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Clayton Valley HS charter petition meeting Tuesday

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, August 8th, 2011 at 5:49 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The much-anticipated Mt. Diablo school board public hearing regarding the Clayton Valley HS charter petition will take place at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at in the multi-use room Monte Gardens Elementary, 3841 Larkspur Drive, Concord.

So far, no staff recommendation or staff report has been posted with the agenda. The board expects to vote on the petition Sept. 13.

Here’s a portion of the district’s “News Update,” which describes the format for the meeting:

“No board action will be taken during this meeting. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting to voice their support, ask questions, or share concerns about the charter proposal.

Please note that the board and staff will not engage in a dialogue with the public at this meeting.”

Petitioners will begin the meeting with a presentation lasting between 15 minutes and one hour, followed by public comment.

“This meeting will end promptly at 7 p.m. so that board may enter into closed session for the regularly scheduled board meeting,” according to the News Update.

The agenda report states that the purpose of the public hearing is: “for the Board of Education to consider the level of support of teachers employed by the district, other employees of the district, and parents, for the charter petition submitted to establish the Clayton Valley Charter High School. The hearing provides the public the opportunity to make oral or written presentations to the board regarding the charter petition.”

Do you think district staff or trustees will comment on the petition?

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  • g

    Someone needs to advise both the seller and the District that their sales tax calculation is 1% too high. Let’s save a hundred plus bucks any way we can!

    The millions spent every year to (supposedly) teach teachers how to teach irks me no end!

  • John Q

    The board meeting agenda is missing the strategic plan, the sales tax plan, and the only “school closure” plan is the new transportation fee. Maybe the $99 parcel tax is looking better now that Glenbrook families will pay $170 for the privilege of being bused.

    The agenda is short. It seems the district is side-tracked by the CVCHS petition.

  • anon

    And the thing is, the district will never ever get a parcel tax passed if they don’t approve the CVHS charter and cooperate in its implementation. Those living in the CVHS attendance area are overwhelmingly supportive of the charter and regardless of whether the charter goes through or not, they will still be able to vote in MDUSD elections.

  • Doctor J

    The Agenda is also missing the annual SASS report. I would guess that all the SIG money spent on bubbling the tests was not that productive. What else could the SIG money have been spent on ? It certainly wasn’t on increased instructional time as required. When will the Federal Grand Jury inquiry begin ? Federal Grand Juries lead to federal prison. Ask Barry Bonds. :-)

  • LindaL

    Anon,
    I don’t necessarily disagree with you but MDUSD will not get a parcel tax passed for many reasons. First and foremost is their lack of leadership when it comes to restoring trust and confidence. Some in MDUSD leadership positions don’t even believe the District has a trust and confidence problem… just a budget problem.

  • anon

    LindaL, that’s along the lines of what I’m saying. The leadership has an opportunity to restore some trust and confidence if they approve the charter and cooperate in its implementation.

  • Theresa Harrington

    John Q: Yes, it’s surprising that the “standing” board items — strategic planning and School Closure/transition plans — are missing.
    Perhaps the district will work on a sales tax plan as part of strategic planning.
    There has also been no word on the behind-the-scenes planning for a possible new high school in Bay Point.
    I thought the board also asked for a whooping cough immunization update at every meeting. I wonder how successful the busing of Bay Point and Monument Corridor students to immunization clinics was.

  • g

    How do they ever plan to hold this Hearing at 5:45 one place, and still schedule the regular meeting just 15 minutes later at Dent? Scheduled “closed session” at 6pm to instruct the SIG negotiators, plus litigation and employee work?

    Goofy-weird scheduling!

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    G,

    Make no mistake about it. This scheduling was done on purpose to keep the citizens from being able to participate in the process.

    The board thinks they are above all of us.

  • Just J

    The Charter meeting was so wonderful. The showing of community gives me great hope! I am so proud of the teachers at CV!

