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  • Sunday, September 26, 2010


    Orange candidates follow Rocco Ballot strategy

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    an Orange Net News Special News and Analysis Series

    Orange candidates follow Rocco Ballot strategy
    Former Orange Trustee Steve Rocco is running as a “Retired Teacher” this time in his bid to regain a seat on the Orange Unified School Board. Last time he ran his win is widely attributed to his ballot description as an educator vs. his more well know and financed opponent who was a community activist, had children in the schools, but happened to be a Park Ranger. So, Rocco won. Since then others have tried the Rocco Ballot strategy also known now as to Rocco-up their ballot descriptions in the hope of gaining votes. Sometimes they are challenged, but most often not. Most recently, Chris Enami tried a similar tactic when he ran in 2006 against Trustee Kim Nichols. Enami a walk-on (after school) girls basketball coach tried to be listed as a “Teacher” on the ballot. Nichols went to court and won an order that forced Enami to remove the misleading moniker. That route is expensive, and few candidates take it that far, allowing less than truthful ballot descriptions to remain unchallenged.

    This year in Orange Unified, the Registrar of Voters reports that they were approached about two OUSD candidates- Chris Ngyuen and Steve Rocco. Nguyen is Chris Enami’s fellow Board member on the Orange Villa Park Republican Assembly (OVPRA). Nguyen has himself listed on the ballot as “Education Policy Advisor”. Graduating from USC in 2007 as a Political Science major and from Stanford this year with a Masters in Public Administration, Nguyen’s resume on the Linked In website showed five political internships over a period of two years and being a Legislative aide only since January 2009. While his resume is heavy on political experience, nowhere did his on-line resume mention anything related to being an “Education Policy Advisor” as he describes himself on the ballot. After Orange Net News ran the link to Nguyen’s Linked-In site- Ngyuen deleted the site.

    Other interesting ballot designations around town include:

    Orange Councilman Jon Dumitru is running for the Orange Mayor’s job, his full time job with the Orange County Fire Authority is as a Fire Communication Dispatcher. However on the ballot Dumitru lists his occupation as Firefighter Coordinator- a position that does not exist.

    Running for re-election, Orange Councilman Denis Bilodeau has another fulltime bureaucratic job, he is Chief of Staff to Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson. However, in his ballot description he describes himself as a businessman.

    Candidate Mike Merino list himself as a Military Officer/ Businessman. He is a Military Reservist and an Architect.

    Attorney Fred Whitaker, who is also an Orange Planning Commissioner, pays homage to Shakespeare’s dislike of lawyers by taking no chances and listing himself him self as a Businessman/Planning Commissioner.

    Who knew that Steve Rocco would be such a trailblazer.

    To see all the Orange ballot designations CLICK ON: BALLOT DESCRIBE

    Villa Park’s Sentry Newspaper to host Orange Candidates Forum
    With Villa Park City Council Candidate Bob Faxteau the official timer, Foothill Sentry owner Anita Bennyhoff hosting, and Foothill Sentry writer Marjan Dunn asking questions, you have to know this is going to be an interesting evening. Oh and if that’s not enough- Cliff Robbins is billed as the “wistle blower” for the evening.

    The “Hill People” will be hosting the Foothill Sentry Orange Candidates Forum at the Orange Women’s Club 121 S Center Dr., Orange, Monday September 27 from 7 pm- 9 pm.

    eLECTION Watch 2010
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    “Independent Local Insight
    Ecast on the
    A 21st Century Communications System
    Produced by the
    Orange Communication System /OCS/

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010


    Orange Unified –Going to the Dogs

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

    Trustees to vote on drug sniffing dogs

    Orange Unified –Going to the Dogs

    The August 26 OUSD Board Meeting’s Agenda Item 13 D simply stated “Staff will present a proposal for enhancing safe and drug free campuses”. That “proposal” turned out to be a proposal to use drug sniffing dogs at OUSD’s high schools. Without prior notice, no community members, for or against the sniffer dog use were forewarned of the plans.

    The Orange Unified School District will follow up that Informational Item on the use of drug sniffing dogs at Orange Unified high schools with an Action Item vote on using the dogs at their September 23, 2010 OUSD Board Meeting.

    Action Item 12 A (page 6) will authorize $13,500 for a contract with Interquest Detection Canines to provide drug sniffing dogs for OUSD’s 4 high schools, Richland Continuation School and the OUSD Community Day School. While all the Trustees who spoke to the item were supportive, only Trustee Kathy Moffat asked questions about the proposal. One of the questions raised by Moffat at the August 26, 2010 meeting was how the dogs would deter alcohol use on campus. Moffat was also concerned that the use of the dogs would possibly send the wrong message to students like OUSD thought all students were suspect just because they were high school students. In addition, Moffat sought assurances from staff that the district would continue to collect and analyze data to monitor if the use of sniffer dogs does deter the number of drug and alcohol incidents at the district’s schools.

