17 May 2007

5/16 - Question Authority - YOU HAVE THE RIGHT!!!

I attended the board meeting last night and read into the record
during PUBLIC COMMENT the follow questions which I addressed
to Dr. Kaye Burnside, who pretty much oversees all of curriculum
learning and State/Federal Programs

1. How are you overseeing all sites follow through with the
"Monitoring Implementation of Action Plan" step the sites
are REQUIRED to complete & return to our State/Federal
Programs Department?

2. Will this info be made public or reported to the board in
closed session?

3. How are you handling the sites who are already allocating
their projected site budget for school year 2007-2008, without
reviewing site plan goals?

4. What will you do if after reviewing the "Monitoring Implementation
of Action Plan" info from the sites, you find strategies that were NOT
carried out. What if the school by then spends (or allocates) all
their site budget?

5. Grant Information - How will you ensure that this information does
not stop with the principal but rather is REPORTED to the SSC? This
is NOT being done.

I made an example out of a school that I visited with a grant of $500,000.00
and when the brave SSC members asked the principal - they were told they
do not have a say over how that money is spent.

These questions may not show up on the minutes for this meeting, however
you can always go through the steps of listening to the audio of that meeting
to confirm what I say above is accurate. You can also refer to this date of

After speaking, while I was listening to Big AL, Dr. Burnside approached me
and directed me to stay and speak with Toni Oklan-Arko who is head of our
State/Federal Program Department. The meeting was long enough, however
since Dr. Burnside made the effort to approach me and made
absolutley certain that I knew who to talk to, I stayed.

As I told Dr. Burnside, I will be back at the next school board meeting because
our goal is to have a report from her about how the above questions that come
up year after year after year. We want to hear what HER plan is about this.

As I agreed with Ms. Oklan-Arko, WCCUSD has made great strides in attempts
to build strong school site councils, ensure training is done twice a year and in
a timely manner and that the training is informative.

For five years our previous superintendent & staff made great efforts to eliminate
the information made to the public of the governing body known as the school
site council. And they made great success in these efforts. We who know
that "improving student achievement" starts at the sites will continue to be
driven by this simple but powerful thing. The dream for all of our schools is
a functioning school site council with plenty of support to get that from our

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