Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten, SDUSD Trustee Marne Foster, Superintendent Marten
In THIS post, “District Deeds Series: SUPT. MARTEN SCPA STATEMENT ALIBIS EXPOSED – Part 1 – The Set Up“, Marten tries to “Set Up” false trust by trying to convince San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Stakeholders that she has the capacity, judgement and experience to carry out the role of Superintendent despite her obviously TOTAL lack of credentials and experience along with the growing evidence of dismal operational decisions to the contrary.
You will notice Marten using phrases like “second to none” and “you would expect to see” and “if you review the data” with NO PROOF and NO DATA enclosed in her report to back them up.
You will notice Marten DOES NOT refer to the San Diego County Grand Jury Report that fully explored many of the points in the Marten Response..and declared both Marten and Foster culpable for their improper actions at SCPA.
You will also notice that Marten DOES NOT mention Marne Foster in Parts 1, 2a and 2B which analyze the Statement and documents related to the removal of Principal Lizarraga from SCPA. To do so would incriminate both her and Foster…but through her clumsiness and ineptness, she ends up incriminating both of them anyway.
- The District Deeds Response to Marten is in RED.
- This is a long post and there are SEVEN analysis segments. For your convenience we have separated each section with a
XXXXXXand the NUMBER of the segment in RED which will allow you to read it in portions.
Here we go!
Statement from Superintendent Cindy Marten
As a former Principal and now Superintendent I clearly understand the critical role that the Principal plays in leading our schools.
Unfortunately Marten only really understands the critical role an ELEMENTARY “Principal plays in leading our schools” since that is the only leadership role she has previously held…and with NO large district Superintendent leadership experience she has no basis to judge the performance of Principals with almost 10 times the credentials and experience than herself since she has NEVER hired, fired or re-assigned ANY SDUSD employee…or any education related employee ANYWHERE… before becoming Superintendent.
As Superintendent, it is my responsibility to lead, instruct, supervise and- when the situation warrants reassign or remove Principals. This is a responsibility I take very seriously. Over the last two years I, alongside my instructional team, have worked to build a team of exceptional site Principals. We have built an exemplary school leadership team that is second to none in the nation.
District Deeds could find NO evidence in this document OR in the selected data provided to support the claim that Marten and her instructional team “have built an exemplary school leadership team that is second to none in the nation.“
In fact, Marten has changed leadership in NINETY schools that were assigned by previous Superintendents who were MUCH more experienced and skilled than Marten, and filled those Principal positions with individuals that had less leadership and instructional credentials than the Principal she removed.
!n the “formative lens” of Elementary School Superintendent Marten, this diminished capacity Principal staffing strategy represents an exemplary school leadership team that is “second to none“. What else could be expected from this “beginner” Superintendent?
Attempting to invoke the ridiculous “second to none” claim in the face of a truly disastrous decision to remove Principal Lizarraga and others really exposes the GLARING lack of perspective and experience in Marten to “reassign or remove Principals“, no matter HOW seriously she takes this cornerstone responsibility.
In Marten, it is not a matter of intent…it is a matter of incompetence…the IMPERFECT alibi.
HOW DO WE ASSIGN AND REASSIGN PRINCIPALS IN SAN DIEGO UNIFIED (SDUSD)?
The Board of Education has entrusted me to select site leaders whose leadership brings value to each and every student in the school. Our responsibility is to ensure that each and every teacher and school site has a strong instructional leader to lead the work at our schools so that each and every student is learning at the highest level with a staff that believes in all students’ full potential.
Again, just because you are “entrusted” and you know it is your responsibility doesn’t mean that a TOTALLY inexperienced and ill-equipped individual can actually carry out the task assigned.
If that was the case, there would be a lot more 5’6′, 130 pound middle linebackers in the NFL!
Marten as Superintendent is the SDUSD version of a 5″6′, 130 pound NFL middle linebacker
The leadership changes that have occurred in SDUSD within the past two years reflect both the natural movement you would expect to see in a large urban school district and our emphasis on high quality leadership in every neighborhood school.
WHERE IS THE PROOF? Despite the so-called “data dump”, there is not one scintilla of evidence or data to back up the “you would expect to see” claim…either historically in the SDUSD OR in any type of local, state or national verified study compared with Marten’s actions during her current tenure.
