VIB Researcher Schussel Prepares to Sue Vallejo School District


By Marc Garman

 

rschussel

For over 60 days, VIB researcher Robert Schussel, Ph.D has been attempting to obtain documents related to the California Healthy Kids Survey, which is a study regarding the safety and environment on school campuses in Vallejo. Students participate in the study and rate various factors such as safety, drug use, interactions with staff, and their overall mental and physical well being. The original purpose of his request was to obtain documents as research for an upcoming VIB article on conditions in the schools and programs by the district. At this point, the attempt to merely acquire public documents from the district has become a story in itself.

“They’ve been stonewalling me,” says Schussel regarding the terms of his request (below)

Of particular note is the fact that the findings in the Healthy Kids Survey are largely in line with a report and findings from the Solano County Grand Jury (of which Schussel was a member), that was published after the release of the state findings. Members of the Vallejo School Board and administration were highly dismissive of the Grand Jury findings while at the same time the district was in possession of a state report that indicated similar VERY NEGATIVE data several years running. No apparent effort was made by the VCUSD (Vallejo City Unified School District) to make members of the public aware of the state findings. Suppression through omission would appear to be an accurate description of the action, or lack thereof by VCUSD. The action by several school board members was to publicly deny the veracity of the findings in the Grand Jury report.

The findings from both studies are damning. The attempt to keep the public out of the loop is both indecent, and at this point possibly illegal. Did the district actually take any constructive action based on the state report? Or merely keep it in a black box? At this point we don’t know. We do know that some $40,000 was spent by the district on the now infamous “Celebration Report,” to put a positive PR spin on the schools in spite of both studies findings.

Call it a cover up, a snow job, or an effort to wag the dog on the part of the VCUSD board and administrators, the push to put a shiny face on the problems in our troubled schools is evident. Schussel believes, “the public deserves to be made aware,” of how the district proceeded in light of the findings. Dr. Schussel’s request for public information has been delayed for an unreasonable length of time and in violation of sections of the California Public Records Act according to Schussel. He is preparing to pursue legal action with the help of Vallejo attorney Stephen Hallett.

VIB will keep you posted as more information becomes available…one way or another.

 

Links to the various related reports and documents are below:


8/17/15 Letter from Vallejo lawyer Stephen Hallett to VCUSD

The State “Healthy Kids Survey” (The one they would prefer you not look at.)

Solano County Grand Jury Report (2012-13)


Information on the “Celebration Report” courtesy Marianne Kearney-Brown

At the board meeting on October 1, 2015, Mr. Mommsen said that the Celebration Report was produced in house and cost pennies. http://media.wix.com/ugd/436365_97560af1ab0146478c429b3c29dc4dbe.pdf
It looks like the report was not produced in-house and that close to $40,000 was paid to Ovation Marin and Minuteman Press. http://media.wix.com/ugd/436365_5023c7becaed43d4a27d5405b5de8055.pdf
These expenditures were assigned to different accounts as unrestricted funds with no more than $15,000 to any single account.
Something seems off to me.  Am I mistaken?  Is this the way school districts generally operate?



'VIB Researcher Schussel Prepares to Sue Vallejo School District' have 31 comments

  1. August 17, 2015 @ 8:22 pm Anonymous

    More bad news about Ramona Bishop and her attempt to play politics in Vallejo by sucking up to the African American church folks and the Silvoso Dominionists. At some point people in Vallejo are going to get sick and tired of her foolishness and give her the boot. When that happens, there will be plenty to investigate. Until that time, there’s little anyone can do.

    Obviously she wants the books kept closed on what she’s doing with her buddies and desperately wants to put a compliant regime back in place (ala Hazel Wilson) so the embezzlement and corruption can be covered up and continue.

    Reply

  2. August 18, 2015 @ 4:55 am Bong Hit

    Stop and consider for a moment the great damage being done to the Black community in Vallejo. All across the nation and in Vallejo, parents have re-segregated the schools for the same basic reasons: school safety, academic performance and cultural environment. For whatever reason, Black culture has resisted adopting high standards of behavior and discipline to achieve success. Black kids who excel at their academic studies are scorned by their fellow Black peers and accused of the most awful label possible: “acting White”. This phenomenon of discouraging intelligence, shunning knowledge and success only occurs in the Black community. Try and think of another example of this backward logic in any other culture. You can’t because it is unique to the Black community.

