Mystery Education Theater 3000

Month: June 2012

WCCUSD 6-13-2012 School Board Meeting

It looks like I’m going to miss today’s school board meeting. Here’s the agenda. And here’re some of the items of interest from the agenda:

*CI C.6 Approval of Agreement with United Teachers of Richmond (UTR)/ AB1200 Public
Disclosure of Collective Bargaining Agreement with UTR

As a consent item, there will probably be no discussion. It’s the ratification of a temporary 1-year agreement with the UTR. Even though this was the year for the multi-year contract to come up for ratification leading to potential strife, both sides decided to kick the can down the road for another year. Of the five furlough days in the current contract, two sunset automatically at the end of June. This agreement temporarily takes two more furlough days off, so teachers have just one furlough day.

*CI C.13 Collins Elementary School New Fire Alarm Project Award of Contract
*CI C.14 Ellerhorst Elementary School, Harding Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School,
and Tara Hills Elementary School Restroom Renovation Project Award of Contract
*CI C.15 Mira Vista Elementary School Concrete Stoops Project Award of Contract
*CI C.16 Sheldon Elementary School, Murphy Elementary School, and Mira Vista Elementary
School Restroom Renovation Project Award of Contract

The cost for all of these consent items is literally “Funded from the Measure X Bond”. That’s so informative. Is it that hard to list the cost of the project?

* D.5 Preliminary Budget for 2012-2013

This is the point where board and public comment will probably go over the parcel tax defeat. If I were there I would ask about whether the City of Richmond is going to pay its “WCCUSDgeld” of $1.5M for this coming year to keep the three schools on the closure list from being closed. Or is everyone going to just pretend the board resolution mandating this arrangement can just be winky-winked away without any formal action. Then, where’s the $1.5M going to come from in the budget?

* E.3 WCCUSD Public Comment

My favorite time. That’s why I archive the video clips of these segments.

It will be interesting to see how many people show up who were riled up by Charles Ramsey’s remarks about breaking up the district because the parcel tax didn’t pass and the support for it varied by community. Just check any of the “Patches” (El Cerritto, Hercules, Pinole) to see some of the uproar.

* F.1 West County Community High School Charter Renewal Petition Staff Findings and
Resolution No. 120-1112

This is interesting in three ways:

  1. The intersection of the district’s brass knuckles approach to most charters with the attempt of an elitist charter school association to liquidate a community-based charter. The idea of the California Charter Schools Association is to throw a few charter schools they don’t like under the bus to advance the interests of the more ed-reformy charters they do like.
  2. The utter vulnerability of the community-based charters, the ones I sympathize with, versus the chain and big-money charters when school boards take the kind of belligerent approach they are encouraged to.
  3. The bad timing of these decisions: this is a decision to shut a school down in a few weeks. This kind of decision should happen not later than February. If it’s a problem with State laws, they should be changed.

If the board approves, we’ll see whether this is taken up to the County level on appeal.


Recording from 5-30-2012 CBOC Meeting Is Up

I’ve posted the official audio recording for the May 30, 2012 WCCUSD Citizens Bond Oversight Committee on the site I maintain for these recordings. The recording can be downloaded as a podcast or a sound file or be listened to online. Highlights from the recording:

  • Starting around 4 minutes and 15 seconds – Minutes review included a question from Kris Hunt about why the minutes go through so many revisions even before the committee sees them. Kris Hunt also objected to a critical comment she had made at the last meeting being left out of the minutes. She made the comment under Public Comment, but in the minutes it just said “NONE” under Public Comment. Instead of just being fixed, this led to some discussion first.
  • 15:11 – Under chair’s report, Robert Studdiford did some sort of eulogy for recently deceased County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema whom he didn’t seem to know. Then he switched to something about subcommittee e-mails being public and that this was something to be on-guard about. He then mentioned me by name. After the meeting, I confirmed that he didn’t like me posting this e-mail online to link to in other e-mails. (The thread for that e-mail included the whole WCCUSD school board.)
  • 29:00 –  This was the beginning of our Brown Act training session. The attorney making the presentation seemed to be a little bit more focused on getting around the Brown Act, etc. instead of just following it, but listen and judge for yourself.

WriterCoach Connection Described for WCCUSD Board

The latest addition to my video archive of general public comments consists of just one comment, but it’s a good comment. Robert Menzimer, Executive Director of Community Alliance for Learning, describes the genesis of WriterCoach Connection, providing one-on-one volunteer tutoring in writing to secondary school students, and how it’s been extending into the West Contra Costa Unified School District. (Although he doesn’t mention Todd Groves, he’s been instrumental in this extension.) Sadly, he only had two minutes even though there were only 4 speakers listed.

Anyway, listen to the video for a capsule summary and check out the program.

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