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Re: Minor disagreement with To dd’s comments on K8

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  • hayashi groves
    My cousin, now 48, has been working in mines since he was 18. It s not his favorite job. A little while back, his boss demanded he work Saturdays in
    Message 1 of 30 , Apr 18, 2010
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      My cousin, now 48, has been working in mines since he was 18. It's not his favorite job. A little while back, his boss demanded he work Saturdays in perpetuity. In relating his dispair, he said," I should have gone to college." I didn't make the rules, but feel obliged to give my children every advantage I can. I also want their WCCSUD peers to have the same opportunities.

      Your vision sounds much more wholesome and a much nicer world. To create the changes required will take advocacy much broader than this list. We all see the tortured look on kids in our classrooms. Black South Africans protested Bantu education by boycotting schools. Would you suggest this, or creating more engaging, intriguing environments? I prefer the latter.

      We lose kids to underperformance and sometimes criminality. I see hundreds of 12 year olds on the cusp of being engaged, and wanting adult guidance. We won't give it to them, because no one really cares enough to do something. Most will survive, just like we did. We accept the loss of opportunity as a consequence of development. Much of this is to preserve hierarchy, no doubt. Kids conform to class more often than not, independent of raw ability.

      I invite you to articulate the changes you seek in the context of WCCUSD. Where do we start? Where do we go? We take in a 5 year old and spit out an 18 year old. What will happen in between?

      Todd Groves
      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...> wrote:
      >
      > Too bad that doing the work repairing phone lines, or driving a bus, or collecting the garbage, or sweeping the floors isn't as high a status as whatever a college degree confers on people.  That you've seen to defend the capitalist stratification of society is sad - and usual...
      > Further
      > What you're trying to fix cannot be fixed.  The nature of school in capitalism is to do as you've seen - you can describe it.  I can't sit through a 40 minute class let alone a 5 hour day with a fifth grade or any of them.  I get furious!  grossly frustrated - at having to put people through that horror day after day...
      > It's not incompetence by you, by parents, by anyone.  It's the system.  Think of that form - that mould - there's no escape, no reform, no repair that can change it given the allowed parameters.
      > The question is not to use phrases but to lapse into utopian imaginings.... what do you want for your children, your students, yourself   - and think age integration...  because that's the only way you'll be able to begin to see clearly what you really want...
      > Norma
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      >
      > From: hayashi groves tag1022@...: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sat, April 17, 2010 2:22:52 PM Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
      > > > > Thanks for the perspective. No attempt to mislead, just calling it like I see it.
      > >
      > > Most people fleeing the district for lack of K8 go to districts and private schools that have middle schools, like Berkeley and Albany. How can we account for this? It may not be middle school people avoid, just WCCUSD middle schools. Why?
      > >
      > > Berkeley and Albany succeed in providing valuable middle school education. So do private schools like Prospect Sierra. In spending the last 7 years working on middle school issues, it's nearly impossible to build a constituency to improve them. People most likely to invest in change flee. Those remaining hunker down and whisper the mantra,"it's only two years, it's only two years...."
      > >
      > > West County middle schools become a backwater for unwanted teachers and administrators. Our administration doesn't have a clue how to fix things, but won't admit it. We need to look at turn arounds like Williard in Berkeley, and borrow their successes.
      > >
      > > I would invite all to stop fighting about k8 or middle and work together to identify what kids need in 6-8 grade independent of the setting. Maybe the board could impanel a study group whose findings they can ignore. Our current situation harms kids and is therefore intolerable. Solving problems for a subset isn't enough, we must find comprehensive solutions.
      > >
      > > We need to fix this and fix it NOW! High School and junior college act as compensatory agents for faulty middle schools. What a waste!
      > >
      > > Todd Groves
      > >
      > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@ .> wrote:
      > > >> > Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
      > > >  > > Todd said that K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools.  And I agree that is a fear promulgated by the K-8 opposition.
      > > > But, he also said “The loudest voices for K-8 come from the more affluent and lighter complected elementaries.”  That line is pretty misleading.
      > > >  
      > > > Fact:  In the most recent large K-8 push in this district, a large push came from Olinda Elementary parents.  California publishes a DIVERSITY INDEX, which shows how ethnically diverse a population is.  Olinda is consistently the MOST DIVERSE school in WCCUSD.  The largest ethnic group is Hispanic, and no ethnic group comprises over 28%.
      > > >  
      > > > In the current system, systematically “more affluent and lighter complected” students, from ALL the WCCUSD schools, leave the district at middle school.  If this district added K-8, we would KEEP these students, leading to a less segregated district in the middle and high school levels.
      > > >  
      > > > By denying K-8, the district leaders thought they were “forcing” affluent students to not segregate. The opposite is happening, as the affluent parents are voting with their feet (rather, their moving trucks), and simply leaving the district.
      > > >  > > Check out    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/profile.asp?reportNumber=16&level=07&county=07&district=61796&school=6004899&tab=1#studentsbyethnicity
      > > >  > >  And    http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/committees/k-8/presentations/2006/05_08.pdf
      > > >  > > During the K-8 push in 2006, one former board member told me that her goal was to make our middle schools so great that people will be clamoring to get in. I pointed out to her that her goal was lofty, but there was no plan to make it happen.  There wasn’t then. There isn’t now.  K-8 was (and still is) the best and most feasible plan around, but the board has other masters.
      > > >  
      > > > Jim Cowen
      > > > Proud parent (that is, proud of my children, but extremely disappointed in the school system they are supposed to attend)
      > > >
      > > > --- On Thu, 4/15/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@ > wrote:
      > > > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@ >> > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education> > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com> > Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 11:24 AM
      > > > > > > > > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence. I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
      > > >
      > > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
      > > >
      > > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
      > > > > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
      > > > > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
      > > > > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
      > > > > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
      > > >
      > > > Todd Groves
      > > > > > > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
      > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, "reducingandreusing " <valerie.snider@ ...> wrote:
      > > > >> > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
      > > > > > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
      > > > > > > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
      > > > > >> > > > > > > > Follow the money.
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
      > > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > Kevin
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com> > > > From: valerie.snider@> > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000> > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
      > > > > > >> > > > > > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
      > > > > > > > > > > > L> > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > -----Original Message-----> > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>> > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com> > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm> > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
      > > > > > > > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
      > > > > > > > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
      > > > > > > > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
      > > > > > > > > > > > Todd Groves
      > > > > > > > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@ > wrote:
      > > > > > > >> > > > > > http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/programmes/ world_news_ america/8601207. stm
      > > > > > > > > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
      > > > > > > > Eduardo
      >
      > No problem with elitism. I have intently elitist goals for my kids, like four years in a selective college. I wish more people did, then they wouldn't settle for the crap thrown at us.
      > Did anyone read the demographic projection report on the website a little while back? The demographers project declining enrollment to 28000. The report attributed decline to lower birthrates, but had a table that showed school mobility tables that were by and large negative. Does this mean people are leaving the district?
      > K-8 in our highest performing elementaries would likely boost district enrollment, but so might improved middle schools. People drop $10k/yr to attend elite private school, yet one of my Portola kids aced them all in the regional math competition two years running. We can offer valuable educational experiences unique to middle school, but we aren't doing so.
      > Parents, both the right and wrong ones, generally want similar things for their kids. Households vary widely in how they support education. Traditional institutions for parent involvement, like PTA, have significance for parents who grew up with them, but not so much for people outside these cultures. The very act of meeting can be alienating. I just attended the regular ELAC meeting at ECHS. It started with a potluck and invited whole families. It was heartening, warm and inviting for parents with no notions of how this system works, and transcended the disparate backgrounds of attendees.
      > If I had the power, I would invite far more parents to walk the halls of our middle schools. We have never developed community for middle schools despite huge involvement in individual programs. We can change this, but we lack leadership and support. We hire consultants who spout platitudes and grab money. Enough of this.
      > Fix middle schools now.
      > Todd Groves
      >
      >
      > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@> wrote:>
      > > I agree that people leave not for K8 or some other option, but simply to get away from WCCUSD K8.
      > > If WCCUSD could come up with a plan that would get the parent leaders of the district to help get middle schools fixed, that would be great.  I don't think that is difficult, I think that is impossible.  It would be like trying to invent a bucket while the boat is sinking.
      > >  > I know this will sound elitist, but you have to get the RIGHT parents behind a plan.  The parents that are begging for change, that have the enthusiasm, dedication, resources, and vested interest in making a change.  A middle school fix will not elicit this involvement.   It is too late.  Those parents simply leave WCCUSD.
      > >  > A comprehensive K8 plan has the best chance of eliciting this kind of involvement.
      > >  > Here's a simple analysis (obviously anecdotal and not scientific, but..).  Make a list of every PTA president and SCC chairman in WCCUSD for the 2006-2007 school year.  Then see how many are still WCCUSD parents.  One will find that all the parent leaders of the elementary schools leave.  Thus, no surprise that middle schools have no possible hope.
      > >  > A comprehensive K8 plan would stem the tide of parent leaders fleeing WCCUSD.
      > >  > Jim Cowen
      > >
      > > --- On Sat, 4/17/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@> wrote:
      > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>> Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8> To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com> Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010, 10:16 AM
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • hayashi groves
      In the history of the district, every measure intended to punish decision makers wrought havoc on the kids. The bankruptcy reigns supreme in this category.
      Message 2 of 30 , Apr 18, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        In the history of the district, every measure intended to punish decision makers wrought havoc on the kids. The bankruptcy reigns supreme in this category.

        We've voted the board out time and again, yet nothing improves. We've seen one cockamamie scheme after another. Bottom line is this district is terminally incompetent, yet we entrust them every day with thousand of children. We have numerous opportunities to engage and fix things, usually absorbed by narrow agendas. If we fail one kid, we fail them all.

        Usually, our process is driven by preconceived solutions, not problem analysis. So we see solution appropriate for one school foisted on all. Now we are being told quiet classroom are anathema to some cultures learning. My kids can't learn in a noisy classroom. My kids score proficient, therefore, "mission accomplished," and et voila, we get noisier classrooms.

        We have consultants selling Darwin's Finch Chow. Perhaps consultants should outcome/performance based pay? Administrators also. Are we hiring the same people who projected full fixes on the first bond? What about the administrator who brought us Open Court/Harcourt Math?

        Every time a principal runs afoul of their site, the seem to get hired by Bissell. Why is that? Shouldn't we hire people we good records on achieving cohesion and community approval? Why is it impolitic to call out poor instruction or administration? Whispering between knowing parents does nothing for most kids. Maybe teachers should get bonuses for parent's desire to have their children in their class.

        My oldest kid graduates in a few weeks. My youngest isn't that far behind. I'm done. Our education system is gravely unjust, and I can't walk away without giving my all to change it. So I will vote for more resources, and push for better performance and governance. The district makes it all difficult, but we can't give up.

        Punish the board if you want, but I can't deny the kids. They are already imperiled.

