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  • Wednesday, September 26, 2007

     

    OUSD’s Culture of Consultants continues to waste our educational tax dollars

    Metro Views
    Viewpoints from the Greater Orange Communities


    The failed Orange Unified School District consultant driven OUSD Focus on Results program cost tax payers millions of dollars in local educational tax funds to which OUSD Trustee Wes Poutsma infamously quipped upon voting to approve the bureaucratic boondoggle:

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

    Sadly, despite dismal OUSD’s secondary schools state testing scores this year, according to OUSD President Kim Nichols, the OUSD Focus on Results program will be back again this year in a new improved format, although no one is sure what that “new” format will look like.

    Unfortunately it appears that the OUSD “we got it, let’s waste it” mentality lives on as the OUSD administration continues it’s Culture of Consultants, this time dumping thousands into “training” by a controversial consultant with apparently big ethical problems. Controversial Educational Consultant Dr. Willard Daggett got $9,000 in speaking fees once this year from OUSD, and now will be getting another $35,000 for a two day workshop for all the OUSD leadership in August 2008. In addition, some OUSD schools are being required to send up to ten teachers to a two day Daggett training in San Diego in February 2008. What do you learn in two days for thousands of educational tax dollars? As one OUSD principal put it to the school’s staff in trying to recruit teaches to go to the Daggett training:

    “Symposium participants will learn how to shift the paradigm away from a culture that is centered on teaching to one that is centered on student learning by developing a system that embraces change and a curriculum that meets the current and future needs of all learners.”

    Now that is a hefty two day learning experience! Why go to college for four years, then continue your education for your teaching credential, masters degree and more (spending all that time and your own money) when in two days (and at taxpayer expense) you can learn “a curriculum that meets the current and future needs of all learners” . Shouldn’t every teacher in America go?

    When government bureaucrats start questioning you for being wasteful, you know you have a problem. Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Chester Finn Jr. states in an article critical of Daggett in Investors Business Daily (see link below):

    “The educational community is constantly and chronically taken in by any peddler of snake oil or witchcraft that comes down the pike. They just mutter words that educators like to hear. If you use the right buzzwords, you can turn yourself into a millionaire. Most of it is just hocus-pocus”

    Daggett has been called to the carpet for numerous misrepresentations by educators and educational organizations like the Phi Delta Kappa Board of Directors (see links below). Yet he continues to rake in millions of educational tax dollars because educators, especially it appears administrators, continue to refuse to do basic research on what they hear, always ready to jump on the next band wagon. In the “Era of Accountability” educational bureaucrats-educrats- continue to be accountable to no one except rubber-stamping school Boards- just like ours in Orange Unified School District.

    So despite the dismal secondary test scores coming on the heals of millions of dollars dumped into consultant culture OUSD’s Focus on Results, expect the Orange Unified School Board to approve, without discussion, another $35,000 for an educational consultant who is under fire for being ethically challenged to “train” OUSD administrators and teachers to magically meet the current and future needs of all learners as OUSD tax payers watch their tax dollars magically disappear into thin air. Hocus Pocus!

    The Greater Orange Community Organization
    _______________________________________________
    OUSD Secondary State Scores Take a Nose Dive: VPHS Minus 22 pts
    STATE SCORES


    2007 Rotten Apple Award for Dr. Daggett


    National Issue are Consultants worth it? By Tryce Palmaffy
    Article 1

    Consultant gets Big Bucks for small bang

    Article 2

    The Education Rotten Apple Awards for 2002
    Article 3

    Inconsistencies on Daggett’s Quotes
    Article 4

    Fact or Fiction: Questions raised after educational consultant visits district during last school year
    Article 5

    Dishonest Characteristics of the Director of Character Education in Arkansas
    Article 6


    *Consolidation- A Vital Step to Government Control of Education and the Economy

    Article 7

    Metro VIEWS
    is an open forum to express viewpoints on local Greater Orange issues.
    Views expressed in Metro VIEWS are not necessarily the views of the NETWORKS that ECAST or post them.

