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AUSD Special Board Meetings Monday, Tuesday Night

Alameda Unified School District has called special board meetings for Monday night, August 9th, and Tuesday night, August 10th, including a closed-session Employee Performance Evaluation of the Superintendent, Kirsten Vital. The agendas are provided below.

Special Board Meeting – Monday, August 9, 2010
3:30 PM-6:30 PM

Third Floor Conference Room
Alameda Unified School District
2200 Central Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501


C-l. Review of Vision, Mission, Guiding Principles and Agree on Core Values
C-2. Governance Discussion


Special Board Meeting
Tuesday, August 10,2010
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Council Chambers Meeting Room 391
City of Alameda
2263 Santa Clara Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501



D. ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION – Council Chambers Meeting Room 391
D-l. Public Employee Performance Evaluation – Pursuant to Section 54957
Title: Superintendent


10 comments to AUSD Special Board Meetings Monday, Tuesday Night

  • Considering how out of touch with the culture and citizenry of Alameda she has proven herself, Superintendent Vital should receive an “Improvement Needed” on her evaluation. When I interviewed Trustee McMahon, I asked him about that. “If the school parcel tax is defeated, will Superintendent Vital continue in her position?” He seemed startled and bemused, all at once. He didn’t expect Measure E to fail. But he also said, “Well, her contract runs for two years, so she can stay if she wants.” But at this point, why would she want to stay? She seems powerless to reform the system, and unless she does, we’re not giving her any more money.

  • Hot R

    Who is “we”? Aren’t you the guy who opposed the last parcel tax and doesn’t pay the old parcel tax because of your age?

    She closed 12 schools in Oakland, and will close more next year in Alameda. She laid off 70 teachers and shortened the school year, while increasing class size. I thought you were in favor of all those things… She is your girl!

    Is it your contention that despite all her “Greenie” ways the 265 vote defeat of the school parcel tax was a referendum on Vital?

  • Barb

    And here I thought all those voters who supported Measure E were mailing in their checks for $659. Guess they were only going to support their children’s schools, if they could make everybody support their children’s schools. So much for the future and well being of Alameda being of prime concern. “We’re willing to pay more for education but only if we can make you pay too.” That is the “we”.

  • Hot Air: “We” are the ones who defeated the last parcel tax because of its unfairness, which you have never addressed because you don’t have a logical comeback. And I don’t pay any parcel taxes because I don’t own any property or rent. I’m a squatter who came here in the Great Alameda Land Rush! But just because I’m not hurt by the taxes doesn’t mean I can’t oppose them as a voter. As for Vital, I said several times that she had a “Plan B” even when I interviewed her, and that if she could take a meataxe to the unions, she probably would. So far it looks like I’m more prescient than you are.

  • Hot R

    Greenie – You never ever answer any questions do you?

    Here they are again…

    Don’t you agree with the actions of Sup. Vital so far in imposing budget cuts by

    (a)laying off 70 teachers
    (b)imposing furlough days which result in pay cuts
    (c)announcing the closing of schools
    (d)increasing class size from 20-1 to 32-1?

    Do you contend the parcel tax vote was a referendum on Vital which should trigger her resignation?

  • Now then, “Hot R,” Hot Ron, very possibly school board trustee Ron Moody, answer these questions:

    1) Do tenure and seniority rules protect incompetent teachers?

    2) Was Measure E a regressive tax? That is, unfair because it levied all homes the same, regardless of their size or value..?

    3) Do you have any plans for reform of AUSD before you come back at the voters with another parcel tax?

    If you can’t answer these questions, yes or no, you are not only a hypocrite, but a coward.

    I answered yours.

