Valley Oak Elementary Update: Movement To Create Charter School for Valley Oak

In the wake of the announced closing of the Valley Oak Elementary School, the school board has been looking into the possibility of passing a parcel tax that would provide the funding to keep Valley Oak Elementary School open.

This option was presented by School Board Member Tim Taylor as part of the motion to close Valley Oak following 2007-08 school year. At that time, fellow Board Member Keltie Jones pressed Taylor to weaken his motion by suggesting that the inclusion of the second parcel tax would doom the first one. The school district is now in the process of developing an implementing polling to test these concerns and if the polling comes back poorly–as some members expect– the second parcel tax would not be placed on the ballot.

An option that the Davis OPEN would have preferred was including the additional $20 on the initial parcel tax. This is an idea strongly opposed by Best Uses of Schools Task Force member Jan Bridge. In an email from March 14, 2007 that we obtained via a public records request, Bridge wrote,

“Placing additional money in the parcel tax to support keeping 9 elementary schools open will doom the parcel tax–DJUSD will lose the 5.5% of the budget that is supported by the parcel tax–as well as having to close an elementary school in the process.

Please do not allow the parcel tax to become a vote of support or rejection of keeping valley Oak open–the community will lose too much.”

Leaving the issue of whether a task force member should be lobbying the school district in this way aside, she raises an interesting but incomplete point. First, she makes the assumption that this would cause it to lose–but on what does she base it on? She ought to know that they will poll extensively, why not let the expert pollsters determine what is viable and what is not viable?

It seems to me that a combined parcel tax may stand a better chance at passage than two parcel taxes. It also seems to me that unless you are rigidly set on wanting to close the school RATHER than the expressed concern about finances or demographics, that you may want to explore all options to keep the school open. Statements like these however belie a strong motivation to close the school. Those who have suggested to me that Ms. Bridge did not want to close the school but felt there was no other choice, apparently did not read the volume of emails that she wrote in the last three months of the issue. Someone who had an interest in keeping Valley Oak open, would not have written that. Someone who had an interest in keeping Valley Oak open, would have continue to pursue other options. The task force claimed that this was a painful decision–and it may have been. The task force also claimed that they had exhausted all reasonable options–that does not appear to be the case as there are currently several options on the table that they would have had to dismiss. I do not know the motivations of the task for or Ms. Bridge, but from these statements it is very clear to me that she wanted to close Valley Oak Elementary. Her writings speak volumes.

That said, Bridge does bring up a key issue–she is concerned that having a Valley Oak option will doom the parcel tax and that if the parcel tax becomes a vote of support or rejection of keeping Valley Oak–the community loses out. It is not clear that the community as a whole would vote against such a proposition and again, it would be interesting to have actual polling results rather than assumptions.

However, if I were to make an educated assumption of my own, I might suggest that the opposite could just as easily be true, that if we do not have an option for keeping Valley Oak open and combined with a number of the other problems that have been covered on these pages regarding the school district and some of the issues that they are facing, that the Parcel Tax is in jeopardy. And the largest block of dissatisfied parents are those upset at the way the Task Force itself conducted their report.

We have covered a lot of the methodological problems of the task force report and some of the non-reported but key findings such as the issue of the walking distance and the assumption that schools of 420 students and larger are the only viable sizes.

However, one of my chief problems with the task force was simply their lack of professionalism. On Monday of this past week we reported that Jan Bridge became outraged and threatened to resign over the prospect of signing a conflict of interest disclosure form.

At the meeting, the chair Kirk Trost became incensed during a very mild exchange where he and the task force were criticized. However, in a March 18, 2007 letter Trost wrote the school board:

“I am, as I hope you are, appalled at Mr. Tezcan’s letter. The attempts to impugn the character of members of the Task, the threats to us and to you, the distortions, and the potentially libelous statements are simply outrageous… These threats and allegations do not merit a response.”

Of course the letter had no such threats.

“I finally figured out what happened between the first optimistic set of projections and the last one: it is not the move from Mobility # 3 to Mobility # 2, but the elimination of 2001 data at some point between September 25 and December 6, a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster). 2002 was the last year in a long series of years during which our enrollments were going up; once the 2001 data is eliminated, the mobility factor goes down, and then the future enrollment projections follow suit. “

Mr. Tezcan then suggests:

“If you could persuade the former members of the BUSATF to withdraw their report until a new set of data becomes available, or if you can get together and make this decision among yourselves.”

These exchanges demonstrate the high level of heat and emotions that bore down on this process both in private and in public. It is clear that the district needs to ascertain the level of anger and animosity that exist in this community at this point in time. The polls that will be commissioned can hopefully clarify the level of anger, frustration, and resentment in the community, but right now I would not be resting easy if I were in charge of making sure the parcel tax–even the original passes. And yet it is all too vital that it does. That is 5.5% of the funding at a time when even all the funding is not enough to fund all the programs that the school district and school board want and need. It funds vital programs.

Under these conditions it is little wonder that the folks who support keeping Valley Oak open have shifted their strategy to something that is much more in their control–creating a charter school.

Parents and teacher’s at Valley Oak Elementary School are moving forward on plans to at least explore the option of creating a charter school.

There will be a meeting to explore the idea of creating a charter for Valley Oak Elementary School. All members of the community and school staff are invited to attend.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007,
Valley Oak Multi-purpose Room
7:30-9:30 p.m.

For further information and future updates please check out the Valley Oak Charter School website.

