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Oak Grove MS parent sad to lose McCormick

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 11:23 am in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Terry McCormick voluntarily left her position as principal of Oak Grove MS in Concord so the Mt. Diablo school district could apply for a $4.5 million federal School Improvement Grant.

Terry McCormick voluntarily left her position as principal of Oak Grove MS in Concord so the Mt. Diablo school district could apply for a $4.5 million federal School Improvement Grant.

This letter to the editor appears in today’s CC Times. I am re-posting it below to give blog readers a chance to comment on former Oak Grove Middle School Principal Terry McCormick’s decision to transfer to another campus so the district could apply for a $4.5 million School Improvement Grant.

McCormick is now Principal of Pleasant Hill Middle School. The board unanimously appointed Lisa Oates, who has held several positions in the Antelope Valley Union High School District in Southern California, as the new principal of Oak Grove Middle School in Concord.

“I read with interest Theresa Harrington’s article, ‘Two Mt. Diablo district principals leave schools in face of ‘failing’ stigma,’ in the Times.

I have two kids at Oak Grove Middle School and am quite pleased with the education they have received. Oak Grove has dedicated and talented teachers and administrators. I particularly want to acknowledge Terry McCormick’s leadership in improving the overall climate of learning at Oak Grove.

The statistics provided in your article show that Oak Grove’s API score was up 18 points in one year and met the target growth for that year. All the while at a school serving 83 percent low- income families and with 47 percent of the students classified as “English Learners.”

McCormick is a big reason for this improvement. It’s sad we have to lose a beloved principal to get this grant money. I guess holding the school board accountable or the district superintendent and his staff accountable would be too much to ask?

Because of McCormick, Oak Grove is no longer a failing school but an improving school. I’m afraid the loss of McCormick will be a setback for the school’s progress

Lisa Robinson

Do you agree with the US Dept. of Education’s requirement that a “failing” school must replace its principa to receive a School Improvement Grant?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

143 Responses to “Oak Grove MS parent sad to lose McCormick”

  1. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD’s next move: Pension Spiking. How can they do it and get away with it ? Moving Principals to SASS. Just compare the SASS salaries from year 09/10 as principals to year 10/11.

  2. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The CDE is recommending “corrective action” for all 41 agencies that got SIGs last year:
    Surprisingly, they are also recommending continuing funding for Glenbrook, as long as it takes “corrective action” to increase student learning time!

  3. Doctor J Says:

    You have to wonder about the IQ of Lawrence, SASS, and the Board who believe you can have “increased instructional time” at the SIG schools [a MANDATORY requirement] while at the same time imposing instructional furlough days, three last year and up to ten or more each year in the next three years. What is it they don’t understand about “increased” ?? The irony is that since MDUSD has probably the most SIG schools of any district in the state, the Feds did their “audit” primarily with MDUSD and now all 41 California schools are being required to submit “corrective action plans”. As Theresa pointed out, most sane school districts around the country prenegotiated MOU’s with their teacher’s unions to meet the Federal standards. Not MDUSD. In fact, MDUSD conveniently decided not to tell CDE and the Feds that MDEA officially OPPOSED the SIG grants. Standard Operating Procedure for MDUSD in playing shell games and not disclosing the whole truth, and in fact the application as Theresa pointed out was really misleading. Why should we be surprised by that ? MDUSD Standard Operating Procedure. Lets remember that as a result of a review of the MDUSD SIG grant program, the Feds have come down hard on the CDE on its implementation, resulting in no SIG Grants being recommended for approval in Cohort 2, and now requiring “corrective action” in all 41 districts. We should not forget the SIG grants are a FEDERAL PROGRAM with FEDERAL MONEY. Remember what happened when Barry Bonds lied to the Feds ? Can’t you just imagine some Federal Prosecutor in San Francisco wanting some school board members and school superintendents on his/her wall to match Barry Bonds trophy head? Its a career maker. They got away with the solar bonds so they must figure they can get away with about $20 million in federal funds without meeting the requirements. What will it take for them to learn ?

