DJUSD Faces Possible Additional Three Million Dollar Deficit

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On Thursday night the Davis Joint Unified School District formally passed the second interim budget that would show the Davis school budget balanced through 2010-11.  In order to do that, the school district had to send layoff notices to dozens of employees including roughly 40 teachers.

However, the really bad news was delivered by the district’s CBO, Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby toward the end of his presentation.  The budget’s ink is barely dry and it is already likely out of date.

Last week the state’s Legislative Analyst (LAO) released an estimate that due to falling state revenues, the state was $8 billion in the hole.  And that does not even include expected falling revenues when the state collects its taxes on April 15.  We are still two months off from the May revise, possibly more as that revise is expected in June.

However right now, based on the $8 billion estimate from the LAO, Bruce Colby projects that this means an additional $3 million in cuts to DJUSD from the state.  That is the size of the entire budget deficit for next year.  That is three-quarters of the size of the entire budget that we faced last year when we had to pink slip 114 teachers.  If that number holds, we are facing alarming prospects of additional cutbacks to educational programs in Davis.

Mr. Colby was less than optimistic that Federal Stimulus money will get to this district and help this district.  The money that gets out to the state according to Mr. Colby is either Title 1 or Special Education Federal Categorical money.  It is restricted money that can only go to Title 1 and Special Education programs. 

So while it is possible that the district may get $1.4 million in the form of stimulus money it is not going to mitigate cuts programs.  He said it may help with some of the layoff notices but not the program cuts.

There is also going to be extreme pressure from the LAO that any federal stimulus money stay at the state level to offset borrowing from the previous budget.

Thus, we should not expect any stimulus money and we certainly should not expect any of that money to prevent layoffs and program cuts.

The state of California and education in the state of California is facing a crisis of such immense proportions, we are not going to be able to fathom the impact.  We are talking about nearly $4 billion additional in cuts just due to the $8 billion.  And frankly that $8 billion at this point is probably best case scenario.

A few weeks ago the board as they were approving the drastic measure of PKS’s whereby they noticed 55 employees about the possibility of being laid off (they have since pulled 8 back), at that time, board members like Richard Harris stressed that this might be the best case scenario and that things could get much worse.  They just did.

There was little discussion last night about the prospects for a second wave of cuts, but understand, the district has pretty much cut everything they can cut except for staff–and specifically classroom staff.  This $3 million, if it occurs, will likely come directly out of the classroom.

The public has already passed two parcels taxes.  That option is not on the table.

Given the current economy, it seems very unlikely that a private fundraising drive could raise $3 million.  In a far better economy, they raised about half that last year.

I do not want to panic people, but based on the numbers in the past, I think we are looking at probably 100 prospective layoffs to cover the $3 million or a ten percent paycut if teachers are willing to go that route.

There is little doubt that even under those dire conditions that this district will provide the students with a strong and quality education, but I really wonder if we can say the same for the rest of the state.  Californians are going to have to decide what they want to prioritize.

We have already cut $7 billion from K-12 and another $3 or $4 billion to higher education.  We have barely cut a dime to prisons and correctional system.  Maybe, just maybe, we need to think about what our priorities are in this state.

—David M. Greenwald 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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72 thoughts on “DJUSD Faces Possible Additional Three Million Dollar Deficit”

  1. Dan

    Might as well just cut the ENTIRE SCHOOL SYSTEM. This is just getting ridiculous.

    100 additional layoffs or a 10 percent paycut for teachers?

    Trust me, there will NOT be a strong quality education left in Davis at that point. Stop deluding yourself and believing that DJUSD will retain its excellence as it continues to eat away at itself.

  2. martin

    All is not lost. There is Title 1 money and it is all going to the worst school districts like Oakland and Richmond unless Davis can teach its kids to fail classes, perform poorly on the STAR tests, and in general to not learn anything. These are tough times and call for tough measures! So, it is up to the teachers. You have one more year to show that you are as good as the times require.

  3. David M. Greenwald

    “Stop deluding yourself and believing that DJUSD will retain its excellence as it continues to eat away at itself.”

    What do you propose, it’s not like the district can control what the state does?

  4. wdf

    David,

    I think Colby came up with a potential $3.4 million cut if you take $8 billion and assumed the May propositions didn’t pass. Then you come up with roughly $14 billion, $3 billion of which would be a likely cut to Prop. 98 based funding, which then would translate to ~$3.4 million to the district. I’m working off memory on the morning after, so I may be off some on details, but that was more the context.

  5. Dan

    I’m not saying that the district can control what the state does. But I am saying that if funding keeps getting cut and starts hitting the classrooms, then we need to accept that the quality education we expect/demand from our schools is going to be a thing of the past.

    We get what we pay for. We cannot expect our teachers to give their all when they might be getting far less.

  6. No Frills Guy

    What has to be done is cut programs to the bare bones. Ornamental Horticulture will have to go, as will Stage Technician. So will Spanish 5. Class sizes will have to be increased. Teachers will need to take a hefty paycut if they want to retain their jobs. (I warned that the ones now voting against paycuts may themselves be the next to get pink slips.) And yes, administrators will need to take an even heftier paycut than the teachers. Like it or not, that is what has to be done.

    The fact of the matter is, DJUSD has added so many programs to its school curriculum, the monster it has created is out of hand and will be forced to be cut back. The lesson to be learned is offer the basics, save enough reserves to weather tough times, and stop adding so many frills you think you can’t live without.

    Then start demanding accountability from your elected politicians, who think nothing of spending OTM – OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. And I am talking at the state level. Because a fiscal crisis at the state level trickles down to the local level. Irresponsibility at the state level trickles down to the local level.

  7. David M. Greenwald

    “But I am saying that if funding keeps getting cut and starts hitting the classrooms, then we need to accept that the quality education we expect/demand from our schools is going to be a thing of the past. “

    I agree.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    “Ornamental Horticulture will have to go, as will Stage Technician.”

    You to my knowledge have never sat down and looked at several things. (A) what are graduation and UC entrance requirements; (B) what other classes teachers teach in addition to these; (C) how these classes fit in with (A) and (B). Until you do that, you are being part of the problem, not part of the solution. If these are needed classes for graduation or UC admissions, they cannot be cut. If these teachers who teach these classes teach other required courses, you are not cutting the teachers.

  9. wdf

    “Ornamental Horticulture will have to go, as will Stage Technician.”

