Commentary: It Is All About the Kids

school-stock-2

My longtime readers have no doubt read this account a few times, but it bears repeating as there is an update to the end of the story.  It was six years ago back in August when my nephew moved in with us, just a few days away from turning seven and entering first grade.

When we took him in, we knew that he was severely underweight and he suffered from pretty serious emotional outbursts at home.  What wasn’t apparent was how far behind he was in school.  In many cases he was scoring in the 20th to 30th percentile.

As a new parent – we had a nine-month-old baby that we would be adopting a year later – it was overwhelming, but the first time I walked into the district IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting it no longer felt so overwhelming.  I found myself surrounded by a group of ten people, ranging from special education teachers to counselors to psychologists and the works.

They had a plan, but most importantly their presence told me I was not alone.  It has been a long and uneven path over the last six years.  But my nephew is now starting seventh grade.

This week I sat in on his first IEP at Harper Junior High.  I swear they were talking about a completely different kid from the one we had known six years ago.  Gone are most of his behavioral issues.  Gone is his sense of social isolation.  And almost gone is his academic gap from his peers.  He’s still a little behind in math.

He has learning difficulties, he will probably never process information the same way as other people, but he has a real chance.  As they told me, for the first time, we will be able to see what he can achieve academically because the behavior barriers are now virtually gone.

I hear a lot of bashing about schools, and I have my own concerns about this district in a lot of ways.  But at the end of the day, the progress I have seen in that kid gives me hope.

While of none of this directly relates to a parcel tax, here is what we can infer from our experience.  Resources do matter.  A district that did not have the resources available would not have been able to provide the level of service my nephew needed to overcome his early childhood difficulties.  There was a lot of one-on-one attention, nurturing and help from a large number of people at three schools over six years in time.

Second, how many other kids have not gotten the kind of attention they needed?

I know it is not just the schools – we have done our part providing him with a stable and loving home, a good and safe community, resources and support.  But the heavy lifting was not done by us, it was mostly done by the schools.

As recently as third grade, he was being pulled out of class more than half the time, not by design.  Most of it was due to his shutting down when he encountered struggles and hardship.  This week I was told he had only three to six shutdowns this year, and all of them lasted less than five minutes and he was redirected and back on task.  Things that would have knocked him out for the day just four years ago, he’s shrugging off in less than five minutes.

We have discussed at length here that the Davis school district is an averagely-funded district when we have the parcel tax.  We are below average if that parcel tax ever goes away.

There are numbers being thrown out there that frankly don’t make a lot of sense.  Jose Granda, the one opponent of the parcel tax running for school board, has discussed the $5000 commitment that each person who owns a parcel will have to pay over the next eight years.

There are two factors in that increase.  First, the yearly rate has increased by $100 partly because of a court decision that changed the way the district receives parcel taxes from multi-unit residences.  Second, instead of coming back to the voters for renewal every four years, they have made this an eight-year commitment.

I actually have mixed feelings about the latter issue.  After all, coming back to the voters every four years is a reminder of our commitment to education.  On the other hand, it is a sign that our financial gap is not dissipating, even in good years.  The base state obligation is insufficient to provide the level of service that we are accustomed to in this district.

I am in agreement that, in an ideal world, the state would supply the local districts with sufficient resources to operate without local parcel taxes.  I am also in agreement that there are better and fairer ways to tax the community, but those are prohibited under Proposition 13.

My problem is that we are not asking for enough.  I believe that this district can be great and, while I am pleased with the education that my nephew has received and our other two children as well, I know there is so much more we could do.

Five thousand dollars over eight years pales in comparison to the cost of poor education.  It costs $50,000 or so a year to incarcerate someone for a year, but less than $10,000 to educate them and give them a chance to succeed.  It’s a small trade off.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

114 thoughts on “Commentary: It Is All About the Kids”

  1. quielo

    ” I am also in agreement that there are better and fairer ways to tax the community, but those are prohibited under Prop 13.” I will note that if the school district boundaries were aligned with the city boundaries then you would have hundreds of options here as you could use any revenue model available to the city.

    Brett Lee, for example, went to a school district that spanned several small cities in southern california. After he left the district was realigned with each city having their own district and some of them sharing high schools. Each city can support the schools to the extent the local populace desires.

     

  2. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > When we took him in, we knew that he was severely under-weight and

    > suffered from pretty serious emotional outbursts at home.  What wasn’t

    > apparent was how far behind he was in school.  In many cases he was

    > scoring in the 20 to 30th percentile.

    First I want the thank David (and Cecilia) again for reaching out and helping a kid that didn’t have a lot of great options.  Second I want to remind David (like I so often remind my wife) that only 10% of the kids are in the “top 90th percentile” and fully “half” the kids score “below average”.

    As I have mentioned before my parents are not college grads and I have a lot of friends who never went to college.  Some of these friends make more than my friends that went to Medical and Law school.  Large numbers of people in town not only look down on people who never went to college, but even look down on people  (like me) that never went to grad school.

    I think that the half of kids that have “below average” test scores in every school district would be happier and end up in better places in life if the teachers help them develop other skills and let them know that many electricians make $1K a day and tile and stone contractors that do kitchen remodels can easily average $20K/month (everyone that does not go to college is not homeless and living by the railroad tracks).

     

  3. Frankly

    Five thousand dollars over eight years pales in comparison to the cost of poor education.  It costs $50,000 or so a year to incarcerate someone for a year, but less than $10,000 to educate them and give them a chance to succeed.  It’s a small trade off.

    Every campaign for some new tax uses this same argument.   Then they add “vote no and hurt the _ _ _ _  _ _ (insert your favorite cause).

    If you have a dollar, then giving the government another cent does not seem like much.  Except for the fact that you are already giving the government $.50 of that dollar.  And you know that that the next cent will be followed by a demand for another and another and another.

    It is financial death by a thousand cuts.

    The problem in funding is one of failing to establish public priorities living within our existing budget means.  The state has sent less to the local schools because the state has kept increasing spending on other priorities.  The primary culprit has been obscene pay and retirement benefits for unionized state workers like prison guards.  And then the governor raids the RDA cookie jar thus destroying a valuable mechanism of economic development… one that served to incrementally increase the property tax base that feeds local schools.  You can look at this like a family having an income stream from some investment, but then raiding that investment and giving all the money to a friend in temporary need.   Then the friend spent all that money and is back for more.  But there is no more… except for taking yet another penny from the depleted leftover income streams.

    When does it stop?  It is simple to understand that you cannot keep raising the rate of taxation on wage earners… the Laffer Curve is real and the evidence is all around us.   Meager economic growth is the result of too little returns (because a larger and larger percentage of returns are taxed), so then people with means stop investing in things that have risk but if successful can grow more returns.   If I have an extra dollar and I can take risks to invest it to make two dollars, but the government will take more than half of that… why would I be so stupid to take the risk?  I won’t.  Instead I will save what I can so I can vacation in Europe every five years.  That might sound wonderful, but it does not help grow the economy so that there is a larger organic tax base.

    The schools have enough money to do a good job if the schools where managed to constantly improve in the value they provide.    The schools are not unlike all most government “business” in that they constantly strive to do the same with more instead of working to do more with less.  They keep coming back with their hand out threatening to cut programs unless we again empty our pockets.  That is a broken and unsustainable trend… it cannot continue.  The math is clear (well maybe they are using Common Core math and it isn’t clear).

    As they say, “The Buck Stops Here!”    It has to stop at some point.  The schools need to reform how they do business.  They won’t unless we force them to.  I am voting no to start that forcing.

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      Every campaign for some new tax uses this same argument.”

      Maybe that is because it is often true.

      It is financial death by a thousand cuts.”

      I doubt that either of us is hemorrhaging, let alone dying from our “thousand cuts”. I do not encourage tax increases for those who truly cannot afford to pay. For those of us who can, I see at as a contribution, not an onus.

      The state has sent less to the local schools because the state has kept increasing spending on other priorities.”

      Agreed,  like our prisons as David has pointed out many times in many ways.

      When does it stop? “

      The need for ongoing contributions to the over all well being of our society is never going to stop. So why even post the question as though there should be some well defined “stop” point. Or we could stop doing this piecemeal and provide a UBI so that people do have enough and do not need to drain each others pockets in some arbitrary  redistributive scheme while still relying upon the kindness of strangers to just have enough to eat and a place to live.

      The schools have enough money to do a good job if the schools where managed to constantly improve in the value they provide.”

      Your data to support this claim would be ?  Jose Granda has not provided evidence to back this claim which he also seem to believe is true with perhaps a little grant money ( from where he does not specify) thrown in on the side.

      As they say, “The Buck Stops Here!”    It has to stop at some point.”

      This is a complete misrepresentation of this quote. “The Buck Stops Here” was used as a claim of final responsibility. Although it did not originate with him, it is commonly attributed to President Truman who had a copy of saying made into a sign for his desk as an affirmation that the final responsibility was his. I absolutely believe in this saying. My interpretation with regard to our schools is that the “buck” should include the responsibility of those of us who are able to pay for our schools and that should mean you and I and others like us who have been blessed with sufficient wealth to be able to help others build their own careers and lives just as we did.

      1. hpierce

        So Tia, in order to raise the “truly needed” money, AND cover the funds that the “truly unable to pay” do not contribute, the rest need to pick up their share, as well, right?  A non-deductable ‘charitable contribution’ as it were?  Just want to make clear what your position is… particularly if to meet the criteria you seem to suggest, and given that DJUSD could define all their ‘would like to have as “mission critical”, we might be looking @ $1500/year.

        Do you feel the same way as to City “needs”?

        1. Tia Will

          hpierce

           in order to raise the “truly needed” money, AND cover the funds that the “truly unable to pay” do not contribute, the rest need to pick up their share, as well, right?”

          That’s right. I truly believe that those of us who have benefited the most from our economic system have the responsibility to contribute more in return.

          A non-deductable ‘charitable contribution’ as it were?  Just want to make clear what your position is”

          I don’t mind being perfectly clear. I do not consider this as a “charitable contribution”. I consider public education far too important to be left to “charitable contributions” that people may or not feel like making.

          Do you feel the same way as to City “needs”?”

          Yes, I do as I have stated on many, many occasions.

        2. quielo

          Tia,

           

          I agree on the importance of public education and it should be funded at a significantly higher level. I would prefer to take the money from other areas of the budget rather than raise taxes.

      2. Mark West

        Tia Will: “I do not encourage tax increases for those who truly cannot afford to pay.”

        Yes, you do. There is no ‘means test’ for parcel taxes, they are applied to every property regardless of ability to pay. The School District allows for an exemption for those over a certain age, but proving that the tax is a financial burden is not a requirement for taking the exemption. A retiree living on a generous public employee pension who owns their home clear of debt and has 2-3 rental properties providing additional income, could just as easily claim the exemption. Those young families struggling to make ends meet in a town with exorbitant housing costs do not benefit from the exemption and have to pay all of the new taxes. Consequently, every new tax that you advocate for directly impacts ‘those who truly cannot afford to pay’ and helps drive them out of town.

        1. wdf1

          Mark West:  The School District allows for an exemption for those over a certain age, but proving that the tax is a financial burden is not a requirement for taking the exemption. 

          Nor is an across the board means test allowable under California law.

           

        2. Barack Palin

          Even if one can “afford” to pay that also comes at different levels.  For instance a doctor making $250,000/year can afford to pay a lot easier than a family struggling with bills.  Can they squeeze out another $620, most likely yes, but there will be consequences.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            It’s not squeezing out another $620, it’s squeezing out another $100 over what they have been paying

        3. Mark West

          “It’s not squeezing out another $620, it’s squeezing out another $100 over what they have been paying”

          Plus the $3,000 that the City will need.

        4. Barack Palin

          The fact that they have been paying still doesn’t take away the reality that it’s a burden on many homeowners.  Are you saying that it isn’t?

        5. Davis Progressive

          polling consistently shows seniors are on the bubble of supporting the parcel tax WITH exemptions.  so then you force the board to eliminate their lawful exemptions and then they lose, then what?

        6. Mark West

          “so then you force the board to eliminate their lawful exemptions and then they lose, then what?”

          Perhaps the Board will have to do a better job educating the community on why the taxes are necessary, particularly those seniors who would have taken the exemption.

          Perhaps the Board will have to learn to ‘live within the means’ that the  community provides.

          Perhaps we will turn the City into a retirement community, kick out all of those under 50 and close the schools.

          Or perhaps the community will come to the realization that the best way forward is to improve the economic vitality of the City through commercial development instead of repeatedly trying to raise taxes.

        7. Mark West

          “maybe.  or maybe we just all lose”

          This path that we are currently on, where our answer to every problem is to raise taxes, is the pathway to certain insolvency. Costs will always outstrip tax revenues. Maybe not this year, maybe not this generation, but we will eventually reach a limit where there is no more money to squeeze out of residents. Continuing on this path guarantees that we all lose. Eventually, probably much too late, we will all come to that realization. Some have just figured it out sooner than others.

           

        8. Tia Will

          Mark

          Yes, you do. There is no ‘means test’ for parcel taxes, they are applied to every property regardless of ability to pay.”

          No, I do not. I would also change the structure of our tax laws to allow for means testing or better yet just provide a UBI so we don’t have to worry about it.  So please, disagree with me all you like. But do not tell me what I do and don’t encourage. I am quite capable of doing that for myself.

        9. wdf1

          quielo:  Reconfiguring the school district boundaries to be contiguous with the city boundaries would eliminate this problem.

          I question if you can do that — disenfranchise students who live outside the city limits.

          Your idea would affect families who live in El Macero, Willowbank, Binning Tract, North Davis Meadows, Royal Oaks Trailer Park (has a different name now, but I don’t know what it is) and of course rural areas.

        10. Mark West

           “But do not tell me what I do and don’t encourage.”

          You may not intend to, but the impact of your advocacy is to do so.

          “I would also change the structure of our tax laws to allow for means testing or better yet just provide a UBI so we don’t have to worry about it.”

          It is nice that you want those things, and to work for those ends, but today they do not exist in our current ‘reality’ and so are of no consequence to the discussion. Your advocacy for increasing taxes in today’s reality directly impacts those who cannot afford the additional cost. Your claims to the contrary are nonsense.

          When your ‘solutions’ require major changes to society, they are not true solutions, just dreams. Good to have and even work towards, but not very practical in dealing with the reality that we currently face today.

        11. quielo

          “I question if you can do that — disenfranchise students who live outside the city limits”

          Putting aside the obvious fact that K-12 students don’t vote no matter where they live it has been done before and whether it would be possible is a coin toss at this point. Areas in the school district and outside the city may be given the option of becoming part of the city during the process. I don;t see much reason for El Macero, the Binning Tract, and certainly North Davis Farms to be outside the city anyway.

  4. Misanthrop

    David, why are you beating the dead horse of we should have asked for higher taxes? The district made a decision. Why don’t we simply try to get what is in front of us passed?

  5. South of Davis

    Frankly wrote:

    > Except for the fact that you are already giving the

    > government $.50 of that dollar.

    It would be a dream to “only” give the government $0.50 of each dollar.

    The IRS gets close to $0.50 on every dollar I make since I also pay self employment taxes, then CA puts me well over 50% with the 9.3% state income tax rate.  The state (and city) get another 8.5% sales tax on most things I buy plus the thousands in property taxes and parcel taxes every year plus almost a hundred other little fees and taxes (like the “municipal service tax” and public safety charge” on the city services bill, “government charges and fees” on the Verizon and Comcast bills every month, auto registration, bike license fees, dog license fee, gas taxes, building permit fees etc. etc. etc.)

    P.S. Years ago I added up all the taxes and fees I pay but I don’t want to do it again since it will depress me so much that I might switch from drinking 80 proof Scotch (taxed by the state at $3.30/gallon) to 101 proof Bourbon (taxed by the state at $6.60/gallon)…

  6. Edison

    David makes a lot of good points, but so does Frankly. My wife and I are retired but still see 15% of our retirement income disappear before we even see it, in the form of federal taxes. Then, at least another 5% disappears in the form of CA taxes.  So, after years of working hard and saving for retirement, at least one-fifth of our fixed income is gone before we even see it. On top of that there’s property taxes and sales taxes.  Then I look around and see UCD students sitting in the front yards of their neighborhood mini-dorms in the middle of weekday afternoons drinking beer from pitchers, and wonder why I’m paying State taxes for them to enjoy that luxury.  So, I’m still on the fence about Measure H.  I’ve almost automatically voted “yes” on school funding measures for decades, but am beginning to wonder if it’s time to start voting “no” as a matter of financial self-preservation.

    1. Yes_on_H

      Davis school parcel taxes, since 2007, have had an optional exemption for senior homeowners (age 65 or older), because the likely situation was that such folks would be retired and on a more fixed income.  Prior to 2007, one of the most common criticisms of Davis school parcel taxes was that seniors on fixed income found it to be harder to pay.  This was also the situation statewide which led to the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978.  There is also an optional exemption for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient homeowners.

      Measure H does not involve funding of UC Davis or UCD students, only DJUSD K-12 students.

    2. South of Davis

      Edison wrote:

      > but am beginning to wonder if it’s time to start voting

      > “no” as a matter of financial self-preservation.

      If you or your wife are over 65 you can vote for the tax and file a “senior exemption” so you won’t have to pay it.

      If you are “retired” but still under 65 you can probably talk your kids in to paying the tax by telling them that good schools will make the home they inherit more valuable.

      http://www.djusd.net/parceltax

      1. Marina Kalugin

        PS>   I don’t believe that us seniors should vote one way or another way unless they are also willing to pay the bill.  It is hardly fair at any time….but this type of thing is hardly uncommon and not only in the senior crowd.   At UCD and many other places, one may propose a “sliding scale…unfortunately upward as the years go forward”….a good example are the TA contracts and the Davis water project where the current voters subject future students or town residents to higher and higher bills, knowing full well, they may not be around to pay up.

        Something is wrong with this type of picture…

        PS>   Some Davis seniors struggle less than many young families or singles in this town.  I don’t really agree with blanket exceptions for certain categories of residents….and I also agree to folks paying their fair share.

