Part of the Bay Area News Group

How does your district’s accountability plan compare to others around the state?

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 3:59 pm in Education.

Many school district officials are breathing sighs of relief this summer, after completing plans for the next three years that show how they will spend state money to benefit students.

The process was arduous and confusing to some, as they waited for details from the state Board of Education about how the plans should be created and what they should include.

Districts were supposed to ask parents, students and community members what their priorities were and to craft their plans based on the feedback they received. They were required to respond to comments and questions from the public in their final plans.

How well this process worked varied from one district to another. Some held community meetings, some created special advisory committees and a few wrote their own draft plans before ever meeting with parents or other stakeholders.

Now that the plans are done, the public can review them to determine whether they truly meet the needs of local students. Ultimately, the money is expected to improve student achievement, as well as school environments.

Local communities can hold districts accountable for following through on their promises by reading the plans on their district websites or comparing them to others on a site created by the nonprofit student advocacy group Education Trust-West in conjunction with more than 30 other organizations.

Called LCAP Watch, the site aims to compile every Local Control Accountability Plan in the state from 1,000 districts. Launched earlier this month, it can be found at http://lcapwatch.org.

You can review your district’s goals, planned actions and expenditures and find out how progress will be measured. After the next school year, districts must report how their actions have improved student outcomes, as part of requirements established under the state’s Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF.

“Under LCFF, parents play an important role in deciding how their district spends state funds to serve all students, especially those who are low income, English learners, and foster youth,” said Valerie Cuevas, Interim Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, in a news release. “Every parent in California must have access to their district LCAP if LCFF is going to live up to its promise and full potential for our students.”

The site includes hundreds of LCAPs, including drafts and final versions. But Education Trust-West hopes to expand the database through crowd sourcing.

Visitors can see existing plans or add plans that have not yet been uploaded. These will be confirmed, then posted by an administrator.

The website also includes additional resources offering best practices for addressing state priority areas, including school climate and student engagement.

“We encourage parents, educators, and community stakeholders to view and share LCAPs,” said Carrie Hahnel, Director of Research and Policy Analysis at Education Trust-West. “We also urge them to engage with their local school districts to monitor and improve the plans over time as a way to ensure their schools meet the needs of all students.”

How does your plan compare to others in the state?

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

131 Responses to “How does your district’s accountability plan compare to others around the state?”

  1. Giorgio C Says:

    What does “accountability” really look like? If school districts are not being held accountable for maintaining a functional School Site Council and implementation, monitoring, and revision of the Site Plan for Student Achievement, then why is this LCAP any different? Same concept–a committee and a written plan, developed for purpose of oversight of monies. In our district, it looks like we possibly have had one school lie on their SPSA document, stating that a council was in place and that it approved the plan, but to everyone’s knowledge, such a council never met, that it did not even exist. Many school SSCs only met once or twice. Accountability? Where is this elusive accountability hiding? Who is enforcing anything in our public schools? Education accountability is an oxymoron. Maybe we need to replace Tom Torlakson in November with Mr. Marshal Tuck.

  2. Doctor J Says:

    Any principal who files false documentation should be summarily dismissed. The era of the wink and nod has long passed.

  3. Giorgio C Says:

    The principal sought a transfer within the district at the conclusion of the year. I believe this nonsense possibly has the approval of the Superintendent. I now have to file a Uniform Complaint in order to have it formally addressed. Any violation of the Ed Code can be reported via this complaint process. I’m not sure if everyone knows this.

  4. Doctor J Says:

    The CoCoCo Grand Jury would be well advised to follow the lead of San Joaquin Co GJ in requiring the governing body to respond to Grand Jury Reports, not staff, as required by law. in the last four years in MDUSD there has not been a single public discussion by the school board of a response to any grand jury reports. neither has there been any closed session agenda discussions, nor votes approving the staff response. http://www.sjcourts.org/sites/default/files/news/2013-2014%20Grand%20Jury%20Report%20re%20Agency%20Approval%20of%20Responses%20to%20Grand%20Jury%20Reports%201613%20061614.pdf

  5. Doctor J Says:

    The Grand Jury response to report 1311 signed by John Bernard, Interim, Supt. really blisters former CFO Bryon Richards for not correcting audit deficiencies in a timely manner. in the last four years, none of the responses to six GJ reports were ever placed on an agenda or voted on by the the governing Board of MDUSD as required by Govt Code 933(c). If there was dissemination of the responses for tacit approval or ratification it would be a violation of the Brown act.

  6. Doctor J Says:

    How to properly respond to the Grand Jury Report. http://www.srcs.k12.ca.us/board/agendas/attachments/082411-BR-F1.pdf

  7. Doctor J Says:

    did the Board participate in the response to Grand Jury Report 1402 dated March 6, 2014 ?? why hasn’t it been made public ? A PRA is in order especially as a follow up to Theresa’s prior article and survey.

  8. g. de la verdad Says:

    “The issues found in this report indicate that some officials rely too much on the work of staff. All members of a governing body, whether elected or appointed, must consider their own beliefs and then ask questions and, when appropriate, state disagreement with the work of their staff. These officials are in their positions to oversee the work of staff, not to accept whatever their staffs propose.