    At present these programs are covered by money from the county office of education as part of their vocational program (called ROP). These classes generally aim to teach skills that could translate more immediately to specific job skills and experience on completion. If the county cuts funding for these programs, then you might begin to have an argument. Until then, cutting them will make no difference in the budget that the district has to balance.

  10. Davis mom

    You said that you don’t want to panic people but I’m afraid you just did. Not your fault though! What are we supposed to do? I am simply not willing to send my kids to inferior schools, and schools cut to the bone will be just that. I can’t really afford a private school, and there are not many non religious private options in Davis anyway. I support the infusion of private money into the system (a la DSF) but if it sounds like that’s not going to save us this year. So what to do? Sorry, but I am panicing!

  11. Davis parent

    Will DSF be doing another major fundraising campaign this year? I have been surprised how silent they have been.

    No Frills Guy suggests cutting certain classes, but the Board this year already reviewed the classes that were running below capacity and are getting rid of them (Business Law for example). The classes that remain may appear frivolous to you but they are full of 30 kids or more. If you get rid of that class, you’ll still have to pay another teacher to put those 30 kids in a different class. Getting rid of full classes, regardless of how unimportant they appear to you, does not save money.

  12. madame shoes

    What happened with measure w? What happened with all the money we keep on giving them and they keep on giving up. The Union must take the fall this time. There is no quality education in Davis anyway. It’s quality education if you’re a quality student. Which doesn’t say much for the education. They teachers must collectively take a pay cut like everyone else. If they were truly here to serve the students, they would be willing to do so. It’s obvious they are selfish and self service and don’t care about education. They are terrorists in that they hold everybody hostage claiming huge cuts to education if they don’t get more money. You can’t negotiate with terrorists.

  13. wdf

    “It’s quality education if you’re a quality student. Which doesn’t say much for the education.”

    Schools help, but parents make the biggest difference in whether it’s quality education or not.

  14. anonymous

    How are other districts in the region faring? Are they all facing the same dire cuts? And if not, what is different about their funding/staffing/curriculum structure that makes them less vulnerable? While we are trying to address the immediate problem, we shouldn’t forget to address the long term problem.

  15. wdf

    “How are other districts in the region faring? Are they all facing the same dire cuts? And if not, what is different about their funding/staffing/curriculum structure that makes them less vulnerable? While we are trying to address the immediate problem, we shouldn’t forget to address the long term problem.”

    If you look back in the comments connected with other recent Vanguard articles about the local school budget, I have posted numerous links to news items about other school districts, mostly in the area. You can judge for yourself. But I think Davis schools are doing maybe slightly better compared to other districts in dealing with cuts.

  16. Duke

    “That is three-quarters of the size of the entire budget that we faced last year when we had to pink slip 114 teachers”****************
    I need someone to tell me how many were actually laid off?? Intent to lay off is much different than actually being laid off. If 114 were actually laid off, I guess I missed that headline in the paper?? Probably wasn’t even 10% of that but I’d like to know from someone, please!

  17. David M. Greenwald

    Duke:

    None were eventually laid off. What happened was that the May revise came in a bit higher than expected, so the district got more money. They were able to use some onetime money plus the actually enrollment declined less than feared. Finally the community chipped in with $1.7 million to plug the final gap.

    The voters then passed a $2.4 million parcel tax to plug that ongoing hole in the budget.

    However, the state has made now two huge cuts in the education budget and because of that positions are being cut and this time the district is not going to find the money and the May revise (June this year) is likely to bring about further cuts rather than less as was the case last year.

    So in a lot of ways you are comparing apples to oranges if you are suggesting that because no one was eventually laid off last year the same will be true this year.

  18. Duke

    No, I wasn’t suggesting that..I know this year will be vastly more grave. Thanks for the information! I honestly believe we can and will see a much worse situation with our city but will we sit back and wait or get out ahead of it??–or as Billy says: “I fully expect things to RAMP up….” Getting out ahead of it means to already have a lay off list ready to go–not waiting another year to 18 months.

  19. wdf

    “What happened was that the May revise came in a bit higher than expected, so the district got more money.”

    Which was definitely unrealistic in hindsight.

  20. Dan

    I am continually amazed at how hostile some posters are towards the teachers of this school district. Teachers are “terrorists”?

    There are some really screwed-up people out there.

  21. madame shoes

    Another district said

    “Such animosity towards teachers! You would think we are worthy of AIG bonuses.” —AIG bonuses are not the same thing but certainly the same concept. Demanding a pay raise or refusing to take a cut while everyone else is suffering is the same thing. Selfish and hypocritical.I know the government’s in the business of rewarding failure, but hopefully things are about to change.

    Dan said:
    “I am continually amazed at how hostile some posters are towards the teachers of this school district. Teachers are “terrorists”?

    There are some really screwed-up people out there.”

    Terrorists put fear into people’s hearts. In order to get their randsome, they threaten the health and safety of the captives. In this case, the children are being held hostage and being used as bargaining chips for the teacher’s unions randsome. The firefighters and police unions I’m sure will be doing the same, threatening threats to everybodies safety.Same as with low income housing. THey come up with all sorts of fake statistics siting them as the main reason for a request for increased funding. There isn’t a 3 year waiting list for low income housing. That’s a lie designed to guilt people into getting more money.
    You can’t negotiate with terrorists.
    They’ll get their money and toss the kids. More money for teachers won’t result in a better education for the kids. That’s the bottom line.
    Why should these unions get their pay raises while everyone else is failing?

  22. madame shoes

    “It’s quality education if you’re a quality student. Which doesn’t say much for the education.”

    Schools help, but parents make the biggest difference in whether it’s quality education or not.

    making the parents do the job of the teacher is typical. Pay me 40k /yr and i’ll gladly teach my kids.

  23. wdf

    [quote]Madame Shoes says:

    “Schools help, but parents make the biggest difference in whether it’s quality education or not.”

    making the parents do the job of the teacher is typical. Pay me 40k /yr and i’ll gladly teach my kids.[/quote]

    I refer to things like parents making sure kids eat right, stay healthy, get to bed on time, show up for school on time, ready for school, take schoolwork and homework seriously, help your kid if he/she needs help, ask them about what they did in school, and volunteer to help out at school, if possible. I don’t know why you would dispute that or make it conditional on being paid $40K per year to do that.

