Editorial: KEEP VALLEY OAK OPEN

Share:
The People’s Vanguard of Davis urges the Davis Joint Unified School Board to do everything possible to keep Valley Oak Elementary School open.

The current Davis Joint Unified School Board has done some very important things to help the children of Davis and to improve the schools. Going no further than the dismissal of Superintendent David Murphy that will enable the school district to get itself on stronger and more stable financial ground. (Murphy had presided over a mismanagement of finances and an administration of ethical & financial conflicts of interest.) Not to mention many other changes that needed to happen but could not happen because of the impediment that Superintendent Murphy represented. African American families have come forward asking for the district to make minority hiring a priority. Murphy had been an impediment to that. We have less than five African-American teacher’s in the district. How can that be allowed to continue? And yet, I have every confidence that under the leadership of the interim Superintendent and this board, that those wrongs will be righted.

However, for all of the good accomplished by this school board, this decision of whether or not to close Valley Oak Elementary School in the minds of so many will make or break their legacy. Will this be a great school board? Then they need to find a way to keep this school open. The People’s Vanguard of Davis cannot in good conscience support any member of this school board that does not vote to keep the school open. It is that simple. This issue is a make or break for us. That is despite the overall good record that its membership has.

In the nation’s second most educated city, this should not be an issue. Education should not be a priority–it should be THE priority. There should be no other consideration than the education and the welfare of our students.

The moral measure of a society is judged on how well it treats the least among us. There is one school in the district that is majority-minority. There is one school in the district that is heavily Title I. Our legacy will be judged based on the decisions we make on this school.

Today we throw out the fiscal points–there are strong arguments to be made both ways on the fiscal points. And we focus exclusively on what is best for these students.

On Thursday night, we heard parent after parent get up and attest to the strength of the Valley Oak Elementary school educational program. We heard Rick Gonzales, Jr. get up there as part of the Davis OPEN presentation and talk about how good an English Language (EL) program exists at Valley Oak. Gonzales dedicates his life to getting minority students to college through the Yolo County Concilio student scholarship program, whereby the Concilio gives disadvantaged students scholarships so that they may be able to go to college. Often these kids are the first in their families to go to college. This is an amazing program and requires amazing dedication on the part of the Concilio and the community as a whole.

Gonzales spoke forcefully on the need for continuity in the EL program and how high a success rate that this program has. He showed us how many of these students at Valley Oak Elementary School go from the EL program to mainstream and even to GATE classes. And how if they were to move the school, it would take two years for the program to be rebuilt. That may not seem like a big deal until you realize that there are children there that will be set back by two years. These are the most vulnerable children in this school district who cannot afford to lose two years. These are children that get one chance to catch up to their peers and if they miss it, their entire futures are put into peril. Which is why you saw mothers and fathers on the verge of tears begging the school district to keep THEIR school open.

When the task force speaks about walking distance, they are not taking into account that for k-3 students, they cannot simply walk one-mile to school. They are not taking into account that if they close down Valley Oak elementary school, the vast majority of the students will have to travel further to school. When they say this distance is the accepted standard by various groups and that only 25% of children district-wide are within half a mile of a school, they are failing to look out for the best interest of these children. We are not talking about a decision that is district wide, we are talking about closing down this school, a neighborhood school, a neighborhood school where a large percentage of kids are within real walking distance of the school and whose parents have to work to be able to put food on the table and make their payments.

We are talking about putting these children at risk. And for what? To what end? To save what in the scheme of the district is literally pennies on the dollar? Because the school district may have a very small decline in enrollment over the next 10 years based on some sets of assumptions? To what end?

It is time that we throw out our points of law, our projections, our budget forecasts, and we ask the simple human question: is it right to close this school down that means so much to so many?

The answer to this question from our perspective is an unequivocal NO. This district should be dedicated to keeping all schools open and providing the best possible educational opportunities for all. To the members of the school board: The whole city is watching and your legacy will be defined based on this decision. Please make the right one.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Share:

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

128 thoughts on “Editorial: KEEP VALLEY OAK OPEN”

  1. Rich Rifkin

    “African American families have come forward asking for the district to make minority hiring a priority. Murphy had been an impediment to that. We have less (sic) than five African-American teacher’s in the district.”

    David,

    Before your little puppet, the blog nanny, removes this post, you should know that it is a violation of California’s civil rights laws to discriminate for or against a teacher on the basis of his race. Thus, the Davis school district cannot legally set about to hire any teacher because he is or is not of the hue you would like him to be. Blaming Murphy or anyone else in Davis for our policy of not discriminating is ridiculous.

    The only questions that should be asked when it comes to hiring (or retaining) a teacher is this: is he a great teacher? And is he getting the most out of his students?

    If his race does not match some sort of numbers game that you prefer, that should be entirely irrelevant. The race of a teacher plays no part whatsoever in being a great teacher or in inspiring students to be the best they can be.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a student at Davis High, I believe we only had two Asian teachers (Mrs. Kim, who taught sex ed; and Mr. Tashima, who taught math and coached soccer). Yet we had a large number of students either from the Orient or whose heritage was Oriental. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Asians were high achievers at Davis High School. So having few or no teachers of your same race makes no difference in one’s educational achievement.

  2. Rich Rifkin

    “African American families have come forward asking for the district to make minority hiring a priority. Murphy had been an impediment to that. We have less (sic) than five African-American teacher’s in the district.”

    David,

    Before your little puppet, the blog nanny, removes this post, you should know that it is a violation of California’s civil rights laws to discriminate for or against a teacher on the basis of his race. Thus, the Davis school district cannot legally set about to hire any teacher because he is or is not of the hue you would like him to be. Blaming Murphy or anyone else in Davis for our policy of not discriminating is ridiculous.

    The only questions that should be asked when it comes to hiring (or retaining) a teacher is this: is he a great teacher? And is he getting the most out of his students?

    If his race does not match some sort of numbers game that you prefer, that should be entirely irrelevant. The race of a teacher plays no part whatsoever in being a great teacher or in inspiring students to be the best they can be.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a student at Davis High, I believe we only had two Asian teachers (Mrs. Kim, who taught sex ed; and Mr. Tashima, who taught math and coached soccer). Yet we had a large number of students either from the Orient or whose heritage was Oriental. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Asians were high achievers at Davis High School. So having few or no teachers of your same race makes no difference in one’s educational achievement.

  3. Rich Rifkin

    “African American families have come forward asking for the district to make minority hiring a priority. Murphy had been an impediment to that. We have less (sic) than five African-American teacher’s in the district.”

    David,

    Before your little puppet, the blog nanny, removes this post, you should know that it is a violation of California’s civil rights laws to discriminate for or against a teacher on the basis of his race. Thus, the Davis school district cannot legally set about to hire any teacher because he is or is not of the hue you would like him to be. Blaming Murphy or anyone else in Davis for our policy of not discriminating is ridiculous.

    The only questions that should be asked when it comes to hiring (or retaining) a teacher is this: is he a great teacher? And is he getting the most out of his students?

    If his race does not match some sort of numbers game that you prefer, that should be entirely irrelevant. The race of a teacher plays no part whatsoever in being a great teacher or in inspiring students to be the best they can be.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a student at Davis High, I believe we only had two Asian teachers (Mrs. Kim, who taught sex ed; and Mr. Tashima, who taught math and coached soccer). Yet we had a large number of students either from the Orient or whose heritage was Oriental. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Asians were high achievers at Davis High School. So having few or no teachers of your same race makes no difference in one’s educational achievement.

  4. Rich Rifkin

    “African American families have come forward asking for the district to make minority hiring a priority. Murphy had been an impediment to that. We have less (sic) than five African-American teacher’s in the district.”

    David,

    Before your little puppet, the blog nanny, removes this post, you should know that it is a violation of California’s civil rights laws to discriminate for or against a teacher on the basis of his race. Thus, the Davis school district cannot legally set about to hire any teacher because he is or is not of the hue you would like him to be. Blaming Murphy or anyone else in Davis for our policy of not discriminating is ridiculous.

    The only questions that should be asked when it comes to hiring (or retaining) a teacher is this: is he a great teacher? And is he getting the most out of his students?

    If his race does not match some sort of numbers game that you prefer, that should be entirely irrelevant. The race of a teacher plays no part whatsoever in being a great teacher or in inspiring students to be the best they can be.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a student at Davis High, I believe we only had two Asian teachers (Mrs. Kim, who taught sex ed; and Mr. Tashima, who taught math and coached soccer). Yet we had a large number of students either from the Orient or whose heritage was Oriental. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Asians were high achievers at Davis High School. So having few or no teachers of your same race makes no difference in one’s educational achievement.

