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  • Sunday, June 04, 2006

     

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    OUSD to Eliminate Teen Mom Program while….
    Superintendent gets a retroactive 4.75% Pay Hike and….
    $163,000 more for Consultant Culture Focus on Results

    OUSD Teen Moms to be Left Behind
    For over 30 years the Orange Unified School District has had the OUSD Teen Mom program in place to insure that young girls do not have to choose between completing their pregnancy and completing their education. That commitment will end on June 16th, as the current OUSD Administration eliminates the OUSD program and with it the long standing Greater Orange community commitment to the Teen Mom Program. Without any prior warning the program counselor was informed that OUSD would eliminate the program and transfer the OUSD students to the overwhelmed Orange County Department of Education ACCESS (Alternative Community and Correctional Schools and Services) schools.

    OUSD’s Teen Mom Program provided transportation resources, child care, lunch, numerous local community resource people, and most importantly a road to graduation. Presently, what happens is that the girls enter the OUSD Teen Mom Program, have their babies, go back to regular high school, and then finish up between regular high school in the morning and Teen Mom in the afternoon. The girls are able to graduate because while they are finishing high school their babies are in established OUSD child care programs. All that will end as of June 16.

    OUSD’s model Teen Mom Program is unique in Orange County in that it is among the oldest established programs. It’s widely recognized success is based on its support of the total child and teen moms’ educational, parenting, and health needs. The program currently serves 16 young women of which 93% are from minority households. Without the local program, these young girls, and future OUSD teen moms, will face an almost impossible hurdle of getting an education and becoming productive citizens in the county system. For these OUSD students, they will truly be Left Behind by their community.

    Board to approve 4.75% Pay Hike to Godley and Extend Contract
    At the June 8th, OUSD Board meeting, Agenda Item 12C (agenda page 7) will extend Superintendent Godley’s contract that ends June 30, 2008 until June 30, 2009. In addition the Agenda Item states: “That effective January 1, 2006 the District shall provide to Dr. Godley a salary increase of 4.45%.”

    All OUSD Board Agenda Action Items have three parts: Description (an explanation of the item); Fiscal Impact (the actual dollar cost of the item); and Recommendation (from the staff on how to vote). In an apparent attempt to hide the monetary impact of Godley’s 4.75% retroactive raise, there is no monetary value in the “FISCAL IMPACT” section. Instead in that section the following words never before seen in an OUSD agenda appear: “FISCAL IMPACT: As per the terms and conditions of the contract.”

    Trustees to dump another $163,400 on “marriage encounter” Consultant program
    The OUSD School Board is scheduled to approve without comment another year of the controversial Focus on Results program for $163,000 (June 8th Board Agenda page 38). The program which has morphed so much no one seems to know what it is as top administrators look for a reason for it to exist. It has been called a “reading program” by Trustee Wes Poutsma (it's not), and also compared to “marriage encounter training” by Assistant Superintendent Cheryl Cohen. The multi-million dollar consultant program is now being morphed into the following according to the June 8th Agenda: “This training is a structure/scaffold of research-based effective systematic practices upon which the District and site strategies can be organized”. While the community still waits for the administrators to “show us the research”, after several years, and millions of dollars, program critics ask are now asking after years of the program, what’s left to “organize” ?

    The controversial program’s funding was shifted to OUSD’s federal teacher training tax dollars last year, but that shift still impacts student-centered learning. One example is this year’s shortfalls in student-centered funding in special education led to funding for a bus for severely handicapped students being denied for a field trip. A district administrator in an email to the teacher reported was there was a huge funding shortage due to using much of the special education budget for teacher training. The watchdog Greater Orange Communities Group in an email about the new $163,400 taxpayer cost stated this year they would initiated a complaint with the “appropriate federal departments and representatives” over the use of the federal funding for Focus on Results as “teacher training under NCLB Title II”. The email noted: “especially in an election year, the community will not tolerate the continued wasting of scarce educational resources on OUSD’s administrative pet boondoggles”.

