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MDUSD 10-8-12

By Theresa Harrington
Monday, October 8th, 2012 at 6:02 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

The Mt. Diablo school board meeting will start early tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the district office at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.

Here is the agenda:

1.0 Call to Order
1.1 President will call the meeting to order Info
2.0 Announcements
2.1 In closed session, the Board will consider the items listed on the closed session agenda. Info
3.0 Public Comment
3.1 The public may address the Board concerning items that are scheduled for discussion during closed session only. These presentations are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers or the three minute limit may be shortened. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info
4.0 Adjourn to Closed Session at 6:00 p.m.
4.1 Negotiations – The Board may discuss negotiations or provide direction to its representatives regarding represented employees, pursuant to EERA (Govt. Code Section 3549.1) Agency negotiators: Julie Braun Martin and Deborah Cooksey. Agencies: MDEA, CSEA, Local One M&O, Local One CST, MDSPA, and Supervisory. Action
4.2 Readmission Action
4.3 Anticipated Litigation Info
4.4 Existing Litigation Action
5.0 Reconvene Open Session
5.1 Reconvene Open Session at 6:30 p.m. Info
6.0 Preliminary Business
6.1 Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call Info
7.0 Report Out Action Taken in Closed Session
7.1 Negotiations Info
7.2 Readmission Info
7.3 Anticipated Litigation Info
7.4 Existing Litigation Info
8.0 Consent Agenda
8.1 (Item #1) Items listed under Consent Agenda are considered routine and will be approved/adopted by a single motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items; however, any item may be removed from the consent agenda upon the request of any member of the Board and acted upon separately. Action
8.2 (Item #2) Minutes of the meeting of September 24, 2012 Action
8.3 (Item #3) Recommended Action for Certificated Personnel Action
8.4 (Item #4) Request to increase and decrease Full Time Equivalent (FTE) for the 2012-2013 school year Action
8.5 (Item #5) Recommended Action for Classified Personnel Action
8.6 (Item #6) REVISED Classified Personnel: Increase in Hours for an Assistant to the Hearing Impaired Position Action
8.7 (Item #7) Award of Professional Services Contract for the Preparation of Updated Enrollment Projections/Demographic Analysis and Boundary Study for the Northeast Area of Mt. Diablo Unified School District Action
8.8 (Item #8) Award of Design Services Contract:Interim Housing for Measure C Portable Replacement Program Action
8.9 (Item #9) Award of Design Services Contract: Stadium Improvements at Clayton Valley Charter High School Action
8.10 (Item #10) Contract Amendment: PHd Architects: Modification to Incorporate Additional Classrooms at Concord High School (Nueva Vista/Summit)and Pleasant Hill Middle School (Prospect/Horizon) Action
8.11 (Item #11) Contract Amendment: LSA Associates, Inc.: Provision of Requisite Environmental Consulting Services Related to the Revised Stadium Improvement Project at Ygnacio Valley High School Action
8.12 (Item #12) Amendment to the Bylaws of the 2002 and 2010 Measure C Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees Action
8.13 (Item #13) Award of Bid #1618 to provide Structured Cabling, Adding Ethernet Drops in Classrooms with Fiber Optic Backbone at Secondary Schools Action
8.14 (Item #14) Professional Services Agreement For Legal Services: Measure C Facilities Improvement Program Action
8.15 (Item #15) Independent Services Contracts with John F. Kennedy University Action
8.16 (Item #16) Request to Approve Independent Services Contract for Events to the “T”, Inc. Action
8.17 (Item #17) 2012-13 Contract for Sierra Pacific Tours Action
8.18 (Item #18) 2012-13 Contract for Michaels Transportation Services Action
8.19 (Item #19) Increase purchase order with Non-Public Agency Ed. Support Services Action
8.20 (Item #20) Certificate of Adopting Resolution 12-13-14 to comply with Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act) and Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA) Action
8.21 (Item #21) Board Action Progress Report Action
8.22 (Item #22) Proclamation of October 23 – 31, 2012 as “Red Ribbon Week” Action
9.0 Consent Items Pulled for Discussion
10.0 Public Comment
10.1 The public may address the Board regarding any item within the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District that is not on this agenda. These presentation are limited to three minutes each, or a total of thirty minutes for all speakers, or the three minute limit may be shortened. If there are multiple speakers on any one subject, the public comment period may be moved to the end of the meeting. Speakers are not allowed to yield their time. Info
11.0 Communications
11.1 District Organizations – At regular Board meetings, a single spokesperson of each recognized district organization may make a brief presentation following the Consent Agenda. Items are limited to those which are informational. Info
12.0 Superintendent’s Report
12.1 Superintendent’s Report Info
13.0 Business/Action Items
13.1 Public Hearing regarding Sufficiency of Textbooks and Instructional Materials for 2012/2013 for Pupil Textbook and Instructional Materials Incentive Program and Williams Settlement Instructional Materials Funds. Action
13.2 Resolution 12/13-08 Against Proposition 32 Special Exemptions Act Action
13.3 Board Resolution in Support of Proposition 30 Action
13.4 Adoption of AP English Language Textbooks Action
13.5 Adoption of AP English Literature Textbooks Action
13.6 Strategic Plan Process – Final Steps Action
13.7 Adoption of Strategic Plan Action
13.8 Amendment to BP 2140(a) Evaluation of the Superintendent Action
13.9 Meeting Extension Action
14.0 Board Member Reports
14.1 Board reports – two minute time limit Info
15.0 Closed Session
15.1 Items not completed during the first Closed Session will be carried over to this closed session. Action
16.0 Adjournment
16.1 Adjourn Meeting”

Most notably, the board is revisiting whether to endorse Prop. 30, after no trustee made a motion to endorse it last month. The board endorsed Prop. 38 in a split vote, 3-1-1, with Hansen against and Dennler abstaining.

Also, Whitmarsh and Hansen are proposing two very different alternative ideas for moving forward with the strategic plan.

Under item 13.6, Hansen proposes an approach that would allow site councils to weigh in, with board approval in December.

Under 13.7, Whitmarsh proposes adopting the strategic plan tonight as presented.

Which strategic plan proposal do you support?

OCT. 9 UPDATE: Here is a link to audio of the meeting:

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148 Responses to “MDUSD 10-8-12”

  1. anon Says:

    If Whitmarsh supports something it has to be a stupid idea.

  2. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    Whitmarsh allowed the “strategic plan draft” to languish for months on end, with no action and refusing to keep the process of community involvement alive.

