Wednesday, March 10, 2010

School bullying--even in Amherst

UPDATE: 3:40 PM Okay, so here's the prequel leading up to Principal Mark Jackson's insubordinate rant.

Notice how Maria Geryk whispers to Farshid Hajir the School Committee Chair about Mark wanting to speak. And of course, Hajir was too demure to shut down the overly aggressive Jackson when he crossed the line and attacked fellow School Committee person Catherine Sanderson. And now Maria Geryk is Mark Jackson's boss for the next 16 months. Obviously he will have it pretty good.
video
#####################################

video
So forget that Principal Mark Jackson, the second highest paid "public servant" in the People's Republic @ $131,236, is better than twice Catherine Sanderson's size, and forget for a moment that as a School Committee member she is in charge of hiring the Superintendent who can then fire Jackson, this was just plain inappropriate.

And I'm trying to figure out how he's so sure what was in those "evaluations" of the Superintendent when Alberto Rodriguez was, two days ago, Jackson's direct boss.

The 15 or 20 anonymous evaluations collected from administrative staff (including Jackson's) should have gone directly to Chair Farshid Hajir and then to the entire Amherst Regional School Committee--but nobody else.

111 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jackson was inappropriate and showed poor judgment when he chose to shut down Catherine Sanderson. Jackson's tactics and tone were condescending, and the facts he presented were based wholly on his own assumptions and beliefs. That he felt obligated to berate someone whose only "fault" was to express an opinion other than his own was simply contemptuous and a power play. There is such a thing as common decency and civility, and Jackson showed neither of these qualities. That's a statement, not a question.
-I. Margolin

Bart Hollander said...

God bless you I. Margolin! I'm still smarting from having watched that entire meeting and was stunned, saddened and angered by Mark Jackson's outrageous attack on my wife. A few other quick points because it's late. Steve Rivkin, I could kiss him on the cheek. He started in to defend Catherine because Mark Jackson, in full bullying mode, made it clear that he wasn't going to stand for a response from Catherine. And I'd say Jackson got just the outcome he desired - except for raising her hand meekly thereafter to vote, I'd say that Catherine showed her own exhaustion from these past weeks, by not participating again in any discussion that was available for public viewing. Her body language to me, and I know it well, said, "i'm through; why do I need this bullshit for working so hard?" Secondly, Steve Rivkin should not have had to be the one to defend Catherine (and to wait his turn to speak no less). What kind of leadership did we get from the chair, Farshid, at that ugly moment - none. Not only did Farshid fail to admonish Mark Jackson for his personal attack, but incredibly he then stymied Steve's response to Jackson's "comment." And finally, thank you Larry for pointing out this curious underpinning to Mark Jackson's attack -- how in the world did he have information about what the personnel reviews of Rodriguez included (except for his own), such that he felt that he was in a position to say that Catherine's suggestion that there might have been some value to Rodriguez's outsider-perspective was an abomination to the staff personnel reviews of Rodriguez? Is the bully at the top of the high school heirarchy clairvoyant as well? Jackson may have been tired and "raw" through hard work (i've seen that suggestion on Catherine's blog), but the pitiful way that he handled himself in that instance can't be excused by any amount of exhaustion. Bart Hollander

Anonymous said...

"That's a statement not a question!"
- Jackson

Larry, you're right that Principal Jackson had no authority to read the evaluations of Dr R written by other administrators and that Jackson showed a lack of respect for CS by not allowing her to respond to his impassioned speech about whether the evaluations were emblematic of the value that can be created by outsiders.

My insight is that Jackson took the observation as a criticism of him, an insider. If that's the case, he should explain himself. Clearly there is more than meets the eye.

I hope the SC plans to conduct an exit interview with Dr R and find out which senior administrators were willing to work to implement the change the SC and superintendent called for and which senior administrators chose to fight against the change and why. When you are hired to do a job that reports to the superintendent, you have the right to be heard and when the superintendent makes his/her decision you must give your full faith and effort to implement it. If you cannot, you must resign or expect to be fired.

I imagine we have some fine senior administrators but if you hired me to be your superintendent, the first thing I would do is fire the weakest contributor among them and send a message, get on board or go home.

Ed said...

I will be blunt here: Mark Jackson should be fired for insubordination.

The more I think about it, the clearer this is to me:

First, Jackson clearly was acting in his official capacity. So there are no First Amendment defenses, he is an employee here and has no free speech rights.

Second, once he said "that's a statement, not a question" it is clear he intends to be insubordinate. That is a firing offense -- Chancellor Lombardi was fired for what he said IN PRIVATE to Jack Wilson, this was in *public*!!!!

Third, Jackson is paid to be a role model. "Principal" stands for "principal instructor." That means he is supposed to set a good example, and he clearly didn't do that here.

The man should be fired. Just like how Truman fired McArthur and for the very same reasons. And I don't care about the consequences or how much it will mess up the district, this stuff can not be tolerated.

Would the district tolerate teachers sunbathing nude on the town common? And it can't tolerate this for the same reason...

Ed said...

Jackson's tactics and tone were condescending,

Textbook "insubordination."

Grounds for termination....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Oh please! Why is it that it is alright for Ms. Sanderson to be condescending to people, but when anybody says anything against her, all of her knights in shining armor come to her defense? If you dish it out, you should be able to take it! I believe in civility, but everybody needs to be civil and respectful, not just people who disagree with Ms. Sanderson, butMs. Sanderson herself.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

6:45 am - I completely agree. I think this is hysterical that as she claims sexism, Catherine Sanderson has all these men in shining armor coming to her aid. And then her husband is mad that the lead man on the committee did not step in? give me a break.

Steve Rivkin was out of order in defending Catherine. The whole night they're following roberts rules of fricking order, and Rivkin should be allowed to defend Sanderson? as a viewer, it was great theater, and when Rivkin started to defend Sanderson sadly predictable.

Poor Catherine? No way. Poor Amherst.

Yes, I am anonymous. Here.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a statement: it was a performance.

Ed said...

Well folks, I am not anonymous. I am disgusted. I am disgusted at how the professional ethics of my profession are being, like, totally ignored by employees of the ARSD.

Why is it that it is alright for Ms. Sanderson to be condescending to people, but when anybody says anything against her, all of her knights in shining armor come to her defense?

