2007 Year in Review–10 Biggest Vanguard Stories of 2007

As the first full year of the People’s Vanguard of Davis comes to completion, we will countdown the top 10 stories from year. This is the second year we have done this.

Last year we counted down the 10 Biggest Stories in Davis.

This year we countdown the 10 biggest stories that we followed on the People’s Vanguard of Davis.

We continue with the 2nd biggest story: The Closure of Valley Oak.

The issue of closing a school is always very controversial. However, the issue of Valley Oak was more than just a simple decision on whether or not to close a school. There was a whole range of socioeconomic and even racial issues here. Valley Oak is a school that is the only majority-minority school in the district. When the District made the decision to open Korematsu in the more affluent Mace Ranch, the fate of Valley Oak was likely sealed. Nevertheless, the school district commissioned the Best Uses of Schools Task Force to make the tough decision of whether and which school to close.

The key issue was projections that predicted declining enrollment.

In early January, the projections looked bleak:

“Thursday’s school board meeting brought a heated discussed as the District unveiled new projections. The projections show around a 400 student drop from 2006 to 2016 with around 200 of those being in elementary school enrollment.”

However, these projections are subject to interpretation, and many challenged their veracity.

“Fred Buderi, a Valley Oak neighbor, raised a very important point about the potential residential development of the PG&E site that could bring many additional students to Valley Oak. But this development is not factored into the future enrollment projections prepared by the Davis Demographics & Planning. His remarks were dismissed by the board saying that they should not take into account plans that are not yet approved. On the other hand, Baki Tezcan points out it is “ironic that after counting for Covell Village in building Korematsu, now they say they cannot count for something that does not exist even though it will not require a city-wide vote and will probably happen in due course and produce new students in need of a school to go.”

By late February, the Task Force recommended closing Valley Oak.

“The Best Use of Schools Advisory Task Force has voted by a 6-1 margin to recommend the closure of Valley Oak Elementary. A full report will be drafted and presented to the Davis School Board at the March 1, 2007 meeting.”

On March 2, 2007, Chair of the BUSATF, Krik Trost presented to the school board his case for closing Valley Oak.

“Chair Kirk Trost presented the Task Force’s methodology and findings for nearly an hour and a half Thursday night. He expressed deep sorrow to have to report their recommendation for closing Valley Oak Elementary School.

The Davis Joint Unified School District contracted with Davis Demographics and Planning, Inc. (DDP) to update and analyze demographic data and make projections as to future population. The assumptions and methodology were sources of great controversy within the community—especially those in relation to scope and magnitude of future development. However, their findings suggested that over the course of the next 10-15 years, the district enrollment would fall by 400 students and that nearly 250 of those would be in elementary schools.

That would leave the optimal number of elementary schools at around 7 to 7.5. They quickly settled on the eight schools as the optimal strategy.

One of the key issues that they addressed was transportation and how far students would have to walk to school. Their statistics and projections suggested that closing down Valley Oak Elementary school would have virtually no impact on the number of Valley Oak students who would be within one mile walking distance and the number of students within one and a half mile walking distance from their school. That means that for current Valley Oak Students, on average, the walking distance using those two metrics would be virtually unchanged.

Board President Jim Provenza asked about looking at half a mile distance, and Trost suggested that they had not looked at that and suggested that this was a distance standard used by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the Center for Disease Control, and various walk-to-school organizations. He also pointed out that if they used a tougher standard it would not be uniform throughout the district.

The Task Force also strongly suggested the need for schools in the 420 range in order to have full facilities and program options that they considered optimal.

Finally, they made the argument that if Valley Oak remained open a very large percentage of students attending Valley Oak would be Title I students—between 60 and 70 percent. Whereas the Valley Oak Closed Option would result in the greatest amount of socioeconomic diversity and balance across the District with only around 30 percent of any school being Title I.”

On March 5, 2007 the Vanguard ran a full criticism of the BUSTF report.

One of the big criticisms is that the report read like a lawyer’s brief, arguing one side rather than presenting an array of options to the school board.

“While the group spent an admirable amount of time and energy working on its report over the last two years, the group has nevertheless produced a product that in the end falls well short of what both the school board and the district needed. The chief complaint is that this report reads like a lawyer’s brief arguing for one viewpoint rather than presenting the school board with an array of options and evidence on which they could make an informed decision.

One of the first things that struck me about the presentation last week and the report as a whole was its format. The report and the presentation made an argument. Those things that fit into that argument were presented. Those things that did not fit into that argument were not presented. That may be helpful for a lawyer’s brief, however, the purpose of this task force should have been to provide the school board itself with options, not to advocate one position or another. As such, the best format may have been to present fully all reasonable alternatives and then perhaps make a recommendation based on those alternatives. However, that is not what this report did.

That is not what the school board wanted. The school board is now stuck in a very difficult position of either accepting findings that they may or may not agree with, or going against the work of a volunteer group that has spent two years working on this. If they choose the latter, they fall prey to the question–why did they create the task force in the first place if they were merely to do what they wanted to do anyway.”

On March 15, 2007, the school board heard a lengthy response from the Davis OPEN group, who were the activists dedicated to keeping all nine schools in the district open.

One of the big issues here was demonstrating that walking distances would increase if Valley Oak closed. The BUSTF report showed that if you use a one-mile distance, the students would be largely unaffected by the school closure. But most young children do not walk a full mile. By looking at a smaller radius, the data would have shown us that in fact, closing the school has a negative impact on walking distances.

“First of all, this data conclusively demonstrates that closing the school would have a negative impact on the specific students that attend Valley Oak regardless of the standards for the rest of the district. Second, many students at Valley Oak have transportation issues since they are Title 1 students and this close would be a larger burden on them than on students in other attendance areas going to other schools.”

Doubt was also cast on the methodology for projecting future declining enrollment.

“Baki Tezcan presented evidence that cast some doubt on the methodology used to come up with the projections. His presentation was impressive enough to prompt Task Force Chair Kirk Trost to come back up to clarify their findings with numbers that did not seem to match the numbers used by Tezcan.

Baki Tezcan pointed out as we did the change in the projections from December 2006 to January 2007. The key difference was the use of Mobility #3 in December to using Mobility #2 in December and that shifted the finding from a stable +/- 186 K-12 students to an approximate decline of 400.

Tezcan said that method #2 compared all students in each attendance area from year to year while method #3 had a sampling of students. He suggested that sampling was the more preferred method for projecting and that it was the Task Force rather than DDP that made that call to switch to Method #2.