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is a link to the tool the USDOE used to monitor School Improvement Plans:
    USDOE representatives based feedback to the CDE largely on visits to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

  5. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD SIG schools had a number of visits and interviews consistent with these instructions. Not sure whether they were done by the State or Feds or both.

  6. Charter new course Says:

    According to front page article, Concord median home price is down 50% since 2007. Improving the schools should counter-act this trend. Does City of Concord care that the MDUSD has squandered these millions?

  7. Doctor J Says:

    It appears that MDUSD can write the grant to qualify for the millions. But it also appears that MDUSD after a whole year did not fulfill its promises of “increased instructional time”. In fact, in a whole year, it never once entered into negotiations with MDEA for “increased instructional time.” Just the opposite — MDUSD hammared MDEA into accepting 3 furlough days last year, thus decreasing the instructional time. MDUSD apparently has no conscience about accepting money for which it had no intention of performing the SIG grant minimum requirements. To me, that is dispicable conduct and those who are responsible should be held accountable.

  8. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Charter New Course: It’s not clear that MDUSD has “squandered” its money (except for forfeiting the Glenbrook grant). It has implemented some of the promised reforms, just not to the level the SIG required.
    Dr. J: Although MDUSD can certainly rewrite its grant, it must also IMPLEMENT it fully. That, of course, is the sticking point. Furlough days will also complicate the applications. They may need to ask MDEA to except SIG schools from furloughs and use SIG money to pay the staff (which would eat into the grants considerably).
    Also, it’s clear that MDUSD was behind most other districts in terms of negotiations. It’s very surprising that MDUSD hasn’t even broached these subjects yet with MDEA.

  9. Doctor J Says:

    Lawrence and SASS’s failure to even communicate with MDEA in the last year concerning implementing the SIG grants since MDEA publicly opposed the SIG grants is a catestrophic failure of leadership. Yet, Lawrence had plenty of time to negotiate three furlough days. The SIG requirements are clear: Learning time must increase in all three areas: (1) core academic subjects; (2) other subjects and enrichment activities; or (3) teacher collaboration and professional development. ALL STUDENTS in the SIG schools must get increased instructional time, not just small segments. It would be interesting to compare the quarterly SIG expense reports and the SIG applications to see how they match up and where the money was to be spent and how it actually was spent. I agree Theresa that the “corrective action” rewrite could work but I think the obstacles are too great. First, the cost of funding 7-10 furlough days and then adding the “increased instruction” in the three areas above would be astronomical, and deplete most if not all of the remaining SIG money. Lets also remember that each school was not funded in “equal amounts”. Also, since the district will essentially be begging MDEA for assistance, MDEA will likely require other concessions across the district which will cost significant amounts of money. In addition, I just can’t believe that MDEA would allow the teachers at the three SIG schools to make 15-20% more because they are not taking furlough days and having bonus pay for the “increased instruction” — smacks of favortism or discrimination. Then you have the fact that SASS has already spent a large amount of next years SIG money on materials for these schools so there is even less money available. Another problem looms overhead: there are additional employees alreay hired or not layed off, that are to be paid with SIG funds, that might not be available. One last bombshell — CDE has to approve the “rewrite” and we just saw with Cohort 2 where all applications were denied by CDE that CDE is under tremendous pressure from the Feds to “get it right” after they got blasted by Washington for not ensuring that the districts/schools were in compliance with the SIG grants. Great reading if you want to reinforce a belief that the CDE is incompetent. So where does MDUSD go from here ? Lawrence and Eberhart appear to be MIA. No Board meeting until August 9, nearly a month away.

