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  • Wednesday, January 31, 2007

     

    SPECIAL REPORT

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST
    SPECIAL REPORT

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

    Brent Bailey Arraignment
    Postponed Until February 20th


    A sobbing Brent Bailey, on unpaid leave from his position as principal of El Modena H.S. in Orange, appeared with his lawyer at the North Justice Center in Fullerton for his arraignment on lewd conduct charges on Monday January 30th. At the request of Bailey’s lawyer, the arraignment was postponed until February 20, 2007 by Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Max DeLiema. Bailey is married and lives in Fullerton.

    Bailey was cited and released after allegedly being caught in a police sting aimed at sexual activity in restrooms at Fullerton’s Brea Dam Recreational Area on the afternoon of December 27th during Orange Unified School District’s Winter Break. While specifics about the alleged incident are not yet fully known, the charge states that Bailey “did unlawfully engage in lewd and dissolute conduct in a public place and in a place open to the public and exposed to public view”.

    The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5000 fine and six months in jail, but does not carry a required Sex Offender Registration penlty. The misdemeanor status caused a delay in notification of Orange Unified. The Fullerton Police Department did not at first notify Orange Unified because the charge was a misdemeanor. It was only after the Orange County District Attorney’s Office explained to the Fullerton Police of reporting responsibilities required in the California Education Code that the Fullerton Police contacted OUSD. After Orange officials were informed last week about the charge, Bailey was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave and an Acting Principal was placed at the school. Orange Unified administrative officials have stated the case does not include students or minors.

    The story about Bailey went national as the Associated Press picked up the story that was also covered by Los Angeles television stations, internet education news reviews, and the local print media. The story again throws Orange Unified and El Modena H.S. into the media spotlight just as the Orange Unified School Board and OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley working on a three year strategic plan that includes improving the press Orange Unified receives by 85% by the end of the three year plan. The plan also includes passing a Facilities Bond after two previous back to back bonds were defeated.

    El Modena High School, a nationally recognized school, has had more than its share of sexual press. A previous music teacher had been removed for improper student contact, and in 1999 El Modena was involved in a federal court over a Gay-Straight Alliance Club on campus. The then ultra-conservative OUSD School Board vowed to fight in court to stop the club from meeting as ultra-conservative protesters from across the country descended on the school. When it was clear that they would lose and Colin v Orange Unified could be the case law for allowing the clubs across the nation, the OUSD Board settled out of court, allowing the club to meet. CLICK ON: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Modena_High_School

    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/
    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Monday, January 29, 2007

     

    SPECIAL REPORT: El Modena H.S. Principal Removed After Arrest on Lewd Conduct


    El Modena High School Principal Brent Bailey Removed as Principal
    Principal Brent Bailey was removed from El Modena High School and placed on mandatory leave on Thursday January 25th after being arrested in Fullerton in a police sting operation. Police allege that Bailey was caught engaging in public sex with another adult male at a Fullerton recreation area known for sexual activity. Bailey was arrested for lewd conduct in a public place and will be arraigned on Tuesday January 30th.

    On Monday January 29th, Orange Unified Superintendent Thomas Godley appeared at a special lunch time staff meeting to inform the El Modena's staff that Bailey was removed from his position as principal because he was the subject of a criminal investigation that does not involve the school or students.

    Bailey had been transferred to El Modena a year and half ago from Richland Continuation High School where he was principal for seven years. By all accounts from staff, Bailey struggled to fit in with the long time teaching and administrative staff at El Modena.

    Bailey was replaced by OUSD Administrator Janet Hayes who was appointed Interim Principal.Hayes was a former teacher and counselor at El Modena. Bailey, who was known for his strong conservative Christian religous views, had scheduled an assembly called Character Counts for this Friday. The school cancelled the assembly.

    Bailey becomes the second OUSD Principal removed from a district high school this year. Former Villa Park High School Principal Ben Rich was transferred to Richland Continuation High School as ‘co-principal” after parent and staff complaints. Rich’s transfer led to OUSD Steve Rocco’s now famous comment that he would of voted to fire Rich. That comment led to Godley censoring the meeting tape by removing that comment and Rocco’s face-off with Trustee John Ortega out of the public broadcast and the OUSD Board voting to approve a Resolution of Censure against Rocco. Rocco then filed suit against OUSD with the help of the watchdog group Californians Aware. The case is pending.