        Each of those statements are very much up to a difference of opinions as to what is fair, what categories should or shouldn’t pay etc…not easy to get consensus when there are so so many variables.

  7. Mark West

    It may seem like ‘beating a dead horse’ to some, but the simple reality is that school funding is another area of our lives that we have severely limited by restricting the economic vitality of the city. The lack of commercial development means a smaller tax base to fund our programs, including the schools, and fewer businesses able to supply additional support through their generosity.

    School funding is further restricted by having insufficient housing for young families. Young professionals working in town or at the University are moving to surrounding communities where they can find appropriate housing, but continue to bring their children to Davis schools. Since these families are not paying the school’s parcel tax, the added burden to fund those extra services are now put on Davis residents. Building sufficient housing in town allows those families to return to Davis, expanding the number of people/parcels funding the schools but without adding to the enrollment burden since the kids are already here in our schools.

    The efforts to protect certain people’s ‘quality of life’ by preventing commercial development and blocking additional housing has done nothing but add to the financial burden of everyone else in town. It is the ultimate expression of using other people’s money to fund your own selfish lifestyle, with the added ‘bonus’ of negatively impacting all the children in our schools.

     

    1. Misanthrop

      The dead horse I was referring to was David continuing to advocate for even higher parcel taxes to fund the schools. He advocated for that before the school board and lost when the board put up a tax proposal that they felt could actually pass instead of an amount that was pie in the sky high. I agree with you Mark West about everything you have said above except the part where we shortchange the kids because of the foolishness of the adults.

  8. Marina Kalugin

    Aloha, hola and mahalo, David.
    For many of us it was always about the kids.  Even before I had kids of my own, I knew the value of an education.  It was instilled into me, an immigrant refugee from a third world country.
    I was fortunate to move to SF to a decent neighborhood, and qualify for Lowell HS, and then be chosen for UCD.
    I was actually a  mediocre student unless I was truly challenged enough with much more advanced projects that sparked my activist interests.
    If not for the basics I received very early on, and some lucky breaks, I may not have even been accepted to UCD in those days.
    The point is that those of us who have lived what we have, can often share stories which illustrate our points.
    This school district went very south under the “leadership” of Susan Lovenberg and I am naming names as she is up for re-election.
    Not long ago, I got wrapped up in GATE issues, though my sons are now past 30 ….and found out stuff which would put ones hair on fire….
    I met a brilliant attorney in the area, who shared that his biracial child was underserviced….I was already discussing issues with Deanne Quinn, the only expert the DJUSD has had in many a year, and found out that she had never heard of the child….
    Deanne reached out to me after I posted on something on the DV….and she is the one who told me that the vast majority of the children identified for the third strand of GATE were minority children….
    and that so many teachers, who think they are experts and have little clue of the depth of the needs of children on the gifted side of the scale, later get so frazzled trying to keep up with the level of differentiation needed in such a mixed ability class – that the only ones served by the typical common core classroom are the low average children….the upper level and those at the bottom of the barrel are underserved.
    Now that there is money for the vast dare I say majority of children who have issues and are medicated, and the vast majority of children from low income and broken homes, and so on…for the many minority children who were busssed into town and moved into the low income developments sprinkled mostly throughout the 95618 zip code, and those who are very bright were kept out of GATE….
    At least two times before this one, I and some parents saved Deanne’s job…it appears that those this last time on the parent group simply couldn’t understand how bad a truly poor board can devastate the schools for the vast majority of children.
    I had been at least 30 weeks behind on reading the DE when I saw the headline and wrote a very snarky letter of advice aka letter to the Editor  to try to reach GATE parents….they didn’t follow my advice…and everyone here with children, grandchildren, or who cares about education knows what happened.
    The point is that those of us who have lived what we have, can often share stories which illustrate our points.

    This school district went very south under the “leadership” of Susan Lovenberg and I am naming names as she is up for re-election.

    Not long ago, I got wrapped up in GATE issues, though my sons are now past 30 ….and found out stuff which would put ones hair on fire….

    And, those stories above are the result…

    If you care about the kids, vote well for this election.   Vote for Poppinga and Fernandes…   I like Granda also, but he is always too little too late.  If you vote for him, then likely Susan will win..

    If Susan wins, be prepared for a recall vote….

    Also, I don’t believe the school district needs more money….look how much they wasted by canning Deanne and then so much else.

    I would be happy to help audit the books when I retire of the DJUSD and to make suggestions on benefit plans which will be better, cheaper and still as inclusive.

    Of course, you may have to catch me where I am….not likely in the Davis area …at least not for much of the first months of my retirement.

    I would also advise the current Super to bring Deann back and to listen to her.

    Have a good day…

     

  9. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   Dear folks, as I tell anyone who will listen, it is never the money but the principle of the matter….it is also never about the money but about choices.

    Though I may think nothing of spending $99 on a DV fundraiser, I will quibble about overpaying for water bills when the family refuse to turn off the water in the yard.

    Those on the current majority on the school board, who think they know better than the many parents in this town who have way more alphabet soup initials behind their names, and though some have been teachers or married to teachers or were children of teachers or whatever, they somehow think they know more about education, than education professors…

    and in the hard sciences, those full professors will wonder wth the education folks are talking about..

    You see, the Math professors who were raised in countries where achievement is many times higher in math than in the US, will scoff at the fuzzy math proposed by Education professors as they are not used to the truly horrific lack of achievement by many in the USA>..

    When “know it alls” , who think they know it all, devastate the opportunities for children in this town, sometimes the only way they may listen to those who truly do understand better, is if we withhold the blank checkbook they have gotten so used to.

    Tough love some call it.

    1. Paul Thober

      Marina Kalugin, “…is if we withhold the blank checkbook they have gotten so used to.”

      I philosophically oppose the whole concept of parcel taxes because they are regressive; however, I vote aye for any tax that funds education, to not do so will only harm the students. Voting against measure H because one doesn’t like the behavior of a school board member is “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. Other avenues need to be pursued to correct what one percieves to be problems with our school system.

  10. Tia Will

    quielo

    I would prefer to take the money from other areas of the budget rather than raise taxes.”

    I would agree ( although I can see room for both ) and suggest we start with our prison system. What would be your favorite programs for diversion of funds ?

  11. quielo

    Tia,

     

    I would second the prison system. If we are talking state money than Medi-Cal would be the most attractive place to look. As an anecdote my friend’s father-in-law was visiting from another country when he had a medical emergency. My friend negotiated an inpatient procedure for $25K cash with a local hospital. After the procedure the hospital sent him the $25K back and said they made more money billing Medi-Cal.

    I would of course reverse the LCFF and made districts apply for money based on what additional services they were going to implement.

     

    Big A affordable housing is a pet peeve as it is a lot of money for a few individuals.

    The carbon emissions money is also attractive as they are planning now to distribute it to a few well connected insiders.

    If we are talking Federal than Section 8 would be the first to go.

    Just a start

     

    1. wdf1

      quielo:  If we are talking Federal than Section 8 would be the first to go.

      The biggest reason for segregated schools today is segregated neighborhoods, mostly based on income level.  No surprise, more affluent neighborhoods have the “better” schools, at least as defined by standardized test scores, which you seem to like.

      Section 8 housing maybe the one of the more effective ways to give lower income families access to schools in more affluent communities, in Davis, for instance.

      But if the goal is to have the highest standardized test scores possible, well, eliminating Section 8 housing is one way to do that — kick out the students who would be low performers and drag down the standardized test score average.

      But the problem is that one original mission of public schools isn’t to have the highest standardized test scores, but to create opportunities for social mobility — giving students the opportunity to move up in social class from one generation to the next.

      1. South of Davis

        wdf1 wrote:

        > But the problem is that one original mission of public schools isn’t

        > to have the highest standardized test scores, but to create opportunities

        > for social mobility

        For the most part the WASPs that funded public education in the early schools just wanted the poor immigrants to learn to read and write so they would be better workers.  Not many of the early public school founders were not looking to have the poor European Catholics, Eastern European Jews and free slaves move up in to their social circles.

        As wdf1 has pointed out in the past a parent’s education level is the best predictor of a kids academic success.  As a history buff I have realized that a parent’s desire for their children to move up the social ladder has MUCH more to do with the kid’s social mobility than where they went to school.

        In the mid 1800’s many “lace curtain” Irish domestic workers came here as starving peasants and after watching how the rich they worked for lived and dressed passed this on to their children who almost always did very well.  The “shanty” Irish who came to the US at the same  that did not pay attention to the rich and kept on drinking, fighting and starving like the Irish back home passes this on to their kids who more often than not grew up drinking, fighting and starving.

        In modern times virtually every poor Jewish and Asian immigrant to the US has seen their kids move “up the social ladder” regardless of the school they went to since the parents have made education and “fitting in” a priority (Asian immigrants will often name their kids “Tom” knowing that name will make it easier to move up the ladder [edited]).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lace_curtain_and_shanty_Irish

        [moderator] edited. No stereotypes, please.

      2. quielo

        “Section 8 housing maybe the one of the more effective ways to give lower income families access to schools in more affluent communities, in Davis, for instance.”

