News

Editorial: PUSD should reveal superintendent finalist before appointment

Earlier public vetting of top candidate would promote transparency, rebuild trust

The school board was expected to select its top choice for the new superintendent this week -- PUSD's fifth leader since June 2015 -- after private interviews last week and closed-session discussions Monday and Tuesday. A visit to the candidate's current district and successful contract negotiations were still to come.

Pleasanton stakeholders, though, won't know who it is until the board's vote on the final appointment June 13.

In other words, the families who rely on PUSD to educate their children, the people who are footing the bill for this recruiting process and the payout for the "not-a-good-fit" superintendent of six months, Rick Rubino, and everyone enduring the financial and emotional consequences of a revolving door in the superintendent office will not know who the top candidate is until the board announces its hiring decision.

Been there. Done that. This is the process the board used when Rubino was hired last spring. It didn't work.

Still, the board insists on continuing the failed process.

When we asked board president Joan Laursen to explain the rationale, the district's public information officer, Patrick Gannon, emailed a statement to us for her that read:

"The Board determined from the start that our process would be a confidential one, based upon the recommendations from the various search firms we, and the search firm panel, interviewed. It is widely believed that confidential searches result in a better pool of candidates. Until all the steps have been successfully completed in securing a finalist who is the best fit for Pleasanton Unified, the process will remain confidential."

We agree that keeping names of candidates confidential at the outset is vital to finding the best pool of candidates, so qualified applicants aren't hesitant to apply out of concern their current district might find out, among other personal and professional considerations. This is true even when the pool is narrowed to top finalists.

However, when the board narrows the list down to one preferred candidate, Pleasanton residents should know who that person is before the appointment is made so proper public vetting can occur before the contract is signed. In addition, if that person is not willing to openly go on record with interest in the position, perhaps he or she is "not a good fit" for our district.

A highly regarded school district to our north -- the San Ramon Valley Unified School District -- was looking for a new superintendent at the same time Pleasanton was recruiting last year.

District officials there released the name of their top candidate for the job publicly to their residents once he was identified, but before the final employment offer was made. Rick Schmitt was formally hired weeks later and has been the superintendent since July 2016.

We think the Pleasanton school board should follow the San Ramon Valley's lead.

The next PUSD superintendent needs to embrace transparency and work with the trustees to rebuild the trust with the community in the wake of the board firing Rubino -- for undisclosed reasons and without cause -- after only six months as superintendent.

The public needs to know the trustees embrace the idea that, as elected officials, their job is to facilitate transparency and accountability, not obstruct it. If as much time was spent on involving and engaging all stakeholders as is spent citing case law in response to requests for records and preventing the release of pertinent information to the stakeholders, perhaps there wouldn't be a pervasive lack of trust.

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. Let's stop the insanity by doing something different and begin public vetting of the top superintendent candidate now, because PUSD can't afford to be in this same leaderless position again next year.

The children and families of Pleasanton, PUSD employees and the district as a whole need stability at the top. They are counting on the school board to hire the "right" superintendent this time. Let them help.

Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by PW Reader
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on May 26, 2017 at 9:48 am

Is this really the opinion of the Pleasanton Weekly? Isn't it illegal to post anything on social media posing as someone else? If so, I hope this person is made accountable.


8 people like this
Posted by PUSD Taxpayer/Homeowner/Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

Nicely stated editorial, PW. Says it all, and I wholly concur.

To PUSD School Board--I urge you to read it and follow through with these recommendations.

You serve us: the taxpayers, homeowners, and, most importantly, the parents of and the children attending PUSD schools--not yourselves, not the CTA, nor the PUSD.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2017 at 10:36 am

I agree that the "Mystery Date" board game approach of keeping the Superintendent Finalist some sort of secret is bad policy, a failed approach, and seems to defy common sense.

From the PW Reader comment above, this sounds like some one from the school board or the school district again complaining about the editorial position of the Pleasanton Weekly. The Pleasanton Weekly should really try to determine how many FTEs (full time equivalent employees) and contractors are hired on the taxpayer dime to spend their time reading the Town Square forum.