        Todd Groves



        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@...> wrote:
        >
        > Todd - you say you support Measure D because "kids deserve better schools." Here are some facts regarding Lavonya DeJean, a new, state-of-the-art district middle school:
        >
        > It is under-enrolled by over 200 students. Conclusion: building a brand new school did not attract families who are clamoring to get in.
        >
        > For the 2008/2009 school year only 4% of the students were "proficient" or above in history-social science and only 13% were "proficient" or above in math. Conclusion: a brand new school does not affect academic outcomes.
        >
        > According to the SARC for DeJean, the repair status of the restrooms and fountains was "fair" in the 2008/2009 school year. Conclusions: (1) the district spends millions of taxpayer dollars building new schools, then lets them crumble; and (2) the contractors hired to build the schools do shoddy work.
        >
        > You admit that there is "collective incompetence," then you endorse raising taxes, as if more money will magically overcome the incompetence.
        >
        > How many taxpayers are willing to pay for schools no one want to attend, where students are not being educated, where contractors get away with shoddy work, and the district does not have enough money to protect the taxpayers' investment in infrastructure?
        >
        > Every district school should be seismically safe, clean, and well-maintained. But, that could have been achieved with the first bond measure.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
        > >
        > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence.I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
        > >
        > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
        > >
        > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
        > >
        > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
        > >
        > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
        > >
        > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
        > >
        > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
        > >
        > > Todd Groves
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
        > >
        > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
        > > >
        > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Follow the money.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Kevin
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > From: valerie.snider@
        > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
        > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > L
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > -----Original Message-----
        > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
        > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
        > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Todd Groves
        > > > > >
        > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@> wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
        > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._,___
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > _________________________________________________________________
        > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
        > > > > http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_3
        > > > >
        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • annpalmer8
        How do we fix middle schools? Yes, it s not a K8 vs. school debate, each has it s merits if run well. Based on my limited knowledge and years in this
        Message 3 of 30 , Apr 18, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          How do we fix middle schools? Yes, it's not a K8 vs. school debate, each has it's merits if run well. Based on my limited knowledge and years in this district, here's what I think.

          1) We need stronger leadership at the district level. Now that we have Executive Directors by HSAA instead of grade level configuration, the next step they mkust take is coordinated effort within the area. While I totally agree that parents must be involved in the children's future, most of us have paid jobs outside the academic arena that takes up a good part of our day. Moreover, district employees have better information and access to information at their disposal than parents. So they have to take the lead and involved parents will corral around them to move us all ahead. I would come if I know my efforts aren't going to fall on deaf ears or be deemed unworkable under current constraints. I would follow a strong visionary into making our school district the best it can be.

          Small issues in elementary schools - discipline or academic - become bigger issues in middle school and big problems in high school. The action plan means regular meetings between parents, city/county officials, teachers and principals of ALL the schools in the district to discuss the root cause of the big problems we face in each area. It shouldn't be where the ED (Exec. Dir.) meets individually with each school to ensure protection or anonimity, then try to come up with the solution on their own. This is our collective concern and we should have a collective meeting. Maybe it's representatives from each school in the HSAA on a monthly basis (a steering committee) and a quarterly intake and report-out with all those interested within the HSAA. The monthly steering committee members should be able to discuss problems freely - even if it means pointing out something that a fellow school is not doing or doing poorly. This isn't about blaming others and protecting own jobs - although it can be if we fixed our problems and have more students than we can house in our existing facilities. This is about what everyone - teachers and parents alike - claim is the number one priority: education and well-being of our students. Some may fear such airing of dirty laundry would drive more families away. I contend that such lack of transparency drives away just as many. Many parents may stay if they know clearly the real vs. over-hyped issues and see good action plan and momentum to change. Better yet if they know where their limited off-work hours can be best utilized to help not just their own but also other children. This is also a forum to share best practice so hopefully parents won't have to choose if their assigned school is better than that one over there across town. The choice may simply be one of fit of school culture and parental involvement.

          2) We need better disciplinary policy for problem students. Passing them around from school to school until they are finally expelled (if ever)from this district does not do any good for anyone. The students don't get the help they need, or learn the consequence of their actions. The teachers who have to deal with these issues are distracted from what they are really trying to do - educate. The students are distracted from what they should do - learn; and instead pick up on how actions can have no consequence. I know our educators hands are pretty tied on what they can do. But I don't know if we are doing all that we can within the law. An Exec. Dir. could make such a difference if engaged in the process and provide their expertise and knowledge, or engage resources to find better solutions that can work within our perimeter.

          3) Solution for students who just aren't cut out for standardized testing. I don't know how much of this is hampered by NCLB, but I do know in the country I grew up, students who cannot handle the academic rigor necessary to go to college are given a reduced curriculum and avenues into another career option. Everyone knows our society does not run on college grads alone. We need bus drivers and plumbers and hair dressers. Some of these professions make a pretty darn good living (wasn't it said the BART operators can make something like $80,000 a year?). There is no "lower" profession, people make it so. By forcing students who may become the next Vidal Sasson to fail year-after-year in our traditional system just demoralizes them and make them become a problem. These are the students most likely to perpetrate incidents in school or drop out of school, and end up in prison. By providing them reduced curriculum so they focus on what they need to know to move into a rewarding profession would benefit all of us in society. The good thing is in the American education system (unlike the country I grew up in), late maturing students can still choose to go back into the college system so they are not completely shut out.

          4) We need better visibility to teacher performance and better management of low performers. While an absolute test score isn't everythings, there should be minimum standards or improvements that can be used as gauge of performance. Given the lack of parental involvement I've seen even in my own class, I know the teachers can't be expected to work miracles (and some still do). However, we should be able to come up with a process to identify where teachers have exhausted their ability and exclude the outliers from their performance evaluation. Just as passing problem students from school to school does no good for anyone, neither does passing non-performing teachers from school to school. This could even work in the interest of the teacher's union - instead of fighting to keep teaching positions in a declining district - by making overall improvement including quality control within their membership can drive up demand (and pay) for teachers in our district as more students stay and come. This may also help teachers who have the heart and dedication but maybe not all the tools in the tool box.

          5) Equal representation on the school Board. Whether one believes in the stories regarding the treatment of niche schools in our district, not having equal representation for each HSAA or City on the Board just makes it hard to believe impartiality. Having equal representation means no niche should have a chokehold on voting results and carte blanche to tell the district what to do. Board members have to work with each other to ensure all areas are addressed as a whole.

          6) Limits on campaign financing. We've talked alot about people buying seats - in our state or on our board. Frankly, I think good people may not run because of that concern. What if we capped the contributions? Candidates should use grassroots movement to get their messages heard (like PTA meetings or HSAA townhalls), money need only be used for flyers sent to neighbors who don't have school-age children. If coupled with idea 4 above, the candidates are primarily competing to be the best representative among his or her neighbors, not the other open seats.

          May be naive, but I hope some points are valid or worth exploring.


          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thanks for the perspective. No attempt to mislead, just calling it like I see it.
          >
          > Most people fleeing the district for lack of K8 go to districts and private schools that have middle schools, like Berkeley and Albany. How can we account for this? It may not be middle school people avoid, just WCCUSD middle schools. Why?
          >
          > Berkeley and Albany succeed in providing valuable middle school education. So do private schools like Prospect Sierra. In spending the last 7 years working on middle school issues, it's nearly impossible to build a constituency to improve them. People most likely to invest in change flee. Those remaining hunker down and whisper the mantra,"it's only two years, it's only two years...."
          >
          > West County middle schools become a backwater for unwanted teachers and administrators. Our administration doesn't have a clue how to fix things, but won't admit it. We need to look at turn arounds like Williard in Berkeley, and borrow their successes.
          >
          > I would invite all to stop fighting about k8 or middle and work together to identify what kids need in 6-8 grade independent of the setting. Maybe the board could impanel a study group whose findings they can ignore. Our current situation harms kids and is therefore intolerable. Solving problems for a subset isn't enough, we must find comprehensive solutions.
          >
          > We need to fix this and fix it NOW! High School and junior college act as compensatory agents for faulty middle schools. What a waste!
          >
          > Todd Groves
          >
          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
          > >  
          > > Todd said that K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools.  And I agree that is a fear promulgated by the K-8 opposition.
          > > But, he also said “The loudest voices for K-8 come from the more affluent and lighter complected elementaries.”  That line is pretty misleading.
          > >  
          > > Fact:  In the most recent large K-8 push in this district, a large push came from Olinda Elementary parents.  California publishes a DIVERSITY INDEX, which shows how ethnically diverse a population is.  Olinda is consistently the MOST DIVERSE school in WCCUSD.  The largest ethnic group is Hispanic, and no ethnic group comprises over 28%.
          > >  
          > > In the current system, systematically “more affluent and lighter complected” students, from ALL the WCCUSD schools, leave the district at middle school.  If this district added K-8, we would KEEP these students, leading to a less segregated district in the middle and high school levels.
          > >  
          > > By denying K-8, the district leaders thought they were “forcing” affluent students to not segregate. The opposite is happening, as the affluent parents are voting with their feet (rather, their moving trucks), and simply leaving the district.
          > >  
          > > Check out    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/profile.asp?reportNumber=16&level=07&county=07&district=61796&school=6004899&tab=1#studentsbyethnicity
          > >  
          > >  And    http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/committees/k-8/presentations/2006/05_08.pdf
          > >  
          > > During the K-8 push in 2006, one former board member told me that her goal was to make our middle schools so great that people will be clamoring to get in. I pointed out to her that her goal was lofty, but there was no plan to make it happen.  There wasn’t then. There isn’t now.  K-8 was (and still is) the best and most feasible plan around, but the board has other masters.
          > >  
          > > Jim Cowen
          > > Proud parent (that is, proud of my children, but extremely disappointed in the school system they are supposed to attend)
          > >
          > > --- On Thu, 4/15/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@> wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
          > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
          > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          > > Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 11:24 AM
          > >
          > >
          > >  
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence. I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
          > >
          > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
          > >
          > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
          > >
          > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
          > >
          > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
          > >
          > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
          > >
          > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
          > >
          > > Todd Groves
          > >
          > >
          > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
          > >
          > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, "reducingandreusing " <valerie.snider@ ...> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
          > > >
          > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > Follow the money.
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > Kevin
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
          > > > > From: valerie.snider@
          > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
          > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
          > > > >
          > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > L
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > -----Original Message-----
          > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
          > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
          > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
          > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Todd Groves
          > > > > >
          > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@ > wrote:
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/programmes/ world_news_ america/8601207. stm
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
          > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._ ,___
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
          > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
          > > > > http://www.windowsl ive.com/campaign /thenewbusy? ocid=PID28326: :T:WLMTAGL: ON:WL:en- US:WM_HMP: 042010_3
          > > > >
          > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
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          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
        • hayashi groves
          You are spot on! These issues are pernicious, and your proposed solutions have merit. Todd Groves
          Message 4 of 30 , Apr 18, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            You are spot on! These issues are pernicious, and your proposed solutions have merit.

