OPEN LETTER TO BOARD PRESIDENT JIM CARTMILL AND BOARD MEMBERS:
The 2012-2013 Accountability Progress Report has been released. The ONLY school in the SUHSD that has met criteria in English Language, Math, API, and Graduation rates is Montgomery High.
Mr. Cartmill, Ed Brand has failed to deliver - in a couple of weeks when his Performance Appraisal is up for discussion I urge you to stop the hemorrhaging by relieving Brand of his duties. What has he brought in the way of improvements - not a thing. The figures do NOT lie - you remember the controversy last year involving a certain high school, well it appears the whistle blowers were correct judging from the numbers just released.
These numbers are indicative of one thing - lack of leadership from the top, lack of focus on the education of our students - instead he is out there wheelin' and dealin' with his perceived back room deals. Brand was/continues to be hell bent on giving away a portion of our facilities via free rent for Alliant - a University that is more than capable of paying its own way.
Controversy, aren't you and the other board members about fed up with one scandal after another authored by Ed Brand? It is time to stop the madness, all eyes are on YOU, JIM CARTMILL as president of the board. How will you vote? How will the rest of the board vote?
At the end of the meeting we are expecting to leave focused on a new future with a superintendent that is trusted and respected - currently he enjoys neither - not from us or staff.
chulavista_resident may be for real. I doubt that, because here in Reader comments we have seen "sock puppet" comments in several situations, not the least of which were cases when Don Bauder was getting too close to home. Whoever he/she is, he/she should know that the Reader doesn't "smear", but rather seeks the truth. resident comes across as someone who has a big stake in this show-and-tell, so read those comments with a large dose of skepticism.
I frequent public schools in many different districts in San Diego County and I have never seen a school that looks like Castle Park Middle. Could you please list schools that you feel resemble CPM? Also, if I may ask, what profession are you in that did not recently go through the recession I went through? Who would feel that this is a legitimate expense? Do you spend your own money this way? If you do, have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
What is funnier is that all three commented on each others posts, and then gave each other a thumbs-up and also gave themselves a thumbs-up? Who would give themselves a thumbs-up?
The irony of your statement, Meg, is that Castle Park Middle is not a "dilapidated" school. The tax payers approved the propositions to fund the renovation of this school not ten years ago. Most of the classrooms have been renovated, including new AC, storage, and windows. It is the unnecessary and perhaps unapproved painting of the windows that has lowered the value of the school. As a tax payer I was glad to pay for the renovations, but now I am sickened to think that I paid for the cheap and ugly paint, and outraged that eventually, eventually, when clearer heads once again prevail, I will pay for the restoration of the windows. Perhaps, Ms. Luzzaro, you can research just how much money we are talking about.
MEG - you take exception to anonymous yet you choose to remain so. Your comments read friend or wife, not that it matters as both are entitled to their opinion.
I take exception to the brush you have used to paint the 'author' of this story. the READER and Ms. Luzzaro have been providing factual in depth coverage that pointed to the alleged corruption in some of our South Bay districts long before the antagonists went to the DA or FBI. If you had the taken the time to follow the relevant news provided by The READER via Luzzaro you would know that all that has been reported has been found to be factual.
I have to say I am about fed up with all of the pretenders, the persons who consistently refer to the 'poor inner city youth' as if they were a cancer that needs treating. The students of CPM and their families are to be celebrated not pitied. The balance in ones checking account does not define their worth or goals. Many of these 'poor inner city children' as you call them have gone on to be highly successful - and they did it without wearing a tshirt that referred to themselves as 'dawg or dog'. Is there room for growth, in all of our schools YES, but they do not need a self serving author to mandat they adhere to his model.
What of the teachers that alerted their community to the truth, they were like those hard working professional at Granger - sick of a certain person promoting self. The teachers that I speak of, they are the true heroes, they could have used that 20k in their classrooms for their students, they could have used that tshirt money, and they surely could have done without their classroom windows being painted over. What of the alleged missing ASB funds, where are they? What did the principal perceive was a good use for that money? - college banners? Give me a break!!!!!!
