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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2007

     

    Orange Unified Taxpayers pay to FOCUS ON POSTERS

    SPECIAL REPORT
    A community EDITORIAL of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    OUSD TAXPAYERS PAY for SIX FIGURE PAY ADMINSTRATORS to FOCUS ON POSTERS

    The taxpayers of Orange Unified School district have shelled out millions for a consultant program called OUSD’s Focus on Results that this week as a grand finale had high-paid administrators and out-of the-classroom teachers making “posters” for the end of the year “celebration” held at Chapman University on Wednesday May 22nd, 2007. The participants will then “tour” the posters and later have a taxpayer provided lunch.

    The controversial program spent scarce educational tax resources as it spent years in search of a purpose. A top OUSD administrator once explained the program to OUSD Trustees as comparable to “marriage encounter training”. A misinformed OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma voted to continue dumping tax dollars into the program under the impression it “taught kids to read” as he uttering his now infamous September 22, 2005 statement:
    “Where a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to have to spend our money somewhere”.

    The problematic program began as one of OUSD’s elementary school principals worked as a Senior Consultant for the Focus on Results corporation and recommended the program to a top district official. When a Special Investigative Series by Orange Net News (see links below) exposed the conflict of interest, the OUSD Principal-Consultants name was taken off the for-profit firms website. Other scandal-like problems continued.

    Orange Net News also exposed that despite the millions of taxpayer provided funding(i.e. “our money”), the OUSD for-profit consultant program photocopied and distributed copyrighted educational writings with the Focus on Results corporate logo without permission or payment to the owners of the material. The same year funding was shifted to OUSD federal training funding, a Special Education teacher was told by a top OUSD Administrator that OUSD had no funding for Special Education field trip buses because the Special Education Department was using its funds for teacher training.

    Eventually the OUSD Focus on Results program settled into a research-lacking practice of the “guided walk-through” that has high-priced bureaucrats and out-of the classroom teachers (who leave their students with substitutes) visiting every classroom in a school for less than 5 minutes looking for “evidence of learning” (especially checking out the bulletin boards). The wasteful “bulletin board” checks are now being replaced in this year’s grand finale called the “OUSD Design Tour” which is looking at posters each school has created.

    In a May 7th letter to OUSD Principals, retired OUSD Administrator Fran Roney, now a consultant working on the OUSD Focus on Results program, spends two of the letter’s three paragraphs explaining how to make the posters and what they will do with them. The other paragraph makes the OUSD Focus on Results program take credit for other practices that are totally unrelated to Focus on Results such as Standards Alignment, pacing guides and other research based practices that have nothing to do with the OUSD Focus on Results program. These very basic educational reform practices have been implemented around the country by thousands of school districts without spending scarce educational resources on bulletin board checks and poster making.

    The May 7th Roney Focus on Results letter states:

    “As part of our celebration, we would like each school, with the assistance of their ILT [Focus on Results Instructional Leadership Team] to create a poster that exemplifies one of the success around the 9 Focus on Results Expectations that your school is most proud of….”

    The letter includes the Poster Guidelines for the $2 million taxpayer supported posters:

    “Poster Guidelines:

    Put school name at top of poster.
    Identify and put on the poster the FOR Expectations your school chose.
    Poster is not to exceed 24” x 36”
    Use school data, photos, anything that supports success
    Use markers, stickers, paints, etc.
    The posters will be secured around the room, so make sure everything on the poster is secure.
    Poster board will be delivered to your school for you to use if you would like.


    The letter goes on to explain to make sure someone arrives early to hang the poster. It explains how “one of our members” will show where to hang the poster and…”provide you with painter’s tape to hang it”.

    What are all of the 2 million-dollar-educational-tax-supported posters for?
    The letter explains:

    “All of the posters will be part of the OUSD Design Tour …”

    So on May 23rd, while every OUSD Administrator and at least four teachers from every school are on the OUSD “POSTER” Design Tour and having a lunch at Chapman University, thousands of OUSD Students are left with a substitute (who will also be paid by OUSD tax dollars).Meanwhile, OUSD taxpayers are left to pay for the bill with scarce educational tax dollars.

    Or to put it another way as Trustee Wes Poutsma commented as the OUSD Board voted to approve another year to waste hundreds of thousands of scarce educational tax dollars…

    “Where a $220 million dollar business; we’re going to have to spend our money somewhere”.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE THE
    OUSD FOCUS ON RESULTS SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS:


    PART 1

    PART 2

    PART 3

    PART 4

    PART 5

    PART 6


    SPECIAL REPORT

    Is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Ecast on the
    INTERNET COMMUNITY GROUP i/))) cg
    A 21st Century Communications System
    For more information on the current issues of defending media freedom in the electronic world visit
    The ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION link: www.eff.org

    Orange Communication System /OCS/
    and its News family
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/ eLECTION Watch 2006 Metro Talk Metro Views
    Community Update Orange Unified Schools Digest GREATER ORANGE NEWS EBLOG
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