This is a fabrication and a lie as an alibi to cover up her erratic and unprofessional staffing record.
If you review the data, you will see a typical pattern of retirements, transfers, promotions, demotions, resignations, reassignments and leaves of absence. Since I have been Superintendent, we have reassigned some Principals. In making decisions about whether a Principal is a good fit, the Area Superintendents and I review a variety of pertinent information including the leader’s ability to lead change and continuous improvement, instructional leadership, school climate, parent/community relations, and general decision-making in the operations of the school and in supervising staff.
“If you review the data“…WHAT DATA? There is NO data provided in the Marten Response narrative or reports to support this claim.
This is a fabrication and a lie as an IMPERFECT alibi to cover up her erratic and unprofessional staffing record.
In order to support Principals, one of the first initiatives that my team and I put in place was the creation of the Office of Leadership and Learning as a means to clearly articulate and support a coherent vision for school site leaders. One of the primary functions of the department is to work alongside Area Superintendents in developing the leadership capacity of our site leaders. The supports provided to school leaders are in the form of Full Day Leadership Conferences, Half Day Leadership Conferences, Walkthrough Studies, Triad Learning, and Support from the Area Superintendents. These supports are intended to ensure our leaders clearly understand our expectations for their leadership and that they are properly supported to meet our expectations.
So let the SDUSD Stakeholders get this straight Supt. Marten.
From the point that Principal Lizarraga received many consecutive positive performance reviews through the 2012/2013 school year and adding to that perfect historical performance the EXTENSIVE training and supports you provided through a NEW department, a NEW Area Supt. Lamont Jackson and multiple workshops and meetings, within the 2013/2014 school year, Principal Lizarraga’s performance (while maintaining over a 96% graduation rate and SCPA being named as one of the top 5% of school in the United States) declined SO MUCH that you were REQUIRED to remove her from her position and replace her with a an individual with NO ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE AT ALL.
This is ANOTHER fabrication and a lie to cover up Martens total lack of judgement and experience along with her erratic and unprofessional staffing record…ANOTHER IMPERFECT alibi.
When we determine that we are going to seek a reassignment of a Principal, (as was the case with Ms. Lizarraga) rather than demotion or termination, the process for reassigning a Principal is a specific, sequenced Human Resources process that includes very specific steps and timelines. This process includes Principals receiving a required March 15th reassignment notice so that the Principal is made aware that the decision to reassign may occur on June 30.
THERE IS NO “specific, sequenced Human Resources process that includes very specific steps and timelines.” in the so-called “data dump” provided.
And if “the decision to reassign may occur on June 30.” turned into the removal of Principal Lizarraga from the SCPA Campus two days BEFORE the Class of 2014 Graduation Ceremony…and well BEFORE June 30th…what happened?
“What happened” was more cover-ups and lies and IMPERFECT alibis by Marten…what else?
More of the Principal Lizarraga section will be in Part 2a – Biased Ignorance!
Here is the full Alibis Exposed Series to date: Marten SCPA Statement Alibis Exposed Series
Sign the “RECALL SAN DIEGO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE MARNE FOSTER” Petition
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Ms. Maxwell said:
This is wonderful to keep up with Dr.O as many called her at the hive was replaced by a paycheck slave not experienced person.A Vp who could not do a budget nor a master schedule wow
“Marten’s total lack of judgement”…
The above phrase from your wonderful article, made me think of the speech that Cindy Marten gave, reported in the La Mesa Patch on April 5th, 2013, just about a month after the school board had chosen her as superintendent. Also appeared in the La Jolla Patch, April 6, 2013.
I quote, “After 9-11-2001, Marten told her mother that she saw a battle role..and a way to help children.”
Marten said she declared herself a soldier for public education. “I saw the war against public education begin, and I wanted to be a part of that army that was going to save it”., she said in a 45 minute talk at the La Mesa Community Center…one of more than two dozen speeches she’s given since being named head of the state’s second largest school district.”
“Some people, after 9-11 signed up to fight one kind of war, she said, and “I signed up for a different war.”
The speech seemed so odd, very narcissistic, at the time, but does add substance to your reference to Marten’s lack of judgement.
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