    The Focus on Consultants special ONN investigative series this year revealed stunning facts about the OUSD program. As an example, the series reported that copyrighted professional literature was used without the author’s permission including adding the Focus on Results company logo to the copies. Since being revealed, that practice has ended. Now the OUSD program has degenerated into mostly a school “show and tell”, with no real “teacher training” going on. The latest educational fad of “classroom walkthroughs” has no research to show it is in any way an “effective systematic practice” and community calls for that research proof continues to go unanswered (to see what a day of work produces from Focus on Results CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2005/11/one-days-work-yorba-middle-school.html ).
    To view the complete ONN Focus on Consultants series CLICK ON:
    http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/05/special-report-focus-on-consultants.html

    Prospect Elementary:
    From Focus on Results Poster Child to High Priority School

    When Focus on Results was first introduced into the district costing tax payers millions in educational tax funds, Prospect Principal Kathy Bruce spoke at an Orange Unified School Board meeting praising the Focus on Results program. At the time, the OUSD Trustees did not know that Bruce also worked as Senior Consultant for the private firm, and her school was listed on the firm’s website as a Focus on Results success story as one of Six Schools That Make a Difference. Today, Prospect is still listed on the web site, but of course the data on the site only goes to 2003. Since that time Prospect has become a state designated Under Performing School (in fact since Focus on Results, the number of OUSD state designated Under Performing Schools has grown and is second only to Santa Ana Unified in Orange County). Last year Prospect had the biggest state score drop in OUSD, a 19 point drop (to view Prospect’s state report on the drop CLICK ON: http://api.cde.ca.gov/reports/API/2005Grth_sch.asp?SchCode=6029912&DistCode=66621&AllCds=30666216029912 )

    On Thursday, June 8th, while approving another $163,400 for Focus on Results, the OUSD Board will also approve Agenda Item 14 N (page 42) to accepting a $100,000 grant from the state for Handy and Prospect Elementary as participant schools in the state’s High Priority Schools program. From a Focus on Results Poster Child with a principal who worked as a Senior Consultant for Focus on Results (will she be part of next year’s training?) to a state designated Under Performing School and now part of the state’s High Priority Schools Program- that’s what over 2 million dollars in educational tax dollars supporting current OUSD administrators Consultant Culture. (For Prospect Poster Child School Link: http://focusonresults.net/results/ourresults_sixschools_5.html ).

    ONN News makes News
    With some OUSD Trustees openly laughing at the mention of Orange Net News at a recent meeting; and with Orange Net News a topic of discussion in the Partnership Group of the recent OUSD Strategic Planning Workshop; it comes as no surprise that OUSD Assistant Superintendent Jon Archibald has written the following in the June 2006 District Dialog online publication:
    Often information concerning the OUSD Budget appears in newspapers and local online blogs and that information is either incomplete or simply not accurate. Many times that information is an interpretation by someone without school finance experience and the Business Services Division wasn’t contacted to verify the accuracy of the information. If you see information concerning the OUSD budget and it prompts a question, please contact Business Services at 714-628-4045 and your question will be promptly and accurately answered”.

    So don’t trust ONN, but are still are interested in the fiscal impact on the budget of ending the OUSD Teen Mom program? Give Jon a call. Want to know what the agenda’s “FISCAL IMPACT: As per the terms and conditions of the contract” for Dr. Godley’s 4.75 % retroactive pay hike means to your educational tax dollars? Give Jon a call. Want to know the TOTAL exact amount of educational tax dollars OUSD has spent on Focus on Results for a program that a top OUSD administrator compared to “marriage encounter training”? Give Jon a call. If you’re an inquiring mind and are suspicious of the local electronic media, Just call Jon, or email him at: jarchibald@orangeusd.k12.ca.us.

    Community Donations: Olive PTC-$160 –Tech supplies; Cerro Villa PFSO-$1440.00 Promotion Party; Orange Community Council PTA $250- CPR training; Anaheim Hills PTA-$6686.00- computers. For a complete donation list see page 13 of the June 8th Agenda.

    The next Orange Unified School Board Meeting: JUNE 8, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:00 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm
    Other Agenda Items:
    • OUSD High School 2006 Valedictorians will be introduced.
    • Consent Item 14 O- Reorganization of the Technology Department
    • Information Item 13 B- The Legislative Coalition Committee Chairman Larry Cohn will present a report on the Sacramento lobbying trip. Cohn is reportedly ready to run against Trustee Rick Ledesma in OUSD Area 7.

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

    Digest’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2006
    Total for Watched Tax Dollars spent in 2006: $ 436,717.00:
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally:
    6/08/06 Focus on Results $164,400
    3/09/06 Bob Sadler 3 Day Workshop $ 10,000
    Total $ 174,400
    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: JUNE 8, 2006
    Closed Session will begin at 6:00 pm, Regular Session remains at 7:30 pm
    For a complete OUSD Board Agenda CLICK ON:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_060806.pdf

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions Just call Jon at the Business Services at 714-628-4015

    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/

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