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OneManginiWay
Burlingame
The Spirit of Burlingame High School
Interests: The History of BHS
Recent Activity
Two superintendents, two principals and one teacher of the SMUHSD will have made eight (8) appearances before the Formal Review Process of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Education Misconduct in just over six months. Most district will NEVER see an administrator go before this body, much less two principals and two superintendents. The deposition of the Formal Review of the remaining teacher comes on December 17, 2021. Lie to the committee- lose your credential. The CTC Education Misconduct Commission fully investigates complaints and cross-checks the evidence before charging the individual. The SMUHSD is angry because the investigator is fully independent from the district and therefore the evidence cannot be controlled or manipulated. When the CTC chooses to not suspend or revoke a. credential, it does not mean that the person is innocent, but that a serious issue took place, and the local district SHOULD look deeper into the actions. (although, it normally is not two superintendents and two principals that are in trouble) At this point in time, there are those who know what took place and there are those who are fearful of what is about to take place as the truth and evidence (un-manipulated) is coming forth. The third group are the teachers who participated, but have not been charged, yet.
Mom, the SMUHSD cannot get away with their failure to disclose. They are being allowed to get away with it. Gov't Code § 6255(a). is known as the "Catch All Exemption" and it is standard BS. The PRA requests should not even be handled by members of the administration as its conflict of interest and desire to cover up negligence outweighs its obligation to inform the public. The folks at the district see their jobs a part of a “Club” rather than serving the public. The legal expenses surround PRA’s and other matters are exorbitant, but the money (taxpayers) is spent to defend the honor of the members of “The Club.” The Lozano Smith Law Firm represents the administration and not the SMUHSD Board. The administration are the employees of the Board. This means that while the Board pays the legal bills, the Board does not get information or updates from the law firm. Lozano makes sure that the negligence of the district gets buried According to a Public Legal Expert, the following is required of the public agency to reject a PRA. Gov't Code § 6255(a). "The use of the "catch all" exemption DOES NOT justify non-disclosure, as the district MUST set forth FACTS showing that the public interest in not releasing the documents "CLEARLY OUTWEIGHS" the interest in disclosure." These requests were individually rejected by Dr. Black himself (even though the requests included information on Black- Conflict of Interest and Ethics violation). The requested information would be exceptionally damaging to Black and specific BHS teachers. Prior PRA’s that were process were exceptionally fruitful in the production of evidence of negligence and incompetence as well as disclosing evidence in stark contrast to statements given during investigations. There is significant information that the members of the club to not want out in the public. In 2015, two BHS teachers went to court to block the disclosure of employment disciplinary files from disclosure in a public record act request. They stated that the disclosure of the information would cause “humiliation and embarrassment.” Well, if you did something on the job that created an employment action against you and its disclosure would cause “humiliation and embarrassment,” then you most likely should not be working in schools with children. The PRA’s were already “narrowed.” Lozano Smith's Lou Lozano (Lou to the boys downtown) requested that the PRA be narrowed in scope. Lozano's request was approved by the parent/employee so that the document production would begin (Nov 2016). In February 2017, Deputy Superintendent Black cancelled the PRA request as stated below when he was forced to “unmask” his own identity in a related PRA (the SMUHSD refused to un-masking his name for a period of months. The unmasking of Dr. Black’s name and title unveiled another extreme conflict of interest and yet another ethics challenge. Dear Kevin, I am the administrator referenced on page 12, line 14 of the Robert Happ interview. As you are aware, the District has already responded to your February 2016, March 2016, and April 2016 CPRA requests. In terms of your subsequent CPRA requests, those requests are unduly burdensome as they are overly broad, unfocused, duplicative, and the information sought has no reasonable value. Per Government Code section 6255, the public interest served by not disclosing the records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Accordingly, the District does not intend to respond to those requests. Thank you, Kirk (Notice that there was no factual explanation WHY the items could not be disclosed, but the standard, We Don’t Want To Disclose!) The PRA’s ( rejected in the item above) included information requests regarding Deputy Superintendent Black himself, yet HE is the one rejecting the PRA... AFTER it was already APPROVED by the SMUHSD's legal counsel Lou Lozano! It is becoming apparent that the SMUHSD Board has been kept ignorant of important information regarding the district and what transpired at BHS. The district administration deceives and misleads the Board by stating “how many” pages of documents have been produced, or “how much money” they have spent on the work-flow. “We hired additional staff to process these requests” The ONLY way to force the SMUHSD to produce public record requests is for the Board to mandate the administration to follow the law or hire a lawyer to sue them. The Board is allowing the district to bury the information. The administration also like to blame the PRA requestors as “villains” who are only filing requests to drain the district of public funds. The Palo Alto School District has a portal set up for the public to view its PRA disclosures- https://www.pausd.org/about-us/policies-procedures/public-records-act-requests The SMUHSD Board needs to do its job. A mistake usually happens only once. It’s called negligence when it is ongoing.
The SMUHSD is "upset" that information that is important to the public, keeps showing up in a public space- New Job Posting on EdJoin- English Teacher (1.0 FTE Burlingame High School) Certificated Staff. 11/8/2021 Until Filled San Mateo Union High School District Are they planning ahead for the after the next CTC Educator Misconduct Committee Hearing? No credential = No Teaching Wait, that would be math. Like adding up the evidence, 1+1=2. It's that simple.
This is not a defense of TPUSA. TPUSA came looking for these kids (and others as well) as they are known as a marginalized group in the area. The question is, why are these students values being mocked by the adults? The SMUHSD an ADL alumni and speaker and then REJECTED the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program (which was specifically mentioned in the SM Grand Jury Report). The district believed it could do a better job on its own. The ADL presenter was an BHS alumni and would have most likely been able to engage the student population more effectively than anyone else! FOX’s “The Hannity Show” is keeping a close eye on the SMUHSD as it is informed of what is going here on at the local level. Greg Gutfeld of “The Greg Gutfeld Show” is a Serra grade and from San Mateo. The tone of the BHS campus is not inclusive of conservative or right of center political beliefs, forcing students to seek inclusion in outside groups. The article clearly indicates that the student population is not only mocking the group, but so are the adults. The SMUHSD is in receipt of reports of threats made by faculty to conservative students who voiced legitimate academic based opinions in class or on campus.
The article is a “hit piece” to shame the conservative kids. The kids are not in charge, the adults are supposed to be. Like every other student on the campus, these kids are looking to identify with a competent adult to engage and validate their conservative views yet all they get is mocked. The advisor, who had been with group for two months since August, NOW claims he did not know about Turning Point USA? The Lefties on campus know Turning Point USA. If the faculty were "concerned" about TPUSA, then some counseling with the students to align with the local Republican Party would have been in order. The article claims the club was suspended BECUASE the advisor quit, but then goes on to blame the students for their literature and a sticker with an image of a gun. Isn’t the advisor in charge of approving all materials for distributed by the students? “Students swarmed the table to get a look at the merchandise from the organization, and many took them as souvenirs to show they had gone to the TPUSA’s table.” “Despite the large number of students who visited the club’s table, many disliked the sentiments. Some students altered the messaging with a Sharpie to contradict the original wording or threw the posters in the trash” The article is a mockery of what is a minority opinion on the Burlingame High School campus, an opinion not supported or promoted by the faculty or in the classroom. Why did the students engage with TPUSA? Because the organization targets areas where right leaning students and opinion are marginalized or suppressed and then TPUSA offer support and gains membership. A recent concern was issued nationally groups like TPUSA harvest their members in areas that press a “Woke Message.” Instead of nurturing these student’s academic interest and political ideology, these adults have thrust them into the fire and called them out for being in the minority. There is no logical reason to publish this article except to blame a group of kids in the political minority for the failure of the adults charged with protecting them. Conservative thought is not a crime, unless you are sitting in the classroom of an adult who feels intellectually threatened by a 17 year old and feels the need to suppress or discipline them.
