Valley Oak Supporters March For Charter School

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A group of roughly 40 students, community members, and Valley Oak students marched from Valley Oak elementary school to City Hall yesterday evening to push support for a charter school.
Last month, the Davis Joint Unified School Board voted by a 4-1 margin to reject the resolution to amend the charter and last night they were expected to take up the original charter and reject that as well.

Following the march, an interesting situation developed as a group of Valley Oak Hispanic families came to the board meeting and spoke. Their spokesperson claimed that they were misled by the charter petition’s Spanish translation. They claimed that it suggested that the petition was to keep Valley Oak itself a community school rather than a charter school. The petitioners were accused of using the Hispanic Community as political pawns.

However, in speaking to a number of the parents after their comments during the public comment session in Spanish, it seems that many want to send their children to the Valley Oak Charter school.

The Vanguard intends to follow up on this development today.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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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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52 thoughts on “Valley Oak Supporters March For Charter School”

  1. sc

    I watched the public comments from the Spanish-speaking parents and found it confusing. The first one applauded the work of the VO principal in keeping them informed and communicating well with them. Another talked about being faced with an interview with Univision, and that angered her. Later, a woman named Maria from Peru angrily denounced the proponents of the Charter School as misleading the parents and telling them where to send their children to school. She cited as evidence that the English version of their flyer said “support the charter” and the Spanish translation said “support the community school”. In my recollection,she presented herself as THE liason with the Spanish-speaking families and the only one through which communications should go through, and her words represented the feelings of these families.

    I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district— until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classrooms. Other charter school supporters told me that they were not allowed to hand informational flyers out to students or announce their informational meetings in the Dragon Tales newsletters. They were hearing that parents thought that they would need to pay tuition to attend the charter school, that their children would not be given the school of their choice if they indicated that they wanted to keep their kids at VO as a Charter School and the school did not get approved. I heard that as district employees, the teachers could not talk in support of the Charter school while on school grounds though many were highly involved in drafting the charter. So it was difficult to reach parents to clarify things. It makes it even more difficult if a district employee stands guard over what they are allowed to hear and read. It was interesting that the Spanish-speaking parents were upset about the communication problems (not the fault of the Charter school supporters) and not about any real issues about having a charter school.

    I personally know most of the Charter school proponents. They are the straightest shooters around and not the kind of people to have hidden agendas. They certainly wouldn’t “use” anyone for their own purposes. They truly believe that Valley Oak needs to stay open because it has a unique and highly successful English learners program that can’t be kept intact if the teachers are split up, and that the low-income families need a neighborhood school because of transportation difficulties.

    It will be interesting to see how it is portrayed in the Enterprise.

  2. sc

    I watched the public comments from the Spanish-speaking parents and found it confusing. The first one applauded the work of the VO principal in keeping them informed and communicating well with them. Another talked about being faced with an interview with Univision, and that angered her. Later, a woman named Maria from Peru angrily denounced the proponents of the Charter School as misleading the parents and telling them where to send their children to school. She cited as evidence that the English version of their flyer said “support the charter” and the Spanish translation said “support the community school”. In my recollection,she presented herself as THE liason with the Spanish-speaking families and the only one through which communications should go through, and her words represented the feelings of these families.

    I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district— until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classrooms. Other charter school supporters told me that they were not allowed to hand informational flyers out to students or announce their informational meetings in the Dragon Tales newsletters. They were hearing that parents thought that they would need to pay tuition to attend the charter school, that their children would not be given the school of their choice if they indicated that they wanted to keep their kids at VO as a Charter School and the school did not get approved. I heard that as district employees, the teachers could not talk in support of the Charter school while on school grounds though many were highly involved in drafting the charter. So it was difficult to reach parents to clarify things. It makes it even more difficult if a district employee stands guard over what they are allowed to hear and read. It was interesting that the Spanish-speaking parents were upset about the communication problems (not the fault of the Charter school supporters) and not about any real issues about having a charter school.

    I personally know most of the Charter school proponents. They are the straightest shooters around and not the kind of people to have hidden agendas. They certainly wouldn’t “use” anyone for their own purposes. They truly believe that Valley Oak needs to stay open because it has a unique and highly successful English learners program that can’t be kept intact if the teachers are split up, and that the low-income families need a neighborhood school because of transportation difficulties.

    It will be interesting to see how it is portrayed in the Enterprise.

  3. sc

    I watched the public comments from the Spanish-speaking parents and found it confusing. The first one applauded the work of the VO principal in keeping them informed and communicating well with them. Another talked about being faced with an interview with Univision, and that angered her. Later, a woman named Maria from Peru angrily denounced the proponents of the Charter School as misleading the parents and telling them where to send their children to school. She cited as evidence that the English version of their flyer said “support the charter” and the Spanish translation said “support the community school”. In my recollection,she presented herself as THE liason with the Spanish-speaking families and the only one through which communications should go through, and her words represented the feelings of these families.

    I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district— until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classrooms. Other charter school supporters told me that they were not allowed to hand informational flyers out to students or announce their informational meetings in the Dragon Tales newsletters. They were hearing that parents thought that they would need to pay tuition to attend the charter school, that their children would not be given the school of their choice if they indicated that they wanted to keep their kids at VO as a Charter School and the school did not get approved. I heard that as district employees, the teachers could not talk in support of the Charter school while on school grounds though many were highly involved in drafting the charter. So it was difficult to reach parents to clarify things. It makes it even more difficult if a district employee stands guard over what they are allowed to hear and read. It was interesting that the Spanish-speaking parents were upset about the communication problems (not the fault of the Charter school supporters) and not about any real issues about having a charter school.

    I personally know most of the Charter school proponents. They are the straightest shooters around and not the kind of people to have hidden agendas. They certainly wouldn’t “use” anyone for their own purposes. They truly believe that Valley Oak needs to stay open because it has a unique and highly successful English learners program that can’t be kept intact if the teachers are split up, and that the low-income families need a neighborhood school because of transportation difficulties.

    It will be interesting to see how it is portrayed in the Enterprise.

  4. sc

    I watched the public comments from the Spanish-speaking parents and found it confusing. The first one applauded the work of the VO principal in keeping them informed and communicating well with them. Another talked about being faced with an interview with Univision, and that angered her. Later, a woman named Maria from Peru angrily denounced the proponents of the Charter School as misleading the parents and telling them where to send their children to school. She cited as evidence that the English version of their flyer said “support the charter” and the Spanish translation said “support the community school”. In my recollection,she presented herself as THE liason with the Spanish-speaking families and the only one through which communications should go through, and her words represented the feelings of these families.