            Todd Groves



            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "annpalmer8" <annpalmer8@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > How do we fix middle schools? Yes, it's not a K8 vs. school debate, each has it's merits if run well. Based on my limited knowledge and years in this district, here's what I think.
            >
            > 1) We need stronger leadership at the district level. Now that we have Executive Directors by HSAA instead of grade level configuration, the next step they mkust take is coordinated effort within the area. While I totally agree that parents must be involved in the children's future, most of us have paid jobs outside the academic arena that takes up a good part of our day. Moreover, district employees have better information and access to information at their disposal than parents. So they have to take the lead and involved parents will corral around them to move us all ahead. I would come if I know my efforts aren't going to fall on deaf ears or be deemed unworkable under current constraints. I would follow a strong visionary into making our school district the best it can be.
            >
            > Small issues in elementary schools - discipline or academic - become bigger issues in middle school and big problems in high school. The action plan means regular meetings between parents, city/county officials, teachers and principals of ALL the schools in the district to discuss the root cause of the big problems we face in each area. It shouldn't be where the ED (Exec. Dir.) meets individually with each school to ensure protection or anonimity, then try to come up with the solution on their own. This is our collective concern and we should have a collective meeting. Maybe it's representatives from each school in the HSAA on a monthly basis (a steering committee) and a quarterly intake and report-out with all those interested within the HSAA. The monthly steering committee members should be able to discuss problems freely - even if it means pointing out something that a fellow school is not doing or doing poorly. This isn't about blaming others and protecting own jobs - although it can be if we fixed our problems and have more students than we can house in our existing facilities. This is about what everyone - teachers and parents alike - claim is the number one priority: education and well-being of our students. Some may fear such airing of dirty laundry would drive more families away. I contend that such lack of transparency drives away just as many. Many parents may stay if they know clearly the real vs. over-hyped issues and see good action plan and momentum to change. Better yet if they know where their limited off-work hours can be best utilized to help not just their own but also other children. This is also a forum to share best practice so hopefully parents won't have to choose if their assigned school is better than that one over there across town. The choice may simply be one of fit of school culture and parental involvement.
            >
            > 2) We need better disciplinary policy for problem students. Passing them around from school to school until they are finally expelled (if ever)from this district does not do any good for anyone. The students don't get the help they need, or learn the consequence of their actions. The teachers who have to deal with these issues are distracted from what they are really trying to do - educate. The students are distracted from what they should do - learn; and instead pick up on how actions can have no consequence. I know our educators hands are pretty tied on what they can do. But I don't know if we are doing all that we can within the law. An Exec. Dir. could make such a difference if engaged in the process and provide their expertise and knowledge, or engage resources to find better solutions that can work within our perimeter.
            >
            > 3) Solution for students who just aren't cut out for standardized testing. I don't know how much of this is hampered by NCLB, but I do know in the country I grew up, students who cannot handle the academic rigor necessary to go to college are given a reduced curriculum and avenues into another career option. Everyone knows our society does not run on college grads alone. We need bus drivers and plumbers and hair dressers. Some of these professions make a pretty darn good living (wasn't it said the BART operators can make something like $80,000 a year?). There is no "lower" profession, people make it so. By forcing students who may become the next Vidal Sasson to fail year-after-year in our traditional system just demoralizes them and make them become a problem. These are the students most likely to perpetrate incidents in school or drop out of school, and end up in prison. By providing them reduced curriculum so they focus on what they need to know to move into a rewarding profession would benefit all of us in society. The good thing is in the American education system (unlike the country I grew up in), late maturing students can still choose to go back into the college system so they are not completely shut out.
            >
            > 4) We need better visibility to teacher performance and better management of low performers. While an absolute test score isn't everythings, there should be minimum standards or improvements that can be used as gauge of performance. Given the lack of parental involvement I've seen even in my own class, I know the teachers can't be expected to work miracles (and some still do). However, we should be able to come up with a process to identify where teachers have exhausted their ability and exclude the outliers from their performance evaluation. Just as passing problem students from school to school does no good for anyone, neither does passing non-performing teachers from school to school. This could even work in the interest of the teacher's union - instead of fighting to keep teaching positions in a declining district - by making overall improvement including quality control within their membership can drive up demand (and pay) for teachers in our district as more students stay and come. This may also help teachers who have the heart and dedication but maybe not all the tools in the tool box.
            >
            > 5) Equal representation on the school Board. Whether one believes in the stories regarding the treatment of niche schools in our district, not having equal representation for each HSAA or City on the Board just makes it hard to believe impartiality. Having equal representation means no niche should have a chokehold on voting results and carte blanche to tell the district what to do. Board members have to work with each other to ensure all areas are addressed as a whole.
            >
            > 6) Limits on campaign financing. We've talked alot about people buying seats - in our state or on our board. Frankly, I think good people may not run because of that concern. What if we capped the contributions? Candidates should use grassroots movement to get their messages heard (like PTA meetings or HSAA townhalls), money need only be used for flyers sent to neighbors who don't have school-age children. If coupled with idea 4 above, the candidates are primarily competing to be the best representative among his or her neighbors, not the other open seats.
            >
            > May be naive, but I hope some points are valid or worth exploring.
            >
            >
            > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Thanks for the perspective. No attempt to mislead, just calling it like I see it.
            > >
            > > Most people fleeing the district for lack of K8 go to districts and private schools that have middle schools, like Berkeley and Albany. How can we account for this? It may not be middle school people avoid, just WCCUSD middle schools. Why?
            > >
            > > Berkeley and Albany succeed in providing valuable middle school education. So do private schools like Prospect Sierra. In spending the last 7 years working on middle school issues, it's nearly impossible to build a constituency to improve them. People most likely to invest in change flee. Those remaining hunker down and whisper the mantra,"it's only two years, it's only two years...."
            > >
            > > West County middle schools become a backwater for unwanted teachers and administrators. Our administration doesn't have a clue how to fix things, but won't admit it. We need to look at turn arounds like Williard in Berkeley, and borrow their successes.
            > >
            > > I would invite all to stop fighting about k8 or middle and work together to identify what kids need in 6-8 grade independent of the setting. Maybe the board could impanel a study group whose findings they can ignore. Our current situation harms kids and is therefore intolerable. Solving problems for a subset isn't enough, we must find comprehensive solutions.
            > >
            > > We need to fix this and fix it NOW! High School and junior college act as compensatory agents for faulty middle schools. What a waste!
            > >
            > > Todd Groves
            > >
            > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
            > > >  
            > > > Todd said that K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools.  And I agree that is a fear promulgated by the K-8 opposition.
            > > > But, he also said “The loudest voices for K-8 come from the more affluent and lighter complected elementaries.”  That line is pretty misleading.
            > > >  
            > > > Fact:  In the most recent large K-8 push in this district, a large push came from Olinda Elementary parents.  California publishes a DIVERSITY INDEX, which shows how ethnically diverse a population is.  Olinda is consistently the MOST DIVERSE school in WCCUSD.  The largest ethnic group is Hispanic, and no ethnic group comprises over 28%.
            > > >  
            > > > In the current system, systematically “more affluent and lighter complected” students, from ALL the WCCUSD schools, leave the district at middle school.  If this district added K-8, we would KEEP these students, leading to a less segregated district in the middle and high school levels.
            > > >  
            > > > By denying K-8, the district leaders thought they were “forcing” affluent students to not segregate. The opposite is happening, as the affluent parents are voting with their feet (rather, their moving trucks), and simply leaving the district.
            > > >  
            > > > Check out    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/profile.asp?reportNumber=16&level=07&county=07&district=61796&school=6004899&tab=1#studentsbyethnicity
            > > >  
            > > >  And    http://www.wccusd.k12.ca.us/committees/k-8/presentations/2006/05_08.pdf
            > > >  
            > > > During the K-8 push in 2006, one former board member told me that her goal was to make our middle schools so great that people will be clamoring to get in. I pointed out to her that her goal was lofty, but there was no plan to make it happen.  There wasn’t then. There isn’t now.  K-8 was (and still is) the best and most feasible plan around, but the board has other masters.
            > > >  
            > > > Jim Cowen
            > > > Proud parent (that is, proud of my children, but extremely disappointed in the school system they are supposed to attend)
            > > >
            > > > --- On Thu, 4/15/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
            > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
            > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            > > > Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 11:24 AM
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >  
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence. I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
            > > >
            > > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
            > > >
            > > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
            > > >
            > > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
            > > >
            > > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
            > > >
            > > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
            > > >
            > > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
            > > >
            > > > Todd Groves
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
            > > >
            > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, "reducingandreusing " <valerie.snider@ ...> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
            > > > >
            > > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Follow the money.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Kevin
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
            > > > > > From: valerie.snider@
            > > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
            > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > L
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
            > > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
            > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
            > > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
            > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Todd Groves
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@ > wrote:
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/programmes/ world_news_ america/8601207. stm
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
            > > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._ ,___
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
            > > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
            > > > > > http://www.windowsl ive.com/campaign /thenewbusy? ocid=PID28326: :T:WLMTAGL: ON:WL:en- US:WM_HMP: 042010_3
            > > > > >
            > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • reducingandreusing
            Punishing the board is not on my agenda. Every few years there s a new board - so who would we be punishing? The current bonds won t be paid off until
            Message 5 of 30 , Apr 18, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              "Punishing the board" is not on my agenda. Every few years there's a new board - so who would we be punishing? The current bonds won't be paid off until 2035; if the new measure passes, that date will extend to at least 2048. Do you really think I want to "punish" all those future boards?

              When a voter doesn't buy into the propaganda it doesn't mean he/she wants to "punish" anyone.

              The voters have already approved almost $1 billion of bond money. Some taxpayers think that is enough.

              --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@...> wrote:
              >
              > In the history of the district, every measure intended to punish decision makers wrought havoc on the kids. The bankruptcy reigns supreme in this category.
              >
              > We've voted the board out time and again, yet nothing improves. We've seen one cockamamie scheme after another. Bottom line is this district is terminally incompetent, yet we entrust them every day with thousand of children. We have numerous opportunities to engage and fix things, usually absorbed by narrow agendas. If we fail one kid, we fail them all.
              >
              > Usually, our process is driven by preconceived solutions, not problem analysis. So we see solution appropriate for one school foisted on all. Now we are being told quiet classroom are anathema to some cultures learning. My kids can't learn in a noisy classroom. My kids score proficient, therefore, "mission accomplished," and et voila, we get noisier classrooms.
              >
              > We have consultants selling Darwin's Finch Chow. Perhaps consultants should outcome/performance based pay? Administrators also. Are we hiring the same people who projected full fixes on the first bond? What about the administrator who brought us Open Court/Harcourt Math?
              >
              > Every time a principal runs afoul of their site, the seem to get hired by Bissell. Why is that? Shouldn't we hire people we good records on achieving cohesion and community approval? Why is it impolitic to call out poor instruction or administration? Whispering between knowing parents does nothing for most kids. Maybe teachers should get bonuses for parent's desire to have their children in their class.
              >
              > My oldest kid graduates in a few weeks. My youngest isn't that far behind. I'm done. Our education system is gravely unjust, and I can't walk away without giving my all to change it. So I will vote for more resources, and push for better performance and governance. The district makes it all difficult, but we can't give up.
              >
              > Punish the board if you want, but I can't deny the kids. They are already imperiled.
              >
              > Todd Groves
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Todd - you say you support Measure D because "kids deserve better schools." Here are some facts regarding Lavonya DeJean, a new, state-of-the-art district middle school:
              > >
              > > It is under-enrolled by over 200 students. Conclusion: building a brand new school did not attract families who are clamoring to get in.
              > >
              > > For the 2008/2009 school year only 4% of the students were "proficient" or above in history-social science and only 13% were "proficient" or above in math. Conclusion: a brand new school does not affect academic outcomes.
              > >
              > > According to the SARC for DeJean, the repair status of the restrooms and fountains was "fair" in the 2008/2009 school year. Conclusions: (1) the district spends millions of taxpayer dollars building new schools, then lets them crumble; and (2) the contractors hired to build the schools do shoddy work.
              > >
              > > You admit that there is "collective incompetence," then you endorse raising taxes, as if more money will magically overcome the incompetence.
              > >
              > > How many taxpayers are willing to pay for schools no one want to attend, where students are not being educated, where contractors get away with shoddy work, and the district does not have enough money to protect the taxpayers' investment in infrastructure?
              > >
              > > Every district school should be seismically safe, clean, and well-maintained. But, that could have been achieved with the first bond measure.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence.I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
              > > >
              > > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
              > > >
              > > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
              > > >
              > > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
              > > >
              > > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
              > > >
              > > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
              > > >
              > > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
              > > >
              > > > Todd Groves
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
              > > >
              > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
              > > > >
              > > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Follow the money.
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Kevin
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              > > > > > From: valerie.snider@
              > > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
              > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > L
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
              > > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
              > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              > > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
              > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > Todd Groves
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@> wrote:
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
              > > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._,___
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > > > _________________________________________________________________
              > > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
              > > > > > http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_3
              > > > > >
              > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Kevin Rivard
              Why should the district change? Had the community said no, as I did, back in 1992 when the District passed the MRAD tax and said no in 1998, as I did, when the
              Message 6 of 30 , Apr 19, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Why should the district change?

