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Wrong choice for the entire district.

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  • jim cowen
    Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although it serves those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that distracts from the facts.
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 9, 2007
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      Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although it serves those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that distracts from the facts.

      Look at the ludicrous argument. We can't give K8 to those elitist families in the hills, so lets instead spend $60 million on a new school there, while schools in the flatlands continue to crumble.

      That money is wasted, wasted, wasted. And don't pretend it is $60 million. I predict $114.6 million by the time it is done (unless legal challenges kill it first).

      Do we want to raise every school to the highest standard, or do we want to beat down every school to the lowest common denominator?

      The K8 option for solving the Portola issue would have
      -prevented the neighborhoold-against-neighborhood fight, which will have lasting and
      lingering effects on the people of El Cerrito
      -given every parent in El Cerrito three great options: 1. Middle School (at Adams or
      Lavonya Dejean), 2. K8 (at several of the local schools), 3. Middle School academy at El
      Cerrito HIgh school.
      -cost about $20 million, meaning at least one other school someplace could be rebuilt
      -had students out of the very dangerous Portola school within 6-8 months instead of 3-5
      years.
      -kept families in El Cerrito from leaving for Albany or private schools, thus increasing ADA
      for the district
      -set a model for using this option in other areas. The next step could be to implement the option in other areas, such as downtown Richmond, San Pablo, Hercules, and El Sobrante.


      If this whole problem had occured at Lavonya Dejean instead of Portola, and the issue was which downtown Richmond elementary to close, would anyone have called a K8 option racist and elitist??


      I am reminded of a time I helped a youth group serving dinner to 25 tables at a large function. When about 22 tables had been served, a man came to the kitchen loudly complaining that his table had not been served yet. I had to explain to him that it is impossible to serve every table at the same time. Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last, but eventually everyone will be fed.

      It seems to me that some folks in the K8 debate are so hell-bent on making sure El Cerrito doesnt get theirs first, that they would rather everyone starve.

      Jim Cowen


      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!?
      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
      http://mail.yahoo.com

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • c slamon
      Since the issue of K-8 s was such a prominent part of the last board meeting, I want to again state that I do not think K-8 is the direction that our school
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 10, 2007
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        Since the issue of K-8's was such a prominent part of the last board
        meeting, I want to again state that I do not think K-8 is the
        direction that our school district should be taking, we simply cannot
        afford it. I agree with our school board members when they say that
        people aren't leaving our district for K-8's; they are leaving for
        GOOD middle schools (Albany, Berkeley, Orinda). We cannot get enough
        qualified math and science teachers right now to fill the positions at
        our middle schools and high schools. How are we going to be able to
        find enough qualified teachers to serve at the many elementary schools
        in our district if they are reconfigured to K-8's. Many kids will have
        no electives at all if they have to continue at elementary school
        through 8th grade. Then you have the case of equity; how is it fair
        to redistrict more students to DeJean which is already full (it has a
        capacity of 833 and currently has 848 students) and Helms (which has a
        capacity of 1,118 and currently has 929 students). These two campuses
        already house the largest middle school student populations. How is
        it fair to jam these campuses with even more students while El Cerrito
        and Kensington residents get nice small schools? Richmond and San
        Pablo residents want safe schools for their middle school students
        too. How is it fair to reconfigure Kensington to be a K-8 when that
        school already got millions of extra dollars in their reconstruction
        to the point that other Richmond schools got dropped off the list; and
        now they want even more, while Richmond schools still sit untouched.
        If we are going implement another K-8, then I call on this district to
        implement K-8 in Richmond first! At a school that has space and needs
        to be reconstructed! As I recall from the study that was done on K-8,
        it was a Richmond School (Grant I believe) that was recommended as the
        school that could be best reconfigured to a K-8 not Kensinton. It
        always seems that this tidbit of information gets left out when our
        school board member Dave Brown calls for the K-8 option. And it
        really bothers me that he tries to say that Richmond and San Pablo
        families also want K-8 but he never puts one of these flatland schools
        out in front when he calls for K-8, it's always at Kensington. Now
        that is what is NOT FAIR!

        Christina Slamon
        Richmond

        On Nov 9, 2007 9:31 AM, jim cowen <jimcowen@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although it serves
        > those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that distracts from
        > the facts.
        >
        > Look at the ludicrous argument. We can't give K8 to those elitist families
        > in the hills, so lets instead spend $60 million on a new school there, while
        > schools in the flatlands continue to crumble.
        >
        > That money is wasted, wasted, wasted. And don't pretend it is $60 million. I
        > predict $114.6 million by the time it is done (unless legal challenges kill
        > it first).
        >
        > Do we want to raise every school to the highest standard, or do we want to
        > beat down every school to the lowest common denominator?
        >
        > The K8 option for solving the Portola issue would have
        > -prevented the neighborhoold-against-neighborhood fight, which will have
        > lasting and
        > lingering effects on the people of El Cerrito
        > -given every parent in El Cerrito three great options: 1. Middle School (at
        > Adams or
        > Lavonya Dejean), 2. K8 (at several of the local schools), 3. Middle School
        > academy at El
        > Cerrito HIgh school.
        > -cost about $20 million, meaning at least one other school someplace could
        > be rebuilt
        > -had students out of the very dangerous Portola school within 6-8 months
        > instead of 3-5
        > years.
        > -kept families in El Cerrito from leaving for Albany or private schools,
        > thus increasing ADA
        > for the district
        > -set a model for using this option in other areas. The next step could be to
        > implement the option in other areas, such as downtown Richmond, San Pablo,
        > Hercules, and El Sobrante.
        >
        >
        > If this whole problem had occured at Lavonya Dejean instead of Portola, and
        > the issue was which downtown Richmond elementary to close, would anyone have
        > called a K8 option racist and elitist??
        >
        >
        > I am reminded of a time I helped a youth group serving dinner to 25 tables
        > at a large function. When about 22 tables had been served, a man came to the
        > kitchen loudly complaining that his table had not been served yet. I had to
        > explain to him that it is impossible to serve every table at the same time.
        > Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last, but eventually everyone
        > will be fed.
        >
        > It seems to me that some folks in the K8 debate are so hell-bent on making
        > sure El Cerrito doesnt get theirs first, that they would rather everyone
        > starve.
        >
        > Jim Cowen
        >
        >
        > __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        > http://mail.yahoo.com
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >



        --
        Christina Slamon
        phone: 510-559-8919
      • jim cowen
        CHristina You are asking for Richmond schools to get K8 first!. That is EXACTLY what the K8 study group recommended. In fact, it recommended a K8 in each
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 10, 2007
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          CHristina
          You are asking for Richmond schools to get K8 first!. That is EXACTLY what the K8 study group recommended. In fact, it recommended a K8 in each area.

          But again, the discussion on the table now is what to do with Portola. And, as I said in my first post, some people are so blinded by the desire to make sure those hill kids dont get something first that they want to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator. SOMEONE has to get their dinner first, and SOMEONE has to get it last. If DeJean was the school that had to be closed and move, then the K8 option would be pushed there.

          I disagree with your repeat of the contention that people dont leave WCCUSD for other K8's, therefore they dont want K8. People leave WCCUSD for a better OPTION. The road to making WCCUSD middle schools as a great option is so long that it is insurmountable. But offering K8 as an OPTION would keep those students here. Dont be afraid of it; you can still send your student to a middle school if YOU choose.

          I want YOUR student to have the option of either K8 or a middle school. You want MY student to have only the option of middle school. Now THAT's not fair.