For instance, did you notice Pleasanton Weekly that within days of the Town Square topic regarding the fact that PUSD, contrary to their public statements at the Board meeting, collected CITIZENSHIP data on their enrollment form here next to GRADE and SEX that they removed the word CITZENSHIP?

Old Form -
Web Link

New Form (revised April 2017 after Thread on Town Square forum) -
Web Link

If the PUSD spends so much time monitoring the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square forum, it is no wonder that they do not have the time to screen applicants.

Perhaps the Pleasanton Weekly can find out how many staff and contractor positions that are on the payroll hired to constantly monitor your publication.


8 people like this
Posted by Input from public needed
a resident of Country Fair
on May 26, 2017 at 12:16 pm

In an organization in the real world, when mistakes occur, people are dismissed or practices change or both. Since PUSD never acknowledges it ever makes mistakes, they constantly dig in, attack their critics, and never change. Such is the way of perpetually failing and constantly in chaos and ever in crisis organizations like PUSD, drama central of the East Bay. Release the name before the offer is finalized


12 people like this
Posted by Doc
a resident of Las Positas
on May 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Doc is a registered user.

I've been saying for quite some time that some new educational options need to move into our community to provide some real variety for our kids and competition for the district. I have heard that at the next first Wednesday Downtown Street Party will be a booth for an independent study charter school (Delta Charter School) and that they will be advertising their school and their programs. I did a quick search on the school's webpage and found them to be the real deal. They have been operating successfully for over 15 years and have a good track record (unlike some other local options just down the road in Livermore). I'm certainly going to stop by and learn more about the school and ask how I can help welcome them into the Pleasanton community.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2017 at 5:31 pm

The only reason for not making the name public is that they have something to hide. Does the school district really know how to find out what settlement agreements the potential hire has signed? Or how many times they have been sued?

Does the Pleasanton school board really want to continue to throw dollars down the drain and hire someone that consistently violates students' rights, is constantly being slammed by the Office of Civil Rights, or who has judges constantly issuing restraining orders against the district for its proposed actions (e.g., for example in the restraining order just granted today against the District (and attorney Louis Leone) by the Federal Judge James Donato in the Albany Unified School District Instagram "like-a-post" First Amendment case?

I seriously doubt the Pleasanton school board and staff are able to query court records to find out who they are hiring and how many times judges have not sided with the proposed hire in court proceedings that have involved the potential hire's previous districts or positions.


3 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on May 26, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Always good to know who is next in line to work a couple months and then get canned for who knows what and cash out their contract then move on to an actual well run school district.


4 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Why is PUSD allowing search firms to dictate the search criteria for potential candidates?

Candidates are concerned their districts will find out!

What do the potential candidates have to hide in order to be a confidential candidate?

This entire process stinks!


9 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 26, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Well, it would be really, really funny if the school board goofed up twice in a row and hired another lemon as Superintendent. If that happened, I think that there would be a lot of people in Pleasanton rising up with pitchforks.

Hope that some school board members are reading this.


8 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 26, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sorry to see so many non factual comments today. The visit will be posted and we will know who the candidate is. Unfortunately, the response to the Weekly was uninformative and leaves room for unnecessary speculation. Any finalist candidate has to inform their board. No need to hide at this point.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2017 at 9:09 pm

If PUSD had posted an agenda that they had visited Milpitas or Pajaro Valley or Fremont Unified or Gridley or to screen Callan or Casey or Ahmadi or Rubino, they would all be in agendas in the archives on the internet. Kathleen, they don't appear to exist.

What board member told you Kathleen ("The visit will be posted") that they would post an agenda disclosing the site visit to the finalist's current employer?

Given the secrecy of the PUSD and the way it continuously operates, even if all 5 board members traveled there, I would expect them to all violate the Brown Act and not post the agenda.


3 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 26, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

We know they did not visit Gridley. In order to check on the others, all hired prior to 2012, you have to call the district office. The files prior to 2012 are not online, but the information is knowable if you care to call.

I contact four board members or make public records requests when I need facts or clarification.

There is no secrecy, just a community's desire to know. And we will. No one on the board or in the district office will violate the Brown Act.