BHS Conservative Students- Kicked to the Curb- again. When the adults have lost control- Adults need to engage and protect students, not punish them for their differences. Students need the comfort to explore not only politics and economics, but the world in a safe environment. Burlingame’s chapter of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative activist group that brings right-wing politics to high school and college campuses, has been suspended. Following “confusion” amongst members and its advisor regarding the club’s purpose, the advisor quit his role in the chapter. The club was then suspended by leadership for incompliance with club regulations, according to assistant principal Joshua Knudson. No Shirt- No Shoes- No Advisor- No Service BHS Suspends Conservative Political Club- Turning Point USA- This was NOT about a sticker- https://theburlingameb.org/4294/news/administration-suspends-conservative-activist-club-turning-point-usa/ Kiss Me I’m a Capitalist https://www.shoptpusa.com/products/kiss-me-im-a-capitalist-sticker I’m a Conserve-ative https://www.shoptpusa.com/products/im-a-conservative-sticker
Mom's comment is why these guys are getting their teaching credential's removed. Don't forget that Mr. Nelson has been issued multiple "retaliatory employment directives and reprimands" with threats of termination for "daring" to continue to request the production of facts.... The SMUHSD will not do anything to identify or correct its negligence unless there is a lawsuit to force it to perform. The SMUHSD Administration has the power, authority, and the (your) money to do as it pleases. It also pays a law firm to bully students, parents, and community members as needed. On the other hand, Parents and employees are at the mercy of their own finances to battle the deep pockets and lawyers of the district. The Board does not listen to anyone or anything except what it is fed by the administration. The Board has been lied to, misled, and had strategic information withheld from it by the administration. After Yim-Gate, a series of public record requests for documents and emails was filed by a parent/employee. The specific requests were exceptionally damning as Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black’s emails were at the heart of the request along with a series of BHS teachers who had been engaged in extreme negligence. The parent/employee was requested to attend a “meeting” with Superintendent Kevin Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black, and the head of the Lozano Smith Law Firm, Lou Lozano himself. (Skelly and Black just refer to him as our friend “Lou.”). The parent/employee was advised to “bring representation” to the meeting… to discuss the reduction of the public recorded act (PRA) request. The objective of a meeting with two superintendents and the head of a law firm was NOT to discuss a public records request. The meeting was clearly intended to send a chilling effect to BACK OFF and get the PRA request dropped. The parent/employee did not attend the meeting and conceded to the reduction in scope of the PRA. Ironically, Deputy Superintendent Black personally cancelled the PRA’s a few months later when HE was personally implicated in tampering with an investigation. The following PRA was sent to the SMUHSD “I am requesting the name of the SMUHSD Administrator listed on line 14 of page 12 of the Robert Happ to Chris Reynolds. Chris Reynolds was the Special Investigator hired by the SMUHSD to investigate the complaint by Kevin Nelson. The name of the administrator should not have been redacted as they were performing their job in this interview." "I am seeking the name of the SMUHSD Administrator because of the vast and distinct differences in the statements of Melissa Murphy to the SMUHSD on April 11, 2013 and on August 28, 2013. There is no logical reason for the inconsistencies in her testimony except that she gave completely different statements.” Once Deputy Superintendent Black was caught, he was required to “unmask HIS name” and then he personally cancelled ALL PRA’s which had been approved and not a single Board member did anything about it! Dear Kevin, I am the administrator referenced on page 12, line 14 of the Robert Happ interview. As you are aware, the District has already responded to your February 2016, March 2016, and April 2016 CPRA requests. In terms of your subsequent CPRA requests, those requests are unduly burdensome as they are overly broad, unfocused, duplicative, and the information sought has no reasonable value. Per Government Code section 6255, the public interest served by not disclosing the records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Accordingly, the District does not intend to respond to those requests. Thank you, Kirk First Amendment Lawyers reviewed this response and many other PRA rejections by the SMUHSD using the “catch all” exclusion. The action by the SMUHSD is illegal, they are just blocking the facts from reaching the public. The original documents listed above can be found athttps://www.facebook.com/CitizensforMr.NelsonandtheTRUTHatBHS
Local law enforcement has reviewed the evidence and wanted to investigate but the statute of limitations has passed. The Board allowed the administration to bury the facts for a period of time. It’s like a bad doctor or lawyer, the locals cover up and deflect the negligence until the state licensing agency steps in to clean house BECAUSE the locals governing boards refused to take proper ethical action. Trustee Friedman said it best in 2016, “If we are ever investigated by the Grand Jury for these incitements, it’s going to be a real embarrassment.” Well… here we are- embarrassment is coming and there is plenty to go around. The Board is the agency that should investigate and fire these individuals. The Board was intentionally lied to, misled, and had information withheld from them so that these individuals would not be discovered. Skelly’s base salary is now $330k. Deputy Superintendent Black’s is around $300k. Given age and years worked, they could each are an additional $250K+ per year in retirement payouts- Do you see the incentives to lie to the Board? As a Deputy Superintendent, Black is paid more than most Superintendents in other districts. He has no incentive to move as he has no chance of employment in another district. Skelly was lucky to land in the SMUHSD after the debacle in Palo Alto and through experience, knows that he only needs to keep the Board members happy to stay employed. This is also about power. Management does not want to take the fall for a bad hire. (Yim) Skelly has stated multiple times that “people won’t want to work for us” if we don’t protect our own. Now they don’t want to work in the SMUHSD as we are known for our anti-sematic, racist, and criminal leaders if the past few years mean anything. The actions under review are pure negligence and retaliation. The Board’s statements to the media: “They are good people” “They did not do anything wrong” “The CTC Investigation was bad” The Board has been deceived and now they too will be publicly embarrassed. The Board is spending a large amount of our public-school tax dollars defending the administrators Skelly and Black (not the principals) with a big-time law partner from Lozano Smith. The Board is footing the bill to appeal this to the CA Attorney General’s Office will expand the investigation exposing even more embarrassment. This is a conflict of interest as the Board should be investigating Skelly and Black. The Board is represented by SM County Counsel who should be defending the public and its tax dollars. This item should be on a public agenda so that the people can have transparency regarding the leadership of their schools. Trustees Land and Lees Dwyer stated that they did not even take the investigations into consideration when granting Skelly a new contract. That statement alone is abdication of duty. As the public school principal (Land) and lawyer (Lees Dwyer) on the Board, these two should be the FIRST board members to call for an investigation to ensure ethics, transparency, and a positive model for the students. The legal fees paid out by the district as well as settlements are expanding, yet secret. The district refuses to publish public record requests for its actions as it knows that it will be heavily scrutinized in the public. The legal expenses for Skelly and Black should be itemized and disclosed. According to the public agendas of the SMUHSD, on only two listed settlements, the SMUHSD paid out settlements of $448,000 and another of $340,000. These are just two of many settlements that do not end up in the “regular” court system. Principal Yim was a train wreck from the start. The BHS Parents Group urged the Board to fire her at the end of the first year. Instead, she partnered with Black (upon Superintendent Laurence's departure)and was allowed to stay for three years, destroying the history and traditions of BHS and dragging the district and its legal expenses down with it. At first Skelly and the Board were deceived. They were lied to, misled, and had information withheld from them. Skelly became a useful pawn in the game. Once Skelly and the Board realized the truth, they should have taken a stand, changed course and fired those who were negligent. In the end, it's the taxpayers, the students and the parents who will end up paying the price. We know that the accounting is 100% accurate, Liz McManus ensured the district was safe and solvent. How the money was spent came from another office. Trustee Marc Friedman was right, it’s time for another Grand Jury Investigation of the SMUHSD and how its money has been spent.