Because she outranks them. Yes, outranks them and we have concepts of professional courtesy to those whom you may not like. The child is supposed to be subordinate to the teacher. The teacher is supposed to be subordinate to the principal. And, damn it, the principal is supposed to be subordinate to the school committee member.

(Or does Mr. Jackson run a school where random students can go tell everyone, teachers and admin alike, to go f*** themselves? I like to think he isn't...)

Steve Rivkin was out of order in defending Catherine. The whole night they're following roberts rules of fricking order, and Rivkin should be allowed to defend Sanderson?

Absolutely. Roberts' Rules has some very explicit provisions as to what happens when a personal attack is made against a member of the body. Watch the US Senate debate a hotly contested issue (health care, etc) and watch how the Senators address people whom they clearly hate - they are very VERY careful not to cross over into anything less than textbook courtesy because they know what rights they immediately give the other person if they do.

Remember that Robersts was a military officer out in 19th Century San Fransisco and he knew what hot tempered armed young men were likely to do if insulted.

Look: Truman fired McArthur for a reason. And if the teachers and administrators of the ARSD aren't able to be respectful of and subordinate of the school board, they too must be fired....

And it isn't because she is a girl, it is because she is your boss; and if you have trouble with female supervisors, that is your problem....

Anonymous said...

New TV show --- "Ego Gone Wild" starring Mark Jackson.

Taylor said...

Mr. Jackson was completely out of bounds, offensive, and possibly insubordinate in his shoot down of Ms. Sanderson. If Mr. Jackson is aware of what was written in the evaluations then he has had unathuorized access to another employee's personnel file. That seems grounds for termination right there. I am not sure why he is so highly paid either. Is it necessary for the High School Principal to make more than the Town Manager and $30,000 more per year than the Assistant Town Manager, the Police Chief, & the Fire Chief. I think Mr. Jackson's exit train, just kicked into high gear in Amherst. For an educated man, this was not a very smart choice he made. Of course sometimes education leads to arrogance. Perhaps if school adminstrators were not so highly paid, than it would not be necessary to eliminate so many teachers next year ARHS?

Anonymous said...

Just because you outrank somebody does not give you free reign to be a jerk or to talk down to somebody. Just ask Ms. Sanderson's husband-he is a lawyer! Amherst is not the military, for goodness sake! And for your information, employees do have First Amendment rights. It is interesting that everybody is always defending Ms. Sanderson's rights, while everybody else's rights do not seem to matter!

Xenos said...

" It is interesting that everybody is always defending Ms. Sanderson's rights, while everybody else's rights do not seem to matter!"

Ms. Sanderson's rights are my rights - she (as a part of the Committee) represents the public and the ultimate authority for running the schools. Whether I agree or voted for her, she represents me, and an insult to her is an insult to me.

If a Principal is getting too big for his britches then the Committee needs to pull on his leash, hard (sorry about the mixed metaphor). If he does not like it he can seek employment elsewhere. He could be the best prinicipal ever, but if he is toxic to relations between the schools, the Committee, and the town, he needs to go.

Anonymous said...

Terminating people is not a solution. The question is whether Jackson is prepared to implelemnt the changes need to turn the HS from a good school to a great school. He may be worth every penny we pay him if he can help do that as opposed to resist it.

There is a moronic idea bouncing about that highly compensated public employees are not worth the value. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact this is the first time I've read anyone on this blog compare use Shaffer's compensation as a cudgel for someone else.

We should try to be specific and constrained in our criticism else we loose what we want most, effective public employees worth every penny of value they deliver.

Anonymous said...

"We should try to be specific and constrained in our criticism else we loose what we want most, effective public employees worth every penny of value they deliver."



Spoken like one of them.

Anonymous said...

Neither Bart nor I would think of talking that way to a judge.

I'm not sure that this is that different. She is the duly elected representative of the people on the School Committee. I think that she's entitled to some deference, whether he likes to give it or not.

I'm still missing something: I've missed the episodes in which Catherine Sanderson has been condescending to others, and certainly not in a public setting. I think some people see "Amherst College professor" and imagine that she's got her nose in the air.

If I were to fault Catherine, I wish that she were more capable of the self-deprecating humorous remark; perhaps she takes herself too seriously. But condescending? I don't see it.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

Take a look at how Larry Shaffer addresses the members of the Select Board. It's quite the contrast to what we saw the other night from Mr. Jackson.

The deference is built in to his routine. Some people may see it as "sucking up": I say that the verbal terms of respect establish and reaffirm the nature of the relationship. He's the employee, and he answers to them.

I call my boss "DA" not "Bill". It's understood.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and I love the way opposing attorneys use the term "With all due respect," to counter something from the opposition which translates to "my opponent is a Nitwit."

Anonymous said...

just as people have been saying A-Rod needed to learn how to handle critism, so does Sanderson. Man up.

"I will be blunt here: Mark Jackson should be fired for insubordination."

I will be blunt here as well: You're an idiot. The school committe cannot fire Jackson, who has been a model priciple and has stepped up over numerous ocassions, running both the middle school and the high school. get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

*principle

LarryK4 said...

Actually, I think you're on to something.

Obviously anyone watching that video can see the arrogance ooze from the man.

And Alberto Rodriguez was, somewhat, the same. Must have been a hell of a clash of egos when Jackson and Rodriguez were in the same room.

And now Rodriguez is gone--because of "evaluations" from folks like Jackson. Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm indeed.

Was this a coup?

Was HR involved?

LarryK4 said...

Your fixation is getting annoying.

Ry Willey said...

" It is interesting that everybody is always defending Ms. Sanderson's rights, while everybody else's rights do not seem to matter"

People defend her because she asks difficult questions and these questions have been long overdue.

I congratulate her for he bravery in doing so. It is a difficult thing to go up against an machine such as one of the most expensive public school systems in our state. Keep up the pressure.

It seems fair to ask why?

-Ryan Willey

LarryK4 said...

Jeannette Rankin an avowed pacifist and the first elected woman to Congress voted against American entry into WW1; and on December 8, 1941 had the balls to declare "I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war. I vote No."

She (the ONLY member of Congress to vote "No") had to be escorted from the Chamber that day by D.C. police.

While I totally disagree with either of those stances, I will defend to the death her right to voice or vote them.

And in this particular case, I agree with Catherine Sanderson--so I will fight to the death and beyond...

Anonymous said...

"Your fixation is getting annoying."



We thought we proved a lot to you already.

You still have a lot to learn, Larry.

Keep up the great work...


It's not nearly finished.