    Orange Unified Schools Digest is an independent news service of
    /O/N/N/
    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints

    Sunday, January 28, 2007

     

    School Testing Fraud

    Metro Views ______________:GoCo:
    Local news editorials from the Greater Orange Communities
    (reprinted with permission)

    School Testing Fraud
    By John Rossman

    Remember a few years ago when all this testing began in schools? A couple of teachers were prosecuted for innocently having gone to bookstores and buying materials that anyone could buy to help prepare kids for such testing...nothing more than the kind of test prep books that tens of thousands of parents buy to help their kids prepare for college entrance exams.

    Today, it's the State of California that's not merely giving out general test prep materials it's giving teachers what it calls "Released Test Questions" from the actual past state exams so that kids can be trained to take the tests and create scores that make the state and local school boards look good. The so-called "Released Test Questions" are basically the same as the questions on the upcoming actual test except that "Billy Bob bought four apples" on the Released Questions is changed to "Betty Lou bought five oranges" on the actual test.

    Looks Good on Paper
    No wonder test scores are going up: Teachers are required to drill such test questions into the heads of the kids so that the kids can respond like robots on the tests.

    The question is: What are they actually learning? And what aren't they learning? Because in the current climate where the state tests only for Math and Reading, with the addition of Science in 5th grade only, the daily drilling done on the kids largely leaves out Science, History, and everything else. Recently, a teacher was reprimanded for having kids draw pictures about a story they read because drawing detracts from the drill time.

    In many schools, kids are taught Science only once a week, and History/Government/Social Studies is taught at best two or three times a week. Is there any wonder that our nation is losing ground in basic science to foreign nations and that our future citizens don't have a clue about how our republican system operates or where Iowa or Iraq are on a map?

    Education vs. Training
    Our Founding Fathers placed a great deal of emphasis on the fundamental need for America to provide its children with a well-rounded education, stating how important it was for our national well-being. Today, we have given up education for training. There's a huge difference between education that provides our children with the wide range of knowledge they'll need for success in life and training them to jump through test-taking hoops so they can make education bureaucrats look good in the press.

    Pacing Guides

    For insight into how bad things have gotten for the kids, just take a look at the so-called "pacing guides" that are now used in most school districts. Kids are herded at a gallop through complex skills that they can't hope to master in the time allotted which is usually only a single lesson, an hour or so.
    The Pacing Guide used as an example here is from the Orange Unified School District, but it's basically the same for other districts. Here's how 6th grade kids are rushed through Math:

    Skill Time allotted for learning the skill
    Add and Subtract Decimals 1-day lesson
    Multiplying with Decimals 1-day lesson
    Dividing with Decimals 1-day lesson
    Decimal Expressions and Equations 1-day lesson
    Multiply Fractions 1-day lesson
    Multiply Mixed Numbers 1-day lesson

    Could you learn each one of those skills in a single day? Neither can most children.

    In some school districts where the bureaucrats patrol the classrooms making sure teachers are sticking to the pacing guide, teachers themselves are in tears because their children are in tears pleading "Please, give us more time we don't understand this." OUSD's requires tests every few months that follow the pacing guide. The tests are demoralizing to many children who were unable to grasp the instruction that too swiftly passed in front of them because of the pacing guide.

    Parents and Voters
    The tears of teachers and children won't melt the hearts of the bureaucrats in school district offices, which is where not from the state these "pacing guides" come from. Only parents and voters can rescue their kids from this relentless production line treatment of children as if they were factory fodder. The reason why the bureaucrats get away with this and with other abuses of kids and of tax money is because they're organized and parents and voters aren't.

    At best, parents might belong to the local schools PTA, but PTAs aren't organized to beat back the problems seen today in our schools. What parents and voters need is to form district-wide political coalitions that act as watch dogs over what the bureaucrats are up to and to alert the community to take concerted political action whenever needed. It's needed now.

    Tax Money Wasted
    The "pacing guides" not only harm kids, they represent a huge waste of tax money: For example, the OUSD Pacing Guide that the district paid huge sums of money for (along with the costly testing program that goes with it) is ludicrously nothing more than the district paying out tax money to buy something it already had. In the front section of every Teacher's Edition of Math textbooks is something known as the "scope and sequence chart." It's the publisher's suggestion for the sequence in which the lessons might be taught and the amount of time that might be spent on each lesson. The pacing guide that OUSD bought is nothing more than that.

