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Clayton mayor expresses disappointment in MDUSD board charter decision

By Theresa Harrington
Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 3:06 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Charter Rally Flyer

I received a copy of this letter to the editor from Clayton Mayor David Shuey regarding the Mt. Diablo school board’s recent decision to approve the Clayton Valley High School charter petition, as long as organizers satisfy numerous conditions by Feb. 1.

Although it is likely this letter will appear in the Contra Costa Times sometime in the future, I am posting it below, in case blog readers want to weigh in:

“Dear Editor:

The city of Clayton and the charter steering committee were deeply disappointed in the MDUSD school board’s de-facto denial of our petition to convert CVHS to a charter school. There is overwhelming community support, little external opposition and it would appear the only opposition is within the district itself. What is clear is denying this petition, with conditions that cannot be met and are illegal, is in direct conflict with the stated vision statement of the district to: support each other in achieving meaningful outcomes to enable individuals to experience success; use technology to access, manage and communicate information; and collaborate to achieve mutual goals.

We have already taken steps to re-approach both district staff and the board in an attempt to reach a mutually agreeable set of conditions, which can be agreed upon and allow the charter to open in 2012-13. As both staff and the board have publicly indicated they wish the charter to succeed but they needed more information and specifics, we are hopeful that we can work in good-faith to achieve the resolution.

If you feel that the committee and board should work together to ensure a true approval, please email me at

David ‘Shoe’ Shuey
City of Clayton”

In his e-mail to me, Shuey added that the committee plans to hold a rally and information meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Clayton Valley High multi-use room.

In addition, Clayton Valley High Principal Sue Brothers told me that the school’s new advisory committee will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss planned improvements this year, including a strategy for increasing student achievement in math.

Teacher Pat Middendorf told me that committee members plan to meet Wednesday with Deb Cooksey, the attorney for the district who presented the staff report to the board. The committee hopes to inform the public about the outcome of that meeting Wednesday night.

County Superintendent Joe Ovick told me that he doesn’t believe the charter organizers can appeal the petition to the county Board of Education unless the district denies it outright. He did not agree with charter organizers that the conditions represented a “de-facto denial.”

Here is a link to information presented to the board Tuesday, including the resolution approving the charter with conditions, which trustees adopted:

Trustee Cheryl Hansen told me she has asked Superintendent Steven Lawrence and Board President Gary Eberhart to schedule a board study session aimed at reducing the number of conditions. Trustee Linda Mayo said she couldn’t comment on whether she would be willing to reconsider the conditions until she saw a written proposal from the charter committee.

Do you think the board should consider reducing the number of conditions it is requiring to approve the charter?

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