Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: School Closure Process

Expand Messages
  • Carolyn
    I was at 2 of the meetings this week and saw how the voting worked. The original poster is correct - at the end of the meeting you are handed a voting form.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 16, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      I was at 2 of the meetings this week and saw how the voting worked.
      The original poster is correct - at the end of the meeting you are
      handed a voting form. The first question asks you to pick scenario 1
      or 2 and underneath the 2 scenarios are listed. You are told that you
      can cross out any school on the 2 scenarios so you can still vote for
      one scenario under the condition that a crossed out school is not
      closed. After voting for scenarios you are asked which school you
      would like to see become a k-8. On the back of the form you can also
      write down any alternative options that you would like the school
      board to consider.

      On Wednesday at Helms one person had a sign saying "Vote for Scenario
      2, Don't close Adams" and that basically sums it up for many of the
      people voting. People are just voting for a scenario based on the
      fact that their child's school is not on it.

      I applaud the committee members that are doing their research. But
      the WCCUSD has not made it easy for you. There does not exist a
      packet that lists every criteria and how each school fits in to that
      criteria. Wouldn't it be great to have a pack that says Criteria 1
      and then lists all school that have not been renovated, Criteria 2
      outlining the enrollment data for the past 10 years for each school,
      Criteria 3 listing each schools utilization for the past 10 years,
      Criteria 4 which of these schools have available capacity, Criteria 5
      What schools have special programs and how much it would cost to
      relocate these programs to another campus, and so on. With this
      information in a concise report then we as the public can make
      informed decisions but we have been given bits of the data scattered
      all over the place and asked to vote to close a school we know little
      about.

      I questioned Dr Harter about the lack of information and he believed
      we have been given what we need. I disagreed and told him that in my
      opinion they have forced people to make emotional decisions based on
      personal gain.

      Carolyn Sherry


      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > I'm not exactly sure, but I believe that they keep the ballots
      separate.? The most important part of the form is where you can line
      out schools (which mean you don't want them to close) and then offer
      another solution ie a different school, etc.? There were flyers passed
      out during the Monday meeting at PVHS that I thought were biased.? And
      the crowd got rowdy, but not too bad.? I was a Committee member who
      sat up in front.? I was selected to represent the City of Pinole
      residents and tax payers.? I have a child who attends a school not on
      the closure list.? As a parent, my view and the way I would have voted
      are different than the way I voted as a representative.? I took the
      City view point.? I think that this process is about a year too late.?
      Last year in February, I attended a budget meeting at PVHS and the
      news was awful, but the emphasis was on passing the parcel tax not on
      saving the district on whole.? I questioned Dr. Harter after the
      meeting about that and he said that they were worried that if they
      asked for more, to cover everything, they might get nothing.? OK, I
      accept that, but it is disingenuous to wait to the last minute for
      this kind of input from the community at large.? The previous Board
      wanted to do the process themselves and present it to the public, and
      that did not go over very well.? So, to me, it feels like lip service,
      but at least we are being heard and hopefully the community at large
      will take on the budget at the State level and eventually to the
      National level.? We need to have an orchestrated approach in
      Sacramento, through our elected officials and not just go there and
      hope for the best.? And we should not go alone, there must many school
      districts in similar situations across the State, the larger the
      number of participants the better.? You are more likely to be heard
      and taken seriously, especially if you do your homework and network in
      advance.? I was surprised by how many committee members were
      unprepared for this meeting.? I was notified well before Christmas and
      worked
      >
      > many hours doing research and had printed the documents before hand
      so I had the information I needed for the meeting.? I listened to the
      ideas and thoughts on this board and talked to lots of people before
      the meeting.? I took this seriously and wished that more of the
      members had done the same.
      >
      > Laura
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
      > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 8:03 pm
      > Subject: [wccusdtalk] School Closure Process
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Can someone explain how the voting works? Is it the case that anyone
      >
      > who attends a meeting can fill out a score sheet and "vote" for
      >
      > Scenario 1 or 2? How does this impact the voting done by the
      >
      > appointed committee memebers?
      >
      >
      >
      > I understand that representatives from schools with the potential to
      >
      > close show up and pass out flyers, urging attendees to vote for
      >
      > whichever scenario saves their school. A friend told me about a
      >
      > particular flyer that has incorrect information presented as fact.
      >
      >
      >
      > How many people who vote care about anything other than their
      >
      > school? I understand that most people act based on self-interest,
      >
      > but should self-interest be the driving force of a school closure
      >
      > process?
      >
      >
      >
      > Someone on the forum compared the process to Shirley Jackson's
      >
      > macabre short story, "The Lottery." This charade reminds me of the
      >
      > annual voting by the Motion Picture Academy for best actress, best
      >
      > picture, etc. It's a popularity contest influenced by the expensive
      >
      > ads placed in "Variety" and other trade publications; they do not
      >
      > consider the artistic merit of the films. Maybe we can have an
      >
      > awards ceremony with Bruce Harter as the Master of Ceremonies,
      >
      > dressed in a tuxedo, standing at the podium, opening the envelope and
      >
      > saying, "And the winner is...."
      >
      >
      >
      > Valerie
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • annpalmer8
      I have been to every one of the committee/community meetings thus far and can vouch that everyone gets a voting sheet at the end, as well as written comment
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 16, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        I have been to every one of the committee/community meetings thus
        far and can vouch that everyone gets a voting sheet at the end, as
        well as written comment card at the beginning. This happens after
        you've had a chance to discuss with your neighbors, hearing public
        comments and hearing each committee table share their views.