  5. Mike Hart

    I agree with your comments. It strikes me as incredibly wasteful to close Valley Oak. If anything, it show a complete lack of understanding of market forces. Look at ANY real estate listing in the region, the place can be 10 miles from Davis, but if it is in the Davis School District, it is considered a selling feature. Why? Davis has a really good school system…

    There is no need to close Valley Oak, there is a need to boost enrollment without adding more housing. The answer is quite simple actually. Import students from surrounding areas into the school until the Davis population rises (as it will) enough to fully occupy all of our own schools.

    If students in Woodland, Dixon or West Sacramento were given the opportunity to attend Davis schools EVEN FOR A PRICE, you would fill every seat in every classroom in Davis. Inter-district transfers can be done and no effort has been paid to see where imbalances might exist in over-crowded neighboring systems.

    Closing Valley Oak and replacing it with a bunch of dinky little houses is not going to solve any problems, but in 10 years we will wish we had that campus again to deal with all the kids that are now growing up on its site…

  6. Mike Hart

    I agree with your comments. It strikes me as incredibly wasteful to close Valley Oak. If anything, it show a complete lack of understanding of market forces. Look at ANY real estate listing in the region, the place can be 10 miles from Davis, but if it is in the Davis School District, it is considered a selling feature. Why? Davis has a really good school system…

    There is no need to close Valley Oak, there is a need to boost enrollment without adding more housing. The answer is quite simple actually. Import students from surrounding areas into the school until the Davis population rises (as it will) enough to fully occupy all of our own schools.

    If students in Woodland, Dixon or West Sacramento were given the opportunity to attend Davis schools EVEN FOR A PRICE, you would fill every seat in every classroom in Davis. Inter-district transfers can be done and no effort has been paid to see where imbalances might exist in over-crowded neighboring systems.

    Closing Valley Oak and replacing it with a bunch of dinky little houses is not going to solve any problems, but in 10 years we will wish we had that campus again to deal with all the kids that are now growing up on its site…

  7. Mike Hart

    I agree with your comments. It strikes me as incredibly wasteful to close Valley Oak. If anything, it show a complete lack of understanding of market forces. Look at ANY real estate listing in the region, the place can be 10 miles from Davis, but if it is in the Davis School District, it is considered a selling feature. Why? Davis has a really good school system…

    There is no need to close Valley Oak, there is a need to boost enrollment without adding more housing. The answer is quite simple actually. Import students from surrounding areas into the school until the Davis population rises (as it will) enough to fully occupy all of our own schools.

    If students in Woodland, Dixon or West Sacramento were given the opportunity to attend Davis schools EVEN FOR A PRICE, you would fill every seat in every classroom in Davis. Inter-district transfers can be done and no effort has been paid to see where imbalances might exist in over-crowded neighboring systems.

    Closing Valley Oak and replacing it with a bunch of dinky little houses is not going to solve any problems, but in 10 years we will wish we had that campus again to deal with all the kids that are now growing up on its site…

  8. Mike Hart

    I agree with your comments. It strikes me as incredibly wasteful to close Valley Oak. If anything, it show a complete lack of understanding of market forces. Look at ANY real estate listing in the region, the place can be 10 miles from Davis, but if it is in the Davis School District, it is considered a selling feature. Why? Davis has a really good school system…

    There is no need to close Valley Oak, there is a need to boost enrollment without adding more housing. The answer is quite simple actually. Import students from surrounding areas into the school until the Davis population rises (as it will) enough to fully occupy all of our own schools.

    If students in Woodland, Dixon or West Sacramento were given the opportunity to attend Davis schools EVEN FOR A PRICE, you would fill every seat in every classroom in Davis. Inter-district transfers can be done and no effort has been paid to see where imbalances might exist in over-crowded neighboring systems.

    Closing Valley Oak and replacing it with a bunch of dinky little houses is not going to solve any problems, but in 10 years we will wish we had that campus again to deal with all the kids that are now growing up on its site…

  9. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich: Why would this post get removed? The only way that would happen is if you mentioned the individual by name. You have not.

    As for the rest, you’re missing the point of outreach. You don’t set out to hire black teachers. Just as you don’t set out to hire black football coaches. What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.

    Finally, I fundamentally disagree with you and if you spoke to some of the minority families you might realize that there are legitimate concerns about not having positive black role models in the classroom for these kids.

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich: Why would this post get removed? The only way that would happen is if you mentioned the individual by name. You have not.

    As for the rest, you’re missing the point of outreach. You don’t set out to hire black teachers. Just as you don’t set out to hire black football coaches. What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.

    Finally, I fundamentally disagree with you and if you spoke to some of the minority families you might realize that there are legitimate concerns about not having positive black role models in the classroom for these kids.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich: Why would this post get removed? The only way that would happen is if you mentioned the individual by name. You have not.

    As for the rest, you’re missing the point of outreach. You don’t set out to hire black teachers. Just as you don’t set out to hire black football coaches. What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.

    Finally, I fundamentally disagree with you and if you spoke to some of the minority families you might realize that there are legitimate concerns about not having positive black role models in the classroom for these kids.

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich: Why would this post get removed? The only way that would happen is if you mentioned the individual by name. You have not.

    As for the rest, you’re missing the point of outreach. You don’t set out to hire black teachers. Just as you don’t set out to hire black football coaches. What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.

    Finally, I fundamentally disagree with you and if you spoke to some of the minority families you might realize that there are legitimate concerns about not having positive black role models in the classroom for these kids.

  13. Davisite

    I think that it was Truman(the “common- sense” president) who is reported to have observed that if you
    line up all the “Economic Experts” in a row, they’ll all be pointing in a different direction. This issue is about Davis VALUES.

  14. Davisite

    I think that it was Truman(the “common- sense” president) who is reported to have observed that if you
    line up all the “Economic Experts” in a row, they’ll all be pointing in a different direction. This issue is about Davis VALUES.

  15. Davisite

    I think that it was Truman(the “common- sense” president) who is reported to have observed that if you
    line up all the “Economic Experts” in a row, they’ll all be pointing in a different direction. This issue is about Davis VALUES.

  16. Davisite

    I think that it was Truman(the “common- sense” president) who is reported to have observed that if you
    line up all the “Economic Experts” in a row, they’ll all be pointing in a different direction. This issue is about Davis VALUES.

  17. Anonymous

    I agree with your editorial.
    The projections are arguable.
    The other, intangible costs are too high. The impact on the neighborhood would be excessive. Closing Valley Oak would destroy some very effective programs that are serving the community well.

    There is not a current fiscal crisis, so the projections and actual enrollment numbers can be revisited every year as needed.

    The simplest vote for the school board is to continue with the gradual opening of Korematsu, and readjust the boundaries as needed to even out the school populations.
    That would be no more nor less than the Mace Ranch families expect, and would cause the least disruption to students district-wide.

    The board and administration may wish to consider moving or consolidating some of the special programs that act as magnets, or split administrative duties as Rich has suggested — or consider any number of the other creative proposals that have been broached in order to deal with what appears to be a possible short-term enrollment dip.

    The Task Force should be thanked for having done a diligent job of summarizing the issues, and presenting one recommended solution to the most dire possible shortfall of students. You couldn’t have paid me to participate in a process like that! Nevertheless, I disagree with the majority conclusion and agree with Val Dolcini’s dissent.

  18. Anonymous

    I agree with your editorial.
    The projections are arguable.
    The other, intangible costs are too high. The impact on the neighborhood would be excessive. Closing Valley Oak would destroy some very effective programs that are serving the community well.

    There is not a current fiscal crisis, so the projections and actual enrollment numbers can be revisited every year as needed.

    The simplest vote for the school board is to continue with the gradual opening of Korematsu, and readjust the boundaries as needed to even out the school populations.
    That would be no more nor less than the Mace Ranch families expect, and would cause the least disruption to students district-wide.

    The board and administration may wish to consider moving or consolidating some of the special programs that act as magnets, or split administrative duties as Rich has suggested — or consider any number of the other creative proposals that have been broached in order to deal with what appears to be a possible short-term enrollment dip.