  10. Doctor J Says:

    I am so appalled at Rose Lock’s misstatements to Theresa that the Feds changed the rules — so not true; also, that Rose was under the impression they had all three years to put it into place increased instructional time if they started the process — so not true. All you have to do is go back and read the SIG applications of MDUSD approved in June 2010 and submitted in July 2010 and then revised again in November/December 2010. Rose Lock helped prepare them, approved them, and had full knowledge of them. Look at the timetable that Rose submitted with the grant. Negotiations with MDEA and other unions from June 2010 to June 2011 for INCREASED instructional time. Rose admits that never took place. The only negotiations with MDEA were for REDUCED instructional time — just the opposite. Rose was on the negotiating team. Rose Lock and her team promises the Feds one thing, misled the state into believing MDUSD was in complaince, and then the audit happened they got caught red handed. Taking Federal money under false pretenses has serious consequences — not much different than bank roberry. Instead of working on this issue fervently, Rose decided to hold the hand of long time Board member Linda Mayo once or twice a week and accompany her to site visits that took serval hours each. Sure it was a nice social thing to do, but as an Assistant Supt over SASS, Rose had more important things to do. Her failure to ride herd on the 2010 SIG grants has put them in jeopardy and got the 2011 SIG grants denied. The SIG grants totaled about $25 million. Less hand holding and smoozing with the Board, and more work and keeping promises made would have been best. MDUSD has been playing the fiscal shell game for so many years without getting caught, they don’t know what to do when they get audited. Too many stories but only one truth.

  11. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The State Board of Ed meeting is now being webcast live at
    First, they are addressing the Parent Trigger Law. After that, the board will discuss the SIGs, in agenda items 2-4:

  12. Doctor J Says:

    Breaking News: State Bd of Education passes unanimously Parent Empowerment Regulations to allow parent take over of public schools — different from the Teacher Trigger we have seen at CVHS, this is known as the “Parent Trigger”. This is a huge blow to the power structure of Lawrence, Eberhart, Whitmarsh, Mayo.

  13. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    When do we start the parent takeover at Northgate?

    I’m in. Other Northgate parents are you with me?

  14. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s the AP story about the Parent Trigger:

  15. Charter new course Says:

    Thank you Doctor J #60. In addition to the ill-timed closure of Glenbrook, the entire SIG scenario fits my definition of “squandered.” It’s beyond a shell game, it’s a fiscal black hole.

  16. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Astonishingly, Chris Swenson, the state’s director of district and school improvement, told the State Board of Education she didn’t find out until after the list of corrective actions was posted Monday that that Glenbrook MS was closed.
    “Since this list was published,” she said, “CDE was informed that Glenbrook Middle School, which had been approved to implement the transformation model, has been closed.”
    Yet, Rose Lock tole me the district had informed CDE previously about the school closure.
    “That could be a mistake on their part,” Lock told me Monday, after I asked why Glenbrook appeared on the list. “We forfeited that part of the funding. I’m sure it can be corrected.”
    I also left a voicemail message for Swenson on Monday, asking why Glenbrook appeared on the list. In my message, I reminded Senson that I had a phone conversation with her myself a few months ago, after the board’s decision to close the school. I had asked Swenson in February about Board President Gary Eberhart’s proposal to try to retain Glenbrook’s SIG by closing Holbrook Elem. and combining Glenbrook MS and El Dorado MS students at the campus, calling it “Glenbrook MS.” At that time, Swenson told me she thought that would be an acceptable use of SIG money. Later, the district was informed that wouldn’t be acceptable after all.
    It’s very surprising that Swenson apparently has no recollection of that conversation or the Mt. Diablo school district’s notification about the school closure.

  17. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    @Theresa #66:

    Doesn’t anyone have any documents as proof of notifying the CDE of not one but TWO school closures in the MDUSD? One would think with something as dramatic and altering to the families affected, and the because of the added impacts to the recieving schools that SOMEONE in MDUSD would keep some sort of record of the notification.

  18. g Says:

    RE-HIRE TEACHERS, No promise to do it. DO IT! Increase Learning Time! Don’t waste the money at Dent! Use the money for and in the schools!

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    State Board of Ed just unanimously agreed to renew second year funding, under the condition that MDUSD and all other 40 districts have implementation IN PLACE by the first day of school.
    MDUSD first has to show that it increased learning for all students last year (despite furlough days) and will increase it for all students next year. This could throw a monkey wrench into the planned five days of lost instruction already adopted in the district budget for the next two years.