        The only good thing is, Dr. Harter has started telling everyone that
        they don't have to vote for scenario 1 or 2 (which is what I've been
        doing from the beginning), they can write in an alternate. The 2nd
        section gives you a chance to cross out schools in either or both
        scenario that you don't believe should be close to make it more
        acceptable to you. The 3rd section asks what schools you like as K8
        (of the ones proposed) and what others you would recommend. The 4th
        asks for alternatives they should consider, the 5th section asks you
        to identify as parent, teacher, etc., and the final section ask for
        comments to the Board (something around your concerns or what they
        should look at).

        I have been filling out my form at these meetings, and listening to
        what each community has to say. So as I go, I have been getting
        informed, and making changes to my form.

        I agree that each of us should not get to help another HSAA decide
        their closures, we don't know as well as those residents. I am very
        concerned about people (particularly committee members) that say
        they chose a particular scenario because their school is not on it.
        Maybe that was the hope when they put these scenarios together, that
        we would vote for a scenario because of 1 school among those listed.

        If you haven't been able to go to these meetings, don't despair.
        I'm not exactly sure these forms will be read anyway since there are
        literally hundreds if not thousands to go through, and it's not a
        simple bubble sheet you can scan into a computer. I think the
        public comments may be more valuable, although there was never a
        full board present at these meetings to hear us. We had to identify
        what school these forms were from, so maybe the Board was only going
        to look at suggestions for each HSAA on the forms from their
        meeting. That may be more fair to let the DeAnza HSAA meeting
        attendees (for example) decide what to do between their affected
        schools in scenarios 1 and 2, vs. someone there from Portola voting
        for scenario 1 simply because Portola is on #2.

        I think some school have been passing out flyers to lobby not to
        have their schools closed. I don't know if the case Valerie is
        speaking of knowingly passed on false information. However, I
        contend we've probably been fed some not so truthful information by
        the current consultants too. Statistics are used to justify a means
        to an end in this case, and unfortunately one has to lobby for their
        school against another.

        I recommend you check out the alternate scenarios on the district
        website and write the Board members to share your views,
        particularly about your HSAA. If they are willing to listen, this
        venue is probably as effective as filling out those voting sheets.
        If this is just a shell game, then it really didn't matter how many
        of those voting sheets one fills out.


        Ann

        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, katie murphy <murphymessage@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I had also heard that anyone who shows up at a meeting gets to
        vote. It seems like a process that is guaranteed to continue getting
        different factions to work against each other instead of coming
        together as a community. - Katie
        >
        > --- On Thu, 1/15/09, reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...> wrote:
        > From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
        > Subject: [wccusdtalk] School Closure Process
        > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009, 8:03 PM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Can someone explain how the voting works? Is it the
        case that anyone
        >
        > who attends a meeting can fill out a score sheet and "vote" for
        >
        > Scenario 1 or 2? How does this impact the voting done by the
        >
        > appointed committee memebers?
        >
        >
        >
        > I understand that representatives from schools with the potential
        to
        >
        > close show up and pass out flyers, urging attendees to vote for
        >
        > whichever scenario saves their school. A friend told me about a
        >
        > particular flyer that has incorrect information presented as fact.
        >
        >
        >
        > How many people who vote care about anything other than their
        >
        > school? I understand that most people act based on self-interest,
        >
        > but should self-interest be the driving force of a school closure
        >
        > process?
        >
        >
        >
        > Someone on the forum compared the process to Shirley Jackson's
        >
        > macabre short story, "The Lottery." This charade reminds me of
        the
        >
        > annual voting by the Motion Picture Academy for best actress, best
        >
        > picture, etc. It's a popularity contest influenced by the
        expensive
        >
        > ads placed in "Variety" and other trade publications; they do not
        >
        > consider the artistic merit of the films. Maybe we can have an
        >
        > awards ceremony with Bruce Harter as the Master of Ceremonies,
        >
        > dressed in a tuxedo, standing at the podium, opening the envelope
        and
        >
        > saying, "And the winner is...."
        >
        >
        >
        > Valerie
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • annpalmer8
        I do hope the board will vote on a school by school or HSAA by HSAA, instead of a scenario. Each circumstance is unique and should not be lumped together so
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 16, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          I do hope the board will vote on a school by school or HSAA by HSAA,
          instead of a scenario. Each circumstance is unique and should not
          be lumped together so as to "pass" the vote. I think we need to
          tell our Board that's what we want.

