and others are the victims.

My kid used to be in Landels and now attending Los Altos public school. The difference is dramatic, but not from educators. It is the support from parents, who work tireless to support the educators and children. So in a way, parents let Chesley down also, not just the superintendents.

17 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 18, 2018 at 11:14 am

Jose is a registered user.

Hi ELAC Voice, I have spoken to several families from different schools who are ELAC members and Spanish speakers, but not all schools or all members. Many also have my cell phone and we have talked, emailed or texted. In fact at yesterday's coffee only one person showed up and it was a Spanish speaking Graham parent. We spoke for an hour and a half. If there is an interest to have a larger forum, please email me at my district email. [email protected]

Trustee Jose Gutierrez

15 people like this
Posted by MV Resident For 55 Years
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm

MV Resident For 55 Years is a registered user.

FYI - I will be there as a Theuerkauf parent.

Next steps: Principal selection process
Friday, March 16, 2018 6:10 PM
From: "MVWSD" <[email protected]>

Dear Parents,

As part of its search for a new principal for Theuerkauf, the District is seeking parent and staff feedback through focus groups, as well as online. Your input is valued and appreciated.

We welcome Theuerkauf’s staff members and parents to a session on:

Tuesday, March 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Theuerkauf library. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

We know time is limited. If you prefer, you may contribute thoughts anytime on the attributes you would like to see in your school’s new leader online here.

A representative group will interview the candidates. The school’s interview team will include teachers from a range of content areas and grades, classified staff members, administrators, and parents from PTA, School Site Council and ELAC (English Language Advisory Committee).

Timeline and Steps

• March 5-16 : Position opening is advertised
• March 16-22: Feedback from the school community will be gathered
• March 23-30: Principal interviews
• April 19: Superintendent presents to Board for final approval
• April 20: Present candidate to staff and community

Thank you for your support of our school.

48 people like this
Posted by No2Siblings
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 18, 2018 at 2:03 pm

No2Siblings is a registered user.

@Cleave Frink

"feeling like their being bullied because the superintendent is doing his job. Like I’ve said before, I never saw any of this complaining when either of the last two Superintendents did any of this same work. Hmmm.....I wonder what that could mean. "

Sorry, Mr. Frink, I will totally disagree with you on that claim!
I am quite clear in my memories of massive backlash against Goldman and Skelly and the same sorts of complaints too. "bully" is one term that was used often when describing our past Superintendents.

You can also find endless example of people posting such complaints about our prior supers on the MV Voice web-site comments sections.

So, don't try claiming people are attacking Rudolph for ulterior motives.
When parents are complaining, they are upset about what they say and for the reasons they say.

19 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.


I not only claim it, I'm damned sure of it. Not sure you were at the same meetings with Skelly and Goldman that I was at. And like I've said, it just wasn't the same. I"m quite sure that at whatever company you work at, managers don't go around spouting the results of your colleagues performance reviews. And I'm quite sure you don't poll the staff about whether or not to replace an employee who is not providing the level of service you need. As a manager, that's your job, because their failures reflect on you. So, you replace people as needed and hire the staff who can attain the goals you set forth. This is no different. Claiming that these dismissals are somehow random is quite silly and goes against any kind of reasonable management philosophy. Quite sure you're aware of that, too.

21 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

My guess is that the wide disparity in "student academic performance", words in quotes used in the article, is the 600 lb gorilla in the boardroom. This is a very difficult highly politicized and intractable issue, and it persists despite the school board's avowed efforts to "narrow the performance gap".

42 people like this
Posted by Mueller is next
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 20, 2018 at 6:22 am

Mueller is next is a registered user.

The student "performance gap" is not the issue. The gap can always be narrowed by bringing down the higher achievers. How would that help anyone? The job pool in America is not restricted to graduates of the Mountain View-Whisman School District. The Superintendent may have been a fan of Trump's tv show. Good people do get fired - sometimes by very bad people.

68 people like this
Posted by MVWSD parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm

MVWSD parent is a registered user.

@Cleave Frink
I honestly am not sure where you are coming from. I know for a fact that 2 of the principals were blindsided by the decision. Those same 2 have not received performance reviews in the past 2 years.