  24. Rambling Man

    To the “haters” out there (like Madame Shoes), if you are so openly antagonistic, hostile, and anti-teacher, then I have a simple solution: home school. Obviously, you do not believe that the teachers of Davis make any major difference on the education of your student. Given that, there is no need for you to have your student in the school system since you can offer everything they need at home.

    The whole hostage/terrorist analogy has to be one of the most ridiculous ideas I’ve seen posted on here – and there have been a lot of them!

    The fact of the matter is that Davis schools have done well and the teachers here do a great job of working with our kids to help them excell. The second fact of the matter is that teachers are not paid high salaries. That’s just the way it goes and I do not buy into teachers who complain about their salaries – they know what they are getting into when they sign up. It doesn’t negate what they do, it’s just the simple mathematics of how we fund our schools. So given that, I am more than impressed with their hard work and their successes.

    The final fact is if we GUT their salaries, and YES cutting their salaries 10 percent will gut their salaries as far as I’m concerned, we are taking an already low-paying and demanding job and slicing it up.

    Find the money somewhere else. I’m sorry but Hammond, Colby, French, Mari, Clark and all the other principals make too much money – much higher than teachers and it’s not right. Start by paring down those salaries significantly. Do they work directly with the students? No. Teachers are on the front line. Protect those small salaries to begin with.

    Eliminate unnecessary administrative positions and unnnecessary or under-enrolled classes.

    Reduce custodial services. Maybe rooms can’t be cleaned every single night and garabage cans will be emptied every other day or so. How many of us clean our own houses every night?

    Make athletic and music programs PAY TO PLAY. Sorry, but if we are talking about program cuts, then the extra-curricular programs outside of the core academics (English, Math, History, and Science) need to be trimmed. Seems like this district won’t touch their ‘golden cows’ like the Madrigals and such, but c’mon – that stuff is extra and targets a small group. Eliminate the stipends that the music teachers and coaches receive.

    Basically, do everything that has to be done BEFORE you even think about asking the general population of teachers to give up 10 percent of their salary.

    Thanks for letting me ramble.

  25. Rambling Man

    Oh – and one more thing to Madame Shoes: no one here is talking about teachers getting a pay raise. We’re talking about preventint a pay CUT. Big difference.

    I’m not a teacher in case you’re wondering, nor am I married to one. BUT I recognize the significant role that teachers play in the education of their children. My three kids are going throught the Davis schools (DHS, Holmes, and Pioneer) and I applaud the work the educators of our community have done. They have made an important difference in the lives of my children – inspiring, influencing, and teaching them. Their jobs are challenging ones and they are to be supported for their efforts. Trashing them, as too many people on here like to do so easily, is a horrible thing to do. If you don’t think they do a good job, then maybe you should sign up and get in there yourself.

  26. Jack Spear

    There are numerous applicants for open teacher positions, and the applicants are of as high a quality as the current employees. This indicates that current employees are overpaid, according to market indicators.

    Secondly, if you look at the quality of Davis schools adjusted for Davis demographics, it is nothing to be proud of. There are actually certain areas where Davis is below the state average in the STAR test. Below an average that includes Los Angeles and Oakland and numerous districts with much higher challenges than ours.

    Our teachers should step forward and look for ways to contribute to the solution of this crisis.

  27. Julian Anderson

    It is obvious that there are some out there on the Vanguard who are just determined to shoot down the efforts of our teachers. Applicants for jobs means that our employees are overpaid? And what evidence do you have that an applicant is of high a quality of the current employee?

    Gimmie a break.

    Again, just more evidence of the ‘haters’ out there. That’s fine. Nothing short of elminating teacher salaries and scoring 1000 percent above everyone else will probaby make that group happy.

    Teachers DO step forward every day to contribute to the solution of this crisis. They are the same group that donated to SOS, voted for Measures Q and W, AND are working with our kids every day. Can you claim the same and then some? I’m betting that you’re not. It’s easy to get on here and spout off what people aren’t doing. Harder maybe to actually do something.

  28. Jack Spear

    “Teachers DO step forward every day to contribute to the solution of this crisis. They are the same group that donated to SOS, voted for Measures Q and W.”

    So voting higher taxes on Davis citizens is what teachers contribute to the solution of this crisis.

    I made a mistake in supporting these measures and won’t repeat that.

    And my evidence that newly hired teachers are as good as the existing ones? 20 years of experience with kids in the schools. Are you saying that the recently hired (and soon to be fired, thanks to DTA) teachers are of inferior quality?

  29. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Are you saying that the recently hired (and soon to be fired, thanks to DTA) teachers are of inferior quality?”[/i]

    I think Julian is saying that there is no way to measure the quality of teachers, despite your experience and everyone else’s experience which makes it plain that there are good and bad, effective and ineffective teachers, and that it makes a whole lot of sense to distinguish among them. Rejecting a measure of ability, one is left with the notion that we should use chronology in retention: last in equals first out.

  30. Julian Anderson

    For Mr. Spear, making generalizations about teachers and experience doesn’t work. Sure, there are newly-hired teachers who are excellent and dynamic. At the same time, there are veteran teachers who excell and continue to inspire and motivate students.

    Apparently you believe that the way to solve this financial problem is to take away from the salaries of the educators in this community….since they make so much to begin with but obviously aren’t worth a dime.

  31. Julian Anderson

    And for the record, I support the use of annual employee evaluations to assess the progress and effectiveness of teachers. The tenure system education relies on unfortunately just rewards longevity and not effectiveness. Teachers should be measured on student achievement and progress in their classrooms.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Teachers should be measured on student achievement and progress in their classrooms.”[/i]

    If that is your view, I apologize for my comment above and withdraw it.

    I notice often that people who reject paying and retaining teachers based on performance often cite cases where this would harm teachers who are assigned difficult students, including those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet, if it is based (as Julian put it) on progress in the classrooms, then the best teachers would want the challenge of those who are starting out behind, as they have the most room to grow and thus to progress. What we should not do is confuse the endpoint with “progress.” A teacher whose students start out in first place and end up in first may have done a great job; or her students may simply have done as expected based on what was known about them going in. The teacher I am far more impressed with is the one who turns below average children into average or better, as measured by fair standardized tests and the observation of qualified colleagues, esp. the principal.

  33. wdf

    [quote]if you look at the quality of Davis schools adjusted for Davis demographics, it is nothing to be proud of. There are actually certain areas where Davis is below the state average in the STAR test.[/quote]

    Could you offer some examples of where Davis schools need to improve in that respect?

