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Re: [wccusdtalk] Exit Exam

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  • Tammera Campbell
    I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some point need to be held accountable for their education and this is one step. I do understand that
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 13, 2007
      I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some point need to be held accountable for their education and this is one step. I do understand that in some circumstances this is an enormous hurdle for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are to compete and succeed in this global world they need to know the basics. If they can't get this, we will be putting them in a situation where they may never get out and be the working poor in America. And how many of us truly understand the working poor? May I suggest that you might want to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better and if they have to pass a high school exit exam to walk the stage, they need to pass a high school exit exam.

      How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for two computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam. These programs have been installed on all the library computers at PVHS. Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check out the software from the library to be installed at home. I encourage the public to seek out these programs and understand just exactly what our kids need to know. And after you have seen the test I would like to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you hire a child who could not pass this test?"

      And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district. There are teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours just to support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to attend? Do we help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really know that these resources exist?

      I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture about our English language learners, but these kids still have to compete in a global world where English is the international language of business. Our kids of West County have to be given the tools to succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of further education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you can only get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the stage is the carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then it is the carrot we should dangle.

      It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class. It is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage our children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what goes on in school, what they are learning, and be at school periodically. We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected them that we have what we have.
      Tammy Campbell


      Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:

      No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed

      By Kimberly S. Wetzel

      STAFF WRITER

      Contra Costa Times

      "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't pass the
      state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage at your
      graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to seniors
      this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the exam from
      participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the confusion
      and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last year,
      the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area districts in
      allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in graduation
      despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow board
      members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving seniors
      a free pass again isn't right."

      You can read the entire article here:
      http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm

      Cathy





      Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
      Pinole CARE
      Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
      Pinole Valley High School Boosters
      Pinole Middle School Site Council President
      Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
      2668 Alhambra Way
      Pinole, CA 94564
      Home: 510-223-3857
      Work: 510-486-4460
      Fax: 510-222-4643
      Pager: 510-425-3192
      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: Tammera.Campbell@...
      Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
      Pinole CARE: parents@...
      WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com

      ---------------------------------
      Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
      always stay connected to friends.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • sunsetjill
      Tammy, Here is a story I ran across on another discussion group.... MsRichmond said it well. Last night I was in the waiting room at Kaiser Emergency in
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 13, 2007
        Tammy,
        Here is a story I ran across on another discussion group....

        MsRichmond said it well. Last night I was in the waiting room at
        Kaiser Emergency in Richmond where my husband was being examined.
        The door flew open and two adults were frantically rushing in
        carrying a young child, informing the receptionist that the child
        had been grazed by a bullet. As they were ushered into the
        emergency area the little girl, who I've since learned is six years
        old called out "they shot me". with both a frightened and
        questioning voice. It was a very sad and shocking moment, which
        brought my daughter to tears. The emergency room went into lockdown
        and stayed that way until the little girl was transferred out to
        Children's Hospital.

        The story today of that shooting in North Richmond last night during
        which the girl was wounded in her home by a bullet shot from outside
        describes the terror which invaded the homes of the innocents in
        those random shootings. There were far more vicitims than perps and
        that is always the case. No one has more interest in stopping the
        violence than the innocents who live among the shooters. They are
        not outnumbered in the community as a whole but they are virtually
        defenseless. Anyone who makes no distinction between the race or
        ethnicity of the shooters and the far greater number of innocent
        citizens trapped by this violence shows a lack of humanity. Seeing
        this child rather than just reading about her, made a strong impact
        on all of us last night. Talking about 'blacks' as a group and
        tying the violence of some to everyone is not paying attention and
        not acknowledging that the values of the greatest part of the
        communities facing random violence are no different than anyone
        else's, regardless of race and ethnicity.
        _____________________________________________________________________
        I can think of many other reasons some of our children are failing,
        this is just one example. How do you expect children to succeed
        when they are terrorized in the very neighborhoods they live in?

        Some children are intimidated by fellow classmates, this seems to go
        unnoticed by teachers who are to busy trying to maintain control of
        their classrooms.

        Some children have no dinner, no food in the house.

        Some children can't sleep at night because of the bullets, or
        arguing that goes on their neighborhoods.

        Some children have no parents, or good role models to look up to.

        I could go on about this subject. The administration and people in
        charge are so removed from the reality that these children face
        everyday. Unfortunately, until we find a way as a community to help
        the children, the problems will only continue to escalate.

        Sincerely,


        Jill Wolkenfeld
        San Pablo Resident
        Hoping for Brighter Futures for ALL Our Children