         

        You have a common but incorrect understanding of Section 8. Section 8 is a subsidy for landlords whose purpose is to raise rents by providing an alternative renter so there is never a need to lower rents. Similar in function to programs where the government buys peanut butter as a price support for peanut farmers and then gives the peanut butter to food groups.

        The net effect is to significantly raise rents for the people you describe. You may note that when the right-wing makes lists of programs to cut Section 8 is not ever on the list as the main beneficiary are large landlords.

        Granted there a few people who benefit just as homeless shelters and food banks like getting free peanut butter and cheese. For about $20B it’s a huge expense. If the feds divided it up evenly for schools it would be an additional $3-4B for the state of california and I believe would lower rents in many places.

         

        1. wdf1

          There are lower income families who live in Davis and attend Davis schools by virtue of Section 8 housing.  They would probably live elsewhere without it. I grant that there maybe better ways of providing affordable, more accessible housing opportunities, but I’m not sure they currently exist or are wide spread.

        2. quielo

          “There are lower income families who live in Davis and attend Davis schools by virtue of Section 8 housing.  They would probably live elsewhere without it.”

           

          That’s a tradeoff, a few families may move but another $3.5B for schools. Which do you believe is more important?

        3. wdf1

          Personally, I think better integrated communities would serve everyone better in the long run with respect to schools, social mobility, and communities in general.  That involves having a better housing policy.  But most others look at education in isolation, without regard to housing, so my point of view is not likely to have any traction at the state or federal level for a while.  Section 8 housing might be as far as we go on this.

          Schools benefit when there is better awareness of social development, IMO.  Having a diverse student population is one way to bring about better social development in the long term.  $3.5B from the state or federal government on schools is probably not going to involve my interests in schools.  Rather it will probably involve more standardized testing, more schemes to raise standardized test scores, maybe more STEM instruction.  Not all bad in and of itself, but I don’t think it’s very effective in promoting overall social mobility for lower income students.

          Privileged families, probably like yours and mine, in general like to live with like-minded and similarly privileged neighbors.  Bringing in less-privileged families brings about more anxiety and negative feelings among the privileged.  We have euphemistic language for it (like having “good schools”), but it’s bias that is rationalized.  That’s why I don’t think any better housing policy will come about for a while.

        4. quielo

          “I think better integrated communities would serve everyone better in the long run” So when I moved to Davis I could have chosen Natomas, Rio Linda, North Sac, Florin, or many other places. I really don’t think my family would be “better in the long run” and I do count myself as part of “everyone”. 

           

          In regards to Section 8 it a huge amount of money and the primary beneficiaries are landlords so we will just have to disagree on that.

          In general I am opposed to subsidies that are only available to a few people. This includes things like general aviation which support the rich.

        5. wdf1

          quielo:  “I think better integrated communities would serve everyone better in the long run” So when I moved to Davis I could have chosen Natomas, Rio Linda, North Sac, Florin, or many other places. I really don’t think my family would be “better in the long run” and I do count myself as part of “everyone”. 

          I made the same choice to live in Davis as you did, choosing not to live in those same other places.  At an individual level it looked like a good decision for me and it probably looks that way to you, too, right now.  But for myself in recent years, I have struggled to bring to my kids some understanding of broader realities of how others live — that there is poverty around and that it affects real people, and it’s not just the homeless folks who hang out downtown or at the public library.  My kids have lived in a bubble, and have been relatively well-cared for, and have succeeded in conventional ways for having been raised in Davis and received a college education.  But there is poverty that comes from not having a college education.  In the Great Recession, it was non-college educated adults who suffered the most, economically, and that same segment was the last to feel any economic recovery.  It’s harder to find them in Davis.  Today a lot of those folks are Trump voters.   Many of them were Bernie Sanders supporters.

          In other blog postings, I have commented that I find that adults in Davis are less likely to socialize and personally know someone who doesn’t have college education.  And by “socialize and personally know,” I think of someone whom you might invite over to dinner, and chat with at length.  What that means over time is a stronger disconnect with segments of larger society.  And over time this becomes a trend of social self-segregation, and I think it’s reflected in the politics we see today, in which many see a political divide that we can’t cross.

          So yes, our choices make a lot of sense at an individual level, but is questionable on the macro scale.  That’s why I posited that “better integrated communities would serve everyone better in the long run.”

        6. South of Davis

          wdf1 wrote:

          > But for myself in recent years, I have struggled to

          > bring to my kids some understanding of broader

          > realities of how others live

          Volunteer work is a great way to let your kids know “how others live” (and as a bonus become fluent in an other language working with and helping people that don’t speak English).

          > But there is poverty that comes from not having a college education.

          The only “poverty” of not having a college education (or grad degree) comes from the prejudice of people who choose not to associate with the “lesser” folks who have not gone to college (or grad school).  I have never spent a lot of time anywhere in the world where a larger percentage of people look down on those who did not go to college (or grad school) than Davis.  I would be more successful in business today and have more money if I never went to college.

          > In the Great Recession, it was non-college educated

          > adults who suffered the most, economically

          In the “Great Recession” the “smart go-getters” suffered the least.  It just so happens that most (but not all) “smart go-getters” go to college these days.

          > I have commented that I find that adults in Davis are less

          > likely to socialize and personally know someone who

          > doesn’t have college education.

          I agree with this 100% and as I have mentioned it is amazing how often I am not only the only person at a party in town that didn’t go to grad school, but the only one that does not have at least one degree from a “top 25” school (the last ranking I saw for UCD put it at 44)…

          P.S. It is amazing how often that when I tell someone in Davis where I went to school that they laugh thinking I am joking (assuming that my wife who went to two “top 5” schools would never be married to someone who went to a college that is not even in the “top 100”)…

        7. MrsW

           At an individual level it looked like a good decision for me and it probably looks that way to you, too, right now.  But for myself in recent years, I have struggled to bring to my kids some understanding of broader realities of how others live — that there is poverty around and that it affects real people, and it’s not just the homeless folks who hang out downtown or at the public library. 

          I am concerned/aware of this, as well.

          I recently heard the term “empathy wall” to describe this phenomenon — the lack of exposure that leads to insensitivity towards others and disregard of commonalities.  A barrier to “kindness,” a quality that comes from recognizing we are of the same kind.

        8. wdf1

          A stronger case that integrated communities can yield better academic performance for “at-risk” students.  It even reminds me of a place very close to home.

          Dana Goldstein, 16, Oct. 2016, Politico:  The Inequality Fight Dividing Hillary Clinton’s Hometown An affluent New York suburb was supposed to be a national model for affordable housing. Instead, it proves how hard it is even for towns that say they want to do the right thing. 

          Excerpt:

          This micro-segregation shapes lives. An emerging body of social science suggests that for low-income families, having the freedom to move is much more powerful than previously acknowledged. Last year, Harvard economists Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren and Lawrence Katz reassessed data from Moving to Opportunity, a federal experiment to move poor families into neighborhoods where fewer than 10 percent of residents were from low-income households. It had long been clear that older teenagers struggled when their families moved and left behind established social networks. But the economists decided to isolate those children who were youngest—under the age of 13—when their parents moved. As adults, those children earned 31 percent more than peers who never left low-income, segregated areas.

          These findings point toward some of the shortcomings of social policy over the past two decades. Consider education reform: President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, Obama’s push to improve teacher evaluation, and the charter school movement were all built around the idea that racially segregated, high-poverty schools, if held accountable, could achieve the same results as affluent schools, setting poor children on a better life trajectory. But social science shows that schools and teachers have less of an impact on children than do parents, neighborhoods and peers. The future of the fight against intergenerational poverty may have less to do with accountability, the bipartisan catchphrase of the early 21st century, and more to do with integrating poor children of color as both neighbors and classmates, with their middle-class, affluent and white peers. To that end, Obama is ending his second term with efforts to desegregate both housing and schools. But integration forces affluent white people to do something big: accept newcomers into their communities.

        9. MrsW

          From Goldstein “But integration forces affluent white people to do something big: accept newcomers into their communities.”

          When I look at Davis and not broad national trends, I don’t think this describes Davis at all. I believe that an overwhelming majority of whites in our community want integrated communities and schools–once someone is a neighbor (which is directly affected by housing).  I see and hear a resounding commitment to second language learning, for example.  I see and hear a resounding commitment to neighborhood schools.  At the same time, I see and hear a resounding counter commitment to special programs and choice.  Much of the drive for choice comes from non-whites and how DJUSD delivers  educational services to non-whites or valued by non-whites. When taken to its logical conclusion, “choice” can lead a number of kinds of segregation, e.g. Cesar Chavez, AIM, Montessori, AVID, Fairfield school, DHS’ Academic Center, etc.  I say “can” because with administration, the negatives of these choices could be mitigated for.  The fact that DJUSD administration doesn’t try to mitigate for them is another topic, but important.

        10. wdf1

          MrsW:  When I look at Davis and not broad national trends, I don’t think this describes Davis at all. I believe that an overwhelming majority of whites in our community want integrated communities and schools–once someone is a neighbor (which is directly affected by housing).

          I didn’t have that specific quote (“But integration forces affluent white people to do something big: accept newcomers into their communities.”) in mind when I was commenting on comparisons to Davis.  What I had in mind were descriptions in the linked article about efforts in Chappaqua, NY to approve affordable housing and in general have more housing.  There are forces in their community that appear to be anti-growth, similar to the way that there are forces in Davis that are resistant to growth.