It would serve the community well for there to be a large contingent of folks with good backgrounds in education and other vital areas to assist these people in planning their children’s and their school’s future.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

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

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48 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    The Davis”community” includes the parents and kids of VOE. It’s a simple premise that faces the Davis parent “community” and their school board representatives. Valley Oak Elementary families are not going to be the only ones whose children will be impacted negatively by closing VOE. No appeal to community altruism is required but rather clear self-interest should motivate the entire Davis school parent community and their Board representatives to find a way to keep VOE functioning and supplying
    its VITAL programs.

  2. Anonymous

    The Davis”community” includes the parents and kids of VOE. It’s a simple premise that faces the Davis parent “community” and their school board representatives. Valley Oak Elementary families are not going to be the only ones whose children will be impacted negatively by closing VOE. No appeal to community altruism is required but rather clear self-interest should motivate the entire Davis school parent community and their Board representatives to find a way to keep VOE functioning and supplying
    its VITAL programs.

  3. Anonymous

    The Davis”community” includes the parents and kids of VOE. It’s a simple premise that faces the Davis parent “community” and their school board representatives. Valley Oak Elementary families are not going to be the only ones whose children will be impacted negatively by closing VOE. No appeal to community altruism is required but rather clear self-interest should motivate the entire Davis school parent community and their Board representatives to find a way to keep VOE functioning and supplying
    its VITAL programs.

  4. Anonymous

    The Davis”community” includes the parents and kids of VOE. It’s a simple premise that faces the Davis parent “community” and their school board representatives. Valley Oak Elementary families are not going to be the only ones whose children will be impacted negatively by closing VOE. No appeal to community altruism is required but rather clear self-interest should motivate the entire Davis school parent community and their Board representatives to find a way to keep VOE functioning and supplying
    its VITAL programs.

  5. Dave Hart

    “a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster).”

    Sorry for being out of it, but can anyone tell me what “DDP” means?

  6. Dave Hart

    “a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster).”

    Sorry for being out of it, but can anyone tell me what “DDP” means?

  7. Dave Hart

    “a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster).”

    Sorry for being out of it, but can anyone tell me what “DDP” means?

  8. Dave Hart

    “a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster).”

    Sorry for being out of it, but can anyone tell me what “DDP” means?

  9. Anonymous

    In the interest of full reporting, please publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, as well as Mr. Tezcan’s subsequent apology.

  10. Anonymous

    In the interest of full reporting, please publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, as well as Mr. Tezcan’s subsequent apology.

  11. Anonymous

    In the interest of full reporting, please publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, as well as Mr. Tezcan’s subsequent apology.

  12. Anonymous

    In the interest of full reporting, please publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, as well as Mr. Tezcan’s subsequent apology.

  13. sharla

    If Valley Oak becomes a charter school and is fully enrolled, pulling students from the Davis school district, will this open up the idea of reducing to 7 elementary schools covering the rest of the district to maintain adequate enrollment at each school? If so, which school would close? Or how much would it cost us to keep the 8th school open?

  14. sharla

    If Valley Oak becomes a charter school and is fully enrolled, pulling students from the Davis school district, will this open up the idea of reducing to 7 elementary schools covering the rest of the district to maintain adequate enrollment at each school? If so, which school would close? Or how much would it cost us to keep the 8th school open?

  15. sharla

    If Valley Oak becomes a charter school and is fully enrolled, pulling students from the Davis school district, will this open up the idea of reducing to 7 elementary schools covering the rest of the district to maintain adequate enrollment at each school? If so, which school would close? Or how much would it cost us to keep the 8th school open?

  16. sharla

    If Valley Oak becomes a charter school and is fully enrolled, pulling students from the Davis school district, will this open up the idea of reducing to 7 elementary schools covering the rest of the district to maintain adequate enrollment at each school? If so, which school would close? Or how much would it cost us to keep the 8th school open?

  17. Anonymous

    The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks. The ADA from the state per student for Davis is $5228.
    The rise in 2006-2007 enrollment of 128 children in the DJUSD translates into a $669,184 increase in ADA to the district for 2007-2008 school year.
    I wouldn’t worry about them having to close another elementary school.
    They didn’t need to close Valley Oak.
    A Valley Oak charter school would probably become a magnet school for the whole Sacramento area, as has the one for the arts in Natomas.
    It will be interesting to see from where Valley Oak charter draws its enrollment.

  18. Anonymous

    The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks. The ADA from the state per student for Davis is $5228.
    The rise in 2006-2007 enrollment of 128 children in the DJUSD translates into a $669,184 increase in ADA to the district for 2007-2008 school year.
    I wouldn’t worry about them having to close another elementary school.
    They didn’t need to close Valley Oak.
    A Valley Oak charter school would probably become a magnet school for the whole Sacramento area, as has the one for the arts in Natomas.
    It will be interesting to see from where Valley Oak charter draws its enrollment.

  19. Anonymous

    The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks. The ADA from the state per student for Davis is $5228.
    The rise in 2006-2007 enrollment of 128 children in the DJUSD translates into a $669,184 increase in ADA to the district for 2007-2008 school year.
    I wouldn’t worry about them having to close another elementary school.
    They didn’t need to close Valley Oak.
    A Valley Oak charter school would probably become a magnet school for the whole Sacramento area, as has the one for the arts in Natomas.
    It will be interesting to see from where Valley Oak charter draws its enrollment.

  20. Anonymous

    The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks. The ADA from the state per student for Davis is $5228.
    The rise in 2006-2007 enrollment of 128 children in the DJUSD translates into a $669,184 increase in ADA to the district for 2007-2008 school year.
    I wouldn’t worry about them having to close another elementary school.
    They didn’t need to close Valley Oak.
    A Valley Oak charter school would probably become a magnet school for the whole Sacramento area, as has the one for the arts in Natomas.
    It will be interesting to see from where Valley Oak charter draws its enrollment.

