When I was a student in the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District (ARUSD) from kindergarten to eighth grade, I had four superintendents in nine years.
When I returned as a teacher and school leader in the same district, I had five superintendents in 10 years —with an additional interim superintendent returning three times in-between leadership transitions.
A revolving door — in a community that needs great leadership, where 85 percent of students live in poverty, 79 percent are Latino, and nearly half are learning English as a second language.
For the last four years, Superintendent Hilaria Bauer has been the leader the district needs. She has initiated and overseen changes that have led to increased student achievement in reading and math. She has created new preschool classrooms as part of a plan for universal preschool. With strengthened support, English language learners have dramatically improved their English skills. Families have become more engaged in schools thanks to Parent University as well as new parent liaisons positions. The new partnerships Bauer has developed across the area are bringing in more resources. And our community members are not the only ones who see it — Bauer has been honored with the NFL’s 2015 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award and the 2016 Woman of the Year for the 27th District Assembly.
Yet on Feb. 27, the ARUSD Board of Trustees held its seventh special board meeting in the last year focused on the superintendent’s performance evaluation. Once again, the community rallied to show repeated public support for Bauer at the board meeting itself and, through an organized walkout and protest on March 8, rightfully asking three board members to step down. A letter from community members and former board members said they had maintained a board climate that “includes public intimidation, harassment, bullying, and demeaning behavior” toward Bauer …read more
Source:: The Mercury News