          I couldn't agree more that we should have known about this earlier,
          so many public comment speakers spoke about the lack of time to make
          this a thoughtful process. Sure, I heard about having to close
          schools at the Nov. board candidate public meetings, but no one said
          we would have only 60 days (with holiday and school break in
          between) to vote on which schools. I can't blame some that said
          they felt lied to when they approved measure D, it's little wonder
          why school measures don't always get the taxpayers' support. Just
          listen to how Kennedy students feel about the diversion of funds
          from measures approved for their school. I can understand if it was
          for safety, but nothing else.

          We don't even know exactly what would be acceptable to the State
          Trustee or County Board of Ed to keep our schools open - even just
          for one more year, so we can look for other avenues or do this in a
          more thoughtful way than pitting neighborhoods against each other.
          If we know for example that $4 million would buy us one year, each
          person in this entire county (not just school families) probably
          only has to contribute $5 or less to buy us that time. I know that
          may not be small change for some families, but I think our county
          that voted Measure D in with close to 80% approval would rise up to
          the challenge.

          I also can't believe the lack of preparation or knowledge some of
          the committee members have about this issue. At our HSAA meeting,
          some members did not do their homework and even failed to present
          their table's opinion when it came time for them to speak. It
          became a private agenda but sadly, some audience probably took that
          to be the table's opinion. So I applaud those like Laura that took
          the time to give this process more thought and reason.

          Ann

          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > I'm not exactly sure, but I believe that they keep the ballots
          separate.? The most important part of the form is where you can line
          out schools (which mean you don't want them to close) and then offer
          another solution ie a different school, etc.? There were flyers
          passed out during the Monday meeting at PVHS that I thought were
          biased.? And the crowd got rowdy, but not too bad.? I was a
          Committee member who sat up in front.? I was selected to represent
          the City of Pinole residents and tax payers.? I have a child who
          attends a school not on the closure list.? As a parent, my view and
          the way I would have voted are different than the way I voted as a
          representative.? I took the City view point.? I think that this
          process is about a year too late.? Last year in February, I attended
          a budget meeting at PVHS and the news was awful, but the emphasis
          was on passing the parcel tax not on saving the district on whole.?
          I questioned Dr. Harter after the meeting about that and he said
          that they were worried that if they asked for more, to cover
          everything, they might get nothing.? OK, I accept that, but it is
          disingenuous to wait to the last minute for this kind of input from
          the community at large.? The previous Board wanted to do the process
          themselves and present it to the public, and that did not go over
          very well.? So, to me, it feels like lip service, but at least we
          are being heard and hopefully the community at large will take on
          the budget at the State level and eventually to the National level.?
          We need to have an orchestrated approach in Sacramento, through our
          elected officials and not just go there and hope for the best.? And
          we should not go alone, there must many school districts in similar
          situations across the State, the larger the number of participants
          the better.? You are more likely to be heard and taken seriously,
          especially if you do your homework and network in advance.? I was
          surprised by how many committee members were unprepared for this
          meeting.? I was notified well before Christmas and worked
          >
          > many hours doing research and had printed the documents before
          hand so I had the information I needed for the meeting.? I listened
          to the ideas and thoughts on this board and talked to lots of people
          before the meeting.? I took this seriously and wished that more of
          the members had done the same.
          >
          > Laura
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
          > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 8:03 pm
          > Subject: [wccusdtalk] School Closure Process
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Can someone explain how the voting works? Is it the case that
          anyone
          >
          > who attends a meeting can fill out a score sheet and "vote" for
          >
          > Scenario 1 or 2? How does this impact the voting done by the
          >
          > appointed committee memebers?
          >
          >
          >
          > I understand that representatives from schools with the potential
          to
          >
          > close show up and pass out flyers, urging attendees to vote for
          >
          > whichever scenario saves their school. A friend told me about a
          >
          > particular flyer that has incorrect information presented as fact.
          >
          >
          >
          > How many people who vote care about anything other than their
          >
          > school? I understand that most people act based on self-interest,
          >
          > but should self-interest be the driving force of a school closure
          >
          > process?
          >
          >
          >
          > Someone on the forum compared the process to Shirley Jackson's
          >
          > macabre short story, "The Lottery." This charade reminds me of
          the
          >
          > annual voting by the Motion Picture Academy for best actress, best
          >
          > picture, etc. It's a popularity contest influenced by the
          expensive
          >
          > ads placed in "Variety" and other trade publications; they do not
          >
          > consider the artistic merit of the films. Maybe we can have an
          >
          > awards ceremony with Bruce Harter as the Master of Ceremonies,
          >
          > dressed in a tuxedo, standing at the podium, opening the envelope
          and
          >
          > saying, "And the winner is...."
          >
          >
          >
          > Valerie
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.