Connect with us

Education

OUSD Bypasses School Board to Hire Jackson for $30,000 Per Month

Published

on

The Oakland Unified School District administration bypassed Board of Education approval in order to pay Lance Jackson $30,000 a month to oversee the district’s multimillion dollar construction program, the Oakland Post has learned.

<p> 

 

While the district is conducting a search for a new person to head the work, Jackson is overseeing OUSD’s construction programs and repairs, maintenance and custodial services.

 

Uncertain that the Board of Education would be willing to vote for the $30,000 a month interim contract for Jackson, the administration has decided to pull the contract and instead to pay the consultant out of the ongoing contract the district has with Jackson’s company, Seville Group Inc.

 

Jackson is Chief Operating Officer of Seville, a construction management firm that provides oversight of OUSD construction projects.

 

The Post recently reported that Jackson was hired for the interim position at a rate of $360,000 a year – more than double the $156,000 a year received by former chief of construction management Tim White. Jackson’s annual salary is higher than the $280,000 annual salary that Supt. Antwan Wilson receives.

 

Passed by the board under Acting Supt. Gary Yee, the district’s $10.9 million contract with Seville was approved to provide program management services for Measure B and Measure J, and capital projects on behalf of the district in the Division of Facilities Planning and Management.

OUSD General Counsel Jacqueline Minor

OUSD General Counsel Jacqueline Minor

The term of the contract commenced on Aug. 14, 2013 and concludes by Dec. 31, 2015. Seville received $4 million from the district in 2014.

Raising questions on the details of the agreement with Jackson, the Oakland Post asked the district administration what will happen to the Seville staff working in the district and the work they were doing when that money is transferred to cover Mr. Jackson’s pay.

In response, district spokesman Troy Flint said, “When working on large projects of the kind SGI (Seville) handles for OUSD, there’s flexibility to adjust, in fact, it’s a necessity. Lance’s contract is not going to impact the work delivered or the manner in which it’s delivered as, relative to our agreement with SGI, it’s a small piece of the pie.”

 

In response to the question, whether the agreement with Seville allows for the company to head up the facilities department, Flint said, “There’s not explicit wording in the contract to cover this specific circumstance, but the general language of the contract indicates that decisions can be made as needed to facilitate SGI’s successful management of the projects under its scope–and this falls under that consideration.”

The Post also emailed several questions to Jacqueline Minor, head of OUSD’s Legal Department.

“Can you please tell (the Post) what is your legal rational for your decision when Minor approved or advised the administration to pull that contract and to instead pay Mr. Jackson from the district’s ongoing contract with SGI?”

 

In addition, the Post asked: “How do you respond to the public perception that the decision appears to be a way to circumvent the decision-making power of the governing board?”

Minor did not respond.

Bay Area

WCCCSB Member Mister Phillips Announces Run for Richmond Mayor

Attorney and West Contra Costa County School Board member Mister Phillips is a fourth-generation Richmond resident and the son of two law enforcement officers, Tommie and Cynthia Phillips. Tommie was a lieutenant at the Richmond Police Department. Cynthia was a deputy at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

Published

on

Mister Phillips, a West Contra Costa School Board member, ran unopposed in the last election. Photo by Buddy Terry.
Mister Phillips, a West Contra Costa School Board member, ran unopposed in the last election. Photo by Buddy Terry.

By Shantina Jackson-Romero

Attorney and West Contra Costa County School Board member Mister Phillips has filed initial papers to run for mayor of Richmond, CA, in November.

Phillips said that he is running, because he believes that “the city is heading in the wrong direction.” According to the Bay Area Council, “A record 64 percent of residents say the Bay Area is headed in the wrong direction, a 14-point jump over the previous year and the highest level of dissatisfaction since the poll began in 2014.”

Phillips envisions “a community with clean and safe streets, great schools, livable wages, affordable housing, and quality parks and recreation for all,” according to his website.

Phillips is a fourth-generation Richmond resident and the son of two law enforcement officers, Tommie and Cynthia Phillips. Tommie was a lieutenant at the Richmond Police Department. Cynthia was a deputy at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

Phillips, age 44, is a two-term member of the West Contra Costa County School Board and a three-term member of the Democratic Party County Central Committee. A former Naval Reserve officer, Phillips has been an attorney for 19 years and been in business for 17 years. He has been married to Angela Phillips, since 2010. They have four children. For more information, visit www.misterphillips.com.

