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Should Mt. Diablo High convert to all academies?

By Theresa Harrington
Sunday, January 29th, 2012 at 8:14 pm in Education.

At the Jan. 23 Mt. Diablo school board meeting, Superintendent Steven Lawrence explained the district’s process for responding to a vote of No Confidence in Mt. Diablo High School Principal Kate McClatchy.

First, he said the district could not discuss the job performance of any specific employee. Unfortunately, I was unable to videotape that portion of his comments.

However, I did videotape his comments regarding the process for addressing the concerns raised by teachers who voted No Confidence in McClatchy last month, as well as the other public comments made at the meeting.

Below is a summary of those comments, along with links to the video clips.

Lawrence said that teachers will break into groups on Monday, Jan. 30 to hear plans for dealing with five major concerns that have been brought up. Teachers will be able to respond to the plans and district staff will follow-up in the spring to be sure the plans are being implemented, he said.

Following Lawrence’s remarks, teachers’ union president Mike Langely made the following statement:

“President Whitmarsh, Members of the Board, Superintendent Lawrence,Council, community members:

The layers of difficulties at Mt. Diablo High School must be addressed by the board and the district administration. We acknowledge that bringing this to a public forum is a positive step in meeting the needs of all stakeholders. We understand that this not be done in haste.

The difficulties have not suddenly occurred. The vote by the faculty of Mt Diablo High was not an isolated incident triggered by a single event. Solutions will be best found by a thoughtful review and a meaningful plan to remedy the underlying conflicts and dysfunctions.

We have been told that the board will not rush to judgment simply because the faculty went public with their frustration. We support your caution. However, if the board and administration circle wagons and say they can’t appear to bow to the vocal majority, even if action is warranted, we will withdraw support for the process. Staying the course because a change would admit to past errors is not only foolish but is destructive to the process of education at any school heading toward the shoal waters of conflict.

One last concern; as the discovery process moves forward with deliberation, current site policies and changes that may impair vital programs may continue. It is imperative that site administration be directed to postpone the massive restructuring until all consequences, intended and unintended, are identified and evaluated as to their effect on the most important stakeholders: the students.”

Video of Lawrence and Langley: http://youtu.be/EGrmLstwmLY

District resident Brian Lawrence, who ran for the school board and lost in the last election, calls the potential loss of Quality Education Investment Act funding at Mt. Diablo High an “unmitigated disaster” and a “colossal failure.” He asked several questions about the failure of the school administration to comply with class size requirements in order to keep its grant of about $1.5 million a year, including the responsibility of the board, superintendent and principal.

Video: http://youtu.be/pJfeemz-YaA

District resident Willie Mims also spoke about the possible loss of QEIA funds, as well as low morale at Mt. Diablo High. Video: http://youtu.be/uDLVG4J1bbg

English teacher Stephanie Sliwinski, who teaches in the ACME academy, talks about concerns teachers have regarding McClatchy’s plan to require every student to enroll in one of four academies. Video: http://youtu.be/CF5EFjxymFA

Mt. Diablo High senior Savannah Ridgley tells board that the all-academy model negatively impacted AP students and the FAME (performing arts) academy. She also complains about locked bathrooms, missing toilet paper and soap, and punishment of the entire student body for the actions of a few. Video: http://youtu.be/WFi6PcXwK4g

Staff member Wendy Spencer says employees who ask questions about the plan to become an all-academy model have been told they are “toxic” and shut down. Video: http://youtu.be/uswn6b0BmqY

AP Environmental science teacher Patrick Oliver says McClatchy refused to master schedule for the QEIA grant. Video: http://youtu.be/iY9gXw4MZuI

Science teacher Colin Jones says the loss of QEIA funding would be devastating to the school because it would mean about 22 teachers would be laid-off and class sizes would increase. Video: http://youtu.be/VSkydMgvXuM

Woodshop teacher Steve Seaman talks about safety concerns related to the scale-up of academies at MDHS. Video: http://youtu.be/427Jz9DXXfs

Trustee Gary Eberhart said he has high hopes for the process of responding to the vote of No Confidence. He said he did not believe the school’s conversion to an all-charter model had been brought before the board.