    What this district is trying to do is impossible and a fools errand. Some of us here in Vallejo have first hand knowledge that spans 50 or more years with Black bullies in the public schools. The Bullies are few and far between but the intimidation and culture of violence they perpetuate sets the tone and standard for behavior on campus. The vast majority of good black kids are intimidated by these severely damaged individuals and fall in line with the behavior to lesser extents. It’s the Stockholm syndrome in action folks and this district administration, for whatever reason, enables this situation. If we could get a wholesale change in the political structure, replace this failed administration with competent managers, remove the repeat bully offenders from the general population of students, you would see peace and tranquility return to the school environment. I guarantee the change would happen overnight.

    Children don’t want to exist in a climate of fear and intimidation. Children don’t want the law of the jungle in their schools. These innocent children are victims of a failed social experiment perpetuated by adults who think they can save every individual no matter how abused they are at the hands of their idiot parents. This is not possible and we are sacrificing entire generations of Black children in the pursuit of this failed logic.

    Reply

    • August 18, 2015 @ 11:16 am Publicus

      Agreed… The problems in Vallejo schools are found all over the Country…everywhere that Glenn Singleton and his firm Pacific Educational Group have contracts for “diversity training”. Yes, the VCUSD has a contract with PEG. Check out what other schools touched by PEG training are experiencing and compare that with our own tragedy. Firing PEG would be a real good start.

      https://cei.org/blog/glenn-singletons-racism-and-arlington-public-schools

      Reply

  3. August 18, 2015 @ 12:38 pm Deborah ceryes

    Hi Bob and Stephen – I am confused by the request and its “gotcha” premise. If you want the district to discuss the survey results (which I trust is the true purpose of the request) simply ask for a board agenda item. Create a presentation with the data trends and ask the board to respond. No lawyers needed no waste of billable hours no wasteful public document requests. To cast suspicion on the district is ineffective and does not obtain the result I believe you are trying to achieve. Also Bob – you distribute documents at board meetings without your name on them but then accuse the district of not being transparent. I actually appreciate your research and differing perspective so please credit yourself for your writings. You continually affirm to me that no one solution or person can accomplish change. I would hope you and Stephen would understand that our district is very busy during the summer – end of fiscal year reports are due; new budgets need to be implemented and accurate; classrooms need cleaning/prepping and teachers to staff them; professional development days need to be facilitated and staff/teachers need to focus on safe environments for our kids. On behalf of the district I am sorry your requests were not met in 60 days – I hope they are focused on getting ready for school so all students and teachers are supported. If you need help asking the board to discuss this survey as an agenda item I would be happy to support your request and can write the presentation if you need. Please let me know and look forward to seeing you at the next board meeting, if not sooner. Take care!

    Reply

    • firebug

      August 18, 2015 @ 2:10 pm firebug

      ” I would hope you and Stephen would understand that our district is very busy during the summer – end of fiscal year reports are due; new budgets need to be implemented and accurate; classrooms need cleaning/prepping and teachers to staff them; professional development days need to be facilitated and staff/teachers need to focus on safe environments for our kids.”

      What a complete dolt, by her own admission VCUSD failed to respond within ten days:

      http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=gov&group=06001-07000&file=6250-6270

      “Each agency, upon a request for a copy of records, shall,
      within 10 days from receipt of the request, determine whether the
      request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public
      records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the
      person making the request of the determination and the reasons
      therefor. In unusual circumstances, the time limit prescribed in this
      section may be extended by written notice by the head of the agency
      or his or her designee to the person making the request, setting
      forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a
      determination is expected to be dispatched. No notice shall specify a
      date that would result in an extension for more than 14 days. When
      the agency dispatches the determination, and if the agency determines
      that the request seeks disclosable public records, the agency shall
      state the estimated date and time when the records will be made
      available. As used in this section, “unusual circumstances” means the
      following, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper
      processing of the particular request:”

      Reply

    • August 18, 2015 @ 5:16 pm wharf rat

      Public records act laws are crystal clear , this administrative ”scofflaw attitude” goe’s back for years , apparently it’s easier to pull their teeth than to get ”public documents” , read the timeline of the article below and note the simularities and M/O , seems to be a pattern ..

