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MDUSD teachers’ union president and superintendent issue joint statement in support of Prop. 30

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, October 26th, 2012 at 5:40 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

I received the following joint statement in support of Prop. 30 from Guy Moore, president of the Mt. Diablo teachers’ union. I am posting it below, with his permission. It was drafted and signed by both Moore and Mt. Diablo district Superintendent Steven Lawrence.

“Teachers and Administrators say vote YES on Proposition 30

Over the past four years, K-12 education, community colleges, California State University, and University of California systems have suffered the effects of over $20 billion in cuts. During this same period of time, over thirty thousand teachers have been laid off, class sizes have increased and essential programs and services have been eliminated.

In the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) we have: significantly increased the number of students in each class; reduced the number of administrators, counselors, librarians, custodians, maintenance, and other support providers; reduced our elementary music and art programs; and relied on voluntary contributions and fundraising to keep our high school athletic programs going.

This November, voters have an opportunity to stop the reductions in education funding by passing Proposition 30. Prop 30 temporarily raises the income tax rate on the top 2 percent of wage earners in the state. Individuals who earn more than $250,000 per year, and couples who earn in excess of $500,000, would see their taxes increase by 1 percent over a seven year period. The state sales tax would also increase by ¼ of 1 percent for four years. This amounts to a twenty-five cent increase in sales tax per hundred dollars spent.

If Prop 30 fails, it will result in an estimated $440 per-student loss to the current year MDUSD budget, or the equivalent of $13.5 million in lost revenue between January and June of 2013. In order to address this possible financial catastrophe, district employees have agreed to shorten their respective work years by an amount equivalent to a 6 percent pay cut, which would mean upto eleven less instructional days for students if Prop 30 fails. As a result, the 2012-13 school year could end by May 30, 2013.

The choice for education is clear. Voting Yes on Prop 30 will stabilize education funding in the short term ensuring that our students will receive a full 180 days of instruction this school year. The MDUSD School Board passed, along with Acalanes, Antioch, Lafayette, Martinez, Orinda, Pittsburg, Pleasanton,and Walnut Creek school districts, resolutions supporting Proposition 30.

In order to be ready for college and have the skills necessary to compete in a global economy, our children simply cannot afford to take any further reductions in programs or services. Doing so will not only limit our children’s future opportunities, it will continue to erode the business and economic development in California.

Please join teachers, education support personnel, and administrators across California and vote YES on Proposition 30 on November 6th. California’s students and economic future need a strong pre-school through university educational system.

Guy Moore                                                 Steven Lawrence, Ph.D.
President                                                   Superintendent
Mt. Diablo Education Association                  Mt. Diablo Unified School District”

Does this message persuade you to vote in favor of Prop. 30?

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  • Doctor J

    Why did Lawrence leave out that SASS was supposed to save $50,000 a year and in two years mushroomed from 9 employees to 31, more than tripling the costs of administration while failing to impact most of the schools in MDUSD ?

  • Doctor J
  • Doctor J

    Here a perfect PRA request for all emails between Guy Moore and Steven Lawrence about Prop 30 — I can’t believe that Lawrence didn’t use his district email, his district computer, or even meet with Moore on district property to discuss this propaganda statement. Didn’t the Ed Code say “felony” ?

  • g

    “…we have: significantly increased the number of students in each class; reduced the number of administrators, counselors, librarians, custodians, maintenance, and other support providers; reduced our elementary music and art programs; and relied on voluntary contributions and fundraising to keep our high school athletic programs going.”

    BUT–why then, Mr. Lawrence, did the number of employees only drop by a grand total of five?

  • g

    Liars and politicians looking to justify nothing more than their next pay raise or place in history will say anything! They’ve already proven that they can (and will) twist anything to get what they want!

    Lying, by omision, is not against the law!

    But, as we (hopefully) learned with our bond measures–ONLY the printed words in the full text of the Bill hold any weight of LAW!

    Every voter needs to read a full summary of Prop 30.
    http://cbp.org/pdfs/2012/120911_Proposition_30_BB.pdf

    I recommend jumping to the very bottom of the page and read End Notes, 38,39,40 first!

    If 30 fails: Of $3billion that may be lost “from the state’s budget” —$2.3 Billion of it is what the state already owes the schools!

