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  • Monday, October 09, 2017

     

    Fire Closures at OUSD

    Orange USD School Closures

    Orange, CA – October 9, 2017 -5:23 pm - The Orange Unified School District will close the following schools tomorrow October 10, 2017 due to the Canyon Fire 2:
    Anaheim Hills Elementary
    Running Springs Elementary
    Canyon Rim Elementary
    Chapman Hills Elementary
    Linda Vista Elementary
    Panorama Elementary
    Santiago Charter School
    El Rancho Charter School
    El Modena High School will also be closed to students and staff.  
    The OC Sheriff and Orange Police Department Incident Command Center and Red Cross Evacuation Center are located at El Modena.  The District staff continues to monitor the Canyon Fire 2 situation carefully and further updates will be provided when available.
    The Orange Unified School District is committed to student safety and is working closely with police and fire in Anaheim Hills and Orange.
    Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
    Interim Superintendent
    Orange Unified School District

    Wednesday, October 04, 2017

     

    OUSD gets first top two women

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD makes history with top two administrators 
    Truex to join Hanson as interim  leader
    Interim Superintendent Hansen
    The new Orange Unified School District top two interim administrator will mark the first time in OUSD history that the two top leadership positions in the district are both held by women. 

    At the September OUSD Trustee meeting, the OUSD Board rejected hiring two interim co- superintendent candidates named in the OUSD Agenda item and selected OUSD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Gunn Marie Hansen  as Interim OUSD Superintendent.

    Item 16 C on the Thursday October 5, 2017 is a vote on filling Dr. Hasen's Deputy Superintendent position on an interim basis with Anne Truex, OUSD's Executive Director of  Elementary  Education .


    OUSD Trustees will hold study session on Superintendent search
    The Orange Unified School Board will hold a Work/Study session on Thursday October 5th.  The session will take place at 6:00 pm, one hour before the regular 7 pm Board Meeting.

    At the September 14, 2017  Board meeting, the OUSD Board voted for a contract with Leadership Associates to lead the search for a superintendent. Representatives from the firm will review the process for that search during the October 5th Work/Study Session.

    The Work/Study session will be held in the Building B Conference Room at the OUSD District Office Campus.

    Inside the OUSD October 5th Agenda
    Other items on the October 5, 2017  OUSD Board of Education Agenda:
    ·     Agenda Item 13F (page 5) A proclamation for celebrating "Week of the School Administrator" October 8-14

    ·   Agenda Item 17A (page 13) A follow-up on the discussion of a future student calendar with an earlier date for school starting. The item includes a report on the information gathered in the outreach by the District Student Calendar Committee in a straw poll.


    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING October 5, 2017
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION-  5:00 pm
    Work Study Session 6:00 pm Building B Conference Room
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm Board Room Building H
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: OUSD AGENDA



    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News

    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

     

    OUSD to name co-superintedents

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OUSD Board to hire two co-superintendents as it searches for next OUSD superintendent
    The Orange Unified School Board is scheduled to approve the appoint of two "co-superintendents" at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday September 14, 2017.

    Dr. Carmella Franco and Dr. Garrett Rutherford are expected to be approved by the OUSD Board.  The move for co-superintendents is the result of the California retirement system for teachers and administrators- California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)-rules that apply to how much money retirees can make in another California education position after they retire.  Their is no wage restrictions for work outside the state retirement systems.

    Dr. Franco

    Dr. Camella Franco started her career as an elementary school teacher in Rowland Unified School District.  In 2008 she retired after 12 years as the Superintendent of Whittier City School District.   Franco is 67 years old.









    Dr. Rutherford
    Dr Garrett Rutherford served as superintendent for Upland Unified, Huntington Beach City School District and Desert  Sands Unified. Ruthford started his career as a long-term substitute in the south-central neighborhood of L.A. Unified.  Rutherford also worked as a teacher in Downey Unified. 


    Rutherford retired from Desert Sands in 2016 after controversy over his pay reverberated across the close-knit Coachella Valley.   Rutherford received controversial raises during his short tenure and retired 2 years into his four year contract.  Rutherford first received a 3% raise, then two months before he retired an additional 6.5% raise.  His $251,000 salary in 2013 hit $281,600 when he announced his retirement in November 2016, just two years into his 4 year contract. 

