Northgate Community Has a Voice for Change

Welcome to the Northgate High School Blog. The sole purpose of this blog is to gather information from parents, students, teachers, staff and administrators who would like to share ideas about improving Northgate. The blog will also provide information about MDUSD's, and Northgate's, failure to provide a quality education for our students. If you believe everything is wonderful at Northgate feel free to write that in a post but please understand that this blog is about change. No form of name calling or intimidation will be tolerated, your post will be removed. This is a serious blog for serious people who want to make a difference. Members of the school board view this site, this link can easily be sent to the Superintendent, this is your opportunity to tell them what you think needs to change at Northgate.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jeff Adams- Candidate for School Board

In April I started this blog because I was appalled at the rhetoric, accusations, and comments being posted on the MDUSD blog. I wanted students, parents, and community members to have a forum where they could find information and discuss ideas for ways to improve Northgate/MDUSD. Two weeks ago the MDUSD blog once again allowed their site to be host to posts that were reminiscent of a lynching mob rather than a place where people with common issues come together to discuss ideas and viewpoints. I felt the treatment of Mr. Jeff Adams, candidate for School Board, was unfair and embarrassing. I did not know Mr. Adams but believed if we had another candidate in the race I would like to know his positions on issues. I wrote to Mr. Adams, asked him 10 questions I felt were important and offered to post his answers on the Northgate Blog. Mr. Adams was gracious enough to agree. I hope this information will prove helpful in your quest to get to know Mr. Adams. My policy stands with respect to monitoring posts. In addition, I welcome any of the other three candidates to answer any or all of these same questions and I will be happy to post those as well.

Jeff Adams Statement and Q&A

20 comments:

Paul Strange said...

The Statement and Q&A won't let me in. Try logging out of gmail/blogger and clicking on it. I think it needs the permissions changed.

Anonymous said...

I was able to read it no problem and I'm pretty impressed. I agree that we have to start working together instead of focusing on ousting the Superintendent. It's wasting time and energy and the next guy isn't going to have a magic wand to produce the money to pay the teachers what they deserve. I hope more people get to read this statement.

Anonymous said...

I guess this answers the question of whether Mr. Adams was recruited by Mr. Allen (or others). He is clearly trying to support April Treece and her failing policies. Mr. Strange and Mr. Eberhart are not willing to blindly follow the superintendent. If they don't do that, there will always be a split. I can also assure you that there are big problems in this district that will be revealed at some point in the future. Mr. Adams will look like a fool for supporting Mr. McHenry.

Fern M. said...

It is not up to Mr. Eberhart or Mr. Strange to control the comments on their blog. Do you control the few comments you get on this blog? They have explained over and over again why they have called for the Superintendents resignation, and stated many times they tried over and over to work witht he board to hold McHenry accountable for his actions. With no support from the other board members their hands were tied. Mr. Adams has entered this race and now is choosing to attack the wrong people. He has no chance of getting elected with all the work that the teachers union, Local One, and CSEA are going to do for this election. The only chance he has is spoiling the election and getting Treece re-elected, which appears to be something he and the author of this blog must want. Such a shame that he didn't wait two years. I doubt he would have receive the endorsements then, but if he is really advocating for change he picked the wrong time to run. He will be blamed by thousands of MDUSD empolyees for spoiling this election if it comes to that, and that reputation will do nothing to further his political apirations for the future.

nghsblogger said...

Anon 7:57
There was a problem when Mr. Strange tried to access the document. It has been fixed.

FernM, I have not yet removed any comment made on this blog, however I will if I feel it is hurtful or unproductive. I am not concerned with how many posts I receive only that I am able to supply information to those who read this blog. I am offering any candidate who wants to answer the questions to do so.

MisterWriter said...

I just posted my response to what Mr. Adams had to say. You may access that HERE. While I am glad that Mr. Adams has chosen to start responding, he needs to actually say more than the standard rhetoric. I have posted some specific questions to his statements. For a minute, though, I thought I was reading Treece all over again.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Adams,

Thank you for your post and I enjoyed reading it. I too am impressed and appreciate your idea's. We do need to start working together, enough of this split board. Many of us parents want the contract settled and for our teacher's to be happy. I wish our State could fully understand what they are doing to our children, it is sad. I have written my representatives and have heard nothing back. Again, thank you and I hope to learn more about your visions and solutions for our district.