    Sunday, September 23, 2007

     

    Orange Unified Schools INSIDE

    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 will take place at the OUSD Board Room on Tuesday September 25th.

    Concerns from the OUSD Trustees surfaced when a mandatory drug testing program was proposed by administrators. In Item 12D (page 23) of the April 19th, 2007 Board Agenda, the idea returned as a “voluntary” policy that continued to raise concerns from Board members and community members.

    Aimed at the district’s high schools, the policy in part stated:
    “The Superintendent or designee shall establish and maintain a voluntary drug testing program at the schools within the District when need is determined by the school principal in concert with staff, parents, students, and the community. Participation in this program shall require the written consent of the student and his/her parents/guardians”.

    Studies on both sides of the Drug Testing Issue are cited to provide support for the pro and con of testing. Many in the community believe that first line of defense against drug abuse is a student’s family and believe that local government should not replace the functions of the family. Others believe that drug testing by local government is function of the government in the war on drugs.

    The Community Forum will present experts and opinions from both sides of the issue and allow community members to voice their opinions.

    September 13th OUSD School Board Meeting Recap

    The OUSD Board approved the school calendar for next year and gave preliminary approval for the following two school year calendars. Trustee John Ortega took the opportunity to ask for a study into flexibility in scheduling the high school graduations that take place in the hottest time of the day, or providing more emergency services for the extreme mid-day heat. OUSD Superintendent Thomas Godley stated that the graduation options would be discussed at an upcoming Principal’s Meeting.

    OUSD Assistant Superintendent Jon Archibald for Business Services put to rest the tired old boring PowerPoint presentations on the OUSD Budget and upped the ante with a slick state of the art video presentation on the OUSD Budget. The fast paced informative video featured Archibald and friends making appearances on screen by magic-like smoke-filled entrances and exits amid the requisite financial charts. At one point the smoke turned to a background of faint money and numbers falling from the sky in what only could be described as a chief financial officers dream sequence (or maybe nightmare?). Who said business and art don’t mix? Perhaps a place in Hollywood awaits Producer Jon Archibald. Kudos for a great engaging, informative, presentation that shows there is often no power in PowerPoint.

    In a cutting edge creative financial plan that a member of the consulting financial team labeled the “interest earnings game”, the OUSD Administration presented a second informational installment of a plan to issue bonds to save $102 million dollars on projected health benefit costs from the abandoned OUSD lifetime health benefits to those retirees who still have them. With the OUSD Trustees Rick Ledesma, Kim Nichols, Kathy Moffat and Wes Poutsma asking questions showing the complex careful nature of their deliberations, the new funding measure was given a consensus-go-ahead by the Board. Liking it to a “refinance”, the OPED Bond funding idea appeared to win over the Board with the promised savings of over $100 million dollars compared to the current plan to pay for the benefits as a pay-as you-go.

    Trustee Steve Rocco who tried to question the July 19th minutes earlier in the meeting (but was called out of order), used his Board Member Comments time at the end of the meeting to make his point. During the OUSD Board Meeting on July 19th, 2007 Trustee Melissa Smith participated by “teleconference” from Indiana. Referring to that meeting, Rocco read a portion of the Brown Act that deals with teleconferencing. The Brown Act allows such teleconferencing but only if a quorum exists where the meeting is being held (the person teleconferencing does not count toward the quorum). Rocco pointed out that the minutes appear to show that Smith was counted as a part of the establishing quorum for the Closed Session meeting. Rocco noted that the minutes do not clarify if a quorum of four other trustees were present when a quorum was established and the meeting was adjourned to closed session. No one could remember who came in at what time, so the video tape will have to be reviewed to establish if a legal quorum was present when the Closed Session was called to order. Trustee Moffat noted with only seven of them it should be possible to note when they arrive and depart meetings.

    INDSIDE the September 27, 2007 OUSD Board Agenda

    The Closed Session starting time has been moved for this meeting to 7:00 p.m. For the 7:30 p.m. Open Session, Energy Conservation and agreements on health benefits with the District’s employee associations are scheduled for the four Action Items (Agenda pages 4-20).

