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School board approves raise for superintendent

Original post made on Mar 22, 2013

Superintendent Craig Goldman is getting a raise. Trustees with the Mountain View Whisman School District approved a new three-year contract for Goldman at Thursday's board meeting. The contract, which begins with a base pay of $216,216 for the 2013-14 school year, increases by approximately $4,400 each year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 22, 2013, 5:13 PM

Comments (25)

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Posted by member
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I was at that board meeting, and I was appalled at the behavior of some the board members. Trustee Nelson was arguing for what appeared to be the sake of arguing. Students were in the room and they were seeing adults bicker instead of working positively together to problem solve. Where are the role models. I am embarrassed to say I'm a parent in this district. At one point Trustee Nelson just kept talking and ignoring the chair person's call for a vote. He was rude, outrageous, and downright unprofessional. I urge the board to remember they are public figures.

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Posted by Teacher
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

How is it the fat cats always get a raise no matter what the economic climate is like while teachers and every other working stiff have actually had their net pay reduced after the increase in their share of contributing to their health plan ate away at their one time bonus?

Or does Goldman get a raise because at least he hasn't produced any scandals like his predecessor Maurice Ghysels?

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

I'm really not crazy about this decision. We are still in a slow economy, and public employees are being asked to take pay cuts & furloughs around the country. Not really a great time to take a raise, Mr. Goldman. Really sends the wrong message to the community.

I will be paying close attention over the next 3 years to see if you really deserve that raise. I hope the schools make great improvements over that time period.

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Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Some extra information may be useful in evaluating MVWSD's new contract.

Superintendent Goldman's base pay for 2014-15:

Superintendent base pay for nearby districts for 2011-12:
County Education Office: $295,640,
FUHSD (Cupertino/Sunnyvale): $294,185,
Palo Alto: $287,163,
Cupertino Union: $258,944,
Sunnyvale: $240,480,
MVLA: $229,157

Superintendent Goldman's contract is not only below all those districts above, our MVWSD contract also states he will receive:
No stipends for masters or doctoral degrees
No commuting allowances
No housing allowances
No medicare gap coverage

Those are things that many other superintendents in other districts have asked for and Superintendent Goldman has not.
Our district's financial rating is at the top our peer group: Web Link

I credit that sound rating (in a time when many other districts are in financial distress) to Superintendent Goldman.

A school is its teachers, and a district is its superintendent. No policy, no matter how good, by itself can teach our children. Nor can criticism alone elevate our schools. We need good motivated people.

Mountain View has every reason to expect quality schools. That includes high expectations, quality training, and yes, fair pay. I believe the superintendent's contract reflects that.

Chris Chiang
MVWSD Trustee

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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Every year or two or three we will go through an employee contract cycle. We are finished with the cycle (I think) for this year.
The MVWSD has been giving small, essentially cost of living, permanent increases to all our categories of employees over the last several months. The Goldman contract is similar, with what might be looked at as, a '3rd year step' increment. The teachers union contract has build in 'step increments'.
The entire issue of 'comparable to other Superintendents' is extremely complex policy. Standard test improvements (over and above the average California improvement), comparison to other Superintendent's experience (2013 is Craig's 3rd year), MVLA has had 3 (?) decades, etc. etc. etc. (the King in "The King and I")
Health care premiums is a national and statewide issue - the balance of raise and health care was negotiated with the teachers union, and Goldman. Both contracts are Public Documents.
"Bonus %" (i.e. one time, one year)- Palo Alto used this 'PR phrase' in their teacher's 'raise'. This, IMO, is not the highest public ethical standard - because these $s automatically go away next year! We did not do that to our janitors, cooks, maintenance people, teachers, clerks, administrators - or to Superintendent Goldman.
Steven Nelson is also a MVWSD Trustee
I do not agree that: "a district is it's superintendent" Trustee Chiang :)
- now - that is 2 Trustees - have we reached a Brown Line ? -

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Posted by Nick V
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Mar 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Nick V is a registered user.

Hi @member,

My name is Nick and I'm the reporter who wrote this story. I was wondering if you'd be interested in talking to me about your concerns for a story I'm writing. The story is about the passage of the Measure G priorities list more broadly speaking. However, in the story, I will likely touch on Trustee Nelson's resistance. If you want to add your voice to the story that would be great.