  21. Dave Hart

    I’m not sure if a blog posting site is the best forum for getting into school site budgets. What constitutes “overhead”? Is it absolutely everything BUT the teachers? If annualized ADA figures are $5,228 per student, then 88 students covers the overhead. Viewed from that simplistic standpoint, it means each of the eight remaining schools has to absorb on the average, 11 students each. It’s not one full teacher at any one school. It is indeed hard to understand how the District can be cutting their overall budget that close.

    If they are, then why all of the sudden is there money for additional administrators (full time VPs) at other campuses and some of the other add-ons we’ve seen lately? On the other hand, it’s hard for me to believe that closing VO is a plot of some kind. Unless I missed something, which I may have, it seems like the DJUSD Board did not make a good case for their decision to close VO.

    Makes me wonder how much slop there might be elsewhere in the budget.

  22. Dave Hart

    I’m not sure if a blog posting site is the best forum for getting into school site budgets. What constitutes “overhead”? Is it absolutely everything BUT the teachers? If annualized ADA figures are $5,228 per student, then 88 students covers the overhead. Viewed from that simplistic standpoint, it means each of the eight remaining schools has to absorb on the average, 11 students each. It’s not one full teacher at any one school. It is indeed hard to understand how the District can be cutting their overall budget that close.

    If they are, then why all of the sudden is there money for additional administrators (full time VPs) at other campuses and some of the other add-ons we’ve seen lately? On the other hand, it’s hard for me to believe that closing VO is a plot of some kind. Unless I missed something, which I may have, it seems like the DJUSD Board did not make a good case for their decision to close VO.

    Makes me wonder how much slop there might be elsewhere in the budget.

  23. Dave Hart

    I’m not sure if a blog posting site is the best forum for getting into school site budgets. What constitutes “overhead”? Is it absolutely everything BUT the teachers? If annualized ADA figures are $5,228 per student, then 88 students covers the overhead. Viewed from that simplistic standpoint, it means each of the eight remaining schools has to absorb on the average, 11 students each. It’s not one full teacher at any one school. It is indeed hard to understand how the District can be cutting their overall budget that close.

    If they are, then why all of the sudden is there money for additional administrators (full time VPs) at other campuses and some of the other add-ons we’ve seen lately? On the other hand, it’s hard for me to believe that closing VO is a plot of some kind. Unless I missed something, which I may have, it seems like the DJUSD Board did not make a good case for their decision to close VO.

    Makes me wonder how much slop there might be elsewhere in the budget.

  24. Dave Hart

    I’m not sure if a blog posting site is the best forum for getting into school site budgets. What constitutes “overhead”? Is it absolutely everything BUT the teachers? If annualized ADA figures are $5,228 per student, then 88 students covers the overhead. Viewed from that simplistic standpoint, it means each of the eight remaining schools has to absorb on the average, 11 students each. It’s not one full teacher at any one school. It is indeed hard to understand how the District can be cutting their overall budget that close.

    If they are, then why all of the sudden is there money for additional administrators (full time VPs) at other campuses and some of the other add-ons we’ve seen lately? On the other hand, it’s hard for me to believe that closing VO is a plot of some kind. Unless I missed something, which I may have, it seems like the DJUSD Board did not make a good case for their decision to close VO.

    Makes me wonder how much slop there might be elsewhere in the budget.

  25. Bill Storm

    A Valley Oak Charter School can draw, without hindrance, students from contiguous counties, meaning that a fully populated Valley Oak offers an increase in the DJUSD student population. More about charters can be found at Valley Oak Charter School website.
    The meeting on the 25th will be an chance for the community to explore the opportunity a charter, particularly a charter magnet school presents. Not only will a charter build the student population of DJUSD, but the creation of a technology-rich, neighborhood-based magnet school (one of the ideas being floated) would serve interested children of families associated with Davis as residents and employees. It could also be seen as a mechanism to create the elementary roots for an innovative technology strand in the district, something long sought by many.
    The sooner we can realize the promise of serving the interests of all by creatively considering the needs of all, the sooner we can get the district schools on a healthier footing.

  26. Bill Storm

    A Valley Oak Charter School can draw, without hindrance, students from contiguous counties, meaning that a fully populated Valley Oak offers an increase in the DJUSD student population. More about charters can be found at Valley Oak Charter School website.
    The meeting on the 25th will be an chance for the community to explore the opportunity a charter, particularly a charter magnet school presents. Not only will a charter build the student population of DJUSD, but the creation of a technology-rich, neighborhood-based magnet school (one of the ideas being floated) would serve interested children of families associated with Davis as residents and employees. It could also be seen as a mechanism to create the elementary roots for an innovative technology strand in the district, something long sought by many.
    The sooner we can realize the promise of serving the interests of all by creatively considering the needs of all, the sooner we can get the district schools on a healthier footing.

  27. Bill Storm

    A Valley Oak Charter School can draw, without hindrance, students from contiguous counties, meaning that a fully populated Valley Oak offers an increase in the DJUSD student population. More about charters can be found at Valley Oak Charter School website.
    The meeting on the 25th will be an chance for the community to explore the opportunity a charter, particularly a charter magnet school presents. Not only will a charter build the student population of DJUSD, but the creation of a technology-rich, neighborhood-based magnet school (one of the ideas being floated) would serve interested children of families associated with Davis as residents and employees. It could also be seen as a mechanism to create the elementary roots for an innovative technology strand in the district, something long sought by many.
    The sooner we can realize the promise of serving the interests of all by creatively considering the needs of all, the sooner we can get the district schools on a healthier footing.