    The Informational Item will be a presentation on the OUSD Student Achievement results. Since the release of the information, and the move by Trustee Rick Ledesma to tie Godley’s pay raise to Student Achievement, Godley’s long-time Good to Great business model seems to have gone out the window. One of the tenets of that business model is that the model companies stoically accepted, confronted, and embraced publicly the brutal facts of reality. We saw a glimmer of Godley following that basic tenet last year with the announcement that OUSD testing scores were not rising fast enough to meet the increasing demands of No Child Left Behind. However, this year it appears Godley has forgotten how to embrace the brutal facts as his September 07 Press Release ignores the dismal OUSD secondary scores with the headline declaring “OUSD Schools continue to improve”. The one paragraph press release ignores all the indicators that mean bigger problems ahead including a 22 point drop at Villa Park High School as the first OUSD school to drop below the magic 800 state score requirement. Apparently the Good to Great model of confronting the brutal facts stops when they may affect your raise going from Good to Great.

    Controversial Consultant to get $35,000 from OUSD for a two-day workshop


    ''If you used the right buzzwords you could turn yourself into a millionaire. Most of it is just hocus-pocus.''
    -Chester Finn Jr. Former Asst. U.S. Secretary of Education

    Controversial consultant Dr. Willard Daggett will be paid another $35,000 for a two day workshop (Consent Item Agenda page 57) for the OUSD administrators next year. Daggett, who has an impressive resume, has had his resume and honesty called into question by many in the educational establishment (see the following links). This is the second time OUSD has paid Daggett. The first fee was for $9,000 approved by the Board on 3/8/07.

    In one controversy, Daggett was involved in was his consulting on Arkansas Gov, Huckabee’s (now a Republican Presidential Candidate) Character Education program. In her article, Consolidation- A Vital Step to Government Control of Education and the Economy, Arkansas political writer Debbie Pelly wrote about the controversy of having Daggett head the program while under attack for his own character issues and how Gov. Huckabee had do distance himself from Daggett:

    “And people have been led to believe that Daggett was contracted to head up Character Education. In fact, the Governor's office said in a letter, "William Daggett is helping the Department of Education compile a model character education. . . Daggett will have no influence over any issue or subject that is mandated to schools from the state." From the article in the paper it appears Daggett had unbelievable influence.
    Willard Daggett has also gained a reputation for dishonesty which has been reported in several newspapers and academic journals for flat out lying about numerous facts and educational research and personal information. He claimed to be the president of a college when in actuality he was just a professor there and fabricated many other stories. His dishonesty was the feature of one newspaper that earned a national award. Yet thousands of dollars have been used to disseminate his character education material to counselors across the state.”


    Want more on the shady past of Dr. Daggett and the “rigor” applied to him? Read all about him here as you kiss $35,000 in OUSD educational tax dollars good-bye!

    National Issue are Consultants worth it? By Tryce Palmaffy
    Article 1

    Consultant gets Big Bucks for small bang
    Article 2

    The Education Rotten Apple Awards for 2002
    Article 3 (THIS WEBSITE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

    Inconsistencies on Daggett’s Quotes
    Article 4

    Fact or Fiction: Questions raised after educational consultant visits district during last school year
    Article 5

    Dishonest Characteristics of the Director of Character Education in Arkansas
    Article 6

    *Consolidation- A Vital Step to Government Control of Education and the Economy

    Article 7


    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

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2007:
    $ 389,090.00 Total
    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 September 27th, 2007.

    For more information
    CLICK ON: http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/board/pdf/agenda_092707.pdf

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 7 PM on 9/27/07 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

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

     

    ROCCO RECALL ROLLS ON TO DECEMBER

    Metro VIEWS
    Viewpoints from the Greater Orange Communities


    Due to the obvious confusion regarding the Rocco Recall, we would like to provide you and your readers with the official update from the Committee to Recall Steve Rocco:


    Official Statement

    1). The Rocco Recall is ongoing. We were aware that completing the process by September 21st was a lofty goal due to summer vacations and schools not being in session. We officially have until December 5th to submit valid signatures to the Registrar of Voters.

