Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD 8-27-12

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 9:23 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

[NOTE: I am updating this Tuesday morning, based on information from the superintendent's secretary regarding the consent calendar.]

Here is the link to the board agenda: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_agendaview.aspx?mtgId=347

TUESDAY UPDATE:

Board unanimously passed all items on the consent calendar.

Item 9.10 — AIS Interpreting — was pulled for discussion. General Counsel Greg Rolen excused himself, saying he was married to the vendor. Attorney Deb Cooksey sat in his place during discussion of this item.

PREVIOUS POST:
When I arrived a bit late, Carmen Terrones, Local 1 CST rep was critical of the AIS contract, saying it was a conflict of interest because Greg Rolen is married to Marisol Padilla. It passed anyway, 5-0. (I did not hear her testimony, but this is what she told me after her comments.)

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Former MDHS teacher Jessica Preciado spoke about how disheartened she felt after being ignored by MDHS administrators when she asked them to consider allowing her to work part-time, after her son nearly died of a rare condition. Making matters worse, she said payroll has made repeated mistakes and she was told she was not entitled to the 3 percent bonus and then was told by Bryan Richards that she owes the district $2,500.
“If you really want to keep good teachers,” she said, “I guarantee making an effort to really listen and care would be greatly rewarded with teachers who are loyal to our district, and students who receive a better education.”

12.0 COMMUNICATIONS
MDEA President Guy Moore said Preciado’s experience was not an isolated incident and he encouraged the district to treat its employees with respect. For example, he said new teachers were not paid for their two days of training.

SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT:
Steven Lawrence presented CAHSEE results and said solar info is now available online.

14.1 Board voted 4-1 to appoint Dr. Kerri Mills as interim superintendent of pupil services and special education, after first voting 1-4 against eliminating item 12 from contract. She is replacing Mildred Browne, who requested a leave of absence after the board failed to extend her contract, when it extended the contracts of many other top administrators until 2014. Browne’s contract was set to expire in June.

TUESDAY UPDATE:

Superintendent’s Report, continued (due to late arrival of presenters): Windemere reps make donation to HOPE project, which serves homeless students.

14.2 Board unanimously approved nonpublic school contracts.

14.3 KVHS
After much discussion (which I’ll post to YouTube/tunedtotheresa), the board unanimously agreed to allow KVHS to operate a county ROP class at KVHS through the end of the 2012-13 school year. The board further agreed that no sale or disposition of KVHS FM shall be considered until the conclusion of the MDUSD 2012-2013 academic school year. In addition, trustees asked staff to continue investigating the value of the station, should it decide to sell in the future.

Three former KVHS students spoke in favor of keeping the station: Rick Bartlett, Matthew Boggs and Karen Klaizynski.

14.4 Elimination of some “overflow” busing
After much discussion, the board unanimously agreed to provide overflow busing for students from Title 1 schools who must travel 1.5 miles or more from their home schools, if their neighborhood schools are full; and to eliminate overflow busing for students whose home schools are not Title 1 campuses, if they will travel 5 miles or less to their new schools.

This was Trustee Lynne Dennler’s idea because she didn’t want to continue making cuts that hurt low-income communities in the district.

Lawrence presented a 6-page Excel spreadsheet that showed available space/overflows for 29 elementary schools: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=127742269

Unfortunately, the spreadsheet did not show the total number of students affected or any cost estimates for savings. It also did not show which schools were Title 1.

Based on questions from the board, Lawrence said his staff recommendation to eliminate busing for all overflow students who would be moved to schools less than 5 miles from their home schools would require about 8-10 bus routes at a cost of about $20,000 per route, or a total of about $160,000-$200,000. He never gave a cost estimate for the amended motion, which the board approved.

Lawrence said he didn’t present this to the board sooner because he wanted to wait for the FCMAT report. Yet, he didn’t present any information from that report.

Trustee Linda Mayo asked staff to work with cities to suggest they apply for Safe Routes to Schools grants to provide sidewalks and improve school access.