Nick Veronin

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Posted by wanny
a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2013 at 7:23 am

Wait, what? Palo Alto and Cupertino Sups make more than BCSs Sup/Principle? That $250,000 + perks is now definitely not enough. Time to get the BCS board to add an important new agenda item!

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Posted by Teacher
a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2013 at 8:47 am

Trustee Chiang:

You're a teacher right? Did you make a valid comparison against MVWSD 9 school sites?

County Education of Office: $295,640 32 SCHOOL DISTRICTS!!
FUHSD (Cupertino/Sunnyvale): $294,185 = 42 SCHOOL SITES
Palo Alto: $287,163, = 17 SCHOOL SITES
Cupertino Union: $258,944 = 28 SCHOOL SITES
Sunnyvale: $240,480 = 10 SCHOOL SITES

And we haven't even started comparing the number of employees, students and size of budget.

And what about performance? Does MVWSD rate high against Palo Alto or Cupertino?


"Superintendent Goldman's contract... states he will receive:

No stipends for masters or doctoral degrees"


Gee, if anything, I think it would be wise to reward (and thereby also attract) teachers with higher degrees (maybe even some first rate science and math teachers). But if the district did, it would also mean the district administrators would get the stipend as well based on the way the current contracts are worded!

How about now drafting up a comparison of how much teachers are paid in the districts above and whether or not they are paid stipends for graduate degrees. The answers are more and yes.

So thanks for going along with the crowd

Trustee Nelson:

Many of the best teachers in the district, younger than Goldman, are at the top of their steps and don't qualify for increases (a form of age discrimination). They are stalled in the salary range. If Goldman were still a teacher he would have been experiencing a relative decline in income over the past several years given inflation and cost of living increases and the passing of a larger share of health care costs to employees.

But at least you were the only Trustee to waver before you voted to approve.

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

The ol' whipsaw that public employees pull on, well the public. They get more so I should too. No enough that they are all well overpaid.

Next is crying about not having enough money for the children and we want an increase in parcel taxes...on and on.

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Posted by @ Teacher
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

You are not showing yourself in a very good light. I hope you don't speak this way in front of our students.

If you look at the numbers, MVWSD DOES rate high against Palo Alto and Cupertino and Los Altos! You must look apples to apples. Yes, people are moving into Mtn View because of the schools.

The only reason we continue to have as many teachers as we do (ie: did not increase the student ratio higher, as other Districts did) is because of our Superintdent's financial sense.

I know, I know, teachers deserve more money. But that does not mean that Mr. Goldman does not deserve more money just because you think you do.

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Posted by Raise vs Promotion
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

An old boss once told me, "annual raises aren't the way to get rich; strive for promotions."

Before complaining too loudly about the salary for the guy leading the organization, consider what it would take to get to that level.

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Posted by Consolidate
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Being out of the school scene for quiet some time now, but reading the articles of all the bickering and infighting among schools, i think i have the answer.

CONSOLIDATION of all school upper management. Have one statewide board that makes the policies for all schools. Lets face it most all of the corruptions happen at the upper level. Here is an example, Alum rock school district wanted to pay 500k to Norma Martinez, Alum Rock's school superintendent to leave so they can make room for someone else. They eventually paid something like 300k as severance. Now they have a law firm looking into if the deal was a good one.

The money saved from consolidation at the upper level should all go to the teachers.

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Posted by Former teacher in MVWSD
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

While Craig probably deserves a raise I sure hope the teachers get a well earned raise as well!

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Nice to hear from some of the board members, at least the honest ones. The problem with public official salaries is comparing them to other districts. All this does is create an arms race to pay the most. The Supes from the other districts will now complain they also need a raise. So what if Mr. Goldmans salary is lower. Is he planning to leave or is another district interested in hiring him? While this is a small raise, it should be based on merit and affordability.

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Posted by district parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Political Insider hit the nail on the head..."an arms race to pay the most." We saw where that line of reasoning took us, with the CEO of El Camino Hospital (consisting of 1 medium and 1 small community hospital) making, what, 4 times what the POTUS is paid? Oh yeah, we all know that Tomi has waaayyy more responsibility than Barack!

