Monday, August 1, 2016

A Tad Too Secretive?

Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee will meet tonight in ARHS Library

Even before the Regional School Committee convenes this evening for the 3rd straight executive session regarding the fate of Superintendent Maria Geryk, a guardian with a grandchild in the public school system has filed an Open Meeting Law complaint over their secretive behavior.




Clearly there are problems with the annual evaluation of the Superintendent and clearly the Open Meeting Law states, unlike lower echelon employees in the public schools, all deliberations regarding the Superintendent's job performance must take place in public.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

about time somebody tried to hold somebody accountable for our "school troubles"

Anonymous said...

wow! thanks Mr Hootstein. What a mess. (1) Do other districts use Survey Monkey to evaluate their supers? (2) Who writes the evaluation questions and formats the Survey Monkey? Who exactly gets those results to compile? (should only be SC members, it seems) (3) Have the 'non compliant' SC members been given back their evaluations to edit, so as to be in 'compliance'? (4) What's this business about having had to previously given the SI their evaluation before they can include it in their formal evaluation? What could possibly be a mechanism or process for doing that!?

When reading Mr Hootstein's document, the SI and certain SC members come out looking very shady, at best...

Anonymous said...

what was the process when Mr Rodriquez was given less than good evaluations and resigned? He must have seen them before the SC meeting. His quick resignation, as I remember it, resulted in no public release of his evaluation (was it part of his resignation package?).

Larry Kelley said...

Probably. He resigned just before the School Committee was to meet to discuss them. Therefor they were immune to a Public Documents Request (I tried).

Just as Town Manager Larry Shaffer suddenly resigned in the middle of a Select Board meeting just prior to them discussing his evaluation.

They went into executive session for well over an hour and when I later requested the minutes from that meeting was given a document with only ONE (vague) sentence.

Anonymous said...

;TLDR

But "survey monkey"???? Really???? With all the money we dump into this cesspool you would think they could devise a ****ing form

Anonymous said...

There is an OML violation only if they are discussing her evaluation. If they are indeed discussing strategy related to bargaining they are following the law.

Anonymous said...

Does Tara Luce, chair of the Pelham School Committee, participate in & submit her annual evaluation of the superintendent? As Ms. Luce is employed in the Amherst schools, and the Amherst superintendent is therefore her boss, I don't see how she could ever do a fully objective evaluation of the superintendent's performance. Given the potential conflict of interest, it doesn't seem particularly appropriate for Ms. Luce to serve on the Pelham SC in the first place.

Dr. Ed said...

Not surprised to see that Appy is involved, remember that she was the person Team Maria recruited to run against Catherine Sanderson.

I'm starting to think of a different law: RICO. Why are some SC members being so loyal to Geryk? Team Maria's minions (including those at UMass) have the ability to greatly benefit both Kent & Appy, and well may be.

Didn't Kent mention being the parent of a SPED child?
We know she's a UM student who will soon be looking for a job and/or to go to grad school at UMass, and funding for the same.

Don't forget that Appy is a busnesswoman needing to recruit/retain clients, and neglecting to renew her license raises lots of questions. Team Maria & Minions could merely be helpful, or perhaps more than just helpful.

Anonymous said...

Why do these people think they have to hide these things from the tax payers?

Dr. Ed said...

Use of "Survey Monkey" itself violates DESE policy in that Survey Monkey restricts responses and hence precludes evaluators from using "any relevant evidence."
I'm hinting something here...

Likewise, anyone remember why UM couldn't use GMail for grad students?
I suspect this kind of use of SM is in violation of MA IT policies.

Use of any instrument is inherently inappropriate as each SC member is an elected public official -- a survey of the parents is one thing, as is dismissing outlier data in that situation, but not here.

Notwithstanding the above, developing a survey would have to be done in public session, and collectively owned by the entire body, of which Kent is a member.

Do these people have competent legal counsel?

Anonymous said...

I love how your photo looks like a bunker. Well chosen!

Anonymous said...

All of these comments and more are exactly why we will have a VERY hard time getting a new SI to come to Amherst.
Also I wonder why only Dr. Appy and Ms Kent were singled out. Weren't there 10 people in the executive sessions?

Dr. Ed said...

Why do these people think they have to hide these things from the tax payers?

In addition to perhaps having some very real reasons, it's the mental heath mentality.

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 1:13 is free to name the other 8 in his/her/its own complaint.

And the rest is said just like an abusive husband...

