4/12 Highlights: Coalition Letter on Use of Data

Welcome to Board Watch for WCCUSD’s Wednesday, April 12th Meeting!

Black Minds Matter Coalition Letter

Public Comment

GO’s very own Natalie Walchuk presented a letter to the board, co-signed by over 100 community members, from a coalition of 14 community organizations. The letter calls for the board to provide funding in the 17-18 budget for improvements to the district’s central academic data infrastructure.

More robust data systems help our community make evidence-based decisions to serve all students, particularly those from the most historically underserved backgrounds. Stay tuned to Board Watch for further updates on how the board progresses with high-impact data infrastructure.

See the Black Minds Matter Coalition letter and community signatures here.

Decision Hearing for Voices College-Bound Language Academies

Agenda Item F.1

On January 18, Voices College-Bound Language Academies, a Charter Management Organization operating several charter schools in the South Bay Area, submitted a petition to the board for a TK-8 charter school to open in 2018.

Since the initial petition was submitted, district staff convened to research and evaluate the Charter Management Organization (CMO)’s petition. The staff recommended that the Board deny the Voices petition, citing the following:

  • “The Charter School presents an unsound educational program for the students to be enrolled in the Charter School.”
  • The Petitioner is demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the Petition.
  • The Petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of all required elements as set forth in Education Code section 47605, subdivisions (b)(5)(A-O).

Read the full staff findings.

After the board questioned the Voices leadership team about the above three primary staff findings, the board voted to accept the charter petition, citing the strength of the school accountability measures that are in place to evaluate Voices as it opens its doors in Richmond in 2018.

California’s New Accountability System

Agenda Item E.1

The way schools are evaluated in California is changing next school year.

California public schools used to be evaluated by their “AYP” or Adequate Yearly Progress, a measure that was part of the No Child Left Behind Act. AYP measured a school’s effectiveness based on its standardized test scores alone.

In the new Accountability System, schools will be evaluated based on multiple measures: ELL Progress, Suspension Rate, Graduation Rate and SBAC Math and English Results. This means that schools will be evaluated more accurately and fairly than ever before, giving each school, and each child, a better chance at success.

Each part of the evaluation system, furthermore, will be located in a central, publically accessible database, the California School Dashboard.

So far, the datasets are incomplete, as the system is still getting off the ground, but over time this new program will give our community a chance to clearly identify areas of growth for our schools so we can better serve all of our students – a step in the right direction!

Watch a CA State Board of Education video in English and Spanish introducing the new system and how to use it.

Design-Build Procurement Process

Agenda Item F.2

WCCUSD will be building a new site for Wilson Elementary, and has proposed using an optional procurement process for the construction: Design-Build (D-B).

Unlike Design-Bid-Build, the standard method of procuring services from architects and contractors, in the Design-Build method, the school district evaluates bids for both the design and the construction of new facilities from the same vendors.

This ensures vendors reduce excess cost in both design and construction, saving our district precious funds. In addition, when architects and contractors work together in the same organizations, their construction process is far less complex, as communication between design teams and construction teams occurs in-house. This reduces the number of requests for information between architects and contractors, accelerating the construction process.

Opponents of the new D-B method cite concerns that, since the Wilson design process is already underway, adopting a new procurement method now might introduce further delays and increases in costs.

The board voted to approve this alternate procurement process for the new $28mm Wilson construction.

To see the presentation on the Wilson Replacement Project and Design-Build, click here.

WCCUSD Technology Plan July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020

Agenda Item F.5

Agenda item F.5 was pulled from this week’s agenda and tabled for future work.

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