Anonymous said...

What did Adams just say? Nothing really. How does he propose to fund benefits? There's no meat in his responses.

Dorothy Englund said...

nghsblogger,
I'm relieved that Mr. Adams is willing to answer your questions. However, many of the rest of us also have questions for Mr. Adams. We are still trying to determine if he is a serious candidate or if he is just trying to take votes from Sherry Whitmarsh so April Treece will retain her position on the Board.

Maybe you can help us out here. Since Mr. Adams willingly responded to your questions, please ask Mr. Adams the following questions and see if he will respond:

1)Did you have any contact with Dick Allen following Mr. Strange's appointment to the school board (from March 2006 until July 14, 2008)?

2) If yes to question 1, please describe when you communicated with Mr. Allen (general timeframe), how frequently you communicated with Mr. Allen and whether the communiction(s) between you and Mr. Allen included any discussion about your becoming a candidate for school board in the 2008 election.

3) If yes to question 1, please indicate who initiated the communication (did Mr. Allen initiate communiction with you in all instances, or did you approach Mr. Allen and/or otherwise initiate communication with Mr. Allen - whethr in person, by mail, by email or by phone).

4) Did you have any contact with Mr. McHenry (or other District staff besides teachers) from March 2006 until July 14, 2008?

5) If yes to 4, please answer questions 2 and 3 as they relate to the District employee(s) you communicated with from March 2006 until July 14, 2008.

I hope you will encourage Mr. Adams to respond to these questions so we can confirm or lay to rest the many rumors surrounding Mr. Adams' decision to run for school board. Mr. Eberhart, Ms. Whitmarsh and Mr. Strange have openly discussed events leading to Ms. Whitmarsh's candidacy. I hope Mr. Adams will be as candid and forthcoming in his responses.

Thank you for your assistance.

Anonymous said...

And now Mr. Adams is being supported by Ruth Carver! The fact that he would even want to associate himself with that group shows be he's a candidate I won't vote for and will tell everyone I know not to vote for.

Anonymous said...

That's just who I'd want on my side, Ruth Carver. Great. Sure align yourself with a lady full of venom and contempt for HER district... Who cares who she or her group endorses... if you don't have support of the teachers, the staff, or ... well anyone else... then you're just in it to stir it up. I firmly believe he's in it to keep the status quo. Period. And that is shameful. What has he done in the schools? ANYTHING???? Where do his kids go to school? DOes he even have any? I don't care that he's a collective bargaining attorney as much as I care what he's been doing in the schools. I can attest to a statement made on the claycord blog... Eberhart and Strange BOTH spend every waking moment trying to improve this school district at great expense to themselves... we know where they stand, we know where their kids go to school and we know they are at school functions because we see them. Where has Jeff Adams been? I say NO on Adams. NO on Treece.

MisterWriter said...

NO ON ADAMS: NO ON TREECE

Dorothy Englund said...

I think Ms. Carver principally bases her support for Jeff Adams on her dissatisfaction with the incumbents (her dissatisfaction with every MDUSD Board member, two of which are currently up for reelection).

But, if Ms. Carver truly wants positive change within MDUSD, she should support Gary Eberhart and Sherry Whitmarsh. They both question the way things are done and they listen to parents' and teachers' concerns.

So far, Mr. Adams has shown more concern for Mr. McHenry instead of acknowledging the problems created (and perpetuated) by our current administration (and a Board majority who will not acknowledge these problems and hold the Superintendent accountable).

Anonymous said...

WCSTNow and Ms. Carver have not endorsed anyone for school board as of yet.

Anonymous said...

The why is she touting his name on her website and bashing Eberhart and Strange. Doesn't make much sense to me.

Anonymous said...

WHO CARES who ruth carver 'endorses?' Is anyone waiting for that all important word of who Ruthie 'endorses?' Crazy!

Anonymous said...

did carver and her fans have a meeting on weds night to talk about endorsements? what happened?

Gary Eberhart said...