          And extra cost??? Using the K8 option in the Portola discussion would SAVE many tens of millions of dollars!!!!!! (And I will be the first to say use that money to rebuild a flat land school)

          Jim
          c slamon <cslamon@...> wrote:
          Since the issue of K-8's was such a prominent part of the last board
          meeting, I want to again state that I do not think K-8 is the
          direction that our school district should be taking, we simply cannot
          afford it. I agree with our school board members when they say that
          people aren't leaving our district for K-8's; they are leaving for
          GOOD middle schools (Albany, Berkeley, Orinda). We cannot get enough
          qualified math and science teachers right now to fill the positions at
          our middle schools and high schools. How are we going to be able to
          find enough qualified teachers to serve at the many elementary schools
          in our district if they are reconfigured to K-8's. Many kids will have
          no electives at all if they have to continue at elementary school
          through 8th grade. Then you have the case of equity; how is it fair
          to redistrict more students to DeJean which is already full (it has a
          capacity of 833 and currently has 848 students) and Helms (which has a
          capacity of 1,118 and currently has 929 students). These two campuses
          already house the largest middle school student populations. How is
          it fair to jam these campuses with even more students while El Cerrito
          and Kensington residents get nice small schools? Richmond and San
          Pablo residents want safe schools for their middle school students
          too. How is it fair to reconfigure Kensington to be a K-8 when that
          school already got millions of extra dollars in their reconstruction
          to the point that other Richmond schools got dropped off the list; and
          now they want even more, while Richmond schools still sit untouched.
          If we are going implement another K-8, then I call on this district to
          implement K-8 in Richmond first! At a school that has space and needs
          to be reconstructed! As I recall from the study that was done on K-8,
          it was a Richmond School (Grant I believe) that was recommended as the
          school that could be best reconfigured to a K-8 not Kensinton. It
          always seems that this tidbit of information gets left out when our
          school board member Dave Brown calls for the K-8 option. And it
          really bothers me that he tries to say that Richmond and San Pablo
          families also want K-8 but he never puts one of these flatland schools
          out in front when he calls for K-8, it's always at Kensington. Now
          that is what is NOT FAIR!

          Christina Slamon
          Richmond

          On Nov 9, 2007 9:31 AM, jim cowen <jimcowen@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although it serves
          > those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that distracts from
          > the facts.
          >
          > Look at the ludicrous argument. We can't give K8 to those elitist families
          > in the hills, so lets instead spend $60 million on a new school there, while
          > schools in the flatlands continue to crumble.
          >
          > That money is wasted, wasted, wasted. And don't pretend it is $60 million. I
          > predict $114.6 million by the time it is done (unless legal challenges kill
          > it first).
          >
          > Do we want to raise every school to the highest standard, or do we want to
          > beat down every school to the lowest common denominator?
          >
          > The K8 option for solving the Portola issue would have
          > -prevented the neighborhoold-against-neighborhood fight, which will have
          > lasting and
          > lingering effects on the people of El Cerrito
          > -given every parent in El Cerrito three great options: 1. Middle School (at
          > Adams or
          > Lavonya Dejean), 2. K8 (at several of the local schools), 3. Middle School
          > academy at El
          > Cerrito HIgh school.
          > -cost about $20 million, meaning at least one other school someplace could
          > be rebuilt
          > -had students out of the very dangerous Portola school within 6-8 months
          > instead of 3-5
          > years.
          > -kept families in El Cerrito from leaving for Albany or private schools,
          > thus increasing ADA
          > for the district
          > -set a model for using this option in other areas. The next step could be to
          > implement the option in other areas, such as downtown Richmond, San Pablo,
          > Hercules, and El Sobrante.
          >
          >
          > If this whole problem had occured at Lavonya Dejean instead of Portola, and
          > the issue was which downtown Richmond elementary to close, would anyone have
          > called a K8 option racist and elitist??
          >
          >
          > I am reminded of a time I helped a youth group serving dinner to 25 tables
          > at a large function. When about 22 tables had been served, a man came to the
          > kitchen loudly complaining that his table had not been served yet. I had to
          > explain to him that it is impossible to serve every table at the same time.
          > Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last, but eventually everyone
          > will be fed.
          >
          > It seems to me that some folks in the K8 debate are so hell-bent on making
          > sure El Cerrito doesnt get theirs first, that they would rather everyone
          > starve.
          >
          > Jim Cowen
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          > http://mail.yahoo.com
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >

          --
          Christina Slamon
          phone: 510-559-8919




          __________________________________________________
          Do You Yahoo!?
          Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          http://mail.yahoo.com

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • sunsetjill
          Christina, You like many people have missed the entire point of the K8 meetings. At least we posted our meeting dates and meeting minutes. Something I never
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 10, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Christina,
            You like many people have missed the entire point of the K8
            meetings. At least we posted our meeting dates and meeting
            minutes. Something I never saw the Portola Relocation Group post
            any minutes for the public to review.
            I as a K8 committee member only received a slap in the face from
            Ramsey-He kicked me off the podium and I filed a Brown Act Complaint.
            Each parent has his or her own reason for leaving the district. I
            would have stayed for K8, it was not a smaller school that I
            wanted. I wanted a safe environment for my child. Portola and
            Adams were seismically unsafe.
            I feel your remarks about Dave Brown are inaccurate. Here is an
            excerpt of K8 December 15, 2005 minutes after the surveys were being
            analyzed:

            DB (Dave Brown) said the First Wave schools with strong (60%+)
            support for K-8 schools were Castro, Dover, Ford, King and Nystrom.
            GB said she had talked with the principal at Castro, and that if
            their questions were 1) would teachers be multisubject-credentialed?
            2) Could they shape [curriculum?]? 3) Could they recruit teachers?
            If those were answered positively, they would support
            reconfiguration enthusiastically. DB said we needed to have school by
            school conversations, listen to issues and concerns,

            Christina what many of you on this Group do not understand is the
            majority of San Pablo and Richmond families don't go to school board
            meeting. They are unjustly taken advantage of by our School
            District.

            Dave Brown has made an effort to reach out to our community. He
            supported the CHILDREN with the High School Exit Exam. He may have
            failed, but he is the only board member I have seen to make an
            attempt to put OUR CHILDREN FIRST and at the risk of his own
            POLITICAL aspirations.

            Unfortunately Dave has been run off the playground with bullies such
            as Charles and Karen and may never be able to impact OUR CHILDREN in
            the way he desires.

            This is an opinion!

            San Pablo Resident
            Jill Wolkenfeld

            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "c slamon" <cslamon@...> wrote:
            >
            > Since the issue of K-8's was such a prominent part of the last
            board
            > meeting, I want to again state that I do not think K-8 is the
            > direction that our school district should be taking, we simply
            cannot
            > afford it. I agree with our school board members when they say that
            > people aren't leaving our district for K-8's; they are leaving for
            > GOOD middle schools (Albany, Berkeley, Orinda). We cannot get
            enough
            > qualified math and science teachers right now to fill the
            positions at
            > our middle schools and high schools. How are we going to be able
            to
            > find enough qualified teachers to serve at the many elementary
            schools
            > in our district if they are reconfigured to K-8's. Many kids will
            have
            > no electives at all if they have to continue at elementary school
            > through 8th grade. Then you have the case of equity; how is it
            fair
            > to redistrict more students to DeJean which is already full (it
            has a
            > capacity of 833 and currently has 848 students) and Helms (which
            has a
            > capacity of 1,118 and currently has 929 students). These two
            campuses
            > already house the largest middle school student populations. How
            is
            > it fair to jam these campuses with even more students while El
            Cerrito
            > and Kensington residents get nice small schools? Richmond and San
            > Pablo residents want safe schools for their middle school students
            > too. How is it fair to reconfigure Kensington to be a K-8 when
            that
            > school already got millions of extra dollars in their
            reconstruction
            > to the point that other Richmond schools got dropped off the list;
            and
            > now they want even more, while Richmond schools still sit
            untouched.
            > If we are going implement another K-8, then I call on this
            district to
            > implement K-8 in Richmond first! At a school that has space and
            needs
            > to be reconstructed! As I recall from the study that was done on
            K-8,
            > it was a Richmond School (Grant I believe) that was recommended as
            the
            > school that could be best reconfigured to a K-8 not Kensinton. It
            > always seems that this tidbit of information gets left out when our
            > school board member Dave Brown calls for the K-8 option. And it
            > really bothers me that he tries to say that Richmond and San Pablo
            > families also want K-8 but he never puts one of these flatland
            schools
            > out in front when he calls for K-8, it's always at Kensington. Now
            > that is what is NOT FAIR!
            >
            > Christina Slamon
            > Richmond
            >
            > On Nov 9, 2007 9:31 AM, jim cowen <jimcowen@...> wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although
            it serves
            > > those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that
            distracts from
            > > the facts.
            > >
            > > Look at the ludicrous argument. We can't give K8 to those
            elitist families
            > > in the hills, so lets instead spend $60 million on a new school
            there, while
            > > schools in the flatlands continue to crumble.
            > >
            > > That money is wasted, wasted, wasted. And don't pretend it is
            $60 million. I
            > > predict $114.6 million by the time it is done (unless legal
            challenges kill
            > > it first).
            > >
            > > Do we want to raise every school to the highest standard, or do
            we want to
            > > beat down every school to the lowest common denominator?
            > >
            > > The K8 option for solving the Portola issue would have
            > > -prevented the neighborhoold-against-neighborhood fight, which
            will have
            > > lasting and
            > > lingering effects on the people of El Cerrito
            > > -given every parent in El Cerrito three great options: 1. Middle
            School (at
            > > Adams or
            > > Lavonya Dejean), 2. K8 (at several of the local schools), 3.
            Middle School
            > > academy at El
            > > Cerrito HIgh school.
            > > -cost about $20 million, meaning at least one other school
            someplace could
            > > be rebuilt
            > > -had students out of the very dangerous Portola school within 6-
            8 months
            > > instead of 3-5
            > > years.
            > > -kept families in El Cerrito from leaving for Albany or private
            schools,
            > > thus increasing ADA
            > > for the district
            > > -set a model for using this option in other areas. The next step
            could be to
            > > implement the option in other areas, such as downtown Richmond,
            San Pablo,
            > > Hercules, and El Sobrante.
            > >
            > >
            > > If this whole problem had occured at Lavonya Dejean instead of
            Portola, and
            > > the issue was which downtown Richmond elementary to close, would
            anyone have
            > > called a K8 option racist and elitist??
            > >
            > >
            > > I am reminded of a time I helped a youth group serving dinner to
            25 tables
            > > at a large function. When about 22 tables had been served, a man
            came to the
            > > kitchen loudly complaining that his table had not been served
            yet. I had to
            > > explain to him that it is impossible to serve every table at the
            same time.
            > > Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last, but
            eventually everyone
            > > will be fed.
            > >
            > > It seems to me that some folks in the K8 debate are so hell-bent
            on making
            > > sure El Cerrito doesnt get theirs first, that they would rather
            everyone
            > > starve.
            > >
            > > Jim Cowen
            > >
            > >
            > > __________________________________________________
            > > Do You Yahoo!?
            > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
            > > http://mail.yahoo.com
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > --
            > Christina Slamon
            > phone: 510-559-8919
            >
          • Linda
            FYI: There is information about K-8 posted here: http://briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/fangwoo@pacbell.net Curriculum findings 15-Nov-2006 K-8
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 10, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              FYI: There is information about K-8 posted here:
              http://briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/fangwoo@...