Tezcan then presented three sets of projections, the third one being “October projections” based on 2005 student data. These data show an actual small increase in enrollment. Tezcan demonstrated that the projections using this methodology more closely were demonstrated by actual numbers than the preferred methodology of the Task Force. When he averaged those three studies, he found a slight increase rather than decrease in enrollment over the next few years.”

In the end, the school board by a 3-2 vote accepted the findings of the BUSTF.

“One exchange in particular kind of summed up how this evening would go–Board Member Tim Taylor would mention that there were differing interpretations of the enrollment projections and he asked Mr. Whitmore which he should believe. Mr. Whitmore pointedly said that none of the staff were demographers, but that the Task Force had worked long and hard with the demographic data and he would tend to take their findings strongly into account.”

It was a long evening that began with a young protest march (click above to see pictures).

“The day began with a show of force–the force of dozens of small school children laughing and screaming in the hopes of saving their school as they slowly marched from Valley Oak Elementary School to Council Chambers. It was a distance of nearly a mile and remarkably it seemed to take 45 to 50 minutes for their small legs to cross the distance.”

The school board then would vote to close the school with stipulations.

“In the end though, it seemed that the board, or at least Tim Taylor, while believing nine schools was unfair to the other eight, fiscally irresponsible, and unsupported by the demographic data, could not deliver the final death knell. He offered a massive motion which would do the following:

1. Open Korematsu as a K-2 school for 07-08.
2. Keep Valley Oak open in 07-08
3. Open Korematsu as a K-6 school in fall of ’08
4. Close Valley Oak in fall of ’08
5. Place on the ballot a second parcel tax to fund Valley Oak in November of 2007 provided that the first parcel tax passed.

This was too much for Keltie Jones who pushed hard and was very fearful a second tax bill would doom their first. She got Taylor to water down even the compromise language so that a poll would be taken and the second parcel tax would be put on the ballot only if it wasn’t going to doom the first. Now perhaps what Jones was forgetting is that by putting them both on there and tying the fate of Valley Oak to the first parcel tax, they are in essence recruiting 50 to 100 dedicated parents who have a vested interest in doing the grass roots work to get them both passed. If only the first parcel tax were on the ballot–none of those folks would work to get it placed on the ballot. So in actuality it might be more likely to pass because it is tied to Valley Oak than if it were not.”

It was clear from the start that the second parcel tax would not be viable. Indeed later polling showed that there just was not community support to pass th additional tax and keep Valley Oak open. The strategy shifted to charter school.

In late September, the structure and basics of the Charter School were laid out in front of 60 people at the Valley Oak Elementary School multipurpose room.

The Valley Oak Mission statement:

“Valley Oak Charter School is a learning community of students, staff, families and the larger community that challenges each member to reach full potential. We draw upon a rich history as a neighborhood school that recognizes the strengths of a diverse population, welcoming all into a culturally-rich environment with high expectations for all students. We believe community-based cooperative governance makes for optimally responsive and innovative education.”

They presented four key focal points:

* “Coordinated school-wide schedule of flexible small-group instruction to address individual needs.

* Participation of the greater school community in pursuing the educational mission of the school.

* Integration of arts, technology and community service tools into all aspects of learning

* Bridge the digital divide through utilization of educational technology by the larger VOCS community, both on campus and at home.”

In early November, the Charter passed the signature requirement threshold.

The Valley Oak Charter School has now passed the signature threshold for both teachers and parents. According to the charter school law, a charter needs to demonstrate sufficient interest by obtaining signatures from half of the number of teachers that are projected and half of the number of students that are projected to enroll in the school.

The Valley Oak Charter has been keeping a running tally on their website. As of last night, they had crossed both thresholds.

The Charter projects 13 teachers, so they are required to obtain the signature of 7 teachers. To date, 19 teachers have signed to teach at Valley Oak.

They also project 305 students, which means they need the signature of 153 parents who have an interest in their child attending the Valley Oak Charter school. They just passed that threshold last night with 169 signatures.

The Valley Oak charter has now demonstrated more than sufficient interest required by law to go forward and be submitted.

On Monday the Valley Oak charter will be submitted to the District Office.

By law there are only a few reasons by which the charter can be denied by the school district, budgetary concerns are not among those.

* Charter school presents an unsound educational program
* Petitioners are unlikely to successfully implement the program described
* Petition does not have the required number of signatures
* Petition does not include required affirmations
* Petition does not include comprehensive description of 16 required elements

However, this did not stop the district from attempting to torpedo the proposed charter.

On November 15, 2007, the school board got to hear the presenters presentation and subjected them to a series of tough questions on a variety of concerns.

“There were many tough questions that were asked by the school board during this process–rightly so as this will have a dramatic impact on their budget and their planning. This was not their formal response to the charter, only a questions at a public hearing.

What is important to understand despite their tough questions was that according to the education code, there are only a few reasons by which the board could deny the charter.”

“Concerns from the board appeared primarily centered on admission policies, enrollment numbers and overall concerns that if Valley Oak either failed to attract enough students or failed to attract students from outside of the district, that the district would have other problems with which they needed to deal with.”

Board President Jim Provenza directed board members to wait until the staff report came before making comments.

This came in early December.

In harsh terms, the district staff drafted a resolution–not just a staff report but an actual resolution–that would deny the Valley Oak charter based on three of the criteria for denial fleshed out into nineteen separate points. Most of these points could have been resolved by a simple negotiation and a quick edit. Nevertheless the report was placed into resolution form.

The petition drafters responded to these criticisms in a firm manner than attempted to hold back obvious frustration at the tone of the response.

Bill Storm, science teacher and proponent of Valley Oak Charter School said:

“The draft resolution severely distorts both our proposal and the requirements of the Charter Schools Act and makes serious errors of fact in denying the petition… We continue to be willing to work with the district in resolving any legitimate issues. Such work would require that all parties act swiftly and in good faith… f the Davis school board acts to deny the charter, we are confident that the charter will be authorized through the appeal process outlined in the Charter Schools Act… We have made presentations, provided drafts of the educational plan, governance design and budget presentations (to the district), and have repeatedly requested meaningful dialogue and feedback. Instead, last Friday (the district) posted a draft resolution to deny the petition for the Valley Oak Charter School.”

On December 6, 2007, a big battle was brewing and it appeared that confrontation that would be lengthy and heated was inevitable.

Several board members were alarmed at the tone of the report. However, once the meeting came forward, cooler heads prevailed and newly hired Superintendent James Hammond struck the necessary tone of moderation.

