Welcome to ACT 2 – “Lets Pretend”!

PROLOGUE

Some real “Magic” happens here! As indicated on the chart, “District Officials” (NOTE: It is said that “District Officials” are related to the mysterious “Staff” that is mentioned frequently by the Superintendent and Board when they want to bury an issue in the morass of the district hierarchy, but that cannot be confirmed) magically decide WHO is on the Interview Committee. The magic is in the misdirection…similar to the community meeting except on a much smaller scale.

Recent Example of Principal Selection Process from Crawford HS

Recent Example of Principal Selection Process from Crawford HS

SEE: When it comes to Principal Selection, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHO IS CHOSEN FOR THE PRINCIPAL INTERVIEW COMMITTEE!

In A Vice Principal or Staff Interview Committee, the Principal, who actually has a stake in what type of person is chosen for the job, is a major advocate for the RIGHT FIT since the Principal will have to deal with anyone who is not. This is a great motivator for the Principal.

In a Principal Interview Committee, the presiding Area Superintendent is motivated by FILLING THE POSITION WITH THE HAND PICKED REPLACEMENT IDENTIFIED BY THE BOSS, SUPERINTENDENT MARTEN at the risk of losing their job. This is a great motivator for the Area Superintendent.

Many other site and district administrators feel the same “Motivation. (SEE Quote by Administrator: “Everyone is scared to death!!! I’m keeping my head down and my mouth shut.” ”https://districtdeeds.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/lincoln-and-scpa-the-smoking-gun/)

SEE: THE DISAPPEARING ACT! If there is perceived to be too much community resistance to the Superintendents handpicked successor, the Superintendent just inserts her choice (See: “Disclaimer” above) with full Board of Education support. This calls for specific Public Relations tactics that creates the “appearance” of “Community Engagement” but delivers the candidate handpicked by the Superintendent, usually with the assistance of a Board Member representing the School Site Sub District.

ACT 2 – “LET’S PRETEND”

After being assigned to or around 10 SDUSD principal interview committees, this blogger has identified 5 steps that allow the SDUSD to magically create this “Community Engagement” illusion and eventually place the predetermined individual of the Superintendent and Boards choice in the Principal position:

1. Refusal to respond to community resistance to original Principal removal creating frustration and fear.
2. Reduce participation by providing inconvenient “Community Meeting” days and times
3. Eliminate ¾ of the school site Stakeholders from Principal Interview Committee Eligibility
4. Place inexperienced or “allied” Stakeholders on the interview Committee
5. Last resort: Eject from process and Superintendent and Board simply place the individual of choice in the Principal role.

1. Refusal to respond to community resistance to original Principal removal creating frustration and fear of the unknown.

Removing a well respected and loved Principal for no justifiable reason creates great unrest in the School Site Community. Parent, Teachers, Community Members and Alumni want only the best for the most precious byproduct – happy, learning and growing students/children

When the SDUSD removes a Principal with no good reason and no explanation, that frustration and fear of possibly not getting a Principal equivalent to the one let go turns into anger and rage.

Once a School Site stakeholder expresses that emotionally, Superintendent Marten can stick with her premise of “I don’t meet anger with anger” and immediately shift focus to finding the replacement, hoping everyone will be distracted from the original unjustified act of the Principal being removed.

2. Reduce participation by providing inconvenient “Community Meeting” days and times

This strategy, used immediately after the removal of a principal allows the SDUSD to quickly get past the bad Public Relations blunder of removing a highly qualified Principal employing virtually NO COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT by the SDUSD by pretending to “respond” by staging a “Principal Characteristic Community Meeting”

A key part of this “Side Show” element is in the scheduling of the staged “Community Meeting”.  To generate the LEAST in-person community input, the SDUSD chooses a time and day that does not allow the majority of the school site community to appear.

This means scheduling the “Community Meeting:

• In July or December – the months when many families go on vacation
• Between 8am-6pm – when working adults are still at work or commuting through Rush Hour.
• With short notice – less than 2 weeks.