    Members of governing bodies are elected or appointed to make appropriate decisions while considering the interests of their constituents as well as their personal beliefs. This balance between their own beliefs and what they hear from those whom they represent leads to the best decisions.”

  9. g. de la verdad Says:

    ” in the last four years, none of the responses to six GJ reports were ever placed on an agenda or voted on by the the governing Board of MDUSD….” Rubber Stamp syndrome, head-in-the-sand, or simply an outrageous neglect of duty? Or, all of the above? Grand Jury reports are just a drop in the bucket at MDUSD board level negligence.

  10. Jim Says:

    If you knew that your students, and the money they represent, had no choice but to come to your school, no matter what, and if you knew that your chances of ever being dismissed were approximately the same as your odds of being struck by lightning, just how accountable would YOU be? Ok, ok, there are always a few saints among us who will toil and do their best under any circumstances, but given the hundreds of thousands of teachers and administrators in CA, the miracle is that there is ANY accountability at all. The system is virtually designed for zero accountability. Plenty of micromanagement, but zero accountability.

  11. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of accountability, here’s a new blog post about the Acalanes district’s legal notice that was published in the CC Times, but which the district has not posted on its website: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2014/07/23/acalanes-district-sues-residents-warning-court-may-decide-against-them-without-their-being-heard/

    Several residents would have never known about this issue if the Times hadn’t also published news stories about it.

  12. Doctor J Says:

    Appreciate the links but where are the BANG lawsuit April & May documents long since promised to post ? Sorry I need to keep reminding.

  13. Giorgio C Says:

    My concerns about the failure of SSC compliance and its significance regarding the LCAP is currently being addressed via the following legislation. Thank God someone got it. The following communication was sent to me.

    “Asm. Shirley Weber’s effort to reinforce the important role of SSC in the LCAP process.
    See:
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2351-2400/ab_2380_cfa_20140623_172019_sen_comm.html
    The bill is being heard in Appropriations and is sponsored by Public Advocates and is being supported by a number of parent, legal and civil rights advocacy groups, including the Ed Trust-West, ACLU, Families in Schools, PICO California and California Association of Bilingual Education.”

  14. Doctor J Says:

    Looks like MDUSD is withholding public records again . . . Some policy of transparency, eh ? those Board members up for re-election must answer why. and this time to “Transparent California”. How ironic ! http://transparentcalifornia.com/agencies/salaries/school-districts/

  15. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post about the statewide mock election that middle and high school students can participate in this fall: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2014/07/28/middle-and-high-school-students-can-vote-in-mock-statewide-election-this-fall/

    I have heard that Northgate HS plans to participate this year. Two years ago, five MDUSD schools participated, along with 30 other schools in Contra Costa County.

  16. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of elections and school accountability, here are two clips from the candidates for state Superintendent of Public Instruction:

    Challenger Marshal Tuck: http://www.tout.com/m/8kgfj5?ref=twxzwqy9

    and

    Incumbent Tom Torlakson: http://www.tout.com/m/gexmc1

  17. Giorgio C Says:

    Tom Torlakson is the anti-accountability. Convince me otherwise.

  18. Doctor J Says:

    Theresa, are you following up with district responses to Grand Jury report #1402 on Training Employees in reporting child abuse ? If so, can you post the MDUSD response ? How many districts responded with Board discussed and approved responses ? John Bernard had promised you a board discussion on GJ report #1311 — yet he responded on his own on 8/29/13. What happened to his promise ?

  19. Doctor J Says:

    Feds support English learner lawsuit charging CDE is not requiring districts to provide required educational support for ALL English learners . MDUSD’s LCAP falls way short in providing extra education instructional services for ALL English learners to become fluent in English — instead MDUSD is moving forward with primary instruction in Spanish, contrary to the Board approved policy on English learners. ” The Department of Justice brief responded that federal law requires districts to provide services in addition to placing a certified teacher in the classroom. The brief said that the state did nothing further to force districts to provide help and didn’t follow up with the 60 percent of districts that didn’t respond to the request for more information.” Did MDUSD respond ? http://edsource.org/2014/feds-back-english-learner-lawsuit-against-state/65759#.U9fbE9q9KSM

  20. tmharrington Says:

    Thanks for reminding me about this.

    On the issue of transparency, MDUSD could take a lesson from WCCUSD’s new and improved agenda for its Wednesday meeting, which includes all the backup docs available to the public in ADVANCE of the meeting: http://www.wccusd-bond-oversight.com/Uploads/CurrentAgenda3.pdf

    The district has also updated its Bond Oversight Committee website, making it MUCH more user-friendly: http://www.wccusd-bond-oversight.com/

    It looks like demands from the public and the committee for more comprehensive, easy-to-decipher information about the bond construction program are paying off!

  21. Doctor J Says:

    The 3/11/13 Board approved Master Plan for EL does not match with the announced Bancroft experiment. In fact in the June 14 issue below, Jeanne D-A admits to the large number of Long Term English Learners of 5 years or more whose support is only instructional assistants not services, supporting the concept of the Lawsuit backed by the Feds against the CDE. See June 14 announcement: http://www.moused.org/Departments/sass/Documents/elp/print-to-practice/06-14.pdf
    Board Approved Master Plan revisions: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/c27c9bff-6d01-4e52-ae39-36a4dae01592.pdf

  22. Doctor J Says:

    We will see if MDUSD new website this week will be more public friendly or publicly hostile.