    Action Item 12 A states Interquest Detection Canines will provide the OUSD Board with “a demonstration of canine capacities” and answer questions at the September 23 Board Meeting. The Board is expected to approve the request. It won’t be a surprise if the song “Who Let the Dogs Out” is played across OUSD high school campuses on Friday.

    For more information on Interquest Detection Canines school program

    Inside the August 26 Board Meeting
    The OUSD Board heard a report (Information Item 13 A) on the how the earlier in the day first day of school for OUSD Schools went. The report confirmed one of the the smoothest opening days in recent memory for OUSD, while for the first time in OUSD history top administrators from the OUSD District Office fanned out across the district to embrace the “Welcome” theme of the day and visited every OUSD campus on the first day of school. OUSD Early in the day, Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier released a Welcome Back Pod Cast to staff and personally visited Portola M.S., Yorba M.S. and Orange H.S.

    That evening, at the OUSD Board meeting, for Information Item 13 B the OUSD Administration presented the second year priorities of the OUSD Strategic Plan with continued assurances that Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier’s administration has moved beyond the hollow sloganeering and Consultant Culture of former Superintendent Dr. Thomas Godley by reiterating that OUSD would use its own staff as “in-house experts” to make the plan come true. While most of the OUSD administrators were able to embrace the real life world of Dr. Dreier’s real life visions in their presentations, at least one OUSD administrator it seems is still stuck in Dr. Godley’s expensive Good to Great sloganeering Focus on Results Consultant Culture. Yes, Panorama Principal Michelle Moore gave the Trustees and the community more of her fairytale Edu-speak by serving up embarrassing Power Point slides filled with garbled edu-speak for a simple report on Student Engagement.

    Starting with “Academic Rigor” on her opening slide on Student Engagement, Moore morphed into her familiar Edu-babble which continues to make her look like she really does believe her school's astronomical scores are based on her babble and not the racial and social-economic status and privilege that her students represent. Perhaps that temporary principal position that has yet to be filled at Fairhaven is the perfect place for the OUSD Queen of Rigor to test her theories. Then again, we bet that her passport is probably not up-to-date. Maybe a State visit can be arranged.
    God Save (us from) the Queen!

    For More on Moore and her husband Dr. Rock…
    CLICK ON: More on Moore

    Inside the September 23, 2010 Board Meeting
    Closed Session: AGENDA ITEM 4 B The OUSD Trustees will evaluate the performance of OUSD Superintendent Dr. Renae Dreier in closed session. Let’s see…ending the Consultant Culture, a solvent district, taking the lead in wage concessions, consolidation of the health benefits of the three different groups, real reorganization of the district administration, a public face for OUSD, wow…just imagine what she could have been done without a budget busting recession! [NOTE Closed Session starts at 5:00 pm] .

    Agenda Item 9 E- Seating of the new SACBE (student) representatives. We hope President John Ortega asks for their opinion on the OUSD sniffer dogs!

    Agenda Item 9E- Walk to School Week- OUSD has been taking the lead on this for a few years- with the whole green movement, maybe its time for the district’s energy managers to start promoting this so it goes further than just a Proclamation.

    Agenda Item 13 B- Student Calendars are ready for approval through the 2012-2013 school year and are posted in the agenda. Planning a trip? See the link to the agenda below and go to pages 8-10.

    INSIDE OUSD Donations
    Running Springs PTA- $12,096 for playground equipment and computers; Orange Jr. Soccer Club- $400- Handy E.S.; Terra Cycle Inc- $2,000 -Anaheim Hills E.S.; Panorama PTA-$6,000- supplies.

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget
    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2010:
    $ 385,000
    2010 Attorney Fee Tally:
    5/27/10 Dannis, Woliver & Kelley $ 30,000
    5/27/10 Parker & Covert $ 55,000
    5/27/10 Parker & Covert (to 6/11) $300,000
    TOTAL $ 385,000

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2009: $1,041,000
    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
    3/12/09 Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 98,000
    6/18/09 Parker & Covert (09-10) $ 400,000
    6/18/09 Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 200,000
    6/18/09 Parker & Covert (property) $ 55,000
    6/18/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (property)$ 35,000
    Total $1,038,000

    2009 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    01/24/09 Leadership Associates Consultants $ 3,000
    2009 TOTAL $1,041,000

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200.00

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

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $849,717.00*

    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 2006: $849,717.00*
    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

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

    * 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.