              Curriculum findings 15-Nov-2006
              K-8 research findings 15-Nov-2006
              K-8 Analysis by UC Berkeley 15-Nov-2006
              K-8 Proposal May 2006 15-Nov-2006
              May 2006 K-8 Proposal 15-Nov-2006
              Rand Corp Rpt - middle schools 1-May-2007
              New York Times - middle school 18-Jun-2007
              NY Times 2 middle school .doc 18-Jun-2007
              Time Mag article on MS and K-8 2-Jul-2007
              K8 powerpoint by UC Berkeley 2-Jul-2007
              Wall St Journal article 24-Aug-2007
              EC Journal K-8 editorial




              --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "sunsetjill" <sunsetjill@...> wrote:
              >
              > Christina,
              > You like many people have missed the entire point of the K8
              > meetings. At least we posted our meeting dates and meeting
              > minutes. Something I never saw the Portola Relocation Group post
              > any minutes for the public to review.
              > I as a K8 committee member only received a slap in the face from
              > Ramsey-He kicked me off the podium and I filed a Brown Act Complaint.
              > Each parent has his or her own reason for leaving the district. I
              > would have stayed for K8, it was not a smaller school that I
              > wanted. I wanted a safe environment for my child. Portola and
              > Adams were seismically unsafe.
              > I feel your remarks about Dave Brown are inaccurate. Here is an
              > excerpt of K8 December 15, 2005 minutes after the surveys were being
              > analyzed:
              >
              > DB (Dave Brown) said the First Wave schools with strong (60%+)
              > support for K-8 schools were Castro, Dover, Ford, King and Nystrom.
              > GB said she had talked with the principal at Castro, and that if
              > their questions were 1) would teachers be multisubject-credentialed?
              > 2) Could they shape [curriculum?]? 3) Could they recruit teachers?
              > If those were answered positively, they would support
              > reconfiguration enthusiastically. DB said we needed to have school by
              > school conversations, listen to issues and concerns,
              >
              > Christina what many of you on this Group do not understand is the
              > majority of San Pablo and Richmond families don't go to school board
              > meeting. They are unjustly taken advantage of by our School
              > District.
              >
              > Dave Brown has made an effort to reach out to our community. He
              > supported the CHILDREN with the High School Exit Exam. He may have
              > failed, but he is the only board member I have seen to make an
              > attempt to put OUR CHILDREN FIRST and at the risk of his own
              > POLITICAL aspirations.
              >
              > Unfortunately Dave has been run off the playground with bullies such
              > as Charles and Karen and may never be able to impact OUR CHILDREN in
              > the way he desires.
              >
              > This is an opinion!
              >
              > San Pablo Resident
              > Jill Wolkenfeld
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "c slamon" <cslamon@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Since the issue of K-8's was such a prominent part of the last
              > board
              > > meeting, I want to again state that I do not think K-8 is the
              > > direction that our school district should be taking, we simply
              > cannot
              > > afford it. I agree with our school board members when they say that
              > > people aren't leaving our district for K-8's; they are leaving for
              > > GOOD middle schools (Albany, Berkeley, Orinda). We cannot get
              > enough
              > > qualified math and science teachers right now to fill the
              > positions at
              > > our middle schools and high schools. How are we going to be able
              > to
              > > find enough qualified teachers to serve at the many elementary
              > schools
              > > in our district if they are reconfigured to K-8's. Many kids will
              > have
              > > no electives at all if they have to continue at elementary school
              > > through 8th grade. Then you have the case of equity; how is it
              > fair
              > > to redistrict more students to DeJean which is already full (it
              > has a
              > > capacity of 833 and currently has 848 students) and Helms (which
              > has a
              > > capacity of 1,118 and currently has 929 students). These two
              > campuses
              > > already house the largest middle school student populations. How
              > is
              > > it fair to jam these campuses with even more students while El
              > Cerrito
              > > and Kensington residents get nice small schools? Richmond and San
              > > Pablo residents want safe schools for their middle school students
              > > too. How is it fair to reconfigure Kensington to be a K-8 when
              > that
              > > school already got millions of extra dollars in their
              > reconstruction
              > > to the point that other Richmond schools got dropped off the list;
              > and
              > > now they want even more, while Richmond schools still sit
              > untouched.
              > > If we are going implement another K-8, then I call on this
              > district to
              > > implement K-8 in Richmond first! At a school that has space and
              > needs
              > > to be reconstructed! As I recall from the study that was done on
              > K-8,
              > > it was a Richmond School (Grant I believe) that was recommended as
              > the
              > > school that could be best reconfigured to a K-8 not Kensinton. It
              > > always seems that this tidbit of information gets left out when our
              > > school board member Dave Brown calls for the K-8 option. And it
              > > really bothers me that he tries to say that Richmond and San Pablo
              > > families also want K-8 but he never puts one of these flatland
              > schools
              > > out in front when he calls for K-8, it's always at Kensington. Now
              > > that is what is NOT FAIR!
              > >
              > > Christina Slamon
              > > Richmond
              > >
              > > On Nov 9, 2007 9:31 AM, jim cowen <jimcowen@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although
              > it serves
              > > > those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that
              > distracts from
              > > > the facts.
              > > >
              > > > Look at the ludicrous argument. We can't give K8 to those
              > elitist families
              > > > in the hills, so lets instead spend $60 million on a new school
              > there, while
              > > > schools in the flatlands continue to crumble.
              > > >
              > > > That money is wasted, wasted, wasted. And don't pretend it is
              > $60 million. I
              > > > predict $114.6 million by the time it is done (unless legal
              > challenges kill
              > > > it first).
              > > >
              > > > Do we want to raise every school to the highest standard, or do
              > we want to
              > > > beat down every school to the lowest common denominator?
              > > >
              > > > The K8 option for solving the Portola issue would have
              > > > -prevented the neighborhoold-against-neighborhood fight, which
              > will have
              > > > lasting and
              > > > lingering effects on the people of El Cerrito
              > > > -given every parent in El Cerrito three great options: 1. Middle
              > School (at
              > > > Adams or
              > > > Lavonya Dejean), 2. K8 (at several of the local schools), 3.
              > Middle School
              > > > academy at El
              > > > Cerrito HIgh school.
              > > > -cost about $20 million, meaning at least one other school
              > someplace could
              > > > be rebuilt
              > > > -had students out of the very dangerous Portola school within 6-
              > 8 months
              > > > instead of 3-5
              > > > years.
              > > > -kept families in El Cerrito from leaving for Albany or private
              > schools,
              > > > thus increasing ADA
              > > > for the district
              > > > -set a model for using this option in other areas. The next step
              > could be to
              > > > implement the option in other areas, such as downtown Richmond,
              > San Pablo,
              > > > Hercules, and El Sobrante.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > If this whole problem had occured at Lavonya Dejean instead of
              > Portola, and
              > > > the issue was which downtown Richmond elementary to close, would
              > anyone have
              > > > called a K8 option racist and elitist??
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > I am reminded of a time I helped a youth group serving dinner to
              > 25 tables
              > > > at a large function. When about 22 tables had been served, a man
              > came to the
              > > > kitchen loudly complaining that his table had not been served
              > yet. I had to
              > > > explain to him that it is impossible to serve every table at the
              > same time.
              > > > Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last, but
              > eventually everyone
              > > > will be fed.
              > > >
              > > > It seems to me that some folks in the K8 debate are so hell-bent
              > on making
              > > > sure El Cerrito doesnt get theirs first, that they would rather
              > everyone
              > > > starve.
              > > >
              > > > Jim Cowen
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > __________________________________________________
              > > > Do You Yahoo!?
              > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
              > > >
              > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --
              > > Christina Slamon
              > > phone: 510-559-8919
              > >
              >
            • Tony Sustak
              Scottie, You made a point about a person not being willing to sign her/his name to postings on the teachers and community discussion groups. However, maybe the
              Message 6 of 12 , Nov 11, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Scottie,
                You made a point about a person not being willing to sign her/his name to
                postings on the teachers and community discussion groups. However, maybe the
                person fears reprisal for publicly expressing her/his viewpoints. I'm not
                offereing this as an excuse, only saying that this is a possibility for
                someone's wanting anonymity.
                As for Miles: I have heard from several persons, including teachers, that
                she is uniformed on issues that affect our district and that she makes
                statements at Board meetings that indicate she does not know what she is
                talking about. In other words, she has not done her homework. If as you say
                and I agree, "... people are willing to stand up for the students in this
                district..." they must do the requisite research, study, and work to become
                informed and knowledgeable about the issues affecting the children in our
                District.