    The Task Force should be thanked for having done a diligent job of summarizing the issues, and presenting one recommended solution to the most dire possible shortfall of students. You couldn’t have paid me to participate in a process like that! Nevertheless, I disagree with the majority conclusion and agree with Val Dolcini’s dissent.

  19. Anonymous

    I agree with your editorial.
    The projections are arguable.
    The other, intangible costs are too high. The impact on the neighborhood would be excessive. Closing Valley Oak would destroy some very effective programs that are serving the community well.

    There is not a current fiscal crisis, so the projections and actual enrollment numbers can be revisited every year as needed.

    The simplest vote for the school board is to continue with the gradual opening of Korematsu, and readjust the boundaries as needed to even out the school populations.
    That would be no more nor less than the Mace Ranch families expect, and would cause the least disruption to students district-wide.

    The board and administration may wish to consider moving or consolidating some of the special programs that act as magnets, or split administrative duties as Rich has suggested — or consider any number of the other creative proposals that have been broached in order to deal with what appears to be a possible short-term enrollment dip.

    The Task Force should be thanked for having done a diligent job of summarizing the issues, and presenting one recommended solution to the most dire possible shortfall of students. You couldn’t have paid me to participate in a process like that! Nevertheless, I disagree with the majority conclusion and agree with Val Dolcini’s dissent.

  20. Anonymous

    I agree with your editorial.
    The projections are arguable.
    The other, intangible costs are too high. The impact on the neighborhood would be excessive. Closing Valley Oak would destroy some very effective programs that are serving the community well.

    There is not a current fiscal crisis, so the projections and actual enrollment numbers can be revisited every year as needed.

    The simplest vote for the school board is to continue with the gradual opening of Korematsu, and readjust the boundaries as needed to even out the school populations.
    That would be no more nor less than the Mace Ranch families expect, and would cause the least disruption to students district-wide.

    The board and administration may wish to consider moving or consolidating some of the special programs that act as magnets, or split administrative duties as Rich has suggested — or consider any number of the other creative proposals that have been broached in order to deal with what appears to be a possible short-term enrollment dip.

    The Task Force should be thanked for having done a diligent job of summarizing the issues, and presenting one recommended solution to the most dire possible shortfall of students. You couldn’t have paid me to participate in a process like that! Nevertheless, I disagree with the majority conclusion and agree with Val Dolcini’s dissent.

  21. Don Shor

    “What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.”
    Are minority candidates applying and not being hired? Is there not presently a process in place whereby qualified candidates are being recruited? What more would you urge the district to do? How could the district make minority hiring a priority without using preferences?

    I ask this out of curiosity, not rhetorically.

  22. Don Shor

    “What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.”
    Are minority candidates applying and not being hired? Is there not presently a process in place whereby qualified candidates are being recruited? What more would you urge the district to do? How could the district make minority hiring a priority without using preferences?

    I ask this out of curiosity, not rhetorically.

  23. Don Shor

    “What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.”
    Are minority candidates applying and not being hired? Is there not presently a process in place whereby qualified candidates are being recruited? What more would you urge the district to do? How could the district make minority hiring a priority without using preferences?

    I ask this out of curiosity, not rhetorically.

  24. Don Shor

    “What you do is you set up a process whereby qualified candidates are recruited to apply and be part of the process.”
    Are minority candidates applying and not being hired? Is there not presently a process in place whereby qualified candidates are being recruited? What more would you urge the district to do? How could the district make minority hiring a priority without using preferences?

    I ask this out of curiosity, not rhetorically.

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach. One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position. That did not immediate wield results but over time it has lead to an increase in minority football coaches.

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach. One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position. That did not immediate wield results but over time it has lead to an increase in minority football coaches.

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach. One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position. That did not immediate wield results but over time it has lead to an increase in minority football coaches.

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach. One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position. That did not immediate wield results but over time it has lead to an increase in minority football coaches.

  29. Rich Rifkin

    ” One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position.”

    That is surely illegal (for the public schools).

    I don’t disagree with the notion that it is good to have positive role models. It’s not only good for the minority kids; it’s good for all kids.

    However, I don’t think it is objectively true that a lack of such representation impairs the educational achievement of minority or majority kids. What would, of course, are incompetent teachers — and they come in every shade.

    As far as recruitment goes, I’m certain that the school district advertises its openings widely. I doubt that only whites are aware of these positions.

    What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs. And of those who are finishing those programs, it’s not unlikely that most of them would prefer to work in inner-city districts, where they probably believe they are needed and can do the most good.

    Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.

    Also, it’s worthy to understand an historical footnote about black teachers. Before the 1960s, a large percentage of black college graduates were K-12 teachers. The main reason for this was because so few other professional fields were open to them. However, since the ’60s, every academic and professional field has opened up to people of all races. And thus, black people who a few generations ago might have gone into pedagogy, are now attorneys, surgeons, college professors, realtors, etc. That diversification of professions has contributed to the lack of black teachers.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    ” One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position.”

    That is surely illegal (for the public schools).

    I don’t disagree with the notion that it is good to have positive role models. It’s not only good for the minority kids; it’s good for all kids.

    However, I don’t think it is objectively true that a lack of such representation impairs the educational achievement of minority or majority kids. What would, of course, are incompetent teachers — and they come in every shade.

    As far as recruitment goes, I’m certain that the school district advertises its openings widely. I doubt that only whites are aware of these positions.

    What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs. And of those who are finishing those programs, it’s not unlikely that most of them would prefer to work in inner-city districts, where they probably believe they are needed and can do the most good.

    Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.

    Also, it’s worthy to understand an historical footnote about black teachers. Before the 1960s, a large percentage of black college graduates were K-12 teachers. The main reason for this was because so few other professional fields were open to them. However, since the ’60s, every academic and professional field has opened up to people of all races. And thus, black people who a few generations ago might have gone into pedagogy, are now attorneys, surgeons, college professors, realtors, etc. That diversification of professions has contributed to the lack of black teachers.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    ” One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position.”

    That is surely illegal (for the public schools).

    I don’t disagree with the notion that it is good to have positive role models. It’s not only good for the minority kids; it’s good for all kids.

    However, I don’t think it is objectively true that a lack of such representation impairs the educational achievement of minority or majority kids. What would, of course, are incompetent teachers — and they come in every shade.

    As far as recruitment goes, I’m certain that the school district advertises its openings widely. I doubt that only whites are aware of these positions.

    What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs. And of those who are finishing those programs, it’s not unlikely that most of them would prefer to work in inner-city districts, where they probably believe they are needed and can do the most good.

    Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.

    Also, it’s worthy to understand an historical footnote about black teachers. Before the 1960s, a large percentage of black college graduates were K-12 teachers. The main reason for this was because so few other professional fields were open to them. However, since the ’60s, every academic and professional field has opened up to people of all races. And thus, black people who a few generations ago might have gone into pedagogy, are now attorneys, surgeons, college professors, realtors, etc. That diversification of professions has contributed to the lack of black teachers.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    ” One other avenue to explore is what the NFL has done with their coaching where they have basically required one minority be a finalist for the position.”

    That is surely illegal (for the public schools).

    I don’t disagree with the notion that it is good to have positive role models. It’s not only good for the minority kids; it’s good for all kids.

    However, I don’t think it is objectively true that a lack of such representation impairs the educational achievement of minority or majority kids. What would, of course, are incompetent teachers — and they come in every shade.

    As far as recruitment goes, I’m certain that the school district advertises its openings widely. I doubt that only whites are aware of these positions.

    What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs. And of those who are finishing those programs, it’s not unlikely that most of them would prefer to work in inner-city districts, where they probably believe they are needed and can do the most good.

    Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.

    Also, it’s worthy to understand an historical footnote about black teachers. Before the 1960s, a large percentage of black college graduates were K-12 teachers. The main reason for this was because so few other professional fields were open to them. However, since the ’60s, every academic and professional field has opened up to people of all races. And thus, black people who a few generations ago might have gone into pedagogy, are now attorneys, surgeons, college professors, realtors, etc. That diversification of professions has contributed to the lack of black teachers.

  33. Vincente

    “That is surely illegal (for the public schools).”

    It may be. But it seems like a good way to look at things–how do you expand the applicant pool?

    “What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs”

    No doubt about that and that makes it all the more difficult to get them here to teach–especially given the make up of this community. But it also makes it all the more important to try.

    “Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.”

    But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.

  34. Vincente

    “That is surely illegal (for the public schools).”

    It may be. But it seems like a good way to look at things–how do you expand the applicant pool?

