Great Schools are Good for Taxpayers, Students and Greater Orange

Be the first to know: SUBSCRIBE HERE

Greater Orange News Service

↑ To add this ANIMATOR CLICK HERE

Greater Orange HEADLINES in the News
  • The Foothills Sentry
  • TOPIX/City of Orange News Service
  • TOPIX/Villa Park News Service
  • The Anaheim BLOG
  • TOPIX/Anaheim Hills News Service
  • TOPIX/Greater Orange Communities Wire Service
  • California CIty News.org HEADLINES Headlines
  • Follow Greater Orange on TWITTER
  • ORANGE NET NEWS TWITTER FEED
  • Live!! ORANGE TWITTER FEED
  • LIVE ORANGE FEED
  • Friday, May 29, 2009

     

    OUSD TRUSTEES VOTE AGAINST OWN PAY CUT

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

    OUSD TRUSTEES VOTE AGAINST OWN PAY CUT

    Orange Unified Trustees at their May 28 Board Meeting defeated a move to cut their $750 monthly stipend by 10% (to $675 a month) due to the current budget crisis. They also defeated a Board Bylaw change that would require the OUSD Trustees to pay the entire cost for their health care if they opted to use the school district’s health plan

    The annual savings to the district taxpayers if the 10% reduction in pay were approved would have been $6,300 per year ($18,900 through July 2012). The Action Item, Agenda Item 12 A (Agenda page 3), was co-sponsored by OUSD Board political minority allies Trustees Melissa Smith, Kim Nichols and Kathy Moffat. Smith this year has repeatedly brought up the idea of the OUSD Trustees taking a reduction in their monthly stipend in light of the continued state fiscal crisis and the sacrifices that the OUSD Board and OUSD Administration was asking the community and employees to make. The motion failed in a tie 3-3 vote with the OUSD Trustees voting with their political allied blocks. Trustees Melissa Smith, Kim Nichols and Kathy Moffat voted for the reduction. Voting against the 10% reduction was Ledesma Coalition allies -Trustees Rick Ledesma, John Ortega, and Alexia Deligianni. Trustee Mark Wayland was absent from the meeting.


    Watch for detailed complete coverage of the Orange Unified School District with the regular ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE edition

    This edition of
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE UPDATE
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Orange_NetNews@yahoo.com
    “Independent Local Insight”
    Ecast on the
    INTERNET COMMUNITY GROUP i/))) cg
    A 21st Century Communications System

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

     

    OUSD Trustees to vote on 10% reduction to own pay and ending taxpayer paid Health Benefits

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

    OUSD Trustees to vote on 10% reduction to own pay
    and ending taxpayer paid Health Benefits for Trustees


    The Orange Unified School Board Trustees will be voting at their May 28th, 2009 Board Meeting to reduce their $750 monthly stipend 10% to $675 per month for three years starting in July 2009. The annual savings to the district taxpayers will be $6,300 per year ($18,900 through July 2012). The Action Item, Agenda Item 12 A (Agenda page 3), is co-sponsored by OUSD Board political minority allies Trustees Melissa Smith, Kim Nichols and Kathy Moffat. Smith this year has repeatedly brought up the idea of the OUSD Trustees taking a reduction in their monthly stipend in light of the continued state fiscal crisis and the sacrifices that the OUSD Board and OUSD Administration was asking the community and employees to make. Board President Rick Ledesma to date had not agendize Smith’s proposal. Under rules adopted when the minority members were in the majority, it takes three Trustees to request an item be added to the agenda. Smith, Moffat and Nichols are listed as the Agenda Item’s co-sponsors.

    In proposals to the two employee groups, the OUSD Trustees and Administration have asked district employees take a 3.75 % pay cut and are currently in negotiations with those groups. Those proposed pay cuts maybe in addition to further cuts in workdays. The OUSD Board has approved numerous other program and personnel cuts, including cuts in teaching, administration and support staff positions. In addition the Board voted to raise the classroom student to teacher ratio in the lower grade special Class Size Reductions from a 20 to 1 ration to a 24 to 1 ration. Other cuts included the OUSD Board voting to close OUSD’s smallest school, Silverado Elementary that had around 60 students. Some cuts have not taken place. Former OUSD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Jon Archibald in the beginning of the state-wide financial crisis had recommended four small OUSD schools be closed. To date, only one, Silverado has been closed. According to the February 5, 2009 OUSD Board Work Study Session the savings from Silverado closing and consolidating is $198,000 a year. Those OUSD figures also show an additional $955,000 can also be saved yearly by closing and consolidating three other small schools: Imperial ($342,000 a year); Panorama ($268,000 a year); Riverdale ($345,000) a year. The three year savings of closing these three small schools would be close to $3,000,000 (compared to the $18,000 3 year savings in reducing Trustee pay). The three year savings to OUSD from closing Silverado is close to $600,000. Closing all four small schools would result in a three year savings of $4,000,000.