“New Superintendent James Hammond was first to speak. All week long we had read in the papers the staff report, the lawyer’s report, and we were prepared for the worst. But James Hammond took control of this meeting. Instead of having staff present their report, instead of allowing them to set the tone for the meeting, something very different happened.

James Hammond spoke in very general terms and then suggested that they had options, that they did not have to make a decision this evening. And that gave Board President Jim Provenza, in his last meeting, the opening that he needed. And he suggested that if it were possible that the district could meet with the petitioners and that they could hash out their differences.

So instead of conflict from the start, the tone was set that compromise and reconciliation was a possibility and the rest of the board to their credit followed this lead.”

Concerns by board members were laid out however the agreement was to come to a resolution and compromise rather than seek confrontation. So as 2008 arrives, the process still looms however with hope.

—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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72 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    So what happens when Superintendent Hammond has to finally say “no” to Valley Oak? Right now people are singing his praises for just showing some common sense and saying “let’s talk some more”. Sounds like ‘buying time’ and postponing the inevitable. He’ll have a few meetings, take in more ‘input’, and then come back with the decision.

    People only like you when you go their way.

  2. Anonymous

    So what happens when Superintendent Hammond has to finally say “no” to Valley Oak? Right now people are singing his praises for just showing some common sense and saying “let’s talk some more”. Sounds like ‘buying time’ and postponing the inevitable. He’ll have a few meetings, take in more ‘input’, and then come back with the decision.

    People only like you when you go their way.

  3. Anonymous

    So what happens when Superintendent Hammond has to finally say “no” to Valley Oak? Right now people are singing his praises for just showing some common sense and saying “let’s talk some more”. Sounds like ‘buying time’ and postponing the inevitable. He’ll have a few meetings, take in more ‘input’, and then come back with the decision.

    People only like you when you go their way.

  4. Anonymous

    So what happens when Superintendent Hammond has to finally say “no” to Valley Oak? Right now people are singing his praises for just showing some common sense and saying “let’s talk some more”. Sounds like ‘buying time’ and postponing the inevitable. He’ll have a few meetings, take in more ‘input’, and then come back with the decision.

    People only like you when you go their way.

  5. Valley Oak Supporter

    Why would Sup. Hammond say “no” to Valley Oak? They (the community members and parents) have done everything that they need to, and where more information is needed they are will make the adjustments accordingly.

    I haven’t given him the “green light,” he just started and has to show parents and the community that he knows what he’s doing for the huge salary he is being paid.

    We don’t want the same as usual.

  6. Valley Oak Supporter

    Why would Sup. Hammond say “no” to Valley Oak? They (the community members and parents) have done everything that they need to, and where more information is needed they are will make the adjustments accordingly.

    I haven’t given him the “green light,” he just started and has to show parents and the community that he knows what he’s doing for the huge salary he is being paid.

    We don’t want the same as usual.

  7. Valley Oak Supporter

    Why would Sup. Hammond say “no” to Valley Oak? They (the community members and parents) have done everything that they need to, and where more information is needed they are will make the adjustments accordingly.

    I haven’t given him the “green light,” he just started and has to show parents and the community that he knows what he’s doing for the huge salary he is being paid.

    We don’t want the same as usual.

  8. Valley Oak Supporter

    Why would Sup. Hammond say “no” to Valley Oak? They (the community members and parents) have done everything that they need to, and where more information is needed they are will make the adjustments accordingly.

    I haven’t given him the “green light,” he just started and has to show parents and the community that he knows what he’s doing for the huge salary he is being paid.

    We don’t want the same as usual.

  9. Anonymous

    I agree that, essentially, the verdict is still out on the new sup. All he has done so far is delay a final judgement on the VO charter. That action simply shows that he is a shrewd and smart politician. When the time comes for him to make an actual decision, then we will see what his abilities truly are.

    As far as him saying ‘no’ to the VO charter, let’s keep in mind that the District Office has already made a recommendation to reject it, as well as the fact that you have a school board that isn’t the friendliest towards the charter. Perhaps if either Schlen or Spector had won a seat on the board, the VO charter would have a stronger chance. However, if both Lovenberg and Harris mixed in with people like Taylor, I would say that the current inclination among the board and the district is to close the school and reject the charter.

    Only time will tell. The way I see it: Hammond holds another community meeting and takes in input / recommendations, then Hammond comes back and offers data, figures, stats to support the rejection of the charter.

    Then I predict a lynching.

  10. Anonymous

    I agree that, essentially, the verdict is still out on the new sup. All he has done so far is delay a final judgement on the VO charter. That action simply shows that he is a shrewd and smart politician. When the time comes for him to make an actual decision, then we will see what his abilities truly are.

    As far as him saying ‘no’ to the VO charter, let’s keep in mind that the District Office has already made a recommendation to reject it, as well as the fact that you have a school board that isn’t the friendliest towards the charter. Perhaps if either Schlen or Spector had won a seat on the board, the VO charter would have a stronger chance. However, if both Lovenberg and Harris mixed in with people like Taylor, I would say that the current inclination among the board and the district is to close the school and reject the charter.

    Only time will tell. The way I see it: Hammond holds another community meeting and takes in input / recommendations, then Hammond comes back and offers data, figures, stats to support the rejection of the charter.

    Then I predict a lynching.

  11. Anonymous

    I agree that, essentially, the verdict is still out on the new sup. All he has done so far is delay a final judgement on the VO charter. That action simply shows that he is a shrewd and smart politician. When the time comes for him to make an actual decision, then we will see what his abilities truly are.

    As far as him saying ‘no’ to the VO charter, let’s keep in mind that the District Office has already made a recommendation to reject it, as well as the fact that you have a school board that isn’t the friendliest towards the charter. Perhaps if either Schlen or Spector had won a seat on the board, the VO charter would have a stronger chance. However, if both Lovenberg and Harris mixed in with people like Taylor, I would say that the current inclination among the board and the district is to close the school and reject the charter.

    Only time will tell. The way I see it: Hammond holds another community meeting and takes in input / recommendations, then Hammond comes back and offers data, figures, stats to support the rejection of the charter.

    Then I predict a lynching.

  12. Anonymous

    I agree that, essentially, the verdict is still out on the new sup. All he has done so far is delay a final judgement on the VO charter. That action simply shows that he is a shrewd and smart politician. When the time comes for him to make an actual decision, then we will see what his abilities truly are.

    As far as him saying ‘no’ to the VO charter, let’s keep in mind that the District Office has already made a recommendation to reject it, as well as the fact that you have a school board that isn’t the friendliest towards the charter. Perhaps if either Schlen or Spector had won a seat on the board, the VO charter would have a stronger chance. However, if both Lovenberg and Harris mixed in with people like Taylor, I would say that the current inclination among the board and the district is to close the school and reject the charter.