3 people like this
Posted by justwondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 27, 2017 at 9:19 am

Kathleen, just wondering why you only contact 4 board members when there are 5 trustees?


9 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 27, 2017 at 9:36 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

For formal requests (like moving an agenda item up on the agenda or for requesting a workshop--both things I have done--I will email the entire board. If I am making an appeal on a particular topic, I find there is one board member who never responds. This has happened with other board members in the past, although I understand one of them never answered anyone. So, I will respect the positions where protocol deems I should.

I have good relationships with the others, and it should be clear they don't always agree and often vote differently from my hopes. Goes with the process, and I'm grateful for the dialogue they provide.


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 31, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Keeping candidates for the job confidential prior to a final decision is a good idea. If I were a well qualified person for the job, I would insist on such a policy before throwing my hat in the ring. I wouldn't want my current employer to know I'm looking around, in case I don't get the job. How many of you would be happy to tell your current employer that you are looking for a job? Think rationally for a minute.


Like this comment
Posted by LanceM
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Well, it's been made public before hiring. I wonder what stupid comment "Resident Reader" will have to say now.


Like this comment
Posted by LanceM
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2017 at 4:17 pm

"Does the school district really know how to find out what settlement agreements the potential hire has signed? Or how many times they have been sued?"

Resident Reader - Hopefully, you will post that information here as soon as possible.


2 people like this
Posted by Candidate?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

Not sure why the Board would be hiring a superintendent from a district that just laid off 300 teachers with the quote from one angry trustee in the OC Register Web Link "I’ve underscored outrageous spending on public relations ($883,000), outside vendors ($32 million) and the $2.4 million our district spent last year on travel and conferences."

I wouldn't be sending my kids to that school district with videos from SAUSDNews like "Run, Hide, Fight" Web Link Gee whiz. Did they use students to film these movies?

I'm reading various news outlets not only the OC Register including newsantaana.com which say in Santa Ana, the school board gave teachers a raise that boosted pay by $32 million, then proceeded to layoff around 300 of them. Here is another article that sums it up - Web Link

Spending $2.4 million so administrators can attend conferences and travel around when 300 teachers were just laid off is awful.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2017 at 11:49 pm

Hazard Young Attea and Associates apparently did not recommend Haglund to the Santa Ana board as superintendent last year, so why are they-the exact same firm- recommending them to the Pleasanton board?

A quick internet search shows Rick Miller was at Riverside, as was Haglund (principal of a virtual, on-line school) then Miller went to Santa Ana as superintendent followed by Haglund. Rick Miller retired in June 2016, but Santa Ana did not hire Haglund as superintendent.

Instead it looks like Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates recommended someone else who had been in charge of business and operations. Web Link

So why was Haglund not a good fit to be SAUSD's superintendent when Miller retired?

How much student interaction and teacher interaction and community interaction experience do you really have if you are a principal of a virtual, online school aimed at Independent Study and Home Schoolers anyway?

Also, having the head of the Pleasanton Teachers' union and the Pleasanton Classified union travel to Southern California and talk to the existing board, management, and staff at Santa Ana Unified in site visit in Santa Ana really tells you who is running the show at PUSD, doesn't it?

The Board? No. It looks to me like they haven't been in charge in nearly a decade.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 6:49 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I don't see where it says Haglund applied. And you have no idea if HYA recommended him if he did. It's usually very difficult for inside candidates to be seen by the board beyond their current role. Having union reps travel/participate is not unusual. What is your real issue RR?


2 people like this
Posted by Vis-it-tor
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2017 at 7:04 am

Vis-it-tor is a registered user.

......Having union reps travel/participate is not unusual

Perhaps, but if they are going in their 'union' role the union should pay for their expenses, no? And, needs to be said, the union has no vote in the hiring process. In fact, you really don't want them providing feedback either. They would want somebody they could either manage or roll over during negotiations, no? Certainly a conflict of interest. Anything the union needs they can get by phoning it in.......


1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 2, 2017 at 8:05 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Okay, Kathleen your point is well received.
Will the union members discussion with counter parts be transcribed and entered into the public record? If not they should stay home.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2017 at 8:38 am

I think once again tone deaf board has failed. It seems to have completely ignored the parent survey - profile report of who they wanted the Board to identify and hire Web Link .