    2). By submitting signatures at the Dec. 5th deadline, we should qualify for the June Primary election. Contrary to what you were told, we do not have to refile in order to qualify for the June ballot.

    3). To date, we have collected more than a third of the required signatures needed. The recall committee will not be releasing exact numbers, as we continue to review the submitted signatures and petitions for accuracy.

    4). Many activities for signature gathering have been planned for the month of October, and we will continue to make progress and plan more events until the goal is reached. Super Saturday events are scheduled for October 6th and October 27th.

    5). The feedback from the community has been enormously positive in the short time that we have been engaged in this process. Among the comments most commonly heard are: “What took you so long to do this?”, and “Thank you so much for taking this on.”

    If you would like to be a part of this community service project or would like to sign a petition, contact the recall committee at: recallrocco@cox.net.

    Committee to Recall Steve Rocco

    Metro VIEWS
    is an open forum to express viewpoints on local Greater Orange issues.

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

     

    ROCCO RECALL FAILS

    SPECIAL REPORT
    An Orange Net News analysis
    THE ROCCO RECALL REPORT:
    ROCCO RECALL FAILS

    Sources close to the Committee to Recall Steve Rocco are reporting that with just a matter of days left until the September 21th deadline, the effort to collect at least 15,000 signatures to place the recall question on the February ballot has failed.

    Sources state that the organizers are disappointed in the Greater Orange Community for its failure to get behind the Rocco Recall. An analysis of the effort shows the Recall Organizers, made up of mostly close friends, neighbors and associates of the OUSD Trustees who make up the current Godley Majority failed to gather a broad community coalition to support the Rocco Recall effort. As one longtime OUSD Board watcher put it “the Recall looked like a personal thing by the Board members and Godley. Most people shrug off Rocco’s antics and don't view him as a threat”. Those sentiments also seem to reflect the non-committal attitude of the district’s teachers who for the most part in this recall effort stayed off in the sidelines. As one teacher representative to the teacher’s association Representative Council summed it up, “If Marty Jacobson [recalled former OUSD Trustee] was a lone lunatic he would never have been recalled. Rocco is one vote and doesn’t control a block of votes. Teacher’s see him as harmless in the bigger scheme of things.”

    While Trustee Steve Rocco is famous for his quirky Partnership Theory and verbal clashes with other trustees that have bordered on going physical, he does have some “closet” admirers who wish he could articulate some of his views sans the conspiracy focus. His past diatribes have included (between the unrelated gibberish) stanch support for the Santiago Charter during the Revocation Attempt. He has been popularly “politically incorrect” about the standardized testing speaking out about the obvious racial divide between Asians and whites versus other minorities. He has advocated for more hands on classes at the high schools. Rocco has supported negotiated teacher and support staff wage increases while questioning automatic administration raises. He has opposed all types of wasteful spending like when former Villa Park High School Principal Ben Rich was made “co-principal” of Richland High School (since Rich quit OUSD that “co-principal” has not been replaced). He refuses to participate in non-public Closed Session for reasons of principle which have frustrated other OUSD Trustees to a point beyond reason. He has been a fierce critic of OUSD Superintendent Dr. Godley (often making personal attacks on him). Perhaps more importantly, the majority of the OUSD Trustees have not been able to control, quite, or contain him despite their best legal and procedural efforts. Now, they have failed to recall him.

    The Committee has stated they have until December 5th to turn in signatures for the June 2008 Ballot and that they will continue collecting signatures until that date.

    Failure to recall Steve Rocco could give him folk-hero status. What now seems like a likely November 2008 election defeat could with a second recall attempt failure turn into another odd election victory as multiple candidates go after the seat.