The following will take place on October 22, 2021, 9:00 am Yim-Gate The BHS Prosecution The California Commission of Teacher Credentialing Education Misconduct will conduct its Formal Review of the following for their actions regarding the incidents that took place at Burlingame High School. Superintendent Kevin Skelly Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black Former BHS Principal Di Yim This is the second Formal Review session for Superintendent Skelly and Deputy Superintendent Black in only a few months. Skelly and Black (along with Mills Principal Duszynski) are currently appealing the pending suspensions of their teaching credentials from their FIRST Formal Review. Prior to the advancement to Formal Review, an intensive fact-based investigation was conducted by CTC Investigators. The abundance of evidence, witness statements and signed court documents left a “hefty” trail of the evidence of negligence and retaliation surrounding the incidents at Burlingame High School. Investigators were able to pinpoint evidence and statements that were in “extreme contradiction” to statements made to the SMUHSD Board, the United States Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, as well as investigations of Uniform Complaints (civil rights complaints. According to district, state, and federal policy, retaliation against a Whistleblower-complainant is forbidden by law. In addition, individuals who are participating or involved in an investigation are prohibited from withholding information and/or evidence as well as lying to or misleading an investigator. Credible evidence of these actions was produced during the investigation. The SMUHSD Board has past knowledge of all of these facts but chose to ignore them. The Board abdicated its supervisory role of the administration and its responsibility to protect the students, parents, community, and tax dollars of the public. The Board continued comments of “these are good people” and they did nothing wrong are void of facts or evidence and are based on “magical thinking”. The Board has been lied to, misled, and deceived to the point that they have extended legal contracts to the end of the year despite these credible investigations. This SECOND Formal Review (of Skelly and Black) will add facts and evidence to the expanding cases against these SMUHSD leaders. The portfolio of evidence can be moved to their intended appeal with the California Attorney General’s office who has the power to EXPAND the scope of the investigation based on the evidence. The CTC cannot take an "adverse action" unless they determine that the credential holder is, unfit to "perform the duties authorized by the credential." The criteria to determine fitness to teach is set forth in Morrison v. State Board of Education (1969) 1 Cal. 3d. 214, including (see also 5 CCR § 80302): The Skelly, Black, and Yim actions meet the standards of the following marked with an * • *likelihood of reoccurrence of the questioned conduct; • *extenuating or aggravating circumstances; • effect of notoriety and publicity; • impairment of the student-teacher relationship; • disruption of the educational process; • *motive; and • *proximity or remoteness in time of the conduct https://www.heinesq.com/post/defending-your-teaching-credential The suspension or revocation of the teaching credentials of Skelly, Black, or Yim are not the issue. The fact that these leaders lied to, misled, and withheld information from the Board and the public for a series of years is what is critical. These “leaders” placed blame on others to deflect guilt and continue to collect their lucrative paychecks and retirements. If the Board has any ethics left, it will take action against Skelly and Black, regardless of the outcome of the CTC Education Misconduct Committee Formal Review. At least, the Board members from Burlingame should do something… anything. What message does this send to our students when education leaders are the ones who are cheating the system? Public Record Evidence and charging documents can be viewed at the following: https://www.facebook.com/CitizensforMr.NelsonandtheTRUTHatBHS
Why did the San Mateo Union High School District lie to the SMDJ stating that the Superintendents do not need teaching credentials to carry out their duties? Superintendent Skelly and the Board are fully aware of the requirement, it is placed in Skelly's contract. Deputy Superintendent Black is a lawyer and knows this fact as well. Since these facts are true, why would anyone in the SMUHSD District office intentionally mislead a reporter regarding the requirements to hold office? These public statements are misleading the media and the Board in order to deflect the inevitable... the SMUHSD leaders are going to suffer an "adverse action" as a result of misconduct and retaliation, and they may/should be fired. Skelly and Black's Appeal to the California Attorney General (paid for by the taxpayers) is to simply to buy time. If the suspensions are not implemented, Black and Skelly each continue to be paid. Public documents shows that Skelly, Black and Former BHS Principal Di Yim have all been charged in a second round (third for Skelly) of CTC Educator Misconduct investigation which most likely will bring more discipline and suspensions. It is reported that Black, Skelly or Yim chose to skip their appearance for the September 30, 2021 CTC Formal Review to listen to the evidence, charges or respond to questions. The skipped appearance is a forfeiture to respond to these charges as it looks like they desire to once again move to the Attorney General’s office for appeal. The CTC Investigator has been provided with a "Tidal Wave" of evidence illustrating a clear pattern of "lying to, misleading, and withholding evidence" from the Board. These employment actions were taken in retaliation against a parent in response to the legal filing of Civil Rights complaints with resulted in a full-blown investigation by the United States Office of Civil Rights against Deputy Superintendent Black and BHS Principal Yim. This is Whistleblower retaliation by local school officials. This case is both embarrassing and mind boggling due to the degree of individual negligence involved. The SMUHSD Board is now culpable enablers as they refuse to open their own investigation but instead continue to hemorrhage money for Skelly and Black’s legal fees. This lies of these leaders is spreading the damage. BHS teachers are now also under investigation and may also be charged by the CTC Education Misconduct Committee where they too will lose their teaching credentials. SM Daily Journal https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/san-mateo-union-high-school-district-superintendent-kevin-skelly-s-contract-extended/article_166213b8-fcae-11eb-84bb-538cf9bc4594.html Commentary: SDUHSD superintendent search must be thoughtful https://thecoastnews.com/commentary-sduhsd-superintendent-search-must-be-thoughtful-thorough/