"We used this exact model". MEG here is a 411 for you, these kids are not lab rats for you to experiment on and I resent your reference. They could give a rats batuee about your model, and the same goes for me. You have done little to help the case of said principal selling HIS book about HIS model.
I am reminded of another snake oil salesman, he too worked in the Castle Park community, he too consistently sold himself as the great savior for these 'poor inner city children' - he cared alright - about enough to dip into ASB monies. He too had a friend singing his praises- currently they are both GONE!!!!
Make no mistake the teachers and good administrators at CPM are the persons we should be applauding not the self promoting friend/husband you are attempting to defend.
While I don't currently know what CPM was scheduled to have in regards to the Prop O process, it seems that our illustrious leadership could have planned for some sort of mini ampitheater complete with awning as a shiny gathering spot for the students. Slapping a $20,000 stage in as a band-aid seems pale in comparison.
Until I know which funding (General Fund, ASB) is covering which portion (Stage, t-shirts) I won't be able to comment further. Except wondering if either was approved by the student body to fund with their money. (Don't they have to go through some student approval for those purchases?
Also, when was the stage ordered? Was it ordered as part of the general site improvements that have been going on, or did we just find out about Duncan's visit, and go "we need to put him on a pedestal"?
As for the school improving, have you seen their scores lately? For the entire district?? According to API site I just looked at, CPM made no progress whatsoever. Make no mistake, we WANT test scores to improve, we WANT these schools to shed these stereotypes (That we are NOT promoting), we WANT all of our schools (we are not East vs. West) to achieve.
Slapping paint over windows will not achieve this.
(For the record, my kids are west school.)
MEG, At first when you said "We" I thought you were part of Granger and Castle Park, but then you couldn't be because if you were you would know that the Granger turnaround program and the grant written for Promise Neighborhood uses the slogan,
No Hay Pobrecitos. You should not be limiting these students with your labeling of "poor inner-city kids."
As for sources to the article, please read the article--there are three named sources: trustee Bertha Lopez, district spokesperson Manny Rubio, and district CFO Al Alt. If teachers and parents are more vulnerable -- then they need to be protected as sources.
But, thanks for commenting.
MEG - anniej here.
Your arrogance and ignorance is showing. No where in my post did I elude to east side being more deserving, AND if you knew what you were talking about you would know that I have for 4 years been fighting for the schools on the west side. I guess Ed Brand forgot to educate you on that.
I am west side, and proud of it!
Allow me to educate you Prop O, have you heard of it? Or are you too busy with the book to know what is going on district wide? The 644 million dollars bond that was voted in is paying for the renovations on the west side. If you have issues with how it is being spent you might just want to trouble yourself to attend a Prop O meeting - I have for the past 4 years, interesting, I do not recall seeing you there.
Those east side folks, their taxes are the majority of the monies that fund Prop O - you aware of that?
The manner in which you speak of this community and these children is quite demeaning, although you make a failed attempt to act as their savior. These children have as much intelligence as those on the east side, they have dreams and ambition.
You seem to have lost the focus of my comments. It seems to be all about what BB is doing vs. what the teachers and other administrators are committed to - WHY? There is no I in the word 'team'. You fail to comment regarding the impostors I reference.
YOU RAISED THE ISSUE OF CHEATING, funny no one else here did.
You defend the spending far too aggressively - you fail to address the ASB funds that are allegedly missing.
Look if all it took was a tshirt to make an A student, I have no doubt every parent in America would be out buying one. What you fail to understand is this - BB is not the reincarnation of JC -
I would like for you to explain your TOTAL ignorance regarding the campuses on the west side - you state they have inadequate gyms and theatrical stages. Talk to me, explain the state of the art theatre auditorium at Chula, explain the new gyms at Mar Vista and Sweetwater, explain the new track and football field at Montgomery. Soon to come a new gym at Montgomery.