                Anonymous letter writer to Diane and Mel, wrote about Miles," ...I just
                think she is uniformed when it comes to our school district. It's been
                pretty obvious that she's someone who votes as she's told without an
                understanding behind her votes." I don't know who may be telling her how to
                vote, I do know that she seems to be a conduit for the views of the UTR
                leadership. Why do I say this? At the Board discussion meeting held before
                the regularly scheduled meeting last Wednesday, 11/7, Miles made comments
                linking union (UTR) contract negotiations and parcel tax discussions. I got
                the impression that she was suggesting that support for the parcel tax be
                contingent on agreement with teachers' contract demands. Diane Brown and I
                spoke against this. Miles said later in the meeting that this was not what
                she meant. What did she mean to say? Why say anything at all that could be
                interpreted as linking teachers' support for the parcel tax with their
                contract negotiations? After the meeting, a parent told me that UTR (Gail
                Mendes) wants to put teachers' salaries on a parcel tax. A UTR EBoard member
                has told me that teachers' salaries could be an added item to be funded from
                the new proposed parcel tax. I am completely against this idea and will vote
                against it if it comes before the UTR Rep Council.I think that Miles is
                floating the balloons about the parcel tax and teacher contract negotiations
                on behalf of the UTR (Gail Mendes) leadership. After Miles was elected to
                the WCCUSD Board, Gail took her around to schools during lunch (UTR provided
                lunch for the teachers) and held meetings to introduce Miles. I attended the
                Gail - Miles meeting at Kennedy. During the meeting, Gail made the point
                that we (teachers) missed gaining a school board majority by 66 votes ( the
                vote difference between Ramsey and Medrano).

                Miles received the second highest number of votes in the last school board
                election. She owes it to the people who voted for her and all of the
                children in the district to be an informed, competent representative for
                them. We should expect her to live up to her mandate from the voters, not
                UTR.

                Margaret Browne
                _____

                From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of rcs101@...
                Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:03 AM
                To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com; wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                Cc: Diamel@...
                Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] RE: School Board Meeting Last Night to Diane & Mel





                --Diana:

                Not to defend Audrey, but if the person (an adult particularly) can't sign
                their name, I would put little faith in what they say. Unless people are
                willing to stand up for the students in this district, there will be little
                change, because they can speak out of both sides of their mouth, when it
                comes to major issues and never take a public stand. If a parent is afraid
                to speak out, particularly, if they claim they are concerned about black and
                brown children, they are no better than the person they speak of and in some
                cases worst, because at least we know "somewhat" where Audrey stand,
                therefore, we can deal with her, and hopefully educate her, but to throw
                rocks and hide your hand is not someone I trust.

                Scottie Smith



                -------------- Original message ----------------------
                From: Diamel@... <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com>
                >
                > Dear Mel and Diane,
                > Thank you both so much for attending last night's board meeting. I
                > have really enjoyed meeting both of you and I'm so happy to know that
                > you are both teachers for our school district. Thank you very much
                > for your continued service to our kids.
                >
                > Mel, thank you for speaking out and identifying yourself as Workgroup
                > member 12. I appreciate your standing up to the critisism from the
                > Castro members on the workgroup.
                >
                > Lastly, I did not support Ms. Miles for school board because as a
                > parent who has regularly attended board meeting for the past 3 years,
                > I could not support her because I had never seen her at one school
                > board meeting in all that time. Even though she is a teacher, I did
                > not think she was qualified to be a school board member. After she
                > was elected, I hoped that she would at least represent the black and
                > brown kids of Richmond since the board has been so lopsided with El
                > Cerrito residents sitting on the board. Unfortunately, Ms. Miles has
                > not stepped up to the plate and she does not do her homework when it
                > comes to the important decisions facing our school district. I was
                > very disappointed when I found out that she does not send her kids to
                > public school but instead sends them to Catholic Schools. She is not
                > vested in this district and her decisions will never personally affect
                > her children. This is not a racial issue with me. I don't think Ms.
                > Miles is a racist, I just think she is uninformed when it comes to our
                > school district. It's been pretty obvious that she's someone who
                > votes as she's told without an understanding behind her votes. I
                > really hope the teachers in our school district let her know loud and
                > clear that her vote last night to support a K-8 at one of the most
                > elite schools in our district, when there are still schools in
                > Richmond (the city where she lives) that have old, decrepit classrooms
                > is just unbelievable and is definitely not a vote in support of
                > teachers or the students in our school district. Knowing how the
                > teachers reacted when we tried to suggest that Madera go just through
                > sixth grade when they were planning for the construction there, I feel
                > pretty confident that the Kensington teachers are not for this plan.
                > How she could put 130 kids from an elite neighborhood above the other
                > 5,000 middle school students in our school district is just
                > unfathomable to me. I hope someone tries to educate her about this so
                > that she can start making some more informed decisions.
                >
                > I would appreciate hearing any feedback that you want to provide. You
                > can also feel free to post my comments on the teachers discussion
                > group but I would appreciate it if you did not identify me by name.
                > You can say that I am a concerned parent. Take care and thanks again
                > to both of you for all that you do for our kids. Best regards.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol
                <http://www.aol.com> com
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • rcs101@att.net
                --Tony: Thanks for your response and information. I must say Miles would not have been my choice for the board, but as we all know, When Unions talk, the best
                Message 7 of 12 , Nov 12, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  --Tony:

                  Thanks for your response and information. I must say Miles would not have been my choice for the board, but as we all know, "When Unions talk, the best candidate doesn't alway win", therefore, I tend to look closely at who is supporting a particular candidate and why. Ms. Miles, I must say, has had me puzzled, but I would not say she is a racist, because of my definition of racist and racism. Not always informed, or listing to the wrong voices, that I would say, but if this is true, she can be taught, therefore, it is important for us to speak out against things she say, and "just" maybe she will learn and if she doesn't we can have the last word at the polls.