        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
        <tammeracampbell@...> wrote:
        >
        > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some
        point need to be held accountable for their education and this is
        one step. I do understand that in some circumstances this is an
        enormous hurdle for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are
        to compete and succeed in this global world they need to know the
        basics. If they can't get this, we will be putting them in a
        situation where they may never get out and be the working poor in
        America. And how many of us truly understand the working poor? May
        I suggest that you might want to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed
        in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better
        and if they have to pass a high school exit exam to walk the stage,
        they need to pass a high school exit exam.
        >
        > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
        district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for two
        computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
        become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam. These
        programs have been installed on all the library computers at PVHS.
        Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check
        out the software from the library to be installed at home. I
        encourage the public to seek out these programs and understand just
        exactly what our kids need to know. And after you have seen the
        test I would like to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you
        hire a child who could not pass this test?"
        >
        > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
        Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district. There
        are teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours
        just to support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to
        attend? Do we help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really
        know that these resources exist?
        >
        > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture
        about our English language learners, but these kids still have to
        compete in a global world where English is the international
        language of business. Our kids of West County have to be given the
        tools to succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of
        further education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you
        can only get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the
        stage is the carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then
        it is the carrot we should dangle.
        >
        > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class. It
        is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage our
        children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what
        goes on in school, what they are learning, and be at school
        periodically. We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected
        them that we have what we have.
        > Tammy Campbell
        >
        >
        > Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
        >
        > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
        >
        > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
        >
        > STAFF WRITER
        >
        > Contra Costa Times
        >
        > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't
        pass the
        > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage at
        your
        > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
        seniors
        > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the exam
        from
        > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
        confusion
        > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last
        year,
        > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area districts
        in
        > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in
        graduation
        > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow
        board
        > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving
        seniors
        > a free pass again isn't right."
        >
        > You can read the entire article here:
        >
        http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/califor
        nia/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
        >
        > Cathy
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
        > Pinole CARE
        > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
        > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
        > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
        > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
        > 2668 Alhambra Way
        > Pinole, CA 94564
        > Home: 510-223-3857
        > Work: 510-486-4460
        > Fax: 510-222-4643
        > Pager: 510-425-3192
        > 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: Tammera.Campbell@...
        > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
        > Pinole CARE: parents@...
        > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
        > always stay connected to friends.
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • rcs101@att.net
        --Jill: I could not have said it better. Thanks. Scottie Smith ... From: sunsetjill ... [Non-text portions of this message have been
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 14, 2007
          --Jill:

          I could not have said it better. Thanks.

          Scottie Smith



          -------------- Original message ----------------------
          From: "sunsetjill" <sunsetjill@...>
          > Tammy,
          > Here is a story I ran across on another discussion group....
          >
          > MsRichmond said it well. Last night I was in the waiting room at
          > Kaiser Emergency in Richmond where my husband was being examined.
          > The door flew open and two adults were frantically rushing in
          > carrying a young child, informing the receptionist that the child
          > had been grazed by a bullet. As they were ushered into the
          > emergency area the little girl, who I've since learned is six years
          > old called out "they shot me". with both a frightened and
          > questioning voice. It was a very sad and shocking moment, which
          > brought my daughter to tears. The emergency room went into lockdown
          > and stayed that way until the little girl was transferred out to
          > Children's Hospital.
          >
          > The story today of that shooting in North Richmond last night during
          > which the girl was wounded in her home by a bullet shot from outside
          > describes the terror which invaded the homes of the innocents in
          > those random shootings. There were far more vicitims than perps and
          > that is always the case. No one has more interest in stopping the
          > violence than the innocents who live among the shooters. They are
          > not outnumbered in the community as a whole but they are virtually
          > defenseless. Anyone who makes no distinction between the race or
          > ethnicity of the shooters and the far greater number of innocent
          > citizens trapped by this violence shows a lack of humanity. Seeing
          > this child rather than just reading about her, made a strong impact
          > on all of us last night. Talking about 'blacks' as a group and
          > tying the violence of some to everyone is not paying attention and
          > not acknowledging that the values of the greatest part of the
          > communities facing random violence are no different than anyone
          > else's, regardless of race and ethnicity.
          > _____________________________________________________________________
          > I can think of many other reasons some of our children are failing,
          > this is just one example. How do you expect children to succeed
          > when they are terrorized in the very neighborhoods they live in?
          >
          > Some children are intimidated by fellow classmates, this seems to go
          > unnoticed by teachers who are to busy trying to maintain control of
          > their classrooms.
          >
          > Some children have no dinner, no food in the house.
          >
          > Some children can't sleep at night because of the bullets, or
          > arguing that goes on their neighborhoods.
          >
          > Some children have no parents, or good role models to look up to.
          >
          > I could go on about this subject. The administration and people in
          > charge are so removed from the reality that these children face
          > everyday. Unfortunately, until we find a way as a community to help
          > the children, the problems will only continue to escalate.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          >
          >
          > Jill Wolkenfeld
          > San Pablo Resident
          > Hoping for Brighter Futures for ALL Our Children
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
          > <tammeracampbell@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some
          > point need to be held accountable for their education and this is
          > one step. I do understand that in some circumstances this is an
          > enormous hurdle for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are
          > to compete and succeed in this global world they need to know the
          > basics. If they can't get this, we will be putting them in a
          > situation where they may never get out and be the working poor in
          > America. And how many of us truly understand the working poor? May
          > I suggest that you might want to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed
          > in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better
          > and if they have to pass a high school exit exam to walk the stage,
          > they need to pass a high school exit exam.
          > >
          > > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
          > district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for two
          > computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
          > become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam. These
          > programs have been installed on all the library computers at PVHS.
          > Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check
          > out the software from the library to be installed at home. I
          > encourage the public to seek out these programs and understand just
          > exactly what our kids need to know. And after you have seen the
          > test I would like to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you
          > hire a child who could not pass this test?"
          > >
          > > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
          > Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district. There
          > are teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours
          > just to support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to
          > attend? Do we help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really
          > know that these resources exist?
          > >
          > > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture
          > about our English language learners, but these kids still have to
          > compete in a global world where English is the international
          > language of business. Our kids of West County have to be given the
          > tools to succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of
          > further education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you
          > can only get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the
          > stage is the carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then
          > it is the carrot we should dangle.
          > >
          > > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class. It
          > is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage our
          > children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what
          > goes on in school, what they are learning, and be at school
          > periodically. We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected
          > them that we have what we have.
          > > Tammy Campbell
          > >
          > >
          > > Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
          > >
          > > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
          > >
          > > STAFF WRITER
          > >
          > > Contra Costa Times
          > >
          > > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't
          > pass the
          > > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage at
          > your
          > > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
          > seniors
          > > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the exam
          > from
          > > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
          > confusion
          > > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last
          > year,
          > > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area districts
          > in
          > > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in
          > graduation
          > > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow
          > board
          > > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving
          > seniors
          > > a free pass again isn't right."
          > >
          > > You can read the entire article here:
          > >
          > http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/califor
          > nia/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
          > >
          > > Cathy
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
          > > Pinole CARE
          > > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
          > > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
          > > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
          > > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
          > > 2668 Alhambra Way
          > > Pinole, CA 94564
          > > Home: 510-223-3857
          > > Work: 510-486-4460
          > > Fax: 510-222-4643
          > > Pager: 510-425-3192
          > > 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: Tammera.Campbell@...
          > > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
          > > Pinole CARE: parents@...
          > > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          > >
          > > ---------------------------------
          > > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
          > > always stay connected to friends.
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
          >
          >





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Dave Brown
          Tammy, I have no problem with accountability and high standards. In fact, I believe we must aim much higher than we are right now. But the question still
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 14, 2007
            Tammy,

            I have no problem with accountability and high standards. In fact, I
            believe we must aim much higher than we are right now.

            But the question still remains -- and I've been asking this for some
            time now -- when will the adults finally be fully accountable for the
            poor results in our district, and throughout urban school districts,
            for that matter. And I mean all of the adults: in Washington, in
            Sacramento and all of us here locally.

            What does it say about our school district if so many kids are failing
            a test that ostensibly tests 8th to 10th grade skills? What does it
            say about our school district if 70% of our kids are below grade level
            in reading? What does it say about our school district if this has
            barely improved in 10 years (from 78% failing to 70%)? What does it
            say about our school district if our English Language Learners, on
            average, take far longer to learn English than the statewide target?

            I know there are a myriad of reasons why this situation exists -- and
            a fair number of them are unfortunately beyond our control -- but we
            are so quick to hold kids accountable and punish them for their
            shortcomings, while we let the adults off the hook. That's a
            double-standard of the highest order.

            Our schools are improving in terms of API scores -- and that's clearly
            a good sign -- but that trend is primarily a result of those who were
            far below grade level inching closer to that bar. But how can we
            expect seniors to pass the exit exam and/or master the skills that are
            truly needed to make it in this world if we cannot help even one-third
            of our kids to read at grade level?

            When I see a school board member or state superintendent or
            administrator lose his/her job due to this abomination, then I'll have
            no problem expecting the same level of accountability from our kids.

            take care,
            db

            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
            <tammeracampbell@...> wrote:
            >
            > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some point
            need to be held accountable for their education and this is one step.
            I do understand that in some circumstances this is an enormous hurdle
            for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are to compete and
            succeed in this global world they need to know the basics. If they
            can't get this, we will be putting them in a situation where they may
            never get out and be the working poor in America. And how many of us
            truly understand the working poor? May I suggest that you might want
            to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed in America" by Barbara
            Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better and if they have to pass a
            high school exit exam to walk the stage, they need to pass a high
            school exit exam.
            >
            > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
            district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for two
            computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
            become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam. These
            programs have been installed on all the library computers at PVHS.
            Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check out
            the software from the library to be installed at home. I encourage
            the public to seek out these programs and understand just exactly what
            our kids need to know. And after you have seen the test I would like
            to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you hire a child who could
            not pass this test?"
            >
            > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
            Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district. There are
            teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours just to
            support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to attend? Do we
            help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really know that these
            resources exist?
            >
            > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture about
            our English language learners, but these kids still have to compete in
            a global world where English is the international language of
            business. Our kids of West County have to be given the tools to
            succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of further
            education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you can only
            get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the stage is the
            carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then it is the
            carrot we should dangle.
            >
            > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class. It
            is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage our
            children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what goes
            on in school, what they are learning, and be at school periodically.
            We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected them that we
            have what we have.
            > Tammy Campbell
            >
            >
            > Cathy Travlos <cbt@...> wrote:
            >
            > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
            >
            > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
            >
            > STAFF WRITER
            >
            > Contra Costa Times
            >
            > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't pass the
            > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage at your
            > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
            seniors
            > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the exam from
            > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
            confusion
            > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last year,
            > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area districts in
            > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in graduation
            > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow board
            > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving seniors
            > a free pass again isn't right."
            >
            > You can read the entire article here:
            >
            http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
            >
            > Cathy
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
            > Pinole CARE
            > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
            > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
            > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
            > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
            > 2668 Alhambra Way
            > Pinole, CA 94564
            > Home: 510-223-3857
            > Work: 510-486-4460
            > Fax: 510-222-4643
            > Pager: 510-425-3192
            > 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: Tammera.Campbell@...
            > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@...
            > Pinole CARE: parents@...
            > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
            > always stay connected to friends.
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • bedwellr
            Mr. Brown, Your articulate reply fails to mention what in my experience is a purple polka-dotted elephant in the living room: that a good portion of the kids
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 15, 2007
              Mr. Brown,

              Your articulate reply fails to mention what in my experience is a
              purple polka-dotted elephant in the living room: that a good portion
              of the kids who cannot pass the exit exam have actively resisted the
              educational efforts of the adults at the schools that they have
              attended. You could say, "Well, those adults need to motivate them!"
              But that would be skirting the issue. If those adults knew how to
              provide that motivation they would have been doing it all along
              (believe me, the lives of those adults would be far easier and richer
              if they could do this, and they know it all to well!). The district
              spends a fortune on training teachers how to teach prepackaged
              programs, all of which presuppose a receptive audience that does not
              exist in all too many cases. Solve this problem and you'll solve the
              problem of the high rate of student failure; ignore it (as seems to be
              the case now), and nothing will ever change.

