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Thread: Where is the contract for Dr Gordon

  1. #1
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    Where is the contract for Dr Gordon

    Here we are, squarely in mid-January and we still haven't heard anything about a Superintendent contract, or even a search for a new one.
    Seems like maybe the election of a new board should come first, since that is taking place in about 90 days. Why rush a new person in before the new Board is in place?

    What is the answer:
    • Defuse the dissension and discord leading up to the April 2nd Board election
    • Allow space an time to draw quality candidates, as most good Supt's will stay away from applying with all of the current controversy
    • Have the current Board show they are empathetic and discerning leaders to the community by responding to what is a very large controversy


    What will it take to get an answer to this large albatross hanging over the heads of current and future Boards?

    Should we wait for a new Board to make this important decision?

  2. #2
    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    Which candidates, if any, have expressed their support for rehiring Gordon at the end of his contract?

    None, so far as I can tell. Therefore it is incumbent on the current board to replace him, and as personnel decisions are not public - we are not likely to hear anything before the new Superintendent hire is announced or Gordon submits his resignation and allows the Board to publicly speak about the succession process.

    Calling for the Board to violate Gordon's privacy by announcing the search publicly could get D41 sued. I think we are all better off doing this properly. Gordon continues to search and interview and is trying to find another position, he clearly wants a better gig. Let him go, quietly.
    Last edited by jombl; 01-15-2019 at 05:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jombl View Post
    Which candidates, if any, have expressed their support for rehiring Gordon at the end of his contract?.
    The election is not a referendum on the contract, or lack thereof, of Dr Gordon. Back at you. Which incumbent candidates have expressed their support for rehiring Dr Gordon at the end of his contract? Which incumbent candidates have listened to 100's of people and professionals, in this and other benchmark districts, express support for the work Dr Gordon has done? Which incumbent candidates have routinely expressed a personal desire to remove Dr Gordon? (Seemingly not representing the constituent interests as much as their own). Which incumbent candidates have egos larger than the Board room they sit and cannot seemingly compete with the respect and professionalism Dr Gordon brings to this District?

    This is just another instance in a long line of sham Board representation that masks their personal agendas ahead of the desires of the constituents they serve. I continuously hope for a better, more thoughtful (collegiate) Board every cycle. What I get is more of the same. What a shame for a good man in Dr Gordon and the loss of his leadership for our District. If the incumbent candidates had a shred of transparency (Their reported trademark) they would not be afraid to wait until after the election before making such a closed door, no community input decision like this. There is no harm in an extension for a year to see what the community says.

    Maybe this is a referendum on Dr Gordon's treatment. I don't want to hamstring any of the candidates into any 1 issue, but it will be for me come April.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    I still don't understand the one-sided love some people have for the Superintendent. He tried to leave of his own volition in 2017. He tried to leave again in 2018.

    If you think there are programs he started that are just the cats meow, it isn't like those would leave with him. Nothing is going to fall apart without him.

    I'm truly ambivalent on whether he stays or goes. I don't know him from a hole in the wall. But even if I thought he was really good - I can't wrap my head around this level of hubub. There're undoubtedly other fish in the sea who are just as good or possibly better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Solak View Post
    I thought he was really good .........
    Undoubtedly, there is a large group of people who thinks that he has brought a newer, fresher atmosphere to an arena that has wreaked with conflict. Do you normally remove someone for your ambivalence? I am ambivalent as to whom our dog catcher is, not our Super.

    There has to be a rationale that the huddled masses are not privy to. Why else would they incur the expense and disruption to replace someone in this fashion? Vindictiveness is the only reason. He has been told from day 1 that a faction of this Board would get rid of him. Wouldn't you be applying for a new position as well?

    The major, underlying point to the mass of people looking to retain Dr. Gordon is how he has been treated by hostile Board members and how his removal goes against all fiscally responsible motives they were elected under. What is the harm in waiting until after the election to let the full Board make a decision?

    Bob. You, of all people, knows what this non-renewal will look like on his resume. If the Board has been telling him all along to apply somewhere else otherwise they will have to non renew him, then they will have to answer for those backroom shenanigans.

