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Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: Minor disagreement with Todd’s comments on K8

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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 1 of 30 , May 3, 2010
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      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

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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

      > > > >

      > > > >

      > > > >

      > > > >

      > > > >

      > > > > 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 2 of 30 , May 4, 2010
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        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 3 of 30 , May 4, 2010
        • 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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          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >  
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > 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
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          > > > > >
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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
          >
          > > > > >
          >
          > > > > >
          >
          > > > > >
          >
          > > > > >
          >
          > > > > >
          >
          > > > > > 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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          > > > > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
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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 4 of 30 , May 4, 2010
          • 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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