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Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: High School Reform

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  • Jennifer Felix
    Tamera: My concern is that the Blue Ribbon Committee is to address high school issues. The foundation is for the benefit of the whole district. According to
    Message 1 of 32 , Jul 7, 2004
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      My concern is that the Blue Ribbon Committee is to address high school issues. The foundation is for the benefit of the whole district. According to it's own website, the BRC is a grassroots coalition. I did not see a single parent name I recognized as active in this district. Grassroots implies that it started at the parent level and we know this is not the case. They claim they are made up of "approximately 21 parents, teachers, principals, business and community leaders" that have worked together over the last four months. Yet their own website lists only 8 members and none of them are district parents, teachers, principals or community leaders that I have ever met or heard of. They list:
      Ms. Dowley-Blackman - Project Coordinator
      Mr. Genser - Chair
      Mr. Fahr - WCCUSD Grants office
      Mr. Reeves - Mechanics Bank
      Mr. Whittier - TechFutures
      Ms. Kaufman - U.C. Berkeley
      Ms. DiMaggio - Kaiser Permanente
      Ms. Gregory - SBC

      They all look like business people with one WCCUSD Administrator. I am sorry but I still take issue with the fact that not one well known active parent sits on either of these committees. As far as the WCCBEU, Inc., I understand that Ms. Johnston's presence may appear to lend some credence to the committee as far as local businesses are concerned, but many businesses have questioned her leadership abilities and her payscale. I also question this fund after TIIG funds were taken from the school sites and has appeared to be mismanaged. I know there are forums planned to include parents, but have been involved in IEP processes for a number of years. I have seen administrators disregard parental input. I have even seen administrators disregard outside physcho/educational assessments. I am sorry if I continue to question the motives of the district but I have seen some of them in action, I have experienced them first hand.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tammera Campbell<mailto:tammeracampbell@...>
      To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com<mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: karenepfeifer@...<mailto:karenepfeifer@...> ; Charles Ramsey<mailto:cramsey@...> ; Patricia Player<mailto:playeredu@...> ; Glen S. Price<mailto:glen@...> ; Karen Fenton<mailto:kfenton@...> ; Karen Fenton<mailto:kfenton@...> ; George Harris<mailto:gah_iii@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 10:58 AM
      Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: High School Reform

      It was my understanding that the Blue Ribbon Committee was the original group who pushed forward with the idea that WCC Business and Education United be formed. We need an independent business foundation in this area to propose and receive large grant monies for the children in WCCUSD. We are more apt to receive money to benefit the kids via a business foundation rather than the district itself. Large companies who donate money prefer to pass along money to established foundations rather than school districts directly. Having a board which consists of educators and businessmen provides a safety net and a means of accountability. Let's face it, business tends to trust business. Regardless, this foundation needed to be established.

      I would expect Mr. Genser to have migrated from the Blue Ribbon Committee to the Foundation itself since he was a founding member and a graduate from this school district. As for the superintendent, I would think it would be to the advantage of the foundation to have the superintendent on the list of members when submitting proposals to big corporations. Would look funny if the superintendent was not on the list. Why would a business donate money to a education foundation which did not have on its board the leadership of the district. Donors want to make sure that there is a connection between the receiving foundation and the district.

      Having said all the above, we parents need to be a part of this group to help foster the trust that needs to come between the district and the public. Yes we should question, but at the same time open our minds to the potential that can come from this foundation. Since the early 1990's, we have come to distrust the district. It is time we shift the paradigm and begin to work together cautiously because we just might find our concerted effort yields support for our kids.
      Tammy Campbell

      "Jennifer E. Felix" <jenfelixthecat615@...<mailto:jenfelixthecat615@...>> wrote:
      As I sit here with two printouts I have to wonder why no one else
      has seemed to mention let alone caught one glaring problem with both
      the Blue Ribbon Committee and the West Contra Costa Business and
      Education United, Inc.?! These printouts list the members of each
      committee. I have to question the fact that 3 of the Blue Ribbon
      Committee members are also on the WCCB&EU board, with Mr. Genser as
      Chair of BOTH!!!! As an attorney I am sure he is aware of even the
      appearance of impropriaty and/or conflict of interest. Another
      issue is of Ms. Johnston nominating herself to a committee. I feel
      that if you are given 2 positions to nominate to benefit your
      students it is quite narcisstic to nominate yourself! I do not mean
      to offend anyone. This is just my humble opinion. Does anyone else
      find these things unique, suspicious, or disconcerting? I know I do!

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    • Jennifer E. Felix
      Mr. Genser: Some of us have met you and yes we think you set yourself on a pedestal. You must feel you are on a pedestal as you still have not answered why
      Message 32 of 32 , Jul 9, 2004
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        Mr. Genser:

        Some of us have met you and yes we think you set yourself on a
        pedestal. You must feel you are on a pedestal as you still have not
        answered why business people like yourself have not worked to help
        kids for whom vocational services may be their only chance for job
        with a LIVING WAGE!! I have a child who most likely will not go to
        a four year college, yet I was told there is no money for additional
        vocational services to address the vocational assessment my child
        finally received. So she has an assessment but like a restraining
        order, it is worth no more than the paper it is written on. Have
        any of the business representatives and/or businesses offered to set
        up training programs/positions for these kids? Again I ask, are we
        only concerned with those kids who will go to college or are we
        going to address ALL educational avenues that these kids can explore?

        The parents of the WCCUSD will be much more likely to trust and
        believe in these committees if and when these questions and others
        like them are adequately explored and answered.
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