    Only time will tell. The way I see it: Hammond holds another community meeting and takes in input / recommendations, then Hammond comes back and offers data, figures, stats to support the rejection of the charter.

    Then I predict a lynching.

  13. A Different Take

    I am not so pessimistic. Think about it. If the charter would pass muster at the county level; and if Hammond has figured that out, do you think he wants a black eye on his watch if the school board’s decision to deny the charter petition is overruled higher up??? Perhaps Hammond sees the writing on the wall more clearly than the school district/school board, because he is being more objective.

    In the coming weeks, I think DPD is going to show why some very bad decisions were made by school board members/school district administrators and staff. There is monstrous corruption going on, and parents/teachers at Valley Oak are not willing to allow inappropriate agendas destroy their neighborhood school.

    Bravo to Bill Storm et al, for sticking to their guns, and putting up a fight. I am behind their cause 150%, and will do everything in my power to help them succeed. Other citizens need to do the same. When you learn what has been going on in the school district for years, you will be even more determined that the charter school succeed.

  14. A Different Take

    I am not so pessimistic. Think about it. If the charter would pass muster at the county level; and if Hammond has figured that out, do you think he wants a black eye on his watch if the school board’s decision to deny the charter petition is overruled higher up??? Perhaps Hammond sees the writing on the wall more clearly than the school district/school board, because he is being more objective.

    In the coming weeks, I think DPD is going to show why some very bad decisions were made by school board members/school district administrators and staff. There is monstrous corruption going on, and parents/teachers at Valley Oak are not willing to allow inappropriate agendas destroy their neighborhood school.

    Bravo to Bill Storm et al, for sticking to their guns, and putting up a fight. I am behind their cause 150%, and will do everything in my power to help them succeed. Other citizens need to do the same. When you learn what has been going on in the school district for years, you will be even more determined that the charter school succeed.

  15. A Different Take

    I am not so pessimistic. Think about it. If the charter would pass muster at the county level; and if Hammond has figured that out, do you think he wants a black eye on his watch if the school board’s decision to deny the charter petition is overruled higher up??? Perhaps Hammond sees the writing on the wall more clearly than the school district/school board, because he is being more objective.

    In the coming weeks, I think DPD is going to show why some very bad decisions were made by school board members/school district administrators and staff. There is monstrous corruption going on, and parents/teachers at Valley Oak are not willing to allow inappropriate agendas destroy their neighborhood school.

    Bravo to Bill Storm et al, for sticking to their guns, and putting up a fight. I am behind their cause 150%, and will do everything in my power to help them succeed. Other citizens need to do the same. When you learn what has been going on in the school district for years, you will be even more determined that the charter school succeed.

  16. A Different Take

    I am not so pessimistic. Think about it. If the charter would pass muster at the county level; and if Hammond has figured that out, do you think he wants a black eye on his watch if the school board’s decision to deny the charter petition is overruled higher up??? Perhaps Hammond sees the writing on the wall more clearly than the school district/school board, because he is being more objective.

    In the coming weeks, I think DPD is going to show why some very bad decisions were made by school board members/school district administrators and staff. There is monstrous corruption going on, and parents/teachers at Valley Oak are not willing to allow inappropriate agendas destroy their neighborhood school.

    Bravo to Bill Storm et al, for sticking to their guns, and putting up a fight. I am behind their cause 150%, and will do everything in my power to help them succeed. Other citizens need to do the same. When you learn what has been going on in the school district for years, you will be even more determined that the charter school succeed.

  17. Anonymous

    Remember folks when the school board candidates said that they would not take a position on VO Charter because if it met the requirements spelled out in the law, then it was out of their hands.. this still goes. The Board and Hammond may try and draw this thing out, hoping that the proponents and parents would lose heart and energy…let’s give the VO teachers and parents all the support they need to hang in there!

  18. Anonymous

    Remember folks when the school board candidates said that they would not take a position on VO Charter because if it met the requirements spelled out in the law, then it was out of their hands.. this still goes. The Board and Hammond may try and draw this thing out, hoping that the proponents and parents would lose heart and energy…let’s give the VO teachers and parents all the support they need to hang in there!

  19. Anonymous

    Remember folks when the school board candidates said that they would not take a position on VO Charter because if it met the requirements spelled out in the law, then it was out of their hands.. this still goes. The Board and Hammond may try and draw this thing out, hoping that the proponents and parents would lose heart and energy…let’s give the VO teachers and parents all the support they need to hang in there!

  20. Anonymous

    Remember folks when the school board candidates said that they would not take a position on VO Charter because if it met the requirements spelled out in the law, then it was out of their hands.. this still goes. The Board and Hammond may try and draw this thing out, hoping that the proponents and parents would lose heart and energy…let’s give the VO teachers and parents all the support they need to hang in there!

  21. SODAite

    Agree this important story….DPD can you remind me where we stand with VO charter now that it is Jan 1?
    l don’t recall hearing anything since the ‘Board showdown’. Also how late in year can charter be approved and school still start next year?

  22. SODAite

    Agree this important story….DPD can you remind me where we stand with VO charter now that it is Jan 1?
    l don’t recall hearing anything since the ‘Board showdown’. Also how late in year can charter be approved and school still start next year?

  23. SODAite

    Agree this important story….DPD can you remind me where we stand with VO charter now that it is Jan 1?
    l don’t recall hearing anything since the ‘Board showdown’. Also how late in year can charter be approved and school still start next year?

  24. SODAite

    Agree this important story….DPD can you remind me where we stand with VO charter now that it is Jan 1?
    l don’t recall hearing anything since the ‘Board showdown’. Also how late in year can charter be approved and school still start next year?

  25. don shor

    The school board is set to vote on the charter petition at their meeting on Jan. 24. The statutory deadline was Jan. 4, but it was extended by agreement of both parties.

  26. don shor

    The school board is set to vote on the charter petition at their meeting on Jan. 24. The statutory deadline was Jan. 4, but it was extended by agreement of both parties.

  27. don shor

    The school board is set to vote on the charter petition at their meeting on Jan. 24. The statutory deadline was Jan. 4, but it was extended by agreement of both parties.

  28. don shor

    The school board is set to vote on the charter petition at their meeting on Jan. 24. The statutory deadline was Jan. 4, but it was extended by agreement of both parties.

  29. Davis voter

    Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.
    Hammond brings at least the possibility of a new beginning. The VO Charter School “citizen uprising” needs to be nurtured. The political winds are blowing…Time for a Change(Go Obama!)