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    The only backroom shenanigans that I, and most others, are familiar with is what Gordon uttered at that closed meeting that turned up on the net. He basically berated the paying customers.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GE Love View Post
    There has to be a rationale that the huddled masses are not privy to............Vindictiveness is the only reason.
    See, I find that characterization unsupported. I did a news story search and there's a Daily Herald article (behind a paywall) about the Board, in 2015 then headed by Erica Nelson, voting 4-3 to extend Gordon's contract to June 2019. That was after only about a year and a half of him being here, and with another 18 months left on his original contract. In the article, the reason given by Clark for voting "no" was because she felt that one of the goals in his contract (one centered around student academic progress) had not been proven to her satisfaction to have been met. I don't call that vindictive. Nor is it a threat of "getting rid of him". It's just that one of the goals wasn't met, as they saw it, so why extend the contract? Was Drew Ellis (the other "no" vote") vindictive? I don't think anyone who's dealt with Drew would get that vibe from him. Yet somehow Clark and Buchholz are?



    Quote Originally Posted by GE Love View Post
    He has been told from day 1 that a faction of this Board would get rid of him.
    Link?

    Quote Originally Posted by GE Love View Post
    The major, underlying point to the mass of people looking to retain Dr. Gordon is how he has been treated by hostile Board members and how his removal goes against all fiscally responsible motives they were elected under.
    I would rather that the underlying point was that they feel he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and our District can't live without him - not that they feel sorry for him. But I know that the District CAN live without him. Thus my inability to connect with people who think he's irreplaceable.

    As for fiscal responsibility, this is (maybe) a non-renewal, not a separation that is going to cost us some kind of settlement of the remainder of his contract. And if you replaced him with someone cheaper it could just as easily be argued that it is fiscally responsible NOT to renew him.
    Last edited by Bob Solak; 01-17-2019 at 09:07 AM. Reason: spelling error

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Solak View Post
    ... he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and our District can't live without him....
    Maybe I don't see more than 2 ways this goes down:
    1. When it was clear that they would have a majority, it was made clear that he should look for other employment or they would non renew his contract at the conclusion so as not to incur additional cost.
      (This would not be transparent as promised, nor does it leave them in a solid position with the community in finding a replacement)
    2. They made his life miserable trying to get him to resign, so they are vindictively ending the relationship in a very unusual fashion.



    I vote #2

  9. #9
    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    There have been Gordon leadership failures now across four school board presidents - and it is Gordon and Gordon alone at the center of each toxic incident. Gordon and his numerous ham handed displays of sophomoric Machiavellian theater.



    A partial list of Gordon's actions under four differant D41 School Board Presidents:

    • It was Gordon who denied a Glen Ellyn District 41 School Board President access to the school budget.
    • It was Gordon that allowed his non-political neutrality to be lost by being the public face of a failed partisan effort to remove the Glen Ellyn District 41 school board president by asking lawyers to write policy that was in violation of state law.
    • It was Gordon that denied a D41 President access to the School Board's legal counsel.
    • It was Gordon that ordered staff to refuse a board member request to display a simple image at a board meeting.
    • It was Gordon that denied multiple board member requests to view and listen to the school board's own archival records of their own meetings.
    • And it was Gordon that allowed school resources, grounds and education funding to be diverted to Union use for electioneering in a school board race - and then denied and stonewalled the FOIA that brought it to light until forced to follow the law by a judge in a court case he lost using still more education funds.



    Quote Originally Posted by GE Love View Post
    .... what this non-renewal will look like on his resume.
    What? Is he somehow entitled to our D41 Superintendents office until he finds another district?

    Gordon's problems on his resume start with his two post-graduate degrees from online commercial internet diploma vendors. And they continue with his work history on the job here in Glen Ellyn. That he has the support of the Teacher's Union and their public thanks for their contract and his help electing their candidates is not really a big plus for most of the public.

    Gordon's interviews probably go something like this:


    (Interviewer): "I understand in your previous employment you chose to deny elected board members basic budget information they requested. Why?"