    Worst of all for the current Board, the misstep of the poorly timed attempt and failure of two Bond Issues shows a Board that is out of touch with the realities of the Greater Orange Community, a Board consumed by the efforts of manipulating public relations, and to top it all off, has now created a Recall Proof Rocco.


    SPECIAL REPORT
    THE ROCCO RECALL REPORT

    Is produced by Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

     

    OUSD Superintendent’s Raise Approved as OUSD’s Secondary School API Scores Nose Dive

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/ Independent insight into OUSD

    OUSD Superintendent’s Raise Approved as OUSD’s Secondary School API Scores Nose Dive

    At their August 23rd, 2007 meeting, the so called Godley Majority of the Orange Unified School Board of Trustees approved a new $242,000 pay package for Orange Unified Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley (Vote to Approve: Yes-Kathy Moffat, Lissa Smith, Wes Poutsma, John Ortega, Kimberly Nichols; No- Rick Ledesma, Steve Rocco). Before the voting to approve, the Board voted down a motion from Trustee Rick Ledesma to postpone the hike until after the August 31st release of the state Academic Performance Index test scores. The new third pay hike amendment to Godley’s contract came one week after the release of a disappointing California STAR testing report for Orange Unified which Godley described as “flat” and one week before the release of the Academic Performance Index (API). Godley stated that the OUSD scores mirror the leveling off of scores on the state and national level. Godley did not mention OUSD’s “flat” scores came despite the multi-millions of educational tax dollars that the current OUSD Board dumped into an unproven consultant program, OUSD’s Focus on Results. The consultant program was described by one OUSD Administrator in a public report to the OUSD Board as akin to “marriage encounter training”.

    A week after the August 23rd meeting, the state released the API scores and it was clear that the 5 point OUSD “flat” whole district growth (as a whole the state had a 6 point growth) was somewhat misleading when the individual OUSD school scores were examined. A close analysis shows that OUSD can thank the “flat” 5 point growth to OUSD elementary and state identified and supported Program Improvement School’s double digit testing growth that offset huge losses at the high schools. An analysis of the latest API scores that most OUSD secondary school scores plummeted in both the schoolwide and in the important federal subgroup categories with all OUSD high schools except Orange High having falling scores (however Orange HS still failed in subgroup growth). Villa Park High School’s scores free fell 22 points to become the first OUSD high school to drop below the state’s 800 target score.

    In his motion to delay consideration of Godley’s raise until after those API state scores were publicly available, Trustee Rick Ledesma reasoned that as the head of the organization, the superintendent of the school district should be held accountable for test scores since test scores are now the clear indicator of the success of that organization. Moffat was prepared to support the raise with statistical information comparing the OUSD Superintendent’s pay package with other Orange County school districts, but not comparing testing achievement. Moffat also stated that the benefit package for the OUSD Superintendent was not lucrative because it did not include health coverage, life insurance, a district car or mileage allowance. The Godley Majority voted down the Ledesma Motion to Postpone Consideration (Vote To Postpone: Yes- Ledesma, Rocco; No: Moffat, Smith, Poutsma, Ortega, Nichols).

    At the end of the meeting in the comments from the Board section, Ledesma was chastised by the Godley Majority for his introduction of the motion to postpone the Godley pay hike until after the release of the state API scores. Moffat criticized Ledesma’s timing and stated that he had the opportunity to introduce his idea earlier in the Superintendet's review process. Ledesma countered that in the past when he makes proposals his ideas are not given a chance and then Board members are prepared to attack him in Open Session. He stated he now prefers to present his ideas in public. In a rare public stance, the OUSD Administrative staff handed a note to Board President Kim Nichols while the trustees bickered. Nichols relayed the content of the note stating that the staff reminds the Board the OUSD scores have gone up in the past. Ledesma took exception to the general staff statement stating that this year’s API Scores had not been released and those should be considered in the proposed pay amendment for this year. Poutsma argued that test scores should not be part of the superintendent’s review stating “Test Scores live and die in the classroom”.