                Had the community said no, as I did, back in 1992 when the District passed the MRAD tax and said no in 1998, as I did, when the District passed the Lavonya Dejean Middle School Bond that was for 24 million that finally cost over $50 million dollars maybe the District would have listened to the community and changed their ways. But this community just keeps giving and giving without change from the District in performance or outcomes for the kids and why should they.

                So tell me when the community will be paying over $1,000,000,000 ONE BILLION dollars over the next 30 years without any accountability other than new buildings that have no money in the budget for maintenance or for better educational supplies or curriculum how will this community come up with funding for actual education in the classroom. The till will be dry.

                If you had a child that was 18 in 1992 and did not work, did not go on to further his education, sat in your house day after day and just lived off of the fruits of your labor and now 18 years later he is 36 years old and still in your house eating your food, using your utilities, sleeping rent free in your spare room and asking for new vehicles, new paint job in his room, new bedding material, new TV, and then he refuses to contribute to bettering himself or your household would you continue be an enabler. This is what the community has done for this district and in doing so you are hurting the children just like you would be hurting your own child by not forcing him to become self reliant in 1992. Your child would have had to get a job or an education had you tossed him out in 1992 and now in 2010 he would have been a responsible adult instead of a bum in your spare room. The District would have had to respond to the community and create an educational system that actually educated the kids and that the community would be proud to support.

                Go ahead and vote more money for this District and in 18 years you can look at this site and your comments 18 years later will again appear on this site only with a different name under it. I am now seeing the same comments I made 18 year ago with another name under them only I can say, Don't blame me, I voted against being an enabler.

                Kevin



                To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                From: tag1022@...
                Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 18:26:57 +0000
                Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education




                In the history of the district, every measure intended to punish decision makers wrought havoc on the kids. The bankruptcy reigns supreme in this category.

                We've voted the board out time and again, yet nothing improves. We've seen one cockamamie scheme after another. Bottom line is this district is terminally incompetent, yet we entrust them every day with thousand of children. We have numerous opportunities to engage and fix things, usually absorbed by narrow agendas. If we fail one kid, we fail them all.

                Usually, our process is driven by preconceived solutions, not problem analysis. So we see solution appropriate for one school foisted on all. Now we are being told quiet classroom are anathema to some cultures learning. My kids can't learn in a noisy classroom. My kids score proficient, therefore, "mission accomplished," and et voila, we get noisier classrooms.

                We have consultants selling Darwin's Finch Chow. Perhaps consultants should outcome/performance based pay? Administrators also. Are we hiring the same people who projected full fixes on the first bond? What about the administrator who brought us Open Court/Harcourt Math?

                Every time a principal runs afoul of their site, the seem to get hired by Bissell. Why is that? Shouldn't we hire people we good records on achieving cohesion and community approval? Why is it impolitic to call out poor instruction or administration? Whispering between knowing parents does nothing for most kids. Maybe teachers should get bonuses for parent's desire to have their children in their class.

                My oldest kid graduates in a few weeks. My youngest isn't that far behind. I'm done. Our education system is gravely unjust, and I can't walk away without giving my all to change it. So I will vote for more resources, and push for better performance and governance. The district makes it all difficult, but we can't give up.

                Punish the board if you want, but I can't deny the kids. They are already imperiled.

                Todd Groves

                --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@...> wrote:
                >
                > Todd - you say you support Measure D because "kids deserve better schools." Here are some facts regarding Lavonya DeJean, a new, state-of-the-art district middle school:
                >
                > It is under-enrolled by over 200 students. Conclusion: building a brand new school did not attract families who are clamoring to get in.
                >
                > For the 2008/2009 school year only 4% of the students were "proficient" or above in history-social science and only 13% were "proficient" or above in math. Conclusion: a brand new school does not affect academic outcomes.
                >
                > According to the SARC for DeJean, the repair status of the restrooms and fountains was "fair" in the 2008/2009 school year. Conclusions: (1) the district spends millions of taxpayer dollars building new schools, then lets them crumble; and (2) the contractors hired to build the schools do shoddy work.
                >
                > You admit that there is "collective incompetence," then you endorse raising taxes, as if more money will magically overcome the incompetence.
                >
                > How many taxpayers are willing to pay for schools no one want to attend, where students are not being educated, where contractors get away with shoddy work, and the district does not have enough money to protect the taxpayers' investment in infrastructure?
                >
                > Every district school should be seismically safe, clean, and well-maintained. But, that could have been achieved with the first bond measure.
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
                > >
                > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence.I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
                > >
                > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
                > >
                > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
                > >
                > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
                > >
                > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
                > >
                > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
                > >
                > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
                > >
                > > Todd Groves
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
                > >
                > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
                > > >
                > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Follow the money.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Kevin
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                > > > > From: valerie.snider@
                > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
                > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
                > > > >
                > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > L
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
                > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
                > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Todd Groves
                > > > > >
                > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@> wrote:
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
                > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._,___
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > __________________________________________________________
                > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
                > > > > http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_3
                > > > >
                > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >





                _________________________________________________________________
                The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail.
                http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?tile=multicalendar&ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_5

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Charles Rachlis
                Sounds like an administrative and management problem. Professional managers who hire consultants to sell their schemes to the people need to go. A school
                Message 7 of 30 , Apr 19, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Sounds like an administrative and management problem. Professional managers who hire consultants to sell their schemes to the people need to go. A school board committed to developers interests have to go. Until we have Parent/Worker/Teacher control of the schools we will have layers and layers of "professionals" wasting the communities money.

                  Charles



                  ________________________________
                  From: Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@...>
                  To: h h <wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Mon, April 19, 2010 6:00:37 AM
                  Subject: RE: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education


                  Why should the district change?

                  Had the community said no, as I did, back in 1992 when the District passed the MRAD tax and said no in 1998, as I did, when the District passed the Lavonya Dejean Middle School Bond that was for 24 million that finally cost over $50 million dollars maybe the District would have listened to the community and changed their ways. But this community just keeps giving and giving without change from the District in performance or outcomes for the kids and why should they.

                  So tell me when the community will be paying over $1,000,000,000 ONE BILLION dollars over the next 30 years without any accountability other than new buildings that have no money in the budget for maintenance or for better educational supplies or curriculum how will this community come up with funding for actual education in the classroom. The till will be dry.

                  If you had a child that was 18 in 1992 and did not work, did not go on to further his education, sat in your house day after day and just lived off of the fruits of your labor and now 18 years later he is 36 years old and still in your house eating your food, using your utilities, sleeping rent free in your spare room and asking for new vehicles, new paint job in his room, new bedding material, new TV, and then he refuses to contribute to bettering himself or your household would you continue be an enabler. This is what the community has done for this district and in doing so you are hurting the children just like you would be hurting your own child by not forcing him to become self reliant in 1992. Your child would have had to get a job or an education had you tossed him out in 1992 and now in 2010 he would have been a responsible adult instead of a bum in your spare room. The District would have had to respond to the community and create an educational
                  system that actually educated the kids and that the community would be proud to support.

                  Go ahead and vote more money for this District and in 18 years you can look at this site and your comments 18 years later will again appear on this site only with a different name under it. I am now seeing the same comments I made 18 year ago with another name under them only I can say, Don't blame me, I voted against being an enabler.

                  Kevin



                  To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  From: tag1022@...
                  Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 18:26:57 +0000
                  Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education




                  In the history of the district, every measure intended to punish decision makers wrought havoc on the kids. The bankruptcy reigns supreme in this category.

                  We've voted the board out time and again, yet nothing improves. We've seen one cockamamie scheme after another. Bottom line is this district is terminally incompetent, yet we entrust them every day with thousand of children. We have numerous opportunities to engage and fix things, usually absorbed by narrow agendas. If we fail one kid, we fail them all.

                  Usually, our process is driven by preconceived solutions, not problem analysis. So we see solution appropriate for one school foisted on all. Now we are being told quiet classroom are anathema to some cultures learning. My kids can't learn in a noisy classroom. My kids score proficient, therefore, "mission accomplished," and et voila, we get noisier classrooms.

                  We have consultants selling Darwin's Finch Chow. Perhaps consultants should outcome/performance based pay? Administrators also. Are we hiring the same people who projected full fixes on the first bond? What about the administrator who brought us Open Court/Harcourt Math?

                  Every time a principal runs afoul of their site, the seem to get hired by Bissell. Why is that? Shouldn't we hire people we good records on achieving cohesion and community approval? Why is it impolitic to call out poor instruction or administration? Whispering between knowing parents does nothing for most kids. Maybe teachers should get bonuses for parent's desire to have their children in their class.

                  My oldest kid graduates in a few weeks. My youngest isn't that far behind. I'm done. Our education system is gravely unjust, and I can't walk away without giving my all to change it. So I will vote for more resources, and push for better performance and governance. The district makes it all difficult, but we can't give up.

                  Punish the board if you want, but I can't deny the kids. They are already imperiled.