  28. Bill Storm

    A Valley Oak Charter School can draw, without hindrance, students from contiguous counties, meaning that a fully populated Valley Oak offers an increase in the DJUSD student population. More about charters can be found at Valley Oak Charter School website.
    The meeting on the 25th will be an chance for the community to explore the opportunity a charter, particularly a charter magnet school presents. Not only will a charter build the student population of DJUSD, but the creation of a technology-rich, neighborhood-based magnet school (one of the ideas being floated) would serve interested children of families associated with Davis as residents and employees. It could also be seen as a mechanism to create the elementary roots for an innovative technology strand in the district, something long sought by many.
    The sooner we can realize the promise of serving the interests of all by creatively considering the needs of all, the sooner we can get the district schools on a healthier footing.

  29. Rich Rifkin

    “The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks.”

    If you’d like to know the expenses for Valley Oak this school year, I have a spread sheet containing all the information. Feel free to send me an email and I’ll gladly send you the data.

    On my spreadsheet, I segregated the expenses which would be saved if Valley Oak closed — to me, that represents the overhead: The salary savings would be $239,156; the load savings would be $150,505. Thus, the total savings would be $389,661. That is out of a total budget of $2,703,691 for the 2006/07 school year.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    “The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks.”

    If you’d like to know the expenses for Valley Oak this school year, I have a spread sheet containing all the information. Feel free to send me an email and I’ll gladly send you the data.

    On my spreadsheet, I segregated the expenses which would be saved if Valley Oak closed — to me, that represents the overhead: The salary savings would be $239,156; the load savings would be $150,505. Thus, the total savings would be $389,661. That is out of a total budget of $2,703,691 for the 2006/07 school year.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    “The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks.”

    If you’d like to know the expenses for Valley Oak this school year, I have a spread sheet containing all the information. Feel free to send me an email and I’ll gladly send you the data.

    On my spreadsheet, I segregated the expenses which would be saved if Valley Oak closed — to me, that represents the overhead: The salary savings would be $239,156; the load savings would be $150,505. Thus, the total savings would be $389,661. That is out of a total budget of $2,703,691 for the 2006/07 school year.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    “The overhead operating expense per Davis grade school is estimated at $420,000-$480,000 depending on with whom one speaks.”

    If you’d like to know the expenses for Valley Oak this school year, I have a spread sheet containing all the information. Feel free to send me an email and I’ll gladly send you the data.

    On my spreadsheet, I segregated the expenses which would be saved if Valley Oak closed — to me, that represents the overhead: The salary savings would be $239,156; the load savings would be $150,505. Thus, the total savings would be $389,661. That is out of a total budget of $2,703,691 for the 2006/07 school year.

  33. Anonymous

    Since you apparently do not intend to publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, they are copied below. The full text does not support either your suggestion that the Task Force acted without professionalism or your statement that Mr. Tezcan made no threats.

    ***************************
    Mr. Tezcan’s Initial Letter:

    Dear Trustees of the DJUSD, and some members of the former BUSATF whose e-mail addresses I happen to have,

    I finally figured out what happened between the first optimistic set of projections and the last one: it is not the move from Mobility # 3 to Mobility # 2, but the elimination of 2001 data at some point between September 25 and December 6, a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its
    members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster). 2002 was the last year in a long series of years during which our enrollments were going up; once the 2001 data is eliminated, the mobility factor goes down, and then the future enrollment projections follow suit. It is not hard to figure out, but I had been too distracted with the mobility detail, which is nothing compared to this gross intervention into the data production process. 2001 was an “odd year,” said Greg Davis on January 4 as an explanation for eliminating data that was already collected and factored into the enrollment projections. Well, 2006 was one, too, then, no? Who knows, maybe next year could be another one. An “odd year” is not a scientific explanation for anything, and you know it.

    What I am about to post on to our website (www.davisopen.org) is attached to this message (look under “A critique of the Task Force report” if you want to check it on the website). I could obviously repeat a summary of this statement at the televised public comment on Monday as well, or send a letter to the editor (by the way, check out today’s paper; it may prove to be of some interest to all of you). Unlike what some of you may think, I do not get a great deal of satisfaction from embarrassing respected members of our community. All I am seeking is fairness (yes; if I had not observed Kirk telling Steve Torlucci on December 6 to basically re-do the report with a view to close Valley Oak, I would not have gotten involved in any of this; I am driving my son to daycare now, I could drive him elsewhere).

    If you could persuade the former members of the BUSATF to withdraw their report until a new set of data becomes available, or if you can get together and make this decision among yourselves, I would be more than happy to withdraw the document from the website and not mention a word more on any of this. Then everyone could leave the process with grace and Valley Oak would be open for at least two more academic years (2007-08, 2008-09): yes, I am asking for a commitment for two years, because the projections suggest that there may be another year of decline in 2007-08 before the upward trend starts in 2008-09.

    My suggestion would be that Kirk goes first in public comment and withdraws the report, saying that he does not want to leave the public with any suspicions about the integrity of the data process and recommends that Valley Oak be kept open for another two years during which the enrollments be kept under close watch and new enrollment studies done by contracting another firm. If he does that, I will not say a word more, go home, take the attached document off the website, and spend time with my family. If he wants, I could go ahead and even say a few nice things about him and his services to our community which I do appreciate–he may not believe this, but I do. If he sends me an e-mail tomorrow promising that he will do what I am suggesting, I would take the text off the website right at that moment; if he is too much of a lawyer to be afraid of leaving marks on an e-mail, he could give me a call (my cell number is [530] 304-0587; I will be at a memorial service from 2 to 4 pm); I would take his word and take the text off the site. If he is even afraid of giving me a call for phone records, Val Dolcini could act as the trusted broker and let me know of your decision.