    Only after she got off the fence and decided at the very last moment before the doors were closed to state her candidacy and run in the 2012 election did she dust the draft off in an incredibly selfish and totally embarrassing action to claim she actually kept one of her campaign promises from 2008.

    If whitmarsh truly supported a strategic plan she would welcome input from site councils in the weeks to come.

    She’s pulling the same crap with the YV football field lights issue = ignore the other parents and school neighbotprhoods and change the comlexion of the ation without input or board discussion – after all, she probably hasnt heard any complaints, didn’t get any emails or phone calls against it …

  3. Doctor J Says:

    I really miss Th’s live blog

  4. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Sorry, I videotaped a lot. It’s very hard to take notes, videotape and blog at the same time.

  5. Anon Says:

    someone buy Theresa a tripod and videocamera

  6. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, aka Superwoman, we have high expectations. :-)

  7. Doctor J Says:

    Linda Mayo votes against Prop 30 — supporting the State PTA position. Hey Linda, what about AB 1575 ?? Why do you support destroying sports, science, math, field trips and camps in MDUSD ?

  8. Anon Says:

    At least Linda Mayo states her position clearly and votes her conscious. I don’t always agree with her, but she has always acted respectfully.

  9. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Someone has loaned me a tripod for the Flip Cam, but my phone cam doesn’t have tripod capability. But, thanks!

  10. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#8- Linda Mayo’s conscious is to support destroying sports, science, math, field trips and camps in MDUSD by supporting AB 1575 just because the State PTA says to ?? Sounds more like sheep following the other sheep over the cliff instead of representing her MDUSD constituents. Who should Linda Mayo be more allegiant to, MDUSD or the State PTA ? The good book says no person can serve two masters.

  11. Doctor J Says:

    Compare 30 and 38 — why both will fail.

  12. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The board voted 4-1 to endorse Prop. 30, with Mayo voting against, saying she preferred Prop. 38. The board also voted 4-1 to adopt the strategic plan as presented, with Hansen voting against, saying she preferred to get more input and buyin. The board also defeated Hansen’s suggestion to publicly discuss the superintendent’s goals in a 1-4 vote, with Hansen the only trustee in favor.

  13. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#8 I do acknowledge Linda’s stating her position on some controversial issues and admire that. I remember she voted on a Meas C issue involving the tax rate revision, saying she had promised those to whom she had solicited that the tax rate would not rise. However, it was easy for her to vote against it since it was clear to pass. But I did admire her for acknowledging the obvious.
    @TH I was unclear on the Strategic Plan vote — there was a 4-1 vote in favor of the Strategic Plan as presented, or was it modified to reflect to reorganized the priorities based on the posting of the “dots” ?

  14. Doctor J Says:

    I continue to be confounded by Linda Mayo’s blind faith support of AB 1575 which will devastate MDUSD’s sports, science, math, field trips and camps.

  15. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Dr. J: Mayo made a motion to prioritize the goals based on the dots, but the rest of the board didn’t support that idea, so she withdrew the motion.
    In the end, there was no prioritization based on the dots, even though Whitmarsh said previously that the whole point of having the dot-sticking meetings was to prioritize the goals because there were too many. So, it looks like board could have adopted this plan last February after all, instead of waiting seven months ostensibly to prioritize it. Now, the superintendent and his staff have to come up with strategies for implementing all of the goals.
    Also, FYI, Superintendent Lawrence, Board President Sherry Whitmarsh and Trustee Linda Mayo all said they were at the 5k.

  16. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#15 Steven Lawrence actually agreed to come back to the board with “strategies” for “implementing all of the goals” ? What is the timeline ? Or is this just supposition based on what should happen with a real Strategic Plan ?

  17. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Lawrence did not make any comments. Although Mayo said she would like implementation to begin in 2013, it appeared that Eberhart and Whitmarsh expected implementation to begin immediately. They said the community was tired of waiting for the plan and that they wanted to present the superintendent with clear goals. However, I don’t recall them stating any specific timeline for when the strategies should be completed.
    Also, there was a bit of drama when Eberhart and Whitmarsh tried to cut Hansen off when she was speaking. They both tried to call the question and end debate, but Hansen said they couldn’t do that, since she had the floor and was allowed 10 minutes.
    The board recessed and Rolen went behind closed doors to research the issue. When he returned, he agreed with Hansen that she had 10 minutes and Eberhart and Whitmarsh did not have the right to stop her from finishing her comments.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    I hope you got it on camera !

  19. Doctor J Says:

    Steven Lawrence’s latest frantic job search: Desert Sands Unified. Do you think he meets the qualifications ? If so, which ones ?
    “The Desert Sands Unified School District seeks a superintendent who:
    • Has excellent communication skills
    • Is enthusiastic and compassionate
    • Is a progressive and visionary thinker
    • Has the highest personal ethics
    • Is a collaborative and inclusive leader
    • Is accessible and visible in the schools and in the community
    • Is trustworthy and honest
    • Has strong human relations skills
    • Has the courage to make difficult decisions based on what is best for students”

  20. anon Says:

    For Eberhart and Whitmarsh to say the community was tired of waiting for the strategic plan is classic hypocrisy. Gary blustered for years about a strategic plan and disn’t do one thing to get it one done. Whitmarsh did all she could to delay, obstruct, and stall one as Hansen dragged them kicking and screaming to doing one. Whitmarsh only did it for her campaign and the one they approved, based upon dots, is meaningless. Well, after the new board comes in the they can go back and do it right.

  21. anon Says:

    Dr. J,
    As a longtime MDUSD parent, I have never been told to pay for anything, or else. It is always very clear that it is a request, not a requirement to pay for a field trip. I am always more than happy to pay it, as I am able to. I know there are some families that can not afford it, and somehow their kids still go, and that is fine by me. It’s the ones who can afford it, but refuse to pay it, on some misguided principle that they are clinging to. No one will tell us where that money comes from to pay for those kids, and my suspicion is that those of us who are paying are most likely padding the accounts.
    We need to face the ugly reality that education is no longer completely free.
    My fear is that if 30 or 38 passes, and those funds come in, the state may find a way to cut education funding elsewhere.
    Have you honestly heard from any parent who’s child was not allowed to participate in any curricular or extracurricular activity for lack of a payment?

  22. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: I believe there are “optional” trips that only students whose parents can afford to pay are allowed to go on. These includes trips to Disneyland, Washington DC or other countries.
    Often, schools or classes will fundraise to help defray costs for everyone. And if the entire group can’t afford to pay, they don’t go at all. I believe this is what happened when the Concord High barbershop choir wanted to go to China. They were invited based on their audition, but I think they weren’t able to raise enough money to go and the families could not all afford to send their children.