The following are the 10 schools left that have not yet had a “Community Meeting” as of 7/5/14:

Mission Bay High School: Monday, July 7, at 5 p.m.
SCPA: Wednesday, July 9, at 5 p.m.
Serra High School: Thursday, July 10, at 6 p.m.
Twain High School: Wednesday, July 9, at 4 p.m.
Bell Middle School: Monday, July 7, at 5 p.m
Balboa Elementary: Monday, July 7, at 8:30 a.m.
Field Elementary: Thursday, July 17, at 4:30 p.m.
Hancock Elementary: Tuesday, July 8, at 4:30 p.m.
Jerabek Elementary: Wednesday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m.
Loma Portal Elementary: Tuesday, July 8, at 5 p.m.

The following is a grid that shows this strategy in action with the 10 remaining schools that have “Community Meetings” related to Principal “re-assignment”:

Untitled

3. Eliminate ¾ of the school site Stakeholders from Principal Interview Committee Eligibility

As mentioned in the previous Blog posting, Community Members, Alumni, and all Students K-8 are not allowed to be selected for the Principal Interview Committee”. ¾ ruled non-participant is a modest estimate since there are thousands and thousands of individuals who are classified as Community Members, Alumni and Students K-8 and far less “active” 9-12 Students and k-12 Parents.

4. Place inexperienced or “allied” Stakeholders on the interview Committee

The SDUSD loves to place K or 1st Grade, 6th Grade or 9th Grade parents on the “Principal Interview Committee”. In the case of a well informed selected participant, this blogger has seen the SDUSD change meeting dates/times to when participant couldn’t attend.

Since every site has a SDUSD site employee that, for many reasons up to including disciplinary action, disliked the previous Principal, this “carrot” to the SDUSD site employee is sometimes supplied to get them on board. Unfortunately the reason the employee was being disciplined was because they were incompetent in their job and that incompetence carries over to the “Principal Interview Committee”, improving the odds of the pre-selection Superintendents candidate.

Even IF you make it on the Interview committee, ALL of the candidates have already been “screened” (read: eliminated) that you may have chosen.  You get to interview WHO THE SUPERINTENDENT WANTS YOU INTERVIEW!  It is not difficult to stack the interviewee list with duds and 1 semi-qualified, Superintendent hand-picked candidate to get the results the Superintendent and Board want.

So to summarize your role is to:

  • Read pre-written questions
  • To presreened candidates
  • With credentials and abilities verified by the SDUSD with no community oversight
  •  On a committee potentially stacked with members new to the school/district, planted pro-district staff and an Area Superintendent who could lose their job if the Superintendents candidate is not chosen
  • With the potential of your decision being over-ridden by the Superintendent and another candidate chosen.

5. Last resort: Eject from process and Superintendent and Board simply place the individual of choice in the Principal role or just choose someone else in opposition to the Principal Interview Committee choice.

This blogger has experienced item 5 multiple times and heard of the same occurring around the SDUSD.

The key to the SDUSD Principal Selection Side Show – Act 2 is to SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF – so..

You CAN email, and write letters to bring your Principal back…

“LET’S PRETEND” THE SUPERINTENDENT AND BOARD WILL LISTEN

Skip work, call in sick, lose your pay, lose your job, but SHOW UP up at every “Community Meeting” to describe the “Perfect Principal” for your school (which is the one they just removed)

“LET’S PRETEND” THE SUPERINTENDENT AND BOARD WILL APPROVE ALL OF YOUR PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTIC/CREDENTIAL  SUGGESTIONS

Volunteer if you are a Parent, Teacher or Student that fits the Principal Interview Committee criteria, if you are a Community Member or Alumni, adopt a child at the school so you can participate in the Interview Process.  If you are a Student, dress up like one of your parents and volunteer…Get selected!

“LET’S PRETEND” THE SUPERINTENDENT AND BOARD SELECT YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW COMMITTEE

Overcome all obstacles and choose the perfect candiate

“LET’S PRETEND” THE SUPERINTENDENT AND BOARD HAVE ALLOWED YOU TO SEE ALL QUALIFIED CANDIDATES, PROVIDED YOU GOOD QUESTIONS, WILL LISTEN TO YOUR RECOMMENDATION FOR THE CANDIDATE TO CHOOSE

IT IS ALL AN ILLUSION

ABRACADABRA!!!!

The Superintendent will have her way and the way of the Board member who “owns” the area, AND GET RID OF ANY PRINCIPAL OR HIRE ANY CANDIDATE THEY CHOOSE NO MATTER WHAT THE SCHOOL SITE STATEHOLDERS DO OR SAY!!!

We hope you enjoyed the show…be sure to GO THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS!