Total School Solutions Wreaks Havoc for Waterford School District As Well

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As we continue our series on the impact of former CBO Tahir Ahad and his prviate educational consulting company, Total School Solutions (TSS), it is important to note that TSS has contracts and projects in districts across the state of California and beyond. Their webpage lists as clients, 61 such districts including, Waterford Unified School District.

Waterford is a small town of approximately 8,500 just east of Modesto. On Sunday, March 2, 2008, the Modesto Bee ran an investigative report about fiscal mismanagement performed by their Superintendent Howard Cohen and his relationship with Total School Solutions.

If the name Howard Cohen rings a bell for some readers, it should, he was Principal at Davis High School, and worked for our district for a number of years.

To the best that I can approximate, his time in Davis did not coincide with Tahir Ahad–although accounts vary and that is one thing that is being checked into.

It seems more likely that Howard Cohen who moved on to the West Contra Costa County District met Mr. Ahad there. West Contra Costa County was the location of early TSS contracts and a district that has supplied Mr. Ahad with a number of his non-DJUSD employees.

Nevertheless, the Modesto Bee article describes irregularities in the Waterford School District financial practices. Waterford much like DJUSD now finds itself facing a 10 percent budget cut.

In the meantime a report finds three main areas of unauthorized and/ or unexpected payments:

“Stipends totaling $25,000 paid to two principals over two years, Jose Aldoca and Don Davis

Administrative pay raises of 5.2 percent, including a raise for Superintendent Howard Cohen, that were paid five months before the board approved them

A contract with a Bay Area consulting firm, Total School Solutions, was ratified as a $33,000 agreement to polish the district’s master plan but turned out to be an open-ended contract that cost the district $124,000 before it was canceled with the work unfinished.”

It appears upon hiring Mr. Cohen, who still resides in Walnut Creek and commutes to Waterford (there are questions as to whether or not he works full time), that a number of TSS employees were unwittingly hired as staff or consultants.

The Vanguard has received information that suggests there is more to the situation in Waterford than what was reported in the Modesto paper. Much of it is similar to what happened here in Davis, and what has been reported is merely the tip of the iceberg.

The Vanguard will continue to monitor and possibly investigate this situation as conditions warrant.

—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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100 thoughts on “Total School Solutions Wreaks Havoc for Waterford School District As Well”

  1. progressive observer

    It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  2. progressive observer

    It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  3. progressive observer

    It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  4. progressive observer

    It appears that wherever Tahir Ahad or TSS go they leave in their wake debt and destruction due to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

  5. Anonymous

    Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  6. Anonymous

    Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  7. Anonymous

    Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  8. Anonymous

    Glad to see the Modesto Bee covering the TSS mess relating to the Waterford school district and the corruption that comes with it. Interesting that the Enterprise our local paper has been nearly silent on the incompetence and negligence of former district emplyees as well as Tahir Ahad and his firm TSS relating to our school district. I wonder why?

  9. not impressed with Cohen

    Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  10. not impressed with Cohen

    Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  11. not impressed with Cohen

    Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  12. not impressed with Cohen

    Cohen sounds like a piece of work, “I think what I did was heroic.”

    Once a person in his position starts traveling down the road of self-praise instead of looking at the impact this is going to have on the children of the school district…it’s over. It looks like he needs to be replaced just like Dave Murphy was replace here in Davis.

  13. not impressed with Cohen

    Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  14. not impressed with Cohen

    Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  15. not impressed with Cohen

    Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  16. not impressed with Cohen

    Anonymous 7:45 AM – It’s because the Enterprise likes to protect the status quo and doesn’t like to report any wrong doings that they may be involved with.

  17. Elaine Roberts Musser

    If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  18. Elaine Roberts Musser

    If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  19. Elaine Roberts Musser

    If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  20. Elaine Roberts Musser

    If you read the Modesto Bee article, the School Board President’s comment is telling, “We didn’t watch things the way we should have.” That sums it up nicely.

    As I have said before, the School Board of any district must keep careful tabs on what is going on, ask appropriate questions when put on alert something is not right – in other words, any School Board has a responsibility to practice “due diligence”.

    Frankly, I now have to wonder how many “open-ended” contracts TSS had with DJUSD, and how much money went down the drain as a result. Does anyone know??? I know DJUSD had to pay for a private consultant to come in and determine where the money went for certain projects. How much did that cost?

  21. Anonymous

    Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  22. Anonymous

    Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  23. Anonymous

    Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  24. Anonymous

    Part of being a predator as TSS is, is to come in and take advantage of unsuspecting and naive school districts. Much as predators take advantage of seniors with vulnerabilities in your line of work.

    If TSS had any contracts with DJUSD or if any money would have gone to them directly, it would have been probably a criminal conflict of interest. So I doubt that Tahir would have been so open about his deceit.

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    Folks on the Enrollment issue, this comes from Bruce Colby who wanted to clarify where things stand:

    “There appears to be confusion and disagreement about the district enrollment for 2007-08. The CBEDS enrollment count for 2007-08 taken in Oct. of 2007 that was sent to the State of California is 8,449. This is down from 8,647 last year. The Demographic projection was 8,484. The district has declined and is in declining enrollment. There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future though the annual rate of decline could be lower.”

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    Folks on the Enrollment issue, this comes from Bruce Colby who wanted to clarify where things stand:

    “There appears to be confusion and disagreement about the district enrollment for 2007-08. The CBEDS enrollment count for 2007-08 taken in Oct. of 2007 that was sent to the State of California is 8,449. This is down from 8,647 last year. The Demographic projection was 8,484. The district has declined and is in declining enrollment. There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future though the annual rate of decline could be lower.”

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    Folks on the Enrollment issue, this comes from Bruce Colby who wanted to clarify where things stand:

    “There appears to be confusion and disagreement about the district enrollment for 2007-08. The CBEDS enrollment count for 2007-08 taken in Oct. of 2007 that was sent to the State of California is 8,449. This is down from 8,647 last year. The Demographic projection was 8,484. The district has declined and is in declining enrollment. There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future though the annual rate of decline could be lower.”

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    Folks on the Enrollment issue, this comes from Bruce Colby who wanted to clarify where things stand:

    “There appears to be confusion and disagreement about the district enrollment for 2007-08. The CBEDS enrollment count for 2007-08 taken in Oct. of 2007 that was sent to the State of California is 8,449. This is down from 8,647 last year. The Demographic projection was 8,484. The district has declined and is in declining enrollment. There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future though the annual rate of decline could be lower.”

  29. don shor

    Sorry, that is as of October 2006, for the 06-07 school year. Current enrollment figures are not posted on the DJUSD site.

    “There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future…”

    In the absence of any description of the basis for that statement, it could just as reasonably be stated that there are no demographic facts to show that it won’t stop in the near future. Over the last six years it has gone up and down.

    06: 8647 (state figures)
    05: 8537
    04: 8642
    03: 8705
    02: 8827
    01: 8760
    00: 8642

  30. don shor

    Sorry, that is as of October 2006, for the 06-07 school year. Current enrollment figures are not posted on the DJUSD site.

    “There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future…”

    In the absence of any description of the basis for that statement, it could just as reasonably be stated that there are no demographic facts to show that it won’t stop in the near future. Over the last six years it has gone up and down.

    06: 8647 (state figures)
    05: 8537
    04: 8642
    03: 8705
    02: 8827
    01: 8760
    00: 8642

  31. don shor

    Sorry, that is as of October 2006, for the 06-07 school year. Current enrollment figures are not posted on the DJUSD site.

    “There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future…”

    In the absence of any description of the basis for that statement, it could just as reasonably be stated that there are no demographic facts to show that it won’t stop in the near future. Over the last six years it has gone up and down.

    06: 8647 (state figures)
    05: 8537
    04: 8642
    03: 8705
    02: 8827
    01: 8760
    00: 8642

  32. don shor

    Sorry, that is as of October 2006, for the 06-07 school year. Current enrollment figures are not posted on the DJUSD site.

    “There are no demographic facts to show that this will stop in the near future…”

    In the absence of any description of the basis for that statement, it could just as reasonably be stated that there are no demographic facts to show that it won’t stop in the near future. Over the last six years it has gone up and down.

    06: 8647 (state figures)
    05: 8537
    04: 8642
    03: 8705
    02: 8827
    01: 8760
    00: 8642

  33. 8,449

    Ok, but if it’s 8,449 this year as Colby said then that’s the lowest since at least before 2000, and possibly quite a bit earlier than that.

  34. 8,449

    Ok, but if it’s 8,449 this year as Colby said then that’s the lowest since at least before 2000, and possibly quite a bit earlier than that.

  35. 8,449

    Ok, but if it’s 8,449 this year as Colby said then that’s the lowest since at least before 2000, and possibly quite a bit earlier than that.

  36. 8,449

    Ok, but if it’s 8,449 this year as Colby said then that’s the lowest since at least before 2000, and possibly quite a bit earlier than that.

  37. numbers, numbers

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    2006-07 data, # students

    K: 576
    1: 615
    2: 584
    3: 616
    4: 691
    5: 615
    6: 696
    7: 682
    8: 667
    9: 719
    10: 719
    11: 715
    12: 752

    The demographic trend as these smaller, younger classes age and the larger, older ones graduate points toward a gradual decline, unless some boom occurs in the pre-K numbers.

  38. numbers, numbers

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    2006-07 data, # students

    K: 576
    1: 615
    2: 584
    3: 616
    4: 691
    5: 615
    6: 696
    7: 682
    8: 667
    9: 719
    10: 719
    11: 715
    12: 752

    The demographic trend as these smaller, younger classes age and the larger, older ones graduate points toward a gradual decline, unless some boom occurs in the pre-K numbers.

  39. numbers, numbers

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    2006-07 data, # students

    K: 576
    1: 615
    2: 584
    3: 616
    4: 691
    5: 615
    6: 696
    7: 682
    8: 667
    9: 719
    10: 719
    11: 715
    12: 752

    The demographic trend as these smaller, younger classes age and the larger, older ones graduate points toward a gradual decline, unless some boom occurs in the pre-K numbers.

  40. numbers, numbers

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    2006-07 data, # students

    K: 576
    1: 615
    2: 584
    3: 616
    4: 691
    5: 615
    6: 696
    7: 682
    8: 667
    9: 719
    10: 719
    11: 715
    12: 752

    The demographic trend as these smaller, younger classes age and the larger, older ones graduate points toward a gradual decline, unless some boom occurs in the pre-K numbers.

  41. don shor

    If you look at any single year in isolation, and project based on that year, you will come to conclusions that are not borne out by district history. If you look at a chart showing all the grade levels for the last 6 – 7 years, it appears that the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.

    Example: DJUSD had 637 K in 2000, 696 6th graders six years later.

    The district tends to gain students at the higher grades, and has been doing so at about the rate it has been losing them at the lower grades.

  42. don shor

    If you look at any single year in isolation, and project based on that year, you will come to conclusions that are not borne out by district history. If you look at a chart showing all the grade levels for the last 6 – 7 years, it appears that the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.

    Example: DJUSD had 637 K in 2000, 696 6th graders six years later.

    The district tends to gain students at the higher grades, and has been doing so at about the rate it has been losing them at the lower grades.

  43. don shor

    If you look at any single year in isolation, and project based on that year, you will come to conclusions that are not borne out by district history. If you look at a chart showing all the grade levels for the last 6 – 7 years, it appears that the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.

    Example: DJUSD had 637 K in 2000, 696 6th graders six years later.

    The district tends to gain students at the higher grades, and has been doing so at about the rate it has been losing them at the lower grades.

  44. don shor

    If you look at any single year in isolation, and project based on that year, you will come to conclusions that are not borne out by district history. If you look at a chart showing all the grade levels for the last 6 – 7 years, it appears that the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.

    Example: DJUSD had 637 K in 2000, 696 6th graders six years later.

    The district tends to gain students at the higher grades, and has been doing so at about the rate it has been losing them at the lower grades.

  45. Back Bart

    To add on to what Ms Musser said this does call into question the notion of local control of schools. The entire public education beauracracy in California is run like a bunch of little fiefdoms often times by people that don’t know their head from a hole in the ground. Obviously there are going to be sharpies who take advantage of a system like this for their own benefit at the expense of the districts and the children. This does raise the question as to whether the benefits of local control outweigh the costs of abuse and corruption.

  46. Back Bart

    To add on to what Ms Musser said this does call into question the notion of local control of schools. The entire public education beauracracy in California is run like a bunch of little fiefdoms often times by people that don’t know their head from a hole in the ground. Obviously there are going to be sharpies who take advantage of a system like this for their own benefit at the expense of the districts and the children. This does raise the question as to whether the benefits of local control outweigh the costs of abuse and corruption.

  47. Back Bart

    To add on to what Ms Musser said this does call into question the notion of local control of schools. The entire public education beauracracy in California is run like a bunch of little fiefdoms often times by people that don’t know their head from a hole in the ground. Obviously there are going to be sharpies who take advantage of a system like this for their own benefit at the expense of the districts and the children. This does raise the question as to whether the benefits of local control outweigh the costs of abuse and corruption.

  48. Back Bart

    To add on to what Ms Musser said this does call into question the notion of local control of schools. The entire public education beauracracy in California is run like a bunch of little fiefdoms often times by people that don’t know their head from a hole in the ground. Obviously there are going to be sharpies who take advantage of a system like this for their own benefit at the expense of the districts and the children. This does raise the question as to whether the benefits of local control outweigh the costs of abuse and corruption.

  49. reflecting on the high school numbers

    The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings. It is cheaper to have the younger brother live with their college-aged sibling in Davis and attend Davis High School for free, then it is to pay for private school in San Francisco. This was a problem a few years ago when the schools were over-crowded, but probably not now.

    Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.

  50. reflecting on the high school

    The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings. It is cheaper to have the younger brother live with their college-aged sibling in Davis and attend Davis High School for free, then it is to pay for private school in San Francisco. This was a problem a few years ago when the schools were over-crowded, but probably not now.

    Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.

  51. reflecting on the high school

    The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings. It is cheaper to have the younger brother live with their college-aged sibling in Davis and attend Davis High School for free, then it is to pay for private school in San Francisco. This was a problem a few years ago when the schools were over-crowded, but probably not now.

    Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.

  52. reflecting on the high school

    The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings. It is cheaper to have the younger brother live with their college-aged sibling in Davis and attend Davis High School for free, then it is to pay for private school in San Francisco. This was a problem a few years ago when the schools were over-crowded, but probably not now.

    Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.

  53. don shor

    “Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.”

    Well, if housing values drop 25 – 30%, as predicted, we may see a little boom in home purchases by younger families. If they can get mortgages!

  54. don shor

    “Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.”

    Well, if housing values drop 25 – 30%, as predicted, we may see a little boom in home purchases by younger families. If they can get mortgages!

  55. don shor

    “Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.”

    Well, if housing values drop 25 – 30%, as predicted, we may see a little boom in home purchases by younger families. If they can get mortgages!

  56. don shor

    “Another reason is the price of housing. Davis houses require 2 income earners – people with established careers and older children.”

    Well, if housing values drop 25 – 30%, as predicted, we may see a little boom in home purchases by younger families. If they can get mortgages!

  57. Rich Rifkin

    “The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings.”

    This may be true in a couple of cases, but it explains NOTHING about the larger high school classes than in the lower grades. That’s a reflection of a baby bust and the lower number of families with young children able to afford housing in Davis.

    Prior to this decade, it had always been the case that the high school classes had smaller numbers than we had in the lower grades. This was principally for the opposite reasons for today’s condition: 1. We had a growing number of families moving here who either had young children or were giving birth to young children here; 2. Davis was not too expensive for young families to buy homes here; and 3. A percentage of students along the way from K-12 drop out, and thus their leaving the system reduced the upper grade level populations.*

    * I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    “The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings.”