    Both Rutherford and Franco's OUSD contracts are not to exceed $43,755 each.  The OUSD Board will also vote to approve a contract with a new  based executive search firm to help hire a new OUSD Superintendent.  That firm, Leadership Associates,  is a California based company with extensive success in placing superintendents throughout California. 
    (Click on Leadership Associates )


    Orange County Committee on School District Organization approves petition for election for transfer of Panorama Heights from Orange Unified to Tustin  Unified
    On Wednesday September 6, 2017. after holding two public meetings, the Orange County Committee on School District Organization voted to allow an election to move forward for Panorama Heights to vote whether to leave Orange Unified to join Tustin Unified.

    Nine criteria had to be met by the petitioners to move forward with the vote to leave OUSD.  The Orange County Committee on School District Organization voted that the petition qualified on each of the nine criteria, thus allowing the vote to proceed.

    The Committee members however left the decision for the boundaries of  the proposed vote, and therefore the potential territory transferred to Tustin to be made at a future meeting of the Committee on School District Organization.

    No school buildings would be involved in the transfer,  however an estimate of over 50 current OUSD students would be affected if the transfer is approved by the area's voters.

    OUSD estimates the loss of state attendance funding at over $700,000.  

    This is the second attempt of Panorama Heights residents to leave OUSD for Tustin.

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING September 14, 2017
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 6:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: OUSD AGENDA


    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

     

    Last minute additions to OUSD Agenda

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Last minute additions to OUSD Agenda
    OUSD adds Interim Superintendent consideration and dumping executive search consultant
    In a late  agenda "Addendum" added to the public posting of the OUSD Board of Education's regular agenda for the August 17, 2017 meeting this Thursday,  the OUSD Trustees will consider the appointment of an Interim Superintendent and dumping the controversial executive search firm of McPearson & Jacobson.   

    After posting the original August 17th  Meeting Agenda early Monday August 14th (with nothing related to the search for a superintendent) late that same day an agenda Addendum was added that included items related to the ongoing superintendent search.

    The agenda Addendum changes the time of the Closed Session from 6:30 pm to 5:30 pm and adds two items. First it adds Closed Session Agenda Item 4. C- "Consideration of Appointment of Interim Superintendent".   Under Action Items, it adds Item 12 G- Consultant Agreement that states:
    "The Board will consider to abandon the work under the Consultant agreement for Superintendent Search Services at its sole discretion".

    This newest twist to the current OUSD Superintendent search comes after last week's Special Board Meeting was to appoint an Interim Superintendent and outline steps to McPearson & Jacobson on finding a new superintendent.  The August 10th Special Meeting was called to order by the Board Clerk Trustee Kathy Moffat with Board President Rick Ledsma, Board Vice President John Ortega and Timothy Surridge all absent after they had attended the earlier Closed Session.  

    Item 10 A on the Special Meeting Agenda  was to be a discussion with, and direction given to, Dr. Jacobson (the owner of the consultant firm McPearson & Jacobson) chosen to help find the new OUSD Superintendent. Trustee Moffat however started the agenda item by stating that discussions had taken place about the Interim Superintendent appointment (Closed Session Agenda Item 4 B) and that she was now putting into the meeting record that she requests that the renewed contract that the OUSD Board had negotiated with Superintendent  Michael Christensen in February be placed on the Regular Session meeting on August 17th. 

    With the Addendum agenda item going back to appointing an interim superintendent and based on the surprising Special Meeting of August 10th, many Greater Orange stakeholders on social media are hoping that the August 17th meeting could bring Michael Christensen back as that "Interim Superintendent" to provide stability  while the Board Leadership regroups to move forward on  recruiting a replacement.  The OUSD Board might also consider under the agenda one of the four names given to them by McPearson & Jacobson  at the July 27th OUSD Board Meeting, although it is unclear whether any of those candidates have been interviewed.

    The rapid  developments over the search for an OUSD Superintendent since the official departure of Superintendent Christensen on August 2, 2017 (after he gave a two month notice of his retirement) has plunged the OUSD District Office into disarray with three major administrative positions empty.  

    An Acting Superintendent was named in a departing email from Christensen as the Board Leadership has now twice blundered in moving to fill the Superintendent post.  First in a compressed internal search and now with a controversial consultant firm that the Trustees appear ready to fire (click on ONN on McPearson & Jacobson).

    Adding to OUSD's current administrative disarray are two currently open Measure S building critical positions -Assistant Superintendent for Business Services and Executive Director for Secondary Education, plus a recently hired Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Planning Ronald Lebs. (A new Executive Director of Secondary Education is due to be appointed Thursday).