      By Kenneth Brooks

      Vallejo City Unified School District (from now on “District”) employees engaged a policy of deception and false statements in response to public record requests to prevent me from inspecting public records promptly at its headquarters according to law. They claimed falsely the School Board retained and authorized DWK attorneys to speak for the District regarding my record requests. They set a charge of $234.16 that I must pay for a copy of a public record that was about 14 times greater than legal costs of duplication.

      I made an August 22, 2011 public record request to see records of the District’s August 2011 training of staff and teachers how to deal with students of color. It prompted the following series of contradictory and untruthful responses by the District with correspondence from DWK attorneys to me also addressed to Bishop and Shackelford.

      Superintendent Bishop and Manager of Public Record Requests Shackelford asserted the District displayed all records of the August 2011 on its website. (District’s false assertion #1) In a September 7, 2011 teleconference, Bishop admitted she had videotaped records of the training after I expressed doubt about the denial. (District assertion #2 that reversed assertion #1)

      Bishop asked me to delay inspection of the videotapes until she completed the CD production copies for her advisory group. I agreed, although the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) required that she make the request in writing for a delay of no more than 14 days. My September 27, 2011 email telling the District to comply with the CPRA after 20 days passed.

      DWK attorney’s October 4, 2011 email asserted the District did not have records of the August 2011 training it had not already provided to me. (School District assertion #3 contradicting assertion #2) I responded with a recital of Bishop’s September 7, 2011 remarks.

      DWK attorney’s October 27, 2011 email, “[T]he videotape of the training has been compiled and copied. The reproduction cost is $234.16. Please advise if your are willing to pay the fee. (School District assertion #4 contradicting assertion #3) I disagreed that I must pay costs to inspect a public record.

      DWK attorney’s emails of October 31, 2011 and November 01, 2011, “If you would like to have the compilation, the $234.16 in reproduction cost must first be paid to the District. If you would instead, like to view the source tapes and/or the compilation at the District Office, you may do so by appointment, free of charge. (District’s assertion #5 contradicting assertion #4)

      In a November 2, 2011 email, I made a November 3, 2011 appointment to see only the source videotapes. School District employees did not deliver them. I asked Shackelford about the missing videotapes and she directed me to leave the District’s office and wait for the attorneys to contact me. DWK responded November 4, 2011, “[T]he CD you were given an opportunity to view yesterday include all the source material from the training.” (New School District assertion #6 contradicting assertion #5)

      I questioned the authority of DWK to speak for the District regarding my public record request in an October 31, 2011 correspondence to Superintendent Bishop, Shackelford, and DWK.

      DWK attorneys November 1, 2011 response, “I can assure you that our office has been retained to represent the District with regard to your Public Record Act requests and that we are authorized by the District Board and Dr. Bishop to speak on the District’s behalf in this matter.” (School District false assertion of DWK’s authority #1)

      I asked in a February 15, 2012 record request, “[T]o see the public records in the District’s files of the contract or document designating or authorizing DWK law firm to act as the District’s public records agent for making responses to public records request submitted by Kenneth Brooks.”

      DWK attorney’s February 24, 2012 response, “As you know, DWK is legal counsel to the District. Its authority to act as the District’s agent stems from, and is dictated by, its agreement for professional services with the District. If this is what you are referring to with regard to the term public records agent please let me know and the District will provide you with a copy of that agreement.” (School District deceptive assertion of authority #2 contradicting assertion of authority #1)

      The red herring fallacy in logic is one of relevance whereby someone with goals to deceive responds to a subject different from and not relevant to the subject discussed. The first sentence of DWK’s response identifies its duty as independent contractor to act as the District’s legal counsel based on the Agreement for Professional Services made May 2011. This subject is different from the subject of my February 15, 2012 record request. The agreement for professional services would task DWK to advise the superintendent if the law exempted a record from disclosure. It did not authorize DWK at the rate of $211 to $255 per hour to communicate information or copies or records that by law I had the right to receive directly from employees of the District at its headquarters.