    If, on the other hand, you go ahead and close the only majority-minority school in town in order to open a white-majority school with this heavily manipulated data that is produced by an all white 7/11 committee–and yes, BUSATF was a 7/11 committee, and you know that, too–I will continue to make a fuss in town, everyone involved will be unnecessarily embarrassed, and you will be making a court case very easy to win. I have a sabbatical next year and am hoping to finish my book. Let me do that and get tenure instead of spending time with ACLU lawyers or others who may be interested in offering some free services to make some fame in the legal profession.

    All the best,
    Baki

    **********************
    Mr. Trost’s Response:

    Dear Members of Board,

    I am, as I hope you are, appalled at Mr. Tezcan’s letter. The attempts to impugn the character of members of the Task Force, the threats to us and to you, the distortions, and the potentially libelous statements are simply outrageous.

    As I have told you on a number of occasions, the constructive and civil dialogue in this community around a potential school closure has been truly remarkable. While people feel passionately about these issues, they have respected others, they have addressed the facts, and they have always kept in mind what is best for the children of this community. Obviously, there are exceptions like Mr. Tezcan. Unfortunately, the risk of these types of attacks discourages people from volunteering for the difficult work of our community.

    These threats and allegations do not merit a response. All of the relevant information has been presented to the Board by the Task Force and/or DDP. Indeed, I have addressed these very issues on at least two occasions now. Of course, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me today. I will also be available on Monday evening to answer any of your questions.

    Kirk

    ************************
    Finally, Mr. Tezcan’s Apology:

    Dear former members of the former BUSATF whose e-mails I happen to have (please feel free to forward this message to other former members of your former group as well; copied are the members of the Board of Trustees),

    I would like to apologize for my e-mail I sent at 3:30 am this morning. I was simply too tired, and went out of line, sounding as if I was threatening to sue the Board, which I am really NOT thinking about. At this moment, all I want is for this thing to end so that I can go back to my book and secure tenure at UCD! Since even ACLU makes mistakes, I hope you will be understanding and allow me to take my earlier e-mail back the way they took their first letter back. So please forgive me and give my rude e-mail to my youth and enthusiasm.

    I do, however, believe that the relationship between the BUSATF and the DDP should have been handled in a way that was truly open to the public and that information coming from the DDP should have been shared with the district and the larger public in a timely fashion. I was struck at the fact that the Associate Superintendent for Business Services simply did not know of a set of projections produced by the DDP for the district based on 2005 student data. I was even more struck to realize that a whole year’s data was simply not counted in producing enrollment projections because it belonged to the time when our enrollments were rising. In Turkish we say that if you say something forty times, you make it happen. So by eliminating good years from the historical studies and focusing on the bad ones, we ended up building a pessimistic looking future ourselves.

    See you all tomorrow evening, and thanks for all of your hard work and continuing patience with me,

    Baki

    ***********************

  34. Anonymous

    Since you apparently do not intend to publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, they are copied below. The full text does not support either your suggestion that the Task Force acted without professionalism or your statement that Mr. Tezcan made no threats.

    ***************************
    Mr. Tezcan’s Initial Letter:

    Dear Trustees of the DJUSD, and some members of the former BUSATF whose e-mail addresses I happen to have,

    I finally figured out what happened between the first optimistic set of projections and the last one: it is not the move from Mobility # 3 to Mobility # 2, but the elimination of 2001 data at some point between September 25 and December 6, a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its
    members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster). 2002 was the last year in a long series of years during which our enrollments were going up; once the 2001 data is eliminated, the mobility factor goes down, and then the future enrollment projections follow suit. It is not hard to figure out, but I had been too distracted with the mobility detail, which is nothing compared to this gross intervention into the data production process. 2001 was an “odd year,” said Greg Davis on January 4 as an explanation for eliminating data that was already collected and factored into the enrollment projections. Well, 2006 was one, too, then, no? Who knows, maybe next year could be another one. An “odd year” is not a scientific explanation for anything, and you know it.

    What I am about to post on to our website (www.davisopen.org) is attached to this message (look under “A critique of the Task Force report” if you want to check it on the website). I could obviously repeat a summary of this statement at the televised public comment on Monday as well, or send a letter to the editor (by the way, check out today’s paper; it may prove to be of some interest to all of you). Unlike what some of you may think, I do not get a great deal of satisfaction from embarrassing respected members of our community. All I am seeking is fairness (yes; if I had not observed Kirk telling Steve Torlucci on December 6 to basically re-do the report with a view to close Valley Oak, I would not have gotten involved in any of this; I am driving my son to daycare now, I could drive him elsewhere).

    If you could persuade the former members of the BUSATF to withdraw their report until a new set of data becomes available, or if you can get together and make this decision among yourselves, I would be more than happy to withdraw the document from the website and not mention a word more on any of this. Then everyone could leave the process with grace and Valley Oak would be open for at least two more academic years (2007-08, 2008-09): yes, I am asking for a commitment for two years, because the projections suggest that there may be another year of decline in 2007-08 before the upward trend starts in 2008-09.