Trail Mama said...

Maybe its just me, but the world I live in on a day-to-day basis features interactions and challenges like this everyday. I was prepared to see something much worse from Mark Jackson that what I saw. Instead, what I saw was a real difference of opinion. Jackson didn't yell at Sanderson and didn't tell her she was an idiot or a fool. If I were on the receiving end of that, I wouldn't necessarily be happy, but I (hope) I would realize the exchange was in the spirit of moving forward. We each have the right to challenge each others ideas. I think that's exactly what Jackson did. There are many, many good things about Amherst, but its also important to remember that this community is unlike others. Elsewhere, people don't try so hard to be nice and to temper their opinions. This Amherst world is a wonderful world to live in, but I think we also need to realize that differences of opinions are ok, and its also ok to challenge one another on our systems of beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:11 pm:

You've got a beef with Kathy Mazur. We get that. And obviously you want Larry to do your dirty work for you.

But since even he seems annoyed by your fixation and your sycophancy, maybe you should stop hiding in the shadows and figure out a way to work out your grudges yourself.

Keith Ulrich

Ed said...

Neither Bart nor I would think of talking that way to a judge.

Rich, lets get real: what, exactly, would happen if you did?

"Honey, I'm OK, but I am going to be spending the night in Ludlow, and could you swing by the office first thing in the morning with my toothbrush and a set of clean clothes?"

I once asked a judge - in a public forum held at UMass - if he had meant "can" or "shall" in what he had just said and his response freaked the daylights out of me. And I am "from UMass" and don't scare easially....

Judges and School Committeemen are annointed with the power of the populace --- they represent US. And they have not only the power to set policy but to be respected.

I'm not sure that this is that different. She is the duly elected representative of the people on the School Committee. I think that she's entitled to some deference, whether he likes to give it or not.

Not only that, but she is the "dream" person to have on a school committee. She is the type person who if you handed an inch-thick stack of research in defense of your position would not only (a) politely listen to you, (b) actually read the stuff you gave her but also (c) if you convinced her, support your position.

I would have so loved to have such members on the board when I was teaching....

I'm still missing something: I've missed the episodes in which Catherine Sanderson has been condescending to others, and certainly not in a public setting.

Harvey Silverglate put it best in Shadow University -- it is Marcouse's revenge. The personal is the political and how dare she disagree with anyone...

Ed said...

Elsewhere, people don't try so hard to be nice and to temper their opinions.

Elsewhere, you say that to your BOSS and you get fired.

John Lombardi, anyone????

Anonymous said...

Dearest Larry and the lemmings:

I thought your fav attitude, after town bully, was "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

If Ms. Sanderson can't take the heat, get off the school committee.

What if a man started crying at an SC meeting after CS said something with a bit too much force, as she has done almost every time the school committee meets. Would you and the lemmings come to his defense?

Doubt it.

She's tough enough when she is doling it out, but apparently she can't take some of her own medicine. I believe you call her toughness "perky." How sweet and condescending of you. Would you call a man's toughness as a public official perky? I think not. How would you like me to call your toughness perky. Being the big tough karate champ that you were, I doubt you'd like perky. No, you're tough and want to be perceived that way.

If she or any man or woman wants to be tough and play hardball, as an offical on any Amherst public committee had better be ready for, then be ready for the chin music because we all know it is a fact of life.

I applaud Mark Jackson and anyone else who stands up to Ms. Sanderson's bullying.

When she pushes hard and people resist you say they are hiding something and can't work with the SC and on and on.

When she is pushed back its something else.

Nice double standard.

Flame away you perky man.

Six supers and NO BALLS said...

Mark Jackson and the principals just got rid of a Superintendent that fired one of their own. He is higher than a kite.

The Teacher's Union is now above the School Committee. Mark Jackson can say whatever he wants to whomever he wants, live and on camera.

Rather than pass an override, we should hold off. Cut the budget more and more every year, until the entire union leadership has all been laid off.

That is the only way voters will get their schools back.

Six superintendents in one year.

The count is 6-0, School Comm.

Six supers and NO BALLS.

---

Anonymous said...

By STEPHANIE GELFAN
Published on June 15, 2007


"In the past four years, there has been a shift in the philosophy and priorities of our school system. They are diverting funds and power away from the people who work directly with our children, and instead are focusing on building a more powerful bureaucracy.


There have been numerous incidents of meetings in which the teachers, parents and principal all agree on the best course of action for a particular child, only to have one of the central-office administrators, who do not know the student, say, "No." When a teacher complains, their job is threatened; when parents object, the frequent smug response is, "Then we'll see you at hearing."

There is a growing consensus among educators, consultants and lawyers in western Massachusetts that Amherst has become overly litigious. When parents try and work things out directly with the school administration, they are told that they must communicate through lawyers."

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:18pm Nicely done!
I went home yesterday and watched that clip again just to make sure.

To those that are trashing Mark and calling for his resignation, they are either psychotic or more likely just mounting a pathetic and transparent attempt to get rid of him.

There was absolutely nothing rude, insubordinate, or ever overly aggressive about him stating his disagreement with what Catherine said. Oh, and by the way I don't agree with Mark, I share Catherine's opinion that Rodriquez was a pair of outside eyes and did a some good things for the district in the short time he was there.
But Marks right to disagree with a school committee member (with a little "New Jersery" coming out, very little, that was Jersey on large dose of vallium)ABSOLUTELY! I wouldn't expect any less of him or anyone. I hope the students were watching because that is one important things they have to learn, to be able to stand up and disagree with a person perceived to be in a position of authority.

A.N.W. said...

3:54 - complete agreement.

LarryK4 said...

I can tell you are all guys (or should I say boys?)

Posting as Anons is not overly manly.

Anonymous said...

to: six supers and no balls.

The voters have the schools they want. They voted for a school committee who prefers unichs or at least those with undecended testicles.
Al Sprague stood up to them, and they got rid of him. ARod showed some moxie and threatened some of the established order in the school system, and the SC colluded with the senior admins and got rid of him.
What's to get back? They got what they voted for.

Anonymous said...

Mark Jackson disagreed with Catherine Sanderson in a clear, emphatic way.
I saw no evidence he had 'inside' info. on evaluations.
He was just as assertive as she is. So what. He is allowed his opinion. Since when is it a one-way street, and what's with the 'poor Catherine' movement? She's a big girl.

LarryK4 said...

And you're an ANON.