    I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district— until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classrooms. Other charter school supporters told me that they were not allowed to hand informational flyers out to students or announce their informational meetings in the Dragon Tales newsletters. They were hearing that parents thought that they would need to pay tuition to attend the charter school, that their children would not be given the school of their choice if they indicated that they wanted to keep their kids at VO as a Charter School and the school did not get approved. I heard that as district employees, the teachers could not talk in support of the Charter school while on school grounds though many were highly involved in drafting the charter. So it was difficult to reach parents to clarify things. It makes it even more difficult if a district employee stands guard over what they are allowed to hear and read. It was interesting that the Spanish-speaking parents were upset about the communication problems (not the fault of the Charter school supporters) and not about any real issues about having a charter school.

    I personally know most of the Charter school proponents. They are the straightest shooters around and not the kind of people to have hidden agendas. They certainly wouldn’t “use” anyone for their own purposes. They truly believe that Valley Oak needs to stay open because it has a unique and highly successful English learners program that can’t be kept intact if the teachers are split up, and that the low-income families need a neighborhood school because of transportation difficulties.

    It will be interesting to see how it is portrayed in the Enterprise.

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    I just had a good conversation with Sheila Allen on this and I’m going to follow up with Pam Mari later. Hopefully I will be able to get the letter as well and then run a story clarifying all of this tomorrow. My sense at this point is that the presentation last night was difficult to follow, many of those parents support the charter school, some even had buttons on in support of the charter school, but they felt disrespected in the process and not just by the charter school proponents. So let’s wait and see what I can find out to clarify this.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    I just had a good conversation with Sheila Allen on this and I’m going to follow up with Pam Mari later. Hopefully I will be able to get the letter as well and then run a story clarifying all of this tomorrow. My sense at this point is that the presentation last night was difficult to follow, many of those parents support the charter school, some even had buttons on in support of the charter school, but they felt disrespected in the process and not just by the charter school proponents. So let’s wait and see what I can find out to clarify this.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    I just had a good conversation with Sheila Allen on this and I’m going to follow up with Pam Mari later. Hopefully I will be able to get the letter as well and then run a story clarifying all of this tomorrow. My sense at this point is that the presentation last night was difficult to follow, many of those parents support the charter school, some even had buttons on in support of the charter school, but they felt disrespected in the process and not just by the charter school proponents. So let’s wait and see what I can find out to clarify this.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    I just had a good conversation with Sheila Allen on this and I’m going to follow up with Pam Mari later. Hopefully I will be able to get the letter as well and then run a story clarifying all of this tomorrow. My sense at this point is that the presentation last night was difficult to follow, many of those parents support the charter school, some even had buttons on in support of the charter school, but they felt disrespected in the process and not just by the charter school proponents. So let’s wait and see what I can find out to clarify this.

  9. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Again, more attempts to confuse the issue. All the more reason for the VO Charter proponents to keep going forward with the appeal process. Obviously the school district via shadow agents is grasping at any straw to disrupt the process. When you have this sort of obfuscation, it becomes evident that the Charter itself is not the issue. It never was.

    Now it is becoming clear why charter schools have such a rough time getting started. Any attempt to circumvent local control of a school is met with resistance by certain members of the school board/district in any form, no matter how underhanded. These members don’t want to lose control of the money. It’s all about money and power – an inability to concede there might be a better solution out there that doesn’t include them.

    As I sat watching the budget hearings, looking at the long laundry list of programs still being approved, I was disgusted. I didn’t see much of an attempt to truly evaluate the efficacy of existing programs. Pet projects that were the brainchildren of current administrators are continued without question, while an excellent EL program at VO is eliminated with impunity. An EL program that test scores proved was actually making measurable progress for those children who are at greatest risk.

    The same School Board members who cried over the alleged $300,000 it will cost the DJUSD if the VO Charter School is allowed to open (not a valid reason to deny the Charter) had no difficulty spending $240,000 to pay an ousted Superintendant for doing absolutely nothing for an entire year; nor have any hesitation in paying huge legal fees and expending inordinate amounts of staff time to fight the Charter. Let’s face it – the School District will expend more money fighting the Charter than the supposed $300,000 loss they claim will be sustained.

    It is high time to put control of our schools into the hands of those who have most at stake in seeing that school funding is well spent – the parents and teachers. A VO Charter School would mean the creation of a governing body, comprised of both parents and teachers, who will make sure students receive the best education possible for their particular students, especially those with specific needs.

    The VO Charter School will also serve as an opportunity to create innovative programs with measurable success. Projects that don’t work and that were created merely as a stepping stone to obtain an administrative position will die on the vine. VO students will have a neighborhood school that will be the envy of the community – and hopefully serve as a model that can be copied by others. I am beginning to get the feeling the School Board/District is afraid of a little healthy competition.

  10. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Again, more attempts to confuse the issue. All the more reason for the VO Charter proponents to keep going forward with the appeal process. Obviously the school district via shadow agents is grasping at any straw to disrupt the process. When you have this sort of obfuscation, it becomes evident that the Charter itself is not the issue. It never was.

    Now it is becoming clear why charter schools have such a rough time getting started. Any attempt to circumvent local control of a school is met with resistance by certain members of the school board/district in any form, no matter how underhanded. These members don’t want to lose control of the money. It’s all about money and power – an inability to concede there might be a better solution out there that doesn’t include them.

    As I sat watching the budget hearings, looking at the long laundry list of programs still being approved, I was disgusted. I didn’t see much of an attempt to truly evaluate the efficacy of existing programs. Pet projects that were the brainchildren of current administrators are continued without question, while an excellent EL program at VO is eliminated with impunity. An EL program that test scores proved was actually making measurable progress for those children who are at greatest risk.

    The same School Board members who cried over the alleged $300,000 it will cost the DJUSD if the VO Charter School is allowed to open (not a valid reason to deny the Charter) had no difficulty spending $240,000 to pay an ousted Superintendant for doing absolutely nothing for an entire year; nor have any hesitation in paying huge legal fees and expending inordinate amounts of staff time to fight the Charter. Let’s face it – the School District will expend more money fighting the Charter than the supposed $300,000 loss they claim will be sustained.

    It is high time to put control of our schools into the hands of those who have most at stake in seeing that school funding is well spent – the parents and teachers. A VO Charter School would mean the creation of a governing body, comprised of both parents and teachers, who will make sure students receive the best education possible for their particular students, especially those with specific needs.

    The VO Charter School will also serve as an opportunity to create innovative programs with measurable success. Projects that don’t work and that were created merely as a stepping stone to obtain an administrative position will die on the vine. VO students will have a neighborhood school that will be the envy of the community – and hopefully serve as a model that can be copied by others. I am beginning to get the feeling the School Board/District is afraid of a little healthy competition.