              Ralph Bedwell

              --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Brown" <dbrown247@...> wrote:
              >
              > Tammy,
              >
              > I have no problem with accountability and high standards. In fact, I
              > believe we must aim much higher than we are right now.
              >
              > But the question still remains -- and I've been asking this for some
              > time now -- when will the adults finally be fully accountable for the
              > poor results in our district, and throughout urban school districts,
              > for that matter. And I mean all of the adults: in Washington, in
              > Sacramento and all of us here locally.
              >
              > What does it say about our school district if so many kids are failing
              > a test that ostensibly tests 8th to 10th grade skills? What does it
              > say about our school district if 70% of our kids are below grade level
              > in reading? What does it say about our school district if this has
              > barely improved in 10 years (from 78% failing to 70%)? What does it
              > say about our school district if our English Language Learners, on
              > average, take far longer to learn English than the statewide target?
              >
              > I know there are a myriad of reasons why this situation exists -- and
              > a fair number of them are unfortunately beyond our control -- but we
              > are so quick to hold kids accountable and punish them for their
              > shortcomings, while we let the adults off the hook. That's a
              > double-standard of the highest order.
              >
              > Our schools are improving in terms of API scores -- and that's clearly
              > a good sign -- but that trend is primarily a result of those who were
              > far below grade level inching closer to that bar. But how can we
              > expect seniors to pass the exit exam and/or master the skills that are
              > truly needed to make it in this world if we cannot help even one-third
              > of our kids to read at grade level?
              >
              > When I see a school board member or state superintendent or
              > administrator lose his/her job due to this abomination, then I'll have
              > no problem expecting the same level of accountability from our kids.
              >
              > take care,
              > db
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
              > <tammeracampbell@> wrote:
              > >
              > > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some point
              > need to be held accountable for their education and this is one step.
              > I do understand that in some circumstances this is an enormous hurdle
              > for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are to compete and
              > succeed in this global world they need to know the basics. If they
              > can't get this, we will be putting them in a situation where they may
              > never get out and be the working poor in America. And how many of us
              > truly understand the working poor? May I suggest that you might want
              > to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed in America" by Barbara
              > Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better and if they have to pass a
              > high school exit exam to walk the stage, they need to pass a high
              > school exit exam.
              > >
              > > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
              > district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for two
              > computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
              > become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam. These
              > programs have been installed on all the library computers at PVHS.
              > Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check out
              > the software from the library to be installed at home. I encourage
              > the public to seek out these programs and understand just exactly what
              > our kids need to know. And after you have seen the test I would like
              > to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you hire a child who could
              > not pass this test?"
              > >
              > > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
              > Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district. There are
              > teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours just to
              > support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to attend? Do we
              > help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really know that these
              > resources exist?
              > >
              > > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture about
              > our English language learners, but these kids still have to compete in
              > a global world where English is the international language of
              > business. Our kids of West County have to be given the tools to
              > succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of further
              > education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you can only
              > get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the stage is the
              > carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then it is the
              > carrot we should dangle.
              > >
              > > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class. It
              > is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage our
              > children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what goes
              > on in school, what they are learning, and be at school periodically.
              > We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected them that we
              > have what we have.
              > > Tammy Campbell
              > >
              > >
              > > Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
              > >
              > > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
              > >
              > > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
              > >
              > > STAFF WRITER
              > >
              > > Contra Costa Times
              > >
              > > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't
              pass the
              > > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage at
              your
              > > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
              > seniors
              > > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the exam from
              > > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
              > confusion
              > > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last
              year,
              > > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area districts in
              > > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in
              graduation
              > > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow board
              > > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving
              seniors
              > > a free pass again isn't right."
              > >
              > > You can read the entire article here:
              > >
              >
              http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/california/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
              > >
              > > Cathy
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
              > > Pinole CARE
              > > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
              > > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
              > > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
              > > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
              > > 2668 Alhambra Way
              > > Pinole, CA 94564
              > > Home: 510-223-3857
              > > Work: 510-486-4460
              > > Fax: 510-222-4643
              > > Pager: 510-425-3192
              > > 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: Tammera.Campbell@
              > > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@
              > > Pinole CARE: parents@
              > > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              > >
              > > ---------------------------------
              > > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
              > > always stay connected to friends.
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
            • Jim and Judy Sanders
              Having been involved in education for over 30 years as a teacher and close to 20 years as a parent, I think it is important to remember that education is not
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 15, 2007
                Having been involved in education for over 30 years as a teacher and
                close to 20 years as a parent, I think it is important to remember
                that education is not something that adults "do" to children. It is
                a process and a relationship in which both the teachers and the
                students need to be active participants. To assign all of the blame
                to either side of the equation for the failure to succeed is
                misguided and misses the point. All of the good intentions, money,
                time and effort on the part of the adults will help only if an equal
                amount of effort and energy is expended by the students. To suggest
                otherwise, to allow students to believe that their failure is simply
                a failure of the educational system, is to relegate generations of
                students to never reach their potential. To encourage students to
                realize that, despite whatever obstacles stand in their way, they can
                succeed, paves the way for a better life for them and for all of us.
                Judy Sanders

                On Jan 15, 2007, at 1:12 AM, bedwellr wrote:

                > Mr. Brown,
                >
                > Your articulate reply fails to mention what in my experience is a
                > purple polka-dotted elephant in the living room: that a good portion
                > of the kids who cannot pass the exit exam have actively resisted the
                > educational efforts of the adults at the schools that they have
                > attended. You could say, "Well, those adults need to motivate them!"
                > But that would be skirting the issue. If those adults knew how to
                > provide that motivation they would have been doing it all along
                > (believe me, the lives of those adults would be far easier and richer
                > if they could do this, and they know it all to well!). The district
                > spends a fortune on training teachers how to teach prepackaged
                > programs, all of which presuppose a receptive audience that does not
                > exist in all too many cases. Solve this problem and you'll solve the
                > problem of the high rate of student failure; ignore it (as seems to be
                > the case now), and nothing will ever change.
                >
                > Ralph Bedwell
                >
                > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Brown" <dbrown247@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Tammy,
                > >
                > > I have no problem with accountability and high standards. In fact, I
                > > believe we must aim much higher than we are right now.
                > >
                > > But the question still remains -- and I've been asking this for some
                > > time now -- when will the adults finally be fully accountable for
                > the
                > > poor results in our district, and throughout urban school districts,
                > > for that matter. And I mean all of the adults: in Washington, in
                > > Sacramento and all of us here locally.
                > >
                > > What does it say about our school district if so many kids are
                > failing
                > > a test that ostensibly tests 8th to 10th grade skills? What does it
                > > say about our school district if 70% of our kids are below grade
                > level
                > > in reading? What does it say about our school district if this has
                > > barely improved in 10 years (from 78% failing to 70%)? What does it
                > > say about our school district if our English Language Learners, on
                > > average, take far longer to learn English than the statewide target?
                > >
                > > I know there are a myriad of reasons why this situation exists --
                > and
                > > a fair number of them are unfortunately beyond our control -- but we
                > > are so quick to hold kids accountable and punish them for their
                > > shortcomings, while we let the adults off the hook. That's a
                > > double-standard of the highest order.
                > >
                > > Our schools are improving in terms of API scores -- and that's
                > clearly
                > > a good sign -- but that trend is primarily a result of those who
                > were
                > > far below grade level inching closer to that bar. But how can we
                > > expect seniors to pass the exit exam and/or master the skills
                > that are
                > > truly needed to make it in this world if we cannot help even one-
                > third
                > > of our kids to read at grade level?
                > >
                > > When I see a school board member or state superintendent or
                > > administrator lose his/her job due to this abomination, then I'll
                > have
                > > no problem expecting the same level of accountability from our kids.
                > >
                > > take care,
                > > db
                > >
                > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
                > > <tammeracampbell@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some point
                > > need to be held accountable for their education and this is one
                > step.
                > > I do understand that in some circumstances this is an enormous
                > hurdle
                > > for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are to compete and
                > > succeed in this global world they need to know the basics. If they
                > > can't get this, we will be putting them in a situation where they
                > may
                > > never get out and be the working poor in America. And how many of us
                > > truly understand the working poor? May I suggest that you might want
                > > to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed in America" by Barbara
                > > Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better and if they have to pass a
                > > high school exit exam to walk the stage, they need to pass a high
                > > school exit exam.
                > > >
                > > > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
                > > district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for two
                > > computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
                > > become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam. These
                > > programs have been installed on all the library computers at PVHS.
                > > Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check out
                > > the software from the library to be installed at home. I encourage
                > > the public to seek out these programs and understand just exactly
                > what
                > > our kids need to know. And after you have seen the test I would like
                > > to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you hire a child who
                > could
                > > not pass this test?"
                > > >
                > > > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
                > > Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district. There
                > are
                > > teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours
                > just to
                > > support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to attend? Do we
                > > help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really know that these
                > > resources exist?
                > > >
                > > > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture about
                > > our English language learners, but these kids still have to
                > compete in
                > > a global world where English is the international language of
                > > business. Our kids of West County have to be given the tools to
                > > succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of further
                > > education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you can only
                > > get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the stage is the
                > > carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then it is the
                > > carrot we should dangle.
                > > >
                > > > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class. It
                > > is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage our
                > > children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what
                > goes
                > > on in school, what they are learning, and be at school periodically.
                > > We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected them that we
                > > have what we have.
                > > > Tammy Campbell
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
                > > >
                > > > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
                > > >
                > > > STAFF WRITER
                > > >
                > > > Contra Costa Times
                > > >
                > > > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't
                > pass the
                > > > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage at
                > your
                > > > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
                > > seniors
                > > > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the
                > exam from
                > > > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
                > > confusion
                > > > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last
                > year,
                > > > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area
                > districts in
                > > > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in
                > graduation
                > > > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow
                > board
                > > > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving
                > seniors
                > > > a free pass again isn't right."
                > > >
                > > > You can read the entire article here:
                > > >
                > >
                > http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/
                > california/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
                > > >
                > > > Cathy
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                > > > Pinole CARE
                > > > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
                > > > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
                > > > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
                > > > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
                > > > 2668 Alhambra Way
                > > > Pinole, CA 94564
                > > > Home: 510-223-3857
                > > > Work: 510-486-4460
                > > > Fax: 510-222-4643
                > > > Pager: 510-425-3192
                > > > 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: Tammera.Campbell@
                > > > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@
                > > > Pinole CARE: parents@
                > > > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                > > >
                > > > ---------------------------------
                > > > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
                > > > always stay connected to friends.
                > > >
                > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Elizabeth Jaeger
                In my opinion there is a strong connection between the adoption of one-size-fits-all, scripted, prepackaged programs and the lack of motivation on the part of
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 16, 2007
                  In my opinion there is a strong connection between the adoption of
                  one-size-fits-all, scripted, prepackaged programs and the lack of
                  motivation on the part of students and, dare I say, teachers. If we
                  want students to reach their full potential, we need to begin
                  treating them like the individuals they are. If we want teachers to
                  reach their professional potential, we need to acknowledge the fact
                  that teachers are better educated than they have ever been and need
                  the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities by planning lessons
                  which serve the varied needs of their students.