14.5 The board discussed the superintendent’s evaluation targets extensively. Unfortunately, my Flip cam was full by this point, so I had to download my videos and I missed the first portion of the conversation, in which Trustee Cheryl Hansen said she walked out of two closed sessions regarding the superintendent’s evaluation because she didn’t believe they were properly noticed and she didn’t receive any information about them ahead of time. There were some very testy exchanges between Hansen, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh and Trustee Gary Eberhart. I did catch some of it on my Flipcam, which I’ll post to my YouTube account.

Trustee Linda Mayo said the board needs to work on communicating better. Eberhart said trustees need to come to meetings better prepared.

Eberhart said he thought it was appropriate for the board to discuss the superintendent’s goals in closed session, but he agreed it was also appropriate to present them to the public for input. He said he didn’t think the board violated the Brown Act in its closed sessions.

Hansen asked what happened to the strategic plan. She said she had asked that it be placed on the agenda, but it wasn’t. Eberhart and Rolen said the board couldn’t discuss that, since it wasn’t on the agenda. Hansen said she has submitted it again and wants to see it on the Sept. 10 agenda.

14.6 The board discussed Hansen’s proposal regarding agenda dissemination to the public. She asked that it be brought back to the board for action.

Eberhart said she should work with staff and that item 6 seemed very hard. Mayo said she wasn’t interested in discussing something so prescriptive. She said she believed the superintendent and Loreen Joseph could work out a system for alerting the public when agenda items have been revised.

Dennler had no comment and Whitmarsh said three board members didn’t want this brought back for action.

14.7 The board discussed Hansen’s idea to create a Mayoral Council. Whitmarsh and Mayo said they had discussed the idea with five mayors at a recent mayor’s gathering and that none of them wanted a mayoral council. Mayo said some of them were interested in less formal ways of communicating with the district, however.

Hansen said she had spoken to some mayors who were in favor of the idea. But, she said any ideas for better communication between the district and its city leaders are welcome.

14.8 The board discussed Propositions 30 and 38.
Three speakers urged the board to support Prop. 30 and not Prop. 38: Mike Langley, MDEA President Guy Moore and MDHS teacher Dan Reynolds.
Mayo said the PTA has endorsed Molly Munger’s Prop. 38. She passed out two handouts to trustees: “Prop. 38 benefits every Mt. Diablo District student” and “November 2012 2012 Funding Initiaves” from CSBA. She asked the other trustees to join her in supporting Prop. 38.
Dennler said she wanted to read through the documents before making a decision. Lawrence suggested bringing them back as separate agenda items.

14.9 The board discussed the idea of creating a Public Information Officer position. Hansen said she was against it, saying it was not a good use of money, especially when the board just cut busing for some students.
Mayo supported the idea and asked the superintendent to create a job description.
Whitmarsh said the County Office of Education, San Ramon Valley district and West Contra Costa districts all have PIO’s. Lawrence said the county has added duties to its PIOs, due to budget cuts.
(This is true. Peggy Marshburn oversees QEIA compliance and Williams Act complaints, I believe. Also, the WCCUSD PIO is in charge of community outreach and engagement.)
Whitmarsh said she has heard from at least three board members that they would like to move forward with the creation of a job description.

14.10 The board discussed revising its cell phone policy to allow students to use their cell phones during the school day. Mayo said that the district might need to come up with alternatives for students in low-income areas who may not have cell phones, if teachers plan to use them in classes.

15.0 BOARD REPORTS:

Hansen said she attended the new teacher orientation and Dennler said the district needs to let teachers know that they’re appreciated.

Although she didn’t specifically mention Preciado and Moore’s comments earlier in the meeting, Dennler’s message appeared to coincide with what Preciado and Moore said.

Mayo spoke about some nice comments she received from teachers about recent trainings.

NOTE: Video clips of the Superintendent’s Report, appointment of Kerri Mills, HOPE donation and the beginning of the overflow busing discussion are at http://qik.com/tharrington. Video clips from rest of meeting will be posted soon at http://www.youtube.com/TunedToTheresa.

Here is the link to audio of the meeting: http://www.mdusd.org/boe/Documents/audio/2012/08272012.mp3

Do you think the district’s teachers feel appreciated?

TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE:

I have received the following email from Julie Braun-Martin, in response to my question regarding Mildred Browne’s employment status:

“The district has granted Dr. Browne’s request for an extended leave of absence to address some personal concerns. Notwithstanding her need for a leave, Dr. Browne has continued to work in her role as Assistant Superintendent until the Interim Assistant Superintendent is approved and reports for duty. Dr. Browne will remain available to the District to ensure a smooth transition of the Interim Superintendent. As her leave is a personnel matter, the district will have no further comment on it.”

I have also received the following prepared statement from KQED:

“KQED is not planning to make an offer to purchase radio station KVHS at this time. If and when the Mt. Diablo school board decides to officially put the station on the market, we will consider a possible purchase. We have heard from our KQED Public Radio listeners for years that we need to improve our broadcast signal in parts Contra Costa Country. We have taken a number of steps to improve reception over the years with some success, but we still hear regularly from listeners who have continuing issues with the signal strength of 88.5 FM. Our potential interest in KVHS would be to improve our service to KQED listeners in Contra Costa.”

When I asked if KQED is interested in purchasing the station and equipment — or just the frequency — I got the following email response from publicist Evren Odcikin:

“We have not had any conversations internally about the details of this possible opportunity, so I’m not able to answer any questions about specifics at this time.”

AUG. 29 UPDATE: I heard from Preciado that Julie Braun-Martin stopped by Crossroads school — where she is now working part-time — to apologize and set up a meeting with Bryan Richards to go over the discrepancies in her paychecks. Then today, Trustee Cheryl Hansen stopped by, offered a personal apology and gave Preciado a card. Preciado said she was encouraged by these actions.
However, it’s my understanding that a date and time for her meeting with Richards has still not been finalized.

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

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @33 — If Lynn Dennler believes the propaganda on the Prop 38 site, then she provides another example of that adage, “If you stand for nothing, then you’ll fall for anything.” The web site says that, “Prop 38 raises $10 billion a year for schools, puts it into a secure trust fund that Sacramento politicians can’t touch, and distributes the money evenly on a per-child basis to every public school.”

    Sure, the politicos in Sacto won’t be able to touch THAT money, but they sure can touch the REST of the funding that is currently going to schools — say, about $10 bil worth. Remember the lottery proceeds that were “dedicated” to schools? That money simply allowed Sacramento to cut other general funding for schools, solving nothing. If it is satisfactory to fund schools just enough to keep them barely on life support, then that is what our legislature will do (and has done), despite all the other funds that are “dedicated” to schools. I predict that Prop 38 will go down in defeat for that very reason. People recognize that it is just more tax revenue that will replace other school funding, so that those funds can be redirected to boondoggles elsewhere in the budget.

    Question: What has Lynne Dennler done to support an MDUSD parcel tax that would NOT be subject to the budget whims in Sacto and would ACTUALLY INCREASE the funds available for our students?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Jim, Lynne Dennler did not take a position on the measures. She merely said she wanted more time to study the issues. Linda Mayo staunchly supported Prop. 38 and asked her fellow trustees to join in that support.
    The three speakers pointed out what you are saying. I’ll upload video of their comments to my YouTube account later.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anonawhat: I will write about Preciado separately.
    Here are four moving videos in which she describes her story — first to me — then to the board (She was Jessica Swan at Northgate):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bMFoMGin5s&feature=share&list=UL_bMFoMGin5s
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vm1MZsqvCM&feature=share&list=UL6vm1MZsqvCM
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_0m6g-PtQE&feature=share&list=ULe_0m6g-PtQE
    Part 4 (to board): http://youtu.be/DSpkwwy9HX4

    I will need to listen to the audio to get the full picture about the AIS agenda item.

  • Anon

    Loreen Joseph sent the Superintendent’s update today. Nowhere in the email or the update does it give the name of the superintendent. The primary news is that we hired 81 teachers. Nowhere does it say how many teachers left voluntarily or involuntarily. My kids had great teachers last year who we hear rumors left for other districts. This news comes from The Great Void which has no reference to everyday reality.

  • g

    I just watched all 4 You tube videos of Jessica Preciado, and have just one thing to say to Sherry Whitmarsh:

    “I have to ask you to ‘wrap it up please.’ You have conspired to and have done enough harm to this district!”

