Monday, July 12, 2010

Randolph Ward, Broad Superintendents Academy Class of 2003

NOTE: Randolph Ward is omitted from the alumni pages of the Broad Superintendents Academy Web site.*

In 2003, Ward began his year of training with the Broad Superintendents Academy. During that time he was chosen to be the state administrator of the Oakland Unified School District, where he worked for three years. This was arranged by Jack O'Connell, the State Superintendent, and Jerry Brown, who was Oakland's mayor at the time.

According to an Oakland Tribune article which is posted on the Broad Foundation’s Web site, “…[The Broad] Center was called in by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell to recommend an administrator to run the Oakland schools following a state takeover. Brown and Broad are longtime allies, and O'Connell is a major recipient of Broad campaign contributions…”

Ward’s arrival was accompanied by another Broad graduate, Arnold “Woody” Carter (BSA 2002), who served as his Chief of Staff for two years. Carter was embroiled in scandal several years later when he was superintendent of the Capistrano Unified School District. In addition to Carter, a bevy of Broad Residents was provided to Ward to serve him in various important central office positions.

Randolph Ward left Oakland in the summer of 2006 and became the San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. His successor, Kimberly Statham (BSA 2003), only stayed one year. Her successor, Vincent Matthews (BSA 2006), left OUSD in 2010 when the district regained its local control.

The final word about all those years of Broad graduates at the helm:
The Alameda County civil grand jury, in its 2007-08 report, found that "the district was hampered by continuous staff turnover, particularly in the area of finance, numerous reorganizations and a succession of state administrators. "... After nearly five years of state management, OUSD's budget remains unbalanced and the district's future is unclear."…
The Center for Education Reform publication, National Model or Temporary Opportunity? The Oakland Education Reform Story” (written by none other than Joe Williams, now of DFER) describes how this all came down.

OAKLAND -- School chief Randolph Ward's plan to close several campuses in neighborhoods with declining enrollment met heavy resistance from hundreds of parents, teachers and students Thursday.

Protesters crowded a public hearing at the school district's 2nd Avenue headquarters, blasting the plan and asking Ward to spare their campuses.

It was the most large-scale public opposition Ward has faced since he was appointed to run the Oakland schools seven months ago, when the state took over the district for massive financial failures.

Ward also heard criticism from members of the school board and the Oakland City Council.

Parents and teachers at schools up for closure said their campuses are integral parts of the community -- not just buildings on a corner -- and argued closing schools would be a harsh disruption for students…

School board member Dan Siegel said the district should take students from crowded schools such as Cox Elementary, and transfer them to under-enrolled schools such as Burbank Elementary. Ward said that plan would not work, because parents would not want to send their kids to school in another neighborhood… [although he did feel that an expansion of charter schools to which they would have to travel would be perfectly okay]

One girl attending Golden Gate Elementary told Ward "I will not let this school go out of my heart or my friends' hearts, because it is a lovely school."

At Santa Fe Elementary, teachers pointed out they have high scores on standardized tests, and have worked hard to create important programs and build a baseball field.

Oakland police barred dozens of other people from the building, including at least one journalist and a woman who asked to be let in to find her young daughter.

The crowd chanted, banged on windows and rang fire alarms, which could be heard from inside the meeting room. About 18 police officers and a few school security guards were stationed in the entryway of the building...

...Although financial problems triggered the Oakland school district's takeover, the state administration appeared to be more focused on redesigning schools and overhauling central office services than on stabilizing the district's finances.

None of the three state-appointed administrators [all Broad Superintendents Academy graduates: Randolph Ward (Class of 2003), Kimberly Statham (Class of 2003), and Vincent Mathews (Class of 2006)] had strong financial backgrounds, and the district has had three chief financial officers since 2007.

For years, auditors with the state controller's office have issued "inconclusive" findings on the state of the school district's finances. The auditors reported last summer that the agency's bottom line was unclear because key records dating to the time of the takeover were missing or inconsistent.

It wasn't until 2008 that the district hired a private auditing firm to address the problem and "disentangle" the old financial records. The firm had grim news this spring: They had $5.6 million less than previously thought. Auditors found other problems, totaling $9 million, bringing the size of the shortfall to nearly $15 million.