Once again, there is a complete mismatch between what the community indicated in surveys they wanted to see in the new superintendent (someone with experience in a District with similar high expectations from well-educated parents) vs. who the board has identified. Web Link

[Your comment "It's usually very difficult for inside candidates to be seen by the board beyond their current role" was not the case in SAUSD - they in fact hired an internal candidate, just not Haglund.]

San Ramon Valley hired Rich Schmitt, who was superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District serving affluent communities in southern California, with well-educated, demanding parents who have high expectations of the school district.

Santa Ana seems to be a troubled, high poverty district with absolutely no demographic factors in common with Pleasanton.

The community wants someone who can retain excellent teachers. Tom Hall and Eric Thiel leave today - what a loss!

Do you really think the community wants PUSD to replace excellent teachers and reform the District so that content is streamed to students from a set of on-line, virtual schools were the District purchases prepackaged content from companies like Aventa and other providers? No.


3 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 9:24 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Hi Michael, The board's part of these meetings are closed session and could include the union reps. There will be no minutes indicating what they learned, only that they met. The meetings of individual board members and other participants with Santa Ana individuals are not subject to the Brown Act . . . unless three or more Santa Ana board members chose to meet with say a union rep, then Santa Ana would record it and most likely as a closed session. It is unlikely the latter will happen.

I realize this is frustrating and seems like something the public should have access to, but in reality, would you be asking for this if the Council was hiring a new City Manager? Do we expect this from major corporations? We have to trust those we have elected, via a vote or a purchase of stocks. And if it turns out badly, we vote our electeds out of office.

RR, sorry I missed the internal hire. I'm not opposed to alternative ways of learning that still require a teacher, but I would not support a model like Aventa for our first line of education. I don't think I know Hall, but Thiel is a loss, as is Ravina at PMS.

I don't know who applied, but if this person is the cream of the crop, maybe it says something about our community and not just our board.


Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2017 at 10:41 am

Kathleen, to your point, when interviewing the Pleasanton City Manager, the unions were never involved.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 10:53 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

My point was about not having the access we might desire, not just unions. I don't know if the City had interview panels like the district did. Group interviews are common at all levels in a school district. It's pretty weird the first time you walk in and have five or six people asking you questions.


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Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2017 at 11:30 am

As somebody who has been around the block a few times, I know that the city did not have group interview panels or the unions involved in the decision process..

A big concern that I have, and it seems a lot of the community feels the same, is the unions are in control of our school district. Having them as part of the selection process, and paying them for their travels, only adds to the concern.

The unions do not represent what is best for the students or the community. They represent what is best for the employees. The Superintendent works for the Board which works for the community. The problems we have had for some time is that the unions have been in control. This process confirms the unions are in charge.

I would object if the police or fire union was involved in the selection process of a city manager. It does not mean those people are unqualified but rather they have different interests than those in the community.

My feeling is the union representative, as well as staff, should have no more influence or access than the community. Period. The district belongs to the community, not the employees.


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Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2017 at 11:37 am

If the unions were not involved in the City Manager interviews, why should the unions be involved in the School Superintendent interviews? And they should certainly not be traveling with the School Board to the proposed superintendent's school district with them.

The union heads are not supposed to be the CEOs of the school district, but in fact, they seem to be, along with the district-hired attorneys. What signal do you think that would give any potential candidate thinking of working for the PUSD as a superintendent - that the two union reps travel on equal footing with the school board to their site?

That speaks volumes.

I would bet the PUSD got little to no qualified applicants, including great candidates with previous superintendent experience.

And it is no wonder. The signal the Board just gave is "Hi, we aren't really in charge. The unions are. Have a nice day. Have fun with all the grievances."

I can't imagine the mayor and city council in a million years basically diluting their power and having a bunch of union reps interview and choose who the city manager and city attorney was going to be. And no Board of Directors of any commercial business would ever have the union rep be involved in picking the CEO. They'd probably just laugh at the mere thought of that.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

RR, I doubt it's equal footing. They will talk to teachers and classified staff for the most part. They don't get a vote; they get to express their impression of the person. So, all I can say is it's common practice. Unions will have their say eventually whether you include them in the initial process or not. I'd rather be inclusive at the front end.