    Panorama  Heights files a second petition to leave OUSD for Tustin Unified
    Panorama Heights has filed a second petition to leave Orange Unified and join Tustin Unified. 

    Fifteen months ago in April of 2016 the area petitioned to leave Orange Unified. In May of 2016 the petition was turned down by the  Orange County Committee on School Organization (OCCSO) after holding two Public Hearings.

    The original petition did not include the neighborhood section called "Lower Panorama Heights" and affected about 54 students costing OUSD just over $400,000 in  state average daily attendance funding (ADA).  The new July petition includes Lower Panorama Heights and now includes over 90 ADA students costing OUSD almost $800,000 in funding.  The original Panorama Heights petitioners ignored the negative financial impact on OUSD by arguing that the term negative impact means that the transfer did not affect the state finances.

    There are nine Education Code criteria that must be met for the transfer to take place.  Last year OUSD argued that the proposed transfer failed five of the nine mandated criteria:
    Criteria 8 does not allow the petition to be made primarily to increase property values.  In the 2016 petition, one of the three petitioners was a realtor who does business in the area-Jennifer Lampman.  In the original hearings the fact that Lampman was a realtor was not brought forward and the OCCSO determined that property values were not a factor. In the initial paperwork included in the 40 pages of paper work in the August 17th Agenda that is associated with the transfer, Criteria 8 is again listed (Agenda page 13) with OUSD contending "This is a motivating factor in the proposed transfer".  
    For more information click on Panorama Heights


    After 16 years, Orange Unified looks at bringing back the controversial Public Information Officer position
    Item 13 B (page 94) is an informational item looking at the possibility of bringing back a Public Information Officer position in Orange Unified.  Since discontinuing the position in 2001, the OUSD Superintendent has served as the spokesperson for the district.

    The last Orange Unified  Public Information Officer was Judy Frutig who was hired by the then Reactionary Board controlled by Education Alliance Trustee Marty Jacobson's anti-public education majority (that Board was eventually recalled in the 2001 Orange Recall Election).

    Frutig's position became the mouthpiece for the reactionary policies for a board majority out-of-control with policies growing more and more unpopular.  The information disseminated by Frutig was directly dictated by Board President Marty Jacobson. Frutig quickly became a lightning rod for uniting the Greater Orange Community against the Jacobson Majority and the beginning of uniting local social media communication under the Orange Citizens News Network-predecessor to Orange Net News

    Anthony Colin  at a Board meeting (OC Weekly)
    As the Recall pressure on the Board intensified, Frutig was unable to meet the overwhelming challenge of the growing community communication network and the state and national news scrutiny brought on by outrageous Board actions and by the landmark gay student rights case Colin vs Orange Unified. The under fire Board majority, now facing a recall election, abruptly fired Frutig. 

    For more information click on the landmark case click on Colin v OUSD
    For information about El Modena student Anthony Colin's suicide click on  
    Anthony  Colin  Made  El  Modena  High  School  a  Safer  Place




    Frutig, now the ex-OUSD PIO, sued Orange Unified for wrongful termination and joined the Orange Recall leadership. Frutig used her expertise to help the fledgling Orange Citizens News Network to upgrade into a modern 21st Century watchdog alert organization- controlled by the tight-knit invitation only local leaders known as the Roundtable Committee of the Greater Orange Community Group (now the Greater Orange Community Organization and its semi-autonomous arm, the Orange Communication System).

    After the successful 2001 Recall, Frutig settled her lawsuit with the new OUSD attorneys and was instrumental in helping the former OUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert French (forced out by the Jacobson Majority) returning to OUSD as the Superintendent replacing his replacement-Barbara Van Otterloo . Frutig then went on to host a local radio show and eventually teaching journalism at CSULB.

    Now sixteen years later, OUSD is again looking at a hiring a Public Information  Officer.  Like in 2001, the question is-Who will control the information that the position disseminates in the present-and in the future?

    Inside the August 17 Board Meeting

    Action Item 12 E.-One-year contract extensions for three top OUSD Administrators- the Deputy Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendents of Human  Resources and Facilities and Planning.

    Information Item 13 B. - Measure S Update

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday August 17, 2017
    CLOSED SESSION NOTE Time change 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For the AGENDA-CLICK ON: 
    AGENDA 
    ADDENDUM


    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News

    Thursday, August 10, 2017

     

    Will Christensen be asked back to OUSD?