“Trying to make a wholesale change like this would be difficult to make if everyone were on the same page,” he said. “A change of this magnitude it would seem to me would be impossible to successfully implement unless you have a staff that is in unity.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t get video of Eberhart’s comments. Next, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh clarified that the plans would be drafts, subject to input from teachers. Video: http://youtu.be/Y5nEsR7lg8k

JAN. 30 UPDATE: I just spoke to Janet Haun, who oversees ROP classes for the Contra Costa County Office of Education, regarding the MDHS plan to become a wall-to-wall academy. She said she is working with the school to ensure that ROP classes will be integral to the plan.

“Our goal is to have them as the capstones in every academy,” she said. “A capstone is sort of the culminating class for a high school student.”

Haun said the county currently operates ROP classes in the
biotech, IHTA and biotech academies, but not in the Digital Safari academy.

She said she was not aware of any other neighborhood high school in the county that has converted to an all-academy model. Dozier Libby Medical HS in Antioch is a magnet academy high school, which requires students to apply to attend, she said. It was recently named a California Distinguished School.

Haun said the Antioch district and WCCUSD have multiple academies at each high school, but haven’t gone all-academy.

She said she personally hasn’t heard of any dissatisfaction with the MDHS plan to convert to an all-academy model, but she primarily works with ROP teachers, who are happy to be a part of an academy.

“I don’t know their opinion of wall-to-wall,” she said.

I also asked about ROP classes at the CVHS charter. She said the county would continue to offer those classes on the campus.

“It’s part of the document that the Board of Education approved that the students at Clayton Valley HS are entitled to the same types of services and educational programs as any students in public schools,” Haun said. “So, we plan to maintain the ROP programs that we have there.”

Do you think Mt. Diablo High school should convert to all academies in the fall?

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

  • Doctor J

    Supt Steven Lawrence calls himself an “outsider looking in” — OMG, he is the direct supervisor of Principal Kate McClatchy — is he really claiming he didn’t know about this comprehensive plan ? What kind of supervision has he been doing ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    I was also surprised that he called himself an outsider. When I initially contacted him to talk about the all academy model, he wrote in an email: “If you are looking for details of the plan or a rational (sic) for the move I recommend that you speak with Kate.”

    I followed up with questions to both Lawrence and McClatchy and didn’t get any responses from either of them. I questioned whether Lawrence directed or approved the plan, among other things.

    It’s unclear how Lawrence can effectively evaluate principals, if he considers himself to be an outsider on district campuses.

  • Doctor J

    There was a shift in District policy to put Lawrence as direct supervisor and evaluator over the High School prinicpals when the original SASS Org Chart and job descriptions had Asst. Supt Rose Lock supervising and evaluating all the principals. What is significant about this policy shift is that there were not any Public Meetings discussing this, and when the revised job descriptions of SASS were finally put forth recently, even though Lawrence had posted the revised Org Chart in April without Board approval [at least publicly], there was absolutely no Board disucssion about the change when it was adopted, which can only mean the Board is brain dead or already had the discussion in private. There is really only one conclusion that can be drawn from this — the Board continues to illegally use the frequent Supt secret evaluations to change district policy without voting on such a change, without announcing “action” on such a change, without seeking public input on such changes, and perhaps even having unnoticed meetings about the role of the Supt. Brown Act violations really need to be stopped.

  • g

    Unfortunately, we will probably never hear directly from Kate McClatchy. At least not until she sues for wrongful termination or something. Did she sit at her last school dreaming of what she would do if she were at Mount? I doubt it. Was she reassigned without ever having a discussion with either Lock or Lawrence, where either she or one of them suggested Academy program changes?

    Who decided that she was qualified to move from a school of 400 students, average class size 17, to a school nearly 5 times larger, and drop her in there on her head with little or no supervision from the District? That is reminiscent of the misguided hiring a Superintendent with no real experience in a District of even 1/4 this size.