  11. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Again, more attempts to confuse the issue. All the more reason for the VO Charter proponents to keep going forward with the appeal process. Obviously the school district via shadow agents is grasping at any straw to disrupt the process. When you have this sort of obfuscation, it becomes evident that the Charter itself is not the issue. It never was.

    Now it is becoming clear why charter schools have such a rough time getting started. Any attempt to circumvent local control of a school is met with resistance by certain members of the school board/district in any form, no matter how underhanded. These members don’t want to lose control of the money. It’s all about money and power – an inability to concede there might be a better solution out there that doesn’t include them.

    As I sat watching the budget hearings, looking at the long laundry list of programs still being approved, I was disgusted. I didn’t see much of an attempt to truly evaluate the efficacy of existing programs. Pet projects that were the brainchildren of current administrators are continued without question, while an excellent EL program at VO is eliminated with impunity. An EL program that test scores proved was actually making measurable progress for those children who are at greatest risk.

    The same School Board members who cried over the alleged $300,000 it will cost the DJUSD if the VO Charter School is allowed to open (not a valid reason to deny the Charter) had no difficulty spending $240,000 to pay an ousted Superintendant for doing absolutely nothing for an entire year; nor have any hesitation in paying huge legal fees and expending inordinate amounts of staff time to fight the Charter. Let’s face it – the School District will expend more money fighting the Charter than the supposed $300,000 loss they claim will be sustained.

    It is high time to put control of our schools into the hands of those who have most at stake in seeing that school funding is well spent – the parents and teachers. A VO Charter School would mean the creation of a governing body, comprised of both parents and teachers, who will make sure students receive the best education possible for their particular students, especially those with specific needs.

    The VO Charter School will also serve as an opportunity to create innovative programs with measurable success. Projects that don’t work and that were created merely as a stepping stone to obtain an administrative position will die on the vine. VO students will have a neighborhood school that will be the envy of the community – and hopefully serve as a model that can be copied by others. I am beginning to get the feeling the School Board/District is afraid of a little healthy competition.

  12. Elaine Roberts Musser

    Again, more attempts to confuse the issue. All the more reason for the VO Charter proponents to keep going forward with the appeal process. Obviously the school district via shadow agents is grasping at any straw to disrupt the process. When you have this sort of obfuscation, it becomes evident that the Charter itself is not the issue. It never was.

    Now it is becoming clear why charter schools have such a rough time getting started. Any attempt to circumvent local control of a school is met with resistance by certain members of the school board/district in any form, no matter how underhanded. These members don’t want to lose control of the money. It’s all about money and power – an inability to concede there might be a better solution out there that doesn’t include them.

    As I sat watching the budget hearings, looking at the long laundry list of programs still being approved, I was disgusted. I didn’t see much of an attempt to truly evaluate the efficacy of existing programs. Pet projects that were the brainchildren of current administrators are continued without question, while an excellent EL program at VO is eliminated with impunity. An EL program that test scores proved was actually making measurable progress for those children who are at greatest risk.

    The same School Board members who cried over the alleged $300,000 it will cost the DJUSD if the VO Charter School is allowed to open (not a valid reason to deny the Charter) had no difficulty spending $240,000 to pay an ousted Superintendant for doing absolutely nothing for an entire year; nor have any hesitation in paying huge legal fees and expending inordinate amounts of staff time to fight the Charter. Let’s face it – the School District will expend more money fighting the Charter than the supposed $300,000 loss they claim will be sustained.

    It is high time to put control of our schools into the hands of those who have most at stake in seeing that school funding is well spent – the parents and teachers. A VO Charter School would mean the creation of a governing body, comprised of both parents and teachers, who will make sure students receive the best education possible for their particular students, especially those with specific needs.

    The VO Charter School will also serve as an opportunity to create innovative programs with measurable success. Projects that don’t work and that were created merely as a stepping stone to obtain an administrative position will die on the vine. VO students will have a neighborhood school that will be the envy of the community – and hopefully serve as a model that can be copied by others. I am beginning to get the feeling the School Board/District is afraid of a little healthy competition.

  13. Anonymous

    SC:

    The assertion that proponents were not allowed to post information in Dragon Tales is false.

    Please visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta. If you look over the past year’s editions of Dragon Tales you will see several items on the charter school including upcoming meetings, the charter school web site and updates.

  14. Anonymous

    SC:

    The assertion that proponents were not allowed to post information in Dragon Tales is false.

    Please visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta. If you look over the past year’s editions of Dragon Tales you will see several items on the charter school including upcoming meetings, the charter school web site and updates.

  15. Anonymous

    SC:

    The assertion that proponents were not allowed to post information in Dragon Tales is false.

    Please visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta. If you look over the past year’s editions of Dragon Tales you will see several items on the charter school including upcoming meetings, the charter school web site and updates.

  16. Anonymous

    SC:

    The assertion that proponents were not allowed to post information in Dragon Tales is false.

    Please visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta. If you look over the past year’s editions of Dragon Tales you will see several items on the charter school including upcoming meetings, the charter school web site and updates.

  17. Anonymous

    I think we need to take a step back. If the comment about “shadow agents of the district” is directed at Maria, then we should also be careful. A certain number of Charter School founders are also DJUSD employees, and I doubt anyone would characterize them or want them characterized in a similar manner. As SC commented, they are seen as “straight shooters”, and therefore as credible representatives of and by the Charter School supporters.

    As I watched the comments last evening, and from what I know, Maria is representing a specific group of Spanish-speaking parents of current VO students. More specifically, a group that signed a letter that was written in Spanish, translated into English and read to the BOE on 1/17 in both languages. These parents have chosen Maria as a credible representative of them and their interests.

    Last night, I heard that that original letter was misinterpreted by some members of the Davis community, and the parents that Maria represents wanted it clarified.

    SC wrote:
    “I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district—until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classroom.” I understand the original confusion, but I am not sure that Maria’s job explains it. The original letter that was signed by 71 Spanish-speaking parents was, among other things, asking for those same things that all VO parents want: choice in where their children go to elementary school and an assurance that quality services will be available at that site. That choice might include the Charter, but would not be limited to that. It was not meant to be an endorsement of the VOCS, but it was interpreted that way by some.

    I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question. I believe that Maria and Mary Ponce are credible. Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents.

    As far as Maria’s filtering information, I heard her specifically say last night that she directed all questions from the parents regarding the Charter to Mary Ponce. You can choose to believe her or not.