  • Hot R

    This is the format you used to answer my questions = No, no, yes

    Once again, please no childish name calling…

    More than 50% of new teachers are gone in the first 1-2 years as tenure rules only kick in after 2 years. Therefore teachers unable to survive the rigors of the classroom are washed out quickly. For the rest, union rules require teachers be fired “for cause” after observations by administrators, and a chance to rehabilitate with master teachers. If after this process is completed the teacher has not made necessary corrections, he or she is terminated. So union rules do not “protect” incompetent teachers. Sure you could argue that a principal should be able to fire a teacher based on low test scores, but most studies suggest that at least 3 years of test scores are necessary for statistical reliability, and in addition suggest that a more rigorous analysis would take into account where the student “started” not just the raw test score. In addition, one has to take into account socio-economic factors which today mostly account for the achievement gap. This can be done, but the system hasn’t been designed yet. The Washington D.C. Superintendent was able to remove teachers based on a new assessment system, but had to raise all salaries and pay a bonus to get the union to accept that new system, which essentially gave administrators the ability to “fire” teachers who they deemed incompetent. However, there is no comparison between Alameda and Washington D.C. which is one of the lowest functioning District’s in the nation serving a mostly poor African-American population. Although I don’t personally know the statistics for how many teachers need to be rehabilitated in Alameda, I would guess no more than a few each year. With all the layoffs due to the failure of the parcel tax, all the “new” teachers without seniority are already gone. That’s a shame, because I am sure many of them were good. Did you think about that when you voted no?

    I am not sure what your point is about Measure E, as it has already been rejected by a slim margin, but it was certainly not illegal, as it is commonly used across the state and nation, and a court has already ruled that split roles are not illegal. I do not think that the claim it was “regressive” was the main reason it lost. Instead it was because of the weak economy. However, I do NOT think that if another parcel tax is put before the voters it would be wise to use the “same” format as Measure E, as the schools need money to avoid closing down services. Wider support of the business community is clearly necessary to gain passage.

    As for reforms, just my opinion…Freeze adminstrative hiring and pay raises. Freeze spending at current levels. Close the four smallest schools and send those students to other campuses even if you have middle school and high school students together. Try to avoid wholesale dislocations of students and parents.

    I think guaranteed teacher salary increases should be frozen and the money used to pay bonuses to great teachers, who in turn should be used to mentor other teachers throughout the District. All teachers should not be paid the same regardless of their assignment. First grade and advanced placement teachers have important but remarkably different responsibilities and time commitments. Administrators should not make more than teachers – except to the extent they work summer months. Teacher salary throughout the State should be uniform – that is a teacher in Pleasanton should not make more than a teacher in LA for doing the same job, with the exception of bonuses paid to master teachers who volunteer in high crime or low achievement schools.

    Create career academies for all students with the help of community members (like yourself) who could come in and help students understand life after high school, and the various job opportunities they might have. Include in this process internships with plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and green jobs. The idea that “everyone” should go to college is clearly not viable with rising college costs and a dirth of scholarships. Senior year of high school should be spent mostly in internships and community service. Think about the reduction in costs if Senior year was eliminated!

    Will any of these things happen? Well, the teaching staff has been reduced by over 70, class sizes have been increased, schools are scheduled to close, teacher and adminstrator pay has been cut as a result of furlough days, and belts have certainly been tightened. Of those consequences listed, I think class size reduction is a real shame for elementary kids, and in industrialized nations the trend is for students to go to school more days, not less. So we seem to be shooting ourselves in the foot with these reductions, but there does not seem to be an alternative after the parcel tax loss.

    Keeping in mind that this is not a dictatorship Dennis, and that the union has a contract with the District, the only way to restructure the contract is to offer the teachers more money to go to a system like the Washington D.C. school district. But where will that money come from without a parcel tax and where will the new “great” teachers come from if pay and benefits are reduced?

  • Hot R – Dennis asked a straightforward question that you didn’t answer: Was Measure E a regressive tax?

  • We now suspect that “Hot R” is Ron Mooney, AUSD Trustee and Prez of the Board. Explains a lot. But his debate tactics are even older than he is. Pose questions that attempt to corner your opponent, and then ignore any questions put to you.

    Ronnie calls me “Greenie,” a nickname only my best friends use. But he does so in a demeaning way, like the schoolyard bully. And he doesn’t even realize how much his writing reveals his true personality. Poor boy. Not nearly as “Hot” as he thinks.