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How much should your district spend on disadvantaged students next year?

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 5:53 pm in Education.

As the July 1 deadline for creating district spending plans is looming under the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula, school officials should be asking parents how they believe money should be spent to best serve their children.

The state is allocating extra money to districts with low-income students, English learners and foster youth to help them close the achievement gap by providing services and programs to help disadvantaged children overcome challenges.

Ideally, districts should be telling parents how much money they are receiving through base grants for all students and through supplemental grants for disadvantaged students. Districts with more than 55 percent of students who fall into the three disadvantaged categories also receive concentration grants intended to provide extra help for them.

But some districts are more transparent than others about sharing their budget numbers with their communities during this planning process. To help level the playing field, the Education Trust-West advocacy organization has created a website at that provides a searchable database of most districts in the state showing how much each district is supposed to spend on high-need students. The database does not include districts serving 100 students or less or those with very few disadvantaged students that are receiving Economic Recovery Target Grants to help them reach the goal of increasing funding to 2007-08 levels in eight years.

Here’s a comparison of the percentage of disadvantaged students in some Alameda and Contra Costa districts, followed by the amount of money designated to serve those students next year, according to the site:

Hayward: 76 percent; $16 million
Livermore: 30 percent; $2.4 million
Newark: 60 percent; $2.8 million
Oakland: 74 percent; $27 million
San Lorenzo: 68 percent; $6.3 million

Antioch: 65 percent; $8.4 million
John Swett: 69 percent; $905,441
Mt. Diablo: 49 percent; $9.5 million
Pittsburg: 86 percent; $8.9 million
West Contra Costa: 74 percent; $19 million

Each district must include this amount of money designated for disadvantaged students in its Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP. These plans must describe a district’s goals, actions, and expenditures across eight state priority areas. The plans must also explain how supplemental and concentration funding will be spent on high-need students and describe how the district’s expenditures will increase or improve services for those students.

Districts are required to include a parent advisory group in the creation of the plans, said Carrie Hahnel of EdTrust-West. Some districts are creating special groups for this purpose, while others are using existing parent advisory groups, she said.

A best practice is to create a special group that includes representatives for low-income students, English learners and foster youth, she said. In addition, Hahnel said students should be involved in the process.

“There’s a difference between just asking for their input and authentically engaging them,” she said. “What we hear from some students is that they will share lists of things that they care about, but they don’t feel that’s going to actually affect the district’s plan in any way.”

Some districts are holding community meetings to explain the state’s requirements and solicit feedback. But Hahnel said it’s really important to make the connection between the budget and the plan during these meetings, instead of merely creating wish lists of programs and services.

“For some reason, districts want to skip over the budget part and get to the plan part once they get people in the room,” she said. “If the district has a strategic plan — put it out there. Talk about the new funding and have a dialogue about trade-offs. If we do a lot of new things, we might have old things we have to cut, so let’s talk about what we value and how much room we have for new investments.”

What trade-offs are being discussed in your district?

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313 Responses to “How much should your district spend on disadvantaged students next year?”

  1. k. saint Says:

    I have been to a few MDUSD LCAP meetings. The district is putting forth solid effort, especially in light of all of the turmoil it has and does face. I share the concern as mentioned above in reference to the difference between asking for input and authentically engaging parents. At this point in the community meetings, we are still at the asking for input phase and I have yet to see any type of data on the district site that compiles that input. Is parent input falling on deft ears? Further, community meetings are feeder pattern based, yet the LCAP is district based; thus does it really matter what Mount wants or Northgate wants or what College Park wants etc… In other words, I am not able to figure out how “local” local is in LCAP making the wish list meetings frustrating.

  2. Doctor J Says:

    Good News/Bad news. Dr. Nellie or husband have been reading the blog. Yesterday, Rose Lock announced that Class Size Reduction for K-3 will begin 2014/15 with K=29 and 1-3=28. Bad news for affluent schools: CSR may displace some of their special classes paid for by PFC to create room for CSR. Other bad news, CSR in low income schools will create overflows to other schools WITHOUT transportation. Really bad news: As I have predicted for months, MDUSD’s technology statements that ALL elementary schools would be ready for the April testing window is simply UNTRUE. The timelines given out for six months are untrue. Technology doesn’t have any good solutions at this late date. FUBAR !!!!! I think I learned this WWII phrase in Saving Private Ryan.

  3. Frustrated Says:

    Dr J. Is it really impossible for you to shed a positive light on anything? Why don’t you get off your high horse and get a real job? Something other than slamming and criticizing every action and/or decision anyone affiliated with MDUSD makes. It must be great to be you and have all the answers.

  4. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a positive story about the healthy cooking program at MDHS:

    2busymom: Cindy Gershen is a teacher who is definitely going above and beyond to help her students. In fact, she plans to take about 18 of them to Harlem in a similar collaboration with students there. And Principal Liane Cismowski told me that Gershen is also helping teachers at the school to eat better and live more healthy lifestyles. What helps teachers, Cismowski said, ultimately helps students.

  5. tmharrington Says:

    For those of you who are politically inclined, the Contra Costa County Board of Education is looking for a new trustee to represent a wide swath of the county that includes most of MDUSD, due to the death of Board President Ellen Elster:

    Staff report:

  6. tmharrington Says:

    For those who want to find out more about Common Core, the Pleasant Hill Ed. Commission is hosting a Common Core Night for parents of students in grades 6-12 on March 25:

  7. Doctor J Says:

    Sorry Frustrated you missed the good news. Perhaps you should take off your blinders. Class Size Reduction is good news, especially in 14/15. But anytime you don’t plan for it, do it at the last minute and in a haphazard way, lots of issues are created. There is no legitimate reason this should not have been done six months ago instead after tentative assignments made. Make no mistake about it, it will be good for the children, but not as good as it could have been. As for the misleading and untruthful information about the elementary computer labs made for months about being ready for the April Smarter Balanced testing, when they knew it not to be true, perhaps you Frustrated tolerate lies, but I don’t.

  8. Doctor J Says:

    Where is the Christy White audit for the bond measures so the public can review them prior to the rubber stamp ?

  9. Doctor J Says:

    Just before the march 20 quarterly meeting NO Measure C information is available including the required agenda. Measure C has gone INVISIBLE !!!!!

  10. g. de la verdad Says:

    They have posted a link to the agenda on the Upcoming Events Calendar, but you are correct — they have taken down all other links to Measure C, and there are none of the attachments on the agenda.

  11. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s the agenda for tonight:

    But, wow, you’re not kidding about stuff missing from the website! The entire Measure C button has disappeared from the left-hand side of the district’s home page, along with several others:

    Here’s the link for those who don’t have it memorized: The Quarterly Report can be found under “Quarterly Reports.”

  12. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s another reminder about the PH Ed Commission’s Common Core Night for parents of students in grades 6-12:

  13. g. de la verdad Says:

    Meas. C devil is in the details. Compare Project Scopes and Budgets to a yr ago, before L/LB was the “norm”. Watch the projects move, the numbers change while Scope remains the same. Give Taber the Preliminary Service Agreement (supposedly at zero cost-out of the goodness of their heart), watch the ‘Contractor’ budget go up $1-2 million.

  14. tmharrington Says:

    We’re hearing about a big traffic accident at Concord Blvd. and Landana Drive. I hope no Concord HS, El Dorado MS or Westwood Elem. students, parents or staff members are involved.

  15. Doctor J Says:

    The MDUSD Board appears to be playing Hide ‘n Go Seek with Agendas. No agenda posted under Board agendas for Monday’s joint meeting with Martinez City Council, but there is an obscure link on the news page. Why are they playing games with the Brown Act ? Do they call this TRANSPARENCY or INCOMPETENCY ?

  16. Doctor J Says:

    Looks like Jeanne Duarte-Armas is subverting the Board approved “English Learner Master Plan”. On the EL web page, it lists the Jan 23, 2012 DRAFT PLAN as the official plan — not so. That draft plan was revised and presented to the Board on April 23, 2012 as the “Final Draft”. Subsequently, more revisions were made and presented to the Board on March 11, 2013 stating: “On April 23, 2012 the Draft Master Plan was presented and accepted by the School Board.” the Board approved 4-0. Yet neither the Final Draft Plan approved on April 23, 2012 nor the Revised Plan approved on March 11, 2013 appear on the website. Why isn’t the Board approved plan being implemented ? No administrator in MDUSD has the authority to subvert the approved plans of the Board no matter how much they disagree with them. What gives ??

  17. g. de la verdad Says:

    $100 bucks says put all three in front of the Board, and not one of them would know which was the final plan.

  18. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of transparency, the CBOC was asking lots of questions about the low solar savings so far, with some speculating there’s no way the district can possibly get the $3.5 million that was promised. I attended the meeting and am uploading videos to YouTube.Com/tunedtotheresa.

  19. g. de la verdad Says:

    Staff has known all along, based on all original construction plans, the solar promises were a scam — and would get worse as time went on. All savings estimates were based on rates, technology, infrastructure, HVAC, # and sizes of buildings, etc. as they were in 2009. A lot has changed since then, and Staff knew it would. SunPower was off the hook for guarantees as soon as the first shovel hit dirt.

  20. tmharrington Says:

    Yes, it was clarified last night that SunPower only guarantees production, not the savings that were promised.

  21. Doctor J Says:

    Where is the audit ? Were copies handed out last night ? Can it be posted ?

  22. g. de la verdad Says:

    All along some of us said solar didn’t make sense, because we would not, could not, break even financially during the projected lifetime of the solar panels and inverters.

    What Staff never said out loud was that there was NEVER a goal or even a hope of “breaking even.”
    Whether annual savings is $3thousand or $3million, Converting Bond Funds into General Funds was the ONLY goal.

  23. Doctor J Says:

    Perhaps Gary Eberhart can explain it since he dreamed it up. His “Linked In” profile list himself a Sr. Project Manager for Ecoplexus, Inc. in San Francisco since March 2013. His LI profile says “Happily I have found my niche. Solar Photovoltaic Development.” His LI profile lists his education as “U C Berkeley” — what ???? He only took one class ! And that was paid for by MDUSD in a secret transaction. His profiles for his prior employments are also listed. Also lists himself as a licensed California Contractor — I guess he forgot the state suspended his license for non-payment of his bond. scrolling down his LI profile, he also says he has a BS

  24. tmharrington Says:

    Yes, copies were handed out last night. It was my understanding that Tim Cody intended to post it today, along with the Powerpoint.
    Also, John Ferrante was very critical of the removal of the Measure C link on the district’s home page and said he intends to complain to the board about it. Cody said the website is being revised, but Ferrante said that was not a valid reason for removing the link.

  25. g. de la verdad Says:

    One thing is for sure: The CBOC isn’t operating as an “INDEPENDENT Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee.”

    No one has ever explained why the District/Cody/Whomever is in full control of the CBOC, its Agenda, its information, its membership, its purpose, or how its activities are reported to the public.

  26. tmharrington Says:

    The agenda is now prominently posted on the district’s home page:

    And here’s a new blog post about the MDHS healthy cooking program and its partnership with Dr. Robert Lustig, an obesity expert from UCSF, and their focus on cutting down on sugar in children’s diets:

  27. Doctor J Says:

    The CBOC regularly violates it By-laws. Was there even a Quorum last night ? Is the CBOC fully organized with all of the required positions ?? It’s a typical Cody run operation — half “Equus africanus asinus”.

  28. tmharrington Says:

    There appeared to be a quorum and they said they have all the required positions. However, some members listed as “parents” noted that their children have graduated, so they should be members at large.

  29. tmharrington Says:

    There were also lots of questions about technology. As previously noted, although the MDUSD superintendent is ostensibly supposed to provide regular community updates, they have been sporadic.
    WCCUSD’s superintendent, on the other hand, posts a new message to the community each month like clockwork. This month, it’s about technology:
    A similar message like this from Superintendent Meyer could help answer a lot of the questions raised by the CBOC last night.
    WCCUSD is reviewing its technology plan, along with its LCAP, on Wednesday:

  30. g. de la verdad Says:

    Did anyone ask about spending discrepancies in computer labs? Diablo View’s plastic one-size-fits-all chairs crammed cheek-to-cheek, versus Foothill’s padded, swivel, adjustable chairs with arm rests?

  31. g. de la verdad Says:

    The CBOC initial agreement was for 16 members. They now list 14 on the site, of which at least one asked to be removed over a year ago, and 2 or 3 others show up (at best) once per year. The 8 that were there last night include good old diehards, (bless them for caring), a few of which are there under expired terms…. You could call it a quorum, but I wouldn’t. I’d call it a Cody Convenience. Go figure!
    Did either Board representative show up, for a change?

  32. Doctor J Says:

    Typical MDUSD “hide the ball” — ask the board to approve two sets of minutes that are withheld from the public — how long is the public going to let the serial communications in violation of the Brown Act go on ?