  23. Doctor J Says:

    Disturbing to compare the SPSA and the Bancroft experiment ~ SPSA is very contradictory. The stakeholder engagement was a single meeting of the SSC on April17. No members of the SSC are EL parents. The ELAC is part of the SSC so that means there are no EL parents that attend the monthly DELAC. and this is the flagship school for the Dual Immersion program ? Sec 3 is supposed to list and describe expenditures for each fiscal year, divided by all students and the Low Income/EL/Foster youth. Only vague rounded off amounts are listed for “all students”. there are no amounts listed in Sec 3.B. for Low Income/EL/Foster Youth. It’s clear that with one SSC meeting in April, the job of filling in the “template” was not taken seriously. And this is the school selected to experiment with children in dual immersion. It’s nearly criminal.

  24. Doctor J Says:

    Just 5 days until administrators report and Nellie is still advertising on EdJoin for Northgate and Oak Grove principals “until filled”. Any report from the parents meeting at Northgate ? Was a similar meeting held at Oak Grove ? Chaos as usual in MDUSD with the same old staff doing it the same old way and expecting different results. None of those raises made MDUSD more attractive.

  25. Doctor J Says:

    Six candidates to date have taken out nomination papers for MDUSD School Board but only two have filed them and been qualified: Mike Langley and Debra Mason. Others who have not yet returned their papers are James Ryan Egnor-Kelly; Linda Mayo; Cheryl Hansen, and Herbert Lee.

  26. Guest Says:

    Dr. J. when are you going to take out papers? You’ve had much to say the past few years and now it’s time to man up and put your name out there for consideration. There’s no reason you shouldn’t – I don’t believe you have a conflict of interest anymore.

  27. tmharrington Says:

    It will be interesting to see how many other staff members have left by the time the board meets again next month.

  28. Doctor J Says:

    @Guest, “Man up”, eh ? How sexist. All three of the seats up for election are now occupied by women of upper socio-economic levels. If I were you, I would be more concerned about the faces of the Board looking more like the community it serves. As I pointed out the Bancroft experiment in dual immersion doesn’t even have an ELL parent on its SSC which also serves as its ELAC. Why hasn’t Nellie been on top of that issue with the principal ?

  29. Doctor J Says:

    FYI Guest, the districts latest published enrollment figures, show 39 % Latinos, 37% White, 7% Asian, and 4 % black. doesn’t look like our board, nor our Dent administrators. Exactly why our district should look at voting districts.

  30. Doctor J Says:

    While Nellie’s signed evaluation remains top secret, Cindy Marten who passed over Nellie to get the San Diego Supt job, got a “exceeds our high expectations” and an unprecedented contract extension after the first year. Sounds like the San Diego Board is happy they passed over Nellie. Nellie and the Board should release the entire evaluation to the public. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Jul/30/cindy-marten-evaluation-contract-extension/2/?#article-copy

  31. Giorgio C Says:

    I like today’s CC Times editorial endorsing Tuck. Too bad CC Times spam filter will not let me comment on the editorial.

  32. tmharrington Says:

    Sorry about that. I’ll be posting a blog about the editorial board interviews soon.

  33. Doctor J Says:

    I was just notified by transparentcalifornia that the MDUSD earnings records are now posted for both 2012 and 2013. They seem to confirm my suspicion that the victims of bloody June 2013 last minute demotions were all paid at their 12/13 salaries for 13/14 due to Rose Lock and John Bernard not giving enough legal notice or maybe it falls on Julie B-M ? that would apply to Kate McC, Susan Petersen, and Jen Cronan. so the question remains, will they now fall back to lower pay scales for 14/15 ? Interesting that Sue Brothers chose to leave and landed in Travis USD (Fairfield). But the big question, is how in the H*** did Julie B-M get paid an extra $15,000 on top of her salary ??

  34. Giorgio C Says:

    By the way, Theresa, teachers are being scapegoated for all of the ills of public education, that they are either pedophiles or lazy bums. I wish the teachers unions would adopt the “we’ll do as we are told” policy, then document the heck out of the situations they find themselves in, using the nurse’s union ADO (Assignment Despite Objections) form to document all impediments to successful completion of their duties. Currently, the union does just enough to get scapegoated for everything, but it’s not the teachers. It is our society and our education leaders. Most teachers are competent professionals. Your staff’s editorial missed this key point, as does everyone else, that point being “competence.” The editorial mentions not being able to get rid of “ineffective” teachers during layoffs because of seniority. Where I now work, my evaluations include an overall summary that declares me “competent.” Until our education system takes that leap of drawling a line in the sand that clearly defines competency, we will continue to have such flawed discussions that will not produce results. I don’t care about the shining star teacher. Just put a competent teacher in every classroom. Let’s start with defining competency at the teacher credential program, which currently does not mirror the classroom situation at all, and lacks rigor. We hire anyone, then scream foul when we can’t fire them. And how can one school principal perform all of the competency assessments? It’s time to create teacher “supervisor” positions. Again, if the union simply said “we’ll just do as we are told”, you will see that it isn’t the teachers who are responsible for this mess. Last week, I told the United Teachers of Richmond to adopt the ADO form. I never heard back from them. I’m not sure they are able to think outside of the box.