    “What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs”

    No doubt about that and that makes it all the more difficult to get them here to teach–especially given the make up of this community. But it also makes it all the more important to try.

    “Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.”

    But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.

  35. Vincente

    “That is surely illegal (for the public schools).”

    It may be. But it seems like a good way to look at things–how do you expand the applicant pool?

    “What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs”

    No doubt about that and that makes it all the more difficult to get them here to teach–especially given the make up of this community. But it also makes it all the more important to try.

    “Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.”

    But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.

  36. Vincente

    “That is surely illegal (for the public schools).”

    It may be. But it seems like a good way to look at things–how do you expand the applicant pool?

    “What seems likely, if we have fewer African-American teachers than our numbers would suggest, is that there are probably not a whole lot of African-American college graduates completing teacher education programs”

    No doubt about that and that makes it all the more difficult to get them here to teach–especially given the make up of this community. But it also makes it all the more important to try.

    “Keep in mind, also, that a far bigger and more important problem than having too few black teachers in Davis is the appallingly low percentage of African-Americans who are completing a high school degree (56%); the low percentage of those who are graduating but not ready for college; and the low percentage who start college but never graduate. If progress were made on these problems, surely the candidate pool of black teachers would rise dramatically.”

    But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.

  37. Blog Administrator

    Mr. Rifkin:

    Part of a name still counts. And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.

  38. Blog Administrator

    Mr. Rifkin:

    Part of a name still counts. And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.

  39. Blog Administrator

    Mr. Rifkin:

    Part of a name still counts. And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.

  40. Blog Administrator

    Mr. Rifkin:

    Part of a name still counts. And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    “But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.”

    It’s not cyclical at all. In the list of reasons why African-Americans are not progressing in school as well as some other groups, there must be a thousand reasons ahead of this one.

    For what it’s worth, I read recently that, as a group, Afro-Caribbean students in the U.S. perform above average on all measures. That is, they graduate at a higher rate, go to college at a higher rate and graduate from college at a higher rate than the average American.

    While many of those kids likely lack a Haitian, Dominican or Jamaican faculty in their schools, they are black people and they are doing extremely well in schools. So the problem is not with skin color.

    The lower graduation rates of African-Americans is not a problem with their race or even with racism. Rather, I suspect that the underachievement in schools mostly has to do with family structure and culture. And for that, as Bill Cosby has often said, the answer is to be found within, not from without.

  42. Rich Rifkin

    “But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.”

    It’s not cyclical at all. In the list of reasons why African-Americans are not progressing in school as well as some other groups, there must be a thousand reasons ahead of this one.

    For what it’s worth, I read recently that, as a group, Afro-Caribbean students in the U.S. perform above average on all measures. That is, they graduate at a higher rate, go to college at a higher rate and graduate from college at a higher rate than the average American.

    While many of those kids likely lack a Haitian, Dominican or Jamaican faculty in their schools, they are black people and they are doing extremely well in schools. So the problem is not with skin color.

    The lower graduation rates of African-Americans is not a problem with their race or even with racism. Rather, I suspect that the underachievement in schools mostly has to do with family structure and culture. And for that, as Bill Cosby has often said, the answer is to be found within, not from without.

  43. Rich Rifkin

    “But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.”

    It’s not cyclical at all. In the list of reasons why African-Americans are not progressing in school as well as some other groups, there must be a thousand reasons ahead of this one.

    For what it’s worth, I read recently that, as a group, Afro-Caribbean students in the U.S. perform above average on all measures. That is, they graduate at a higher rate, go to college at a higher rate and graduate from college at a higher rate than the average American.

    While many of those kids likely lack a Haitian, Dominican or Jamaican faculty in their schools, they are black people and they are doing extremely well in schools. So the problem is not with skin color.

    The lower graduation rates of African-Americans is not a problem with their race or even with racism. Rather, I suspect that the underachievement in schools mostly has to do with family structure and culture. And for that, as Bill Cosby has often said, the answer is to be found within, not from without.

  44. Rich Rifkin

    “But it’s cyclical. The lack of positive role models is part of the feedback loop and you have to break out of the feedback loop somewhere in the process.”

    It’s not cyclical at all. In the list of reasons why African-Americans are not progressing in school as well as some other groups, there must be a thousand reasons ahead of this one.

    For what it’s worth, I read recently that, as a group, Afro-Caribbean students in the U.S. perform above average on all measures. That is, they graduate at a higher rate, go to college at a higher rate and graduate from college at a higher rate than the average American.

    While many of those kids likely lack a Haitian, Dominican or Jamaican faculty in their schools, they are black people and they are doing extremely well in schools. So the problem is not with skin color.

    The lower graduation rates of African-Americans is not a problem with their race or even with racism. Rather, I suspect that the underachievement in schools mostly has to do with family structure and culture. And for that, as Bill Cosby has often said, the answer is to be found within, not from without.

  45. Rich Rifkin

    “And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.”

    You just removed a post of mine in which I mentioned no one by name.

    But One Really Always Can Comment.

  46. Rich Rifkin

    “And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.”

    You just removed a post of mine in which I mentioned no one by name.

    But One Really Always Can Comment.

  47. Rich Rifkin

    “And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.”

    You just removed a post of mine in which I mentioned no one by name.

    But One Really Always Can Comment.

  48. Rich Rifkin

    “And to my knowledge you have not had any posts removed that do not mention a person who has chosen to post with a moniker by name.”

    You just removed a post of mine in which I mentioned no one by name.

    But One Really Always Can Comment.

  49. Blog Administrator

    This is untrue. Using stars in place of letters does not negate the intent or the effect. Follow our rules and you will not have posts removed.

  50. Blog Administrator

    This is untrue. Using stars in place of letters does not negate the intent or the effect. Follow our rules and you will not have posts removed.

  51. Blog Administrator

    This is untrue. Using stars in place of letters does not negate the intent or the effect. Follow our rules and you will not have posts removed.

  52. Blog Administrator

    This is untrue. Using stars in place of letters does not negate the intent or the effect. Follow our rules and you will not have posts removed.

  53. Anonymous

    Rich,
    I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting. Can’t you just engage in the debate and forward the conversation without always having to test the boundaries. Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm. This applies to everyone, not just you.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  54. Anonymous

    Rich,
    I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting. Can’t you just engage in the debate and forward the conversation without always having to test the boundaries. Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm. This applies to everyone, not just you.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  55. Anonymous

    Rich,
    I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting. Can’t you just engage in the debate and forward the conversation without always having to test the boundaries. Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm. This applies to everyone, not just you.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  56. Anonymous

    Rich,
    I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting. Can’t you just engage in the debate and forward the conversation without always having to test the boundaries. Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm. This applies to everyone, not just you.

    Sharla Cheney Harrington

  57. Don Shor

    “Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach.”
    So, if I’m following your point here, Dave Murphy was somehow an impediment to outreach?
    (And to repeat, since this is all something of a digression, I agree with your editorial.)

  58. Don Shor

    “Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach.”
    So, if I’m following your point here, Dave Murphy was somehow an impediment to outreach?
    (And to repeat, since this is all something of a digression, I agree with your editorial.)

  59. Don Shor

    “Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach.”
    So, if I’m following your point here, Dave Murphy was somehow an impediment to outreach?
    (And to repeat, since this is all something of a digression, I agree with your editorial.)

  60. Don Shor

    “Don: My understanding is that it is an applicant problem and that needs to be treated through outreach.”
    So, if I’m following your point here, Dave Murphy was somehow an impediment to outreach?
    (And to repeat, since this is all something of a digression, I agree with your editorial.)

  61. Matt Rexroad

    DPD:

    I have been following this issue only because I read this blog and the DE every day.

    Up until tonight I believed that a neighborhood was going to be torn apart with the closing of this school. Tonight I went to dinner in Mace Ranch home. This family drives their children right by a new school each day to take them to Valley Oak.

    So where do these people fit into the analysis? These kids are going to school in a different neighborhood from where they live.

    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over. They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?

    Finally, at what cost is this school to remain open? It is one thing to say you want to keep it open, but what are you willing to cut to do it?

    Respectfully,

    Matt Rexroad

  62. Matt Rexroad

    DPD:

    I have been following this issue only because I read this blog and the DE every day.

    Up until tonight I believed that a neighborhood was going to be torn apart with the closing of this school. Tonight I went to dinner in Mace Ranch home. This family drives their children right by a new school each day to take them to Valley Oak.