    Also under consideration in Action Item 12 B is a first reading to change the OUSD Board Policy 92450 (a) to stop OUSD taxpayers from paying for health benefits to OUSD Board of Education members. The change would allow the OUSD Board members to pay “at their own cost” to be covered by OUSD for health coverage.

    For information on the savings to OUSD from closing small schools CLICK ON:
    Small School Question (see question #7)


    OUSD Trustees to fill Administrative Positions during fiscal crisis

    Former OUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert French created two positions of Executive Director in 2004 in the French Reorganization, supporting the new positions by calling the creation of the new bureaucratic positions an administration “cut”. Those two intermediate level of administration positions at OUSD grew to six positions under former OUSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley. During the OUSD May 28th, 2009, during the Closed Session the OUSD Trustees will be filling two Executive Directors (Secondary Education and Business Services) positions, an Administrative Director (Communications and Technology) position; a Director of Facilities Planning; and a Director of Maintenance & Operations. These appointments come just a week after voters rejected the bailout propositions in the May 19 Special Election, and in the middle of the worst fiscal emergency in the history of the State of California since the Great Depression. (Voters in Greater Orange voted down the propositions by greater margins than Orange County and California).

    Also in the May 28th Closed Session, the OUSD Board will be filling an OUSD Middle School Principal opening.

    INSIDE the May 28th, 2009 Agenda
    Information Agenda 13 A- Budget Update (Agenda page 7)- with the defeat of the May 19th Budget Propositions in the Special Election and Sacramento law makers again meeting to close budget deficits, this OUSD report will be tentative at best.

    Community Donations
    Angels Baseball Foundation $1,000- Sycamore E.S. literacy and Technology; Legislative Coalition $400-to OUSD Superintendent for Sacramento Trip; Friends of the Orange Public Library $100- Curriculum for Annual Art Exposition; Orange Community Foundation $210-Sycamore E.S. supplies; Lowes Education Foundation $2100- supplies Imperial E.S.; Villa Park H.S. ASB $5,411- salary stipends; Canyon H.S. ASB $2,645-salary stipends; El Modena Band Boosters $1,900-salary stipends; Orange H.S. Baseball Boosters $7,000-salary stipends.

    For a complete list of the $69,623 in community donations see Agenda page 9.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2009:
    Total $378,000


    2009 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Parker & Covert (for 1/09 -6/09) $200,000
    3/12/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (Sp. Ed) $ 50,000
    Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 98,000
    Total $348,000

    2009 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    01/24/09 Leadership Associates Consultants $ 3,000
    2009 TOTAL $ 378,000

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008):
    $9689.00*

    * The Godley Retirement Bonus presented here is an estimate of the amount in “bonus retirement” accrued since the Superintendent’s retirement on 6/30/08 using a 6% lifetime formula calculated here at $1210 a month since 8/08. The actual retirement plan the former OUSD Superintendent opted to take is not public information and the figures presented are only as an estimate of the taxpayer costs after the OUSD trustees voted against an amendment to exclude Godley from the retirement program. The on-going estimated figure is presented as a reminder to the community of the high cost in educational tax dollars the OUSD Board vote to allow the former Superintendent to participate in the 6% retirement incentive cost the OUSD education community in tax dollars. Godley retired from OUSD on June 30, 2008 after he worked for the school district for a little over five years.