  • g

    Theresa, I’m hoping you got good notes. I couldn’t make it to Monte Gardens, but got to Dent early. I took a new recorder, but found when I got home that all I had was buzz and static and what sounded like someone with hiccups?—-do you suppose Dent is haunted?

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: Yes, I tried to take good notes. I also videotaped several segments (but unfortunately ran out of storage space on my phone a few times). I will try to post the video on my blog. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble embedding it right now, so if it doesn’t work, I may have to just post links.
    At the regular meeting, Trustee Cheryl Hansen said she wants to try to get the meetings recorded professionally. In the interim, perhaps some students and teachers could do it. I know that College Park, Sequoia MS and El Dorado MS have video production classes. I’d imagine the County Office of Ed. also has ROP classes in video, but I’m not sure. The city of Concord used to get DVC interns to help videotape events for their Concord TV channel.
    Hansen said she wants to investigate PEG: Public, Educational and Government cable TV, which is funded through cable agreements with cities and includes school services.

  • CV Parent Here

    Really, Anon? The majority in the CV attendance district are in favor of the charter? I’m in the CV attendance district and I’m NOT in favor of it. Many others oppose it, too. We’ve actually read the charter, gone to the meetings, and watched the teachers’ powerpoints.

    This is just an attempt by the teachers to take over the school to benefit themselves. They’re very clear their intentions: they want to be paid more than they’re making now; they want to spend a lot more on sending teachers to conferences and providing more non-teaching time for teachers each workday; they feel disrespected by the students and think if they’re in charge they can show the kids who’s boss; they don’t like taking direction from site administration or district administrators and they won’t have to if CV converts to a charter. Sounds great for the teachers. Doesn’t do a thing for the students.

    They don’t have a financial plan to implement any of their ideas. At one info meeting they brought a guy from a charter school association to answer questions. He had to interupt Middendorf to say that the teachers needed to be more realistic because the charter won’t get much more money than it does as part of the district.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    CV Parent @ #13,

    Which one are you? Sue, Gary, or Paul?

    You strike me as Sue. Looking forward to your new position as pricipal?

  • Doctor J

    @#14 Its just a short term stepping stone to Assistant Supt so Steue will rise like the Phoenix. Roseville and West Sac are ROFLOL.

  • Just J

    @ #13 Do you know what a majority is?

  • Funny, Isn’t It?

    If anyone disagrees with the bullies on this forum, they are accused of being one of the Board members, or of being in cahoots with them.

    Why not remove the tin foil hats and listen to other opinions? Are your “facts” so weak that you have to attack the ideas of other posters?

    The state will take over before a charter high school has a chance to be born. You’ll see a massive walk-out of classified personnel because they are being treated like peons. The whole house of cards will collapse.

  • CV Parent Here

    Wow, great retorts, Just J and MDUSD Board Watcher. What wonderful, reasoned arguments in favor of the charter. With people like you supporting the charter conversion, what could possibly go wrong?

  • Theresa Harrington

    FII: The teachers’ union also isn’t happy about the district’s last-minute “impact bargaining” for School Improvement Grant items that could have been negotiated during the school year.
    MDEA President Mike Langley told me last night that he should know by today whether there was any chance of coming to an agreement.
    He said past President Mike Noce asked to begin these negotiations when the SIG applications were written, but was put off by district officials who “thought they had more time.”

  • Theresa Harrington

    I just got a call from Langley, who said things are “starting to move” in negotiations.

  • Doctor J

    @Theresa #19 — “thought they had more time” ? Are you kidding me ? The smoking gun, which I hope you post, is the timetable prepared by the District in June 2010 and signed off by Lawrence and others which stated that union negotiations would begin in June 2010 and conclude by June 2011 to comply with SIG. The district has to give in to almost any demand by the union since the district is up the creek without a paddle.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Langley said there was a “sticking point” that almost broke the deal.
    When he didn’t get a call this morning, he said, he thought it was over.
    But, then, at 4:30 p.m., he said he received a call and that things now look hopeful.
    “This is really at a tipping point,” he said.