                  Todd Groves

                  --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Todd - you say you support Measure D because "kids deserve better schools." Here are some facts regarding Lavonya DeJean, a new, state-of-the-art district middle school:
                  >
                  > It is under-enrolled by over 200 students. Conclusion: building a brand new school did not attract families who are clamoring to get in.
                  >
                  > For the 2008/2009 school year only 4% of the students were "proficient" or above in history-social science and only 13% were "proficient" or above in math. Conclusion: a brand new school does not affect academic outcomes.
                  >
                  > According to the SARC for DeJean, the repair status of the restrooms and fountains was "fair" in the 2008/2009 school year. Conclusions: (1) the district spends millions of taxpayer dollars building new schools, then lets them crumble; and (2) the contractors hired to build the schools do shoddy work.
                  >
                  > You admit that there is "collective incompetence," then you endorse raising taxes, as if more money will magically overcome the incompetence.
                  >
                  > How many taxpayers are willing to pay for schools no one want to attend, where students are not being educated, where contractors get away with shoddy work, and the district does not have enough money to protect the taxpayers' investment in infrastructure?
                  >
                  > Every district school should be seismically safe, clean, and well-maintained. But, that could have been achieved with the first bond measure.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence.I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
                  > >
                  > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
                  > >
                  > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
                  > >
                  > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
                  > >
                  > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
                  > >
                  > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
                  > >
                  > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
                  > >
                  > > Todd Groves
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
                  > >
                  > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
                  > > >
                  > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Follow the money.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Kevin
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > From: valerie.snider@
                  > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
                  > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > L
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
                  > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
                  > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Todd Groves
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
                  > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._,___
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > __________________________________________________________
                  > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
                  > > > > http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_3
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                  >





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                • Norma J F Harrison
                  ...not if we have to maintain the present structure.  The school structure even in a socialist state undermines and deceives the society of struggle.  While
                  Message 8 of 30 , Apr 19, 2010
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                    ...not if we have to maintain the present structure. 
                    The school structure even in a socialist state undermines and deceives the society of struggle.  While remediating illiteracy is essential for revolutionary governments, the regimentation that is school, the confinement, control, and imposition of one person's ideas, even of the state's requirements,  in a classroom arrangement opposes teaching and learning and serves indoctrination.
                    We do know that it is necessary to employ preaching techniques in order to give every opportunity for people to become instructed in and become increasingly able, as the society changes, to absorb the ideals of the struggles for justice.  This is in opposition to what schools here do now; teach service to the brutal, the criminal system, capitalism.
                    The world of difference needs to become a mantra people are able to sing to serve our best intentions, rather than to make us able to serve the profiteering, the competition for profits requisite for survival in capitalism.
                    But these have to occur through practice, not through being force-fed text books and the concommitant test taking.
                    Norma


                    ----- Original Message ---- From: Charles Rachlis crachlis@... To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com Sent: Mon, April 19, 2010 6:55:20 AM Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education

                    Sounds like an administrative and management problem.  Professional managers who hire consultants to sell their schemes to the people need to go.  A school board committed to developers interests have to go.  Until we have Parent/Worker/Teacher control of the schools we will have layers and layers of "professionals" wasting the communities money. 

                    Charles........
                  • Norma J F Harrison
                    ahhh lovely - because, I said it - or one thing - but It s so hard!  to come out from under the mantle - no,  to loosen and throw of the yoke which binds us.
                    Message 9 of 30 , Apr 19, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      ahhh lovely - because, I said it - or one thing -
                      but
                      It's so hard!  to come out from under the mantle - no,  to loosen and throw of the yoke which binds us.
                      What I said is that we must create the space for us to be able to tell the rebels, the misfits, the truants that they're right. 
                      You I know!, can figure out why.  School is as oppressive to them as it is to you, to their parents, to our communities.  The structure of society  - its jobs, its production for profit, its constant creation of products for profits, excessively,
                      These all confound us and pain us.  We're right to rebel and to try to resist.  First we have to be able to say this - to ourselves and with each other.
                      Of course, if you say this in a classroom you will be fired.
                      Well, if the teachers in the schools say this in the classrooms - they can't all be fired, ...can they?  How can we create the place to say this?  so we can get on with the business of trying ways to serve our interests...
                      Oh, and by the way, the 'good' students agree. 
                      If they don't now , they will in 20 years.  Ask their folks.

                      I'm going to be a candidate for school board again, here in Berkeley.  My program is to say such as I've posted, and to call for making space to talk about this.  How does the community which begins to accommodate the problem in ways that appeal and are workable look?  How do we move in the directions we want to go.  The main objective is to live inclusively, instead of age segregated by force.

                      I'm happy to sit around with people and listen to ideas - I do have 'the answers'.  They're just not ways to gain our objectives overnight.  They do start in your mind and move out into our communities.  They must be developed with all of us - not just one or another group.
                      Many of the students'/families are convinced their child MUST go through this anointment process, diploma, degree upon degree, MUCH evidence to the contrary  of people getting those papers and not having jobs, and of people profiting well without those jobs.  So that's among the initial ideas of which to free ourselves - that we must submit to school in order to get along. 
                      And how could we have 3 year olds able to be in the doctors' examining rooms - ??  6 year olds drafting in the architects' offices...?  9 year olds in the mines  - mines?  coal mines?  why?!!!!
                      The vision is not simple.  I think you'll agree it goes in the direction we want...
                      It's ok for us to want utopia, and to go toward it. 
                      The compromises only get compromised. Our Owners could not stand us to make progress in chosen directions.  Witness their subtraction of our hard won gains - welfare, housing - which has been cut enormously; their constant wars - using our resources including our labor, our soldiers; reduction toward elimination of pensions; ... you can go on and on looking your attackers in the face - belying the stories of how to get to success - for most of us, not all of us....
                      But we are owed the world, in gentle care of Earth....   just because.....



                      ----- Original Message ---- From: hayashi groves tag1022@... To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sun, April 18, 2010 10:49:10 AM Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd's comments on K8

                      My cousin, now 48, has been working in mines since he was 18. It's not his favorite job. A little while back, his boss demanded he work Saturdays in perpetuity. In relating his dispair, he said," I should have gone to college." I didn't make the rules, but feel obliged to give my children every advantage I can. I also want their WCCSUD peers to have the same opportunities.

                      Your vision sounds much more wholesome and a much nicer world. To create the changes required will take advocacy much broader than this list. We all see the tortured look on kids in our classrooms. Black South Africans protested Bantu education by boycotting schools. Would you suggest this, or creating more engaging, intriguing environments? I prefer the latter.

                      We lose kids to underperformance and sometimes criminality. I see hundreds of 12 year olds on the cusp of being engaged, and wanting adult guidance. We won't give it to them, because no one really cares enough to do something. Most will survive, just like we did. We accept the loss of opportunity as a consequence of development. Much of this is to preserve hierarchy, no doubt. Kids conform to class more often than not, independent of raw ability.

                      I invite you to articulate the changes you seek in the context of WCCUSD. Where do we start? Where do we go? We take in a 5 year old and spit out an 18 year old. What will happen in between?

                      Todd Groves
                      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Too bad that doing the work repairing phone lines, or driving a bus, or collecting the garbage, or sweeping the floors isn't as high a status as whatever a college degree confers on people.  That you've seen to defend the capitalist stratification of society is sad - and usual...
                      > Further
                      > What you're trying to fix cannot be fixed.  The nature of school in capitalism is to do as you've seen - you can describe it.  I can't sit through a 40 minute class let alone a 5 hour day with a fifth grade or any of them.  I get furious!  grossly frustrated - at having to put people through that horror day after day...
                      > It's not incompetence by you, by parents, by anyone.  It's the system.  Think of that form - that mould - there's no escape, no reform, no repair that can change it given the allowed parameters.
                      > The question is not to use phrases but to lapse into utopian imaginings.... what do you want for your children, your students, yourself   - and think age integration...  because that's the only way you'll be able to begin to see clearly what you really want...
                      > Norma........
                    • Charles Rachlis
                      ahhh the contradiction: one young administrator has pictures of Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez on his wall but when asked about the role he would play in a
                      Message 10 of 30 , Apr 19, 2010
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                        ahhh the contradiction: one young administrator has pictures of Malcolm X and Cesar Chavez on his wall but when asked about the role he would play in a strike his commitment was to cross the picket line. You can't simply put Malcolm in the curriculum or repeat carefully chosen speeches in annual commemoration of fighters past and expect youv'e done your bit for diversity or democracy.

                        Charles



                        ________________________________
                        From: Norma J F Harrison <normaha@...>
                        To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Mon, April 19, 2010 1:32:47 PM
                        Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8


                        ahhh lovely - because, I said it - or one thing -
                        but
                        It's so hard! to come out from under the mantle - no, to loosen and throw of the yoke which binds us.
                        What I said is that we must create the space for us to be able to tell the rebels, the misfits, the truants that they're right.
                        You I know!, can figure out why. School is as oppressive to them as it is to you, to their parents, to our communities. The structure of society - its jobs, its production for profit, its constant creation of products for profits, excessively,
                        These all confound us and pain us. We're right to rebel and to try to resist. First we have to be able to say this - to ourselves and with each other.
                        Of course, if you say this in a classroom you will be fired.
                        Well, if the teachers in the schools say this in the classrooms - they can't all be fired, ...can they? How can we create the place to say this? so we can get on with the business of trying ways to serve our interests...
                        Oh, and by the way, the 'good' students agree.
                        If they don't now , they will in 20 years. Ask their folks.

                        I'm going to be a candidate for school board again, here in Berkeley. My program is to say such as I've posted, and to call for making space to talk about this. How does the community which begins to accommodate the problem in ways that appeal and are workable look? How do we move in the directions we want to go. The main objective is to live inclusively, instead of age segregated by force.

                        I'm happy to sit around with people and listen to ideas - I do have 'the answers'. They're just not ways to gain our objectives overnight. They do start in your mind and move out into our communities. They must be developed with all of us - not just one or another group.
                        Many of the students'/families are convinced their child MUST go through this anointment process, diploma, degree upon degree, MUCH evidence to the contrary of people getting those papers and not having jobs, and of people profiting well without those jobs. So that's among the initial ideas of which to free ourselves - that we must submit to school in order to get along.
                        And how could we have 3 year olds able to be in the doctors' examining rooms - ?? 6 year olds drafting in the architects' offices...? 9 year olds in the mines - mines? coal mines? why?!!!!
                        The vision is not simple. I think you'll agree it goes in the direction we want...
                        It's ok for us to want utopia, and to go toward it.
                        The compromises only get compromised. Our Owners could not stand us to make progress in chosen directions. Witness their subtraction of our hard won gains - welfare, housing - which has been cut enormously; their constant wars - using our resources including our labor, our soldiers; reduction toward elimination of pensions; ... you can go on and on looking your attackers in the face - belying the stories of how to get to success - for most of us, not all of us....
                        But we are owed the world, in gentle care of Earth.... just because.....

                        ----- Original Message ---- From: hayashi groves tag1022@yahoo. com To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com Sent: Sun, April 18, 2010 10:49:10 AM Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd's comments on K8

                        My cousin, now 48, has been working in mines since he was 18. It's not his favorite job. A little while back, his boss demanded he work Saturdays in perpetuity. In relating his dispair, he said," I should have gone to college." I didn't make the rules, but feel obliged to give my children every advantage I can. I also want their WCCSUD peers to have the same opportunities.

                        Your vision sounds much more wholesome and a much nicer world. To create the changes required will take advocacy much broader than this list. We all see the tortured look on kids in our classrooms. Black South Africans protested Bantu education by boycotting schools. Would you suggest this, or creating more engaging, intriguing environments? I prefer the latter.