  30. Davis voter

    Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.
    Hammond brings at least the possibility of a new beginning. The VO Charter School “citizen uprising” needs to be nurtured. The political winds are blowing…Time for a Change(Go Obama!)

  31. Davis voter

    Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.
    Hammond brings at least the possibility of a new beginning. The VO Charter School “citizen uprising” needs to be nurtured. The political winds are blowing…Time for a Change(Go Obama!)

  32. Davis voter

    Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.
    Hammond brings at least the possibility of a new beginning. The VO Charter School “citizen uprising” needs to be nurtured. The political winds are blowing…Time for a Change(Go Obama!)

  33. Scrooge McDuck

    “Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.”

    What were your expectations which were not met?

  34. Scrooge McDuck

    “Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.”

    What were your expectations which were not met?

  35. Scrooge McDuck

    “Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.”

    What were your expectations which were not met?

  36. Scrooge McDuck

    “Those of us who have raised our kids here in Davis during the last quarter century KNOW that our public school system fell far short of reaching its potential and our expectations.”

    What were your expectations which were not met?

  37. DAVISITE

    The charter school legislation is designed to overrule a reflex negative response since Charter school proposals complicate District administration
    (a bureaucratic heresy), remove monies from their control and present the “emperor has no clothes” nightmare to the District/Board power structure. I would venture to guess that one would be hard pressed to find a charter school proposal that was initially embraced by this power structure.

  38. DAVISITE

    The charter school legislation is designed to overrule a reflex negative response since Charter school proposals complicate District administration
    (a bureaucratic heresy), remove monies from their control and present the “emperor has no clothes” nightmare to the District/Board power structure. I would venture to guess that one would be hard pressed to find a charter school proposal that was initially embraced by this power structure.

  39. DAVISITE

    The charter school legislation is designed to overrule a reflex negative response since Charter school proposals complicate District administration
    (a bureaucratic heresy), remove monies from their control and present the “emperor has no clothes” nightmare to the District/Board power structure. I would venture to guess that one would be hard pressed to find a charter school proposal that was initially embraced by this power structure.

  40. DAVISITE

    The charter school legislation is designed to overrule a reflex negative response since Charter school proposals complicate District administration
    (a bureaucratic heresy), remove monies from their control and present the “emperor has no clothes” nightmare to the District/Board power structure. I would venture to guess that one would be hard pressed to find a charter school proposal that was initially embraced by this power structure.

  41. Tired of Whiners

    Given the high API scores, the high number of GATE students, the high number of DHS graduates who go on to college, and the high AP test scores, I wonder where some of you are saying that the public school system has fallen short??? Take a look around at your neighbors: Woodland, Dixon, Winters, Sacramento, Vacaville… Davis outperforms all of them.

    If the public school system isn’t good enough for you, then I have a suggestion: private school.

  42. Tired of Whiners

    Given the high API scores, the high number of GATE students, the high number of DHS graduates who go on to college, and the high AP test scores, I wonder where some of you are saying that the public school system has fallen short??? Take a look around at your neighbors: Woodland, Dixon, Winters, Sacramento, Vacaville… Davis outperforms all of them.

    If the public school system isn’t good enough for you, then I have a suggestion: private school.

  43. Tired of Whiners

    Given the high API scores, the high number of GATE students, the high number of DHS graduates who go on to college, and the high AP test scores, I wonder where some of you are saying that the public school system has fallen short??? Take a look around at your neighbors: Woodland, Dixon, Winters, Sacramento, Vacaville… Davis outperforms all of them.

    If the public school system isn’t good enough for you, then I have a suggestion: private school.

  44. Tired of Whiners

    Given the high API scores, the high number of GATE students, the high number of DHS graduates who go on to college, and the high AP test scores, I wonder where some of you are saying that the public school system has fallen short??? Take a look around at your neighbors: Woodland, Dixon, Winters, Sacramento, Vacaville… Davis outperforms all of them.

    If the public school system isn’t good enough for you, then I have a suggestion: private school.

  45. davis voter

    To Tired of Whinners…

    …..how about the ability to think critically, imagination, excitment about learning,initiative, sense of empowerment about shaping their futures and the world that they are inheriting…. your list of “accomplishments”,ie test scores, sadly answers your question.

  46. davis voter

    To Tired of Whinners…

    …..how about the ability to think critically, imagination, excitment about learning,initiative, sense of empowerment about shaping their futures and the world that they are inheriting…. your list of “accomplishments”,ie test scores, sadly answers your question.

  47. davis voter

    To Tired of Whinners…

    …..how about the ability to think critically, imagination, excitment about learning,initiative, sense of empowerment about shaping their futures and the world that they are inheriting…. your list of “accomplishments”,ie test scores, sadly answers your question.

  48. davis voter

    To Tired of Whinners…

    …..how about the ability to think critically, imagination, excitment about learning,initiative, sense of empowerment about shaping their futures and the world that they are inheriting…. your list of “accomplishments”,ie test scores, sadly answers your question.

  49. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting findings was that once we controlled for education of the parents, Davis schools did not perform at the top of the list compared with similar schools, they performed in the middle.

    Here’s the article from April:

    Room for Improvement

    From the article:

    “What characteristics were used to create the SCI? Student mobility, Student ethnicity, socioeconomic status, teachers who are fully credentialed, teachers who hold emergency credentials, students who are English learners, average class size, whether the school operates a multi-track, year-round educational program, grade span enrollments, number of GATE students, number of students with disabilities, reclassified fluent-English-proficient students, and students who participate in migrant education program.

    In other words, instead of comparing Davis schools with all schools, or Davis schools with schools like those in the cities, you are now comparing Davis to similar schools and similar characteristics.

    How do Davis schools fare when compared with similar schools? Not nearly as high. On the statewide rank, all of the schools scored in the 8th decile and above including seven that scored in the 10th decile. In the similar school rank, only North Davis Elementary school scored above average at 8. All of the others were five (average) or lower (below average).

    Curriculum and Instruction Director Clark Bryant presented the data at Thursday’s meeting.

    “In our similar schools ranks, our performance is not as strong as it is for the statewide ranking so although we have high performing schools when we compare our schools to schools with similar demographics there is a significant decrease.”

    What does this all mean? One of the interesting aspects of these findings is that in the past they would not have been presented to the public–and in fact, haven’t been presented in public. One of the differences with the new superintendent, is that these unpleasant findings are being discussed and not glossed over.

    Mr. Bryant said:

    “We would hope and expect that our schools are scoring in the above average range for similar schools–so this is something that we want to focus on.”