Steve Chesley was brought on as a principal the same year as Dr. Rudolph so not sure how he was evaluated when both of them were in a new job. Steve also went through an extensive interview process before becoming principal at Landels even though he was a district administrator before this job. How is Ms. Galassi just being placed into the position with no community feedback?

Being a former east coaster, I had a hard time adjusting to the climate and culture of CA and I think our Superintendent is too. It does not g: no community involvement, decision made, edict given, no change of course.

I also was at several meeting with Superintendent Goldman and there was much talk (at least at my school) about removing him after the whole teacher pay issue back in 2014-15 school year. He handled it terribly with absolutely poor communication and putting his nose in where it should not have been. The same is happening now, but it has become a pattern with Dr. Rudolph. No communication, no community involvement, edict given, parents in an uproar. Most learn, but our Superintendent has not. You need to have clear answers for the community, and if you can't give it, (which has not been done) you need to own up and say the decision was made in haste. If you say the decision is based on a survey - make sure you can actually back it. We have TONS of statisticians, mathematicians, engineers, etc in the community that can see right through bad data analysis.
Except for expanding pre-school in our district, (yes, I'm sure there are a few others), I cannot see a good decision, yet, that has come out of our present superintendent.

216 people like this
Posted by Citizen Jane
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Citizen Jane is a registered user.


I attended the meeting last Thursday and witnessed you and the other trustees stay button-lipped in front of a packed auditorium. I found that to be very disrespectful. And now you appear here to state that "we need to show respect". I agree that everyone needs to show respect and it includes the superintendent as well as the board. However, I do not interpret it as a sign of respect when the board president tells concerned parents that they should not applaud their appreciation of our principals. Therefor please state how you and/or the Board have shown respect to these long serving and dedicated professionals here on Town Square as you yourself ask for such respect.

I also find it disrespectful that you offer here on the Town Square forum to meet with the community with less than 24 hours notice and then lament that only one parent showed up with whom you spoke for an hour and a half. While I'm happy you found your voice, could you please share here what you spoke about for so long since you again bring it up here on Town Square? On this point, when engaged in such a long conversations, is there a point where you are engaged in influencing, crafting, promoting and/or creating educational policy? If so, can you state your qualification in education that puts you in such a position to do so? I ask because I have been under the assumption that it is the superintendent and the staff of a school district that are the ones to take on such a role by virtue of their professional qualifications yet, to date, we have heard very little that seems to make much sense regarding how this superintendent and his staff operate.

Perhaps even more disrespectful, as I understand it the Board, which includes you, has been reluctant to celebrate or recognize any of these principals commitment, accomplishments or long service to the community. Do you think this is/was a wise and compassionate, educated or professional approach befitting our community? What message is being sent by such callous tactics? What are the superintendent and school board doing to assure these highly-qualified professionals have not just been railroaded in their careers other than staying silent on this issue? I refuse to believe these principals are 100% responsible for achievement gaps or student success in a district that has a long history of such a gap and large population of low income English learners. Are you suggesting teachers, district staff, even parents share no part?

I would also like to ask if prior to your vote to remove the principals, did you meet with the PTA's of the respective schools, those heavily involved in the school communities and fund raising, or have you just been focused on the outliers over coffee? I ask because perhaps the communities would like to know the manner and method by which you gauge support or conduct outreach.

The timeline recently presented for the interviewing of replacement principals (for example, the application windows have already closed) suggests either the superintendent has already a candidate in mind and that focus groups and other steps are just eye candy. Please clarify how this is not the case.

I'm equally concerned with conflicts of interest. Can you state you have no conflicts of interest?

Lastly, I have been told by other parents that you informed them you are being coached by MVLA high school board member Fiona Walter. Is this true and why? You have apparently also been telling parents that you are being groomed for a City Council bid by current council member Margaret Abe Koga. Is this also true and, if so, does this mean that your decisions are affected in any way by your political ambitions?

Thank you for your time to come on Town Square and get involved.

21 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 21, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Jose is a registered user.


The post about respect was in response to someone attacking a principal and her husband. I know my wife has also been verbally attacked online and did not want anyone else in that same position.

The coffee shop meeting was also in response to a personal attack of my wife so I thought to invite the person to discuss what concerns they had.

Bottom line for us as elected officials on the board is to do what's best for our students and the district.

If you or anyone else would like to chat further please email me at [email protected] and we can agree to a time and place.

