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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dr Rod Rock - Collaboration? It sure doesn't look like it to me...

I have been investigating the district since March of 2010.  I was not happy with Dr. Roberts.  I saw some financial considerations/decisions that did not make sense back then.  I knew that where there was smoke, there most likely would be fire and I was right.  Dr. Roberts left and the search for a new superintendent was on. 

The two final superintendent candidates were Dr. Rock (Saginaw ISD administrator) and Dr. Gary Richards (Imlay City school district superintendent).  I believe the board chose the wrong final candidate.  We didn't (and still don't) need a "curriculum specialist type" superintendent.  We need an experienced fiscally responsible superintendent to guide us through these financially troubled times.  We need someone who has the experience and aptitude to manage everything in the school system while keeping control of the finances.  I sat through all of the superintendent finalist interviews and talked to Dr. Richards.  Of all of the candidates, I was most impressed with Dr. Richards.  When the board split on the candidates and the "rubber stamp" board members chose Dr. Rock over Dr. Richards, I was disappointed, but I figured I would make the best of it.  Unfortunately, I am less happy with Dr. Rock than I was with Dr. Roberts.

Dr. Rock claims he is collaborative, but he has not collaborated with the people in regard to the changes he has implemented so far in the district unless you consider the second definition for “collaborate” that I found below…  He comes up with an idea and pushes the board to approve it before the public can find out about it to complain.  Here are the two definitions of “collaborate” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
“1. To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
  2. To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.”

Dr. Rock needs to follow the district policies and administrative guidelines, as well as follow board norms.  He treats the board members as if they were kindergartners with lectures when he makes presentations at board meetings (maybe a throwback to his teaching lower elementary days?) – it’s embarrassing to watch…  What Dr. Rock doesn’t seem to “get” is that the board members are also intelligent, professional people who are his bosses!

It is said, “the board makes policy and the superintendent administers policy”.  Apparently Dr. Rock thinks he has taken over the role of the board and the superintendent… 

The last time I checked, Dr. Rock was working for the board…  He doesn’t seem to get that…  It appears that if he can get the four rubber stamp board members to agree with something he wants, that is all he needs...  What the rubber stamp members of the board don’t seem to “get”, is that they are working for the “people”.  Therefore, “we, the people” are the ultimate head of the school district, with the board members representing our interests and directing the superintendent.  I see board members Joan Patterson, Sue Boatmen, and Rosalie Lieblang representing the interests of the people.  I wish I could say the same about Steve Hyer, Elizabeth Egan, Cheryl McGinnis, and Barry Bomier.  Maybe a recall is in order for the rubber stamp members of the board.  

Voice your opinion to the superintendent and the board.  It is not safe to post email addresses on the internet, so I won't do it here (replace the "at" with "@" and the "dot" with a period), but all of the board members and the superintendent have email addresses at clarkston dot k12 dot mi dot us with the exception of Cheryl McGinnis.  Here are the individual email short names at the CCS email system: Dr. Rod Rock: rdrock ; Steve Hyer: hyers ; Elizabeth Egan: eganee ; Barry Bomier: bomierb ; Joan Patterson: pattersonj ; Sue Boatman: boatmans ; and Rosalie Lieblang: lieblangrCheryl McGinnis' email address is at cpijobs dot com and her email address is Cheryl.McGinnis .

You can copy and paste your opinion into a comment here in my blog if you wish also.  Your input can be anonymous.



  1. Wow! I have not been to any board meetings but from the one presentation I saw him give about the 2012 bond I know exactly what you are talking about. Talks in theories and uses buzzwords but never got into down to earth application of the "ideas".

    Silly me thinking that the late start days would be the only annoying thing he would do!

  2. I have never voted down a school bond proposal in my life, but I will vote "no" on May 8 for several reasons.

    1. CCS has too much debt. The best thing we can do for "the kids" is to teach them that you don't borrow money for technology that is obsolete in 24 to 36 months. You live within your means.

    2. Too many families can't afford a bigger tax burden. Their homes are under water and unemployment/underemployment is still too high. What world do the four members who voted for this live in?

    3. I have interviewed job applicants who are terrific on the computer and still can't find England on a map. iPads may be good for Apple's stock price but they don't teach intellectual curiosity.

    4. I am put off by the Clarkston Board of Education's Politburo-style conduct of keeping dissenting voices from being heard.

    5. I am equally put off by the sneaky move to slide this issue onto a special election -- at the cost of $35,000 -- to keep turnout low and to stack the deck with the "yes" crowd.

    6. The superintendent wants to raise my taxes and plunge our district into more debt but apparently isn't such a believer in CCS' future that he'll bring his family here (and pay Clarkston taxes). Which raises a question: Are are the taxpayers picking up the cost of him lengthy commute via his car allowance?

    7. I've seen no studies linking iPads and wireless connectivity to test scores. I have seen studies showing that tablets and netbooks in schools have a short shelf life due to wear and tear.

    7. Frankly, I don't trust the people running CCS to spend the bond money wisely or ethically.