  33. g. de la verdad Says:

    Brown Act pales in comparison to bait-and-switch and outright lies and obfuscation that has been presented to this board and the public. One glaring example was in Dec.
    Do you see a cost, or a true funding source? No, because the original contract was via the “corporation” and the “district” which was to be paid for by General Fund, with “energy savings” offsetting the expense.
    But, in 2010 the very first Measure C bond sale was used to Pay Off that General Fund’s debt with bond funds, at far higher financing through the sale of CABs.
    So, which fund is now paying for the costs of “completing” the “corporation/district” contract with Cal-Air?

  34. tmharrington Says:

    No board members were there. And one CBOC member pointed out that the composition of the committee in the audit didn’t match the handout that was passed out.

  35. tmharrington Says:

    No, no one discussed furniture or discrepancies. I wonder if the Clayton City Council knows about this!

  36. g. de la verdad Says:

    Proof the Board just doesn’t give a damn about “fiduciary duty.” I do not believe Mayo or Lawrence have attended any CBOC meetings since appointed last year. Yet, they were reappointed again this year??? It is now late March. When will they get around to the duty to assure CBOC membership is legal? Are they actively recruiting for new people as terms expire in June?

  37. tmharrington Says:

    Chairwoman Sue Noack commented that a new law allows terms to be extended. However, she did say that some people may not want to continue. She also urged others to consider stepping up to be chair, since her term for that expires. Since she’ll be out of town in June, I think the committee is planning to have a special meeting in May to figure all this out.

  38. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, Common Core testing starts tomorrow in 16 MDUSD schools, one in Orinda and ALL schools in SRVUSD:
    It looks like SRVUSD has its act together in terms of computer capacity!
    Meanwhile, Tim Cody pointed out that some computer/technology upgrades in MDUSD won’t be done until the summer. They are complete at 18 sites and “in progress” at 21 sites, he said.

  39. tmharrington Says:

    Reminder: Joint MDUSD-Martinez City Council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Hidden Valley Elementary:

  40. Doctor J Says:

    I have been saying for months the reports they were “ahead of schedule” and all schools would be test ready were lies. Now Cody verifies that at the last minute, too late for correction.

  41. Doctor J Says:

    Dr. Nellie is reading the blog. The two minutes are now posted — was it in time ??

  42. tmharrington Says:

    Wow, the Florida Dept. of Citrus is also reading the blog! Please note that I have posted a comment to my “How much sugar does your family eat?” blog post on behalf of that agency in defense of 100 percent orange juice.

  43. tmharrington Says:

    Reminder: Common Core Night for parents of students in grades 6-12 is 6:30-8p tonight in Pleasant Hill library:

  44. tmharrington Says:

    Discussion of Teens and Substance Abuse: The New Normal at 7 p.m. April 10 in the College Park HS Library:

  45. tmharrington Says:

    I am hearing that the College Park LCAP meeting has been moved from May 20 to April 3. However, there is no mention of this on the district’s LCAP page or home page calendar.
    LCAP site:
    Home page:

  46. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, you should do a pra request for any communications to or from the Big 4 concerning their contracts that expire on June 30. Also, FAC is saying that you can get documents on all candidates for major district positions so public can judge the hiring practices of the district.

  47. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, WCCUSD board expects to revise its hiring policies tomorrow night to require reference checks for all new and returning employees:

  48. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    Will these personal reference checks or previous employers. In order to avoid legal action most employers will only validate dates worked.

  49. Doctor J Says:

    Where is the Public Disclosure form required to be filed TEN WORKING days prior to Board hearing under AB 1200 & 2756 ? The Board cannot act without such public disclosure. Here is the form the public should have had two weeks ago.

  50. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry, remember Christopher Nugent ? You voted for him, and his mug shot was on Claycord before you got home.

  51. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    If they are personal references or employers I’m not sure it would have been different. I think most people put down personal references as someone who will give good feedback. Again most employers will only validate dates worked to avoid legal action

  52. Doctor J Says:

    Sherry, mugshots were available on the internet. Nugent disclosed in his MDUSD application his DUI conviction and without reservation you voted for him.

  53. g. de la verdad Says:

    Well then, let’s not even waste the time. Hire anyone who can charm a Personnel Director and use halfway decent grammar. Who needs reference checks, anyway!

  54. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    And after that incident an internet search was added to the hiring process.

  55. Doctor J Says:

    Irony: you think it’s ok to approve Nugent with a DUI as long as the public doesn’t know about it ? I call that hypocrisy.

  56. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    I did not know about any of the charges against the person until after the vote

  57. Doctor J Says:

    Really ? Steven Lawrence knew and Julie B-M knew, but you didn’t ? Hard to believe when Nugent disclosed it .

  58. tmharrington Says:

    Sherry, Although I also recall that the district intended to begin an internet search as part of its hiring process, Julie Braun-Martin recently told me in an e-mail that it is not.

    Here’s what she wrote in response to some hiring questions:

    1) What is your hiring policy for new outside teacher hires re: reference checks? Are you required to call references? If so, how many? If not why?

    A: Reference checks are required prior to hiring new outside teachers. A minimum of two reference checks must be completed. Typically, we try to obtain verification from individuals who have direct knowledge of the candidate’s ability to perform the work required.

    2) What is your hiring policy for teacher hires from inside district (i.e. hiring a long-term sub for full-time position)? Are you required to call references? If so, how many? If not, why?
    A: If someone has worked for us in a sub capacity, reference checks are still expected if we are hiring the individual for a position. We want a minimum of two. Typically, we try to obtain verification from individuals who have direct knowledge of the candidate’s ability to perform the work.

    3) Aside from the mandatory fingerprint background checks, does your district do any more due diligence before hiring a teacher? If so, what? (For example, it’s my understanding that you have incorporated Google searches into your protocol.)

    A: We do the fingerprints (California DOJ and FBI), check the references, and look at other resources including the Megan’s Law site.

    Q. Do you do Google searches also? It was my recollection that you said the district would start doing that after a board-approved Mt. Diablo Elementary principal a few years ago was found by members of the public to have a DUI arrest and to have inadvertently posted students’ social security numbers online.

    A. Google is another resource but we do not search Google for every teacher that we employ.”

  59. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    I’m guessing but the difference may be teachers vs. administrators. Perhaps when the board does individual approvals for positions such as administrators they do a Google Search.

  60. Sherry Whitmarsh Says:

    As I said, I didn’t know about it when the vote was taken.

  61. tmharrington Says:

    Sherry, Here’s what Kevin French, of the Acalanes district, said about what he would do if a teacher were let go due to suspicions of molesting students:

    “If someone’s released under those terms, we’re required to make a report to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. I would direct the folks to the commission, so without commenting on the incident, I would give that information. But I’m certain that would be enough to have that next organization pause and do their homework, I would hope.
    So while I would not give specific information I would give information relevant to their employment with us. And regarding their departure, if necessary I would check with (legal) counsel and give the next organization everything they would need to make a good decision.
    In terms of free speech and privacy, that is an area where I would really rely on our legal counsel. I wouldn’t want to put our district in any uncomfortable position and I certainly would want to protect our students. So, it’s a tightrope, but it’s not one where you just put your head in the sand.”

  62. Doctor J Says:

    $35 Million in Teacher raises over the next 3 years (not counting the Administrators “me too” raises) and the district doesn’t produce the MANDATORY AB 1200/2756 disclosure forms ???

  63. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD busted for Lack of blood borne pathogen training –mandatory two hour PAID training for every CSEA employee. Looks like Annie dropped the dime on the district. Now what about all the other employees ??

  64. Doctor J Says:

    Julie B-M has a short and convenient memory. Claycord posted the July 6, 2010 statement of the Supt [probably written by Julie herself] which I am sure is on the CCTimes invisible archives also: “When filling positions in the district, the district follows standard protocols . . .” “In the future, the district will augment our process with a comprehensive internet investigation prior to candidate recommendations going to the Board of Education.” The bottom line is that Julie knew from Nugent’s application that he had a DUI conviction and job dismissal. she didn’t need to do an internet search. If the Board didn’t know it was because Julie didn’t tell them. If Julie told them, then it was part of the cover-up. Perhaps it’s time now for every PTC to compare their teachers/administrators with the Superior Court Criminal index and see who else pops up.

  65. Doctor J Says:

    OMG, Kerri Mills was pathetic and unprepared. Watch the video with her audio fumbling to answer softball questions from the board. she has no overall plan — she just wants to lighten her own load. she is trying to create a major reorganization one toothpick at a time. I can’t believe Dr. Meyer approved such a lame presentation.

  66. Fed Up Says:

    Is anyone curious about the LCFF? How will the $9.5 mil be spent? Seems like it will be on salaries and benefits. Why was the audience at the NHS LCAP meeting led to believe that they were going to be receiving this money? Isn’t that misleading? Every article published clearly states that the funds must be spent on disadvantaged students. Meyer didn’t bother to mention that even once… not even as parents went to over-sized paper taped to the wall to create their wish list.

    Also, why isn’t ANYONE outraged at the $120,000 in solar savings for the first six months of the fully functioning system. Remember we were told the district would save $3.2 mil/yr plus the rebates. Do we get to call Eberhart and Strange liars? I guess it didn’t matter then, doesn’t matter now. Who knows, seems like some of the BOC thinks it is possible for the District to make up the additional amount in the next six months. Yeah right.

    Nothing has changed. The players change but the problems remain. Power on the Board. Spin the truth. Worry about the adults in this District and not the kids.

  67. Doctor J Says:

    @FedUp, you are spot on ! Unfortunately, it’s kind of like how you might feel after getting raped.

  68. Fed Up Says:

    You bet!

  69. tmharrington Says:

    If that were the case, I would think Braun-Martin would have stated that. Instead, she merely said Google searches are another resource. And she only volunteered that when I specifically asked her about them. But, I will follow up and ask if the district does Google searches for all admins.

  70. tmharrington Says:

    The base grants can be spent on all students, but the supplemental grants must be spent on disadvantaged students. But, as Ed Trust West points out, its pointless to merely ask parents to create wish lists without attaching dollars to them or prioritizing them. It gives the impression that you’re soliciting parent input, but doesn’t make it meaningful.
    And yes, Bryan Richards needs to be taking a hard look at those solar numbers. If the projections aren’t materializing, cuts will need to be made to make up for the revenue shortfall.

  71. Annie CSEA Says:

    I don’t think people realize the amount of bodily fluids my members handle on a daily basis. We can not know if students have an infectious disease. So it is imperative that they know how to protect themselves and the students around them. I have been asking for Blood borne Pathogens training since last year school year. CAL OSHA requires this training and District policy does too. Yes, I did say I was calling OSHA, but I didn’t need to. I was put in touch with Jeff McDaniel and within a week the trainings were set up. So, I need to thank Supt. Meyer and Jeff for getting the professional trainings needed to protect my members and students.

  72. g. de la verdad Says:

    I also doubt your members, teachers, students, parents and volunteers have been advised of how many illnesses they have been exposed to, and could carry home to their families, due to months of lax oversight of students’ required inoculations. ADA is King, and health and safety be damned. A hundred hours of “training” won’t protect you.

    How many pay raises did that non-compliant ADA pay for? Nevermind, at least employees can better afford the doctor bills now. We’re not so sure about the families.

  73. Fed Up Says:

    Northgate High School WASC Commendations-

    “Strong distributed leadership; healthy, constructive culture, and growth in capacity since last visit.
    Uncommonly deep learning among teacher leadership, ongoing collaborative structures that enable both professional learning and connection within and across departments along with time, support and budget to enable meaningful professional learning.
    Consistent, conscientious, intentional follow through of action plan.”

    Seems likes things have come a long way since 2008 when Northgate had no Leadership, disgruntled parents, and low teacher morale with 30% turnover in a two year span.

    Maybe the district could learn something from the quality of leadership at Northgate and what it means to put students first. Of course the District always has the option to come in and screw this up too.

  74. Annie CSEA Says:

    My members are sick a lot because of students that come to school sick with a cold or flu and were not kept home,can’t be sent home or no way home. They are already careful with how they handle bodily fluids but they need to be properly trained. A lot of my members are below the poverty level on wages and the benefits use to be better. They have a hard job to do and they do it very well even with all the difficulties that come with some of these jobs. It’s one of those jobs that you need to walk in their shoes.

  75. Guest Says:

    Yes, let’s not forget that we have test scores going down, a principal who accepts a $40,000 payment from the PFC for a supposed new class in the Model UN, no administrative oversight and evaluation of staff, falling test scores, faculty unrest and fear except for the chosen few, and a many parents like us who are tired of being patronized and being asked to contribute bucks. One of the Northgate teachers told us that when the principal took the Model UN students to NY in 2013, the group of six included the principal’s son who was an 8th grader in the San Ramon district, another was a student at Las Lomas, and another was the son of the PFC president who engineered the “$40,000 deal” with the principal to begin with.
    So, Fed Up, we’re are fed up too. We had one daughter graduate in 2008 and another one will graduate next year. Our older daughter had a far better experience than our daughter’s today. We’re tired of our kids getting shortchanged because a small cadre of parents have taken over the school, bought a principal, and demand that their kids get preferential treatment from the administration, i.e teacher choices, schedule preferences, and free passes on discipline.