Trustee Jose Gutierrez

166 people like this
Posted by Citizen Jane
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2018 at 10:52 am

Citizen Jane is a registered user.


I respect your decision to not answer any of the questions previously posed recognizing that you must have a good reason.

However, in your "role as an elected official on the board is to do what's best for our students and the district”, can you state how many competitive contracts were looked at before the board approved hiring Rudolph’s old boss (his former superintendent from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina) to coach him for two years to the tune of $57,000? As an elected official do you perhaps maybe think there could be a possible conflict of interest in that? (BTW a simple and rule of thumb is to solicit three bids.)

Can you also tell me how many competitive contracts the board looked at before again hiring Peter Gorman this year to train district office staff and principals? How much did that cost our district? As an elected official do you perhaps maybe think there could be a possible conflict of interest in that? Because it certainly looks like this fellow Peter Gorman has found a nice gravy train.

There also seems to be a pattern at play here. Are you aware that Peter Gorman was also hired by another Rudolph North Carolina colleage-turned-superintendent in Palm Beach County, Florida?

Web Link

While we are on the topic, what are Peter Gorman’s links to Teach to One and the half-million dollars the district squandered on it? Peter Gorman has consulted with the Gates Foundation which is a prime investor of Teach to One. As a elected official do you perhaps maybe think there could be a possible conflict of interest in that?

Are you also aware the Peter Gorman previously worked for SUPES Academy, to do the same work he does now? Incidentally the now defunct SUPES Academy was indicted by the FBI in both Baltimore and Chicago:

Web Link

Web Link

Can you also explain why last month you and Blakley traveled with Rudolph back to his and Gorman’s old district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina to tour schools there? What does as school district there have to do with our school district in Mountain View other than the fact that both Rudolph and Gorman hail from there? How much did such a trip to Rudolph’s old stomping grounds cost our community? Does the school board have any obligation to tell the community what exactly you and Blakley were doing or looking into on that trip? Who did you meet and talk to? Is this from where our new principals will be coming from? There seems to be a direct correlation between the trip and the
letting go of half the principals a week later.

The "bottom line", as you put it, is that the board may not have conducted its due diligence and fiduciary duties. It even could appear that the board you sit on has become the victim of an organized racket that has nothing to do with what’s best for our student and the district, but everything to do with lining the pockets of certain individuals. It also does not appear that Rudolph is making any original decisions, but rather perhaps taking his cues and strategies from Peter Gorman. Further research will suggest that in many areas. But go ahead and conduct further research. Then come back and tell us exactly how Rudolph has tailored anything he does to the UNIQUE needs of our community by listening to OUR community’s input and recognizing the value of our hardworking and dedicated principals you have been so quick to dismiss while not recognizing what has been going on right beneath your nose.

66 people like this
Posted by Informed
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Informed is a registered user.

Wow. This certainnly seems to be a very interesting turn of events. I hope the MV Voice investigates these comments. The contract issues certianly seem like they need additional set of eyes.

82 people like this
Posted by Citizen Joe
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Citizen Joe is a registered user.

Note that this article Web Link also mentions

"Synesi Associates, LLC, a related company that’s also named in the indictment"

Isn't it interesting that MVWSD hired PROACT to do the serve which yielded in Ayinde being hired and and Gary Solomon leads both PROACT and Synesi?

Look here Web Link

for both the contract details and the fact that

"Mr. Solomon is the current CEO of PROACT Search and of Synesi Associates"

10 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Dear @Citizen Jane - fake news! Trustee Jose Gutierrez had absolutely nothing to do with the hiring of Randolph. The extent of your ignorance is AMAZING! I see why the normally placid Mr. Frink is getting a bit vexed.

I and the Trustees that did hire Rudolph, and the well respected former Superintendent of the Dallas school district who helped us, knew of the problems of Buffalo Promise. We also knew of his work as both principal and vice principal in North Carolina. We also got references, and they were checked. Many good references - and IMO - a few shady situations that Rudolph had to honorably extract himself from (Buffalo school district - former NY Governor candidate calling progressional black women "the soul sisters" !!!)