    SPECIAL REPORT
    OUSD Superintendent drama continues...
    OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen 
    Some Trustees call for Christensen to return as Superintendent
    The Thursday August 10, 2017 OUSD Board of Education Special Meeting  may go down in OUSD annals  as one of the shortest Board of Trustee meetings in district history and one of the most surprising.  

    The Regular Session of the Special Meeting was called to order by the Board Clerk, Trustee Kathy Moffat because Board President Rick Ledsma and Board Vice President John Ortega were absent from the Regular Session. Also absent from the Regular Session was Trustee Timothy Surridge.  The three absences left a quorum of the remaining four trustees- Moffat plus Trustees Dr. Alexia Deligianni-Brydges,  Brenda Lebsack and Andrea Yamasaki.


    Moffat had the Closed Session decisions ( as required by the Brown Act) reported by Ed Kissee, OUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources ( the highest ranking administrator present at the meeting).  Kissee reported that under Closed Session Item 4 A that the OUSD Board had voted 7-0 ( all trustees present and voting) to hire a new elementary principal and new high school assistant principal.

    When the Action Agenda Item 10 A was next presented- the meeting quickly became unexpected. 

    Agenda Item 10 A was to be a discussion with and  direction given to Dr. Jacobson, the owner of the consultant  firm McPearson & Jacobson- chosen to help find the new OUSD Superintendent. 

    Trustee Moffat however started the agenda item by stating that discussions had taken place about the Interim Superintendent appointment (Agenda Item 4 B) and that she was now putting into the meeting record that she requests that the renewed contract that the OUSD Board had negotiated with Superintendent  Michael Christensen in February be placed on the Regular Session meeting on August 17th. 

    Trustee  Lebsack  stated that she agreed with the idea of bringing Christensen back as the Superintendent.

    The meeting was then adjourned.

    The timeline of the OUSD Superintendent drama has become more clear since the November 2016 election that brought OUSD the passing of its first Bond Measure- Measure S. 

    On January 19, 2017, the  OUSD Trustees gave the Superintendent an evaluation during the Closed Session.

    During the February 15th, 2017 meeting, the OUSD Board during Closed Session met with OUSD Attorney Spencer Covert concerning the offer to Superintendent Christensen for a new contract. The agenda item included the phrase "no final action will be taken in closed session".   Sources in the district report that during this meeting a contract for Christensen was agreed upon.

    That contract did not appear for approval on the March Agenda.

    The April 13, 2017 Agenda again had a Closed Session item concerning Christensen's contract. Fifteen days later, on Friday March 28th, Christensen announced his retirement.

    The February agreed to Christensen contract terms were not placed on the OUSD Agenda for over two months-apparently eventually leading Christensen into retirement.

    The first OUSD Board Meeting after Christensen's announcement  May 17, 2017 had a closed session agenda item for consideration of an Interim Superintendent.  Now, three months later and OUSD still has no Interim Superintendent and the process for replacing Christensen appears to be mired in chaos.   In addition, after Christensen's announced retirement, OUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services "Joe" Sorrera left OUSD.

    After a failed compressed attempt to find a candidate from inside OUSD, in June the OUSD Board started the process to hire an consultant firm to recruit a superintendent.  The consultant firm that was decided on was the controversial McPherson & Jacobson.  The problems with McPherson & Jacobson became clear during the July 27th OUSD Board meeting featuring  a teleconferencing call from Dr. Thomas Jacobson the owner of McPherson & Jacobson  as conflicting information was given by Dr. Jacobson.


    Now without three top administrators, school starting and  Measure S High School Bond work pending, three Trustees skip a Special Meeting on replacing the Superintendent and Trustee Kathy Moffat is left trying to get the OUSD Board to place a contract for Superintendent Christensen-approved seven months ago-on the agenda next week to approve. 

    The question now remains, will tonight's missing OUSD trustees try to block the move to return OUSD's "Superintendent of Excellence"  and keep OUSD in chaos? 

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017

     

    OUSD moves to find Interim Superintendent

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    OUSD Special Meeting Thursday
    OUSD moves to find Interim Superintendent

    After making his retirement announcement public three months ago in May 2017, OUSD Superintendent Mike Christensen sent a final goodbye email to the OUSD family at the end of  his last day, Wednesday August 2, 2017.  The three paragraph email was a thank you to the employees of OUSD and simply signed "Mike".

    In the email Christensen stated his great confidence in OUSD's  top administrators in the Superintendent's Cabinet and announced that Deputy Superintendent Dr. Hansen would be  the Acting Superintendent as the OUSD Board conducts a search for an Interim Superintendent.       

    The search for that Interim Superintendent is on the OUSD Board of Education Special Meeting Agenda for this Thursday August 10, 2017.  Closed Session Item 4A is for "Consideration of Appointment of Interim Superintendent".

    At the Thursday July 27th  the OUSD Board of Education  received names from McPherson & Jacobson, the  school executive recruitment firm chosen to led the search for a new OUSD Superintendent. According to on-line documents, McPherson & Jacobson does not "recruit" for Interim Superintendents. The firm uses an internal list of  candidates who will provide interim superintendent  services. The four names provided to the OUSD Board by McPherson & Jacobson  are all retired former top school administrators and do not appear to be up for consideration for the  permanent OUSD Superintendent position:  





    Dr. Carmella Franco- The 67 year old is currently employed as a headhunter for the school executive search firm Hazard,Young, Attea & Associates. She has served as Superintendent of Whittier City School District for 12 years and as Interim Superintendent for both Compton Unified School District and Woodland Joint Unified School District.




    Dr. Suzette D. Lovely- At 59 years old she is the youngest of the four and is currently a consultant to numerous entities including one of OUSD's legal firms- Atkinson,  Andelson, Loya, Rudd, Romo.  Her numerous administration positions include serving as the Superintendent of Carlsbad Unified School District for four years and acting Superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District.




    Dr. Roberta Mahler- The 73 year old Villa Park resident is currently a part-time employee of the Orange County Department of Education. She served for 13 months as an Interim Superintendent for Capistrano Unified and 12 months as Interim Superintendent of Westminster School District.







    Dr. Mary Willis - The 66 year old is currently listed as operating two consultant firms LBHI Consulting and Management Services and  MWillis Inc., Educational Consultant Services.  According to her Linked-In page, she started her consultant business while employed as Assistant Superintendent of Montebello Unified in 2010.  She also serviced as Interim Superintendent for El Monte Union High School District for four months in 2015.  



    The July 27th OUSD Agenda stated that an OUSD Special Board Meeting will be held at a later date for the OUSD Board to interview "potential candidates".  The August 10th  Closed Session begins at 5:30 pm with the Open Session beginning at 7:00pm.

    Item 10 A states Dr. Thomas Jacobson of  McPherson & Jacobson  will  be at the OUSD Board to receive input from the OUSD Board on the process for the OUSD Superintendent search.   

    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING Thursday August 10, 2017

    CLOSED SESSION NOTE Time change 5:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For the AGENDA-CLICK ON: AGENDA


    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ARCHIVAL Information and direct news can be found at:
    the Greater Orange News Service http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    and the
    Greater Orange News Service
    are independent news services of /O/N/N/

    Orange Net News


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    Wednesday, July 26, 2017

     

    OUSD Upheaval

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD      
    a news service of
     Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Just days from Christensen's retirement...
    Board's search for new OUSD Superintendent continues with a company familiar with controversy
    The OUSD Board does not yet have an Interim Superintendent in place as the search for a new Orange Unified School District Superintendent continues, despite having a four month notification of his retirement by current OUSD Superintendent Michael Christensen.  Christensen's retirement announcement was made public four months ago on May 1, 2017, then setting  August 1st as his retirement date. 
    For more information Click on RETIREMENT

    This Thursday July 27th, just five working days before Christensen's now "effective retirement date" of August 2nd, and the OUSD Board of Education will just be getting "possible names" and discussing the process for hiring an Interim Superintendent according to the July 27th Agenda for Information Item 13 A (page 17).  The name for the position of Interim Superintendent will be provided by McPherson & Jacobson, the  school executive recruitment firm chosen to led the search for a new OUSD Superintendent.

    According to on-line documents, McPherson & Jacobson does not "recruit" for Interim Superintendents. The firm uses an internal list of  candidates who will provide interim superintendent  services.  The the firm's normal process for Interim Superintendent placement, according to a McPherson & Jacobson document (see link below), is that the firm provides just one candidate name at a time .


    This "one name" process that McPherson & Jacobson uses has led to past controversies (see "Caveat Emptor" section below).   If the one-name process is indeed the process   McPherson & Jacobson uses with OUSD, that is effectively having the McPherson & Jacobson CEO Dr. Thomas Jacobson "placing" the Interim Superintendent position without the promised Phase II community outreach stakeholders-which theoretically gives the firm an understanding of how to match candidates to the district (see  "Caveat Emptor"  section below).
    For more information Click on Sample report below

    In the past, those Interim Superintendent's provided by McPherson & Jacobson have had an inside track to the superintendent's position when McPherson & Jacobson  finally does post the position. The McPherson & Jacobson position postings are promised to include criteria that is based on the district's "stakeholder" input in the company's promised Phase II of its recruitment.

    The July 27th OUSD Agenda Item calls for a teleconferencing call from Dr. Thomas Jacobson the owner of the Omaha, Nebraska based McPherson & Jacobson a school executive recruitment firm chosen to find a new OUSD superintendent.  Dr. Thomas Jacobson is personally leading the search for OUSD.  

    For more information Click on




    Dr. Thomas Jacobson founded the firm in 1991 with his then university department chair Dan McPherson. Thomas then bought out his partner in Dan McPherson 1994. The small firm has placed about 500 superintendents using a decentralized consulting model with almost 100 part-time independent consultants spread nationwide in 38 states. The McPherson & Jacobson consultants basically moonlight for the firm which has led to some controversy when a consultant (many school principals and superintendents themselves) allegedly worked during their regular jobs moonlighting for McPherson & Jacobson.


    In 2014, the California School Boards Association "partnered" with McPherson & Jacobson as the association's "executive search team's partner". 

    At the time of the CSBA partnership, McPherson & Jacobson boasted  that 80%  of its hires were still in their positions 6 years later. Of the 20% that were not, some districts had significant problems with McPherson & Jacobson superintendents they claim were not properly vetted by   McPherson & Jacobson. From Pleasanton, California to Las Vegas, Nevada to Little Rock Arkansas and New London, Connecticut, the firm has been in the middle of some major controversies over  its recommended recruits.

    "Caveat Emptor" and McPherson & Jacobson
    While McPherson & Jacobson advertises since 1991 it has placed almost 500 superintendents,  major controversies over its recruits are industry legends. When these problems occur,   McPherson & Jacobson (despite its Phase III promise of checking and vetting candidates)  almost universally has stated it is the state government's responsibility to vet the credentials of the recruits.  In addition, there is that McPherson & Jacobson  two year guarantee.  However, as these recent cases below illustrate- when a superintendent recruit is fired, damage to the school district has already been done.  

    Pleasanton Unified
    Despite the McPherson & Jacobson "guarantee" of  a free new search ( actually only charging "costs" to a district)  to replace a Superintendent if a hired Superintendent "left" before 2 years, this year the Pleasanton Unified School Board in Pleasanton. California joined other districts that decided not to take McPherson & Jacobson up on their "two year guarantee". The Pleasanton Board fired McPherson & Jacobson recruit Superintendent Rick Rubino after 6 months for an "undisclosed" personal matter. That firing cost the Pleasanton Board  over  $264,000 contractually to fire Rubino.  

    The Pleasanton Board was then forced to apologize to the community.  The Pleasanton Weekly reported (see link below):

    Trustee Jamie Hintzke said she worked closely with the search firm's consultants as board president at the time, referencing unhappiness and "their unprofessionalism” without going into specifics.

    “It was completely frustrating,” Hintzke said of her dealings with the consultants. “I don't think it's worth having them make good on their contract.”

    For more information, click on: 


    New London School District
    In 2014, the New London School District in New London, Connecticut rescinded  the job offer for their superintendent position to Terrence P. Carter. Mr. Carter was recruited by McPherson & Jacobson for the New London School District position.  After the school board offered Carter the position, and he accepted, local investigative reporters discovered and reported that Carter's doctorate came from an on-line "diploma mill" - Lexington University. That unaccredited "school" advertised a doctorate degree for $225  as "Order Now, Graduate Today!" . In addition, they reported that Carter had filed two bankruptcies and that Carter's résumé included a degree from the University of Chicago, which the University reported Carter did not have, and a doctorate degree from Stanford University-which Stanford disclosed Carter had never attended.  

    In 2015, the New London School District demanded that McPherson & Jacobson refund the money the district paid to the firm for the search.  That same year, Mr. Carter sued the New London District for rescinding the employment offer.