    As far as WASC is concerned, my father was an educator who went on a number of WASC visits. He described them as a dog and pony show that really meant little. He was always bemused by the process because his experience was that the better the visiting team was fed and feted, the better the recommendation.

    There are different levels of Fed Up. Just a matter of whose ox is being gored.

  76. Doctor J Says:

    Annie, what other groups of employees in MDUSD have not received this BB Pathogen training that should have ? Teachers ? Administrators ? Other Unions ?

  77. Fed Up Says:

    My oldest child started at NHS in 2006. The school had dried egg stains on every window that wasn’t broken and boarded up and there were weeds and trash everywhere. The principal at the time never returned phone calls or email, she created rules like there will be no cheering at basketball games. Teacher morale was very low and NHS lost 30% of their teachers those first 2 years. Only Mt. Diablo offered fewer AP classes than Northgate’s six, three of which were foreign language and the remaining three math and science. Very limiting for the college bound student. In 2008 a huge group of students were sitting in a math class without a permanent teacher for most the year. Short term sub after short term sub, lost grades, lost papers, and a continual lack of resolution of the problem.
    I am not sure what Northgate your child attended but it wasn’t the Northgate where my student was. After hundreds of families supported a move to have NHS leave the district and a last ditch effort on the part of McHenry to save his job, the Leadership at NHS was changed.
    Test scores rose, Focus on Learning was implemented, AP class selection doubled, 500 community members joined together twice per year to clean the campus. Morale changed almost overnight.
    If we discuss MUN let’s make sure we discuss the fact that two different teachers had unsuccessfully tried to run the program before Mcmorris took over. It is an academic enrichment class open to EVERY student. The NHS PFC funds many programs, staff positions, and class sections each year. The PFC is run by some of the most ethical people I know and these individuals have given countless hours to our schools and provided much needed support to the education of our kids. The MUN expenditure of 20k per yr was voted on, approved at the district level, and the program offered was rigorous and we’ll run.
    Teacher fear? You’ve got to be kidding. Of what, getting fired? If only that was possible.

  78. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, when will BANG post the 2013 Salaries of MDUSD employees. How do we find the 2012 salaries ? Was McMorris paid the extra $20,000 each year with salary deductions ? Or did the PFC pay him directly so it doesn’t show up in his salary ? @FedUp, I still don’t see the PFC minutes that specifically authorize a payment to McMorris of $20,000 each year. Per your description, what I see is regular principal duties, not something worth $20,000. How did those payments get by the Christy White audits ????

  79. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J, You’re making me LOL. Really? Something missing from a Christy White audit? Haha. Are you just trying to make those who have never read a Christy White audit think that something missing is a smoking gun? Plus I am not even sure it is relevant.
    As for the list of changes to NHS those WERE Principal duties. I was illustrating the change over the last 6 or so years since guest viewed things very differently. The amount of work that goes into a good MUN program is substantial and is above and beyond the duties of a Principal. The only issue here is if you are a parent who made a donation to the PFC and you don’t like how it was spent. To that I would say attend the meetings, get involved, and comment on all expenditures. How about the fact that MDUSD has NHS parents paying for a VP? A VP that should be provided by MDUSD based on enrollment. How about the academic counselors that other Districts provide but NHS parent pay those salaries. How about the 10 or 12 class sections? So I say when MDUSD can start providing our kids a quality education then they can complain but until then they should be thanking the parent donors and the hard-working PFC for picking up the slack and for helping make NHS students successful. This issue is ridiculous.

  80. Doctor J Says:

    While I applaud the NHS PFC for successful fundraising efforts, based on the IRS 990’s I have seen, there appears to be a necessity for an IRS audit since I haven’t seen a 990 yet that disclosed the $40,000 to McMorris. I wonder who will collect the whistleblower fee from the IRS ?

  81. k. saint Says:

    FedUp. Yes many of us in the College Park feeder pattern are curious about LCAP. So much so that we’ve attended other LCAP meeting in our own district and outside of it. Our meeting with Dr. Meyer, as Theresa mentioned, has been moved up in date by 6 weeks and will take place next Thursday the 3rd. All are welcome so please join this meeting. What I find to be frustrating about this “local control” concept is that “local” equals district, not school site – at least from what I have read. Thus, if NHS deems it needs funds for more “AP classes” meeting student achievement state priority, yet CP deems it needs funds for more guidance counselors meeting school climate state priorities, and CVCHS deems it needs funds for ipads in everyone’s hand meeting Common Core implementation state priorities, then who wins? How local is local? Bottom line is MDUSD feeder pattern schools are about as divergent as you can possibly get; our needs are vastly different, yet we continue to try to apply one formula to meet them. I am hoping that Dr. Meyer gets a clear sense of this with her LCAP meetings so that she can begin to work with us to hear our voices as LCAP mandates.

  82. Fed Up Says:


    From the California Legislative Analyst’s Office:

    Under the LCFF, districts will have to use supplemental and concentration funds to “increase or improve services for EL/LI pupils in proportion to the increase in supplemental and concentration funds.”

    K-3 funds:

    “This adjustment is intended to cover costs associated with class size reduction (CSR) in the early grades.”

    9-12 funds:

    “This adjustment is not designated for any particular activity, but the genesis of the adjustment related to the costs of providing career technical education (CTE) in high school.”

    k, I think this clearly states where/how the funds will be used. The exercise of developing wish lists at these meetings seem a bit pointless and misleading to me. The high school CTE funds only amount to about $1.5 – $1.7 mil to be shared across all high schools – that doesn’t do much to set-up a CTE program at an individual high school.

  83. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J
    The PFC at NHS should be commended for more than their successful fundraising, your back-handing compliment wasn’t lost on me.
    Bring it on! NHS PFC has done nothing wrong.

    If you are looking for condemnation why don’t you ask Jeff Spoden about the $15k that went to MUN the year he did NOTHING! While you’re at it why not ask Spoden about the letter sent from his department asking for money and making it mandatory that parents respond. Seems to me that I would be concerned for my student when saying “no” to that letter. Also ask him why he thought it was okay to talk on his cell phone for an entire class period while students just sat and did nothing….”Hello…. no, I’m not busy this is a good time…”

    Or why don’t you audit all of the money David Hevel collects from the Site Council and PFC. Ask about the conferences he wants to spend money on or the fact that he hasn’t worked a full schedule in years.

    This is a Guy Moore end run. He was a mediocre teacher and a self-serving MDEA President.

    I don’t care if you like John McMorris but you cannot argue the positive change since he has been at NHS.

    These are mediocre teachers looking to make things difficult for a Principal who tries to hold them accountable.
    If Meyer takes any action to remove McMorris from NHS she will have a fight on her hands that will pale in comparison to McHenry or Lawrence. She can count on that.

    What is most shocking to me is that this is where she is concentrating her efforts when there is so much work to be done to improve this District.

  84. rosie Says:

    I just want to reiterate Fed Up’s statement about the recent WASC visit to Northgate. The change there has been transformational. I had kids there in the Riley days and under McMorris and it is night and day. People need to get the facts about MUN from the actual community instead of CCT. Check out the school’s Strategic Plan (it would be great if our district learned something here), the Focus on Learning, the common assessment teams.

  85. Guest Says:

    Northgate API 2009 – State Rank- 10; Similar Schools Rank- 4 (42 of 100 similar schools); 2012 State Rank – 9 Similar Schools rank – 2( 88 out of 100 similar schools) Percentage of students proficient or advanced in English. Language Arts – down 8% since 2009; Students proficient and advanced in Math – down 6% since 2009. We’re spending a lot of money to go backward.

  86. Doctor J Says:

    If McMorris is the best thing since sliced bread, perhaps Dr. Nellie should transfer him to one of the lower performing high schools and let him repeat his magic there too ! Wouldn’t that be in the best interests of MDUSD students ? or are NHS parents so selfish they not only won’t share their wealth with other high schools, but they want to monopolize the best administrators too ?

  87. me Says:

    Guest, you cannot blame McMorris. Northgate has been in steady decline from 1999 when its Similar Schools rank was 9 and was dropping before McMorris came. Obviously because this school district does not have a parcel tax. Northgate does not have all the perks of other school districts like Acalanes or San Ramon that get gazillions from parcel taxes. Perks like a living wage for the teachers and the principal and counselors and computers. Whatever you mean by a lot of money, the couple hundred dollars you might contribute to the PFC is not it.

  88. Guest Says:

    Pointing out only the fact that McMorris has not created any academic improvement. Incidentally, he was hired to be a principal not a club sponsor.

  89. me Says:

    playing musical principal chairs did not work for Steve Lawrence, just sayin

  90. me Says:

    Guest, can you read because Fed Up covered that 2 days ago

  91. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J,
    I expected more from you. Playing the wealth card, how unimaginative. You must be from Dent after all. Meyer wouldn’t move McMorris to help another school, this is punishment. Any lie used to call it anything else would just be typical MDUSD.
    Share the wealth, interesting. What would you like Northgate parents to do? Let’s hear your plan. Or do you just want to see if calling NHS selfish will get us riled up. We have been called that for so long it doesn’t phase us. Try something else.

  92. Doctor J Says:

    Linda Mayo proposed pooling all the PFC money and redistributing it among all schools according to need. Fed Up, do you agree with Linda Mayo ?

  93. Doctor J Says:

    Show me one example of where Steven Lawrence reassigned a high performing principal to a low performing school.

  94. Fed Up Says:

    Northgate parents are aware of Linda Mayo’s idea of pooling funds. Linda Mayo proposed this at a board meeting and was met with opposition by her fellow board members at the time. They all believed it was a bad idea. They believed it would discourage fund-raising at all schools. So really her idea is moot.

  95. tmharrington Says:

    k. These are excellent questions that should be asked at the CPHS LCAP meeting. Similarly, at the YVHS meeting I attended, many ideas were brought up that were YVHS-specific, especially some for reaching out to Spanish-speaking parents. Perhaps the district could give each site council more money so campuses could designate their additional funds as they see fit.

  96. tmharrington Says:

    I think we are still waiting to get salary info from all districts, so I’m not sure when it will be posted. However, I do have the MDUSD info. According to that, McMorris made $107,602.09 in earnings, plus $999.96 in “other” pay, for a total of $108,602.05, not including benefits. He made less than Principals Susan Petersen (Ayers Elem), Joanne Durkee (Adult Ed), Gary McAdam (CHS), Liane Cismowski (MDHS) and Kate McClatchy (MDHS/Crossroads). He made just slightly more than Paul Gengler (CPHS).

    Regarding Northgate administrators/teachers going to lower-performing schools: Former VP Jon Campopiano is now at Oak Grove MS, former VP Stephen Brady is now Principal at YVHS and former teacher Rianne Pfaltzgraff is now a VP at YVHS.

  97. tmharrington Says:

    Many parents from other schools, including some in Pleasant Hill, also opposed Mayo’s idea. PFCs at many schools support additional staff members, etc. They decided to do this instead of supporting the idea of giving money directly to the district specifically because the board at the time refused to say how it would prioritize donations received.

  98. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, WCCUSD is promoting its tax exemption for seniors:

    Information about the exemption is easy to find on the WCCUSD website (after clicking on the Parcel Tax Quick Link):

    In contrast, I saw a newspaper ad about MDUSD’s Measure A exemption a while ago, but I don’t see anything about Measure A on the district’s home page and no one from the district has sent anything about it to me asking daily and weekly reporters to inform the public about it:

  99. g. de la verdad Says:

    To find info on MDUSD Senior Exemption; First you have to click on COMMUNITY, then you have to find and click on the Measure A Mello Roos link, there you will see a robophone number and extension to leave your name and address to receive the form. There is also a link to get, and presumably print out your own form—but good luck with that!

    Considering how readily they have denied ever receiving the form in the mail prior to the 6/1 deadline (and you won’t know until you receive your tax bill), I highly recommend hand delivery to Dent, and get someone to sign your photocopy for proof that they did get it.

  100. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting that you should say that — the Minutes don’t reflect that, and the recorded meetings have been deleted. Additionally, I recall there was no discussion, Linda Mayo’s suggestion was just met with silence. So how do you know all of the Board members thought it was a bad idea ?

  101. Doctor J Says:

    Not principals.

  102. Doctor J Says:

    Not sure why you included Susan Petersen in your list since through July 1 she was an SASS Director of Elementary. Also, since she was not replaced by Rose Lock, it is possible her Director salary (higher than a Principal) continued through the 13/14 school year since she wasn’t notified in a timely manner of her demotion.

