As I mentioned in a previous post, as of May 19th (yesterday), wccusdtalk has been going strong for five years. wccusdtalk is a Yahoo Group about the West Contra Costa Unified School District that makes its messages public and that allows its established members a pretty free rein. Like the Internet in general, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt (and maybe a stiff drink occasionally), but it remains an indispensable resource for knowing what’s going on in our district. Within this community, there is room for both critics of the established order and a “truth squad” to uphold the established order.
It all started back in 2003, when the last major budget crisis was shaking things up. Laura Soble and Jane Breyer, two Madera parents, were using emails to a growing group of people to rally support for defending Classroom Size Reduction and high school guidance counselors from the budget axe. As part of this group, I wanted a more efficient method of managing these communications than using emails with giant shifting “To:” lists, so I decided on using Yahoo Groups for this. I set up wccusdtalk and eventually got everyone to move over to this list for communicating. Marsha Williamson was the first member and Helen Bean made the first real posting on the list. I was moderator for the first year or two and then Cathy Travlos stepped up to take over. After the smoke cleared a little, no real organization emerged from this group of people, but wccusdtalk remained and still remains to this day.