                  I have take a great deal of heat in this district for some of my strong statements, but like you, I feel it is in the best interest of the children. Therefore, we (parents and teachers) have a moral obligation to stand up for the children, because they are the future; and if we don't stand for them, how can we expect them to stand for us. I know this district have some great teachers, staff and parents, therefore, we must speak to each other, openly and honestly in order to effect change for the students. But to make statements and hide our names only allow others to win. I have witness many teachers and staff put their names on the line for our children, therefore, if they can do so, and risk losing their jobs, as parent, we most certainly should do the same.

                  Again thanks for the information, it is very useful.



                  Scottie Smith




                  -------------- Original message ----------------------
                  From: "Tony Sustak" <mtsustak@...>
                  >
                  > Scottie,
                  > You made a point about a person not being willing to sign her/his name to
                  > postings on the teachers and community discussion groups. However, maybe the
                  > person fears reprisal for publicly expressing her/his viewpoints. I'm not
                  > offereing this as an excuse, only saying that this is a possibility for
                  > someone's wanting anonymity.
                  > As for Miles: I have heard from several persons, including teachers, that
                  > she is uniformed on issues that affect our district and that she makes
                  > statements at Board meetings that indicate she does not know what she is
                  > talking about. In other words, she has not done her homework. If as you say
                  > and I agree, "... people are willing to stand up for the students in this
                  > district..." they must do the requisite research, study, and work to become
                  > informed and knowledgeable about the issues affecting the children in our
                  > District.
                  >
                  > Anonymous letter writer to Diane and Mel, wrote about Miles," ...I just
                  > think she is uniformed when it comes to our school district. It's been
                  > pretty obvious that she's someone who votes as she's told without an
                  > understanding behind her votes." I don't know who may be telling her how to
                  > vote, I do know that she seems to be a conduit for the views of the UTR
                  > leadership. Why do I say this? At the Board discussion meeting held before
                  > the regularly scheduled meeting last Wednesday, 11/7, Miles made comments
                  > linking union (UTR) contract negotiations and parcel tax discussions. I got
                  > the impression that she was suggesting that support for the parcel tax be
                  > contingent on agreement with teachers' contract demands. Diane Brown and I
                  > spoke against this. Miles said later in the meeting that this was not what
                  > she meant. What did she mean to say? Why say anything at all that could be
                  > interpreted as linking teachers' support for the parcel tax with their
                  > contract negotiations? After the meeting, a parent told me that UTR (Gail
                  > Mendes) wants to put teachers' salaries on a parcel tax. A UTR EBoard member
                  > has told me that teachers' salaries could be an added item to be funded from
                  > the new proposed parcel tax. I am completely against this idea and will vote
                  > against it if it comes before the UTR Rep Council.I think that Miles is
                  > floating the balloons about the parcel tax and teacher contract negotiations
                  > on behalf of the UTR (Gail Mendes) leadership. After Miles was elected to
                  > the WCCUSD Board, Gail took her around to schools during lunch (UTR provided
                  > lunch for the teachers) and held meetings to introduce Miles. I attended the
                  > Gail - Miles meeting at Kennedy. During the meeting, Gail made the point
                  > that we (teachers) missed gaining a school board majority by 66 votes ( the
                  > vote difference between Ramsey and Medrano).
                  >
                  > Miles received the second highest number of votes in the last school board
                  > election. She owes it to the people who voted for her and all of the
                  > children in the district to be an informed, competent representative for
                  > them. We should expect her to live up to her mandate from the voters, not
                  > UTR.
                  >
                  > Margaret Browne
                  > _____
                  >
                  > From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
                  > Behalf Of rcs101@...
                  > Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:03 AM
                  > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com; wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                  > Cc: Diamel@...
                  > Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] RE: School Board Meeting Last Night to Diane & Mel
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --Diana:
                  >
                  > Not to defend Audrey, but if the person (an adult particularly) can't sign
                  > their name, I would put little faith in what they say. Unless people are
                  > willing to stand up for the students in this district, there will be little
                  > change, because they can speak out of both sides of their mouth, when it
                  > comes to major issues and never take a public stand. If a parent is afraid
                  > to speak out, particularly, if they claim they are concerned about black and
                  > brown children, they are no better than the person they speak of and in some
                  > cases worst, because at least we know "somewhat" where Audrey stand,
                  > therefore, we can deal with her, and hopefully educate her, but to throw
                  > rocks and hide your hand is not someone I trust.
                  >
                  > Scottie Smith
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -------------- Original message ----------------------
                  > From: Diamel@... <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com>
                  > >
                  > > Dear Mel and Diane,
                  > > Thank you both so much for attending last night's board meeting. I
                  > > have really enjoyed meeting both of you and I'm so happy to know that
                  > > you are both teachers for our school district. Thank you very much
                  > > for your continued service to our kids.
                  > >
                  > > Mel, thank you for speaking out and identifying yourself as Workgroup
                  > > member 12. I appreciate your standing up to the critisism from the
                  > > Castro members on the workgroup.
                  > >
                  > > Lastly, I did not support Ms. Miles for school board because as a
                  > > parent who has regularly attended board meeting for the past 3 years,
                  > > I could not support her because I had never seen her at one school
                  > > board meeting in all that time. Even though she is a teacher, I did
                  > > not think she was qualified to be a school board member. After she
                  > > was elected, I hoped that she would at least represent the black and
                  > > brown kids of Richmond since the board has been so lopsided with El
                  > > Cerrito residents sitting on the board. Unfortunately, Ms. Miles has
                  > > not stepped up to the plate and she does not do her homework when it
                  > > comes to the important decisions facing our school district. I was
                  > > very disappointed when I found out that she does not send her kids to
                  > > public school but instead sends them to Catholic Schools. She is not
                  > > vested in this district and her decisions will never personally affect
                  > > her children. This is not a racial issue with me. I don't think Ms.
                  > > Miles is a racist, I just think she is uninformed when it comes to our
                  > > school district. It's been pretty obvious that she's someone who
                  > > votes as she's told without an understanding behind her votes. I
                  > > really hope the teachers in our school district let her know loud and
                  > > clear that her vote last night to support a K-8 at one of the most
                  > > elite schools in our district, when there are still schools in
                  > > Richmond (the city where she lives) that have old, decrepit classrooms
                  > > is just unbelievable and is definitely not a vote in support of
                  > > teachers or the students in our school district. Knowing how the
                  > > teachers reacted when we tried to suggest that Madera go just through
                  > > sixth grade when they were planning for the construction there, I feel
                  > > pretty confident that the Kensington teachers are not for this plan.
                  > > How she could put 130 kids from an elite neighborhood above the other
                  > > 5,000 middle school students in our school district is just
                  > > unfathomable to me. I hope someone tries to educate her about this so
                  > > that she can start making some more informed decisions.
                  > >
                  > > I would appreciate hearing any feedback that you want to provide. You
                  > > can also feel free to post my comments on the teachers discussion
                  > > group but I would appreciate it if you did not identify me by name.
                  > > You can say that I am a concerned parent. Take care and thanks again
                  > > to both of you for all that you do for our kids. Best regards.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol
                  > <http://www.aol.com> com
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • gregorychang
                  Jim, thanks for your comments. What you said about giving students and parents a choice resonated with me. It is apparent that there are strong advocates for
                  Message 8 of 12 , Nov 12, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Jim, thanks for your comments. What you said about giving students
                    and parents a choice resonated with me. It is apparent that there are
                    strong advocates for both K-8 schools and middle schools. Ideally,
                    people should be able to choose whether K-8 or Middle School works
                    for them. Yet at the same time, the school district would benefit
                    from certain efficiencies if the grade configurations were universal
                    across the district. Is it fair to say that flexibility would cost
                    more money (in terms of operations, not capital cost for new
                    buildings)?

                    I've heard a lot of concern about the potential negative impacts on
                    7th and 8th graders from a jr.-sr. high school configuration. Do K-8
                    advocates also face skepticism about the impacts of having 1st and
                    2nd graders together with 8th graders?

                    Also, the thing that scared me about your comments was the statement
                    that ``The road to making WCCUSD middle schools as a great option is
                    so long that it is insurmountable.'' Could you elaborate on why you
                    think this is such a difficult task?

                    Yours, Greg

                    --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, jim cowen <jimcowen@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > CHristina
                    > You are asking for Richmond schools to get K8 first!. That is
                    EXACTLY what the K8 study group recommended. In fact, it recommended
                    a K8 in each area.
                    >
                    > But again, the discussion on the table now is what to do with
                    Portola. And, as I said in my first post, some people are so blinded
                    by the desire to make sure those hill kids dont get something first
                    that they want to bring everyone down to the lowest common
                    denominator. SOMEONE has to get their dinner first, and SOMEONE has
                    to get it last. If DeJean was the school that had to be closed and
                    move, then the K8 option would be pushed there.
                    >
                    > I disagree with your repeat of the contention that people dont
                    leave WCCUSD for other K8's, therefore they dont want K8. People
                    leave WCCUSD for a better OPTION. The road to making WCCUSD middle
                    schools as a great option is so long that it is insurmountable. But
                    offering K8 as an OPTION would keep those students here. Dont be
                    afraid of it; you can still send your student to a middle school if
                    YOU choose.
                    >
                    > I want YOUR student to have the option of either K8 or a middle
                    school. You want MY student to have only the option of middle
                    school. Now THAT's not fair.
                    >
                    > And extra cost??? Using the K8 option in the Portola discussion
                    would SAVE many tens of millions of dollars!!!!!! (And I will be the
                    first to say use that money to rebuild a flat land school)
                    >
                    > Jim
                    > c slamon <cslamon@...> wrote:
                    > Since the issue of K-8's was such a prominent part of the
                    last board
                    > meeting, I want to again state that I do not think K-8 is the
                    > direction that our school district should be taking, we simply
                    cannot
                    > afford it. I agree with our school board members when they say that
                    > people aren't leaving our district for K-8's; they are leaving for
                    > GOOD middle schools (Albany, Berkeley, Orinda). We cannot get enough
                    > qualified math and science teachers right now to fill the positions
                    at
                    > our middle schools and high schools. How are we going to be able to
                    > find enough qualified teachers to serve at the many elementary
                    schools
                    > in our district if they are reconfigured to K-8's. Many kids will
                    have
                    > no electives at all if they have to continue at elementary school
                    > through 8th grade. Then you have the case of equity; how is it fair
                    > to redistrict more students to DeJean which is already full (it has
                    a
                    > capacity of 833 and currently has 848 students) and Helms (which
                    has a
                    > capacity of 1,118 and currently has 929 students). These two
                    campuses
                    > already house the largest middle school student populations. How is
                    > it fair to jam these campuses with even more students while El
                    Cerrito
                    > and Kensington residents get nice small schools? Richmond and San
                    > Pablo residents want safe schools for their middle school students
                    > too. How is it fair to reconfigure Kensington to be a K-8 when that
                    > school already got millions of extra dollars in their reconstruction
                    > to the point that other Richmond schools got dropped off the list;
                    and
                    > now they want even more, while Richmond schools still sit untouched.
                    > If we are going implement another K-8, then I call on this district
                    to
                    > implement K-8 in Richmond first! At a school that has space and
                    needs
                    > to be reconstructed! As I recall from the study that was done on K-
                    8,
                    > it was a Richmond School (Grant I believe) that was recommended as
                    the
                    > school that could be best reconfigured to a K-8 not Kensinton. It
                    > always seems that this tidbit of information gets left out when our
                    > school board member Dave Brown calls for the K-8 option. And it
                    > really bothers me that he tries to say that Richmond and San Pablo
                    > families also want K-8 but he never puts one of these flatland
                    schools
                    > out in front when he calls for K-8, it's always at Kensington. Now
                    > that is what is NOT FAIR!
                    >
                    > Christina Slamon
                    > Richmond
                    >
                    > On Nov 9, 2007 9:31 AM, jim cowen <jimcowen@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Calling a K8 option racist is dishonest and misleading, although
                    it serves
                    > > those who utter it pretty well as a sensational claim that
                    distracts from
                    > > the facts.
                    > >
                    > > Look at the ludicrous argument. We can't give K8 to those elitist
                    families
                    > > in the hills, so lets instead spend $60 million on a new school
                    there, while
                    > > schools in the flatlands continue to crumble.
                    > >
                    > > That money is wasted, wasted, wasted. And don't pretend it is $60
                    million. I
                    > > predict $114.6 million by the time it is done (unless legal
                    challenges kill
                    > > it first).
                    > >
                    > > Do we want to raise every school to the highest standard, or do
                    we want to
                    > > beat down every school to the lowest common denominator?
                    > >
                    > > The K8 option for solving the Portola issue would have
                    > > -prevented the neighborhoold-against-neighborhood fight, which
                    will have
                    > > lasting and
                    > > lingering effects on the people of El Cerrito
                    > > -given every parent in El Cerrito three great options: 1. Middle
                    School (at
                    > > Adams or
                    > > Lavonya Dejean), 2. K8 (at several of the local schools), 3.
                    Middle School
                    > > academy at El
                    > > Cerrito HIgh school.
                    > > -cost about $20 million, meaning at least one other school
                    someplace could
                    > > be rebuilt
                    > > -had students out of the very dangerous Portola school within 6-8
                    months
                    > > instead of 3-5
                    > > years.
                    > > -kept families in El Cerrito from leaving for Albany or private
                    schools,
                    > > thus increasing ADA
                    > > for the district
                    > > -set a model for using this option in other areas. The next step
                    could be to
                    > > implement the option in other areas, such as downtown Richmond,
                    San Pablo,
                    > > Hercules, and El Sobrante.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > If this whole problem had occured at Lavonya Dejean instead of
                    Portola, and
                    > > the issue was which downtown Richmond elementary to close, would
                    anyone have
                    > > called a K8 option racist and elitist??
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > I am reminded of a time I helped a youth group serving dinner to
                    25 tables
                    > > at a large function. When about 22 tables had been served, a man
                    came to the
                    > > kitchen loudly complaining that his table had not been served
                    yet. I had to
                    > > explain to him that it is impossible to serve every table at the
                    same time.
                    > > Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last, but
                    eventually everyone
                    > > will be fed.
                    > >
                    > > It seems to me that some folks in the K8 debate are so hell-bent
                    on making
                    > > sure El Cerrito doesnt get theirs first, that they would rather
                    everyone
                    > > starve.
                    > >
                    > > Jim Cowen
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > __________________________________________________
                    > > Do You Yahoo!?
                    > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    > --
                    > Christina Slamon
                    > phone: 510-559-8919
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > __________________________________________________
                    > Do You Yahoo!?
                    > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    > http://mail.yahoo.com
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Tony Sustak
                    Scottie, The response was from me, Margaret Browne, not Tony, my husband. Anyway, thank you for your comments. You have always been in the forefront , fighting
                    Message 9 of 12 , Nov 12, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Scottie,
                      The response was from me, Margaret Browne, not Tony, my husband. Anyway,
                      thank you for your comments. You have always been in the forefront ,
                      fighting for the children in the District. Keep it up! Again, thanks.
                      Margaret Browne

                      _____

                      From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
                      Behalf Of rcs101@...
                      Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 9:22 AM
                      To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com; wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: Tony Sustak
                      Subject: RE: [wccusdtalk] RE: School Board Meeting Last Night to Diane & Mel





                      --Tony:

                      Thanks for your response and information. I must say Miles would not have
                      been my choice for the board, but as we all know, "When Unions talk, the
                      best candidate doesn't alway win", therefore, I tend to look closely at who
                      is supporting a particular candidate and why. Ms. Miles, I must say, has had
                      me puzzled, but I would not say she is a racist, because of my definition of
                      racist and racism. Not always informed, or listing to the wrong voices, that
                      I would say, but if this is true, she can be taught, therefore, it is
                      important for us to speak out against things she say, and "just" maybe she
                      will learn and if she doesn't we can have the last word at the polls.

                      I have take a great deal of heat in this district for some of my strong
                      statements, but like you, I feel it is in the best interest of the children.
                      Therefore, we (parents and teachers) have a moral obligation to stand up for
                      the children, because they are the future; and if we don't stand for them,
                      how can we expect them to stand for us. I know this district have some great
                      teachers, staff and parents, therefore, we must speak to each other, openly
                      and honestly in order to effect change for the students. But to make
                      statements and hide our names only allow others to win. I have witness many
                      teachers and staff put their names on the line for our children, therefore,
                      if they can do so, and risk losing their jobs, as parent, we most certainly
                      should do the same.