    TRUSTEE AREA CHANGE
    Agenda Item 13 B on the August 23rd agenda was a discussion on possible changes in the OUSD Trustee Areas. Looking to work previously done on the issue, the Board members seemed to mostly agree that the current system of seven Trustee Areas has served the diverse Greater Orange Communities well and should be kept in place. The trustees seemed to agree that the population differences that have come with steady growth in the district should be addressed as well as trying to avoid splitting communities between different Trustee Areas. The item was sent back to staff for further study and work to be presented at a later date.

    Next Board Meeting: The Boys are Back in Town
    A new Student Advisory Council (SCABE) will be seated for this school year and for the first time anyone at Orange Net News can remember it will be an all male panel. The new student representatives are: Canyon- Brendan Adams; El Modena- Matt Vorwerk; Orange- Termone Procter; Richland- Edward Acevedo; Villa Park- Alex Chase.

    INSIDE the OUSD Agenda for September 13th , 2007• Item 12 A: Approval of school calendars for the next three school years.
    • Item 12 B: Final budget for this school year includes $7,458,000 (3%) required state reserve fund and $6,612,000 Unappropriated educational tax funds that the OUSD Board can spend
    • Item 13: More discussion on bonds to fund post-employee benefits

    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


    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS
    WATCH 2007:

    Total* $854,159.00

    2007 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    3/8/07 Dr. Daggett Speaker Fee $ 9,000
    4/30/07 Debra Ford Speaker Fee $ 4,090
    4/30/07 Danny Brassell Speaker Fee $ 3,500
    Total $ 16,590

    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
    6/21/07 Miller, Brown and Dannis (pg 25) $ 75,000
    6/21/07 Parker & Covert (pg 25) $ 200,000
    6/21/07 Parker & Covert (pg 72) $ 150,000
    6/21/07 Atkinson, A.L.R and Romo (pg 72) $ 150,000
    Total $852, 500


    *2007 Administrative Conference/Travel: hidden since 6/8/06. On 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 September 13, 2007. For more information
    CLICK ON: AGENDA SEPT 13

    OUSD CLOSED SESSION STARTS 6:30 PM 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/
    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent Local Insight”

    Monday, September 03, 2007

     

    SPECIAL REPORT: OUSD Secondary API Scores take a nose dive

    Villa Park H.S. scores drop 22 points
    VPHS subgroups all drop,
    school first to fall below target 800 API score



    Orange Unified School District Superintendent Thomas Godley had described the OUSD state testing scores as “flat” and comparable with the state wide results. With the release last week of the Academic Performance Index (API) scores it was clear that the 5 point OUSD whole district growth (as a whole the state had a 6 point growth) was misleading when the individual school scores were examined. OUSD can thank the “flat” 5 point growth to elementary and state identified Program Improvement School double digit growth as most of OUSD secondary school scores tanked in both the school wide and in the important federal subgroup categories. The real story was that all OUSD high schools except Orange High had falling scores (however Orange HS still failed in subgroup growth) with Villa Park High School free falling 22 points to become the first OUSD high school to drop below the state’s 800 target score.

    Most of the district’s secondary schools had problems with the required federal No Child Left Behind subgroups. Under the federal law, schools must track progress of subgroups of students to insure that all types of students are achieving at a school. In California, student subgroups scores at a particular school are counted if the school has at least 100 students of a particular subgroup. The rationale is that if particular subgroups fail to meet the improvement goals then the school is leaving students behind. The emphasis on subgroups requires schools to address the ‘learning gap” between high achieving groups (whites and Asians) and the other subgroups. Orange Unified’s diverse population leads to OUSD schools having varieties of unique localized subgroups. Orange Unified’s multimillion dollar, multi-year Trustee approved failed Focus on Results program did not address this basic well-known subgroup dilemma that now threatens to increase OUSD’s state identified Program Improvement Schools by next year as more OUSD schools are failing to meet the subgroup growth requirement. That list of failing schools could grow to again include an OUSD high school, the prestigious Villa Park High School.