Why not be a BIG BOY and leave your name (not a question--a statement.)

Ed said...

There was absolutely nothing rude, insubordinate, or ever overly aggressive about him stating his disagreement with what Catherine said

This is where I am glad that I am not the parent of a high school student because we would sit down and have a chat about bullies (and how we don't like them) and about how bullies need to be confronted, and all.

And tomorrow morning there would be a student telling Jackson to go f*** himself, and the subsequent litigation would cost the town a pretty penny. For how can Jackson go after insubordination when he, himself, is insubordinate????

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see how Catherine and her ring of supporters would react if Mr. Jackson had his own blog. And after every SC meeting, or in response to every iteration of budget requested of him, he could offer his personal slant on what transpired, including offering his own and welcoming other opinions about the competence, integrity and underlying motivation of its members. He would then, of course, open the conversation up to anyone and everyone who would like to offer their two cents, anonymously or otherwise, about how they think the SC is performing. He would make occasionally noble statements about wanting the conversation to be civil, but wouldn't really back it up. (For example, following the same policy as Catherine who, until recently, allowed comments like the one from Ali Burrow referring to Mr. J as a horse's ass.) Once the blog was up and running and getting hundreds of hits a day he could start a newspaper column, in which he listed all the shortcomings of the SC including perhaps, drawing some historical analogies to how their tactics reminded him of the distrustful days of McCarthyism. Of course, all of this would be intended as a means of creating dialog and providing transparency in the cause of improving our schools. So, now that I think of it, Catherine and her supporters would probably hold it all above reproach, because, really, anyone would be able to see that what he was trying to accomplish was righteous and good and anyone who might get riled by it or think it an unhealthy subtext for a meaningful partnership between himself and the committee would need their head examined.

David said...

ONE MORE VOTE FOR FIRING JACKSON

I would like to echo the call for a public apology from Principal Jackson. I think this is critical. The whole town in waiting.

I had previously suspected that the crux of the problem here is rampant insularity and cronyism. Boor Jackson (it seems wrong to dignify him with "Principal" and certainly not "Principle Jackson" as one poster did) really confirmed this suspicion. GASP--she gave some well deserved credit to THE OUTSIDER!!!

Alternatively, if he feels he is unable to render a public apology, I would be happy to meet him in the schoolyard at 4:00. No teachers. Really. Let's go Jackson. Great example you set. That's how I and the other science nerds dealt with bullies back in the day... You deserve the same.

Jackass er Jackson seems to have forgotten that the SC is his boss's boss. He is talking UP the chain of command in this display. Imagine how he treats his subordinates!

It is the SC's right, and indeed their fiduciary responsibility, to formulate their own opinions and act on them. Even if they are unpopular with the principals or senior administrators or other cronies. ESPECIALLY if they are unpopular. Jackson's rage seemed to stem from his perception that his evaluation of Dr. Rodriguez was not accepted unilaterally as gospel.

My wish for the School Committee: DRAIN THIS SWAMP. Clean house. I can tell you the override has no chance of passing now. Jackson's eruption knocked the fencesitters onto the NO side. The public has lost faith. Drain this swamp-- Jackson's miasma is nauseating. He should clean out his desk. Drain it before our children succumb to this perverse malaria which is so unfitting for a town like Amherst.

My other wish--that Jackson will meet me at 4:00. Remember mark--no teachers!

LarryK4 said...

Anon: 5:38 PM
Blogger--the platform that both Catherine and I use--is free.

Mark should feel free to start his own own blog--in fact, so should you: you can call it Anons Anonymous.

Establishment suck-up School Committee wanna-be Rick Hood started one two months ago and look how much buzz THAT one has generated. ZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

Ed I agree with you. Mark Jackson should be fired. Let's sned a clear message about limits. Let's remember who works for whom.

And also, Ed, I'm sorry I called you a ninny several days ago. Please forgive my intemperance.

Joel said...

I wonder how the people defending Mark Jackson read what Catherine actually said. Larry has posted her comments. Please review them before defending Jackson.

She more or less said that there is some concern in the community that Rodriguez came in and ruffled enough feathers among senior staff that he's no longer employed in the district. That's pretty close to an exact quote of the main point which is about perceptions in the community of how the bureaucrats in the district ran Rodriguez off. She did not claim that that was why Rodriguez left. All she said is that that's how some people are reading it and it's important for the SC to act with that in mind. Please play the clip. It's crystal clear.

Then, Jackson responded in a fairly nasty tone saying that Catherine had said that the evaluations had mentioned the values brought to the job by an outsider. Of course, Catherine had not mentioned the evaluations. She cited public perceptions. Play the clip. He's arguing against bringing in an outsider and he's criticizing Catherine harshly. He's more or less proving why some people in the community have lost faith in the status quo.

Let's be clear: Catherine referenced community perception.

Jackson shot her down by referencing confidential evaluations that no one in the community has seen.

How is that an argument or a disagreement? An SC member says that she worries about what the public thinks. The HS principal chastises her for claiming the evaluations supported hiring an outsider. Again, what do Jackson's comments have to do with Sanderson's? Frankly, nothing.

There was also the bizarre spectacle of this guy arguing with the SC about who his boss should be. And, he did so during a period of no public comment. What exactly is his standing before the SC?

The entire episode is pretty emblematic of how broken the school system is.

William S. said...

Anon 11:59

Do I have this right? you made a typo-- "priciple" and then noticed it and corrected with a follow-on post to say "principle" and what you are really trying to say is "Principal"?

? Really?

And in you original post YOU are calling someone else an idiot? Do I have that right? Did you go at Amherst High School?

You see, I am not the Language Maven, but I am teaching my 5 year old about homonyms and I think your abysmal usage reflects very poorly on your intelligence and education, and I therefore discount your argument entirely.

Abbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"She more or less said that there is some concern in the community that Rodriguez came in and ruffled enough feathers among senior staff that he's no longer employed in the district. That's pretty close to an exact quote of the main point which is about perceptions in the community of how the bureaucrats in the district ran Rodriguez off. She did not claim that that was why Rodriguez left. All she said is that that's how some people are reading it and it's important for the SC to act with that in mind."