      Superintendent Bishop’s letter of May 21, 2013 said, “In his February 24, 2012 correspondence to you, Mr. Gould explained that there wasn’t a document specifically authorizing DWK to represent the District in this matter, rather that there was an agreement between DWK and the District authorizing DWK to more generally provide legal services as required.” (District’s assertion #3 that retracts DWK false assertion of authority #1) Nevertheless, she continued the red herring diversion by referring to the non-relevant agreement for professional services.

      Bishop added, If you were not satisfied that DWK was authorized to represent the District, then the DWK invoices with references to your CPRA matters and cancelled District checks for payment . . . should have sufficiently answered that question for you. (District’s false assertion #4 of DWK’s authority) Contrary to Bishop’s assertion, those paid invoices are only evidence she misspent the District’s money without proper authority since she previously admitted the School Board did not retain DWK for this purpose.

      I filed a Writ Petition of Mandate in Superior Court September 10, 2013 for an order to compel School District to deliver the videotapes and other records for my inspection. The District filed this sworn declaration of Alana Shackelford, “[W]e received the DVD from the person who recorded the training. We offered Mr. Brooks the choice of receiving a copy of the DVD (in exchange for production-related costs) or coming to the District’s office to view the DVD. Mr. Brooks chose to come to the office to view the DVD, which he did on November 3, 2011.”(Shackelford’s false declaration #1 disproved by DWK emails of October 31 and November 1, 2011 and Brooks email November 2, 2011disprove )

      Shackelford continues, “Mr. Brooks refers to “source tapes” from the August 22, 2011, training. I do not know why he keeps implying that the District has other “source tapes he was not provided when he came to the District on November 3, 2013. (Shackelford false assertion #2) Shackelford’s next remark, contradicts the previous remark, “Although the District’s attorneys referred to videotapes in their letters to Mr. Brooks.” (Shackelford’s assertion #3 contradicting her false assertion #2 about the videotapes)

      Shackelford’s declaration the District received the DVD from the videographer affirms the District had not incurred $234.16 cost of compiling the videotapes onto the CD that it set as costs I must pay for a copy of the CD. The CPRA sets direct costs of duplication as the amount a government agency may charge for the copy of a public record. Direct costs of duplicating the CD should amount to no more than $15.00. The District or Solano District Attorney should charge those employees with fraud as it would charge me if I knowingly claimed reimbursement from government of costs 14 times greater the actual costs I incurred.

      There were other occasions of Superintendent Bishop’s perverse application of authority. On May 15, 2013, I asked District for a response to my April 29, 2013 record request that was five days past the time required by law. Instead, Superintendent Bishop directed me to leave the District’s office and wait for a letter response. Four months later, I included this record request in the Writ Petition when the District still had not responded to it.

      The District’s October 4, 2013 correspondence blamed me because Superintendent Bishop had not responded to my April 29, 2013 record request before I filed the Writ Petition. It said, “You failed to notify the District of this oversight even though Dr. Bishop represented in her May 21.2013, correspondence that “all responsive and unprivileged documents . . . have been produced. This response shows that Superintendent Bishop’s compliance with law is so arbitrary that she confuses herself and office staff members about the truth and about compliance standards. Nevertheless, they are persistent in shifting blame. Probably, they believe I owed Bishop another opportunity to demean me.

      Respect for truthfulness and open-mindedness are personal traits required for learning, for proficient reasoning and for academic institutions tasked to assist students’ learning. Vallejo School District administrators’ conduct models an opposite philosophy of deception and authoritarianism. Vallejo School Board and city residents can move to correct this deficiency or remain passive and endure the result. Our children deserve corrective action.

      Note: All opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.

      Reply

      • August 19, 2015 @ 10:02 am Bong Hit

        You know what is truly remarkable about this excellent account of FOIA violations? It parallels the FOIA violations and criminal activities of Hillary Clinton. Please, please, please democrats. Exercise good, sound judgement when selecting your future leaders. The evidence is all around you now that something horrible has gone wrong inside your party. The callous disregard for the LAW is epidemic within the ranks of your fellow compatriots. It’s not possible to run a small business, a school district, a State department or a country without the rule of law.

