Vaca to end year-round schooling

Full story: The Reporter

In a 5-2 vote Tuesday night, Vacaville school board members ratified a contract with teachers - and with it a controversial single-track calendar for local schools.

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Reggie Miller

San Francisco, CA

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#1
May 23, 2008
 
Well time to start looking at other school options.
It is obvious that the Vacaville school board has only its own agenda and in no way care whats good for the kids.

Its funny how they are yell and scream to keep you child in school everyday so they can get their $75. Now they are going to push people out to keep their children is a system that works, be that private, charter or home based.

Good job Vacaville School board, hope you truly like the outcome.
Max

Santa Rosa, CA

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#2
May 23, 2008
 
Makes sense to me.
Sparky

Austin, TX

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#3
May 23, 2008
 
One thing that everybody keeps neglecting to bring up is that the teacher's negotiation team has been discussing this for months at the bargaining table. The negotiation team represents ALL teachers and should have kept them in the information loop. As was mentioned, the possibility of a schedule change has been discussed for the past four years. And all of a sudden, the parents feel that they were not warned or informed in a timely manner?
The pro year-round audience obviously hasn't a clue about parliamentary procedure. They were given time to voice their opinion at the BOARD'S MEETING. Once the board started to explain their thoughts and opinion on why they were going to vote "yea" or "neigh", the audience should have kept quiet. The board had the right to talk for as long as they chose and were not bound to only three minutes. I realize that emotions were running high, but the ignorance and rudeness of the audience was obvious. Kudos to the board for keeping their cool when others could not.
Mr. Kitzes should really take the time to buy a copy of "Roberts Rules of Order". There was a motion already on the floor that had been moved and seconded, and he didn't have a clue on how to proceed. Thank you Mrs. Sogge for not letting the meeting get out of hand.
Lastly, how does a board member who (as I understand) has a conflict of interest in the matter keep from excusing himself from the vote?
Debbie Bounds

San Ramon, CA

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#4
May 23, 2008
 
The tone of School Board meeting last night was anything but “adult” AFTER the Board voted.
In this country, we have the Right to be heard and to express our opinions and for that we should all be proud to live in this country. However, it is how we express our opinions that set examples for our children who are learning behavior traits. For the most part, many of those who spoke at the meeting did so with passion and composure. However, after the vote, many adults in the room were angry. Fine – that is their Right. But how the anger was expressed did not set a good example for children who may have been watching and I am sure that anger will continue to be expressed in front of the children as time progresses.
Children will grow into adulthood and in the real world, they will go to work for Companies/Organizations/Public Entities, etc., or they may even work for themselves. But if they work for someone else, they will have “Superiors”(bosses/managers) who make decisions for which they may not agree. In cases such as those, you have one of three choices, you can 1) quit 2)you can go along with the decision or you can 3) go along with the decision and try to make it work or work to change it as time goes continues. What you should not do, if you want to continued to be employed and continue to be “employable”, is throw a fit when you don’t get your way.

Whether the “modified school year” is the way to go; only time will tell. While I don’t have young children any longer, I do think that all children should be on the year around calendar. The summer break in Traditional Schools is too long a period for children to be without education. Equal spacing of on and off days is a good concept. Having all those weeks off in the summer, in my opinion, it is a waste of valuable time. So, while I agree with the parents and teachers of those two particular schools about the year around calendar, I think that some who were present last night acted very badly after the Board voted.
Patti

Davis, CA

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#5
May 23, 2008
 
Summer break is just that - We all survived it. Why try to fix something that isn't broke. I don't remember having a vote when they decided to go year-round - I'm glad all the schools are on the same schedule now. My only problem is with the week off in October. How ridiculous.
Jess

Rancho Cordova, CA

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#6
May 23, 2008
 
Growing up in Suisun. I went to an all-year round school for elementary and middle school. I thought it was great. I did very vell in school. You'd go for a few months and then just when it seemed like your brain was going to explode you'd get a month vacation. A month was the perfect amount of time because you'd never get the opportunity to forget everything you learned. When highschool came along for me I had to switch to the traditional school. My first summer was a lot of fun. But yet, when I came back to school in the fall I felt like I was dumb and couldn't remember how to do things I'd learned the previous year. In elementary school my parents were encouraged to put me in the Gate program for excelerated learners. In middle school I had received straight A's. But in high school I had to struggle to hold anything higher then a C. I blame that greatly on the summers. I hope one day that all the schools will switch over to all-year round schooling. It is truely the best way for kids to learn everything properly.
Betsy-former TUSD parent