  20. Doctor J Says:

    State BOE blasts MDUSD indirectly ! Just voted unanimously to only approve SIG Cohort 1, Second year funds, if “increased learning time” is IMPLIMENTED by the first day of school ! MDUSD right now has no such plan, and is in fact planning 7-10 days of furlough days. First day of school is in 58 days. That means that the furlough days for 11/12 will have to be cancelled for the SIG schools. Some pertinent comments by State BOE members applicable to MDUSD: “This is year two” “This is not a buffet” “LEA’s [districts] had enough time over the last year for collective bargaining.” “Not just a corrective plan — implementation begun.” Coach Torlakson was relatively quiet most likely knowing that MDUSD is in it deep. Clearly Lawrence, Eberhart and Lock’s strategy of postponement of MEDA negotiations has blown up in their face — pink mist.

  21. Doctor J Says:

    @G The beauty of the State BOE desicion today is that MDUSD in the next 58 days has to: (1) negotiate “increased learning time” with MDEA and other unions or not be funded by the SIG; (2) actually hire the increased teachers and begin it on day 1; (3) no furlough days at the SIG schools while other schools will have 7-10 days. Lawrence, Eberhart and Lock really got spanked today.

  22. g Says:

    Where does MDUSD sit as pertains to the QEIA funds being discussed right now? Did the District accept (and misuse) Qeia funds that they may now have to pay back?

  23. Interested board watcher Says:


    Is there anyone from MDUSD at this meeting right now? Is this the kind of meeting someone would attend given that there is a vote on the SIG funds, or is this the kind of meeting that is just monitored via video, kind of the way we watching it right now? If someone from MDUSD was in attendance, who would it likely be? Would it be helpful for anyone from our district to be there?

    Dr. J. – You ask some great questions. You’re definitely spearheading some accountability. Which is great. Your habit of sharing your personal interpretations and then stating them as the basis for character assassination doesn’t sit so well with me.

    There are many schools that are currently being discussed, not just MDUSD, so whether the SBE is taking an indirect potshot at us or not is up to interpretation.

  24. Doctor J Says:

    @G Its unclear what MDUSD did with their QEIA funds and how it might be affected. But as far as the SIG funds, Chohort 1 — I think Lawrence is on his second highball already ! Hey Steve and Gary, hope you are working on those Kegal exercises. 🙂

  25. Doctor J Says:

    Gary, how is your speed dial to Torlakson working ? I haven’t seen him answer his phone one time today. 🙂 Maybe you are out of touch.

  26. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The state Board of Ed. just unanimously agreed to apply for a waiver from the USDOE for the new round of SIGs (including MDUSD’s $11.2 million application for Meadow Homes and Oak Grove) and to reopen applications in the fall. MDUSD and the other 24 districts that applied will get no preference the second time around. They will receive feedback ASAP about what they need to do to make their applications “approvable,” with the expectation that funding would be released as soon as Jan. 2012.
    Interested Board Watcher: I didn’t see anyone from MDUSD there. Yes, this is a meeting you would expect someone from MDUSD to atttend, if they were confident in their applications. Oakland, West Contra Costa and other districts sent representatives saying they believe they only need minor modifications and are “ready to roll.”
    It appears that MDUSD isn’t as ready to roll as some other districts, which have already built additional instructional time into their plans, have no furlough days that would impact instruction planned and have already negotiated agreements with their unions. MDUSD has a lot of work to do to get its applications approved, based on the SBE conversation.
    They could have sent Supt. Steven Lawrence, Assist. Supt. Rose Lock or another SIG administrator. Other districts sent superintendents, assistant superintendents and other administrators. Oakland’s rep brought a letter from the superintendent.
    But you’re right that MDUSD is by no means the only district being singled out. All 25 districts that applied for the new funding were denied.