    So where do these people fit into the analysis? These kids are going to school in a different neighborhood from where they live.

    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over. They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?

    Finally, at what cost is this school to remain open? It is one thing to say you want to keep it open, but what are you willing to cut to do it?

    Respectfully,

    Matt Rexroad

  63. Matt Rexroad

    DPD:

    I have been following this issue only because I read this blog and the DE every day.

    Up until tonight I believed that a neighborhood was going to be torn apart with the closing of this school. Tonight I went to dinner in Mace Ranch home. This family drives their children right by a new school each day to take them to Valley Oak.

    So where do these people fit into the analysis? These kids are going to school in a different neighborhood from where they live.

    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over. They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?

    Finally, at what cost is this school to remain open? It is one thing to say you want to keep it open, but what are you willing to cut to do it?

    Respectfully,

    Matt Rexroad

  64. Matt Rexroad

    DPD:

    I have been following this issue only because I read this blog and the DE every day.

    Up until tonight I believed that a neighborhood was going to be torn apart with the closing of this school. Tonight I went to dinner in Mace Ranch home. This family drives their children right by a new school each day to take them to Valley Oak.

    So where do these people fit into the analysis? These kids are going to school in a different neighborhood from where they live.

    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over. They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?

    Finally, at what cost is this school to remain open? It is one thing to say you want to keep it open, but what are you willing to cut to do it?

    Respectfully,

    Matt Rexroad

  65. Doug Paul Davis

    Don:

    That has been my understanding that Mr. Murphy was a hindrance to the outreach needed to hire more minorities and also concerns about school climate.

    Matt:

    You ask good questions.

    I support Korematsu with is the Mace Ranch school being open.

    I believe that the district has the finances to manage 9 schools being open and I also think that the projections provided by the Task Force utilized the worst case scenario.

    The consultants recommended that the three projections would be averaged–a result that would produce ample students for all nine schools, but the Task Force decided against that approach and used #2 which projected an enrollment decline.

    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this.”

    That is a very serious problem that Davis faces that at this rate it will be a wealthy city with young families unable to live here and that needs to be addressed. I would like to see a much higher percentage of new projects be affordable housing projects and I also home that the housing market normalizes, if it does not, it may not matter.

  66. Doug Paul Davis

    Don:

    That has been my understanding that Mr. Murphy was a hindrance to the outreach needed to hire more minorities and also concerns about school climate.

    Matt:

    You ask good questions.

    I support Korematsu with is the Mace Ranch school being open.

    I believe that the district has the finances to manage 9 schools being open and I also think that the projections provided by the Task Force utilized the worst case scenario.

    The consultants recommended that the three projections would be averaged–a result that would produce ample students for all nine schools, but the Task Force decided against that approach and used #2 which projected an enrollment decline.

    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this.”

    That is a very serious problem that Davis faces that at this rate it will be a wealthy city with young families unable to live here and that needs to be addressed. I would like to see a much higher percentage of new projects be affordable housing projects and I also home that the housing market normalizes, if it does not, it may not matter.

  67. Doug Paul Davis

    Don:

    That has been my understanding that Mr. Murphy was a hindrance to the outreach needed to hire more minorities and also concerns about school climate.

    Matt:

    You ask good questions.

    I support Korematsu with is the Mace Ranch school being open.

    I believe that the district has the finances to manage 9 schools being open and I also think that the projections provided by the Task Force utilized the worst case scenario.

    The consultants recommended that the three projections would be averaged–a result that would produce ample students for all nine schools, but the Task Force decided against that approach and used #2 which projected an enrollment decline.

    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this.”

    That is a very serious problem that Davis faces that at this rate it will be a wealthy city with young families unable to live here and that needs to be addressed. I would like to see a much higher percentage of new projects be affordable housing projects and I also home that the housing market normalizes, if it does not, it may not matter.

  68. Doug Paul Davis

    Don:

    That has been my understanding that Mr. Murphy was a hindrance to the outreach needed to hire more minorities and also concerns about school climate.

    Matt:

    You ask good questions.

    I support Korematsu with is the Mace Ranch school being open.

    I believe that the district has the finances to manage 9 schools being open and I also think that the projections provided by the Task Force utilized the worst case scenario.

    The consultants recommended that the three projections would be averaged–a result that would produce ample students for all nine schools, but the Task Force decided against that approach and used #2 which projected an enrollment decline.

    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this.”

    That is a very serious problem that Davis faces that at this rate it will be a wealthy city with young families unable to live here and that needs to be addressed. I would like to see a much higher percentage of new projects be affordable housing projects and I also home that the housing market normalizes, if it does not, it may not matter.

  69. Don Shor


    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over.”
    How are they able to live in Davis now? I am definitely not following this. They will make less money in the future?
    Nearby communities are cheaper, but not by that much.

  70. Don Shor


    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over.”
    How are they able to live in Davis now? I am definitely not following this. They will make less money in the future?
    Nearby communities are cheaper, but not by that much.

  71. Don Shor


    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over.”
    How are they able to live in Davis now? I am definitely not following this. They will make less money in the future?
    Nearby communities are cheaper, but not by that much.

  72. Don Shor


    Another family at the dinner tonight is just about to finsihed off a professional exam in a few weeks. They would be sending their kids to Valley Oak but they will not be able to afford to live in Davis after the exam is over.”
    How are they able to live in Davis now? I am definitely not following this. They will make less money in the future?
    Nearby communities are cheaper, but not by that much.

  73. Matt Rexroad

    They would like to buy a home and plan their lives in Davis. They can’t afford to be a house in Davis now.

    Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.

    Matt

  74. Matt Rexroad

    They would like to buy a home and plan their lives in Davis. They can’t afford to be a house in Davis now.

    Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.

    Matt

  75. Matt Rexroad

    They would like to buy a home and plan their lives in Davis. They can’t afford to be a house in Davis now.

    Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.

    Matt

  76. Matt Rexroad

    They would like to buy a home and plan their lives in Davis. They can’t afford to be a house in Davis now.

    Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.

    Matt

  77. Rich Rifkin

    “I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting.”

    Then maybe you should just not read my continuous whining. Perhaps you should try Popular Mechanics?

    As long as ****** is defaming people by name on this blog, I will let it be known that ****** is an a****** and that I find it rather creepy that I am not allowed to respond to ****** by name.

  78. Rich Rifkin

    “I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting.”

    Then maybe you should just not read my continuous whining. Perhaps you should try Popular Mechanics?

    As long as ****** is defaming people by name on this blog, I will let it be known that ****** is an a****** and that I find it rather creepy that I am not allowed to respond to ****** by name.

  79. Rich Rifkin

    “I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting.”

    Then maybe you should just not read my continuous whining. Perhaps you should try Popular Mechanics?

    As long as ****** is defaming people by name on this blog, I will let it be known that ****** is an a****** and that I find it rather creepy that I am not allowed to respond to ****** by name.

  80. Rich Rifkin

    “I find your continuous whining about the following the rules that have been set for this blog really distracting.”

    Then maybe you should just not read my continuous whining. Perhaps you should try Popular Mechanics?

    As long as ****** is defaming people by name on this blog, I will let it be known that ****** is an a****** and that I find it rather creepy that I am not allowed to respond to ****** by name.

  81. Rich Rifkin

    “Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm.”

    What’s the problem with sarcasm? Do you have no sense of humor? Is Al Franken the only funny lefty?

    And for what it’s worth, I have not sworn or used hate speech.

  82. Rich Rifkin

    “Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm.”

    What’s the problem with sarcasm? Do you have no sense of humor? Is Al Franken the only funny lefty?

    And for what it’s worth, I have not sworn or used hate speech.

  83. Rich Rifkin

    “Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm.”

    What’s the problem with sarcasm? Do you have no sense of humor? Is Al Franken the only funny lefty?

    And for what it’s worth, I have not sworn or used hate speech.

  84. Rich Rifkin

    “Everyone has been given the same guidelines – no name calling, no swearing, no hate speech and it has been requested that you refer to people by their assumed name and tone down the sarcasm.”

    What’s the problem with sarcasm? Do you have no sense of humor? Is Al Franken the only funny lefty?

    And for what it’s worth, I have not sworn or used hate speech.