San Ramon, CA

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#7
May 23, 2008
 
I'm sorry to hear about adults behaving badly post Board decision. And we wonder why so many children have behavior issues?
How many traditional year parents realize why we had that old-fashioned 3-months at summer schedule? The traditional year was based on agricultural needs; when we were mainly a farming country, the school calendar functioned around such times as planting, harvesting, etc. We are no longer a rural, agricultural nation. Why would they want to stick with a system as outmoded as the horse and buggy? A modified year-round sounds just the ticket; frequent, short breaks throughout the year rather than long, wasteful months of idleness. Bet they won't be so fretful when their test scores go up!
Debbie Bounds wrote:
The tone of School Board meeting last night was anything but “adult” AFTER the Board voted.
In this country, we have the Right to be heard and to express our opinions and for that we should all be proud to live in this country. However, it is how we express our opinions that set examples for our children who are learning behavior traits. For the most part, many of those who spoke at the meeting did so with passion and composure. However, after the vote, many adults in the room were angry. Fine – that is their Right. But how the anger was expressed did not set a good example for children who may have been watching and I am sure that anger will continue to be expressed in front of the children as time progresses.
Children will grow into adulthood and in the real world, they will go to work for Companies/Organizations/Public Entities, etc., or they may even work for themselves. But if they work for someone else, they will have “Superiors”(bosses/managers) who make decisions for which they may not agree. In cases such as those, you have one of three choices, you can 1) quit 2)you can go along with the decision or you can 3) go along with the decision and try to make it work or work to change it as time goes continues. What you should not do, if you want to continued to be employed and continue to be “employable”, is throw a fit when you don’t get your way.
Whether the “modified school year” is the way to go; only time will tell. While I don’t have young children any longer, I do think that all children should be on the year around calendar. The summer break in Traditional Schools is too long a period for children to be without education. Equal spacing of on and off days is a good concept. Having all those weeks off in the summer, in my opinion, it is a waste of valuable time. So, while I agree with the parents and teachers of those two particular schools about the year around calendar, I think that some who were present last night acted very badly after the Board voted.
Sparky

Austin, TX

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#8
May 23, 2008
 
The idea that the kids will not be able to retain what they have learned over the summer is ridiculous. Does that mean that since we as parents, should be brain-dead by now since it's been years since our last class? If the child has a problem retaining what they learned 2 months prior, then they should be checked for other underlying causes. Don't blame the schedule.
After being out of the Vacaville Unified School District system for 30 years now (and a product of the traditional schedule) I can still hold my own at answering "Jeopardy" questions. Knowledge retention is a function of the brain that must be continually exercised. If you truly want your child to succeed, encourage them to do their cerebral exercising during the time off from school.
Jess

Rancho Cordova, CA

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#9
May 23, 2008
 
Sparky... I dont think you quite understood what I was saying. I never insinuated that parents would now be braindead. But it helps the learning process to not have such long breaks.
And I would like to add- have you been to Vacaville lately? Things have changed a lot. There are young kids in gangs. There are kids running all over without supervision. Parents dont care anymore. The children around here have become very disrespectful and I think the more time they have away from school will give them more time to cause problems. Kids need structure. When they have the full summer off they are going either going to sit around and play video games all day and contribute to the "fat american" theory.. or they are going to be out in the streets causing havoc.
Making a point

Vacaville, CA

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#10
May 23, 2008
 
Debbie Bounds wrote:
The tone of School Board meeting last night was anything but “adult” AFTER the Board voted.
Oh, cry me a river...if the school board didn't want to tick so many people off, they should actually listen to the citizens of Vacaville - instead of blindly-rubber stamping whatever they're given by the superintendent.
Long-time Resident

Santa Clara, CA

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#11
May 23, 2008
 
Regarding the pro year-round audience or parents who were "all of a sudden" voicing their concerns when this has been a debate for the past 4 years: YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. All of those people, including myself, for the past four years, have been at every single Board meeting regarding this issue that's been open to the public. We have NEVER changed our stand. Please do not spout that which you know nothing about. Regarding the unfortunate and disappointed behaviors shown after the vote, while I was not present - I left after I saw the writing on the wall and could not stomach another word - it became clear to all present that the Board had already made up their minds, as was demonstrated with their prepared speaches. This showed everyone involved that our Board had no intention of hearing us - they listened but THEY DID NOT HEAR US.
Sparky wrote:
One thing that everybody keeps neglecting to bring up is that the teacher's negotiation team has been discussing this for months at the bargaining table. The negotiation team represents ALL teachers and should have kept them in the information loop. As was mentioned, the possibility of a schedule change has been discussed for the past four years. And all of a sudden, the parents feel that they were not warned or informed in a timely manner?
The pro year-round audience obviously hasn't a clue about parliamentary procedure. They were given time to voice their opinion at the BOARD'S MEETING. Once the board started to explain their thoughts and opinion on why they were going to vote "yea" or "neigh", the audience should have kept quiet. The board had the right to talk for as long as they chose and were not bound to only three minutes. I realize that emotions were running high, but the ignorance and rudeness of the audience was obvious. Kudos to the board for keeping their cool when others could not.
Mr. Kitzes should really take the time to buy a copy of "Roberts Rules of Order". There was a motion already on the floor that had been moved and seconded, and he didn't have a clue on how to proceed. Thank you Mrs. Sogge for not letting the meeting get out of hand.
Lastly, how does a board member who (as I understand) has a conflict of interest in the matter keep from excusing himself from the vote?
Sparky