  35. Tk Says:

    Staff members leaving? Who do you expect to leave? And why?

  36. Tk Says:

    I’d be interested to see what percentage of the posts on this blog belong to Dr. J. 80%? Ok, maybe 70%?

    It’s a shame that there are not many out there to stand up and disagree with him. I am happy with the direction the district is moving. The new super has brought in some change, teachers have a deal that has improved morale, and we are bringing in young, quality teachers already. This, along with a forward thinking approach to common core is going to make our district a better one in the long run.

    I’m sure that if we all had the time, that we could spend it all on picking through the stats and minutia of board minutes and agendas to find flaws. But in general, the district is better than it was a few years ago and improving.

  37. Tk Says:

    I work with teachers in numerous roles, and have found a huge majority of them to be self motivated and yes, most are in the “saint” category as you put it.
    This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be accountability. Our system has much that can be improved. But you make it sound like because there is little accountability that we have a bunch of slackers. While there are a few who fall into that category ( as there are in ANY profession) the vast majority of teachers work hard to provide a quality education for their students even when they have no one looking over their shoulders.

    Please give them some respect.

  38. Giorgio C Says:

    Tk,
    I think the calls for accountability are misplaced, that so much of the focus is placed on teachers when the teachers often have little say about the situations they find themselves in. I would gladly have had student test scores linked to my evaluation when I taught in the WCCUSD in Richmond. I would have had a paper trail documenting the situation that my employer, and parents and students, placed me in, too. I do have my gripes about the teachers union, but at the end of the day, it is our public education system and our society that is failing our kids. Blaming the incompetents is for those who fail to grasp the true magnitude and complexities of the situation.

  39. Guest Says:

    “white women of upper socio-economic levels”? That’s a bit sexist, racist, and with a bit of class warfare thrown in for good measure, now isn’t it?

  40. Giorgio C Says:

    Hi Guest,
    I have been trying to change the WCCUSD election procedures to ward or district elections instead of the current at-large positions for a variety of reasons. In doing my homework, I began viewing surrounding districts, including MDUSD. After seeing the MDUSD board and demographics, I quickly sent an email to Theresa H. saying “What’s up with the lack of diversity on the MDUSD board?” It’s a fact, and one that needs to be corrected in my opinion. Nothing racist about it.

  41. J Lo Says:

    J will never take out papers or undertake any effort to improve MDUSD. We have consistently had to read rants, inflammatory and slanderous comments but I will admit since the defending attorney in the Martin case threatened blogs and that some posters were not giving his client a fair trial j has been fairly inert.

  42. J Lo Says:

    LOL! Your inflammatory comments correct themselves when reality sets in. So now by your own admission MDUSD is not withholding public information and you now want to know specifics of an employees compensation….why not take a card at the next Board Meeting and ask? Or better yet why not ask the Superintendent to her face? Oh that’s right you are too cowardly to take such actions. I wonder how well j will fair when their true identity is revealed? It is only a matter of time now and I can hardly wait, j will have no more friends as they have insulted, or slandered so many.

  43. tmharrington Says:

    There is always attrition over the summer due to a variety of reasons, including staff members relocating outside the area and/or getting jobs in other districts.

  44. tmharrington Says:

    TK, thanks for your perspective on the district.

  45. tmharrington Says:

    Giorgio: I see you have taken out election papers in WCCUSD: http://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/14Nov04_CandidateSummaryList_8_4_14_Noon.pdf. Do you intend to run?

    Meanwhile, six possible candidates have taken out papers in MDUSD, with Michael Langley and Debra Mason the only two who have completed them. Cheryl Hansen and Linda Mayo look like they intend to run as well. Newcomers appear to be James Ryan Egnor-Kell and Herbert Lee.

    Candidates have until 5 p.m. Friday to file. The application period could be extended if Hansen and Mayo fail to complete their paperwork in time to run. In WCCUSD, the deadline will not be extended, since incumbent Elaine Merriweather has already completed her paperwork along with challenger Raquel Donoso. Madeline Kronenberg also appears to be poised to seek re-election, but Charles Ramsey does not.

  46. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s my blog post about the state Superintendent of Public Instruction race, which includes excerpts from the editorial board interviews with incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck, along with links to videos of them talking about why they want the job: http://bit.ly/1sozEWX

  47. Tk Says:

    I thought your comment about staff leaving was pertaining to administrators, or something other than the normal movement, retirements, etc…got it.

  48. Giorgio C Says:

    Hi Theresa,
    I trying to see if I can make this happen. Some of the decision has to do with my some issues pertaining to my current job situation that I am still awaiting clarification on.

  49. Doctor J Says:

    Just descriptive of the office holders. When will the Board look like it’s constituents ?

  50. tmharrington Says:

    The Northgate HS PFC is holding a special budget meeting next Tuesday to discuss the loss of “several key administrators.” Vice Principal Lynda Hayes is asking the PFC to consider funding positions “to help with setting up initial programs so our students have an uninterrupted start to the year,” according to the agenda. There is no mention of a new principal.

