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

RE: [wccusdtalk] Re: Measure B passes, but WE ALL still have much work to do

Expand Messages
  • Tammera Campbell
    Points taken Scottie, but if we do not begin somewhere, we will go nowhere. Obviously this district is too large and no one can get anything done. Are there
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 14, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Points taken Scottie, but if we do not begin somewhere, we will go nowhere. Obviously this district is too large and no one can get anything done. Are there too many children with too many needs that the number of personnel we have at the sites and at the district offices cannot seem to keep them from falling through the cracks. Do the mandates that come down from the feds and the state cause so much extra work of accountability, nothing else gets done. I will come back once again to the concept of an operational audit, but no one wants to hear me. We need to know whether the operational workflows of this district are sound and fundamental. We need to know whether district employees are doing a good job. We need to understand if there is really truly any waste.

      As for why we are still struggling with communication your guess is as good as mine. The superintendent has set up the FANS group. Communication did occur in the last meeting, but it relies on those representatives to communicate further. Communication is occurring through the website and more information is available to us now more than ever. Unfortunately the district can't get passed the Marks era and the majority of the public just doesn't care enough to understand the big picture. Look at how many people attend the school board meetings on a regular basis.

      We just passed a parcel tax measure, how about we try one more time to get communication right by setting the rules ourselves. Common you guys, if we are really working for the kids we had better begin working together.
      Tammy

      rcs101@... wrote:



      --Tammy:

      You have some points, but the major objections I have with what you say is "I think this is now the time we develop a plan, present that plan, and begin dialog...." First, we are not been paid to develop a plan. Second, we would need to have the information on all schools in the district, i.e. student performances, parent education and economic status, neighborhood impact, facilities information on all school, homeless and transit student population just to name a few things. There must be an update overall District educational plan with standards and benchmarks for each grade level. After which, the school staff must review student data and report on the needs of its student population and develop a plan that will move their students toward and beyond the District plan. A great deal of the development must come from the site information. Next you must have leadership that will work with the sites to improve their program, rather than dictating to sites as to what their program
      should look like, one must remember "what works for one does not work for all", but the sites must have the necessary resources to do their job, without central administration commandeering their monies and hiring who they wish. Each school must have an Individual Educational program that meets the needs of its students that will allow the students to reach the District level plan.

      Some parents can and should have a part in the development of a comprehensive plan, but when look at the amount of money we pay for consultants and administrators, this should be done even if parents only get their children to school, fed and ready to learn. We can and should participate in certain aspects of education, but it is not our job to develop the plan and give it to the administrators, if we do that we may as well manage the system. Because if we have to develop the plan, who can say they can carry out our plan. There was a short time when parents were involved in hiring administrators, curriculum standards and benchmarks, etc., but that time has ended. This District has had a long time to get its house in order, and as you said we are still at the beginning stages of learning to dialog. What does that tell you? When the next administrator is hired, the baby will be thrown out with the bath water and the show will go on, until some parents stand up and say, "We had an
      educational plan, parent involvement, GATE, and college recruitment etc., why aren't we looking at that and revising it or using community resources that are free? The answer, we need to hire more administrators and consultants to pretend that they are working. Enough said.

      Scottie Smith




      -------------- Original message from Tammera Campbell : --------------
      > I am also not blind to the shortcomings and issues that move throughout this
      > district. Remember I've been at this for two decades now. I believe that our
      > district does have one plan and that is the "literacy program". Unfortunately
      > the district has not clearly communicated this complete vision or maybe the
      > parents and teachers are not hearing the message because we all know that it is
      > hard to change the way we do things. We all talk about making things better,
      > moving forward and working together cooperatively. I think this is now the time
      > we develop a plan, present that plan, and begin dialog with educational leaders
      > in this district. Once we begin this dialog we will learn about all the issues
      > and maybe for once we can do something right for these kids.
      >
      > Kevin you have the knowledge, help us take that first step.
      > Gloria you are the superintendent, meet us half way and help us understand.
      > School board members you have power to get this done.
      >
      > For once, I wish we could all be in the same room together, throw everything out
      > on the table, talk, listen, and come up with solutions because while we all
      > debate, nothing is getting done and some of kids are falling through the cracks.
      > Tammy
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Eduardo Martinez wrote:
      > As I have said at many school board meetings, we have
      > leaders who have no plant other than to plan around
      > whatever grants they can find. Our District vision
      > depends on whatever grant monies are available. This
      > quasi-vision also operates at the school site level.
      >
      > Leadership has vanished and along with it, a coherent
      > educational vision. In these times of financial
      > drought, our administrators are pimping our children's
      > educational future.
      >
      > Administrators and UTR are afraid of open dialogs.
      > Alan Hersh has sent a memo to all principals and
      > vice-principals to forbid any materials from other
      > unions to be placed in our school site mailboxes, even
      > though some of us belong to two unions and should have
      > the right to receive literature from both. Teachers
      > have also been told not to share data from studies
      > that might prove that Open Court is not an appropriate
      > literacy program for our kids and possibly for any
      > children. In fact according to administration, our
      > boxes are only for "politically correct" literature.
      > If our boxes can receive advertisements for circuses,
      > karate classes, Sylvan, Kumem, and other "approved"
      > businesses which we are required to pass out to our
      > children, why is it that we can not have intellegent
      > discourse about issues that involve our jobs? If I
      > can receive catalogs, flyers, postcards,
      > advertisements for workshops, why can some of this not
      > be from fellow colleagues? If UTR and our District's
      > "vision" (forgive the sarcasm) is so "right", what is
      > there to fear from literature that might offer an
      > alternative?
      >
      > Unlike others, I appreciate other points of view: they
      > lead me into corners I might not have found to
      > discover angles that were beyond me before the
      > discourse. And if the corner is a dead end, I am
      > always ready to admit I was wrong and find a new room
      > to explore. We are in an age of repression. When it
      > is manifest in the realm of education, we are in a
      > major crisis. We need to speak out for our rights to
      > disseminate information, before our right to think
      > freely is curtailed.
      >
      > Our administration doesn't want teachers to question
      > why they teach what they teach or how they teach it.
      > They want people who will just "get the job done".
      > Unfortunately, teaching doesn't work that way. If a
      > teacher doesn't question what he or she does every
      > day, he/she is not doing their job correctly.
      > Teaching is a very personal experience, one in which a
      > person is obligated to connect in a very real way with
      > each and every child. There are no pat answers; no
      > single program that will answer a students
      > difficulties. These answers are found in discourse
      > with fellow professionals, the teachers with which one
      > works.
      >
      > Eduardo
      >
      >
      > --- Kevin Rivard wrote:
      > > Marsha,
      > >
      > > I think this goes back to a question that Scottie
      > > keeps asking and of which
      > > of course keeps getting ignored.
      > >
      > > WHERE IS THE PLAN?
      > >
      > > Back in 1993, a long time ago in a far off distant
      > > place there was a school
      > > district in Contra Costa County, oh shoot, there I
      > > go again getting
      > > sarcastic. Sorry, Sarah.
      > >
      > > Anyway, I digress. West Contra Costa actually had an
      > > education plan. It was
      > > voted on by the board after having been created and
      > > shepherded by Anna
      > > Blackman. Everyone who was someone in the district
      > > at the time had put their
      > > name to the plan. Thing is, it was never overturned
      > > or voted out so
      > > theoretically that is still the plan this district
      > > should be going by. But
      > > as with everything else in this district time
      > > marches on new people or new
      > > consultants come along and the old plans get dustier
      > > on the shelf and new
      > > more expensive plans get voted in or just get
      > > implemented without any
      > > thought until those plans become obsolete, in other
      > > words the funding runs
      > > out from some grant that was written to support that
      > > new plan, and the next
      > > grant gets written and funded and that plan gets
      > > instituted, and that is how
      > > this district runs it's academic engine. Am I wrong
      > > Marsha or Scottie?
      > >
      > > So now we have more money for this new plan and as
      > > long as this, academic
      > > cash cow, can be milked by the powers to be in this
      > > district this is THE
      > > PLAN. Get used to it but don't get married to it
      > > because like everything
      > > else it to shall pass and when this district is told
      > > it now has to carry the
      > > economic ball for this program you can rest assured
      > > a new grant will be
      > > written and a new miracle cure shall be found for
      > > the ailment that is then
      > > sickening our district.
      > >
      > > Kevin