    The next item on OUR agenda is to, at the very least, elect people to the board that still have a heart, and hopefully, unlike you, at one time had an honest soul. You had a copy of what she was reading. You could easily see that she only needed a few more seconds to “wrap it up” on her own.

    Please withdraw, and save yourself, and your family from the expense and very public embarrassment that is surely about to come your way.

  • Anon

    The NO MORE WHITMARSH campaign is just about to hold our first kickoff event.

    Then we begin our very well funded Anti-Sherry media blitz.

  • Anon

    G, ditto that-I knew Preciado and she was my child’s best high school English teacher. She does go above and beyond both at school and after hours time grading extra writing prompts and caring for the whole student that the district should have valued. I know another wonderful caring teacher who needs to go part time but is having no luck with district personnel. It’s ironic that the main topic in the Superintendent’s update is the success of personnel.

  • Doctor J

    Lame Duck Eberhart embarasses himself and calls the Supt’s “evaluation targets” the first document available to evaluate him by. Oh please, Gary did you forget the “goals and objectives” proposed by Lawrence and adopted by the Board on Sept 28, 2010, which are essentially the same as the new ones, except some of the new ones are “dumbed down” from 2010 ?

  • Doctor J

    @56 Are you also considering a Recall Dennler campaign ?

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    @53 — A principal I greatly admired once told me, “A school can go as far as the teachers will take it.”
    Evidently, Mt. Diablo High, which I think we can all agree has a LONG LONG way to go, will have to get to wherever it is going without Ms. Preciado.
    What a waste. What a shame.

  • Doctor J

    @42 Yes I will give credit to Lynne for finally speaking up about children and parents on the busing issue, but neither she nor Lawrence had any idea what the financial benefit to that change of policy would be — and she spent several hours with Lawrence, as he described in an exaspterated voice, going over all the bus routes. And at the end of the Board meeting, she did speak up saying teachers don’t feel appreciated — what was her first clue after that impassioned speech by Jessica Preciado about how poorly she was treated by Kate McClatchy and then MDEA Guy Gibson who blasted the district for not paying new teachers for two days of mandatory training to save $50,000. Wouldn’t the California Labor Commissioner have something to say about that ? My critique of her is generally she has been a Linda Mayo head-nodder, has been unengaged, and sits on the sidelines on most issues. So I will change her nickname in post 41 to Sideline Lynne.

  • Anon

    Lynne Dennler cracks me up. I have never seen anyone and I mean ANYONE further over their heads.

    Remember at the beginning of her term when she repeadetly complained about the restirctions the Brown Act placed on her. Almost as if she had never in her life seen a public meeting before.

  • Doctor J

    Why can’t I find any campaign finance statements for Lynne Dennler in the 2010 election ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dennler ran virtually no campaign in 2010. She did not publish a ballot statement and I don’t think she solicited campaign contributions. I also don’t think she had fliers or campaign signs.
    There was wide speculation that one of the main reasons she won was her “retired teacher” ballot designation. She also participated in public forums and newspaper interviews.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have added a “Tuesday Afternoon Update” to this blog post with an email message from Julie Braun-Martin regarding Mildred Browne’s leave of absence and a statement from KQED regarding KVHS.

  • Anon

    Whitmarsh at her arrogant worst – When Hansen asked her why an agenda item she submitted wasn’t on the agenda Whitmarsh said in her opinion it didn’t need to be on. When Hansen said the board president doesn’t have that authority Whitmarsh said her opinion was what counted. Gee, she learned well from her mentor Eberhart, didn’t she. She definitely needs to go.

  • Doctor J

    Doesn’t Mildred have to comply with Board Policy 4361 and have her leave approved by the Board ? “8. All leaves of absence, except sick leave, industrial illness or accident, bereavement, jury duty, court appearance, management leave days and paid military, shall be approved by the Board. Requests for leaves shall be submitted in writing to the appropriate personnel director, giving specific dates and type of leave.” I would guess her request for leave is subject to the PRA since it must be submitted to the Board.

