Superintendent's evaluation part of Pleasanton school board meeting this morning

Special meeting starts at 8 a.m. in Rose Hotel

The Pleasanton school board will hold a special board meeting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Rose Hotel in downtown Pleasanton with one of its agenda items the evaluation of the work of Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi.

According to the agenda, there will be a closed session for "Evaluation: Superintendent," followed by a workshop for trustees.

The public can only comment on items appearing on the agenda prior to the board going into closed session.

Any action taken will be reported out following the closed session meeting.

Following the meeting, trustees will be attending a board workshop where they will meet with Ahmadi to discuss board protocols and goals, and to develop an evaluation tool for the Governing Board. A consultant, Dave Nakashima, will be facilitating the workshop.

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45 people like this
Posted by Susie
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Feb 27, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Here is an evaluation-her performance is horrible and she should be replaced. They way that she and the board handled the situation at Walnut Grove is an indication of why she should be replaced. She has cost this district plenty and it is time to replace her

42 people like this
Posted by Harmful to PUSD
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm

I am truly sadden at all the mistrust that has surrounded our prized school district during this superintendents time. Leaders are meant to inspire and our community is feeling many things but inspiration isn't one of them. It's extremely disheartening.

33 people like this
Posted by Superintendent needs to be fired
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm

When I moved to Pleasanton, never in a million years did I expect such a scandal plagued school system. I never expected my children ever to go without math workbooks and instead to receive crude worksheets hand-typed from out-of-print textbooks published during the Eisenhower Administration.

How the superintendent ever expected this was go unnoticed is beyond me. My children have brought home worksheets this year with math problems that not only do my parents recognize, but they actually solved because my parents had the texts with these problems in the 1950s and 1960s.

Where did all the money go? Where did the workbooks go? There has had to have been massive misappropriation of public money.

The Board needs to fire the superintendent tomorrow, call the DA and immediately bring in a lawyer that reports to them with law enforcement and conduct a real investigation.

36 people like this
Posted by Time to go
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 27, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Make your voice heard by attending tomorrow's meeting. Even if you don't want to speak during public comments a large turn-out will reinforce the need to get rid of Ahmadi. Tell others about the meeting and encourage them to attend.

22 people like this
Posted by What?
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 27, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Why is this at the Rose hotel? Who is paying for this? Seems to me this district has cash for all kinds of lawsuits and "special" meetings at the rose hotel but I get emails every week from the PTA, the PPIE and my kid's classroom asking for cash because we don't have enough money for our schools.

66 people like this
Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Feb 27, 2015 at 9:50 pm

It is clear that a vast majority of Pleasanton voters and parents are disappointed with our Superintendent. In volatile times like these, it's tempting to assume a mob mentality and bash every aspect of the district. It's prudent, however, to remind ourselves of the strengths we have as a community and district to keep our critique in perspective. Our children are the products of a very dedicated and involved base of parents, far more so than an "average" district. We are also blessed with the financial resources in our district to give our kids "the best". Our teachers are more qualified than average, and have a zest for instruction that inspires our children.

So with great parents, great teachers, and abundant financial resources it's no wonder Pleasanton students are successful. And they are very successful. We all hear about the "Ranking of the month" where our kids are touted as "best in the......". So how can a district with great results, successful kids, and national recognition have a parent base that is so against their superintendent? The cop-out answer would be to say "She is so inarticulate - an embarrassment to the city", or "she has built a insider staff of bobbleheads who are equally as incompetent", or "her racism and class-warfare tactics have ripped our community apart". Those accusations are not data-based, nor do they provide the Board of Trustees (HER BOSS) with quantifiable metrics with which to measure her.

So instead of jumping on the mob bandwagon, I ask that the board stick to the facts. Here is a small list of facts that they should consider:

Fact 1: Ms. Ahmadi's bungling of the Vranesh case may cost our children MILLIONS. As the CEO of the district, the buck stops with her. Whether it was poor legal counsel or bad HR work from Bill Faraghan, ultimately it's Ms. Ahmadi's responsibility. If you read the Vranesh Complaint, it's easy to see that there is smoke on both sides of the campground. Two teachers who complained received more than $400K, not including legal fees? Now we have to settle with Vranesh too? Ms. Ahamdi's Walnut Grove "incompetence bill" may well hit $2 million before the end of this year. In most businesses, financial waste and poor decision making is seldom isolated. It's usually a cultural phenomenon. PUSD is no different. Inexcusable, and worthy of termination.