We aren't going to change each other's minds on this. But if the two union people come away with information that will change a choice by the board, I'd be grateful for their input.

local: Community<--->Board<--->Superintendent<--->everyone in the organization

I want everyone on both ends of that line to hold the two in the middle accountable. If we want to balance the unions; we gotta be there and be equally vocal (phone, email, meetings).


2 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2017 at 12:21 pm

And/Or we need to elect strong representatives to the School Board. This takes Board members who are not afraid of stepping on the toes of the union in order to get what is best for our community and students.

What we have now:

Community<--->}
}Board<--->}
Unions------->} }Superintendent<-->Unions<-->everyone in the organization
}
Unions--->}


Like this comment
Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm

That last post got messed up when the post was actually done. Let me try again:

Community<--->|
..............|Board<--->|
Unions------->|..........|Superintendent<-->Unions<-->everyone in the organization
...............Unions--->|


2 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Unable to get the forum software to no reformat the posting. Sorry.

What I was trying to get across is the unions are controlling the Board and also the Superintendent.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Doesn't change that the community needs to participate. For example: why aren't negotiations open to the public (unless that changed and I haven't heard it)? Would you go?


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Posted by Vis-it-tor
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Vis-it-tor is a registered user.

it's pretty simple only those who have a direct vote in the hiring process should go on a fact (fishing) finding tax payer paid trip. The union has a clear conflict of interest. If they want to view the district, go at their expense. but, can you guess what would happen if the union found out this finalist wasn't warm and fuzzy with the union down there. Wanna guess what they would do? Yeah, conflict of interest and a clear waste of $$ if district funds were paying.


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Posted by Board is at fault
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Does the board pick the candidate as the finalist who has the most Tweets and selfies from attending retreats and summits in hotel conference centers?

The board seems to pick the candidates based on inexperience being a plus. In other words, someone could theorize the board is clueless. Others could theorize they are doing this on purpose. In that way, the unions and the attorneys can basically control the superintendent.

How else do you explain them picking a candidate as a finalist who has no experience at being a principal other than as part of an alternate learning program involving a virtual school (Riverside Virtual)?

You can bet that the individuals with brick and mortar principal experience on the types of problems that happen on campuses with real, live students (have you seen the TV news reports about the Palo Alto Unified sagas with Max McGee, the Federal OCR, and the sexual assaults on campuses and in bathrooms?), dealing with misbehaving teachers that don't teach, and dealing with the day to day issues involving on-site facility management will have a quite difficult experience profile than someone involved with pre-packaged purchased on-line content and students viewing course content remotely over the internet.

The less experienced the superintendent is, the more the unions and behind the scenes army of attorneys will run the show.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If a person can't work with unions, why would we want them here? It's one thing to have high expectations of employees, and quite another to do interest based bargaining. And this candidate has been working with teachers; its part of the job he currently holds. So, yup, I hope our reps are learning all they can.


2 people like this
Posted by local
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 2, 2017 at 4:13 pm

If the person cannot work with unions, all the more reason for me wanting that person hired :-)

Actually there is a difference between can't work with unions vs. has an adversarial role with unions. I think the later is a requirement to get a balance in what is best for the community/students. Whenever I see a candidate being endorsed by a public employee union, that is a bunch of strikes against that candidate. Just like when I see a proposition being endorsed by the CTA, I almost always vote the other way. I know it is not going to be in my best interest.


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Posted by Vis-it-tor
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Vis-it-tor is a registered user.

KR: when hiring a district employee the union is the last area to seek feedback and really not at the tax payers' dime.
Agree to disagree.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Fair enough. My understanding from others is that at least one rep paid their way because they have reason to be there anyway. Have not confirmed. So one down; one to go.


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Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Speaking of paying for travel, along with finding out whether David Haglund is indeed a High School Dropout as he claims on the internet, the Pleasanton Weekly needs to find out who paid to send school administrators, including Haglund, from Santa Ana Unified to China along with two Board members from Santa Ana Unified. There are a number of photos posted.