  34. Julian Anderson

    I believe that a good teacher is one who can make a ‘difference’ and help a student ‘progress’. I believe that measuring achievement and progress is one that is based upon the student’s individual needs.

    What you have stated above is what I have endorsed and supported in my remarks.

  35. J. Kozol

    Davis has an acheivement gap with certain underpreforming minorities and also fails to adequately serve many special needs students. At least Davis is trying to address the underpreforming minorities issue instead of just hiding behind its stellar testing results Hiring Hammond was the best thing they ever did as this is his area of expertise.
    As for the abilities of beginning teachers you would find if you asked teachers they would tell you that teachers with some years of experience are better than the new ones. It takes time to learn the craft. Maybe some burn out and stay past their prime but even then its questionable whether new teachers would be better. I am yet to see the new teacher who has it all down on the first day.

  36. madame shoes

    I think the teachers unions should practice what they preach with regards to progressive tax policies. The more you make the bigger the cut in pay. Teachers on the lower end should not have to be the first to lose their jobs just so the higher ups can make 77k/year.
    Let the new teachers in, get rid of the senior teachers, that quite frankly are stuck in their ways and have an attitude of entitlement. Most do more damage than good and are never held acocuntable.

    Like I said, the cuts should come from the top down. If the union was so interested in teaching the kids adequately, they’d be calling for more money towards the kids, not the teachers. And yes, the CTA is calling for a floor of 40k/year starting position.
    It’s outrageous.
    Also in response to wdf “refer to things like parents making sure kids eat right, stay healthy, get to bed on time, show up for school on time, ready for school, take schoolwork and homework seriously, help your kid if he/she needs help, ask them about what they did in school, and volunteer to help out at school, if possible.”
    A teacher suggested I quit my job so I can stay at home and tutor my children. Well I’m not a teacher, and it’s not my job to do that. I would have to enroll in school, relearn everything from elementary, take at least 4 hours a day to make sure that I supplement the job of the school district and the teachers? I don’t think so. It’s not my job, and if that’s the case, then we should do away with education and schools because from your stand points it’s not the job of the schools to educate the children.
    Most of these things sound like they’re coming from an rich up middle class housewife with nothing but time, resources, and social standing in the community.
    I’m tired of teachers trying to find any excuse as to why 50% of the children are failing in this country. Not just Davis. Sorry but Davis isn’t comprised entirely of rich, educated, white, nuclear families. Perhaps we can return Davis back to its grandiose superiority and eject all the underperformers, so the teachers can go back to their easy jobs. 3 months a year off, vacations, benefits, ultimate power and control, no professional accountability, guaranteed pay increases, and the all mighty teacher’s unions to back up any and all wrong doings.
    You’ll find that there are alot of parents who are mad. I urge you all to come forward.

  37. madame shoes

    another comment about the salaries. I tried getting a salary schedule of how much the district spends on salaries, and even though it’s a matter of public record, it’s no where to be found. If teachers are making 77k/year, they get three months off / year. They have so many fringe benefits. I don’t know how much you all make, the 40k is alot of money to 80% of California. And to hear the teachers demand more money, or refuse a pay cut when everyone else is getting laid off, getting paycuts, is not only morally wrong, it’s selfish and greedy and shows that all the teachers seem to care about is making more money.
    There are some teachers that deserve their money and should even get bonuses, but unfortunately the system doesn’t support this. Instead it encourages an attitude of entitlement and when parents come forward to complain about the quality of their children’s education, the school is quick to demonize and blame the parents. It happens all the time every where but particularly in Davis, where teachers are used to a standard of living and are used to parents witht the socio economic back grounds to make the schools look good.

    Ask any struggling parent, single or not, working or not…take the time out to ask other parents how they feel instead of just calling for more cuts to vital services, you should be calling for cuts to teachers who make the most money, much like the progressive tax.

  38. Don Shor

    “A teacher suggested I quit my job so I can stay at home and tutor my children. Well I’m not a teacher, and it’s not my job to do that. I would have to enroll in school, relearn everything from elementary, take at least 4 hours a day to make sure that I supplement the job of the school district and the teachers? I don’t think so. It’s not my job, and if that’s the case, then we should do away with education and schools because from your stand points it’s not the job of the schools to educate the children.”

    In my opinion it IS our job to make sure our children are getting the best education they can. That means making sure they are properly prepared, that each is in his or her best placement for learning, and taking on part of the teaching if necessary when our child does not excel in a particular course. That is why we switched our kids into independent study for part of their schooling, and it is why many parents in Davis choose home schooling. No, you don’t have to “enroll in school and relearn everything.” You just read the books with them, talk about the subjects, and monitor their progress. Being involved in our kids’ education is a basic role of parenting.

  39. wdf

    Madame shoes says:

    [quote]A teacher suggested I quit my job so I can stay at home and tutor my children. Well I’m not a teacher, and it’s not my job to do that. I would have to enroll in school, relearn everything from elementary, take at least 4 hours a day to make sure that I supplement the job of the school district and the teachers? I don’t think so. It’s not my job, and if that’s the case, then we should do away with education and schools because from your stand points it’s not the job of the schools to educate the children.
    [/quote]

    I don’t know the fuller context of your situation, but as you present it, asking you to quit your job to do full time tutoring seems extreme. But on the other hand, you seem to argue that you have no obligation to aid in the education of your child. Is it possible to spend an hour or two a day going over school work, if need be? If your child doesn’t feel like doing homework, then it’s not your responsibility to step in? If your child needs a little outside help drilling multiplication/division tables and spelling, that’s not your problem?

    But first through sixth grade curricula is within the grasp of most adults. We’re talking mostly about basic reading and math skills. If you were talking about advanced math, Shakespeare, and high school chemistry, I would concur that it would probably require me practically to be taking those courses with my child to follow what’s going on.

    I know that some students graduate from high school, seemingly doing no homework in their school careers. You can’t get away with that in college. I would argue that students develop a certain amount of discipline to study outside of class by the example and expectations that parents establish.

    Clearly we have a difference of opinion, here. By Davis standards, I believe I’m definitely a below average income earner, and I don’t have a problem with helping my kids with school work. My parents did this for me, it’s my obligation to do it for my kids. The school teachers do the bulk of the work in establishing what’s to be learned and providing ways to learn that material. I’m just helping to model how to approach and learn that stuff at home.