Fact 2: Ms. Ahmadi's insubordination to the board cannot be tolerated. This district's leadership structure is upside down. The unions bully Ahmadi, who bullies the trustees, who bully the parents (with their actions). Who isn't mentioned? The teachers and the children. It's all upside down. The big boss should be the parents (representing their children). The elected board members should take marching orders from the parents, and then direct the superintendent. The teachers should then execute their plan, with some support (laterally) from the unions. It's all upside down, and Ms. Ahmadi is the cause of the tension and mistrust. Inexcusable, and worthy of termination.

Fact 3: Community trust of Ms. Ahmadi is at an all time low. Confidence in her is even lower. At her peak of support, she was a nice person with good intentions who was perceived as "lacking in horsepower" to get the job done. Things have gotten much worse. The calendar process (not to be confused with the results) was either sly and underhanded, or gross incompetence. Any junior or senior stats student could have pointed out the shortcomings of the survey. Yet our superintendent thought it was a "superb job" by her calendar team? Ridiculous. She cheers on office staff for making copies (seriously...) and janitors for cleaning rooms, using superlatives formerly reserved for exceptional effort. She's created a Participation Trophy Culture within her staff and district. "Everything is so perfectly done by us, the perfect educators!". The exodus of her principal and administrators cannot be coincidence or all retirements. There is no trust, no hope for regaining it. She has lost all support from parents, administrators, and even many of her own teachers. It's a mass mutiny. Inexcusable, and worthy of termination.

Fact 4: Arrogance has been her Achilles's heal. We live in a very forgiving and understanding nation, and community. We love an underdog, and embrace a good comeback. We forgive those who make mistakes, as long as they ask for that forgiveness. Amazingly, with all of the pressure our superintendent has received, she has (without fail) chosen to "double-down" on the path of arrogance. No admission that the Calendar process could have been improved upon. Despite rooms full of angry parents (and teachers), she defends the Common Core "piloting" process to the end. Instead of working with Vranesh while he was still employed by the district, she escalated the situation, almost welcoming a complaint and likely a huge settlement. Not once has Ms. Ahmadi ever said "we should have done that differently", or "in hindsight i wish we would have...", or "that was our mistake. I'll take responsibility for that decision". When parents began questioning her decisions in the local forums, Ms. Ahmadi asked a civil rights organization from another area to come and say nice things about her, and intimidate the audience, even calling a local reporter a "bad apple"! What a big bully she seems to be. The arrogance has sealed off any chance for this community to EVER support her again. When unwarranted, there is no lower blow than pointing to parents and using the race card. Inexcusable, and worthy of termination.

So, as stated in my opening we should focus on facts, not emotions. The fact is, this situation cannot be salvaged with Ms. Ahmadi. It's a shame. She is not a bad person, and from what i see from afar she's not a mean lady. She is, however, far too gone to save. The HR disasters, insubordinate behavior, community distrust,and arrogant attitude are all real. They are real, inexcusable, and worthy of termination.

The ball is in your court, Board of Trustees. I hope you will do the right thing. It is time to take action.

19 people like this
Posted by Every Rose has it's Thorn
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

Yes, "What?", it's a head scratcher isn't it? Dear Board of Trustees, can you please let us know how much it costs? I am guessing that every single school in our district has some type of room that would be suitable for a Board Meeting. What about the same meeting room the district uses for regular meetings? Since we have so many great rooms, why don't we rent them to local businesses and non-profits? Maybe we can just rent them on Saturday mornings, when the district isn't using them?

Then, when we have a new revenue source we can use the $$ to pay for room rental for District off-site meetings! If we rent enough, maybe we can afford a meeting space at the Rose Hotel, one of the priciest in the area!

Note to district: if you didn't waste so much other $$, no one would be complaining about 1 little off-site. It's a matter of trust....

24 people like this
Posted by I Like Your Facts
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 28, 2015 at 9:32 am

To Just the Facts:

Well said! I only wish I'd written it myself.

Personally, I don't care where this meeting takes place (although it does make one wonder...). I'm just glad it is happening. I'll happily pay my pro-rated share of the Rose Hotel so long as the Board does its job and (finally!) makes the hard decisions they were elected to make. If they do, it will be money well spent.

As Just the Facts writes, "... this situation cannot be salvaged with Ms. Ahmadi. It's a shame. She is not a bad person, and from what i see from afar she's not a mean lady. She is, however, far too gone to save. The HR disasters, insubordinate behavior, community distrust,and arrogant attitude are all real. They are real, inexcusable, and worthy of termination."

I couldn't agree more!