Anonymous said...

anon@1:13: weren't they named bc they are the chairs of the two committees? Chairs are the (only) ones who rule/determine the agenda and executive session. Other than Ed, I don't see other comments that are out of line or abusive. Can you point to a particular comment(s)?

Anonymous said...

no anon 2:32, chair kent and regional school committee member Appy were named as individual regional school committe members who violated the open meeting law. the regional school committee was also named as a violator. appy is not chair of the regional school committee and has no authority to rule/determine the regional school agenda or cull out survey monkey superintendent evaluations or violate the open meeting law by sharing them with her friend Maria before the full nine member committee (absent non-regional members like amherst chair appy) deliberates on superintendent evaluations in open meeting.

Anonymous said...

How does Hootstein know what was discussed in the Executive sessions? I bet this complaint gets tossed pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

anon 3:18, did you read the complaint and the 7/13 meeting transcript? holy shit! that's the point. more than 5 non-regional school committee members including maria, her lawyers, the chairs of pelham and appy as chair of amherst, "these entities are legally distict and have different scopes of authority" according to maria's attorneys and should not be allowed in another committee's executive session.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why SC members get a 'do-over' after not completely their evaluations correctly by the deadline. When this happened in the past, those evaluations were not included. Example: Dr. Shabazz checking off a series of negative assessments, and submitting zero evidence to support his evaluation. There was plenty of time to get this done right; when timeframes are not met by evaluators, they have not met their duty by the contract; and the one getting evaluated can demand that late submissions not be counted. This is why some inadequate teachers have been kept for several years - not because they were found effective, but because principals missed their deadlines!

Anonymous said...

anon@4:08: I'm don't think anyone other than those in the circle of the Exec meeting know what might have been judged as 'incomplete evaluations'. I think that is part of what is at great issue with many (esp as evident by Mr Shabazz). It might be a subjective judgement...?

Anonymous said...

Because they want your entire wallet without your suspecting it's gone.

Anonymous said...

It is not at all a subjective judgment. The guidelines are pretty clear. The only folks who think they are above following any of the SC rules and guidelines, especially the evaluation guidelines, are Shabazz, Trevor and Vira. By the way, whether or not the guidelines are followed is a conversation the committee will have in open session. Executive session is for contract negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Ed is correct about the evaluation instrument and the guidelines set forth by DESE.
The SC would be violating MA policy if they did not use it because Amherst accepts Federal funds.

Anonymous said...

That's the whole point of throwing out the evaluations that don't meet the guidelines.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Amherst operate like other school systems? It's really not that hard to understand and follow the correct way of operating. It's a testament to the dysfunctional leadership. The leader of the school system guides & helps the SC with such things. Where was Ms. Geryk in all this? And why would she allow this to happen?

Anonymous said...

Ms Geryk had nothing to do with the screwed up evaluations. Until Trevor and Shabazz and Vira arrived on the SC we didn't have these problems. None of them think they have to follow the rules.

Anonymous said...

Anon, 4:57 pm:
How do you know that Shabazz, Baptiste, & Douangmany are the ones who aren't following the evaluation guidelines & how do you know that the School Committee will only discuss the guidelines & whether they are being followed in open session. None of us know for sure what is being discussed in Exec Session, unless you were there or someone told you.

Rick Hood said...

I just watched the 7/13 meeting. The “non-compliance” of some members evaluations was pretty well explained at the meeting. Any rating other than “satisfactory” requires comments to back up the rating. That was part of the instructions on the evaluation form (which I did). That comes at least in part from this:

“Committee members should support their ratings with written comments, citing the evidence they found most compelling as they decided on ratings. Although written comments are encouraged for all ratings, they are essential when ratings point to Exemplary or less-thanProficient performance.”

From page 32 of this: http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/model/PartVI.pdf

If you really want to know the how the evaluation process is supposed to work, read that PDF, which is a link off of this page: http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/model/

I think Laura Kent is doing a good job considering she got thrown into this process and she’s trying to deal it up.

Hope the meeting tonight went OK.

Anonymous said...

They have not followed guidelines in the past so I am assuming they are the ones who did not follow them this time. I admit I don't know for sure but I am assuming that they are the ones based on their past behavior. It's hard for a leopard to change their spots.

Anonymous said...

Also the SC knows they can't discuss the evaluations or guidelines in Executive session. That's how I know that is not what the discussion is.

Anonymous said...

Tara i think has recused herself from the process.. Abnd from chair but I am not sure I know it was mentioned at , Pelham sc meeting .
Rebecca

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I know the survey monkey situation was very frustrating for some of the sc members who mentioned it didnt allow them to save or stop and continue or reaccess or print it.

