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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

CCS - HR Director to get 12.8% pay raise (?!?!) and other Dr. Rock failures.

From: Dawn Schaller 
To: Steve Hyers, Cheryl McGinnis, Elizabeth Egan, Barry Bomier, Joan Patterson, Susan Boatman, Rosalie Lieblang,
Cc: "Phil Custodio" (Clarkston News), "Wendi Reardon" (Clarksong News), "Monica Drake" (Oakland Press), "Joette Kunse" (Oakland Press)
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 1:06:12 PM
Subject: Fwd: 6/11/12 Board Package - missing documentation and questions

CCS Board,

See the email string for Dr. Rock's new communication style with the public.  I received the attached email string yesterday afternoon... 

I received an identical response from Dr. Rock on 5/23/12 at 11:23 AM from the same email I sent to him on 5/20/12.  This one arrived on 6/11/12, with another "canned response" email ID ("Rod Rock" <rdrock+canned.response@clarkston.k12.mi.us>).

He appears to not even be pretending to read emails from me (or the public?) if my emails are forwarded to and "responded to" via a bogus email address with a name of "rdrock+canned.response".  It has no real response as it just shows his email signature information at the bottom of the email string.

I believe that Dr. Rock is a rogue employee of the district.  How long can the district afford to keep a superintendent who ignores Board Bylaws, District Policies, and doesn't respond appropriately to the public?  I found his contract on the district website here.
  • Under item 3, it says, "The Superintendent agrees to serve the School District ... to commence and perform all assigned duties, to obey and fulfill all rules, and regulations and to abide by all Policies and decisions, as established by the Board of Education and the President."  I believe that Dr. Rock has failed to "obey and fulfill all rules, and regulations and to abide by all Policies and decisions".
  • It says here under item 4 (e) that "the Superintendent warrants, represents, and affirms to the School District that: (e) that he will not withhold from the Board of Education, and will promptly report to the Board of Education, facts known to him, which facts, if not disclosed, could have a ... material effect on the Board of Education's correct perception of the operations of the School District."  I believe that Dr. Rock violates this contracted promise to the District that he will make sure that the Board Members will have the information needed to have the "correct perception of the operations of the Schools District" because he has refused to provide financial information as requested publicly by Board members.  Therefore, I believe that he has been in violation of his warrants, representations, and affirmations, which can be used as the basis for terminating his employment (see item 11).   
  • Please also look at item 11.  It says, "The School District may terminate this agreement without liability hereunder for salary, pension contributions, and/or fringe benefits, for any reason including but not limited to... a less than satisfactory evaluation of the superintendent; ... a violation of any of the terms, covenants, warranties, or representations in this Agreement; the physical or mental disability of the Superintendent.  "Disability" shall mean, unless otherwise prohibited by law, the failure to uphold any Board of Education Bylaw, Policy, or regulation..."  Dr. Rock has violated several Board Bylaws and District Policies (especially financial Policies) and has violated many of them many times, even after having the failure brought to his attention.  He appears to think that if he "perceives" the Bylaw or Policy differently than it was intended and differently than a rational person would interpret it, that he is free to continue to misinterpret it over and over again with no repercussions because he has four Board members who will refuse to interpret the Board Bylaws and District Policies the way they were intended and the way an auditor would interpret the Bylaws and Policies.
At the 6/11/12 Board meeting, in Discussion Item 6.2, the "Projected 2012-13 Budget Report" it reflected that the salary for the Director of Human Resources was being increased from $91,125 to $102,792, an increase of $11,667, or 12.8%.  Per District Policy 3420, "Benefits for Nonrepresented Staff", "Salaries and fringe benefits for all professional staff members not covered by the terms of a currently-valid negotiated collective bargaining agreement or arrangements shall be determined annually by the Board of Education upon the recommendation of the Superintendent."  This salary increase was never brought forward to the Board for approval.  Dr. Rock had an obligation to bring a salary or job change forward in a Board Meeting to have it "determined annually by the Board of Education".  The district is continuing to tighten the district employment budget with contracting the remaining aide staff and attempting to retain pay cuts or freezes for other groups, but the Human Resources Director is to get a 12.8% raise?!?!?!!!  If I were a financially squeezed employee, I would be angry with Dr. Rock.  Not being an employee, I am angry at what I perceive to be yet another attempted violation of a District Policy.   

Please do the right thing during and after Dr. Rock's evaluation.  Please evaluate him accurately regarding his lack of adherence to contracted responsibilities and contract requirements and then please fire him.  Then begin the search for the type of person that the district NEEDS in the superintendent position.  See the article in The Citizen Newspaper here about the new superintendent in the Goodrich School District, Scott Bogner, and the process by which he was vetted before being hired.  Per the article by David Fleet, "
On Tuesday eight individuals from the district, which included principals, secretaries and school board members, traveled to the Grant School District to interview teachers, business owners and others in the community regarding Bogner. A total of 24 community members were interviewed."  Other comments in the article talk about Mr. Bogner's "can-do" management style.  This was the style of Dr Gary Richards, the other finalist with Dr. Rock when Dr. Rock was chosen over Dr. Richards on yet another 4 to 3 vote.   Mr Bogner's style is the style that the superintendent of Clarkston Schools needs.  The process Goodrich Schools used for making the final decision on the top superintendent candidates is the process CCS should use in hiring a superintendent, rather than allowing four individual board members to decide such a serious decision.
Thank you.