The four candidates that are vying for the two seats on the Board took part in a debate on Friday in the CCTV television studio. The moderator asked the question, what you think about the failed attempt by WCST to petition to remove Walnut Creek schools from the MDUSD. April Treece answered the question by saying that the parents of WC should be working with the school district to improve schools. This is a typical response from Treece, completely ignoring that the parents have tried to work with the school sites and the district administration over and over again and their advocacy always fell on deaf ears. I answered the question by saying that I didn’t feel that the petition failed because it brought the concerns of WCST to the front of discussions in our school district and unless their concerns were brought to the front, they would never be dealt with.

I believe that our Superintendent and our Board majority feel that WCST are a group of elitist parents. That is a preposterous notion. The parents involved with WCST are just that, parents, who want the best education possible for their kids. Parents who advocate for their students are exactly what our school district needs.

I remember when this group was still forming. I attended a Northgate PFC meeting where parents were unhappy that there were so many substitutes at Northgate. There were so many grading and teaching problems. The parents had tried many different ways to deal with the issue and the principal did nothing. Our district administration did nothing. After attending that meeting I outlined the problem and some solutions and e-mailed them to the Principal, the PFC President, and our Superintendent. A month went by and nothing happened. I then called for the replacement of that principal, which happened a few weeks later.

This is one example of a problem where parents should have been able to make a few calls and had their issues addressed. There were and are many other problems at WC schools. April Treece asserted that the Board majority had held the Superintendent accountable and he has fixed the problems. Her assertion couldn’t be any further from the truth.

When the WCST group came to the Board and asked that we approve their efforts to transfer schools out of our district, I opposed it. I opposed it because I knew that the petition would never be approved by the County and I didn’t feel that it was the answer. The answer is addressing the concerns of the parents of WC and all of our schools.

Our Superintendent has not and will not address the needs of parents in the way that they need to be addressed. Our Board majority will never hold the Superintendent accountable. The only solution is through the election. We need a change on the Board. The Board majority must be accountable to our parents. The Board majority must hold the Superintendent accountable. When asked a question on Friday about holding the Superintendent accountable, April Treece said that it is more important to grade students than it is to grade the Superintendent. You see, Ms. Treece does not understand our role as Board members. Our number one responsibility is holding the Superintendent accountable and we have no responsibility for grading students.

It is extremely unlikely that Mr. Adams will win this election. I have had that conversation with Mr. Adams and he has said to me that he knows that he can’t win, that he is only in the race to get “his message” out. Ms. Treece is not competent to continue as a Board member and should not be re-elected. That leaves me and Sherry Whitmarsh. April Treece and the rest of the Board majority along with the Superintendent are counting on the fact that Mr. Adams will siphon enough votes away from Sherry Whitmarsh to ensure April Treece a third term on the Board. Please don’t fall for this. Our kids will be who suffers if people vote for Treece of Adams. The only solution is to change the Board majority by electing Sherry to serve with Paul Strange and me.

The continual attacks on Ruth carver are not helpful. Ms. Carver and I have not seen eye to eye on some issues, but on the substantive issues that are wrong with our schools, we probably do agree. I have even been drawn into the fray a time or two and have made remarks that are not helpful and do not advance the discussion in a positive way. There is only one thing that is important and that is fixing our schools. This election is the most important election that I have seen since I have been on the Board. The folks from WCST can continue their efforts to garner more support for another petition effort, but in the mean time, we have an election coming in about 30 days that has the potential of completely changing the make up of our Board. We are literally 4 weeks from being able to tell the Superintendent that there will be changes now and you will implement those changes or you can see yourself to the door. Voting to change the Board will not impede the efforts of WCST, but it will help in the effort to start addressing the concerns of our parents.

Let us stop the back and forth and work on a shared vision for our schools. That is the only way that we will ever see positive change. April Treece and the Superintendent are counting on our inability to work together. I can’t imagine having to wait until 2010 for the next opportunity to change. Let’s not wait, let’s do it now. That is what our children expect.

Paul Strange said...

The televised candidate forum recorded last Friday is available to watch at www.mdusd.net.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the person who runs this blog? It doesn't appear to be active to me.