Dr. Ed said...

The guidelines are pretty clear. The only folks who think they are above following any of the SC rules and guidelines, especially the evaluation guidelines, are Shabazz, Trevor and Vira.

And Dr. Ed, who has a relevant doctorate.

WHAT DESE REGULATIONS ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???????????????????????????????


I've already posted the relevant ones and links will leadto the rest of them. So what regs are we talking about here? Do they even exist -- or still exist?
Perhaps we could post them?

Furthermore, it isn't the '90's anymore -- Maria neither has tenure no union protection (per state law). If Trevor wants his evaluation to be "she sucks", he has every right to do that - Maria's only recourse is to support his opponent in the next election.

Maria is an "at will" employee who can be fired for any reason other than BECAUSE she id s member of a protected category. The DESE regs clearly recognize this and say so.

By the way, whether or not the guidelines are followed is a conversation the committee will have in open session. Executive session is for contract negotiations.

UNLESS the contract negotiations are related to a conversation which should have been public but wasn't. If Geryk's bargaining position is based on falsehood and she exploits that to get a buyout, THAT VOTE could be overturned. That could get messy.

Anonymous said...

I.was at the beginning of the sc neeting tonight. In those 20 min before they entered exec session they were pretty clear that they would be having N open meeting to finish the ebLuations this week. They were also clear that the public would know everything if they could and would be patient for a little while longer. More thaN one person had to rewrite the evals including Mr Batiste but they were vague..then they went into closed session. They also discussed some supreme court finding Wayland.
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I think Darius Modesto maybe the chair now but again not sure.
Rebeccs

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Or if they don't say what maria wants then to say.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Thats because she owned them before the Amherst voters got smart and voted in people with their own minds. I do think Laura kent has her own mind and
Will not be pushed around.

Anonymous said...

They made it clear they weren't discussing evals. Mr Baptiste didnt like they entering into exec session to discuss whatever is was without the evals being completed . He said he felt it was backwards because no one knows or haS seen the evals. They haven't been discussed so how can they discuss the agenda tonight if they haven't discussed the evals.
Rebecca

Dr. Ed said...

Rick:

1: "Should" does not mean "must."

2: DESE very clearly (a) defines how Supts are to be evaluated, (b) that the rest of the reg are essentially only guidelines, ad most importantly (c) that none of this shall preclude (prevent) a SC from firing or not rehiring a Supt.

3: A "model" is not a "regulation." Take curriculum -- there are regs (and laws) that specify what must be taught -- and lots of model lesson plans suggesting how teachers and districts might want to do it -- but those aren't mandatory.

4: Notwithstanding all of the above, it doesn't matter what the instructions say unless they had been approved in advance by the board. A public discussion, a public vote, and in the minutes.

5: Each and every item, no matter how nominal, must be presented publicly and approved.

Rick, anything else is unmitigated bullshite...

Rick, anythin

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ed I think she wants out ..its the only thing that makes sense .. Unless they are firing her.. But I dont trust the SC has the guts to do it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rick,
I am curious as to if survey monkey has been used previously in your years on the SC for the school committee members to provide their evaluations.

Survey monkey seems like it may not be the best tool for this sort of process, since as people have mentioned, it doesn't allow for SC members to add their own evidence beyond what fits in the survey monkey boxes & it doesn't allow evals to be saved while in process, or for SC members to make a copy of their responses later.

I agree with you that Laura Kent is doing a great job as chair so far, especially under these circumstances.

Dr. Ed said...

Well as to Wayland, their SC just got nailed for open meeting violations.
http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20150729/NEWS/150726438

NB: Wayland is a town in the 4/5ths of MA.
METCO -- which I should know what it stands for but don't, is a ~50 year old program involving the VOLUNTARY bussing of Black Boston children to suburban schools.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca,
The Wayland decision was mentioned in the OML complaint filed today. Interesting that that case had the lawyers for the school district as ARPS does.
Here is more on that case & how the school committee was found to have violated the OML by discussing the superintendent's evaluation outside of public view.
http://www.masc.org/attachments/034_legalissuesmarch10.pdf

Anonymous said...

Look...his name is not survey monkey...it's dr ed! If I am gonna pay for his education then I want him called doctor!

Anonymous said...