  40. For Crying Out Loud!

    Never mind bashing teachers. Lets look at the issue of the economic mess realistically. Bottom line, there is not enough money to go around. Teachers have not been able to tell DJUSD where money is to come from to keep teachers salaries at current levels. As I suggested before, the same teachers that were willing for newer hires to be pink-slipped, may find themselves pink-slipped. When that happens, at say 100 teachers laid off, perhaps these same teachers will sing a different tune about a pay cut. However, if the teachers have to take a huge paycut, then administrators need to take no less than twice that.

    And yes, Ornamental Horitculture and Stage Technician will have to go. As I said before, the feds don’t have the money for this nonsense anymore, nor do the states. Their fiscal irresponsibility trickles down to the local level. It is nice to say, “oh, that is an ROP program the feds pay for” to justify such programs, but ultimately when the feds run out of money, so does the state, and so does the local school district. It is that simple. In my day, and I about 60 years old, we did not have Ornamental Horticulture, nor Stage Tech, nor Spanish 5, nor Madrigals, nor Chinese Mandarin 5, nor Crunch Lunch program, etc. ad nauseum. And frankly, I will stack my education against current education anyday. I hold multiple advanced degrees from the East Coast. There is so much “fluff” in every aspect of life these days, that people seem to believe they cannot do without. Well, all that overspending has come home to roost – and your children are going to have to pay for that overspending. Think about it!

    Furthermore, to the teachers – is it better to take a paycut than to be out of a job? The foreclosure rate in this country is climbing. If we start having massive layoffs, that is huge numbers of folks who can’t make mortgage payments who will lose their homes. Then that results in a glut of houses on the markets as the value of homes plummets. As the value of homes plummets, so does the tax revenue coming in to states. Less and less tax revenue is generated to pay for all the programs we have set up. We desperately need to keep people employed, first and foremost. Then we need to start paring down programs gradually, taking a more pragmatice and practical approach to spending. At the same time, we need to reform the banking industry, and make sure it is properly regulated. And we have to stop encouraging the feds to overspend – such as taking federal money when you don’t need it – such as building schools that are not necessary!

  41. wdf

    “Teachers have not been able to tell DJUSD where money is to come from to keep teachers salaries at current levels.”

    Well, actually some DTA folks argue that there are too many under-enrolled “fluff” courses at the high school. But that is an unusual, odd argument to be coming from the teachers, because if they would in fact identify which courses they have in mind, then you would still be cutting about the same number of teachers. Although one Davis parent and teacher actually got up during public comment at a school board meeting recently and said that it should be high school language courses. She said she was an elementary teacher, so the apparent logic seemed a little too self-serving coming from her.

    Since advanced languages have come under regular attack from folks like you, I understand that the U.S. lags among industrial nations in teaching foreign languages. Is cutting languages like you suggest the way to maintain an economically competitive citizenry in this world? That is the line of questioning you would get from certain school board members.

  42. The $ is not there...

    1) It is going to come down to this: teachers are going to get pink slipped or they are going to agree to a salary decrease.

    2) Teachers are angry because of the situation. I agree it is a terrible one. However, I think now is time to have the conversation that needs to happen about district finances.
    Before a parcel tax is proposed or passed, the tough questions need to be asked:
    1) how much $?
    2) what is the rationale behind these programs?
    3) is there a cheaper alternative behind the program? Can the same effect be achieved for much less? how?
    4) what is a basic service? what is a frill?
    5) what accountability measures are in place?

    In otherwords, a parcel tax that simply says: that we need $ to reduce class size, fund libraries, fund education, fund afterschool programs with the accountability simply stated “there will be an oversight committee”
    is not good enough. we need to know how such a committe will be chosen, and a clear seperation from in house parties. Each tax measure needs to be spelled out crystal clear as to how the $ will be spent on what program.
    The list provided is just a sample. But I don’t want to see teachers get pink slipped only to see a few months down the road another stadium built, another theatre, another special afterschool program, and a giant X-Mas wish list materialize.

  43. wdf

    “that we need $ to reduce class size, fund libraries, fund education, fund afterschool programs with the accountability simply stated “there will be an oversight committee”
    is not good enough. we need to know how such a committe will be chosen, and a clear seperation from in house parties. Each tax measure needs to be spelled out crystal clear as to how the $ will be spent on what program.”

    You have all of that. I have posted here before, and Greenwald has, too, what amount of the parcel tax is going to which program. There is an oversight committee that is appointed by school board members whom you vote for. If their specific appointments are bad, you can make that an issue here, in the Enterprise, and in the next school board election. Furthermore, the oversight committee holds open meetings, posts agendas in advance of their meetings, so if you personally have a problem with what’s going on, you can sit eye to eye with your fellow community members and discuss your issues.

  44. wdf

    [quote]“Are you saying that the recently hired (and soon to be fired, thanks to DTA) teachers are of inferior quality?”

    I think Julian is saying that there is no way to measure the quality of teachers, despite your experience and everyone else’s experience which makes it plain that there are good and bad, effective and ineffective teachers, and that it makes a whole lot of sense to distinguish among them. Rejecting a measure of ability, one is left with the notion that we should use chronology in retention: last in equals first out.
    [/quote]

    If you take a break in teaching for a year after teaching for 10 years, you usually stand to lose your seniority and start over again. If you’ve taught for 10 years in another district, and started teaching in Davis this year, you have the lowest seniority in the district. Davis often tends to bring in new teachers who’ve already had teaching experience elsewhere. More frequently than you think, these are teachers who stand to lose their jobs — those who actually aren’t so green in their jobs.

  45. Skeptic

    Hey, old timer:

    “And frankly, I will stack my education against current education anyday. I hold multiple advanced degrees from the East Coast.”

    Did you go to a school system that truly served all minorities, disabilities, income levels, and needs? Was the accountability there to make sure the teachers were truly teaching all kids in your class? The demands and expectations that public schools deal with these days is a lot greater than in your time.

  46. Private School parent

    “Did you go to a school system that truly served all minorities, disabilities, income levels, and needs? Was the accountability there to make sure the teachers were truly teaching all kids in your class? The demands and expectations that public schools deal with these days is a lot greater than in your time.”

    Surely you are joking?
    Today’s school system serves all minorities, disabilities, income levels, and needs?

    Have you ever seen statistics on how badly the public schools serve minorities and low income students?
    Have you ever seen data on how private schools achieve far higher results at a fraction of the cost?
    Have you never seen how the teachers unions obstruct numerous efforts to improve education?

