Monday, March 8, 2010

MDUSD Schools Named as "Persistently Lowest Achieving"

The names are out. Here is the PRESS RELEASE from the California Department of Education.

According to the press release:
State and federal laws associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program require California to identify the state's low-achieving schools and to require the persistently lowest-achieving 5 percent of those schools to implement one of four school intervention models. The identification of the 5 percent of persistently lowest-achieving schools in California is a multi-step process that is informed by both federal and state law (SBx 51) by Senator Darrell Steinberg, (D-Sacramento).

The 6 Mt. Diablo School District Schools include:

Tier 1 Schools (Tier 1 List):

Tier 2 School (Tier 2 list):

Mt. Diablo High School

For more information on the Persisently Lowest Achieving Schools including definitions of Tier 1 and Tier 2 check it out HERE.

So it looks like some major changes are in store for these schools. Stay tuned...


  1. at least you seem to have actually nailed the source of the info, i'm not sure what the mayor of claycord is smoking . he seems intent to look at some other list from some other department within the state. I would think CDE is the right source. Not sure what his intent over there is. I guess just to inflame.

  2. THANKS for the press release. It's nice to read the facts, I hadn't seen this. When I checked the website earlier it was not there yet.

  3. The contra costa times lists 12 schools too. They have a link to the list which includes ygnacio valley high school. Which list is it?

  4. Funny how everyone jumped on Claycord - his list is accurate. both lists are government lists - one lists ALL the low performing schools while the other identifies the bottom 5% that will get sanctions.

  5. I guess we never know what the "masses" is going to latch on to. I think the point really is that there are some LOW achieving schools, and some LOWEST achieving (in the bottom 5%) , either way, something needs to change... but wow, is it tough in some of those school when english at home is not the predominate language as well as a host of other socio-economic challenges. What's the answer? Now that is the point really. Isn't it? So far I see a lot of fingerpointing, complaining about "lists" and an "I told you so attitude" and really a good dose of problem solving and productive discussion would help about now. My opinion..

  6. I say mix up all schools like San Francisco. Make them all racially diverse and let us see what happens. So no matter what your address is, there will be no guarantee your students will go to that home school! Then peoples tunes will change...

  7. Now there is a great idea. Let's send the kids from Northgate to Mt. Diablo. I can just hear the Walnut Creek parents in their Mercedes or Porsches asking excuse me where is Mt. Diablo High School?

  8. I bought in my neighborhood so my kids would go to my neighborhood schools. SFO is ridiculous. My children don't need a longer commute than I have. That's wasted time. How about make the parents responsible for their kids' grades, instead of blaming the teachers and principal?

  9. If the kids from Mt. D and Northgate were switched, eventually Mt. D would be the top school and Norhtgate would be a low achievning school.

    It's about parents, family structure, language skills.

  10. A community member sent me the Wall Street Journal March 9, 2010 article "Why I Changed My Mind About School Reform
    Federal testing has narrowed education and charter schools have failed to live up to their promise"
    by Diane Ravitch. Go to and read the entire article.

    Ms. Ravitch was an assistant education secretary under George H.W. Bush and a supporter of charter schools and NCLB. The article details her research on public and charter schools. Her new stance is that best predictor of low academic performance is poverty—not bad teachers. Additionally she observes how federal testing in English and Math has caused all of the other subjects to be ignored.

  11. So are these schools going to shut down? That would be a tragedy.

  12. Sherry,

    Here is an article from the Wall street Journal that tells another story:
    The conflicting interests of teachers unions and students...

    These schools are not performing well and it is not simply because of their socioeconomic environment. If that was the case both West County and Oakland would have more schools on the list than MDUSD and they don't. Economics makes the job harder... not impossible, the facts are out there.

  13. I like having all the dumb non-english speaking kids at Y.V high school.It really makes me look alot smarter then I am . plus my g.p.a is over a 3.7 I would have under a 2.2 at NorthGate.Godbless the Mexicans they make for good entertainment at lunchtime.

  14. It's not just the students faults it's the teachers. We need to be able to get rid of the bad ones. Get rid of teachers unions!

  15. I now believe that unions are destroying our schools. In fact, it is often times the better schools destroyed by bad teachers as due to the seniority rules, we can't get rid of them, and they get their pick of jobs. They get in. And then when they turn sour, bad, grumpy and prove to be a negative on the moral and teaching skills of the school - there is nothing we can do.

    Some teachers have simply forgotten why (presumably) they got into this profession. They need to go. I would love to start outing these bad teachers one at a time on a blog like this.

  16. It's not the fault of the teachers, it's the fault of the parents who don't teach their kids to be responsible for their homework and don't care if they kid goes to school on time or if they even go at all.

  17. Really, everyone is trying to understand and point the finger at "somebody" for our failing schools.

    Why are so many schools failing? Who is to blame? Teachers, parents, legislators, students...? Maybe we can better our educational system by each taking responsibility for our own part: as parents we can sit with our children during their homework (even if we can't do it); teachers can do their best to understand schools are in crisis and the job is challenging right now; students can do their homework and do their best while in school; legislators can help by focussing their attention on our budget crisis, rather than sidestepping economics by focussing on school performance.. (what I mean by this is that many bankers are getting away with taking unbelievable bonuses, while we focus our headlines around schools.....I say reform our Banking System and leave the school system alone until we solve our financial mess).

    Failing it the truth? What is the measure? Students take a standardized test for one week, or less, out of the school year. The test is multiple choice. Have you ever seen it? I saw a few "release questions" from a previous year's test. Unbelievable!! Who writes these tests? How did they become the measure for giving a school excellent marks or for calling it failing? Why are all schools with excellent rankings in the higher socioeconomic school neighborhoods. Why are the Tier 1 schools in the lowest socioeconomic school neighborhoods.

    I say provide incentives for "excellent" teachers (higher pay, housing...) to work in the failing Tier 1 school areas. We should not be punishing the schools; we need more money for schools and better incentives for better teachers. We need to realize that--of course--schools will perform lower on tests that are written in English only if they have a large population of students just learning to read English.

    Those schools left off the list of low performing schools says it all. The remaining schools, not in Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3, do not have large population of second language learners. In fact, many schools not inside these low performing tiers have no second languages. It seems people have forgotten "the test" in in English, and the majority of students in California are second language learners. I wonder how the rankings and tiers would turn out if "the test" where given in the student's primary language?

    Anyway, I'll help my kids with their homework and with school in any way I can. I feel very sorry our school is failing and has made the Tier 1 list. Still, I'd rather use our efforts to bring our banking and financial system up to standard. Truly, our banks, not schools, ought to have a public Tier 1, 2, 3 list. Those responsible for placing our country--and CA--into economic crisis ought to be the ones we focus on.

    Putting the concentration on "schools" right now is just a distraction, to keep the public eye away from the real problem that arose from our financial sector. My kids attend one of the worst performing schools. If our financial sector did not sink our nation, perhaps our worst performing school could have more staff, more money, and more supplies to help their learning process.

  18. Yeah, that's the ticket. Banks not Schools. I forgot. How many others forgot? This whole mess began with financial derivatives. The biggest Tier 1 problem is the way our nation's financial system operates. Neither Obama, nor our governor want to face the Big Banks. They should pick on someone their own size. Our nation's financial corruption continues.... and school's are taking the penalty.

    Let's not buy into this low performing school propaganda.