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Re: District Service Problems and Suggested Solutions

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  • Ms. Ott
    The point that Mr. Rivard is making is that people who try to make a positive difference are forced out of the district by people in power. The point the
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 14, 2006
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      The point that Mr. Rivard is making is that people who try to make a
      positive difference are forced out of the district by people in
      power. The point the Downer 5 supporters made was that teachers who
      speak up against bad policy will be punished and their livlihoods
      attacked by people in power. The point Alicia has made is that
      people in power who are supposed to make the best decisions for the
      children's education actually are making choices that build and
      support their own egos, not the future of the children's education,
      and there is no process of accountability to prevent this.

      And while I agree with Mr. Price that "There are hundreds of
      teachers, custodians, principals, staff, and administrators who
      every day are going the extra mile for our children," it is most
      unfortunate that those with the MOST power not only are NOT going
      the extra mile, they aren't even doing what most would consider to
      be the minimum necessary to meet their job requirements.

      I could make a long, long laundry list of such deficiencies but why
      bother wasting my time? Those in power aren't going to do jack
      about it anyway. The following email that I sent to all school
      board members on March 2nd and again on March 7th which to this day
      has gone unanswered, is a perfect example of what these people are
      complaining about.


      Dear Board Members,

      Dr. LeBlanc has not responded to my February 18th email (you all
      received a copy). So, I am assuming that she has no intention of
      sending me a written response to the employee behavior issues raised
      in my formal written complaint. She designated Brandon Krueger to
      handle the complaint, but he is one of the employees named in the
      complaint. How can an employee handle a complaint about himself?
      That's patently absurd. Besides, all I got from Brandon Krueger was
      a ribbon -- no Science Fair scores, no open communication with the
      Judges, and not one word from him or Dr. LeBlanc regarding the
      issues of employee behavior which were the whole crux of my
      complaint! I wonder if anyone bothered to read it.

      Therefore, per the guidelines for "Complaints Concerning District
      Employees" from the "District Basic Commitment Program 2005-2006" I
      am "asking the Board to consider the complaint" because the
      Superintendent did not "attempt to resolve the complaint" to
      my "satisfaction."

      Satisfaction? As far as I can tell, the was no attempt whatsoever
      to resolve the complaint, much less to my satisfaction. Not a thing
      was done about the issues raised regarding some outrageously bad
      employee behavior, and to put icing on the cake, I feel like I've
      been treated like a troublemaker for pursuing a valid complaint.
      What good is a complaint process when those in power are
      unaccountable, don't answer emails, don't address valid concerns,
      don't respond to the issues raised in a complaint, and then get all
      snippy or ignore you when you ask them to do their management jobs
      and hold their employees to ethical, professional standards of

      The stated purpose of the complaint procedure is "to promote fair
      and constructive communication." What happened to me was anything
      but fair, and the complete lack of attention to the matter is far
      from constructive.

      Please, Board Members, hear my complaint and address the issues that
      have been ignored for so long. It is unclear from the procedural
      guidelines where I should send all the documentation for this
      request. It's not a question of what the truth is. That
      documentation is all online at:


      I'm appalled with the way this has been handled -- ignore it, act
      like it never happened, stall me for months, and then claim it's
      been handled. I have little doubt the purpose of these shenanigans
      is to wear me down and hope that I'll go away, or in the end, tell
      me there's nothing anyone can do now because this happened so long
      ago. But, we all know that what can and can't be done regarding
      employee behavior is completely a personal choice in this matter,
      and the choice has been to do nothing. Is this what the Board

      Please let me know what is the next step in achieving a fair
      resolution in this complaint procedure, and some comfort in knowing
      that the School Board expects professionalism and ethical behavior
      from WCCUSD's high-level, highly-paid employees. Please agree to
      hear my complaint.

      Thank you for your consideration,

      Ms. Ott


      I suggested a solution. The district needs a complaint ombudsman
      who is not answerable to HR Directors, Info Services Directors, nor
      Superintendents so that s/he actually can make these high level
      people accountable for doing their jobs.

      I suggest another solution -- hold people in power accountable for
      NOT doing their jobs -- like maybe they will lose their job if they
      can't keep the servers running, or they make stupid decisions to
      prevent people from using free yahoo email accounts that provice
      near 24/7 communication service.

      Or fire a superintendent for supporting a subordinate who lies. Or
      fire an HR director who refuses to allow a student teacher access to
      her science fair scores in order to protect the ego of a lying

      Here's another solution: Revise the annual employee evaluation
      process for principals so that teachers can have input into the
      principal's performance in a manner that protects their identity (so
      the principal can seek revenge for a negative evaluation). And
      revise the employee evaluation process for teachers and classified
      staff so that peers can have input (so a principal's little pet who
      treats peers like dirt) is answerable to more that the principal
      whose butt they're kissing. In the corporate world this is called
      360-degree evaluation and it works quite well.

      Here's another solution -- support a yahoo discussion group for
      teachers so that teachers have a way of giving input that actually
      might make positive changes without running the risk of losing their
      job for voicing their opinion. I asked that a link to this
      discussion group be put on the families part of the WCCUSD and as I
      expected, there's been no answer. Here's a solution: when someone
      has a good idea that costs relatively nothing, enable them to carry
      it out instead of being a silent brick wall.

      Here's another solution -- when someone has a valid complaint, do
      something about it.

      The point is -- I am highly qualified to be a teacher (background
      in electrical engineering, computer programming, and professional
      writer in fiction, marketing, and technology as well as being a
      musician, graphic, and martial artist). I'm also one of those
      people who goes the extra mile to help others. One of the reasons I
      decided to become a public school teacher is similar to why people
      become missionaries -- to try and make a positive difference. These
      days, public education is like a 3rd world country suffering from a
      viral epidemic of stupidity and in need of a lot of help.

      Well, just like those who have made their reasons known and probably
      countless others who have just quietly left, I, too, am moving on.
      I'm going to sell my house a leave this god-awful school district as
      soon as possible. There are other places I can go to make a
      difference where it won't take such a toll on me and my family.

      That's the point. Many, many highly educated people who want to try
      to make a difference here in WCCUSD just get disgusted eventually,
      give up, and leave. Those who have the power to prevent such things
      don't seem to be doing a damn thing about it. And these actions
      speak much louder than any lip service the powers that be give to
      caring about the students.

      If you want to reverse this trend, stop treating hard-working,
      caring people like dirt, and stop supporting unethical, lying
      administrators with your silence!

      How's this for a starting solution: Deal with my complaint in an
      ethical manner so that when I write my book about the lack of
      accountability in California government institutions, the ending
      will be more positive than it seems headed now.

      --Ms. Ott
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