    This may be true in a couple of cases, but it explains NOTHING about the larger high school classes than in the lower grades. That’s a reflection of a baby bust and the lower number of families with young children able to afford housing in Davis.

    Prior to this decade, it had always been the case that the high school classes had smaller numbers than we had in the lower grades. This was principally for the opposite reasons for today’s condition: 1. We had a growing number of families moving here who either had young children or were giving birth to young children here; 2. Davis was not too expensive for young families to buy homes here; and 3. A percentage of students along the way from K-12 drop out, and thus their leaving the system reduced the upper grade level populations.*

    * I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    “The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings.”

    This may be true in a couple of cases, but it explains NOTHING about the larger high school classes than in the lower grades. That’s a reflection of a baby bust and the lower number of families with young children able to afford housing in Davis.

    Prior to this decade, it had always been the case that the high school classes had smaller numbers than we had in the lower grades. This was principally for the opposite reasons for today’s condition: 1. We had a growing number of families moving here who either had young children or were giving birth to young children here; 2. Davis was not too expensive for young families to buy homes here; and 3. A percentage of students along the way from K-12 drop out, and thus their leaving the system reduced the upper grade level populations.*

    * I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.

  60. Rich Rifkin

    “The reason why DJUSD gains students in high school grades is where UCD students arrive with their younger siblings.”

    This may be true in a couple of cases, but it explains NOTHING about the larger high school classes than in the lower grades. That’s a reflection of a baby bust and the lower number of families with young children able to afford housing in Davis.

    Prior to this decade, it had always been the case that the high school classes had smaller numbers than we had in the lower grades. This was principally for the opposite reasons for today’s condition: 1. We had a growing number of families moving here who either had young children or were giving birth to young children here; 2. Davis was not too expensive for young families to buy homes here; and 3. A percentage of students along the way from K-12 drop out, and thus their leaving the system reduced the upper grade level populations.*

    * I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.

  61. numbers again

    the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.
    True, but the data are more skewed to older grades now than they were before.

    For example, a couple picked at random show:

    2000-01 school year: only one class was not in the 600’s (6th graders at the time). All other class sizes were between 628 and 693. Pretty balanced.

    2003-04: One class at 597, all others between about 640 and 740, no major skewing by age.

    The data for the latest year show a pronounced rise over the grade levels and that didn’t use to be the case. That may explain why previous years did not show a decline and now the district is just starting to show one. Fewer kids come in relative to the proportion who graduate.

  62. numbers again

    the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.
    True, but the data are more skewed to older grades now than they were before.

    For example, a couple picked at random show:

    2000-01 school year: only one class was not in the 600’s (6th graders at the time). All other class sizes were between 628 and 693. Pretty balanced.

    2003-04: One class at 597, all others between about 640 and 740, no major skewing by age.

    The data for the latest year show a pronounced rise over the grade levels and that didn’t use to be the case. That may explain why previous years did not show a decline and now the district is just starting to show one. Fewer kids come in relative to the proportion who graduate.

  63. numbers again

    the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.
    True, but the data are more skewed to older grades now than they were before.

    For example, a couple picked at random show:

    2000-01 school year: only one class was not in the 600’s (6th graders at the time). All other class sizes were between 628 and 693. Pretty balanced.

    2003-04: One class at 597, all others between about 640 and 740, no major skewing by age.

    The data for the latest year show a pronounced rise over the grade levels and that didn’t use to be the case. That may explain why previous years did not show a decline and now the district is just starting to show one. Fewer kids come in relative to the proportion who graduate.

  64. numbers again

    the demographics of the current crop of 7-12 grades is not directly correlated to the K-6 kids six years ago.
    True, but the data are more skewed to older grades now than they were before.

    For example, a couple picked at random show:

    2000-01 school year: only one class was not in the 600’s (6th graders at the time). All other class sizes were between 628 and 693. Pretty balanced.

    2003-04: One class at 597, all others between about 640 and 740, no major skewing by age.

