Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand approved new CFO
  • Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand approved new CFO
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In a February 1 phone call, Sweetwater Union High School District spokesperson Manny Rubio acknowledged that the district has hired Dr. Albert Alt as their new CFO. Rubio said Alt was selected after “a couple rounds of interviews.”

Following the first round, Rubio added, the finalists were brought back for additional interviews with superintendent Ed Brand, interim chief financial officer Rick Knott, and other administrators. Rubio was uncertain who sat on the initial interview panel.

Alt will begin work on February 11, according to Rubio, and Knott will stay on until the end of the month to assist in the transition.

Alt comes to Sweetwater from the Yuba Community College District, where he began serving as director of human resources in 2003 and was promoted to vice chancellor of administrative services in 2009.

Alt reportedly had a troubled tenure in both capacities.

According to a May 2012 article on Appeal-Democrat.com, Alt’s position was abruptly eliminated. A chancellor for the district, Doug Houston, told Appeal-Democrat that the move was partially due to re-organization but “there were also personnel issues in play” that prevented him from commenting further.

Like too many California school districts, the Yuba district borrowed costly money under their $190 million construction measure J. According to a September Daily Democrat piece, the district borrowed $4.6 million as a capital appreciation bond in April 2011. The loan will eventually cost the taxpayers $54.2 million.

Some of the district’s trustees said they were not fully apprised of the terms of the loan. Trustee Jim Kennedy told the Daily Democrat that he “blamed two former district executives, Chancellor Nicki Harrington and ousted Vice Chancellor Al Alt, for not keeping trustees informed on what they were voting for.”

In 2008, while acting as director of human resources, Alt had a problem as a result of taking his doctorate from Madison University — an unaccredited university.

A 2008 article in Inside Higher Ed tells the story: “Among Al Alt's duties at Yuba College is making sure the degrees are legitimate — at the point of hire, or when professors or others at the California community college file the paperwork to qualify for higher pay based on earning a new degree.

“Over the past few years, Alt has learned the various places one can reliably check to be sure an institution is accredited by a recognized agency— one of the key requirements at Yuba and most colleges to get credit for a degree. But in a sign of how widespread the problem may be with unaccredited degrees, Alt last year had to tell his bosses to lower his own salary: A doctorate he earned after he started work at Yuba — and for which he was paid extra — apparently came from an unaccredited institution, he said, so his salary needed to be cut.”

An online search shows that Alt has subsequently sought another degree in education from Drexel University.

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oskidoll Feb. 3, 2013 @ 7:56 p.m.

WHERE do they find these people? My word...isn't there any one else who can come to the table without issues? Seems like Sweetwater draws those who are problems to begin with.


eastlaker Feb. 3, 2013 @ 11:53 p.m.

Ok, when your spokesperson does not know who was on the committee, what does that tell you? That the committee probably consisted of Ed Brand, his dogsbody and ?, who knows? Maybe no one, because maybe this was 100% Ed Brand--with no checks and balances.

We all know how well that works.

Then--to admit the plethora of issues/problems Mr. Alt comes with. (Again, why call him Dr. Alt if his degree is meaningless)?

Why would Ed Brand want someone like this? Because he will not question all the crazy schemes Brand comes up with--Alt, apparently, is ok with crazy schemes.

Not what this public needs or wants. Not what the students and the teachers need or want.

But isn't it really all about what Fast Eddy wants? Don't we all exist to serve his ego and enrich his bank account? Education, what's that? Just another word to take to the bank for Fast Eddy. Credentials? Can be bought. Ethics--something Fast Eddy doesn't know anything about and doesn't really care, as evidenced by his actions all these years.

What else can be said? Ed Brand is a scheming, lying, devious, larcenous blowhard who seems to know how to attract others just like himself.


WTFEd Feb. 4, 2013 @ 5:17 a.m.

Here we go again...taking Internet searches as gospel and then perhaps jumping to false conclusions. Let us sit back and get all the information...Somehow you think Dr. Brand is that out of touch that he would appoint somebody like this for such an awesome responsibility? Let's get all the facts first. We must work together rather than find a way to say no. I call on these activists and naysayers to sit down with Dr. Brand...set up a meeting and I bet he would hear your grievances..let hiim at least explain his side of the selection. We teach tolerance in our schools..I would expect nothing but the same from these "concerned citizens and parents". I think the community and teachers who do not speak up realize that Dr. Brand is a good man. I have been told that many of the teachers actually are afraid to speak up because of retribution from the activist union backed teachers. This is what is wrong with our schools..we need to reward those good teachers who quietly do their job and punish those teachers who do not perform..and my guess is they are the malcontents that show up at Board meetings. How shameful when our kids are at stake..think of the kids!!!


eastlaker Feb. 4, 2013 @ 2:18 p.m.

More blather and balderdash. Work together? For what, towards what? Brand hasn't given anyone a good reason to work with him.

"Brand is a good man"?!? Not even in your dreams.


SurfPuppy619 Feb. 4, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

Dr. Brand is a good man.

Ed Brand is a certified moron.


cvres Feb. 4, 2013 @ 7:58 a.m.

WTF--your enthusiasm is a bit much. While it may be tongue-in-cheek some of it echoes the conversation in the papers a bit too much. It seems to be open season on teachers--it's common these days to point at the amount of a budget that goes to teachers and staff. Gosh, I wonder who does the work...if you want to speak business-ease, who makes the product of this business?

Brand's work? I think one thing a superintendent is supposed to do is get good p.r. This choice for CFO ? How much are we paying Brand?


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:29 a.m.

"Rubio was uncertain who sat on the panel" - believe that is code for ' its none of your business, and we are trying to hide something'.

We have heard Ms. Russo was on that panel, also sources have shared that while Mr. Knott did offer to stay and train, Brand prefers that Russo does it since they want Alt trained in Sweetwaters financial WAY OF DOING THINGS.

Alt has no training as a CFO, his financial background - limited (that is anniej's code for operating out of his pay grade) in that area.

However it does appear that Alt understands insurance claims seeing that he was allegedly involved in an insurance fraud fraud case involving, of all things, saddles. Ah yes, google, what one can find on google - perhaps Brand needs someone in the IT Dept to teach him how to do a google search.

So, pray tell how much did we pay some head hunter to bring us a CFO with limited financial background - who was allegedly let go with a no confidence vote, and was allegedly charged with a felony for insurance fraud (charge was allegedly appealed and dropped down to a misdemeanor then the case was dismissed, hmmmmmmm)

But we should have known that Mr. Knots days were numbered, remember when he gave his presentation outlining the districts financial state of affairs back in December, he told the truth and the tax payers respected him for it. While he was scheduled to go, I believe that honest presentation hastened his departure.

BOARD MEMBERS IF WE KNOW ALL OF THIS WHY DON'T YOU? because you have turned over all power to brand, a man who is selling you, the students, and taxpayers OUT.


erupting Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:39 a.m.

WTFE, Would it surprise you that Diane Russo was on that selection commitee. Would it surprise you that staff didn't think Mr. Alt was the best choice,but could not voice their displeasure. Would it surprise you to find out Mr. Alt had problems with the law. Would it surprise you that the excuse the district has told everyone to put out is that the head hunters did an exhausting through search and found the best man for the job. Did you know that Diane Russo is able to earn money again and will be working with Mr. Alt after Mr. Knott leaves. Did you notice none of my sentences ended with a question mark? Figured out why? Our board gave Brand the ability to hire so they can hide behind his decisions from the D.A.that's what I believe. Why hasn't our new board president gotten involved? Want the real answer?


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:40 a.m.

Mr. Alt:

Brand is not known for dealing straight up, perhaps he failed to advise you that our district is in the midst of a District Attorney and FBI investigation. What is my point?

When you are doing the business of Sweetwater, pretend an FBI agent is monitoring you.

If Brand tries to tell you the coast is clear, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BELIEVE HIM!


ZORRO Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:51 a.m.

anniej, you are right about Brand. Mrs Chapman, a former board member, used to say"Honey, if Dr Brand's lips are moving he's lying"


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 2:52 p.m.

Zorro: Since Brands reputation, bad as it is, goes back that far - I believe that would make him kind of infamous FOR ALL OF THE WRONG REASONS!!!!!!!

He has said he wanted to leave a legacy, little did we realize HOW BAD IT WOULD BE.


Visduh Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:42 a.m.

When anyone with more intelligence than a common garden snail heads out and pays a diploma mill some money for a "doctorate", that person knows the truth about the school. In this case, Alt probably studied for his bogus degree no more than he would have worked on a single course in a real program. Again, although the story doesn't get specific, we can only assume this degree purported to be an ed doc, i.e. Ed.D. As pointed out, if anyone should have known that the school was unaccredited and bogus, it was someone like Alt. One can only wonder why he came clean while with Yuba College. I'd say he feared having his bogus degree revealed, and concluded that if he reported it there would be minimal repercussions. And if that is why he did it, he was right: the degree didn't stop him from finding another position, namely this one.

This is reminiscent of a case we had in our local No County area, wherein a hospital orderly ran for a seat on the Tri-City Hospital district board, calling himself "Dr." Much later on he was asked for some substantiation of that degree, and he was utterly unable to provide anything. Even the name of the school was fictitious. This sort of thing would be funny, were it not so serious. And all of it just cheapens real doctoral degrees, the kind that are earned with year upon year of intense study, demanding research, blood, sweat and tears.


ZORRO Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:44 a.m.

WTFED. Aside from tolerance, our schools also teach our students critical thinking skills which they use to distinguish between blind obedience and tolerance. Brand, like the current board, needs to surround himself with people who are less than honest and who are more interested in self promotion. The “malcontent” teachers and citizens you refer to are the ones who have done their research and have the courage to expose the truth about Brand and the board. Without them,Gandara would still be here and he and the board would still be selling out the taxpayers, the students and the employees. He also used to refer to them as malcontents and disgruntled people. Thanks to them these people are now facing criminal charges. I strongly recommend that you do your own research into Brand’s past performance. Brand as long been known among employee for establishing a culture of fear in the districts. Administrators have been demoted for speaking out and others have been threatened because their relatives have dared to speak to the board. THINK, The union has no authority over an employee, BRAND DOES. WHO SHOULD THEY FEAR


erupting Feb. 4, 2013 @ 9:20 a.m.

Amen Zorro, I remember Ruth well. I guess we just aged ourselves.


eastlaker Feb. 4, 2013 @ 2:15 p.m.

Ruth is still remembered and thought highly of--there is an auditorium named after her at Eastlake High School.

Wonder what will be named after Brand...perhaps the sewage recycling plant?


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 2:48 p.m.

Eastlaker: The landfill we sent all of that southwest dirt to? As much as we paid to send it there we should be offered naming rights.


joepublic Feb. 4, 2013 @ 5:12 p.m.

Is there any way to find out how many applicants there were, who applied, and what their qualifications were? It seems that in today's job market and the lure of living in San Diego, there might've been a number of qualified candidates. I believe a Masters in business and 6 years experience was required. Even with Sweetwater's reputation, it seems the candidate pool might've contained someone without this questionable baggage. Maybe not. But how is one to know, when this district, even with everything that's happened, refuses to be more transparent?


Wabbit Feb. 8, 2013 @ 10:07 a.m.

How could they overlook the fact that he had served time for fraud?


CateK Feb. 4, 2013 @ 5:16 p.m.

Dr. Alt legitimately earned his EdD at Drexel University and I can attest to it as I saw the official announcement when he completed his doctoral defense (and I know his supervising professor). Yes, he found out that his degree from Madison was not legit so he confessed and then spent the next 3+ years getting a degree from an accredited research institution.

I worked with Al when he was not in education and he is very intelligent. His methods are direct (which is necessary in the 'real world/outside of the ivory towers') and he is not the warm/fuzzy type that ego-centric individuals seem to demand.

As for the insurance fraud? Get over it people! You only know one side of the story. How would you like your past blasted all over the internet?

I have known Al in a professional environment for many years and he is one of the most level-headed, balanced, and fair people I know. When he sees B.S., he calls it just what it is: B.S.

All I read in these posts are a bunch of personal, petty attacks. And, like Al, I'm not afraid to call it what is: COMPLETE B.S.


eastlaker Feb. 4, 2013 @ 6:04 p.m.

Interesting information, however you are a bit over the top when it comes to defending Mr. Alt. Maybe he is as terrific as you seem to think. Maybe not.

What really matters is this: can he hold his own in a toxic environment and remain honest? Can he uphold the public trust? Will he look out for the best interests of the students, or is he just another of Ed Brand's sock puppets?

When he sees what a disaster the finances really are in Sweetwater, will he come clean or attempt to hide everything by keeping information from the Bond Oversight Committee and the public?

If called in front of the D.A., will he answer honestly?

Where's the "B.S." now?

The public is pretty sick of all of that already. We don't sling it, we want it cleaned up. Just like we want this school district cleaned up. Completely cleaned up.


CateK Feb. 5, 2013 @ 10:08 a.m.


In response: yes, he can hold his own in a toxic environment, in fact, he understands what toxic handlers are, knows how to diagnose them, and diffuse them.

Can he uphold the public trust? Without question.

Best interest of the students? Yes. I watched him manage the best interest of teams across multiple geographies with integrity and professionalism.

Sock puppet? No. Too headstrong for that.

Will he come clean during a financial disaster? Yes. But my guess is that he will try to avert a financial disaster and he has the mental horsepower to do it.

In front of a DA? Yes he will answer honestly. Known him since 1999 and he does not lie. You may not like what he has to say, but he is not about making friends, he is about getting a job done.

Where's the BS now? Same place as before.


anniej Feb. 5, 2013 @ 1:05 p.m.

CateK: the fact he was a police officer that left the force due to alleged insurance fraud - the best predictor of present, future behavior is past behavior. Yes, we are jaded, CAN YOU BLAME US????????

I would respectfully recommend that you do some research on Sweetwater - on Brand - on "the gandara" then reevaluate whether we have cause to be concerned.

We have NO FAITH IN BRAND, the fact that a retire employee was on the selection panel - it just is NOT GOING TO GO AWAY!!!!!!

The fact that out of brands own mouth " Dianne Russo will be coming back to train our new CFO " and he is now denying that statement - it is just NOT GOING AWAY!!!!!!!!


Jmbrickley Feb. 5, 2013 @ 1:49 p.m.

Sounds a bit more like a PITA than a cordial type. He ought to fit right in.


eastlaker Feb. 5, 2013 @ 7 p.m.


No reason to be angry with me. I certainly don't know Mr. Alt the way you do.

I'd just like to add my voice to all those who are pointing out that he will probably be under a microscope from day 1, and that this community has zero tolerance for malefactors, having had to learn the hard way.

I hope Mr. Alt's experience won't just keep him dancing on the line, following Brand's advice on how to cut corners, evade the issues and hide the truth from the public. My suspicians are such that Brand is delighted that Mr. Alt has the past he does, because when all goes south, as it inevitably will, Mr. Alt will make a very apt patsy...if I were Mr. Alt, or someone close to him, I would always stick to the side of caution when working with Ed Brand, because Ed Brand always works things out for his own benefit. Not co-workers, not students, not teachers. Himself.

No one can ever say that we who pay taxes in this district did not try and warn Mr. Alt.


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 6:39 p.m.

CateK - get over allegations of alleged insurance fraud? Get over being let go due to a NO CONFIDENCE VOTE, Get over not keeping trustees informed. Get over a CFO being hired who has a degree in Administraion and Human Resources - where is the financial degree? Get over our past CFO being on the panel.


You can now go back to Brand and tell him you did what he asked, and that we are not buying your B.S. defense of the mans professional history or his lack of credible financial degrees. He may be a great friend to you, but we are not paying for nice guys, we are paying for integrity, expertise in financials, and transparency.

The taxpayers of the South Bay deserved better, like, for example the CFO San Diego Unified was able to hire. Oh but that is right, the DA and FBI have not indicted the majority of that board, but they sure as hell have Sweetwaters.


CateK Feb. 5, 2013 @ 10 a.m.

Anniej -- Al has an MBA and I worked with him when he managed a multi-million dollar project across multiple geographies successfully (accountable to shareholders). He knows finance and I witnessed it.

Your response proved my point: emotional reaction.

And for the record, I have no clue who Brand is, I have never been to Yuba College in my life, and I work in the private sector.


anniej Feb. 5, 2013 @ 11:57 a.m.

CateK - emotional response you say? People do tend to react when their hard earned tax dollars are, lets say, misappropriated.

Alt's checkered past is NOT what we want or need.

Interesting that you are not familiar with Brand, how then did you find The READER article?

As I stated before Alt may be your dear dear friend, but we have had enough of our good old boy Brand and his circle of consultants, I mean friends.


YubaCollege Feb. 5, 2013 @ 9:25 p.m.

If Al Alt was so good at "finance," he would still have a job at Yuba College. The problem was he was both incompetent and corrupt. For example, he had no business being promoted to the CFO position, and only was able to qualify for the job because he revised the application in such a way that he wouldn't have to reveal his past felony conviction. This is an indisputable fact. And he was stupid enough to think that he could fake his way through his position. The problem came when the District got competent, honest leadership. Alt's gig was up. Otherwise, Cate, he'd still have a job up North.

As for Alt not lying...seriously? I certainly didn't have as much contact with him as Cate but on one occasion when I did he lied right to my face and I caught him on it.

Alt was hired because it's easy to control someone who you have dirt on. That was the MO of the former Chancellor at Yuba College -- hire people who are professionally or ethically compromised and they will "owe" you their loyalty. That's how Alt got his job at Yuba. That's the only way Alt's hiring makes any sense for Sweetwater.


eastlaker Feb. 6, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

Yes, YubaCollege, what you say makes a great deal of sense. Furthermore, it is completely in line with the Ed Brand School of (Mis)Management...

Heaven help Sweetwater with this combination in place. There is no stopping Brand now from stealing the district blind, declaring bankruptsy and then leaving, making sure he gets full retirement.

Unless people want to stand up and do what is right.


YubaCollege Feb. 5, 2013 @ 9:28 p.m.

The fact is that Alt was convicted of felony insurance fraud. This isn't ancient history. It was only about twelve years ago. No person in their right mind would give someone with a felony fraud conviction--whatever the circumstances--control over the finances of a large institution. Unless, the leadership of that institution was itself corrupt. The other side of the story? Which side is there beyond a court of law determining him guilty?


Wabbit Feb. 8, 2013 @ 10:10 a.m.

Cate, can you maybe help us understand why Alt and Brand are so interested in public school administration, when they so clearly indicate by their own educational choices, that they have no respect for public education? If they go the easy route like this, and patronize and try to bring in these shaky "educational" diploma mills, how are they going to encourage students to follow the traditional educational paths and do credible research?

If Mr. Alt were innocent of the charges, why did he do time? How "one-sided" is that?


Wabbit Feb. 12, 2013 @ 3:45 p.m.

Well, I, for one, would be willing to hear about the "other side" of the fraud allegations. Can you provide any insight?

People who are interested in serving the public should be willing to submit to a heavy level of scrutiny. How much of his past is he ashamed of? Why isn't it the public's right to know what he has done? This indicates his character. And his habit of saying "Oh, gee, yeah, I guess I didn't do the right thing, let me "do it over..." Isn't exactly showing a great example for the students in the district...remember, all these positions are supposed to be for people with the "students' best interests at heart...."

It seems like he is up front, sure, once he is busted.


bvagency Feb. 4, 2013 @ 5:35 p.m.

If you have concerns, call Ed Brand to advise:

Superintendent’s Hotline is Open When Tue, February 5, 2:30pm – 4:30pm Where (619) 691-5570 (map) Description Dr. Brand is accepting calls at the Superintendent’s Hotline. If you have a suggestion or concern, call 691-5570 between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. to talk directly with the superintendent. The hotline is open the first Tuesday of every month. more details» copy to my calendar»


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 6:50 p.m.

Bvagency: While I respect your opinion, you and I will have to disagree on your recommendation to call Brand. The taxpayers of the South Bay are tired of efforts of futility. Our time is valuable and we will not set ourselves up to being disrespected by a con whose only interest is self. But hey, that is me, and at this point I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The VERY FACT that Brand so disrespected the community and board that he would hire the new CFO without public notification, and use the old CFO as a measuring stick - the same old CFO who spent over 600,000.00 of our tax dollars to move some freakin dirt that was proven to not be toxic. Why was the old CFO on the panel? She is no longer an employee.

The above is being viewed as a blatant conspiracy, what else could it be??????????


joepublic Feb. 4, 2013 @ 6:14 p.m.

bvagency: Thanks for the information. The only problem is some can't call during those hours because they're at work. I would certainly encourage everyone who can, to use the hotline. However, let's not forget that lines of communication go both ways, and the public shouldn't have to be calling in questions that could've been answered with proper communication from the district. What's really bothersome is this passage from the article: ''Trustee Jim Kennedy told the Daily Democrat that he “blamed two former district executives, Chancellor Nicki Harrington and ousted Vice Chancellor Al Alt, for not keeping trustees informed on what they were voting for.” Really, do we need more of this?


SurfPuppy619 Feb. 4, 2013 @ 7:34 p.m.

the district borrowed $4.6 million as a capital appreciation bond in April 2011. The loan will eventually cost the taxpayers $54.2 million.

ANYONE who borrows on CAB should be FIRED. Anyone. It is unbelievable that anyone in education is this god damn stupid.


Susan Luzzaro Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:06 p.m.

As Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services at the Yuba Community College District of Marysville, California, Albert Alt manages and oversees a number of different departments, including Human Resources, Fiscal Services, Purchasing and Contracts, Facilities Planning and Construction, Police Services and Print Services. The district’s resources include $45 million in a general-fund budget and a $200 million in construction funds, and Alt is also responsible for all audits and risk management, as well as the legal affairs of the district.


anniej Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:30 p.m.

Ms. Luzzaro: The words "oversees" - "is also responsible for" are not the same as "DID THE WORK OF FISCAL MANAGEMENT" or "DID THE AUDITING".

But then again I am a black and white kind of person when it comes to money you know 1+ 1= 2. I went to parochial school, we never used pencils as the nuns would have no part of fudging the numbers - you did it right the first time. No hiding behind mistakes,


dbdriver Feb. 4, 2013 @ 8:37 p.m.

And according to his LinkedIn page, he was on faculty of Drexel University DURING same time he was Vice Chancellor at YCCD (overseeing all those departments) while also titled CFO in charge of that budget. (While getting that "replacement" Ed.D.)

Vice Chancellor Yuba Community College District Educational Institution; 201-500 employees; Higher Education industry July 2009 – Present (3 years 8 months)

Chief Financial Officer of Yuba Community College District responsible for the management of 45 million budget

Faculty Drexel University Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry 2009 – 2012 (3 years)

board TCSIG 2003 – 2012 (9 years)

Director of Human Resources Yuba Community College District Educational Institution; 201-500 employees; Higher Education industry July 2003 – June 2009 (6 years)

Director of Personnel Feather River College Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Higher Education industry July 2001 – July 2003 (2 years 1 month)

director of resource management synapta 2001 – 2001 (less than a year)


keepimperialbeachghetto Feb. 6, 2013 @ 6:11 p.m.

"If you have to tell everyone how good you are, then how good are you?"-Colin Kaepernick

Translation. The central theme is, Facebook and Linked in are for losers, as evidenced by information in this post.


keepimperialbeachghetto Feb. 6, 2013 @ 6:19 p.m.

Why do people use these stupid social networking sites? If this Alt guy wants to gloat about his accomplishments, he should post them in a bathroom stall at the brass rail, come back in a month, and see how many people "liked" his post on the wall.

This dude is as interesting as the teachers at Mar Vista Middle who boast about how 80% of their Algebra students are proficient when around 1/3 of their 8th grade student population is in Algebra.


montana64 Feb. 4, 2013 @ 9:25 p.m.

Russo. Will collect her post retirement dough. I hear it's 40k max. Recycled hacks.


anniej Feb. 5, 2013 @ 7:44 a.m.


Hmmmm, selection panels at Sweetwater - - if my memory serves me correctly they are not there to ensure the best candidate, but rather the favored candidate. Remember the selection panel for the Management Company to oversee Prop O ? Gandara ignored the panels number one, number two and number three choice.

Brand is looking more like "the gandara" every day.


Jmbrickley Feb. 5, 2013 @ 1:57 p.m.

Kinda like when Tom Cruise peels off that latex mask in MI. It's really Gandara with a Brand mask.


eastlaker Feb. 9, 2013 @ 10:21 a.m.

Russo was on the committee because she is the only one who really knows all about Sweetwater's finances. Whether it is a balancing act, a pyramid scheme, whether it is set up so that bond funds pay off loans, so that more loans can be made, so that Sweetwater can pay for all of the real estate schemes, charter school schemes, k - 16 schemes, and schemes yet to be made known... I am sure it is all there, and Russo knows every inch of it.

And she can instruct all the newbies on how to keep it going until Ed Brand's retirement date, whereupon all things collapse, and the students have NOTHING.

Because this majority board is laughably ineffective, criminally irresponsible and DEEPLY (and I mean this in the best possible way) unethical--not to mention amazingly thick-headed.

Guess all of them have been thinking this will just blow over, and they will be able to continue on as before. I don't think so.


angrybirds Feb. 5, 2013 @ 11:02 a.m.

@ Catek, these people are pretty darn emotional in the South Bay because of all the corruption and crap down here. If your guy is all that, then all the power to him, but he will have to prove himself big time. if you read all the articles by Ms. Luzzaro about this place you will kind of understand why nobody trusts nobody down here. Everything is done with a "whats in it for me" kind of mentality. Kids are totally the lowest on the totem pole and the superintendent as well as some of the board has a narcissistic complex.

So cut these people a break and tell your guy that everyone sure hopes he lives up to the expectations you have of him because if not, these people will feed him to the wolves and the DA. You also might advise him to review all of the crap this superintendent is into because he might have to choose which side of the line he wants to stand on.

I hope he did his homework on this district and is ready to come down and get it back on track. This shit has to stop he could be the hero, the follower or he could be the scape goat. Its all up to him but his reputation isnt that good, you have to admit.....


Sjtorres Feb. 5, 2013 @ 11:26 a.m.

Is it SO hard to hire decent people? No, it isn't. Once again SUHSD trustees fail to pay due diligence.


Sjtorres Feb. 5, 2013 @ 11:32 a.m.

And oh by the way, an Ed.d is barely a glorified Masters degree. The real education professionals have PhD's in education.


Stelladuch166 Feb. 5, 2013 @ 1:36 p.m.

It looks like CateK might be the wife of the cfo. She seems to know nothing about what is going on.


oskidoll Feb. 5, 2013 @ 2:04 p.m.

'Tis sad but true, but anyone coming in to the District without thorough public vetting and only on Brand's say so will be tainted. Could be Mother Teresa herself, but we would not trust her to be anything but Brand's toady. That is just the way it is, and is a direct result of the reputation that Brand has established. He has no one to blame but himself. The Board has themselves to blame for allowing it.

Either Alt did not do his homework, or doesn't care about his reputation. I'm just surprised Brand didn't try to bring in Alioto, the golf-loving deposed, and now indicted, former CFO from Southwestern.



YubaCollege Feb. 5, 2013 @ 9:40 p.m.

This timeline leaves out Alt's role in mismanagement of bond funds and his eventual dismissal at Yuba College, but here are the FACTS about your new CFO:

August 1998 – Redding Police Officer Albert Gary Alt is charged with three felony counts related to filing a fraudulent insurance claim. Charges include fraud, grand theft, forgery and a misdemeanor count for filing a false police report. (Source: Redding Record-Searchlight)

October 1998 –Redding City Manager fires Alt as a result of the felony charges. (Source: Redding Record-Searchlight)

September 1999 –Alt sues to have the personnel records of fellow officer Redding Police officer Duanne Morrison made public. Morrison is the officer responsible for reporting Alt’s crimes. (Source: Redding Record-Searchlight)

January 5, 2000 – After a delay in the case, Alt pleads no contest to a single felony count of falsifying an insurance claim. (Source: Redding Record-Searchlight)

February 16, 2000 – Alt is sentenced to a 30-day jail sentence and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for falsifying an insurance claim. (Source: Redding Record-Searchlight)

2001-2002 – Period in which Alt claims he begins “attending” Madison University, a non-accredited Mississippi-based “college.” Widely regarded as a degree mill, Madison was at this time offering a professional doctorate in Hypnotherapy, among other questionable subjects. Alt pursues his “degree” in Education Administration. (Source: Inside Higher Ed , The Sacramento Bee, and Archive.org records for MadisonU.com)

2003 – Alt hired as Human Resource Director for Yuba Community College in Marysville, CA.

January-June 2004 – Period in which Alt completes his PhD in Education Administration from Madison. Alt claims he wrote a dissertation but was not required defend it. Awards himself his first doctoral stipend at a prorated amount of $1,100. Other stipends followed. (Source: Public Records Requests and Appeal-Democrat (Marysville-Yuba City))

July 2008 – Local paper reports the story of Alt and his PhD. Although his professional responsibilities require him to review and evaluate professional credentials, Alt claims he was unaware that Madison was unaccredited and casts himself as a victim in interviews with the press. (Sources: Appeal-Democrat and Inside Higher Ed )

October 2008 – A public records request indicates that Alt received over $8000 in doctoral stipends from Jan. 2004-July 2007. Later requests to the District and state chancellor’s offices reveal no evidence that the money was paid back. Alt refuses to answer reporter’s questions on this point. (Source: Yuba College Faculty Association Public Records Request)

End part 1...


YubaCollege Feb. 5, 2013 @ 9:40 p.m.

November 2008 – Yuba College faculty give Alt a no-confidence vote and take the results to the Yuba College Board of Trustees. A lawyer hired by Yuba District Chancellor Nikki Harrington dishonestly argues that the no-confidence vote and the evidence put forth to support it were illegal acts on the part of the Academic Senate, which had no part in what was a general faculty action. Despite the 103-4 vote of no-confidence, the board refuses to accept it or speak to any of the complaints. (Source: Woodland Daily Democrat)

January 2009 – Alt’s Human Resource office revises the district employment application. No longer are applicants required to answer the following questions:
1) Have you ever been arrested and convicted or pled Nolo Contendere to anything other than a minor traffic violation? 2) Have you ever been dismissed, or asked to resign, from any position? Added to the application is the following line: “This page will be separated from your application package and will not be seen by the selection committee, hiring authority or Board of Trustees.” (Sources: Yuba Community College HR Website (1/2007 standard disclosure form) and Management Application (revised 1/2009), Pg. 5 “Conviction Disclosure.” )

March 2009 – Yuba College circulates an announcement for the opening of the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services position. The recruitment brochure indicates the district is looking for the following personal characteristics: “A strong track record of effective leadership, high standards and unassailable ethics.” Some time between early March and the April 16 closing date , Al Alt applies for the position. (Source: Yuba Community College Recruitment Brochure)

July 2009 – After a nation-wide search, Yuba Community College District names Al Alt Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services. Alt tells an a local reporter that the Vice Chancellor job involves a budget of about $50 million and the $190 million bond voters passed in 2006. (Source: Appeal-Democrat)


Visduh Feb. 6, 2013 @ 12:51 p.m.

Thanks so much, YubaCollege, for the blow by blow. What you have outlined is almost too much to believe. That felony conviction should have forever precluded Alt from any employment involving funds or evaluation of academic standing, yet that's what he's been doing. What you have laid out for us all to see could be seen as satire, not a real history of a real person. Sadly it is just that.


Wabbit Feb. 7, 2013 @ 1:14 p.m.

Yuba...thank you very much for the information. Do not let folks like this WTF person dissuade you. I'm sure Mr. WTF has no idea that people honestly keep an eye on these kinds of things. Sorry Mr. WTF...looks like you will have to purchase your own meals and gas up your own RV!


WTFEd Feb. 5, 2013 @ 10:17 p.m.

Well what did Yogi Berra say...this is Deja Vu all over again...same type of negativity and claims against somebody who is not here to defend himself. It is easy to say these mean and hurtful things against a person who went through a process of selection that was fair and objective from what I know and have seen by the District. My god if Ed Brand solved world hunger these malcontents would still complain about something...Ed gave us bad food or Ed's burritos are not as good as Chipotle or something. Who knows.

