News

PTAs oppose Bullis' quest to take over LASD campus

Letter urges parents to 'stand together' to prevent any school closures

The heads of the PTAs and education foundation are asking parents to take a stand against closing any Los Altos District school to give the Bullis Charter School its own campus. A joint statement signed by every PTA president within the district, as well as by leaders from the Los Altos Educational Foundation, was sent out March 17.

"We feel compelled to write our membership and school communities to assure you that we stand in solidarity as a district," the PTA-LAEF letter said. "We do not believe that a charter school should cause any of our high-performing schools to be relocated or closed."

The letter comes after yet another proposal LASD facilities-sharing plan was rejected by Bullis Charter School. The unofficial offer, announced in a district press release on March 16, proposed splitting the charter school between two shared campuses within the district an idea Bullis officials said would not be acceptable.

LASD and Bullis have been locked in a sometimes-litigious battle for years -- with both parties unable to reach agreement on where the charter school should be located. In recent months, Bullis has been adamant that the district close an entire school, redraw attendance boundaries and redistribute the displaced students throughout the remaining campuses.

Officials from the charter remained firm on that demand on March 16, dismissing the proposal to share Covington Elementary School between current LASD students and all K-6 Bullis students while keeping seventh- and eighth-grade Bullis students at Egan Junior High School, which currently houses the entire charter school.

Ken Moore, chair of the Bullis board of directors, said he was caught off guard by the announcement that LASD planned to explore another plan to split Bullis between two campuses, since the two education organizations are in the midst of mediation talks, and since Bullis has made it clear that its program requires all of its students to be housed at a single site.

"It didn't seem to be a very reasonable attempt to comply with Proposition 39," Moore said, referring to the state law governing charter schools, which dictates a school district must offer a charter school within its boundaries "reasonably equivalent" facilities.

"How's that remotely reasonably equivalent?" Moore asked incredulously. "They are splitting the school, which is illegal."

Kelly Toshach, co-president of the Springer Elementary School PTA, said that she hopes Bullis and LASD will be able to come to a mutual agreement. However, she echoed the sentiments expressed in the letter, noting that she was particularly concerned with the idea of closing a neighborhood school and redrawing the individual schools' boundaries.

The letter asked all who received it to "work with your PTA leaders to stand together as a district to prevent the closure of any LASD school."

In response to the joint PTA-LAFE letter, Moore said he understood the concerns of local parents over how the charter school will affect their lives and their children's lives.

"Unfortunately, it appears the intent of the PTA communication is to maintain the illegal status quo," he said.

Correction: LASD never made a formal facilities offer to Bullis, and, therefore, no official offer was ever denied. LASD announced plans to explore the above mentioned sharing option. Bullis officials have said that splitting their program between two schools is not an acceptable option.

Comments

Posted by Sylvia, a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

"the intent of the PTA communication is to maintain the illegal status quo"

I agree. Where was the PTA when they made my kids attend school clear across town at Covington. The PTA only wants to preserve neighborhood schools for the select few. The rest of us get farmed out. I hope Bullis gets everything the want.


Posted by Lee, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

Slyvia,
I understand and sympathize; redistricting is painful for all. But, I would ask you to research and understand that the two situations are completely different.


Posted by Haha, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:15 am

does lasd really need bullis gardner? what happened to that explosive growth on the other side of el camino that necessitated the boundary remapping?


Posted by Are U Serious, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

Where were the BCS bozos when LASD opened up Bullis Gardner? They had their chance to affect the boundary redrawing then - instead of letting the kids on the wrong side of El Camino get sent clear across town. Now they want to redraw the boundaries again? Who's kids do you think are going to get messed up again?


Posted by Equal but Unequal, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

No other school in LASD has K-8 on one campus. Why does Ken Moore think that BCS should get K-8 on one campus and that's considered equal?


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

Are U Serious --- you are really misplacing the blame, but it's not your fault, the LASD B of T are Orwellian propaganda masters so I can imagine how you came to your erroneous conclusion.

