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So much to cover, so little time!

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, October 8th, 2010 at 12:29 pm in Education.

By Theresa Harrington

I’ve been so busy covering the state Superintendent of Public Instruction race and running from one meeting to another that I haven’t had time to sit down and blog about everything that’s going on.

But, there are plenty of things I’m working on that I’ll write about shortly. Here are the meetings I’ve attended in the past week, that I’ll blog about in more detail soon (and likely write Times stories about, as well):

Sept. 30 Mt. Diablo school closure committee meeting: lots of interesting data was shared. You can find it online at: http://www.mdusd.org/Community/Pages/scac.aspx. Some people have complained that this information is difficult to find online. But Rose Lock, assistant superintendent for student achievement and school support, said the district website home page wouldn’t support a link.

Oct. 4: Mt. Diablo district’s special education Community Advisory Committee board candidate’s forum. All seven candidates participated, including Jan Trezise, who says she is indeed running, despite an impulsive announcement she made during the CCTV forum, saying she was so pleased with her opponents that she would drop out of the race. She’ll also participate in the Oct. 20 debate at Pleasant Hill City Hall.

Oct. 4: Mt. Diablo special education Community Advisory Committee meeting: Although the district has made headway in filling vacant teacher and assistant positions, some parents are still concerned about the quality of education their children are receiving. The district’s special education court-ordered Consent Decree expires in November and some worry that the district will slide back into non-compliance with state, federal and consent-decree mandates, due to budget cuts.

Oct. 5: Visited Project Lead the Way engineering academy class at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord. It’s a very exciting program funded by Chevron, which prepares students for college and high-tech careers.

Oct. 5: Mt. Diablo board special meeting regarding strategic planning. The board received a PowerPoint presentation about the process, which you can see here: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=3110&mtgId=289. Although Superintendent Steven Lawrence reminded the board that the district has a lot on its plate already, trustees Paul Strange, Gary Eberhart and Sherry Whitmarsh said they believe the community wants a long-term plan created through community consensus. Discussions are expected to begin December, after newly elected board members are seated.

Oct. 6: Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting to review application by K12 Flex Academy charter school to locate in the Mt. Diablo district. Very surprisingly, no Mt. Diablo district representative showed up to defend the board’s unanimous decision to deny the application, which the school is appealing. When county board members spotted Mt. Diablo trustee Linda Mayo in the audience, they asked if she wanted to speak. She declined, shaking her head, while taking copious notes regarding the questions and answers. The board will vote on the appeal Oct. 20 — the same night as the Mt. Diablo board candidate forum in Pleasant Hill City Hall. Not sure how I’m going to manage to cover both!

Oct. 7: Wrote story today about the United Mount Diablo Athletic Foundation’s 5K run on Sunday. Also, don’t miss our Pigskin Sports Geek’s video. Sadly, run organizers say they haven’t had as many signups or sponsorships as hoped and they worry the community has become complacent about the district’s decision to stop funding sports. Yet, if the foundation doesn’t raise $1.2 million again this year, all bets are off for the future of after-school athletics. Here’s a message from Northgate High Principal John McMorris encouraging the community to get out and join the fun: https://asp.schoolmessenger.com:443/m/?s=EWp8PPNPIg0
Find out more here: http://www.unitedmtdiabloathletics.org.

Oct. 8: State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate debate was postponed due to participation of state Assemblyman Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, in late-night Legislative budget discussions Thursday. A new date for a forum with Torlakson and retired school Superintendent Larry Aceves will be announced soon.

Also, I’ve heard the Mt. Diablo school district’s special education busing program is still having problems.

To get more frequent updates about what’s going on in education, you can follow me on Twitter. You can also find Mt. Diablo district trustees Gary Eberhart, Paul Strange and Sherry Whitmarsh on Twitter, although they haven’t tweeted much yet. Board candidates Jeff Adams and Brian Lawrence are tweeting also.

Do you think Twitter is an effective way for board members and candidates to communicate with the community?

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