The Alameda County civil grand jury, in its 2007-08 report, found that "the district was hampered by continuous staff turnover, particularly in the area of finance, numerous reorganizations and a succession of state administrators. "... After nearly five years of state management, OUSD's budget remains unbalanced and the district's future is unclear."…

WARD MAY BE MAKING AN EXIT, June 28, 2006, Oakland Tribune
…“Some of his projects have been poorly received by certain local school observers and the powerful Oakland teachers union. Further straining his relationship with Oakland teachers, Ward and the union engaged in a two-year contract fight that ended in April on the brink of a strike. 

At a teacher picnic to celebrate the tentative contract agreement, a small group of teachers mobbed Ward, and one spit on the ground as he walked away. 

Due to safety concerns, a bodyguard from the California Highway Patrol shadows the state administrator at all times.”


BSA Class of 2010

BSA Class of 2010


  • Blaine, Jennifer
  • Byrne, Sean
  • Clark, Ann Blakeney
  • Contreras, Sharon
  • Gilbert, Silvanus Taco
  • Hahn, Daniel
  • Hammond, James Quezon
  • Heiligenstein, Anne
  • Kopplin, Andy
  • Rounds, Michael
  • Scott, Irvin
  • Shazor, Marilyn
  • Wardynski, Casey
  • White, John

  • Byrne, Sean
  • Hahn, Daniel
  • Kopplin, Andy

  • Hammond, James Quezon
  • Rounds, Michael
  • Scott, Irvin
  • Wardynski, Casey

February 2010 press release

Blaine, Jennifer
Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Spring Branch Independent School District, Houston
Byrne, Sean
Commanding General of the Army Human Resources Command, Alexandria, Va.
Clark, Ann Blakeney
Chief Academic Officer, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, N.C.
Contreras, Sharon
Chief Academic Officer, Providence Public Schools, R.I.
Gilbert, Silvanus Taco
Corporate Director of Strategic Planning, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Reno, Nev.; Brigadier General (Ret.)
Hahn, Daniel
Former Chief of Operations, NATO Afghan Operations; Major General (Ret.)
Hammond, James Quezon
Superintendent, Davis Joint Unified School District, Calif.
Heiligenstein, Anne
Commissioner, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Austin, Texas
Kopplin, Andy
Senior Advisor to the Founder and CEO, Teach For America, La.
Rounds, Michael
Director, Human Performance Resource Center, United States Army; Brigadier General (Ret.)
Scott, Irvin
High School Academic Superintendent, Boston Public Schools, Mass.
Shazor, Marilyn
Chief Executive Officer, Metro Transit System, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Ohio
Wardynski, Casey
Director, Office of Economic & Manpower Analysis, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.; Colonel
White, John
Deputy Chancellor for Strategy and Innovation, New York City Department of Education, N.Y.

Deborah Sims, Broad Superintendents Academy Class of 2005

NOTE: No mention is made of Deborah Sims on the current alumni pages of the Broad Superintendents Academy Web site.*

Deborah Sims completed her training at the Broad Superintendents Academy in November 2005 and was appointed superintendent of the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) in California in August 2006. Amidst controversy, she announced her resignation in May 2009.

Before arriving in Antioch, Sims had been a deputy superintendent and chief of K-12 school operations for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD).



…Gill's [Donald, Sims’ replacement] style is in stark contrast from that of his predecessor, many in the district say. The tenure of Deborah Sims was beset by controversy. It included a vote of no confidence by district teachers in fall 2008, the district's handling of a teacher suspected of accessing child pornography at school last spring, and her sudden resignation announcement in May…

* * * * * * * *

[The previous year, the AUSD school board had started in the Reform Governance in Action program via the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS), an organization is heavily funded by the Broad Foundation. After Sims' exit, the CRSS terminated its ties with the district. In the excerpts below, the bolded emphasis is mine]


The Antioch school district's three-year affiliation with an education reform foundation aimed at improving schools through better governance has been severed.

In a letter dated June 1, the Center for Reform of School Systems, which is supported financially by the philanthropic Broad Foundation, announced that it was ending the Antioch school district's participation in its Reform Governance in Action program.

The reason given: The May resignation of Superintendent Deborah Sims, an alumnus of a Broad training program.