BCS is not to blame for the crazy map redraw... We are on your side. In reality it is the LASD B of T who are the actual Bozo's. They reopened GB as an LASD school - and spent 14 million dollars of tax payers money to do it. BCS, from it's inception asked for this campus year after year, and offered to pay for the upgrades. The BoT Bozos said no. That 14 million dollars could have spent constructing an LASD campus were it might really be needed on the North end of the district. Alternatively, the funds could have been spent at each district campus, to get rid of portables. Instead 200 + kids, most of them from Mountain View, were moved to other schools.

Everyone should ask Why did they do this? Why open a campus for less than 300 students? Why open a campus so far away from the expected growth area? Just three years earlier they had decided they didn't need it. The answer is simple - they wanted to get rid of BCS and in their narrow minded outlook they thought if they gave LAH it's school back then everyone would leave BCS and return to their "neighborhood school," because doesn't everyone love their neighborhood school? Opening GB had the added benefit of keeping the campus away from BCS.... The BoT's have huge egos, as do their successors. The third problem was that their were some in LAH community who were pushing to make their own school district - it's unlikely that this effort would have been successful - but it worked as a great excuse

Here is the B of T 's priority list:
Maximize STAR test scores -
~ Keep the curriculum same at every school.
~ Move low scoring kids to the Learning Community at GB
- moving one or two kids who score low on the STAR test can really boost scores.
Keep GB away from BCS
Make life as difficult for BCS as possible.
Keep neighborhood schools for the B of T's supporters and their own kids.
Delay, Delay, Delay --- the longer they can delay the court action - the better it is for their own re-election.

When the LASD PTA's claim to be united, what they are really saying is, "we support the illegal status quo, our kids are more deserving than yours, even if we have to throw Covington under the bus , that's ok - as long as GB stays open - and BCS doesn't get it's own campus, we are happy. You might start wondering why it's ok to throw so much money down the GB gopher hole.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

BTW -- the "Learning Community" was previously at Covington. That's why Covington's scores recently shot up. In LASD think Neighborhood Schools are not for special ed kids, or kids who struggle with tests -- they also need to take one for team. In other words it's ok to move the kids who are struggling the most -- why not help these kids at their own school in their own classroom?


Posted by Are U Serious, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

BCS Parent did you support the families on the wrong side of El Camino at the hearings and board meetings during the boundary re-draw?


Posted by merge them, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

merge GB & BCS. if the GB families don't want their kids @ BCS then make them go to Santa Rita or Almond. it's time to inconvenience the 1% for once.


Posted by Equality, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

While they're talking about being equal, BCS should take on some of the "Learning Community" students as well as some ELL students.


Posted by LASD parent, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

BCS parent,
There are special need kids at Almond, Covington, Santa Rita, Springer and GB. LASD serves ALL kids. Where are BCS numbers for snk and ELL? They are NOT equivalent. Clearly you are not a parent of a special needs child or you would be up on the real stats.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Yes, I did support them. Like many at BCS I support having a choice in education and I do not support the LASD neighborhood school policy. The majority of us don't live anywhere near a neighborhood school --- my neighborhood was reassigned from Almond to Springer.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

One of my children has an IEP -- and I am aware of many of many others at BCS that do. So to say the BCS doesn't have kids with special needs is really one of rumors floated by the Orwellian Propaganda Machine. I think that they really push this one because they hate that our test scores are better --- even though it's really not the focus of the school like it is in LASD. Our kids spend quite a bit of time on stuff that is not on the test. The thing that I really find apprehensipal is the Learning Community. From what I know about the program I think it's for kids who do not have an IEP but score low on the STAR test.

I looked into how the API ratings are calculated -- if you have one or two students in each grade who do not qualify for an IEP but score low on test anyway -- then you really get dinged. So if you move these kids to one school -- then only that school gets dinged. The other schools go way up. If the student has an IEP then this effect is somewhat mitigated. It has to do with No Child Left Behind -- which really doesn't apply much to LASD - but the scores are still calculated that way. The learning community used to be at Covington but was moved to GB. I don't know -- maybe they do wonders with these kids -- but I am wondering why they just can't work with them at their home school. It would seem to me that kids who are struggling do not need the extra burden of being shifted around every few years.