    At the August 23rd OUSD School Board Meeting, the Board voted against Trustee Rick Ledesma’s motion to table a generous retroactive pay amendment to OUSD Superintendent Godley’s contract until after this year’s API scores were released. The OUSD Board Majority then later voted to approve that pay hike that raises Godley’s pay to $242,500 a year (both votes were split 5 to 2: Smith, Ortega, Nichols, Moffat, Poutsma-YES; Ledesma, Rocco-NO). Ledesma had argued to wait to factor in this year’s API results into the Godley’s review. Later at the end of the meeting in a tone normally reserved for on-the-outs eccentric Trustee Steve Rocco, members of the Godley Majority of the Board took Ledesma to task for his last minute move to delay the Superintendent’s raise because of test scores.

    Orange Net News has complied the API results for select OUSD schools below (to view a specific school visit STAR RESULTS ) and has included each school’s subgroup scores (note each school has different qualified subgroups). The goal of each school is to score above the API score of 800. Once above that score there are no sanctions. However, a school below that score and failing to reach growth goals two years in a row are designated as Program Improvement Schools with specific yearly improvement sanctions that could theoretically led to a state take over of the school.


    Orange Unified School District Whole District Comparison
    OUSD (total district) API SCORE PLUS: +5
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 782
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 777

    Orange County (all schools) API SCORE PLUS: +1
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 774
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 773

    California (all schools) API SCORE PLUS: +6
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 727
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 721

    OUSD HIGH SCHOOL API SCORES:

    Canyon H.S.
    Canyon’s API score dropped five points to 815 just remaining just above the state target score of 800. All of Canyon’s subgroups scores dropped.

    School Wide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE MINUS: (-5)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 815
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 820
    SUBGROUPS (+/-):
    Asian (-2)
    Hispanic/Latino (-12)
    White (-1)
    Students with Disabilities (-18)


    EL Modena H.S.
    El Modena API score dropped 14 points and is now 30 points away from the state target score of 800. Only the Hispanic/Latino subgroup showed growth with major drops in its other subgroups.

    School Wide Improvement: No
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE MINUS: (-14)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 770
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 784
    SUBGROUPS:
    Asian (-23)
    Hispanic/ Latino +8
    White (-9)
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged (-19)
    English Learners (-19)
    Students with Disabilities (-33)


    Orange H.S.

    Orange H.S. was the only OUSD high school that had a gain in the school API score this year, however it still failed in its subgroup growth. Orange H.S., a former designated Program Improvement School (it no longer is), continued its testing growth with an API increase of 8 points. Strong scores in its Asian subgroup and white’s subgroup (the only high school to have whites improve) offset the Panther’s small losses in the English Learners and Student’s with disabilities subgroups and a miss of growth by Hispanics.

    School Wide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE PLUS: +8
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 695
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 687
    SUBGROUPS:
    Asian +39
    Hispanic/Latino +4 (failed to grow by 7 points)
    White +19
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +9
    English Learners (-3)
    Students with Disabilities (-3)


    Villa Park H.S.

    The difficult year at Villa Park H.S. showed in the VPHS API Scores with a whopping 22 point drop, sending Villa Park below the state 800 target score and giving VPHS the distinction of being the first OUSD school to drop below the states mandatory 800 score number. All the high school’s subgroups dropped significantly. Another year like this and the unthinkable could happen: Villa Park High School designated by the state a Program Improvement School. What would happen to property values in Villa Park with the namesake high school designated as a state failing school?

    School Wide Improvement: No
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE MINUS: (-22)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 791
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 813
    SUBGROUPS:
    Asian (-8)
    Hispanic/Latino (-32)
    White (-16)
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged (-49)
    Students with Disabilities (-24)

    MIDDLE SCHOOLS API SCORES:


    Cerro Villa M.S.
    CV’s white subgroup’s plus 17 API increase helped saved the school’s API score from going down as the score remained 817 despite a 22 point drop in Hispanic/Latino scores and a 25 point drop in the Socioeconomic Disadvantaged subgroup.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE No Change: (zero)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 817
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 817
    SUBGROUPS:
    Asian (-2)
    Hispanic/Latino (-22)
    White +17
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged (-25)