    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    6/19/08 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    6/05/08 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 40,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $150,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $200,000
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    $750,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Subs for SDCDE (Reading First) $24,000
    11/13/08 SDCDE (Reading First) $30,000
    10/30/08 Dr. Willard Daggett (ICLE) $ 4,500
    10/16/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 4,200
    9/25/08 Visual Ink for Sadler Consultant <$ 6,600> CANCELED in 2009
    9/25/08 Bob Sadler Consultant Fee $ 8,500
    9/25/08 Candace Simpson-Sadler Helper $ 5,500
    7/24/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 10,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    Consultant Total $ 101, 200
    2008 TOTAL $ 901,200

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00**

    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 May 28, 2009 -OUSD BOARD ROOM


    FOR the Agenda CLICK ON: MAY 28 AGENDA

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 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/
    ONN.ORANGENETNEWS@GMAIL.COM

    Friday, May 22, 2009

     

    Greater Orange celebrates Memorial Day

    Metro TALK ______________
    A community service of
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Villa Park Family Picnic and Car Show set for Memorial Day Weekend
    This Memorial Day Weekend Orange County’s “Hidden Jewel” hosts the annual Villa Park Picnic and Car Show. Saturday May 23rd the weekend festivities kick off at 9:00 a.m. with a motorcade procession of vintage and classic cars through the streets of Villa Park. Then on Sunday May 24th is the main event Villa Park Picnic and Car Show at Irvine Lake from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Music, games, food, displays and demonstrations from the Orange County Sheriff Department and Orange County Fire Authority will keep picnic participants busy.. Contests include cup cake decorating and pie eating.

    In addition nature hikes and fishing are part of Irvine Lake fun. Did we mention the raffle? Yes all this and a Classic Car Show.

    Tri-City Memorial Day Service will feature
    Orange H.S. Chamber Singers

    The Tri-City (Orange, Tustin and Santa Ana) Memorial Day Observance will be held Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2009. The tribute will feature veterans groups, community groups and local dignitaries in the dedication of Eight Civil War Era Monuments at the Santa Ana Cemetery Monument to the Civil War Unknowns, Grand Army of the Republic Plot. City of Orange Mayor Carolyn Ceveech will be just one of the City of Orange participants in the program. Others include: John Whiteriver of the Orange American Legion Post 132- who will give the Invocation and Benediction; Daniel Martinez, Eagle Scout Orange B.P.O. Elks Troop 1475-who will lead the Pledge of Allegiance; Daniel Schroeder-Boy Scouts Orange B.P.O. Elks Troop 1475 – bugler playing of Taps; and VFW District 2 and Orange Post 7452 Color Guard- will be the Honor Firing Squad. In addition, the Orange High School Chamber Singers under the direction of both Dean Anderson and Mike Short will be singing a number of patriotic songs.

    Orange County 3rd District Supervisor Bill Campbell will read the poem “Old Glory” and the Memorial Day Address will be given by California Superior Court Judge Daniel McNerney.

    The Santa Ana Cemetery is located at 1919 E. Santa Clara in Santa Ana. The program begins at 10:00 a.m.


    Metro TALK is
    a community service of ORANGE NET NEWS /O/N/N/

    OrangeNet.News@gmail.com
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

     

    Orange Unified's Panorama Elementary School Scores a Perfect 10-10 on State Academic Progress Index

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


    Orange Unified's Panorama Elementary School Scores a
    Perfect 10-10 on State Academic Progress Index


    The California State Department of Education released the 2008-2009 Academic Performance Index (API) rankings today, Thursday, May 21st, 2009. The state API rankings are touted to allow comparison of California schools on standardized testing. The released report summarizes the results of the Spring 2008 standardized tests. These test results become the baseline to compare the Spring 2009 standardized test results which are released in September 2009.

    Schools are divided into 10 equal performance groups (1-10) with the highest group a “10” and the lowest a “1”. The two number ranking is comprised of the “state rank” (the first number) and a “similar school rank”. The “state rank” compares the school to the rest of the schools in the state. The “similar school rank” compares the school with similar demographic characteristics (i.e. race or social- economic status). A 1-4 ranking is considered below-average; a ranking of 5-6 is considered as average; a 7-10 rank is considered above-average.

    Results for Orange Unified (OUSD) schools resulted in one school scoring a perfect 10-10 rating: Panorama Elementary School. The 217 students at the school scored a 2008 API score of 911, 110 points above the required state 800 score.
    For a complete breakdown of the Panorama student population CLICK ON:
    PANORAMA STUDENT POPULATION


    Other OUSD schools scoring a 10 state ranking were (second number is the similar school ranking):
    Chapman Hills Elementary: 10-9
    Serrano Elementary: 10-9
    Nohl Canyon Elementary: 10-4

