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Two years ago we first started blogging about this woman:
Her name is Jessica Huizenga, and the state appointed her to be the “receiver” for the Southbridge Public Schools. Southbridge is an impoverished shithole whose teachers don’t get paid nearly enough, because their jobs are much harder than teachers in affluent communities. When you have such a high amount of ratchetry concentrated in one area, shockingly the MCAS scores tend to be not so hot. This has happened previously in such glamorous locations as Holyoke and Lawrence, and in both cases the state took control.
The rationale is as follows:
- Test scores are too low.
- When higher ups in the education world can’t point to a chart showing high test scores and brag about how much kids are learning under their watch, they lose their jobs
- These higher ups then pressure schools not to fall into “Level 5” status, even though coincidentally all of these schools are always in impoverished communities. It’s almost like poverty affects educational outcomes.
- But instead of admitting that poverty and shitty parenting are the root causes of poor student performance, the state blames it all on the teachers, who must be too lazy to do their job right.
- The antidote is for the state to take over the entire district. This means that the elected School Committee is now just for show. Normally school committees hire and fire superintendents based on their job performance. But when the state takes you over the SC has no say, and the “receiver” acts as both the superintendent and the SC. They are virtual dictators who allegedly know more about fixing public education than elected leaders, principals, and especially teachers.
- When a state takeover happens usually the solution is extending the school day and/or adding school days. But they don’t factor in that teachers deserve and need to be compensated fairly for the additional shit the state is throwing on their laps. They call it a “turnaround plan.”
— masslivenews (@masslivenews) June 24, 2016
This is how empty suits like Jessica Huizenga make a living. People like her have no idea how to teach and are so far removed from actual classrooms, but yet they still have all the answers. And the state brought her in like she had the cure for an incredibly underperforming and drug infested community.
Except she already had an insane amount of baggage before taking the job. She was run out of town as the “Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction” (yea, that’s a job we obviously cannot do without) after admitting to her role in a plagiarism scandal. Basically she publishes “educational” blogs, except she stole all her ideas from other sources and didn’t think she’d get caught. If a student did that they’d get expelled. If an adult making $175,000 a year does it they get sent to Southbridge to be Queen of the Public Schools.
She’s spent her entire career climbing. She was an assistant principal in Randolph, and a principal in Holliston and Westford. She served as the assistant superintendent in Lakeville-Freetown Regional School District. So obviously she had the cure for Southbridge.
One of the first things she did when she got the Southbridge gig was develop a “compensation system that will pay employees based on effectiveness, professional growth, and student academic growth.”
This might sound good on paper, but merit pay for teachers is a dumb idea. Teachers are not salesman. We shouldn’t be encouraging them to hit standardized test score quotas to get a raise. When you do this you are encouraging teachers to teach to a test, which is a terrible way to learn. Teachers should be encouraged to be creative, teach outside the box, maybe even spend a day or two talking about current events instead of the boring shit in the curriculum that kids will all forget in a week anyway.
And right on cue she began retweeting teachers who openly bragged about staying after school for the sole purpose of training kids to teach to the test:
This is what she valued.
She began having charade faculty meetings in which trained professional with Master’s Degrees were basically treated like children and forced to hold up feel good signs about what they “stand for”:
Next she fired 28 teachers in Southbridge because she’s too gutless to hold the parents accountable for sending kids to school who can’t speak English. Something she bragged about on Twitter:
After Donald Trump was elected Jessica Huizenga sent out a letter to all parents, urging them to “resist”:
All you need to know about how dumb this woman is can be ascertained by reading this sentence:
“I can’t remember a time in our country where more people have felt greater uncertainty of what is ahead for all of us and wonder if in the future we will hold true to the core principles that have made us the greatest nation in the world.”
During the Cold War people thought they were gonna be killed by nukes. During WW2 we didn’t know if the Japanese and Nazis were going to take over the world. Anyone who thinks today is even in the Top 10 of most “uncertain” time periods has a fundamental lacking of knowledge of American history.
But just a year into the process of magically fixing the schools it was announced that Jessica Huizenga was put on PAID leave. And the state gave NO EXPLANATION as to why. Instead they allowed the rumorville to take over. Keep in mind, that one of the biggest problems plaguing communities like Southbridge is turnover. Their leaders are constantly jumping ship for greener pastures, because the truth of the matter is that there is no cure for fixing Southbridge’s complex socioeconomic problems, and how they manifest themselves in the schools. So people use Southbridge as a resume builder for better jobs.
On July 1, Jessica Huizenga abruptly resigned. No one knows why for sure to this day, because the state refuses to give the taxpayers the answer they deserved. All we know is that she brought in a bunch of hacks from the state as part of her “team,” and they all quit on her.
The best part is that she’d been retweeting nice things people said about her regarding how long she’d lasted as receiver, and gave speeches about the importance of “consistency in leadership”:
Can’t make this stuff up. She’s all about that “commitment.”