  27. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD is going to have to engage MDEA immediately on the issues of furloughs to have that in place by the “first day of school” on August 30 for the Cohort 1 schools, and essentially the same issue for the Cohort 2 schools. “Increased instructional time” must be more than “marginal” but must be significant. Since there is no board meeting until August 9, there is not much of a window. How will the District bargaining team even get authorization to bargain and have enough time to cut a deal ? If the district had followed their written time table and started the bargaining on this issue in June 2010 — yep, 2010 — they would not find themselves in this mess. Right now they find themselves without any layoff notices in place, no current labor negoitations, going to start school on August 30, and spending federal money in Cohort 1 for which they have not been approved. Sounds like MDUSD has put themselves into a poor bargaining position.

  28. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Considering all the time the district spent negotiating with MDEA during the past year, it’s very surprising this didn’t come up.

  29. Interested board watcher Says:

    Thank you, Theresa.

    I don’t understand your comment that only those districts who are confident in their applications and ready to roll sent people. I had to walk away for a bit, so I might have missed something.

    I too, didn’t see anyone from MDUSD, but that didn’t mean they weren’t there, just that if there was someone, they weren’t visible to the camera, and didn’t choose to speak. It was just interesting to hear the administrators from so many other schools stand up to speak to various issues.

    If no one was there, but perhaps should have been, whose responsibility is it to ask for someone to attend? The board or the superintendent?

    Don’t know much about the process, just curious. I followed your link to see what it was all about. Thank you for posting it. It was quite interesting.

  30. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I just meant that those who spoke appeared to believe they were basically “ready to roll.” Certainly districts that need to do substantial revisions could have also sent people and it’s true that someone from MDUSD could have been there.
    Since the district only found out about the corrective actions required on Monday, there was no time for the board to formally request that someone attend. The superintendent certainly could have requested that, though. And a board member could have informally made such a request, without it being a board-approved directive.
    But, given the district’s tight finances, there would be no need for someone to drive to Sacramento and spend the day there if no one planned to speak to the board or to present a letter from the district. Taxpayers would end up reimbursing the driving costs. Instead, the person could easily sit at his or her desk and watch the meeting online, while also being available to take care of other district matters.

  31. Doctor J Says:

    @Interested BW, I too found it fascinating. It was actually instructive to watch Board members with many varying opinions and backgrounds interacting so well, even when they disagreed, but to find consensus. All were respectful of other’s opinions, and there was no heavy handedness. A nice change from watching a MDUSD Board meeting.
    @Theresa, not only is it surprising it didn’t come up in the MDEA negotiations, it was clearly an issue the district needed to resolve as indicated in the June 2010 timeline prepared by SASS. Now MDUSD has lost its bargaining power and MDEA is in the catbird seat.

  32. Theresa Harrington Says:

    MDUSD also needs to negotiate a new teacher evaluation process that includes student tests scores. This doesn’t have to be done by the first day of school, however.
    Many other districts are already well underway in discussions regarding this, as well.

  33. Doctor J Says:

    With MDUSD’s track record, Lock had better not wait another year to begin negotiating teacher evaluations based in part on student achievement or their won’t get year 3 of the funding and I wouldn’t count on the CDE to bail them out again like they did today. Astonished that some districts, like MDUSD, still had done nothing on some of the basic requirements that were supposed to be in place on day 1 of the SIG grant, said “This is year two of the grant !” He didn’t seem very sympathetic. What kind of negotiating leverage does Lock have with MDEA in extending the instructional day 30-60 minutes per day for the SIG schools, but not others ? What kind of negotiating leverage with MDEA does Lock have in basing teacher evaluations in part on student test scores ? MDEA has opposed both these concepts in the past. Maybe Lock can offer to change the SASS dept to the STSS dept — Student Testing and School Support ?

