Watchdog: Dozier-Libbey charter battle

Watchdog Logo 300x95 Watchdog: Dozier Libbey charter battleBy Barbara Zivica

I have a bone to pick with Antioch Unified School District Board Members (Joy Motts, Board President who recently put discussion of approving an anti-Prop. 13 Resolution before the Board, Gary Hack, Barbara Cowan, Diane Gibson-Gray and Claire Smith), as well as Mayor Wade Harper who audaciously stated at the March 19th School Board meeting that he represents ALL the citizens of citizens of Antioch and can’t support the Dozier-Libbey Medical High School independent conversion charter petition because he feels it’s divisive. How dare he make a statement like that. He doesn’t represent me and I’ve been a taxpaying resident since 1986.

I admit, however, that the issue is divisive because as soon as the teachers of Dozier-Libbey Medical High, frustrated by diverging philosophies between the AUSD board and site staff, filed a petition to convert to an independent charter school like Clayton Valley AUSD filed a counter petition to make Dozier-Libbey a dependent charter governed by the school district and has now posted information in regard to both charter petitions on it’s web site. At least one of the statements is incorrect e.g. it was not a small group of staff at DLMHS who submitted the petition, it was 23 of the schools 26 teachers.

According to California’s Charter Schools ACT, enacted in 1992 and amended in 1996, charter schools provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils and community members to establish schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, as a method of accomplishing the following: Improved pupil learning (AUSD not only failed to meet the state API score of 800 in 2013, it dropped 6 points), increased learning opportunities for all pupils with special emphasis on expanding learning for academically low achieving pupils, encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods, create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site, provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system, hold charter schools responsible for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.

In addition to misinformation, the school district is also trying hard to scare parents by stating that, if the independent charter petition is approved, students would not be eligible to participate in the District’s athletic teams or other extracurricular activities. Why? Even as an independent charter Dozier-Libbey will remain an Antioch public school, just under a different operating board. It’s true that AUSD would retain control of all its athletic facilities outside the Dozier-Libbey campus and will be able to decide whether to continue the existing multi-school agreement with DLMHS. However, DLMHS has already offered to pick up its share of the costs of athletic programs its students participate in, as well as continue to handle liability and transcript issues. (DLMHS has researched CIF and NCS regulations and there’s no good reason to exclude their students from AUSD sports programs they currently participate in). Why penalize students whose parents, like I, who never had a child in an Antioch school, are paying AUSD property taxes and assessments. Could the answer be spite?

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33 Comments to “Watchdog: Dozier-Libbey charter battle”

  1. I too believe that DLMHS should be allowed to become an independent charter school and it is a political ploy by the AUSD to keep them dependent. DLMHS is the only school in the district that is trying to establish/maintain higher standards for its students. Those students who want to learn and excel have that chance at DLMHS. Those students who don’t want to comply with the expectations of the school can opt to go to one of the other schools/academies. The students/parents should be given that option.

    • Ann O'Nim says:

      I agree with Barbara Zivica. Good reporting! Parents are confused. If the county approves the DLMHS Independent Charter Petition: 1. The lottery will still be conducted and the vast majority of students, probably 99% will be from Antioch. 2. The district will be able to create a memo of understanding to allow DLMHS students to play sports just like they do now. 3. DLMHS will have their own governing board made up of community members ,without being under the AUSD district board, something that has held this fantastic school back.
      Fact: Clayton Valley HS improved their API scores by 61 points their first year as a Charter school under the County office of education instead of the Mount Diablo Unified School District. This is what DLMHS wants to do!
      You can visit their new website: http://dozierlibbeycharter.com/, and ask more questions.
      Everything they are trying to do is in the best interest of the students and in alignment with the Charter Schools Act.
      The AUSD’s “dependent” charter petition used signatures from teachers at other schools. (Not in alignment with the Charter Schools Act).
      The AUSD’s “dependent” charter petition would allow the AUSD board to oversee the school with input from a committee (Not in alignment with the Charter Schools Act).

  2. Hemie says:

    I also support the independent charter. It will give the small school the ability to make policies that better meet the needs of their students. The teachers at DLMHS have the knowledge, ingenuity and commitment to continue to help their students be successful in and after high school. As an independent charter they would have more influence on how to positively prepare the DLMHS students for a high achieving future.