This is the fruit of the tree of evil that the teachers union junkie boosters on the school committe and Maria Geryk herself-a stacked deck by school nutz-who only see "Big bucks" coming wanna-be part time teacher "Moms" way-and NOT the use and abuse of the system to promote this Uber gauche corruption-which HURTS..not helps-our local children's education..Go Figure..Just Say',...Ya THINK ???

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm... A law firm ignoring a SJC decision they lost 6 years ago -- that's malpractice if not worse as they had personal knowledge of the decision.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Just wait i imagine the details will upset us all and prove how selfish this admin really is personally. I have to say if your on the Maria bus be wary of the tread marks. They are coming.

Anonymous said...

Thank you I was just listening and trying to convey to everyone fairly what I heard prior to going into exec session. In no way have I even tried to understand what I heard today. I was there more for support of the Pelham School Committee,it has been a rough year up on the hill. I wanted them to know I still care what happened to Raheli and Aisha. I believe the states too liberal law regarding stay away orders And thecpowers of the SI. Although I do believe her most important job is to ensure our children are safe and educated. There needs to be guidelines.

Rebecca

Rick Hood said...

@ Ed
You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Just go away.

@ 9:42 PM
We used survey monkey last year. Here are last year's individual evals: http://www.arps.org/workspaces/one.aspx?objectid=5365536&contextId=2388273 I think we used it in prior years also, but I do not remember. We used Word docs in earlier years. You can can "save" your work, in that you can go back and forward through the form and it remembers what you put in, until you finally hit the submit button at the end. But it is bad in that you cannot print out what you submitted. As far as I know there is unlimited room for text in the comment fields. Again, I know there were instructions on the form that comments are required for any item evaluated as other than "satisfactory". Probably Word docs is a better way.

On evaluations, this is a big deal about nothing.
One or more people probably did not do comments. It was a good solution to send the evals back to us so we could revise as needed, rather than just thrown them out. I applaud Laura for that. I got mine back late on July 13 and assume others did also. There was nothing wrong with mine so I did not resubmit it.

On these exec sessions, which has been mentioned are not about evaluations, that could be a big deal. I have no idea what they are about other than they must be something about the Superintendent's contract.

Anonymous said...

So if Maria cut a deal last night what happens to rest of her admin like Kathryn Mazur? Do they all cut a deal and we start new?

Dr. Ed said...

No Rick, it is you who have no idea what you are talking about, and I don't know if it is arrogance, ignorance or just plain stupidity, but YOU ARE WRONG!

Like I said, cite something with power of law -- with power of law...

And just because you were wrong in the past doesn't permit your successors to be wrong now.

Beyond that, there is enough out in the public record to indicate that this is a big deal. Time will tell if taxpayers will ever learn, my guess is this time they will.

Just in time for the vote on the MegaSkool....

Anonymous said...

Kathy Mazur has been in central since at least the 90s. She isn't going anywhere.

Michael H said...

I agree with Dr. Ed: "No Rick. It is you who have no idea what you are talking about...YOU ARE WRONG!"

A few months from now the Attorney General's Office will rule in favor of my complaint that 1) the Regional Committee violated the Open Meeting Law when they entered executive session under an improper purpose, etc.; and 2) Regional members provided individual evaluations of the Super (expressing their individual opinions about the Super's professional competence) secretly behind closed government dooors to Chair Kent, member Appy and at least 5 non-members including the Super and her attorneys; and 3) the committee violated the Open Meeting Law when they deliberated about the professional competence of the school superintendent secretly, behind government doors "to obstruct...Committee deliberation in open session".

Dr. Ed said...

Kathy Mazur has been in central since at least the 90s. She isn't going anywhere.

A lot of people in Springfield took early retirement a decade ago.

Anonymous said...

If anyone was inappropriately evaluating the Superintendent it must have been Baptiste. He constantly violates her contract by making evaluative statements out of turn.

Anonymous said...

perhaps some of the long-term administrators such as Mazur will retire. Hasn't Mazur already been talking about doing so?

Anonymous said...

Appy is as mAnipuLative as Maria and Kurt

Anonymous said...

Well if Maria got a deal then they should cut all of her staff and we should run with no one in central admin but Kathy mazur for 2 years to make up for what it's going to cost us to get rid of her

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but point of clarification for the individual(s) who insist on blaming Ms. Douangmany Cage, Dr. Baptiste, and Dr. Shabazz for the alleged improper evaluations: Dr. Shabazz vacated his position on the school committee and therefore would not have given an evaluation. Just a minor detail... Beyond that, your claim is purely speculative and has no basis in publicly available knowledge. kindly take your racial profiling elsewhere, such as up the distal portion of your large intestine. Regards.