You want to know what the problem here is folks..like it or not these Board of Trustees were elected by a vote of the people. These elections were certified by the Registrar of Voters. These elected officials chose Superintendent Brand to do a job....as they say deal with it. This is the way Democracy works. Look I know first hand from my many years of experience with this District that it has got a bum wrap. Yet a vocal few make it seem like the District Administration is bad..perhaps those teachers who don't like it need to find another line of work. We need to get qualified teachers and not those who sit around and find things wrong..think a little more about the kids and less about telling the Administration how to manage. You teach..they manage... again deal with it.

As far as Yuba College...My guess is your a closet Trust Baby and have the time to dig up dirt on people...and for those of you who think I am some nut right wing tea party or commie..I am non of that. I am a moderate and listen to both sides. I believe Obama was born in the U.S.

Some of these comments they are so hurtful. Can you imagine if Mr. Alt or his relatives/kids should read this stuff? It is shameful. Look Ed is being villified because every District needs a boogyman. Some of these Susan Luzzaro bloggers should do something productive like become a member of the Flat Earth Society or something.

Signing off until tomorrow when once again I do the District's bidding and proud of it.


dbdriver Feb. 6, 2013 @ 11:14 a.m.

"My god if Ed Brand solved world hunger these malcontents would still complain about something..."

Well, yeah. We're not paying him to solve world hunger. He is supposed to be in charge of the education of the students in our district. The 7th-12th graders, not pre-school, not college...our middle/high schools.

Yes, we want to think about college-bound students and getting them ready, but once they graduate, we need to remain focused on the remaining 7th-12th students.


YubaCollege Feb. 7, 2013 @ 9:11 p.m.

If Alt doesn't want his relatives/kids to read about his misdeeds, maybe he should stop being crooked. Everything I've provided is true and verifiable in the public record. The guy simply has no business having the position at Sweetwater, just as he had no business holding his various positions at Yuba College. As for your charge that I'm a "Trust Baby," are you some sort of closet communist who hates Americans who are successful enough to pass on their wealth to their children? Seriously, I'm not rich, so stop being a tool. Look, I and other people took the time to gather that information because we care about our community and don't like ethically-challenged people running our business. I'm sharing the information I have, which unitl recently I had posted on the internet, because I think people deserve to know the truth about Albert Alt. If it's not the truth, he can sue me.


eastlaker Feb. 6, 2013 @ 12:25 a.m.

As if Sweetwater didn't have enough problems, we need to import Al Alt, poster child for (again) what we don't want our children to grow up to be--along with the rest of the indicted majority board?

Once Sweetwater attains critical mass of corruption, will it implode just like the power station? We must be approaching that point...unless Ed Brand is thinking of springing Bernie Madoff from prison and hiring him.

Actually, Brand might well contact Bernie for some strategic planning assistance. Bernie is possibly one of the few who could actually advise Brand, as Bernie was able to hide his indiscretions for decades.

Let's see, who else can Ed Brand call upon for guidance? Ivan Boesky? Some of the more adept insider trading moguls? After all, Ed does aspire to play with the big boys...he's always cared about as much for the students of this district as Bernie Madoff did for all the investors he stole from.

So, Eddy--how's your education these days? Are you learning enough about stripping the future from the next generation of Sweetwater students? Or are you planning on obtaining another advanced degree, say in Overweening Contempt for the Public with Special Emphases in Arrogance and Conspicuous Ethical Disregard?


bankalchemist Aug. 16, 2013 @ 8:25 a.m.

Slick Ed has a deep bench to call up...Tom Hassey, Michael Ellis of Metabolife fame, and as an image maker Bob Filner. Ed can go deep.


eastlaker Feb. 6, 2013 @ 12:40 a.m.

Thanks, YubaCollege for your valuable contribution of all this background information. It sounds like it was obtained from grim life experience, something we in Sweetwater know too much about.

We could use some help in finding a way to sweep all the corrupt entities from their positions.

Wish the voting public in south San Diego county were a bit better informed, but since the U-T doesn't cover much of this anymore, and the Star-News goes "lite", it has become more and more challenging...

With the real estate group being as strong as it is in south San Diego County, you would think even they would start to be concerned, as properly functioning schools influence housing prices enormously. But--again, there seems to be little to no concern from that group.

I hope it isn't because they think that their target demographics do not care about education? Why, then?


Susan Luzzaro Feb. 6, 2013 @ 6:58 a.m.

Yuba, thank you for your contribution. I did see some scattered references to the insurance fraud but did not have the whole picture. I spoke to some people up there on Sunday, but it was game day....

The online university and the bonds seem to be the most pertinent to Sweetwater as the district is embarking in an online Christian college venture right now.

The district also could use some sound financial advice...

Again, thanks for taking the time for readers down here...


Susan Luzzaro Feb. 6, 2013 @ 7:01 a.m.


There was an old Kurt Vonnegut novel, Mother Night. As I recall, the moral of the tale is--be careful what you pretend to be because that is what you will become.


dbdriver Feb. 6, 2013 @ 8:14 a.m.

Wow, that is an interesting history.

WTF, yes, Brand is the "chosen" representative of our Board. But, so was Gandara. That doesn't mean he is the best for the job. Due to the efforts of several, including the "vocal few" you mention, we "dealt with it." I believe this is also part of the democratic process.

This situation reminds me of an accountant joke, where during the interview process the applicant is asked how much 2+2 is. After making sure that nobody was around, he leans over and asks, "How much do you want it to be?"

With the hiring of somebody with this particular history, it leaves much to the imagination of potential interactions with this administration.


anniej Feb. 6, 2013 @ 9:23 a.m.

Dbdriver: what do you want to bet your story of 2+2 was the first question asked during the interview process and when he gave the reply you shared - the HALLELUJAHS sang out - WE GOT OURSELVES A NEW CFO !!!!!!!


anniej Feb. 6, 2013 @ 9:31 a.m.

Alts alleged change in the Yuba College application - it appears we have found Brands long lost blood brother.


anniej Feb. 6, 2013 @ 3:32 p.m.

Before Alt attempts to revise SUHSD's employment application


Again I ask IS THIS THE BEST WE CAN DO???????????


eastlaker Feb. 8, 2013 @ 11:32 a.m.

It says so much that Ed Brand wants back-up from a convicted felon.

Birds of a feather.

Now who is being aspirational?


Paul329 Feb. 9, 2013 @ 6:25 a.m.