  • Doctor J

    So they adopt a budget last night, and are already renegotiating it today. With all the furlough days in the adopted budget, there isn’t enough SIG money to pay for it.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Langley did not disclose details of the agreement, except to say that it involved longer school days at some schools and a new teacher evaluation process.
    He pointed out that MDEA hasn’t agreed to any furlough days yet.

  • Just J

    So they scheduled the school year with furlough days that have not been agreed to? How can they do this or have the furlough days not been scheduled in yet? I am so confused with all the back talk.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Yes, they budgeted furlough days that have not been agreed to by the teachers’ union. This is apparently allowed, because the board has approved the furlough days and budget cuts.
    However, if the union doesn’t agree to them, the district will need to revise its budget. Similarly, the board approved five furlough days last year, but was only able to get unions to agree to three.
    If there are mid-year cuts, the district could seek seven more furlough days, which would reduce the school year by up to 12 days. Of the seven furlough days currently budgeted, five would be school days and two would be staff development days.

  • Doctor J

    I wonder how the non SIG school teachers are going to feel about their collegues getting paid more money for teaching longer ? What if a SIG school teacher doesn’t want to teach longer ? Will there be transfer rights ? Theresa, we still need to know what all the SIG money for last year was spent on since it didn’t go to increased instructional time.

  • Doctor J

    The “teacher trigger” charter school law was supported by MDUSD friend and alumni and Gary Eberhart’s best friend on speed dial, none other than TOM TORLAKSON, our former representative and now the California Supt. of Schools. Isn’t it ironic that now this law is actually being used in MDUSD, to divorce itself from the MDUSD dictatorship of Gary Eberhart & Company. Gary is so very embarrased by the SIG Grant fiascos that he is willing to sell the farm to MDEA just to avoid losing the SIG Grants. Gary’s problem is that every time a stone is turned over, there is another fiasco waiting to slither from under the rock with Gary’s name written all over it. With the Feds and now the State investigating MDUSD no wonder Gary turned off his blog, stopped the broadcast of the Board Meetings, and won’t comment publicly as he had promised to be “transparent”. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall . . . .CVCHS will succeed and set in motion a Mt. Diablo revolution.

    .

  • Doctor J

    The district sold out to MDEA to save the SIG grants because it lost all bargaining power by being up against the August 30 deadline for not bargaining on these issues for the last year. The only way the district can now balance its budget is to impose additional furlough days on the non SIG schools — MDEA better settle the issue of furlough days NOW or else it will in the position of having SIG schools with zero furlough days and non SIG schools extra furlough days. SIG schools can’t have furlough days because it would lower instructional time and violate the SIG grants.

  • Funny, Isn’t It?

    MDEA can do what it likes. The other unions will not agree to any more furlough days. We’ve given enough already. No more.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    I hate the MDEA but it would be ncie to be in their shoes right now.

    Hey, raises and benefits for everyone. We own the board.

    That would be awesome.

  • Wait a Minute

    Don’t forget that whatever the MDEA negotiating team comes up with that it cannot take effect until the members ratify.

    CV Parent @13 or Sue Brothers or whoever you are:

    Support for the CVHS charter is overwhelming. 80% of the teachers, the CV Mayor and City Council, hundreds of parents, etc.

    Yes Dr. J, accountability has at last been forced upon the MDUSD! It should be a very interesting year.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Langley hasn’t given me any details on what the proposed agreement includes. He said he was waiting to see it in writing. However, he said the executive board and rep assembly could approve an agreement without a vote of the entire membership.
    “We do have the authority to sign MOUs in exceptional circumstances,” he said.
    On another note, the CDE just released graduation rates for 2009-10, which show CVHS had the second-highest grad rate in the district at 94 percent and the lowest dropout rate at 4.5 percent: http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/CohortRates/CRSchoolList.aspx?Agg=D&Topic=Dropouts&TheYear=2009-10&cds=07617540000000&RC=District&SubGroup=Ethnic/Racial

