As many of you have heard already, Northgate High School Principal John McMorris sent a message to his school community Monday, asking parents to come to tonight’s board meeting and express their concerns about the Clayton Valley High charter petition.
McMorris’ letter quickly made its way to charter supporters. Clayton Mayor David Shuey sent a response to the MDUSD board. Both messages are posted below.
October 10, 2011
Charter School Newsletter
Dear Northgate Community,
I am writing you today with a critical request on an issue that will have a direct negative effect on our students at Northgate High, and for students throughout the Mount Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD): The Clayton Valley High School Charter Proposal.
I do not ask for your support to oppose backers of the Clayton proposal, I believe they are top notch, well intentioned educators who want the best for their students. I ask for your support because if their proposal passes our students and student’s district wide will suffer for the following reasons:
* Funding the Charter School will require MDUSD to pull up to $90 per pupil out of each school in the district to pay for the Charter. This is the rough equivalent of 10 sections at Northgate High or two teachers!
* If Clayton Valley becomes a Charter School, the criteria for dismissing teachers is far less cumbersome that in a non-charter school. This means teachers with tenure who do not want to stay at the Charter or whom the Charter School may not want to keep will have priority rights to move to Northgate, I will have no say in this process and we could lose some great young teachers who I have had the good fortune to hire in the past couple of years.
I desperately ask you to contact our board members via e-mail today or tomorrow, or attend the board meeting tomorrow night and let the board know how you feel about this issue; our board must vote this down unless they can show it will not have a negative impact on the students at Northgate High School. As mentioned earlier, I understand the passion of the backers of the Clayton Valley Charter; I also sincerely believe they can accomplish their goals working together with the district. The new principal of CV Sue Brothers is a top notch educator who is already making wholesale changes at Clayton; the charter backers owe it to all our children to give her a chance.
John McMorris Principal Northgate High School”
CLAYTON MAYOR LETTER TO BOARD:
From: David T. Shuey
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 11:12 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: FW: Letter from the Principal – Charter School Newsletter
Gary and all,
Let me say again, REALLY?
This is how you show ‘We are committed to ensuring that the charter school opens in 2012?’
You say we are creating a battle where there is no need? Again, really?
You either have a rogue principal who is sending out legally wrong and factually incorrect information using district resources (in which case I would like to see immediate public discipline and a retraction to all parties who were sent this email) or this is part of a dedicated campaign by the district against the charter petition. Given that Steve and at least Rose were present at a meeting with principals and others last week prior to his ‘news update,’ could anyone blame us if we feel that maybe there is a campaign of misdirection going on from your offices?
Given that Mr. McMorris has his facts wrong about your ability to consider the financial impact on Northgate, I would suggest that you have him send out a retraction immediately.
Also, since our ‘eyes and ears’ throughout the rest of the district will let us know if other principals go rogue or were told to send out their own newsletters so you could get some heretofore nonexistent opposition to show up tomorrow, I would request that you immediately inform them to not send anything out that is incorrect in the law or facts.
At every turn you (ie district not you individually) send out nice little ‘reasoned’responses to what are obvious disinformation and opposition campaign tactics, but each time you top yourself with new acts of contempt for your constituents in Clayton and Concord. Shame on you. I also wonder what Congressman Miller will think of these tactics? Susan Bonilla? Mark DeSaulnier? the DA?
I am composing a very encompassing public records request and it will cover information that was provided to the principals regarding this misinformation campaign, including emails to and from the district. It will also request all information provided to School Services, including the costs of running CV and the savings if the district does not have to pay for its operation. You should probably start shredding now — wait, that is illlegal isn’t it?
STOP THE GAMEPLAY NOW AND DEAL WITH US IN GOOD FAITH PLEASE.
David ‘Shoe’ Shuey
Mayor, City of Clayton”
The school board cannot legally deny the charter based on its financial impact to the district. Also, the charter supporters say the district has not shared with them the financial information to which McMorris refers.
What do you think about the message that went to the Northgate community?