  23. anon Says:

    TH, thank you, yes, optional trips are just that, optional. I was in high school marching band, many decades ago and did a whole lot of my own fundraising to pay for items such as band shoes, busing, hotels, etc.
    I never understood why the football team never had to pay for their busing though. If an activity takes place on a school day, and is part of the curriculum, no one should be forced to pay, but if enough funds do not come in through “donations”, then the activity does not happen.

    I just wish the school would be honest and tell us where the money is coming from for those who do not pay. I find it hard to believe that is costs 10 bucks per kid for a bus to take 64 Kindergarteners 5 miles down the road to a pumpkin patch for two hours.

  24. Anon Says:

    Anon #21,

    News flash: Education has NEVER been free. I costs each tax paying resident of California a gargantuan sum.

    Of course, you are probably not a tax payer and therefore you consider it “free”.

  25. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: The adopted strategic plan is not based at all on the dots. The approved plan is the exact same plan the board drafted in February. I wonder if those who stuck dots on paper feel their time was well-spent, now that the board completely ignored their input. It’s unclear why Whitmarsh waited so long and insisted on hosting dot-sticking sessions at all, if she never intended to incorporate the feedback into the plan when she presented it for board approval.
    Dennler was a bit wishy-washy on the plan. She said she might have been willing to go along with Hansen’s idea of sending it to the site councils, if the site councils had more training and time to digest it. But, in the end, she voted for Whitmarsh’s idea to approve the plan “as is.”

  26. Doctor J Says:

    @anon#21 AB 1575 is not about whether a family “can afford it” — its about a “free education” regardless of family wealth. As AB 1575 indicates, “encouraging” donations is fine, but “pressuring” for donations is not. No more lists of delinquent “donations”, no more writing on the board who hasn’t contributed, and no more discrimination against those who can’t afford it. Can’t Linda Mayo and her husband “afford” their health insurance ? Maybe they should get “real jobs” with benefits ? The “ugly reality” is that our Constitution of the State of California guarantees a “free education” and every child, regardless of their parent’s economic status is entitled to be a cheerleader or a football player or a clarinet player or a thespian. Every child. Let me repeat EVERY CHILD. As a society, we are way too concerned about compensation the Board members before providing for children. It is absolutely outrageous how our Board members have raped the children of the district through extravagent spending on their own benefits. Add up Gary’s 18 years of MDV and you will be appalled. Or you should be.

  27. Theresa Harrington Says:

    In anticipation of the API release Thursday, Tom Torlakson has unveiled a new “snapshot” that provides five years of data for schools:

    Regarding Eberhart, now that he is on his way out, he took time during his board report to slam Hansen, saying it’s important for everyone to be unified. This is somewhat surprising considering the amount of rancor that he and Paul Strange dished out while serving on the board when former Supt. Gary McHenry was at the helm. He appears to believe in a bit of a double-standard: It was okay for him to foster divisiveness in the interest of making changes, but he does not appear to believe that Hansen has the same rights to work toward changes she believes are necessary.

  28. anon Says:

    Anon #24,
    Of course it is not free in the respect you are stating. My point is that every child is entitled to a free and appropriate education, the FREE being that the family of the child is not required to pay for the education.

    What on earth makes you think I am not a taxpayer? The IRS would certainly disagree with you, as would my checkbook and the Contra Costa County Tax Collector who just sent me a bill for $4024.24. Of which $346.59 goes directly to MDUSD, and $27.93 goes to Community College Bonds.

    Dr. J,
    Is MDUSD unique in providing benefits for board members? Do other elected officials receive MDV benefits? Just curious as to how it compares.

    I have never been involved in a school where names were posted as to who has payed, and who hasn’t, whether it was for a school donation, or a parent club donation. That is appalling by all measures.

    If only we could rally parents and the community to put as much enthusiasm into supporting education as they do into supporting their sports teams (professional teams that is).

  29. Anon Says:

    It’s incumbent on the district to inform the parents and to develop a new policy for requesting parent fees, starting with UMDAF. In addition, create a district 501c3 foundation to unite fundraising for sports, music and academics, which could increase the total amount that can be collected. Do something besides waiting for Sacramento to increase revenue because it ain’t happening . . .

  30. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: The suggestion you are making requires proactive leadership. Too often, MDUSD is reactionary.
    At least the superintendent belatedly announced last night that the PAC has disbanded and he is meeting with feeder patterns. However, Hansen said he should have let the public know sooner, so the meetings could be publicized. Lawrence didn’t mention how he is publicizing them.
    Apparently, a Northgate feeder pattern meeting is to be held this week, but I haven’t heard anything about it. He said a YVHS meeting will be held next week.
    Although he said these meetings are intended to draw out more parents than the PAC, it appears that the parents are largely hand-picked by principals, since public notices are not always going out.

  31. Doctor J Says:

    Lawrence is toast. Unless he can land the gig at Palm Springs.

  32. Theresa Harrington Says:

    The item about publicly discussing the superintendent’s goals was interesting. Whitmarsh said she didn’t want to do that because some goals may be related to areas in which the superintendent needs to improve.
    Mayo opposed the idea, saying she could not support it until the board is able to “conduct respectful conversation in open session and closed session.” She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act (by discussing goals in closed session).

  33. anon Says:

    TH @30,
    I recieved information regarding the feeder pattern meetings from both of my students’ schools, via parent club mass emails, the only communication we receive from the schools. There was no “hand-picking” about it.

  34. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Thanks for that info. It appears that each feeder pattern may be handling the invitations differently. Parents at the CAC meeting said very few people were told about the College Park feeder pattern meeting. But, the Diablo View MS feeder pattern appears to have been better informed. I don’t know how well publicized the Concord HS and MDHS meetings were.
    But, I receive parent club mass emails in the Northgate feeder pattern and have received no notifications about a superintendent’s meeting.

  35. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have added an Oct. 9 update to this blog post with a link to audio of the meeting.

  36. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Please note that I have uploaded several video clips from the meeting to my account and will now begin uploading videos from my Flip Cam to my YouTube/tunedtotheresa account.

  37. Anon Says:

    Anon33-I’m an active volunteer at my kids schools but have not repeat not received any notice of the feeder pattern meeting. I receive regular enewsletters and there’s been nothing about this alleged meeting. The purported reasoning to increase attendance would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. This is a misinformation campaign and it’s a shameful way to run a public school district-repeat shameful.