  50. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting findings was that once we controlled for education of the parents, Davis schools did not perform at the top of the list compared with similar schools, they performed in the middle.

    Here’s the article from April:

    Room for Improvement

    From the article:

    “What characteristics were used to create the SCI? Student mobility, Student ethnicity, socioeconomic status, teachers who are fully credentialed, teachers who hold emergency credentials, students who are English learners, average class size, whether the school operates a multi-track, year-round educational program, grade span enrollments, number of GATE students, number of students with disabilities, reclassified fluent-English-proficient students, and students who participate in migrant education program.

    In other words, instead of comparing Davis schools with all schools, or Davis schools with schools like those in the cities, you are now comparing Davis to similar schools and similar characteristics.

    How do Davis schools fare when compared with similar schools? Not nearly as high. On the statewide rank, all of the schools scored in the 8th decile and above including seven that scored in the 10th decile. In the similar school rank, only North Davis Elementary school scored above average at 8. All of the others were five (average) or lower (below average).

    Curriculum and Instruction Director Clark Bryant presented the data at Thursday’s meeting.

    “In our similar schools ranks, our performance is not as strong as it is for the statewide ranking so although we have high performing schools when we compare our schools to schools with similar demographics there is a significant decrease.”

    What does this all mean? One of the interesting aspects of these findings is that in the past they would not have been presented to the public–and in fact, haven’t been presented in public. One of the differences with the new superintendent, is that these unpleasant findings are being discussed and not glossed over.

    Mr. Bryant said:

    “We would hope and expect that our schools are scoring in the above average range for similar schools–so this is something that we want to focus on.”

  51. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting findings was that once we controlled for education of the parents, Davis schools did not perform at the top of the list compared with similar schools, they performed in the middle.

    Here’s the article from April:

    Room for Improvement

    From the article:

    “What characteristics were used to create the SCI? Student mobility, Student ethnicity, socioeconomic status, teachers who are fully credentialed, teachers who hold emergency credentials, students who are English learners, average class size, whether the school operates a multi-track, year-round educational program, grade span enrollments, number of GATE students, number of students with disabilities, reclassified fluent-English-proficient students, and students who participate in migrant education program.

    In other words, instead of comparing Davis schools with all schools, or Davis schools with schools like those in the cities, you are now comparing Davis to similar schools and similar characteristics.

    How do Davis schools fare when compared with similar schools? Not nearly as high. On the statewide rank, all of the schools scored in the 8th decile and above including seven that scored in the 10th decile. In the similar school rank, only North Davis Elementary school scored above average at 8. All of the others were five (average) or lower (below average).

    Curriculum and Instruction Director Clark Bryant presented the data at Thursday’s meeting.

    “In our similar schools ranks, our performance is not as strong as it is for the statewide ranking so although we have high performing schools when we compare our schools to schools with similar demographics there is a significant decrease.”

    What does this all mean? One of the interesting aspects of these findings is that in the past they would not have been presented to the public–and in fact, haven’t been presented in public. One of the differences with the new superintendent, is that these unpleasant findings are being discussed and not glossed over.

    Mr. Bryant said:

    “We would hope and expect that our schools are scoring in the above average range for similar schools–so this is something that we want to focus on.”

  52. Doug Paul Davis

    One of the interesting findings was that once we controlled for education of the parents, Davis schools did not perform at the top of the list compared with similar schools, they performed in the middle.

    Here’s the article from April:

    Room for Improvement

    From the article:

    “What characteristics were used to create the SCI? Student mobility, Student ethnicity, socioeconomic status, teachers who are fully credentialed, teachers who hold emergency credentials, students who are English learners, average class size, whether the school operates a multi-track, year-round educational program, grade span enrollments, number of GATE students, number of students with disabilities, reclassified fluent-English-proficient students, and students who participate in migrant education program.

    In other words, instead of comparing Davis schools with all schools, or Davis schools with schools like those in the cities, you are now comparing Davis to similar schools and similar characteristics.

    How do Davis schools fare when compared with similar schools? Not nearly as high. On the statewide rank, all of the schools scored in the 8th decile and above including seven that scored in the 10th decile. In the similar school rank, only North Davis Elementary school scored above average at 8. All of the others were five (average) or lower (below average).

    Curriculum and Instruction Director Clark Bryant presented the data at Thursday’s meeting.

    “In our similar schools ranks, our performance is not as strong as it is for the statewide ranking so although we have high performing schools when we compare our schools to schools with similar demographics there is a significant decrease.”

    What does this all mean? One of the interesting aspects of these findings is that in the past they would not have been presented to the public–and in fact, haven’t been presented in public. One of the differences with the new superintendent, is that these unpleasant findings are being discussed and not glossed over.

    Mr. Bryant said:

    “We would hope and expect that our schools are scoring in the above average range for similar schools–so this is something that we want to focus on.”

  53. Teacher

    As a teacher myself (in another district) and a parent of two children in the DJUSD schools, I read this blog with interest, sometimes amusement, and sometimes outright dismay.

    It sure is easy to complain about our schools not being ‘good enough’. What are you doing about it? Are you teaching in the classroom? Are you volunteering in the schools? Maybe you are. But you definitely have no problem criticizing a high-performing district and saying that what’s being accomplished isn’t good enough.

    API and other scores aren’t a good enough assesment for some of you? I wonder what you would say if those numbers went down? And how can you criticize any apparent lack of critical thinking development in the schools? How are you supposedly accounting for that?

    Davis schools do great things and students perform at a high level. You naysayers want to poke holes in anything since, after all, you are “exposing the dark underbelly of Davis”.

    To DPD and your reference to the report that among similar-ranked schools, DJUSD is only in the middle: give it a rest. Davis is being compared to, among other places, Palo Alto. The socio-demographics do not equally translate or make for a fair compariso (Stanford community vs. UC Davis)

    There are hardworking professionals in our schools and they deserve more respect asnd credit for their hard work instead of the “I know more than you do” mindset of people on this board.

  54. Teacher

    As a teacher myself (in another district) and a parent of two children in the DJUSD schools, I read this blog with interest, sometimes amusement, and sometimes outright dismay.

    It sure is easy to complain about our schools not being ‘good enough’. What are you doing about it? Are you teaching in the classroom? Are you volunteering in the schools? Maybe you are. But you definitely have no problem criticizing a high-performing district and saying that what’s being accomplished isn’t good enough.

    API and other scores aren’t a good enough assesment for some of you? I wonder what you would say if those numbers went down? And how can you criticize any apparent lack of critical thinking development in the schools? How are you supposedly accounting for that?