This happened the year Rick Miller retired. There appears to be another SAUSD Trustee complaining about millions spent by SAUSD on travel. Did SAUSD pay for these people to go to China, even though 300 teachers have recently been handed pink slips?

Please see the article on NewSantaAna called "Who paid to send SAUD school officials including Palacio and Amezcua to China?" here

Web Link

Also if what David Haglund says is true (that he is a High School Dropout), can the Pleasanton Weekly verify this by obtaining the transcript from Pleasanton Unified? It is puzzling that from what I have heard at the Farmer's Market, his photo is pictured in yearbooks for his high school class multiple years. Did he really drop out of High School and what were the negative experiences that he refers to in articles that led him to do this, if in fact this is true? If he dropped out, how did he ever attend college?

I hope the Pleasanton Weekly can inform the readers what is the truth.

If SAUSD did not fund the trip, what other government entity or corporation did? And does it show up on David Haglund's Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests?


2 people like this
Posted by OC Native
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Kudos to the Pleasanton Weekly to get the PUSD to reveal their finalist.

I can tell you that if they had named someone from Irvine Unified School District, I would be jumping for joy. This is a district on par with Pleasanton and Palo Alto. Today, I would also writing the Board congratulating them for their diligent search.

Instead, they have chosen someone from one of the lowest ranked Districts in the entire state (Santa Ana Unified), a huge scandal plagued, unsafe, poverty and crime-ridden hellhole, that has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Instead, today I am searching today working to identify other schools in the area where my children will be attending schools in the Fall.


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Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm

I was hoping Kathleen R. would chime in and comment whether it is common for two school board members, a superintendent and deputy superintendent (Haglund) to somehow unannounced show up in places like China as in this news story -
Web Link . I have never heard of something similar.

But I just found Web Link) about the Ballot Initiative David Haglund was in charge of that had an aim to allow private and public providers to give on-line courses to students directly. This is the Facebook account Web Link . This is an article in the Huffington Post -
Web Link

This is very strange. I can't find an actual nonprofit called Education Forward except for something called Education Forward DC, so I am wondering if government funds from the school district were used to pay for the signature gathering effort or whether Education Forward is a non-profit formed outside the U.S. Can anyone find where this nonprofit is registered. I can't.

The EducationForward.org website is not down, but it is not working, but it is registered to someone named Gordon Freedman of Knowledge Base LLC and formerly of Blackboard.

This Web Link says $2 million would be raised, but where did the money go? I did call the State and there should be something called a FPPC number. I can't find where to locate one. Can anyone shed some light on this, and is there anyone who can find out who the donors were? Did this have something to do with the trip to China?

Maybe Kathleen R. can provide some assistance.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The Brown Act only applies if three or more board members go somewhere. Beyond that, it depends how transparent people choose to be. It could have been discussed in a meeting.

It doesn't say they raised $2MM and only a verbal commitment to $500K. And I don't know who is behind that newsletter and it's from 2012.

There is a lot of conversation around blended learning, project based learning, and online learning doesn't surprise me.

I'll see if I can find anything you didn't on education forward.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Ok, it seems Education forward has cities that adopt a program for struggling, underperforming students: DC and Katy, Texas, that I could find.

Also, very curious that New Santa Ana hasn't bothered to do a follow up article that I can find to answer their own question, in nine months.


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Posted by Resident Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Thanks Kathleen. Web Link shows some information that I found from an archived version of the non-working Education Forward website.

Interesting that Dana W. Reed, on the Executive Committee on the California Republican Party, formed Education Forward with David Haglund. Dana W. Reed is listed as the "agent for process of service" under FTB Suspended corporation C3427515 on the state website - here he is Web Link

Reed was also listed as Treasurer at the above link at the top.

Also Nonprofitfacts shows this information-Web Link

I am thinking this is different than Education Forward DC.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Aug 23, 2017 at 7:06 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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Posted by Wilson Gary
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Sep 14, 2017 at 3:51 am

We deal with all the latest technological innovations and handy gadgets that you can use on a daily basis to ease your daily work routine Web Link


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