1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This evaluation is part of the superintendent's contract. It is important to know Ms. Ahmadi, like most superintendents, has a multiple year contract. Her original contract was for three years beginning July 1, 2010. It has likely been renewed every year she has been with us (making it a perpetual three year contract), meaning her current contract could run through June 2017 (I haven't followed her annual evals to know if it is 2017). The original contract has a section on Goals and Objectives that calls for a meeting like they are having today, stating this part of the process must be completed by March 30. The annual written evaluation is due by May 15, has a timeline for a response, and final discussion with the Board before June 30. There are provisions for unsatisfactory reviews.

Termination: "failure by Superintendent to maintain a valid credential; mutual written agreement of the parties, retirement, physical or mental inability to perform duties." For cause is defined as "conduct which is seriously prejudicial to District . . . failure of good behavior, unprofessional conduct, incompetency, neglect of duty, or breach of this contract." It goes on to say the Board can terminate other than for cause by paying one year of her base salary and medical/dental/vision benefits.

Again, that was the original contract and could have been changed.

10 people like this
Posted by Another Fact
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 28, 2015 at 11:11 am

Interesting to note that the consultant, Dave Nakashima, hired to facilitate the board's workshop was one of two consultants hired by PUSD to facilitate a long series of "healing meetings" for Walnut Grove Elementary School staff following the removal of Jon Vranesh. These "healing meetings" were to meant to promote "open, truthful dialogue in a safe environment." Yep... open, truthful and safe.... Right. As safe as snake pit can be.

What did that cost?

6 people like this
Posted by PUSDparent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Maybe you should be asking who coordinated this event at the Rose hotel, was it the School Board or the school district? Is this common practice? Is this how they conduct their reviews for all Superintendents or is this merely a plan to stir the drama?

Patterns are clearly coming to light, showing a school board that wishes to pursue an agenda of casting distrust for the district. I'd expect an answer from one of the trustees in this matter before they continue to allow a community to assume more negativity towards our schools.

1 person likes this
Posted by Please televise it!
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Feb 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm

I would be interested in watching it.... will there be a televised version?

13 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Ahmadi, for once do something for the children. Resign.

1 person likes this
Posted by Jamie Hintzke, Trustee
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Instead of making assumptions about the cost & why the Board Workshop was at The Rose, why don't you call me and I'd be happy to tell you.
846- 0185

Like this comment
Posted by Jtjh
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 28, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Jtjh is a registered user.

In response to: "Please televise it!"

No. This was not a routine board meeting and the announcement on the district web site stated:

"This meeting will not be recorded or televised."

Web Link

10 people like this
Posted by Was that supposed to be a joke?!
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 1, 2015 at 6:06 am


Clearly you read this thread and had the opportunity its to explain the board's decision, but instead chose not to, further distancing yourself by adding another layer of communication disconnect by asking citizens to call you individually.

Maybe someone else was posting in your name as a joke, but if this is actually evidence of your judgment and leadership, you've given me reason to worry.

15 people like this
Posted by Shelly
a resident of The Knolls
on Mar 1, 2015 at 7:44 am

It is time for Ahmadi to leave. Many of us moved here for the great public schools & community feel, but Ahmadi has changed things in a negative way. She will continue to plow her way through, changing the very things we loved about Pleasanton School District. Board members, please do the right thing, and get someone here who feels like the majority of parents feel about our kids & their education. I worry she is trying to "change" our school district, instead of improving where it may need improvements. Also...doing this job just for political reasons, is detrimental to our kids. She has brought negative attention, turmoil & drama to our town. Swankville or not, we dont need anymore drama!

19 people like this
Posted by Just the Facts
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Mar 1, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Dear "Was that supposed to be a Joke?", your question is a good one. Trustee Hintzke (or any other Trustee), please post the reasons for the meeting being at the Rose. They ("Was that supposed...") bring up a good point, when the administration or board respond with an attitude of "trust us, it's all OK and there was a good reason we met at the Rose....we can't tell you, but just trust us.....", it raises suspicion and reinforces mistrust. Do you have to keep it secret, because we (the parents and residents) are too simple minded to understand? Easy to remedy, post the reason and be totally transparent.

As an aside, it is my opinion (based on board meetings that i have watched) that Trustees Hintzke and Arkin have consistently challenged the Superintendent and Administration, and tried to hold them accountable. For that attempt to ask the hard questions, we the parents appreciate your effort. I have respect for the horrible position Ms. Arkin and Ms. Hintzke have been in, with a handful of insubordinate employees (superintendent, vice-superintendent, staff) and 3 (prior to election) block vote bobble-head trustees in the lap of the Superintendent. Now, with the new Trustee, Mr. Miller on board, i hope things will change. The pandering must stop. No more Hollywood smiles at the camera on cue, rambling about "it's all about the kids". We don't want to hear how fantastic everything is, the Superintendent and her staff have "optimistic gobbledygook" covered already.