    OUSD Schools scoring a 9 state ranking (second number is the similar school ranking):
    Villa Park Elementary: 9-8
    Villa Park H.S.:9-7
    Imperial Elementary: 9-7
    McPherson Magnet: 9-6
    Linda Vista Elementary: 9-6
    El Rancho Charter: 9-4
    Anaheim Hills Elementary: 9-3
    Canyon H.S.: 9-2
    Canyon Rim Elementary: 9-1

    The lowest API scoring scores were:
    Fairhaven E.S.: 1-2
    Handy E.S.: 2-4
    Lampson E.S.:3-4

    OUSD Schools with above average similar school rankings (performing above average results in their demographics) with low state ranks:
    California E.S.: 6-10
    West Orange E.S.:7-10
    Jordan E.S.: 5-9
    Yorba M.S.:5-9

    To view OUSD’s individual schools 2008-2009 API Scores CLICK ON:
    OUSD API

    This edition of
    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE UPDATE
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

     

    SPECIAL REPORT: Students not taught fundamentals of American Culture at an Orange Unified middle school

    SPECIAL REPORT
    A special investigative report from Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Students not taught fundamentals of
    American Culture at an Orange Unified middle school



    Orange Unified School District over the years has led the way in its share of educationally innovative, politically popular, and often controversial educational approaches. In 1997, Orange Unified was the first unified school district in California to end the controversial 1970’s era state mandated bi-lingual education in favor of English immersion programs (three other elementary districts in Orange County preceded OUSD). OUSD’s effort led to a court ruling in favor of OUSD stopping the California Department of Education from requiring waivers to then expired bi-lingual legislation. Past OUSD Boards have been in the forefront of state school districts adopting the California State Content Standards long before being required to do so by the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Now one school in Orange Unified, in an attempt to meet state test scores in math and language, has stopped teaching the adoptive state standards in history, including American history, to immigrant students, children of immigrants, and natural born American students in an attempt to bring up language arts and math scores. The OUSD school is the district’s poorest performing middle school with the highest minority student population- Portola Middle School. The Portola “No History for Below Proficient Students” policy for its lowest students has been in place while district administrators apparently turned a blind eye to the practice.

    Portola Middle School, located in the City of Orange, is the school district’s longest state designated Program Improvement School (a designation formally known as Underperforming Schools), Portola has been state designated as a Program Improvement school since the 1998-1999 school year. In 2008, state records show Portola had 871 students take the state and federal mandated assessment tests. Of those 871 students, 658 students (75%) are identified in the federal No Child Left Behind subgroup of “Hispanic/Latino”, 474 (54%) are identified as being in the “English Learners” subgroup, and 100 (12%) are identified in the “Asian” subgroup. A total of 64 students (less than 1%) were identified as “White (not of Hispanic origin)”. All California students are required to take a cumulative history standards test at the end of eighth grade as part of the California Standards (STAR) testing. The California STAR History Standards Test covers all of the California history standards for 6th, 7th and 8th grades. The students at Portola who did not have history classes are still required to take the cumulative STAR History Standards test. The latest results of the cumulative 8th Grade STAR History Standards Test at Portola show 72% of Portola students were below the required state proficiency level compared to 54% district-wide. Only 27% of the Portola students achieved the Proficient level and above (15% Proficient, 13% Advanced) compared to 47% district-wide (25% Proficient, 22% Advanced).

    That high number of Portola students testing below proficient in history standards apparently is directly tied to the fact that they are required by the state to take a comprehensive test at the end of eight grade on the California State History Standards, yet are not being taught the history standards at Portola Middle School. The fact that so many Portola students are not taking history appears to have taken place while the OUSD Administrators watched silently. In reality, OUSD is not only setting those students up for failure on a test that they are required by to take by the State of California, but also creating a whole class of minority students not being enculturation into common American culture, American ideals, and American democratic values.

    The California State History-Social Science Framework (adopted by OUSD) includes three main Curriculum Goals with 12 learning strands. The Curriculum Goals outline how important teaching history is to America as democratic society and culture. One of the three California History Framework Curriculum Goals is the “Goal of Knowledge and Cultural Understanding”. Among the six learning strands in this goal are “Social-Political Literacy”; Cultural Literacy” and “Economic” and “Historic” literacy. Another goal of the California State History-Social Science Framework is “Skills and Social Participation” which includes the strand of critical thinking skills. The final goal is the “Goal of Democratic Understanding and Civic Values”. The learning strands under this goal include an understanding of the American National Identity, our American Constitutional Heritage, American Civic Values, American Rights and Responsibilities, as well specifically teaching of the historic contributions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Clearly, at a minority school with a large immigrant population, these are not just learning goals, but necessities for assimilation into the American culture. Failing to teach these basic American ideals, values, rights and responsibilities, but still requiring the students to be tested on these is a true travesty of education and contradictory to basic American values of fairness that the framework itself instills.