    The data for the latest year show a pronounced rise over the grade levels and that didn’t use to be the case. That may explain why previous years did not show a decline and now the district is just starting to show one. Fewer kids come in relative to the proportion who graduate.

  65. wdf

    “I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.”

    Is there any way to find out?

  66. wdf

    “I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.”

    Is there any way to find out?

  67. wdf

    “I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.”

    Is there any way to find out?

  68. wdf

    “I don’t know if the drop out rate has changed much, up or down in recent years. But if I had to guess, I would guess the dropout rate is lower now than it was 20 years ago.”

    Is there any way to find out?

  69. No on Xer

    numbers, numbers said…

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    Davis is going to continue to build homes that will add children to the District. Infill, the Simmons property and perhaps the Cannery Park proposal will all add children to the enrollment figures. Whether they are K-8 or 9-12 will depend upon the type of housing built. The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.

  70. No on Xer

    numbers, numbers said…

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    Davis is going to continue to build homes that will add children to the District. Infill, the Simmons property and perhaps the Cannery Park proposal will all add children to the enrollment figures. Whether they are K-8 or 9-12 will depend upon the type of housing built. The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.

  71. No on Xer

    numbers, numbers said…

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    Davis is going to continue to build homes that will add children to the District. Infill, the Simmons property and perhaps the Cannery Park proposal will all add children to the enrollment figures. Whether they are K-8 or 9-12 will depend upon the type of housing built. The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.

  72. No on Xer

    numbers, numbers said…

    If you look at the current year’s data by grade level it does not suggest the numbers are going to come back up any time soon.

    Davis is going to continue to build homes that will add children to the District. Infill, the Simmons property and perhaps the Cannery Park proposal will all add children to the enrollment figures. Whether they are K-8 or 9-12 will depend upon the type of housing built. The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.

  73. Rich Rifkin

    “The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.”

    Really? Do you have a source for this “analysis”? I never saw any projections by the city which suggested what you are saying. Further, I never saw any official estimates which said, if we approved Covell Village, we would need an additional high school.

    Because so much of the housing — 50% — was going to be “affordable” at CV, your conclusions seem counter intuitive. That exact kind of housing is what would have permitted families with young children or families with older children.

  74. Rich Rifkin

    “The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.”

    Really? Do you have a source for this “analysis”? I never saw any projections by the city which suggested what you are saying. Further, I never saw any official estimates which said, if we approved Covell Village, we would need an additional high school.

    Because so much of the housing — 50% — was going to be “affordable” at CV, your conclusions seem counter intuitive. That exact kind of housing is what would have permitted families with young children or families with older children.

  75. Rich Rifkin

    “The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.”

    Really? Do you have a source for this “analysis”? I never saw any projections by the city which suggested what you are saying. Further, I never saw any official estimates which said, if we approved Covell Village, we would need an additional high school.

    Because so much of the housing — 50% — was going to be “affordable” at CV, your conclusions seem counter intuitive. That exact kind of housing is what would have permitted families with young children or families with older children.

  76. Rich Rifkin

    “The city’s analysis of the voter-rejected Covell Village project projected an increase mainly in 9-12 enrollment that would have required as additional HS facility.”

    Really? Do you have a source for this “analysis”? I never saw any projections by the city which suggested what you are saying. Further, I never saw any official estimates which said, if we approved Covell Village, we would need an additional high school.

    Because so much of the housing — 50% — was going to be “affordable” at CV, your conclusions seem counter intuitive. That exact kind of housing is what would have permitted families with young children or families with older children.

  77. numbers, numbers

    no on xer…

    Yes, infill will happen, but I stand by my statement that student populations are not going to rebound “any time soon.” Cannery Park isn’t even approved yet, and West Village doesn’t seem to be happening very quickly. Simmons isn’t anywhere near being built on either. It will be at least 3-5 years before enough units are built and sold to have a significant impact on the school population.

  78. numbers, numbers

    no on xer…

    Yes, infill will happen, but I stand by my statement that student populations are not going to rebound “any time soon.” Cannery Park isn’t even approved yet, and West Village doesn’t seem to be happening very quickly. Simmons isn’t anywhere near being built on either. It will be at least 3-5 years before enough units are built and sold to have a significant impact on the school population.

  79. numbers, numbers

    no on xer…

    Yes, infill will happen, but I stand by my statement that student populations are not going to rebound “any time soon.” Cannery Park isn’t even approved yet, and West Village doesn’t seem to be happening very quickly. Simmons isn’t anywhere near being built on either. It will be at least 3-5 years before enough units are built and sold to have a significant impact on the school population.

  80. numbers, numbers

    no on xer…

    Yes, infill will happen, but I stand by my statement that student populations are not going to rebound “any time soon.” Cannery Park isn’t even approved yet, and West Village doesn’t seem to be happening very quickly. Simmons isn’t anywhere near being built on either. It will be at least 3-5 years before enough units are built and sold to have a significant impact on the school population.

  81. robin

    The demographic trend (fewer kids in younger grades) is not a Davis-specific factor. The graduating class of 2010 is expected to be the largest ever across the nation because of a baby boomlet a little over 2 decades ago which ended when birthrates started to drop about 15 years ago. Enrollment in younger grades dropped everywhere starting 5 years after the birthrate started to drop. Read the newspapers about school closures in other districts.

    The real question is not why Davis school enrollments are lower in younger grades. The real question is how we ended up with demographic projections (under Tahir) that justified building 2 new elementary schools and a new junior high all within a very short period of time. The second question is why the professional demographic analysis was not redone during those years of high construction.

    We are lucky that it looks like we will only have to close one elementary school and one junior high, considering that we built 2 new elementary schools and one new junior high based on a population blip.

  82. robin

    The demographic trend (fewer kids in younger grades) is not a Davis-specific factor. The graduating class of 2010 is expected to be the largest ever across the nation because of a baby boomlet a little over 2 decades ago which ended when birthrates started to drop about 15 years ago. Enrollment in younger grades dropped everywhere starting 5 years after the birthrate started to drop. Read the newspapers about school closures in other districts.

    The real question is not why Davis school enrollments are lower in younger grades. The real question is how we ended up with demographic projections (under Tahir) that justified building 2 new elementary schools and a new junior high all within a very short period of time. The second question is why the professional demographic analysis was not redone during those years of high construction.

    We are lucky that it looks like we will only have to close one elementary school and one junior high, considering that we built 2 new elementary schools and one new junior high based on a population blip.

  83. robin

    The demographic trend (fewer kids in younger grades) is not a Davis-specific factor. The graduating class of 2010 is expected to be the largest ever across the nation because of a baby boomlet a little over 2 decades ago which ended when birthrates started to drop about 15 years ago. Enrollment in younger grades dropped everywhere starting 5 years after the birthrate started to drop. Read the newspapers about school closures in other districts.

    The real question is not why Davis school enrollments are lower in younger grades. The real question is how we ended up with demographic projections (under Tahir) that justified building 2 new elementary schools and a new junior high all within a very short period of time. The second question is why the professional demographic analysis was not redone during those years of high construction.

    We are lucky that it looks like we will only have to close one elementary school and one junior high, considering that we built 2 new elementary schools and one new junior high based on a population blip.

  84. robin

    The demographic trend (fewer kids in younger grades) is not a Davis-specific factor. The graduating class of 2010 is expected to be the largest ever across the nation because of a baby boomlet a little over 2 decades ago which ended when birthrates started to drop about 15 years ago. Enrollment in younger grades dropped everywhere starting 5 years after the birthrate started to drop. Read the newspapers about school closures in other districts.

    The real question is not why Davis school enrollments are lower in younger grades. The real question is how we ended up with demographic projections (under Tahir) that justified building 2 new elementary schools and a new junior high all within a very short period of time. The second question is why the professional demographic analysis was not redone during those years of high construction.

    We are lucky that it looks like we will only have to close one elementary school and one junior high, considering that we built 2 new elementary schools and one new junior high based on a population blip.

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