Rudolph has already had experience as a school principal, in several settings in his professional career! Successful experiences at that. He was fully capable of evaluating brand new principals. Outside consultants did this also - look at the last pages of the Graham Middle School evaluation - Principal Thompson should have read this and been 'on warning'. Last pages of SQR, School Quality Report.
Web Link

I personally knew (internet searches) of Rudolph's 'public candidacies'* at Salem and Palm Beach! Yes, guess what anonymous Jane, Chris and I and several Trustees did our due diligence. If you want this job (Trustee) Old Steve of Rex Manor and Mr. Frink have given the formula - go public and run for Trustee in November!

Otherwise @Citizen Jane, your public garbage is just that. Deserving of no more than being tossed out in the trash.

Steven Nelson is a retired Trustee of the MVWSD

* Most California Boards do not do 'public candidacies' for choosing Superintendents. The past Board chose Goldman without any community input whatsoever. The public input on Goldman's replacement is well publicly documented (search The Voice archives)

PS Thompson in particular was on my radar for several years as Academically UNDERPERFORMING. The 2015 report on her school only confirmed what I had personally observed, heard from teachers there, and had confirmed by API data from 2009-2013. (not Great Schools rubbish). CA Dept of Education, "similar schools rankings" fell under Thompson from 8-7 to 2-4. The 20-40% lowest academic achievement of similar parent demographic middle schools. SIGNIFICANT. Academics seems to not have improved in the Smarter Balance era (Common Core curriculum).

Contract - there is a significant problem with MVWSD now allowing superintendent-alone signed contracts of up to $87,000. I voted against this assignment of Board Responsibility when I was on the Board (and had such a vote).

85 people like this
Posted by Citizen Joe
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 22, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Citizen Joe is a registered user.

@ Steven Nelson

No "fake news", @Citizen Jane doesn't reference Rudolph's hiring, but rather the extended contracts offered to Peter Gorman, his former boss. Many of those (perhaps all) happened under Jose's watch.

Of course, Jose is not alone in this. Other Trustees should be questioned for all the issues raised by Citizen Jane.

"[Jose] and Blakley traveled with Rudolph back to his and Gorman’s old district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina to tour schools there?"

I wonder how many candidates for the new principal positions we will be seeing from that region?

66 people like this
Posted by Citizen Joe
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 22, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Citizen Joe is a registered user.

More details here Web Link
(The entire article is worth reading.)

Gorman is listed as a former speaker or instructor for SUPES Academy, along with former CMS superintendent Heath Morrison and current Superintendent Ann Clark.

SUPES Academy closed this year. It was under FBI investigation, along with Chicago Public Schools, in connection with a no-bid principal training contract, Education Week reported this spring.

15 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 24, 2018 at 10:06 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@ Citizen Joe (a relative of Jane's :) I was quite aware of the contract-direct connection to Peter Gorman, his former boss (and former CA Superintendent, and former Eli Broad education award winner). I reviewed and voted to approve that contract as part of hiring, 1st year employment. So did ALL of the Trustees at that time. When Gutierrez was appointed to replace Chaing as a Trustee, he also voted to do this the 2nd year of employment.

My own thinking (I can't share the others) is that Gorman, as a successful Superintendent in a couple of states (including California) and as a former 'clear professional mentor' of Rudolph, would have a lot of skin-in-the-game to make sure he got good advice. Rudolph's problems (IMO) started with his tutoring in OPACITY in administration by Bd. President Ellen Wheeler, who met and advised him weekly in his first year and a half in MVWSD.

Trustee Wheeler, from the first time she was Bd. President, has continually strived to take things like the Slater School closure, back into the dark rooms of OPACITY. Check the Voice archives.

It would have taken the Administration little effort to Post to the Public Website in 2017, "Site Administrator Criteria for Evaluation." Why the OPACITY? I have to file a damn Public Records Request to even see the two public letters on this area that the Palo Alto Daly Post quoted in their article on MVWSD principals. Why the OPACITY?

Why the OPACITY? Chiang is entirely right, the Board majority have abandoned their duty to give this community the pre-knowledge communications, in writing, that this particular community demands. And Superintendent Rudolph, on his own, (IMO) only does this on half the major items that he should (TTO:Math, Cooper School site residential development contract, Independent Education Program/homeschooling, Principal Evaluation Criteria)

31 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 24, 2018 at 11:19 am

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

Former Trustee Nelson is correct in his assessment. While he may not fully recognize that the worst of the district entrenchment was in defense of his caustic style, he is right that the lack of preventive, proactive, and empathic engagement and inclusion have been at the core to its past and current crises.