    In addition, all those demoralizing tests like the district buys from an outside source also already exist in the free materials that come with the text books. What has happened in the public's schools today is an all-too-familiar story about how opportunists pop up to feed at the public tax money trough by providing "services" that not only aren't needed, but that are even harmful to kids.

    The ball's in the parent/voter court. Get organized. Take action.

    John Rossman has served in the past as President of the Orange Unified Education Association , is currently a teacher in Orange Unified, and periodically puts out a e-newsletter on issues in education. You may contact him at Quikwrit@cs.com



    Community groups and individuals are welcome to submit editorial viewpoints on LOCAL issues for Metro Views

    Metro Views is a community news service of the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

     

    TWO ORANGE COUNTY SUPERVISORS for GREATER ORANGE?

    eLECTION Watch 2007
    _________________________________________________
    a Special News Analysis series by Orange Net News /O/N/N/


    One is a typical Orange County conservative Republican, the other a no-apologies Orange County liberal Democrat and while they both hail from tiny Villa Park (not usually associated as a political powerhouse), both of these men may end up serving on the Orange County Board of Supervisors from different districts. Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell represents the 3rd Orange County Supervisory District which Villa Park is located in (CLICK ON: http://bos.ocgov.com/third/). Long time Villa Park resident and politician Tom Umberg is running for the open seat in the Orange County 1st Supervisory District, some say as a carpetbagger.

    While Umberg has a good chance at winning against his main challenger Carlos Bustamante, the front runner in the crowded Republican field, Umberg has not gotten a free ride on the carpetbagger issue (that appears to be a non-issue in the mainstream media) from the Orange County Blogsphere led by the must read OC Blog.

    The OC Blog once again is providing coverage that the mainstream media either can’t or chooses not to do. With scoops on endorsements, candidate withdrawals, and posting candidate mailers, the troops at the OC Blog have the best election coverage on the 1st District Special Election. However, more than that, it is by far the best election coverage they have ever done. The highlight so far was of the OC Blog’s coverage was the posting that included an outside video of the expansive Villa Park Umberg home along with a description of the MacArthur Village 800 square foot condominiums in Santa Ana that Umberg lists as his 1st Supervisory District home. The OC Blog also reported that Umberg moved to a second unit in the same complex and that he, his wife and two grown children have all registered to vote from the units at the Santa Ana complex.

    OC Blog Video on Umberg Villa Park Home
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2007/01/ive_raised_the_.html

    OC Blog posted PDF File on the Umberg condominiums in Santa Ana
    http://www.ocblog.net/MacArthur_Village.pdf

    71st Assembly Run for Mark Murphy?

    The OC Blog has also reported that Orange Councilman Mark Murphy is interested in running for the 71st Assembly District seat that Todd Spitzer currently holds. Spitzer will be termed out in 2008 unless a much talked about and politically dreamed about “term extension” becomes a reality.
    CLICK ON:
    http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2007/01/70th_assembly_d.html

    eLECTION Watch 2007 is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/OrangeNetNews@verizon.net
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Monday, January 15, 2007

     

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day


    Sunday, January 14, 2007

     

    Orange Unified Schools DIGEST

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

    NEW YEAR AGENDA FOR JANUARY 18th 2008
    OUSD TRUSTEE MEETING

    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: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2007/01/orange-unified-begins-march-toward.html

    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


    JANUARY 18th OUSD BOARD MEETING
    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 .


    COMMUNITY DONATIONS
    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.


    Digest’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2007
    “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
    CLICK ON: http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_011807.pdf

    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
    /O/N/N/
    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent, Local, News and Viewpoints”

    Friday, January 05, 2007

     

    Orange Unified begins march toward a 2008 School Facilities Bond

    OU$D BOND Watch 2008
    a Special News Analysis series by
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/



    In 2006, the Orange Unified School District Trustees approved the OUSD Strategic Plan that among other things calls for placement of a third School Facilities Bond to be placed on the June 2008 Ballot with the goal of 25% of OUSD schools modernized by September 2009. OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley, a self proclaimed disciple of the private sector Good to Great management approach, uses a classic Good to Great flywheel approach in the OUSD Strategic Plan. That plan in part lays out a multifaceted approach to using district resources to promote public relations (with a goal of “60% more positive media”), build business and community relations, and run the 2008 OUSD Bond Election. The OUSD Strategic Plan maps out how this is to be accomplished by using community committees to “educate” the community about OUSD needs; uses Community Surveys (both public relations and political) to gauge community support; fills the new District Development Coordinator position; and hires a Bond Consultant to run the 2008 OUSD Bond Campaign.