    Under our own demands made by Prop 98 a few years ago, the State MUST pay the schools what they owe us from taxes we’ve already paid, and the State is down to less than 5 years left to pay it ALL BACK.

    If Prop 30 Passes: The State is “Forgiven–For Ever” that Entire $2.3 Billion Debt To The Schools!!!

    The rule of Prop 98, that the People voted into State Law to protect our schools’ tax dollars, is Tossed out the window!

    Wipe Out! The total debt for the State?

    Gone!

    $2.3Billion owed to the schools?

    Gone!

    Now they want to start taxing us higher–again–BUT not for all schools! For pre schools, and pre-pre schools and educating infants—and Consultant Contracts!

    “For a hamburger today, I will gladly pay you Tuesday–(the fifth Tuesday in February)

    All that tax money we already have paid, all that money they have been holding back, doling out in a % drop here and a % dribble there—Forgiven! Gone! Bye-Bye!

  • Doctor J

    Did Guy Moore and Steven Lawrence conspire to commit a crime ? Read Ed Code 7054: “7054. (a) No school district or community college district funds,
    services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate, including, but not limited to, any candidate for election to the governing board of the district.
    . . . . (c) A violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor or felony punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both,
    or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for 16 months, or two or three years.”

  • Sue Berg

    Dr J, I was content to let your misinformation about the increase in SASS staff pass, but you’ve now repeated it three times, so I must comment–even knowing the name-calling it will provoke.

    SASS is a reworking of the old Curriculum and Instruction Department: different philosophy and roles, but with the same number of support staff for the administrative positions and the same number of teacher coaches for the BTSA and PAR programs. And C&I staff and programs were housed both at Dent and Willow Creek, just as SASS seems to be today.

    Based on the positions you listed earlier this month in your first post about the increase, it looks as if SASS has two more administrative positions (both related to EL programs) than C&I had, but the other positions are the same or similar to what existed in C&I. I hear your argument that SASS was presented as a cost-savings program that may not be doing so. However, your trying to advance your argument by saying that SASS increased by 22 positions is, well, duplicitous. You just did not include all the existing positions in your first count.

    Over the past decade California school districts have continually had to cut their budgets. (I can introduce you to many of us former MDUSD employees whose positions no longer exist.) I’m not sure how many people are aware that, whenever the state budget is in deficit, the per pupil revenue districts receive from the state is reduced by a “deficit factor.” For the 2012-13 MDUSD budget, the factor of 0.77 means the district receives $5,152.15 per pupil rather than the $6,489.02 it is entitled to if the state budget were not in deficit. That funding gap has existed for years.

    I hope that the Dr J’s of the world do not discourage voters from supporting our public schools, be it through a proposition, parcel tax, and/or bond measure. I’m choosing Prop 38 this time because it focuses on the most important years for learning (pre-K through Grade 12) and also assures that 30% of the money raised goes directly to reduce the deficit in the state’s general fund. I agree with G’s concern that Prop 30 releases the state from its obligation under Prop 98 to pay schools back the monies that have been withheld due to the application of the deficit factor over many years. But Prop 30 does provide funding for post-secondary education, which has also been heavily hit for many years.

    Bottom line, school district employees–administrators, teachers, and support staff–have increasingly been having to do more with less. The fact that most students are experiencing success in their school programs is something we should celebrate–and reward with better funding.

  • g

    Sue Berg, If this district and this state keep graduating fewer and fewer kids, we won’t even need “higher” education.

    K-12 needs the $2.3 billion the state already owes us–from school taxes We Already Paid.

    Then and only then, should they come asking for more taxes!

  • soooo frustrated

    It will be very interesting to hear how many parents complain about MDUSD taking 11 furlough days if Prop 30 does not pass.