    The California State History-Social Science Framework states that history provides a “common memory”. In California, history and social sciences are designed to be presented chronologically across the grades. In middle schools, 6th grade history covers ancient world history and civilizations that includes early Greek democracy (the foundations of American democracy) and the early Judeo-Christian monotheism religious beliefs. In the seventh grade, the curriculum covers from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance and Enlightenment period (the spark for the American Revolution). In the eight grade, American history is covered from the establishment of the American Republic to the Civil War and its aftermath focusing on what the framework calls a “continuing emphasis on democratic values” that is mandated by the state standards. By not providing this state mandated historic education to the Portola Middle School students, Orange Unified is clearly not providing the most needy and lacking students with a solid foundation in American traditions, American culture, and American democracy. Or as the Framework describes it, “ethical traditions” “political arrangements”, basic American “economic goals” and simply “understanding what is required of a citizen in a participatory democracy”. This raises the question of whether the Portola Middle School students not receiving state mandated history are being relegated to a second class citizenship and an identity crisis based on ignorance of the American culture?

    In response to an inquiry from Orange Net News to Orange Unified about the current practice of state identified below proficient students not being scheduled for history classes at Portola Middle School, Orange Unified Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Dr. Marsha Brown wrote:

    “I apologize for taking longer than I anticipated to respond to your request regarding the schedule at Portola Middle School. Upon further investigation, it has been determined that the master schedule, and all other related issues, at Portola is a site decision. The District was not involved in the decisions taken at Portola regarding student schedules.”

    While the reality of OUSD Administrators not being concerned about the continual dismal scores on the state history test enough to investigate the Portola “No History” practice is hard enough to believe, ONN inquiries with Portola staff has resulted in disturbing stories of the current school administration toward those who questioned the policy and have confirmed the awareness of OUSD Administrators in the scheduling practice at Portola. At the school site, teachers have reported district officials were well aware of the “No History for Below Proficient Students” policy as part of the schools plan to improve language arts and math scores as a Program Improvement school. Reportedly, the staff was told that the reason for the “No History for Below Proficient” students (with full knowledge that they would be tested by the state on history at the end of their 8th grade) was that the below proficient students needed extra help in math and English language support and History could be dropped from those student’s schedules. The either/or scenario however appears to be a fallacy when the programs at the other OUSD middle schools are examined. At OUSD’s other middle schools, the below proficient students receive both the extra help in math and language arts and have history classes. Santiago Charter and Yorba Middle Schools specifically offer English language learners state authorized SDAIE (Specially Designated Academic Instruction in English) classes. The California Department of Education explains the SDAIE courses as:

    “designed for nonnative speakers of English and focuses on increasing the comprehensibility of the academic courses typically provided to FEP and English-only students in the district”.

    In the Age of Education Accountability, setting students up for failure on a required state test by not giving them access to the curriculum sends the wrong message. Furthermore, the district’s response solely blaming the Portola administrators “that the master schedule, and all other related issues, at Portola is a site decision” also stretches the boundaries of accountability. While reports are circulating throughout OUSD that the current Portola administrators are being replaced, there is no evidence that the student scheduling for next year has been changed to offer OUSD’s highest immigrant connected student population the standards based enculturation into basic American ideals, American values, American rights and responsibilities required by California and Orange Unified. Without a policy change and scheduling changes, Portola will continue to set its students up for failure on a test that the State of California requires them to take based on state standards the school is required to teach.

    To view the California State History Standards and actual released questions from the California History Standards Test CLICK ON:
    CA HISTORY Standards and Questions

    SPECIAL REPORT
    A news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/

    Ecast on the
    INTERNET COMMUNITY GROUP i/))) cg
    A 21st Century Communications System

    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

     

    OUSD High School Drop Out Rate show Many Minority Children Being Left Behind

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

    OUSD High School Drop Out Rate show
    Many Minority Children Being Left Behind


    In a California Department of Education update on high school dropout rates for 2008 released on May 12th, 2009, significant problems in Orange Unified’s attempt to meet No Child Left Behind standards became evident. While overall the OUSD drop out rate bested both the state and the Orange County dropout rates, a closer look at the district’s subgroups reveal a wide achievement gap that under No Child Left Behind districts are mandated to address and improve.