    It’s obvious the long time teachers don’t like having new ideas thrust upon them, but I also can’t think of a single time in my life that I have initially liked the “new boss” or their “new ideas”.

    We need to get to the “real” bottom of where these ideas for change came from. Done right, wall to wall academy models can work when planned and implemented carefully. But there is a lot more to look at.

    What happens to Mount in a couple of years when the buses stop rolling over the hill and its population is cut by more than half by a new high school? What are Lawrence’s and Lock’s thoughts on that? Can they see the future?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Lawrence and Lock presented the superintendent’s council idea for combining Glenbrook MS and MDSH on one campus as part of the school closure process, but that idea was rejected by the committee.

    It’s possible that the district wants to move toward academies because it can receive grants for California Partnership Academies, which help fund the programs. All four academies that McClatchy wants to scale up are receiving such grants.

    I also received two emails this morning regarding this issue. One said there are many teachers who support the all-academy model and are rising to the challenge.

    Another said the FAME academy was not a full-fledged performing arts academy because it didn’t include any performing or visual arts teachers, and it only included about 20 students when it was disbanded. Also, it didn’t receive any outside funding.

    Dr. J: Sometimes, individual board members ask questions of staff and receive information about agenda items privately. Although this is not a Brown Act violation, it does circumvent the spirit of the Brown Act, since trustees could be basing their votes on information that is not shared with the public. As I have previously mentioned, many public officials in other agencies — such as the Walnut Creek City Council — ask questions of staff publicly that they already know the answers to, so that the public will have the same information that they received privately. This is how transparent agencies operate.

  • g

    Yes, and that committee had NO representation actually living or working in the Mount D/ Glenbrook/Holbrook neighborhoods. The president of Holbrook PTA had moved from the area and didn’t even have a kid at Holbrook any longer, and so, gave up the fight early. Others asked Lawrence and the board to look at making Holbrook a K-6 again or K-8, which would have worked and kept kids in their own neighborhood. They were flat-out ignored.

    Poor Lawrence thinks of himself as an “outsider” when he walks into a school—he should ask the 1100 or so students who no longer have a “home” school how they feel every day.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I have just posted an update about how the County Office of Education is working with MDHS to plan for the all-academy model. No other neighborhood schools in the county are all-academy, said Janet Haun.
    Dozier-Libby Medical HS in the Antioch district is a magnet school, which attracts students who want to go there. Perhaps MDHS could convert to a magnet school, while allowing students not interested in the academies to go elsewhere.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s an interesting perspective on the unintended consequences of school closures: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/walt_gardners_reality_check/2012/01/aftermath_of_shuttering_schools.html

  • g

    Theresa, excellent points in that article. On the same page it led me to read another post, also with excellent comments: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/walt_gardners_reality_check/2012/01/when_principals_abuse_their_power.html

  • Theresa Harrington

    Does that sound like what’s going on at MDHS? I have heard that some teachers have already left because they didn’t like McClatchy’s management style.
    It will be interesting to find out which five major areas of concern are being addressed. McClatchy’s leadership skills could be one.
    MDEA President Mike Langley, who sat in on the “crumpled paper” sessions described by Lawrence, said he was sure the all-academy model was another.
    I would guess the QEIA grant would be a third.
    The other two could be teacher evaluations and discipline. (At least, those are major issues that have been raised by teachers who have spoken to me and at the school board meetings.)

  • g

    The questions remain; is McClatchy doing what she wants or what she’s been told. Is upper management looking at stirring things up today hoping to improve the school for tomorrow, or are they working toward a future that possibly would not include Mount at all.

  • Doctor J

    On Wednesday will be Steve Lawrence’s TWO YEAR anniversary and HE still doesn’t know what is going on at one of the high schools HE directly SUPERVISES. How can with a straight face LAWRENCE claim he feels like an OUTSIDER ? Lawrence, along with the Board, has approved the WRITTEN “Single Plan for Student Achievement” for the past two years. Haven’t they read them ? These plans were “approved” by the site councils before they were submitted to the district.