        What are the chances that Ramona and her team are staunch Hillary Clinton supporters?

        Reply

        • August 19, 2015 @ 11:02 am wharf rat

          @ bong hit , ”bad spin no munchies”

          Reply

    • August 18, 2015 @ 8:33 pm Thomas Jefferson

      What “gotcha” premise is that? One that requires the school district to be forthcoming and transparent? Silly slavish sycophants should just go hang it up when they have no ability to actually understand how the district works and how the rest of the world works. Sounds just like Sarah Palin …. you and the “gotcha’ questions… Sheesh!

      Reply

    • August 18, 2015 @ 9:14 pm worthlessbishop

      Deborah Ceryes just another Ramona Bishop puppet.

      Don’t look behind the curtain, folks, Ramona has everything under control.

      Reply

    • August 19, 2015 @ 3:57 pm Alex Lee

      If Deborah Ceyres works for the school district, then she’s part of the problem. Is she saying the school district can ignore the public records request because “they are focused on getting ready for school so all students and teachers are supported. ” 60 days is more than enough, especially when the law requires only 10 days. They just don’t want Mr. Schussel to have the records. They can spend $$$ on public relations people/pamphlets but they can’t provide Mr. Schussel with the records he requested? Wonder why the school district is wasting money on a lawyer to answer Mr. Schussel’s request? Just a waste of money the school district can’t afford.

      Reply

    • August 22, 2015 @ 11:20 am Alice Griego

      Deborah, your response is astounding.

      Do you really attend board meetings? If you do, you are certainly aware that even board members cannot get items placed on the agenda. You must know that Mr. Worel, a trustee, cannot get information form the district. You must of noticed that district staff ignores data that does not show them in a good light.

      Following the law is also a very important duty of the school district. VUSD does not follow the public records act part of the law. They know they are breaking the law. They do not care.

      Reply

  4. August 18, 2015 @ 6:22 pm Anne

    Robert Schussel is one of my heroes; Vallejo is lucky to have him as a watchdog!

    As for the delaying tactics of the School District — really, for shame. It simply does not take that long to provide a document. 60 days, and counting? There’s just no excuse.

    Nor should it take so long for the district to answer Trustee Burky Worel’s questions about graduation rates.
    1) The district should know those graduation rates without even looking; and,
    2) If they did have to look them up, it just shouldn’t take any time to answer the questions!
    After all, graduation rates are a key metric of how the schools are doing. If the Superintendent *doesn’t* know the graduation rates, that’s a major problem!

    Once again, Vallejo’s school administration is trying to hide key information. It’s a pattern we should have lost after going into school bankruptcy. They get an “F” in transparency & accountability.

    Reply

    • August 18, 2015 @ 8:34 pm Anonymous

      When will they get the boot?

      Reply

    • August 22, 2015 @ 8:31 pm wharf rat

      Anne is one of My Heroes !!!!!! she labours hard and long (and takes no prisioners!) She is the ”continuance”
      of Her Foster Father , Henry Watson (als a real superhero) who , fought for Vallejo heights and in fact the ”entire west Vallejo” yet Anne has an independant , and evolved perspective , well backed up by an exemplary education as well as OJT to rival even ———————– possibly some of the best policy positions and well beyond anything Staff and Council have ever concoted to date ! .. Third generation ”expanded democrats” have the stuff , and their Students are a force …. They live amongst us , learn from and empower them …

      Reply

  5. August 19, 2015 @ 7:49 pm decentamerican

    ……”Call it a cover up, a snow job, or an effort to wag the dog on the part of the VCUSD board and administrators, the push to put a shiny face on the problems in our troubled schools is evident. Schussel believes, “the public deserves to be made aware,” of how the district proceeded in light of the findings. Dr. Schussel’s request for public information has been delayed for an unreasonable length of time and in violation of sections of the California Public Records Act according to Schussel. He is preparing to pursue legal action with the help of Vallejo attorney Stephen Hallett………”

    At the outset, if they stall and not comply with all applicable state and federal laws re: public documents, they deserve to be held a mirror in public court !

    Next, if they have something to hide, it may explain partly the reason for stonewalling … things eventually exposes the facts.

