API links. Hayward story in the works

UPDATE, 9/6: Here’s the story that came out yesterday

We had an overview story about the API scores coming out, with emphasis on No Child Left Behind. Oakland education reporter Katy Murphy also blogged about it, asking readers what they think of NCLB and whether it should be revamped.

There was a full chart on all schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in today’s paper. You can find a link to the results in the above story, or find the state’s API report for Hayward here.

I spoke with the principal at Longwood for a while yesterday, will be talking with district regarding HUSD results for a Hayward-specific story slated to run over the weekend. Notables: Longwood, Burbank and Harder, which all underwent a transformation, made significant improvements, with Burbank being the biggest gainer at 79 points. Longwood rose by 75, Harder by 50. New to the Program Improvement list this year are Fairview and Strobridge Elementary and Ochoa Middle schools, although all made their API improvement goals, Strobridge and Ochoa for all subgroups. Ochoa, in fact, saw a gain of 46 API points. Compare that to the district as a whole, which rose by 8 (still making target). Faith Ringgold has the highest score in the district, while Leadership Public Schools – Hayward is tops for all schools within the city, including charters.

Dept. of Ed press release is after the jump, with more links to data.  Continue Reading


This week’s HUSD meeting: Tech status, achievement gap

Had a story in today’s paper related to the effort to close the achievement gap for black kids at Hayward schools. There’s a difference in opinion regarding who should spearhead the effort: COR, which has been studying the issue for some time now, or the district, because it’s ultimately the responsibility of HUSD. The COR representative I spoke with would like the district to take a step back until they have further discussions but the district still plans on having the late Sept. summit and will likely consider approving the creation of the task force at its next meeting. COR and board members are in agreement on a main point, however — that it’s crucial for parents to get involved if the program is to be successful.

Other items: New Associate Supt. of Business Services Stanley Dobbs had two presentations. The first was an update on the state budget. A particular concerning aspect is the possibility for the state to trigger further reductions come December should the economy be flagging. That would mean a $6 million hit for the district, which is already deficit spending to the tune of $5 million, Dobbs said.

Dobbs also talked about the state of technology at Hayward schools. He said it was awful, and that he’s “never seen anything like it before.” He said there’s no leadership in the tech office and in terms of equipment, things have been allowed to degrade to the point where substantial investment would be required to bring it up to speed. He said teachers that do have access to new technology aren’t being properly trained how to use it.

“It’s no good to buy a SmartBoard if it’s just going to be used as a dry-erase board with a socket in the back,” he said.

Former Commander Stanley “Data” Dobbs has a very strong background in tech, and said he’d like to see the district become one where kids are acquainted with technology at an early age, so by the time they’re in high school they’re exploring robotics, web design and the like.

Trustees were excited about the ideas, though some wary of past plans to improve technology in schools that weren’t well thought out. Dobbs was asked to come back with more information regarding implementation and financing of the plan. There are grants out there, including a hefty Microsoft reimbursement plan for nearly $1M.

“We all agree we need to update, and it should be done quickly, but we do need to be diligent,” said Board President Lisa Brunner.

Also, additional assistant principals were approved for Hayward High and Mt. Eden High schools to improve campus safety.

Then came the achievement gap item, but I missed the rest of the meeting, which included an item on the district’s fingerprinting policy. Looks like the video is available but I haven’t watched it yet. Anyone else?

Looking ahead, API scores come out next week. Brunner gave me a bit of a sneak peek and there’s some interesting numbers in there. Burbank Elementary as a whole went up a lot of points, but the African-American student subpopulation saw an incredible increase, I’m talking triple-digit. Scores available Aug. 31 on the state Department of Education website.


Mt. Eden student’s work on display in Washington D.C.

Jared Gochuico, a senior at Mt. Eden High School, earned high honors over the summer when his mixed-media work titled “Examination” was selected as winner of the 30th Annual Congressional Arts Competition. The piece is on display at the Capitol, along with other winners from across the nation.

Jared Gochuico said his work, "Examination," represents adolescence (done in grayscale) combined with the "childish, playful" colors of a Rubik's cube.

“As you can imagine, winning this award was no small accomplishment,” wrote his art teacher, Carrie King, in an email. “The competition was intense with only the very best work from the students from all over the East Bay on display. I’ve taught art at Mt. Eden for the past 19 years and I know that in that time no student from Mt. Eden has won this award. I am unaware of the last time (if ever) a student from HUSD has won. I’m very proud to be his teacher.”

She said on Tuesday that Jared is extremely talented but is also very disciplined and doesn’t coast on his skills. “He absolutely works harder than any other student I have had,” she said. “He won’t just put in partial effort and still get an A. So much of it is sweat.”

Jared and his family were flown to Washington DC courtesy of Southwest airlines in late June to view his artwork, which will remain on display in the Cannon Tunnel in the capitol building for the next year. Jared and over 430 winners from other districts, about 50 from CA, were in Washington DC to celebrate this national competition.

Read Rep. Pete Stark’s release after the jump. Continue Reading


Shop Hayward this weekend, get a gift bag

From the “better late than never” file, if you are planning on having a spendy weekend, do it in Hayward. There are some kickbacks:

The first 100 shoppers who spend a total of $100 or more at Hayward retailers or restaurants from Monday, 15th to Sunday, August 21st can claim a free sports pack of gifts consisting of a Back to School Hayward sports pack along with two free movie tickets to the Cinemark Theatre in Downtown Hayward, a $10 Gift Certificate from Southland Mall, a $5 Gift Certificate from Bijou in Downtown Hayward, and a $5 Gift Certificate from Shark Shack, in addition to some other gifts.

Click here for more information.



Million Father March on first day of school

Hayward Unified is asking parents, guardians and just about anyone involved in a child’s life to accompany them to class on the first day of school, which is Tuesday for those not on the year round schedule. It’s part of the Million Father March, which organizer Black Star Project expects will see that number of people take place this year in 700 cities across the nation. According to Trustee William McGee, Hayward is the only city in the area he knows of that is taking part in the effort this year, although he said they plan to do some brainstorming and hopefully get Alameda County and the Tri-City area involved next year.


STAR results are out, some gains made

The Standardized Testing and Reporting results came out today, find our overview story here with links to data. While Hayward as a district remains considerably below both the state and Alameda County averages for proficiency in math and reading, both areas did see some progress. For English, 40.7 percent of kids tested proficient, compared with 39 percent in 2010 and 36.4 percent in 2009. In math, 37.3 percent tested proficient this year, compared with 35 percent last year and 32 percent in 2009.

Quick comparisons: San Leandro came in at 46 percent proficient in English, 36.4 percent in math, with about a 1.5 percentage point gain in each. San Lorenzo had 42.9 percent proficient in English, 36.9 percent in math, both down by a fraction of a percent from last year. Castro Valley had 73.6 percent proficient in English, up from 70.6 percent, and 65.5 percent proficient in math, up one percentage point.

Some individual Hayward schools had impressive results, as you can see on this chart.

“We are particularly pleased with the results at Longwood, Harder and Burbank,” wrote Leticia Salinas, a director of academic affairs with the district, in an email.  “Under state and HUSD board guidelines, these schools put in reform efforts that had phenomenal gains.  We are so pleased with the work that Longwood, Burbank, and Harder have accomplished.  These schools  worked  with a focus on collaboration as a school community and targeted professional development in the areas of standards and assessment.   For example, in English Language Arts at grade 2, the percent proficient/advanced increased 23%  at Burbank , 16% at Harder and 15% at Longwood at 2nd grade.  The teachers, students, principals, and parents accomplished so much!”

Here’s a list of Hayward schools and the change in the proficiency score from last year, double-digit gains bolded, declines in red:

Bowman Elementary -3.51%
Brenkwitz High -0.10%
Bret Harte Middle -1.96%
Burbank Elementary +13.75%
Chavez (Cesar) Middle +1.40%
Cherryland Elementary -1.61%
East Avenue Elementary -6.37%
Eden Gardens Elementary +2.22%
ldridge Elementary +4.19%
Fairview Elementary +2.66%
Faith Ringgold School of Arts +17.95%
Glassbrook Elementary -6.48%
Golden Oak Montessori of Haywa +5.15%
Harder Elementary +8.30%
Hayward High +1.22%
Impact Academy of Arts & Techn +17.96%
Leadership Public Schools +11.80%
Longwood Elementary +13.12%
Lorin A. Eden Elementary +4.74%
Martin Luther King, Jr. Midd +3.31%
Mt. Eden High +0.97%
Ochoa (Anthony W.) Middle +7.71%
Palma Ceia Elementary -4.75%
Park Elementary -1.10%
Ruus Elementary -1.35%
Schafer Park Elementary +4.11%
Southgate Elementary +2.58%
Stonebrae Elementary +1.34%
Strobridge Elementary +7.83%
Tennyson High +4.67%
Treeview Elementary +2.26%
Tyrrell Elementary -4.25%
Winton Middle -0.22%

Find the lengthy press release from the state after the jump: Continue Reading


Trustees heading to Pittsburg on Thursday in supt. search

UPDATE 7/29: Here’s the story.

UPDATE 7/28: Board not going forward with Palacios. Brunner swings vote, says that while Palacios is very impressive, doing a great job in Pittsburg, he may not be right person for Hayward. Board will move on to third round of supt. search, will not have one for start of school year, which Brunner said she finds “very depressing.” Trustee McGee said he’s not worried because “we have people in place who will be able to keep district moving.” He said next step is “getting together with search firm and interim superintendent and discuss how we will go forward.” Both said Palacios didn’t meet the criteria on the brochure they created. Press release expected in the morning, will write a story tomorrow.


The board voted 3-2 to offer the job to Enrique Palacios, an associate superintendent at Pittsburg Unified, contingent on the site visit and interviews. Barring any problems, they would then enter contract negotiations. Here’s a story that quotes Palacios regarding the positive state of Pittsburg schools.

Board President Lisa Brunner and trustees Maribel Heredia and Jesus Armas voted to go with Palacios. Luis Reynoso and William McGee cast dissenting votes.

“We’re all looking for different things,” said Brunner. “He is much heavier on the business administration than the academic end.”

Brunner added that they did recently hire an associate superintendent of academic affairs. Here’s that story from a few weeks ago.

Brunner said only two candidates were brought forward to be interviewed by the board, and “the other was also excellent.”

Looking around for info, came across this although I’m pretty sure it is the wrong Enrique Palacios.


Gov’s pick for EPA head has Hayward roots

Matt Rodriquez was selected by Gov. Jerry Brown to run the California Environmental Protection Agency, and his mom called the Review to point out that he’s a son of Hayward.

You might know his mom, too, from her years of service on the City Council.

“I just wanted to drum the fact that Hayward is a really nice town,” said Doris Rodriquez, who was on the council from 1991 to 2004, and also served as an appointed member from 2006 to 2008. She still can often be heard speaking at city meetings.

“It’s been a while since Matt went to Hayward schools, but he did,” she said. Matt went to Southgate, Calaroga (now MLK) and Mt. Eden.

 “Chabot College, too,” she said. “It was what I could afford, and he spent two years there before going to UC Berkeley and Hastings. It says something about Chabot.”

She said her other two children also started out at Chabot. One is now the head of the Hayward Education Association, and the other is also an attorney.

“It can make for sort of dull dinner conversation sometimes, but other than that it’s a good deal,” Rodriquez said.


Musical superintendent chairs

UPDATE: Here’s the story that ran yesterday.

Also, a reader alerted me to blog coverage from 2009 regarding spending habits of HUSD’s new associate superintendent of educational services, from back when she was associate supt. at San Francisco Unified School District.

With Newark Unified’s hiring of a new permanent superintendent, HUSD  Supt. Janis Duran will only be doing consulting for that district, and says Hayward will “keep me plenty busy.” She has agreed to stick around until a new supt. is found — the first round of candidates didn’t yield someone that board members could agree on, so the search continues. They did get the newly hired Associate Superintendent of Educational Services out of the process, though, and they’ll talk about her contract at a special Friday morning meeting, I’m planning to follow that with a story. Recommended compensation: $183,272. Find the meeting agenda and contract here.

Talked with board President Brunner this a.m., mainly about budget and grand jury report stuff, but we touched on the hire. She said it’s cost neutral, and is considered an important hire because they’re without a long-term superintendent for the time being, and this position will be focused on improving academics for all students. Will have more after Friday mtg.


Alameda County Grand Jury report on HUSD

UPDATE, story ran today.

Back from vacation, found this in my inbox. The Hayward Unified report begins on page 159. The Alameda County Grand Jury received numerous complaints about the district, at first because of the contentious behavior of board members and the process by which a new superintendent was selected. Bottom line: Grand Jury concluded that there wasn’t anything wrong with the supt. appointment and the board’s behavior has improved after new members came on board and training sessions were held, but expressed serious concerns about HUSD’s fiscal management. They made two recommendations:

Recommendation 11-53: The Hayward Unified School District Board of Education must implement the fiscal advice they are receiving in order to prevent relapse into financial insolvency.

Recommendation 11-54: The Hayward Unified School District Board of Education must prepare an array of budget scenarios and adopt a realistic balanced budget, including required financial reserves.