In the sharply worded letter that praised Sims' leadership and criticized the school board, CRSS founder Donald McAdams said the foundation was not interested in continuing the relationship in the wake of the superintendent's departure…

Antioch school board members, who along with a handful of district officials had attended three retreat-style CRSS training sessions, said they would have fulfilled their commitment to complete the training. But President Walter Ruehlig called the decision "a blessing in disguise."…

In its three years undergoing CRSS training, the school district spent $30,000 toward instruction, materials, training retreats and visits to other school districts. Ruehlig said the Broad Foundation underwrote "far more" than that figure…

That same message, and the methods used to implement it, alienated many teachers who thought personnel at the school-site level were forced to cede their professional judgment in favor of Broad-backed philosophies.

While acknowledging that there is room for improvement in the district, Deer Valley High School teacher J Myers said he thought the reform training's top-down approach of trying to fit every district and every school into one model for achievement actually hurt some Antioch schools where unique programs were getting results.

"We were doing a tear-down when we needed a remodel, which I think is what got people upset," Myers said…

[The Broad Foundation calls their efforts “transformation.”]

* * * * * * * *


Antioch schools' embattled superintendent has announced she will resign effective Aug. 31.

Deborah Sims made the announcement via e-mail to district employees on May 21, saying she wanted to give the school board adequate time to find a replacement. In the announcement, she said she is leaving to take another position but did not elaborate.

Sims declined to comment further.

On May 20, the Antioch school board had been scheduled to complete a performance review of Sims with the help of an independent facilitator, but they abandoned it when she tendered her resignation, said school board President Walter Ruehlig.

"That's how the meeting started, so there was no need to move further," Ruehlig said. "Our core business is educating kids."

Sims' current contract was set to expire in 2011, and as part of the review the board would have decided whether to extend it an additional year. The district spent $6,000 to hire the facilitator.

Ruehlig said the board agreed not to comment on Sims' resignation beyond the "talking points" of the following statement:

"The board accepts the resignation of Dr. Deborah Sims as superintendent and thanks her for her service to the Antioch Unified School District. We wish her well in her future endeavors."

The Antioch school district enrolls 19,422 students and slightly fewer than 1,000 teachers. Sims was hired as superintendent in August 2006 for a base salary of $172,500. Her current base salary is $182,712.

During Sims' tenure in Antioch, the district began a long-range reform effort to raise test scores, lower the dropout rate, and increase student engagement.

Sims oversaw the opening of two academy high schools and the development of a third, a law academy, set to open this fall at Deer Valley High School. She also led efforts to improve the district's financial standings, beefing up the rainy-day reserves and helping it obtain an AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor's.

But her tenure also had been beset by controversy.

Last fall, 86 percent of teachers cast a vote of no-confidence in her, and the district recently had been criticized for failing to promptly contact police about suspicions that an elementary school music teacher had been trying to access child pornography from a classroom computer. The district attorney's office said the delay hindered the investigation and contributed to its decision not to charge the Carmen Dragon School teacher.

Some teachers had also complained about a lack of discipline on district campuses, saying administrators were reluctant to suspend or expel disruptive students -- a charge Sims denied.

The school board will begin its search for a new superintendent in early June.

* * * * * * * *


In an unprecedented move, Antioch teachers delivered a resounding vote of no-confidence in the district's superintendent this week, arguing that she is withholding money for raises, shutting them out of decisions affecting them and violating the terms of their contract.

Gary Hack, president of the Antioch Education Association, presented the results of the symbolic gesture to the school board before a capacity crowd as two teachers raised four large plastic bags bulging with ballots cast by those critical of Deborah Sims' management style. He held up one baggie containing the votes of those who support Sims.

Of the 863 teachers who voted -- about 75 percent of those in the district -- 837 approved the resolution of no confidence.

Hundreds of chanting teachers gathered in front of district headquarters before the meeting in a noisy display of solidarity, and once the proceedings began they paraded single-file through the rear of the board room holding hand-lettered signs aloft.

"Obviously, there is a clear concern about the ability of the superintendent to lead this district," Hack said. "The teachers have never been so upset."

Sims did not respond to attempts to reach her.

The union vote is the first of its kind in the history of the district, Hack noted, adding that the Antioch Education Association also has named Sims in a charge of unfair labor practices that it has submitted to the state.

The litany of complaints outlined in the two-page resolution of no confidence center on contract negotiations and how Sims conducts business…

Teachers also are rankled by the way Sims runs the district.

"Superintendent Sims controls the whole game," Hack said before the meeting. "All administrators are dependent on direction from her office."