  • Doctor J

    @SueBerg, your misinformation about SASS could only come from those who need to protect it — I guess Steven Lawrence or Rose Lock or Sherry Whitmarsh. Your tacit acknowledgment of the lies Steven Lawrence told the Board and public about SASS saving money, when it didn’t even do that the first year, is also bolstered by Sherry Whitmarsh’s claim on this blog she saw “actual salaries” of SASS saving over $50,000, despite the fact that when the “actual salaries” of SASS as disclosed by CCT show that less SASS employees cost more than the C&I employees shown in Lawrence’s spreadsheet — just one of many claims of Sherry where she can never present a document to support her statement. If you would have read Steven Lawrence’s memo to the Board of May 11, 2010, you would have also seen that Lawrence also had the Board transfer parts of C&I to Mildred Brown’s responsibilities — Director of Alternative Ed — and the Board also eliminated the support position of Summer School Secretary even though summer school remained under Rose Lock. I do acknowledge that Steven Lawrence did not use support salaries in his comparisons. Now Sue, SASS personnel did not begin to occupy Willow Creek until this school year, and the district spent money remodeling to accomodate the new employees. Sue, there were zero SASS employees at Willow Creek in school years 2010-11 and 2011-12. I dare you to compare the SASS Organizational Chart, including support staff, from school year 2010-11 with the current 2012-13 and tell me that SASS has not “mushroomed”. But the bottom line is that SASS has not performed or accomplished its purposes since its formation on May 11, 2010, which Steven Lawrence stated very straightforward: “we need instructional leaders who have successfully moved schools forward to help support and coach other principals and school staffs”. Where have the SASS personnel been to “support and coach other principals” ? They are supposed to be evaluated by how well the schools they coach do ? Hasn’t happened. Where are the success records of the SASS coaches ? I only know of one: Director of Elementary. Not Rose Lock. Not Bill Morones. Not the other SASS coaches. And not Steven Lawrence nor his sidekick Sue Brother — who now has a losing API record of -4. Look what happened when your friend [someone you called well respected] coached Sun Terrace last year ? The SASS coach apparently had not a clue about all the turmoil at Sun Terrace nor the substitute problems, nor any of the problem. She was abruptly replaced as the SASS coach when the s&$t hit the fan — the irony is that Rose Lock directly supervises all coaches in SASS, not giving that responsibility to the Directors of Secondary and Elementary. Your friend left the district for a promotion. Sue, please read the studies I linked in other posts in the last few days. Its not the district that makes a difference — its the principal and teachers. That’s where the best people ought to be. Our children deserve better. Steven Lawrence is just the opposite of Midas — everything he touches turns to . . ..

  • g

    It makes sense that Lawrence would say “we need instructional leaders who have successfully moved schools forward to help support and coach other principals and school staffs.”

    He knew very well that “he” had no history or reputation for “moving schools forward” anywhere he had been, even in districts less than half this size. In desperation, he knew he needed to hire a lot of people to (hopefully) cover his own inadequacies.

    Backfire!

    Big problem: How do you choose someone to do a job when you have no idea how to do it yourself?

    Answer: Keep hiring, Keep shuffling, Keep praying for a miracle.

    Oh yes, and–Keep your resume handy.

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    I understand and agree with most of the points made by Mr. Moore and Mr. Lawrence. CA schools are in a terrible predicament, and it is being made worse by years of underfunding and fiscal crisis in Sacramento. I have no doubt that Prop 30 could help patch up our schools’ finances, for a time at least. But the history of “dedicated school funding” in CA suggests that within a short period, the legislature would feel free to proportionately reduce the general funds currently going to education, because of the “extra funding” available under Prop 30. There are supposedly provisions to keep that from happening. But we’re talking Sacramento here, where keeping K12 schools just barely on life support has been paradigm for quite some time.

    In other words, sadly, I do not believe that “more money for schools” will actually mean more money for schools, as opposed to indirectly bailing out other parts of a state budget that our leaders have managed with absolutely no discipline. It’s a shame, but I think we are seeing the long-term impact of the declining influence of public education on the legislative process. Demographically, fewer and fewer active voters have kids in public schools (as opposed to those who are ineligible or not interested enough to vote). Many of the decision-makers and influencers long ago fled to private schools for their own children. And of course, as a backdrop to it all, we have the appalling behavior and management of districts like MDUSD, which seems to be almost intent on alienating every part of the electorate that they can. The outlook is not encouraging.

  • Sue Berg

    Dr J, all I said was that, according to the list you provided, SASS seems to have essentially the same positions that were in C&I, and many of those positions (e.g. the teacher coaches) have been based at Willow Creek. If SASS expanded from 9 to 31 as you say, it was through the incorporation of existing C&I staff and not the addition of 22 new positions, as you imply in three posts.