  34. Doctor J Says:

    57 days left and the finger pointing at Dent must have begun as the import of yesterday’s CA BOE decision sets in — and MDUSD was absent from the meeting. What MDUSD didn’t do in the last 13 months that it only has 57 days left to do or lose the SIG Grants Cohort 1 year 2, apprx. $10 million [3 schools and the district] ? #1 “Increased Instructional time” “in place, not just planned” in all three areas: (1) core academic subjects; (2) other subjects and enrichment activities; (3) teacher collaboration and professional development. ALL STUDENTS in the SIG schools must get increased instructional time, not just small segments. Current issues with #1. The planned “instructional furlough days” for 11/12 will not be able to be implemented at the SIG schools. MDUSD will have to negotiate with MDEA for more pay for the “increased instruction”, negotiate that other schools will have to have more furlough days to make up for the SIG schools not taking any furlough days. MDEA’s Mike Langley might not even be in town. The MDUSD Board hasn’t authorized any negotiations. Rose Lock’s timetable in the SIG Grant application filed over a year ago said negotiations would begin in June 2010 and be completed by June 2011 — they never started. Didn’t it take nearly a year to negotiate 3 furlough days for 10/11 ? MDUSD has no bargaining power, and MDEA has no incentive to bargain. #1 is a SIG grant buster. Next issue #2 Teacher evaluations based in part on student test results. Must be negotiated with MDEA and same issues as above. Goes to the core conflict between SASS and MDEA — one size fits all teaching to the test. Next issue: there are a few more that haven’t been implemented yet, but they are minor compared to the above.
    The finger pointing must be like an old Roadrunner cartoon: Eberhart, Whitmarsh, Mayo, Lawrence, Braun-Martin, Lock, Rugani, Petersen. Will those responsible please stand ?

  35. Theresa Harrington Says:

    After the last round of negotiations concluded, Mike Langley told me that MDEA and the district had agreed not to begin new negotiations until September, I believe.
    Here’s a report with ideas on how to expand learning time:

  36. Doctor J Says:

    @Theresa #85. Two days late, and $10,000,000 lost by MDUSD. Even if MDEA negotiations begin August 1, the teachers don’t return until August 29 and an election could not happen before August 30, which is the CA BOE drop dead date for “implementation” or loss of funds. As the State BOE yesterday was emphatic: these were supposed to be in place on day 1 in 2010 and we are now in year 2 of the SIG grant. The State BOE had little sympathy for the districts after the Feds issued the “searing report” against the State BOE and CDE for lack of compliance monitoring. As Christine Swanson said yesterday, both the Fed and State officials who did the walk throughs in March 2011 were at times “speechless” about the total lack of implementation of the SIG grants by the districts. The State BOE demanded “actual documentation” of implementation from the districts, not just hollow statements of future plans.

  37. g Says:

    Eberhart: “Not my fault, I’m goin’ Fishin'”
    Whitmarsh: “I’ll bait your hook, OK? OK?”
    Lawrence: “Ho-hum, I’m still getting mine”
    Lock: “But, you said they’d never notice”

  38. Theresa Harrington Says:

    At the state Board of Ed meeting, CDE staff said most school districts appeared to be honestly trying to implement reforms, but were encountering some barriers, such as collective bargaining. They added, however, that some school districts may have thought no one was watching. This seemed to apply mostly to schools that hadn’t yet replaced their principals, or for turnaround models that hadn’t replaced the principal and half the staff.
    I just received a voicemail message from Mike Langley saying: “As far as the SIG grant, we had been told I think last week that there may be some difficulties with it and we were looking at setting up some impact bargaining with it in August.”
    He said he’s been out of town and wasn’t sure what the current status was.
    Clearly, this bargaining could have taken place during the past year. What isn’t clear is why it didn’t.

  39. Doctor J Says:

    I recall State Trustee Rucker saying: “They have enough time over the whole year to conduct collective bargaining.” Langley said he was just told last week there were some issues and discussions would occur in August. The smoking gun is the MDUSD SIG Timetable prepared by Rose Lock and submitted in July 2010 and again in November 2010 that said collective bargaining to implement the SIG Grants would begin in June 2010 and be completed by June 2011. Why was Langley just approached last week ?