Unlike her predecessor who solved problems collaboratively, he said, she embraces a top-down style…

* * * * * * * *

*The cached page of Sims’ bio on the Broad Superintendents Academy Web site is here:

John Q. Porter, Broad Superintendents Academy Class of 2006

NOTE: John Q. Porter is omitted from the alumni pages of the Broad Superintendents Academy Web site.

As John Q. Porter was completing the 10-month long Broad Superintendents Academy training in November 2006, he was working as a deputy superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland (MCPS). In April 2007, he was hired to be the superintendent for Oklahoma City Public Schools. As he arrived in July to begin his work, he was quoted as saying, "You are really running a business," and "There are things that can be taken from business to run the school system."

Just seven months later, Porter was suspended amid accusations of financial mismanagement and poor job performance. He resigned from his OCPS position in March. This scandal resulted in MCPS discovering that Porter had engaged in questionable spending and financial practices (esp. conflict of interest) while he had been working there.

Porter now works for the for-profit EMO Mosaica Education, Inc., an Atlanta-based company recently described as running “…a global empire like a corporate giant from chic offices in Lenox Towers, overseeing classrooms from Atlanta to Abu Dhabi.” He is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Mosaica Turnaround Partners, “a new division that works with school districts across the country to improve underperforming schools.”


NEW CONCERN OVER EX-OFFICIAL'S SPENDING, March 11, 2008, The Washington Post

In 2006, while he was a deputy superintendent of Montgomery County schools, John Q. Porter spent $11,722 on travel, dining, gifts for co-workers and other items he submitted as business expenses, according to a review of his corporate American Express card for the calendar year.

That's almost twice as much as the $6,932 that his boss, Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, submitted in the fiscal year that ended in June…

A successful entrepreneur, Porter was hired in 2000 as chief information officer and rose to deputy superintendent. In a June 2006 interview with District Administration, a magazine for school administrators, Porter confessed a weakness for fine dining -- "I try to find the top 10 in new cities I travel to" -- and fine things: "I like expensive clothes, expensive cars. I collect pens. I collect Rolex watches."…

A review of receipts from Porter and his staff employees in Montgomery reveals some large travel and dining expenses, although few have been challenged by education leaders here.

On June 5, 2006, Porter dined with his second-in-command, Executive Director Sherwin Collette, at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Bethesda for $597.08. The receipt, filed by Collette, does not indicate how many people were at the table or what was served. On May 8, the two men dined at Le Boeuf Angus, a steakhouse in Montreal. The tab: $300.99. Both were listed as business meals…

School system leaders maintain that Porter's service was unblemished when he left Maryland last year as a newly minted superintendent. Some of his activities have now come into question, however, by some school board members and community activists.

Most notable is Porter's involvement in Spectrum International, the document management company he founded in 1993. Porter remained owner of Spectrum after coming to work for Montgomery schools. He is still listed as its sole agent in state corporate records. Lately, community activists, parents and a weekly newspaper columnist have pressed for an investigation of Spectrum.

School system leaders say Porter assured them that he properly divested from active duty in the company, whose customers included school systems, when he went to work for Montgomery. But Porter was listed as the contact for the company as late as 2004 in a directory of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. Porter said yesterday that his name remained in some directories long after he gave up an active role in the company.

"That was completely inappropriate," Edwards said when asked about the listing. "Had we known about that, we would have taken appropriate action."

* * * * * *


OKLAHOMA CITY -- An investigation into former Oklahoma City Superintendent John Q. Porter is not over, authorities confirmed.

The Oklahoma County District Attorney and police are looking into the 21 allegations against Porter. School board members called a special meeting on Wednesday and voted 6-1 to accept Porter's resignation.

The criminal investigation centers on allegations that Porter misused school district funds.

The board agreed to pay Porter more than $325,000. Officials said Porter will be paid more than $71,000 for his time through June 2008 as well as more than $255,000 from an Oklahoma City Public Schools foundation account…

* * * * * *


After just seven months under a new superintendent, the Oklahoma City schools have been tossed into turmoil as school board members weigh whether to fire John Q. Porter, whom they hired unanimously for the post last spring.