    Davis schools do great things and students perform at a high level. You naysayers want to poke holes in anything since, after all, you are “exposing the dark underbelly of Davis”.

    To DPD and your reference to the report that among similar-ranked schools, DJUSD is only in the middle: give it a rest. Davis is being compared to, among other places, Palo Alto. The socio-demographics do not equally translate or make for a fair compariso (Stanford community vs. UC Davis)

    There are hardworking professionals in our schools and they deserve more respect asnd credit for their hard work instead of the “I know more than you do” mindset of people on this board.

  55. Teacher

    As a teacher myself (in another district) and a parent of two children in the DJUSD schools, I read this blog with interest, sometimes amusement, and sometimes outright dismay.

    It sure is easy to complain about our schools not being ‘good enough’. What are you doing about it? Are you teaching in the classroom? Are you volunteering in the schools? Maybe you are. But you definitely have no problem criticizing a high-performing district and saying that what’s being accomplished isn’t good enough.

    API and other scores aren’t a good enough assesment for some of you? I wonder what you would say if those numbers went down? And how can you criticize any apparent lack of critical thinking development in the schools? How are you supposedly accounting for that?

    Davis schools do great things and students perform at a high level. You naysayers want to poke holes in anything since, after all, you are “exposing the dark underbelly of Davis”.

    To DPD and your reference to the report that among similar-ranked schools, DJUSD is only in the middle: give it a rest. Davis is being compared to, among other places, Palo Alto. The socio-demographics do not equally translate or make for a fair compariso (Stanford community vs. UC Davis)

    There are hardworking professionals in our schools and they deserve more respect asnd credit for their hard work instead of the “I know more than you do” mindset of people on this board.

  56. Teacher

    As a teacher myself (in another district) and a parent of two children in the DJUSD schools, I read this blog with interest, sometimes amusement, and sometimes outright dismay.

    It sure is easy to complain about our schools not being ‘good enough’. What are you doing about it? Are you teaching in the classroom? Are you volunteering in the schools? Maybe you are. But you definitely have no problem criticizing a high-performing district and saying that what’s being accomplished isn’t good enough.

    API and other scores aren’t a good enough assesment for some of you? I wonder what you would say if those numbers went down? And how can you criticize any apparent lack of critical thinking development in the schools? How are you supposedly accounting for that?

    Davis schools do great things and students perform at a high level. You naysayers want to poke holes in anything since, after all, you are “exposing the dark underbelly of Davis”.

    To DPD and your reference to the report that among similar-ranked schools, DJUSD is only in the middle: give it a rest. Davis is being compared to, among other places, Palo Alto. The socio-demographics do not equally translate or make for a fair compariso (Stanford community vs. UC Davis)

    There are hardworking professionals in our schools and they deserve more respect asnd credit for their hard work instead of the “I know more than you do” mindset of people on this board.

  57. Anonymous

    The VO charter is well-written, comprehensive. Check the web site. The Davis Board of Ed. doesn’t really have grounds for denial. The lion’s share of their points of contention have been easily dismissed. It will be passed.
    If not by the Davis Board of Ed., then by the County Board of Ed. The question is timing.
    What the trustees can do is play for time, pushing the passage past the return date for Intent To Enroll Forms in the hopes that interested district parents will give up on VOC and enroll their children in existing DJUSD school. The number of DJUSD enrollees in Valley Oak Charter would be lowered, impact on district ADA would be minimized, and VOC would be left scrambling for extra-district enrollment and adequate time to set up a quality school.

  58. Anonymous

    The VO charter is well-written, comprehensive. Check the web site. The Davis Board of Ed. doesn’t really have grounds for denial. The lion’s share of their points of contention have been easily dismissed. It will be passed.
    If not by the Davis Board of Ed., then by the County Board of Ed. The question is timing.
    What the trustees can do is play for time, pushing the passage past the return date for Intent To Enroll Forms in the hopes that interested district parents will give up on VOC and enroll their children in existing DJUSD school. The number of DJUSD enrollees in Valley Oak Charter would be lowered, impact on district ADA would be minimized, and VOC would be left scrambling for extra-district enrollment and adequate time to set up a quality school.

  59. Anonymous

    The VO charter is well-written, comprehensive. Check the web site. The Davis Board of Ed. doesn’t really have grounds for denial. The lion’s share of their points of contention have been easily dismissed. It will be passed.
    If not by the Davis Board of Ed., then by the County Board of Ed. The question is timing.
    What the trustees can do is play for time, pushing the passage past the return date for Intent To Enroll Forms in the hopes that interested district parents will give up on VOC and enroll their children in existing DJUSD school. The number of DJUSD enrollees in Valley Oak Charter would be lowered, impact on district ADA would be minimized, and VOC would be left scrambling for extra-district enrollment and adequate time to set up a quality school.

  60. Anonymous

    The VO charter is well-written, comprehensive. Check the web site. The Davis Board of Ed. doesn’t really have grounds for denial. The lion’s share of their points of contention have been easily dismissed. It will be passed.
    If not by the Davis Board of Ed., then by the County Board of Ed. The question is timing.
    What the trustees can do is play for time, pushing the passage past the return date for Intent To Enroll Forms in the hopes that interested district parents will give up on VOC and enroll their children in existing DJUSD school. The number of DJUSD enrollees in Valley Oak Charter would be lowered, impact on district ADA would be minimized, and VOC would be left scrambling for extra-district enrollment and adequate time to set up a quality school.

  61. Anonymous

    To “teacher” who posted two above, maybe you should take a valium?

    All kidding aside, I want to throw my support to you and your thoughts. I also read the posts on this thread and came away with the same sentiments as you.

    It’s always easy to criticize and to second-guess, particularly on the Internet where anyone can tout their two cents. Are Davis schools perfect? Of course not. But you know what? The ‘pros’ of our school system far outweigh the ‘cons’.

    Simple fact of the matter: we have good schools that do great things. I applaud the strong teachers who work hard to educate our children. To suggest that they are doing anything less is downright offensive to them.

  62. Anonymous

    To “teacher” who posted two above, maybe you should take a valium?

    All kidding aside, I want to throw my support to you and your thoughts. I also read the posts on this thread and came away with the same sentiments as you.

    It’s always easy to criticize and to second-guess, particularly on the Internet where anyone can tout their two cents. Are Davis schools perfect? Of course not. But you know what? The ‘pros’ of our school system far outweigh the ‘cons’.