    I have no opinion nor comment about the Superintendent’s rationale for SASS nor about SASS itself. My experience was with C&I and the good people who worked there. Please don’t accuse me of motives I don’t have.

  • Doctor J

    Sorry Sue Berg you have not been following the Board agendas with all the hiring in SASS — and don’t buy the junk that its all categorical. SASS has grown hugely since May 2010.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It looks like MDUSD set precedent for PERB back in the 1980′s regarding impact bargaining: http://blog.thomsonreuters.com/index.php/california-public-employment-relations-board-clarifies-standard-regarding-effects-bargaining/

  • Theresa Harrington

    g: Here’s a video interview with the new principal of Kennedy HS in WCCUSD, who has a concrete plan for turning around the school: http://bcove.me/hdt3xq2d

    Do you think administrators at MDUSD’s low-performing high schools are communicating their plans for improvement well to the community?

  • Flippin’ Tired

    I don’t think they have a plan, Theresa.

    The best leaders I know study those who are successful, and emulate them. The best teachers I know are happy to share what works for them, in the hopes it will work for other students too.

    Maybe the failing schools need a field trip to the successful schools? They might be having principal meetings, but I don’t think there’s any communicating going on.

  • g

    Unfortunately Theresa, Flippin’ may be correct. No one takes on a job planning to be a failure at it. But if an administrator and their lead team is not held responsible for their school’s academic failures, how can they, in turn, hold their teachers accountable?

    Sure, demographics plays a huge part, and some kids are really hard (and some are impossible) to reach, but that doesn’t mean a troubled school should have the dregs of the district’s employment pool foisted upon them with a “no one else would take the job” attitude.

    Phil Johnson at Kennedy appears to be an excellent example of that district at least trying to get a really fresh start for a tough school.

    Unfortunately, it does not appear that this district is putting out the same effort, or employing a positive attitude, to help the students at its most troubled schools.

    If they were, we wouldn’t hear them spouting bs like “We have a hard time finding anyone who wants to work here!” Principals and teachers with a history of repeated failure and backlash from their communities would be gone–not just shuffled from school to school every couple of years.

    I suspect there are really a lot of young Phil Johnsons out there, looking for that first hand up, that would ‘thrive’ at schools like Oak Grove and Mount.

    They’re out there, but it will take some native smarts to recognize them—and I think we are sorely lacking native smarts around here.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    Imagine if Mt.Diablo High had a school full of Dan Reynolds as its teaching force. I know there are good teachers there, damned dedicated people. But if the apple barrel is sour at the top, no one wants to look below the surface for all the good that lies underneath. Who wants to work for someone who does not value their effort?

    What school or schools have made the greatest strides in the last year, two years, five years? Ask those administrators to take on the lowest performing schools.

    But no school will be successful without total buy-in from administration, teachers, parents and the students themselves. It’s a team effort. Look at Meadow Homes, look at Holbrook. Those principals knew how to lead a TEAM.

  • Doctor J

    @FT#19 You’re killing me. I so agree with THIS post. Meadow Homes in 2011 had a 57 point API gain — Principal Tobey Montez got fired and replaced by Dr. Mary-Louise Newling — a measley 6 point gain this year. What was this all about ? Delta View — Julie B-M first principal and led it to first API of 701 and then dropped for two years to 682. Susan Petersen built her team and in 2008 had a 64 API point gain and then in 2009 82 point gain, dropping 5 points in 2010 after, guess who [Julie B-M] took away 1/3 her staff — then promoted to Director of Elementary. Nancy Baum got back a 14 point gain to 837 in 2012 but she “retired” after running a 700 plus student school all by herself for two years. How will Cheryl do this year ? And then you have the SIG schools massive gains this year — BUT funding runs out in June 13 and Lawrence has promised NOT to continue with increased instructional time [all studies point to increased instructional time as a key to improved learing]. So FT, which administrators would you put in the lowest performing schools ? Take all the schools that have 900 plus API and tranfer their principals to schools that are below 800 ? Or maybe take the Principal and all the staff and transfer them ? How would the Bel Air principal and staff do at Monte Gardens ? Flip-flop the staffs and principals at two schools ? Interestingly, under NCLB the “turnaround model” is to replace the principal and 50% of the staff at the lowest performing schools. Do you trust Lawrence to play chess with administrators and staff ?