Mr. Porter, a former deputy superintendent in charge of technology for the Montgomery County, Md., schools, is facing allegations that include improper billing of the Oklahoma district for some expenses, as well as complaints that he treated some district employees brusquely…

But within the first month of his arrival, three high-level administrators who had come from Memphis, Tenn., to work with Mr. Porter had resigned, signaling to some people that trouble was already brewing…

One of the complaints, listed as the first allegation in Mr. McCampbell’s report, is that Mr. Porter failed to use an open-bidding process before recommending that the school board approve a $365,000 contract with Wireless Generation to provide electronic reading assessments across the district. The devices were already in use in 11 Oklahoma City schools that are part of the federal Reading First program. The board approved the contract Sept. 4…

* * * * * *


Montgomery County school officials, school board members and parent activists have been asking questions about John Q. Porter, a former deputy superintendent in Montgomery who is fighting for his job as superintendent in Oklahoma City.

Porter, 56, was suspended last week by the Oklahoma City school board. Board members there alleged a number of improprieties: that Porter arranged a $365,594 contract with a technology company without the customary competitive bid; that he had improperly sought reimbursement from the school system for personal, first-class airplane tickets to Washington; that he had been reimbursed for apparent alcohol purchases at pricey restaurants; and that he had asked employees to perform personal tasks at his home…

The questions begin with the company Porter came from when he joined the Montgomery school system as chief information officer in summer 2000.

Porter started a document management company, Spectrum International, in the county in 1993, according to state corporate records. Spectrum did work with several school systems, including Montgomery, in the 1990s, Porter said in a 2002 interview with The Gazette, a community newspaper.

It was through that relationship that Porter came to the county school system, Porter said, first as a consultant, then as chief information officer and, later, deputy superintendent.

The question now, with Porter under scrutiny, was whether he adequately divested himself from that company when he started his school system job…

Two other aspects of Porter's work in Montgomery also are being questioned as a result of the Oklahoma City investigation.

One is his relationship with a New York high-tech firm. Oklahoma City school board members alleged Porter last year arranged a contract with Wireless Generation that "was not, but should have been, open to competitive bidding." The contract provided diagnostic reading software to Oklahoma City schools.

Porter told the Oklahoman newspaper last week that the program was in the school system before he arrived. He and his attorney did not respond to interview requests from The Washington Post.

Porter had a relationship with Wireless Generation in Montgomery, where, in 2005, the school system and the company announced a partnership to develop software that allowed teachers to assess the reading skills of primary-grade students on hand-held computers. Montgomery schools paid some of the costs to develop the software and collected royalties when the product was sold elsewhere.

County Council member Marilyn Praisner (D-Eastern County), a former school board member, wrote two memos critical of the deal in 2005, focusing on the school system's failure to use a competitive bid…

* * * * * *


Becoming an educator was not among John Q. Porter's goals after graduating from Catholic University of America in 1973 and receiving a law degree from Ohio State University.

"My goal out of law school was to go into business," said Porter.

He joined a Washington, D.C., law firm and took a job with Control Data in Minneapolis.

Porter later founded and was president and CEO of Spectrum International, an information services provider based in Maryland.

While serving as chairman of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce in Maryland, Porter became acquainted with the local school system superintendent. Through that relationship, Porter's company was offered a contract to help the district develop a strategic plan and Porter became chief information officer for Montgomery County Public Schools, a district in Rockville, Md…

Porter plans to use his business experience to operate the school system.

"You are really running a business," he said. "There are things that can be taken from business to run the school system."

* * * * * *

As is the modus operandi of the “Broad Effect” (see description in left-hand bar), another Broad-trained leader was installed in the Oklahoma City public school district with John Q. Porter. This was John Scanlan (Class of 2007) who only stayed in OCPS for that one year, then headed north to join Jean-Claude Brizard in Rochester.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arnold “Woody” Carter, Broad Superintendents Academy Class of 2002

NOTE: Arnold "Woody" Carter is not included on the alumni pages of the Broad Superintendents Academy Web site.


JUDGE DISMISSES EX-CAPO CHIEF'S $5.5 MILLION LAWSUIT, January 26, 2010, The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA – An Orange County judge has dismissed a $5.5 million breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by fired schools chief A. Woodrow Carter against the Capistrano Unified School District, his second such ruling since Carter's termination more than a year ago.

Superior Court Judge Steven Perk in Santa Ana said Friday that Carter had "no facts" to support the argument that he was wrongfully terminated under state labor laws, and no right to have been notified of performance-related issues before he was fired…

Carter, a retired Army colonel, was fired March 9, 2009, after a tumultuous, 18-month tenure at the helm of Orange County's second-largest school district.