    My suggestion would be that Kirk goes first in public comment and withdraws the report, saying that he does not want to leave the public with any suspicions about the integrity of the data process and recommends that Valley Oak be kept open for another two years during which the enrollments be kept under close watch and new enrollment studies done by contracting another firm. If he does that, I will not say a word more, go home, take the attached document off the website, and spend time with my family. If he wants, I could go ahead and even say a few nice things about him and his services to our community which I do appreciate–he may not believe this, but I do. If he sends me an e-mail tomorrow promising that he will do what I am suggesting, I would take the text off the website right at that moment; if he is too much of a lawyer to be afraid of leaving marks on an e-mail, he could give me a call (my cell number is [530] 304-0587; I will be at a memorial service from 2 to 4 pm); I would take his word and take the text off the site. If he is even afraid of giving me a call for phone records, Val Dolcini could act as the trusted broker and let me know of your decision.

    If, on the other hand, you go ahead and close the only majority-minority school in town in order to open a white-majority school with this heavily manipulated data that is produced by an all white 7/11 committee–and yes, BUSATF was a 7/11 committee, and you know that, too–I will continue to make a fuss in town, everyone involved will be unnecessarily embarrassed, and you will be making a court case very easy to win. I have a sabbatical next year and am hoping to finish my book. Let me do that and get tenure instead of spending time with ACLU lawyers or others who may be interested in offering some free services to make some fame in the legal profession.

    All the best,
    Baki

    **********************
    Mr. Trost’s Response:

    Dear Members of Board,

    I am, as I hope you are, appalled at Mr. Tezcan’s letter. The attempts to impugn the character of members of the Task Force, the threats to us and to you, the distortions, and the potentially libelous statements are simply outrageous.

    As I have told you on a number of occasions, the constructive and civil dialogue in this community around a potential school closure has been truly remarkable. While people feel passionately about these issues, they have respected others, they have addressed the facts, and they have always kept in mind what is best for the children of this community. Obviously, there are exceptions like Mr. Tezcan. Unfortunately, the risk of these types of attacks discourages people from volunteering for the difficult work of our community.

    These threats and allegations do not merit a response. All of the relevant information has been presented to the Board by the Task Force and/or DDP. Indeed, I have addressed these very issues on at least two occasions now. Of course, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me today. I will also be available on Monday evening to answer any of your questions.

    Kirk

    ************************
    Finally, Mr. Tezcan’s Apology:

    Dear former members of the former BUSATF whose e-mails I happen to have (please feel free to forward this message to other former members of your former group as well; copied are the members of the Board of Trustees),

    I would like to apologize for my e-mail I sent at 3:30 am this morning. I was simply too tired, and went out of line, sounding as if I was threatening to sue the Board, which I am really NOT thinking about. At this moment, all I want is for this thing to end so that I can go back to my book and secure tenure at UCD! Since even ACLU makes mistakes, I hope you will be understanding and allow me to take my earlier e-mail back the way they took their first letter back. So please forgive me and give my rude e-mail to my youth and enthusiasm.

    I do, however, believe that the relationship between the BUSATF and the DDP should have been handled in a way that was truly open to the public and that information coming from the DDP should have been shared with the district and the larger public in a timely fashion. I was struck at the fact that the Associate Superintendent for Business Services simply did not know of a set of projections produced by the DDP for the district based on 2005 student data. I was even more struck to realize that a whole year’s data was simply not counted in producing enrollment projections because it belonged to the time when our enrollments were rising. In Turkish we say that if you say something forty times, you make it happen. So by eliminating good years from the historical studies and focusing on the bad ones, we ended up building a pessimistic looking future ourselves.

    See you all tomorrow evening, and thanks for all of your hard work and continuing patience with me,

    Baki

    ***********************

  35. Anonymous

    Since you apparently do not intend to publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, they are copied below. The full text does not support either your suggestion that the Task Force acted without professionalism or your statement that Mr. Tezcan made no threats.

    ***************************
    Mr. Tezcan’s Initial Letter:

    Dear Trustees of the DJUSD, and some members of the former BUSATF whose e-mail addresses I happen to have,

    I finally figured out what happened between the first optimistic set of projections and the last one: it is not the move from Mobility # 3 to Mobility # 2, but the elimination of 2001 data at some point between September 25 and December 6, a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its
    members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster). 2002 was the last year in a long series of years during which our enrollments were going up; once the 2001 data is eliminated, the mobility factor goes down, and then the future enrollment projections follow suit. It is not hard to figure out, but I had been too distracted with the mobility detail, which is nothing compared to this gross intervention into the data production process. 2001 was an “odd year,” said Greg Davis on January 4 as an explanation for eliminating data that was already collected and factored into the enrollment projections. Well, 2006 was one, too, then, no? Who knows, maybe next year could be another one. An “odd year” is not a scientific explanation for anything, and you know it.

    What I am about to post on to our website (www.davisopen.org) is attached to this message (look under “A critique of the Task Force report” if you want to check it on the website). I could obviously repeat a summary of this statement at the televised public comment on Monday as well, or send a letter to the editor (by the way, check out today’s paper; it may prove to be of some interest to all of you). Unlike what some of you may think, I do not get a great deal of satisfaction from embarrassing respected members of our community. All I am seeking is fairness (yes; if I had not observed Kirk telling Steve Torlucci on December 6 to basically re-do the report with a view to close Valley Oak, I would not have gotten involved in any of this; I am driving my son to daycare now, I could drive him elsewhere).