  85. 無名 - wu ming

    while i agree with rexroad’s point about unaffordable housing being a major reason why young families no longer move to davis and raise their kids here in the numbers that they used to, back when i was growing up here, that’s a long-term problem (and one reason why i supported covell village, unlike most people here).

    that being said, it is not even clear that there will be a significant shortfall in funds or student numbers, since the very demographic models are disputed, and at any rate, the community – at least those with enough $ to be able to own and not rent here – has more than enough money to support all nine schools without being put out much.

    i wholeheartedly agree with this editorial. keeping both valley oak and korematsu open is the right thing to do; we ought not to be pitting one group of parents and children and neighborhoods against one another. liberalism demands that we work to find solutions that work for everybody, that there is a common good.

    if the decision was put to the voters of the city, i expect that we’d find a way to come up with whatever shortfall existed.

  86. 無名 - wu ming

    while i agree with rexroad’s point about unaffordable housing being a major reason why young families no longer move to davis and raise their kids here in the numbers that they used to, back when i was growing up here, that’s a long-term problem (and one reason why i supported covell village, unlike most people here).

    that being said, it is not even clear that there will be a significant shortfall in funds or student numbers, since the very demographic models are disputed, and at any rate, the community – at least those with enough $ to be able to own and not rent here – has more than enough money to support all nine schools without being put out much.

    i wholeheartedly agree with this editorial. keeping both valley oak and korematsu open is the right thing to do; we ought not to be pitting one group of parents and children and neighborhoods against one another. liberalism demands that we work to find solutions that work for everybody, that there is a common good.

    if the decision was put to the voters of the city, i expect that we’d find a way to come up with whatever shortfall existed.

  87. 無名 - wu ming

    while i agree with rexroad’s point about unaffordable housing being a major reason why young families no longer move to davis and raise their kids here in the numbers that they used to, back when i was growing up here, that’s a long-term problem (and one reason why i supported covell village, unlike most people here).

    that being said, it is not even clear that there will be a significant shortfall in funds or student numbers, since the very demographic models are disputed, and at any rate, the community – at least those with enough $ to be able to own and not rent here – has more than enough money to support all nine schools without being put out much.

    i wholeheartedly agree with this editorial. keeping both valley oak and korematsu open is the right thing to do; we ought not to be pitting one group of parents and children and neighborhoods against one another. liberalism demands that we work to find solutions that work for everybody, that there is a common good.

    if the decision was put to the voters of the city, i expect that we’d find a way to come up with whatever shortfall existed.

  88. 無名 - wu ming

    while i agree with rexroad’s point about unaffordable housing being a major reason why young families no longer move to davis and raise their kids here in the numbers that they used to, back when i was growing up here, that’s a long-term problem (and one reason why i supported covell village, unlike most people here).

    that being said, it is not even clear that there will be a significant shortfall in funds or student numbers, since the very demographic models are disputed, and at any rate, the community – at least those with enough $ to be able to own and not rent here – has more than enough money to support all nine schools without being put out much.

    i wholeheartedly agree with this editorial. keeping both valley oak and korematsu open is the right thing to do; we ought not to be pitting one group of parents and children and neighborhoods against one another. liberalism demands that we work to find solutions that work for everybody, that there is a common good.

    if the decision was put to the voters of the city, i expect that we’d find a way to come up with whatever shortfall existed.

  89. Don Shor

    Matt said,
    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?
    …Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.”

    The median price of homes sold in Davis Oct – Dec 06 was over $500,000. In Woodland it was just under $400,000. In Dixon it was $430,000 (the previous quarter it was over $500,000 in Dixon).

    I’m not sure what they’d have to earn to be able to afford a home in any of these communities, but the affordability problem, though worse here, isn’t unique to Davis.

  90. Don Shor

    Matt said,
    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?
    …Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.”

    The median price of homes sold in Davis Oct – Dec 06 was over $500,000. In Woodland it was just under $400,000. In Dixon it was $430,000 (the previous quarter it was over $500,000 in Dixon).

    I’m not sure what they’d have to earn to be able to afford a home in any of these communities, but the affordability problem, though worse here, isn’t unique to Davis.

  91. Don Shor

    Matt said,
    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?
    …Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.”

    The median price of homes sold in Davis Oct – Dec 06 was over $500,000. In Woodland it was just under $400,000. In Dixon it was $430,000 (the previous quarter it was over $500,000 in Dixon).

    I’m not sure what they’d have to earn to be able to afford a home in any of these communities, but the affordability problem, though worse here, isn’t unique to Davis.

  92. Don Shor

    Matt said,
    “They argue that the inability of Davis to provide homes for young familes is the cause of this. Thoughts?
    …Renting is not what they view as a good future for their family.”

    The median price of homes sold in Davis Oct – Dec 06 was over $500,000. In Woodland it was just under $400,000. In Dixon it was $430,000 (the previous quarter it was over $500,000 in Dixon).

    I’m not sure what they’d have to earn to be able to afford a home in any of these communities, but the affordability problem, though worse here, isn’t unique to Davis.

  93. Colleen Connolly

    Regarding Mace Ranch and their school:
    We at Davis-OPEN have ALWAYS supported opening FTK as a full K-6 school as soon as possible. They are our neighbors and we care about them. It has been the Task Force who has set us up that way.
    Since August we have tried repeatedly to change the playing field from an “It is us or them” to “How can we find a creative solution that gives everyone something.” I refered to it as the “And Everyone Take Something Home From The Party” solution.
    The solution;
    cap schools at 450,
    move boundaries to even out enrollments,
    take inter district transfers to fill in gaps.
    It would work for the entire district as enrollment drops in South Davis, then North, then West.
    Facts:
    Davis is not a declining enrollemnt district: enrollment numbers remain stable this year despite a prediction of another 100 child drop, PLUS we added twenty.
    The district was expecting to lose $552,800 in state revenues because of the projected drop. (A $5528 a year per student in state money) we made the entire amount up PLUS $110,560.
    There is no “structural deficit.” See above figures, also Mr. Rifkin’s comments on the issue and definition.
    Next year’s state money will be calculated on THIS year’s enrollment and ADA. Thus, we are guaranteed that amount for 2007-2008. No deficit for next eyar either.
    FTK is opening on a staggered schedule. It’s operating budget for the past year and next two years is escrowed in a fund that can’t be touched for anything else. They are guaranteed their school opening, adding a grade a year.
    The district must have as yet unallocated funds if they can pay two superintendent salaries. (An extra $200,000 added to the operating budget,) add a new facilities site position at $100,000, and be planning on adding two more new positions in the district. That’s all new operating expenses at the administrative level.
    If the district hasn’t notified the teacher’s of layoff and job cuts by Marcg 15, the district is obligated to keep all teachers on some place in the district. So the $480,000 savings from closing Valley Oak in the fall is even more diminished.
    The estimated cost of moving the classroom materials is $60,000. (All the teachers who’ve heard that figure find that laughably low.) But, using it, subtract THAT from the $480,000 minus all salaries, minus the moving expenses…
    And, if this past year is any indication, district enrollment will rise next year also.
    There is a great deal more to discuss, but please check the Davis-OPEN website for more ideas.
    Oh, and please tell your firnds we would love if they came to stand with us at the meeting. We are for schools in ALL neighborhoods. It is only the Task Force who has tried to pit us against you.
    Your neighbor,
    Colleen Connolly

    m

  94. Colleen Connolly

    Regarding Mace Ranch and their school:
    We at Davis-OPEN have ALWAYS supported opening FTK as a full K-6 school as soon as possible. They are our neighbors and we care about them. It has been the Task Force who has set us up that way.
    Since August we have tried repeatedly to change the playing field from an “It is us or them” to “How can we find a creative solution that gives everyone something.” I refered to it as the “And Everyone Take Something Home From The Party” solution.
    The solution;
    cap schools at 450,
    move boundaries to even out enrollments,
    take inter district transfers to fill in gaps.
    It would work for the entire district as enrollment drops in South Davis, then North, then West.
    Facts:
    Davis is not a declining enrollemnt district: enrollment numbers remain stable this year despite a prediction of another 100 child drop, PLUS we added twenty.
    The district was expecting to lose $552,800 in state revenues because of the projected drop. (A $5528 a year per student in state money) we made the entire amount up PLUS $110,560.
    There is no “structural deficit.” See above figures, also Mr. Rifkin’s comments on the issue and definition.
    Next year’s state money will be calculated on THIS year’s enrollment and ADA. Thus, we are guaranteed that amount for 2007-2008. No deficit for next eyar either.
    FTK is opening on a staggered schedule. It’s operating budget for the past year and next two years is escrowed in a fund that can’t be touched for anything else. They are guaranteed their school opening, adding a grade a year.
    The district must have as yet unallocated funds if they can pay two superintendent salaries. (An extra $200,000 added to the operating budget,) add a new facilities site position at $100,000, and be planning on adding two more new positions in the district. That’s all new operating expenses at the administrative level.
    If the district hasn’t notified the teacher’s of layoff and job cuts by Marcg 15, the district is obligated to keep all teachers on some place in the district. So the $480,000 savings from closing Valley Oak in the fall is even more diminished.
    The estimated cost of moving the classroom materials is $60,000. (All the teachers who’ve heard that figure find that laughably low.) But, using it, subtract THAT from the $480,000 minus all salaries, minus the moving expenses…
    And, if this past year is any indication, district enrollment will rise next year also.
    There is a great deal more to discuss, but please check the Davis-OPEN website for more ideas.
    Oh, and please tell your firnds we would love if they came to stand with us at the meeting. We are for schools in ALL neighborhoods. It is only the Task Force who has tried to pit us against you.
    Your neighbor,
    Colleen Connolly