Capistrano's school board released a scathing, 54-page termination report that painted Carter as an insubordinate, scheming administrator who tried to sway school board elections and double bill the district for travel expenses.

In the termination report, Carter also was accused of showing "disturbing disregard" for student confidentiality matters, violating school board policies and state laws, and deliberately working to undermine and embarrass the school board…

Carter sued the school district in May 2009, asking for 18 months' severance pay that he said he was legally entitled to receive under the terms of his contract.

After the judge tossed out the lawsuit in December, Carter re-filed his lawsuit, this time seeking $5.5 million for future lost pay and benefits, including vacation pay, sick leave, health insurance and retirement pay…

Most of the damages Carter was seeking in his wrongful-termination lawsuit stemmed from the future earnings he purports to have lost, although he also demanded to be compensated for lost pay and benefits under his contract.

-$4 million in future lost salary, fringe benefits and annuity payments
-$887,250 in lost salary under his contract, which was terminated prematurely
-$250,000 in lost fringe benefits
-$125,000 in annuity payments
-$107,000 in lost vacation and sick leave
-$4,700 in moving costs to relocate to Orange County
-$1,400 to seek comparable employment elsewhere

Carter also was seeking 10 percent interest on the $5.5 million, plus attorney fees.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

FIRED SCHOOLS CHIEF SUES CAPISTRANO UNIFIED FOR $5.5 MILLION, January 26, 2010, The Orange County Register
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Fired Capistrano Unified schools chief A. Woodrow Carter has filed a $5.5 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against the school district alleging his termination has resulted in "future lost salary" and benefits, his second such attempt to be compensated since he was let go nearly a year ago.

Carter says Capistrano's school board violated the terms of his employment contract when he was fired in March 2009, according to a filing last week in Orange County Superior Court…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
JUDGE DISMISSES EX-CAPO DISTRICT CHIEF'S $487,425 LAWSUIT, December 18, 2009, The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA – An Orange County judge today tossed out a $487,425 breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by fired Capistrano Unified Superintendent A. Woodrow Carter asking to be paid for 18 months remaining on his three-year employment contract.

Superior Court Judge Steven Perk in Santa Ana said the former school district chief was not entitled to money under the terms of his contract. Carter was terminated in March in a unanimous school board vote…

In spring 2008, shortly after the school board approved a permanent contract for him, Carter was accused of attempting to alter the contract by inserting a lucrative termination clause guaranteeing him 18 months' severance if fired.

The school board was forced to rescind the contract and approve a new one – without the clause. (Even so, Carter went on to claim in his lawsuit he was owed this 18 months of compensation.)

Later, after he was fired, the school district released a memo from Carter explaining how the contract was altered…

Carter, a retired Army colonel, was fired March 9 after a tumultuous, 18-month tenure at the helm of Orange County's second-largest school district.

Capistrano's school board released a scathing 54-page termination report that painted Carter as an insubordinate, scheming administrator who tried to sway school board elections and double-bill the district for travel expenses.

Carter also was accused of showing "disturbing disregard" for student confidentiality matters, violating school board policies and state laws and deliberately working to undermine and embarrass the school board.

Carter denied the allegations in a 23-page rebuttal.

The district, meanwhile, spent $66,758 in legal fees from December 2008 to February 2009 to fire Carter on March 9, according to invoices from the school board's law firm.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Three and a half months after the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District [FSUSD] board appointed Arnold Woodrow Carter as superintendent, the administrator and retired Army colonel arrived Monday, eager to get started…

Carter, 56, has served as deputy superintendent for the Oakland Unified School District for the past two years.

The Floyd County, Kentucky, native, who goes by A. Woodrow Carter, spent 27 years in the Army, serving as a battalion commander with the 101st Airborne Division during the 1991 Gulf War. Carter retired from the military in 1998 to become the state administrator of the Floyd County school district and returned to school to study education and public administration.

From July 2001 to December 2002 Carter served as superintendent of Bourbon County school district, and was nominated to attend the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems…

Carter said his interest in education began when he served as a school board member in Killeen, Texas, while still in the Army…

[In August 2007, Carter left Carter left FSUSD for the position with the Capistrano Unified School District]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
OAKLAND -- The school district's new chief of staff is among a crop of administrators produced by an increasingly influential education nonprofit that trains executives to turn around urban school systems.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Arnold "Woody" Carter graduated last year from an academy created by the politically-connected Broad Foundation to train urban superintendents. Oakland schools chief Randolph Ward also is participating in the foundation's training program, called the Broad Center for Superintendents…

[The Broad] Center was called in by Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell to recommend an administrator to run the Oakland schools following a state takeover.