                      Again thanks for the information, it is very useful.


                      Scottie Smith



                      -------------- Original message ----------------------
                      From: "Tony Sustak" <mtsustak@sonic. <mailto:mtsustak%40sonic.net> net>
                      >
                      > Scottie,
                      > You made a point about a person not being willing to sign her/his name to
                      > postings on the teachers and community discussion groups. However, maybe
                      the
                      > person fears reprisal for publicly expressing her/his viewpoints. I'm not
                      > offereing this as an excuse, only saying that this is a possibility for
                      > someone's wanting anonymity.
                      > As for Miles: I have heard from several persons, including teachers, that
                      > she is uniformed on issues that affect our district and that she makes
                      > statements at Board meetings that indicate she does not know what she is
                      > talking about. In other words, she has not done her homework. If as you
                      say
                      > and I agree, "... people are willing to stand up for the students in this
                      > district..." they must do the requisite research, study, and work to
                      become
                      > informed and knowledgeable about the issues affecting the children in our
                      > District.
                      >
                      > Anonymous letter writer to Diane and Mel, wrote about Miles," ...I just
                      > think she is uniformed when it comes to our school district. It's been
                      > pretty obvious that she's someone who votes as she's told without an
                      > understanding behind her votes." I don't know who may be telling her how
                      to
                      > vote, I do know that she seems to be a conduit for the views of the UTR
                      > leadership. Why do I say this? At the Board discussion meeting held before
                      > the regularly scheduled meeting last Wednesday, 11/7, Miles made comments
                      > linking union (UTR) contract negotiations and parcel tax discussions. I
                      got
                      > the impression that she was suggesting that support for the parcel tax be
                      > contingent on agreement with teachers' contract demands. Diane Brown and I
                      > spoke against this. Miles said later in the meeting that this was not what
                      > she meant. What did she mean to say? Why say anything at all that could be
                      > interpreted as linking teachers' support for the parcel tax with their
                      > contract negotiations? After the meeting, a parent told me that UTR (Gail
                      > Mendes) wants to put teachers' salaries on a parcel tax. A UTR EBoard
                      member
                      > has told me that teachers' salaries could be an added item to be funded
                      from
                      > the new proposed parcel tax. I am completely against this idea and will
                      vote
                      > against it if it comes before the UTR Rep Council.I think that Miles is
                      > floating the balloons about the parcel tax and teacher contract
                      negotiations
                      > on behalf of the UTR (Gail Mendes) leadership. After Miles was elected to
                      > the WCCUSD Board, Gail took her around to schools during lunch (UTR
                      provided
                      > lunch for the teachers) and held meetings to introduce Miles. I attended
                      the
                      > Gail - Miles meeting at Kennedy. During the meeting, Gail made the point
                      > that we (teachers) missed gaining a school board majority by 66 votes (
                      the
                      > vote difference between Ramsey and Medrano).
                      >
                      > Miles received the second highest number of votes in the last school board
                      > election. She owes it to the people who voted for her and all of the
                      > children in the district to be an informed, competent representative for
                      > them. We should expect her to live up to her mandate from the voters, not
                      > UTR.
                      >
                      > Margaret Browne
                      > _____
                      >
                      > From: wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com
                      [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com]
                      On
                      > Behalf Of rcs101@... <mailto:rcs101%40att.net>
                      > Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:03 AM
                      > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com;
                      wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com
                      > Cc: Diamel@... <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com>
                      > Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] RE: School Board Meeting Last Night to Diane &
                      Mel
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --Diana:
                      >
                      > Not to defend Audrey, but if the person (an adult particularly) can't sign
                      > their name, I would put little faith in what they say. Unless people are
                      > willing to stand up for the students in this district, there will be
                      little
                      > change, because they can speak out of both sides of their mouth, when it
                      > comes to major issues and never take a public stand. If a parent is afraid
                      > to speak out, particularly, if they claim they are concerned about black
                      and
                      > brown children, they are no better than the person they speak of and in
                      some
                      > cases worst, because at least we know "somewhat" where Audrey stand,
                      > therefore, we can deal with her, and hopefully educate her, but to throw
                      > rocks and hide your hand is not someone I trust.
                      >
                      > Scottie Smith
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > -------------- Original message ----------------------
                      > From: Diamel@... <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com> <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com>
                      > >
                      > > Dear Mel and Diane,
                      > > Thank you both so much for attending last night's board meeting. I
                      > > have really enjoyed meeting both of you and I'm so happy to know that
                      > > you are both teachers for our school district. Thank you very much
                      > > for your continued service to our kids.
                      > >
                      > > Mel, thank you for speaking out and identifying yourself as Workgroup
                      > > member 12. I appreciate your standing up to the critisism from the
                      > > Castro members on the workgroup.
                      > >
                      > > Lastly, I did not support Ms. Miles for school board because as a
                      > > parent who has regularly attended board meeting for the past 3 years,
                      > > I could not support her because I had never seen her at one school
                      > > board meeting in all that time. Even though she is a teacher, I did
                      > > not think she was qualified to be a school board member. After she
                      > > was elected, I hoped that she would at least represent the black and
                      > > brown kids of Richmond since the board has been so lopsided with El
                      > > Cerrito residents sitting on the board. Unfortunately, Ms. Miles has
                      > > not stepped up to the plate and she does not do her homework when it
                      > > comes to the important decisions facing our school district. I was
                      > > very disappointed when I found out that she does not send her kids to
                      > > public school but instead sends them to Catholic Schools. She is not
                      > > vested in this district and her decisions will never personally affect
                      > > her children. This is not a racial issue with me. I don't think Ms.
                      > > Miles is a racist, I just think she is uninformed when it comes to our
                      > > school district. It's been pretty obvious that she's someone who
                      > > votes as she's told without an understanding behind her votes. I
                      > > really hope the teachers in our school district let her know loud and
                      > > clear that her vote last night to support a K-8 at one of the most
                      > > elite schools in our district, when there are still schools in
                      > > Richmond (the city where she lives) that have old, decrepit classrooms
                      > > is just unbelievable and is definitely not a vote in support of
                      > > teachers or the students in our school district. Knowing how the
                      > > teachers reacted when we tried to suggest that Madera go just through
                      > > sixth grade when they were planning for the construction there, I feel
                      > > pretty confident that the Kensington teachers are not for this plan.
                      > > How she could put 130 kids from an elite neighborhood above the other
                      > > 5,000 middle school students in our school district is just
                      > > unfathomable to me. I hope someone tries to educate her about this so
                      > > that she can start making some more informed decisions.
                      > >
                      > > I would appreciate hearing any feedback that you want to provide. You
                      > > can also feel free to post my comments on the teachers discussion
                      > > group but I would appreciate it if you did not identify me by name.
                      > > You can say that I am a concerned parent. Take care and thanks again
                      > > to both of you for all that you do for our kids. Best regards.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol
                      > <http://www.aol <http://www.aol.com> com> com
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >






                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • rcs101@att.net
                      --Margaret: Sorry, that s what happen when you look at the name on top. But it still apply, particularly to you, since I know you have stood out front for a
                      Message 10 of 12 , Nov 12, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        --Margaret:

                        Sorry, that's what happen when you look at the name on top. But it still apply, particularly to you, since I know you have stood out front for a long time.