    I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. I would not want the VOCS supporters presuming that they know what is best for these families. As with all VO families, they know what is best for themselves.

  18. Anonymous

    I think we need to take a step back. If the comment about “shadow agents of the district” is directed at Maria, then we should also be careful. A certain number of Charter School founders are also DJUSD employees, and I doubt anyone would characterize them or want them characterized in a similar manner. As SC commented, they are seen as “straight shooters”, and therefore as credible representatives of and by the Charter School supporters.

    As I watched the comments last evening, and from what I know, Maria is representing a specific group of Spanish-speaking parents of current VO students. More specifically, a group that signed a letter that was written in Spanish, translated into English and read to the BOE on 1/17 in both languages. These parents have chosen Maria as a credible representative of them and their interests.

    Last night, I heard that that original letter was misinterpreted by some members of the Davis community, and the parents that Maria represents wanted it clarified.

    SC wrote:
    “I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district—until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classroom.” I understand the original confusion, but I am not sure that Maria’s job explains it. The original letter that was signed by 71 Spanish-speaking parents was, among other things, asking for those same things that all VO parents want: choice in where their children go to elementary school and an assurance that quality services will be available at that site. That choice might include the Charter, but would not be limited to that. It was not meant to be an endorsement of the VOCS, but it was interpreted that way by some.

    I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question. I believe that Maria and Mary Ponce are credible. Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents.

    As far as Maria’s filtering information, I heard her specifically say last night that she directed all questions from the parents regarding the Charter to Mary Ponce. You can choose to believe her or not.

    I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. I would not want the VOCS supporters presuming that they know what is best for these families. As with all VO families, they know what is best for themselves.

  19. Anonymous

    I think we need to take a step back. If the comment about “shadow agents of the district” is directed at Maria, then we should also be careful. A certain number of Charter School founders are also DJUSD employees, and I doubt anyone would characterize them or want them characterized in a similar manner. As SC commented, they are seen as “straight shooters”, and therefore as credible representatives of and by the Charter School supporters.

    As I watched the comments last evening, and from what I know, Maria is representing a specific group of Spanish-speaking parents of current VO students. More specifically, a group that signed a letter that was written in Spanish, translated into English and read to the BOE on 1/17 in both languages. These parents have chosen Maria as a credible representative of them and their interests.

    Last night, I heard that that original letter was misinterpreted by some members of the Davis community, and the parents that Maria represents wanted it clarified.

    SC wrote:
    “I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district—until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classroom.” I understand the original confusion, but I am not sure that Maria’s job explains it. The original letter that was signed by 71 Spanish-speaking parents was, among other things, asking for those same things that all VO parents want: choice in where their children go to elementary school and an assurance that quality services will be available at that site. That choice might include the Charter, but would not be limited to that. It was not meant to be an endorsement of the VOCS, but it was interpreted that way by some.

    I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question. I believe that Maria and Mary Ponce are credible. Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents.

    As far as Maria’s filtering information, I heard her specifically say last night that she directed all questions from the parents regarding the Charter to Mary Ponce. You can choose to believe her or not.

    I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. I would not want the VOCS supporters presuming that they know what is best for these families. As with all VO families, they know what is best for themselves.

  20. Anonymous

    I think we need to take a step back. If the comment about “shadow agents of the district” is directed at Maria, then we should also be careful. A certain number of Charter School founders are also DJUSD employees, and I doubt anyone would characterize them or want them characterized in a similar manner. As SC commented, they are seen as “straight shooters”, and therefore as credible representatives of and by the Charter School supporters.

    As I watched the comments last evening, and from what I know, Maria is representing a specific group of Spanish-speaking parents of current VO students. More specifically, a group that signed a letter that was written in Spanish, translated into English and read to the BOE on 1/17 in both languages. These parents have chosen Maria as a credible representative of them and their interests.

    Last night, I heard that that original letter was misinterpreted by some members of the Davis community, and the parents that Maria represents wanted it clarified.

    SC wrote:
    “I, and other supporters of the Charter School looked at each other in confusion, wondering why they were faced with the anger of these parents since we were trying to save the best EL program in the district—until I learned from another witness that Maria is a district employee and works in the classroom.” I understand the original confusion, but I am not sure that Maria’s job explains it. The original letter that was signed by 71 Spanish-speaking parents was, among other things, asking for those same things that all VO parents want: choice in where their children go to elementary school and an assurance that quality services will be available at that site. That choice might include the Charter, but would not be limited to that. It was not meant to be an endorsement of the VOCS, but it was interpreted that way by some.

    I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question. I believe that Maria and Mary Ponce are credible. Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents.

    As far as Maria’s filtering information, I heard her specifically say last night that she directed all questions from the parents regarding the Charter to Mary Ponce. You can choose to believe her or not.

    I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. I would not want the VOCS supporters presuming that they know what is best for these families. As with all VO families, they know what is best for themselves.

  21. VOC supporter

    Maria needs to get her facts straight. She needs to not let people from the district who are against the charter school mislead her and use her to give misleading information to parents or make false allegations, such as those that were made during the school board meeting last night.

    The supporters of VOC are straightforward and would never give inaccurate information to EL parents. To allege that they would is completely false.

    When people (DJUSD) begin doing this it makes me question everything they do. If the school district has to play dirty just to save face it ruins their credibility. Stop it.

  22. VOC supporter

    Maria needs to get her facts straight. She needs to not let people from the district who are against the charter school mislead her and use her to give misleading information to parents or make false allegations, such as those that were made during the school board meeting last night.

    The supporters of VOC are straightforward and would never give inaccurate information to EL parents. To allege that they would is completely false.

    When people (DJUSD) begin doing this it makes me question everything they do. If the school district has to play dirty just to save face it ruins their credibility. Stop it.

  23. VOC supporter

    Maria needs to get her facts straight. She needs to not let people from the district who are against the charter school mislead her and use her to give misleading information to parents or make false allegations, such as those that were made during the school board meeting last night.

    The supporters of VOC are straightforward and would never give inaccurate information to EL parents. To allege that they would is completely false.

    When people (DJUSD) begin doing this it makes me question everything they do. If the school district has to play dirty just to save face it ruins their credibility. Stop it.

  24. VOC supporter

    Maria needs to get her facts straight. She needs to not let people from the district who are against the charter school mislead her and use her to give misleading information to parents or make false allegations, such as those that were made during the school board meeting last night.

    The supporters of VOC are straightforward and would never give inaccurate information to EL parents. To allege that they would is completely false.

    When people (DJUSD) begin doing this it makes me question everything they do. If the school district has to play dirty just to save face it ruins their credibility. Stop it.