    G, like you, I wonder who really made the recommendation and decision, to allow McClatchy to move to Mount. I wonder if Rolen had any influence in that decision ?

  • Doctor J

    What has Lawrence been doing for two years in MDUSD ? He recommends Kate McClatchy to the Board on June 22, 2010 as Principal of MDHS. Lawrence is her DIRECT supervisor. Now in January 2012 Lawrence disavows knowledge of WHAT McClatchy is doing at Mount: “If you are looking for details of the plan or a rational (sic) for the move I recommend that you speak with Kate.”
    How can that be ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    This apparent lack of oversight could help explain the QEIA problem.
    Brian Lawrence asked tough questions. So far, answers do not seem to be forthcoming.

  • Doctor J

    Steven Lawrence feels no obligation to account to the public and none to the Board in public. He does not fear Eberhart nor Whitmarsh, as one word from his mouth about the truth about Buttercupgate and the both Gary and Sherry’s re-election campaigns go down in flames. And I am sure there are other issues equally as explosive that we don’t even have a clue about. Notice that the Board minutes have become less and less informative about what is discussed, and staff reports are less informative, and less common.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Also, staff reports that merit their own agenda items (bond refunding, SIG grants) have been hidden under the Superintendent’s Report.

    And of course, there’s the issue of the PowerPoint presentations that are not posted before the meeting, so the public has very little information. And, the link to the audio from the last meeting still hasn’t been reposted.

  • MDHS Academy Teacher

    As to the question about where the idea for an all academy school came from, you need look no farther than the MDHS WASC report for the 2009-2010 school year. It doesn’t specifically say how it should be done, but it does indicate the success of the existing academies and recommends that there be more. Academies are wonderful, if, and only if a student and their family choose to be a part of it. Forcing students into a pathway that they don’t want will only work to destroy what the existing academies have created. Small learning communities work because they are just that, small.

  • MDHS Teacher

    Theresa, did you mention that we teachers (and a student!) had to wait almost five hours before we were allowed to comment on our agenda item at last week’s board meeting? FIVE HOURS!!! By the time speakers were called it was 12:15 AM! “Good Morning Ladies and Gentleman of the board…” I can’t make this stuff up. What was that all about? Where is the audio?

  • MDHS Teacher

    Tip to anyone listening to the lost audio tapes of the board meeting: Fast forward almost five hours from the start of the meeting to hear the good stuff.

  • Anon Staff

    The biggest issue on campus in regards to the Academy Plan has been the almost total lack of input by the staff on developing the plan. Two Academies, IHTA and DSA have existed for over ten years, ACME for several years and a new Academy, MBTA, started this school year. Despite this wealth of experience with Academies, input from thse staff members have had little to no effect on McClatchy’s 4-Academy model. The only ‘choice’ offered at today’s presentations was for Academies to choose between next school year or two years from this year to incorporate freshman into their programs. Basically it was a choice between now or later but the message was clear, this is happening!

    There have been no opportunities for staff members to present alternatives to McClatchy’s plan which requires the 3 existing academies to double in size. The biotech group get to remain in the CPA model which can serve approximately 180 students grades 10 – 12. The other 3 academies are changing design to accompdate almost 400 students each. Some have suggested more, smaller academies with more career pathways. Very little transformative discussion has been allowed. The ‘get on board or get out’ attitude seems to be continuing.

    Oh wait, nevermind, we can ‘choose’ to wait to get on board for one more year.

  • Hell Freezing Over

    Regarding the last meeting lasting over 5 hours – Instead of trying change the schedule of board meetings to once a month – they (the board trustees) should be scheduling the meetings each week until they and the district staff resolve the enormous backlog of issues. Right now they are simply wasting two weeks or more by cramming too much into one meeting, then letting those issues and problems fall through the cracks without any follow up or true resolution.