    If you could persuade the former members of the BUSATF to withdraw their report until a new set of data becomes available, or if you can get together and make this decision among yourselves, I would be more than happy to withdraw the document from the website and not mention a word more on any of this. Then everyone could leave the process with grace and Valley Oak would be open for at least two more academic years (2007-08, 2008-09): yes, I am asking for a commitment for two years, because the projections suggest that there may be another year of decline in 2007-08 before the upward trend starts in 2008-09.

    My suggestion would be that Kirk goes first in public comment and withdraws the report, saying that he does not want to leave the public with any suspicions about the integrity of the data process and recommends that Valley Oak be kept open for another two years during which the enrollments be kept under close watch and new enrollment studies done by contracting another firm. If he does that, I will not say a word more, go home, take the attached document off the website, and spend time with my family. If he wants, I could go ahead and even say a few nice things about him and his services to our community which I do appreciate–he may not believe this, but I do. If he sends me an e-mail tomorrow promising that he will do what I am suggesting, I would take the text off the website right at that moment; if he is too much of a lawyer to be afraid of leaving marks on an e-mail, he could give me a call (my cell number is [530] 304-0587; I will be at a memorial service from 2 to 4 pm); I would take his word and take the text off the site. If he is even afraid of giving me a call for phone records, Val Dolcini could act as the trusted broker and let me know of your decision.

    If, on the other hand, you go ahead and close the only majority-minority school in town in order to open a white-majority school with this heavily manipulated data that is produced by an all white 7/11 committee–and yes, BUSATF was a 7/11 committee, and you know that, too–I will continue to make a fuss in town, everyone involved will be unnecessarily embarrassed, and you will be making a court case very easy to win. I have a sabbatical next year and am hoping to finish my book. Let me do that and get tenure instead of spending time with ACLU lawyers or others who may be interested in offering some free services to make some fame in the legal profession.

    All the best,
    Baki

    **********************
    Mr. Trost’s Response:

    Dear Members of Board,

    I am, as I hope you are, appalled at Mr. Tezcan’s letter. The attempts to impugn the character of members of the Task Force, the threats to us and to you, the distortions, and the potentially libelous statements are simply outrageous.

    As I have told you on a number of occasions, the constructive and civil dialogue in this community around a potential school closure has been truly remarkable. While people feel passionately about these issues, they have respected others, they have addressed the facts, and they have always kept in mind what is best for the children of this community. Obviously, there are exceptions like Mr. Tezcan. Unfortunately, the risk of these types of attacks discourages people from volunteering for the difficult work of our community.

    These threats and allegations do not merit a response. All of the relevant information has been presented to the Board by the Task Force and/or DDP. Indeed, I have addressed these very issues on at least two occasions now. Of course, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me today. I will also be available on Monday evening to answer any of your questions.

    Kirk

    ************************
    Finally, Mr. Tezcan’s Apology:

    Dear former members of the former BUSATF whose e-mails I happen to have (please feel free to forward this message to other former members of your former group as well; copied are the members of the Board of Trustees),

    I would like to apologize for my e-mail I sent at 3:30 am this morning. I was simply too tired, and went out of line, sounding as if I was threatening to sue the Board, which I am really NOT thinking about. At this moment, all I want is for this thing to end so that I can go back to my book and secure tenure at UCD! Since even ACLU makes mistakes, I hope you will be understanding and allow me to take my earlier e-mail back the way they took their first letter back. So please forgive me and give my rude e-mail to my youth and enthusiasm.

    I do, however, believe that the relationship between the BUSATF and the DDP should have been handled in a way that was truly open to the public and that information coming from the DDP should have been shared with the district and the larger public in a timely fashion. I was struck at the fact that the Associate Superintendent for Business Services simply did not know of a set of projections produced by the DDP for the district based on 2005 student data. I was even more struck to realize that a whole year’s data was simply not counted in producing enrollment projections because it belonged to the time when our enrollments were rising. In Turkish we say that if you say something forty times, you make it happen. So by eliminating good years from the historical studies and focusing on the bad ones, we ended up building a pessimistic looking future ourselves.

    See you all tomorrow evening, and thanks for all of your hard work and continuing patience with me,

    Baki

    ***********************

  36. Anonymous

    Since you apparently do not intend to publish the full content of Mr. Tezcan’s and Mr. Trost’s letters, they are copied below. The full text does not support either your suggestion that the Task Force acted without professionalism or your statement that Mr. Tezcan made no threats.

    ***************************
    Mr. Tezcan’s Initial Letter:

    Dear Trustees of the DJUSD, and some members of the former BUSATF whose e-mail addresses I happen to have,

    I finally figured out what happened between the first optimistic set of projections and the last one: it is not the move from Mobility # 3 to Mobility # 2, but the elimination of 2001 data at some point between September 25 and December 6, a period during which the BUSATF did not hold a single public meeting but the DDP was in contact with some of its
    members (I bet it was Kirk and Mr. Foster). 2002 was the last year in a long series of years during which our enrollments were going up; once the 2001 data is eliminated, the mobility factor goes down, and then the future enrollment projections follow suit. It is not hard to figure out, but I had been too distracted with the mobility detail, which is nothing compared to this gross intervention into the data production process. 2001 was an “odd year,” said Greg Davis on January 4 as an explanation for eliminating data that was already collected and factored into the enrollment projections. Well, 2006 was one, too, then, no? Who knows, maybe next year could be another one. An “odd year” is not a scientific explanation for anything, and you know it.

    What I am about to post on to our website (www.davisopen.org) is attached to this message (look under “A critique of the Task Force report” if you want to check it on the website). I could obviously repeat a summary of this statement at the televised public comment on Monday as well, or send a letter to the editor (by the way, check out today’s paper; it may prove to be of some interest to all of you). Unlike what some of you may think, I do not get a great deal of satisfaction from embarrassing respected members of our community. All I am seeking is fairness (yes; if I had not observed Kirk telling Steve Torlucci on December 6 to basically re-do the report with a view to close Valley Oak, I would not have gotten involved in any of this; I am driving my son to daycare now, I could drive him elsewhere).

    If you could persuade the former members of the BUSATF to withdraw their report until a new set of data becomes available, or if you can get together and make this decision among yourselves, I would be more than happy to withdraw the document from the website and not mention a word more on any of this. Then everyone could leave the process with grace and Valley Oak would be open for at least two more academic years (2007-08, 2008-09): yes, I am asking for a commitment for two years, because the projections suggest that there may be another year of decline in 2007-08 before the upward trend starts in 2008-09.

    My suggestion would be that Kirk goes first in public comment and withdraws the report, saying that he does not want to leave the public with any suspicions about the integrity of the data process and recommends that Valley Oak be kept open for another two years during which the enrollments be kept under close watch and new enrollment studies done by contracting another firm. If he does that, I will not say a word more, go home, take the attached document off the website, and spend time with my family. If he wants, I could go ahead and even say a few nice things about him and his services to our community which I do appreciate–he may not believe this, but I do. If he sends me an e-mail tomorrow promising that he will do what I am suggesting, I would take the text off the website right at that moment; if he is too much of a lawyer to be afraid of leaving marks on an e-mail, he could give me a call (my cell number is [530] 304-0587; I will be at a memorial service from 2 to 4 pm); I would take his word and take the text off the site. If he is even afraid of giving me a call for phone records, Val Dolcini could act as the trusted broker and let me know of your decision.

    If, on the other hand, you go ahead and close the only majority-minority school in town in order to open a white-majority school with this heavily manipulated data that is produced by an all white 7/11 committee–and yes, BUSATF was a 7/11 committee, and you know that, too–I will continue to make a fuss in town, everyone involved will be unnecessarily embarrassed, and you will be making a court case very easy to win. I have a sabbatical next year and am hoping to finish my book. Let me do that and get tenure instead of spending time with ACLU lawyers or others who may be interested in offering some free services to make some fame in the legal profession.

    All the best,
    Baki

    **********************
    Mr. Trost’s Response:

    Dear Members of Board,

    I am, as I hope you are, appalled at Mr. Tezcan’s letter. The attempts to impugn the character of members of the Task Force, the threats to us and to you, the distortions, and the potentially libelous statements are simply outrageous.

    As I have told you on a number of occasions, the constructive and civil dialogue in this community around a potential school closure has been truly remarkable. While people feel passionately about these issues, they have respected others, they have addressed the facts, and they have always kept in mind what is best for the children of this community. Obviously, there are exceptions like Mr. Tezcan. Unfortunately, the risk of these types of attacks discourages people from volunteering for the difficult work of our community.

    These threats and allegations do not merit a response. All of the relevant information has been presented to the Board by the Task Force and/or DDP. Indeed, I have addressed these very issues on at least two occasions now. Of course, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me today. I will also be available on Monday evening to answer any of your questions.

    Kirk

    ************************
    Finally, Mr. Tezcan’s Apology:

    Dear former members of the former BUSATF whose e-mails I happen to have (please feel free to forward this message to other former members of your former group as well; copied are the members of the Board of Trustees),

    I would like to apologize for my e-mail I sent at 3:30 am this morning. I was simply too tired, and went out of line, sounding as if I was threatening to sue the Board, which I am really NOT thinking about. At this moment, all I want is for this thing to end so that I can go back to my book and secure tenure at UCD! Since even ACLU makes mistakes, I hope you will be understanding and allow me to take my earlier e-mail back the way they took their first letter back. So please forgive me and give my rude e-mail to my youth and enthusiasm.

    I do, however, believe that the relationship between the BUSATF and the DDP should have been handled in a way that was truly open to the public and that information coming from the DDP should have been shared with the district and the larger public in a timely fashion. I was struck at the fact that the Associate Superintendent for Business Services simply did not know of a set of projections produced by the DDP for the district based on 2005 student data. I was even more struck to realize that a whole year’s data was simply not counted in producing enrollment projections because it belonged to the time when our enrollments were rising. In Turkish we say that if you say something forty times, you make it happen. So by eliminating good years from the historical studies and focusing on the bad ones, we ended up building a pessimistic looking future ourselves.

    See you all tomorrow evening, and thanks for all of your hard work and continuing patience with me,

    Baki

    ***********************

  37. Anonymous

    These letters are interesting but do not appreciably challenge the descriptions of the Vanguard article in substance or tone. Baki’s letter reveals the well-known dangers of firing off emails at 3 AM instead of putting them in “draft” for review the next morning after the “blood has cooled”.

  38. Anonymous

    These letters are interesting but do not appreciably challenge the descriptions of the Vanguard article in substance or tone. Baki’s letter reveals the well-known dangers of firing off emails at 3 AM instead of putting them in “draft” for review the next morning after the “blood has cooled”.

  39. Anonymous

    These letters are interesting but do not appreciably challenge the descriptions of the Vanguard article in substance or tone. Baki’s letter reveals the well-known dangers of firing off emails at 3 AM instead of putting them in “draft” for review the next morning after the “blood has cooled”.

  40. Anonymous

    These letters are interesting but do not appreciably challenge the descriptions of the Vanguard article in substance or tone. Baki’s letter reveals the well-known dangers of firing off emails at 3 AM instead of putting them in “draft” for review the next morning after the “blood has cooled”.

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