    m

  95. Colleen Connolly

    Regarding Mace Ranch and their school:
    We at Davis-OPEN have ALWAYS supported opening FTK as a full K-6 school as soon as possible. They are our neighbors and we care about them. It has been the Task Force who has set us up that way.
    Since August we have tried repeatedly to change the playing field from an “It is us or them” to “How can we find a creative solution that gives everyone something.” I refered to it as the “And Everyone Take Something Home From The Party” solution.
    The solution;
    cap schools at 450,
    move boundaries to even out enrollments,
    take inter district transfers to fill in gaps.
    It would work for the entire district as enrollment drops in South Davis, then North, then West.
    Facts:
    Davis is not a declining enrollemnt district: enrollment numbers remain stable this year despite a prediction of another 100 child drop, PLUS we added twenty.
    The district was expecting to lose $552,800 in state revenues because of the projected drop. (A $5528 a year per student in state money) we made the entire amount up PLUS $110,560.
    There is no “structural deficit.” See above figures, also Mr. Rifkin’s comments on the issue and definition.
    Next year’s state money will be calculated on THIS year’s enrollment and ADA. Thus, we are guaranteed that amount for 2007-2008. No deficit for next eyar either.
    FTK is opening on a staggered schedule. It’s operating budget for the past year and next two years is escrowed in a fund that can’t be touched for anything else. They are guaranteed their school opening, adding a grade a year.
    The district must have as yet unallocated funds if they can pay two superintendent salaries. (An extra $200,000 added to the operating budget,) add a new facilities site position at $100,000, and be planning on adding two more new positions in the district. That’s all new operating expenses at the administrative level.
    If the district hasn’t notified the teacher’s of layoff and job cuts by Marcg 15, the district is obligated to keep all teachers on some place in the district. So the $480,000 savings from closing Valley Oak in the fall is even more diminished.
    The estimated cost of moving the classroom materials is $60,000. (All the teachers who’ve heard that figure find that laughably low.) But, using it, subtract THAT from the $480,000 minus all salaries, minus the moving expenses…
    And, if this past year is any indication, district enrollment will rise next year also.
    There is a great deal more to discuss, but please check the Davis-OPEN website for more ideas.
    Oh, and please tell your firnds we would love if they came to stand with us at the meeting. We are for schools in ALL neighborhoods. It is only the Task Force who has tried to pit us against you.
    Your neighbor,
    Colleen Connolly

    m

  96. Colleen Connolly

    Regarding Mace Ranch and their school:
    We at Davis-OPEN have ALWAYS supported opening FTK as a full K-6 school as soon as possible. They are our neighbors and we care about them. It has been the Task Force who has set us up that way.
    Since August we have tried repeatedly to change the playing field from an “It is us or them” to “How can we find a creative solution that gives everyone something.” I refered to it as the “And Everyone Take Something Home From The Party” solution.
    The solution;
    cap schools at 450,
    move boundaries to even out enrollments,
    take inter district transfers to fill in gaps.
    It would work for the entire district as enrollment drops in South Davis, then North, then West.
    Facts:
    Davis is not a declining enrollemnt district: enrollment numbers remain stable this year despite a prediction of another 100 child drop, PLUS we added twenty.
    The district was expecting to lose $552,800 in state revenues because of the projected drop. (A $5528 a year per student in state money) we made the entire amount up PLUS $110,560.
    There is no “structural deficit.” See above figures, also Mr. Rifkin’s comments on the issue and definition.
    Next year’s state money will be calculated on THIS year’s enrollment and ADA. Thus, we are guaranteed that amount for 2007-2008. No deficit for next eyar either.
    FTK is opening on a staggered schedule. It’s operating budget for the past year and next two years is escrowed in a fund that can’t be touched for anything else. They are guaranteed their school opening, adding a grade a year.
    The district must have as yet unallocated funds if they can pay two superintendent salaries. (An extra $200,000 added to the operating budget,) add a new facilities site position at $100,000, and be planning on adding two more new positions in the district. That’s all new operating expenses at the administrative level.
    If the district hasn’t notified the teacher’s of layoff and job cuts by Marcg 15, the district is obligated to keep all teachers on some place in the district. So the $480,000 savings from closing Valley Oak in the fall is even more diminished.
    The estimated cost of moving the classroom materials is $60,000. (All the teachers who’ve heard that figure find that laughably low.) But, using it, subtract THAT from the $480,000 minus all salaries, minus the moving expenses…
    And, if this past year is any indication, district enrollment will rise next year also.
    There is a great deal more to discuss, but please check the Davis-OPEN website for more ideas.
    Oh, and please tell your firnds we would love if they came to stand with us at the meeting. We are for schools in ALL neighborhoods. It is only the Task Force who has tried to pit us against you.
    Your neighbor,
    Colleen Connolly

    m

  97. Colleen Connolly

    PS Tell your friends who want to purchase a house in Davis to hang on. The market is softening, particularly in the Valley Oak neighborhood.
    Colleen Connolly

  98. Colleen Connolly

    PS Tell your friends who want to purchase a house in Davis to hang on. The market is softening, particularly in the Valley Oak neighborhood.
    Colleen Connolly

  99. Colleen Connolly

    PS Tell your friends who want to purchase a house in Davis to hang on. The market is softening, particularly in the Valley Oak neighborhood.
    Colleen Connolly

  100. Colleen Connolly

    PS Tell your friends who want to purchase a house in Davis to hang on. The market is softening, particularly in the Valley Oak neighborhood.
    Colleen Connolly

  101. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, I spoke with a member of the school board this afternoon for about an hour on the phone, and was told (among other things) that it is not certain that a decision on Valley Oak will be made tomorrow. The school board has asked its staff for complicated financial information, and it was not clear that all of the answers to these specific questions will be fully available. As well, I inferred from this conversation that there might not be a majority ready to approve one single approach.

  102. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, I spoke with a member of the school board this afternoon for about an hour on the phone, and was told (among other things) that it is not certain that a decision on Valley Oak will be made tomorrow. The school board has asked its staff for complicated financial information, and it was not clear that all of the answers to these specific questions will be fully available. As well, I inferred from this conversation that there might not be a majority ready to approve one single approach.

  103. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, I spoke with a member of the school board this afternoon for about an hour on the phone, and was told (among other things) that it is not certain that a decision on Valley Oak will be made tomorrow. The school board has asked its staff for complicated financial information, and it was not clear that all of the answers to these specific questions will be fully available. As well, I inferred from this conversation that there might not be a majority ready to approve one single approach.

  104. Rich Rifkin

    FWIW, I spoke with a member of the school board this afternoon for about an hour on the phone, and was told (among other things) that it is not certain that a decision on Valley Oak will be made tomorrow. The school board has asked its staff for complicated financial information, and it was not clear that all of the answers to these specific questions will be fully available. As well, I inferred from this conversation that there might not be a majority ready to approve one single approach.

  105. Randy

    I don’t really see how Colleen’s approach is workable. Opening Korematsu takes hundreds of kids away not only from VO, but also from Birch Lane. North Davis, if I recall correctly, already has below average enrollment. So, you can’t simply redraw the boundaries to shuffle kids around in the schools closest to VO, since there aren’t enough kids in those nearby schools to make it work.

    To make Colleen’s plan work, you’d probably have to limit access to Chavez and rezone the entire district to the point that Davis won’t really be operating anything like a true neighborhood school program.