  25. sc

    Anonymous said ” Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents….I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. “

    Okay—is Maria a representative of “this community” or just a fraction of it?

    I suppose it was difficult to understand Maria clearly because she was agitated and speaking very fast while translating into Spanish at the same time. But the impression she gave was that she was insulted that people would go around her to talk directly to the Spanish-speaking parents. I thought she said she was the official liason to these parents and therefore speaks for “them”. I never heard her qualify her statement to mean that she only spoke for the parents who agreed with her.

    It may be that the parents she represented were just trying to express what was on the petition. However, Maria went on to criticize the Charter School supporters for “twisting the truth.” She did not separate her opinion from those of the group.

    I’m sure the Charter School supporters will continue to try to communicate with the EL parents if they will be open to a dialogue. It seemed to one supporter who tried to talk with them last night that those who came with Maria were not.

    As far as posting information in the Dragon Tales, meeting times and website were indeed posted but no information on the pros and cons. This is not helpful to those who could not/were too shy to make meetings or don’t have internet access, or didn’t get handed a flyer in front of the school.

  26. sc

    Anonymous said ” Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents….I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. “

    Okay—is Maria a representative of “this community” or just a fraction of it?

    I suppose it was difficult to understand Maria clearly because she was agitated and speaking very fast while translating into Spanish at the same time. But the impression she gave was that she was insulted that people would go around her to talk directly to the Spanish-speaking parents. I thought she said she was the official liason to these parents and therefore speaks for “them”. I never heard her qualify her statement to mean that she only spoke for the parents who agreed with her.

    It may be that the parents she represented were just trying to express what was on the petition. However, Maria went on to criticize the Charter School supporters for “twisting the truth.” She did not separate her opinion from those of the group.

    I’m sure the Charter School supporters will continue to try to communicate with the EL parents if they will be open to a dialogue. It seemed to one supporter who tried to talk with them last night that those who came with Maria were not.

    As far as posting information in the Dragon Tales, meeting times and website were indeed posted but no information on the pros and cons. This is not helpful to those who could not/were too shy to make meetings or don’t have internet access, or didn’t get handed a flyer in front of the school.

  27. sc

    Anonymous said ” Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents….I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. “

    Okay—is Maria a representative of “this community” or just a fraction of it?

    I suppose it was difficult to understand Maria clearly because she was agitated and speaking very fast while translating into Spanish at the same time. But the impression she gave was that she was insulted that people would go around her to talk directly to the Spanish-speaking parents. I thought she said she was the official liason to these parents and therefore speaks for “them”. I never heard her qualify her statement to mean that she only spoke for the parents who agreed with her.

    It may be that the parents she represented were just trying to express what was on the petition. However, Maria went on to criticize the Charter School supporters for “twisting the truth.” She did not separate her opinion from those of the group.

    I’m sure the Charter School supporters will continue to try to communicate with the EL parents if they will be open to a dialogue. It seemed to one supporter who tried to talk with them last night that those who came with Maria were not.

    As far as posting information in the Dragon Tales, meeting times and website were indeed posted but no information on the pros and cons. This is not helpful to those who could not/were too shy to make meetings or don’t have internet access, or didn’t get handed a flyer in front of the school.

  28. sc

    Anonymous said ” Again, Maria does not and did not purport to speak for the entire VO EL community or even all of the Spanish-speaking parents….I worry that in making certain comments and questioning the chosen representative of this community, well-intentioned people are actually belittling the very community that they want to champion. “

    Okay—is Maria a representative of “this community” or just a fraction of it?

    I suppose it was difficult to understand Maria clearly because she was agitated and speaking very fast while translating into Spanish at the same time. But the impression she gave was that she was insulted that people would go around her to talk directly to the Spanish-speaking parents. I thought she said she was the official liason to these parents and therefore speaks for “them”. I never heard her qualify her statement to mean that she only spoke for the parents who agreed with her.

    It may be that the parents she represented were just trying to express what was on the petition. However, Maria went on to criticize the Charter School supporters for “twisting the truth.” She did not separate her opinion from those of the group.

    I’m sure the Charter School supporters will continue to try to communicate with the EL parents if they will be open to a dialogue. It seemed to one supporter who tried to talk with them last night that those who came with Maria were not.

    As far as posting information in the Dragon Tales, meeting times and website were indeed posted but no information on the pros and cons. This is not helpful to those who could not/were too shy to make meetings or don’t have internet access, or didn’t get handed a flyer in front of the school.

  29. Anonymous

    In reference to SC’s initial comment:

    The term “charter school” does not perfectly translate to Spanish. There is a semi-official document of school-related terms and their translations to Spanish that shows a translation of “escuela charter“, just borrowing an English word over to Spanish.

    It is likely the the VOCS document translator used a phrase like “escuela de la communidad” or “escuela comunitaria”. Unfortunately, that was a very key phrase to get right.

    The concept of the charter school is not exactly widespread over Latin America. So even if you use the term “escuela charter”, you still don’t quite get the concept across without a substantial preface as to what a charter school is. Turns out many native English speakers don’t fully understand the concept of a charter school, either, but it is a little more familiar in English.

    Given that fact, I’m not inclined to think that there was any intentional deception by the charter proponents on that point.

    It is important that the Spanish speaking parents have the concept of a charter school fully explained to them in neutral language in Spanish.

  30. Anonymous

    In reference to SC’s initial comment:

    The term “charter school” does not perfectly translate to Spanish. There is a semi-official document of school-related terms and their translations to Spanish that shows a translation of “escuela charter“, just borrowing an English word over to Spanish.

    It is likely the the VOCS document translator used a phrase like “escuela de la communidad” or “escuela comunitaria”. Unfortunately, that was a very key phrase to get right.

    The concept of the charter school is not exactly widespread over Latin America. So even if you use the term “escuela charter”, you still don’t quite get the concept across without a substantial preface as to what a charter school is. Turns out many native English speakers don’t fully understand the concept of a charter school, either, but it is a little more familiar in English.

    Given that fact, I’m not inclined to think that there was any intentional deception by the charter proponents on that point.

    It is important that the Spanish speaking parents have the concept of a charter school fully explained to them in neutral language in Spanish.

  31. Anonymous

    In reference to SC’s initial comment:

    The term “charter school” does not perfectly translate to Spanish. There is a semi-official document of school-related terms and their translations to Spanish that shows a translation of “escuela charter“, just borrowing an English word over to Spanish.

    It is likely the the VOCS document translator used a phrase like “escuela de la communidad” or “escuela comunitaria”. Unfortunately, that was a very key phrase to get right.

