SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘Superintendent’ Category

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.


SCUSD and SCTA leadership reach tentative agreement

(edited 9:22 a.m. Tuesday, June 15)

June 14     3 p.m.    Theodore Judah

Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, SCUSD Board President Ellyne Bell and SCTA President Linda Tuttle announced in a press conference the details of a two-year contract designed to save teachers’ jobs and to keep class sizes small.

The deal includes:

  • a mutual understanding to keep K-3 class sizes small with a 1/25 ratio
  • teachers will be asked to give up the equivalent of 3 furlough days in salary. Each SCTA member will effectively pay back approximately $950 per year to the district in order to “give back” or retain teachers currently holding pink slips
  • teachers will be asked to increase their monetary contributions to their retiree health benefits packages
  • the board is being asked to consider a parcel tax measure to go on the ballot, possibly next year

SCTA’s 3000 members have not yet seen the details on paper.  SCTA volunteers will deliver the proposed contract to members beginning Tuesday morning with a final vote tally promised by late Thursday evening with announcement on Friday, June 18.

This two-year agreement will push out the previously scheduled 2011 contract negotiations for SCUSD and its teachers’ union.

Tuttle described the compromises as a “stop gap measure” to immediately bring back teachers and also to concede to parent partners’ demands for small class sizes in the elementary grades.

Raymond believes the furlough concession is a “huge part” of the agreement because roughly $2.3 million will be saved in district coffers.

Confusion surrounds the school year calendar. In separate agreements with its other bargaining units, it is reported that the District has agreed to three actual furlough days — two at Thanksgiving week and also Lincoln’s Birthday.

SCUSD Board members Roy Grimes and Jerry Houseman were also in attendance.

Special Board Meeting today

4:50 p.m.
Item 2.2

Superintendent Roll-out Ad Hoc Committee
Asset Revenue Generation Ad Hoc Committee

Editor’s note: Ad hoc committees are created for a one-time purpose or to focus on examining a specific subject. Most are created with a deadline by which they must complete their work.


Written by scusdobserver

August 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

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

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.”


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.”


Written by scusdobserver

July 23, 2009 at 1:12 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

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?

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.

Written by scusdobserver

July 7, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Special Board Meeting today

With regard to the superintendent search
Agenda Here

Sacramento Bee Article
School board to narrow hunt for superintendent

Written by scusdobserver

June 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm