Emeryville Teachers Blast Superintendent Debbra Lindo; Vote “No Confidence”

June 11, 2012


Emeryville School Superintendent Debbra Lindo

Teachers cite “unprecedented all-time low in staff morale” created by Superintendent Lindo, “leaving teachers feeling unwanted, devalued, and disrespected …”

Teachers with the Emeryville School District publicly blasted Superintendent Debbra Lindo tonight for violating the District’s guiding principles, destroying teacher morale, and polarizing the parent-teacher community during her one-year tenure with the District.

The litany of complaints, listed in a resolution of “no confidence” presented to the School Board during its meeting tonight, includes:

  • Failing to provide clear leadership and academic direction aligned with the District’s purpose and guiding principles
  • Using superficial “dashboard indicators” to address academic performance
  • Failing to communicate with staff and/or respond to questions
  • Creating an unprecedented all-time low in staff morale, leaving teachers feeling unwanted, devalued and disrespected
  • Cutting teaching staff so significantly as to negatively affect student learning
  • Polarizing the parent-teacher community
  • Adding more administrative positions while cutting teachers
  • Undermining the teachers’ union and members’ rights
  • Excluding teachers from discussions and decision-making

The “no confidence” resolution, prepared by the Emery Teachers Association and presented by 20 teachers, concluded, “Our district needs a superintendent who is a leader who inspires trust and loyalty with families, employees, and the community … who is focused on students and can create an academic vision and purpose that is inclusive, meaningful and sustaining. …”

Parent Brian Carver, who is married to Council Member Jac Asher and has two children in the District, said he felt “sick to my stomach” after the resolution was read, calling it “stunning and disheartening” and urging Lindo to immediately tender her resignation.

“It is inconceivable to me that we can go forward after hearing that litany of concerns” said Carver, who was visibly upset.

According to teachers, 62 percent of the Emery Secondary School staff has been affected by Lindo’s cost-cutting measures, which have included laying off some teachers and reducing the hours of others. Mark Davis, a history teacher at Emery Secondary for 15 years, said some teachers’ hours were reduced to such an extent that they couldn’t afford to stay. “You need a certain number of hours to survive, and for some teachers that became impossible.” he said.

But Davis said the teachers’ biggest beef with Lindo has less to do with cost cutting and more to do with decisions around programming, course offerings and what the teachers see as crucial to providing a good education.

“We would like the opportunity to express what we think is beneficial to the students. That’s it,” Davis said. “We’re in the classroom, we’re with the kids, and we want to help them.”

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8 Responses to Emeryville Teachers Blast Superintendent Debbra Lindo; Vote “No Confidence”

  1. Concerned on June 12, 2012 at 3:59 am

    The shocking thing was that while 20+ teachers were there to support the reading of the resolution, they reported that 90% of the teacher’s union voted no confidence by an anonymous ballot. Those publicly signing on to the resolution was a little less, but this was no small faction. The teachers were unbelievably unified in the firm conviction that Lindo must go. If the School Board does not come around on this, then THEY should go too.

  2. Michael Webber on June 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I am glad the teachers are speaking out. I have been and remain appalled that the District continues to oppose any meaningful discussion on keeping Anna Yates where it is. I continue to be impressed by Brian Carver’s integrity and hope – no, pray- that he runs for school board. Or better yet, can fill the vacancy left by the recent resignation.

    • Some Guy on June 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      You guys and Anna Yates.
      You’ve been asleep at the wheel for the past 10 years, you suddenly wake up and want everyone to bend over backwards for you. Where have you been for the past 10 years while all the planning was being done? The district asked for input from the community for YEARS and NO ONE EVER SHOWED UP. But now that they are ready to get started, you guys cry foul.
      Grow up.

      • Teacher on June 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

        @Some Guy and Michael Webber, The resolution we presented last night did not mention the ECCL project. The resolution concerns the ineffectiveness of our superintendent. Teachers are not unanimous in our feelings about the ECCL project.

      • Brian Carver on June 13, 2012 at 12:21 am

        You are seriously misinformed. If you had been at the meeting last night you could have heard me recount the years of meetings that I have attended and asked the exact same questions and never gotten answers. Due to time constraints, I gave only a partial list of those instances last night and it represented a consistent theme over several years. It’s impossible to seriously contend that I haven’t attended planning meetings and haven’t provided input at nearly every opportunity provided. The issue is not one of my failure to participate. It’s one of this Board’s refusal to engage authentically. I’ve also seen Michael Webber at many of these same meetings asking these same questions and being similarly rebuffed. People who have been there know this is true and know to believe those of us who sign our names and not to be tricked by “Some Guy.”

        Brian Carver

      • quathy on June 17, 2012 at 7:28 am

        Are you kidding? I attended the meetings from the beginning as did many triangle residents and parents who outright opposed the consolidation of Anna Yates and ESS. Did it matter? Apparently not. Just like everything in this corrupt little city it went ahead without consideration for public outcry. I am disgusted after 20 years of actively participating. Things have to change. search for new supe needs to take as much time as it needs to make sure that the candidates are vetted and investigated completely. we have an embarrassing history in that department. School board needs to stand up and follow the constituency . Stop the patting on the back and get down to business.

  3. Teacher on June 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Just to clarify, 80% of the teachers signed the resolution. 92% voted No Confidence when we had a secret ballot, which is anonymous. Several teachers wouldn’t sign for fear of retribution.

  4. Time for Action on June 30, 2012 at 1:34 am

    The low performing teachers should leave the District, starting with our High School math teachers. The point is that many of the Emeryville teachers can not teach, which is why we score so consistently low on State tests year after year after year with no end in sight. The Emeryville teachers union must stop protecting failing teachers or the tax paying citizens of Emeryville will stop supporting the District. I am tired of the Emeryville teachers using the same old excuse playbook year after year. If the teachers can’t teach here in Emeryville, which is what they are paid for, then leave. You are not a family, you are District employees. Staff layoffs should be based on work product, not seniority. But the Board probably does not have the guts to implement this. They will spend all their time meeting with consultants, architects, engineers in meaningless meeting that accomplish nothing in terms of student learning. I was so glad to see that a group of Emery High students won a award for playing drums. That will get them into Stanford.

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