  103. Doctor J Says:

    McMorris and MDUSD are going to have to face the scrutiny of at least the IRS and CDE regarding McMorris getting the $40,000 directly and not through the District. “If a Booster Club wants to request donations from parents for field trips, this money needs to be donated to the district. All expenses will be paid by the district. Booster clubs should not pay for school-related field trip expenses.” The Model UN New York extravaganza becomes a “field trip” since the Model UN is a school club, open to all students. AR 3452.1 is going to bite McMorris in both cheeks. Remember how the Board “authorized” the trip, but without knowledge of McMorris’s bounty.

  104. tmharrington Says:

    I included her because she is a principal now and the year includes the time she was principal. Of course, the fact that she used to be a SASS admin does explain her high salary.

    I mentioned the other Northgate admins in response to another commenter who suggested that Northgate doesn’t want to share with other district schools.

    The board composition has changed since Mayo made her plea to spread the wealth. Four new board members could make a difference (Hansen, Dennler, Oaks and Lawrence).

  105. tmharrington Says:

    Regarding LCFF spending, our San Jose Mercury News education reporter received the following information from the CDE on this topic, specifically related to raises and special ed:

    “Use of funds is determined by local need and with community input. Depending on the local context, it is possible that a portion of supplemental and concentration grant funding might contribute to raises. That decision will depend on the number of unduplicated pupils (low-income, EL, and foster youth) in a district, their needs, and the district’s plan to provide services in order to ensure that each of those student groups meets the targets set for each state priority.

    The needs of special education students must continue to be addressed, but they are not one of the groups used to determine the amount of supplemental and concentration funds allocated to a district.

    Pam Slater
    Public Information Officer
    California Department of Education”

  106. me Says:

    Doctor J, you are off base in so many ways that I’m losing track. and can’t tell anymore where you stand, do you love McMorris now. but I was referring to Steven’s principal switcheroo with Denise Rugani, Rhys Miller and so many others. the district lost because they retired suddenly or moved to another district. MDUSD can’t imprison people to keep them here and we get turnover. time for a better policy. think twice and then decide not to go there

  107. tmharrington Says:

    I am hearing that there may have been an MDUSD robocall to Pleasant Hill parents this afternoon.

  108. Fed Up Says:

    The minutes don’t reflect a lot of things said at a board meeting. The discussion took place. No motion, no vote, no minutes. And quite frankly no real conviction on the part of Mayo to push the idea very hard when met with opposition.

  109. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s information about the Pleasant Hill warning:

  110. Doctor J Says:

    Sorrry “me”, you forgot the reason for the musical chairs. Lawrence’s vision of SASS was to replace C&I with a group of successful “turnaround” principals who would spend the majority of their time “coaching principals” to turnaround their schools. His first appointment was Susan Petersen, who after taking over Delta View E from Julie B-M, turned it around with massive gains in three strict years. But then he couldn’t find any other principals in MDUSD with a track record of success. Rugani didn’t at Riverview. Rose Lock hadn’t ever “turned around” an underperforming school. Sure there were a few who kept the status quo, but not turnarounds. So Rhys Miller,
    Spoogmai Habibi, and others like Sandi Bruketta

  111. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s what happened in Pleasant Hill today. I was pleased that Supt. Meyer responded promptly when I called:

    Mt. Diablo school district superintendent Nellie Meyer said a 17-year-old student who attends the Prospect High continuation school on the Pleasant Hill Middle School campus reported that a man came up behind her and touched her while she was walking to school on a trail between Contra Costa Boulevard and the school.
    Police responded promptly, Meyer said. The man was described as a white male with sandy colored hair, sunglasses and a backpack, she said.
    Meyer said principals at the site sent out a phone message to families about the incident and went into classrooms to talk to students. They reminded students to pay attention to what is going on around them while walking to and from school, instead of using cell phones, Meyer said.
    “We want to make sure our students are attuned to their surroundings,” she said.
    Meyer said school security workers were in contact with Pleasant Hill police throughout the day, but she was not sure whether any suspects had been found.

  112. Doctor J Says:

    And no agenda item either — so how could it have been discussed by the Board without violating the Brown Act ?

  113. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my news brief on the WCCUSD parcel tax exemption:

  114. Fed Up Says:

    Would be an interesting discussion. I doubt the outcome would change.

  115. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J,
    I am surprised you don’t remember. You attend or listen to every board meeting don’t you? I remember the conversation, clear as day. There was no Brown Act violation it was discussed when Bancroft’s parents paid for aides in the classroom. It was relevant to the issue.

  116. Doctor J Says:

    Fed Up, your memory is a little pickled. It was not in the discussion over the positions funded by Bancroft, which motion was made by Linda Mayo, but in a separate budget workshop about ways to make sure that all students have equitable opportunities in the public education system. Check out the CC Times and other archives, which might clear up some of your confusion. Mayo’s idea didn’t get very far with Sherry or Gary. Interestingly Cheryl did not vote for the motion concerning the positions funded by PFC’s so I think Theresa’s point is well taken that this new Board might be differently inclined, especially since I have heard Lynne Dennler make a few similar comments and has forged a strong bond with Linda Mayo.

  117. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J.
    My memory is not pickled and I am not confused. Mayo may have said it in the meeting you refer to but that is not where I heard it. I think if Mayo thinks it is a good idea she should have Oaks put it on the agenda. There are definitely new board members. I think it would make for an interesting conversation and discussion within various communities. I think she should go for it and see what happens. In fact she should make this part of her reelection platform, that is a great idea. Do you Dennler and Hansen will support her idea?

  118. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s the story I wrote about the meeting where it was discussed. This was BEFORE Cheryl Hansen or anyone else except for Mayo was on the board:

    Subhead: Mt. Diablo school board grapples with disparity of donations between wealthy, poor schools; finalizes budget
    Reporter: Theresa Harrington Contra Costa Times Staff Writer
    Print Run Date: 7/2/2009
    Dateline: CONCORD: A growing disparity between wealthier and poorer campuses in the Mt. Diablo school district led school board members this week to discuss morality and equity in school donations.
    “We are only as strong as our weakest link, ” trustee Linda Mayo said Tuesday, when she asked other board members to examine policies that permit individual schools to raise money for staffing, programs or supplies.
    Trustees agreed that equity is desirable, but some said it is difficult to measure. They worried that people might stop fundraising altogether if the board were to require all contributions to be made to the district for distribution to schools.
    At issue was the question of parents in better-off neighborhoods raising money to support favored programs while less advantaged schools go without.
    “You can encourage morality and you can point the right way, but you just can’t legislate morality, ” said trustee Paul Strange. “I’m 100 percent behind encouraging folks to give across the district.”
    After the board increased class sizes to save money, Bancroft Elementary in Walnut Creek raised $70,000 to hire nine part-time instructional aides.
    Other schools have also launched fundraising campaigns, but some have little hope of collecting that kind of money.
    Title 1 schools, which include a high percentage of low-income students, get extra money from the federal government. The hardest-hit schools in the budget crisis, Mayo said, are the ones in the middle.
    She suggested the district consider using its own funds to help support these schools. Trustees agreed there are many differences between schools besides monetary donations, including volunteers, specialized programs and facilities.
    The district has collected about $5,400 in donations that could benefit all schools, through a campaign that encourages the public to donate the $99 they would have paid if the district’s Measure D parcel tax had passed. Trustees have not decided how they will spend this money.
    The board agreed to study equity as part of strategic planning later this year….”

  119. Doctor J Says:

    Yes, Theresa, you are correct that it was first brought up by Linda Mayo on June 30, 2009 in conjunction with B a croft funding 7 positions. However, by the Board meeting on March 1, 2011, Bancroft PFC had voted several weeks earlier to only fund 6 par time positions and not to fund 6 other part time instructional aides, that had grown from the 7 positions in 2009. At the March 1, 2011 meeting Mayo moved the approval of the PFC funded positions(passed but voted against by Hansen) and in the next agenda item on the Budget workshop she also brought up the inequity in having rich schools and poor schools with different levels of educational opportunities. She got no support from other Board members. At the present time, with at large voting for board members, there will be the great class divide between the rich and the poor. MDUSD needs to be forced into voting districts for board seats. Only then will the rich be out voted. ACLU where are you ??

  120. Doctor J Says:

    We’ll, Fed Up, let’s get back to the central question of this blog. Tell us, do you believe that Supplemental Grants generated by the disadvantaged students should be spent ONLY on disadvantaged students or spread across every MDUSD school equally ? Do you believe that schools in high income areas should be able to fundraise without limits to provide superior educational opportunities that are not available to students in low income areas, all within the same school district ? Take a stand Fed Up, I have.

  121. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J,
    You are keeping me laughing out loud. Let’s start with “only then will the rich be out voted” LOL. What on earth are you referring to?

    Yes, if the legislation calls for supplemental and concentration grants be used for EL/LI students then that is what it should be used for. My issue is with the LCFF/LCAP presentation which I believe was misleading. I don’t think NHS will see any significant amount of the $9.5 mil and parents should understand that, we shouldn’t be asked to make a wish list of programs we would like to have implemented at our school site.

    As for fundraising: Regardless of my personal fundraising beliefs I don’t think it is feasible to pool funds together. Much of the funds raised at NHS are raised with specific programs in mind. Northgate parents don’t trust the district to be fair or to address their needs. Fundraising would be severely impacted just as the former board members believed. I don’t think it would work. How is UMDAF working?

    I will say this, I know quite a few very generous people who support many causes/people beyond the donations they make to their children’s school. So questioning their generosity under this context is quite unfair.

    Did I miss the apology about my pickled memory and confusion because it seems like tmh’s post supported my claim.

  122. Doctor J Says:

    @FU, you obviously have not been following the controversy between the legislative leaders who want strong links between the supplemental funding and disadvantaged students vs. the Brown administration (read that SBE & CDE) who want very loose ties. I do agree with you, or I should say you agree with me on the misleading nature and disingenuousness of the district LCAP presentations. While I agree with you about pooling fundraising not working well, I believe that to be a donor attitude issue — donors are usually only looking what their minions will benefit from, not the public good. and I never thought that UMDAF had a sustainable lifespan, which is why it is being disbanded.
    AB 1575 also hurt the ability to indirectly “charge” for pay to play. yes, there are many generous people, but they donate to broad causes like Red Cross and don’t expect a benefit in return. Most PFC donors and UMDAF expect a ROI.

  123. Fed Up Says:

    What did I say that makes you think “you obviously have not been following the …” Sometimes you are so pompous.
    BTW You just agreed with almost everything I said.

  124. Doctor J Says:

    FU, I have no problem with you agreeing with me. Your name calling reminds me so much of the Eberhart/Strange/Whitmarsh regime and tactics. But I don’t think you and TH were referring to the same meeting, were you ??

  125. Fed Up Says:

    Doc J
    I posted a comment on this blog and you responded, not the other way around. You have baited me through this entire thread right to changing Fed Up to FU. So yeah, this reminds me too of the Strange/Eberhart era.

  126. Doctor J Says:

    Since you abbreviated my name, I did the same with yours. And you are offended ? Why leave Sherry out of the Eberhart/Strange consortium ? I am still waiting for your opinion on the concentrated grants and how that money should be spent.

  127. tmharrington Says:

    Heads up: There was another incident involving a man grabbing a female student this morning. Thank you to Dr. Meyer for proactively calling to let me know. Here’s what she told me:

    MDUSD Superintendent Nellie Meyer said there was another incident this morning in which a 16-year-old female 11th grade student was grabbed by a man while she was walking to College Park High around 7:40 a.m. along Harriett Drive between Ruth and Shirley drives.
    “The young lady was walking by herself to school,” Meyer said. “She was grabbed on the posterior by a strange man who then ran away. This is unusual. We’re hoping we can do whatever we can to find out who this is.”
    The district is informing the community about the incident through phone calls and is working with police, Meyer said.

  128. tmharrington Says:

    Reminder: MDUSD Pleasant Hill LCAP meeting has been moved from May 20 to Thursday, April 3:

  129. Doctor J Says:

    Is MDUSD charging their ASB’s an administrative fee percentage like Poway Unified and Sweetwater districts, which claim that School Services, Inc., one of Brian Richards main advIsors, said was ok ? I hope not.

  130. Doctor J Says:

    Measure C documents still not accessible on MDUSD website — what’s the delay ? Click on minutes and they cut off part way through second page. When will this get fixed ? It’s been more than a week.

  131. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my news brief on Thursday’s LCAP meeting in Pleasant Hill:

  132. Fed Up Says:

    Doctor J,
    What exactly are you waiting for me to say? I gave you my opinion 21 hours ago. Again, the money should be spent as intended.
    I must admit I left Sherry off simply to bug you.