                  --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Mr. Brown,
                  >
                  > Your articulate reply fails to mention what in my experience is a
                  > purple polka-dotted elephant in the living room: that a good portion
                  > of the kids who cannot pass the exit exam have actively resisted the
                  > educational efforts of the adults at the schools that they have
                  > attended. You could say, "Well, those adults need to motivate
                  them!"
                  > But that would be skirting the issue. If those adults knew how to
                  > provide that motivation they would have been doing it all along
                  > (believe me, the lives of those adults would be far easier and
                  richer
                  > if they could do this, and they know it all to well!). The district
                  > spends a fortune on training teachers how to teach prepackaged
                  > programs, all of which presuppose a receptive audience that does not
                  > exist in all too many cases. Solve this problem and you'll solve
                  the
                  > problem of the high rate of student failure; ignore it (as seems to
                  be
                  > the case now), and nothing will ever change.
                  >
                  > Ralph Bedwell
                  >
                  > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Brown" <dbrown247@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Tammy,
                  > >
                  > > I have no problem with accountability and high standards. In
                  fact, I
                  > > believe we must aim much higher than we are right now.
                  > >
                  > > But the question still remains -- and I've been asking this for
                  some
                  > > time now -- when will the adults finally be fully accountable for
                  the
                  > > poor results in our district, and throughout urban school
                  districts,
                  > > for that matter. And I mean all of the adults: in Washington, in
                  > > Sacramento and all of us here locally.
                  > >
                  > > What does it say about our school district if so many kids are
                  failing
                  > > a test that ostensibly tests 8th to 10th grade skills? What does
                  it
                  > > say about our school district if 70% of our kids are below grade
                  level
                  > > in reading? What does it say about our school district if this has
                  > > barely improved in 10 years (from 78% failing to 70%)? What does
                  it
                  > > say about our school district if our English Language Learners, on
                  > > average, take far longer to learn English than the statewide
                  target?
                  > >
                  > > I know there are a myriad of reasons why this situation exists --
                  and
                  > > a fair number of them are unfortunately beyond our control --
                  but we
                  > > are so quick to hold kids accountable and punish them for their
                  > > shortcomings, while we let the adults off the hook. That's a
                  > > double-standard of the highest order.
                  > >
                  > > Our schools are improving in terms of API scores -- and that's
                  clearly
                  > > a good sign -- but that trend is primarily a result of those who
                  were
                  > > far below grade level inching closer to that bar. But how can we
                  > > expect seniors to pass the exit exam and/or master the skills
                  that are
                  > > truly needed to make it in this world if we cannot help even one-
                  third
                  > > of our kids to read at grade level?
                  > >
                  > > When I see a school board member or state superintendent or
                  > > administrator lose his/her job due to this abomination, then I'll
                  have
                  > > no problem expecting the same level of accountability from our
                  kids.
                  > >
                  > > take care,
                  > > db
                  > >
                  > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
                  > > <tammeracampbell@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some
                  point
                  > > need to be held accountable for their education and this is one
                  step.
                  > > I do understand that in some circumstances this is an enormous
                  hurdle
                  > > for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are to compete and
                  > > succeed in this global world they need to know the basics. If
                  they
                  > > can't get this, we will be putting them in a situation where they
                  may
                  > > never get out and be the working poor in America. And how many
                  of us
                  > > truly understand the working poor? May I suggest that you might
                  want
                  > > to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed in America" by Barbara
                  > > Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better and if they have to
                  pass a
                  > > high school exit exam to walk the stage, they need to pass a high
                  > > school exit exam.
                  > > >
                  > > > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
                  > > district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for
                  two
                  > > computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
                  > > become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam.
                  These
                  > > programs have been installed on all the library computers at
                  PVHS.
                  > > Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check
                  out
                  > > the software from the library to be installed at home. I
                  encourage
                  > > the public to seek out these programs and understand just exactly
                  what
                  > > our kids need to know. And after you have seen the test I would
                  like
                  > > to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you hire a child who
                  could
                  > > not pass this test?"
                  > > >
                  > > > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
                  > > Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district.
                  There are
                  > > teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours
                  just to
                  > > support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to attend? Do
                  we
                  > > help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really know that
                  these
                  > > resources exist?
                  > > >
                  > > > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture
                  about
                  > > our English language learners, but these kids still have to
                  compete in
                  > > a global world where English is the international language of
                  > > business. Our kids of West County have to be given the tools to
                  > > succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of further
                  > > education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you can
                  only
                  > > get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the stage is
                  the
                  > > carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then it is the
                  > > carrot we should dangle.
                  > > >
                  > > > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class.
                  It
                  > > is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage
                  our
                  > > children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what
                  goes
                  > > on in school, what they are learning, and be at school
                  periodically.
                  > > We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected them that we
                  > > have what we have.
                  > > > Tammy Campbell
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
                  > > >
                  > > > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
                  > > >
                  > > > STAFF WRITER
                  > > >
                  > > > Contra Costa Times
                  > > >
                  > > > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't
                  > pass the
                  > > > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage
                  at
                  > your
                  > > > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
                  > > seniors
                  > > > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the
                  exam from
                  > > > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
                  > > confusion
                  > > > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last
                  > year,
                  > > > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area
                  districts in
                  > > > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in
                  > graduation
                  > > > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow
                  board
                  > > > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving
                  > seniors
                  > > > a free pass again isn't right."
                  > > >
                  > > > You can read the entire article here:
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                  http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/californ
                  ia/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
                  > > >
                  > > > Cathy
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                  > > > Pinole CARE
                  > > > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
                  > > > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
                  > > > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
                  > > > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
                  > > > 2668 Alhambra Way
                  > > > Pinole, CA 94564
                  > > > Home: 510-223-3857
                  > > > Work: 510-486-4460
                  > > > Fax: 510-222-4643
                  > > > Pager: 510-425-3192
                  > > > 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: Tammera.Campbell@
                  > > > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@
                  > > > Pinole CARE: parents@
                  > > > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > > >
                  > > > ---------------------------------
                  > > > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
                  > > > always stay connected to friends.
                  > > >
                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Charley Cowens
                  Whatever you think about the exit exam, there is another aspect to this that is very unsettling. The policy to allow participation in the commencement and to
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 18, 2007
                    Whatever you think about the exit exam, there is another aspect to
                    this that is very unsettling. The policy to allow participation in the
                    commencement and to allow the receipt of the undiploma was not a
                    loophole or some ad hoc measure. It was an explicit compromise to deal
                    with a divisive issue. It was adopted at the 4/10/06 meeting by a
                    unanimous vote (including Karen Pfeifer and Charles Ramsey according
                    to the online minutes). Reopening this issue suddenly and acting on it
                    out of the blue like this (during the holiday break) is an example of
                    governing in bad faith.

