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  • Sunday, May 21, 2006


    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    Department of Education Drops Panorama’s API “10” Score

    In a statewide revision of the similar school comparison rankings of the Academic Performance Index (API) scores, the California Department of Education downgraded Orange Unified’s Panorama Elementary School’s top ranked “10” similar schools ranking down to a “9”. The downgrade takes away Orange Unified’s only 10-10 school ranking for last year’s standardized testing. The state had withdrawn all the original similar school rankings last month when it discovered that it had omitted a demographic variable when it initially calculated the scores. The recalculated similar school ranking cores were released last week.

    Last month Panorama’s Principal Michelle Moore had come under criticism from the Greater Orange Communities Organization for her attributing her student’s high API scores to the controversial multi-million dollar OUSD consultant program called Focus on Results. Moore had written in the recent local throw-away School News (April/May) about initally finding out that her school had achieved the “10” ranking: “Thanks to Focus on Results and our district’s commitment to achieving excellence for all students, we were able to take a moment and express gratitude for the tools we have to support out students”.

    Moore’s comment was featured in the latest ONN Special Report series Focus on Consultants (see link below). It was reported that since the beginning of standardized testing, Panorama has always been above the state API score goal of 800, rising an average of only 11 points a year in the six years of standardized testing. The report also cited the Greater Orange Communities Organization’s characterization of Moore’s small 207 student school as a “fairy-tale school” because it has no statistically relative “subgroups” leaving only its 142 white student’s scores counting for the school rankings. Put simply, the school’s scores reflect none of the issues schools across OUSD and the state face in teaching to California’s diverse student population. The Greater Orange Communities Organization challenged Moore to back up her support of the controversial multi-million dollar Focus on Results program. The local watchdog group challenged that if Moore truly believed that OUSD's Focus on Results was instrumental in her school’s student performance, Moore should requesting a transfer to one of OUSD’s many state designated Underperforming Schools to duplicate Panorama’s results.

    Most of Panorama’s 6 years of API growth took place under the former principal Anne Schrader. Moore was named principal last summer (July 2005) after serving as Acting Principal at Panorama. Moore also served as Assistant Principal at McPherson Magnet School.
    SPECIAL REPORT: Focus on Consultants PART 6: CLICK ON:

    Updated API Information on Panorama CLICK ON:

    Panorama’s Current OUSD information page: CLICK ON:

    Orange Unified’s revised API scores: CLICK ON:

    The Orange Unified School Board will formally approve the resolution (Agenda page 68) at its May 25th meeting to call for an election on November 7th of this year. One of the reforms still in place that the current Citizen’s Board instituted when it took over after the Orange Recall was to change the OUSD Trustee elections to coincide with the even year regular elections, thus saving the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in election fees. The change also extended the terms of the current OUSD Trustees until this December. Trustees Rick Ledesma, Kathy Moffat, Kim Nichols and Melissa Smith terms will expire on December 1st, 2006.

    In other business:
    Action Item 12 A: High School Diploma- With the preliminary injunction against enforcing the California High School Exit Exam OUSD is preparing for the injunction to stay or be appealed away. If the injunction is upheld, Board Policy 6146.1 requiring 230 credits to graduate would apply.

    Information Item 13 B: Legislative Coalition Report- an update on the committees trip to lobby state legislators.

    COMMUNITY GIFTS: Musical Instruments to Cerro Villa from Hillary Thomas, Tricia Thompson, Elizabeth Patrick and Neil Lehman; 1992 Ford Aerostar to Orange H.S. from Sofia Kwon; $7,360 to Nohl Canyon for a computer aide from Nohl Canyon School Association; $7333 for projectors from El Modena Education Foundation to El Modena H.S.; $315 for supplies to Imperial E.S. from Washington Mutual. For a complete list of the $112,603 in community gifts see Agenda page 17- 18.

    To view Agenda CLICK ON:


    “We’re a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to spend the money somewhere.” -OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma 9/22/05

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2006: $ 272,317.00:
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    3/09/06 Bob Sadler 3 Day Workshop $ 10,000

    2006 Attorney Fee Tally:
    4/20/06 Parker & Covert: $ 50,000
    1/19/06 Parker & Covert: $200,000
    Total $250,000

    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel:
    2/9/06 Roney and 5 principals to Florida $ 10,623
    2/23/06 Roney and 2 principals Tx/ Fl $ 4,050
    3/09/06 2 to Florida Conference $ 3,644
    Total $18,317

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2005:$ 978,300.000:
    Total 2005 Conference Administrator/Board Fees: $ 7,500.00
    2005 Attorney Fee Tally: $730,600.00
    Total Watched 2005 OUSD Consultant spending: $ 270,200.00

    The next Orange Unified School Board Meeting: May 25, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:30 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm
    For a complete OUSD Board Agenda CLICK ON:
    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040

    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”


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