Mr. Nelson is no longer on the board, but the entrenchment continues, so does the board's oppositional attitude towards critical feedback.

Trustee Wheeler, who has admirably dedicated over a decade to serving Mountain View, and who is right on many many issues, has been wrong to push away critics rather than seeking to include them. One has to look no further than how the board refuses to make Trustee Coladonato board president during his term as a means to isolate and at times, discredit, fair criticism.

Trustee Wheeler will likely succeed at preventing critical viewpoints from leading the board when Coladonato and Wheeler are up for reelection this November, and Coladonato won only thinly last election. Ironic, since the board voice most receptive to those critical current district practices (Coladonato) may be swept out by that discontentment.

The cycle of public crises and disillusionment of parent leadership will continue to reoccur regardless of who was, or is, or will be superintendent unless the public demands the board to change its attitude towards public engagement. If the board changes, you'd be surprised how quickly a superintendent falls in line in matching those organizational attitudes.

The board means well but Mountain View deserves better than the processes in place right now.

65 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 24, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Graham Alum Family is a registered user.

Why are we paying our Superintendent $220k and providing coaching services at $57k? With a salary of $220k I would expect the employee to be able to fully perform the duties of the role and then some from day one. Clearly something is wrong with this picture when teachers can't afford to live here. Perhaps the the salary structure should change so that the incentive is in the classroom vs the board room?

7 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 26, 2018 at 9:34 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

PUBLIC POSTING of "Administrator evaluation process" by the MVWSD.

Web Link

The "Current Process" is exactly as I have recently commented on, and as I personally verified with several principals in 2016, while I was a Trustee of the MVWSD. Alan Wessel seems to be totally in error in his strident assertions otherwise.

I have asked The MV Voice to request the 'blank" evaluation forms that were used, and the new one. (California Public Records Act)

Why does the MVWSD make this information so darn hard to get? Try to figure out where in the heck this is posted, when it was posted, and where the 'permanent place' is for this information. Right now, it is down at the bottom of a 28 item list.

Mr. Chiang, American democracy was build, not on 'finder pointers', but men and women who stood up and spoke up or wrote on their views for improving the defects of this America. Those who, in the first instance, pledged their 'live, fortunes and scared honors' on that process (The Declaration of July 4, 1776). [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 26, 2018 at 9:53 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

spelling corrections (not automated)
"finger pointers"
'Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor'
Web Link

23 people like this
Posted by Alan Wessel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Alan Wessel is a registered user.

@ Steven Nelson

Thanks for posting the link to the new "Administrator evaluation process"! Web Link You would think the district would make it more readily available.

In the timeline I see a "January- Mid Year review (full written eval)" and a "June - Final Eval (Full written eval)".

I also see "November and February are check-in meetings".

Nowhere do I see Feb/March release of principals!

Another "strident assertion" by

Alan Wessel

12 people like this
Posted by An Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2018 at 6:37 pm

An Interested Observer is a registered user.

@Alan Wessel: Administrators are hired on a year to year basis. They are "at will" employees. As a courtesy, the district notifies them by March 15 ( just like the teaching staff) if they are not going to be rehired. Administrators are also informed prior to March 15th if there any concerns about their continued employment. Anyone who tells you differently is not being truthful or was in denial of what they were being told.

33 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:35 am

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

There are situations regarding safety and negligence where staff exits must be forced, mysterious, or even abrupt.

But most the time, it's about fit, and in those cases, how we exit members of our education community is an indicator of our school culture and values.

Anyone who has given years of service to our schools, and has not done anything wrong, and even the opposite, has built a record of past achievements and is now perhaps not the right fit for the district's current strategic goals, deserves a proper exit.

Proper meaning, they should have in partnership with the district, tactfully explained their departure as a "moving to new opportunities" and "here's the record of their achievements" rather being released in a specter of low performance that falsely impugns these educators long record in the district.

These education leaders will land well, districts around us are always looking for good leaders. Yet, it's the Mountain View community that should take this experience to self-reflect on what message and culture did we just transmit to our educators.

"Culture eats strategy for breakfast."

3 people like this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 1, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

Looks like we have all replacements hired:
Web Link

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