I can't believe you're using the above as a DEFENSE of what Catherine said. It is reprehensible, in my view, for her to have said it and for you to reiterate it. THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE SHOULD ACT WITH THE FALSE PERCEPTIONS OF THE COMMUNITY IN MIND?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FALSE IMPRESSIONS THAT UNFAIRLY INDITE STAFF THAT ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR RUNNING OUR SCHOOLS????!!!!!! You have got to be kidding me.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah Abbie,
I'm glad you deleted your own comment. Try to keep the blogs straight.

You know, on Catherine's you probably would not get away with calling someone a "F*CKING Jerk."

Joseph said...

re: 6:29 pm

Can one of the high school students please go to the principal's office first thing tomorrow and lend Mark Jackson their dictionary so he can look up "indite" and hopefully he will find "indict"?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

And also please show him how to undo CAPS LOCK?

Thanks kids!!!

Joel said...

Two things:

First, I tried to put Jackson's bizarre comments into their proper context of an attack on CS. Jackson's comments had nothing to do with the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the community perceptions Catherine mentioned.

As I noted, she mentioned community perceptions, he challenged that by claiming the confidential evaluations didn't support hiring an outsider. His comment had nothing to do with her comment. It was an attack.

Second, I do think it's extremely important that the SC know what the public thinks, particularly when the SC cannot share all the information it has. I do not understand the tone of your response. What's wrong with our elected SC members keeping in mind what many people think, even if those perceptions may be inaccurate.

There is a lot of mistrust in town and addressing community perceptions is important. That's all Catherine called for, not to act on them, but to be cognizant of them and sensitive to community concerns when acting.

Anonymous said...

Catherine is feeding the mistrust by not countering the perception that Rodriguez is gone because he ruffled feathers. She is perpetuating the misperceptions, and that is a serious problem coming from someone charged with overseeing the well being of our educational system. It is our staff that is responsible for the day to day functioning of these institutions our children enter each day. Not me or you or Catherine or the rest of the SC. If she can't stop and see the power that her words and deeds have in relation to the working climate within which our children's spirits and intellects are supposed to be nurtured each day than she is really dangerously single minded.

LarryK4 said...

Feel free to counter whatever "perception" you wish. I'll give you some of my bandwidth.

Ed said...

For that matter, could one of the High School kids go "dis" unprincipled Principal Jackson with the vehemence that he did School Committeeman Sanderson?

What is the rule - any suspension over 5 days has to be approved by the School Committee - including said Dr. Sanderson....

CHILDREN: don't do this. Your principal (who has no principles) sets a bad example. That is why the grownups want to get you a new one...._

Anonymous said...

Gazette, Bulletin to host override forum

By THE DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE
Staff Writer
Friday, March 12, 2010

AMHERST - Voters here are on the cusp of deciding the fate of a $1.68 million override at the March 23 town elections.

Proponents say the override will preserve essential town, school and library operations; opponents believe that town government is already rife with waste, and that now is the time for belt tightening. The override would add about $264 to the annual tax bill for a resident who owns a $334,600 home.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Amherst Bulletin will help voters sort it all out, with an override forum slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Town Room at Town Hall.

The forum is open to the public, and two panelists will field questions from the audience and from public at large via email and mail.

The panelists are Andy Churchill, override advocate and outgoing Amherst School Committee member, and Stan Gawle, override opponent and spokesman for Amherst Taxpayers for Responsible Change.

The event will be broadcast live on ACTV channel 17, and streamed live on actvamherst.com. A Webcast will be available on Wednesday at the ACTV Web site, and the event will be covered in the print edition of the Daily Hampshire Gazette and on GazetteNET.com.

The forum will be moderated by Gazette/Bulletin staff, and all questions from the public will be directed to the panelists by a moderator.

Questions for the panelists may be brought to the forum or emailed in advance. Send questions to noah@gazettenet.com, or call Bulletin editor Noah Hoffenberg at 585-5254 for more information.


Be there or be square (even ~if~ Larry is annoyed by fixators)!

Joel said...

I just don't think you listened to what Sanderson said. It was in the context of whether or not the district would be better off looking for an outsider to be the superintendent. The issue was/is if getting an outsider sooner rather than later is preferable.

Jackson and now some on this blog have taken those comments to be something they weren't.

On the issue of mistrust, we all saw Maria Geryk whispering in Farshid's ear so that someone who is not supposed to comment (Jackson) would be given the floor during the no public comment phase of the meeting in order to attack an elected member of the SC. That elected member of the SC had just argued that Maria Geryk shouldn't automatically be made the acting superintendent for more than a year. Although to be fair, Sanderson has always spoken highly of Geryk, but her critics ignore that fact.

One insider helped another insider make sure that that first insider was given the job of that second insider's boss. I don't think that that process instills a lot of confidence in the residents of Amherst.

Jackson treated Sanderson horribly because she was arguing for getting him a boss who would hold his feet to the fire.

Yes, yes, such calls for accountability and professionalism have no place in Amherst.

But, I'm arguing with someone who won't use his/her name, so talking about accountability is a waste of time.

Two final thoughts"

Larry, thanks for all you do with this blog. It's informative and entertaining and you are a lot of things, but you aren't anonymous.

And, I'm back to lurk mode. I'm not in the mood to have Jackson yell at me, although he seems much more comfortable attacking women then men.

Anonymous said...

Joel, we get it: You support Catherine, no matter what she says or does. She is the first infallible public servant. We get it. Chill.
Even Catherine can concede the validity of arguments she doesn't agree with. Even LARRY can do that!!!
Signed,
nitwit/anon

Anonymous said...

Joel,
Here is an example of how Catherine could have indicated her (and other community member's) desire for outside eyes (whatever that really means).

There is a perception in the community that Dr. R is leaving because, as an outsider, he came into the district and in the process of implementing a bunch of change ruffled too many feathers. I want to make clear that I consider that perception to be untrue. We would not be fulfilling our duties as a School Committee if we negotiated his departure on that basis. However, it does point to the value that many members of the community place on having an outside leadership perspective guiding our schools. That sentiment is contributing to my preference for searching for a permanent replacement for Dr. R now.

Simple, clear and considerably less insinuating and insulting to staff.

Anonymous said...

8:50 p.m. No. Why would Catherine have to do that? You can tell what she means from her WORDS. She doesn't need to use more words to explain what she means. Her words are clear. Her meaning is clear. She never says she is the one who thinks feathers were ruffled. She only says that's the community perception.

The one who should have used more words is Mark Jackson. Those words should have been, I am sorry about that. I don't know what has gotten into me. You don't deserve that. I am exhausted because I have been on a relentless campaign to get Dr. Rodriguez fired and it just happened and wow, I am king of the world. Bow before me. Next year I am going to be principal of the high school, middle school, and ALL THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. I'll make everyone resign.