                    Charley Cowens

                    On 1/16/07, Elizabeth Jaeger <elizabethjaeger@...> wrote:
                    > In my opinion there is a strong connection between the adoption of
                    > one-size-fits-all, scripted, prepackaged programs and the lack of
                    > motivation on the part of students and, dare I say, teachers. If we
                    > want students to reach their full potential, we need to begin
                    > treating them like the individuals they are. If we want teachers to
                    > reach their professional potential, we need to acknowledge the fact
                    > that teachers are better educated than they have ever been and need
                    > the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities by planning lessons
                    > which serve the varied needs of their students.
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "bedwellr" <bedwellr@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Mr. Brown,
                    > >
                    > > Your articulate reply fails to mention what in my experience is a
                    > > purple polka-dotted elephant in the living room: that a good portion
                    > > of the kids who cannot pass the exit exam have actively resisted the
                    > > educational efforts of the adults at the schools that they have
                    > > attended. You could say, "Well, those adults need to motivate
                    > them!"
                    > > But that would be skirting the issue. If those adults knew how to
                    > > provide that motivation they would have been doing it all along
                    > > (believe me, the lives of those adults would be far easier and
                    > richer
                    > > if they could do this, and they know it all to well!). The district
                    > > spends a fortune on training teachers how to teach prepackaged
                    > > programs, all of which presuppose a receptive audience that does not
                    > > exist in all too many cases. Solve this problem and you'll solve
                    > the
                    > > problem of the high rate of student failure; ignore it (as seems to
                    > be
                    > > the case now), and nothing will ever change.
                    > >
                    > > Ralph Bedwell
                    > >
                    > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Brown" <dbrown247@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Tammy,
                    > > >
                    > > > I have no problem with accountability and high standards. In
                    > fact, I
                    > > > believe we must aim much higher than we are right now.
                    > > >
                    > > > But the question still remains -- and I've been asking this for
                    > some
                    > > > time now -- when will the adults finally be fully accountable for
                    > the
                    > > > poor results in our district, and throughout urban school
                    > districts,
                    > > > for that matter. And I mean all of the adults: in Washington, in
                    > > > Sacramento and all of us here locally.
                    > > >
                    > > > What does it say about our school district if so many kids are
                    > failing
                    > > > a test that ostensibly tests 8th to 10th grade skills? What does
                    > it
                    > > > say about our school district if 70% of our kids are below grade
                    > level
                    > > > in reading? What does it say about our school district if this has
                    > > > barely improved in 10 years (from 78% failing to 70%)? What does
                    > it
                    > > > say about our school district if our English Language Learners, on
                    > > > average, take far longer to learn English than the statewide
                    > target?
                    > > >
                    > > > I know there are a myriad of reasons why this situation exists --
                    > and
                    > > > a fair number of them are unfortunately beyond our control --
                    > but we
                    > > > are so quick to hold kids accountable and punish them for their
                    > > > shortcomings, while we let the adults off the hook. That's a
                    > > > double-standard of the highest order.
                    > > >
                    > > > Our schools are improving in terms of API scores -- and that's
                    > clearly
                    > > > a good sign -- but that trend is primarily a result of those who
                    > were
                    > > > far below grade level inching closer to that bar. But how can we
                    > > > expect seniors to pass the exit exam and/or master the skills
                    > that are
                    > > > truly needed to make it in this world if we cannot help even one-
                    > third
                    > > > of our kids to read at grade level?
                    > > >
                    > > > When I see a school board member or state superintendent or
                    > > > administrator lose his/her job due to this abomination, then I'll
                    > have
                    > > > no problem expecting the same level of accountability from our
                    > kids.
                    > > >
                    > > > take care,
                    > > > db
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Tammera Campbell
                    > > > <tammeracampbell@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I applaud the school board for this action. The kids at some
                    > point
                    > > > need to be held accountable for their education and this is one
                    > step.
                    > > > I do understand that in some circumstances this is an enormous
                    > hurdle
                    > > > for some, but it is paramount that if our kids are to compete and
                    > > > succeed in this global world they need to know the basics. If
                    > they
                    > > > can't get this, we will be putting them in a situation where they
                    > may
                    > > > never get out and be the working poor in America. And how many
                    > of us
                    > > > truly understand the working poor? May I suggest that you might
                    > want
                    > > > to pick up the book, "Nickel and Dimed in America" by Barbara
                    > > > Ehrenreich. We need our kids to do better and if they have to
                    > pass a
                    > > > high school exit exam to walk the stage, they need to pass a high
                    > > > school exit exam.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > How many of you have really seen a sample of this exam? The
                    > > > district a couple of years ago purchased a district license for
                    > two
                    > > > computer programs, one on math the other english, to help students