Continue Reading

Activism

‘Birding While Black’ Incident in N.Y.’s Central Park Brings Black Bird Wildlife Enthusiasts Out of Shadows

“For far too long, Black people in the United States have been shown that outdoor exploration activities are not for us,” Corina Newsome, who studies Seaside Sparrows, said in a video posted on Twitter. “Whether it be the way the media chooses to present who is the ‘outdoorsy’ type, or the racism Black people experience when we do explore the outdoors, as we saw recently in Central Park. Well, we’ve decided to change that narrative.”

Published

on

The organizers of Black Birders Week 2021. Photos from top, column 1: Georgia Silvera Seamans; Kellie Quiñones; Chris Cooper. 2: Ronnie Almonte; Deja Perkins; Ela-Sita Carpenter; Chelsea Connor. 3: Danielle Belleny; Tyler Jones; Yesenia Arroyo. 4: Earyn McGee; Akilah Lewis; Dara Wilson; Brianna Amingwa. 5: Sheridan Alford; Joseph Saunders. 6: Ayanna Browne; Rhamier Shaka Balagoon; Nicole Jackson
The organizers of Black Birders Week 2021. Photos from top, column 1: Georgia Silvera Seamans; Kellie Quiñones; Chris Cooper. 2: Ronnie Almonte; Deja Perkins; Ela-Sita Carpenter; Chelsea Connor. 3: Danielle Belleny; Tyler Jones; Yesenia Arroyo. 4: Earyn McGee; Akilah Lewis; Dara Wilson; Brianna Amingwa. 5: Sheridan Alford; Joseph Saunders. 6: Ayanna Browne; Rhamier Shaka Balagoon; Nicole Jackson

By Tamara Shiloh

Birdwatching is the observation of live birds in their natural habitat.

It’s a popular pastime and scientific sport developed almost entirely in the 20th century and made possible largely by the development of optical aids, particularly binoculars, which enabled people to see and study wild birds, without harming them, according to Britannica.

Many typically think of birding as a homogenous hobby, thus hearing the word “birdwatcher” rarely evokes images of Blacks enjoying the outdoors.

“For far too long, Black people in the United States have been shown that outdoor exploration activities are not for us,” Corina Newsome, who studies Seaside Sparrows, said in a video posted on Twitter. “Whether it be the way the media chooses to present who is the ‘outdoorsy’ type, or the racism Black people experience when we do explore the outdoors, as we saw recently in Central Park. Well, we’ve decided to change that narrative.”

In 2020, Newsome, along with a group of Black birders comprised of scientists, nature lovers, and friends came together to organize the first annual Black Birders Week, a social media celebration hosted by the Black AF In STEM Collective.

The birders group served as a springboard to shape a more diverse future for birding, conservation, and the natural sciences.

The third annual Black Birders Week ran from May 29-June 4 this year, according to https://www.blackafinstem.com, with the theme ‘Soaring to Greater Heights.”

Goals set for the Black Birders Week and the Twitter group are to:

  • Counter the narrative that outdoors is not the place for Black people;
  • Educate the birding and broader outdoor-loving community about the challenges Black birders specifically face; and
  • Encourage increased diversity in birding and conservation.

According to Newsome, Black birders encounter “overt hatred and racism in the field and are too often the only Black person, or person of color, in a group of bird or nature enthusiasts.”

Its formation came on the heels of the May 25, 2020, incident in New York City’s Central Park when Amy Cooper, later dubbed “Central Park Karen,” claimed she exhausted “all options” before she called 911 on Christian Cooper (no relation), a Black birdwatcher.

Christian Cooper has been an avid birdwatcher since age 10 and will soon host his own show, “Extraordinary Birder,” on National Geographic, according to NPR. He will take viewers into the “wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds.”

Cooper told the New York Times that he loves “spreading the gospel of birding. [I’m looking forward to encouraging people] to stop and watch and listen and really start appreciating the absolutely spectacular creatures that we have among us.”

Black Birders Week co-organizer Earyn McGee conducts research near the US-Mexico border. Her concern is encountering U.S. Border Patrol officers while searching for lizards.