    That’s the part of the argument that’s never made much sense to me. The only way to make VO’s “neighborhood” program work is to take a couple of hundred kids out of their current “neighborhood” programs.

    I can understand the pain of having a local school closed, but I think the board is facing a very real and difficult dilemma. I wouldn’t fault them for deciding to close the school.

  106. Randy

    I don’t really see how Colleen’s approach is workable. Opening Korematsu takes hundreds of kids away not only from VO, but also from Birch Lane. North Davis, if I recall correctly, already has below average enrollment. So, you can’t simply redraw the boundaries to shuffle kids around in the schools closest to VO, since there aren’t enough kids in those nearby schools to make it work.

    To make Colleen’s plan work, you’d probably have to limit access to Chavez and rezone the entire district to the point that Davis won’t really be operating anything like a true neighborhood school program.

    That’s the part of the argument that’s never made much sense to me. The only way to make VO’s “neighborhood” program work is to take a couple of hundred kids out of their current “neighborhood” programs.

    I can understand the pain of having a local school closed, but I think the board is facing a very real and difficult dilemma. I wouldn’t fault them for deciding to close the school.

  107. Randy

    I don’t really see how Colleen’s approach is workable. Opening Korematsu takes hundreds of kids away not only from VO, but also from Birch Lane. North Davis, if I recall correctly, already has below average enrollment. So, you can’t simply redraw the boundaries to shuffle kids around in the schools closest to VO, since there aren’t enough kids in those nearby schools to make it work.

    To make Colleen’s plan work, you’d probably have to limit access to Chavez and rezone the entire district to the point that Davis won’t really be operating anything like a true neighborhood school program.

    That’s the part of the argument that’s never made much sense to me. The only way to make VO’s “neighborhood” program work is to take a couple of hundred kids out of their current “neighborhood” programs.

    I can understand the pain of having a local school closed, but I think the board is facing a very real and difficult dilemma. I wouldn’t fault them for deciding to close the school.

  108. Randy

    I don’t really see how Colleen’s approach is workable. Opening Korematsu takes hundreds of kids away not only from VO, but also from Birch Lane. North Davis, if I recall correctly, already has below average enrollment. So, you can’t simply redraw the boundaries to shuffle kids around in the schools closest to VO, since there aren’t enough kids in those nearby schools to make it work.

    To make Colleen’s plan work, you’d probably have to limit access to Chavez and rezone the entire district to the point that Davis won’t really be operating anything like a true neighborhood school program.

    That’s the part of the argument that’s never made much sense to me. The only way to make VO’s “neighborhood” program work is to take a couple of hundred kids out of their current “neighborhood” programs.

    I can understand the pain of having a local school closed, but I think the board is facing a very real and difficult dilemma. I wouldn’t fault them for deciding to close the school.

  109. Bill Storm

    Don,
    I taught your kids, and both of them benefitted from the Valley Oak culture, as we benefitted enormously from your arbor-expertise. I still tell people about your contribution to our safety. VO has a culture that engages the entire community for the benefit of all. English learners benefit from GATE kids, GATE kids learn from their less advantaged counterparts, we exchange ideas and care about each others’ learning.

    Pretty touchy-feely, but rather than sing Kum-ba-yah, I want to point out that the VO culture has yielded solid numbers in performance unmatched in the district in bringing economically disadvantaged kids to higher levels of proficiency. Despite their best intentions, the district has NOT duplicated this performance anywhere else.

    You mention opening Korematsu makes for the “least disruption to students district-wide.” What can you possibly mean? What it does mean is that some hundreds of poor kids will be displaced to inferior-performing schools, while a new school with zero performance record will be opened in an affluent neighborhood. Instead of a couple schools facing state Program Improvement sanctions, perhaps Davis will sport four or five by the time the Board finishes its “easiest” voting. A move from any school to Korematsu perhaps will save gas on a few dozen SUVs in Mace Ranch. A move from Valley Oak for some 40% of its neighborhood students means denial of the best opportunity available.

    I’m glad you see it as an easy vote. I certainly wouldn’t be looking Valley Oak students, particularly the disadvantaged ones, in the eye if I were a board member, and I certainly wouldn’t be terribly proud of my vote if I were one of the three.

  110. Bill Storm

    Don,
    I taught your kids, and both of them benefitted from the Valley Oak culture, as we benefitted enormously from your arbor-expertise. I still tell people about your contribution to our safety. VO has a culture that engages the entire community for the benefit of all. English learners benefit from GATE kids, GATE kids learn from their less advantaged counterparts, we exchange ideas and care about each others’ learning.

    Pretty touchy-feely, but rather than sing Kum-ba-yah, I want to point out that the VO culture has yielded solid numbers in performance unmatched in the district in bringing economically disadvantaged kids to higher levels of proficiency. Despite their best intentions, the district has NOT duplicated this performance anywhere else.

    You mention opening Korematsu makes for the “least disruption to students district-wide.” What can you possibly mean? What it does mean is that some hundreds of poor kids will be displaced to inferior-performing schools, while a new school with zero performance record will be opened in an affluent neighborhood. Instead of a couple schools facing state Program Improvement sanctions, perhaps Davis will sport four or five by the time the Board finishes its “easiest” voting. A move from any school to Korematsu perhaps will save gas on a few dozen SUVs in Mace Ranch. A move from Valley Oak for some 40% of its neighborhood students means denial of the best opportunity available.

    I’m glad you see it as an easy vote. I certainly wouldn’t be looking Valley Oak students, particularly the disadvantaged ones, in the eye if I were a board member, and I certainly wouldn’t be terribly proud of my vote if I were one of the three.

  111. Bill Storm

    Don,
    I taught your kids, and both of them benefitted from the Valley Oak culture, as we benefitted enormously from your arbor-expertise. I still tell people about your contribution to our safety. VO has a culture that engages the entire community for the benefit of all. English learners benefit from GATE kids, GATE kids learn from their less advantaged counterparts, we exchange ideas and care about each others’ learning.

    Pretty touchy-feely, but rather than sing Kum-ba-yah, I want to point out that the VO culture has yielded solid numbers in performance unmatched in the district in bringing economically disadvantaged kids to higher levels of proficiency. Despite their best intentions, the district has NOT duplicated this performance anywhere else.

    You mention opening Korematsu makes for the “least disruption to students district-wide.” What can you possibly mean? What it does mean is that some hundreds of poor kids will be displaced to inferior-performing schools, while a new school with zero performance record will be opened in an affluent neighborhood. Instead of a couple schools facing state Program Improvement sanctions, perhaps Davis will sport four or five by the time the Board finishes its “easiest” voting. A move from any school to Korematsu perhaps will save gas on a few dozen SUVs in Mace Ranch. A move from Valley Oak for some 40% of its neighborhood students means denial of the best opportunity available.

    I’m glad you see it as an easy vote. I certainly wouldn’t be looking Valley Oak students, particularly the disadvantaged ones, in the eye if I were a board member, and I certainly wouldn’t be terribly proud of my vote if I were one of the three.

  112. Bill Storm

    Don,
    I taught your kids, and both of them benefitted from the Valley Oak culture, as we benefitted enormously from your arbor-expertise. I still tell people about your contribution to our safety. VO has a culture that engages the entire community for the benefit of all. English learners benefit from GATE kids, GATE kids learn from their less advantaged counterparts, we exchange ideas and care about each others’ learning.

    Pretty touchy-feely, but rather than sing Kum-ba-yah, I want to point out that the VO culture has yielded solid numbers in performance unmatched in the district in bringing economically disadvantaged kids to higher levels of proficiency. Despite their best intentions, the district has NOT duplicated this performance anywhere else.

    You mention opening Korematsu makes for the “least disruption to students district-wide.” What can you possibly mean? What it does mean is that some hundreds of poor kids will be displaced to inferior-performing schools, while a new school with zero performance record will be opened in an affluent neighborhood. Instead of a couple schools facing state Program Improvement sanctions, perhaps Davis will sport four or five by the time the Board finishes its “easiest” voting. A move from any school to Korematsu perhaps will save gas on a few dozen SUVs in Mace Ranch. A move from Valley Oak for some 40% of its neighborhood students means denial of the best opportunity available.

    I’m glad you see it as an easy vote. I certainly wouldn’t be looking Valley Oak students, particularly the disadvantaged ones, in the eye if I were a board member, and I certainly wouldn’t be terribly proud of my vote if I were one of the three.

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