I am a woman. I was the first person to come out saying the guy is an oaf and that I don't like the way he called out Catherine in the meeting. Catherine doesn't need any men to defend her. They are not defending her because she is a woman. They are defending her, as I am, because it is the right thing to do when somebody is wrongly attacked. It is the right thing to do to stand up to bullies. Bullies are powerless when the bystanders stand up against them. Farshid should have done it immediately. Rivkin did it, and he deserves all our thanks.

Once Jackson is gone, you'll be happy, I assure you. The guy is not good for our kids. That's what matters to me. Catherine Sanderson and all the teachers who support her are the best things that have happened to this town in years.

Anonymous said...

alright. we have come to the point when anyone who disagrees with Catherine is a "bully".
handy, it is now impossible to critique her without being made into a villain.
Jackson was not putting her down or bullying, he was stating his opinion, and it was the opposite of hers. that's illegal now?!
Christ.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that Catherine was bound by an agreement not to talk about the content of the evaluations.

This is what makes Jackson's shot a particularly cheap one. She was treading warily while trying to make a point about getting an outside interim.

Anonymous said...

"I am teaching my 5 year old about homonyms"

are you fucking kidding me?

Anonymous said...

*Principal

tool

Anonymous said...

Well, for all those who think that Catherine is above reproach and contributes without fault to a productive climate for school improvement, here is an excerpt from her blog that got PAST comment moderating. So, she read it BEFORE deciding it was worthy to print. Nice!

......I had previously suspected that the crux of the problem here is rampant insularity and cronyism. Boor Jackson (it seems wrong to dignify him with "Principal" and certainly not "Principle Jackson" as one poster did) really confirmed this suspicion. GASP--she gave some well deserved credit to THE OUTSIDER!!!

Alternatively, if he feels he is unable to render a public apology, I would be happy to meet him in the schoolyard at 4:00. No teachers. Really. Let's go Jackson. Great example you set. That's how I and the other science nerds dealt with bullies back in the day... You deserve the same.

Jackass er Jackson seems to have forgotten that the SC is his boss's boss. He is talking UP the chain of command in this display. Imagine how he treats his subordinates!....

A principal is referred to as a boor and a jackass and challenged to a schoolyard fight and she, a member of our School Committee, charged with overseeing the welfare of our district hits the publish button? Are you going to jump in to defend that too Joel? I know Larry will. This kind of thing is right up his alley. But how about you folks out there who claim to really care about the functioning of our schools?

Ed said...

Do we or do we not have rules?

If the rule is that the public can't speak, then what the hell was the unprincipled principal doing speaking?

WELL????

Anonymous said...

9:50 p.m. Read the post carefully. The person is a science nerd. Come on, it's funny. And obviously not a real threat to Jackson.

Lighten up. What's your axe to grind anyway? If you are defending the principal because you have had positive interactions with him and know him to be a man of integrity and good character then say so. If you know him to be good, decent man who is intelligent and the opposite of boorish, say so. BUT NOBODY HAS SAID THAT.

Anonymous said...

"Lighten up."

Something Catherine and her cronies should never have to do but everyone else who finds fault with her should.

She is an elected official sponsoring a forum where school personnel are routinely scorned and ridiculed by name. And then she complains about how badly she is treated. Beyond believable.

Anonymous said...

She hosts a blog where school personnel and override supporters regularly post and get their viewpoints across, although usually anonymously.

Nina Koch is now a household name, thanks to this blog, a leader in her community, and respected for her courage.

Rick Hood is now a household name, thanks to this blog, a leader in his community, and respected for being a gentleman.

If this blog shut down, or even if this blog eliminated anonymous posts, teachers and other school personnel would lose a valuable bullhorn to get their ideas across.

Let's not kid ourselves: we know that the teachers are on here, and Catherine gets shot at daily. Just why do you think that she tolerates that?

Could it be that she actually thinks that a dialogue about the schools is important, even if she gets collaterally damaged in the process?

Let's face it: if this blog shut down, after the initial rush of victory, even the naysayers would miss it.

Anonymous said...

Make that Catherine's blog.

Larry's blog attracts a slightly more ornery cast of character.

Anonymous said...

We need new T-shirts printed up:

Amherst: Where Taking Offense Is An Art Form

TomG said...

Joel makes two excellent posts in the comment section.

If you want to step away from a binary world in which you support one or the other on a personal basis and understand what happened, read Joel's two comments.

If you satisfied demonizing Jackson or demonizing Sanderson, I'll leave you to it. It's a complete waste of time unless you're willing to discuss what was said by him and in what context.

f*ck you jerk said...

with all due respect, you are ALL a bunch of nitwit homonyms, in principle.

Ed said...

Did Jackson violate professional ethics codes?

Not was he a bullying and insubordinate jerk, but did he "leak" sensitive personnel information? Possibly exposing the district to liability from a A-Rod lawsuit?

He has personal knowledge of his own review as he wrote it. He likely was emailed all the others from his colleagues (grounds for termination if it was done, btw).

And this was confidential information that he was not allowed to divulge.

And what did he do??????

LarryK4 said...

Sure looked to me like he had inside information about the evaluations.

The Gazette has requested them under public documents law, but I doubt they will win that one.

Anonymous said...

It's the central office that wants to do away with woodworking. it's the central office that is getting rid of high school jazz band. It's the central office that has made special education such a nightmare in Amherst.

A few years back, the city of Milwaukee, to save money, did away with its central office. instead, the money was allocated directly to the various schools, and the principals and parents at each school decided how to spend that money. Millions of dollars were saved. Not coincidentally, test scores went up.


According to the 2010 Amherst school budget, there are more than 39 employees in the central office. many of them are paid much more than teachers. None of them work directly with students.

If Amherst were to abolish all but a few central office secretaries and the superintendent, we would save well over the 1.9 million that an override would bring in, and students, teachers and parents would be happier.

Stephanie Gelfan
Amherst

Xenos said...

"Sure looked to me like he had inside information about the evaluations."

It is possible he did not have improper information about the evaluations. These people all work together on a daily basis - so there must be chatter about who wrote what, at least enough that Jackson may have a good idea what is in the evaluations without having actually read them.