    Both Dr. Schussel and Attorney Hallett deserve the public’s support — those parents, teacher’s families and education enthusiasts of Vallejo can provide a strong joint testimony ?

    What would EACH of the School Board Members statements on this issue ? wonder…. curious…

    Thank you VIB for caring about yet another key Vallejo just/fair fight for the people.

    Reply

  6. August 20, 2015 @ 10:11 am wharf rat

    The potential plantifs of an action weather class action or other number in the thousands ! the guarantee of a free public education is a RIGHT that the taxpayers fund and is LAW . To interfere with this process or to impede it is a violation of the LAW and more importantly THE PUBLIC TRUST .
    The laundry list of causes for termination of the Superintendant is a long one as with the last Superintendant (pre State takeover) , interaction or lack thereof with the public and Families of the district has been a disaster .
    Now we pay some robot law firm to assist administration with violating laws and trust , ”weather employed or an ellected official there is no protection from the law or even Cival action” (School board Trustees can be held liable and prosecuted in criminal court if a party to or a tool used for a criminal act) . From a Cival standpoint there are limitless plaintifs who can show documented damages , collectivly in the many millions ! (I know as I am one) as are thousands of Students and even district employees . This district is on the pathway to State recievership again ! this time around expect a wholesale removal of administrative personal and censorship or removal of Trustees found a party to illegal acts weather dirrect of via incompetence (they did take an oath) and are held to the public trust .
    Were the district Unions to hold a vote and a vote of no confidence for the Superintendant resulted she would have little support to remain ! nor would Her ”cabinet” and other cronys , we could then ”reconstruct an Administration using proven models from sucsessful districts” to better serve the Students such as the Law dictates we do and We pay for . The celebration propaganda was a last minuite emergency ellectioneering scheme as the above documents show
    the majority of funds spent were from our Academic budget ! and the brocures were delivered to the Superintendants office !! (part of the pattern) the $10,000 spent on a contractor working from an apartment in Tiburon is a red flag !
    this (home occupation, licenced business catagorized as (graphic design and productions was formerly listed as an executive training consultant ) strangly for a media oriented company they have almost no public presence or internet
    resources (another red flag) of the two principals of this business one has five AKA’s (another red flag) why did the district contract with an obscure , almost unknown firm in Tiburon when local resources were abundant ? (another red flag) the business Ovation Studios lists it’s adress as 55 Marinero circle Tiburon Ca a residentail apartment complex while one principal owns a home in Belvedere in the 1.5 to 2 million $ price range . If this contract was sole sourced why was this obscure small business in Tiburon chosen was there a time crunch? or is this company realy a ”political fixer”/ shill or a
    PR firm chosen for the purpose of ellectioneering ! the dates of the P/O’s are circumspect when compared with the ellection calender for School board (lots of red flags) . Did a portion of the $10,000 go to other than graphic design production for a ”celebration brocure” with political bias no less ? (more red flags) is there a connection to the Marin IJ Journalist almost hired as a district PR person with both strong ties to Marin political circles and a Vallejo golf course ?
    (a barrel of red flags) how doe’s the Corinthian Yacht Club tie in to this labyrinthe ? .
    I guess the moral of this story ”is if the district administration continues to ripp off Vallejo Families expect them to continue their own investigations that support future legal or criminal actions” .

    Reply

  7. August 21, 2015 @ 5:20 am Bong Hit

    Once again Wharf, sounds like a perfect analog to Platte River Networks. It’s getting harder and harder to deny the parallels, is it not?

    Did you catch the latest incompetence displayed by the Ramona/Clinton administration? They don’t have anyone on staff with the very basic understanding of document security.

    Vallejo school district ‘inadvertently’ releases confidential information

    “In response to a public record request, the Vallejo school district inadvertently released confidential information during a school board meeting Wednesday night, school officials said.

    An unredacted W9 tax form, which included the Social Security number of Joe Wolfcale, was made available to the public. Wolfcale was set to become a public relations consultant with the district before negotiations fell apart earlier this year.”

    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/social-affairs/20150820/vallejo-school-district-inadvertently-releases-confidential-information

    Reply

    • August 21, 2015 @ 7:33 am wharf rat

      Premeditated incompetence or just more District intrigue ? info leaks can be very convient at times or was it a message to someone ? .