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#66 Did you hear that Sherry said the “closed meetings” are being “reported” in the foyer after the closed sessions. The Agendas never specify that, and no minutes of the Board meetings where there are only closed sessions are ever made — another violation.

  • Anon

    It’s tragic for our students that Dennler’s campaign was to be the voice for teachers. That’s commendable but students must be the first consideration and in a well-run school district the benefits then trickle down to teachers and staff. Tell me what has Dennler done for the district like say finalize the strategic plan? We end up with children hoofing to faraway schools, no accountability for anything, and students who lose great teachers like Preciado because of the district dysfunction.

  • Doctor J

    It just occured to me why Lawrence is so desperate to save an extra $200,000 quickly: Lawrence is going to pay Mildred during her leave of absence, and is paying the new ‘Interim’ Supt also. He throws out these round numbers 8 routes @ $20,000 a route — when Cheryl asks for the specifics, he says they are just estimates. We all know about Lawrence’s ficticious money saving estimates: SASS to save $50,000 a year — OMG what a joke. School closure to save several million — show us the beef Steven, that never happened either.

  • g

    Yeah, Browne needs to address some personal concerns–most of us would just go ahead and call those concerns “the lecture circuit” AKA The Mary Bacon approach to living large off the education machine.

    How quaint of JBM to call it personnel issues.

    What is JBM calling the time off required for the rest of Browne’s posse on the “Personal Concerns” Lecture Circuit? Insurance for her own future seat on that train?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Anon: Hansen mentioned the need to complete the strategic plan and asked for it to be placed on the next agenda.
    Regarding Preciado, there is a silver lining for some students in the district — she has been hired part-time at the Crossroads school for pregnant students and teen moms. After all she’s been through, she said she feels that maybe this was meant to be, since the atmosphere there is very much like a caring family. Also, some of her former students are there.

  • Anon

    We’re waiting for Hansen to get seconded . . .

  • Theresa Harrington

    We’ll see if it shows up on the next agenda.
    Here’s a link to a blog post that includes the Superintendent’s Welcome Back message to the community: http://bit.ly/OoGTJE

  • Theresa Harrington

    Also, please note that I have just finished uploading all of my Flipcam videos from the meeting to YouTube/tunedtotheresa.

  • Doctor J

    Kerri Mills said she met with the CAC recently. Wouldn’t that be a violation of the Brown Act ?

  • The Observer

    Re:Jessica Preciado
    All the public information officers on the planet could not have mitigated the negative effect created when board president Sherry Whitmarsh bummed rushed – “I’m going to ask you to wrap this up”- Ms. Preciado on Monday night. Having witnessed it in person first and then seeing it on video Whitmarsh’s less than symapathetic response to the young teacher’s story perfectly illustrated what MDEA president Guy Moore spoke to also. Many employees don’t feel heard and as such don’t feel valued. Look at Whtimarsh’s response when Ms. Preciado finished speaking – not so much as a word of thanks for sharing her story, a word of concern about the child’s health, nor a word that the Whitmarsh is sorry for the woman having to go through all that, none of that. Instead, you heard, ” Next on the agenda”. Just like teachers and the public feel that we are all just ” Next on the agenda”in MDUSD.

    And, speaking of agendas, Whitmarsh let us all know that she is the sole arbiter of agenda items. When Hansen questioned why an item she submitted was not on the agenda Whitmarsh replied in imperious terms that she didn’t think it needed to be on for consideration. It’s surprising that Linda Mayo didn’t leap to her feet then and declare, “The King is dead, Long live the Queen”

    Monday night’s board meeting clearly illustrated why we need to elect new new board members in November who will listen and respond to the teachers and the public.

  • Doctor J

    As I watched Jessica, I wondered what Dr. Kerri Mills was thinking. Did she think, “Is this the kind of culture I want to work for ?” As you read the article about her, and the 2009 FCMAT Santa Barbara report, she is used to working where there is open discussion about issues without repercussions. And she is leaving her future to the sole “evaluation” of Steven Lawrence after a few months ? Little does she know about the vindictiveness embedded in this district, and punishments for “open discussion”. If Theresa is able to get an interview with her, that might be a great question for her — What were you thinking as you listened to Jessica and about to accept a job with this district ?