With a few days perspective on this, Jackson's comments seem more defensive than hostile. If he is to be known as pushing the Sup out he wants it to be known that he was not the only administrator who had complained of serious problems.

Anonymous said...

anon. 11:29:
Just because Catherine's blog has some positive aspects or outcomes doesn't justify or forgive the climate of negativity and mean spiritedness that she allows to fester there. She can certainly choose to provide one without the other. It is unhealthy to the objective she is trying achieve, if it truly is the betterment of our schools, which I believe it is. Mark Jackson may have gone overboard on Tuesday, but it is the larger backdrop of fierce distrust that put him on the edge in the first place. And she has been feeding that beast for quite awhile. If the tables were turned and he was hosting a forum that allowed bitter, distasteful things to be said about her, there would be an uproar. And justifiably so.

Anonymous said...

To Stephanie, may I add taxpayers to the list of happy people. You sound as if you have first hand knowledge of the interworkings of the central office. You know, let's sit around and make busy work to justify our salary? Sound right?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, Xenos Jackson was "covering his ass." And a highly paid ass he is.

Principal Jackson should NOT have had access to those confidential evaluations. PERIOD!

IF he did, then he and everyone involved should be summarily dismissed--without a Golden Parachute.

Xenos said...

He would not have been covering his ass by citing the reviews he is not allowed to read. I doubt there is some sort of gag order that does not allow him to discuss the process with fellow administrators, and thereby get a general idea of how they thought of the Superintendent.

Anonymous said...

I watched both of these videos and this is making something out of nothing. Show's over move along.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah well, we will see how effective Mr. Jackson is in the People's Republic over the remainder of his tenure.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way to begin impeachment proceedings against school committee members? We need to start now.

LarryK4 said...

It's called the ballot box and as Lincoln once said "The ballot is stronger than the bullet."

The town does not currently have a recall provision.

About 15 years ago a Committee--or maybe it was a Task Force--was set up because THEY wanted to get rid of Select Board member Harry Brooks but the proviso they came up with did not pass Town Meeting.

Anonymous said...

...as Lincoln once said "The ballot is stronger than the bullet."

How'd that work out for him?

Anonymous said...

I think a no trespass order should be issued to MJ, Catherine"s husband is an attorney. I think he should not be allowed on any school grounds, and not allowed to attend any public meetings.

Anonymous said...

Half of the 39 staff members in central offices, are or were, Vice principals or other top positions who couldn"t keep it together in their position, so instead of firing them, they move them to central office and give them a new title and pay them the 100 thousand plus dollars. How much is paid out in Legal Fees and buy outs/silencing, to employees that were let go or forced to resign, is any of that public information?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and 9/11 was an inside job.

Anonymous said...

...as Lincoln once said "The ballot is stronger than the bullet."

How'd that work out for him?


fuckin sweet comeback

boston air traffic controller said...

Boston Air Traffic Controller Says 9/11 An Inside Job

Paul Joseph Watson

A former Boston Center air traffic controller has gone public on his assertion that 9/11 was an inside job and that Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon tracked three of the four flights from the point of their hijacking to hitting their targets. In an astounding telephone interview, Robin Hordon claims air traffic controllers have been ignored or silenced to protect the true perpetrators of 9/11.

"On September 11th I'm one of the few people who really within quite a few hours of the whole event taking place just simply knew that it was an inside job, and it wasn't because of the visuals, the collapses, whatever....I knew that it was an inside job I think within about four or five o'clock that afternoon and the reason that I knew is because when those aircraft did collide and then we got the news and information on where the aircraft were and where they went....if they knew where the aircraft were and were talking to them at a certain time then normal protocol is to get fighter jet aircraft up assist," said Hordon.

Hordon said that from personal experience he knew the system was always ready to immediately scramble intercepting fighters and that any reversal of that procedure would have been unprecedented and abnormal. He had also personally handled both real hijacking situations in his airspace and other emergency procedures.

Hordon said that the only way the airliners could have avoided being intercepted was if a massive electrical and communications failure had occurred which it didn't on that day, adding that there was "no way" the hijacked airliners could have reached their targets otherwise.

He went on to explain how as soon as the hijacking of Flight 11 was confirmed at around 8:24am, the entire system, from every FAA center coast to coast, to the Pentagon, to the President were informed and knew of the hijacking.


Hordon underscored the fact that after the confirmed hijacking of Flight 11, the entire FAA system would have been on full alert and obsessively watching the skies for any unusual activity, and that such activity as the hijacking of Flight 77 would have been immediately reported to supervisors instantaneously, as well as being continually tracked.

This highlights the absurdity of Dulles controllers mistaking Flight 77 for a fighter jet as it approached Washington as was reported, and the plane's over 40 minute uninterrupted journey to the Pentagon after a hijack was confirmed.

Hordon debunked the recent Vanity Fair piece that whitewashed NORAD's response as a consequence of confusion and the supposition that NORAD needs exact flight coordinates to enact any kind of response, and that the planes were supposedly invisible to radar and couldn't be tracked properly.

"Further information indicates later the NORAD radars had it tracked....the bottom line of the story is that all of those aircraft were always tracked all the time by the FAA air traffic control centers," said Hordon, pointing out that information showing air traffic controllers tried insistently to alert military command structures is being locked down because it points to finger of responsibility to Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon, who were also tracking all the aircraft from the point of hijacking to the impact on their targets.

This is the reason why, as Hordon stated, that we don't have complete access to flight data recorders and FAA tapes, which in the case of a conversation between six New York Air Route Traffic Control Center controllers was ordered to be shredded, because if studies of that evidence were undertaken it would become very clear as to who was really behind the attack.

Hordon ended by saying that only with the testimony from the dozens of flight controllers who have been silenced or ignored would the true story about who carried out 9/11 begin to emerge.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Loon:

Hordon has been telling his tale for at least 3 years. It is nothing new and nothing more than fodder for fools.

On to the relevant topic: Isn't it sad what Amherst has become?

Anonymous said...

? As an Amherst Native, grew up/ went to school, etc...After watching the school committee meeting live on ACTV, even I was wondering...."what is going to happen?", "how is this town going to survive?" I have kids in both elementary and middle schools, YES I want what is best for them, but the meeting itself, well, it looked and seemed as though the members of the board were SO divided,and NOT listening to each other, Time after time, they were asking for "clarification, re-reading, etc.... Then there were the mishaps of "motions", then "questioning", with additional clarification and some "modifications" to such motions....they seemed like they don't know what to do, how to do it, when to do it...etc.... They looked/seemed ridiculous, and WE wonder why Amherst schools are suffering?