                        We lose kids to underperformance and sometimes criminality. I see hundreds of 12 year olds on the cusp of being engaged, and wanting adult guidance. We won't give it to them, because no one really cares enough to do something. Most will survive, just like we did. We accept the loss of opportunity as a consequence of development. Much of this is to preserve hierarchy, no doubt. Kids conform to class more often than not, independent of raw ability.

                        I invite you to articulate the changes you seek in the context of WCCUSD. Where do we start? Where do we go? We take in a 5 year old and spit out an 18 year old. What will happen in between?

                        Todd Groves
                        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Norma J F Harrison <normaha@... > wrote:
                        >
                        > Too bad that doing the work repairing phone lines, or driving a bus, or collecting the garbage, or sweeping the floors isn't as high a status as whatever a college degree confers on people. That you've seen to defend the capitalist stratification of society is sad - and usual...
                        > Further
                        > What you're trying to fix cannot be fixed. The nature of school in capitalism is to do as you've seen - you can describe it. I can't sit through a 40 minute class let alone a 5 hour day with a fifth grade or any of them. I get furious! grossly frustrated - at having to put people through that horror day after day...
                        > It's not incompetence by you, by parents, by anyone. It's the system. Think of that form - that mould - there's no escape, no reform, no repair that can change it given the allowed parameters.
                        > The question is not to use phrases but to lapse into utopian imaginings.. .. what do you want for your children, your students, yourself - and think age integration. .. because that's the only way you'll be able to begin to see clearly what you really want...
                        > Norma....... .






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • sunsetjill
                        I continue to be amazed how ignorant some of our community members are. Could it be that they were educated by WCCUSD? Could it be that they have been lied
                        Message 11 of 30 , Apr 20, 2010
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                          I continue to be amazed how ignorant some of our community members are. Could it be that they were educated by WCCUSD? Could it be that they have been lied to for so long that they have started to believe the lies?

                          I was amazed a few years ago when Charles Ramsey was speaking nonsense and compared WCCUSD to Orinda Union School District at a Board meeting. Ramsey insinuated that WCCUSD would have Air Conditioning like Orinda and that WCCUSD test scores would improve. He even went on to boast how he believed that soon Orinda families would be flocking to WCCUSD for their state of the art schools.

                          Well the fact is that Orinda does NOT have air conditioning. I have worked in 2 of the 5 schools and have attended meetings at the other 3 schools. The facilities are in need or repair and upgrading, yet these students can sit in a classroom at over 100 degrees and still achieve at well above proficient.

                          I have to agree with Kevin. He made some excellent points! I will continue to seek the truth and vote NO on any further bonds or parcel taxes. I refuse to continue to throw good money out the window.

                          Jill Wolkenfeld




                          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > Why should the district change?
                          >
                          > Had the community said no, as I did, back in 1992 when the District passed the MRAD tax and said no in 1998, as I did, when the District passed the Lavonya Dejean Middle School Bond that was for 24 million that finally cost over $50 million dollars maybe the District would have listened to the community and changed their ways. But this community just keeps giving and giving without change from the District in performance or outcomes for the kids and why should they.
                          >
                          > So tell me when the community will be paying over $1,000,000,000 ONE BILLION dollars over the next 30 years without any accountability other than new buildings that have no money in the budget for maintenance or for better educational supplies or curriculum how will this community come up with funding for actual education in the classroom. The till will be dry.
                          >
                          > If you had a child that was 18 in 1992 and did not work, did not go on to further his education, sat in your house day after day and just lived off of the fruits of your labor and now 18 years later he is 36 years old and still in your house eating your food, using your utilities, sleeping rent free in your spare room and asking for new vehicles, new paint job in his room, new bedding material, new TV, and then he refuses to contribute to bettering himself or your household would you continue be an enabler. This is what the community has done for this district and in doing so you are hurting the children just like you would be hurting your own child by not forcing him to become self reliant in 1992. Your child would have had to get a job or an education had you tossed him out in 1992 and now in 2010 he would have been a responsible adult instead of a bum in your spare room. The District would have had to respond to the community and create an educational system that actually educated the kids and that the community would be proud to support.
                          >
                          > Go ahead and vote more money for this District and in 18 years you can look at this site and your comments 18 years later will again appear on this site only with a different name under it. I am now seeing the same comments I made 18 year ago with another name under them only I can say, Don't blame me, I voted against being an enabler.
                          >
                          > Kevin
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > From: tag1022@...
                          > Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 18:26:57 +0000
                          > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > In the history of the district, every measure intended to punish decision makers wrought havoc on the kids. The bankruptcy reigns supreme in this category.
                          >
                          > We've voted the board out time and again, yet nothing improves. We've seen one cockamamie scheme after another. Bottom line is this district is terminally incompetent, yet we entrust them every day with thousand of children. We have numerous opportunities to engage and fix things, usually absorbed by narrow agendas. If we fail one kid, we fail them all.
                          >
                          > Usually, our process is driven by preconceived solutions, not problem analysis. So we see solution appropriate for one school foisted on all. Now we are being told quiet classroom are anathema to some cultures learning. My kids can't learn in a noisy classroom. My kids score proficient, therefore, "mission accomplished," and et voila, we get noisier classrooms.
                          >
                          > We have consultants selling Darwin's Finch Chow. Perhaps consultants should outcome/performance based pay? Administrators also. Are we hiring the same people who projected full fixes on the first bond? What about the administrator who brought us Open Court/Harcourt Math?
                          >
                          > Every time a principal runs afoul of their site, the seem to get hired by Bissell. Why is that? Shouldn't we hire people we good records on achieving cohesion and community approval? Why is it impolitic to call out poor instruction or administration? Whispering between knowing parents does nothing for most kids. Maybe teachers should get bonuses for parent's desire to have their children in their class.
                          >
                          > My oldest kid graduates in a few weeks. My youngest isn't that far behind. I'm done. Our education system is gravely unjust, and I can't walk away without giving my all to change it. So I will vote for more resources, and push for better performance and governance. The district makes it all difficult, but we can't give up.
                          >
                          > Punish the board if you want, but I can't deny the kids. They are already imperiled.
                          >
                          > Todd Groves
                          >
                          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Todd - you say you support Measure D because "kids deserve better schools." Here are some facts regarding Lavonya DeJean, a new, state-of-the-art district middle school:
                          > >
                          > > It is under-enrolled by over 200 students. Conclusion: building a brand new school did not attract families who are clamoring to get in.
                          > >
                          > > For the 2008/2009 school year only 4% of the students were "proficient" or above in history-social science and only 13% were "proficient" or above in math. Conclusion: a brand new school does not affect academic outcomes.
                          > >
                          > > According to the SARC for DeJean, the repair status of the restrooms and fountains was "fair" in the 2008/2009 school year. Conclusions: (1) the district spends millions of taxpayer dollars building new schools, then lets them crumble; and (2) the contractors hired to build the schools do shoddy work.
                          > >
                          > > You admit that there is "collective incompetence," then you endorse raising taxes, as if more money will magically overcome the incompetence.
                          > >
                          > > How many taxpayers are willing to pay for schools no one want to attend, where students are not being educated, where contractors get away with shoddy work, and the district does not have enough money to protect the taxpayers' investment in infrastructure?
                          > >
                          > > Every district school should be seismically safe, clean, and well-maintained. But, that could have been achieved with the first bond measure.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "hayashi groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence.I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
                          > > >
                          > > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
                          > > >
                          > > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
                          > > >
                          > > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
                          > > >
                          > > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
                          > > >
                          > > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
                          > > >
                          > > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
                          > > >
                          > > > Todd Groves
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "reducingandreusing" <valerie.snider@> wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
                          > > > >
                          > > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Follow the money.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Kevin
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > > > > > From: valerie.snider@
                          > > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
                          > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > L
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                          > > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
                          > > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                          > > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
                          > > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Todd Groves
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@> wrote:
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
                          > > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._,___
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                          > > > > > __________________________________________________________
                          > > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
                          > > > > > http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_3
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                          > _________________________________________________________________
                          > The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail.
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                        • Tammera Campbell
                          I haven t read my email on this account in a very long time, but need to chime in on the K-8 issue.  May I suggest that everyone go to Ed Source website,
                          Message 12 of 30 , May 3 8:07 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I haven't read my email on this account in a very long time, but need to chime in on the K-8 issue.  May I suggest that everyone go to Ed Source website, http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-summary.html and read their first comprehensive study on middle schools and what makes a successful middle school student.  What the study found will surprise everyone because grade configuration, private vs public vs charter and even socio-economics did not always determine a successful middle school student.  
                            Both my sons received a great education at Pinole Middle and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  They will both tell you they were ready to move on out of elementary school and the teachers and staff at Pinole Middle helped them succeed.  My oldest now attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and my youngest was accepted there too.  They will tell you that the teachers at Pinole Midde gave them the tools to succeed.
                            We all talk the talk, but very few walk the walk.  I for one can say I have walked the walk.  Can I suggest that everyone get involved in their local schools to improve them.  It is when everyone stays and makes a commitment to the kids to improve their schools do you see a change.  When we walk away and no one there is to fill the void, we get what we get.
                            Frankly guys, I am tired of debating and trying to scream for the kids.  I am frustrated with those who turn their backs and I don't care if what I have to say is politically incorrect at this point.   I work day in and day out with kids on the edge trying to survive.  Their problems are so real and so painful compared to some of this discussion on this board.  So go to your local school and tackle the hard problems, our kids need us.

                            Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell

                            2668 Alhambra Way

                            Pinole, CA 94564

                            Home: 510-223-3857

                            Email: Tammera.Campbell@...



                            Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:

                            Ellerhorst Elementary School: ellerhorst_etree@...

                            Collins Elementary School: alisoncrooks@...

                            Pinole Middle School: pmetree@...

                            Pinole Valley High School: pvhsetree@...

                            Pinole CARE: parents@...

                            WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com

                            --- On Sat, 4/17/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@...> wrote:

                            From: hayashi groves <tag1022@...>
                            Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
                            To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010, 10:16 AM
















                             









                            Thanks for the perspective. No attempt to mislead, just calling it like I see it.



                            Most people fleeing the district for lack of K8 go to districts and private schools that have middle schools, like Berkeley and Albany. How can we account for this? It may not be middle school people avoid, just WCCUSD middle schools. Why?



                            Berkeley and Albany succeed in providing valuable middle school education. So do private schools like Prospect Sierra. In spending the last 7 years working on middle school issues, it's nearly impossible to build a constituency to improve them. People most likely to invest in change flee. Those remaining hunker down and whisper the mantra,"it's only two years, it's only two years...."



                            West County middle schools become a backwater for unwanted teachers and administrators. Our administration doesn't have a clue how to fix things, but won't admit it. We need to look at turn arounds like Williard in Berkeley, and borrow their successes.



                            I would invite all to stop fighting about k8 or middle and work together to identify what kids need in 6-8 grade independent of the setting. Maybe the board could impanel a study group whose findings they can ignore. Our current situation harms kids and is therefore intolerable. Solving problems for a subset isn't enough, we must find comprehensive solutions.



                            We need to fix this and fix it NOW! High School and junior college act as compensatory agents for faulty middle schools. What a waste!