      Reply

    • August 21, 2015 @ 7:49 am worthlessbishop

      Board packets are routinely sent out via e-mail. Who knows where his information will end up,

      Ramona=incompetence

      Although it wouldn’t surprise if this was her last little dig at Wolfcale because he had the “audacity” to speak out about her mishandling of the murder of that student.

      Reply

  8. August 21, 2015 @ 7:42 am Bong Hit

    Wharf, this is simple minded incompetence. It follows a pattern that permeates the administration of the public schools in this town for twenty or more years.

    Reply

  9. August 21, 2015 @ 9:01 am whart rat

    Delusions of adequacy seems a good fit , expect anyone involved in the electioneering and other questionable acts to be systematically thrown under the bus , as shameless
    self promoters continue to rule over a ”once public education system”.
    The P/R and spin is being ramped up to counteract recent revelations , as the public
    learns the truth ,while district tools continue an amature cover up .
    perhaps a ”my little dog checkers speach” will be forthcoming or a subpoena ?
    (chicken and the egg) IMHO .

    Reply

  10. August 21, 2015 @ 7:38 pm wharf rat

    Yes the externealaties can be a BITCH ! as can the lieng trap! , A point is reached when the lies and the truth converge , this is the (critical mess stage) where the political reactor reaches it’s explosive limits —– It’s no mystery that I have ”skin” in this game , but never intended to have ”bone” in such a disfunctional f—ed up , garbage dump that our school district has become .. when 99% of the funding and political capitol are Administrative based , with associated rewards (are you listening Hazel) —- That get channeled into Certain funds , many of wich have no relationship to Education !! or really anything to do with Student, enrchment or development , and are percieved as ”building blocks for an Empire building egocentric ”—should have been fired a long time ago” -self promoter , funded by the tax-payers , such as the one’s you preyed upon , througought your essssstemmed carreer as an IRS ”IMPOSTER” ….
    If You are so ”pure” then post your tax returns on this site for all to see –MRS IRS …. and credentials please or just shut up !!!!
    You took the same oath I did —– Deal with it !! …

    Reply

    • August 22, 2015 @ 1:26 pm Ben

      Great comment, except one needs to be part of your inner circle to understand what you are trying to say.

      Reply

  11. August 24, 2015 @ 8:16 am Marianne Kearney-Brown

    I have also had trouble with Public Records Act requests fulfilled. Other districts provide info easily, often after a simple phone call. Vallejo sends a form letter with excerpts of the PRA as a “response” but then ignores the actual PRA by stalling and obfuscating.

    The story becomes even more bizarre when you consider last weeks fiasco. The district included a man’s social security number in a response to a PRA request. They are hyper-cautious about fulfilling these requests, to the point of breaking the law, yet they wantonly release confidential information-again, breaking the law.

    Who are these people, where did they come from, and why are we paying them so much money?

    Reply

    • August 24, 2015 @ 9:36 am wharf rat

      Local ordinance might be the only thing that will give the VCUSD back to the community that it is suposed to serve , new trustees as well but that is a temporary fix . A lawsuit with conditions of settlement might have more teeth and a longer life . If every family in the district produced 5 signatures for a referendum or ballot measure
      that would be enough to qualify . This should be crafted to encompase the many problems that exist as impediments to our Children’s public education RIGHT ! . Might as well do one effort rather than a piecemeal approach . The coming meeting Trustee Worel has organized would be a good start to define and record in order of importance the issues for a future ballot measure or other leagly binding action . ” by the people for the Children the time has come”.

      Reply

  12. September 2, 2015 @ 11:07 am wharf rat

    LCAP’s have become a Miners Canary for School District accountability and fiscal policy , the local control concept was sound , yet many Districts have spent the revenue on other than the intended Educational enrichment for low income Students and often commited it before receiving the payments .
    The US Census is not real time enough to determine a Districs low income component so the free and reduced meal program stats are the main metric used to determine a Districs share of the Statewide revenue . It will be interesting to see how much of this new revenue will actually go to the much needed instruction intended by this proposition , VCUSD estimated revenue is approx $13,000,000 early estimates were approx $17,000,000 per fiscal year . How much will go to ESl and English challenged Students at the classroom / instruction level will remain to be seen or will Administration and other special interests gut these funds ? .

    http://www.dailyrepublic.com/opinion/statenationalcolumnists/reports-hint-that-schools-not-following-state-funding-law/

    Reports hint that schools not following state funding law
    By Dan Walters From page A11 | September 02, 2015
    California school districts were granted extraordinary flexibility in implementing a historic overhaul of public education finance to provide more help to “high-needs” poor and English-learner students.