    El Rancho Charter M.S.
    The El Rancho Asian subgroup raised 18 points while the school’s White and Hispanic subgroups dropped.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE MINUS: (-1)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 862
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 863
    SUBGROUPS:
    Asian +18
    Hispanic/Latino (-6)
    White (-3)


    Portola M.S. (Program Improvement School Year 5)

    As one of OUSD’s Program Improvement Schools, Portola’s three subgroups all had double digit increases which made Portola one of only three OUSD secondary schools to have increasing school wide scores.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: Yes
    Improvement in Both: Yes

    API SCORE PLUS: +10
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 684
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 674
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +14
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +16
    English Learners +18

    Santiago Charter M.S.
    Santiago’s white subgroup helped drop Santiago’s school wide API score by 7 points despite the other three subgroups increasing.

    Schoolwide Improvement: No
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No


    API SCORE PLUS: (-7)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 776
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 769
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +1
    White (-8)
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +9
    English Learners +2

    Yorba M.S. (Program Improvement School Year 4)
    Long ago rejecting OUSD’s failed Focus on Results program, the Yorba staff focused inward and away from district driven mandates to produce the biggest secondary API jump in OUSD.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: Yes
    Improvement in Both: Yes


    API SCORE PLUS: +22
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 695
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 674
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +32
    White -4
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +38
    English Learners +32

    McPherson Magnet K-8
    Well above the state’s 800 API score goal, McPherson’s two subgroups both dropped.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE MINUS: (-4)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 858
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 862
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino (-14)
    White (-8)

    OUSD’s State Designated Elementary Program Improvement Schools

    Esplanade E.S. (Program Improvement School Year 4)
    Another Program Improvement School to have double digit increases to help save OUSD’s overall district scores.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: Yes
    Improvement in Both: Yes


    API SCORE PLUS: +24
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 698
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 674
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +29
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +28
    English Learners +44

    Fairhaven E.S. (Program Improvement School Year 4)
    Two of this Program Improvement Schools’ three subgroups had double digit increases, however not enough to put the school into positive numbers.

    Schoolwide Improvement: No
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE PLUS OR MINUS: (-1)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 651
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 652
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +10
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged (-4)
    English Learners +12


    Handy E.S. (Program Improvement School Year 3)

    Handy’s huge double digit subgroup increases led to a 34 point jump in school wide API scores.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: Yes
    Improvement in Both: Yes

    API SCORE PLUS OR MINUS: +34
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 671
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 637
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +36
    White +51
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +36
    English Learners +28

    Lampson E.S. (Program Improvement School Year 2)
    Lampson’s scores are typical of the “flat” scores described by OUSD Superintendent Godley. Will Lampson’s new principal Cheryl Cohen, OUSD Focus on Results architect and former OUSD Assistant Superintendent, be able to make her infamous “marriage encounter training” philosophy work in OUSD’s outer edges?

    Schoolwide Improvement: No
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE PLUS OR MINUS: (-2)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 705
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 707
    SUBGROUPS:
    Asian (-12)
    Hispanic/Latino +1
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged (zero)
    English Learners +3

    Prospect E.S. (Program Improvement School Year 3)
    The 37 point increase doesn’t make up last year’s 60 point drop, but it certainly helps.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: Yes
    Improvement in Both: Yes

    API SCORE PLUS OR MINUS: (+37)
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 718
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 681
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +29
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +30
    English Learners +54

    Sycamore E.S. (Program Improvement School Year 5)
    This five year Program Improvement School helped the OUSD average with all three of its subgroups advancing.

    Schoolwide Improvement: Yes
    Comparative Improvement: No
    Improvement in Both: No

    API SCORE PLUS OR MINUS: +9
    2007 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 679
    2006 SCHOOL WIDE SCORE: 670
    SUBGROUPS:
    Hispanic/Latino +11
    Socioeconomic Disadvantaged +16
    English Learners +4


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