The other thing that dings your scores is if you don't test - or parents decide to not have their kids do the test ---- One of my neighbors told me that this happened at Springer last year.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

And when I say are test scores are better -- they really are not that much better -- but I think it is such a focus in LASD that they need to come with excuses.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Let me try that again ----
our test scores are better....


Posted by Joan, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

BCS Parent,
You wrote that LASD spent $14 million of taxpayer money for GB, but how many millions has BCS' barrage of lawsuits cost the district? The real losers? The 99%. Those who can't afford private school or BCS. If BCS wins, the Crossings neighborhood will be sent to their 5th school in 10 years because the 1% rule the board.

#occupyBCS


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Most people in our district are in the 5%. some are in the 1% -- but we all know that the cost of living here is quite a bit different. With that said. The money spent on the Law suit is the fault of the BOT not BCS.. Everyone needs to understand that. Really. You board has sold you a bill of goods. They could have prevented the Lawsuit by working towards a compromise -- we have a right to exist, and they should have been following the law. They are out laws - the court has made that clear. In addition we can sue them for our court costs and if they continue to come up more bad solutions, I think that we will do so.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of Gemello
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I would hope that the LASD does not shift the Crossings again. That is not fair to them. I think that the district should have built a school for the north area at the Egan Camp site. Instead of reopening Gardner.


Posted by Joan, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

You would hope that the Crossings doesn't get moved again, but you know it will if BCS wins. You write about "fair" but as Equal but Unequal wrote, no schools in LASD have K-8 on one campus.

#OccupyBCS


Posted by Joan, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm

BCS Parent, you seem to come up with all sorts of numbers really easily, yet you don't answer how many millions has BCS cost the district?

#OccupyBCS


Posted by rem, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

rem is a registered user.

Gee, I wonder how much the charter school is going to cost. Some people love to spend $25.000.oo to send their spoiled brat to a "charter" day care!!!!!!

Hay folks - Get a life - Have LOCAL schools!!!!


Posted by Maria, a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Maybe BCS could switch to being a charter school for Mountain View-Whisman. If we hadn't have already leased everything to Google, we'd have plenty of space for them.


Posted by MB, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I have one child in an LASD school and one at BCS. Also, I'm too busy with work to be involved with the politics of this battle or part of the click at the LASD school or BCS. So, I consider myself unbiased to a large extent. Said that, I believe that it is in LASD and BCS' best interest for LASD to give the Gardner Bullis campus to BCS and for once and for all settle the matter. Why Gardner Bullis?

Because:

1. Gardner Bullis has the least number of students than any other LASD school,

2. Gardner Bullis pulls a healthy percentage of its student body from the PA school district by inticing them through the only full-day K program in the district,

3. The District can redraw the attendance lines back to what they were orignally four years ago and provide each kid a neighborhood school. This addresses LASD's voiced concern about a neighborhood school.

4. What would remain (ie old Bullis Pur.) attendance boundry students could be given the choice to go to Bullis Charter, a neighborhood school, or any of the other LASD elementary schools.


This way, every student would be able to go to a neighborhood school and traffic would be less for all and we all would see an end to the feud.

Also, I cant see why Gardner Bullis parents would object to this solution because they will end up with the district education they are happy with and a neighborhood school. If their only remaining concern is facilities not being as nice as their $14m campus, then they should put themseleves in the shoes of BCS.


Posted by Denise, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I just want this to be over so we don't waste and more time or money on this issue. What message are we giving to the children? We need to respect the court decision and move forward.. quickly.


Posted by BCS Parent 2, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

BCS Parent 2 is a registered user.