  133. Doctor J Says:

    @FedUp, “as intended” is a non-committal position since the Legislative leaders and the Governor have a disagreement over the intentions of the law. I just want to know which side of the picket fence you are on — right now it looks like you are straddling the pickets — sometimes a precarious position. Let’s see whose intentions trump the others: the legislature who wrote the law or the governor who signed the law. Then of course there are those pesky emergency regulations written by the governor’s team but opposed by the Legislative leaders. I wonder who controls more votes with the Dems losing their supermajority and three Senate seats to bad boy behavior.

  134. Fed Up Says:

    Doctor J,
    It is 9.5 mil spread over 50+/- (maybe) schools. Regardless of how strict the final regulations the law is intended on both sides to serve EL/LI students. If the less restricted rules apply the amount of money per school site will still be relatively minimal when it comes to education reform.
    So it is not that I am on the fence, it’s that I don’t really care. I do care that parents aren’t given an accurate depiction of the funding.
    There are many things that would excite me about education reform but i don’t see it happening under these circumstances. How about we raise the quality of teachers, commit to more rigorous standards, and implement programs that engage students? How about we support our administrators who try to affect change?

  135. Fed Up Says:

    Doctor J
    Just so I am clear.
    Loose restrictions: too little money spread over too many programs at too many school sites. Ultimately the funding is lost in the great MDUSD chasm.
    Tight restrictions: the decision on how the money is spent should be determined by those parents and teachers who know best how to serve those kids.

  136. tmharrington Says:

    There is a stealth special joint meeting between the MDUSD board and Concord City Council tonight. There is no mention of this on the district’s home page or upcoming events calendar. However, you can find the agenda on the board agenda page:

  137. tmharrington Says:

    Joe Estrada says tonight’s meeting will be Livestreamed from the Board room, but will not be simulcast on KVHS.

  138. tmharrington Says:

    And it looks like those parents who have spoken out at MDUSD’s Common Core meetings demanding a forum have decided to host their own forum 4/29 in the Pleasant Hill Community Center:

  139. Doctor J Says:

    EdSource has published an article worth noting how parent teacher associations have made the Bridget cuts inequitable between different schools. One could substitute MDUSD schools into this article and understand the reality. Haves vs. Have-Nots.

  140. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post about a Northgate HS senior who is seeking donations for his Eagle Scout project refurbishing music stands for Foothill MS in Walnut Creek:

  141. me Says:

    this discussion stream is so long that my computer slowed down. Theresa can you break off some of these new topics?

  142. tmharrington Says:

    Yes, I’ll start by posting the agenda for tonight’s joint meeting with the Concord City Council, which has now shown up on the district’s home page and calendar of upcoming events.

  143. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post with the agenda for tonight’s joint MDUSD meeting with the Concord City Council:

    In it, I noted that Clayton Valley High’s expansion plans and De La Salle’s plan to open a middle school academy in Concord may also be of mutual interest.

  144. Doctor J Says:

    Lets post the secret agreement in negotiation since December called the MOU MDEA/MDUSD for extra pay for teachers for Common Core. Conveniently signed by Julie B-M on March 28 and Guy Moore on March 31 — without being sun shined to the public nor approved by the Board in a public meeting. I would like to know how board members know about this and “nodded” agreement to it and still met the Brown Act !!!

  145. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of teachers, you can nominate your favorites by April 30 for the prestigious Warren W. Eukel Teacher Trust Awards:

  146. tmharrington Says:

    Here is the response I received from Bryan Richards regarding the district and PFC payments to McMorris, after I pointed out that McMorris’ salary was listed by the district in its salary PRA response as $108,602.05, including $107,602.09 in earnings and $999.96 categorized as “other.” I asked whether the earnings included the PFC payment.

    “The amounts you show below are for his salary as a principal. The ‘other’ payment listed below is his master’s stipend. The amounts shown do not include any payments from the Northgate Parent-Faculty Club (PFC). If any payments were made directly to Mr. McMorris by the PFC, then they would be on the financial records of the PFC. The PFC is an IRS Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. It is a legally separate entity established by the parents and faculty of Northgate High School. It is not a subsidiary part of the District.
    Bryan Richards
    Mt. Diablo USD”

  147. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, you will need to request copies of the IRS 990’s for the last three years directly from the PFC and they are legally obligated to give them to any member of the public as 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. If they don’t, drop a dime to the IRS. In there since McMorris was a director and officer, any payments to him had to be disclosed. You can compare what they give you to copies they filed with the California Attorney General to assure accuracy.

  148. g. de la verdad Says:

    Right. And it would appear the PFC lumped his Principal’s fund and the MUN personal income payments under “Other Expenses” rather than show one/both/either as any form of “payroll.”
    No breakdown of Worker’s Comp. or Income Tax Withholding.
    Not exactly IRS compliant as far as anyone checking the Form 990’s can tell.

  149. Fed Up Says:

    Are you kidding me!

  150. Fed Up Says:

    Doctor J
    These are good people trying to do good things for our school. They are dedicated patent volunteers. They are exactly the type of volunteers that make the kind of differences that directly affect our kids.

  151. me Says:

    Doctor J
    Kudos to you for destroying the PTA. You’ve successfully skewered the parent volunteers who donate their time to better our schools. No doubt they’re all ROFLOL and can hardly wait to volunteer and smile for mug shots on the front page! Love your idea to wait for the district to provide all the staff and materials that the teachers ask parents to provide and your idea to stop the school from developing new curriculum is a real winner! You are soooo right schools should wait for the district because it’s 100% guaranteed money in the bank that MDUSD can educate students to compete for jobs now that you killed the PTA.

  152. Doctor J Says:

    @”me”, exactly why Congress requires full disclosure by charitable organizations. Not sure how full disclosure “destroy(s) the PTA”. But if someone is not reporting his full income, don’t tax evaders deserve to go to jail ? Not sure where you get your ideas that I am against voluntary parent donations ??? And where do you get your idea that I am against schools improving the curriculum ? I didn’t out McMorris — Guy Moore did at a Board meeting based on information from his good friend. Who would that have been ? “Me” you swore an oath to obey and defend the US and California constitutions and to obey the laws — so did I. Do you only obey the laws that are convenient for you ?

  153. Doctor J Says:

    I applaud all dedicated volunteers, whether parents or not. I sure liked the suggestions from the Concord City Council to use volunteers to keep the school libraries open 5 days a week, didn’t you ? There is a difference between parent volunteers who just write a convenient check and those who give of their valuable time.

  154. 2busymom Says:

    Absolutely no way the unions will allow anyone to open/run the school library, except for the librarian.

  155. me Says:

    Great idea! I volunteer to teach classes! It’ll be a hoot!

  156. me Says:

    I have a great idea that the teachers will run the PTA. The T is for teacher. They swore an oath and not all parents did. Some PTA officers are not US citizens.

  157. Doctor J Says:

    Surprise to “me”: Not all teachers or administrators or soldiers are US Citizens either. So what ? They all swore an oath. Have you read the PTA by-laws ? At Northgate, they don’t affiliate with the PTA. They have their own by-laws but don’t have the national organization to protect their six. Still waiting for your response to if you coddle tax evaders. What about your other unfounded allegations against me ? Are you going to answer the questions or retract your statements ?

  158. Doctor J Says:

    Good news is just like Councilman Birsan said, non librarians can keep school libraries open according to Ed Code 44869. MDEA’s contract does not prohibit it.

  159. me Says:

    DJ you should retract your statement because you assume wrongly that I am a PTA officer. my assumption is that the volunteers did not break the law. innocent til proven guilty. but you would rather rile up the lynch mob

  160. me Says:

    Where does it say that? 44869 “A teacher librarian, when employed full time as a teacher librarian or serving full time, partly as a teacher librarian and partly as a teacher, shall rank as a teacher.”

  161. Annie CSEA Says:

    They have IMA’s that run the library at schools, but the District cut their hours several years ago,so the libraries aren’t open as much as they use to be. Ask someone in the CST unit about the IMA’s. The Ed Code have the most rules about volunteers and schools and there is a good reason for it. Districts could do some pretty shady things before Ed Code. It’s not always the Unions fault, but we will speak up if it is not right. We have rules besides our contract that we have to follow also. It use to be you had to have a teacher trained in how to run a library( its not just putting books on a shelve) and be in charge of it, but the IMA’s ran it and were there all the time.I don’t know if it is the same now you would have to ask MDEA

  162. Doctor J Says:

    LAUSD BUL 5591 lays out the requirements which allows volunteers to assist in the library. EC 44869 is just one of the codes cited.

  163. Annie CSEA Says:

    I have volunteered all my life. As President of CSEA I am a volunteer. But I would never take some ones job away from them to volunteer. That is like your boss coming up to you one day and saying I have someone that wants to volunteer to do your job. I don’t know of anyone that would like that Union or not. There is always a need for volunteers some where that paid people have never had.

  164. Doctor J Says:

    @”me” I made no such assumption but you try to change the subject to avoid answering the questions.

  165. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of spending money, CCT columnist Dan Borenstein takes WCCUSD to task for failing to disclose the cumulative effect of all of its bond measures when asking voters to approve a new one in June:

    He also criticizes County Counsel Sharon Anderson for the same thing.

  166. tmharrington Says:

    Former Board President Sherry Whitmarsh has just called to inform me that there is apparently an effort to create a Northgate Unified School District. The group has created a website and Facebook page.

  167. g. de la verdad Says:

    Being headed up by Linda Loza and a handful of others.

  168. k. saint Says:

    Did Sherry provide the urls? I can’t find a FB page or a website on a long tail google search

  169. Hell Freezing Over Says:

    Fb page = Northgate USD – has a link to the webpage. Not much there, pretty new, shows just created 04/02/14.

  170. Doctor J Says:

    Linda Loza showed with Meas C that she was willing to compromise — so it’s unclear if this is a political move to keep more money in the NHS feeder pattern or if a dedicated move to have a small district of high end earning population. The question arises, why not a charter or group of charters ? The financial implications of a NUSD are interesting under LCFF. The BASE grant would not be affected significantly. The SUPPLEMENTAL grant would leave MDUSD with a larger percentage than NUSD because it is based on numbers of disadvantaged students. The big change would be with the CONCENTRATION grant. Likely MDUSD would be catapulted over the 55% minimum resulting in larger allocations. But NUSD likely would be well below the 55%, without realistic expectation of reaching the threshold. NUSD would be saddled with larger percentage of administrative costs of a district administration — Supt, Finance, Special Ed, Human Resources, etc. MDUSD could see a massive reorganization and reduction in costs. Of course, Dr. Nellie has these costs at her fingertips, and perhaps this is why Board President Oaks wants a proposal from the group. One parting shot — if McMorris is crowned Supt, who will get the $20,000 from the PFC ?? :-).

  171. tmharrington Says:

    College Park HS has posted a written summary, as well as video of its LCAP meeting:

  172. tmharrington Says:

    Reminder: Mt. Diablo HS area LCAP meeting is tonight at 6:30 p.m.:

  173. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, Whole Foods is donating 5 percent of proceeds from all sales today to the American Heart Association’s Cook with Heart program, which is accepting applications from schools in Lafayette, San Ramon and Walnut Creek for the free cooking class in the fall:

  174. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, why won’t Julie B-M give you these secret agreements: 1. The DMA agreement she referenced in her Board agenda item ? 2. The MOU with MDEA for more pay for teachers. For Common Core ?

  175. tmharrington Says:

    I just spoke to Braun-Martin. She said there is no written agreement. She said the word “agreement” is referring to the board docket and that when the board approves it, trustees will be agreeing to the salary increase. I said in that case, the word “agreement” appears to be a misnomer because the board docket is presenting a staff recommendation, not an agreement. She said that it is a recommendation to the board to agree that the DMA pay increases will occur.

  176. g. de la verdad Says:

    Obfuscate, slither, squirm: Braun-Martin and Cody must share a gene pool.

  177. g. de la verdad Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong. The DMA is an organization with NO Bargaining Power. Therefore, employees are members of a ‘club’ made up of a mixed bag of ‘managers’, all under either personal contracts, written employment agreements, and/or subject to certified pay scales.

    No written agreement? Of course not.

  178. Doctor J Says:

    If there is no agreement why did DMA know about it before the MDEA tentative agreement was ever announced ? why did Cindy Matteoni send out an email on the district server announcing it before the agreement with MDEA was made public ? Why doesn’t it mimic the MDEA agreement ? Why is it only through June 30, 2014 ? what is the agreement after June 30 ? there must be emails. the public is being kept in the dark.

  179. Doctor J Says:

    and the MOU with MDEA? That doesn’t exist either ?

  180. Doctor J Says:

    Julie B-M, no agreement eh ? Why have you sat on this for 45 days ???
    My confidential sources provided me with the body of an email sent the afternoon of Feb 26: “Hello Hard Working Managers,
    I am sharing the good news that was announced this morning at the K-12 meeting. We will be getting a 3% raise retro to July and 2% onetime raise. You will probably see your monthly increase in April and hopefully the retro and one time money shortly afterward. I want to thank Dr. Meyer to helping to move this along. I would also like to thank you for your patience during this process.
    I hope this helps you day,
    Cindy Matteoni
    DMA President

    Cindy Matteoni
    Principal, Woodside Elementary
    (925) 689-7671”

  181. tmharrington Says:

    I like this student rep! Way to ask questions!