Bonita Vista, an east side school just THIS YEAR had their HVAC system restored and they are one of 'those' east side schools.
If you want to come here and defend BB go for it, but please be reminded many reading KNOW THE FACTS - they are teachers, and administrators, district office personnel, and west and east side taxpayers.
We taxpayers will not stand for fiduciary irresponsibility. We want our tax monies spent in the classroom!
Parents, students and teachers if you would like to have a say in how your school is renovated, please attend the Prop O meetings and let your voices be heard. Also ask to be on your schools Prop O committee.
Again what about the missing ASB funds, where did they go?
MEG - not to worry, you are not frustrating us - to the contrary we appreciate the opportunity to share the facts.
In the mix of all of this let us remember we are the stewards for the youth in our community.
I believe you would be surprised to know just how many people follow Ms. Luzzaro, ask Ed. He goes into a tizzy every time he hears -
"GET YOUR PAPER, GET YOUR READER HERE!!!!!"
Dear chulavista resident and MEG:
OF COURSE WE HAVE AN AGENDA! GLAD YOU RECOGNIZED THAT WE ARE INTENT! We pursue our goal of bringing transparency to the secretive and dark ways of the Superintendent and his henchmen in the Sweetwater District...a school district that is SUPPOSED to be about educating our future citizens. Ed and Co. are not setting a very good example, so we are trying very hard to be diligent citizens and stakeholders to 'help' them make better choices about how they spend our money and educate our children.
We have learned they are not to be trusted with any public money, and this is yet another example of their perfidy. You may become upset as we call them out, AGAIN, but then that is our right as we foot the bill and have the Constitution on our side.
If you think you can scare or silence us by challenging our right to express our opinions, you should think again, and again, and again.
In this instance, they are indeed taking yet another opportunity to appear as though things are just ducky (they are not....4 of 5 trustees indicted, money flying out the window to pay for underwater real estate ventures, wheels and deals with private so-called universities, ad nauseam. )
Susan Luzzaro has done yeoman's work to keep the community informed of the travesties and tricks being foisted on this community. She deserves our applause
I, for one, love the headline to this story: "We're painting the roses red" a la Alice in Wonderland. Mr. Duncan may just as well find himself tumbling down the rabbit hole if he ventures too close to fast Eddy.
CPM is one school in an entire District that is underwater in scores and achievement. What is the Superintendent doing about that? He is orchestrating all sorts of 'deals' with nefarious 'partners' and not tending to the business he is contracted to do...namely, educating our children.
To 'dress up' one school that is to be visited by some federal visiting fireman with student money is shameless...but then, that is what Fast Eddy does....sleight of hand and 'poof' problem is addressed.
I do hope that Secretary Duncan is somehow advised that four of the five trustees of this district are under indictment for multiple counts of felonies...ranging from perjury under declaration to extortion. That is not a great way to oversee the public trust!
Knowthetruth - call us what they may, one thing we commenters are is educated on the facts.
Where is 'all' that Ed Brand promised the community and the board when he was rehired? The 'all' has not materialized has it? Perhaps it is due to the fact that Brand spends the majority of his time on other, more important ventures - you know like Grand Canyon - failure, new CIF division - failure, Funds for Education - failure, open Boundaries - failure, IPADS - I here the recent testing caused IT to crash - failure, Alliant - failure, Charter School on L Street - had to vacate, failure ------- please all chime in.
Than You for your analysis of the State documentation.
I was just doing a little researching on the California Department of Education website, this is what I found. Castle Park Middle’s API over the last 10 years has risen from 608 in 2004 to 802 in 2013, a rise of 194 points. That would be a yearly average increase of 19.4 points. The largest increase was for the 2011-2012 school year with an increase of 46 points, the first year Principal Bleisch took over. What I have been told and read is that during that year the Granger Turnaround Model was slowing piloted throughout the school year but was not fully functioning, teachers were allowed to make many decisions for themselves and it looks like it worked well. During last school year with the Granger Turnaround Model fully functioning at CPM, the school’s API rose 6 points; this is the smallest rise of any school year in the last 10 years. Am I missing something? What on earth is all of the fuss about the Granger Turnaround Model? With all of the extra money and people working there the school is scoring below its 10 year average, these are the years the fictional narrative would tell us that the school was in desperate need of help. Can someone please explain this to me?
Just so it is clear to readers who do not know the school (CPM), almost all of the classrooms that are currently used by students were rebuilt a decade ago. The ends of the buildings were kept in place while everything else (outside and interior walls, roofing, floors, electrical, windows and air conditioning) was new. The ends are kept so that it is technically a remodel so monies can be saved on the permit process, very common in the building trade, but for all practical purposes, they are brand new buildings. I realize the old, worn out school narrative sounds good to people pitching all of this fiction about the school for their own self-promotion, but the problem is that it just does not fit into reality.
ASB funds are not missing rather they were spent on items that are clearly visible on the CPM campus. The question is not where is the money but what was it spent on and why?
Livetoknit1 - the fact that you are asking the question is reason for concern and the concern is legitimate. In my opinion -
If its not there
And no one knows where or how it was spent
Then in my mind it is missing. When it comes to ASB monies, monies earned from students via their parents it should be a transparent process. When personnel, from the school come forward and raise the warning flag, it is our responsibility to ask the tough questions. Let us not forget what happened at Castle Park High's ASB monies just a few years ago via the principal and AP. We can not forget the lessons learned from our past.
Livetoknit1- your perspective, your working history with BB brings first hand info to the table. I too know several teachers who workeD with BB in his past positions - these are fine educators - you know the type, committed, caring, intelligent foot soldiers who day after day do the work educating the future leaders of this great nation. They ask for little in return since what drives them are the smiles on their students faces when they figure out a problem, or get that B grade, or deliver a speech that had them scared to death. Yes, the unsung heroes doing what they love. What I have been told about said principal is sad.
Look I know several great principals - will I name them, ah, that would be a NO! Why some would ask, because I have been asked point blank 'do not acknowledge me in front of others, do not refer to or about me and NEVER! EVER praise me for that will kiss my career goodbye.' God forbid Brand should believe we talk. Now ain't that a shame??????
Keep in mind the trials are in February, once the verdicts are delivered and the guilty are removed I have no doubt Brand will soon follow. No longer will any of them have influence over our district.
The truth will then be exposed regarding the finances of the district - and I believe it will be devastating
Stevie – Thanks for asking, you open up the enormity of the problem. Castle Park Middle had the highest rise in scores in the entire district at only 6. Most schools have crashed. What do you think Stevie, a result in district leadership? Be care answering that one. Granger, the namesake of the Granger Turnaround Model fell 30 points. Aren’t they still using the model? If yes, what happened? If not, why not? Just to put things in perspective for you, all schools have a similar schools ranking, a list of schools that are demographically similar so that there can be a more apples to apples comparison. In San Diego County there are three other schools that are on the list with Castle Park Middle. How do you think CPM ranks against them in growth for this last school year? Don’t worry about looking it up, I can tell you. CPM comes in third place out of four similar schools. Cesar Chavez in Oceanside went up 19 points, Del Dios in Escondido went up 8 points and Hidden Valley in Escondido went down 13. Are Cesar Chavez and Del Dios using the Granger Turnaround Model? They seem to be doing better. Wouldn’t be a good idea to see what they are doing? It seems to be working better.
Various Authors 9:18 p.m., Feb. 7
Ruth Newell 8:48 p.m., Feb. 7
Daniel Powell 1 p.m., Feb. 7
Robert Bush noon, Feb. 7
Matthew Suárez 11 a.m., Feb. 7
Dean Spanos 10:18 a.m., Feb. 7
Sheila Pell 8:30 a.m., Feb. 7
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