    Applicant: "That's because I didn't like them. I like you guys though, you guys are awesome."

    (Interviewer): "Umm, OK.... Thank you for your time. We'll be in touch."

    This was his first Superintendent job. I don't think there will be a second.
    Last edited by jombl; 01-17-2019 at 10:37 AM. Reason: adjusted second bullet point

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jombl View Post
    [*]It was Gordon that sought to overthrow a Glen Ellyn District 41 school board president by bringing in lawyers to remove him from his position.
    I would lay the blame for that incident primarily with the other Board members at the time. (Those not familiar with this incident can read about it in this thread here). The outside counsel may also shoulder much of the blame IF he failed to reign in the Board members at fault (sadly we'll never know because the District won't release any correspondence from their counsel to the public, even though it only concerns the not-very-sensitive topic of parliamentary procedure). If I fault the Superintendent in that incident it would be for not stating the obvious and stopping the whole stupid incident early on. He should have been the adult in the room. And he's at at fault for allowing the Board to change our District Policy in this matter to be re-written contrary to pretty clearly understood State law.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GE Love View Post
    Maybe I don't see more than 2 ways this goes down:
    1. When it was clear that they would have a majority, it was made clear that he should look for other employment or they would non renew his contract at the conclusion so as not to incur additional cost.
      (This would not be transparent as promised, nor does it leave them in a solid position with the community in finding a replacement)
    2. They made his life miserable trying to get him to resign, so they are vindictively ending the relationship in a very unusual fashion.



    I vote #2
    That's it, we don't really know how any of this is going down. For all we know they could just be haggling on dollars or goals associated with an extension.

    But IF a majority wanted to end the relationship - then keeping and paying him through the end of his contract and/or letting him know he should start looking are probably the LEAST vindictive ways to go about it. Take a look at College of Dupage and Bob Breuder for the alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Solak View Post
    the adult in the room.
    Winner of funniest post 2019! Congrats Bob!

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    Basically, it appears, that Gordon is still here because none of the districts that he has applied to has chosen him. We only know about the ones that he lasted to the final stages. Who know how many others.

    IIRC, the district in Colorado was huge. The one in Washington has almost 28,000 students.

    What happens in the NFL when a head coach gets the axe? Sometimes that aim lower, like a coordinator spot. I think it's time he stops looking at larger districts for super spots.

    Here's a current list of openings-


    https://rayassoc.com/job-opportunities.php

  14. #14
    Forum All Star jombl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Solak View Post
    If I fault the Superintendent in that incident it would be for not stating the obvious and stopping the whole stupid incident early on. He should have been the adult in the room. And he's at at fault for allowing the Board to change our District Policy in this matter to be re-written contrary to pretty clearly understood State law.
    As the public face and leader of the effort, it is hard not to lay the blame at his feet. He was an active, willing participant who initiated the process to unseat the board president. Erica Nelson, as you may recall went no further than to say that 'this is what the board's attorney wants' in regards to the policy change that sought to cancel and overturn state law.

    I'll guess that if Erica Nelson (as rumored) was actually the force behind the coup she realized that it was a political grenade and sought a willing dupe to contain the explosion.

    I don't think that either the facts as publicly known or as alternatively rumored cast him in a good light. Both are partisan violations of the Illinois state mandated legal limitations and political divide between elected officials and salaried employees and are easily argued as firing offenses in and of themselves.

    The Super should never be seeking to remove the board Chair, individually or at the behest of partisan members of the board. Only a board member should have ever made the request, and only at that point could the Super do as instructed by the board and forward their request for the change in policy removing the Chair to the board's attorneys.
    Last edited by jombl; 01-17-2019 at 09:43 AM.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Bob Solak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jombl View Post
    it is hard not to lay the blame at his feet. He was an active, willing participant who initiated the process to unseat the board president.
    That's not how Board President at the time Sam Black characterized it on this Forum. He wrote:

    Just to clarify - a consensus of BOE members wish to review the policy. Dr. Gordon is a BOE employee who follows BOE policy (whatever it may be). Only BOE members can suggest policy changes.

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