                            Todd Groves



                            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@.. .> wrote:

                            >

                            > Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8

                            >  

                            > Todd said that K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools.  And I agree that is a fear promulgated by the K-8 opposition.

                            > But, he also said “The loudest voices for K-8 come from the more affluent and lighter complected elementaries.”  That line is pretty misleading.

                            >  

                            > Fact:  In the most recent large K-8 push in this district, a large push came from Olinda Elementary parents.  California publishes a DIVERSITY INDEX, which shows how ethnically diverse a population is.  Olinda is consistently the MOST DIVERSE school in WCCUSD.  The largest ethnic group is Hispanic, and no ethnic group comprises over 28%.

                            >  

                            > In the current system, systematically “more affluent and lighter complected” students, from ALL the WCCUSD schools, leave the district at middle school.  If this district added K-8, we would KEEP these students, leading to a less segregated district in the middle and high school levels.

                            >  

                            > By denying K-8, the district leaders thought they were “forcing” affluent students to not segregate. The opposite is happening, as the affluent parents are voting with their feet (rather, their moving trucks), and simply leaving the district.

                            >  

                            > Check out    http://www.ed- data.k12. ca.us/profile. asp?reportNumber =16&level= 07&county= 07&district= 61796&school= 6004899&tab= 1#studentsbyethn icity

                            >  

                            >  And    http://www.wccusd. k12.ca.us/ committees/ k-8/presentation s/2006/05_ 08.pdf

                            >  

                            > During the K-8 push in 2006, one former board member told me that her goal was to make our middle schools so great that people will be clamoring to get in. I pointed out to her that her goal was lofty, but there was no plan to make it happen.  There wasn’t then. There isn’t now.  K-8 was (and still is) the best and most feasible plan around, but the board has other masters.

                            >  

                            > Jim Cowen

                            > Proud parent (that is, proud of my children, but extremely disappointed in the school system they are supposed to attend)

                            >

                            > --- On Thu, 4/15/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@... > wrote:

                            >

                            >

                            > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@... >

                            > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education

                            > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com

                            > Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 11:24 AM

                            >

                            >

                            >  

                            >

                            >

                            >

                            > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence. I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.

                            >

                            > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.

                            >

                            > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.

                            >

                            > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.

                            >

                            > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.

                            >

                            > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.

                            >

                            > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?

                            >

                            > Todd Groves

                            >

                            >

                            > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.

                            >

                            > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, "reducingandreusing " <valerie.snider@ ...> wrote:

                            > >

                            > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!

                            > >

                            > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.

                            > >

                            > >

                            > >

                            > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > Follow the money.

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > Kevin

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com

                            > > > From: valerie.snider@

                            > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000

                            > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > >

                            > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.

                            > > >

                            > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.

                            > > > >

                            > > > > L

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > > -----Original Message-----

                            > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>

                            > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com

                            > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm

                            > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > >

                            > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.

                            > > > >

                            > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.

                            > > > >

                            > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.

                            > > > >

                            > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.

                            > > > >

                            > > > > Todd Groves

                            > > > >

                            > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@ > wrote:

                            > > > > >

                            > > > > > http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/programmes/ world_news_ america/8601207. stm

                            > > > > >

                            > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo

                            > > > > > Eduardo_,_._ ,___

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                            > > > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _

                            > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.

                            > > > http://www.windowsl ive.com/campaign /thenewbusy? ocid=PID28326: :T:WLMTAGL: ON:WL:en- US:WM_HMP: 042010_3

                            > > >

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                          • Norma J F Harrison
                            This is very good, pointing to the problem; school is a segregationist - by age - like all phases of our lives in this system - a segregationist institution. 
                            Message 13 of 30 , May 4 12:23 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              This is very good, pointing to the problem; school is a segregationist - by age - like all phases of our lives in this system - a segregationist institution.  The segregation serves the system.
                              School is an elitist institution, separating people who will and won't succeed.  We do not understand, in this system, that all people are 'geniuses'.  Put them all in Mozart or Einstein's house and they all become Mozarts and Einsteins.  And I'm referring to the marginalizing factors too.  Those children, Mozart and Einstein experienced the frequent painful exclusions our children do and you did.
                              The problem is structural - like capitalism, it's structural.  There is only room for things to be done the way they are, privileging some people and enslaving to varying degrees, the rest of people.  Doctors were too free, so HMOs etc came along.
                              Now the system is putting out there the need to reform/regulate the huge gambling institution - called investment - that is buying stocks and bonds and those similar devices.  But Money has always bought its way out of regulation.  Reform means keeping the same system but saying they're not.
                              The structure, the age grouping, the dis-integration of subject matter, the commodification of knowledge - how many degrees can one get - and what job can they get then... these are the process of making a salable product, our work, our labor. And the commodification of teaching...  While we are all teachers - and students - all our lives, we are alienated from those features of us all - we are not invoked as sources of questions and answers - meanwhile anointing people to be teachers at a salary. 
                              ...serving commodity production - making workers at the several levels - and making marginalized people including people who commit crimes.
                              School is a system of recreating the capitalist system, itself a crime.   You can tell because of all the abuse we cause and suffer.
                              Norma



                              ________________________________

                              From: Tammera Campbell tammeracampbell@...  To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com  Sent: Mon, May 3, 2010 8:07:14 PM
                              Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8


                              --- On Sat, 4/17/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@...> wrote:
                              From: hayashi groves tag1022@...   Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8 To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010, 10:16 AM
                                    
                                    Thanks for the perspective. No attempt to mislead, just calling it like I see it.

                              Most people fleeing the district for lack of K8 go to districts and private schools that have middle schools, like Berkeley and Albany. How can we account for this? It may not be middle school people avoid, just WCCUSD middle schools. Why?

                              Berkeley and Albany succeed in providing valuable middle school education. So do private schools like Prospect Sierra. In spending the last 7 years working on middle school issues, it's nearly impossible to build a constituency to improve them. People most likely to invest in change flee. Those remaining hunker down and whisper the mantra,"it's only two years, it's only two years...."

                              West County middle schools become a backwater for unwanted teachers and administrators. Our administration doesn't have a clue how to fix things, but won't admit it. We need to look at turn arounds like Williard in Berkeley, and borrow their successes.

                              I would invite all to stop fighting about k8 or middle and work together to identify what kids need in 6-8 grade independent of the setting. Maybe the board could impanel a study group whose findings they can ignore. Our current situation harms kids and is therefore intolerable. Solving problems for a subset isn't enough, we must find comprehensive solutions.

                              We need to fix this and fix it NOW! High School and junior college act as compensatory agents for faulty middle schools. What a waste!

                              Todd Groves

                              --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@.. .> wrote:>
                              > Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8>  
                              > Todd said that K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools.  And I agree that is a fear promulgated by the K-8 opposition.

                              > But, he also said..........
                              I haven't read my email on this account in a very long time, but need to chime in on the K-8 issue.  May I suggest that everyone go to Ed Source website, http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-summary.html and read their first comprehensive study on middle schools and what makes a successful middle school student.  What the study found will surprise everyone because grade configuration, private vs public vs charter and even socio-economics did not always determine a successful middle school student.  
                              Both my sons received a great education at Pinole Middle and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  They will both tell you they were ready to move on out of elementary school and the teachers and staff at Pinole Middle helped them succeed.  My oldest now attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and my youngest was accepted there too.  They will tell you that the teachers at Pinole Midde gave them the tools to succeed.
                              We all talk the talk, but very few walk the walk.  I for one can say I have walked the walk.  Can I suggest that everyone get involved in their local schools to improve them.  It is when everyone stays and makes a commitment to the kids to improve their schools do you see a change.  When we walk away and no one there is to fill the void, we get what we get.
                              Frankly guys, I am tired of debating and trying to scream for the kids.  I am frustrated with those who turn their backs and I don't care if what I have to say is politically incorrect at this point.   I work day in and day out with kids on the edge trying to survive.  Their problems are so real and so painful compared to some of this discussion on this board.  So go to your local school and tackle the hard problems, our kids need us.

                              Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                              2668 Alhambra Way
                              Pinole, CA  94564
                              Home: 510-223-3857
                              Email: Tammera.Campbell@...


                              Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:
                              Ellerhorst Elementary School: ellerhorst_etree@...
                              Collins Elementary School: alisoncrooks@...
                              Pinole Middle School:  pmetree@...
                              Pinole Valley High School: pvhsetree@...
                              Pinole CARE:  parents@...
                              WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Todd Groves
                              Thanks for the information, Tammy. Do you feel focus must be placed on kids in the deepest trouble? Should this be the exclusive focus? Can we accommodate the
                              Message 14 of 30 , May 4 11:16 AM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Thanks for the information, Tammy.

                                Do you feel focus must be placed on kids in the deepest trouble? Should this be the exclusive focus? Can we accommodate the very brightest and most troubled students in the same manner? It doesn't seem to be working presently.

                                It feels irresponsible to lower expectations for my kids, or others. The central question becomes whether this district can support a wide range of learners, or do those seeking a firm education need to find another district. If this is this case, then it must be made explicit.

                                We do have many students struggling, no doubt. I've tried to help as many as possible over the past 13 years. In fact, the curriculum and PD have all been focused on lowest performers. The needs extend far beyond academics, and we should as a community be attending to them. I volunteer numerous hours each week to make this happen (mostly in middle school), but few can do so. Most people, rich and poor, can barely get their own kids through.

                                To advocate for our highest performers in this climate will stir resentment. So be it. It's hard to feel bad for kids who will "succeed," no matter. Let's look at it in a different way. Why should people with academic aspirations send their kids to this district? I know my children's prospects have been damaged by their WCCUSD education. Most folks with similar views just leave. If the predominate attitude is good riddance, then maybe we should asterisk the "appropriate and challenging education," tag line, or change it altogether. How about "Lower you expectations?"


                                Read the SF Chron article on gifted education http://is.gd/bTVBP . If we fail to send WCCUSD students to the upper echelons, then this community will not be represented in the corridors of power. Kids from Danville will take their place. If our education program truly worked, we would be vaulting kids from the edges into the elite.

                                I'll gladly enter another conversation on our kids in trouble. That's much bigger than a curricular issue. We need a real plan for kids in every category, and stop pretending our one size fits all approach is working.