Austin, TX

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#12
May 23, 2008
 
Hey Jess- I have lived in Vacaville my entire 49 years on this earth. Don't let the San Antonio location fool you- that's where my server is located.
I agree that kids need structure. If they're getting involved with gangs and/or walking the streets unsupervised and acting disrespectful then it is NOT as a result of the time off from school. It is the PARENT'S responsibility to teach their children right from wrong. It is the PARENT'S responsibility to make sure that they are spending their time constructively. It is the PARENT'S responsibilty to know exactly where their children are 24 hours a day. And it is the PARENT'S responsibility to stay involved with their child and their daily activities.
The school system should not be depended upon as baby sitting service or as the primary source of teaching our children moral values in life. Unfortunately, some parents just don't give a damn or are to busy with themselves to meet their obligations of raising their children. My kudos to the parents who showed up at the board meeting. You obviously care about your children and their future.
Sparky

Austin, TX

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#13
May 23, 2008
 
They didn't "rubber stamp" a decision given to them by the superintendent. They rattified the CONTRACT AGREEMENT between the TEACHER'S BARGAINING UNIT and the DISTRICT'S NEGOTIATORS. Why not ask the teachers at the table how they could let such an unpopular schedule get that far instead of slamming Mr. Aycock? There is something in bargaining known as "impasse" whereas an abitrator would have gotten involved to settle the dispute.
Anthony

United States

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#14
May 23, 2008
 
Making a point wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, cry me a river...if the school board didn't want to tick so many people off, they should actually listen to the citizens of Vacaville - instead of blindly-rubber stamping whatever they're given by the superintendent.
Interpretation: They didn't listen and agree with ME. <Insert foot stomping here>
Making a point

Vacaville, CA

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#15
May 23, 2008
 
Sparky wrote:
There is something in bargaining known as "impasse" whereas an abitrator would have gotten involved to settle the dispute.
And, if they'd gone to impasse, the district bargaining team, repeatedly, said that they'd impose whatever calendar they would have liked - and guess how much of reprive year-round school would have received if that had happened?
Making a point

Vacaville, CA

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#16
May 23, 2008
 
Anthony wrote:
<quoted text>
Interpretation: They didn't listen and agree with ME. <Insert foot stomping here>
Not quite. What I am saying is that the school board brought this mess on themselves by ignoring the needs of the constituents.
Sparky

Austin, TX

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#17
May 23, 2008
 
Ever heard the song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"? The school board voted to rattify a contract that the majority of the teachers agreed to. The contract is between the teachers and the district- not the parents. What if the teachers had been given no raise? Would you have shown your support by going to the board meeting to show your displeasure with a contract that you really have no final say in? The only say that you really have is at the voting booth.
"The people" voted for those board members (right or wrong) to represent them. After that, the people have to trust that they made the right decision. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made that may be unpopular to someone. You will never please 100% of the people 100% of the time.
Sandra Zarodney

AOL

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#18
May 23, 2008
 
My daughter, Nancy Campbell, who spoke at your meeting on Tuesday evening, was correct. It was a form of "blackmail" to sway teachers, with a raise, attached to the agreement of the new school calendar year. What's best for the District, Board Members, or Teachers, is not necessarily, what's in the best interest of the children! Ask around, listen to what the parents say about "Year 'Round School", and how it benefits their children overall, and then make your decison. The children should be your top priority, how they learn, grow, and how they achieve. The children who are really hurt the most, from this decision, are the children with learning disabilities, and retention issues. They excel in year round schooling, since what they are learning is always being reinforced with progressive learning. It's the long delay, during the summer months, that breaks up that progression. It benefits any student. It shouldn't always be about money, and convenience for everyone else, it should be our children who are uppermost in our decision making. I feel that they were not given that consideration, and that's a sad commentary on education today, and the people "in charge" who are making those decision for them.
Making a point

Vacaville, CA

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#19
May 23, 2008
 
Sparky wrote:
You will never please 100% of the people 100% of the time.
Judging from just how full the city council chambers were of angry parents screaming for blood, I'd say the VUSD School Board needs to try to get their approval ratings out of the gutter - if they expect to have any hope of being re-elected.

People of Vacaville, remember, you have a choice - if you want year-round school to come back, you have one year to get organized and elect school board members who actually listen to the people of Vacaville, instead of blindly approving whatever is put before them by the superintendent.
Myrrell

San Francisco, CA

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#20
May 23, 2008
 
So who wanted this?

The issue of teacher's raises and the school calendar are not related unless someone ties them together, and you can bet it wasn't the teachers who brought it up. They were forced into the position of agreeing to the calender change in order to ratify the salary and benefit portion contract. Should they have rejected it? Possibly, but extended contract disputes are not pretty. And it doesn't take much to imagine the negative fallout and the PR nightmare for the teachers that would have come from a negative vote. You think the district would let that go? It would be their primary talking point in any news story.

The superentendent has been pushing for a unified schedule since he came to the district ... yet he has yet to show a compelling reason for not maintaining the option of a year round schedule at Cooper and Browns Valley. From the presentations and discussion I've heard, it generally comes down to saving a few bucks and making it easier for the district to manage.

Listen to your customers? Nah. More important that we do what works best for us.

And dragging the issue into salary negotiations is politics at its worst. The district actually got teachers to side with them against parents. Genius really. Carl Rove smiles.

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