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > >From: Marsha Williamson
      > > >Reply-To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
      > > >To: "Jennifer E. Felix"
      > > , WCCUSDtalk
      > > >
      > > >Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: Measure B passes, but WE
      > > ALL still have much work
      > > >to do
      > > >Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 12:20:19 -0700
      > > >
      > > >Jennifer,
      > > >It seems, from what you and Kevin have described,
      > > that Richmond High and
      > > >DeAnza both have programs in place that somewhat
      > > fit the model they are
      > > >working on with the high school reform initiative.
      > > I agree that
      > > >resources should go to the schools where these
      > > programs are already
      > > >initiated, but GJ is selling this as a district
      > > wide reform initiative.
      > > >According to the Blue Ribbon Committee, everything
      > > is still in the early
      > > >planning stages, but the initial $ to jumpstart the
      > > planning process
      > > >will be gone in September. The problem with the
      > > "one plan for all"
      > > >approach is that some of the sites are happy with
      > > things as they are
      > > >(thank you very much, but no thanks) or would
      > > rather take a wait and see
      > > >attitude with Richmond and DeAnza piloting the
      > > implementation. If the
      > > >programs are successful at RHS and DAHS, the next
      > > steps would be to
      > > >explore whether 1) duplication of this model is
      > > appropriate for other
      > > >sites, as determined by the educators, parents and
      > > students in those
      > > >communities. If the answer to 1) is a "yes", then
      > > additional financial
      > > >resources for expansion of the implementation would
      > > have to be found.
      > > >ALL OF THIS COSTS MONEY!
      > > >Marsha
      > > >
      > > >"Jennifer E. Felix" wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > It is news to me to hear that the grant for
      > > small learning
      > > > > communities is up or that the district is
      > > looking at ECHS for such a
      > > > > project when DAHS has had such a program for at
      > > least this year. I
      > > > > would know as my child is in that group of
      > > children. So if GJ is
      > > > > looking toward this kind of program for
      > > fundraising, shouldn't those
      > > > > funds go to the school already in such a
      > > program? Just a small
      > > > > question.
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marsha
      > > Williamson
      > > > > wrote:
      > > > > > Dear Glen and other school board members,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I sure hope we look before we leap here. I
      > > see a plan for the
      > > > > > unallocated funds that would not meet with
      > > favor by many. Our
      > > > > > superintendent and Josh Genser, president of
      > > the Richmond Chamber
      > > > > (and
      > > > > > an ECHS parent as well) have joined forces and
      > > formed a new WCCUSD
      > > > > > foundation. Their hope is that local
      > > businesses will donate to the
      > > > > > foundation and the money they receive can be
      > > leveraged with
      > > > > matching
      > > > > > grants from the "big boy" national donors who
      > > thus far have
      > > > > ignored our
      > > > > > plight. That is all well and good. However,
      > > one of my concerns
      > > > > (and I
      > > > > > have several) is that the unallocated donation
      > > money collected in
      > > > > recent
      > > > > > months will be transferred to the foundation
      > > where it will be used
      > > > > to
      > > > > > push GJ's pet projects, one of which presently
      > > includes high school
      > > > > > reform on the Gates Foundation Small Learning
      > > Communities model.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > This is what went down at the Richmond Country
      > > Club luncheon on
      > > > > Tuesday
      > > > > > afternoon. The superintendent made a direct
      > > appeal, as did the
      > > > > project
      > > > > > consultant, to the Chamber members present to
      > > consider donating to
      > > > > the
      > > > > > foundation to further the cause of our
      > > district's high school
      > > > > reform
      > > > > > effort. This is being discussed as a
      > > district-wide model for high
      > > > > > schools, however the $200K grant money from GF
      > > and the state runs
      > > > > out in
      > > > > > September and untold sums are required to
      > > finish the planning
      > > > > alone, not
      > > > > > to mention implementation!
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Local sentiment among many faculty at ECHS is
      > > that this is just
      > > > > another
      > > > > > one of those one size fits all plans that will
      > > be shoved down the
      > > > > > throats of the teachers without any in-put or
      > > buy-in from them.
      > > > > As one
      > > > > > ECHS teacher recently said to me, "it's hard
      > > to think about reform
      > > > > > efforts when we don't even have copy machines
      > > that work at our
      > > > > site."
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Other notable luncheon attendees were Tech
      > > Future's Ron Whittier
      > > > > > (husband of Ellen) and Gail Kaufman, long time
      > > UC Outreach Program
      > > > > > Coordinator, presently involved with the
      > > development of the UCB
      > > > > Grad.
      > > > > > School of Ed. Charter High School. It's scary
      > > to see how "hooked-
      > > > > up"
      > > > > > some of these people are. Glen Price and
      > > Karen Fenton were also in
      > > > > > attendance.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The benefits of the new foundation for our
      > > district could be
      > > > > > tremendous. But the Board of Directors is
      > > already in place and
      > > > > does not
      > > > > > represent the voice of the students, their
      > > parents or the teachers.
      > > > > > It's another top-down driven plan and because
      > > of that, is set up
      > > > > to be
      > > > > > unpopular. In addition, there is no system of
      > > checks and balances
      > > > > in
      > > > > > place for how the foundation money would be
      > > spent or what the
      > > > > goals of
      > > > > > the foundation should be in terms really
      > > working to improve the
      > > > > > education of the students in this school
      > > district.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Sincerely concerned,
      > > > > > Marsha Williamson
