SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for July 2009

Raymond emerges from closed session

Updated Friday, July 24

The Sacramento Bee updates the story about the hiring of Jonathan Raymond in this morning’s paper with comments by Roy Grimes defending the board’s transparency issues and also Raymond’s salary
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Reading down to the last paragraph of the article:

“He was a front-runner,” Grimes said. “He’s low-key, but no nonsense. … He intends to be very active in this community. He has committed to have his three kids attend our schools and live in the district.”

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Last night, a special board meeting introduced Jonathan Raymond as SCUSD’s next superintendent. Susan Miller, who did not apply for the position, comments in the Sacramento Bee:

“I look forward to a new superintendent coming in with fresh eyes,” said Miller, who will return to her role as associate superintendent.

Miller said the next superintendent will walk into a difficult position because of limited resources and ongoing budget issues. She said she wonders what the effect of dwindling resources will be on students.

“Can we continue to provide the type of education our students deserve and parents expect?” Miller said. “That’s a challenge in these times when you’ve cut the amount of money districts have cut.”

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Written by scusdobserver

July 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Kennedy to run for city council?

In today’s Sacramento Bee, Ryan Lillis reports that Mayor Kevin Johnson is backing former SCUSD Board Member Jay Schenirer to run for Sacramento City Council District Seat 5.

Political insiders say he also has the inside track on garnering Johnson’s support because as vice president of the Sacramento City Unified School District board, Schenirer voted in favor of turning Sacramento High School into a charter school run by Johnson’s nonprofit St. HOPE.

“Endorsements are important for what they show, that there are leaders in the community who believe in me,” Schenirer said. “But at the end of the day, it’s about connecting with the people who live in this district.”

Current SCUSD Board Member Patrick Kennedy has also apparently thrown his hat into the ring for the District 5 race.

The facts are that Patrick Kennedy (who ran unopposed) has been a school board member for less than a year and the district is in a budget crisis that needs a focused, administrative entity willing to hunker down and address the staggering set of problems before it.

We have yet to see a cohesive, intelligent action come from our newly-elected board.

Now is decidedly not the time for any of our newly-elected board members to enter into a political campaign for higher office, much less a council seat race that promises to be an expensive, mud-slinging contest with the mayor’s power grab as the centerpiece.
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Written by scusdobserver

July 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Johnny Data

Is the ink dry on the $260,000 contract? No official word but a biographical picture of Jonathan Raymond emerges.

In 1996, Raymond secured a contested Republican nomination to run in Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District, challenging the seven-term Democratic incumbent, Barney Frank. Raymond has been an associate with the law firm of Cushner & Bloom in Boston, served as legislative counsel to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Tom Lewis and Senator Orrin G. Hatch.

Before becoming the Chief Accountability Officer for the Charlotte Mecklenberg Schools (CMS), Raymond was the CEO of the Commonwealth Corporation.

Raymond was instrumental in developing the Data Dashboard for CMS, an online tool that can be used by the public, educators and parents to monitor progress within the district.

Raymond explained the innovation this way
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The Data Dashboard puts CMS on the leading edge in accountability and education. It represents a new approach to managing data to benefit our students and our district, because we’ll be able to use the latest data and performance indicators to drive decision-making and policy.

This year, the Data Dashboard won a place on Microsoft’s top ten demonstration sites for business-intelligence solutions. Lauded as increasing board transparency, the dashboard completely transformed the way that it collects, monitors, and analyzes data on student, teacher, and operational performance by visually presenting the district’s results based on key performance indicators (KPIs) that tie directly back to the goals identified in the CMS Strategic Plan.

Said Raymond:

They asked for some basic indicators and we decided that we wanted to create a dashboard that went deeper. We needed the solution to not only align with our strategic plan, but allow us to track more KPIs. We wanted to be able to easily report: how students were tracking toward proficiency; how we trend on gap issues along economic status, race, and other aspects; whether school operations are efficient and construction projects on time and on budget. We wanted a dashboard that would help us improve our performance along many dimensions and could grow with us in the future.

If and when Mr. Raymond takes over the helm at SCUSD, we’ll have a lot of questions for him but for now we just have one…

Can you improve the SCUSD website?
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Written by scusdobserver

July 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm

New superintendent to be Jonathan Raymond?

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that SCUSD has picked Jonathan Raymond, a North Carolina administrator, to take over as superintendent.

However, the article states:

Maria Lopez, district spokeswoman, would not confirm the report this morning, saying that the names of candidates have not been released. She said the board has not acted and no offers have been accepted.

More information on Jonathan Raymond is available at the SCUSD Advisory Council’s website.
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Written by scusdobserver

July 7, 2009 at 11:17 pm