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  • Sunday, October 07, 2007


    Orange Unified Schools INSIDE

    September 27th OUSD Board Meeting Recap:
    Spin, Spending, and Spectacle

    The September 21st Orange Unified School Board meeting had something for everyone, from more self-inflicted Rocco fodder for the Committee to Recall Rocco, to more ammunition for community groups worried about the increased isolation from reality of the current OUSD Godley Board Majority. The September 27th meeting may long be described as the meeting of Spin, Spending, and Spectacle.

    Making her OUSD Board Meeting debut, the new OUSD Research and Statistic point person Cindy Judd (yes we know ALL the rumors on the departure of her computer literate predecessor) got lots of kudos from a room full of people looking for ability to Spin the recently released dismal state testing scores for OUSD. Shying away from OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley’s Good to Great philosophy of confronting the grim facts head on, Judd instead painted a more than rosy picture of the latest OUSD State Testing Scores by instead of discussing this years scores, she resorted to the “big picture” approach by graphing rising scores over the past five years (ignoring that just last year even Dr. Godley admitted that OUSD scores were not rising fast enough to meet the tough demands of No Child Left Behind). Judd also ignored the intricate No Child Left Behind statistical failures and warning signs from this year’s state testing report to give an unrealistic upbeat Spin that focused on multiple-year incremental district-wide improvements for OUSD that ignored the looming statistical catastrophe of the make-or-break achievement gaps evident in the latest OUSD state scores.

    Spin Doctor Judd was later thrown a loop when OUSD Trustee Moffat threw her a non-mathematical soft question (a la’ Larry King) about reminding the trustees and community what the state target term “Proficient” means. A stumped Judd was quickly rescued by Dr. Godley who ignored the simple Moffat question by launching into a winded soliloquy on state growth targets not measuring what students have learned in one year, but measuring how far they are from the state standards for that year.

    Taking the glass is half-full approach may work in life coaching and therapy, but in the age of educational accountability and No Child Left Behind, the inverse of the half-full glass must now be reckoned with as educators are now required to fill the entire glass. A glaring example of the shortcomings of this approach was Dr. Godley and the trustees touting throughout the meeting that 50% of OUSD’s elementary schools had scores that qualified them to apply for the California State Distinguished School recognition. While the achievement is noteworthy, unfortunately so is the unstated implied glass-half-empty inverse which is that 50% of OUSD elementary schools did not have scores that met the qualification. Perhaps Dr. Godley has been out of the classrooms to long to remember that 50% is a failing grade.

    The unstated elephant in the room of the Judd Spin can also be seen in Judd’s presentation as she touted that in math testing 40% of OUSD students were “proficient and above” (even though she later could not explain what proficient was) …the unmentioned inverse of course is that figure means 60% in OUSD are below proficient in math. And so it went with the Judd Spin on upbeat statistics- 42% of OUSD students proficient in history, the unmentioned inverse -58% are below proficient ; Judd’s Spin- 53% are proficient in English and Science- the unmentioned inverse, 47% of OUSD students are not. Apparently in Judd’s world of Spin, the law’s name is not No Child Left Behind, but rather Many Children Left Behind.

    Unfortunately, some of the OUSD Board members did not seem to grasp what the OUSD Spin Doctor had just spun in her statistical circus. OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma related how proud he was, as OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat used the “Juddistics” to justify the Godley Majority’s free spending consultant spree as Moffat again publicly touted the failed, and now all but defunct, OUSD Focus on Results program (yes the one compared to “marriage encounter training” by the OUSD Administration) as proof that the millions of educational tax dollars the OUSD Godley Board Majority dumped into the consultant driven program were well worth it and thus implying that Many Children Left Behind is real progress from the failed OUSD Consultant Culture. Sadly we believe she, and others honestly believe it.

    To see the problems that Cindy Judd did not address in her “Judd-istics”
    CLICK ON: OUSD Secondary State Scores Take a Nose Dive


    At the September 27th meeting, Moffat continued her perfect 100% voting record for Consultant Spending as she joined Trustees Wes Poutsma, Melissa Smith and Kim Nichols in voting to approve another $35,000 in educational tax funds for controversial educrat William Daggett to conduct a two day workshop for OUSD Administrators in August. Keeping to his fiscal conservative bent, Trustee Rick Ledesma pulled the Daggett contract with an assortment of other spending items from the Consent Agenda, forcing a separate vote on Daggett’s over-the-top $35,000 fee. Ledesma and Trustee Steve Rocco voted against the item (Trustee John Ortega was absent). The OUSD Administrators Consultant Culture spending spree on the controversial Daggett was approved 4-2.