    The statewide dropout rate over 4 years shows a 20.1% dropout rate across the state (down from 21.1% in 2007). Orange County averages a 4 year 11.5% adjusted dropout rate and Orange Unified a 11.3% 4 year adjusted dropout rate. However, an analysis of those OUSD numbers shows a serious gap in achievement of some OUSD ethnic groups. Orange Unified Asian students had the lowest adjusted dropout rates over 4 years of 4.6% (12 students total). White students in OUSD had an adjusted 4 year dropout rate of 6.8 % (74 students total). From there the rates jump to double digits: OUSD African American students had a 4 year adjusted rate of 16. 1%( 6 total students); Hispanic/Latino four year adjusted rate 18 % (179 students total); Pacific Islander 4 year adjusted rate 24% (6 students total); American Indians had a four year adjusted dropout rate of 25.9% (5 total students).

    The following are the 2008 4 year adjusted high school dropout percentage rates for the OUSD High Schools:

    Canyon H.S. :2%
    Villa Park H.S. :4.4%
    Orange H.S. : 11.9%
    El Modena H.S. : 18.3%
    Richland Continuation H.S.: 56.9%

    The following are the total number of OUSD adjusted 9-12 grade student dropouts for 2008 by high school:

    Canyon H.S.- 12 students
    Villa Park H.S.- 26 students
    Orange H.S.- 68 students
    Richland Continuation H.S. - 53 students
    El Modena H.S.-108 students


    For complete statistics CLICK ON: CAL ED OUSD DROP OUT RATES

    Orange Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/

    ONN.ORANGENETNEWS@GMAIL.COM

    Sunday, May 10, 2009

     

    OUSD Trustees vote to eliminate "Geek Squad"

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

    Orange Unified Board eliminates 136 staff positions
    including OUSD’s own “Geek Squad” and Nutrition Director

    At the Thursday April 16th, 2009 Orange Unified School Board meeting, a publicly distraught OUSD Board of Trustee voted to eliminate 136 staff support (Classified) positions in Agenda Action Item 12 C. The Agenda item’s Fiscal Impact section states that the cuts will save OUSD $ 4,998,000 annually. The vote came after community members spoke to the Trustees trying to save the Nutrition Network Project Coordinator position and a Technology Assistant position at Nohl Canyon E.S.

    The OUSD Trustees agreed to a proposal by OUSD Trustee Kathy Moffat to separate the Nutrition Network Project Coordinator and 33 part-time Technology Assistant positions from the main motion in the Action Item to give the OUSD Administration the ability to eliminate the positions. Moffat stated she wanted the positions separated to further discuss them. While the Nutrition Network Project program is paid for by a grant, Moffat stated that the Nutrition Network Project Coordinator presents costs issues because of cash-flow reimbursement problems to the district. Moffat did ask if the possibility could be explored of solving those payment problems by cutting the program's services to cover the district’s costs by the grant.

    When Moffat asked OUSD Superintendent Renae Dreier for a job description of the Technology Assistants, the Superintendent made a statement that reveals the current OUSD Administration has little understanding of the complex technology issues and support needed at the school sites for technology. Drier stated about the OUSD Technology Assistants:

    “For the most part the work that’s done at most of the schools has to do with helping computers get off and on, not nearly as technical as duties of the folks housed here [the district office]” .

    The over-worked OUSD Information Services at the District Office has been supported by the part-time OUSD Technology Technicians for years by providing services that the district personnel did not have time to do. The Technology Technicians are the OUSD version of the television famous "Geek Squad" working at school sites doing everything from keeping computers and other technology devices running at the school sites, to setting up and maintaining computer labs, and keeping students enrolled in the various systems that need valid student identifications to perform (ie. Read 180, Reading Counts, and student ID’s for library service, math and computer class programs), the part-time Technology Assistants have become the frontline in maintaining student and staff technology at the school sites. Many schools have used outside funding to share or supplement their Technology Assistants. Having Superintendent Dreier state that the Technology Assistants merely “help computers get on and off” shows that she and her administration have a major reality disconnect on the technology issues and challenges of the school sites. The budget shortfall and apparent loss of the Technology Assistants mean that OUSD will face major challenges in maintaining any type of technology programs at the school sites in the coming years

    In the second vote, the OUSD Board voted to include the Technology Assistants and the Nutrition Network Project Coordinator in the staff cuts.