The Board SHOULD be able to respond to all of questions truthfully and ethically regarding these issues, but the refuse to do so. At this time, the Board is not properly informed of any of these issues as the administration has continued to block the flow of all essential and legal information from the Board. The Board has substantial information of the lack of ethics of these two leaders as well as their failure to properly communicate with the Board. Specifically, there is significant evidence that the administration has lied to, misled, and withheld information from the Board, causing the Board to take actions that have caused damage and placed the district in peril of being sued… again. The Board is represented by the San Mateo County Counsel. Skelly and Black are being represented by Lozano Smith’s Mark Waterman. (There is a significant conflict of interest as Lozano provides substantial legal work for the SMUHSD at the direction of Skelly and Black). How can Lozano represent the interests of the SMUHSD on one day and the interests of Skelly and Black the next? The charges against Skelly and Black place their employment in jeopardy. The district has a legal right to know the actions of its executive staff. A transparent Board would require its counsel properly evaluate the present and unfolding situation to review any legal or ethical liability. The charges are not stated in the Formal Review notification, but are included in the confidential investigation report sent with each charging letter. If the SMUHSD is paying for the legal defense of these individuals, then the Board has a legal right to review the confidential investigation reports sent to Skelly, Black, Yim, and Dusynski. If this is an SMUHSD defense, then the Board MUST review the charges so that they can properly and effectively decide how to proceed or if they need to remove or place on leave an administrator who may continue to damage the SMUHSD. It would be expected that the San Mateo County Counsel representing the Board would inform them to demand the production of these charges for review, otherwise, the Board cannot carry out it duty to protect the students and the district. At this point, the Board remains ignorant (by choice) of all of the facts which mandated the CTC Education Misconduct Committee to issue charges. The Board makes public comments such as, "These are good people" or "The investigation was not well done" but the charges keep coming down from the state. It's time the Board start actually demanding to see the evidence rather than listening to the sales pitch. The related documents can be found at the following: https://www.facebook.com/CitizensforMr.NelsonandtheTRUTHatBHS
Superintendent Skelly Charged Again (#3) The Board must open an independent investigation, put these items on a public agenda and take comments from the public regarding the highly inappropriate and embarrassing actions of its leadership. Since the Board is paying for the legal defense of these individuals, this is now a public issue and needs full disclosure! Superintendent Kevin Skelly has been hit with a THIRD charge by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Education Misconduct. The CTC Investigators have now sent Superintendent Skelly to Formal Review in a third case, unrelated to the prior two. Superintendent Skelly and Deputy Superintendent Black are already appealing their convictions to the CA Attorney General's Office and these new charges on separate issues are going to review. Superintendent Kevin Skelly (three cases) Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black (two cases) Former BHS Principal Di Yim (One cases ) Mills Principal Pam Duszynski (One case) BHS Teachers (cases under investigation) These leaders have violated district, state, and federal law. They have also used their positions to lie to, mislead, and withhold information from the Board. No other employee would have this position or advantage in an internal legal proceeding. Why this situation is worse than it looks? The SMUHSD is currently paying for the high priced lawyer to defend Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black and Superintendent Kevin Skelly. The SMUHSD’s well paid law firm Lozano-Smith’s has elevated partner-specialist Mark Waterman, out of Los Angeles to handle not only the first level of charges, but the second and third waves as well. “Mr. Waterman has had a high success rate in assisting his employer clients to obtain summary judgment while defending against numerous employment claims, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.” https://www.lozanosmith.com/attorney_bio.php?id=152 What makes this interesting is that former BHS Principal Di Yim and Mills High School Principal Pam Duszynski ARE NOT represented by Mr. Waterman. Why the difference? Internal communications show that the Board is “exceptionally ignorant” of what is transpiring before their eyes and are “just writing blank checks” to the law firm. Since this is NOT an internal action under the Human Resources Department, these expenditures are a “personal gift” to Skelly and Black. The SMUHSD as an organization is not under peril of disciplinary action. The SMUHSD Board states that IT is represented by SM County Counsel. Why is the district’s legal advisor telling it to pay the private legal fees of its negligent leaders? Who is defending the taxpayers? The Superintendents and Principals are employees of the Board and the people. Individual teachers or parents would be required to pay for their own lawyers! In fact, the Board should be defending those who have been victims of negligence and retaliation! Board President "Bedtime Bob Griffin” (he complains constantly about having to stay up for meetings and limits public speaking time so he can go to bed) and the SMUHSD Board have too close a relationship with the current administration and fail to represent the people or its tax dollars. This very cozy and symbiotic relationship is providing substantial benefits to each party at the expense of the taxpayers. The Board must put this item on a public agenda, begin an independent investigation, and take comments from the public regarding the highly inappropriate and embarrassing actions of its leadership. The Board also need to produce the financial expenditures paid for the investigation and legal defense of these charges which are estimated to be between $200k and $500k just to start! Administrative Regulations AR 1312.3 Individuals who knowingly give false statements in an investigation shall be subject to discipline up to and including suspension, expulsion, and or dismissal, as shall any individual who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy.
Full 3D Video of the building and downtown https://vimeo.com/547533534
According to the appearance letters on the linked site, the Formal Review will take place during next week's September 30 Commission Meeting. https://www.facebook.com/CitizensforMr.NelsonandtheTRUTHatBHS The September 30 meeting may also bring more charges against additional SMUHSD staff as investigations are being completed. The item to look for will be Skelly and Black's appeal to the Attorney General's Office. As stated below, Skelly and Black would be cross examined by the Deputy Attorney General regarding the charges and evidence. Skelly and Black would be destroyed if they are forced to be cross examined and the evidence would then be used against them and the district in a civil case. A deposition or cross examination would expose in front of the Board and evidence they have stated as fact would be outed as a lie. The embarrassment of the Board is coming as they have backed they guys “hook, line, and sinker.” The appeal to the AG's office is to buy time in a hope to settle the Petersen case and make everything go away. Skelly and Black did not expect a second and now a third case coming to the CTC. The fourth case and charges are expected to be announced after the September 30 Meeting. The substantial evidence currently held by the CTC Investigators shows that the 2015-2016 incidents at BHS were 100% retaliation against Nelson by Black and Yim. The CTC holds email communications and related evidence showing that the allegations were “created” and that select BHS teachers are also implicated in the lies. These facts were all withheld from the Board during 2016 A cross examination of these administrators or teachers will result in the loss of a teaching credential and termination from employment "These hearings are just like a court trial. A deputy attorney general from the California Department of Justice represents the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. A court reporter makes a stenographic record of the event. Exhibits are introduced, witnesses are questioned (including the teacher) and legal arguments are made." https://www.heinesq.com/post/defending-your-teaching-credential The removal of Skelly and Black would be met with a gigantic sigh of relief by many site level administrators who fear crossing a line or falling out of step. Loyalty is mandatory to remain or be promoted. Loyalty mandates silence and allegiance.