  51. tmharrington Says:

    Will you know by the Friday deadline? I received my first email about endorsements today. The Students For Education Reform – West Contra Costa has endorsed Liz Block and Valerie Cuevas. Did this group interview you? Also, Trustee Todd Groves told me he is throwing his early support behind Incumbent Madeline Kronenberg and challenger Peter Chau, who is newly listed on the county elections website among 11 contenders for three seats, including two who have completed their paperwork so far: http://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/14Nov04_CandidateSummaryList_8_5_14_Noon.pdf

    Meanwhile, over in MDUSD, Linda Mayo has completed her nomination papers, along with challengers Michael Langley and Debra Mason.

  52. Doctor J Says:

    Stockton Unified trustees tonight considering hiring as interim Supt — you guessed it — Steven Lawrance or Gary McHenry — and one other candidate. At least Gary McHenry has history in Stockton Unified ! http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140805/A_NEWS/408050310

  53. Giorgio C Says:

    Todd Groves, the one who said to me when I was asking our HR Director about the rate of teacher turnover, “Aren’t you being a little heavy on the oversight, Giorgio?” I have a lot of respect for Todd, but when it comes to compliance and accountability, he bristles like an outlaw motorcycle gang member. At least with his endorsement, he’s making it easier for voters to know who not to support if you do not want the status quo. I’ll know by Friday, Theresa. No, the group did not interview me, but I did attend the interview session.

  54. g. de la verdad Says:

    There’s a message to Nellie Meyer in there — “…Lawrence… was secretive and supported legal counsel that suppressed transparency.”

  55. Doctor J Says:

    Stockton Unified would be well advised to ask interim Supt’s Michelle Lawrence And John Bernard who followed Steven Lawrence at Washington Unified and MDUSD.

  56. tmharrington Says:

    It looks like the board agreed to hire one of the three in a split vote, but doesn’t plan to release the name until a contract is finalized: http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140806/A_NEWS/408060312/0/SEARCH

    It sounds like Lawrence may be willing to comment on his history with MDUSD after the decision is made public.

  57. tmharrington Says:

    I have also heard that the district doesn’t do exit interviews. How does it plan to improve its retention if it doesn’t ask why people are leaving?

  58. Giorgio C Says:

    The WCCUSD does exit interviews, but I am having a difficult time accessing them. The HR Director doesn’t seem eager to share them with the public.

  59. Doctor J Says:

    It would be interesting for Steven Lawrence to sit down with Theresa to “set the record straight” and answer ALL questions. I saw a sign recently that reminded me of MDUSD from 2009-2013: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” I wonder if Steven’s excuse will be the Neurenberg defense: I was just following orders ? If so, who was giving the orders ?

  60. Doctor J Says:

    Did Steven Lawrence tell Stockton Unified that he always brings along Sue Brothers ? remember Steue ? that was Sue B finishing Steven’s sentences back in Roseville, then Washington Unified, then MDUSD. Next stop — Stockton Unified ??

  61. Secret name Says:

    I noticed that you didn’t actually answer the question of when you are going to take out papers for a seat on the school board. I agree that you seem to have a lot to say about what is wrong with a lot of things in the district. Why not come out and offer some solutions for improving the district instead of being a professional critic that does nothing but point out the wrong doings of those trying to do the work?

  62. Doctor J Says:

    I have offered lots of solutions for improving the district. If you haven’t noticed, then you are not reading the blog regularly. You are welcome to read the archives to learn of my suggestions.

  63. Doctor J Says:

    How many retired educators does MDUSD employ taking away jobs from others ? http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26302533/at-least-48-pensioned-teachers-san-mateo-county

  64. Doctor J Says:

    Way to go Nellie — Brown Act violation — no agenda posted 72 hours in advance on district website. Better postpone the Aug 13 meeting until you can get it done timely.

  65. Secret name Says:

    I guess my writing is unclear. What I mean is why don’t you try to get a seat on the board so you can offer solutions instead of sitting behind a keyboard and using only words. Put those words into action ( or at least attempt to ) by putting yourself in a position to enact some of these solutions you are suggesting. And once again you still have not answered the original question.

  66. Doctor J Says:

    Lois Peterson is the new Director of Personnel Services. Rose Lock Is over Student Services — she loves to play chess with student transfers.

  67. Doctor J Says:

    Ron Leone, Concord City Council member, is the interim principal at Northgate. VP’s are Linda Hayes, Rick Aistrope, and Mike Mattos, interim. http://northgatehighschool.net/Staff/Administration/tabid/119/Default.aspx

  68. Doctor J Says:

    @SN, I don’t know why you would make assumptions about my true identity. Offering solutions via media is an effective method of advocacy. I guess you should bone up on some of the famous writers who used pseudo names to advocate change.

  69. Tk Says:

    You have a list of all the MDUSD school rosters showing class sizes already? Wow! Our school secretary is still working on ours and looking for changes and updates from the district. But it’s great that you have these numbers already AND that you know how the MDUSD teachers feel about this information too.

    You rock Doctor J!

  70. Doctor J Says:

    Sorry Tk, but your reading comprehension would have flunked the CBEST. Remind me what Nellie said a few months ago about CSR ? Transfers are still in the works. I just share what my sources share with me about principals and teachers. The real problem is that no new teachers were hired to support CSR. Then there is the issue of TK need for classrooms with bathrooms and adequate chairs and tables. I didn’t see any of that in the budget, did you ?