  182. tmharrington Says:

    Interesting that Schoenke defended Braun-Martin and Richards signing the recommendation to approve their own raises, saying it wasn’t illegal, it just gave the appearance of impropriety. He doesn’t seem to understand that that’s been the problem with MDUSD all along. Doing things that look bad, but aren’t necessarily illegal, is part of what got Steven Lawrence and Greg Rolen canned and led to the new board majority. Blaming the press was also a cheap shot. Kudos to Brian Lawrence for pointing out that he wasn’t swayed by the press. The contracts don’t state anything about grandfathering in administrative raises!

  183. Doctor J Says:

    Did I hear Julie B-M admit there are more secret MOU’s — one on maternity that was negotiated months ago and neither Board approved nor disclosed to the Board. How many more are there ? Why is she hiding them from the Board ?

  184. Doctor J Says:

    Schoenke was very careful to not say there was an agreement with DMA — he is reading the blogs. The Feb 26 email from DMA using the district Email server torpedoed that argument. Brian Lawrence is not finished with McMorris caper.

  185. tmharrington Says:

    Schoenke’s reference to the the press bringing up the appearance of a conflict related to Braun-Martin and Richards signing the staff report recommending their own raises appears to be a reference to the blog. I don’t believe any reporter published anything questioning that in a newspaper.

  186. tmharrington Says:

    The CST union has repeatedly asked the board to revisit cuts to their hours that were made during dire times. While this makes sense, the board should also revisit ALL the cuts that were made during dire times to see if other positions and programs may also deserve to be reinstated. Other cuts included the internal auditor, special ed assistants, librarians, elementary instrumental music teachers and vice principals. CST workers are not the only MDUSD employees who are doing more with less.

  187. Doctor J Says:

    Yup, Schoenke is a blog reader. I think he wanted to get the Board in closed session to push for the BIG FOUR raises since he would know that not all of them are going to be invited back and he wanted to share that with the Board so they could do a sympathy vote as kind of a send off gift. Now the BIG FOUR has to wonder which of them and how many will be gone on June 30. Brian Lawrence’s points on the time and money to clean up the contracts was right on. Yet the Board continues to ignore CST reinstatement.

  188. Doctor J Says:

    The BIG FOUR showed up today in true form — sulking like a bunch of 8th graders who didn’t get their way. So far the discussion is limited to how are we going to get our raises before we don’t get hired back — what a waste of time and so self centered. Not one word on how to restore the hours and benefits to CST workers ! It’s arrogance at its worst — only about Julie, Bryan, Rose and the newbie Kerri. Please, temper tantrums after age 50 are a little much. and they were displayed last night — which is why Brian Lawrence had to console them publicly on the record. Time for a change.

  189. Doctor J Says:

    OMG, the pouting from the BIG FOUR is pathetic. “I don’t feel valued.” Your $12,500 monthly paycheck should make you feel valued, but it’s nearing an end. Remember it’s more than many of the CST workers make in a year !! “I don’t feel appreciated.” That’s what your spouse should do. You are paid to educate children, not to feel appreciated. I would hope you would get satisfaction from improving the educational opportunities of the children of MDUSD. So what if you can’t spend $7500 on your vacation to Hawaii this year.

  190. tmharrington Says:

    What they really should be worrying about is the violence described by the whistle-blowing teacher who was shut down by Schoenke. What about her freedom of speech? If a school is so out of control that a teacher can’t teach and is so frustrated she is willing to speak publicly about it to the school board, it’s time to take action, not circle the wagons as usual.

  191. tmharrington Says:

    MDUSD could learn from WCCUSD, which is taking action after a majority of teachers at Hercules Middle High School voted no confidence in the principal. They’re advertising for new principals at both the high school and middle school:

  192. k. saint Says:

    In my community, there has been a movement of teachers started to break their silence on violence. Many parents are not aware of the dangers and are grateful that a teacher would shine light on this issue. “Whistle blowing” is not needed; action is. The data of violent offenses can be easily obtained here

    For example, look at 2012-2013 middle schools around the district. Violence at PHMS is 4X of SMS but only .5X of El Dorado.

    MDUSD should wake up and analyze the data and implement action steps to avoid its school becoming designated as persistently dangerous.

    LCAP must address “basic needs” and ‘school climate’ and any of our schools that cannot provide a safe learning environment for its students, teachers and staff should be met with a black belt action plan and implementation team to get this corrected.

  193. k. saint Says:

    If anyone wants to see the LCAP buckets from the CP feeder pattern meeting, the video and pdf is in the College Park website at

  194. tmharrington Says:

    Yes, school climate is required to be addressed in the LCAP. Last night, however, one district resident decried the district’s recent D- Report Card by Ed Trust-West in educating low-income students, African-Americans and Latinos. He said parents must accept some of the responsibility for failing their kids. While this may be partially true, the district would be doing a disservice to the community by hiding its head in the sand and pointing fingers elsewhere.
    I heard from our Concord reporter that the Concord City Council was blaming poor performing schools in part for the lack of interest by developers in building homes in the city. The pressure is on.

  195. tmharrington Says:

    The agenda incorrectly reflects the salary vote, saying it was 3-2:

    Actually, Mayo voted in favor of the motion, after voting against the amendment. The vote to award the raises to everyone except the DMA council was 4-1.

  196. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my news brief on the board action:

  197. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s some good news for the district: two teacher of the year reps:

  198. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, do your archives show the report card grade for each of the last 4 years ? such a trend cannot be laid at the parents feet.

  199. Doctor J Says:

    The agenda only reflects the secondary motion to amend the Dennler motion and exclude the Supt’s cabinet from the DMA raises. the agenda does not reflect the original motion, nor the original motion as amended. With all the money being thrown around, why don’t they replace the lame “Electronic School Board” ?

  200. tmharrington Says:

    Yes, Hansen has complained about this system since she’s been on the board.
    By the way, did anyone listen to the meeting on KVHS last night? When I was driving, I tried to tune in and the meeting wasn’t on. I wonder when those new techs they just hired are going to start! Also, KVHS was playing a promo that said the station was celebrating its 40th anniversary — after launching in 1969! That promo is at least four years out of date.

  201. tmharrington Says:

    You can see the rankings on the Ed Trust Website, which shows the D- is lower than last year’s grade:

    MDUSD received a D+ in 2012, which was up from Ds in 2010 and 2011. So, this is the district’s lowest grade since Ed Trust West began producing the report card. Most of the grades for individual categories remained the same, except for the grade for improvement among low-income students, which dropped from a B to a C.

  202. Doctor J Says:

    Need a laugh ? “Get motion changes in real time. The system automatically syncs, allowing you to see real time amendments, and any changes to them as they are added during the meeting.” So Says I wonder if the Eberhart Board bought the “Lite”, “Premier” or “Premier Plus” version ?? Very few California Districts use it. Since Brian Lawrence and Julie B-M are in a “survey other districts” war (kudos to you Brian for sticking it to her on the survey), why not let Joe survey the top 100 California districts to see what they use ?

  203. Doctor J Says:

    CEO of Chevron had better performance than Rose Lock and SASS — he got 25% cut in pay. Rose wants another four years and more money for doing just about the worst job in California. Why can other comparable districts do better ? Time to change the spark plugs. The OLD ones are worn out. Be sure to click on all the subcategories. Where is Willie Mims on this issue ?

  204. Doctor J Says:

    Jeanne Duarte-Armas Dual Immersion smoke and mirrors presentation to the Board barely outdid her face “white-out” SASS Halloween Costumes and pictures disseminated on the MDUSD email server — with only a 9% conversion rate according to the “report card”, can someone show me the Board approved ELL plan that authorizes Dual Immersion ? As I pointed out before, Dual Immersion was deleted from the plan and then approved by the Board. Yet, ELL refuses to post the Board approved plan on the website. Why not ???

  205. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, are you going to do a “first year” review of Dr. Nellie’s performance on her anniversary ?

  206. tmharrington Says:

    k. saint: I attended the teen substance abuse talk last night at CPHS and many parents were concerned about the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse by students at the school. Although the School Climate Report card shows improvement in this area since 2011, 27 percent of students in 2013 reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the report:
    The most alarming number on the report is the “similar schools rank,” which has gone from a 1 to a 3. That means 97 percent of schools with similar demographics scored higher. Another alarming number is staff’s perception of whether the school is a “supportive and inviting place to learn.” In 2011, 22 percent of staff agreed with this. By 2013, only 3 percent did. Still, the API rose from 786 in 2011 to 817 in 2013, belying underlying problems revealed in the report card.
    This is part of the reason the LCAP focuses on eight priority areas, not just test scores, forcing schools to work on problems that have been hidden in the past from public scrutiny.

  207. Guest Says:

    Yes, Brian Lawrence has appointed himself as the official NHS PFC and McMorris apologist and defense attorney.

  208. k. saint Says:

    Lots of factors causing change in numbers making it impossible to isolate. 1. CP lost its awesome SRO. Students loved her. We need MORE ADULTS on campus. 2. Our clerical staff needs more time to do their jobs and to connect with kids. This school is the biggest in the district and we need at minimum proportionate staff to student ratios in every capacity. 3. Supporting place to learn – a few years ago our feeder pattern had much principal turnover. Is it less inviting now or is staff adjusting the change in leadership style? I see sentiment in many PH schools and am trying to determine. There are amazing people at CP doing the work of too many and it’s time for MDUSD to understand this.

  209. me Says:

    Really? apologist? Guest I know who you are and YOU should be apologizing to McMorris and Brian Lawrence

  210. tmharrington Says:

    During past budget cuts, vice principals were eliminated and the hours of clerical staff were reduced throughout the district. Staff members at many schools are doing the work of more than one FT person. Job burnout and turnover is inevitable in this environment. Hopefully, the board realizes this.

  211. Angry Parent Says:

    Hey Nellie,
    Why don’t you stop playing games and tell everyone who the new Principal will be at Concord High School next year. Rumors are flying. Tell them that you are being pressured by a small group of teachers and the union president. Tell them that you are waiting until June to make the announcement because you are no different than any other bureaucrat.
    Let’s see if you can be transparent, honest, put students above the wants of the union or are you just another disappointment? By the way why don’t you go learn a bit about the quality of that group of teachers (including Moore). Take a look at the failing department and ask the students why the social studies scores at NHS are so low. Don’t for a moment let those teachers tell you its because the kids don’t care. Ask the kids.
    So disappointed AGAIN.

  212. Doctor J Says:

    I think McMorris is on the short list for CHS. There are no openings posted. Sounds like musical chairs once again. Kate McClatchy for Northgate ?

  213. Fed Up Says:

    Doctor J, I guess that would depend on what MDEA wants, they are the driving force behind the Principal move. Unfortunately, the new Superintendent is just stepping in line. It is a good way to insure she keeps her job.
    Let’s make that district tag line what it really should be “Where everyone comes before the kids”

  214. me Says:

    Its same old, same old MDUSD. All along this was a covert plan to transfer McMorris to Concord. The weapon was slander about McMorris and slander about the PFC. Whats not clear is if a few rabble-rousing teachers realize the damage or if they care. Looks like MDEA represents the district except at Northgate where the minority rules. MDEA is doing a good job for CHS

  215. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of Northgate HS, here’s a new blog post about several activities going on there today to mark the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath:

  216. tmharrington Says:

    Regarding the discussion about whether Northgate’s departure would put MDUSD above the 55 percent threshold for disadvantaged students to be eligible for a “concentration” grant, it’s important to note that the district would only get additional money for each student ABOVE the 55 percent. So, if the district gets up to 56 percent, it would only get additional money for the 1 PERCENT above the threshold.
    At its budget workshop, Student Services of CA gave an example of a district with 60 percent disadvantaged students, pointing out that such a district would only receive a concentration grant for the 5 PERCENT it exceeded the 55 percent. In it’s example, this worked out to $194 per K-3 student, $178 per 4-6 student, $183 per 7-8 student and $218 per high school student.
    I’m not sure many people understand this. It appears that people believe the district would be entitled to gobs more money if it exceeds the 55 percent threshold, when that may not the case.

  217. me Says:

    Theresa, how many people understand the increase in supplemental grant if the district went from 49% to even 54%, how much is that in dollars, do the math

  218. tmharrington Says:

    According to School Services of CA, the district could receive an additional maximum amount equal to 20 percent of the base grant as a supplemental grant for UNDUPLICATED low-income, English learners and foster youth. This means if a student falls into more than one of those categories, he or she is only counted once.
    For the SSC example with 60 percent of disadvantaged students, the per student supplemental amounts were $929 per K-3 student, $854 per 4-6 student, $879 per 7-8 student and $1,045 per high school student. These totals are calculated based on 60 percent of a maximum supplemental grant amount of $1,548 for K-3 students, $1,423 for 4-6 students, $1,466 for 7-8 students and $1,742 for high school students.
    To figure the possible change for MDUSD, you would need to first subtract the base and supplemental amounts that would be lost to the possible Northgate district. Then, you would need to multiply the percentage of remaining students by the maximum supplemental grant amounts, according to grade level.