  38. Doctor J Says:

    News ! Linda Mayo said “She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act by discussing goals in closed session.” Sorry, Linda, but you should go to jail for that !

  39. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Actually, I don’t think she said what they were discussing. I just added that as context so readers would know what she meant.
    She said that a board member seems to have suggested they have been violating the Brown Act and she didn’t think that was true.

    Also, for Northgate feeder pattern families, the Bancroft Elementary calendar makes no mention of a superintendent meeting with parents this week:

  40. Doctor J Says:

    @TH My quote in #38 is from YOUR post, and it appears you have now modified your post. Was my quotation incorrect ?

  41. g Says:

    One might contend that “goals for the Supt” were pretty well spelled out in criteria for choosing and hiring a supt. which I believe was given at least a small amount of public input.

    Whether the choosing and hiring methods took Lawrence’s past record into account is highly questionable, however.

    It would seem then that those goals, if they change in any way, OR if they are not being attained by this person, should be given the same public consideration of requirements, input and scrutiny.

    Clearly, Mayo disregarded the public’s well-earned interest and concern about the subject and Eberhart (continually referring back to ‘goals equal evaluation’) prefers hiding the public’s business behind closed doors.

    Goals of a school superintendent should be set by the stakeholders In Public!

    The twice annual evaluations of whether or not he is reaching those goals are, in fact, subject to closed session, with some limited open session “reporting out” as to new goals, guidelines or timelines that he has been given.

    This board is sick to the core!

  42. Theresa Harrington Says:

    My comment did not include quotation marks around that portion, so it wasn’t a direct quote. I modified it to show that the part in parenthesis was added for context, but was not a direct statement made by Mayo.
    Please note that I have posted the videos from the meeting, if you want to see how the discussion unfolded:
    Mayo’s comments are at the tail end of the above clip.

  43. Doctor J Says:

    Orignially TH said in post #32 referring to Linda Mayo: “She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act by discussing goals in closed session.”

    Now TH says in post 32: “She also said that she did not believe the board was violating the Brown Act (by discussing goals in closed session).”

    Just posting this for total clarification since TH can modify her posts, but we can’t modify ours. Nuff said.

  44. g Says:

    With or without quotes, there is no question that the agenda item being discussed was Supt. Goals. Mayo was clearly referring to “a board member” contention that suggested that there may have been Brown Act violations during some of the MANY (6-7 in just 12 months) so-called Superintendent Evaluations. The same concerns of Brown Act violations might be said of the MANY General Council Evaluations during that same period.

  45. Doctor J Says:

    the Board still has not changed its policy towards having the Supt. chair PAC == Parents Advisory Committee, a Board Established committee to advise the Board. Steven Lawrence may not like that they are subject to the Brown Act, but his modus operandi appears to be to avoid any meeting where the law controls his actions.

  46. Anon Says:

    This whole mess had gotten ridiculous. It is time to recall Mayo along with voting NO ON WHITMARSH!

  47. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is my short story about the meeting:

  48. Doctor J Says:

    Emphasis on short. :-)

  49. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Many YVHS grads fondly remember music teacher Bill Burke – who died recently — as an inspirational man who helped them launch successful music careers:

  50. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Yes, I was busy working on the Bill Burke obituary today. I’ll try to post more about the meeting in my blog.

  51. g Says:

    The Eberhart rant: “For this district to be successful, there has to be collaboration. There has to be conversation.”

    Mr. Eberhart: This district is NOT successful, and hasn’t been for a long time! This “failure to thrive” did not just start with the election of Ms. Hansen.

    Take responsibility for your own 17 years. Acknowledge the damage done by your own active subversion against past leaders. Take some responsibility of the failed leadership that sat at the dais during the disintegration of what was once a thriving and shining example of education!

  52. Theresa Harrington Says:

    It was very interesting interviewing YVHS grads from 40 years ago for the Bill Burke obituary, listening to them recall the glory days of the district. At that time, they said, the YVHS jazz band program was tops in an elite group of music programs that spanned from Seattle to Los Angeles. The Foothill and Oak Grove middle school music programs were thriving, they said, and pumped high-quality musicians into the YVHS program. That was before Northgate was built and YVHS had FOUR jazz bands and three music instructors. Although the Foothill MS music program continues to thrive, the school board has eliminated elementary music instruction, which is hindering middle school and high school programs.
    Political reporter Lisa V. told me that when she moderated a San Ramon Valley USD candidates’ forum recently, several jabs were taken at the Mt. Diablo district from those who remembered when it was once highly respected. Now, she said, it does not appear to be.
    Even Board President Sherry Whitmarsh admitted to me in her candidate’s interview that MDUSD has an “interesting” reputation statewide that appears to negatively impact its ability to attract a strong pool of administrative candidates.
    Candidate Barbara Oaks said she remembers when the district had a strong reputation in the community. How many other MDUSD residents can remember those days? I have also heard this from proud MDHS grads, including the current U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who graduated in the 1960s.
    How can MDUSD build on this proud history?

  53. g Says:

    Here’s a thought:

  54. g Says:

    …and here’s another:

    The problem though, is not really that the teachers are protected by being unionized (teacher protections and decent wages were/are very necessary). The problem is that their union can buy “friendly” school board members and control election issues in support of their own personal well being first, and education second.

    Tenure protections at two years? They hardly have their classroom decor up in that short time! They certainly have not proven to be good educators in that short time!

  55. Anon Says:

    Another thought for California’s regression in the last 40 years is Prop. 13.

    But G #51 is right, the MDUSD freefall in the last 17 years coincides with Eberhart’s reign. Time for a new majority to reverse course !

  56. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#21 I hope Theresa asks Torlakson about AB 1575. Here is just a few examples of the “required” payments to participate in certain educational classes and some extra curricular classes. Some are described as “contributions”, some as fees, and football transportation as “mandatory”. AB 1575 will change the landscape as soon as one person files a complaint and it is appealed to the CDE. Academic classes: Sports: Sports transportation: Technology/Little Theatre

  57. Anon Says:

    Linda Mayo speaks out for the losing proposition

  58. Doctor J Says:

    But Linda Mayo, why then did you vote as a State PTA Board member to support AB 1575 which will destroy sports, science, math, field trips and camps in MDUSD ? Why have you as a MDUSD Board member taken over a hundred thousand dollars in Medical\Dental\Vision benefits that could have been used to support the MDUSD children ? Sounds like there is lotsa hypocrisy in your positions.

  59. Doctor J Says:

    The war between 30 and 38 — Linda Mayo has taken Molly Munger’s side against Jerry Brown.