    For more information on the controversy surrounding Daggett CLICK ON:
    The Daggett Controversy

    Not to disappoint the audience of pro-Recall supporters at the September 27th meeting, Trustee Steve Rocco again forced a recess of the meeting after two pro-recall speakers addressed the Board. Using the opportunity to get their message about Rocco Recall clips being posted on YouTube, the pro-recall messengers got a rise out of Rocco who is forbidden to talk about the Recall by a determined Board President Kim Nichols. After declared candidate (but geographically challenged) Florice Hoffman spoke about the Recall attempt, she was followed by Michelle Thomas who again antagonized Rocco with more Recall related statements. Rocco tried to point out that Hoffman was a declared candidate against Rocco who has to move into Rocco’s Trustee Area to run against him. As a shouting match erupted between Rocco and Nichols, Rocco tried to make his point that many on the Committee to Recall Steve Rocco are closely tied to sitting Board members. Nichols called Rocco out of order. As Rocco ignored Nichols, she then again declared Rocco out-of-order and abruptly called the meeting to Recess as Rocco shouted “No you’re out of order!"

    What you won’t see from the September 25th COMMUNITY FORUM on OUSD Voluntary Student Drug Testing Program

    The rescheduled Orange Unified School Board’s Community Forum on pros and cons to allowing a Voluntary Student Drug Testing Program in OUSD took place at the OUSD Board Room on Tuesday September 25th. Two speakers from both pro and con viewpoints took part in the forum. Speakers from the community were also given time to address the issue.

    OUSD Steve Rocco used the community comment time to address his favorite themes that have been the center piece of the efforts to oust him in a Recall. Reportedly it was Rocco’s use of the public forum as a citizen that resulted in OUSD not airing the forum on local cable channels. In particular Rocco’s reference to the passing of Trustee John Ortega’s brother Daniel Ortega (who was an employee of OUSD at the time of his passing) seems to have been the issue that caused OUSD not to air the Community Forum. In speaking from the audience, Rocco used the Community Forum to again make his point that Daniel Ortega allegedly had a drug and alcohol problem that was not properly addressed by OUSD as his employer because of his brother John Ortega was on the OUSD Board. OUSD has censored all of Rocco’s references to Daniel Ortega made during OUSD meetings. Chapman Political Science Professor Fred Smoller also deleted the reference to Daniel Ortgea in his anti-Rocco YouTube posting of the Rocco address at the Community Forum. The following is a partial transcript of Rocco’s statement at the Community Forum referring to alleged circumstances surrounding Daniel Ortega’s death:

    “…and the past Human Resources, ahh, Dr. Poutsma, or Mr. Poutsma, whatever you want to call him, he didn’t tell anybody. The newspapers didn’t report it, he endangered your children, the teachers, the administrators, and it ended with the death of Daniel Ortega who was at the time, he still is, the president’s brother
    [Note: OUSD Trustee John Ortega who was OUSD Board President at the time of his brother's death. Wes Poutsma is now an OUSD Trustee].

    So why would you want them to test your children. Don’t give your information to the Orange Unified School District. Protect your children, you test them yourself, you keep it yourself and don’t trust the school district; very important, because they are not going to help you. They’ll help themselves.”

    Fairhaven Memorial Park- $50 to Orange Every Day Campaign; Villa Park H.S. Choir Boosters- $ 9,000 for salaries; El Modena Cheer Boosters-$4,320 for stipends; Canyon HS Band Boosters- $5,883- for Stipends; Crescent Primary PTA-$9,300- for computers and teacher’s workroom laminator. See the Agenda for all of the community donations.

    INDSIDE the October 11th, 2007 OUSD Board Agenda
    With no Action Items for the first time in memory, the Board meeting will focus on Agenda Item 13, the First Quarter Status Report of the District’s Three-Year Strategic Plan (Agenda page 3).

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

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


    2007 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    4/30/07 Debra Ford Speaker Fee $ 4,090
    4/30/07 Danny Brassell Speaker Fee $ 3,500
    3/8/07 Dr. Daggett Speaker Fee $ 9,000
    9/27/07 Dr.Daggett Speaker Fee $ 35,000
    Total $ 51,500

    2007 Attorney Fee Tally:
    1/18/07 Parker & Covert (1/07 to 6/07) $175,000
    2/08/07 Miller, Brown, and Dannis $ 7, 500
    2/22/07 Parker & Covert $ 45,000
    5/10/07 Miller, Brown and Dannis $ 50,000
    7/19/07 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    Total $337,500

    2007 Administrative Conference/Travel: hidden since 6/8/06*

    *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 October 11, 2007.

    For more information


    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM on 10/11/07 Regular Session: 7:30 pm
    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/

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