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Glen Price wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > You are welcome. I have heard from many
      > > students regarding
      > > > > > > their political activities in recent
      > > months. For some, it
      > > > > > > was most definitely one of the most
      > > powerful educational
      > > > > > > experiences they have had to date.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > With regards to the donations there are
      > > two issues.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The first is the transfer of the
      > > donations that families of
      > > > > > > students participating in athletic
      > > programs were requested
      > > > > > > to make. My family also contributed to
      > > this fund. The
      > > > > > > understanding was that if Measure B
      > > passed, these amounts
      > > > > > > would be provided to the schools of the
      > > respective donors.
      > > > > > > These funds have already been allocated
      > > to each school�s
      > > > > > > accounts (for their athletic fund) but
      > > were not released
      > > > > > > pending the passage of Measure B. Each
      > > principal can call
      > > > > > > the fiscal office (Barbara Snaith would
      > > be the best person
      > > > > > > to contact there) to find out how much
      > > parents/families at
      > > > > > > their school have given.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > The second issue (and much larger one
      > > in dollar terms) has
      > > > > > > to do with the use of donations
      > > provided by other donors.
      > > > > > > While these have been restricted by
      > > category (athletics,
      > > > > > > libraries, etc.) there is not a
      > > specific adopted plan in
      > > > > > > place as to how they will be utilized
      > > (as opposed to Measure
      > > > > > > B funds for which there is a very
      > > specific plan already
      > > > > > > developed by the budget subcommittee
      > > and discussed by the
      > > > > > > board). My understanding is that the
      > > budget subcommittee
      > > > > > > will come forward with recommendations
      > > on allocations/use of
      > > > > > > donated funds at the June 16 board
      > > meeting. The
      > > > > > > subcommittee (George Harris and Pat
      > > Player) have made
      > > > > > > several public requests for input on
      > > these issues. The board
      > > > > > > will certainly honor all commitments
      > > made to donors.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Onwards...
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Glen
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Thank you for your reply. In fact my
      > > daughter wondered aloud
      > > > > > > this morning about how much impact she
      > > may have had
      > > > > > > personally talking to people and how
      > > proud she was to have
      > > > > > > contributed to the political process.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > But you did not answer my question
      > > about accounting for the
      > > > > > > donated monies. I have already received
      > > several responses
      > > > > > > from other families who will join me in
      > > asking for a return
      > > > > > > of our donations if we do not have a
      > > full accounting. What
      > > > > > > are the district's
      > > > > > > plans for these funds? Marsha
      > > Williamson on wccusdtalk has
      > > > > > > also requested that the funds be
      > > transfered prior to the end
      > > > > > > of the fiscal year so they do not get
      > > lost. I also would
      > > > > > > like to see this so the schools will
      > > know how much they will
      > > > > > > have to supplement their programs and
      > > have the summer to
      > > > > > > plan on how to use them. In some ways
      > > the donated funds are
      > > > > > > a windfall that rarely comes our way
      > > and they should be used
      > > > > > > wisely, and not necessarily all at one
      > > time. Think how much
      > > > > > > we could do with those monies over the
      > > next few years!
      > > > > > > Thanks Glen, Hallie
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Glen Price wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Thanks Hallie for your note
      > > and for all
      > > > > > > of your hard work on Measure
      > > B. Those
      > > > > > > precincts you walked may have
      > > turned the
      > > > > > > tide!
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I look forward to you and
      > > others holding
      > > > > > > our collective feet to the
      > > fire as we
      > > > > > > move forward. I share your
      > > view that the
      > > > > > > leadership involved in
      > > helping us take
      > > > > > > some of the recent positive
      > > steps did
      > > > > > > not flow from the board but
      > > rather from
      > > > > > > the community. It will take
      > > all of us
      > > > > > > working together to keep
      > > building on
      > > > > > > this momentum. I�m ready.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Glen
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Thank you for all your hard
      > > work toward
      > > > > > > getting Measure B passed.
      > > But please do
      > > > > > > not take this vote as a
      > > measure of
      > > > > > > confidence in your
      > > leadership, rather it
      > > > > > > was a vote in support of our
      > > children.
      > > > > > > As you saw with the defeat of
      > > Measure J,
      > > > > > > the residents of this
      > > district have
      > > > > > > little or no confidence in
      > > your
      > > > > > > leadership and financial
      > > management of
      > > > > > > this district.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > You must prove to all of us
      > > now that you
      > > > > > > can appropriately manage
      > > this district,
      > > > > > > both programmatically and
      > > fiscally.Most
      > > > > > > importantly, you can do this
      > > by
      > > > > > > immediatley restoring the
      > > programs and
      > > > > > > staff that were cut after the
      > > defeat of
      > > > > > > Measure J as promised if B
      > > passed. And
      > > > > > > you can do this by
      > > appropriately
      > > > > > > managing the measure B funds,
      > > the
      > > > > > > various construction bonds,
      > > and that you
      > > > > > > follow through with full

      === message truncated ===

      ---------------------------------
      Do you Yahoo!?
      Friends. Fun. Try the all-new Yahoo! Messenger

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.