SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Corporate restructuring

The news that Superintendent Jonathan Raymond is seeking permission from trustees to hire a chief accountability officer for SCUSD does not allay very real fears that Raymond is accelerating a push to develop a corporate education culture in Sacramento.

Consider these job titles: Chief Talent Officer, Chief Knowledge Officer, Chief Portfolio Officer…all with annual salary ranges between $125,000-175,000. New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, a strong proponent of privatization, devised this idea of “administrative restructuring.”

These executives (most who have never taught in a classroom or been a principal) make the rounds throughout the countries’ school systems while changing job titles and descriptions. It’s a smorgasboard of CEO’s. Raymond was a chief accountability officer before he was hired in Sacramento.

The ultimate goal is to run the school system like a corporation –SCUSD teachers will have continued pressure to “teach the test” and improve API scores — data will be relentlessly tracked and tied to performance by the chief accountability officer.

This reform leads to what education historian Diane Ravitch calls a huge mistake:

Teachers — not just union leaders — are unhappy, frustrated, and demoralized. So are parents, because they don’t like the high-stakes testing regime either. They don’t like that their children are losing time for the arts, science, history, geography, physical education, foreign languages, and everything that is not tested. They may not be well-informed, yet they know that their children are missing out on a good education.


8 Responses

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  1. “Alternative placement options.”

    Priority school turnaround based on pushing out “the bad kids.”

    “Change the kids and change the scores!”

    Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

    D. Byrne

    June 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm

  2. Teachers at Hiram Johnson received an email the other day from one of their new Assistant Principals briefly describing what’s going on in terms of scheduling, room assignments etc.

    The email noted that the teaching and room assignments are not finished due to “foundational” issues still being dealt with, such as getting a handle of the number of incoming 9th graders, the updating of transcripts and “determining which students need alternative placement options.”

    (Who doesn’t like “options,” except when that’s not what they are?)

    Could we be looking at a priority schools model that is based at least in part of pushing out “the bad kids.”

    Change the kids and change the scores!


    June 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

  3. I am hearing stories about how the priority school idea, which flows from the federal and state level, is wrecking havoc with the school as community experience. The upcoming board elections will be an opportunity to spotlight this corporate transformation. Is there a candidate for each area that is asking these questions?

    Leo Bennett-Cauchon

    June 26, 2010 at 7:29 am

  4. Hey, check out Providence, RI, where the “business-minded” Broad grads running the system can’t even balance a multi-year budget:


    June 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

  5. Is it any wonder that Jonathan Raymond is recasting Serna Center in a corporate image. He is after all a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy… goto Broad and have a look. Check out Mr. Broad…the great mass producer of subdivisions. Hey, lets mass produce children.

    Reid Johnson

    June 25, 2010 at 8:59 am

  6. Board fails to see these things!??? The board is on the corporate side. Corporations give money to aspiring politicians. They won’t say it but some of them believe that PUBLIC education is education welfare…you know…the taxpayers dime..lets get government out of education ala Rush Limbaugh.

    Reid Johnson

    June 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  7. standardized and corporatized…it is time for folks to wake-up a standardized curriculum produces standardized children just like mickey d makes its burgers…sanitized,deodorized,of questionable content,and not very good for the health of this nation…cheap though, and easy to mass produce

    Reid Johnson

    June 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm

  8. That corporate restructuring is just the tip of the iceberg. In the Serna Center sources say that a number of jobs have been silently cut (in addition to those already pink slipped during the past budget reduction planning) to give way for Raymond’s people. There is a growing sense of fear in the District Office among all its employees from the Associate Supe down as Raymond has been using his powers to suit his own gains: firing then hiring, forcing people out of their positions, arbitrary assigning, etc. It is really amazing why the Board fails to see these things! Some wish that there will be some Internal Affairs investigation to look into possible cases of wanton abuse of power.

    Ms. V

    June 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

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