  3. Concerned About Public Education says:

    It is important to understand what the teachers are trying to do by pushing for an independent conversion charter. They simply want what is best for the students of Antioch. They obviously believe the public school system is suffering and that local governance for an independent charter school will allow them the opportunity to do things better for students. Yes, they are a good school. But read their petition! They want to be great! The AUSD is telling them that they are good enough. What kind of a message is that? Start looking up information for yourself. You have to ask yourself why you are only hearing the district’s story. I’ll tell you why…they have silenced the teachers. They continue to employ scare tactics, send demanding letters to the student body, and create obstacles between the staff and the Dozier families. When you only hear one side of things you HAVE to go and find out the other side. That is your duty as a citizen. The teachers want you to know the truth. Go to their website and learn for yourself. http://www.dozierlibbeycharter.com

  4. Are you kidding me says:

    Did anyone else notice that the teachers’ petition does not say they want to keep the “No D” policy? The district keeps saying that they want to keep it but that is NOT the reason for the charter! The teachers are using the removal of the policy as yet another example of how the district used to support the policy and then changed their minds and took it away when they were pressured by just a “small group” of parents. These teachers really care about these kids and they believe in what they are doing. They are not trying to be exclusive. Their students are Antioch students and kids just like them go to the other two high schools. You have to ask yourself why kids to better at Dozier…it is not because of anything that the district has done. It’s the teachers! So, some kids decide to leave. Hey, if health careers are not your bag, then why be there in the first place? Get the facts. Support the teachers. What would you rather have running a school…a big district, far removed from the interests of your kids or passionate teachers willing to put their necks on the line for your kids? Seriously!!!

  5. April Padilla says:

    I support the teachers, students and parents of Dozier-Libbey who want the conversion to an independent charter school to happen. To comment more specifically on the ideas expressed in this article, I have been extremely disturbed with the attitude the A.U.S.D. has taken towards the matter from the beginning. If this process has become divisive, they are the ones who have made it so. I was perhaps even more disturbed by the tone of the board members at the open meeting. They not only allowed but encouraged verbal abuse of the Dozier-Libbey teachers, which calls their motives, abilities and even character into question for me. Since then, the district has done their best to silence one side of the debate, and the continue to assure the parents of Dozier students that we are confused and upset. I continue to resent this characterization. I am not confused. I am upset, but not at the Dozier-Libbey teachers, I am upset at all of the representatives of the A.U.S.D. who are being petty, vindictive, condescending, insulting, and selfish.

    • JLM says:

      I too support the INDEPENDENT charter petitioned for by an overwhelming majority of the DLMHS teachers. The school will continue to be of benefit to Antioch’s taxpayers, whether they have students in the school or not, as it takes the next steps in its growth and continues to be a boon to a diverse group of students encouraging academic excellence in all.

      I too am appalled by the districts tactics meant to hurt the petitioners and student’s parents by hurting the students. So wrong. Threatening to deny DLMHS students participation in sports with the other high schools, blocking current students from being able to participate in current job shares they worked to obtain, and which can be key to college applications, and worst of all, extorting parents into signing onto the district’s dependent charter by threatening to replace our students with others if we don’t sign by April 7th!!! This is before the county will hear the appeal for the INDEPENDENT charter!! I was at the AUSD meeting and spoke in favor of the INDEPENDENT charter as a parent of a DLMHS graduate and a current student. When the board members gave their comments, it seemed clear to me that they had made their decisions in advance of the public comments. The AUSD wants to show the county that they have support for their dependent charter by coercing parents to sign their students up for it under the threat of their student no longer being able to attend the school if they don’t sign!! I am disgusted by the district’s tactics.

    • Furious says:

      Did you hear that district employees came to Dozier and stopped supportive parents from handing out informative material for the independent charter? What are they afraid of? This is what people do when they do not want others to know the truth. They have no jurisdiction over parents! Their true colors are showing.

      • April Padilla says:

        Maybe the angrier the AUSD makes the parents, the more of us will stand up and speak out. Hopefully their efforts at silencing supporters will backfire right on them.