  • Theresa Harrington

    Dr. J: The Clayton Valley Charter was able to bring in all new administrators to establish the kind of team it wanted. It didn’t have to pick from administrators in a large district who wanted (or needed) to be shuffled around.
    When I visited CVCHS at the beginning of the year, it was apparent that the administrators were working well together as a team. It will be interesting to see if that team is able to accomplish everything it has set out to do.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#21 Excellent point. Perhaps you can give us some brief bio’s of the new administrators, where they have been and come from. Would be very interesting to compare the hires from CVCHS and MDUSD. All you have to do is view the CVCHS website and you can feel the enthusiasm. http://www.claytonvalley.org

  • Doctor J

    EdTrust West issues report on district funding reform. Which end of the stick will MDUSD be on ? http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/ETW%20Tipping%20the%20Scale%20Towards%20Equity%20Report.pdf

  • Doctor J

    School spending per student — How does MDUSD compare to the states 20 largest districts ? http://www.edtrust.org/node/3400

  • Doctor J

    Why didn’t MDUSD even consider applying for the $4 Billion dollar Federal Race to the Top grants ? Federal Race to the Top funding required districts to incorporate student test scores, among other criteria, in teacher evaluations.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/S-F-Oakland-drop-bid-for-U-S-school-funds-3991884.php#ixzz2Aoerwowq http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/S-F-Oakland-drop-bid-for-U-S-school-funds-3991884.php

  • Flippin’ Tired

    “Doctor” J, I wouldn’t trust Lawrence to babysit my goldfish. I’d like to see Dr. Nicholl back in. A thoughtful man, loaded with integrity. Wish we could draft him.

    I like your idea of trading the whole staff at one school for another. Take the staff of the three worst performing elementary schools, trade them with the staff of the three best performing schools. Send all the teachers from Northgate to Mt.Diablo High.

    Wonder which of the Dent royal family will claim your idea as their own…

  • high school teacher

    You really believe the test scores at Northgate have anything to do with the teachers? Those students will thrive no matter who their teacher is. Most of those teachers couldn’t last a week at Mount, let alone make long-term systemic changes.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Jessica Preciado made the move from Northgate to Mount and was apparently doing well there and making a positive difference in students’ lives until she had her baby and was ignored when she asked to work part-time. So, now she is working at Crossroads.
    And Jon Campopiano has made the move from Northgate to Oak Grove MS as a vp, after being a very successful teacher at Northgate. It remains to be seen if his presence at Oak Grove will make a difference there.

  • Doctor J

    2HSTeach#27 Sorry but teachers and principals have LOTS to do with test scores and learning. There is lots of data to support that. “Principal and teacher quality account for nearly 60% of a school’s total impact on student achievement, and principals alone for a full 25% (Marzano et al., 2005).” http://www.newleaders.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/EP-Exec-Summary.pdf

  • Theresa Harrington

    Here’s a story about the Flex Academy (which was denied by MDUSD but overturned and approved by the COE — yet hasn’t opened yet in the East Bay) and how a former Northgate HS student who was falling through the cracks there is now thriving at Flex: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/flexibility-support-buil_n_2045073.html

  • Doctor J

    Great example of how SASS’s “one-size-fits-all” model doesn’t work for every student.

  • Theresa Harrington

    It appears that Northgate realizes that it has let struggling students fall through the cracks in the past. Now, it is making a greater effort to intervene sooner when students are getting Ds and Fs. But, the board’s decision to cut summer school makes it harder for those students (at any district school) to make up classes.
    The board’s decision to adopt Cyber High as an alternative is helping, though. Slowly, the district may be starting to realize that the “blended” learning opportunities offered by Flex could work in MDUSD too.

  • Doctor J

    Perhaps it is the plumenting graduation rates despite dumbing down the grad requirements that finally kicked Steven Lawrence in the head ? Graduation rates have been dropping like an anchor without a chain. No wonder Steven Lawrence has avoided a Board discussion of returning the Grad requirements to their former level despite Cheryl Hansen’s multiple requests.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Barbara Oaks says she wants to increase graduation requirements.