    CLOSED SESSION- 5:00 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

    Monday, September 13, 2010


    OUSD API Scores reflect growing have vs. have not problems

    OUSD API Scores reflect growing have vs. have not problems

    California released the state Academic Progress Index scores , two weeks later than promised today, and the Orange Unified School District released a press release based on the good news on the test. However, the OUSD scores reveal a mixed bag of test scores. Even as the mainstream media (ie Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register ) and politicians continue to try and blame schools and teachers for student test scores, OUSD and the state statistics underscore what 8 years of the failing test regiment have proven: race, economic standing, and language skills continue to separate the defined successful and unsuccessful schools (see data on link below). An unbiased reading of the racial data logically leads to that conclusion- in effect it leads to calling a spade a spade despite the continued fairytale of the Marxists-styled theme of “closing the achievement gap”. Either one accepts the 8 years of racially significant statistics or the unthinkable that politicians and the mainstream media increasingly maintain- that a vast conspiracy exists by districts like OUSD (with clear cut racial and economic divides) and the subversive prejudice teachers to insure the continued failure of the economically disadvantaged and racial subgroups, except for an unexplained affinity towards Asian Americans ( perhaps left over from guilt about the World War II California Concentration camps of Japanese decent, or guilt over the Vietnam War, or perhaps the U.S. support of Taiwan over Mainland Communist China).

    The politically correct September 13, 2010 OUSD press release on the released scores (see link below) was upbeat, but again skirted the underlying growing problems. In addition, while trying to underscore the easy to see positive numbers, the press release not only ignored the bad news, but also missed some of the statically good news.

    One of the missing facts in the OUSD Press Release was that OUSD as a district failed to meet all needed growth components in English Language Arts and Math, resulting in OUSD going into the second year as a Program Improvement District, all while increasing as a district 10 points to a score of 806. OUSD had the biggest subgroup drop with 111 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders dropping -21 points in the API statistics.

    Focusing on numbers, the press release praised Fairhaven’s 30 point jump, but failed to mention that the school also met all of their subgroup (racial and economic) improvements making the school the only OUSD school to exit program improvement this year. The OUSD press release also featured Canyon H.S. 24 point increase, but again failed to report that Canyon H.S. has problems in meeting its subgroup targets which could prove troublesome for Canyon H.S. pending reviews on the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status. Other OUSD high schools showing API score improvement was El Modena (+12) and Villa Park (+29) with Villa Park passing the magic 800 number. However, both those schools and Orange H.S. (-4) also face AYP problems for not meeting subgroup targets.

    A total of 20 of the 37 regular OUSD schools showed scores improvement (54%) with 65% of the total (including small and special schools) meeting or exceeding their goals, beating the state average of 57%. The 20 schools that did improve had scores that ranged from +2 points improvement to +48 points improvement for a total of 395 points or an average of 19.75% points for the improving schools.

    A total of 15 of the 37 regular schools, 40.5%, had declining scores, the state average was 23%. A total of 32% of all OUSD’s schools declined or did not meet their goals including 2 schools that showed no growth or loss. The declining scores ranges from -2 points decline to -40 points for a total of a loss of - 239 points or an average of 15.9% points for the declining schools.

    The small and special schools had a spread of 190 points. Canyon Hills, a small special school with special testing showed a decline of -88 points. Last year Canyon Hills was singled out for misguided distinction equating its “special testing” success with normal testing procedures. Richland Continuation School scores increase + 102 points.

    Other schools to take note of were Olive which lost 31 points to fall below the magic 800 number the state requires all schools to meet. On the other end, Crescent Intermediate increase -20 points to increase over the 900 mark to 917. Five other schools surpassed the 900 mark: Chapman Hills; Nohl Canyon; Panorama; and Villa Park E.S. Schools to surpass the magic 800 number this year were canyon H.S.; El Modena H.S.; Villa Park H.S.; West Orange E.S. and Santiago Charter Middle School. Those schools join others over the 800 mark: Anaheim Hills; Canyon Rim; Imperial; La Veta; Linda Vista; McPherson Magnet; Running Springs.

    In addition to OUSD going into its second year as a program improvement district, these 13 Orange Unified Schools are in program improvement: Cambridge; Esplanade; Handy; Jordan; Lampson; Palmyra; Prospect; Sycamore; West Orange; Taft; Portola MS; Yorba MS; and Orange H.S.

    OUSD Press release LINK: OUSD API

    OUSD School API Scores LINK: API Scores

    OUSD AYP Scores (Program Improvement)LINK Program Improvement

    California Department of Education Racial and Economic statistics for 8 years of Star Testing (scroll down to the charts at the bottom of the Press Release):

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    Greater Orange News Service is a community service of the Orange Communication System /OCS/, the communications arm of the Greater Orange Community Orgainization