There are a couple things in this article that seem off to me - the Covington proposal wasn't a formal offer, it was a proposed option, and as such BCS didn't turn down the offer, BCS merely stated that it wouldn't work as an option since BCS needs to stay k-8. I also don't think BCS has ever said they want the BoT to close a school, they just want the BoT to figure out a way to give BCS facilities that are reasonably equivalent. If the BoT had wanted to, they could have done this on several occasions in the past without inconveniencing any populations of parents or students (when they reopened Gardener, when they reopened Covington), but they clearly haven't wanted to solve the facilities problem for BCS, hoping BCS would magically go away. BCS hasn't, now educating 10% of district kids, and demand keeps increasing, and the problem is still here 9 years later. I think the solution lies in looking at the middle schools - these are the largest chunks of land with the fewest kids. Why not redraw the boundaries between Blach and Egan, Blach at nearly 18 acres has only 464 kids... Send more to Blach - it could easily support 200 more. Shrink Egan to 350, give 3 acres of Egan's land to BCS. Improve the facilities at BCS so the structures are permanent and nice (could be prefab) and put in some landscaping so BCS has facilities and space that are reasonably equivalent. The Covington offer is interesting, but the traffic and safety issues, and the fact that we wouldn't be K-8, just make it unworkable. Improve the facilities at BCS, give them a gym, and put in some landscaping so BCS has facilities and space that are reasonably equivalent. The Covington offer is interesting, but the traffic and safety issues, and the fact that we wouldn't be K-8, just make it a non-starter. I have a hard time believing the Covington option was actually meant in seriousness, so what is the BoT up to?


Posted by MV Native, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm

MV Native is a registered user.

Great post, BCS Parent 2.
I think the offer is all about delaying the court decision.


Posted by Bikes2work, a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

Joan,

As a Crossings homeowner, I would be glad if our neighborhood was moved again to a closer school. Only Loyola or Oak could be worse than our current assignment of Covington in terms of distance. The LASD model assures that the education is the same no matter which school we are assigned. Vanilla or vanilla or vanilla. But now the latest LASD proposal would overcrowd Covington and make our current assignment even worse in terms of traffic and facility logistics.

Right now the kids in our neighborhood are spread across numerous different schools because of all the changes over the years. It doesn't matter. Our kids play together anyway because we have a great neighborhood where kids can actually just go outside and find other kids to play with. My closest neighbors still go to Santa Rita. I would prefer that the Crosssings be reassigned to Santa Rita. It isn't too far to bike to Santa Rita from here. My kids used to go to Santa Rita.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:07 am

dawn t is a registered user.

Nobody answers why BCS *needs* to stay K-8 and how much BCS has cost the district so far.

Crossings residents who have kids that go to BCS would prefer that the Crossings be reassigned to another school? Again? Not like it affects your kids.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

dawn t is a registered user.

@BCS Parent 2 what traffic and safety issues? Do you have traffic studies you can provide us with?


Posted by BCS Parent 2, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

BCS Parent 2 is a registered user.

Thanks for comments - as for why BCS runs an integrated K-8 program, just a few thoughts...
7th and 8th grade weren't plopped, after the fact, like some juicy cherry, on top of our fabulous k-6 ice cream sundae. Instead, BCS went through a rigorous site based planning process involving parents, board members, and teachers, and produced the recommendation to pursue an integrated K-8 model. It was vetted and voted on by the board, and approved by the Santa Clara Board of Education when they extended our Charter to include 7-8. A further implementation team of parents, teachers board members, and experts in the field, designed an implementation plan. They took into consideration recent research that demonstrates that students perform better both academically and emotionally when they remain in a K-8 configuration, and are not moved to a new school environment during the critical middle school years. Research such as:

➢ A Harvard study that found "Florida students who attended [stand alone] middle schools were 18 percent more likely to drop out of high school than K-8 students."

➢ A Harvard Graduate School of Education Study that stated: "Our findings clearly support ongoing efforts in urban school districts to convert standalone elementary and middle schools into schools with K-8 configurations."

➢ And a Rand Literature Review called the Wonder Years that looked at students in stand alone middle schools: "The findings of the study showed that 7th graders in the new school environment were worse off than the same-age peers who remained in the K–8 school."

So that's the research basis for our integrated program.