  71. Doctor J Says:

    Unanswered questions about 5th grade music just two weeks before school starts. How many district instruments are available for free use for the 58+ 5th grade classes ??? When during the school day will music be offered, and how will missing important classroom instruction be made up ? If there are insufficient district owned instruments for the students free use, what is the budget for district purchase or district rental of instruments ? Will any student be denied 5th grade music participation for lack of an instrument ? Perhaps Theresa can follow up on these important issues.

  72. tmharrington Says:

    Thanks for this info, Giorgio. Releasing this info would help shed light on turnover.

  73. tmharrington Says:

    Here is the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, which includes several administrative appointments: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_agendaview.aspx?mtgId=471

    According to the agenda, Superintendent is recommending Leyla Benson be appointed to the position of Director, Personnel: http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=8941&mtgId=471

  74. tmharrington Says:

    Interesting story compares LCAPs, praising Berkeley USD for breaking down funding by grant type, while criticizing SRVUSD for vague goals: http://hechingerreport.org/content/californias-new-school-funding-system-stumbles-first-year_16847/

    No mention of MDUSD.

  75. tmharrington Says:

    And speaking of accountability, the WCCUSD board has its response to the Grand Jury report on the CPRA on its Wednesday agenda (Item C25): http://www.wccusd.net/cms/lib03/CA01001466/Centricity/domain/16/agenda/2014-2015/20140813_BOE_Agenda.pdf

    When will MDUSD sunshine its response?

  76. Doctor J Says:

    Interesting contradiction between Leyla Benson and Lois Peterson. http://demo.mdusd.org/departments/personnel/contacts

  77. Doctor J Says:

    I pointed out recently that the governing body of MDUSD, the Board of Education, has never held a public hearing to approve any response to the Grand Jury. Some transparency eh ? I can’t wait for Linda Mayo and Cheryl Hansen to answer that question in the campaign. If they say, they were told it wasn’t necessary, they should be asked on which agenda item were they told that since that discussion had to be on a written agenda item. Perhaps they should take the Fifth like their principals did in the Martin trial in order to get immunity. btw, what happened to the daily reports on the Martin trial ?

  78. tmharrington Says:

    I believe that was already Lois Peterson’s title: http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2013/school-districts/contra-costa/mt-diablo-unified/lois-peterson/

    Now that the assistant superintendent position has been eliminated, it appears the superintendent has decided to seek a new director.

  79. Doctor J Says:

    The Board unanimously approved the “reorganization” in the May 28 agenda, which describes two positions, both a Director of Human Resources and a Director of Personnel Services. Yet only one job description was approved. Is this more psycho babble from Nellie ? http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us/public_itemview.aspx?ItemId=8561&mtgId=461

  80. Doctor J Says:

    Two people with identical job titles ? Nellie, that’s a stellar reorganization. Call Admiral Bill for help !

  81. tmharrington Says:

    The Board-adopted reorg. only shows the Director of Human Resources, which appears to be renamed from the Director of Personnel: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/04a102ba-a26a-4a10-bf23-71f538cf7314.pdf

    It does not list the Director of Personnel as being abolished, so it’s a bit ambiguous, since the org. chart doesn’t show who reports to the director: http://esb.mdusd.k12.ca.us/attachments/9d178e78-8116-4055-af70-6a6c9489221a.pdf

    Hopefully this will be clarified at the meeting!

  82. tmharrington Says:

    On another note, the link to the superintendent’s Summer message still doesn’t work on the district’s website: http://demo.mdusd.org/Superintendent

    Meanwhile, the WCCUSD superintendent has posted a very informative August message to his community about the proliferation of tablets in the district: http://www.wccusd.net/cms/lib03/CA01001466/Centricity/domain/77/2014-2015/Technology%20%20Tablets%20Aug%202014.pdf

  83. Doctor J Says:

    This was all blogged in May but the Board rubber stamped this “confusion”. The individual job description Is for Director of Personnel. This job was not advertised, another by-law and policy violation. Willie Mims needs to call in the NAACP cavalry.

  84. J Lo Says:

    LOL! What happened J? Didn’t read the Board Agenda to see that Leyla Benson was the new Personnel Director hire? Once again your inside knowledge is underwhelming.

  85. J Lo Says:

    Way to go J…the agenda has been posted since Friday evening, why would anyone take anything seriously from you when you are wrong so often.

  86. J Lo Says:

    Sorry J, but your “sources” are as accurate as meteorologists, should I simplify that word for you? A Meteorologist is a weatherman. Probably “doctors” like you.

  87. Doctor J Says:

    Hey Lo, read the rest of the thread.

  88. Doctor J Says:

    Lo, why can’t women be meteorologists since you seem to think they are all men ? But please don’t assume that all tv broadcasters who report the weather are meteorologists. So Lo, what did Nellie say about CSR ? Tk seems to have forgot.

  89. Doctor J Says:

    Sorry Lo, you had better review the Brown Act posting laws for both the physical posting and internet posting. MDUSD complied with neither.

