Pasadena Unified Teachers Will Urge School Board Not to Renew Superintendent McDonald’s Employment Contract

Published : Thursday, October 11, 2018 | 5:22 AM

Pasadena teachers plan to show up in force Thursday evening at the Pasadena School Board meeting to urge the Board not to renew its employment contract with Pasadena Unified Superintendent Brian McDonald.

McDonald’s current contract expires in June 2020. The Board is scheduled to evaluate McDonald’s performance during the closed door session of its meeting today.

A teachers union spokesman said the Board will be also discussing extending McDonald’s contract term.

Today’s action by the teachers comes on the heels of a United Teachers of Pasadena membership “vote of no confidence” in the Superintendent’s job performance and a more recent district/school climate survey in which McDonald was given an overall grade of “D-minus” by the educators, according to the union.

Shortly after the union announced its no confidence in McDonald vote on Sept. 27, School Board President Larry Torres responded to Pasadena Now with a statement in which he said he had “every confidence in Superintendent Brian McDonald’s ability to lead us forward to continued success.”

“I disagree with the UTP leadership’s characterization of Superintendent McDonald,” Torres said. “He may not fit the mold that the union wants, but he certainly is making a valiant effort to bring stability to our district. Now is not the time to further destabilize our schools by forcing an unwarranted leadership change while we are in the midst of implementing a Fiscal Stabilization Plan, and while Pasadena voters are considering Measure J, which would support our schools.”

But Wednesday night United Teachers of Pasadena President Alvin Nash said that it is time for new leadership in Pasadena Unified.

“Brian McDonald has been an impediment to student learning, to district finances, to day-to-day functioning, and a disaster for employee morale,” Nash said.

Nash quoted responses to a recent 10-question “climate survey” the union conducted with its membership.

He said that among comments made by respondents were “PUSD is a disaster,” “Dr. McDonald came out as caring, wanting to stick around. Instead, PUSD was brought to the brink of insolvency,” and “I love my school, but am bitterly disappointed in the District.”

The School Board is scheduled to meet today in closed session at 4 p.m. The public session will begin at 6 p.m.

The Board meets in the Elbie J. Hickambottom Board Room at 351 South Hudson Avenue in Pasadena.

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