          I agree with you that Davisites in general appreciate diversity, but I think I see a greater appreciation for diversity of culture, race, and ethnicity as long as those individuals have college education, or are clearly on there way to getting it.  When I hear comments that ‘Davis is a wonderful place to live for its good schools and being a safe place (with respect to crime)’, the unspoken message that I think I hear is ‘Davis doesn’t have many poor, lower-educated residents that one associates with crime and lower-performing schools.’  I don’t think anyone will explicitly admit that they don’t want lower-income, lower-educated residents, but instead they will describe characteristics of lower-income/lower-educated communities that they don’t like — crime & lower-performing schools.

        11. wdf1

          Frankly:  The problem as I see it… the education system is liberal and female-oriented.  For the inner cities it needs to be conservative and male-oriented.

          I’m not sure what those words (liberal, conservative) mean, coming from you to describe education.  In general, I think a diverse range of learning experiences is the best approach to yielding the best outcomes to the most students.

          I would agree that a diverse teaching staff is a good thing including having better balance of male & female teachers is good, if possible.  If that’s your solution for lower income communities, then you will have to raise salaries for teachers in such districts to attract a greater diversity of applicants.

        12. MrsW

          wdf1-Your observations ring true to me, too. but with some kind of caveat.  The broader social trends are in our community, but we aren’t without opportunities to foster connections.  That’s what I don’t understand about Davis.  I have observed DJUSD squander numerous opportunities to foster inter-cultural and inter-socioeconomic understanding and friendship between their students.  The loss of opportunity goes every direction, between all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.  And, generally speaking, the only people who call-out DJUSD’s leadership on squandering these opportunities are white people who are welcoming and who are trying.  And their efforts are fraught with conundrums.  Like the majority of students who attend Cesar Chavez speak English at home and the unintended consequence of a stand-alone Spanish immersion school is that it doesn’t have many special needs students; the special needs students are served better in their primary language.

        13. wdf1

          MrsW:  The broader social trends are in our community, but we aren’t without opportunities to foster connections.  That’s what I don’t understand about Davis.  I have observed DJUSD squander numerous opportunities to foster inter-cultural and inter-socioeconomic understanding and friendship between their students.

          In significant part I think it’s because there has been more focus by the district and community on diversity in terms of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, ELL status, special ed status, and on income level.  But not on parent education level, and not on adjusting views of measures of success to helping students in our schools who would be first generation college students.  These days, the best insurance a student can have to surviving future economic downturns is to have post high school education (in many cases a college degree).  A parent who has been to college, and even better, who has completed a college degree, will be better able to guide and help her/his child on a path that can include college compared to a parent who has never had that experience.

          Compared to other communities in the area, I don’t think Davis feels very welcoming to adults who don’t have college education.  I think parents without college education living in Davis tend to feel more socially isolated and maybe intimidated.

          IMO, If we host a public university (UCD) whose goal is to provide accessible higher education, especially for students who are the first in their family to make that step, then that attitude should be better reflected in our broader local community.

        14. MrsW

          wdf1 said: Compared to other communities in the area, I don’t think Davis feels very welcoming to adults who don’t have college education.  I think parents without college education living in Davis tend to feel more socially isolated and maybe intimidated.

          That is a tough one.  It’s complicated by all kinds of self-judgement and worry about being judged, too.  And then there is working moms and stay-at-home mom dynamics.  What if you cannot reciprocate a play-date for any reason?

          But back to our government institution, DJUSD.  Do you think the governmental institution, DJUSD, can help raise empathetic and conscientious humans? Can our students, away from their parents, be better than their parents? Can they be welcoming? Can they recognize when they have been welcomed? Or is providing a place for students to breathe the same air, but not interact much or at all, the best Davis’ adults can do for the next generation?

  12. Marina Kalugin

    I agree with taking money from the prisons….I would even go farther and close down the halfway houses and jails….and even most prisons.

    From many friends and aquaintances,  those who recently escaped those systems, guess what county is way worse than prison and halfway houses are way worse than county.

    All of those places are full of elderly women scapegoats for the MDs and others who had more money and got away with Medicare fraud…

    More innocent people, literally and figuratively, die at county before they are even tried…

    And, another huge percentage may be people who are trying to support a family on the policies of the feds and the states which only serve to suppress initiative and handcuff businesses….

    some may say this is extreme…..but I am not afraid….I was much more afraid of the Highway police who showed up to arrest me…and could hardly keep my hubby at bay.

    or the woodland police who on several occasions wrote false police reports….and lied about the evidence…

    or the Davis police who have stopped friends of my sons for driving while black.

    Get rid of the jails and halfway houses…and release most prisoners..

    Most prisoners are guilty of nothing worse  than the cops who put them there.

    The only ones who should really be afraid are the corrupt cops who took away some innocent life for whatever bonus or prestige ….

    Then there would be money for all schools and all children to get what they need…early enough and well enough….to stop this cycle of corruption and unfairness in the worst country I have ever lived in…

     

  13. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   the truly gifted are on the other end of the scale….they are taunted and thrown in trashcans at Holmes Junior high….because others may be  jealous…others may be taunted for “being gay” if they are brilliant artists or musicians…
    only those who have walked those halls, and understands how mean children can be, will understand how hard it is to fit in…when you are drugged up for ADHD because the parents cannot keep up with their gifted child….so they docs medicate them to force them to conform
    Davis has a very huge number of gifted children and a very huge lower rung of title 1 children…starting in the 70s/80s actually as housing policies changed to encourage immigration to Davis of the lower income folks…
    Those who did not have the parental support often ended up in trouble and as years went on….big pharma took over the education system.
    Children are now subjected to more and more toxins, in the form of mandatory vaccinations, than any other country by a mile.
    Even now big pharma recommends annual flu shots starting at 6 months….and yearly thereafter……
    Wonder where the thimerasol went which was removed from childhood vaccinations after parental uproar  (which btw way was replaced with toxic forms of Fluoride)?    look on the CDC website…and then annual flu shots include….class?   thimerasol…

    Wonder why the % of autism rises each year in the USA…..follow the money and learn the truth.

    I would much rather donate to a real charter school than be soaked for the money this district now wastes.

    For those who are truly fed up, I would suggest Peregrine school or even St. James, even if one is not Catholic.
    Even with what I had to do to make sure my sons were served, it is only harder for parents these days.
    I would likely have bailed this town way earlier…..
    Even in most third world countries, education is better…. children are not damaged and then drugged to “behave” in school….
    Vote NO ….donate instead to a real school of your choice….only then will the district and board start listening to parents again….

    Vote out that truly lame MD>..  Dr Pan… who is only working for big pharma….

     

    1. ryankelly

      I do not support your anti-VAX rhetoric.  Connection to autism has been disproved over and over.  This spread of misinformation is harmful.  Vaccinations are required at all schools in California – both public and private – for good reason.  Flu vaccinations are voluntary.

    2. wdf1

      MK:  I would much rather donate to a real charter school than be soaked for the money this district now wastes.

      That’s your choice, but you should know that there are a ton of news stories about waste and corruption in charter schools (I could post them, but I’m not sure if you’re serious about knowing about it), in particular those that are run by private entities (in other words, charter schools not partnered with and run by a school district like Da Vinci).  The upshot of it is that such charter schools spend tax dollars, but have no oversight by elected public officials.  You may not like some or all of the school board members, but at least you have someone to blame if you don’t like what you see.  That’s not the case with many privately run charter schools.

      MK:  For those who are truly fed up, I would suggest Peregrine school or even St. James, even if one is not Catholic.

      Even with what I had to do to make sure my sons were served, it is only harder for parents these days.I would likely have bailed this town way earlier…..

      We had a student who was classified as “special ed.”   Perhaps our story was similar to David Greenwald’s and his wife.  We researched private/parochial schools, and found that they were less equipped to serve our kid than the public schools.  Davis schools also have a full range of top quality performing arts and athletics programs that almost no private schools could match.  If your kid were into robotics, then DHS’ team was the reigning world champion in 2015, and was runner up this year.  I understand that there are situations in which parents find that private/parochial students meet their needs, but the Davis public schools have more to offer than you might assume.

      Private/parochial schools may not appear to have the drama that is sometimes present with the Davis school board, but that is because private/parochial schools are not accountable to a public elected school board, nor do they have an obligation to make their finances and management public the way public schools do.

       

      1. Frankly

        I feel sort of sorry for the teacher employee unions.  They are having to fight this charter school battle on so many fronts.  Their strategy is to quickly discredit the charter alternative by pushing narrow and too-soon performance comparisons to make the public schools seem better by comparison.  If that does not work (because the performance reports from the charter alternative is positive) then they rely on their politician connections to destroy the competition by executive actions or in the case of California where the majority of the state legislature is also in their pocket, by new legislation making it more difficult for charter schools to form and operate.