    Not that I really blame them. As American Federation of Teachers leader Al Shanker famously said, he would care about the students when they started paying union dues. It is the citizens, the voters, and the politicians they elect who allow the teachers unions to destroy the future of our nation by obstructing attempts to improve education.

    Have you ever wondered why school board elections are held off cycle from major elections? It is so that there is a low turnout and the special interests (teachers) who turn out can decide the vote.

    But just like the auto workers and the steel workers and the AIG executives, the teachers union has overplayed its hand.

  47. public school parent

    “Surely you are joking?
    Today’s school system serves all minorities, disabilities, income levels, and needs?

    Have you ever seen statistics on how badly the public schools serve minorities and low income students?
    Have you ever seen data on how private schools achieve far higher results at a fraction of the cost?”

    If I could have found an affordable private school that could serve the learning disabilities of my minority kid, I’d have considered it. I looked and it wasn’t available to me. He graduated successfully, which was all I was praying for.

    Additionally he got a pretty good deal out of the Davis school music program, which is probably has to be one of the largest and strongest in the Sacramento area.

    Sure it’s not all perfect, but it was the best available to us, it worked, and the way I see it, it was a good deal.

    I applaud you for doing what you have to do in good conscience.

    But God bless the public schools!

  48. Private School parent

    To public school parent

    I agree that public schools do well for the disabled and those with learning disabilities.
    I am glad you were happy with the services you received.

    If you look at my posting, I disputed that they do well for minorities and low income students.
    Lots of evidence shows otherwise. This is a national scandal.

  49. wdf

    Jack Spear says:

    “Secondly, if you look at the quality of Davis schools adjusted for Davis demographics, it is nothing to be proud of. There are actually certain areas where Davis is below the state average in the STAR test. Below an average that includes Los Angeles and Oakland and numerous districts with much higher challenges than ours.”

    It would be nice to see all scores higher, statewide for all groups, but when I look at API scores, Davis schools don’t seem to have anything to be embarrassed of compared to the state average. If I’m missing something, please advise.

    I went to the state STAR testing/API website at

    [url]http://api.cde.ca.gov/reports/page2.asp?subject=API&level=District&submit1=submit[/url]

    and looked up Davis for 2008. Also looked up the state average, same year. This is what I found:

    For Davis (parenthesis marks the change from the previous year):
    overall district API: 872 (+4)
    African American: 769 (-12)
    Latino/Hispanic: 749 (+16)
    White: 891 (+6)
    Socioeconomically disadvantaged: 731 (+20)
    English Learners: 758 (+11)
    Students w/ disabilities: 634 (-28)

    State average:
    overall API: 742
    African American: 659
    Latino/Hispanic: 683
    White: 816
    Socioeconomically disadvantaged: 680
    English Language Learners: 662
    Students with disabilities: 548

  50. Ill Say It Again

    “Since advanced languages have come under regular attack from folks like you, I understand that the U.S. lags among industrial nations in teaching foreign languages. Is cutting languages like you suggest the way to maintain an economically competitive citizenry in this world? That is the line of questioning you would get from certain school board members.”

    Spanish 5 and Mandarin 5 are more college level courses, and do not belong in the average public high school.

    “Each tax measure needs to be spelled out crystal clear as to how the $ will be spent on what program.
    The list provided is just a sample. But I don’t want to see teachers get pink slipped only to see a few months down the road another stadium built, another theatre, another special afterschool program, and a giant X-Mas wish list materialize.”

    Right on brother!

    “You have all of that. I have posted here before, and Greenwald has, too, what amount of the parcel tax is going to which program. There is an oversight committee that is appointed by school board members whom you vote for. If their specific appointments are bad, you can make that an issue here, in the Enterprise, and in the next school board election. Furthermore, the oversight committee holds open meetings, posts agendas in advance of their meetings, so if you personally have a problem with what’s going on, you can sit eye to eye with your fellow community members and discuss your issues.”

    Or you can not waste your time in fruitless endeavor, and vote “no” on the next request for a parcel tax!

    “Did you go to a school system that truly served all minorities, disabilities, income levels, and needs? Was the accountability there to make sure the teachers were truly teaching all kids in your class? The demands and expectations that public schools deal with these days is a lot greater than in your time.”

    I know you would like to think we did not address the issues of low income kids, kids w disablilities, etc. in my day (we did). Well, my dyslexic son went through DHS, but got no help other than to be lumped w troublemakers in the AVID program. As a result, he was beaten up on graduation day, and the matter ended w the DPD getting involved and the guilty party (my son’s attacker) being arrested. The school wouldn’t do a thing. So don’t tell me how much our school system is geared towards kids w disabilities, etc.

    “It would be nice to see all scores higher, statewide for all groups, but when I look at API scores, Davis schools don’t seem to have anything to be embarrassed of compared to the state average. If I’m missing something, please advise.”

    Yes, but how do CA schools compare to other schools across the country? Seems to me I remember our state is ranked 49th. How does DHS compare to schools across the country? I would be curious to know.

  51. public school parent

    “I know you would like to think we did not address the issues of low income kids, kids w disablilities, etc. in my day (we did). Well, my dyslexic son went through DHS, but got no help other than to be lumped w troublemakers in the AVID program. As a result, he was beaten up on graduation day, and the matter ended w the DPD getting involved and the guilty party (my son’s attacker) being arrested. The school wouldn’t do a thing. So don’t tell me how much our school system is geared towards kids w disabilities, etc.”

    I’m sorry for your experience. But in my experience described above, there were no private schools that would take him, that would work for him, or that I could afford! He had a learning disability and it wasn’t smooth sailing for him either. He was able to bond with a couple of teachers and a counselor. We used 504 programs and IEP’s that helped him out.

    Friends in other districts (known through support groups) had worse experiences than we did, so we consider ourselves fortunate that it worked out, and that’s why I’m willing to believe in this district, as much as that might make you vomit.

  52. wdf

    [quote]Yes, but how do CA schools compare to other schools across the country? Seems to me I remember our state is ranked 49th. How does DHS compare to schools across the country? I would be curious to know. [/quote]

    It depends on what you want to know. California ranks at the bottom in staff to student ratio, and below average (29th) in per pupil spending. Also at the top in teacher salaries.

    [url]http://www.hewlett.org/Programs/Education/CA+Reform/K-12+Education/K-12+Education.htm[/url]

    As for student achievement and performance (probably what you want), I couldn’t find anything after about 15-20 minutes. I welcome any suggestions.