Dawn Schaller
http://acrosstheboard-clarkston.blogspot.com/

Here is the email I received yesterday:


From: "Rod Rock"
To: Dawn Schaller
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 4:01:34 PM
Subject: Re: 6/11/12 Board Package - missing documentation and questions

On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM, <kdmigloo@comcast.net> wrote:
Dr. Rock and Mrs. McGinnis,

On the 5/21/12 Board Meeting Agenda and Board Packet, I see that you are attempting to make all of the Schools of Choice "programs" unlimited.  It didn't go over well last year when you tried to do this and you are not allowed by Board Bylaw 0131.1 to put it to a vote ("Action" item) before having it on the prior Board Meeting as a "Discussion" item.  Please see Board Bylaw 0131.1 Bylaws and Policies below from the Neola link off the district website:


0131.1
Bylaws and Policies

The Board of Education shall adopt bylaws and policies for the organization and operation of this Board and the District.

Those bylaws and policies which are not dictated by the statutes or rules of the State Board of Education or ordered by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or a court of competent authority may be adopted, amended, and repealed at any meeting of the Board, provided the proposed adoption, amendment, or repeal shall have been proposed at a previous Board meeting and, once proposed, shall have remained on the agenda of each succeeding Board meeting until approved or rejected except that the Board may, upon a vote and where compelling reasons exist, cause to adopt, amend, or suspend bylaw or policy contained herein, provided the amendment, adoption, or suspension does not conflict with law. Any resolution adopting, amending, or suspending a bylaw or policy under this provision shall expire automatically at the next public meeting of the Board unless the Board moves to adopt the resolution in final form."

Administration has an obligation to get annual approval from the School Board to continue to offer the School of Choice programs.  The violation is that you are proposing a change to the current plan and any change must be put forward as a "Discussion" item (to be discussed and not voted on) at one meeting, and then, after discussion has taken place, it can be placed on the agenda of the following meeting as an "Action" item (to be voted on).  I also believe that this is another attempt to pull another "end around" to not inform the public of potentially divisive decisions and get them approved by your four "rubber stamp" board members before anyone knows about it and then you can just say that the board approved it. 


Here is the information from the 5/21/12 Board Packet as of 6 PM on 5/20/12 for item 5.1:
"Attachment # 5.1
DATE OF BOARD MEETING: May 21, 2012
ITEM: Resolutions for School of Choice Programs
AGENDA LOCATION (please check one)
Check One:
     Consent (Expenditures, Donations, Field Trips – Items not needing board discussion)
     Presentation (Student or Staff Presentations, Recognitions)
X Action (Items requiring the board to vote or take action, including resolutions)
     Report (Items requiring background information, updates to the board)
     Discussion (Items where board interaction/discussion is needed)
     Information (Items of interest to the board such as meeting dates or other general information items)
"ADMINISTRATOR/BOARD MEMBER SUBMITTING ITEM: Rod Rock

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
It is necessary for the district to resolve to authorize the Superintendent or his designee to accept applications for enrollment by nonresident applicants for the purposes of school of choice for the Clarkston Math, Science and Technology Academy in grades 9-12, the Advanced Studies Program in grades 8-12, the International Baccaluareate Diploma Programme in grades 10-12, and the Project Lead the Way Career Pathway in grades 10-12. In the past, enrollment for some of these school of choice programs was limited. The limits established have never been met. We are recommending that the CSMTech, Advanced Studies, IB and Project Lead the Way programs be "unlimited" for the purposes of better enabling the district to seek applications in an ongoing manner."
Although I doubt that anyone would have issues with unlimited enrollment to the CSMTech, Advanced Studies, or International Baccalaureate programs unless it limited access to CCS students, I believe that the "Project Lead the Way" "program", which is not really a "program" as the CSMTech, AS, and IB programs are, is just a gateway to allow the district to allow anyone into the high school from outside of the district.

I looked up the Policy on Schools of Choice on the Neola link on the district's website, and found that the Schools of Choice programs currently in place in the district appear to be illegal due to "Policy 5113 - Schools of Choice Program".  It shows that, as of 11/11/02 (almost ten years ago), the Board determined that SoC was not something the district wanted.  Obviously, this is an error in the district not updating the Policy on the the Neola site because we all know that there IS a Schools of Choice Program in the district, but it shows that this is where the information should be in regard to the Policy on SoC in the school district.       


"5113 - SCHOOLS OF CHOICE PROGRAM

The Board of Education has determined that, in the District's best interest, it will not be able to participate during the forthcoming school year in an inter-district School of Choice Program.
The Board shall review this decision annually, based on information provided by the Superintendent concerning the availability of space in each of the District's schools and programs. The Board shall determine and publish whether or not it will accept applications for enrollment by new constituent district students, contiguous district students, or tuition students for the next school year.
Adopted 11/11/02"


Strangely enough, Dr. Rock, the discussion of your evaluation is item 7.2 on the 5/21/12 board meeting and you are showing your disregard for CCS District Bylaws and Policies by violating District Bylaws and Policies.   ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

I DO NOT APPROVE of "unlimited" open enrollment in the "Project Lead the Way" Schools of Choice programs in the high school.  I believe that if the rest of the public were aware of it, they would not be in favor of it either!

In a "Discussion" of the Schools of Choice Programs in the Board Meeting, you have an obligation to advise the Schools Board Members on how many students are in each of the various Programs.  Your description of "the limits established have never been met", gives no detail.    

I also don't care for your attempting to bypass policy by trying to squeak this by the public and the Board by trying to make it seem like it is just a reconfirmation of the existing programs...  It is NOT!

Dr. Rock and Mrs. McGinnis, I urge you to change the item on the 5/21/12 CCS School Board Agenda on Schools of Choice from "Action" to "Discussion" to allow discussion to take place, allow the public to understand what you are proposing, have their opinions heard, and to stop this unacceptable (and probably illegal) behavior.  


Dawn Schaller
http://acrosstheboard-clarkston.blogspot.com/

--
Rod Rock, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Clarkston Community Schools: Think Beyond Possible
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