  60. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#21 I hope Theresa asks Torlakson about AB 1575. Here is just a few examples of the “required” payments to participate in certain educational classes and some extra curricular classes. Some are described as “contributions”, some as fees, and football transportation as “mandatory”. AB 1575 will change the landscape as soon as one person files a complaint and it is appealed to the CDE. Academic classes: [Note: I deleted the other references until Theresa approves the moderation because there were multiple links. ]

  61. Theresa Harrington Says:

    These “contributions” do not include the requested UMDAF contribution of approximately $100 per child per sport, the school’s athletic boosters requested contribution or costs for optional uniform items and/or supplies.

  62. Doctor J Says:

    UMDAF’s poor turnout at the 5k fundraiser shows that parents are tired of having to do continuous fundraisers PLUS lots of out of pocket expenses to pay for traditional educational expenses when the BIG5 get raises while ALL the while Board Members like Linda Mayo collecting FULL FAMILY M\D\V in her “volunteer job” as MDUSD Board member. And then to add insult to injury of MDUSD parents and families, Linda Mayo, as a State PTA Board member, votes to support AB 1575 which will kill sports, science, math, field trips and camps in MDUSD. Then today appears her “letter to the editor” as a MDUSD “trustee” supporting Prop 38, the State PTA pet project. Linda, why don’t you put your actions in favor of the children of MDUSD instead of State PTA ?

  63. Tired of Mediocrity Says:

    I personally am not supporting either 30 or 38. It is time for this state to stop using our children as pawns to raise taxes. California pays the second highest state taxes. We do nothing to support businesses that could ultimately increase state revenues. Instead our legislature creates ridiculous laws that protect a six inch fish while farmers in the central valley lose everything. They allow unfunded pensions to choke the future of our state and give it only a passing glance. They pander to the lobbyist of which CTA is the largest.
    NO MORE MONEY until we get true education reform. This includes school choice, innovative education structures, teacher reform (no more tenure), etc…
    Every time we throw more money at this system we allow it to hobble along at the status quo. We need to demand change and the fastest way to do that is with our pocketbooks. NO ON 30 and 38.

  64. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is a story about the recent summit for Latino parents in Contra Costa County, which included reps from MDUSD:
    Unfortunately, I was unable to attend.

  65. PHMS Parent Says:

    Regarding the feeder pattern meeting, for the “Diablo View / Pine Hollow” feeder pattern, a notice was sent out via the PTSA eNewsletter. We had 13 families represented by both schools, plus the PHMS Principal and Ms. Hansen. Turn out was poor because it conficted with the debate so hopefully others have more luck with attendance.

    Various topics were emailed in advance to Lawrence (ex. crossing guard policies, student access to water at lunch) but others were more pointed. When asked what MDUSD was planning if Prop 30/38 fail, he mentioned having a $14M budget hit and to cover it, they’d need 11 furlough days and a $3.5M draw down from reserves. He also talked about a very slow, protracted adoption of the new Common Core Standards due to costs.

    The next meeting is 12/5 for this feeder pattern.

  66. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, by now you’ve seen the offical API scores released early to the media — What questions do you have for Torlakson and Steven Lawrence ? Any surprises ?

  67. Doctor J Says:

    What were the commitments to the Latino parents from MDUSD officials, and who were they ?

  68. Theresa Harrington Says:

    PHMS Parent: Thanks very much for this report! Obviously, I will not be able to attend all of these meetings, even if I know about them. Interestingly, recent communications from Northgate feeder pattern parent groups have not included any info about the superintendent meeting to be held this week. And the superintendent’s secretary has not responded to my request for the date, time and location. Trustee Cheryl Hansen will have difficulty helping the superintendent promote these meetings, if he refuses to disclose information about them.

    Dr. J: The CDE expects to release the embargoed information to the media around 2 p.m. today. To access it, reporters must agree not to disclose any of the information before 10 am. tomorrow. At this point, I haven’t seen the data. But even if I had, I wouldn’t be able to answer your questions until tomorrow at 10 a.m.

  69. Sue Berg Says:

    Dr J, I’m trying to understand your criticism of Linda Mayo’s supporting legislation that requires school districts to make sure the fees they charge students are legal. What am I missing? I know that school/district budgets cannot support all the materials and activities students need for a well-balanced education (hence the increasing efforts at fundraising, requests for contributions). Where to draw the line between the essential and the extracurricular has long been a subject of debate. Doesn’t AB1575 set up a process for examining that line?

  70. MDUSD Board Watcher Says:


    Good to see you posting again. What other monikers have you been using in the mean-time?

    I haven’t seen long time board watcher log in for some time. Still angling for the new PIO job?

  71. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    @PHMS Parent #65 – could you elaborate on the emailed question to the supt. regarding access to water at lunch for the students?

    I remember reading / hearing during a board meeting (summer of 2011?) the district reversed their stance about supplying free water in 10 school cafeterias they said would cost $300,000.00 to provide and came back with providing free water to students in those 10 schools would be done at a very minimal cost (like a few hundred?) to initiate in the ten schools.

  72. Theresa Harrington Says:

    HFO: Here is video of the superintendent’s report, in which he talks about the feeder pattern meetings and mentions the water issue:
    He said the district emailed feeder patterns a week ahead of time to ask for questions. As far as I know, no email has gone to Northgate feeder pattern parents asking for suggested discussion topics or informing them of a meeting with the superintendent.
    Regarding the water issue, you are right. The district initially planned to tell the state it couldn’t afford to provide water at lunchtime. But, when some people pointed out that voters had recently approved a $348 million construction bond to fund school improvements, the district had a hard time explaining why it couldn’t afford to provide water to students. However, I don’t recall what the final solution was and Lawrence didn’t elaborate in his report.
    It would be helpful if minutes were provided after these feeder pattern meetings. The PAC meetings had minutes, so those who were unable to attend could find out what happened.

  73. Doctor J Says:

    @SB#69 Why do we need a law that tells school districts to do what the Constitution requires them to do ? AB 1575 Requires the each local school board to establish policies and proceedures consistent with CDE recommendations, AND provides an appeal process that includes giving CDE a remedy to order the District to refund “payments”. It appears that almost all of the “fees” I cited earlier will not be allowed to be charged. Districts will not be able to “pressure” families with pay or no play. While voting to support that bill, Linda Mayo took zero action to have MDUSD begin preparing to be ready for the policies and procedures that now must be in place in just five months — the so called strategic plan sat dormant for 7 months and Linda Mayo took no action to bring it forward or support bringing it forward. Yet, Linda Mayo has continued to advocate the Board receiving extravagant full family Medical\Dental\Vision benefits that most of district employees do not receive cost free — this is money that could be used for students AND she voted for expensive contract extensions for the Big5 even with the uncertainity of the funding issues in the state and district. While the Supt threatens 11 furlough days, Linda Mayo’s M|D|V full family benefits will not be touched one iota. Bottom line: Linda Mayo supported AB 1175 without a single thought on what the financil impact will be on MDUSD — who she was elected to represent. I believe that Linda Mayo places her Board State PTA position over her elected office.