        But as is bound to happen, one of them gets away and demonstrates what most of us already know… that charter schools are generally the better alternative.

        http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2016/07/15/colorados-charter-schools-are-more-diverse-performing-better-and-paying-teachers-less-report-shows/#.WAGNzzWwu9U

        1. wdf1

          Frankly:  If that does not work (because the performance reports from the charter alternative is positive) then they rely on their politician connections to destroy the competition by executive actions or in the case of California where the majority of the state legislature is also in their pocket, by new legislation making it more difficult for charter schools to form and operate.

          Charter schools have their own political lobbies, funded by wealthy donors, such as Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO), Laurene Powell Jobs (Steve Jobs’ widow), Eli Broad, and the Walton family.

          And just in case you hadn’t noticed, their influence has been seen in the primary and general election for our local representatives to the state legislature.  You might remember that EdVoice, a charter school advocacy group, has made substantial independent expenditures in behalf of Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Bill Dodd.  See this and this.  We have the finalist candidates that we have in significant part because of their perceived favorable positions on charter schools.

          And this has been going on statewide.

          When I read news stories like this, I wonder if Bill Dodd and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, as well as Reed Hastings, Eli Broad, Powell Jobs, and the Waltons would send their own kids to the kinds of charter schools that they promote?  Often I learn that the answer is no.

           

        2. wdf1

          Frankly:  But as is bound to happen, one of them gets away and demonstrates what most of us already know… that charter schools are generally the better alternative.

          [edited]

          US News & World Report, 5 October 2016:  OIG Report: Charter Schools Pose Risk to Education Department Goals: In some cases, charter schools and the organizations that oversee them are posing a risk to federal education programs.

          “Charter schools and their management organizations pose a potential risk to federal funds even as they threaten to fall short of meeting the goals of an array of programs the Department of Education oversees, a new audit from the Office of Inspector General found.

          “Investigators assessed the risk that charter schools receiving federal funds, specifically the schools’ relationships with the organizations that oversee them, posed to the objectives of department programs, including the federal K-12 law, special education, school turnaround efforts and others. The audit period covered July 2011 through March 2013 and assessed 33 charter schools in six states.

          “Specifically, the report found instances of financial risk, including waste, fraud and abuse, lack of accountability over federal funds and lack of assurances that the schools were implementing federal programs in accordance with federal requirements at 22 of the 33 schools they looked at, all of which were run by management organizations.

          “We determined that charter school relationships with [charter management organizations] posed a significant risk to department program objectives,” the report reads. The investigators noted, however, that because it was not a statistical sample, the findings can’t necessarily be projected to the entire sector of charter schools and their management organizations.

          “Moreover, the inspector general’s report found that the Education Department did not have effective internal controls to monitor, evaluate and mitigate those risks, nor did it ensure that state departments of education were overseeing charter schools and their management organizations.”

          US News & World Report, 17 March 2016:  Charter Schools Propping Up the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Charter schools are four times more likely to suspend black students than their white peers.

          [moderator] edited. Presidential politics is off topic.

        3. quielo

          My personal “rule of thumb” is whenever someone has to cite the NY Daily News they are grasping at straws.

           

          Anyone the most comprehensive reports on this subject are here:  https://credo.stanford.edu/

           

          Charter Vs. TBS is a little like independant restaurants Vs chains. Chains will tell you that they have dietitians on staff measuring the nutritional value of everything they make but I choose not to eat there anyway.

        4. wdf1

          quielo:  Charter Vs. TBS is a little like independant restaurants Vs chains. 

          I don’t see that the comparison works.  An authentic charter school that might have some validity is one in which local parents get together and decide, ‘we don’t have a school like this in our community, and it doesn’t fit well in the current system.  Let’s start up a local charter school to fill that niche.’  Da Vinci Charter Academy is an example of this.  In that way, you can make the case that such a charter school is like and independent restaurant.

          What I’m talking about is the system of closing down public schools, usually in lower income neighborhood, usually on account of low test scores, and turn the schools over to a chain of privately operated charter schools.  They will often say they are a public school when it comes to marketing themselves, because they receive tax dollars to operate.  But when it comes to accountability, they will say that they are really a private entity and therefore don’t have to show the public how they operate.  ‘Success Academy’ in NYC and K12 online charter school are examples of this.  Executives typically receive salaries that far exceed those given to superintendents of traditional public school systems.  There is usually much more spent on administration and overhead.

          Also, there are a lot of problems in comparing education to a competitive market model.  link

        5. wdf1

          quielo:  Anyone the most comprehensive reports on this subject are here:  https://credo.stanford.edu/

          If we agree that CREDO must be a reputable source, then let me introduce you to Margaret Raymond, the Director of CREDO who said, a couple of years ago:

          “This is one of the big insights for me. I actually am kind of a pro-market kinda girl. But it doesn’t seem to work in a choice environment for education. I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And it’s [education] the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work. I think it’s not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state. I think there are other supports that are needed. Frankly parents have not been really well educated in the mechanisms of choice.… I think the policy environment really needs to focus on creating much more information and transparency about performance than we’ve had for the 20 years of the charter school movement. I think we need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools, but I also think we have to have some oversight of the overseers.” (I added the boldface)

          You can see the video of her giving that quote at the ~50 minute mark, here.

      2. quielo

        When you say “charter school” it covers a lot of territory from one-offs to for-profit to non-profit to online, to district sponsored, etc. Generalizing across them is a little like saying “I had ‘Soup du Jour’ once and it was terrible so I’m never going to order it again” or “Traditional Public Schools provide a high quality education”.

        Charter schools have one very significant advantage over TPS, you have to make an active choice to attend and therefore the parents of children who go there are to some degree more engaged than the parents who go for the default choice. It is the same with magnet schools which outperform regular schools even though the demographic base is the same.

        Do some charters need more oversight? -Yes

        Are some charters tremendous? – Yes

        Are some public schools great? – Yes

        Are all charters the best option? – No

        As a parent do I appreciate the opportunity to make a choice? Yes, Yes, and Yes

         

        1. wdf1

          Right.  Note my links above in response to your recent comments that explain that education doesn’t work well in a choice market system, especially for the students who need it the most — low income with no family legacy of college education.

          Agreed that there are many kinds of charter schools.  I thought I acknowledged that by pointing out Da Vinci Charter Academy vs. privately run charter chains.

          What I am talking about in particular is the shift to privately run charter schools that are intended to serve low-income neighborhoods in lieu of traditional public schools, often in response to low standardized test scores.  You like choice.  The problem is that there is a limit on choice in such environments.  When you convert your local traditional public school to a privately run charter school on account of low test scores, you’re not increasing the choices available; you’re just changing management.  It’s not a choice if you don’t have at least two credible options available to you.  Lower income families are often limited by transportation, money, and information from having credible choices.  You are likelier to have many more choices available to your family because you have those resources.

          Choices are also available in a traditional public school system.  Take Davis JUSD, for example.  There are magnet programs like AIM/GATE (if your student tests well), Montessori, Spanish Immersion, Dual Immersion, there are neighborhood schools where families have the option to go to their local school, or go to another neighborhood school on a space available basis, there’s DSIS, Da Vinci Charter Academy, Davis HS.

          Another key difference between traditional public school system and a privately run charter model is that a privately run charter school can shut down in the middle of the year and have no responsibility for placing its students in suitable alternatives.  If, hypothetically, a campus of Davis JUSD were to shut down in the middle of the year, then the district would have an obligation to provide the students with alternatives elsewhere in the district.  Traditional public schools have to lay out a conservative, viable yearlong budget in advance of the coming school year.

        2. South of Davis

          quielo wrote:

          > As a parent do I appreciate the opportunity to make a choice? Yes,

          Very few people are “pro-choice” on EVERYTHING like I am (and most “pro-choice” people get mad when I remind them that they don’t want people to have any choice about joining a union or where their kids go to school).

          I went to great public schools as a kid and they were amazing, other public schools were horrible.  Saying all non union charter schools are bad is like saying all independent non union grocery stores are bad and should be banned.  True some non union charter schools and independent grocery stores are horrible, but why not give parents a “choice”.

        3. wdf1

          STATEMENT REGARDING THE NAACP’S RESOLUTION ON A MORATORIUM ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOctober 15, 2016

          CINCINNATI – Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors ratified a resolution Saturday adopted by delegates at its 2016 107th National Convention calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight in governance and practice.

          “The NAACP has been in the forefront of the struggle for and a staunch advocate of free, high-quality, fully and equitably-funded public education for all children,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

          The National Board’s decision to ratify this resolution reaffirms prior resolutions regarding charter schools and the importance of public education, and is one of 47 resolutions adopted today by the Board of Directors. The National Board’s decision to ratify supports its 2014 Resolution, ‘School Privatization Threat to Public Education’, in which the NAACP opposes privatization of public schools and public subsidizing or funding of for-profit or charter schools. Additionally, in 1998 the Association adopted a resolution which unequivocally opposed the establishment and granting of charter schools which are not subject to the same accountability and standardization of qualifications/certification of teachers as public schools and divert already-limited funds from public schools.

          We are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the charter schools at least until such time as:(1) Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools(2) Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system(3) Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate and(4) Cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.