    Gov. Jerry Brown cited “subsidiarity” as his principle, defining it as trusting local school officials to use extra money from the Local Control Funding Formula wisely within broad state guidelines.

    The flexibility Brown and the state Board of Education granted disturbed an informal coalition of civil rights and education reform groups. They feared that the extra allocations of funds for nearly 60 percent of California’s 6 million-plus students would be dissipated into teacher salaries and other general uses, rather than concentrated on the targeted kids.

    Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union surveyed the “local control accountability plans” of 40 large districts and found them wanting.

    Just one of the local control accountability plans the ACLU studied addressed the eight required “metrics.” Moreover, most districts couldn’t account for extra money they had been allocated and didn’t explain why they were using Local Control Funding Formula funds for other purposes.

    The ACLU and Public Advocates, another civil rights organization, sent letters last spring to every school district, county school superintendent and many other school officials outlining the findings.

    The ACLU report, coupled with other studies of the Local Control Funding Formula’s implementation, fed suspicions that the extra money was being diverted to other purposes.

    Those suspicions gained even more currency a few weeks ago when state schools chief Tom Torlakson, countermanding his own department, told districts that they could use Local Control Funding Formula money for teacher salary increases – even suggesting the rationales they could use to justify it.

    The ACLU has taken a new look at the most recent batch of local control accountability plans and once again found them lacking.

    “Unfortunately, our preliminary review of a small sample of just-adopted LCAPs reveals that districts are still struggling with these foundational issues,” David Sapp, the ACLU’s director of educational advocacy, wrote in August.

    The ACLU’s report suggests that districts are ignoring the Local Control Funding Formula law and diverting billions of extra dollars meant to help poor kids who desperately need a boost.

    Brown told us the districts could be trusted to do the right thing by those kids but they are also under enormous political pressure, particularly from the California Teachers Association and other unions, to make up for years of austerity.

    Brown should intervene, demand that the districts comply with the law he championed and if they fail, tighten up on the “flexibility” they were granted.

    Torlakson obviously won’t do anything. He, by his own words, is complicit in the diversion.

    The ACLU and Public Advocates are already suing Los Angeles Unified School District, the state’s largest district, for such diversions and are clearly ready to use the courts to enforce Brown’s law if he won’t do it.

    Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him at dwalters@sacbee.com. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/WaltersBee.

    Dan Walters

    Reply

  13. September 16, 2015 @ 11:45 am tramky

    And get into this about Common Core, which was adopted by VCUSD under enormous pressure and conniving by the State of California and the Feds:

    http://thepulse2016.com/jane-robbins/2015/09/14/feds-confess-truth-about-common-core/

    Reply

  14. September 17, 2015 @ 4:16 pm Data Geek

    Do you folks even have any idea what you are talking about the California Healthy Kids Survey is administered by WestEd. Is Mr. PhD seriously talking about a law suit when he doesn’t know what he is talking about? You cannot get raw data because it is protected but FERPA (national student data privacy) regulations. You can however look at the results on-line as a simple search would have shown you. Here, let me provide that on a silver google-driven platter: http://chks.wested.org/reports/results?search%5Border_by%5D=&search%5Border_as%5D=&search%5Bper_page%5D=50&search%5Bpriority_order_by%5D=&search%5Bpriority_order_as%5D=&search%5Bconditions%5D%5Bcounty_id_contains%5D=3644&search%5Bconditions%5D%5Bdistrict_contains%5D=vallejo&commit=Search

    Reply

    • September 18, 2015 @ 12:18 pm Cant Read

      Did you read the Public Records Act requests made by Dr. Schussel? If you had you would not have made your inane comments.

      Reply


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