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February 13, 2009


Are we talking about the same Ruth who ran for school board on a platform of transparency, equity, and rebuilding community trust in PPS? Wow, what a disappointment!

Some possible good news, at least about prospect of getting stimulus money in time for this school year, from Warranted Wiretaps: Secretary of Education press conference call.

and I worked hard to help get Ruth elected. ughh.

This isn't about Adkins, although the emails demonstrate a disheartening betrayal. It is about corporate control of our schools.

Here is the full text of the two emails -- Lynn and Steve

From: Douglas Capps
To: William DeJong
Date: 1/8/2008 11:22 AM
Subject: Fwd: Re: More Update
Attachments: Re: More Update

HI Bill,
I thought you should see a commentary and response (from a Board member, Ruth Adkins, who is very sensitive about public process.

You'll see what we're cooking up since our conversation yesterday. But also note the important role you can play in "raising possibilities" (such as the SW option) as our outside expert/creative thinker, so that good ideas get into the public dialogue.

We feel the same way about all of the "other possibilities" -- that coming from you, there is both credibility AND the message that this is our consulting team speaking, not a PLAN of the school district.



From: Ruth Adkins
To: Cathy Mincberg
Date: 1/7/2008 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: More Update
CC: Douglas Capps

Thank you Cathy, that is great news- I do think any closure discussion as part of the formal options would have generated a big backlash and really distracted people from focusing on the facilities process.

That said, of course boundaries, dealing with enrollment issues, best use of facilities etc needs to be openly discussed in an ongoing manner- and, if staff really does want to consider this idea at some point, I think it would be best to get it out in the open. One thought-- In seeking that balance between full disclosure and not freaking people out, perhaps at the meeting, Bill could “verbally” refer to this idea as a side note, something like, "also here's another thing we put out on the table for PPS staff and community to consider, just something to think about as you move forward" -- While being very clear (as Doug helpfully clarified today) that these meetings are going to be very much DeJong giving their input as outside experts, not district recs at this point. (I do think many folks who have been thru multiple district processes will not get this without it being made very very clear...)

Also--great news per Doug that HS won’t be discussed at these meetings. I think if we candidly acknowledge that this issue needs more time/consideration, people will understand. But, I'd recommend/urge that if at all possible, we have ready at the Jan mtgs some info about when & how PPS will be sharing/discussing vision for HS - broad stroke outlines of process, ideally a first set of dates for future community discussions or at least a “stay tuned” kind of flyer. If we aren't talking about HS on those nites we do need to provide a tangible sign that the district has its act together and will be taking action on this crucial issue-even if the first community meetings discussing HS are a ways off.

BTW I hope we'll also be doing brainstorming at the meetings about potential community partners for mixed use projects? Could get some great ideas from community folks in attendance.

thanks so much!
Ruth (Adkins)

>>> Cathy Mincberg 01107/08 6:48 PM >>>
Hey Ruth,
Thanks for visiting with Doug today. I had back to back leadership meetings all day and I knew that he could explain things well. The really good news is that we are pulling all options (i.e. Hayhurst, Reike, Maplewood, Gray) off the table. It is our feelings that this is not the time to vet such ideas. People need to look at the buildings and the disrepair and figure that out. They can only handle so much. During any bond process, we should prompt discussions between schools that share boundaries and enrollment pressures.

I hope that helps with the anxiety issues. I am looking forward to a clean discussion of the condition of our facilities.
Cathy (Mincberg)

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