  • Doctor J

    @Board Watcher & Funny: the absolute irony is that MDEA’s current power position was not caused by their own strategy but by the incompetence and deceptions of Eberhart, Lawrence & Company. In fact, I don’t think that Mike Langley really understands what a strong position he is in right now — in fact if the teachers vote down the agreement, the loss of the SIG funds will likely doom Eberhart and Lawrence, and the teachers might actually find pleasure in doing that to end the tyranny. As Theresa reported yesterday Langley didn’t think there would be a deal until he finally heard back at 4:30 pm. My imagination says that the delay was Gary having his typical temper tantrum — this time with good reason at Lawrence & Company. Lawrence learned early on at Buttercup not to take a step without Eberhart’s approval. If this were a Law & Order episode, they would be in separate rooms, and we would see which one would sing first and the loudest. Until then, and for the moment, there still is no deal, but Langley needs to have the guts to squeeze until Eberhart and Lawrence say “uncle” and agree to no furlough days for the entire year for the entire district. Then they must agree to the CVCHS petition — too much energy by the CVC community to overcome. By that time, Bondgate will be in full swing, and we will wonder happened to the swagger of Eberhart and Lawrence. Wait a Minute: you are right, accountability is being forced upon MDUSD and the infighting is just beginning. This soap opera is becoming interesting and a long way from over.

  • Doctor J

    @Theresa, Do you really believe that when Lawrence submits to the CDE the “corrective action plan” to obtain the second year of SIG funds that he will disclose that the district has budgeted already for 5 to 12 furlough days for ALL schools, including SIG schools, which would wipe out the increased instructional time required to obtain the SIG funds ? While I know that the unions have not agreed to it, but frankly its just one of those wink ‘n nods. That is exactly why MDEA needs to nail down no furlough days for SIG schools now.

  • g

    I would think MDEA also has the power to throw CVHS Charter talks into their mix of demands and considerations for the next couple of years. I wonder how/if they are looking forward at that.

  • Doctor J

    G, I am sorry but I don’t understand how MDEA has any ability to influence what CVCHS does. Personally, I think MDEA would love to come to an agreement with CVCHS because they could leverage it to promote more charters and better contracts with both MDUSD and the charters.

  • g

    Exactly. They won’t influence the school chartering, but may look “forward” in negotiating with the District. Union choice is part of Teacher Trigger Chartering. I suspect more CVCHS teachers will choose to maintain their current associations if strong bargaining is at hand today (and to their benefit) with the District re furlough days.

    The other question is; will the District see that the “costs” will eventually outweigh the benefits of SIG, or will they just jump into the deep end over their heads in an attempt to prove they can “fix” their SIG mistakes?

  • Anon

    Publicly I’ve only heard of the PFC VP with some reservations about the charter, and beyond that only a certain board member and my guess is a certain family member posting here. Absolutely every single CVHS parent and Clayton parent in general is for it. Until those against start signing their name public ally like the rest of us supporters I believe it is literally just one or two people against it… For their own motives, not the good of the school, kids or community. maybe a certain board member is jealous his kid didn’t get the same opportunity.

  • MDUSD Board Watcher

    A certain board member is all about keeping and controlling his power. The charter diminishes his power. Therefore the outsized negative reaction by him and his evil minions.

  • anon

    The PFC VP #39 refers to spoke at the meeting Tuesday and admitted to being initially skeptical but is now in favor of the charter.

  • g

    Anon, I thought board members were not going to discuss it until the next meeting. Did other board members also make statements?

  • Just J

    Theresa, Do we know how many from the continuation schools that dropped out were from CV? That would be interesting to know.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is a post regarding the Tuesday hearing: http://bit.ly/pfXBF4.
    As I mentioned before, I have several video clips, which I’ll try to post separately.
    Just J: the CDE data report doesn’t show where the students came from. However, I’m sure the district has that information, since data now follows individual students from school to school.
    g: School board members didn’t state opinions. Anon is referring to Mark Weinmann, who is on the PFC Board.