Anonymous said...

I came to Amherst in 1959 when it was fashionable to laugh at the happenings within the Hadley town bodies and to look down our noses at the community of Belchertown. My how have times changed!

Anonymous said...

Good observations, Anon 1:31 AM

I saw what you saw, too. I think part of that was fatigue. But I do think that there's a failure to listen going on, too. What ever happened to the deliberative process in which you don't just bloviate for the cameras but try to PERSUADE your colleague? I saw members who started talking and seemed to have no idea where they were going.

Anonymous said...

To 3/11 9:50 and 3/12 11:02 AM- I tried to post a comment about this on Sandersons' blog in response to that post and guess what- she chose not to publish it. SURPRISE- not!

Anonymous said...

The messages sent to Catherine Sanderson about her blog from her critics:

1) You should not be running a blog that facilitates anonymous comments.
2) Hey, Catherine, could you exercise a little discretion over the content and taste of the comments?
3) I'm posting to Catherine's blog and she's not publishing my comments.
4) There's a good reason why we are posting anonymously.

What's a person who believes in open and honest dialogue to do?

It's all about change and the deep-rooted fear of it.

Amherst: Where Taking Offense Is An Art Form

Ed said...

I doubt there is some sort of gag order that does not allow him to discuss the process with fellow administrators, and thereby get a general idea of how they thought of the Superintendent.

What part of "confidential" doesn't apply here?

They are instructed to prepare a CONFIDENTIAL review of the Supt. So as long as you talk about what you wrote, but don't give out copies, that is OK?

What planet are we living on?

Let me see, it is perfectly acceptable for psychologists to discuss their clients (by name) at the local bar as long as they don't hand out copies of the files????

What concept of professional behavior doesn't exist in this town????

LarryK4 said...

Cowardly Anon Nitwit 11:01 AM

Go start your own blog--it's free. And you can do it Anonymously.

Anonymous said...

"To 3/11 9:50 and 3/12 11:02 AM- I tried to post a comment about this on Sandersons' blog in response to that post and guess what- she chose not to publish it. SURPRISE- not!"

Yeah, she was too busy publishing comments like the one calling MJ a jackass and challenging him to a schoolyard fight. But it's all in the name of improving our schools. So remember, don't dare criticize her, you big bully!

I've removed her blog from my bookmarks and stopped venturing there. I recommend others do the same. It's been a remarkably cleansing experience.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, do me a HUGE favor and take my blog off your freakin bookmark list you Cowardly Anon Nitwit.

Anonymous said...

No Larry, I'll keep tuning in here because you don't purport to be anything other than what you are. Intentionally provocative. There's honesty in that, which I appreciate. And, there's no self pity when people disagree with you. You can take it as well as you dish it out. Which I also appreciate. Not that you care, mind you, which, now that I mention it, I also appreci.... oh, never mind, I'm sure you get the point.

Anonymous said...

This is all a bunch of nothing. The story is that a superintendent needs to be hired once again. This Jackson business is just silliness and is typical of your trying to stir something up for no good reason. Stick to the issue.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the Springfield paper
to inform the community that there were factors in Dr R's departure beyond the negative evaluations of school administrators (i.e. - the SC chair's pages of notes that led him to the same conclusion). If only our local paper had been so insightful, we might not have ever witnessed the Jackson/Sanderson dust-up!

LarryK4 said...

The Gazette was in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie-
If cuts are to be made in office staff- take a look within your childrens' elementary school office to see if any work ever gets done.

Anonymous said...

Is there a link to the Springfield article available?
I couldn't find it. Fashir spoke at Tuesday's SC meeting about the reams of notes he had from his talks with the superintendent, but I didn't hear him put one slant or another on them.

LP Gordon said...

I have now watched the film of Principal Mark Jackson's statement four times and cannot see why his tone, actions or words are perceived as bullying, condescending, arrogant or negative in any way.

I saw a man sitting at the far end of the table from Catherine Sanderson. I heard a man speaking in a normal tone without raising his voice. I watched a man using appropriate gestures with no shaking fists or pounding on the table. I noted no attempt to intimidate thru body language. I heard no belittling language or rude comments. Try as I might, I can't reconcile what I know of bullying, contempt and intimidation with what was on that tape.

I also cannot reconcile Jackson's words on the tape with comments from other bloggers that Jackson somehow knew what was in the evaluations. I would imagine he had heard some scuttlebutt, knew some of the feelings and thoughts of other professionals but nothing I heard indicated that Jackson had seen the evaluations.

As for the "that is a statement not a question" debate, if you listen to the words spoken before that, Jackson says "I would hope you would reconsider that comment."
Jackson was expressing a wish that Sanderson would think, reconsider, ponder her view...he was not asking her to debate her viewpoint nor to justify it, merely to reconsider it. Telling her that he had meant his words as a comment not a question seems perfectly reasonable.

I wonder how many people blogging against Jackson have met him; I have had that pleasure on many occasions. He is passionate about the education of our children. He is an intelligent and kind man who champions the underdog and is willing to expend any amount of energy to help his students with no thought of return. His integrity, character and conduct are beyond reproach. I have never found him to be anything but respectful and willing to listen to other viewpoints. For those who attacked his salary, ask yourself if you would step in on a moment's notice and do two jobs for that price. Look at his schooling, experience and credentials. Drive by the school hours before opening bell, see his car in the lot or attend an evening event and realize how many hours he works in a day.

In a final comment, speaking as a woman and a mother of daughters, I am appalled at Sanderson, Hollander and others suggesting that Ms Sanderson need men to rise up and protect her and sickened by the comment about the relative body sizes of Jackson and Sanderson. From what I have seen and heard, Sanderson positions herself as a professional, capable woman able "push back." Why then, would she need, nay expect, defense and protection from a simple comment made by a person, man or woman, sitting across an expanse, behind a table, from her? She and her supporters have set the women's movement back 50 years with the tears and the white knight and damsel in distress drama.

LarryK4 said...

Actually I have met Mr. Jackson. His daughter was classmates with my daughter at Crocker Farm briefly four years ago before he sent her off to private school.

And after much prodding on this blog two years ago actually came to my office for coffee to discuss, ugh, 'Vagina Monologues".

And I would point out the High School kids have not performed it again under his "leadership."