Well it too long enough, but it looks like the SAUSD board has taken their head out of the sand, for now. According to an OC Register article last week, the SAUSD has agreed to seek money from Obama’s stimulus, which includes grants of up to $2 Million in order to fix the six schools that have been deemed as failing by the state. Of course the money comes with strings attached that mandate the school district do one of the following:
â€¢Replace the principal, rehire no more than 50 percent of the staff and change the instructional program.
â€¢Close and reopen as a charter school.
â€¢Close and reassign students to other higher-achieving schools in the district.
â€¢Replace the principal, increase instructional time and make other changes.
Too bad they do not have a requirement that the school district must also work with the surrounding community to implement the reforms and find out what they feel is necessary. Maybe the Obama administration felt it went without saying, they have not encountered Santa Ana city government and their aversion to secrecy.
I do hope the school district will work with the surrounding communities to implement the reforms. There is an opportunity on May 1, 2010 where a brave member of the community has decided to put together a community outreach effort himself. You can find out more HERE.
The community has long been locked out of any decisions made by the “suits” at the school district, or at City Hall for that matter. They often turn to their little clique of friends, many of them who live in Ward 3, as the fact that six of the seven planning commissioners hail from that ward alone. This is a chance for the school district to prove they are willing to do what it takes to turn these schools around and involve the entire community in this process. The community is willing to be active in this process as Mr. Villarreal’s website shows. It is time to turn Santa Ana around.