The CTC investigators have the REAL evidence and are punishing the SMUHSD for perpetuating both a hostile and unsafe environment for students and employees. The CTC follows the due process elements of administrative law procedures. The CTC Educator Misconduct investigators look into complaints and close cases do not show evidence of wrongdoing.. Those complaints that are valid are then fully investigated and a documented Confidential Report is submitted to the Commission. After reviewing the report, the Commission then either closes a case, issues an Adverse Action, OR sends the case to Formal Review. If a case goes to Formal Review, then culpability has been attached. At Formal Review, "the question of probable cause of Adverse Action against the credential is evaluated." (Linked Article) The Formal Review is not a hint, it implies that the Committee is deadlocked or confused about a particular issue. If it is a slam-dunk adverse action or dismissal, you will be notified The educator is given an opportunity to make a 3-minute opening and closing statement. In between, the Committee members take turns asking specific questions. Cause for an adverse action must meet legal criterion. Specifically, the CTC cannot take an "adverse action" unless they determine that the credential holder is, unfit to "perform the duties authorized by the credential." The criteria to determine fitness to teach is set forth in Morrison v. State Board of Education (1969) 1 Cal. 3d. 214, including (see also 5 CCR § 80302): 1. likelihood of reoccurrence of the questioned conduct; 2. extenuating or aggravating circumstances; 3. effect of notoriety and publicity; 4. impairment of the student-teacher relationship; 5. disruption of the educational process; 6. motive; and 7. proximity or remoteness in time of the conduct. https://www.heinesq.com/post/defending-your-teaching-credential The Commission CAN decide in Formal Review that the act committed, and culpability attached does not rise to the level of an Adverse Action on the credential. Therefore, no action is taken against the credential, but the record is kept open in case there are more complaints filed against the individual. The Formal Review is not a courtroom, there is no cross examination. If these guys were innocent, it would never have made it to Formal Review, the case would have been closed early in the process. The charging documents for Skelly, Black, and Yim are listed at Citizens for Mr. Nelson and the Truth at BHS https://www.facebook.com/CitizensforMr.NelsonandtheTRUTHatBHS The Petersen v. SMUHSD case was added by the teacher in addition to the CTC Misconduct Charges- The SMUHSD continues to throw taxpayer dollars away as the evidence continues to build against these individual. In true SMUHSD fashion, the legal team is will attempt to get Petersen to drop her CTC charges as part of the legal settlement. The CTC confidential investigation report that was presented at Formal Review would be filed in court and presented to a jury. This would also be in addition to the suspended credentials of these school leaders. Given that the number of charges is now at three (and there are more coming), it would be safe to say that this would not look favorable for the SMUHSD in front of a jury. All case files and Formal Report charges can also go the Attorney General's office if it chooses to take Skelly and Black's appeal. The Board does not need to wait for the CTC's actions on these other cases. It should place these "leaders" on leave and hire an independent legal firm to investigate what has transpired over the past few years. The Board owes that to the public to build back its trust. As the BV knows, the evidence has been here all along, the Board has just ignored it.
A Layer's Outline of the complete CTC Education Misconduct Process https://www.heinesq.com/post/defending-your-teaching-credential
Clueless- Board comments to the SM Daily Journal illustrate their own ignorance of these issues- The Lozano-Smith law firm represents the SMUHSD Board and has full and complete knowledge of the negligence of these individuals, yet does not report these concerns to the Board Members. Attorneys from the San Mateo County Counsel also represents the SMUHSD Board and has knowledge of the negligence of these individuals, yet does not report these concerns to the Board Members. The administrators are the employees of the Board. It is becoming very clear that the Board needs to take action… at least to save its own integrity. The SMUHSD Board of Trustees blasted the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing the SM Daily Journal for finding Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black and Mills High School Principal Dusznski guilty of improper, unethical, and negligent behavior The following comments were reported by the SM Daily Journal during the initial weeks of August 2021. During the week of August 27, 2021, the CTC Educator Misconduct Committee announced a Second Round of indictments against Skelly and Black based on a second and independent complaint- The Board has placed into the public eye, just how much the Trustees do not know about what is going on within the SMUHSD. When the CTC Education Misconduct Committee announces the move to Formal Review, it has already fully investigated the charges and found the individual culpable. The Formal Review hearing is to determine if an Adverse Action of credential suspension or removal is required. These individuals have already been found guilty. The Final Review is regarding sentencing. To put it bluntly, these SMUHSD administrators’ actions and failure to properly inform the Board are making the Trustees look like idiots: Robert Griffin, President of the SMUHSD Board of Trustees Comments on August 5, 2021-SM Daily Journal • CTC needs to reconsider “its initial erroneous decision.” • “Each of these administrators have exemplary records of service,” • “The committee has acted irresponsibly and without regard to the facts, the law or the public interest in its decision.” • “We are confident that when, and if, this matter reaches the Attorney General’s Office for review, no adverse action will be taken against these outstanding administrators,” SMUHSD Trustees Land and Lees Dwyer August 16, 2021-SM Daily Journal • “They are good people,” Dwyer said. “I believe none of the three did anything warranted anything the CTC has done.” • Trustee Land shared disapproval for the CTC’s decision and claimed the investigation was “not done well” Then on August 27, 2021- AFTER the above comments were made- CTC Educator Misconduct Committee The following are sent to Formal Review regarding an independent and second set of charges for improper, unethical, and negligent behavior against SMUHSD teachers • Superintendent Kevin Skelly • Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black • Former BHS Principal Di Yim Trustee Land states that the CTC investigation was “not done well.” What was “not well done” was the due diligence of the Board- It looks like the CTC investigations were done well enough to catch Skelly and Black TWICE and then also snag TWO SMUHSD Principals for improper, unethical, and negligent behavior. This would also include retaliatory action against individuals acting as Whistleblowers which is strictly prohibited by California law. The Board’s ignorance of the actions of its administrators may have caused it to participate and approve in adverse employment actions which may place the SMUHSD as significant financial risk. The retaliatory actions taken by the SMUHSD against these teachers was intended to impair an employee's job performance or prospects for advancement. The employees were engaged in protected actions (reporting negligence and civil rights violations) and the retaliation is the adverse employment action seeking to chill any others from taking similar actions against the employer. CTC Eduction Misconduct https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/san-mateo-union-chief-kevin-skelly-deputy-superintendent-mills-principal-credentials-threatened/article_0047707a-aee1-11eb-8907-e7bfa4b80d09.html Credentials in Limbo https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/credential-suspension-is-in-limbo-for-3-san-mateo-union-high-school-district-administrators/article_837ce7ba-f59d-11eb-a963-cf7c2badc944.html Contract Extension https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/san-mateo-union-high-school-district-superintendent-kevin-skelly-s-contract-extended/article_166213b8-fcae-11eb-84bb-538cf9bc4594.html
Joe has it! Here are the details The CTC Educator Misconduct Committee has found Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black and Mills Principal Duszynski guilty of these actions. This was established when the case was reviewed by the Committee and moved to Formal Review. If the complaint had no merit, it would have been closed at an earlier stage. The Committee on Credentials then found that these actions met the burden for an Adverse Action of credential suspension. The appeal to the Attorney General’s office is to reverse the suspensions, not the entire investigation and its findings. The following is derived from court documents filed with the SM Superior Court. Prior to filing a lawsuit, Petersen went through the internal appeal protocols in the SMUHSD including a closed session meeting with the Board. Therefore, the Board should have been made aware of these facts by the administration. It is reported that Petersen ONLY wanted the disciplinary letter removed from her file and an apology from the administration for its false and negligent actions. As a result of the arrogance and negligence of the SMUHSD, the taxpayers will pay for legal and investigation fees in addition to what Petersen will win in court. Report filed with SM Superior Court-(complete statement can be downloaded from the site) September 15, 2017, Petersen was assaulted by a student at Mills. A report of the incident was filed but the administration did not take any action. Petersen learned that this student had a reputation for threats and violence and that many teachers at Mills had experienced similar behavior from him. Principal Pamela Duszynski called Petersen and attempted to pressure Petersen not to turn in the written report, stating “you can’t do this” or words to that effect. Duszynski also dismissively said “that’s just what [the student] does when he gets riled up,” or words to that effect. Petersen asked that more information be provided about dangerous students so that teachers could protect themselves. October 2017, a District human resources staffer called Petersen and spoke to her on the phone for over 40 minutes. HR staffer claimed she was trying to “protect” Petersen and informed her that the District did not like it when employees made reports like the written report Petersen made about the assault. Petersen told HR staffer she would not withdraw the report and HR staffer warned Petersen to be “careful,” and mentioned that she knew Petersen was a single mother, saying “you have to think about keeping your job and raising your daughter,” or words to that effect. On or about October 6, 2017, the same student attempted to hit Petersen with his backpack. Petersen again made a report, and again nothing was done by Mills administration or anyone else in the District. It is alleged that the same student later attacked a Mills assistant principal, and that the District at that point finally transferred that student out of Mills. Petersen requested that the SMUHSD revise it Dangerous Students Notification policy as ONLY the teachers of the individual student are warned, not others. February 14, 2018, Petersen was shown a photo of graffiti on a classroom door in the math wing of Mills that included death threats against teachers. Petersen is informed and believes that this was not the first time such graffiti had been discovered by her coworkers. Petersen reported the graffiti to the police. Petersen is informed and believes that Mills administration and the District had previously failed to report such matters to the police and had instead simply painted over similar graffiti. Reports of student violence, aggressive and destructive behavior as well as students in possession of weapons on the campus have been made to the administration without viable actions taken to remedy the situations. It is reported that the CTC Education Misconduct Committee Investigators interviewed Mills Teachers to validate these claims. September 29, 2019 a student was transferred into Petersen’s class who began to engage in harassment. It is believed that the student had a “no contact” order from at least one other teacher. Throughout the fall semester of 2019, this student sexually harassed Petersen both verbally and physically, including but not limited to by repeatedly hugging and attempting to hug her after she told him not to touch her, by making inappropriate comments and asking inappropriate questions about sex and/or Petersen’s personal life. Petersen reported all information to administration. Administration refused to act as it would be “denied an education” if he were taken out of Petersen’s class. The student was left in Petersen’s class, and continued his harassing behaviors, through the entirety of the in-person instruction portion of the 2019–20 school year. Petersen reported (as have others) required attendance with administration where there is “pressure” placed on the teachers to pass students when a teacher issues too many grades of D or F. After the COVID shutdown, Petersen “went out of her way” to help one of these failing students by meeting the student in a public place and providing testing materials to the student . Petersen informed the administration of her actions and has a text response, “Thanks for doing all you are for her. I know it’s not easy.” Petersen discovered that the student had cheated on the test and failed the student. This triggered allegations by the upset student which were proven false by law enforcement. The student has also acknowledged that her reports were false. Nonetheless- On May 14, Principal Duszynski emailed Petersen and referred to the matter as “an unfortunate situation.” On May 15, after speaking with Principal Duszynski, but not Petersen, Superintendent Skelly emailed Petersen requesting her to give the student credit for Petersen’s class and “move on.” This was a formal request from the SMUHSD Superintendent to pass a student who was not passing the course PRIOR to the COVID shutdown and had not completed any work to pass the course. On or about May 18, Petersen put the student’s name on a “No Credit” list of students she did not expect to pass her class. Petersen is informed and believes that the District nevertheless issued the student a passing grade in Petersen’s class. On May 26, the District, by Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black, issued to Petersen a letter titled “45-Day Notice of Unprofessional Conduct/90-Day Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance” threatening Petersen with dismissal from her employment with the District. The letter claimed that Petersen had engaged in unsatisfactory performance and unprofessional conduct by meeting the student arranging to meet another student on campus, and failing to create supportive and positive relationships with students. The letter was rife with falsehoods and distortions, including, but not limited to, the false claim that nobody in Mills administration knew Petersen was going to meet with the student before it happened. Dr. Black’s letter of reprimand threatens Petersen with dismissal if she does not correct the “deficiencies” the District identifies, yet deficiencies lack any factual basis, and if she does not follow the directives of her supervisors, notwithstanding that they are the same supervisors who have previously ignored Petersen’s safety complaints, attempted to pressure Petersen into not making legally protected reports, and attempted to cause Petersen to issue passing grades to students who had not earned them. Dr. Black holds a law degree and has passed the bar. Therefore, he knows what is legally and ethically required of him to perform his job. Why engage in negligence over such a petty power grab? This statement, filed in court by an individual teacher in the SMUHSD rings true for a list of others that have preceded it. A list of false and misleading allegations without facts to support them results in an adverse employment action taken against the employee. The efforts to fight the district only makes the teacher look embarrassed and humiliated. Those in the past have quit and left. On the other hand, the administration has the power, the process, and law firm to bully the teacher and send a chilling effect to others to not dare take on the SMUHSD HR Department. A toxic and dysfunctional workplace environment indeed.