Al Alt will destroy your district; your board was so reckless with its choice! Indeed, they chose a multiple felon to handle their district's budget. They hired a multiple felon to further their agenda, if they even know what their agenda is. Most board members are, at best, apathetic and luxuriously happy with their perks—oh, but do they know how to pretend otherwise? They know how to act authoritative in the right places, elegant in the right places, decisive in the right places. What gamesters. Each has his/her own board-member shtick. Most of them can't wait to get out of that damned board room to get a stiff drink!

Is a multiple felon a good role model for young students? I wonder how students feel right now. I wonder if they trust their district. If the district doesn't know how to behave, then why should students behave? Actually, you've stripped yourselves of the right to ever punish students for misdeeds. Perhaps you deserve no less than student mayhem.

This choice to hire a criminal isn't just counter intuitive; it indicates deep institutional infection. The board, in a fit of desperation, may try to justify hiring a multiple felon; if they do so, a higher authority must step in and fire them. If the board fires Al Alt, immediately, you've got a good board.


eastlaker Feb. 9, 2013 @ 10:10 a.m.

I couldn't agree more with what you say, in fact, I'd love to put your words on a billboard that all of this district, including Brand and his sock puppet board members, would see.

Really, I'd love to have your words up in lights as well as being broadcast from the surrounding mountaintops.

Because we do have "deep institutional infection".

We do not have a good board. We have a board with one member who has consistently tried to counteract Brand's wild schemes, and who has been punished by Brand and other board members because of it.

We have so many serious problems in Sweetwater, and Ed Brand just keeps adding to the list with his unceasingly demented plans and schemes.

Would that a higher authority step in and fire the board--but the County Board of Education lacks initiative, muscle and interest--they are Ed Brand's "friends". He, apparently, has many friends who have been protecting him.

It is a desperately sad situation for this school district, for the taxpayers, students, teachers and especially for the future. As WHO WOULD WANT TO MOVE INTO THIS DISTRICT?

Aren't the real estate brokers even the slightest bit interested in schools and how the ratings affect prices and sales? You'd think some of them would get on board to straighten things out, but apparently, they too are fine with this situation. Go figure.


Paul329 Feb. 9, 2013 @ 8:18 p.m.

Wouldn't the major news papers in Southern Cal be interested in a multiple felon getting hired in a high school district? Isn't there a way to get Governor Brown's attention on this issue? Isn't it worth a try?

These days, frankly, Californians are so tired of their state's corruption, on all levels, and are understandably jaded--so they've become a little lazy when it comes to fighting. They just think, "Oh, well, it's just good ol' corrupt California." And it's this laziness that these cronies depend on. They know you're not going to fight hard enough. Yes, these fights are damned hard work. It all just depends on how much you care for your district's children. Are you going to "care" and take the unnecessary steps to fight, or are you just going to grab a drink and forget?

In the world before antibiotics, you had to open up the infected sore, drain it, and then pour alcohol over it; otherwise, the infection would worsen. We don't have antibiotics for this kind of institutional infection; therefore, it must be opened up.


eastlaker Feb. 10, 2013 @ 4:03 a.m.

The U-T ran a piece a couple of days ago, but soft-soaped it a bit. It should still be online under "Watchdog". In case you didn't know, they haven't been reporting on Sweetwater very much since Manchester bought it, as I have heard, anyway. This is how I think it goes--Manchester's #2 guy is a good friend of Brand, and Brand had a meeting with them sometime during the fall of 2011. Ever since that meeting, the coverage of Brand and Sweetwater has been sparse and soft.

A couple of the TV news teams have been on hand for board meetings once in a while.

The local Star-News helped to go after Gandara, but they have softened up considerably. For some time, they didn't really run articles, but now have started. You can read them online, but may have to get used to their website--it is a bit clunky, and you will have to search for the articles.

The LA Times doesn't seem to be interested, although I had heard they were trying to expand their coverage of San Diego. If you give them a call, maybe they will listen.

If you have any ideas or thoughts, work on it. I will say, though, I have been surprised by the kind of "protection" Brand has received...there has got to be a story there.


bbq Feb. 10, 2013 @ 7:01 a.m.

Ladies and Gentlemen again I say cheers for going after the current structure and infection at the SUHSD. However with all of the attention on the current and past transgressions of the Board and the latest couple of Superintendents, where is the common sense requirements for the future. It is time we as concerned citizens develop a move forward plan that sets some realistic goals which include checks and balances. Proper oversight does not just lie on the backs of the chosen few on the Board its all of our responsibility. I have been joking about Yogi Brand, the BooBoo Board and us as hapless Ranger Smith from Jellystone Park, but it has to end. I would like to propose a gathering to list what we as citizens want from our High School District, develop an agenda that we can have our elected officials respond to and use to screen future Candidates or Adminstration Officials. I will be at the Starbucks on Otay Lakes and H st at 7:00pm on Monday Feb 11, 2013 looking for conversation for the future of the district, IF NOT US, WHO?


WTFEd Feb. 11, 2013 @ 6:03 a.m.

All I can say is wow on the latest story on Mr. Alt in the UT. This has been a double wammy for me with this and the “L” Street issue. "L" Street was a tipping point on my attitude about this District. I just do not know what to think other than I have to do my job and keep an open mind I guess on Mr. Alt though it is pretty hard to believe that Ms. Luzzaro and the UT would make this stuff up. I guess this adds now to my increasing distrust with what is going on in the District right under my nose. It is going to be awkward dealing with my collegues at the District. How does a District like this with millions of dollars at stake conduct business like this without fully vetting a person before selecting a CFO for the such a large responsibility. I would have thought that our kids deserved a no controversy CFO like Mr. Knott who could steady the public perception that something is wrong. Frankly I am devastated by this. I have put my heart and soul into doing my part and then this second revelation. At first I thought it was another cry wolf...now I know it may not be so. Let me get more information and comment back as I have to head out the door on District matters.


Visduh Feb. 11, 2013 @ 10:48 a.m.

Today, Monday, February 11, the Manchester Mill ran a Watchdog piece on the front of the local news section reporting on this story. That's, by my calculation, eight days after Susan reported it. Oh, and the piece mentions nothing about Alt's felony guilty plea back in the 90's! A real watchdog, that paper, one with rubber teeth. It would appear that after Brand called the UT editors into a meeting and lectured them about how to report news of the district (and presumably of him and his performance), the rag has been pulling its punches.

The Mill isn't really a NEWSpaper any more; what do you call a paper that prints old stuff? Maybe an "oldspaper?"


eastlaker Feb. 11, 2013 @ 2:30 p.m.

Yes, I don't think I am alone in wondering why Fast Eddy gets "protection". He seems to get it from the Star-News, from the U-T, from the County Board of Education, the State Board of Education, not to mention his local sock puppets McCann, Cartmill, Quinones and Ricasa.