Like most of these hacks in the administration world her accomplishments mostly revolved around Power Point pie graphs she put together for faculty meetings, and using buzzwords like “Cultural proficiency”:
These people get paid all this money to give meaningless presentations that ultimately doesn’t help do the only thing that matters – make sure kids are learning. Instead they toss around buzzwords like “closing the achievement gap” and “teaching to all students”
Which really means, “We’re gonna focus on the disruptive slugs who make it harder for good students to actually learn by making sure we don’t suspend them or fail them no matter how terrible they are.”
Consequently teachers at Southbridge who knew how to use the right buzzwords, like “can we have more culturally relevant literature,” (AKA, kids can’t relate to Shakespeare) and “how can we better serve Latino students” (since Southbridge has such a large Latino population) got on her good side:
Another thing they love to spout off about is how they want to “raise expectations”:
As if the reason kids are failing in schools is because we don’t challenge them enough. Ya see, Southbridge kids would be doing a lot better if we just put them into more AP classes and gave them more homework and harder tests. School is too easy for them, which is why they’re not rising to the challenge. This is what she actually believes. This is how out of touch administrators are with reality.
Of course she tweeted out stuff like this too:
See? Kids WANT higher learning expectations. Except the kids asking for these are all doing fine to begin with. And at the end of the day administrators are forcing teachers to cater to the slugs so that their test scores will improve and they’ll have more charts to show off in their next Power Point.
She immediately brought her SJW agenda with her, tweeting out that “institutional bias” and a lack of “cultural competency” were the reasons Southbridge’s schools underperformed:
Then she’d brag about how she “improved the culture” of the SPS:
And how it’s “turning the schools around”:
As if one woman possesses these magical powers to turnaround the schools that no one had ever thought of before.
Like many of her ilk, she believes that kids can only learn from teachers who “look like them”:
Why would anyone want teachers who look like Southbridge residents? Have you seen who makes the news in Southbridge?
Yea, I’m all set with seeing people who look like those people at the front of the classroom in the name of diversity.
A core philosophy of hack SJW administrators like her is the belief that schools are suspending too many kids, thus setting them up for failure. They believe that keeping disruptive kids in school is the way to make education better:
What it really does is make it harder for teachers to do their job, and for kids who actually want to learn, because disruptive and violent students who don’t want to learn remain in classrooms. But it looks good on a chart and helps her advance her career.
She also went to people’s homes for baby holding photo ops to show how deeply invested in the community she was:
Well, it’s been almost a year and the facts pertaining to her departure are about as well known as why Malcolm Butler didn’t play in the Super Bowl. But she’s back in the news, and she’s a finalist for the superintendent job in a huge school district:
The search for the city’s next superintendent has been narrowed to three finalists.
They are Lynn Deputy Superintendent Patrick Tutwiler; Marice M. Edouard-Vincent, who serves as instructional superintendent for Boston public schools; and Jessica L. Huizenga, Achieve3000 director of strategic engagement. The search is being coordinated by Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), the firm that has been hired for the process. McGee said the superintendent search committee met eight times and interviewed nine of 19 candidates — the three finalists were recommended as a result of that process.
Wait….what?? Does Glenn Koocher or the Lynn School Committee not have Google? This woman was chosen as a finalist over other people who are somehow less qualified than she is? She was a failure in Lakeville. She was run out of town in Cambridge for plagiarism. She devastated the Southbridge schools in a vail of secrecy after vowing to fix their schools. And now she’s potentially being rewarded by the City of Lynn with a $200,000 job for this?
What the hell is wrong with these people? I know there’s a lot of Lynn turtle riders out there. Don’t let this snake into your public schools. Maybe pass this blog along to members of the SC. Your tax dollars should NOT go to this hack’s salary. She will use your district as a springboard to her next job after leaving your schools in utter chaos. It’s what she does.
For months people have been messaging us about doing a follow up on why she left, but we held back because we didn’t have a smoking gun. Most of the tips that were sent to us about her came from people intimately involved in the SPS, and they all alleged that she was having an affair with a consultant she brought in. However, no evidence proves this actually happened. Trust me, we looked. If we had a smoking gun we’d show our hand.
But what we do know from her tenure in Southbridge is this – she spent an un-Godly amount of taxpayer money traveling across the country for superintendent “conferences.” Feel free to spend some time scrolling through her Twitter and IG like we did. You will see that during her 12 months as virtual dictator of the SPS, she tweeted about going to taxpayer funded “conferences” 13 different times!!
- On April 9 she flew to San Antonio to present at the NSBA conference.