All Politics is Local. When the locals ignore the politics, the system becomes corrupt. Burlingame does have school choice. Those with the money are choosing to leave the public schools. All Politics is Local. In 1981, due to declining enrollment, the SMUHSD planned to shut down Burlingame High School. The Burlingame and Hillsborough parents were not having ANY of this S%&T and made it clear to the Board that closing THEIR high school was not an option. The newest school, Crestmoor High School was closed instead. The reason that district administrators and Board members do what THEY want and ignore the public is because they see THEMSELVES as the benevolent stewards of public education. An example is one of the current criteria (Board Agenda for 9/6) for the establishment of the new By-District boundaries that could cost a Trustee their seat. This is gerrymandering by the sitting members. Where a current Trustee resides is not relevant to representation and should not even be in the discussion. 8.The boundaries of the trustee areas may consider avoiding pairing two or more incumbents in a single trustee-area, to the extent legally allowable. Burlingame High School belonged to Burlingame. It was the destination for all local families who were embraced by the teachers, coaches, and leadership. Today BHS is a toxic and dysfunctional space invaded by carpetbaggers who have come to syphon the financial support provide by the parents and give little more than criticism in return. The BHS staff smiles when cashing the Parents Group’s check and starts the badmouthing and retaliation as soon as the door is shut. Public education works in many places across the country, but it requires the pubic to be active in the education. Previous generations of BHS parents got off the sidelines and refused to take NO for an answer from anyone at BHS. Burlingame lost control of BHS when they abdicated their role to the district administration and the Board. Burlingame parents with financial means have left the school to go private and others will soon follow. The SMUHSD is currently an open sore that needs immediate attention. Superintendent Skelly and Deputy Superintendent Black have been indicted with their SECOND set of charges by the CTC Education Misconduct Committee, the legal authority governing education credentials. If the District Attorney or the Chief Physician at the hospital were losing their license to practice, public would be outraged and stay as far away from these people as possible. The CTC Education Misconduct Committee is not the group of buffoons they are made out to be by the SMUHSD Trustees. They are both professional and independent guardians of the state’s education system with a task of removing individuals who have engaged in improper, illegal or unethical behavior. Superintendent Kevin Skelly Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black Burlingame High School Principal Di Yim Mills High School Principal Pam Duszynski When Principal Yim was removed from BHS, Skelly could not find a principal to take over BHS. The finalists for the position dropped out once they gained a complete understanding of what had transpired. Skelly then had to mandate a move to bring Belzer to BHS and elevated an unprepared Dusznski to lead Mills High School. Since Skelly was deceived by Black regarding the real issues, Skelly’s actions then destroyed two schools instead of fixing, BHS the one that was infected. The SMUHSD Trustees need to listed to the CTC Education Misconduct Committee rather than criticize them. The local trustees have also been deceived and will be embarrassed when their ignorance is put on display for public evaluation. “They are good people,” Dwyer said. “I believe none of the three did anything warranted anything the CTC has done.” If they are good people, then why did the CTC just drop a complete second set of indictments against them? Why does the Board know NOTHING about what has transpired yet is spending $500 per hour in legal fees to defend these leaders. How does a Superintendent get himself into a mess this complicated and the Board has zero knowledge? A real group of public leaders would put Skelly and Black on administrative leave and bring in a separate and independent law firm to fully investigate the actions which is about to cost the SMUHSD a large amount of money and the careers of two Superintendents and two high school Principals. (That is how a transparent and ethical public Board would handle this issue which is now VERY real) Despite the announcement of the second set of charges against Skelly and Black, there is no Closed Session Public Employee Evaluation scheduled- The Trustee want the districts draw to protect THEIR seats, but they do not want to represent YOUR needs. The district operates for the students and the parents, not for the welfare and compensation of its administrators. All Politics is Local. When the locals ignore the politics, the system becomes corrupt. Former Superintendent Sam Johnson mismanaged $85 million in public funds and had a 95% vote of no confidence against him, forcing him to retire. This Board then granted him the Samuel Johnson, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Capuchino High School- http://smuhsd.theater/capuchino-performing-arts-center/
A Special Board Meeting will take place on Thursday, August 5 at 7 p.m. The agenda will be posted on Friday, July 30 by 4 p.m. This is third unscheduled Special Meeting in a row. The past two have been to “evaluate” the Superintendent. CLOSED SESSION C.1. [ * ] Public Employee Evaluation pursuant to Government Code Section 54957- Title: Superintendent There has yet to be a report out by the Board on the closed session business. A First Amendment Legal Firm confirmed that Deputy Superintendent Black’s failure to post his own contract and those of other administrators (despite the fact that this has been the practice for AT LEAST three (3) years) was a violation of the Brown Act. The item was sent to the SM District Attorney’s Office who found that Black had met the minimum standards required by the Act. The Board has local control and SHOULD mandate ethics are a strong component of the business of the Board. The issue is centered around the fact that Black and Duszynrski's credentials are up for suspension and their contracts were blocked from public comment. (Trustee Lees Dyer has already admonished Black on the record for his failure to properly post agenda items in a timely manner) Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black and Mills Principal Duszynrski are all awaiting the suspension of the credentials by the CTC Educator Misconduct Committee who have already found these leaders to be in violation of state standards. The CTC Educator Misconduct Committee Investigators spent ANOTHER summer investigating NEW complaints against Skelly, Black, and others. The CTC Education Misconduct Committee dismiss cases very early where there is no merit. They spent the summer on the SMUHSD. Where is the truth? The SMUHSD does not have a licensed medical professional on staff at ANY campus as Dr. Black eliminated the District Nurse position (part of the CTC Investigation) leaving the schools without direction. This is distressing considering the continued lack of candor, ethics, and truthfulness of the leadership. In April/May 2020 when the SMUHSD put together a teacher-administrator-parent committee to look at re-opening the schools. The Committee was chaired by Deputy Superintendent Black. The expertise of TWO local Epidemiologists was passed over by the administrative leader of the committee so that a regular “doctor” (selected by the administration) could testify in support of the administration’s plan to open school. Directly after this event, the parents on the Re- Opening Committee “bolted” as they became extremely frustrated by Black’s manipulation of the committee, its data, and his reporting of their work. The parents formed their own committees at their school sites and neighborhoods to create presentations to the Board. Black reported false data to the SMUHSD Board and was called out by a math teacher on the committee as he had falsified his statistics and a parent from the Committee came on to the Zoom meeting to call out Black’s lies. As the final report by the administration to Board came due, Skelly and Black had nothing. Two days prior, a SMHS teacher team (who had worked weeks with SMHS parents) begged Skelly to listen to their presentation. Skelly allowed them a private session of two hours of time, and then rejected their work. Two days later, when Black revealed that his committee had absolutely no plan, Skelly and Black hijacked the SMHS Teachers plan and presented it to the Board as their own. (This is all documented and on Zoom You Tube recordings. Where is the truth? Where are the ethics. During the past year, the CTA President has presented at most EVERY Board meeting that the HVAC systems at the school sites were not up to standards AND an entire building at BHS did not function. The SMUHSD sat in silence, every meeting, as the evidence was presented. The SMUHSD then transferred (rotated) the Heads of Maintenance from each school site to another campus. These individuals know the campus, its buildings, its operations, and its safety needs better than anyone else. (they also know where the problems are located and what has not been fixed. Why transfer these informed maintenance and safety professions PRIOR to the reopening of the schools when SAFETY is the #1 priority? During its Board meeting last Spring, the SMUHSD announced that the HVAC system at Burlingame High School was not functioning and would need a full replacement (despite the recent upgrades and modifications to the school). The administrators thought that they could just hide the HVAC information and then get it replaced in the summer of 2021 when no one was paying attention. When the district put the contract out to bid and filed a request to start construction, the STATE informed the SMUHSD that both construction and permits were backed up over a year and the work could not be done until Summer 2022! These are not careless errors but rather acts of negligence in leadership. A truthful leader would come forth and communicate the Bad News to the Board and properly inform the public. The Brown Act is the least of the worries for the SMUHSD leadership as a lack of truth and transparency angers but public. Throwing the public’s money to pay for legal teams to cover up negligence has reached its end. The items listed above are barely the tip of the iceberg which is going to sink the SMUHSD. Just look at BHS 5-10 years ago versus today? The campus has become a playground for misbehaving teachers who ignore or abuse the students. It’s time for the Board to hold individuals responsible for their actions and remove those who have caused the damage.