  74. RECALL LINDA Says:

    It is time to recall Linda Mayo.



  75. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    Thanks TH @ 72.

    So it appears that in over 15 months time (July 7, 2011 to October 8, 2012) – this district has not put into affect providing access to free drinking water as they stated they would do, at the 10 cafeterias identified in this blog post?

    This district can throw up solar panels in over 40 different schools parking lots and playgrounds at record speed but they can’t put a large water dispenser in each of the 10 cafeterias to provide students with access to water at lunchtime as required by law (effective July 1, 2011)?

  76. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Pete Pedersen didn’t mention drinking water during his Measure C PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps it is considered part of “modernization,” which is taking a back seat to solar panels and air conditioning, which have been fast-tracked.

  77. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I emailed Superintendent Lawrence and asked for a list of feeder pattern meetings, but received no response.
    So, I called Northgate HS and was told the feeder pattern meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. in the school’s staff lounge.
    Unfortunately for any parents of juniors, this conflicts with a Junior Parent and Student night at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater.

  78. Doctor J Says:

    Now we have WaterGATE ! Round up the usual suspects. On July 11, 2011 Theresa posted: “After reading my story, a Central San employee asked me to forward this low-cost drinking fountain suggestion to the district:
    I forwarded it to Jeff McDaniel, Pete Pedersen and Greg Rolen.” Reminds me of the old Roadrunner cartoons pointing in both directions: He went that way !

  79. PHMS Parent Says:

    HFO….. the discussion in the feeder meeting was specific to Ayers. Many students bring bottled water to school and have it in their backpack. When lunch came around, they were not allowed to go to their backpacks for their bottles. In the cafeteria, there was supposed to be a bucket of water bottles for students but the children were indicating these were not present. Since the school is required to offer milk (state law), the students who wanted water could not obtain it. Dr Lawrence was going to look into why the water was not available to students – I’m not sure if its been resolved or not.

    Hope that helps.

    Theresa – the meeting was very informal and no notes were recorded. A few parents jotted notes as the meeting went on but nothing formal for publication that I was aware of. Lawrence jotted a few follow-up items that he was going to track down (like the water issue) but aside from that, nothing was noted.

  80. Doctor J Says:

    @TH#77 When was the alleged notice of tonight’s feeder pattern sent ?

  81. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Perhaps staff is waiting for board direction to follow up on the helpful suggestion sent by Central San.
    In addition to meeting with mayors, it might be a good idea for the district to also include Central San and other agencies that could offer advice for doing business more effectively.

  82. Theresa Harrington Says:

    PHMS Parent: Thanks for the detailed explanation!
    Dr. J: I am not aware of any notice of tonight’s Northgate feeder pattern meeting. I asked the superintendent to provide me with a copy of whatever he sent to the feeder pattern asking for questions and informing them of the meeting. So far, I have received no response.

  83. Doctor J Says:

    Update on WaterGATE: Here are the ten schools that were to get water dispensers in their cefeterias as of July 2011 to comply with the law. Perhaps someone call call each of the schools and ask. Who do we blame the lack of “follow through” on ?
    Bancroft Elementary in Walnut Creek
    Delta View Elementary in Pittsburg
    Diablo View Middle School in Clayton
    Glenbrook Middle School in Concord
    Highlands Elementary in Concord
    Mt. Diablo Elementary in Clayton
    Shore Acres Elementary in Bay Point
    Valley View Middle School in Pleasant Hill
    Valley Verde Elementary in Walnut Creek
    Ygnacio Valley Elementary in Concord.

  84. Doctor J Says:

    Easiest to file a Williams Act Complaint for refusal to obey SB 1413 AND the Federal “The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010”. Or maybe ten Williams Act Complaints, one for each school. And while you are at it, add a complaint for the District not having the Williams Act Complaint form “readily available” on its website.

  85. Doctor J Says:

    Read all about the Federal Act. “The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

  86. Anon Says:

    It seems as if the feeder pattern meetings are scheduled with conflicts on purpose. Why won’t the district put the list of meetings out to the public and just be done with it?
    It is my opinion that the schools really don’t want parents to be involved and it really is about self preservation and not the kids.

  87. anon Says:

    The feeder pattern meetings for Diablo View/Pine Hollow are December 5, February 13, and May 1. I believe the locations will rotate, so not sure where the next one will be.

  88. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Brian Lawrence called and told me that he didn’t even know when the Northgate feeder pattern meeting was — and he lives in it.
    While he was at his son’s school (Walnut Acres Elementary) this morning, he asked the women in the office when the feeder pattern meeting was going to take place. He was told it hadn’t yet been scheduled and wouldn’t be until December.
    Brian Lawrence said he also asked very active PTA members about it and they didn’t know when it was scheduled either.
    Now that Brian Lawrence knows it’s at Northgate HS, he said he will try to attend.
    One good question to ask would be: Why all the secrecy about these meetings, which are ostensibly to improve communication with parents?
    Anon: It appears that the superintendent wants to be able to tell the board that he is holding meetings with parents — without actually inviting parents.

  89. Anon Says:

    Notice that it’s not on the Northgate HS calendar

  90. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, but there are TWO other parent meetings scheduled at the exact same time: one for grad night planning and one for junior parents. That leaves parents of sophomores and freshmen to attend the superintendent meeting — if they know about it.

  91. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    PHMS Parent @79 – thanks for the explanation and naming the school – glad to hear the parents are providing feedback and documenting / asking questions ( via email) for the district to answer.

    So now that raises questions for the district about Ayers putting out a bucket / pan filled with bottled water for the kids.
    1. Why can’t that be done at the 10 schools on the list? Very affordable and easily implemented solution.
    2. When did Ayers start providing water free of charge to the students using this easy to implement solution? (they didn’t when my children attended in the late 90’s – early 2000’s)
    3. If this is being done at Ayers, why wasn’t Ayers included in the list of schools that the district said would need major construction to make sure water was available in the cafeteria / MURs?