  219. tmharrington Says:

    Back to the subject of LCAPs, many districts, including WCCUSD, have already released their draft plans:

  220. me Says:

    I see dollar signs. what will MDEA say

  221. Fed Up Says:

    MDEA will say Nooooo! Mr. York might not have a paid position. Oh, now we see the connection.

  222. Fed Up Says:

    And Reynolds and Johnson are both members of the MDEA Executive Board. Ahhh, even clearer.

  223. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, I think it’s important for the Times to review Dr. Nellie’s 1st year performance. many are saying the only thing she has accomplished is massive raises with long term effects — there has been no infusion of new blood at the top tiers of the administration. Additionally, there are claims she hasn’t shown leadership in solving significant scandals like Martin molestation claims, McMorrisGATE, and the BANG lawsuit.

  224. Angry Parent Says:

    Yes, Theresa I agree. What has Nellie accomplished this past year? I’d like to know what she thinks is important because at this point I don’t see any kind of plan leading in a positive direction.

  225. me Says:

    FU, unbelievable are you saying theres a MDEA conspiracy to keep MDUSD revenue down, to deprive students of the supplemental grant increase, they better have a good reason to do that

  226. me Says:

    I’m surprised it’s been a year, what is she waiting for, the students can’t wait

  227. Fed Up Says:

    Conspiracy would imply a covert action, I would say it is a full on frontal assault. It is time for parents to say “enough”

  228. me Says:

    FU, how do parents do that. its twisted when the teachers union is attacking parents. when will the district and Nellie step up and say enough already

  229. Fed Up Says:

    They won’t. They want to keep their jobs. MDEA won’t hesitate to launch a smear campaign. They have the stomach for the ugliness, the power and the money.

  230. me Says:

    FU, I hear the MDEA emails are ugly. Nellie should watch like a hawk that Northgate students are not affected. Reynolds is at Northgate and risks being disciplined if he steps wrong. MDEA is preaching us vs them and that will divide the district worse than ever. Are they even thinking of the students

  231. Fed Up Says:

    Beyond ugly and directed at specific parents. It is a direct and calculated smear campaign. I too worry about the students. MDEA leadership is directly and brazenly leading the charge.

  232. me Says:

    Theresa, do you have the MDEA emails? Any lawyer could get rich quick with the parents libel law suit against MDEA and does the district provide defense and pay damages. They’ll need more than $460,000 for defense lawyers. Its descending into chaos. Its time for MDEA to realize whats really the best thing for all the students in the district is if all the schools go charter

  233. tmharrington Says:

    MDUSD should be releasing its own draft LCAP soon, since it must be board-approved by July 1. That will be the plan going forward.
    It also remains to be seen whether the contracts for the CFO and assistant superintendents will be renewed.
    Regarding the molestation claims, Chief Swanger said in his testimony that he previously worked in the crimes against children unit in SAN DIEGO, where failure to report was also a problem.
    Don’t forget: some San Diego parents tried to warn MDUSD about this before Meyer was hired. In fact, I just heard from one of them on Sunday, who emailed me to say that people in So. Cal. are paying close attention to the Contra Costa Times reports of failure to report in Northern CA districts and that they see many similarities.
    One thing that hasn’t been happening are monthly updates from the superintendent.
    As I have pointed out before, the WCCUSD superintendent is like clockwork with his updates. This month’s highlights that district’s arts programs:
    In MDUSD, music teachers and students have pleaded for the return of elementary music, but I haven’t heard any commitment from the board or superintendent to do that.
    Regarding a look back at the first year, I’ll talk to my editor about it.

  234. tmharrington Says:

    No, I don’t have any MDEA emails to which you are referring. I do get the MDEA emails about negotiations, though.
    It’s my understanding that MDEA is not subject to the Public Records Act because it is not publicly funded. Therefore, I don’t think the district would have to defend any libel lawsuit against MDEA. The members and/or CTA would have to bear that cost if any lawsuits were filed.

  235. tmharrington Says:

    On another note, the Pittsburg district is seeking a new superintendent, since former MDUSD-administrator turned Pittsburg supt. Linda Rondeau is retiring:
    They’re using Leadership Associates, the same search firm that MDUSD used to hire Lawrence and Meyer.

  236. me Says:

    Theresa, if a teacher leaked the emails to you would they be protected as whistle blowers?

  237. tmharrington Says:


  238. Doctor J Says:

    The students are waiting . . . For the bus to get home, sometimes 1 or 2 or 3 hours to get home !! I wonder if after last week’s sunshine of proposals, bus drivers are now working to the rule ? Meanwhile, Tom Bishop is not answering his phone to speak with angry parents, angry principals, and angry teachers. and his boss, Jeff McDaniel, is where ? He and some others are OUT OF STATE “in training”. Money’s back, and so are the boondoggle trips. Every dollar spent now under LCFF for boondoggle trips is a dollar that won’t reach the children in the classroom. MDUSD “Golden
    Fleece” awards will parody MDEA’s district subsidized “academy awards”. Meanwhile the kids are waiting outside in the hot sunshine largely unsupervised.

  239. Doctor J Says:

    Marla Stephenson’s replacement at Albany USD was named — Valerie Williams Asst Supt Human Resources at Dublin USD. Perhaps Julie B -M feeling a little snubbed by the board will take her sparkling demeanor, absent those eye rolling episodes, down to Dublin. BTW, Albany had 85 applicants for that little district paying big bucks.

  240. Tk Says:

    As a MDEA member, I have to say that I really have no idea what you’re talking about. Every teacher I’ve spoken to is happy and excited about a new positivity that is now seen in the district, and are only appreciative of parents.

  241. Fed Up Says:

    As a MDEA member, ask Guy Moore to show you the email he wrote about Northgate. Ask to see the entire thread. See if he will admit to the ugliness.

  242. me Says:

    Tk, does MDEA represent the majority of teachers who are caring and appreciative of parents. Ask MDEA’s Anita Johnson who spoke against 6parents from an affluent area at the district board meeting and ask CTA rep Northgate teacher Dan Reynolds. Ask MDEA officer Mark York about the email chain that is parent-bashing at its worst

  243. me Says:

    Guy Moore was a Northgate teacher. MDEA is slash and burn at Northgate

  244. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s Albany’s superintendent announcement:
    Also, the Santa Clara County Office of Ed. recently named a new interim supt:

  245. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a report by the Concord Mayor on the joint council meeting with MDUSD:

  246. tmharrington Says:

    The district really should correct its LCAP meeting information online. There are still schools disseminating erroneous notices about the scheduled LCAP meeting May 20 at College Park HS. Although that was canceled, word about that cancellation doesn’t seem to have gotten out to many schools in the district.

  247. Doctor J Says:

    Rumors are flying fast and furious tonight about a war started by MDEA against Julie B-M and Rose Lock. it’s time for MDEA’s annual climate survey but rumors have it that they added a rating sheet of administrators. Julie and Rose are spewing flames because it is being passed around by MDEA representatives to principals and Julie and Rose haven’t seen it. I guess Julie and Rose feel entitled to “prepare” the principals for their poor ratings. I hope someone gets a copy of it and shares it with Theresa so she can post it. Remember this is all post raise stuff so it was done without any animosity. but it’s a career killer for Julie and Rose who think they are entitle to four more years.

  248. tmharrington Says:

    When the results are presented to the board, they become public documents, subject to PRA.

  249. tmharrington Says:

    It will be especially interesting to see the results from site of the whistle-blower teacher who was shut down by Schoenke. Usually teachers don’t go public unless things are very dysfunctional at the site and there’s no support from the district.

  250. tmharrington Says:

    Received this tip from a district teacher: “You should be talking to math teachers in the district. This place is out of control.”
    Anyone have any idea what this could be about?

  251. g. de la verdad Says:

    I believe Shoenke “shut down” a whistle blower in San Diego. Has he done the same in MDUSD during his short time here?

  252. tmharrington Says:

    I also heard from the San Diego parents that some were prohibited from setting foot on campuses or attending meetings if they were considered to be troublemakers. Hopefully, this will not be the case in MDUSD.

  253. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s the board action summary from the April 9 meeting, which unfortunately does not list the public speakers, including the teacher whistle blower shut down by Schoenke:

  254. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, WCCUSD has hired a new PIO. When I told him that some people have complained about a lack of transparency in that district, citing the sudden departure of an elementary school principal last month, he expressed surprise and said the district sent a letter, so what’s the problem?

    Here’s the letter, which was sent the day the new principal showed up:

    Hercules City Councilman Dan Romero said he has met with parents who feel there has been no closure at that school, which has had three principals in three years, with no advance warning to the community until the new principal showed up.

    As the end of the school year nears, there are bound to be administrative changes in MDUSD as well. How transparent will Superintendent Meyer be about the upcoming changes?

  255. Doctor J Says:

    Should be Supt Council members that were excluded from pay raises. Is Julie pulling a fast one here ?

  256. Doctor J Says:

    It’s not clear — could be SASS encouraging each Elem school sending a TEAM of teachers to Las Vegas in July for the Nat’l Singapore Math Conf or perhaps SASS dropping the ball with the Math Task force who is behind schedule in getting out the 2014/15 curriculum map so they had to cancel the end of May Symposium. My sources say anything from Dent is pure chaos right now. As the Marines say: PPPPPP. BTW, what happened to the Board directive for no out of state travel without prior Board approval ? Why was M&O out of state all week ??

  257. tmharrington Says:

    The district has updated its LCAP site and removed the reference to the May 20 LCAP meeting at CPHS, which was canceled:

    But, now, I’m unable to open the feedback summaries. Not sure if it’s a problem with my computer or the links.

    Somewhat ironically, the district doesn’t have an active link to the CPHS summary, which I am able to open by visiting the CPHS website:

  258. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a column by Tom Barnidge on Common Core:

  259. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, the MDHS Slow Foods Club is visiting New York City this week during spring break to teach students in New York schools to cook healthy meals, while learning from them about how to create hanging gardens. A student plans to blog about their experiences during the week:

    Today, they’re sightseeing. Tomorrow, they will visit of Slow Foods Movement offices and Thursday they will participate in a cooking demonstration at the Hunter School.

  260. me Says:

    Who’s paying for the Club trip?

  261. Doctor J Says:

    MDUSD settles court case 13-06811 — what were facts and circumstances ? I think this was case where Tim Cody paid the “lease/leaseback” but failed to get a release of the material supplier who had not been paid by MDUSD’s contractor. Did MDUSD have to pay twice ?

  262. tmharrington Says:

    It’s my understanding that the students fund-raised for the trip.

  263. tmharrington Says:

    For anyone looking for a job outside the district, Alameda County has a job fair scheduled April 30:

  264. tmharrington Says:

    Be aware: Whooping cough case reported at Morello Park Elementary in Martinez:

  265. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a story about the effort by music students, parents and teachers to persuade the MDUSD board to reinstate elementary music, including a list of upcoming concerts and video clips:

  266. Doctor J Says:

    Santa Ana USD gets over 3,000 parents to attend LCAP meetings. Why can’t MDUSD be as creative ?

  267. tmharrington Says:

    Lots of MDUSD support for Karen Sakata in the upcoming superintendent race:

  268. g. de la verdad Says:

    Cheers to Santa Ana USD. I liked the comments from Don on the article too. Good Idea to hold SF to the rules, and good idea for other slacking districts too.

  269. me Says:

    I bet Santa Ana maintains contact with parents better than MDUSD it wouldn’t be hard to do. Dent Center communication to parents still seems non-existent.

  270. Doctor J Says:

    At last years Academy Awards, Tom Torlakson was paid by MDEA for his speech !! Who else was paid by MDEA ? That’s outrageous how MDEA used the $5000 from MDUSD to MDEA for last year’s Academy Awards. How much is the district underwriting the Academy Awards this year, and who will be paid ?

  271. tmharrington Says:

    FYI, I am at a very interesting forum hosted by the educational consulting organization WestEd, focusing on Building Social and Emotional Foundations of Learning. Follow tweets at
    A Stanford psychology just presented research about the difference a student’s mindset can make in achievement. To me, it sounds like it would be very worthwhile for low-performing schools to check out these workshops!

  272. Doctor J Says:

    How many teachers could have attended today’s presentation with the $5,000 given for last year’s Academy Awards ? Every school could learn from that presentation. But alas, its not an overnight stay or an out-of-state conference. Ahhh. Meanwhile, the District funds the academy awards which funding is discovered to pay those who participate. Yes, West Ed presentations are usually top notch and very worthwhile. Articles are available on-line.

