Sunday, April 20, 2014

Davis Joint Unified administration

As a longtime Davis resident, it pains me to see what has happened to our school district over the past few years under the watchful eye of Superintendent Winfred Roberson. To recap, Roberson ascended to the superintendent position straight off a short tenure as Davis High School Principal. He immediately showed his inexperience by botching the Jeff Christensen firing, making statements to the press that should have remained confidential between employee and employer.

Since then, things have only gotten worse. The athletics program is in shambles and coaches are experiencing a level of board micromanagement that is unprecedented.

The GATE program dispute has fractured well-intentioned parents, teachers and community members. Our District Advanced Placement participation numbers are embarrassing for a school the size of Davis High School. District Academic Performance Index (API) scores show tremendous underperformance. Do parents know that all California public schools are judged by their similar schools ranks? Ten (10) is considered the top school for schools with the same demographics and one (1) is the bottom. Here are the facts: Birch Lane, Korematsu, Pioneer, and Harper are “1″ schools, while Davis High, Da Vinci, and Holmes are “2″ schools. No district school scores higher than a six (6). Look no farther than the South Placer (Roseville, Dry Creek, Rocklin) to see schools that are outperforming our schools with, in many cases, more diverse populations.

What is common thread? Superintendent Roberson. Whose inexperience has led the Davis School Board to essentially “take the reins” from the superintendent and become involved in issues that should be managed by the administration? Superintendent Roberson.

It is time for the community to take back our school district. Please take the time to do your own research; I believe you will come to the same conclusions and encourage you to speak out.

John Leck

Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 5 comments

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  • Concerned ParentJuly 25, 2013 - 7:02 am

    A big thanks to John Leck for calling the elephant in the room. Besides the fiascos with sports coaches, mManagement of GATE advisory board (hiring of expensive consultants to run meetings or to produce vacuous reports), GATE staff, GATE master plan - there is a litany of other fiascos in process and management: the 9-12 reconfiguration, the Christmas show fiasco last winter, and many others. For which the blame falls to the Superintendent and his leadership team. It is a critical responsibility of the Trustees now to seriously review and debate the merits of continuing with Roberson.

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  • DittoJuly 25, 2013 - 7:14 pm

    I too want to thank John Leck for his comments. It is nice to know that I am not alone in my thoughts. Although Mr. Roberson is a nice man, he has no business running Davis Joint Unified. Do you remember the days when Woodland residents drove their kids to Davis for a good education? Now, more and more I hear Davis residents considering taking their kids to Woodland for school, I being one of them. Did you know there are as many students in Woodland taking AP courses as there are Davis students? Yet the demographic make-up of the school districts couldn't be more different, why is that? It is time for the Davis school board members to begin working for the community that voted them in, rather than for their individual agendas (like their kids playing time) and focus on improving our schools for our students. They can start by getting us competent leaders!

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  • KarenJuly 25, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    I couldn't disagree more. DJUSD administration got off-track years before Mr. Roberson even joined the District. And it’s going to take years to undo the PTSD our students (e.g. widgets), teachers, and administrators developed under the rigid manufacturing model of education instigated and refined by his predecessors. Mr. Roberson is part of the solution, not the problem.

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  • Longtime ResidentJuly 25, 2013 - 11:22 pm

    Widgets? If anyone seems to think a one-size-fits-all educational plan is the way to go, it is Mr. Roberson. He continues to quietly undermine the magnet programs - certainly a major focus he has stated repeatedly in regard to the upcoming strategic planning. We do not need administrators who think they know what our children's needs and our family values are better than we do. When did this university town vote and decide that the pursuit of intellectual excellence and helping our children experience the joys of learning were inappropriate and we should instead pursue some vague idea of so-called "social justice"? How much damage to our schools will allow Mr. Roberson and his Associate Superintendents to do before enough is enough? It is truly unfortunate that while I often hear this topic discussed, many parents and teachers are afraid to speak out for fear of negative repercussions. Bravo to Mr. Leck for standing up and telling it like it is.

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  • local parentJuly 28, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    I agree that things in the district are in a state of change and some chaos....I also feel that this started long before Mr. Roberson took office. This district has had a long standing trend of creating a culture that allows the loudest to be responded to ...even if what they are yelling about is not correct. I feel that a large part of the issue is with a board that has forgotten they have 1 employee only and that is Mr. Roberson. They (the board) has spent the past 2 months battling over the volleyball coach, then ending up doing what the AD recommended they do the first time around. What the board really needs to be doing is focusing on the real issues at a comprehensive high school that has no cafeteria or MPR building, a gate program the is in shambles, 9th grade configuration, budget issues, rotating principals at the only high school in the district, rotating directors at the district level and falling test scores. It is time that the board and Mr. Roberson focus on the real issues our district faces rather than individuals who have a personal conflicts manufacturing problems.

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