    This just seems like such an easy fix for the 10 schools listed – and any school really. One would think the district staff would want to do this immediately for the kids, and to be in compliance with the law.

  92. Anon Says:

    I’m hoping to videotape tonights meeting.

  93. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Anon: Thanks, since I won’t be able to attend.

  94. anon Says:

    By the way, has Brian Lawrence given us a full update on his “Educator” experience including classes taught, how many hours per week, where, for how long, credentials held, etc.? I suspect not because my sources at MDEA tell me that they were told to not comment on it. The truth is Brian Lawrence is not who he claims to be and unless he can prove he is the public should reject him on the basis that a school district that preaches character to its students should not accept someone like Lawrence on the Board. Of course, there’s always Whitmarsh and Eberhart but they are more irrelevant every day.

  95. Ayers Mom Says:

    The issue at Ayers was not that no water was available, a drinking fountain is present and working in the lunch room. A parent questioned why bottled water was not available for purchase in addition to milk and Switch brand sparkling juices.
    That’s all it was.

  96. anon Says:

    Anon @94,
    I see your point, but exactly how many hours must someone work teaching others to qualify as an educator?

  97. NG Parent Says:

    Have a child at NG and one at Valle Verde and had no clue of tonight’s feeder pattern meeting at Northgate. Many many emails from both schools about other things but no mention of the meeting.

  98. The Observer Says:

    Anon @94 and @95
    I see an educator as someone who is actively engaged on a daily basis with students in a learning environment such as a public or private school, community college, college or university. I also see an educator as someone with earned credentials in a particular field of education, a body of work and experience, and subject to regular evaluation.That would be a minimum.

    It would seem that Mr. Lawrence is saying that two hours a week qualifies him as an educator. I don’t think that passes the credibility test. In my profession I may informally advise clients on a number of issues every week but it hardly allows me to claim to be a financial manager, stock broker, mortgage expert,etc. To do so would be highly suspect and
    make me a liar and fraud. To act on those assertions would eventually make me a felon.

  99. Doctor J Says:

    Brian Lawrence now claims a different occupation other than educator in his campaign finance statements filed this week — claims to have mailed on Oct 5 but not arrived at CC County Elections until Oct 9. Maybe the Colombus day holiday delay.

  100. Doctor J Says:

    Brian Lawrence changed his Facebook disclosure occupaton to “Politician” but continues to refuse to disclose who his 717 Facebook friends are, although we know they include Gary Eberhart, Sherry Whitmarsh and Paul Strange.

  101. Anon Says:

    Anon94-There are two other candidates, Debra Mason and Barbara Oaks.

  102. Doctor J Says:

    5 year School Quality Snapshot available at 10 am today ! Here is a sample !

  103. Theresa Harrington Says:

    This will be live at 10 a.m., when API scores will be available for schools and districts.

  104. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, we are anxious, as you probably are, for your story at 10am about the API scores since you had all night to dream of them !

  105. Doctor J Says:

    I wonder if Sherry has dropped out of the race — her campaign finance statement due Oct 5 still has not been filed.

  106. Doctor J Says:

    Leaks: MDUSD underperforms compared to BOTH county and state on API. MDUSD +7 API; Contra Costa County +9 API; California +10 API. The Legacy of Gary Eberhart, Sherry Whitmarsh, and Linda Mayo: UNDERPERFORMANCE. How sad for our children.

  107. Doctor J Says:

    The two MDUSD high schools that had API drops were: Principal Sue Brothers at Clayton Valley and Principal Kate McClatchy at Mount — the others had API increases. Interesting.

  108. Anon Says:

    Beware falling scores! Two schools dropped below 800-Westwood down 33 to 771, and Gregory Gardens down 24 to 797. Oak Grove dropped 37!

  109. Doctor J Says:

    @Anon#108 But the $64 question: WHY? Change in principal leadership ? Cooking the books the prior year ? WHY ????

  110. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Note that Sun Terrace met none of its AYP goals and has entered Program Improvement, with an API score of 737. The state says it has undergone such a significant change in demographics that it didn’t have a base API score or growth target.
    Regarding high schools, kudos to CHS — which grew 41 points to 750 — and CPHS, which grew 29 points and surpassed the state proficiency goal with 815 — along with Northgate, which grew 5 points to 860.
    YVHS failed to meet its growth target of 6 points, instead eeking out a 1-point gain to 673.
    The Oak Grove drop could reflect the poor environment at the school described by the whistle-blowing teachers, who said discipline problems prevented learning.

  111. Jim Says:

    @52 — “Even Board President Sherry Whitmarsh admitted to me in her candidate’s interview that MDUSD has an “interesting” reputation statewide that appears to negatively impact its ability to attract a strong pool of administrative candidates.”

    You know, so often we wonder if anything ever gets through to Sherry. She seems so incorrigibly oblivious that it is almost spooky. But here we see that maybe she is just starting to get an inkling of the damage that has been done to this district — how the dysfunctional decision-making and lack of professionalism among the leadership has scared away almost anyone who could be part of a recovery. The question is, does she have any idea of the direct role that she has played in this destruction? Probably not.

  112. Doctor J Says:

    YVHS only 1 point gain — PROMOTE Bill Morones who has ZERO track record of improvement to DIRECTOR OF SECOCONARY. Brillant, Steve Lawrence and Rose Lock.

  113. Doctor J Says:

    Sun Terrace self destructs and the Pricipal is promoted ? What are you thinking Steven Lawrence ? What are you thinking Rose Lock ? What are you thinkin Susan Petersen ? Time to fire all four.

  114. g Says:

    Assuming that Sun Terrace and Wren and El Dorado ALL underwent similar and significant demographic changes due to the movement/influx of Holbrook and Glenbrook students last year—-how was Wren different in the ability to calculate API?

  115. Theresa Harrington Says:

    According to the state’s previous “base API” report, Sun Terrace’s 2011 base score was 775. That means it dropped 38 points to 737, making it the biggest drop in the district among regular, non-alternative campuses:,CONTRA,COSTA
    So, it looks like parents had good reasons to complain about the revolving door of substitutes on that campus last year. And it also looks like the district’s response was inadequate.

  116. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s my story on API scores and Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind countywide:
    San Ramon Valley and Martinez have joined MDUSD and six other districts in Program Improvement.

  117. Theresa Harrington Says:

    g: El Dorado was also characterized by the state as having too great of a demographic shift to calculate its base API and growth target. However, the state had previously calculated its 2011 base API at 723:,CONTRA,COSTA
    This means El Dorado actually gained 3 points, rising to 726.