    600 to 1 counselor does seem outrageous for a ratio,
    but $14 million dollars out of our budget is outrageous!”

    -OUSD Trustee Melissa Smith 4/16/09

    As OUSD made public its 2009-2010 contract proposals (“sun shinning”) for the negotiations with the OUSD teacher’s association, the Orange Unified Educators Association (OUEA), at the April 16th meeting, community members addressed the Board about the proposal to eliminate high school counselors, thus increasing the student to counselor ratio. Later in the evening, Smith asked that if community members continue to address the Board on not cutting specific pet programs, could they please tell them what programs to cut instead. During the meeting, a clearly frustrated Smith (who tongue-in-cheek stated she had become “jaded and cold-hearted”) and Trustee John Ortega asked the community to direct their anger at Sacramento lawmakers, reminding the community that those lawmakers are responsible for the massive required cutbacks. This was the first meeting since the Trustees began voting on specific cuts that Smith did not repeat her public call during a meeting that the OUSD Board address taking a pay cut in their own honorarium salary. Smith had repeated that call for the Trustees to sacrifice pay in the previous two meetings. The OUSD 2009-2010 proposal also called for all employees to take a 3.75% pay cut. That cut would be negotiable with the two employee groups; however, the administrators could be forced into a cut. The local watchdog group the Greater Orange Community Orgainization has called for those immediate administrative pay cuts, Trustee pay cuts, and the closing and consolidation of three additional small schools before the OUSD Administration proceeds to further cut programs and make staffing cuts.

    Also during the meeting, Trustees Kim Nichols, Ortega and Moffat alluded to the May 19th Special Election. Nichols stated that if the propositions that relate to state funding fail, that Orange Unified could face a projected $16- $18 million in additional budget cuts.

    INSIDE the May 12th, 2009 Agenda
    Action Item 12 A and 12 B (pages 6-16) – Approving the 2008-2009 contract with the certified support staff union the CSEA #67 and “sun shinning” the OUSD proposal to the CSEA for the 2009-2010 contract including a 3.75% pay cut.

    Action Item 12 C (pages 17-18)– the OUEA proposals for the 2009-2010 contract negotiations.

    Action Item 12 D (pages 19-41)- 2nd reading of the proposed Board Policy Revisions.
    Board Proclamations: Classified School Employee Week May 18-12 and California Day of the Teacher May 13, 2009.

    Community Donations
    Target Corp-$65.83- supplies to Prospect E.S.; Villa Park H.S. Aquatic Boosters-Villa Park ASB Salary Stipend; Canyon High School Band Boosters-$2000 for transportation; Silverado PTA - $1,500- Computer Aide; El Modena Boys Basketball-$500 salary stipend; Linda Vista PTA-$766 for a projector cart.
    For a complete list of the $42,997 in community donations see Agenda page 43

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2009:
    Total $378,000
    2009 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Parker & Covert (for 1/09 -6/09) $200,000
    3/12/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (Sp. Ed) $ 50,000
    Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 98,000
    Total $348,000

    2009 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    01/24/09 Leadership Associates Consultants $ 3,000
    2009 TOTAL $ 378,000

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008):
    $10,892.00*
    * The Godley Retirement Bonus presented here is an estimate of the amount in “bonus retirement” accrued since the Superintendent’s retirement on 6/30/08 using a 6% lifetime formula calculated here at $1210 a month since 8/08. The actual retirement plan the former OUSD Superintendent opted to take is not public information and the figures presented are only as an estimate of the taxpayer costs after the OUSD trustees voted against an amendment to exclude Godley from the retirement program. The on-going estimated figure is presented as a reminder to the community of the high cost in educational tax dollars the OUSD Board vote to allow the former Superintendent to participate in the 6% retirement incentive cost the OUSD education community in tax dollars. Godley retired from OUSD on June 30, 2008 after he worked for the school district for a little over five years.