  53. wdf

    “Spanish 5 and Mandarin 5 are more college level courses, and do not belong in the average public high school.”

    Red herring alert: Once again, I’ve checked, and have not found Mandarin 5 being offered this year. If you find otherwise, please advise when, where, and by whom it is being taught.

    Spanish 5 is AP Spanish. It is also has one of the higher average enrollments, probably because the Spanish immersion program puts students into secondary Spanish at a higher level (Spanish 3?). I think 2-3 years of language is required. So you’d be limiting those students from taking high school Spanish at a level appropriate with their experience. Because of the high demand, I doubt you will make headway with demanding its elimination.

  54. David M. Greenwald

    I’m disappointed with this individual who posts the same things over and over again under different assumed names.

    First they rarely do their homework and verify things before they post.

    Second when information they post is found to be inaccurate they never correct it. In fact, they keep posting the same things over and over again.

    Spanish 5, Madarin Chinese are examples of that. So is Crunch Lunch. So is Ornamental Hortaculture and the Stagecraft.

    There are several problems with these arguments as I have pointed out multiple times here to no avail.

    On paper it may look like you can save by cutting these classes. But you still have to offer classes for students. In fact, the number of courses is a constant. Students have set course requirements. So unless you have an under-enrolled class, you are never going to save money cutting courses. Moreover, once you hire a teacher to teach certain courses, it doesn’t cost more to offer stage craft as a course that has 30 students as long you have a teacher teaching a full load of other classes.

    In other words, you have to look at the full picture of all courses offered to see how a particular course fits the puzzle of classes offered.

    But this individual flat out refuses to do any research. And fails to even bother to check their facts.

    It grows tiresome. I’m as big a critic of government waste as anyone here, but you have to have to your facts correct to be a critic. Randomly throwing mud just ruins your credibility.

  55. wdf

    “Yes, but how do CA schools compare to other schools across the country? Seems to me I remember our state is ranked 49th. How does DHS compare to schools across the country? I would be curious to know.”

    [url]http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/about/state.asp[/url]

    California is below average in most subject areas for 4th and 8th grades in the above study. You can check it out, above.

    I don’t know how you want to compare high schools nationally. DHS came in for mention in U.S. News and World Report’s list of top high schools in the U.S. in 2009, being awarded a silver on a scale of gold, silver, bronze, honorable mention. Da Vinci got a bronze. The only two in Yolo County to be so mentioned. Seems that most of the criteria was based on how well the HS prepares students for college. So I guess DHS does fine on that standard compared to other schools.

    Have fun checking that out.

    [url]http://www.usnews.com/directories/high-schools/index_html/state_id+CA/page_number+1/page_size+10/sort+alpha/name+/award+1+2+3+4/school_name+/county+/detail+less[/url]

  56. wdf

    “First they rarely do their homework and verify things before they post.

    Second when information they post is found to be inaccurate they never correct it. In fact, they keep posting the same things over and over again.”

    And much of this stuff is not that hard to find online, either. I find it personally enlightening to do the research. It blows me away that others don’t.

  57. Anon

    wdf, thanks for the info on DHS. The problem with awards like this is as follows: “Silver Medal: all other schools with a college readiness index of at least 20 but that are not ranked in the top 100 nationally”.

    Davis is full of kids of UCD employees. Many of these parents have doctorates. Generally, these kids are college bound, and thus DHS will have a good college prepatory program.

    Woodland, on the other hand, has kids of a lot of working class people – the parents themselves may not be college educated. Remember, the criteria for rating the high schools is college readiness. Woodland is dealing w a lot of students who are ESL students, do not necessarily have a nurturing environment for educational excellence. Mom and dad, who both work low paying jobs, are just trying to get food on the table.

    That said, does that mean DHS needs Spanish 5, Chinese Mandarin 5, Ornamental Horticulture, Stage Technician, Crunch Lunch Program? These sorts of specialized programs are bleeding the nation dry of money. At what point does the taxpayer say enough is enough?

  58. wdf

    “Davis is full of kids of UCD employees. Many of these parents have doctorates. Generally, these kids are college bound, and thus DHS will have a good college prepatory program.”

    True, but do you think DJUSD/DHS has a good college prep program because enough parents demand the kind of courses that makes students attractive to college admissions departments and college success? At some level, the school district really does have to respond to the collective demands of its constituents. Last November showed that enough residents were still willing to support the kinds of programs DJUSD offers (Measure W). You may disagree, but a very healthy majority of your fellow Davisites felt differently then.

    It’s very likely that there are economic limits beyond which this community won’t go. It’s not clear if we’re there yet, probably not (again you may disagree). But the point of Greenwald’s article, here, is that we will be approaching that limit to some degree later this year, and possibly next year this time.

  59. wdf

    “That said, does that mean DHS needs Spanish 5, Chinese Mandarin 5, Ornamental Horticulture, Stage Technician, Crunch Lunch Program? These sorts of specialized programs are bleeding the nation dry of money. At what point does the taxpayer say enough is enough?”

    Some of my comments above apply here. But in your first sentence, I say that you seriously exaggerate, but maybe it’s rhetorically intentional.

    Others would respond by asking, are we justified in spending the kind of money we are on prisons for the results that we’re getting? Have we been wise about spending money in Iraq? Should our banking system have been better regulated to avoid the bailout that we are currently dealing with? Where does education spending fall in priorities compared to these and other priorities, like high speed rail or other state infrastructure?

    To say that spending on classes like that is bleeding the nation dry of money is to take your eye off the bigger picture. More later.

  60. wdf

    “Woodland, on the other hand, has kids of a lot of working class people – the parents themselves may not be college educated. Remember, the criteria for rating the high schools is college readiness. Woodland is dealing w a lot of students who are ESL students, do not necessarily have a nurturing environment for educational excellence. Mom and dad, who both work low paying jobs, are just trying to get food on the table.”

    US News & World also listed a “Poverty-adjusted performance index” that presumably is supposed to account for some of what you say. I don’t know what that factor considers.

    I agree with you that the criteria in that study was college readiness. I also agree that there may be other very legitimate criteria for rating high schools. My HS alma mater in another state was not on that list at all, but I think in some ways it was and is better than DHS is right now.