“We all have this shared experience where we have to worry about going into the field,” McGee said. “Prejudice might drive police or private property owners to be suspicious of or antagonistic toward Black scientists doing field work in normal clothes, putting them in danger.”

To learn more about the study of birding, read John C. Robinson’s “Birding for Everyone: Encouraging People of Color to Become Birdwatchers.”

Image: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/landtrust/black-birders-week/

Continue Reading

Barbara Lee

IN MEMORIAM: Dr. Ruth Love, 90

Love’s interest in becoming a teacher began at an early age. She wanted to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, Andrew A. Williams, who was a runaway slave at age twelve, and a teacher who founded the first school for African Americans in Lawton, Oklahoma. 

Published

on

Dr. Ruth Burnet Love was born, on April 22, 1932, in Lawton, Okla., and passed away on June 2, 2022, in Oakland.
Dr. Ruth Burnet Love was born, on April 22, 1932, in Lawton, Okla., and passed away on June 2, 2022, in Oakland.

By Dr. Martha C. Taylor

Ruth Burnet Love was born, on April 22, 1932, in Lawton, Okla., and passed away on June 2, 2022, in Oakland. As I reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Ruth Love, her achievements, aptitude, and character, she cast a wide shadow that not only touched the lives of young people, she helped to shape them into achievers of excellency.

Dr. Love, the widely admired educator, lived a long life filled with quality for self and others. Love says life is a gift. “We all have an awesome responsibility not to waste time.”

She gave the highest and best we can give to life; the gift of self.

Dr. Love was the second of five children born to Alvin E. and Burnett C. Love, who migrated to Bakersfield, California during the 1940s. Love graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1950.

Love attended San Jose State University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in education in1954.In 1959 she received her Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from San Francisco State University. In 1970, Love received her Ph.D. in Human Behavior and Psychology from the United States International University, San Diego.

Love’s interest in becoming a teacher began at an early age. She wanted to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, Andrew A. Williams, who was a runaway slave at age twelve, and a teacher who founded the first school for African Americans in Lawton, Oklahoma.

In 1960 Dr. Love began her career in education as an adult education teacher with the Oakland Unified School District. Love became an exchange teacher sent to England in 1961. She also was a professor of education at San Francisco State University. Love was a counselor and consultant for a Ford Foundation project. She became a Fulbright Exchange Educator; participating in educational experiences in Ghana and England.

Dr. Love was a fierce advocate for underprivileged children during her career with Oakland Unified Schools District. She was appointed to several different positions as a consultant to the Bureau of Pupil Personnel Services and as Director of the Bureau of Compensatory Education from 1963 to 1965.

Love also served on the United States President’s Mental Health Commission and Board of Directors for the National Urban League from December 1962 until 1970. In August 1971, Love was chosen as Director of The Right to Read program with the U.S. Office of Health and Education in Washington, D.C. Following the assassination of Dr. Marcus Foster, the first African American Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, Dr. Love was appointed Superintendent from November 1975 until February 1981. Two of Love’s programs “Scholars and Artists” and “Face the Students” brought renowned achievers such as Alex Haley, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, as well as Coretta Scott King to motivate and inform students.

Dr. Allie Whitehurst, an academic scholar worked with Dr. Love. She said Dr. Love provided the resources for teachers to continue their professional development to improve their teaching skills.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee honored Dr. Love, on April 23, 2015, in the House of Representatives. Lee saluted Dr. Love for a lifetime of service, “I will always remember the love, kindness, and caregiving Dr. Love provided her mother in spite of her busy schedule. She was an inspiration to me as I had the honor to care for my late mother in her golden years.”

Dr. Love continued her journey in higher academics and was appointed the first African American to serve as Superintendent for the Chicago Public Schools District from March 1981 until March 1985. In 1984 Dr. Love received an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Atlanta University.

Love created and implemented the “Chicago Mastery Learning Program” during the 1981–82 school year. The program made it mandatory that all elementary school students’ reading and math courses be taught in more than one area, with students given an unlimited time to learn one area of the subject, and achieving eighty-five percent to be promoted to the next grade. Her proudest accomplishment was when the students reached the national norms on standardized tests.

In 1983, Love received the Horatio Alger Award and a Candace Award for Education from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She was named as one of 100 of the best school managers in North America by Educator Magazine in 1984.

The memory of the just is blessed…their works do follow them. Dr. Love left a memory that cannot be erased.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending