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.


HUSD Supt. Duran leaving… for Newark

As reported by our Newark reporter, Janis Duran isn’t going back to retirement in New Mexico after all. She’s bouncing south a few districts to serve as the interim superintendent in Newark, a district that has recently lost a lot of top spots and is looking for stability, even if it’s on an interim basis.

For a refresher, find the text of the January story when she announced she was leaving HUSD after the jump. Continue Reading


Anti-bullying program at Hayward schools

Had a story on this program spearheaded by Lynn Bravewomon in yestesday’s paper and got a request to toss up a blog about it for discussion purposes.

saysomethingcoverAlso got a call from Lea Lyon, who wrote a book in 2005 called “Say Something” that also encourages kids to take an active role in quashing bullying behavior at school. You can learn more about Lyon and her books on her website.

Here’s a little more on an anecdote mentioned in the story, from Bravewomon:

“With increasing frequency, as students learn how to speak up when bullying language is heard, they do so. There are stories of many students at many schools who are empowering one another to identify themselves as allies and speak up to their peers to stop bullying language. Student allies support the target by breaking the silence that so often occurs with the witnesses of bullying. One example occurred in an elementary classroom. Two girls overheard a passing and cruel comment muttered to this target by a child moving across the classroom.  They both stood up and clearly stated, “We don’t tolerate bullying at our school, it hurts everyone who hears it, stop it now.”  Students and teacher alike were surprised and impressed with this well-timed and effective display of ally behavior. Their teacher, who had been working with the Safe and Inclusive Schools Program and teaching the importance of being allies, praised the girls and continued teaching. The student who had been the target of bullying  reports that after 2 or 3 weeks of support from a variety of allies in his class, the occurrence of bullying fell from multiple times daily to ‘maybe one time in a week, maybe less’. This student also reports he feels comfortable going to all parts of the recess yard and that people are friendlier.”


Career opportunities at HUSD

Hayward Unified is easily the most popular subject of discussion here at the HayWord. Anyone with a desire to stop talking about the district and start talking for it has just such an opportunity: a colleague of mine pointed out that  Hayward Unified is looking to ramp up its public relations staff, what with the following job postings. This one is for the PIO/Community Outreach Officer. This one seems redundant, maybe it’s the same post, but  it’s for a Public Information Liaison.  Here is one for a Lead Publications Assistant.


Walker resurfaces as HUSD commissioner, and a possible troika in the works?

Annette Walker, who lost to Trustee Jesus Armas in a close race last November, said at the time that she intended to work in other capacities to help Hayward schools, and tomorrow she’s being sworn in on the district’s Personnel Commission after being appointed to the post last month by State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson.

AnnetteWalkrt“I promised to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on with schools,” Walker said. “I didn’t immediately jump at this opportunity, but thought about it and decided I had to do it. There’s no way I could walk away from an opportunity to do greater service to the schools in this tough economy.”

According to a district document, the Personnel Commission is “charged with maintaining a merit system for classified employees of the school system and for fostering the advancement of a career service for such employees.” They hear appeals and protests of personnel matters concerning the district’s non-teaching workforce.

Walker pointed out that this is a six-month appointment, as she is filling in for someone who couldn’t complete the term. She will then be up for a three-year appointment … or might pursue other things, which “absolutely” includes the possibility of another school board run.

“What excites me is that I ran for wiping the slate clean,” Walker said. ”And that possibility may come up again, in a run with two other candidates.”

Wait… that word, “slate.” It rings a bell. Wasn’t there a high-profile couple talking about forming a slate for a school board run before deciding not to run? And who did they strongly back in the race? Ok ok, I’m not here to speculate, just to report. But those are the facts.

Terms for trustees Armas, Luis Reynoso and Maribel Heredia are up for election in November 2012.