Thanks, Trustee Hintzke, for your positive work on the board. As i stated in my earlier post, no one would even raise an eyebrow about the Rose Hotel if they didn't have so much distrust of the Administration, and by association the board of trustees. Now, every action is under scrutiny. We look forward to your Rose Hotel explanation.

13 people like this
Posted by waste of public funds
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Mar 1, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Suspicion of the board is becoming de facto.

15 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Why in the world would the trustee post on this blog where whatever she says will be anonymously attacked and criticized? The nature and danger of these anonymous postings is that some people feel like they can say these hurtful things that they would NEVER say to someone in person. I think that what she is saying is that if you call her and have a real life conversation that she will talk about it. Nobody talked about on here has any obligation to respond to anyone on this forum. Obviously it will just end bad. I really wish the PW would end this anonymous trash. It seems to bring out the worst in the community. Is it advertising dollars for the PW weeky at the expense of many good people?

3 people like this
Posted by what
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm

I get that the trustees work hard for really no money so I won't begrudge them a day at the Rose. I certainly didn't spend my Saturday doing anything for the school. (although I have in the past). You gotta understand though a parent is always being asked for cash in this district. Hardly a week goes by without some sort of fundraising effort from one of many groups who want my funds. It gets tiring.

I think the easiest way to get info out is to call the weekly's reporter and tell them why. Who needs even 10 phone calls asking the same question? That seems like a waste of time.

16 people like this
Posted by Registered Joe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2015 at 9:38 am

The division in the District is a result of the power granted to the APT (local teachers' union) over a long period of time. As a relative newcomer, Ahmadi is not to be blamed for that situation, but on the other hand she has done nothing to extricate the district from the APT's clutches. That's the failure of leadership, which has come to a head with the Vranesh situation. Depending on how that plays out in court, we should all get a good view of the union's bullying of a good man and the district's choice to fire him instead of defending him.

2 people like this
Posted by resident of Pleasonton
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2015 at 11:29 am

All I know is if you don't really want people to attend, have the meeting at 8am on a Saturday. what a joke.

6 people like this
Posted by To registered Joe
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

I would agree APT has had influence over many years but I disagree regarding Ahmadi. She has beast the beast of APT and given the union its most significant role within the district yet.

7 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Yes what a terrible terrible job ...
Of thoughtful commentary that is.

Do only haters post on this site? I don't know why anyone would want to lead PUSD if the pathetic and hateful comments here are any indication of support. The only redeeming thing to consider is how few people probably waste their time reading these unfounded and hateful remarks. I can only hope and pray that the Board doesn't waster their time here either.

Do you remember reading this not too long ago about our great school system?

Education in Pleasanton garnered another high score, at 91%, and the survey narrative describes local students as “having access to a high-quality education, with secondary students performing well above the state average in math, language arts, and science last year.”

The website ranks Pleasanton Unified School District among the Top Ten School Districts in California, and both of the city’s comprehensive high schools consistently rank among the Top 100 High Schools in California by U.S. News and World Report.

Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It is important to know the formulas/methodology behind the various rankings: Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

6 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm

Yes the criteria for ranking and evaluating schools in those reports are good criteria. That's why they correctly rank PUSD so highly. The quality goes all the way to the top. This superintendent and the last one were particularly good. The vast majority of us are very pleased with PUSD.

2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:06 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The rankings are merely information. They tell you what they weight heavily for, be that IB programs, APs offered or successfully passed, or API scores. Helpful, but fairly sterile data. Student motivation, parent support and/or education level, and the culture of a school and dedication of its staff are why we have good rankings by those organizations.

Like this comment
Posted by truth
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:28 am

Ah, no wonder there was that disconnect between the rankings for Palo Alto and the reality of that school district, just sterile data, not really true that your school district is really that great. Oh thanks for clearing that up Kathleen. With all the controversy going on in Palo Alto schools this makes sense, they have been hiding behind the parents abilities for years now. They must really be a failing school district.

2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.....Mark Twain

2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Truth, you'll need to define "all the controversy." Certainly there is tragedy; unfortunate if you would make something else of it. As to sterile data, it is exactly that--a measure. I wouldn't qualify it to mean one thing here and another there. The more important information lies elsewhere.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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