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Re: School Closure Process

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  • 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
      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
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      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
      > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 8:03 pm
      > Subject: [wccusdtalk] School Closure Process
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      > Can someone explain how the voting works? Is it the case that anyone
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      > 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?
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      > 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
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      > particular flyer that has incorrect information presented as fact.
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      > How many people who vote care about anything other than their
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      > school? I understand that most people act based on self-interest,
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      > but should self-interest be the driving force of a school closure
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      > process?
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      > Someone on the forum compared the process to Shirley Jackson's
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      > macabre short story, "The Lottery." This charade reminds me of the
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      > 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
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      > consider the artistic merit of the films. Maybe we can have an
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      > awards ceremony with Bruce Harter as the Master of Ceremonies,
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      > dressed in a tuxedo, standing at the podium, opening the envelope and
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      > saying, "And the winner is...."
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      > Valerie
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    • 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 2 of 7 , Jan 16, 2009
        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
        >
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        >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
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        >
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        >
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        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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