    For more information, click on

    Little Rock Arkansas School District
    In 2013 Little Rock Arkansas School District got its first, but not last McPherson & Jacobson controversy with a McPherson & Jacobson recommended Interim Superintendent Dr. Walter Milton.  A community outcry eventually led to Dr. Milton not being hired as the new Little Rock Superintendent.

    For more information, click on


    Then, between 2015 and 2017, Little Rock Arkansas School District  had another McPherson & Jacobson Superintendent controversy blow up over alleged doctoral plagiarism by a McPherson & Jacobson screened and provided Interim Superintendent Dexter Suggs. That multi-year scandal led to Suggs doctorate being withdrawn and Suggs severance pay with the state of Arkansas ending.  The state government at one point also took over the beleaguered school district.  


      
    For a sampling of other McPherson & Jacobson controversies click on:


    McPherson & Jacobson OUSD Interim Superintendent 
    OUSD's long and winding road to a new Superintendent
    The Orange Unified quest for a new Superintendent did begin shortly after the retirement announcement  of the popular Superintendent Michael Christensen.  An internal email went out to OUSD leadership personal starting an internal search for a replacement Superintendent would be conducted. Numerous accounts from within OUSD had that very compressed  application process producing two candidates. Eventually one withdrew from consideration.

    Reportedly, at the Saturday June 10, 2017 Special Meeting of the OUSD Board of Education for Consideration of an Appointment of a Superintendent, the remaining candidate was not accepted-thus leading to the OUSD Board  to vote 4-3 to go forward in hiring a firm to help recruit a new superintendent.
    For more information click on June 10 Minutes

    Twelve days later, at the June 22nd Regular Board Meeting, the OUSD Board heard presentations from three executive search firms.  The June 22nd Agenda's Closed Session had an item for "Consideration of an Interim Superintendent", but no vote was reported out of the Closed Session and no Interim Superintendent was appointed.

    Nine days later, a Special Meeting was held on Saturday July 1st to select one of the three firms to recruit a superintendent.  At that meeting the Board voted to selected McPherson & Jacobson.

    Now on July 27th, twenty-six days later and just five working days before the retirement of Superintendent Michael Christensen,  Item 13 A has McPherson & Jacobson owner Dr. Thomas Jacobson presenting to the OUSD Board meeting by telephone from Omaha the "selection process"  for an Interim OUSD Superintendent.

    However more than that, Dr. Jacobson will provide "names and rankings of potential candidates" for the Interim OUSD Superintendent position.   As in other McPherson & Jacobson  recruitment cases, the inevitable Interim Superintendent will have an inside track to the permanent position.

    The names and rankings of Interim Superintendent candidates are being provided before McPherson & Jacobson  website has opened the application process for the OUSD Superintendent position. As of the posting of this story, the McPherson & Jacobson  website has the OUSD superintendent position listed as "More information coming"  . 

    Currently McPherson & Jacobson  has  only one California school district application information of the three (including  OUSD) it is currently recruiting. 

    The July 27th OUSD Agenda also states an OUSD Special Board Meeting will be held at a later date for the OUSD Board to interview "potential candidates".   Currently an OUSD Special Meeting is scheduled for Thursday August 10th.

    Executive Director of Secondary Education leaves for Brea- O Unified
    Another top OUSD Administrator leaves
    The third top OUSD Administrator within the last 4 months will be leaving OUSD. OUSD Secondary Executive Director Kerrie Torres will be leaving OUSD  to become Brea-Orlinda Unified's new Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. Ms. Torres has been OUSD's Secondary Director for 4 years.

    OUSD sources state that more top administrators are looking for new homes in the wake of Christensen's departure from the district. The huge administrative upheavals- the Superintendent, the Assistant Superintendent Business Services and now the Executive Director of Secondary Education  , come as OUSD works to manage its rebuilding of its four comprehensive high schools with the Measure S Bond that the Christensen Management Team was able to pass.

    For more information click on 


    Inside the June 27, 2017 Agenda
    The Orange Unified School Board will meet on Thursday June 27, 2017 in a regular session.

    The Agenda also includes:


    NEXT OUSD BOARD MEETING July 27, 2017
    Next OUSD Board Meeting -OUSD BOARD ROOM
    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm
    For AGENDA-CLICK ON: OUSD AGENDA



    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

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