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Letters to the Editor for May 24, 2024

Wood staff chose new assistant principal, district appointed someone else

To the Editor:

We are speaking out against the Alameda Unified School District circumventing due process to rehire the Assistant Principal who had separated from the job in early March.

Alameda Post - a graphic that says "We Get to Choose. The Wood Middle School Community has been ignored." with a list of demands

We found a candidate ideal for the job, but the district didn’t offer it to him. Instead, the district rehired our current AP, who previously was (AUSD Director of Secondary Education) Vernon Walton’s AP. We brought this up at the union meeting and discovered that the district regularly forgoes transparent processes to appoint leadership in schools on the West side of the Island.

Wood is now fighting for our right to choose. We will be out in front of the school on Tuesday, May 28, handing out flyers to let parents know how the district is treating our school. Following is an excerpt from the flyer:

They Said They Cared: Last June, Alameda Unified Board of Education pledged its commitment to closing the historical, perpetual, inequitable gap between Black/African American students and the general population. Our district said they have a great deal of sympathy and concern and commitment to address systems that fail our children and families.

They Took our Choice Away: And once again, our district is speaking. This time, they are speaking with their actions. A hiring panel from Wood of women, the majority of which are Black or Brown, chose a highly qualified candidate to fill the AP position who could meet the specific needs of our staff and students. In response, our district didn’t even offer him the position. Instead, they rehired our current AP who had vacated the position in March.

Our Voices Count: Our district is saying, quite emphatically, Black and Brown women’s voices are not honored in this district. They are saying that we are not competent enough to choose our ideal AP candidate for our site. They are saying that our voices don’t matter. They are saying that particularly Black women’s voices don’t matter. They are saying that we don’t matter.

We want the district to honor the candidate chosen by our site leaders, repair the harm done to our community through a Restorative Process, and clarify whether the principal position will be interim and for how long.

We want to know the data from the district on how often they appoint leadership positions, which schools, under what circumstances, and if these appointees are connected to the superintendent either directly or indirectly, as in the case of our AP.

Thank you for listening.

Sent by Kellie Scott for Wood staff and community

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