    Meeting items called out for followup ( transportation plan anyone?) need to be assigned to district personnel for research, action and / or resolution. Each item should be listed with the assignee’s name, short detail and expected resolution and targeted completion date as well as the date the item was assigned. Progress on each item should be reported each week until resolved to the satisfaction of the trustees.

    Staff not getting it done? reassign the task and write up the staffer originally assigned for not completing their work assigned.

    Once the backlog is cleared out, THEN reduce the meetings back down to twice a month.

    Somewhere there is a whiteboard filled with “gates” (issues) and the dates they started – are ANY of them resolved – or did they just fall into the MDUSD void?

  • g

    Well now HFO–that just makes too much sense! Remember, these are ‘elected’ officials, most of whom are in it for an extra buck or two, and the self aggrandizing title, and who are not actually there for the students or the fiduciary responsibility.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon staff: Superintendent Lawrence said the plans were drafts that could be revised with staff input. Were you asked for suggested revisions?

    MDHS Teacher: In my YouTube video clips, several teachers said: “Good morning.” Also, I noted in the video description that the video was shot Jan. 24, when the Jan. 23 meeting went past midnight.
    Although the district has removed the audio link from its website, it is still online at: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/January%2023%20Minutes%20-%20Merged.mp3
    You make a good point about the student waiting five hours. Earlier in the meeting, after the student reps from various high schools spoke, trustees told them they could leave so they could study for finals.
    Yet, the item might not have appeared on the agenda at all if Trustee Gary Eberhart hadn’t asked the superintendent to report on the process. He is taking a keen interest in this issue and said he wants regular reports.
    Of course, if it doesn’t appear on the Feb. 6 agenda, teachers and others interested in the issue are free to speak about it during public comment, which occurs much earlier in the meeting and would likely be heard by many more people.

  • MDHS Teacher

    Theresa,

    You are an EXCELLENT reporter and don’t miss a BEAT! I forgot all about Dr.Lawrence excusing the student reps from Northgate, College Park, Concord, Clayton Valley, Ygnacio Vallley, and Mount Diablo High Schools to go home and study for finals. But wait…there was a lone student left in the back of the room. Who was it? None other than valedictorian candidate Savannah Ridgely who had signed a comment card at 7:15 PM and was made to wait FIVE HOURS before she was allowed to speak. Savannah did “study for finals” too. In the Dent Center Board Room. In the back row. With her textbook. And the sounds of the board going on and on about the purchase of used busses rather than hear her, yet. These people are so obvious!!! Once again, the flagship school of the district gets the shaft. C’mon people, wake up! Support these MDHS teachers who know what they are talking about. Help!

  • Theresa Harrington

    MDHS Teacher: What were the other four major areas of concern that were addressed?

  • Wait a minute

    To all MDHS teachers,

    Your only chance to get the respect that you deserve from the district senior management and the board is to start the charter process.

    Going to 5 hour board meetings and being lied to by Stevie Lawrence and McClatchy is another sign of the blatant disrespect and disregard the these peoople have for you and your professional opinions.

    You have to fight back effectively and going charter is the only way to do that here. Follow the same template and process that CVCHS used and you too will be successful.

  • Doctor J

    367 days left . . . and counting.

  • g

    With the new Black Diamond High scheduled to open in Pittsburg this coming August, will Bay Point students have a choice between attending MDUSD or PUSD?

  • Wait a minute

    Dr J,
    you mean 367 days left on the contract of the “Outsider looking in” that Stevie Lawrence (with a full 2 years on the job) has conveniently claimed to sidestep his responsibilities and authority in the matter?

    So that makes Stevie a 2 year “Outsider looking in”?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Trustee Linda Mayo said that Pittsburg and Bay Point students were already starting to transfer out to Pittsburg schools. This is one of the reasons the district wants to build a high school out there. Although students can’t automatically attend Pittsburg schools, they can apply for interdistrict transfers.

