I would very much like to hear from Paul and... FBUSD about the characterization of the local community and its...

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From: "Michael Grady" <[email protected]>
I would very much like to hear from Paul and the current and former superintendents of the
FBUSD about the characterization of the local community and its students found in the draft
MCEMP. Steve Lund was present at every MCEMP committee meeting, Paul was there for
every one except the March meeting.
I believe the draft EMP uses inappropriate sources to characterize the local community. Many assertions
in the plan cite data from regional surveys and studies, such as Targets of Opportunity, a 2007 study of a
five-county area stretching from here to the Oregon border and east to the far edge of Trinity and Siskiyou
counties. The local community is included in characterizations such as “the North Coast region ranks
lowest in math readiness” which is drawn from data from four disparate counties (Del Norte, Humboldt,
and Lake, along with Mendocino). Unsubstantiated generalizations are made such as
“theMendocino Coast area does not have a historically strong college-going culture and/or mindset”,
rather than using the carefully-compiled data from the Noyo Headlands Unified Design Group that found
that “educational accomplishments of the Fort Bragg Trade Area are above state and national
averages.” Twenty-five percent of the people from Elk to Westport have a bachelors degree or more –
this is higher than the county or national averages. The plan tends to confuse coastal Mendocino data
with countywide, district-wide, or regional data in drawing its conclusions.
The by-now notorious "college-going culture and mindset" statement (from the Plan's first-page Executive
Summary, repeated on p. 8) was contested by a number of speakers at both the Friday night Cotton
Auditorium session and the Board of Trustee's meeting the next day. Jeff Marsee has already attempted
to back away from it, but that's like trying to back away from something very smelly and unpleasant that
you've stepped in. The sentence may be pulled from the Plan, but it clearly exists in the minds of those
who wrote, edited and accepted the draft.
There is a fundamental lack of respect and comprehension of our small part of the CR district by those
holding the reins in Eureka. Their lack of comprehension shows in their analysis of local students. The
presentation of the EMP emphasized "High School Yield Rate", stating only 17% of FBUSD and MUSD
high school graduates have enrolled in CR. What do they think the rest of those students are doing? I
believe the students are leaving the area to attend educational institutions that provide the courses and
quality of education that they want and need. Local school district adminstrators could perhaps provide
accurate information on what their graduates do after high school. If "approximately 80% of entering
students [?] are not college-ready in either math or English, and over 60% of entering students test at
below college-level in both math and English", the draft EMP [p. 8] seems to be saying that our local K12 schools are doing a very poor job. Or is it that they are inappropriately graduating 17% of their
students? It's hard to tell what is meant by such unreferenced, unqualified statements in the Master
Plan.
I'd like to attend a local workshop to carefully and thoroughly discuss, analyze and respond to the draft
EMP. I want to get information about our community that's clear, accurate, unambiguous, and
substantiated. I will spend more time examining and critiquing the Plan personally, but I feel a group
process could do much more. There is much more to report about the Friday night "Public Forum to
Review CRMC's Educational Master Plan Advisory Committee Recommendations" and the next day's
regular meeting of the Board of Trustees. I will try to get that in writing in the next few days and definitely
before the next meeting of the CCAG, October 20.
Best wishes for quality education on the Mendocino Coast,
Michael Grady
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