County Office of Education Ever-So-Gently Scolded on Diversity

They told Fly they were going to dress down the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE). They said they were going to put Board of Education president Darcie Green, who’s also a candidate for State Assembly, on notice. They said Superintendent Jon Gundry, who’s spent the last year handing out secret contracts and firing top executives, would be held to account. And then they went and held the equivalent of a protest dress rehearsal. Nearly 20 people wearing all black with accented teal lapels showed their solidarity in the face of bureaucracy last week by telling the board to recruit and retain Latinas for top SCCOE executive positions, but no mention was made of Maribel Medina and Micaela Ochoa—until recently the SCCOE’s county counsel and chief business officer, respectively. Both lost their jobs without explanation in July at a cost to taxpayers of more than $500,000. No mention was made of Gundry doling out contracts to companies that exist for the purpose of creating tax loopholes. Instead, Rosalie Ledesma, government affairs director for San Jose Evergreen College, led a three-pronged plea for more Latinos and Latinas while commending the board for its own diversity. Elisa Orona, a coordinator for Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and Sonia Ramos, executive director of Cal-SOAP, spent their time speaking to the board by listing off “high positions” held by Latinas, without bothering to actually name the individuals. In a moment of irony, Orona actually highlighted Ochoa’s new job in San Mateo-Foster City’s office of education. Gundry couldn’t help but smirk at the uncoordinated effort to call his power into question, and Green made a point of coming over to gather cards from the group, almost assuredly destined for her campaign database. If the goal was to effect any real change, at least the group got a good number of photos in the lobby to commemorate its meet-and-greet.

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

7 Comments

  1. > … by telling the board to recruit and retain Latinas for top SCCOE executive positions,

    Government employees advocating for an ethnic and gender quota system.

    Is this the “change” we were “hoping” for?

  2. Diversity?
    If we wanted diversity should we not have 2 white ones, 2 black ones, 2 brown ones, 2 yellow ones, 2 red ones, 2 tall ones, 2 short ones, 2 gender neutral ones, and 2 sex perverts, one of each sex that’s been changed.
    Sorry if I left out what planet you feel off of or if you don’t speak English and can’t understand what I said.
    That way we can fight about everything and get nothing done. Kinda like Congress.

    There is a reason majority rule’s is the form of government the founders intended, The other is called a dictatorship!

  3. Wow, I hope the photo is not a reflection of the “diversity” standard in the workplace. I might as well tell my kids to stop looking for jobs because no one is hiring “white people”. Just like I heard in the 80’s looking for a Fire Department Job. Discrimination against intelligent, trained and educated White Men is nothing new.