Believe it's been mentioned before, but do you think there is a story or two there?


bvagency Feb. 11, 2013 @ 4:52 p.m.

So im going to play devils advocate for a minute. I do not condone nor endorse Brand nor the trustees. Just something to think about.

The district needs to be run more like a business. Many of you will say Education is not a business. I say, if money is involved, you must use sound and fundamental business practices to run any entity. The core business is educating 7-12th grade students. But a lot of things need to happen to make sure that is happening effectively.

Lets look at a few things - we will start with the financials. A look at the budget for the last 3 years is very telling. For example, revenues have decreased by about 17% over the last 3 years. Expenses have also been cut dramatically (about $55 million dollars over the last 3 years). This would obviously explain the reduced student services, class size increases, etc. that kids have been experiencing in the district.

A closer look at expenses reveals that employee compensation (all employees, not just teachers) makes up the largest expense item. Not unusual in most industry's or for most organizations. What is a bit concerning is that employee comp makes up about 80% of expenses , with a 3% INCREASE in the last 3 years. This is much too high as it only leaves 17% to cover the rest of all the many expenses needed to run the district

Most would agree that weve pretty much cut to the bone - where else can we cut expenses? Salaries and benefits are under contract, so those are hard to reduce. We need busses, supplies, equipment, maintenance, etc to keep the district going. So what to do?

We have a core business thats in demand and is reqiured to be provided, but we dont have enough revenue to effectively provide our core business - educating 7-12 grade students. We cant continue to borrow from Mello Roos, Prop O, issue high interest bonds, etc to get us out of this mess. Prop 30 will help, but we cant rely solely on taxes to increase revenues.

So, how do we increase revenue in education? Well, we increase the number of students coming to our schools. With increased competition from elementary charters and private schools, the district has lost thousands of students, thus the loss of revenue.

So, the district needs to consider how to compete to grow enrollment as the status quo is not working! The district needs to get creative to attract students and grow revenues, thus funding smaller class sizes, increased bus routes, better maintenance, more supplies, no teacher layoffs, etc.

We need the revenues to make sure our district stays competitive and is the first choice for families in the community.

How do we increase revenues? Think outside of the box, offer something better, give choices, options and enticements. The district needs to compete with elementary charters and privates. The elementary district is not a feeder district anymore, its competition!



bbq Feb. 12, 2013 @ 2:14 p.m.

bvagency, The current situation is very simular to the US Auto Companies prior to the bailout, you cannot sell someone something they do not want. SUHSD has such a bad reputation that gimicks, like I-pads similar to auto rebates cannot drag people in if the preception is your offerings are substandard.
The only way to improve sales (enrollment) is to improve the overall quality and image of your product. It is not by bringing out the latest trend or hot rod to get them in the door and giving them money to buy (I-pads to stay).
SUHSD can easily be likened to General Motors the company to big to fail, arrogance and inbreeding in management led it down the merry path and lack of vision. In our system competition is suposed to drive us upward and improve our offering not start swing the bat at every idea that comes allong.


bvagency Feb. 13, 2013 @ 6:46 a.m.

Bbq, agree wholeheartedly. Great analogy to GM. Competition should make The district better. That includes improving the current quality, but also needs to involve new ideas. The elementary charters and privates not only offer quality core education, but they offer 'gimmicks like ipads, academies(stem and vapa), etc. the reality is this district, like GM and Ford, must not only improve the core product but also keep up with the changing pace of education in the 21st century!


oskidoll Feb. 12, 2013 @ 3:07 p.m.

Any organization worth its salt would A) recognize signs of weakness; B) review options for correction C) analyze cost-benefit and potential pay off of options and D) proceed in a methodical way to implement strategies and E) evaluate periodically to assess progress and re-direct as necessary.

However, SUHSD is bounding from 'pillar to post' in seemingly random fits and starts, without a semblance of a plan or an implementation strategy. Fast Eddy and the bouncing ball have everyone dizzy trying to follow the action....all without a plan. The only constant is all the money flying out the window. And the board fiddles while the District self-destructs.


bvagency Feb. 12, 2013 @ 9:44 p.m.

Folks, I am on the Board of Directors of a charter in the CVESD, and let me tell you they smell blood! They are likely going to start accepting 7th and 8th graders next school year. They recognize the weakness in the high school district, and parents want and deserve better!

Im telling you, education now includes competition and choice, and Sweetwater will lose on both of those fronts.

The CVESD charters recognize this - 18% of students in our community attend k-8 elementary charters. This number is likely to increase as Sweetwater continues its downward spiral and elementary charters continue to offer parents better quality!!

This will lead to reduced revenue at Sweetwater as ada continues to decline.


bbq Feb. 13, 2013 @ 9:38 a.m.

A not so quick thought, while it is easy to jump on the band wagon and do what is considered state of the art ie "Charter Schools" or other flavor of the day "I-pads", it is much harder to transform a large, lathargic (sp) organization.

Again looking at the Auto Industry or Banking, there are indications that GM is falling back to some of their less desirable methods and sub-par loans are creeping back.

Just talking numbers as in percentages, test scores, dollars spent, class size etc. is a realitively pointless activity. While the numbers can be used for analysis they are not especally good for comparison.

Again until an overall examination of the state of the district is completed allong with a true evaluation of what is good and what is bad can any sweeping change or direction set.

We need an open-minded group of individuals made up of adminstration, Board members, teachers, citizens, students, working staff to complete this review, and no more hiding information, everything out in the open. That's our challenge....


eastlaker Feb. 15, 2013 @ 12:38 p.m.

Task force for the future...excellent idea.

It would take a group of people with outstanding skills and honesty.

This group would have to have some power, and not 'beholden' to the superintendent, the CFO or anyone else. Full powers to obtain information.

Sort of like a Grand Jury, only with the intent to solve problems? That is what is appearing in my mind.



bbq Feb. 15, 2013 @ 2:23 p.m.

Sounds good to me, a couple of "INSIDERS" I can think of are Acting CFO Knott, and perhaps retired Principal John DeVore, two gentlemen in my regards as straight forward and Knowlegable, based on limited contact with both.
When and Where also can we leave some of the anamosity and arrogance at the door? Are my only questions.


erupting Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:26 a.m.

The leadership in the Chula Vista Elementary is smarter than fast eddy. The kids deserve better than what they are getting from this district. We have to have real leadership to get back to being a real school dist.again. If the CVSD starts a 7th 8th program it would be just desserts for fast eddy and a board that lets him run the show. I understand that SWC is also planning a surprise for fast eddy. Does anyone have the scoop on that?


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