    The concept of the charter school is not exactly widespread over Latin America. So even if you use the term “escuela charter”, you still don’t quite get the concept across without a substantial preface as to what a charter school is. Turns out many native English speakers don’t fully understand the concept of a charter school, either, but it is a little more familiar in English.

    Given that fact, I’m not inclined to think that there was any intentional deception by the charter proponents on that point.

    It is important that the Spanish speaking parents have the concept of a charter school fully explained to them in neutral language in Spanish.

  32. Anonymous

    In reference to SC’s initial comment:

    The term “charter school” does not perfectly translate to Spanish. There is a semi-official document of school-related terms and their translations to Spanish that shows a translation of “escuela charter“, just borrowing an English word over to Spanish.

    It is likely the the VOCS document translator used a phrase like “escuela de la communidad” or “escuela comunitaria”. Unfortunately, that was a very key phrase to get right.

    The concept of the charter school is not exactly widespread over Latin America. So even if you use the term “escuela charter”, you still don’t quite get the concept across without a substantial preface as to what a charter school is. Turns out many native English speakers don’t fully understand the concept of a charter school, either, but it is a little more familiar in English.

    Given that fact, I’m not inclined to think that there was any intentional deception by the charter proponents on that point.

    It is important that the Spanish speaking parents have the concept of a charter school fully explained to them in neutral language in Spanish.

  33. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question.”

    I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School. I beg to differ. Right now, our school district is wrestling with the subject of severe budget cuts. The Measure Q increase in school tax affects all citizens of Davis. There has been serious fiscal mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by the school district/board. I, for one, don’t feel good about paying an outgoing Supt. $240,000 for doing nothing for a year.

    Charter schools represent a chance for greater fiscal oversight and the development of more innovative programs suited to the particular neighborhood student population. Too often in the past, a questionable pet project of someone looking for a stepping stone to an administrative position are kept alive, while perfectly good programs that are demonstrably successful are cut – such as VO’s very successful EL program.

    The advantage of a charter school is that each one has its own governing body, made up of parents and teachers at the school. They are stakeholders in the success of the institution, so have more reason to ensure that good programs survive, and bad ones end. The school will live or die based on sound fiscal principals – because there is no slush fund or one time asset sales to fall back on as the school district has.

    The question I have to ask is who is representing John Q. Taxpayer in regard to how school funding is spent? I would like to give the VO Charter School a chance to show what they can do. The school district certainly hasn’t shown itself to be especially responsible financially, so why not give the Charter proponents a crack at it. For them to have come this far, through all the nonsense that has been slung at them by detractors, speaks volumes to their dedication and chance of success.

  34. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question.”

    I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School. I beg to differ. Right now, our school district is wrestling with the subject of severe budget cuts. The Measure Q increase in school tax affects all citizens of Davis. There has been serious fiscal mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by the school district/board. I, for one, don’t feel good about paying an outgoing Supt. $240,000 for doing nothing for a year.

    Charter schools represent a chance for greater fiscal oversight and the development of more innovative programs suited to the particular neighborhood student population. Too often in the past, a questionable pet project of someone looking for a stepping stone to an administrative position are kept alive, while perfectly good programs that are demonstrably successful are cut – such as VO’s very successful EL program.

    The advantage of a charter school is that each one has its own governing body, made up of parents and teachers at the school. They are stakeholders in the success of the institution, so have more reason to ensure that good programs survive, and bad ones end. The school will live or die based on sound fiscal principals – because there is no slush fund or one time asset sales to fall back on as the school district has.

    The question I have to ask is who is representing John Q. Taxpayer in regard to how school funding is spent? I would like to give the VO Charter School a chance to show what they can do. The school district certainly hasn’t shown itself to be especially responsible financially, so why not give the Charter proponents a crack at it. For them to have come this far, through all the nonsense that has been slung at them by detractors, speaks volumes to their dedication and chance of success.

  35. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question.”

    I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School. I beg to differ. Right now, our school district is wrestling with the subject of severe budget cuts. The Measure Q increase in school tax affects all citizens of Davis. There has been serious fiscal mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by the school district/board. I, for one, don’t feel good about paying an outgoing Supt. $240,000 for doing nothing for a year.

    Charter schools represent a chance for greater fiscal oversight and the development of more innovative programs suited to the particular neighborhood student population. Too often in the past, a questionable pet project of someone looking for a stepping stone to an administrative position are kept alive, while perfectly good programs that are demonstrably successful are cut – such as VO’s very successful EL program.

    The advantage of a charter school is that each one has its own governing body, made up of parents and teachers at the school. They are stakeholders in the success of the institution, so have more reason to ensure that good programs survive, and bad ones end. The school will live or die based on sound fiscal principals – because there is no slush fund or one time asset sales to fall back on as the school district has.

    The question I have to ask is who is representing John Q. Taxpayer in regard to how school funding is spent? I would like to give the VO Charter School a chance to show what they can do. The school district certainly hasn’t shown itself to be especially responsible financially, so why not give the Charter proponents a crack at it. For them to have come this far, through all the nonsense that has been slung at them by detractors, speaks volumes to their dedication and chance of success.

  36. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “I understand that thoughtful people in this community– VOCS supporters and not– want what is best for the the Valley Oak community, but it is really up to the members of the VO community to decide what is best for them. This particular group of Spanish-speaking VO parents have demonstrated that they have the ability to choose a credible representative for themselves. So therefore, even if someone else has the best of intentions, it does not mean s/he is credible to the community in question.”

    I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School. I beg to differ. Right now, our school district is wrestling with the subject of severe budget cuts. The Measure Q increase in school tax affects all citizens of Davis. There has been serious fiscal mismanagement of taxpayer dollars by the school district/board. I, for one, don’t feel good about paying an outgoing Supt. $240,000 for doing nothing for a year.

    Charter schools represent a chance for greater fiscal oversight and the development of more innovative programs suited to the particular neighborhood student population. Too often in the past, a questionable pet project of someone looking for a stepping stone to an administrative position are kept alive, while perfectly good programs that are demonstrably successful are cut – such as VO’s very successful EL program.

    The advantage of a charter school is that each one has its own governing body, made up of parents and teachers at the school. They are stakeholders in the success of the institution, so have more reason to ensure that good programs survive, and bad ones end. The school will live or die based on sound fiscal principals – because there is no slush fund or one time asset sales to fall back on as the school district has.

    The question I have to ask is who is representing John Q. Taxpayer in regard to how school funding is spent? I would like to give the VO Charter School a chance to show what they can do. The school district certainly hasn’t shown itself to be especially responsible financially, so why not give the Charter proponents a crack at it. For them to have come this far, through all the nonsense that has been slung at them by detractors, speaks volumes to their dedication and chance of success.

  37. Fred Buderi

    Thanks for the comment that assumes there was no intent to mislead people in any information distributed by the Charter group. I can confirm that this is correct.
    I would hope that from now on the school’s liaison with Spanish speaking parents would feel comfortable contacting the Charter School supporters, either directly or through the princpal at Valley Oak, if she see’s anything she believes is an inaccurate translation or a misleading statement by the Charter proponents. As has been noted, the concept of charter schools is still not widely known to most of us and there is a great need for communication and education on this issue.
    It has been difficult to increase people’s knowledge of what the Charter School effort is trying to accomplish. It has also been difficult to get that information out since the Charter organizers are not able to give students their information sheets in the materials that get sent home from class (this would be the easiest way to ensure that everyone has equal access to all the information so they can, as they are totally capable of doing, make up their own minds). I don’t believe the Charter group is able at this time to put information articles in the school newsletter, but hope I’m incorrect so we can start doing that. We did pay to rent the MPR last Saturday but I don’t believe we were allowed to put the announcement about the meeting out on the changeable sign in front of the school. That meeting was extremely helpful because teachers and translators explained, on an overhead, exactly how to fill out the intent to return forms to ensure that each family knew how to choose the school they wanted just in case the charter did not pass.
    The suggestion to contact Channel 19 came from a high school student, who thought this might be one more way to announce the meeting and explain the charter, again all well intentioned with the purpose to try and get word out as widely as possible.
    My own belief is that there are adequate, compelling reasons, all stated in the charter, that more than compensate for any reduced savings to DJUSD caused by keeping a portion of the school open for the charter. It might even be a “wash” if enough out of district students choose to attend. And as has been noted here, the citizens might even find that the Charter school helps improve the overall educational program choices in town more efficiently than we might otherwise be able to do if we opposed all schools outside the regular elementary system.

  38. Fred Buderi

    Thanks for the comment that assumes there was no intent to mislead people in any information distributed by the Charter group. I can confirm that this is correct.
    I would hope that from now on the school’s liaison with Spanish speaking parents would feel comfortable contacting the Charter School supporters, either directly or through the princpal at Valley Oak, if she see’s anything she believes is an inaccurate translation or a misleading statement by the Charter proponents. As has been noted, the concept of charter schools is still not widely known to most of us and there is a great need for communication and education on this issue.
    It has been difficult to increase people’s knowledge of what the Charter School effort is trying to accomplish. It has also been difficult to get that information out since the Charter organizers are not able to give students their information sheets in the materials that get sent home from class (this would be the easiest way to ensure that everyone has equal access to all the information so they can, as they are totally capable of doing, make up their own minds). I don’t believe the Charter group is able at this time to put information articles in the school newsletter, but hope I’m incorrect so we can start doing that. We did pay to rent the MPR last Saturday but I don’t believe we were allowed to put the announcement about the meeting out on the changeable sign in front of the school. That meeting was extremely helpful because teachers and translators explained, on an overhead, exactly how to fill out the intent to return forms to ensure that each family knew how to choose the school they wanted just in case the charter did not pass.
    The suggestion to contact Channel 19 came from a high school student, who thought this might be one more way to announce the meeting and explain the charter, again all well intentioned with the purpose to try and get word out as widely as possible.
    My own belief is that there are adequate, compelling reasons, all stated in the charter, that more than compensate for any reduced savings to DJUSD caused by keeping a portion of the school open for the charter. It might even be a “wash” if enough out of district students choose to attend. And as has been noted here, the citizens might even find that the Charter school helps improve the overall educational program choices in town more efficiently than we might otherwise be able to do if we opposed all schools outside the regular elementary system.

  39. Fred Buderi

    Thanks for the comment that assumes there was no intent to mislead people in any information distributed by the Charter group. I can confirm that this is correct.
    I would hope that from now on the school’s liaison with Spanish speaking parents would feel comfortable contacting the Charter School supporters, either directly or through the princpal at Valley Oak, if she see’s anything she believes is an inaccurate translation or a misleading statement by the Charter proponents. As has been noted, the concept of charter schools is still not widely known to most of us and there is a great need for communication and education on this issue.
    It has been difficult to increase people’s knowledge of what the Charter School effort is trying to accomplish. It has also been difficult to get that information out since the Charter organizers are not able to give students their information sheets in the materials that get sent home from class (this would be the easiest way to ensure that everyone has equal access to all the information so they can, as they are totally capable of doing, make up their own minds). I don’t believe the Charter group is able at this time to put information articles in the school newsletter, but hope I’m incorrect so we can start doing that. We did pay to rent the MPR last Saturday but I don’t believe we were allowed to put the announcement about the meeting out on the changeable sign in front of the school. That meeting was extremely helpful because teachers and translators explained, on an overhead, exactly how to fill out the intent to return forms to ensure that each family knew how to choose the school they wanted just in case the charter did not pass.
    The suggestion to contact Channel 19 came from a high school student, who thought this might be one more way to announce the meeting and explain the charter, again all well intentioned with the purpose to try and get word out as widely as possible.
    My own belief is that there are adequate, compelling reasons, all stated in the charter, that more than compensate for any reduced savings to DJUSD caused by keeping a portion of the school open for the charter. It might even be a “wash” if enough out of district students choose to attend. And as has been noted here, the citizens might even find that the Charter school helps improve the overall educational program choices in town more efficiently than we might otherwise be able to do if we opposed all schools outside the regular elementary system.

  40. Fred Buderi

    Thanks for the comment that assumes there was no intent to mislead people in any information distributed by the Charter group. I can confirm that this is correct.
    I would hope that from now on the school’s liaison with Spanish speaking parents would feel comfortable contacting the Charter School supporters, either directly or through the princpal at Valley Oak, if she see’s anything she believes is an inaccurate translation or a misleading statement by the Charter proponents. As has been noted, the concept of charter schools is still not widely known to most of us and there is a great need for communication and education on this issue.
    It has been difficult to increase people’s knowledge of what the Charter School effort is trying to accomplish. It has also been difficult to get that information out since the Charter organizers are not able to give students their information sheets in the materials that get sent home from class (this would be the easiest way to ensure that everyone has equal access to all the information so they can, as they are totally capable of doing, make up their own minds). I don’t believe the Charter group is able at this time to put information articles in the school newsletter, but hope I’m incorrect so we can start doing that. We did pay to rent the MPR last Saturday but I don’t believe we were allowed to put the announcement about the meeting out on the changeable sign in front of the school. That meeting was extremely helpful because teachers and translators explained, on an overhead, exactly how to fill out the intent to return forms to ensure that each family knew how to choose the school they wanted just in case the charter did not pass.
    The suggestion to contact Channel 19 came from a high school student, who thought this might be one more way to announce the meeting and explain the charter, again all well intentioned with the purpose to try and get word out as widely as possible.
    My own belief is that there are adequate, compelling reasons, all stated in the charter, that more than compensate for any reduced savings to DJUSD caused by keeping a portion of the school open for the charter. It might even be a “wash” if enough out of district students choose to attend. And as has been noted here, the citizens might even find that the Charter school helps improve the overall educational program choices in town more efficiently than we might otherwise be able to do if we opposed all schools outside the regular elementary system.