Brown and Broad are longtime allies, and O'Connell is a major recipient of Broad campaign contributions.

"When we learned about the problems in Oakland, we wanted to be helpful," Broad said…

According to Broad, Chaconas' admitted lack of financial expertise was partly to blame for Oakland's fiscal crisis.

"The problem that Dennis (Chaconas) and others like him have is they start as teachers, and then 30 years later they become superintendents with no training in finance, labor relations, etc., and they surround themselves with people like them," Broad said. "I think people need the kind of training we give them. There's no other place I know of where they can get it."

The Broad Center for Superintendents accepts only about 1 in 10 applicants, all top executives in business, the military, nonprofits, government or education.

"I think we're going to see more and more of what we call non- traditional superintendents," Broad said, citing New York City and Chicago as examples of major cities where non-educators were put in charge of schools.

Whether that trend will prove successful in such cities as New York and Los Angeles remains to be seen.

Broad played a key role in former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein's appointment as New York schools chancellor…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Arnold W. Carter is listed as a graduate of the inaugural class of the Broad Superintendents Academy in the Broad Foundation’s November 2002 news release.

More about the Capistrano Unified situation here @

Friday, July 9, 2010

Robert Bobb, Broad Superintendents Academy Class of 2005

Wayne Circuit Court Judge Susan Borman indicated today Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb is entitled to receive part of his pay from private foundations.

The issue -- challenged by the district's school board, a civil rights group and a coalition of teachers who oppose charter schools -- was whether Bobb was in conflict of interest for accepting $89,000 of his salary from a foundation that supports private and charter schools. Bobb receives $280,000 in salary and $145,000 in supplemental income from foundations for fixing the school district's finances

Arguing on behalf of the Board of Education was attorney George Washington, who said the constitution trumps the statute allowing Bobb to collect pay from foundations.

"The precedent would be the same as if you had the British Petroleum Foundation paying one-third the salary of oil inspectors," Washington said. "One-third of that salary is being paid by people who want to deconstruct the schools. They believe charter schools and private schools can do better. It's OK to believe that, but it's not OK to pay Bobb's salary…

Under his one-year contract extension approved in March by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Bobb receives $56,000 from the Los Angeles-based Broad Foundation. The Broad Foundation paid Bobb $28,000 last year. The sources of the remaining $89,000 in this year's contract were not identified. But the W.K. Kellogg Foundation said this week it's chipping in $39,000 to retain Bobb in Detroit, compared to $56,000 it gave him last year. It is unclear who else is paying the remaining $50,000. The governor's office has yet to release the names of the other donors…

Wherever big privatization moves are happening in America's urban schools, you will find the hand, or the underhand, of the BBC (Billionaire Boys' Club). Case in point, Detroit, and the Broad Foundation, which runs its own superintendents' indoctrination academy that teaches the corporate junk yard dog style of ed leadership.

In Detroit, the puppet in charge is Robert Bobb (Broad Class of '09), who continues defending his case in court to hold on to the $145,000 in sweetener that he collects from Broad and the infamous Kellogg Foundation, whose eugenicist namesake, John Harvey Kellogg, was co-founder of the Race Betterment Foundation and an early proponent of clitoral mutilation using carbolic acid. One other oligarch providing Bobb's bag bonus money remains unnamed.

Surely Bobb was not to be influenced to follow the wishes of his patrons when he came up with Detroit's segregation/containment/cognitive sterilization school plan to increase class sizes in Detroit by shutting down 55 schools and to shoving out all the experienced teachers and cutting the pay and benefits of those remaining. Nah, no judge would make that connection…

Each passing day brings emergency financial manager Robert Bobb closer to the end of his contract leading Detroit's public schools from near-financial collapse toward fiscal responsibility and respectability.

Given the urgency of the job, spending Friday afternoons in a cramped Detroit courtroom is the last thing he expected or wants.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Wendy Baxter has ordered Bobb and members of the Detroit Board of Education to attend hearings in a civil suit filed against him by the school board.