    I attended a Common Core State Standards conference yesterday that was provided by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. Several districts presented their plans for implementing the Common Core, but MDUSD was not among them.

    The only MDUSD presenter was Liane Cismowski, who addressed: “Literacy Strategies for Secondary Subject Areas, with an Emphasis on English Learners.” Since this seems to be an area of specialty for her, it’s somewhat surprising that the district has chosen to assign her to an elementary school principal position. It appears that her knowledge and expertise could greatly benefit struggling high school students.

  • g

    After a year with McClatchy, it may well be that Cismowski took the survivalist approach, and was willing, maybe even eager, to take any job that got her out of there. Just my speculation, of course.

  • Doctor J

    Oh I am sure that Liane Cismowski was happy to jump off Kate McC’s ship [Liane associated with ToiletGATE -- how embarrassing -- and another reason I believe Kate has "something" over Lawrence or Rolen that keeps her in that position] — and it was a real plus for elementary to get her — she is talented and knowledgeable and recognized state wide and nationally. But there was “no room in the inn” for her in Secondary — Steven had to find a place for his sidekick, Sue Brothers, after she dropped 4 API points at CVCHS and could not stop the leaks in the CVHS dike that led to the totally embarrassing. Plus, remember that when Liane was named as an Elementary principal, they were so short on the “elementary pool” and kept interviewing, interviewing, and interviewing [actually it wasn't that bad, there were few candidates]. At the same time they had “fires” at several schools, and a 5 alarm fire at Sun Terrace ! I am sure Liane has some “private thoughts” shared with her close friends.

  • Theresa Harrington

    Preciado told me that when she asked Cismowski for a letter of recommendation, Cismoski told her she would need to get permission from the MDHS principal. This surprised Preciado because she said she had gotten good performance evaluations from Cismowski and thought she had developed a good relationship with her. But, Preciado never heard back and didn’t get the recommendation.
    This was in stark contrast to Preciado’s experience at Northgate HS. There, she said, a vice principal wrote her a glowing letter of recommendation without needing to seek permission from the principal.

  • Doctor J

    Legislators already agreeing to avoid the Eductation cuts when Prop 30 fails. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2012/10/california-republicans-schools.html

  • Anon

    Doctor J: LA Times does not say that Republicans and Democrats are agreeing. This proves that Republicans will say anything to defeat Prop 30. Echoing Romney, this does not say what else besides education they would cut. What’s left? Governor Brown has cut the expensive state prison system and the outdated state redevelopment agencies, cuts that were not made under the last great Republican Governor Schwarzenegger. Arnold gave us a 1/2 cent sales tax, and Jerry’s proposing only 1/4 cent.

    Linda Mayo was wrong to support Prop 38 over Prop 30. It reveals a breakdown between local parent groups and her beloved State PTA. We saw MDUSD bungling reach new heights when the Board failed to endorse Prop 30 promptly. Instead as one of the largest districts, MDUSD could have shown leadership by endorsing Prop 30 in time for each school parent club to endorse and to organize for voter support. MDUSD is the same old same old, too little too late.

  • Doctor J

    @TH#34 Grapevine is buzzing that Rose Lock & two SASS principal coaches attended the Common Core Summit you attended, along with some district principals and even some teachers [more substitutes]. The real buzz is that the two Directors of Secondary & Elementary did NOT attend and Rose had put them in charge of the District Common Core “plan”. So where were Bill & Susan ? Sources say attending days 3 & 4 of a year long ten day Instructional training for District Admins & SASS coaches at Willow Creek — which Rose & the two SASS principal coaches missed. No wonder MDUSD didn’t present its “Common Core plan” progress — doesn’t sound like they have one. Don’t worry, all day today and tomorrow are the 4th & 5th Grade symposiums at Willow Creek — more substitutes and less instruction. All training and no Common Core plan. Sounds like Rose Lock’s leadership is by dart board. SASS is in its third year, and just now fire hosing administrators and teachers with training ? I think the administrators and teachers are going to be overwhelmed with such massive infusions of training and direction they won’t know what to do next.