  90. J Lo Says:

    For what reason? Just more of your bad information, you waste everyone’s time, no wonder no one reads this thread any longer.

  91. J Lo Says:

    LOL!
    As usual you miss the point, man or woman, people like you rarely get things right.

  92. J Lo Says:

    I only know I read the agenda on Friday evening…what physical post are you referring to?

  93. Doctor J Says:

    Lo, if you had read the posting requirements of the Brown Act you would understand. Try google.

  94. Doctor J Says:

    Lo, you seem to be avoiding what Nellie said about CSR for 2014/15.

  95. Doctor J Says:

    Lo, did you enjoy reading the quality job on the Williams Complaints form ? Someone really knows how to fill out that form. Let’s give that person another raise, along with everyone who approved that agenda item. Bev, Rose, and Nellie really rubber stamped that agenda item. Maybe they should read it next time before approving. What a concept.

  96. Guest Says:

    Dr J
    Would you like to tell us all what improvements you have seen in the district since the arrival of the new superintendent?

  97. Secret name Says:

    And yet again the original question goes unanswered.

  98. J Lo Says:

    For such a self absorbed individual that can not even click the board meeting link to determine who will be the new Director for HR hire, you have no credibility counseling anyone on how to fill out forms.

  99. Doctor J Says:

    Tonight Stockton USD will announce its 4-3 selection of either Steven Lawrence or Gary McHenry, both MDUSD “terminated”‘s as their new interim Supt. not sure either of them could function with such a specific and well supported Agenda — MDUSD take notice. http://susd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1397283589013/1397283868137/5615100195672810454.pdf

  100. Doctor J Says:

    Still not working. Shameful for highly paid incompetence.

  101. Doctor J Says:

    Shameful. Lo, Bev, Rose, and Nellie get from the taxpayers about $570,000 per year. What, to approve blank forms ?

  102. Doctor J Says:

    That’s because the MDUSD LCAP link on the Contra Costa Office of Education Website doesn’t work. Ovick has not posted any Lcap’s that have been approved as required by the Ed Code. http://demo.mdusd.org/lcap/Pages/default.aspx

  103. Doctor J Says:

    How much money from the classroom has MDUSD spent in the Martin and BANG cases ? This is what happens when classroom money is siphoned off to the legal department. Nellie is seeking $1.4 million to outside legal counsel AGAIN. That would buy a lot of instruments for 5th graders. http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/grade/x603942127/KHSD-board-opposes-appeal-of-1-5-verdict

  104. tmharrington Says:

    What link are you talking about? I don’t see any links to district LCAPs on the county site: http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/edsvcs/lcap.html

  105. Doctor J Says:

    The links are buried. Ovick is required to post any approved LCAPs but hasn’t so I guess he has Pam Comfort rubber stamping them all by Friday. EC 52065(b)(1)(2) . Here is the page for “posted” links but MDUSD’s doesn’t work since it has modified the LCAP without Board approval. http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/edsvcs/lcap_district_sites.html

  106. Doctor J Says:

    The Aug 15,deadline for the CCCOE to reject or approve or conditionally approve the LCAP’s is looming large. Since CCCOE is not in compliance with the LCAP posting requirements, it’s not a good sign of their preparedness for Friday. When you read what COE’s were taught about what needs to be in the LCAP, legitimate approval of MDUSD’s LCAP is questionable. http://www.scoe.net/lcap/multimedia/20140203_lcap_training_slides.pdf

  107. tmharrington Says:

    It’s possible the link doesn’t work due to the new website. My old bookmarked link doesn’t work either.

  108. tmharrington Says:

    On the subject of accountability, the Acalanes school board will discuss its proposed court validation of a $15 million bond issuance expected to exceed the promised tax rate tomorrow during closed session: http://www.boarddocs.com/ca/auhsd/Board.nsf/Public#

  109. Doctor J Says:

    Dr. Ovick, have you approved any ? “A county superintendent of schools shall do all of the following:
    (1) Post on the Internet Web site of the county office of
    education any local control and accountability plan approved by the
    county board of education, and any updates or revisions to a local
    control and accountability plan approved by the county board of
    education.” Ed Code 52065(b)(1)

  110. Doctor J Says:

    Stockton Unified dumps both Gary McHenry and Steven Lawrence at last minute. Internal candidate selected just before last night’s Board meeting. this is despite a 4-3 vote a week ago and after apparently week long negotiations. sounds like the Stockton Unified Board had second thoughts about the former MDUSD supes. http://t.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140813/A_NEWS/408130317/0/tablet&template=tabletart

  111. Doctor J Says:

    Why does MDUSD need to spend $1.4 million on outside lawyers when we have 3 on staff ? Opposing a $6,100 Bill for a special Ed child cost this district $1,000,000. are they insane ? Read what one judge said about this district. can it happen in MDUSD ? http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/12/solana-beach-special-ed-case-legal-fees/

  112. Doctor J Says:

    Another horror story today about outside lawyers lining their pockets at the expense of children, taxpayers and in complete disregard of the Board’s desire. Is this happening in MDUSD ? http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/grade/x603942754/KHSD-board-wants-insurer-held-accountable-in-autism-case

  113. Doctor J Says:

    Still no answers . ~ 2500 5th graders, and less than a dozen district owned musical instruments to use free of charge ? Really ? Hey Board, please tell me how that is going to work. Please tell us the accurate inventory of functioning instruments. We need to see the actual inventory.

