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Re: High School Reform

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  • Alicia
    Oh - one more thing. I emailed Mr. Genser and said I thought some of the West Counnty communty felt more disconnected from the district rather than
    Message 1 of 32 , Jul 7, 2004
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      Oh - one more thing. I emailed Mr. Genser and said I thought some of
      the West Counnty communty felt more "disconnected" from the district
      rather than distrustful.

      And until the district addresses that disconnection,
      the community will be distrustful!
      Alicia Pohl





      --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Alicia" <alicat1967@c...> wrote:
      > Charley:
      > I think its a good article simply because it asks - if you are one
      of
      > those who mistrust the district - WHY? I liked the article because
      > it kind of asks you to take stock of where you are at with this
      > notion that most of West County distrust the school district. At
      > least they are getting that question out there.
      >
      > Alicia Pohl
      >
      >
      > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "c_cowens" <c_cowens@y...>
      wrote:
      > > 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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