There are program/cost benefit arguments as well. We share specialist teachers for Mandarin, PE, Music, Drama, Art, Science and Engineering, and others, as well as specialized teaching space between the grades. It would be cost prohibitive for us to replicate this level of specialization at both locations.

Then there's the benefits to the community of families and students that being together brings. The older students have leadership and mentoring opportunities - we have a reading buddies program between 1st and 8th graders, the 7th graders recently ran/hosted the assembly and handed out the principal's awards to the younger students, we have "houses" where students of all ages are grouped together for activities. The younger students learn from the older students, and the older students get to share learnings and model exemplary behavior -- the cross pollination is wonderful.

BCS is the only K-8 program in LASD – Parents want to come to BCS. Applications to BCS are up something like 15 percent this year, and BCS has grown to encompass 10% of LASD.


Finally, as a BCS parent, it is the choice I would like for my children. It's not simply that it be a BCS 7-8, it's that it be an integrated BCS K-8.

I know it is sometimes hard to grasp that BCS parents want something different, when what is available in the rest of LASD seems so good. But BCS represents an excellent alternative path, an innovative approach, and an integrated K-8 program. It is different than other LASD schools and that is EXACTLY the point. We wants nothing more than to stay together and be on a contiguous campus that is "reasonably equivalent" to that enjoyed by other LASD students as outlined by Prop 39.

As far as traffic and safety issues, no I don't have specific reports to point to, that's one of my points - LASD hasn't studied this very closely at all. I believe when the city proposed the Rosita pool project roughly 10 years ago - a traffic study was done and an environment impact report, and I believe it was determined the neighborhood couldn't withstand the load of extra traffic. I don't see how adding 500 extra students to Covington wouldn't put an even greater load on neighborhood streets than a pool. But of course, these studies would still need to be done to be sure.

And the thought of having to get 1000 kids out of Covington in an emergency, and quickly, makes me very nervous, there is so much congestion already on El Monte, Foothill, and Covington. This seems like too big of a risk to take to me. I understand the other schools don't want to sacrifice anything, but they are asking a lot of their Covington and BCS neighbors if this arrangement goes through. Not being able to get to your little one quickly when necessary would be the ultimate in "asks."




Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

dawn t is a registered user.

Sounds to me like having GB for BCS' campus will only be short-term given your 10% number and 15% growth in applications. There will be GB families who will prefer to keep their kids at that location so add that to your growth figures. It will be a matter of time before BCS is demanding their own middle school campus.

Please explain your 1000 students at Covington. Where does that figure come from? What about the wacky proposal above to put 700 students at Blach? Isn't that almost as absurd taking "traffic and safety" into consideration?


Posted by BCS Parent 2, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

BCS Parent 2 is a registered user.

1000 students at Covington is a rounding up of the projected population of Covington (handed out at the 1/30 board meeting) which is 519 and the projected LASD figures for BCS of 466 (I think this will be slightly higher) combined. That would be Covington k-6 plus BCS integrated k-8 on one campus.

700 would be high for Blach, I agree, but it might not have to be that high, and as mentioned, there is more land there, 18 acres, vs. 14 at Covington, to figure out how to make this work. I am sure this would have to be studied too. It was just an idea that to me seems like it would be safer and inconvenience fewer families/students than the Covington proposal.

We don't have lots of great options and keeping things the way they are is not one of them either, the status quo has been found illegal.






Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

dawn t is a registered user.

Re: your quoted studies...how does the dropout rate of Florida students compare to LASD sudents? What urban school districts were studied in the Harvard study? What exactly is the definition of "worse off"?

What is BCS' 5 year projected growth plan if it had its own campus? What is the current breakdown by grade?

Once again you answer everything but how much BCS costs the district.


Posted by mb, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

mb is a registered user.


Why stay a K-8 integrated program? As another person mentioned earlier, studies have shown there are many benefits to an integrated program in general. Also, BCS needs to house its k-8 program under one roof because of the speciaized teachers,shared resources and costs.

Here is a short list of the benefits of a k-8 integrated program.
1. K-8 schools can enhance social capital and give at-risk students, in particular, greater opportunities at success by building relationships with staff over a course of nine years.