- Many of her conferences were put on the by American Association of School Superintendents, including May 22, where she “graduated” from the “Urban Superintendent Academy” in Washington DC:
- On May 25, 2016, just three days after her other conference, she helped fix the SPS by attending the Regional Dual Language Conference, where she sat through a presentation on which was the “right” and “wrong” way to view bilingual students.
- Just five days after that on May 30, 2016, she was back in Virginia for another AASA conference, and was listed on their site as a member who had recently gotten a superintendent gig.
- Six weeks later she attended the National Superintendent’s conference in San Fransisco, where she participated in a roundtable discussion about “loose vs. tight.”
- A month after her first school year began as receiver, she attended the Cohort of Urban Superintendents at Gordon College, where she addressed students on “leadership.”
It was an honor to address the students of Gordon College on Leadership at their September Convocation https://t.co/WtgctWyewx
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) September 30, 2016
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) September 30, 2016
- The next day she flew to Miami to participate in a conference put on by the Council of Urban Boards of Education.
Rocked it presenting at CUBE with this amazing leader today! Great job @ThomasEParker1 pic.twitter.com/TrbWYSeT6m
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) October 1, 2016
— NSBA | School Boards (@NSBAComm) October 1, 2016
- On October 7, 2016 she attended the National Superintendent’s Roundtable in Washington, once again on the taxpayer’s dime.
Effective governance is tied directly to strong leadership in a district. @natsupers
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) October 7, 2016
— Josh Starr (@JoshuaPStarr) October 7, 2016
- On Friday, November 11, a day in which teachers were busy WORKING, she took a trip to New Jersey to visit Grandma for a long weekend.
- On November 18, 2016, she was back in Washington DC giving a presentation at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, where she once again met up with her friend Thomas Parker, who just like her has a long and documented history of jumping from job to job.
— NALEO (@NALEO) November 18, 2016
— Thomas Parker (@ThomasParkerASD) November 18, 2016
- On March 1, 2017 she flew to New Orleans to once again take part in an AASA conference for Urban Superintendent Cohorts, where she wore cool socks.
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) March 2, 2017
- On April 22-23, 2017, she once again flew to Virginia to give a presentation at the Urban Superintendent’s Academy, (which she graduated from the year before) that seemed to revolve around the question “Why”.
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) April 22, 2017
Funny how she believes that students can only learn from adults who “look like them,” but adults don’t have the same problem.
- Finally, just two weeks before abruptly being put on leave, she presented on “school turnaround” at the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials annual conference in Cape Cod.
Excited to present at the MASBO Annual Conference today on Turnaround. pic.twitter.com/pqKQhbMojG
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) May 17, 2017
Even though she did nothing to turnaround any school districts, and was about to flee under mysterious circumstances before the job was completed in Southbridge.
So why did she flee? As we said above, that question was never answered. But several people pointed out her extremely close relationship, that appeared to border on infatuation, with Ohio consultant Tom Burton. The two of them attended the April 22-23 AASA conference together:
To say she was obsessed with this guy is an understatement. Tom Barton, like her, is a career administrator. But now he makes money as a consultant/speaker, who school districts/taxpayers pay to come to their schools and give presentations about how to fix all their problems.
For the first day of the 2016-17 school year she flew him and Maria from Sesame Street to Southbridge to speak with teachers before the first day:
God knows how much flights, lodging, and speaking fees cost the taxpayers of Southbridge. But it was all to fix their schools though, so money well spent!
For months before that she had been tagging Tom Burton and bragging to her followers about what a great guy he is:
And bragged about how he was one of the best educators in the country:
— Dr. Jessica Huizenga (@DrJessHuizenga) April 22, 2017
And like the cheerleader that she is for him she even followed his hometown’s high school football team and congratulated him when they won games, as if he had anything to do with it:
In October she once again flew him out to Southbridge for a planning meeting with SPS administrators.
Now, I’m not saying she had an affair with him, because that’s dangerous and inappropriate to speculate about. However, this is the guy that many people who work for and live in Southbridge messaged us about. And when the state insists on being secretive about why this woman suddenly departed, they only provoke the rumorville. amongst the taxpayers.
And that’s ultimately who got boned here – the taxpayers of Southbridge. If she gets the job in Lynn, they’ll be next. This woman promised the world to the SPS. This carpetbagger was given dictatorial powers, and the elected officials, teachers, and parents had no say in how their schools were run. Because this woman allegedly had all the answers.
Then she spent God knows how much taxpayer money flying around the country to meaningless conferences where she patted herself on the back for being such a great leader. She laid off veteran teachers, tried instituting merit pay, pretended to be invested in this community, claimed to be fixing their broken schools, got people’s hopes up that finally stability had reached their town, before ultimately abandoning them without any sort of explanation.
If no one has done so already, I think it’s time for a FOIA request to find out how much money the taxpayers of Southbridge spent on all her trips to hang out with Tom Burton and go to conferences. But in the meantime, don’t let this woman get the gig in Lynn.