  41. Anonymous

    I am the editor of the Dragon Tales newsletter, which is a PTA publication. I rarely (maybe once or twice this year) receive any information directly from the Charter School people. Nontheless, I have put many informational, unbiased items in the newsletter over the past year regarding the Charter School as did the previous editor. Again, if you visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta and you can see this for yourself.

    The newsletter goes home with each child, is translated into Spanish, is delivered by listserve, and is on the website. It is also posted in a kiosk outside the school.

    I can assure you it is not my intention to prevent information from being distributed. But please keep in mind that the newsletter is very limited in space and the PTA is not in the business of promoting or opposing the Charter School.

    If you have any further questions, or want to place an item in the Dragon Tales, please email: valleyoakpta@yahoo.com or leave a note at Valley Oak’s front office.

  42. Anonymous

    I am the editor of the Dragon Tales newsletter, which is a PTA publication. I rarely (maybe once or twice this year) receive any information directly from the Charter School people. Nontheless, I have put many informational, unbiased items in the newsletter over the past year regarding the Charter School as did the previous editor. Again, if you visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta and you can see this for yourself.

    The newsletter goes home with each child, is translated into Spanish, is delivered by listserve, and is on the website. It is also posted in a kiosk outside the school.

    I can assure you it is not my intention to prevent information from being distributed. But please keep in mind that the newsletter is very limited in space and the PTA is not in the business of promoting or opposing the Charter School.

    If you have any further questions, or want to place an item in the Dragon Tales, please email: valleyoakpta@yahoo.com or leave a note at Valley Oak’s front office.

  43. Anonymous

    I am the editor of the Dragon Tales newsletter, which is a PTA publication. I rarely (maybe once or twice this year) receive any information directly from the Charter School people. Nontheless, I have put many informational, unbiased items in the newsletter over the past year regarding the Charter School as did the previous editor. Again, if you visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta and you can see this for yourself.

    The newsletter goes home with each child, is translated into Spanish, is delivered by listserve, and is on the website. It is also posted in a kiosk outside the school.

    I can assure you it is not my intention to prevent information from being distributed. But please keep in mind that the newsletter is very limited in space and the PTA is not in the business of promoting or opposing the Charter School.

    If you have any further questions, or want to place an item in the Dragon Tales, please email: valleyoakpta@yahoo.com or leave a note at Valley Oak’s front office.

  44. Anonymous

    I am the editor of the Dragon Tales newsletter, which is a PTA publication. I rarely (maybe once or twice this year) receive any information directly from the Charter School people. Nontheless, I have put many informational, unbiased items in the newsletter over the past year regarding the Charter School as did the previous editor. Again, if you visit http://www2.dcn.org/orgs/vopta and you can see this for yourself.

    The newsletter goes home with each child, is translated into Spanish, is delivered by listserve, and is on the website. It is also posted in a kiosk outside the school.

    I can assure you it is not my intention to prevent information from being distributed. But please keep in mind that the newsletter is very limited in space and the PTA is not in the business of promoting or opposing the Charter School.

    If you have any further questions, or want to place an item in the Dragon Tales, please email: valleyoakpta@yahoo.com or leave a note at Valley Oak’s front office.

  45. Fred Buderi

    Thank you, Dragon Tales Editor, you have made a very important clarification and I appreciate knowing that information about VOCharter can be sent in for publication.

  46. Fred Buderi

    Thank you, Dragon Tales Editor, you have made a very important clarification and I appreciate knowing that information about VOCharter can be sent in for publication.

  47. Fred Buderi

    Thank you, Dragon Tales Editor, you have made a very important clarification and I appreciate knowing that information about VOCharter can be sent in for publication.

  48. Fred Buderi

    Thank you, Dragon Tales Editor, you have made a very important clarification and I appreciate knowing that information about VOCharter can be sent in for publication.

  49. Anonymous

    Elaine Musser Roberts wrote:

    “I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School.”

    I wrote the comment to which she is referring, and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I in no way meant to imply that the VO community is the only one that should have a say in the Charter School. My comment really had the opposite intent. The individual families in the Valley Oak community know what is best for them. That could mean the charter, but it also might not. I would just like to see the assumptions about what is best for the VO community to stop. It feels very paternalistic.

    The rest of the Davis community is of course welcome to support, and, probably most helpfully, choose to send their children to the Charter.

  50. Anonymous

    Elaine Musser Roberts wrote:

    “I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School.”

    I wrote the comment to which she is referring, and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I in no way meant to imply that the VO community is the only one that should have a say in the Charter School. My comment really had the opposite intent. The individual families in the Valley Oak community know what is best for them. That could mean the charter, but it also might not. I would just like to see the assumptions about what is best for the VO community to stop. It feels very paternalistic.

    The rest of the Davis community is of course welcome to support, and, probably most helpfully, choose to send their children to the Charter.

  51. Anonymous

    Elaine Musser Roberts wrote:

    “I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School.”

    I wrote the comment to which she is referring, and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I in no way meant to imply that the VO community is the only one that should have a say in the Charter School. My comment really had the opposite intent. The individual families in the Valley Oak community know what is best for them. That could mean the charter, but it also might not. I would just like to see the assumptions about what is best for the VO community to stop. It feels very paternalistic.

    The rest of the Davis community is of course welcome to support, and, probably most helpfully, choose to send their children to the Charter.

  52. Anonymous

    Elaine Musser Roberts wrote:

    “I find this comment very troubling. It seems to indicate that only those within the VO School vicinity should weigh in on the topic of the VO Charter School.”

    I wrote the comment to which she is referring, and I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I in no way meant to imply that the VO community is the only one that should have a say in the Charter School. My comment really had the opposite intent. The individual families in the Valley Oak community know what is best for them. That could mean the charter, but it also might not. I would just like to see the assumptions about what is best for the VO community to stop. It feels very paternalistic.

    The rest of the Davis community is of course welcome to support, and, probably most helpfully, choose to send their children to the Charter.

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