Friday, June 26, 2015

Is Former Pasadena Unified Superintendent Jon Gundry In Legal Dutch?

Jon Gundry and his amazing cranium
As dozens know, it is about a year ago to the day that Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Jon Gundry left us all behind and headed for greener (as in dollars, not grass) pastures up north in Santa Clara County. Here is how this singular event was recorded on the pages of the Pasadena Star News (link):

Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Jon R. Gundry on Wednesday said goodbye to the district and announced he is the lone finalist to become the next superintendent of schools in Santa Clara County. The announcement came after this news organization exclusively reported Gundry’s pending departure.

The Santa Clara County school board is set to vote on Gundry’s appointment at a July 16 meeting, according to a press release from the Santa Clara County Office of Education. He is the only candidate for the job and contract negotiations are underway. Gundry has led PUSD since 2011.

“It has been an honor to work with the students, educators, community members and families of Pasadena Unified,” Gundry said in a statement released Tuesday night. “The district is well-positioned to continue raising student achievement and preparing students for success in the 21st century.”

Up in the lower Bay Area region of San Jose, where folks were soon to become the beneficiary of Jon R. Gundry's celebrated professional skill set, this news was greeted by many with a somewhat muted level of joy. Here is how the newsweekly San Jose Inside shared that viewpoint (link):

The Santa Clara County Office of Education announced Tuesday that Jon Gundry is the lone finalist to take over as superintendent of schools.

Gundry has more than 30 years of experience in education and currently serves as the superintendent for Pasadena Unified School District. He is negotiating a contract with the county Board of Education and could start as early as Aug. 1, according to a SCCOE press release. Approval of a deal is expected to come at the July 16 board meeting.

Board President Leon Beauchman praised the decision in the county press release, saying Gundry's time spent in county and district offices make him "well-suited" for the job.

But the SCCOE has repeatedly said it wants a superintendent to help eliminate the achievement gap, and a recent report did not give Gundry a passing grade. Earlier this month the Pasadena Star-News reported that Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) "received an overall 'D' grade and an 'F' when it came to improvement of low-income and minority students."

In his article, "Pasadena Unified Superintendent Promoted, $55,000 Raise, Despite District’s Failing Performance" (link), our own Robert Fellner reported on the disparity between Jon Gundry's job performance as PUSD Superintendent and the far richer rewards awaiting him up north. The message being that failure had been no impediment to financial success for Wonder Gundry.


Robert Fellner's report came with the following chart detailing the "pay high - achieve low" financial disparity in the relationship between the PUSD and its soon to be departing superintendent.


So that is the rather unhappy background to today's Tattler report. But why would we want to dwell on any of that?

Now that a full year has passed, Santa Clara County Superintendent Jon Gundry has presumably settled into his new gig and things must be going a lot better for our peripatetic pedagogue, correct? The kids there certainly must be reaping the rich rewards the presence of so great an educator brings to them, right?

Apparently that is not the case. If anything, things are going even worse for Jon Gundry than they did here. Inside San Jose breaks this unhappy news down for us.


There is a lot more to this troubling story, and you can access it all by clicking here.

John Harabedian, Nancy Walsh and Susan Henderson all endorsed this guy for L.A. County Sheriff

Apparently Paul Tanaka is going the Nuremberg Defense "I was only obeying orders" route. This from KPCC:

LA Sheriff scandal: Tanaka says he was following former Sheriff Baca’s orders - Like the seven deputies convicted before him, former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka will assert what’s known as a “public authority defense” when he goes to trial on federal obstruction of justice charges later this year - claiming he was just following orders - according to a motion filed by his attorney.

“The defendant acted on behalf of order(s) issued by Sheriff Leroy Baca, who was Mr. Tanaka’s ranking superior officer,” the motion states. “Tanaka will assert the defense of actual or believed exercise of public authority.”

The move sets up a possible showdown with his former boss, Leroy Baca, who now may end up being forced to testify. Baca has yet to be called to testify in any of the obstruction cases.

Federal prosecutors have accused the once-powerful Tanaka of orchestrating a scheme to block a federal investigation into brutality by Sheriff’s deputies at the jails by hiding an inmate who was acting as an FBI informant. Tanaka and a confidant, former Sheriff's Capt. Tom Carey, go on trial in November.

Read the rest here.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com 

30 comments:

  1. I hear Peter Dreier is setting up a legal defense fund for Gundry. It is called Parents Invest In Gundry (PIIG).

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    1. Actually Petey had some issues with Gundry. He hired Ramon Miramontes for something and on Planet Petey that is considered to be a crime against the people.

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    2. Dreier is an accomplished hater.

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  2. $99,999? Sounds like Gundry may have money laundering experience. Jeepers.

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    1. Maybe he bought a California Lottery Scratcher with the other buck.

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    2. You got 2 B innit 2 winnit.

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    3. You got to be superintendant to win it.

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    4. A school super who's posting selfies on Facebook is kinda scary.

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  3. Here is a great comment from San Jose Inside. Maybe our two school districts can start an executive exchange?

    In reference to the recent articles regarding Jon Gundry clandestine and unethical operations, it appears that he’s just continuing the practices of the Interim Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan.
    Exactly ONE YEAR AGO, PRIOR to Gundry’s time, San Jose Inside uncovered a similar situation of lies and corruption. However, this time the unethical activity was lead by Interim Superintendent Mary Ann Dewan.
    Check it out.
    http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2014/06/19/emails-show-office-of-education-committed-to-obfuscation/
    “Well, I think in response to requests and things of that nature and public records and/or media requests, we have been setting our processes here at the county office and looking to be compliant and efficient and take a global schematic approach across our department. Our efforts are more cohesive. We want to be responsive. That’s certainly our intention to be responsive. But we also want to make sure we’re compliant and efficient.”—Mary Ann Dewan.
    Dewan’s robotic response says nearly as much about her “intention to be responsive” as the emails her office turned over—which included documents she and Blackstone withheld from previous requests for information.” — SJI
    “One email shows that Dewan, who got a $7,500 monthly raise on her $169,000 annual salary after receiving the interim superintendent tag, coached board member Beauchman for an interview with San Jose Inside while also providing invoices that were never turned over. In an April 11 phone call, Dewan told San Jose Inside that she would have cooperated more with the database story had she known we were requesting comment sooner. But emails show Blackstone—who refused to even meet with San Jose Inside before its story ran April 9—was blind carbon copying (Bcc-ing) her on emails as far back as late March.” — SJI
    My question to the Santa Clara County Board of Education, why do you allow this conduct? Why do you continue to put these types in leadership roles representing you? For goodness sake, clean it up.

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  4. Sounds like Dewan would fit right in at Pasadena Unified!

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    1. Yep. There is some big money to be made in poverty pimping.

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    2. According to Transparent CA Gundry is pulling down a little over $300,000 in total compensation. That was at PUSD no less. Do you thick he might have been driven into crime later because at $350K he was being underpaid?
      http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2013/school-districts/los-angeles/pasadena-unified/gundry-jon-r/

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  5. He's not only overpaid, he's incompetent. But that's never stopped these kinds of folks from being hired to "improve" our schools.

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  6. Does this mean Jon Gundry is now up for another raise?

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  7. How come the Pasadena papers haven't covered this story?

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  8. Hey this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

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    1. All of our coding here is done by specially trained adult chimpanzees using a keyboard equipped with only "1" and "0." I don't exactly know how they do it, but we are very pleased with the results.

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    2. If it's a Civility Party post it's usually way more zeroes than ones.

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    3. What would the code be for "clueless?"

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  9. Here are a couple things fellner might be interested in knowing, or not..

    Most CA districts (and even schools) had a drop in API in 2013. This was too statistically consistent to be a function of anything that happened at independent districts. (it should raise questions, but not this one). And if we are prepared to use this metric, does that mean we were getting a good deal in the previous years, all of which were API increases?
    In a number of recent years, health care premiums increased at double digit rates. That alone would have lead to 'increased compensation' independent of anything that happened on the salary front.

    The district 'report cards' were not Liu's but came from another organization (a private consultant to the state, no less). Ironically, her aide who sent the letter chastising the district for its poor performance was a PUSD board member during the time that supposed failing performance was happening, yet she hired him to guide her on educational issues. Curious. Not sure I would put a lot of stake in those 'grades' without a better discussion.

    PUSD is the largest of the four districts compared. Not sure how that impacts superintendent salaries though I expect it has some. Also remember leadership contracts are approved by elected boards. And maybe as importantly, subsequent superintendents are likely to be hired on the same 'pay scale'. Does this immediately validate or invalidate them depending on how scoring happens to be going at that time?

    This is not to say superintendent salaries are appropriate. Just that this is likely not the best way to determine that.

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    1. It might be that if they are not paid in the half mill range they are forced to turn to money laundering. The price of wine these days could have something to do with it.

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    2. It's the carbon tax that drove Gundry to it. That, and the price of water.

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    3. I hear Santa Clara County is going to raise their Utility User Tax (UUT) as high as Sierra Madre's. Gundry needed the cash to pay Sierra Madre-like tax rates. Poor guy.

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    4. Highly compensated education bureaucrats can be victims, too.

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    5. For those of you keeping score at home, Sen. carol Lui's "aide" is former PUSD Board member Mr. Ed Honowitz. What a loser.

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    6. I miss Mr. Ed.

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    7. What will Mr. Ed do once Lookie Liu terms out? Will there be another stall for him?

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    8. I hope so. If Honowitz had to work in the private sector the strain would kill him.

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    9. Yes. He might have to work with people who don't believe his observations are the best that ever were.

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