According to a CAC update sent out last October, Mt. Diablo school district Superintendent Steven Lawrence told Chairwoman Lorrie Davis that the FCMAT Special Education Report would be released in December or January. Since it wasn’t released by the end of January, I sent Lawrence an email Feb. 4 asking when he intendended to make the report (which the district received July 26 from FCMAT) public.
Here is his respoonse:
“Our goal was to complete the review/editing process by December or January. However, with Dr. (Kerri) Mills being new coupled with the review/edit process that FCMAT goes through the process has taken a little longer than expected. We are working with FCMAT to make the study public in the near future.”
That night, I attended the CAC meeting and asked Board President Cheryl Hansen about the report. She sent me the following email the next day:
“As a follow up to our conversation last night at the CAC meeting regarding the status of the Special Ed FCMAT report, I emailed the superintendent the following four questions this morning and asked for his response today:
1. What is the status of the SpEd FCMAT report?
2. When will it be released to the public?
3. Why has there been such a long delay in this process?
4. What does the district intend to do with this report? How will it use it?
I just received a reply from the superintendent which added nothing of substance to the general response he sent you. Here’s what he offered: ‘The question is when will FCMAT be available to present the findings to the Board. They are busy working with several districts and we are trying to get on their calendar. Once presented to the Board we will get Board direction on which parts of the report they would like us to work to implement.’
So here’s my response: I’m putting the Special Ed FCMAT report on the February 25th agenda so the Board and the public can finally get some information on something that should have been dealt with and made public a long time ago. The public paid for this report yet they aren’t getting any of the information that they paid for.
The only way to achieve transparency and accountability is if everyone involved acts with transparency and accountability, and that’s not what’s happening with these FCMAT reports.”
This is not the same procedure followed with the FCMAT Transportation report, which was never presented to the board by FCMAT. In that instance, district staff began implementing recommendations before they even presented the report to the board. And when they did present it, staff didn’t ask for direction. Instead, staff just explained what they were doing with the recommendations.
Although a date for a FCMAT presentation to the board has still not been finalized to my knowledge, a blog reader who attended the superintendent’s Wednesday feeder pattern meeting at Mt. Diablo Elementary has informed me that Lawrence told that group the report was with FCMAT for corrections and would be released as soon as it is returned next week.
So, now it appears that Lawrence doesn’t plan to wait until FCMAT has time to present the report to the board before releasing it, as he told Hansen.
This piecemeal dribbling of information is one reason it made sense for the superintendent to hold ONE Parent Advisory Council meeting so everyone got the same information at the same time. If he doesn’t want to do that, he should send out TIMELY messages to the community informing the public about what he’s telling parents at various feeder pattern meetings.
Do you think the superintendent should inform special education parents about when he plans to release the FCMAT special education report?
March 1 update: Here is the link to the FCMAT special education report: http://www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Documents/FCMAT-special-education-report.pdf