  40. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Langley also confirmed that the union was not involved in the creation of the plans. He said the district presented the first plans to union leaders the day of the board meeting where they were approved.
    Langley said he hasn’t read the Meadow Homes and Oak Grove SIGs. He said Terry McCormick asked him if he would like to see the Oak Grove plan the day before the board approved it. Unfortunately, he had other plans that day and wasn’t able to take her up on the offer.

  41. Doctor J Says:

    Langley got presented the SIG applications Cohort 1 or the Powerpoint on June 15, 2010 ? It would be interesting to compare what he got and what was submitted to CDE. As far as Cohort 2 SIG applications [Oak Grove / Meadow Homes] since they were denied yesterday by the State BOE, they will have to be redone and resubmitted next year.

  42. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, it’s true that cohort 1 applications could have changed substantially from what was presented to the Board in June.
    And regarding the new applications, it will be interesting to see if the district involves MDEA in the rewrites. But the district doesn’t have until next year to do it. CDE expects to request applications in the fall.
    Here’s a report about the meeting by the Silicon Valley Ed. Foundation:

  43. Doctor J Says:

    56 days left. See post #84

  44. Doctor J Says:

    Who took credit for authoring the defective SIG grants ? Gary Eberhart said: “the Board and the Superintendent did come up with plans for the underachieving schools, in fact the plans were so highly rated that they were able to secure over $14 million in funding based on the merits of those plans.” 3:48 pm September 10, 2010 in MDUSDParents blog. “Highly rated” ??? I guess he didn’t read the “searing” Federal report, or the state report, or watch the CA BOE meeting this week. Gary has gone into radio silence. I wonder if he is still taking credit after the Feds and State BOE blasted those plans, refused to renew the SIG Grants for the second year, is requiring a “corrective action” plan, and also requiring hard proof that the Plan is fully operational on August 30, 2011, the first day of school, which will require substantial concessions from MDEA and those discussions have not yet begun despite district representations to the Feds and State CDE that they were to begin in June 2010 and conclude by June 2011. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the SIG Grant application, Cohort 2, for Oak Grove and Meadow Homes was flatly rejected as not meeting the SIG requirements. Take all the credit you want Gary. Silence will not make it better.

  45. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Both the board and MDEA are taking July off.
    When I mentioned the board’s vacation to our West County school district reporter, she was quite surprised. She said the John Swett board takes July off, but not WCCUSD.

  46. Sue Berg Says:

    The MDUSD Board has traditionally not met in July. Special meetings have been called if/when need arises, but they’ve been rare. Important matters have been handled under this schedule. In fact, summer is a particularly busy time for district staff (maintenance, personnel, curriculum, student services, business) preparing for the upcoming school year. MDEA also has not conducted business, including negotiations, in July though its leaders are available to members who work during the summer. Some may criticize this practice, but it is not new.

  47. Doctor J Says:

    Sue, you are correct it has been a long standing MDUSD tradition of the Board taking July off — but not in all districts. What is new this year, is that July is not a busy time for staff — most of them have had cuts so that July is not working for all or most of the month. For example, there is no one to answer the phone this year. And last year, security was even absent for a couple of weeks. Not sure about this year. The irony is that as a result of this hiatus, it is unlikely the work can get done and implemented by August 30 to save the Cohort 1 SIG Grants and about $10 million dollars will be lost. I guess you didn’t have the pleasure of watching the State BOE on their webcast — no implementation by the first day of school, no grant. BTW, if anyone wants to see what a quality webcast looks like for a Board meeting, watch the next State BOE.

  48. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:

    I bet the solar project can take care of all these issues.


  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Speaking of the solar project, I’ve heard that contractors have wreaked havoc on a student garden at El Dorado MS.

  50. g Says:

    Ms. Berg; With all due respect, it is not, however, tradition to wait ’till very late Wednesday night to figure out the best way to thaw a turkey.

    This District needs a real wake-up call!

    Such a small percentage of funds ever actually makes it past Dent payroll, and conferences and consultant fees to get into the classroom anyway; with good caring teachers the kids will survive without this Grant.

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