  118. anonymous 5 Says:

    At the staff day before school begain, MDHS principal McClatchy indicated that the API drop was the fault of the teachers who were distracted last year when they voiced their dissatisfaction with her leadership. She failed to see her role in perpetuating the negative atmosphere in which teachers worked.

  119. Doctor J Says:

    Another day delinquent for Sherry Whitmarsh in not filing her campaign finance statement — really looks like she has dropped out. It was due Oct 5 and there is a fine per day.

  120. Doctor J Says:

    Kate McClatchy, the perpetrator of ToiletGATE, failed to see her role in the API drop after she also orchestrated the academic turmoil ?

  121. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is the MDUSD superintendent’s take on the test score results:

  122. Doctor J Says:

    Kudos to the 3 SIG schools BUT Steven Lawrence will cut their funding for next school year which has given them the massive API gains: INCREASED INSTRUCTIONAL TIME. Remember Lawrence and Lock got caught by the Feds & State in non-compliance on the SIG grants the first year as a result of an audit, SIG funding was withheld until their did a Corrective Action Plan AND actually began implementation of significant increased instructional time. Now look at the massive gains in their second year of SIG. Now we are in the third and final year. Steven Lawrence will eliminate the increased instructional time from the SIG schools after this year, in favor of raises to Dent administrators, contract extensions, and massive consultant bills. Once again, the poor kids of the district are left out, even after they walk 5 miles to school.

  123. Doctor J Says:

    Link to CDE’s new 5 year snapshot school by school. I like it; gives a quick comparison and shows school v district v state performance.

  124. Doctor J Says:

    Link to CDE’s more complete report than the Supt’s abbreviated report; showing all MDUSD schools API and targets.

  125. Doctor J Says:

    Sun Terrace gets “Program Improvement” status — no surprise after the disaster under the direction of Principal Gretchen Jacobs. Last year’s SASS “coach” for Sun Terrace is now an Assistant Supt in another county. Shows what schools are the worst of the worse. “Year 5” is the highest, and continues on until you actually get out of PI.

  126. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD’s Program Improvement Status, Year 2: Did not meet AYP for Gradudation Rate: dropped from 2011 — did not make it in 2012 despite dumbed down graduation requirements. No wonder Steven Lawrence, Eberhart, Whitmarsh and Mayo don’t want to talk about gradution rates.

  127. g Says:

    “The judge’s decision allows for a range of methods for evaluating teachers tied to student performance, including grade-point averages and pass-fail rates.”

    From a June article:

    Google the Stull Act. Time for us to get the courts to look at MDUSD?

    It’s imperative that parents keep an eye on AB 5. It is an attempt to set the Stull Act on its ear, and allow teachers to “collectively bargain” over how their performance is evaluated.

    The districts in CA have, for decades, largely ignored the education rights of the students provided by the Stull Act, but you can bet if AB 5 ever gets through, the teachers will clamor for the districts to uphold “their” rights.

  128. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I have added a new blog post with the Superintendent’s message about test scores, pointing out that he didn’t mention the district’s failure to meet No Child Left Behind requirements or Program Improvement status:

  129. Theresa Harrington Says:

    On the subject of the Schreder contract and Bay Point, I have just heard that there was a meeting in Bay Point two nights ago, where Schreder gave a PowerPoint presentation. I never heard about this meeting and Pedersen didn’t mention it when he spoke to the board Monday about the Schreder contract. Did anyone else know about it?

  130. g Says:

    Ask Debra Mason. They had a meeting 10/2. There was no agenda item indicating a “special meeting” with Schreder was scheduled.

  131. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Who do you mean, when you say: “they”?

  132. g Says:

    Bay Point MAC. Debra Mason represents the “school” Committee, and was scheduled to give a report on 10/2. Next public meeting was scheduled for 11/6.

  133. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Thanks. The meeting was apparently at Riverview MS.

  134. District Teacher Says:

    Classic McClatchy, blaming others for her continuing failure to lead. Two no-confidence votes, negative news articles that went national, and dropping test scores. According to MDUSD logic, there must be a promotion ahead for her.

  135. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry Whitmarsh has dropped out ? No campaign finance statement on file yet — due Oct 5 and now its Oct 10. Or is she keeping secrets on her contributors ?

  136. Wait a Minute Says:

    IMO she is keeping her contributers secret because they probably include Matt Juhl-Darlington, Schreder, Paul Strange, etc.

    Hopefully someone files a complaint with the FPPC against her for failing to file her campaign finance statement on time.

  137. g Says:

    Sherry, “uh”, was at the, “uh”, forum moderated by, “uh”, Lisa Vorderbrueggen, and spoke, “uh” about the “uh, solar, uh”. I only caught part of it, so I’m trying to find a video online of her “uh” performance–compared to all other candidates.

    She only has to file finance documents if: she receives or spends ANY money-even her own money– over the amount of what it cost to file the original declaration for office with the County. Has anyone seen any evidence that she has spent money? Any signs, etc.?

  138. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here is the CCTV MDUSD candidate forum:

  139. No On Whitmarsh Says:


    We have seen no signs, which is unfortunate because we have a whole bunch of No On Whitmarsh signs ready. They are going to be placed right next to any Pro Whitmarsh sign we see.


  140. g Says:

    Thanks Theresa! I thought I had looked ‘everywhere’!

  141. Theresa Harrington Says:

    You’re welcome. Also, the city of Pleasant Hill plans to rebroadcast its forum, which takes place Thursday:
    And, the CCT editorial board plans to post its Oct. 23 candidate interview online.

  142. Doctor J Says:

    Since Sherry has a positive balance, I think she had to file an updated statement. I could be wrong, but I think so, and if so they will be fining her per day for failure to file. I think the complaints are filed with the CCC Elections division.

  143. Theresa Harrington Says:

    FYI, the Contra Costa County Board of Ed. will consider endorsing Props. 30 and 38 Wednesday and will also receive a presentation on district Accountability Progress Reports:

  144. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a story about the Chasing Rodriguez DVD that Jeff Mosely spoke about during the Oct. 8 board meeting:

  145. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s an 8-page infographic by EdSource that explains the differences between Props. 30 and 38:

  146. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post containing the latest “news update” from the superintendent, which “informs” the community about Props. 30 and 38:

  147. anon Says:

    has the PH forum been rescheduled?

  148. Theresa Harrington Says:

    No, the PH forum wasn’t rescheduled. It was very well-attended and should be posted on the PH city website by 5 p.m. today.

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