  • Wait a Minute

    @ The Observer#77

    Hopefully the NO ON WHITMARSH campaign will use this video of Whitmarsh disrespecting this wonderful, young teacher and her very real concerns in their campaign.

    The other information they should get out to the voters is how Whitmarsh is supporting the cronyism and now nepotism of MDUSD’s General Counsel (and 2nd highest paid employee of the MDUSD) Greg Rolen’s household being given six figure contracts (when totaled) for the AIS district-contracted interpreting services.

  • Doctor J

    @WAM I think Rolen has now surpassed Lawrence in salary when you add his and hers together: and just think how much the district is now paying for his medical and dental for the “whole family”. I would love to know when the marriage was — presumably sometime after Dec 5, 2011. Did Rolen leave the room or just the dais ?

  • Doctor J

    I can’t wait for the website: NO ON WHITMARSH. They can link all kinds of videos, parodies, statements, and refusal to answer questions like ButtercupGATE which I posted a couple of weeks ago. And lets not forget to link her campaign “donors” — both this year and from 4 years ago.

  • Doctor J

    Has Sherry lived up to her 2008 Campaign Statement ? Can’t wait until Theresa posts the 2012 Statement. Here is the 2008 Statement: “My name is: Sherry Whitmarsh My age is: My occupation is: Competency Development Consultant Education and Qualifications:
    With two children who attend schools in the Mt Diablo Unified School District and as a member of two MDUSD committees I am aware of the issues that exist.
    As your board member I will help facilitate positive change for this district. I will champion a strategic plan which extends out 3 – 5 years. This plan needs
    to be developed through collaboration among all members of the MDUSD community. Administrators, teachers, school staff, students, and parents need to have a seat at the same table to help develop a plan that will guide us through times of economic growth and crisis.
    We must ensure that MDUSD is able to attract and retain qualified staff. We must offer competitive salaries and benefits to all staff to ensure that we hire and retain the best possible employees. Only by retaining highly qualified staff will we ensure that our children can receive the best education possible.
    It will be my responsibility to ensure that all children receive a high quality education in a safe learning environment. Every student must be encouraged
    to make academic progress. Setting high expectations for student conduct and behavior will ensure that classrooms are constructive centers for learning.
    It is with honor that I have the endorsement of the teachers of our district, and the maintenance and operations employees of our district.
    With your vote, we can have an efficient administration, the best teachers and school staff that will make a positive difference in the lives of our children. I ask for your vote. If you have any questions or concerns I can be reached at sherry@votesherry.com or 925 899 4731. Thank you.”

  • Doctor J

    What will Lame Duck Eberhart do with his $1,637.46 in his campaign account he last reported through 12-31-2010, but has not filed up to date campaign donation statements ?

  • g

    As I understand it, the fine for not filing up to date forms is $1,000.00 per. If they follow up on complaints filed on him, that would put him in the hole. He is past due on more than one.

  • anon

    Dr. J,
    Sherry has not only NOT lived up to her campaign promises, I’d say she has done just the opposite. So very, very sad.
    I don’t understand how this happens, it must just be the bane of politics. I wonder how she reconciles this within her own conscience.
    I was literally brought to tears watching Mrs. Preciado’s statements to the board. At least Gary looked like he was listening to her.
    Does the board discuss public comments? Are they even allowed to? Where is the follow up, or follow through on comments made by the public?
    This is all so terribly disheartening.
    Sherry, what happened? Can’t believe you are actually running again, I am very disappointed in your tenure. I really expected much better from you.

  • Doctor J

    Where Sherry is SO VERY WRONG is that she controls the agenda. Education Code (35145.5) gives the public an even more active role in the agendas of school board meetings, “to place matters directly related to school district business on the agenda of school district governing board meetings.” I wish someone would submit an agenda item and have Sherry reject it — then get a court order to prohibit her from doing that in the future.

    Yes Anon, Board members can briefly comment on or even ask questions based on the public comment. In

  • Theresa Harrington

    At the board retreat, Whitmarsh said her top priority is attracting and retaining highly qualified staff in all areas.