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200
    2008 Attorney Fee Tally:
    6/19/08 Parker & Covert $ 60,000
    6/05/08 Miller, Brown & Dannis $ 40,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $150,000
    6/05/08 Parker & Covert $200,000
    2/07/08 Parker & Covert $100,000
    11/15/07 Parker & Covert (for 1/08 to 6/08) $200,000
    $750,000
    2008 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Subs for SDCDE (Reading First) $24,000
    11/13/08 SDCDE (Reading First) $30,000
    10/30/08 Dr. Willard Daggett (ICLE) $ 4,500
    10/16/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 4,200
    9/25/08 Visual Ink for Sadler Consultant <$ 6,600> CANCELED in 2009
    9/25/08 Bob Sadler Consultant Fee $ 8,500
    9/25/08 Candace Simpson-Sadler Helper $ 5,500
    7/24/08 Dr. Parker 40 pt Consultant $ 10,000
    4/17/08 Dr. Kenneth Stichter Speaker Fee $ 6,500
    3/7/08 Dr. Kathleen Weigel Speaker Fee $ 8,000
    Consultant Total $ 101, 200
    2008 TOTAL $ 901,200

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090.00**

    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 May 12, 2009 -OUSD BOARD ROOM -OUSD BOARD ROOM

    FOR the Agenda CLICK ON: MAY 12

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:30 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 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/
    ONN.ORANGENETNEWS@GMAIL.COM
    “Independent Local Insight”
    Ecast on the
    INTERNET COMMUNITY GROUP i/))) cg
    A 21st Century Communications System

    Thursday, May 07, 2009

     

    Metro TALK: Denim, Music, Cars and Awards Celebrations

    Metro TALK
    is a community service of ORANGE NET NEWS /O/N/N/

    Orange Park Acres Denim and Diamonds set for Friday May 8th
    The Annual Orange Park Acres Denim and Diamonds dinner dancing and silent auction fund raiser will be this Friday, May 8th at the Orange County Mining Company. The Gray Bandy Award for the outstanding Orange Park Acres Volunteer of the Year will be presented. Entertainment will be provided by country western band The Raining Horseshoes.

    El Mo Presents a Night of Music
    The El Modena Music Department presents ‘A Night of Music’,featuring the El Modena Jazz Band, along with special guest performances on Saturday May 16, 6 – 9pm. Conducted by Mr. Jeff Helms of El Modena High School, the musical evening includes Dinner, Show, and Auctions. Dinner includes salad, msin course, dessert and drinks. ‘A Night of Music’ will be held in the El Modena Cafeteria. For ticket reservations call Mr. Helms at 714.628.5317 or e-mail to jhelms@orangeusd.k12.ca.us. Tickets are $15 per person, or $50 per family of four.

    Orange County Public Works Annual Open House and Collectors’ Car Show
    In celebration of National Public Works Week (May 17-23) the Orange County Public Works Department will host it’s annual Public Works Open House and Collectors’ Car Show on Saturday May 16, 2009 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 2301 North Glassell Street in the City of Orange. Along with the collector cars will be displays and information booths, games, opportunity drawings and free food including hot dogs, nachos, snow cones and drinks.

    For more information call:714-955-0200.

    Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez to give Keynote at Orange Rotary Awards
    Former Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Orange Rotary Awards. On Thursday, May 21st at the Turnip Rose Banquet Center in Orange, the three Orange local clubs, Orange North, Orange Sunrise, and Orange Rotary will honor awardees chosen by the two Orange Fire and Police Departments at a luncheon meeting. Thirty-five years ago, Orange Rotary made the decision to publicly honor members of the Orange Police and Fire Departments through an annual luncheon event to demonstrate pride in the dedication, professional ability, and quality of the members of the two community protective organizations.

    The award categories include for the Fire Department: Manager of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, Civilian Employee of the Year and Fire Explorer of the Year. Awardees for the Police Department will include: Supervisor of the Year, Police Officer of the Year, Reserve Officer of the Year, Non-Sworn Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and Police Explorer of the Year.

    Ambassador Vasquez has a long history of public service. A former Director of the United States Peace Corps, Ambassador Vasquez has served at all levels of government including Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture programs under the Bush Administration. He has been appointed to federal posts by two U. S. Presidents and to numerous state commissions by three former California governors. His 28-year career in public service began as a police officer in the City of Orange. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Academy and credits his years in law enforcement as a most rewarding time in his life. Recently, he was appointed Executive Director of the Annenberg Trust, with a mission of advancing public understanding of and appreciation for democracy.

    Tickets for the event are $25 and the contact person is Orange Rotarian Bill Steiner at (714) 287-9604.

    Metro TALK
    is a community service of ORANGE NET NEWS /O/N/N/

    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    Greater Orange News Podcast subscibe or listen to reports CLICK HERE: