Bowser to run for county school superintendent

Promises accountability and transparency

Pleasanton School Board President Jeff Bowser will officially announce his run next week for a little-known elected position as Alameda County Superintendent of Schools.

The county superintendent is an elected position, heading the Alameda County Office of Education, which serves the 18 school districts and more than 400 schools in the county.

The mission of county school superintendents is to support the financial and academic stability of every district and school in Alameda County.

Bowser, elected to the Pleasanton School Board in 2010, said his aim as county superintendent would be to "return the county Office of Education to a service agency."

"It's been a long time since the county Office of Education has served in that function for the entire county," he added.

Bowser said his main goal is to achieve equity for all Alameda County students.

"What is needed is equity in opportunity and education throughout the county. That equity can happen through innovative approaches to educating our kids," he said.

He said that's especially important with the new state funding model that distributes money to school districts who get to decide their own priorities.

"With the change in funding in the state called (the) Local Control Funding Formula, the county superintendent plays a pivotal role in approving each district's Local Control Accountability Plan, LCAP," Bowser said. "I want to ensure that our under-served students are receiving the benefits of the added dollars that these districts are receiving. The districts need to be held accountable."

He's also promising greater transparency and accountability for the county Office of Education.

"I would conduct and publish satisfaction surveys from all of the districts. I would use those surveys to develop a plan to serve those districts and publish the results," Bowser said.

He said the county Office of Education receives $45 million in state funding from taxes and "no one knows what it does."

Current Superintendent Sheila Jordan is expected to retire at the end of her term. Two other candidates are already in the race for the 2014 election, including the county superintendent's second in command.

Karen Monroe is the county's associate superintendent and a former teacher in Oakland.

Ursula Reed is a city councilwoman in San Leandro who's already picked up the endorsements of dozens of elected and appointed officials across the county.

But Bowser said he's uniquely qualified for the job.

"I intend to take my background and experience and leadership and working as the president of a high-achieving school district to benefit other districts throughout the county," he said. "I am in a unique position to achieve these goals because I have been a teacher, a school site administrator, a district office administrator and an executive director at the county Office of Education."

"This is my passion. This is where my heart is," he continued. "Not too many people have an education leadership background combined with a political background."

Boswer's campaign kickoff event is set for 6 p.m. Monday at Bijou Restaurant, 1036 B Street, Hayward. Tickets start at $50.


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Posted by Bowser the Dog
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2013 at 8:28 am

He hasn't got a snowball's chance in h*ll of winning. The other side of the hills will likely pick another incompetent for the office. Not that Bowser is any great shakes. It's sad to see the Pleasanton schools slipping, and the Board and the Superintendent are largely responsible. San Ramon schools have moved significantly ahead of Pleasanton in API scores. Also, Dublin High has moved ahead of Foothill in API scores.

Like this comment
Posted by PUSD
a resident of Walnut Hills
on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

PUSD is so poorly run right now I don't believe any district board member or cabinet member needs to be talking about how they will be cleaning up a county office when they aren't doing a good job for PUSD.

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Posted by Don
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

The scary thing is, is that he does have a chance. We need Pleasanton parents to help make sure he is not elected!

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Posted by Disappointed
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

The administration at PUSD is suffering from serious credibility issues. Teachers are disillusioned and many are feeling powerless. Concerns have been expressed and they have fallen on deaf ears. Do not be so quick to blame school board members. It remains to be seen just how much the school board is really aware in regards to problems in this district. PUSD does a good job putting the spin on things and plays the avoidance game quite well. It is only a matter of time before the superintendent is forced to deal with the serious issues that exist at some of our schools.

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Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm

The school board members know a lot of what is going on now (principal on leave, not allowing the public to talk about it, etc.). The teachers that are disillusioned and feeling powerless should contact the board. There might be some more things going on that the board does not know about. If things still do not get fixed then there is no excuse from the board. The superintendent reports to the board and the board needs to know what the issues are. If you are concerned on your name getting back to the staff then you should contact Arkin and Hintzke only. Those two are the two members of the board who listen to the public and teachers/classified staff and are not in the back pockets of the administration.

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Posted by W G Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm

He cant even run Pleasantons school district right, how can he even think he can do something bigger. He is NOT getting my vote!

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Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Nov 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

I heard this "little known position" pays 300K per year. That is awesome, a job that nobody knows about and pays that much. Taxpayer dollars too. Even better.

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Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

What the district needs is a strong, ethical and competent leader. Bowser definitely does NOT encompass these traits. As President of the school board he has made up his own rules along the way while ostracizing many. He is pompous and arrogant and only cares about his own political gain. As both a parent and someone who has worked with Bowser, his priorities do not lie with the students, but rather how he can best position himself in the public office. He has used the board as a stepping stone to a lucrative political career. What Pleasanton needs is someone who has the best interest of our children and community at heart and is willing to get down in the trenches to turn things around. There is absolutely no reason why Pleasanton Schools should be suffering -- with test scores, administrative issues or funding. Get someone in this position that has the passion, experience and know-how to get the job done.

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Posted by PC
a resident of California Somerset
on Nov 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm

PUSD need new board members and superintendents - Parvin, Dr. Douglas, and Mr. Farigan need to go. Their lack of good leadership seem to be reeking havoc on our school. Mr. Bowser should not be running for this position. He has proven he is self motivated.

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Posted by Supe Pay
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm

see this article about couty supe pay - scroll to end

Web Link

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