Anonymous said...

When Shabazz was on the committee he never did his evals properly. I know he is not currently on the SC.

Anonymous said...

BTW. it is not racial profiling. It is fact. Just go back and look at evals done in previous years. These three could be green or purple or polka dot. The color is immaterial. They still think they are above following the rules.

Dr. Ed said...

If anyone was inappropriately evaluating the Superintendent it must have been Baptiste. He constantly violates her contract by making evaluative statements out of turn.

WTF!!!!

He's an elected official, he's allowed to do that, HE'S SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!!!! It's called representing his constituents.

If he wants to hold a GYERK SUCKS rally on town common, he's free to do it, and she can't sue him, either. Sovereign Immunity, 11th Amendment. Not to mention NYT v. Sullivan.

And even if she had a "no criticism" clause in her contract it would be invalid.

Anonymous said...

"Properly" = "kissing Maria's Arse"

The very source of the problem said...

"and we should run with no one in central admin but Kathy mazur for 2 years to make up for what it's going to cost us to get rid of her"



Oh no, you REALLY don't want that.


Unless of course, you want


this.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ28PkXShzg



-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. But then again, maybe you're just drama junkies. Who knows?

Dr. Ed said...

queaky, please don't.

Anonymous said...

It is so cute Squeaky and ed talking to each other. It's called schizophrenia !

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sickened are you a product of ARHS? Do you read your own posts? Do you wish to communicate?

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

It is clear by Maria's and Gina barring are you sure from school committee meeting that no one on this Administration team pays attention to any laws. Gina Tate send an email 280 Shaw telling her that she was no longer allowed to communicate with the school committee is that is breaking federal law I put it out there a hundred times Humanski vs. Something.. now you're mentioning that our school committee members elected officials have the right outside of their role to do whatever they want including evaluate Maria which is their job. I totally agree and if Trevor wants to jump up and down on the side of the road and scream that Maria sucks that is well within her rights his rights. It's also well within his rights to get due process in the ban with Pelham and she didn't. And the irony of that letter Gina is telling are you sure she is not allowed to talk to school committee because Maria wants to process the same right that she denied to Aisha disgusting. Let's get back to Illegal Piece how many laws is a really crappy legal team was supposed to protecting our schools from these things going to break. And how many laws are they going to let her administrators break and put us liable for lawsuits? And how many laws are administrators going to break because I'm not going to give Maria a muggle personally breaking federal law making state law is a big deal she should have been fired for incompetence before now based on the situation but maybe that's what's happening right now and will be lucky. Or I will be really unlucky and it'll cost us too much money to get rid of are and we won't have any pencils for kids next year or teacher aids.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The problem is is that I am dexterity challenged. I have to talk to text. I doesn't always put in the right words and then it's very challenging for me to edit. I have a lot of run-on senTENces with no PERIODS. it doesn't always put the right words if I don't always notice , when I do notice I try to edit my posts hence the deletes.. It just depends on how busy I am In the moment.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Squeaky I don't care who stays only one administrator for the next 2-3 years. THEN WE CAN RECOUP a little bit of what Maria is going to cost us.Then we have to cover the lawsuit(s). I am being sarcastic here obviously one person CAN NOT run all of our schools. However maybe David Slovin stays on and the rest go! I have not heard anyone complain about him yet. Edited

Anonymous said...

Sick in Pelham is as bad as Ed, who apparently is sick in DC. They should both be ignored. When you engage them you enable them.

Aw Granny, better get them dentures adjusted. said...

"It is so cute Squeaky and ed talking to each other. It's called schizophrenia!"


YYYYYYYesssss yyyyyyyessssss yyyyyyessssss.


Guy Sayer (remember him?) and his #1 fan (remember her?) doing in S. Hadley


what they ~continue~ to do


in Amherst.


And you, you vile, skittering cockroach


are ~enraptured~


and absolutely adore


every little minute of it.


Don't you?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpk8ATW00sM



-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. No, not "it", "you". You, are called -pure evil-.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The good news is it doesn't look like they have to be sicknd by admin in Pelham anymore.. It's been a long 4.5 months of support and rallying the troops for all of us. MARIA and KURT and minions.. next time you ruin peoples lives, retaliate, manipulate just remember 1. there is always someone better at it. 2. Karma sucks. 3. Common enemies create unlikely friends. 4. I know it is awful to see that I was right .. More too vome come with the lawsuits soon everyone in town with the exception of Appy and Kurt will be glad she is gone.