                        Scottie Smith




                        -------------- Original message ----------------------
                        From: "Tony Sustak" <mtsustak@...>
                        >
                        > Scottie,
                        > The response was from me, Margaret Browne, not Tony, my husband. Anyway,
                        > thank you for your comments. You have always been in the forefront ,
                        > fighting for the children in the District. Keep it up! Again, thanks.
                        > Margaret Browne
                        >
                        > _____
                        >
                        > From: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com] On
                        > Behalf Of rcs101@...
                        > Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 9:22 AM
                        > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com; wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
                        > Cc: Tony Sustak
                        > Subject: RE: [wccusdtalk] RE: School Board Meeting Last Night to Diane & Mel
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --Tony:
                        >
                        > Thanks for your response and information. I must say Miles would not have
                        > been my choice for the board, but as we all know, "When Unions talk, the
                        > best candidate doesn't alway win", therefore, I tend to look closely at who
                        > is supporting a particular candidate and why. Ms. Miles, I must say, has had
                        > me puzzled, but I would not say she is a racist, because of my definition of
                        > racist and racism. Not always informed, or listing to the wrong voices, that
                        > I would say, but if this is true, she can be taught, therefore, it is
                        > important for us to speak out against things she say, and "just" maybe she
                        > will learn and if she doesn't we can have the last word at the polls.
                        >
                        > I have take a great deal of heat in this district for some of my strong
                        > statements, but like you, I feel it is in the best interest of the children.
                        > Therefore, we (parents and teachers) have a moral obligation to stand up for
                        > the children, because they are the future; and if we don't stand for them,
                        > how can we expect them to stand for us. I know this district have some great
                        > teachers, staff and parents, therefore, we must speak to each other, openly
                        > and honestly in order to effect change for the students. But to make
                        > statements and hide our names only allow others to win. I have witness many
                        > teachers and staff put their names on the line for our children, therefore,
                        > if they can do so, and risk losing their jobs, as parent, we most certainly
                        > should do the same.
                        >
                        > Again thanks for the information, it is very useful.
                        >
                        >
                        > Scottie Smith
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > -------------- Original message ----------------------
                        > From: "Tony Sustak" <mtsustak@sonic. <mailto:mtsustak%40sonic.net> net>
                        > >
                        > > Scottie,
                        > > You made a point about a person not being willing to sign her/his name to
                        > > postings on the teachers and community discussion groups. However, maybe
                        > the
                        > > person fears reprisal for publicly expressing her/his viewpoints. I'm not
                        > > offereing this as an excuse, only saying that this is a possibility for
                        > > someone's wanting anonymity.
                        > > As for Miles: I have heard from several persons, including teachers, that
                        > > she is uniformed on issues that affect our district and that she makes
                        > > statements at Board meetings that indicate she does not know what she is
                        > > talking about. In other words, she has not done her homework. If as you
                        > say
                        > > and I agree, "... people are willing to stand up for the students in this
                        > > district..." they must do the requisite research, study, and work to
                        > become
                        > > informed and knowledgeable about the issues affecting the children in our
                        > > District.
                        > >
                        > > Anonymous letter writer to Diane and Mel, wrote about Miles," ...I just
                        > > think she is uniformed when it comes to our school district. It's been
                        > > pretty obvious that she's someone who votes as she's told without an
                        > > understanding behind her votes." I don't know who may be telling her how
                        > to
                        > > vote, I do know that she seems to be a conduit for the views of the UTR
                        > > leadership. Why do I say this? At the Board discussion meeting held before
                        > > the regularly scheduled meeting last Wednesday, 11/7, Miles made comments
                        > > linking union (UTR) contract negotiations and parcel tax discussions. I
                        > got
                        > > the impression that she was suggesting that support for the parcel tax be
                        > > contingent on agreement with teachers' contract demands. Diane Brown and I
                        > > spoke against this. Miles said later in the meeting that this was not what
                        > > she meant. What did she mean to say? Why say anything at all that could be
                        > > interpreted as linking teachers' support for the parcel tax with their
                        > > contract negotiations? After the meeting, a parent told me that UTR (Gail
                        > > Mendes) wants to put teachers' salaries on a parcel tax. A UTR EBoard
                        > member
                        > > has told me that teachers' salaries could be an added item to be funded
                        > from
                        > > the new proposed parcel tax. I am completely against this idea and will
                        > vote
                        > > against it if it comes before the UTR Rep Council.I think that Miles is
                        > > floating the balloons about the parcel tax and teacher contract
                        > negotiations
                        > > on behalf of the UTR (Gail Mendes) leadership. After Miles was elected to
                        > > the WCCUSD Board, Gail took her around to schools during lunch (UTR
                        > provided
                        > > lunch for the teachers) and held meetings to introduce Miles. I attended
                        > the
                        > > Gail - Miles meeting at Kennedy. During the meeting, Gail made the point
                        > > that we (teachers) missed gaining a school board majority by 66 votes (
                        > the
                        > > vote difference between Ramsey and Medrano).
                        > >
                        > > Miles received the second highest number of votes in the last school board
                        > > election. She owes it to the people who voted for her and all of the
                        > > children in the district to be an informed, competent representative for
                        > > them. We should expect her to live up to her mandate from the voters, not
                        > > UTR.
                        > >
                        > > Margaret Browne
                        > > _____
                        > >
                        > > From: wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com
                        > [mailto:wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com]
                        > On
                        > > Behalf Of rcs101@... <mailto:rcs101%40att.net>
                        > > Sent: Friday, November 09, 2007 9:03 AM
                        > > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com;
                        > wccusdtalk@yahoogro <mailto:wccusdtalk%40yahoogroups.com> ups.com
                        > > Cc: Diamel@... <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com>
                        > > Subject: Re: [wccusdtalk] RE: School Board Meeting Last Night to Diane &
                        > Mel
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --Diana:
                        > >
                        > > Not to defend Audrey, but if the person (an adult particularly) can't sign
                        > > their name, I would put little faith in what they say. Unless people are
                        > > willing to stand up for the students in this district, there will be
                        > little
                        > > change, because they can speak out of both sides of their mouth, when it
                        > > comes to major issues and never take a public stand. If a parent is afraid
                        > > to speak out, particularly, if they claim they are concerned about black
                        > and
                        > > brown children, they are no better than the person they speak of and in
                        > some
                        > > cases worst, because at least we know "somewhat" where Audrey stand,
                        > > therefore, we can deal with her, and hopefully educate her, but to throw
                        > > rocks and hide your hand is not someone I trust.
                        > >
                        > > Scottie Smith
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > -------------- Original message ----------------------
                        > > From: Diamel@... <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com> <mailto:Diamel%40aol.com>
                        > > >
                        > > > Dear Mel and Diane,
                        > > > Thank you both so much for attending last night's board meeting. I
                        > > > have really enjoyed meeting both of you and I'm so happy to know that
                        > > > you are both teachers for our school district. Thank you very much
                        > > > for your continued service to our kids.
                        > > >
                        > > > Mel, thank you for speaking out and identifying yourself as Workgroup
                        > > > member 12. I appreciate your standing up to the critisism from the
                        > > > Castro members on the workgroup.
                        > > >
                        > > > Lastly, I did not support Ms. Miles for school board because as a
                        > > > parent who has regularly attended board meeting for the past 3 years,
                        > > > I could not support her because I had never seen her at one school
                        > > > board meeting in all that time. Even though she is a teacher, I did
                        > > > not think she was qualified to be a school board member. After she
                        > > > was elected, I hoped that she would at least represent the black and
                        > > > brown kids of Richmond since the board has been so lopsided with El
                        > > > Cerrito residents sitting on the board. Unfortunately, Ms. Miles has
                        > > > not stepped up to the plate and she does not do her homework when it
                        > > > comes to the important decisions facing our school district. I was
                        > > > very disappointed when I found out that she does not send her kids to
                        > > > public school but instead sends them to Catholic Schools. She is not
                        > > > vested in this district and her decisions will never personally affect
                        > > > her children. This is not a racial issue with me. I don't think Ms.
                        > > > Miles is a racist, I just think she is uninformed when it comes to our
                        > > > school district. It's been pretty obvious that she's someone who
                        > > > votes as she's told without an understanding behind her votes. I
                        > > > really hope the teachers in our school district let her know loud and
                        > > > clear that her vote last night to support a K-8 at one of the most
                        > > > elite schools in our district, when there are still schools in
                        > > > Richmond (the city where she lives) that have old, decrepit classrooms
                        > > > is just unbelievable and is definitely not a vote in support of
                        > > > teachers or the students in our school district. Knowing how the
                        > > > teachers reacted when we tried to suggest that Madera go just through
                        > > > sixth grade when they were planning for the construction there, I feel
                        > > > pretty confident that the Kensington teachers are not for this plan.
                        > > > How she could put 130 kids from an elite neighborhood above the other
                        > > > 5,000 middle school students in our school district is just
                        > > > unfathomable to me. I hope someone tries to educate her about this so
                        > > > that she can start making some more informed decisions.
                        > > >
                        > > > I would appreciate hearing any feedback that you want to provide. You
                        > > > can also feel free to post my comments on the teachers discussion
                        > > > group but I would appreciate it if you did not identify me by name.
                        > > > You can say that I am a concerned parent. Take care and thanks again
                        > > > to both of you for all that you do for our kids. Best regards.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol
                        > > <http://www.aol <http://www.aol.com> com> com
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
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