  • The Observer

    The board doesn’t need a public information officer, it needs an exorcist. There were a lot of heads spinning on Monday night.

  • Doctor J

    What a unique idea, develop an “action plan with 154 goals” from the FCMAT report and then inviting FCMAT to come back and review the progress. Hells bells, Lawrence won’t even allow FCMAT to make a final report so it stays secret — why would Lawrence want someone following up to see if he actually did what he said he was going to do ? And what about this: “Progress on the action plan and individual goals has been prepared and presented to the board several times.”

    Here is an excerpt of a report by Kerri Mills to her Supt on Feb 14, 2012: “FCMAT conducted an initial comprehensive study on our District’s special education program in June, 2009. The original scope of their study covered the following areas: 1) Parent participation, 2)Communication, 3) Organization, 4) Fiscal, and 5) Program and Training. At that time, they made significant recommendations for improvement. Based on those recommendations, the District developed an action plan with approximately 154 goals. Progress on the action plan and individual goals has been prepared and presented to the board several times. After working diligently on these goals over a period of time, the District invited the FCMAT team to return to assess our progress in implementing the recommendations of their initial report. The original FCMAT team of five staff members returned to the district in October, 2011.”

    I want to hear from the candidates: WHAT WOULD YOU DO ?

    BTW, SBUSD must have a Strategic Plan because at the bottom of the staff report to the Supt., it identifies which “Board Focus Goals” the report pertains to.

    Lawrence would never allow this detail in a staff report to the Board. http://www.sbsdk12.org/board/attachments/2012/02-14/02-14-12_attachment_F.1.pdf

  • Theresa Harrington

    It appears to be a unique idea to have a written staff report, instead of merely calling up the special ed staff to answer questions during a board meeting or springing a last-minute PowerPoint on the public, without posting it or providing copies.
    I would guess that this staff report was attached to the agenda when it was disseminated too – another unique idea.

  • Doctor J

    And available on the internet when the Agenda was posted 72 hours in advance. The Agenda also indicates the attachment was photocopied and available for distribution to the public at the back of the room. They actually practice the Brown Act in Santa Barbara.

  • g

    Rolen and Eberhart like to “practice” at it too when it fits their personal agenda. We need people who are proficient at using it.

  • anonawhat

    @ the observer #88: how do you perform an exorcism on Rolen, Lawrence, and certain board members when they are the devil themselves? An exorcism for them is a waste of time, but karma……that’s another story…can’t wait

  • anonawhat

    @TH #53: did i get this right? After watching your videos on YouTube of the August 27th meeting, I noted that Jessica Preciado was interrupted by Whitmarsh at 3 minutes and 31 seconds. HOWEVER, Mr. Bartley who spoke on behalf of KVHS, spoke for 8 minutes and 55 seconds without interruption from any Board Member. Have I miscalculated or missing something? Please tell me that a teacher’s baby is more important than a radio station.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Actually, the KVHS video includes more than one speaker: http://youtu.be/mTFeRHEYeo0

    Bartlett spoke from about 0:25-4:02, so he spoke for about 3.5 minutes. At about 3:29, the buzzer went off and he said, “I need to wrap it up, I guess.” He then continued to speak uninterrupted for another 30 seconds or so.

  • Doctor J

    On Friday, when the STAR test results are released by CDE, here is the link to the CDE Estimated API calculator. Pass it around and post your results ! http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/documents/calc11b12g.xls

  • Theresa Harrington

    I’m interrupting this thread to report that a 16-year-old Las Lomas HS student has been reported missing since Friday: https://local.nixle.com/alert/4878806/?sub_id=215768

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here is a Santa Barbara news report about Mills’ appointment in MDUSD, after implementing FCMAT recommendations there: http://www.kcoy.com/story/19411466/santa-barbara-unified-school-district-losing-an-administrator

  • Theresa Harrington

    Please note that I have added an Aug. 29 update to this blog, with information from Preciado about two visits she has received from district officials at her new job on the Crossroads campus.

  • g

    Isn’t it SAD when a reputable company makes the mistake of relying on the 5 year out-of-date MDUSD website for information?