Jobs for BIS listed on EdJoin contain the following: SIGNING BONUS! SIGNING BONUS FOR DIFFICULT TO FILL POSITION: $3,000 for 2021/22, $1,000 for 2022/23, $1,000 for 2023/24. It's cheaper than giving a raise, but what are you going to get for an extra $3000? Just hope your kid does not end up in that teacher's class. The quality folks are taking the jobs at the districts that pay.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
An elected position on a school board is great resume and LinkedIn content. The job (and the free healthcare at the high school level) requires members to know and understand what the administration is doing. Unless the Board member is using the seat to get somewhere else: political appointment, mayor, superintendent in another district. These folks are hesitant to pull the trigger (when needed) as an adverse but necessary action may spoil their personal aspirations. Superintendents care about two things: Salary and Retirement. Remember, these folks are under the teacher pension system, and they get a WHOPPING payout based on their salary. A Superintendent, earning $285,000 a year retires at 65 with 35 years in education (including teaching) will be paid $20,000 PER MONTH in retirement. The individual most likely also has a separate 401(k) which has been well funded. GOOD school leaders are worth every penny. Everyone else is just lining their pockets with the public’s money. The public SHOULD get what it pays for and if the performance is not at the required level, then remove the leader and get a new one. The pay levels at “premier” school district are similar, there is no reason to keep an inferior product employed when there are much better leaders available. Board members and Superintendents should not be friends. They should not have lunch, play golf, or engage in “professional” presentations at conferences. Superintendents are employees of the public and should be held to the highest levels of standards and ethics (in everything!) SMUHSD Superintendent Kevin Skelly stated, “I only need to keep five people happy, the members of the Board, that is it.” The SMUHSD Board is asleep at the wheel. Superintendents Skelly and Black are past their use by date. Skelly helped destroy BHS and now he is doing the same at Mills. Black has been an Assistant Superintendent for 13 years with no offers for a Superintendent’s position. He is the one responsible for the failures in “diversity hiring” and the racial/equity issues that have exploded on the school site. In response the Board approved the expenditures to hire a consulting firms (2) to perform diversity hiring and anti-racist professional development. Why not just hire an Associate Superintendent that can perform those tasks? School Boards are intended to direct a Superintendent, not be a doormat. BSD’s Mount-Benites already trashed the West Contra Costa district, and if he is left in place, he may do the same in Burlingame. The BHS Parents Group wanted Principal Di Yim removed at the end of her first year. The SMUHSD leadership mandated that she stay. She destroyed well over 80 years of the history and traditions of the school. Imagine if the Board had pulled the trigger and ordered the Superintendent to remove Yim by not renewing her contract, as they knew they should have? Instead, the BHS Parents (who already paid $10,000 to redecorate Yim’s office) funded Professional Communications and Leadership Training for Yim to stave off what they knew was coming from “the principal who carried the parasol at lunch while wearing white gloves so that she could sample the student’s lunches. (Not like that was an indication that things were going wrong?). It was Deputy Superintendent Black that kept Yim at BHS. Superintendents don’t have any ‘skin in the game.” They can walk away and into retirement while the school are collapsing behind them, and nothing happens to THEM. As Bruce Dickinson states above, fool me once, shame on you..fool me twice shame on me. Burlingame, you have already been fooled once- this one (at both levels) is on us.
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
I can’t argue with BD on most of the issues. The state level CTA power is only second to the Prison Guards (not many know that fact). The local unions have no influence over the state CTA and most every teacher had no choice but to join the union. They are so young they would not even know it was a choice to not join. The locals are left to negotiate contracts and pay dues. When push comes to shove regarding an individual teacher, the member usually loses, and CTA isn’t going to fight. Here is what successful local school districts HAVE figured out. Make it local. The Board finds a Superintendent who loves the community and will run the show for the people. The Board and the Superintendent recruit, train, and retain the BEST teachers possible, pay them, medical, etc so they don’t leave. These people stay for years. These people do music, drama, coach, etc. The teachers get attached to the community and the community to the teachers. It's a win-win. So where did we go wrong? We hired 30-year old’s with no experience to become administrators and paid Superintendent’s almost $300,000 for a few years rather than a decade. Burlingame would never hire a Superintendent from West Sacramento (WTF?). If BSD was serious, it should buy a nice house in Burlingame and the Superintendent and family live at reduced rent as part of the contract.). (the Palo Alto school district's next superintendent will receive a starting salary of $300,000 and pay a monthly rent of $1,800 to live in a district-owned property in Palo Alto- As the PA Superintendent, Kevin Skelly received a $1 million interest free loan to buy a home- they now offer $1.5 million.) Burlingame High School is a shadow of its past. BHS teachers are not connected to BHS students or families, but they love the “perks” of Burlingame. Do any of the BHS teachers or administration care about the upcoming 100 year anniversary? Bruce Dickinson is not wrong about his current observations of the landscape. Its time to forget about the rest of the state and take care of the home-town crowd. The real return to school after COVID will come in the fall and those teachers are going to have a significant responsibility to care for the variety of needs of the kids. Superintendent Mount-Benites is not ready for Burlingame as he has his sights set on a much bigger stage. Let him go now and land someone more local who knows the town, the people and the schools, or at least comes from a similar area. Pay the teachers or not, this situation does not look like an arrangement that will be in the best interest of Burlingame for the years to come. BSD is approaching insolvency and the SMUHSD's leaders are having their credentials suspended. Any other wealthy town in America having THESE problems with their schools. Bruce is a very successful music producer. Bruce, would you do when the band just couldn't find its sound or produce another hit record. The dispute about the salary is a distraction from what is really going on in our schools. We should look forward, remember and fix the past, draw upon our strengths, and build a stronger future. (it sounds like new leadership is needed at multiple levels, but that is up for discussion.)
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
"A Fish Rots from the Head Down." How can the Board of Education sign new contracts with their Superintendents when there are serious issues of negligence and ethics. Both the BSD and the SMUHSD leadership are engaged in serious ethical issues. The article above and the statements and actions of Mount-Benites show that his actions regarding the budget may be suspect. The SMUHSD's Superintendent Skelly, Deputy Superintendent Black, and Principal Duszynski each face the suspension of the credentials for unethical behavior. How can an elected Board engage in binding contractual employment when there are serious ethical questions? The SMUHSD officials have pushed their appeal to later in the summer as they are attempting to get the teacher to settle her legal claim and then mandate that she drop the CTC Educator complaints as part of the deal. A public Board would not sign a contract with a construction firm, vendor, or legal firm that was under investigation or attempting to operate with suspended credentials. Why would we do the same for the leadership of the organization. The four education leaders described collectively make over $1 million in pay and benefits. If these employees are not able to clear up and clean up the mess, then there should be no contracts and they can find work elsewhere. The CTC Educator Misconduct Investigators and Committee have already found Skelly, Black and Duszynski as guilty. There is no debate on that issue. The teacher was bullied off the campus. Maybe its time to lead by example and not by covering up negligence. https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/san-mateo-union-chief-kevin-skelly-deputy-superintendent-mills-principal-credentials-threatened/article_0047707a-aee1-11eb-8907-e7bfa4b80d09.html
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice
The Edsource article (above and attached) is from January 2020. The 2020 article is referencing the disaster that Mount-Benites created in 2017. He went from West Contra Costa up to West Sacramento and then Burlingame. West Sacramento to Burlingame? (a very large ladder is needed for that move) Was there any due diligence performed before this guy was hired? https://edsource.org/2020/questions-swirl-about-origins-of-40-million-deficit/621885
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2021 on BIS: What's Up With That? at The Burlingame Voice