                    > > > become familiar with the format of the high school exit exam.
                    > These
                    > > > programs have been installed on all the library computers at
                    > PVHS.
                    > > > Students can go in and test their abilities. They can also check
                    > out
                    > > > the software from the library to be installed at home. I
                    > encourage
                    > > > the public to seek out these programs and understand just exactly
                    > what
                    > > > our kids need to know. And after you have seen the test I would
                    > like
                    > > > to ask you, "if you were an employer, would you hire a child who
                    > could
                    > > > not pass this test?"
                    > > > >
                    > > > > And don't let any student fool you. There are afterschool and
                    > > > Saturday tutoring classes available all over this district.
                    > There are
                    > > > teachers who give up their lunch hours and after school hours
                    > just to
                    > > > support all of our kids. But do we push our kids to attend? Do
                    > we
                    > > > help our kids to succeed? And how many of us really know that
                    > these
                    > > > resources exist?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I will be the first to admit, I do not have the full picture
                    > about
                    > > > our English language learners, but these kids still have to
                    > compete in
                    > > > a global world where English is the international language of
                    > > > business. Our kids of West County have to be given the tools to
                    > > > succeed. They should have the right to seek the dream of further
                    > > > education. They have the right to seek better jobs, but you can
                    > only
                    > > > get there if you engage in learning. And if walking the stage is
                    > the
                    > > > carrot to get the kids in the classroom learning, then it is the
                    > > > carrot we should dangle.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > It is imperative that we encourage our kids to attend class.
                    > It
                    > > > is imperative that our parents get off their behinds and engage
                    > our
                    > > > children by reviewing their homework, talking to them about what
                    > goes
                    > > > on in school, what they are learning, and be at school
                    > periodically.
                    > > > We have moved so far away from our kids and neglected them that we
                    > > > have what we have.
                    > > > > Tammy Campbell
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Cathy Travlos <cbt@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > No cap, gown if exit exam is not passed
                    > > > >
                    > > > > By Kimberly S. Wetzel
                    > > > >
                    > > > > STAFF WRITER
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Contra Costa Times
                    > > > >
                    > > > > "West Contra Costa high school seniors take note: If you don't
                    > > pass the
                    > > > > state exit exam, you will not be able to walk across the stage
                    > at
                    > > your
                    > > > > graduation. That was the strong message the school board sent to
                    > > > seniors
                    > > > > this week with a 3-2 vote to prevent seniors who failed the
                    > exam from
                    > > > > participating in their commencement ceremonies. . . . Amid the
                    > > > confusion
                    > > > > and controversy surrounding the newly implemented exit exam last
                    > > year,
                    > > > > the West Contra Costa school board joined other Bay Area
                    > districts in
                    > > > > allowing seniors who earned enough credits to participate in
                    > > graduation
                    > > > > despite failing the exam. But on Wednesday, Pfeifer and fellow
                    > board
                    > > > > members Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg said that giving
                    > > seniors
                    > > > > a free pass again isn't right."
                    > > > >
                    > > > > You can read the entire article here:
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/local/states/californ
                    > ia/contra_costa_county/el_cerrito/16389849.htm
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Cathy
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Tammera (Tammy) E. Campbell
                    > > > > Pinole CARE
                    > > > > Pinole Valley High Safety Chair
                    > > > > Pinole Valley High School Boosters
                    > > > > Pinole Middle School Site Council President
                    > > > > Pinole Middle School Measure D Committee
                    > > > > 2668 Alhambra Way
                    > > > > Pinole, CA 94564
                    > > > > Home: 510-223-3857
                    > > > > Work: 510-486-4460
                    > > > > Fax: 510-222-4643
                    > > > > Pager: 510-425-3192
                    > > > > 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: Tammera.Campbell@
                    > > > > Pinole Valley High School: mikewitz2@
                    > > > > Pinole CARE: parents@
                    > > > > WCCUSD Parent Forum: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > >
                    > > > > ---------------------------------
                    > > > > Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile and
                    > > > > always stay connected to friends.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • playeredu@cs.com
                    Thank you Charlie for this reminder. However, I am certain that the majority of Board Members would say this is different this year because they took the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 20, 2007
                      Thank you Charlie for this reminder. However, I am certain that the
                      majority of Board Members would say this is different this year because they
                      took the matter up early so students have enough warning about the need to pass
                      the exam in March. I felt the action was too strong at this time since they
                      have only now asked, this past Wednesday, for data to confirm their decision.
                      I am hopeful that students who have all their credits or are on track to
                      graduate and have not passed the exit exam do not get discouraged in the last
                      quarter and drop out of school. Also, I too feel the timing did not allow for
                      teacher and student voice.
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