    “That said, does that mean DHS needs Spanish 5, Chinese Mandarin 5, Ornamental Horticulture, Stage Technician, Crunch Lunch Program? These sorts of specialized programs are bleeding the nation dry of money. At what point does the taxpayer say enough is enough? “

    I think the point made by Greenwald, myself, and others is if you want to hold up Spanish 5, Mandarin 5, etc. as examples unnecessary spending, are you really considering the full fiscal context in which those programs exist? I tend to doubt it.

    I have asked and asked and haven’t found a Mandarin 5 class being offered in the district. Why do you even bring that one up? Do you know that it’s being taught?

    Spanish 5 = AP Spanish, heavily enrolled, probably due to elementary/JH Spanish Immersion program. Do you argue the district should offer something else instead? reduce what’s taught overall? would students then still get all the courses they need?

    I know nothing, personally, of Ornamental Horticulture except that its funding comes to the district from the county office of education for ROP. Don Shor made a strong case for the course in a comment a few weeks ago. One problem that I see in judging that particular course is its title. The “ornamental” article in the title offers the suggestion that it is more frivolous compared to other offerings.

    I could understand that a stage technician could appear frivolous. But it seems that you cannot properly run the Brunelle Theater (IPAB) without one. Should the district consider mothballing the theater to save money? That may be the larger question that you have to consider.

    Greenwald explored the Crunch Lunch program and concluded that the district was getting a high return for money spent there.

  61. Anon

    wdf – you are typical of this town (and this is not a personal attack, so please don’t take it that way). You never knew a school program you didn’t think was necessary. With that sort of thinking, comes serious economic problems. Expenditures on the War in Iraq is a red herring. You need to stick to the topic at hand – EDUCATION.

    Let me illustrate my point w an example, and perhaps that will make my point better. And then we can agree to disagree. I had 3 children go through DHS. 2 of my children were extremely bright, and took advantage of all the frill programs available there. Were these programs necessary for them to get into college? No. Were they nice to have? Yes, just as it is nice to have caviar (if you care for that sort of thing).

    However my son, who is also bright, is dyslexic. At DHS, he was thrown into the AVID program, which does nothing more than warehouse kids w problems, lumping together those w learning disabilities or discipline problems. My son never got the assistance he needed at DHS, and in fact ended up beaten up in class and outside of class by a gang running in West Davis, and operating out of DHS w impunity. The head of the gang lived w the Vice Principal at DHS at the time.

    My son eventually graduated from UCD w a degree in Math. How? He got the help he needed at Sac City College – an excellent school, that gave him the basics that he should have gotten at DHS. So my general complaint w DHS is as follows:
    1) Boutique and very specialized courses have abounded, such as Chinese Mandarin 5 (yes, they did have it), Spanish 5, Ornamental Horticulture, Stage Technician, Crunch Lunch, Da Vinci.
    2) There are no meaningful programs for learning disabled kids, or those w discipline problems bc of serious home problems. These kids are given short shrift in this town. Look at what happened to Valley Oak – an elementary school that served those students in dire need of a good ESL program. (And I fought hard against the closing of Valley Oak, by the way.)
    3) DHS has a nasty habit of creating a new program, whether needed or not, then insisting that program is now essential and must be saved at all costs. As has been shown, DHS has a huge number of programs that no other schools have. It feeds the elitist mentality in this town.
    4) With all this overspending on nonessential programs, such as Stage Technician, at some point, the money train is going to stop – and it probably has now. We’ll see. But in my book, we do not NEED Stage Technician.
    5) I do not believe the Crunch Lunch program is self sustaining. In the Enterprise, it mentioned $70,000 was spent on a Davis authour/consultant to teach cafeteria workers how to cook w fresh produce (what a boondoggle!), as if the cafeteria workers didn’t already know how to cook or couldn’t open a cookbook. Also, initially this program, according to the Enterprise, was going to be a program about teaching kids good nutrition. One of the ways to do that was going to be showing elementary kids how to grow 35lb cabbages. I am the one who continually raised a stink about this program, and noticed it finally morph into something completely different. If citizens keep giving the DJUSD a free hand, more and more of your tax dollars are going to be wasted on nonsense.
    6) I would agree w you that most citizens don’t agree with me on any of these points. But I personally feel they are being short-sighted, and their foolish attitude is going to come back and bite them on the you know what. And I think that time is right around the corner. We’ll see.

    Thanks for the dialogue, and giving me the chance to vent. To put it in context, I am a fiscal conservative, who truly believes we are spending way too much on frills in our society, and not doing enough to address the real problems we are facing, e.g. students w learning disabilities.

  62. wdf

    Anon,

    You bring up some good points. I add some other comments as limited as my view is:

    AVID appears to have a history of success in other places — San Diego is often cited. It is unfortunate that it did not work for your son. Perhaps a better next step should be to assess why it’s not working in Davis (at least for your son and perhaps others) the way it’s supposed to.

    You can’t easily compare a K-12 experience to a college experience, although they are linked. K-12 education is mandatory at some level. DHS students are there not exactly because they want to be there, but they have to be there (or in some equivalent HS program). Because of that, discipline will often and almost always be an issue. A district can suspend or expel a student, but it’s still responsible for providing and maintaining educational access in some way. All comprehensive high schools like DHS (i.e., not magnet or charter or selective in any way) have to deal with the products of poor parenting and other issues.

    College students are entirely responsible for attending classes and behaving. If a student wants to cut class, he/she can do that and no one will stop them. If he doesn’t do the required work, he fails. If he can’t respect other students or behave, he’s kicked out with very little worry about where else he can get an education. It makes for a far more mature and constructive atmosphere that your son experienced at Sac City. College freshman success statistics can be disappointing, though. Every year thousands of freshman drop out of colleges because they lack the maturity to be responsible and work without parental-type authority.

    I have heard two common reasons cited for why students don’t succeed in college: they can’t do college level work or they can’t live productively on their own away from home. AP courses help to demonstrate the first issue. AP courses demonstrate the ability to do college level work. So it strengthens a student’s application for selective admissions and financial aid. Colleges also like students taking AP classes in high school because it means fewer classes that they have to run for their students to graduate.

    From that perpective (demonstrating the ability to do college level work as one indicator of future college success), I question why you are so passionat that Spanish 5 (and possibly other AP courses) are frills, especialy if they are heavily enrolled.

  63. Susan

    I am trying to hire a summer tutor a few 4th to 6th grader this summer…and I would like to offer that job on someone on the layoff list. This is the way things are going to go, the rest of the world is passing us by.

    Any idea how I can find out who is recieving a pink slip?

    Susan

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