  273. Doctor J Says:

    When will MDEA’s annual school climate survey be unveiled and available to the public ? And the new rankings of administrators that have Rose Lock and Julie B-M all tied up in knots ??

  274. Doctor J Says:

    Were all these speakers paid last year by MDEA using district funds ? Anyone else paid like MDEA leadership ? “We have an awesome line-up of speakers including: Keynote Speaker: Kish Rajan, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Rajan is also a former Walnut Creek City Councilman and a graduate of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.
    Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Education
    Mark DeSaulnier, State Senator
    Susan Bonilla, State Assemblyperson
    Federal Glover, County Supervisor

  275. g. de la verdad Says:

    Santa Ana USD; 25,000 more students than MDUSD, but with 1,000 fewer employees, 82% English Learners and 91% low income
    and yet — it would appear they are far more efficient in dealing with current issues. Interesting.

  276. tmharrington Says:

    At the WestEd conference, I asked the consultant who is overseeing LCAP how far along districts should be. She said they should release their drafts after the May revise comes out, since spending will be tied to the budget.

  277. Doctor J Says:

    “In this district,” she said firmly, her eyes fixed squarely on the board members facing her, “…we have educators who exploit students to generate revenue.” She was speaking of San Diego USD, but she very well could be speaking about MDUSD. MDUSD in many cases is ignoring AB 1575. Who is standing up for the children of MDUSD ? Who is the Sally Smith of MDUSD protecting the children against exploitation ?,0,364568.htmlstory#ixzz2zr2MLQmO

  278. tmharrington Says:

    Smith is the San Diego parent who tried to warn MDUSD against hiring Meyer, but was prevented from attending the board meeting by SDUSD police.

  279. tmharrington Says:

    Northgate HS was the highest ranked MDUSD school in the new US News and World Report rankings, beating Monte Vista in SRVUSD and Dublin HS:

  280. tmharrington Says:

    College Park HS was ranked #297, just making the top 300:

  281. me Says:

    The US News criteria is college readiness and MDUSD is flunking. Looking at AP tests and API scores why isn’t Northgate in the top 100 with the AUHSD schools. Instead Northgate is outranked by #230 Santa Ana USD’s Foothill High School and #140 Dozier-Libbey in Antioch. Look at lack of funding, look at lack of community involvement, look at lack of counselors, look at the Dent Center.

  282. Fed Up Says:

    Look at the number of schools they have in relation to the number of students. I would bet they don’t keep schools open at 60% capacity.

  283. Fed Up Says:

    Does that translate to MDEA support? I doubt many parents even know who Ovick is let alone the fact that he is leaving.

  284. Doctor J Says:

    When will the Mt. Diablo Board of Education prohibit illegal fees ? Charging $90 for a PE Class — come on now Brian Lawrence, Barbara Oaks, Cheryl Hansen, and Lynne Dennler. Linda Mayo voted for the class — but you didn’t. Lets see a formal resolution banning the practice and REFUNDING THE FEES imposed since January 1, 2013, the effective date of AB 1575. Stop singing cumbaya and holding hands with Rose Lock who doesn’t understand what schools are charging for and not charging for. She would rather hold hands with Linda Mayo while taking her on school tours to make sure she still has a job, and gets the MDEA raise. Just so you can see the $90 fee thinly disguised as a “donation” to the bowling alley, take a look:

  285. tmharrington Says:

    Lack of counselors is a real issue in MDUSD. CPHS is using its Safe and Supportive Schools grant to help pay for counselors and the city of Walnut Creek helps pay for counselors at Walnut Creek schools. Some Title 1 schools also get additional counseling support, I believe. But, at the School Climate discussion at WestEd, principals said they rely on their counselors to find out why some students are acting out. They said typically at least 10 percent of a high school’s student body needs this kind of additional support. The El Cerrito HS principal said: A school ebbs and flows on that 10 percent.

  286. Doctor J Says:

    Under Dr. Nellie’s leadership, here is what the San Diego Grand Jury had to say about school fundraising foundations — sounds similar to MDUSD ? Perhaps the CC Grand Jury needs to take a look at MDUSD schools in light of McMorrisGATE.

    Also, this is interesting as to a free education:

  287. Doctor J Says:

    No discounts this year for politicians or school officials. “$25 for Everyone” — except of course unless you get a “free” ticket for the Academy Awards. MDEA must be getting big bucks from MDUSD — impossible to do this event just on ticket sales: $25 x 250 seats = $6,250.00. Looks like Guy took my suggestion to get rid of the ridiculous discounts. How can you possibly get any seed money for an Arts Foundation on this budget ?

  288. g. de la verdad Says:

    That 2% “give-away” bonus paid to everyone would have hired a few classroom assistants AND a few counselors. But we live and die by the “Me First — Me Too” attitude, followed closely with “We need more help.”

  289. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post listing National Merit Scholarship Corporation winners and the East Bay High Schools that made the top 80 statewide in the US News and World Report rankings:

  290. me Says:

    Those are crisis counselors. Other districts have more college and career counselors, and academic counselors.

  291. Doctor J Says:

    Jeff McDaniel just got a big promotion and huge raise for not answering his phone or responding to emails. Take a look at the Williams complaints for substantial safety issues that had been present for over six months at YVHS WITHOUT any action to remedy them despite months of complaints. Were the night and morning janitors sleeping on the job ?

  292. me Says:

    And look at the alternative schools, rumor is Gateway has like 8 students and how many staff, but MDUSD will never consolidate schools

  293. Doctor J Says:

    McDaniel’s message: you want it fixed, file a Williams complaint — don’t bother me with emails or phone calls. Read the two Williams complaints filed in early January ; the lightning fast response by McDaniel; and then compare with the Williams inspection report from September when these conditions existed but were concealed by staff to the Williams inspectors from the CCCOE. You can see the inspection report at the Nov 13, 2013 Board agenda item 15.1 attachment with cover letter by Supt Joe Ovick. That’s how McDaniels got a promotion and huge raise last month — knowing it had to be pushed through before these two Williams complaints became public. Board members were played like a fiddle again. Next week the fiddle will be played in closed session. DMA asking for another raise ? WTH ? The Big Four aren’t even members of DMA — read the DMA by-laws.

  294. g. de la verdad Says:

    What’s up with ‘painters and construction workers screwed up the lighting and wiring’, but the taxpayers are going to pay to fix it. Don’t the contractors carry insurance to cover their own errors and damages?

    Don’t we pay big bucks to Measure C managers for oversight and to Alicia Jensen to “Inspect” all construction?

  295. Doctor J Says:

    Why is Tim Cody dragging his _$$ in posting the accurate set of minutes for the Measure C 2010 oversight committee. They remain “partial” and cut off ?

  296. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a Bronx TV news report on the visit by MDHS students led by healthy cooking teacher Cindy Gershen:

  297. Doctor J Says:

    Very, very poor judgment and probably illegal, for A. Supt Rose Lock to USE DISTRICT RESOURCES to promote a Margarita bash for DMA administrators — Dr. Nellie and Schoenke plus Board members invited — Tuesday from 4-6pm at La Piñata Concord. Rose says “Buy Your Buddy A Beverage” but DMA supplies the non-alcoholic beverages so it’s really code for buy your administrator friends margaritas. to invite the Board, plus Dr. Nellie and Schoenke the day before they become the “negotiators” appointed by the Board is nothing short of improper contact. Not to mention that parents may be bringing their young children for dinner and get to see intoxicated administrators. then there is the pesky legal ramifications if an intoxicated administrator, invited using district resources, gets into an accident and kills or maims a citizen, the district has huge liability — like Schoenberg said last meeting! another $250,000 to defend another claim. why does Dr. Nellie allow such incompetence by her senior staff ? It’s time to clean house. No negotiations are needed. DMA got its raise — no more raises for DMA needed.

  298. Doctor J Says:

    Very, very poor judgment and probably illegal, for A. Supt Rose Lock to USE DISTRICT RESOURCES to promote a Margarita bash for DMA administrators — Dr. Nellie and Schoenke plus Board members invited — Tuesday from 4-6pm at La Piñata Concord. Rose says “Buy Your Buddy A Beverage” but DMA supplies the non-alcoholic beverages so it’s really code for buy your administrator friends margaritas. to invite the Board, plus Dr. Nellie and Schoenke the day before they become the “negotiators” appointed by the Board is nothing short of improper contact. Not to mention that parents may be bringing their young children for dinner and get to see intoxicated administrators. then there is the pesky legal ramifications if an intoxicated administrator, invited using district resources, gets into an accident and kills or maims a citizen, the district has huge liability — like Schoenke said last meeting –another $250,000 to defend another claim. why does Dr. Nellie allow such incompetence by her senior staff ? It’s time to clean house. No negotiations are needed. DMA got its raise — no more raises for DMA needed. Open up the senior staff positions for interviews — let current senior staff compete against all comers !!

  299. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s the latest grad and dropout rate report for MDUSD:

  300. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my early online version of grad rate/dropout story with state stats:

    Local info to follow.

  301. Doctor J Says:

    I am not fooled by micro increases in MDUSD grad rates AFTER significant reduction in grad requirements. It’s meaningless.

  302. g. de la verdad Says:

    4/30 closed session agenda item 5.4, described as “Conference with Negotiators – Unrepresented Employees – Diablo Managers
    Association,” is a total misrepresentation of the actual purpose, based on the posted “Recommendation!”

    Discussion of Superintendent’s Council Contracts and
    future reorganization”

  303. Doctor J Says:

    I wonder how many free margaritas Dr. Nellie or Schoenke will be liquored with tomorrow ?? and the Board ? Remember Gov Code 3543.4 prohibits the board or supt from meeting or negotiating with DMA. Rose Lock and Julie B-M act like they are members and defenders of DMA — hello ? they are on the Supt’s council and also are prohibited from meeting or negotiating with them ! rose and Julie — read the by-laws of DMA : you are NOT members of DMA !

  304. g. de la verdad Says:

    Doesn’t it also seem like Meyer & Oaks should know not to hide Council contract discussions under a “DMA” and “Negotiation” heading?

  305. Doctor J Says:

    Schoenke is shooting from the hip on DMA. DMA had its tax exempt status revoked by the IRS for failure to file tax returns three years in a row. DMA is “headquartered” at Dent, according to the IRS– oohhh, that’s trouble right there. DMA’s by-laws don’t give them any right to represent members for purposes of salary negotiations — another violation of state and federal laws I am told. Schoenke’s reliance on Cooksey, B-M, and Lock for DMA’s legal status will prove ill advised. the last tax return was filed when Rose Lock was President of DMA. Don’t believe me ? Here is their EIN 68-0429205. All those donations to DMA ? doesn’t look like they are tax deductible. wait until the IRS comes knocking at your door.

  306. tmharrington Says:

    Julie Braun-Martin specifically told me that the superintendent’s council IS part of DMA, which was why she thought they deserved the DMA raises. Schoenke was the only exception, since he is on a post-retirement contract, she said.

  307. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s our database to look up individual grad rates:

    As previously discussed, there is a dearth of counselors in MDUSD. Note Don Gil’s quote regarding Antioch’s commitment to counselors: “The board made a really bold decision right when we were in the depths of the recession,” Gill said. “They said, ‘We need to bring back our high school counselors. This is one area where we cannot have our students foundering around, trying to figure out what do I need to do to graduate from high school.'”

    MDUSD could take a lesson from Antioch. But, is this being discussed as part of LCAP? Counselors would definitely help disadvantaged, at-risk students.

  308. g. de la verdad Says:

    Then why do they need individual, board approved contracts, instead of being on a set Pay Scale like DMA members? And why did she say that “traditionally” the Council gets a raise when DMA gets a raise? Doesn’t the terminology speak for itself, J.B-M?

  309. 2busymom Says:

    Is the city of Concord letting them use Centre Concord for free again? If so, they need to let all the school groups use it for free from here on out too!

  310. g. de la verdad Says:

    DMA Statement of Mutual Purpose:
    “The purpose of this statement, DMA represents all certificated management personnel, who are not employed pursuant to individual contracts, all classified managers and all confidential employees of the district.”
    “…who are not employed pursuant to individual contracts…” That’s pretty much it in a nut shell. Of course, no one has ever accused J. B-M of being particularly astute.

  311. Doctor J Says:

    Julie B-M speaks out of both sides of her mouth. As g pointed out the Board and DMA “Statement of Mutual Purpose” is clear that the Supt’s Council is not now, nor has ever been members of DMA. Schoenke forced San Diego USD managers into their own union — perhaps that is his M.O. Here too.

  312. Doctor J Says:

    I guess the only way to find out is to call Centre Concord and ask them — if they don’t tell you, do a PRA request for the contract and emails between them and MDEA.

  313. tmharrington Says:

    On another note, here’s a story about the third annual Special Olympics games held at Acalanes HS in Lafayette yesterday:

    It was nice to see MDUSD’s Bridge program there.

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