    On another note, I spoke to Mike Langley, who attended a portion of yesterday’s MDHS sessions. He said Trustee Lynne Dennler was there and that she went to all five of the presentations. He didn’t see any other trustees there. Langley said he couldn’t remember specifically what all five “areas of concern” were. But, he said they included facilities, discipline and the all-academy model. He also agreed with Anon Staff’s comment, saying teachers were basically given a choice of converting to all academies next year or the year after. Langley observed that this did not appear to invite discussion of other options, so teachers were not given as much opportunity to give meaningful input for revising the “draft” plans as Lawrence said they would.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#30 Since district transfers have to be approved, MDUSD should be able to tell us the number of transfers by grade level both to Pittsburg and from Pittsburg.

  • Wait a minute

    Welcome to the world of Stevie Lawrence’s management methodolgy:

    basically top-down, centralized, one-size fits all, do as we say (not as we do), non-collaborative, shut up you peons….sounds alot like the way the former Soviet Union was fun into the ground!

    By far the best option for MDHS teachers is to start the charter process and I guarantee they will then be respected by these so-called leaders.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: I believe some of this information was included in the school closure charts compiled by Schreder.

  • Doctor J

    I am glad that Mike Langley confirms Lawrence’s misstatement about faculty being allowed “meaningful input” when that is simply untrue. McClatchy’s orders to the teachers are simply: either get on board or get off. Does anyone really believe that Kate McClatchy dreamed this up on her own ? I mean on Oct 25 she could barely read a prepared speech while Lawrence grinned in glory. We have now seen two McClatchy fables: The January “discussion” which was just another reading of a prepared speech and no input; now the January 30 “input session” without allowing input. The real test is whether Mike has enough collective strength in the Mount teachers for them to stand united. Its seems the time for talking is over, and the time for action by MDEA has arrived. Flu season is fast approaching.

  • g

    Dr. J @ 31, and Theresa; if MDUSD staff can’t give the numbers, Linda Rondeau might be far more forthcoming with PUSD statistics.

  • Doctor J

    @G#35 I guess we should compare the numbers for accuracy, eh ? Who is going to tell Linda Mayo about the discrepency in numbers ? Who will Linda Mayo believe: Steven Lawrence or Linda Rondeau ?

  • Doctor J

    @TH#33 I couldn’t find it, but did find that High School enrollment is on a significant decline across the Board — so why would they want to build a new high school when all other high schools are at less than full capacity and continuing to decline for the next five years ? See page 20, Schrader report. http://www.mdusd.org/Community/Documents/scacinfo0111.pdf

  • Theresa Harrington

    I know the Schreder consultants said the elementary population is growing in the Bay Point and Meadow Homes areas, but you’re right that the chart shows a decline from 1,522 students at MDHS in 2010-11 to 1,255 in 2015-16. Perhaps the district expects that to surge upward when this year’s kindergartners get to high school.
    I know there were other charts that showed transfers in and out by school and neighborhood school.

  • g

    Unfortunately Schreder studies are minimum 2 years out of date. It seems when being careful to not “double count” where older neighborhoods and new construction might scew the numbers, he did not allow that older in-town neighborhoods may be more of an incentive for first time buying and renting younger families than newer neighborhoods in Bay Point.

  • Tagg

    After reading all these posts and watching the video of MDHS teachers and a very bright and high achieving student speak their minds at the MDUSD school board meeting, am I thankful that CV is now CVCHS! If MDUSD were a private company, they’d be out of business. Consistently treating your own employees who are the backbone of the company like garbage would bankrupt them. I am greatful the teachers at CV said enough is enough and sought another option. It is obvious that trying to work with the district doesn’t produce results. The success of academies is the SMALL learning communities, taught by teachers who want to teach in a particular academy and because students want to be a part of that academy. They are very collabrative in nature. A small family if you will in the larger high school community. Hopefully MDHS, College Park, YV and Northgate will follow Clayton Valley’s lead and go charter. Thank you Theresa for your excellent reporting. You have opened the eyes of many citizens.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Speaking of CVCHS academies, there will be an informational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 for anyone who’s interested: http://claytonvalley.org/blog/2012/01/18/information-regarding-cvchs-academies/.
    Also, I heard from CVCHS parent and board member Alison Bacigalupo today that the charter has received many “intent to enroll” forms from MDHS and YVHS students.