          Historically the NAACP has been in strong support of public education and has denounced movements toward privatization that divert public funds to support non-public school choices.
          “We are moving forward to require that charter schools receive the same level of oversight, civil rights protections and provide the same level of transparency, and we require the same of traditional public schools,” Chairman Brock said. “Our decision today is driven by a long held principle and policy of the NAACP that high quality, free, public education should be afforded to all children.”

          While we have reservations about charter schools, we recognize that many children attend traditional public schools that are inadequately and inequitably equipped to prepare them for the innovative and competitive environment they will face as adults. Underfunded and under-supported, these traditional public schools have much work to do to transform curriculum, prepare teachers, and give students the resources they need to have thriving careers in a technologically advanced society that is changing every year. There is no time to wait. Our children immediately deserve the best education we can provide.

          “Our ultimate goal is that all children receive a quality public education that prepares them to be a contributing and productive citizen,” said Adora Obi Nweze, Chair of the National NAACP Education Committee, President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and a former educator whose committee guides educational policy for the Association.

          “The NAACP’s resolution is not inspired by ideological opposition to charter schools but by our historical support of public schools – as well as today’s data and the present experience of NAACP branches in nearly every school district in the nation,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Our NAACP members, who as citizen advocates, not professional lobbyists, are those who attend school board meetings, engage with state legislatures and support both parents and teachers.”

          “The vote taken by the NAACP is a declaratory statement by this Association that the proliferation of charter schools should be halted as we address the concerns raised in our resolution,” said Chairman Brock.

          ###

  14. Marina Kalugin

    yes, some of the private/parochial schools are not equipped to handle truly difficult special needs cases…there are special schools in Woodland and Sacramento for those children

    The DJUSD right now is catering to the lowest common denominator….most of the Davis children do not belong in that group.

    The bright if not challenged will be the drug addicts and early drop outs…

    those who excelled in math but didn’t qualify for GATE regardless of their “brightness” are no longer interested in the subject and need hired tutors to make them do the inane lower level work..

    I know several children like that in DJUSD right now….the parents are at wits end without options.

    One child even ended up n a special hospital at Stanford in recent months….hating school, acting out…. yet if not too young due to new rules of teens volunteering  could be doing research in our labs at UCD>>.. and be much happier than the low level common core garbage the child is subjected to..

    Peregrine is booming…new faculty are putting their children there in droves.

    The folks who are like ostriches are hiding their head in the sand..

    Vote Poppinga and Fernandes if this district has any chance of being on the right track again.

  15. Marina Kalugin

    and finally, I have always voted For the bonds..though my last child graduated 16 years ago and even when I was not eligible to vote when I arrived here at the age of 17….I had been campaigning for candidates and issues since I campaigned for RFK…

    This is the first time I will vote NO….but I will be happy to donate a fair share….if only the new board would start listening to parents again or at least pretending to…   🙂

     

  16. Marina Kalugin

    For those who are into the robotics programs and such…I would recommend DSIS… don’t believe DSIS has to follow common core.

    Please correct me, if that has changed.

    Even as a single mom working 24/7 I did what was needed to ensure my children were challenged….that includes going to DSIS for Algebra when the fuzzy math pink book came out and my son couldn’t stop complaining at having to repeat kindergarten work…

    There are truly no excuses for the parents to do what is needed…it is much easier however when the school board is not throwing stops in the way and firing the only person on staff at the district left who truly understands the issues of gifted children…

     

     

  17. Marina Kalugin

    lots of falsehoods being espoused here.

    many many children who attend Catholic school are low income and on scholarships…. no cost.

    same with Peregrine…

    in the meantime, one can attend DSIS for the courses that one cannot tolerate under common core, and then attend the regular classes at the DHS for the robotics…

    at least that was the case over 15 years ago….when my bright children had to take some classes at DSIS because of lack of options at the HS and even the Sac City and UCD>…at least until they were able to attend simultaneously UCD and DHS as high potential early admits…

    Also, since Russian was dropped at DHS, one can take correspondence Russian and all other languages through U of Wisconsin, and have proctored exams at UCD….at least I was able to arrange that back in the early to mid 90s….

    When there is a will there is a way….I was a struggling single mom for over 30 years….and I was hourly and worked officially 75 % time…..to make time for the tutoring needed in a language there were few tutors in town…

    As a result, my sons had enough college units to be upper division by the time they started university….

    I don’t believe ANY excuses of those who do not make it in this town…

     

  18. Marina Kalugin

    For any of those who don’t understand common core and how it came to be and who put it forth and who makes money on it…you will have to look back a few years…and read the controversies..

    One of the only two faculty members “hired” to make sure it was educationally sound….was speaking out about the sham within days of it being blessed by Obama…

    You can find his videos online.

    The more you read about it, the more you will understand why it exists and what the real issues are with it.

    Most children of faculty in my department are in GATE…

    and the ones whose children didn’t make the cut are suffering the consequences…

    I have no need to discuss any of this further with anyone…please do your own googling or better duckduckgo

    much of what I have shared on this topic has been censored or removed….I now keep a running log of all my posts in case anyone is interested in more info

    I have also revived the old and very ancient Parents Advocating for Children’s Education….back then we didn’t have email lists and it was all word of mouth and phone callse.

    Now we have an email address..   If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me on any email you have….

    I will fill you in.

    We are again mobilizing, though many have left town after retirement, enough of us are still around.

    Many UC professors, and chairs of STEM departments were part of our group.

    It is time that options were expanded for the best results for ALL children…

     

  19. Marina Kalugin

    if your bright children were underserved, and if your challenged children were underserved, and if you are poor and cannot afford better options than the current offerings at the DJUSD…..and if you want this travesty to change…  (it really went south under the nice but truly incompetent former super, and the current majority on the board)….

    please vote in the upcoming election and vote for Poppinga and Fernandes..

    they are the only 2 of the four with a chance to win and then we can make sure the tide shifts from the know it all majority who has little clue…

    As a former leader of PACE, and if you as a parent are unhappy, those are the only 2 I would recommend.

    Marina Kalugin aka Marina Rumiansev   aka Marina Kalugin Rumiansev

    many of you may know me under that various names…..and the many causes I have led or been a part of leading since 1970…   🙂

  20. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   that program at UCD has been canned….the High potential early admit program……they said not enough minorities were taking advantage of it….

    Also, the gov had canned the Governor’s awards for achievement in Math and Science…..scholarships meant to encourage students to take more math and science courses and earn scholarships for university.

    That program came out in the late 90s or 2000……my older son only had one year to participate…

    My younger son got all awards…  then the year he earned his Major award, with $2500 scholarship….the program was cancelled after the year was over.

    Some were complaining that not enough blacks and latinos and native americans were getting those awards….most of them were being earned by white, asian and Indian (from India) children…and most of them were boys.

    The Gov didn’t even respond to my complaints….at the time the scholarships would have gone very far to help my sons as I was making less than the median income in this town…

    I could understand doing that for the coming year, but my son took many more tests than he needed to and aced them all to earn $2500 for university…instead he was so upset when he spent all that time studying and didn’t get it.

    He would have been better off tutoring his friends and other family for free even….or making a few bucks for university….

    now he has student loans, when he wouldn’t have….

     

  21. ryankelly

    Woodland has broken ground on the new elementary school in Springlake. It will open in Fall 2017 with 300 children.  I wonder how this will affect Davis school enrollment.

      1. Matt Williams

        BP, see http://www.wjusd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=451422&type=d&pREC_ID=978175

        Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD) is currently developing a new elementary school in the Spring Lake area of Woodland. This new school will offer transitional kindergarten (TK) – 6th grade instruction. A Program Committee is developing curriculum and program specifics, while the Facilities Committee is providing guidance on the development of the school facilities.

        The WJUSD Board of Trustees approved the project plan in May. Most recently, the Board approved a contract with Otto Construction to build the new elementary school at a special board meeting Wednesday, Sept 28, 2016.

        Project updates will be added on this website as they are available.

    1. Matt Williams

      ryan, as it has been explained to me by a non-official source (so take what I have been told with a grain of salt), that the Woodland School District can withdraw its permission for Woodland residents’ continued attendance of Davis schools as out of district students under the provisions of an inter-District transfer agreement, and if it does over 300 current DJUSD students will have to transfer to a Woodland school the school year following the permission withdrawal date.

      This issue is important enough that in the interests of transparency, a formal legal opinion statement should be issued by DJUSD.

      It has also been explained to me by another/different non-official source (again a salt grain recommendation is in order), that such a permission withdrawal may not apply to existing DJUSD students who live in Woodland, but only to “new” students who want to benefit from an inter-District transfer.

      Here too the issue is important enough that in the interests of transparency, a formal legal opinion statement should be issued by DJUSD.

        1. Don Shor

          I should add that this does not address the issue which arose when DJUSD tried to throw out all ID transfers in the 1990’s, which is that an interpretation of the state law was that students who entered for reason of childcare or parental employment in the district, and who remained as ID transfers continuously, could not be rejected for continued transfer. That was not agreed by DJUSD administration at the time, and was not the basis of the successful appeals to the county board — the county board chose not to rule on that issue, nor to set a precedent, when they approved some appeals (including ours). Elk Grove district, which also faced overcrowding issues and sought to reduce ID transfers, adopted our (the parents’) interpretation as they put a moratorium on new ID transfers but retained existing ones. So the issue was never resolved, and to my knowledge has not been. If Woodland, as home district, sought to force parents to keep their children there, refusing to let them continue their inter district transfers to Davis, I would expect this issue would arise again. Particularly if any of those parents happen to read this blog. The point being, it was our opinion and that of others that parents have, under some circumstances, the right to continue an inter district agreement once it has been begun. The state is specific about the continuance at the secondary level for 11th and 12th grades.