    Simple fact of the matter: we have good schools that do great things. I applaud the strong teachers who work hard to educate our children. To suggest that they are doing anything less is downright offensive to them.

  63. Anonymous

    To “teacher” who posted two above, maybe you should take a valium?

    All kidding aside, I want to throw my support to you and your thoughts. I also read the posts on this thread and came away with the same sentiments as you.

    It’s always easy to criticize and to second-guess, particularly on the Internet where anyone can tout their two cents. Are Davis schools perfect? Of course not. But you know what? The ‘pros’ of our school system far outweigh the ‘cons’.

    Simple fact of the matter: we have good schools that do great things. I applaud the strong teachers who work hard to educate our children. To suggest that they are doing anything less is downright offensive to them.

  64. Anonymous

    To “teacher” who posted two above, maybe you should take a valium?

    All kidding aside, I want to throw my support to you and your thoughts. I also read the posts on this thread and came away with the same sentiments as you.

    It’s always easy to criticize and to second-guess, particularly on the Internet where anyone can tout their two cents. Are Davis schools perfect? Of course not. But you know what? The ‘pros’ of our school system far outweigh the ‘cons’.

    Simple fact of the matter: we have good schools that do great things. I applaud the strong teachers who work hard to educate our children. To suggest that they are doing anything less is downright offensive to them.

  65. A Different Take

    My three kids survived and went on to college – despite Davis schools. It has nothing to do with bad teachers. Some were excellent, most were fine, and a few were terrible. However, the administration was and is just awful. They do not take student discipline seriously – just look at Pam Mari’s “police sweeps for truant students” policy. They haven’t a clue what is going on in their schools or how to handle a student who doesn’t fit the mold.

    My son came very close to being murdered in Davis High. A gang ran that school for some time, with the acquiesence of the Vice Principal at the time. Don’t believe it? Parents whose kids were bullied within that time frame know of what I speak. Many of the gang members have been in and out of jail on more than one occasion.

    I saw a drug deal go down right in front of me at the high school – in broad daylight. No school administrator was in sight. I had to mail a picture of my son’s mangled face to the Supt of Schools in Davis, after my son was beaten, and threaten to file a lawsuit, before the AWOL Principal of my son’s elementary school finally decided to take a sudden “sabbatical”. She finished up her doctorate, which she had been working on during school hours instead of doing her job, then returned as an administrator. Surprise, surprise. You are going to find out this is a common practice.

    My kids were assaulted verbally and physically. Adminstrators were hiding behind their desks, doing God only knows what. They certainly were not doing their jobs. Wait until you begin to hear some of the things that were going on recently within Davis schools at the administrative level. It will curl your hair!

  66. A Different Take

    My three kids survived and went on to college – despite Davis schools. It has nothing to do with bad teachers. Some were excellent, most were fine, and a few were terrible. However, the administration was and is just awful. They do not take student discipline seriously – just look at Pam Mari’s “police sweeps for truant students” policy. They haven’t a clue what is going on in their schools or how to handle a student who doesn’t fit the mold.

    My son came very close to being murdered in Davis High. A gang ran that school for some time, with the acquiesence of the Vice Principal at the time. Don’t believe it? Parents whose kids were bullied within that time frame know of what I speak. Many of the gang members have been in and out of jail on more than one occasion.

    I saw a drug deal go down right in front of me at the high school – in broad daylight. No school administrator was in sight. I had to mail a picture of my son’s mangled face to the Supt of Schools in Davis, after my son was beaten, and threaten to file a lawsuit, before the AWOL Principal of my son’s elementary school finally decided to take a sudden “sabbatical”. She finished up her doctorate, which she had been working on during school hours instead of doing her job, then returned as an administrator. Surprise, surprise. You are going to find out this is a common practice.

    My kids were assaulted verbally and physically. Adminstrators were hiding behind their desks, doing God only knows what. They certainly were not doing their jobs. Wait until you begin to hear some of the things that were going on recently within Davis schools at the administrative level. It will curl your hair!

  67. A Different Take

    My three kids survived and went on to college – despite Davis schools. It has nothing to do with bad teachers. Some were excellent, most were fine, and a few were terrible. However, the administration was and is just awful. They do not take student discipline seriously – just look at Pam Mari’s “police sweeps for truant students” policy. They haven’t a clue what is going on in their schools or how to handle a student who doesn’t fit the mold.

    My son came very close to being murdered in Davis High. A gang ran that school for some time, with the acquiesence of the Vice Principal at the time. Don’t believe it? Parents whose kids were bullied within that time frame know of what I speak. Many of the gang members have been in and out of jail on more than one occasion.

    I saw a drug deal go down right in front of me at the high school – in broad daylight. No school administrator was in sight. I had to mail a picture of my son’s mangled face to the Supt of Schools in Davis, after my son was beaten, and threaten to file a lawsuit, before the AWOL Principal of my son’s elementary school finally decided to take a sudden “sabbatical”. She finished up her doctorate, which she had been working on during school hours instead of doing her job, then returned as an administrator. Surprise, surprise. You are going to find out this is a common practice.

    My kids were assaulted verbally and physically. Adminstrators were hiding behind their desks, doing God only knows what. They certainly were not doing their jobs. Wait until you begin to hear some of the things that were going on recently within Davis schools at the administrative level. It will curl your hair!

  68. A Different Take

    My three kids survived and went on to college – despite Davis schools. It has nothing to do with bad teachers. Some were excellent, most were fine, and a few were terrible. However, the administration was and is just awful. They do not take student discipline seriously – just look at Pam Mari’s “police sweeps for truant students” policy. They haven’t a clue what is going on in their schools or how to handle a student who doesn’t fit the mold.

    My son came very close to being murdered in Davis High. A gang ran that school for some time, with the acquiesence of the Vice Principal at the time. Don’t believe it? Parents whose kids were bullied within that time frame know of what I speak. Many of the gang members have been in and out of jail on more than one occasion.

    I saw a drug deal go down right in front of me at the high school – in broad daylight. No school administrator was in sight. I had to mail a picture of my son’s mangled face to the Supt of Schools in Davis, after my son was beaten, and threaten to file a lawsuit, before the AWOL Principal of my son’s elementary school finally decided to take a sudden “sabbatical”. She finished up her doctorate, which she had been working on during school hours instead of doing her job, then returned as an administrator. Surprise, surprise. You are going to find out this is a common practice.

    My kids were assaulted verbally and physically. Adminstrators were hiding behind their desks, doing God only knows what. They certainly were not doing their jobs. Wait until you begin to hear some of the things that were going on recently within Davis schools at the administrative level. It will curl your hair!

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