  • g

    Lawrence says “the district could not discuss the job performance of any specific employee”.

    Then how did Eberhart get by with openly calling for an overthrow of the last Superintendent,using poor job performance as criteria—and doing it quite publicly?

    Is this a “sometimes” privacy rule that is just brought up as a sort of armour when they are trying to dodge a bullit? I believe in privacy as much as anyone, but when we are the employer, the taxpayer, the parent, we the may have more legal rights than he is willing to admit.

  • Theresa Harrington

    I spoke to Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla today. She has sent a letter in support of the QEIA waiver application to the CDE.
    She said she does not want teachers and students to lose the funding, since they were not responsible for the school’s failure to meet the class size requirements.
    “The very people who need it shouldn’t end up being penalized for what is an administrative issue,” she said. “So, I definitely wrote it on their behalf.”
    She is also working on a bill addressing principal evaluations.

  • Anon Staff

    The sessions were 20 minutes long with approximately 20 teachers with an administrator acting as a fascilitator. We heard almost 10 minutes of a plan to address the specific topic and the remaining time was for feedback. The best admins allowed for more than 15 minutes of feedback while 2 I attended took up more than half the time ‘explaining’ their plan. We have been told the admin will react to our feedback but itis unclear how that will look.

    Most disturbing was the feedback summary from our sessions facilitated by Julie Bruan Martin from earlier in he month. MANY issues were left off the summary including legal questions regarding Principal McClatchy’s use of funds and her documented refusal to schedule for QEIA. No doubt those were left off intentionally. Also removed from the summary was the suggestion of removing McClatchy from her position as a possible remedy to the situation.

    I am fearful this whole process is all window dressing.

  • Doctor J

    Maybe Assembly Member Bonilla would support a CDE “condition” of the waiver that the school and district administrators that were responsible be “terminated immediately”. Ms. Bonilla, with all due respect, you need to read my timeline to see how egregious the conduct of the Principal and District Administrators were.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Patrick Oliver spoke about the timeline to the board.
    Bonilla told me she thinks there should be statewide standards for evaluating principals, in part because the federal government is pushing this, while the governor appears to be pushing for more local control.
    Although Bonilla agrees with more local control in concept, she said that pre-supposes that all local districts are well-run.
    “It would be great to assume that every school district was just doing a wonderful job,” she said.
    Her desire to put more uniform standards in place suggests that some districts may be doing a better job of hiring, training and evaluating principals than others.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon Staff: What was the response from teachers regarding the items that were deleted from the summary? Will they be added back on? As I have previously stated, the plans were supposed to be “drafts,” subject to revision through the feedback process.
    Superintendent Lawrence said all the “crumpled papers” were shredded. I also heard from Mike Langley that electronic devices (including recorders, I assume) were prohibited. What happened to the original lists from the first meetings?

  • g

    Anon Staff: Twenty or so teachers were given 10 minutes to “share” for their feedback? And legal questions were left out?

    That doesn’t sound like “window dressing”. That sounds like regurgitation served on a bed of cold rice with a pretty little sprig of parsley!

  • g

    Oops– Thought regurgitation! I didn’t mean it to sound quite so gross.

  • Doctor J

    @AnonStaff, I expect to see another large contingent at the next board meeting addressing these very issues. Why has the MDEA gone so silent on these issues ? You need to prepare your own list of issues to present to the Board members via email prior to the Board meeting. JBM is famous for putting lipstick on a Pig and conveniently leaving off the most volitile issues. Lawrence said he wants this delayed until the spring — get real Steven, your days are numbered, 366. Gary and Sherry, having input, if it is really considered and incorporated, is much different from Kate McC’s style of wink and nod.