Backed by Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and attorney general and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mike Cox, Bobb is defending himself in the legal battle to determine academic control in the troubled district…

The state Appeals Court last month tossed out Baxter's order stopping Bobb from proceeding with the academic restructuring plan and closing school buildings.

Bobb has testified that his academic changes all are part of his plan to wipe out a deficit of more than $300 million.

Granholm agreed, saying finances touch all aspect of the district.

But that's more than what Bobb was hired to do, school board member Tyrone Winfrey said.

"The financial manager was put here by the governor to handle the finances, to make sure the district is solvent and the budget is balanced," Winfrey said. "The board still has a role — it was elected by the people. We should be able to have our marbles. We should be able to play together. I hate to see that we're in court, that we have this discord."…

Bobb has sharply decreased administration staff and the ranks of school principals, sent layoff notices to 2,000 teachers, and worked to renegotiate vendor contracts in his quest to reduce the budget deficit. And 30 schools in Detroit are closing their doors for good as part of Bobb's plan…

Fireworks surrounded Detroit Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb as he presented his budget for the 2011 school year Wednesday night.

Parents angry with Bobb for the way he is handling the situation lashed out, with some saying the best thing he could do for the children is to leave.

The comments were in reaction to Bobb's budget, which calls for drastic cuts next school year. Detroit Schools are facing a $363 million dollar deficit. In order to deal with that, Bobb's budget calls for a 25% across the board cut to spending, increased class sizes and cuts to some special education programs…

Detroit Public Schools would close nearly half of its schools in the next two years, and increase high school class sizes to 62 by the following year, under a deficit-reduction plan filed with the state.

The plan, part of a monthly update Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb gives the Department of Education, was filed late Monday to provide insight into Bobb's progress in his attempt to slash a $327 million deficit in the district to zero over the next several years. Under it, the district would slim down from 142 schools now to 72 during 2012-13…

DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said the district has laid out the path it must take to eliminate the deficit, and Bobb remains focused on working with lawmakers to pass one of three plans to restructure DPS' finances.

…A third plan would look at new systems and agencies used in New Orleans, which has converted more than half of its public schools into charter schools in the past several years…

Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Robert Bobb announced a radical restructuring plan for the struggling school system Saturday that he says would save the district millions of dollars by converting 41 poorly performing schools into DPS-authorized charter schools.

Based on a similar plan in post-Katrina New Orleans, the Renaissance Plan 2012 would lease the buildings and equipment to charter operators, who would run the buildings as public school academies in the fall…

In 2009, Detroit public schools had the lowest scores ever recorded in the 21-year history of the national math proficiency test.

The district had a budget deficit of $200 million.

About 8,000 students were leaving Detroit schools each year.

Political leaders had to do something, so they rounded up the usual whipping boys:

Wasteful bureaucrats. In 2009, the governor appointed an emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, a former president of the Washington school board, to run the Detroit district. Mr. Bobb is known nationally for his work in school finance, and recruiting him took a big salary, $425,000 a year. He has spent millions more on financial consultants to clean up the fiscal mess left by previous superintendents.

Greedy unions. Though Detroit teachers make considerably less than nearby suburban teachers (a $73,700 maximum versus $97,700 in Troy), Mr. Bobb pressed for concessions. He got teachers to defer $5,000 a year in pay and contribute more for their health insurance. Last week, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a bill to give emergency managers power to void public workers’ contracts. If signed by the governor, Mr. Bobb could terminate the Detroit teachers’ union contract.

Traditional public schools full of incompetent veteran teachers. Michigan was one of the first states to embrace charter schools, 15 years ago. Currently there are as many Detroit children in charters — 71,000 — as in district schools. Now there is talk of converting the entire Detroit district (which is 95 percent African-American) to charters. Supporters say this could generate significant savings, since charters are typically nonunion and can hire young teachers, pay them less and give them no pensions.

Since Mr. Bobb arrived, the $200 million deficit has risen to $327 million…

Nor have charters been the answer. Charter school students score about the same on state tests as Detroit district students, even though charters have fewer special education students (8 percent versus 17 percent in the district) and fewer poor children (65 percent get subsidized lunches versus 82 percent at district schools)…

Last spring, Mr. Bobb had planned to close 50 schools with dwindling enrollment. But his list was reduced to 30 after several public meetings at which parents and staff members pleaded their school’s case before the all-powerful Mr. Bobb…