    Two of the four sections outlined in the OUSD Strategic Plan are geared toward passing the 2008 OUSD Bond. The first section called Partnerships works towards “educating” the community through committees and business partnerships OUSD facilities needs. The Partnerships section has four subgroups devoted to the “educating” and public relations campaign “Ready to Sell”: Public Relations Campaign; Revamp the District’s use of Foundations; Director of Community Development; and Stakeholder Committee.

    The second section outlined in the OUSD Strategic Plan geared toward passing the 2008 OUSD Bond is called Facilities. Two of the five Facilities subgroups are geared toward passing the 2008 OUSD Bond: Promote passing a facilities bond; and Promote Community Partnerships to adopt schools.

    Orange Net News has used the timelines from the six subgroups of OUSD Strategic Plan that are part of passing the OUSD 2008 Bond to produce the following unified timeline of the OUSD’s march toward the 2008 Bond Campaign:

    TIMELINE of OUSD 2008 Bond Election

    January 2007
    Public Relations Campaign: Ready to Sell, a coordinated district message to “sell” OUSD

    Revamp the District’s use of Foundations: Begin developing community partnerships

    Director of Community Development: Hire a candidate for the position of Director of Development

    March 2007
    Promote Community Partnerships to adopt schools: Community Partnership Committee formed using parents, students, alumni and business representatives

    May 2007
    Public Relations Campaign: Baseline sample of community to measure the level of involvement and trust by the community of OUSD in a telephone survey with a “test message”

    Revamp the District’s use of Foundations: First Annual Partnership Summit Conference- meeting with community businesses

    June 2007
    Promote passing a facilities bond: Hire a Bond Consultant, begin Facility Evaluation

    Promote Community Partnerships to adopt schools: Community Partnership Committee identifies targeted businesses for partnerships

    July 2007
    Promote passing a facilities bond
    : OUSD Bond Consultant will conduct a community Bond Survey by telephone

    Director of Community Development: Director of Development visits business partnerships to thank and ask the following: “1) Thank them 2) What are your thoughts 3) How can we improve”

    August 2007
    Promote passing a facilities bond: OUSD Bond Consultant completes the community Bond Survey

    September 2007
    Promote passing a facilities bond: Establish Bond Taxable Rate

    Promote Community Partnerships to adopt schools: Community Partnership Committee selects “representatives” to approach targeted businesses

    Revamp the District’s use of Foundations: Align the resources of First Annual Partnership Summit Conference to OUSD needs


    October 2007

    Director of Community Development: Begin Donor Recognition Program

    Promote Community Partnerships to adopt schools
    : “Begin Education of community regarding needs”

    January 2008
    Director of Community Development: Identify and develop “new relationships”

    February 2008
    Stakeholder Committee: Principals recommend parents and students for Stakeholder Committee

    March 2008
    Promote passing a facilities bond: “Board of Ed. Votes to place bond on ballot. Campaign for bond begins”

    Stakeholder Committee: Stakeholder Committee begins monthly meetings

    June 2008
    Promote passing a facilities bond: Bond election

    LAST THREE BOND ELECTIONS IN GREATER ORANGE COMMUNIITES

    November 2006 Election Results RSCCD Measure O (needed 55% to pass)
    Santa Ana College/Santiago Canyon College Improvement Bonds
    Completed Precincts: 318 of 318
    Vote Count Percentage
    Bonds - Yes 48520 53.2%
    Bonds - No 42766 46.8%

    November 2004 Election Results
    OUSD Measure A Bond (needed 55% to pass)
    A-Orange Unified School District $196 Million Bond Measure
    Vote Count Percentage
    Yes 42928 54.6%
    No 35712 45.4%

    March 2004 OUSD Measure A Bond(needed 55% to pass)
    A-Orange Unified School Dist. Improvement Bond
    Vote Count Percentage
    Yes 21797 48.9%
    No 22778 51.1%

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK ON:
    Orange Unified Strategic Plan:
    http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/downloads/strategic_plan.xls

    ONN’s Good to Great Series:
    PART I: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/02/hedgehog-digest.html

    PART II: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/02/hedgehog-digest_26.html

    PART III: http://greaterorange.blogspot.com/2006/04/hedgehog-digest-part-iii.html

    OU$D BOND Watch 2008
    is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/

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