  • Doctor J

    @Anon #39 When you have the GOP saying they are not going to permit the massive cuts to education, that is a step in the right direction — the Dem’s won’t either. Voters are tired of the “threats” from politicians. Look at today’s Field Poll and see how many people already voted and how they voted. Prop 30 is in serious trouble. The Board’s bungling of the Prop 30 endorsement was indicative of the lack of leadership of Board President Sherry Whitmarsh. Instead of “asking” for a motion, she just let it slide. it was really embarassing.

  • Doctor J

    OC Register says” “one observer noted, “the problem is much more about the stupid way money is spent than the lack of money.” Given that relatively little has changed in K-12 public education, especially during Jerry Brown’s governorship, and given that Prop. 30 merely seeks to pour new tax dollars into that mostly unchanged and flawed system, it’s no surprise to see support for the governor’s initiative plunging among a justifiably skeptical electorate.” Interesting read, no matter which side of Prop 30 you are on. http://www.hjta.org/news/opinion-lance-izumi-prop-30-hikes-taxes-without-fixing-k-12-systemic-flaws

  • Doctor J

    Great discussion about AB 1575 eliminating districts charging students for educational purposes. Asks some very pertinent questions needed to be asked in MDUSD. Article by an across the bay Board member. http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/student-fees-will-remain-a-conundrum-even-with-a-new-law/22167

  • Anon

    Republican OC Register is biased obviously, but nevertheless we can agree that systemic reform is needed and overdue. How about the Republicans get going on that? Schwarzenegger and Torlakson spent years developing recommendations that go nowhere. The feds offered “Race To The Top” but California was a no-show. Mayo and Whitmarsh and the State PTA follow their own drummer in the wrong direction. None of this will help our children in school this year!

  • Theresa Harrington

    The district RTTT deadline has been extended to tomorrow: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/race-top-district-application-deadline-extended
    So, there’s still time for MDUSD to apply.

  • Doctor J

    @Anon#44 Individual districts can apply for Race to the Top funds — MDUSD has been “too busy” attending trainings to do so. And it requires that MDEA agree to a formula where student test scores are a “part” of teacher evaluations. Many of the larger school districts are applying for part of the $4 Billion grant — some have agreed with the Unions for such an evaluation, and others are still negotiating. MDUSD never even tried. So typical of Steven Lawrence. I guess his mantra is: if there aren’t free drinks or golf games, he’s not going to participate. Steven, good luck with Desert Sands. August is a lovely month in Indio — your size 14′s will stick to the asphalt.

  • Doctor J

    Seth Rosenblatt, San Carlos Board trustee said: “The publicity of the ACLU lawsuit prompted many districts, including my own, to start these discussions almost two years ago and analyze what we were charging students.” Two years ago ? And MDUSD didn’t even have it on their radar ? Why not ? http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/student-fees-will-remain-a-conundrum-even-with-a-new-law/22167

  • Sue Berg

    Dr. J,
    MDUSD is not the only large school district whose teachers union balked at signing the Race to the Top application. Neighboring districts Oakland and San Francisco have also encountered reluctance from their teachers unions.

    From SF Gate, October 29:
    S.F., Oakland drop bid for U.S. school funds
    by Jill Tucker

    “Stuck in a standoff with teachers unions, the San Francisco and Oakland school districts have abandoned efforts to bring in up to $15 million each to develop high-quality math classes for upper-elementary and middle school students.

    “The two districts spent months preparing a joint application for the next round of federal Race to the Top funding – which required districts to incorporate student test scores, among other criteria, in teacher evaluations.

    “And because of that critical clause, union leaders refused to sign, as required by the federal application.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/S-F-Oakland-drop-bid-for-U-S-school-funds-3991884.php#ixzz2BIIJV8UB

  • Doctor J

    Balked ? You mean the Board actually approved moving forward on the application ? When ?

  • http://www.k12reboot.com Jim

    Perhaps the real reason that MDUSD avoided a RTTT application was that the district competition (unlike the state competition) requires that student outcomes be linked to performance evaluations of teachers, site administrators AND district administrators. That’s a big difference from the contest for the states, which insisted that evaluation systems link student outcomes only to educators in schools. Of course, given the slack culture at MDUSD, It’s not clear that ANYBODY wants to have their performance evaluated in any objective manner. But it’s pretty clear that it would be an unappealing concept at Dent Center.