2. Parent involvement can improve because parents are usually happiest with their children's elementary school experiences, and therefore are more likely to stay involved in the children's school lives longer because they are already comfortable with the school and its staff AND because younger siblings/family enroll in the same bldg.

3. Middle grades students in a K-8 school behave differently than in a middle school. They take on the role of protector and role model as opposed to having to establish new reputations upon entering a middle school.

4.Transitions to K-8 schools can enhance teacher collaboration and articulation within and across grades.

5. Internal accountability can increase in schools making the transition to K-8 b/c now teachers know personally who they are sending their children to next year, and middle grades teachers know who there students are coming from.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm

dawn t is a registered user.

@mb

have the studies you referenced taken place in affluent school districts or are the majority of them in less affluent areas? do the studied schools suggest multi thousand dollar donations?

1. how many at risk students are at BCS?
2. how does the parent involvement at BCS compare to other schools in LASD?
3. do you have a study for that?
4. do you have examples of enhanced collaboration and articulation at BCS?
5. what evidence can you provide that shows an increase in internal accountability at BCS?

and how much has BCS cost the district?


Posted by BCS Parent 2, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

BCS Parent 2 is a registered user.

Here are links to the studies:

"Florida students who attended [stand alone] middle schools were 18 percent more likely to drop out of high school than K-8 students." No middle ground: Middle schools may harm achievement > Web Link

"Our findings clearly support ongoing efforts in urban school districts to convert standalone elementary and middle schools into schools with K-8 configurations." Schwerdt & West, 2011 Harvard Graduate School of Education (Web Link)

"The findings of the study showed that 7th graders in the new school environment were worse off than the same-age peers who remained in the K–8 school," 2004 Rand Literature Review: Focus on the Wonder Years (Web Link)




Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

A bit late to this conversation (haven't checked MVVoice in a while) but I thought some folks might be interested in a first draft at a "financial analysis" of the LASD/BCS equation.

Bottom line, BCS costs typical kids in LASD money. The years-long lie from BCS that they somehow save the District money is absolute bull.

Please see: Web Link



Posted by MV Native, a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:40 am

MV Native is a registered user.

I think that the best thing we can do is to not visit Mr. Weak's various websites. Obsession is never a good thing and the best thing that we can do to help him is to ignore him.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:06 am

dawn t is a registered user.

@BCS Parent 2

you "forgot" to address my other questions:
==================================================================
What is BCS' 5 year projected growth plan if it had its own campus? What is the current breakdown by grade?

Once again you answer everything but how much BCS costs the district.
==================================================================

re: your studies
part of the issue brought up in the study is the introduction of different groups of kids from different elementary schools, etc at the middle school level. that WOULD NOT be the case if BCS is split K-6 and 7-8. kids in BCS K-6 would flow to 7-8 which is not comparable to the open enrollment situation of a regular middle school.

furthermore, your studies only focus on grades 6-8 and 7-8. perhaps BCS should be split into K-3 and 4-8 or what about K-4 and 5-8.

this study Web Link suggests that:

Looking at eighth-grade state and city test scores and controlling for a host of other factors, the researchers found that students who moved from K-4 schools to 5-8 schools and students who remained enrolled in a single K-8 school outperformed students who moved to middle school in sixth grade. But they couldn't conclude why those arrangements were more successful.

"Our results suggest that changing school less frequently, changing schools at an earlier grade, a smaller size of the within-school cohort, and the stability of students' peer cohorts are the most likely explanations for these positive performance differences," the researchers write.

does BCS not accept students for grades 6-8 if they have not been in BCS in earlier grades?

again, for all the BCS supporters, why can't/won't you answer this? HOW MUCH DOES BCS COST THE DISTRICT?


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:09 am

dawn t is a registered user.

@MV Native

what's wrong with Joan's link? it appears to answer something BCS supporters are afraid to. if the information is wrong, please tell us, what's the correct data, with citations of course.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

dawn t is a registered user.

edsource study Web Link findings:

The ten research domains fell into three "groupings" with respect to their relative
predictive strength in differentiating higher-performing middle grade schools in the
sample:
 The domain with the greatest predictive strength across most of the cross-sectional and
longitudinal analyses was Domain B, "An intense, school-wide focus on improving
academic outcomes."
 Six domains consistently followed Domain B in terms of predictive strength. Relative
to one another, their predictive strength varied depending on the analysis, and there
were relatively few statistically significant differences between them. These domains
pertain to standards-based instruction and curricula; extensive use of data; proactive
academic interventions; teacher competencies; principal leadership; and superintendent
leadership/district support.
 Three domains, although they did differentiate schools with higher CST scores and
higher gains in CST scores, did so with less predictive strength than the other seven
domains in almost every analysis conducted. These three domains pertain to school
environment; the organization of time and instruction; and attention to student
transitions.
After accounting for specific school policies and practices, no single grade configuration
was consistently associated with higher performance on California's standards-based
tests in English language arts and mathematics in this study. Both more effective and less
effective policies and practices were found in schools with every grade configuration
studied.


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

I think DawnT wanted to know the answer to the question (I'll rephrase slightly), "How Much Money Does BCS Subtract From a Typical LASD Child's Education?".

The answer is, about $300/year in based on less sharing of overhead and about $500/year in non-realized donations to LAEF, so all told about $800/year, which is to say typical that LASD kids get about 15% LESS because BCS exists.

It's all here: Web Link

And I'll echo what Dawn said, please submit corrections to the site as you see fit if ANY of the assumptions on that site appear to be wrong--but yes, please include citations.

Personally I'm getting sick of hearing, "that site is full of lies" but the actual "lies" in question are a closely guarded BCS secret, up there with the BCS ownership structure and Board election procedures.


Posted by MV Native, a resident of another community
on Mar 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

MV Native is a registered user.

My concern is about all the misinformation and attacks that really do damage to our community. We won't solve problems by "Uniting against" each other. But this in fact what Joan's compatriots are now posting about.

As many of you may be aware, BCS and LASD parents and other members of the community have been discussing issues on the LASDVoices Facebook Group. At sometimes they have been attacking each other but it seemed to me that people on both sides were trying to come up with a solution. I don't think that is what the founders of the site, Santa Rita PTA Co-Presidents, Michelle Sturiale and Molly Black were really interested in fostering understanding and discussion.

I first became aware of their activities last fall when they worked diligently to try and keep BCS from getting its charter renewed. After the renewal they changed their tactics and are now trying to sabotage the Santa Clara Office of Education Memo of Understanding with all of the schools the SSCOE charters. They really have no shame.

Today I was catching up on the LASDVoices site, — reading through the posts and found out several interesting things .

1. Molly and Michelle have become very frustrated with the turn of discussion. I don't think that they liked it much that LASD supporters and BCS supporters were working together, or at least discussing things. It was clear to me early on that the site was really just designed as a propaganda arm. They both did these weird passive aggressive posts were they would link to some story about a charter school in some other community and then say something like---- " Do you think that could happen here?" So basically they were trying to whip things up and spread fear.

2. Molly and Michelle have quit as the heads of the site. In fact they are shutting it down and transferring it to a different site. Under a different name--because as Michelle put's it she started LASDVoices, so she is keeping the name. It looks like a a few BCS supporters, a few LASD supporters and some neutral community members will be taking over the site. That's good news -- maybe I will finally Join Facebook.

3. Molly and Michelle have a LASDVoices Blog. Where they post things, but do not have any place for comments. Apparently they have posted the PTA/LAEF letter under the following title and subtitle:



LOS ALTOS PTA AND FOUNDATION UNITE AGAINST LOCAL BOUTIQUE CHARTER
"The following letter was written and released to show that the parent leadership of the Los Altos School District is united in its passion against the forced closure of a high performing school to suit the needs of a boutique charter school."

If I was one of the people signing the letter, I don't know if I would be very happy with that. But anyway, it certainly shows that Molly and Michelle were never interested in finding a suitable location for BCS. They didn't even like that others were trying to do it. It really isn't a good example of leadership is it?


Posted by BCS Parent 2, a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:05 am

BCS Parent 2 is a registered user.


As far as what BCS "costs" LASD I think this question needs to be rephrased. The real question is how much does LASD redistribute away from BCS and to its other public schools by having 10% of LASD students educated by BCS?

Per 2009-10 numbers (see: Web Link) LASD spent $9945 per student and they passed along only $6206 per student to those public LASD students educated by BCS (an independent public school w/in LASD). The disparity - almost 40% - or $3739 - LASD spends on the other children in the non-charter schools. This disparity will likely be even greater for 2011-12 because of the parcel tax. Per the LASD report card to the community: Web Link, they raised an additional $2 million for the district through the parcel tax, none of which is being passed on to BCS.

It is true the BoTs have spent money on legal fees, but this was by choice (they could have provided legally compliant facilities per Prop 39 and have had many opportunities in the last 8 years to address this - instead they chose to have this worked out in the courts).

They do provide BCS facilities on a annual basis, and I don't know what this amounts to, but I believe this number to be much smaller than many would guess. The way facilities are allocated has to do with Prop 39. I think there is some confusion around this -- BCS students are LASD public school students (the law doesn't regard them as different), they have simply chosen to attend BCS instead of their neighborhood school but they are still getting a public school education w/in LASD. Since BCS has a smaller facility to student allocation and a smaller land to student allocation than the rest of the district, I think it is safe to say LASD is spending less per public LASD child educated at BCS on facilities than they are for other children educated in LASD.

California law is pretty clear on both counts - public charter students should have access to equal facilities and funding. On both counts LASD is falling way short.

Once, hopefully, BCS students are given parity, it should cost exactly the same amount to educate a child at any one of LASD's public schools, charter or otherwise.





Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:40 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

Yes, I know, BCS people cannot WAIT for the day when special-needs kids in our towns are bussed to San Jose and given sub-standard treatment because they have bankrupted our school district here.

They cannot WAIT for the day that only a small number of "suckers" attending LASD schools are stuck with the commitments made in the past that EVERYBODY benefited from.

The BullisCharterScam.org site now has it all laid out very clearly: BCS takes money from typical LASD kids NOW and they want to take EVEN MORE with promised lawsuits coming down the pipe.

They will not rest until our school system here is bankrupt. Yes, the "law says they can" (they think) so they are going to try. Yes, many children will be hurt by this but they don't count since they failed to be born rich and have great lawyers like the BCS kids did and have.

BCS hides behind loopholes that are cruel and unfair. This must be stopped. Nothing less than the viability of our local schools is at stake here.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

dawn t is a registered user.

what is the neighborhood breakdown of BCS students? what is the breakdown of k-6, 7-8 students at BCS?

doesn't prop 39 say "If the charter school's students cannot be accommodated on one site, contiguous can mean available facilities at more than one site, provided the district minimizes the number of sites and considers student safety."


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

dawn t is a registered user.

what is the neighborhood breakdown of BCS applicants?


Posted by MV Native, a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

MV Native is a registered user.

Hey Joan - Just saw your new logo over at Patch....

SAVE OUR SCHOOLS

glad to hear that you are turning over a new leaf..... best thing to do is move on and find a new hobby


Posted by MV Native, a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

MV Native is a registered user.

Oh wait, I stand corrected......I guess it means-

SHARE OUR SCHOOLS

Sorry, I shouldn't have been so sarcastic in my last post, please accept my apologies. I guess you really are making an effort to change....Good for you.


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

dawn t is a registered user.

great news on the court ruling. now we need to split BCS in k-4 and 5-8. k-4 can share GB since it is underutilized & most of BCS is LAH and 5-8 can stay at egan.


Posted by MV Native, a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

MV Native is a registered user.

I suspect that dawn t is David Cortright


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2012 at 5:26 am

dawn t is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Posted by dawn t, a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

dawn t is a registered user.

i suspect i am reed


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