        2. quielo

          Alan F. told me there were about 450 IDTs so 300 would be a huge chunk. Since it’s an elementary school potentially Woodland could cancel the elementary IDTs and leave the rest?

          1. Don Shor

            They could not cancel all of them. See below. It would also be unprecedented for a district to shut off all outgoing transfers. And it would cause a huge financial hit to DJUSD to lose the ADA for 300 students. Davis barely has enough enrollment for all of the elementary schools now, with the transfer students.

            Interdistrict Transfer Because of Parent Employment/Allen Bill

            California Education Code Section 48204(b) … permits a school district to deem a pupil to have complied with the residency requirements for school attendance in the district if at least one parent/guardian of the pupil is physically employed within the boundaries of that district. Once admitted to residency, the pupil’s transfer may be revoked only if the parent ceases to be employed within the boundaries of the district. As a resident, the student does not have to re-apply for the transfer to be valid.

        3. wdf1

          DP:  my understanding is woodland is no longer going to allow transfers within two years and that will be the next fiscal crisis for the district.

          I’m not prepared to agree with this right now, that this specific issue would be a fiscal crisis for the district.

          One thing that I am watching that could be a countervailing factor is that enrollments have been picking up for class cohorts in kindergarten and 1st grade.  Kindergarten/1st grade enrollments were depressed in recent years because of economic factors — families often choose not to have kids or to move to Davis when the economy is bad.  But it looks like an improving economy is moves things the other way.

  22. Marina Kalugin

    Springlake?  that is to be seen the impact on the Davis schools…..if that school is better, then likely students will stay there.

    If not for the many students from outside of Davis who come to Davis schools, teachers and staff would be losing jobs due to not enough children?

     

  23. Marina Kalugin

    I see the post from the person who stated he doesn’t like my anti-vax stance is still standing, but much of the evidence and science I presented has been removed.

    And, some decades ago DSIS would use whatever books and methods the parents wanted….is that no longer the case?

    would someone who really knows please confirm…..yes or no?

     

     

  24. Tia Will

    Marina

    Would you mind posting the evidence and facts that you are referencing with regard to you position on vaccination as a separate article ?  That would avoid the chance that it is removed as “off topic” or for any other reason ?

    1. ryankelly

      Tia, the Vanguard risks losing all credibility if an article opposing vaccinations, vacinations and autism, or other medical related issues by a non-qualified individual is published here.  I know that you are trying to be helpful, but I don’t think you want the Vanguard being used as a vehicle for quack medicine or conspiracy theorists.

      1. Tia Will

        ryankelly

         Vanguard being used as a vehicle for quack medicine or conspiracy theorists.”

        I appreciate the point that you are making, and see the issue differently. I see the Vanguard as a conversation space. I do not see it as a space in which only my views should be aired. Whether accurate or not, these are views that are held by a substantial number of our community.  I would much rather have an individual make their very best case for their beliefs in an article where they can be countered by the provision of accurate information, rather than repeated in an incessant drip over time in response to various peripherally related articles where there is no chance of addressing the actual concerns because they are never fully expressed. I find when dealing with patient’s that it is often the “drip, drip, drip” of “information” as presented by such celebrities as Dr.Oz ( correct about 50 % of the time with his “facts”) and Suzanne Summers that causes doubt and fear in most people. I would much rather deal with a single article or short list of articles that I can assess factually than the doubt created by hearing the same mis-information repeated over and over in sound bites.

        Also, I do not believe that the publication of false information in an article impugns the integrity of the Vanguard as long as someone is willing to counter with accurate information. I learned this during the Daleiden vs Planned Parenthood controversy when I had a number of readers inform me how much they had learned, and indeed some had even changed their minds on the issue based on information provided on the Vanguard.

        1. ryankelly

          Well, I can only hope that this just your viewpoint and not the viewpoint of the Vanguard Board.  Inviting someone with a degree in Russian Literature to write an opinion piece expounding the idea that children should not receive vaccinations due to conspiracy theory about Big Pharma’s intent on poisoning the population is asking for a loss of readership and financial support.  It is irresponsible. It is not science.

           

  25. Tia Will

    Frankly

    The problem as I see it… the education system is liberal and female-oriented.  For the inner cities it needs to be conservative and male-oriented.”

    One problem as I see it is an ongoing false dichotomization of human beings into “female=weak” and “male = strong”. There is a kind of strength that is not dependent upon bluster and the emotional equivalent of flexing of biceps and pecs. This is the kind of strength that I have seen through the years in both my female and male colleagues who not only work full time but also manage to successfully raise children often with the support of a spouse who respects their strength and contribution, but often, on their own.

    Again, the difference here is not in my opinion, male vs female, but a failure to fully appreciate and respect the relative presence of all forms of strength in both men and women. It is indeed the perpetuation of the myth of female “weakness” and male “strength” depicted as brute force that reinforces many of the bad behaviors encountered not just in our inner cities, but throughout our society. Change this paradigm, fully recognize rather than degrading the positive contributions of all members of our society and we will have gone a long way towards addressing these behavioral issues.

    1. wdf1

      Historical context on having male vs. female teachers.  In the early to mid 1800’s, it was more common for there to be male teachers in grade school.  If you have heard the story of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ the main character, Ichabod Crane, was the school master of the community, a young bachelor.  He was a stereotype of the time of a grade school teacher.  Society considered that grade school teaching was a more appropriate profession for men.

      In the later 1800’s there was an interest in seeing more children learn to read and get a basic education, some of this connected to the enactment of child labor laws.  There were not enough male teachers to fill this need.  There was a transition to having women be grade school teachers about this time, and also a feeling that women were a “better moral influence” on children than men.  It was also convenient that it was possible to pay women less for teaching than men.  And after the Civil War there was a surplus of women in the population relative to men, many of whom were casualties of the war.  Typically it was single women who were grade school teachers.  Once they got married, then it was considered inappropriate for them to continue teaching.  After this transition to grade school teaching being a ‘women’s profession,’ the number of men in the profession has never caught up.

  26. South of Davis

    Tia wrote:

    > It is indeed the perpetuation of the myth of female “weakness”

    > and male “strength” depicted as brute force that reinforces many

    > of the bad behaviors encountered not just in our inner cities

    I “wish” everyone were equal, but unfortunately there is a larger number of females than men that have a hard time controlling kids (of both sexes) who act up in class and have a harder time getting them to graduate from High School.

    The greatest Mom in the world may be a single mom raising her kids without a man, but “unfortunately”  single mom’s as a group have the highest number of kids (of both sexes) who drop out of High School.

    It is also “sad” that a higher percentage of women tolerate both emotional abuse “and” physical abuse from their students, children and partners.

  27. Marina Kalugin

    Tia, you know how to reach me.   I will send docs…in the form of studies and documentaries where the MDs in this country speak about the coverups and the real statistics.

    My MD at UCDMC is very aware of the literature, documents and controversy.   Anyone can do their own google searches, and look at the CDC website to see what the ingredients are in all vaccinations.

    Most in the US will argue to their death that “everyone knows” all vaccines are from dead strains….not true…look up LIVE MMR vaccine on the CDC website.

    PS>  RK….I am no expert on Russian Lit and do not claim to be… Russian is my native language, and when I chose not to pursue psychiatry, and found out that Industrial Engineering was not offered as a major at UCD, I just took what I was interested in and got my units and degree and left for  my MBA>…the thesis was incomplete when I had to head back to work…after a “break” having children, setting up and managing my own business, while talking 15 credits of ECE and then working on the MBA>…I have a very broad level of interests.

    And, as a UCD Manager,  I always do my own research on PubMed on topics that present, like when a family member was dying of COPD, and then when someone else got cancer, or last year, when another elder was getting dementia…and it had never existed in my long-lived and hardy Russian stock.

    One doesn’t even really need a US degree on practically any field of study if there is a licensing exam.  In fact I am meeting more and more people who study on their own and pass the Med Tech exam, or Dental Asst,   even the bar.

    I am a life-long learner and may finish a thesis or too after I retire.

     

  28. Marina Kalugin

    so much off topic nonsense by the favored folks on this thread…..

    and really,  those who think that women have a harder time than men in controlling children of any age, have not looked around lately…

    It is the women who speak their minds when the guys are hiding behind their “PC” nonsense.

    It has always been women who run the household throughout history, while the men pretend to play their war games and run finances….  and the men were rarely around.

    Women make the best early teachers, due to their inate nurturing and mothering abilities….and some men also have such a knack.

    Though if a man has the capability and interest, a good male teacher can make up for many a broken home where the “father” on paper only or not even on any paper, is not around.

    Both of my sons were so very fortunate to have exceptional male GATE teachers in their very early years…..and that may have helped offset in part for the lack of any interest by their dad, who lived not far away and never made time to see them.

     

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for