  114. tmharrington Says:

    Speaking of superintendent contracts, the Acalanes district plans to renew contracts for its superintendent and assoc. supt. for business tonight (items 5.10-5.12 on consent calendar): http://www.boarddocs.com/ca/auhsd/Board.nsf/Public

  115. Doctor J Says:

    I guess you missed the closed session discussion about Nellie’s contract tonight ? I thought AB 1344 required open session about high level contracts ?

  116. Adam McMeans Says:

    Great points! I think the ability to benchmark or compare Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) is a great resource. I’m going to post the Knightsen Elementary School District’s LCAP right now!

  117. J Lo Says:

    I wonder how much the District will have to pay out when the defense attorney subpoenas the private addresses of J and they find out that it is a district employee posting on district time that slandered his client? Shall we have a count down as to when J is outted?

  118. g. de la verdad Says:

    J Lo, is there nothing you can contribute to this or any actual discussion of the system or education in general? Have you just recently made it your life goal to try to spit in Dr. J.’s eye? Is she just the newest in a long life of “who’s next” for you?
    Pathetic jealousy rearing its head, I’d say. Did I mention pathetic?
    Being a watchdog is not easy. Nor is it popular with the insiders. The insiders flat-out lie when they pretend eveything smells like roses while they know everyone around them has Vick’s spread under their nose.
    Watchdog is a job that has to be done, and Dr. J. serves the position very well!

  119. J Lo Says:

    Sorry g. but it is clear your own sense of contribution is as overblown as j’s, Holding spellathons and apparel critiques might suit your standard as being a watchdog, but thus far outside of the above you and j have contributed little more than gossip and personal intrigue to this conversation. You did refer to j as a “she” perhaps the defense attorney could subpoena your information and you could steer him to the identity of j….but then again that would reveal your identity as well.

  120. tmharrington Says:

    Thanks! By the way, I see that you are one of five candidates running for two open seats in the Knighten district as an appointed incumbent. Here’s the complete candidate list as of this afternoon: http://www.cocovote.us/wp-content/uploads/14Nov04_CandidateSummaryList_8_13_14_Noon.pdf

  121. tmharrington Says:

    Over in the West Contra Costa district, the SEC has subpoenaed bond finance records, in an investigation seeking to find out whether any federal laws have been broken: http://www.contracostatimes.com/richmond/ci_26332080/west-contra-costa-district-subpoenaed-by-securities-and

  122. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post with tonight’s MDUSD agenda, in case anyone wants to comment on the meeting: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2014/08/13/mdusd-board-to-make-several-appointments-tonight/

  123. Doctor J Says:

    Why is the meeting broadcast repeatedly cut short ?

  124. tmharrington Says:

    At the end, I was listening on KVHS and it wasn’t cut short.

  125. Giorgio C Says:

    The fireworks at last night’s WCCUSD forum in Hercules involving 4 of the candidates highlighted the divide that exists between those who support the status quo and those who are demanding change. Request to candidates–please do not distribute any hit-piece literature at any forum or event that you have been invited to attend. How can things not turn ugly fast?

  126. Jim Says:

    Good grief! Ron Leone? The long-entrenched member of the Mt. Diablo Healthcare District, that zombie agency that the CC Times said required “four civil grand juries, a dozen high-voltage editorials and one stinging consultant’s report” to finally kill it? This was the notorious property-tax funded “public district” that openly admitted, year after year, to having absolutely NO function — whose budget was devoted primarily to providing free lifetime healthcare for Mr. Leone and his cronies on the board.

    Warm a seat and soak up tax dollars for years, while admittedly having no responsibility for doing anything whatsoever. Sounds like the Northgate community is about to discover MDUSD’s answer to that age-old question, “How much worse could it be?”

  127. tmharrington Says:

    Giorgio, thanks for putting this on our radar. Based on information I have received from those in attendance, the “forum” included only four of 10 candidates for 3 seats: Chester Stevens, Mister Phillips, Valerie Cuevas and Peter Chau. It’s my understanding that Chau submitted a proposed resolution that included allegations that another candidate labeled as slanderous. I will follow up on the reports I have received when I begin my election coverage.

  128. tmharrington Says:

    The board appointed Richard Aistrope as Vice Principal of Northgate High School last night:
    http://mdusd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1263280543546/1317567911809/3342817955357322612.pdf

  129. Doctor J Says:

    Richard Aistrope had been listed on the Northgate web page for over a week prior to the meeting as I had revealed in a blog post. Apparently his prior district didn’t care — it’s time for this secret name “unveiling” to halt and just post their names with the agenda as Brian Lawrence has supported. Must we keep reminding ourselves of the Christopher Nugent fiasco ?

  130. Doctor J Says:

    Steven Lawrence chickens out of his promise to explain his MDUSD actions to the press, when he blew his negotiations with Stockton Unified and they withdrew offer. If I am wrong, Steven should call Theresa for no holds interview.

  131. tmharrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post with “Back to School” advice from the state PTA: http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment/2014/08/16/back-to-school-advice-from-the-state-pta/

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