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Santa Clara Education Desk: May 15, 2013

New Superintendent Brings 40 Years of Experience to District

Santa Clara Unified School District has a new superintendent, Stan Rose, superintendent of San Benito High School District. The board unanimously approved the hiring at the May 9 board meeting. The appointment is effective on July 1.

Rose is a four-decade veteran of California education, with an Ed.D. from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining San Benito High School District in 2006, Rose served in two unified districts, Alameda Unified and Morgan Hill Unified, and one elementary district.

A San Jose resident, Rose has served as an officer and on the boards of the Board for Innovate Public Schools (a subsidiary of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation) ACE Public School Network, San Jose’s People Acting in Community Together (PACT), and on the San Benito County Workforce Investment Board.


Rose’s long experience at every level of education, plus his experience as superintendent of a district with a significant number of English language learners, made him a good candidate for Santa Clara.

“Dr. Rose is a strong instructional leader who brings decades of experience in public and private education and educational leadership to SCUSD,” said Board President Christine Kolterman in an email.

“I was thoroughly impressed by what the San Benito High School District staff and board members, and the San Benito County Superintendent, said about Dr. Rose’s ability to build effective administrative and governance teams and create a collaborative culture throughout the district.  His focus on increasing student achievement for all students, data-driven decision making, equity, and his depth of understanding of the needs of English language learners, low income, and special education students makes him an excellent fit for SCUSD.”

Rose is known as a consensus-builder, and has worked in district administrations and human resources through difficult and contentious times – school board recalls, financial audits, and budget cuts. He’ll need those skills as he steps into a district that has lost all but one of its experienced administrators, and is led by a conflict-fractured board that faces suspicion and hostility from the teachers union and a vocal part of the public.

The superintendent’s compensation includes a $195,475 salary, $500 per month auto allowance, and 22 days of vacation after the first 12 months. Current Superintendent Bobbie Plough received the same compensation package.

Superintendent Hiring Less Than Transparent, Say Teachers

Attesting to the challenges facing Rose, at the last school board meeting there were complaints that ‘stakeholders’ had less input and visibility than was promised when the superintendent search was launched. The board conducted interviews in closed sessions, and there was no public visibility of the candidate until the contract was approved at the May 9 meeting.

Those who say they were cut out of the process include the district’s teachers. And UTSC President Tracy Pope – a lady known for straight-shooting – had something to say about that at the May 9 meeting.

“I would like to express concern and utter dismay at the lack of transparency in this board’s search for a new superintendent,” she said in a public letter to the board, which she read at the May 9 meeting. “While I understand and appreciate this is a personnel decision which often demands discretion, the manner in which you have conducted the final stages of the search was not inclusive.

“The current search was conducted under a cloak of secrecy,” she continued. “After the initial meetings with Barry Reed from the search firm, there was not one ounce of input from the district’s constituencies – community, parent, staff or student. This is the antithesis to the type of search that took place two years ago…. [which] gave district stakeholders the opportunity to [see] the candidate and confirm…that Bobbie Plough was the best candidate…With that transparency came buy-in.”

District Boundary Change Slated for County Committee Consideration

Earlier this year the west of Pruneridge Ave. neighborhood made its second request in three years to join the Santa Clara Unified School district. The neighborhood is part of the Campbell Union (CUSD) and Campbell Union High (CUHSD) school districts -a legacy of mid-century municipal annexation land deals. Both Campbell boards voted to oppose the change, while SCUSD voted to approve it.

Last week the County Committee on School District Organizations published its report on the request, finding that the request meets seven of the nine state criteria for changing school district boundaries.

The crux of the issue is money. For the 599 properties in the neighborhood, CUSD serves 65 elementary school students and CUHSD serves15 high school students, receiving from property taxes $925,000 and $635,000 respectively.

Campbell’s contention is that losing this revenue, especially following time of acute school budget cutting, would be irrevocably damaging to the district. A properly functioning educational system requires a certain minimum of resources – like having a baby; you can’t decide to have only half a baby to save time.

The committee will hold a hearing at 3 p.m. on May 20 at the County Office of Education and vote on the request. The 2010 request was shot down because the committee counted absent members as ‘no’ votes (even though the majority present voted in favor). Reportedly, that procedure has changed.

Even if the committee votes to approve the request, it only becomes effective after a majority of neighborhood voters approve it. Further, the change would be implemented gradually, and students and families already in Campbell schools would be able to remain in that district if they chose. Read the county committee’s report at and selecting “Final Report (May 2013).”

Inter-District Transfer Proposal “Step in the Right Direction”

In 2010, Campbell dismissed neighborhood’s boundary change request out of hand. This time, however, Campbell administrators have sent out peace feelers in the form of a proposal to allow neighborhood students to transfer into SCUSD, and once transferred remain in the district.

The transfers would come with a transfer of money – the per-pupil average daily attendance (ADA) allowance. (The proposal is in the agenda packet for 5-9-13 at

“If students can attend Santa Clara schools – with funding – I think the county that would take that into consideration,” said CUHSD Superintendent Patrick Gaffney, who presented the proposal at the May 9 meeting. The agreement would “address residents’ concerns and the fiscal concerns as well.”

Neighborhood spokesman Mike O’Halloran called the proposal a good start, but said it fell short in several significant respects. It’s only for five years, only applies to high school, has no restriction on Campbell denying requests, requires students to submit requests to both districts, and includes “a variety of loopholes and circumstances that might require a student to reapply and be subject to denial.”

Gaffney said that Campbell was open to changes including a longer term, expanding to the elementary district, and even a one-time financial consideration for facilities costs.

However, with the proposal to change the boundaries slated to go before the county next week, the Santa Clara board didn’t see any benefit to immediate action.

“If we transfer the parcels, we get property tax, parcel tax and bond money,” observed Trustee Ina Bendis. “If we do sign this we’d just get the ADA…I don’t see the benefit here.”

“The county can take a long time to resolve things,” responded Trustee Jim Canova. “Even if they approve this, there has to be an election. In the meantime this is something we can do for our students.”

“I don’t think that we should vote and preempt the county commissioners,” said Kolterman. “I don’t think it’s fair to the residents. If it’s passed, we can have an interim [agreement]. I also think it should be written by both districts. So I’m in favor of postponing until the county committee has its meeting on May 20.” The item was tabled.


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