Of course Craig does not deserve a raise. Not when class sizes have increased from 20 to 24 children per teacher for K-3, and 32 kids in 4-5 classes instead of 30.

A district is only as good as its TEACHERS. Education is the interaction between a child, his or her parents, and the TEACHER.

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Posted by district mom
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:44 am

Actually, K-3 class size is pushing 26-27 students in many classes.
The result is that the school sites have to pay more for literacy and math intervention because more kids are now falling through the cracks.
This is mirrored in the huge increase in Spring conferences this year because so many kids are not at grade level.

So they can find money to pay the superintendent more?

OK, board members, please respond now.

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Posted by MVWSD teacher
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

I agree that Craig works hard, but so do the teachers. His success is based on our hard work and overcoming huge obstacles in the classrooms. Craig also oversees 7 schools. One cannot compare that to many of the other districts. We are told that there is no money for raises that matter. The 1% raises aren't even covering the increased medical premium, let alone the cost of living.

Many parents think that the MVWSD teachers are paid Ike the MVLA teachers no. If we are going to highlight Craig's salary, I think it would be only fair to publish the teachers salary as well. I have no problem with the community seeing how much I make with a Master's degree. Thank goodness I have a spouse that makes twice as much as I do, otherwise I'd starve.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Public sector workers in this state are grossly overpaid. On top of that they receive outrageous pension and health benefits. In the case of California schools, the quality of education delivered is atrocious.

However the people keep voting for pay increases and tax increases that don't make a whit of difference to the quality of education.

Cue liberal whining on how we actually don't spend enough.

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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm

@MVWSD Teacher in another community. It is easy to see the pay for each salaried employee in the MVLA (high school) district (or PAUSD or CUSD) for the last year (2011). Google "mercury news" "public salaries" 2011. However - the request for 2011 salaries for the MVWSD was not honored last year by the MVWSD. I consider that to be the previous MVWSD Board's responsibility. The 2012 data on public salaries will be published shortly, with MVWSD's cooperation this year.

you are welcome,

Steven Nelson is one of five MVWSD Trustees, a "whistle", priceless

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Who decides that someone gets paid, are we to gauge because somewhere else they pay less? Each district is different, I am not saying MVWSD should be judged, students and parent backgrounds of different. Even the school boards are different.

Yes we could merge of them, make one big super school district, will that help or will it just make the person in charge seem further and distance from the far off school in some housing tract.

229,000 dollars a year doesn't seem bad when some sport start who throws a little ball in a hoop and makes millions. How about a CEO whole makes millions, drives a company into the ground, yet somehow gets more money and less tax.

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Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm

A marginal superintendent can easily cost a community far more in poor fiscal management. A good superintendent can easily bring in more revenue than their compensation. I commend anyone who wants our schools to be fiscally responsible. The superintendent’s contract is 0.5% of the total $40+ million budget. I just ask that they then look at the big picture. Dig into those numbers, look at our district financial performance, which is the superintendent's direct responsibility, and if they see anything we can do better, please come out to the board meetings and/or email.

A parent earlier in this forum asked about class sizes, and shared her valuable perspective. I again encourage any concerns be brought to the public board meetings so it can be adequately looked into.

Christopher Chiang
MVWSD Trustee

District financial reports can be found under 12/13/12 & 3/14/13 board meetings documents: Web Link

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Posted by Don
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm

@Christopher Chang

How about tying compensation to measurable performance metrics both in the classroom and in administrative functions. Terminate the bottom 10%, reward the top 10%.

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Posted by Ralph
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

The superintendent said that the district don't have money for classified and certified employees. There is no money for workers but there is enough money for Administrators.
It's terrible to see this practice, when we struggling with our freezing salary.

"The poor speak with supplications, but the rich answereth roughly. ..."

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Posted by FrankSki
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm

How are Superintendent's paid? Taxes? Bond measures? If I pay taxes to the City of MV as a resident, do I have a say in the raises/amount of $$ a Sup or Teachers make?

If so, I agree with some of the other commentors, in that teachers should be paid more to teach; while Sups who already make a nice wage, should...well, not get paid so much more.

I'm reminded of a good friend of mine, who years ago, as a teacher (in a Union) had to take concessions, only to see the principals and superintendent get raises. How is that fair?

Teacher: Did that happen here to you guys?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Gemello

on Jun 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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