                                Todd Groves


                                --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell <tammeracampbell@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I haven't read my email on this account in a very long time, but need to chime in on the K-8 issue.  May I suggest that everyone go to Ed Source website, http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-summary.html and read their first comprehensive study on middle schools and what makes a successful middle school student.  What the study found will surprise everyone because grade configuration, private vs public vs charter and even socio-economics did not always determine a successful middle school student.  
                                > Both my sons received a great education at Pinole Middle and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  They will both tell you they were ready to move on out of elementary school and the teachers and staff at Pinole Middle helped them succeed.  My oldest now attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and my youngest was accepted there too.  They will tell you that the teachers at Pinole Midde gave them the tools to succeed.
                                > We all talk the talk, but very few walk the walk.  I for one can say I have walked the walk.  Can I suggest that everyone get involved in their local schools to improve them.  It is when everyone stays and makes a commitment to the kids to improve their schools do you see a change.  When we walk away and no one there is to fill the void, we get what we get.
                                > Frankly guys, I am tired of debating and trying to scream for the kids.  I am frustrated with those who turn their backs and I don't care if what I have to say is politically incorrect at this point.   I work day in and day out with kids on the edge trying to survive.  Their problems are so real and so painful compared to some of this discussion on this board.  So go to your local school and tackle the hard problems, our kids need us.
                                >
                                > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                                >
                                > 2668 Alhambra Way
                                >
                                > Pinole, CA 94564
                                >
                                > Home: 510-223-3857
                                >
                                > Email: Tammera.Campbell@...
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Following are contacts for other email lists to consider joining:
                                >
                                > Ellerhorst Elementary School: ellerhorst_etree@...
                                >
                                > Collins Elementary School: alisoncrooks@...
                                >
                                > Pinole Middle School: pmetree@...
                                >
                                > Pinole Valley High School: pvhsetree@...
                                >
                                > Pinole CARE: parents@...
                                >
                                > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                >
                                > --- On Sat, 4/17/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@...>
                                > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
                                > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                                > Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010, 10:16 AM
                                >
                                >
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                                >
                                >  
                                >
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                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Thanks for the perspective. No attempt to mislead, just calling it like I see it.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Most people fleeing the district for lack of K8 go to districts and private schools that have middle schools, like Berkeley and Albany. How can we account for this? It may not be middle school people avoid, just WCCUSD middle schools. Why?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Berkeley and Albany succeed in providing valuable middle school education. So do private schools like Prospect Sierra. In spending the last 7 years working on middle school issues, it's nearly impossible to build a constituency to improve them. People most likely to invest in change flee. Those remaining hunker down and whisper the mantra,"it's only two years, it's only two years...."
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > West County middle schools become a backwater for unwanted teachers and administrators. Our administration doesn't have a clue how to fix things, but won't admit it. We need to look at turn arounds like Williard in Berkeley, and borrow their successes.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > I would invite all to stop fighting about k8 or middle and work together to identify what kids need in 6-8 grade independent of the setting. Maybe the board could impanel a study group whose findings they can ignore. Our current situation harms kids and is therefore intolerable. Solving problems for a subset isn't enough, we must find comprehensive solutions.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > We need to fix this and fix it NOW! High School and junior college act as compensatory agents for faulty middle schools. What a waste!
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Todd Groves
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Jim Cowen <jimcowen@ .> wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > Todd said that K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools.  And I agree that is a fear promulgated by the K-8 opposition.
                                >
                                > > But, he also said “The loudest voices for K-8 come from the more affluent and lighter complected elementaries.”  That line is pretty misleading.
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > Fact:  In the most recent large K-8 push in this district, a large push came from Olinda Elementary parents.  California publishes a DIVERSITY INDEX, which shows how ethnically diverse a population is.  Olinda is consistently the MOST DIVERSE school in WCCUSD.  The largest ethnic group is Hispanic, and no ethnic group comprises over 28%.
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > In the current system, systematically “more affluent and lighter complected” students, from ALL the WCCUSD schools, leave the district at middle school.  If this district added K-8, we would KEEP these students, leading to a less segregated district in the middle and high school levels.
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > By denying K-8, the district leaders thought they were “forcing” affluent students to not segregate. The opposite is happening, as the affluent parents are voting with their feet (rather, their moving trucks), and simply leaving the district.
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > Check out    http://www.ed- data.k12. ca.us/profile. asp?reportNumber =16&level= 07&county= 07&district= 61796&school= 6004899&tab= 1#studentsbyethn icity
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > >  And    http://www.wccusd. k12.ca.us/ committees/ k-8/presentation s/2006/05_ 08.pdf
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > During the K-8 push in 2006, one former board member told me that her goal was to make our middle schools so great that people will be clamoring to get in. I pointed out to her that her goal was lofty, but there was no plan to make it happen.  There wasn’t then. There isn’t now.  K-8 was (and still is) the best and most feasible plan around, but the board has other masters.
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > > Jim Cowen
                                >
                                > > Proud parent (that is, proud of my children, but extremely disappointed in the school system they are supposed to attend)
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > --- On Thu, 4/15/10, hayashi groves <tag1022@ > wrote:
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@ >
                                >
                                > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                                >
                                > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
                                >
                                > > Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 11:24 AM
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > >  
                                >
                                > >
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                                > >
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > The Times endorsement of Measure D sort of summed it up. The kids deserve better schools despite our collective incompetence. I'm certainly willing to pay a few hundred more bucks each year for better schools. Pretty buildings do nothing for the academic program. ECHS's CST's have dropped since the new building opened. We can't ignore this absolute fact.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > We need to blast away at covert discourse. K-8 is opposed by many as a back door means of segregating the schools. The loudest voices for K-8 come from our more affluent and lighter complected elementaries. They are also our highest performing in general. Is the k-8 movement motivated by academic concern or race panic? Our judgment gets clouded by assuming bad faith among those whom we disagree. From my personal observation, it's marginalized, low-resourced kids that fair poorly at middle school, and tend to be more often kids of color. Few people are looking out for these kids. If more people could extend their concern and advocate for our most endangered students, all would benefit.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > More affluent students trend more resilient, and middle school allows them to stretch their wings. Our academic program deserts kids proficient or above, while our neighboring districts provide challenge and engagement. We neglect these students at a huge price to them and our district.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > For the past decade, our district has been absorbed by a construction effort, and squelched all concern from parents and teachers over the curriculum. The people in responsible positions see themselves as guardians of the marginalized students, and resist every effort to fortify academics for fear it will discourage unengaged kids. I don't need an education journal search to say our schools are failing, at least the ones I see. If the interests of marginalized and high-achieving kids are irreconcilable in the eyes of our board and administration, we are owed disclosure, not more lip service.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > I will grudgingly vote yes on Measure D, because our kids deserve it. Aside from the board elections, we have no leverage that won't hurt kids. We are locked in a senseless ideological battle that does little to accomplish learning. Our administrators believe many kids of color fail from cultural alienation. The changes proposed to mollify this seem to lower academic expectations. Can you address learning deficits through ethereal means. Would the district offer parents an opportunity to observe these consultant-driven trainings? I personally feel we are way off course, but am completely open to being set straight.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > We've seen the sequential failure of practically every initiative this district offered. Why will this time be different? Open Court and its enforcement is directly responsible for damaging my kid's interest in school. Plummeting test scores would suggest she's not the only one. Every unvoiced assumption guiding decisions is a dagger at the throat of our kids.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > We need a parent movement that embraces the needs of all children and ruthlessly defends them. If this forum can't generate one, we need another. How do we begin?
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > Todd Groves
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > How is it our school board oversees one disaster after another.
                                >
                                > >
                                >
                                > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, "reducingandreusing " <valerie.snider@ ...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > >
                                >
                                > > > Yes, and following the money leads to Charles Ramsey whose campaign money comes from....the construction industry!
                                >
                                > > >
                                >
                                > > > He likes to boast that our district is the most heavily taxed school district in California - and it's still not enough. Hence, Measure D.
                                >
                                > > >
                                >
                                > > >
                                >
                                > > >
                                >
                                > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Kevin Rivard <kfrivard@> wrote:
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > Follow the money.
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > One reason why K-5,6-8,9-12. More administration positions. More buildings for the construction industry. More education money for the university system who teach the different credentials. More money for the educational book industry, three different standards, rather than two. Then you have the consultants who constantly tell how the middle school hormones need special attention.
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > I went to school in Albany when their schools were K-7 and the High School was 8-12. My brother was the first class at Albany High when Albany went K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in 1974. Their schools did not improve but it did cost the Albany schools two new middle schools built since the switch and extra administration. All that money could have gone into better classroom education. Are they BETTER for it, not that I can tell.
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > Money drives the system rather than educating the kids and until the parents take responsibility and say enough is enough rather than just using the schools as a glorified day care this will continue.
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > Kevin
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
                                >
                                > > > > From: valerie.snider@
                                >
                                > > > > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:32:07 +0000
                                >
                                > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > Also, the article points out that in Finland primary and secondary schools are combined. This has worked successfully in other California districts. For some reason, our board frowns on K-8. I'm not sure why they're so enamored of the 6-8 arrangement, given the dismal scores at all of the district middle schools.
                                >
                                > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Ramosla@ wrote:
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > What I noticed in the article are three things, kids are not pulled out, an additional teacher is in the room, and they loop their children, i.e. the same teacher is with the child for the first 5 years (?). Apparently they do that in Norway too. My son would greatly benefit from a program like that, as would many others. I also liked how they did not rush to get kids into school, I think that sometimes boys especially, start too young. Also a culture of high expectations is key.
                                >
                                > > > > >
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                                > > > > > L
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                                >
                                > > > > > -----Original Message-----
                                >
                                > > > > > From: hayashi groves <tag1022@>
                                >
                                > > > > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com
                                >
                                > > > > > Sent: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm
                                >
                                > > > > > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: a better way to look at education
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > >
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                                > > > > >
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                                > > > > > The article credits combined primary and secondary schools as a prime driver of success. This would seem to support K-8 proponents. I know this makes a number of us cringe, but what we are doing isn't working. Extrapolating from the very unique Finnish culture to a polycultural experience would be difficult. Finland has a much more developed consensus on the role of state, market, school... with the political parties arguing over fine tuning by contrast with the US.
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > We need some dramatic changes, and need them soon. I was looking at an 8th grader's curriculum at a middle school in Mexico City, and it was much more substantial in math and science than ours. Our kids underperform every rich country and many emerging ones. We are seeing the results in trade imbalances and outsourcing. Our kids aren't likely to have a materially more successful life than our generation, and will pay for our excesses throughout their lives.
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > Science, math, history and literature are inherently interesting. If kids turn off to them, we aren't doing our jobs. How do we change this? Norma's ideas might make the foundation of an experimental school. The entirety of our effort is going to provide a uniform classroom experience, which is probably the opposite of what needs to happen.
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > Let's push the district to facilitate experimentation. A good facilitator could achieve more than the past 10 years of professional development. We face profound but addressable problems. For the most part, school communities know what they need. Let's see they get it.
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > Todd Groves
                                >
                                > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogro ups.com, Eduardo Martinez <ezedmartin@ > wrote:
                                >
                                > > > > > >
                                >
                                > > > > > > http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/programmes/ world_news_ america/8601207. stm
                                >
                                > > > > > >
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                                > > > > > > Maybe we should consider what the Finnish are doing in their schools.Eduardo
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                                > > > > > > Eduardo_,_._ ,___
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                                > > > > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
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                                > > > > The New Busy is not the old busy. Search, chat and e-mail from your inbox.
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                                > > > > http://www.windowsl ive.com/campaign /thenewbusy? ocid=PID28326: :T:WLMTAGL: ON:WL:en- US:WM_HMP: 042010_3
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                              • cbt@triplering.net
                                Very interesting article in the Chronicle about CA ignoring bright students and closing the achievement gap by bring down the top. You can read it here:
                                Message 15 of 30 , May 4 11:29 AM
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Very interesting article in the Chronicle about CA ignoring bright
                                  students and closing the achievement gap by bring down the top. You can
                                  read it here:

                                  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/02/MN2N1D26NV.DTL
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