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Re: High School Reform

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  • c_cowens
    Alicia- What do you think makes this a good article? Charley Cowens
    Message 1 of 32 , Jul 7, 2004
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      Alicia-

      What do you think makes this a good article?

      Charley Cowens

      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Alicia" <alicat1967@c...> wrote:
      > Charley:
      > Thanks - we needed you. Also thanks for the link to the article -
      > when I was on the site - I missed it. It is a very good article.
      >
      > Yes its GREAT people are paying attention! Especially when there
      > was great concern due to the summer time & timing of this whole thing.
      >
      > And the first forum is less than 2 weeks away!
      > Alicia Pohl
      >
      > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "c_cowens" <c_cowens@y...> wrote:
      > > Marsha-
      > >
      > > OK. You flushed me out. I missed 2 meetings, but to the best of my
      > > knowledge I'm still on the committee. The Web site seems to me to be
      > > very much a (Tech Futures) work-in-progress. (By the way, I don't
      > see
      > > how Tech Futures "represents" ECHS.)
      > >
      > > Anyway, I'm glad people are paying attention even in July to this.
      > > FYI, I have a copy of the High School Pupil Success Act at:
      > >
      > > http://www.baysidepta.org/docs/temp/EdCodeHSPSA.html
      > >
      > > Our situation is a little complicated by the involvement of the
      > Gates
      > > money funneled through the damned Stupski Foundation.
      > >
      > > I'll try to add more through the afternoon, but for now I highly
      > > recommend a reading of "Community Viewpoint" at:
      > >
      > > http://www.highschoolreform.org/community.htm
      > >
      > > where Josh Genser gives his take on the nattering nabobs of
      > negativism
      > > who plague our district. This is a good preview of a lot of opinion
      > > pieces I suspect we'll start seeing cropping up.
      > >
      > > Charley Cowens
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Marsha Williamson
      > > <mswilliamson@l...> wrote:
      > > > I thought Charley Cowens, Bayside PTA Pres. was a member of the
      > BRC.
      > > > Charley, please confirm if you are out there. Maybe he was just a
      > > > "guest" of the BRC. Thanks for reminding me about Ron Whittier.
      > I was
      > > > thinking that no one from ECHS was involved, I forgot that
      > TechFutures
      > > > is representing ECHS. Of course 100% of that program's funding is
      > > > supposed to come from outside (corporate) sources. And then
      > there's
      > > > Gail Kaufman, who works in Outreach at UC Berkeley, but with all
      > the
      > > > funding cuts, might just be looking for a job with GJ' s
      > foundation or
      > > > perhaps as an advisor on high school reform. She is intimately
      > involved
      > > > with the planning for the new UCB Grad. School of Ed Charter High
      > School
      > > > which is based on the Gates Foundation Small Schools model.
      > > > By the way, Ms. Dowley-Blackman is the consultant who is paid out
      > of the
      > > > Gates and State grants to get this project off the ground.
      > > > Marsha Williamson
      > > >
      > > > SchoolJennifer Felix wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > 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 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@y...>
      > > > > To:
      > wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com<mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > Cc: karenepfeifer@y...<mailto:karenepfeifer@y...> ;
      > > > > Charles Ramsey<mailto:cramsey@w...> ; Patricia
      > > > > Player<mailto:playeredu@c...> ; Glen S.
      > > > > Price<mailto:glen@g...> ; Karen
      > > > > Fenton<mailto:kfenton@p...> ; Karen
      > > > > Fenton<mailto:kfenton@w...> ; George
      > > > > Harris<mailto:gah_iii@y...>
      > > > > Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2004 10:58 AM
      > > > > Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] Re: High School Reform
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Jennifer,
      > > > > 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@m...<mailto:jenfelixthecat615@m...>> 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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