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  • Sunday, January 14, 2007


    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/


    Trustee Kim Nichols was re-elected Board President at the December 14th Orange Unified School Board meeting, Trustee Wes Poutsma was elected as Board Vice President and Trustee John Ortega was elected as the Board Clerk.

    As the new calendar year begins, the OUSD Administration and elected OUSD Trustees march toward another attempt at passing a Facilities Bond. The path toward approving a Bond under OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley appears to be a much more honest and open process than the last two OUSD attempts at the twin Measure A Bond attempts. Godley has clearly outlined the process in the OUSD Board approved 3-year Strategic Plan (CLICK ON:

    Some things however never change. The OUSD Administrative support of its failed attempts to use outside consultants to improve OUSD schools at the cost of hundreds of thousands of educational tax dollars continues. In the January 2007 OUSD edition of School News Roll Call on page 6, Administrative Director of Academic Services and Professional Learning Cheryl Cohen continues to try to defend the failed shameful waste of tax dollars-the OUSD Focus on Results program, this time without mentioning the program by name. Cohen (who recently stepped down as an OUSD Assistant Superintendent) originally championed the hundreds of thousands of educational dollars spent on the program even as the number of OUSD state designated failing schools (High Priority Schools) increased throughout her time as Assistant Superintendent. Cohen writes in the latest School News Roll Call about the OUSD Focus on Results program that she once described as akin to “marriage encounter training”:
    “As a district with an enrollment of 30,351 students, we have chosen to develop a professional learning community through our work with outside consultants with a professional training model that focuses on systematic change in order to ensure academic success. Each school site has a team that participates in this training includes classroom teachers representing grades K-12…”

    Cohen continues to support the failed program despite the following:
    • OUSD has over 1200 educators, only about four teachers from each school attend the monthly meetings as many teachers who have attended have dropped out because they felt it was a waste of time while others still have no idea what the program is about
    • The program attempt to have OUSD Principals spend 50% of their time in classrooms was a complete failure and has been abandoned by most
    • Privately, administrators ( who can be fired at any time) continue to say the program is a waste of their time and of money
    • In the age of research driven education, the program has no research to prove it works to any extent
    • OUSD failing schools have increase while OUSD has had the program
    • Despite 5 years of the program and hundreds of thousands of dollars, last year Dr. Godley in a report on OUSD’s State Test Scores stated that OUSD’s scores were not increasing at a fast enough rate
    • Recently two OUSD Trustees meeting with the Orange Unified Educators Association speaking during a time dedicated to the problems with OUSD Focus on Results acknowledged that the program has not worked as intended

    OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley
    to receive 6% pay hike

    After giving all other employees a 6% pay hike last year, the Orange Unified School Board will vote at their January 18th, 2007 Board meeting to give OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley a 6% pay hike retroactive to July 6, 2006 (Action Item # 12 D, page 18 Board Agenda).

    Also the new By-Laws OUSD Legislative Coalition will have their First Reading.

    In addition will be reports on: OUSD’s compliance with the Williams Settlement; a Status Report of the Second Quarter of the 3-Year Strategic Plan; and a request from the City of Villa Park for support in its attempt to have the state pass legislation amending the California Business and Professional Code to allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages by adults on public school property when is school is not in session for community events (only for cities with a population below 10,000).

    Legal Business
    The Rocco Lawsuit seeking to overturn the OUSD Rocco Censure officially appears on the OUSD Closed Session Agenda as Californians Aware v Orange Unified School District. In the Consent Agenda (items approved automatically), under the Contract Services Section, a contract for OUSD law firm Parker & Covert to cover January 2007 to June 30, 2007 for $175,000 .

    Mr. & Mrs. David Kaufman television to Chapman Hills ES; Mrs. Michele Booher 20 boxes of white rolled paper and Chapman Hills ES PTA DVD player to Chapman Hills ES; Mr. and Mrs. James Knight 35 School Agendas to Olive ES.

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

    2007 Consultant Fee Tally: none
    2007 Attorney Fee Tally: none
    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    2007 Administrative Conference/Travel: hidden since 6/8/06*
    Total $175,000

    *JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to APPROVE Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $849,717.00*
    2006 Consultant Fee Tally: Total $176,400
    2006 Attorney Fee Tally: Total Approved $655,000
    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel: Total $ 18,317 *

    * JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to
    APPROVE OUSD Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2005: $978,300.00:
    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

    Next OUSD Board Meeting Thursday January 18, 2007.

    For more information

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM on 1/18/07 Regular Session: 7:30 pm

    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
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

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