  6. I work with high schools throughout all of Northern CA as a college representative, and have met the teachers of Dozier-Libbey. They are clearly passionate about helping their students. I worked with the aforementioned recent charter school conversion (Clayton Valley) before and after the conversion in that capacity. As someone interacting with thousands of students at the point in time they’re nearing graduation at thousands of high schools, I can attest that charter schools are a terrific solution in every area I’ve been to that has seen fit to create them. They don’t happen without dedication and hard work on the part of the teachers. I hope the school board doesn’t make a knee-jerk decision and truly considers the benefit to students in context of the trend of charter conversions happening all over. It’s for a good reason. Good luck, teachers and students of DL!

  7. Student at DLMHS says:

    This article is perfect! The teachers are not ‘money hungry racists’ as the AUSD depicts them to be. These are people who thoroughly enjoy their jobs and help students achieve far beyond what I have ever seen. I started off in AUSD as kindergartener and no longer wish to be part of it. I have seen just a glimpse of how politically motivated AUSD is. The independent charter WILL allow students to play sports at the other two AUSD high schools, BUT AUSD has made it clear that they do not want any part of DLMHS if we become an independent charter. My teachers are just doing what is right to better OUR education and the district just wants to keep us to make them look good. AUSD is making this process difficult and confusing for everyone.

  8. Dozier-Libbey Parent says:

    FYI: It is true how the district is cracking down on the teachers’ effort to promote the independent charter petition. Now, the district is trying to crack down on parents’ efforts, too! Two district administrators took down the signs, dismantled the tables and drove out the parents who were distributing fliers of support. I thought that they are open to listen to parents’ voices and want us to actively support whatever we think is best for our students?! And now because we are promoting the other side, they said we are not allowed to do that? They wanted to “know” if parents support the teachers, YES, WE DO!!! For many years!!! All they did was turn their backs on us because we are not the kind who scream loud enough and we are not the kind who threaten to sue them if we don’t get what we want. Maybe, we should.

  9. Carol Hastings says:

    I am in support of the independent
    Charter,I am one of the small group of petitioners, as the Antioch school district miss informed on a phone message sent home last week.I do believe,there is much more than a small group in favor of the Independent Charter.As I saw them all with my own two eyes.
    at several meetings I attended the past two weeks. Its time for us parents to stand up and stand in the gap for our children,Im tired of everyone complaining
    and sitting back doing nothing.Its time to attend meetings ,to have a voice for our children.
    And maybe set a platform for all the children to come in the future .I care for not only my own kids, but my neighbors kids ,in hopes that their kids may have a chance to attend an Independent Charter School in their neighborhood.Standing up for our children now will make history,it will make a productive future for our community’s children,to have the opportunity To attend. Let’s stand together ,it will take us all,to be the voice,of our children,and many more to come.
    the District can tell their lies
    but i know the truth prevailes.

  10. carolina espiritu says:

    I AM IN SUPPORT TO THE TEACHERS/PARENTS/STUDENTS APPEAL:CONVERTING DOZIER-LIBBEY MEDICAL HIGH SCHOOL BECOME AN INDEPENDENT CHARTER SCHOOL(one of the SCHOOLS UNDER ANTIOCH UNIFIED SCHOOLS DISTRICT in CA) for the following reasons: 1.IF THIS IS THE BEST SOLUTION TO IMPROVE STUDENTS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES, THEN, MY APPEAL GOES OUT TO THE BOARD; 2. IF THIS IS THE SMARTEST MOVE TO ENCOURAGE TEACHERS on IMPLEMENTING EFFECTIVE & INNOVATIVE TEACHING METHODS, then, LISTEN TO & ACT ON THEIR APPEAL;3. IF THIS IS THE MANNER TO LET PARENTS/STUDENTS BE GIVEN EXPANDED CHOICES IN TERMS OF EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE WITHIN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, ALLOWING THE TEACHERS APPLY A MOTION OF TEACHING/LEARNING EXPERIENCES from RULE-BASED to PERFORMANCE-BASED ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM, well then, I AM 100% FOR THIS PETITION!! STUDENTS’PARENTS pay TAXES.. WHY SHOULD PARENTS/STUDENTS/TEACHERS of DLMICHS BE DEPRIVED FROM THEIR CLAMOR INTO THE CONVERTION OF THE SAID SCHOOL BECOME AN INDEPENDENT CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL if the CONCERN IS TO LEARN MORE & EXCEL BETTER? LISTEN TO THEIR PLEA–CONVERT DLMHS BECOME an INDEPENDENT CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL. ONCE this is MATERIALIZED, THE MORE DLMICHS WILL BE RESPONSIVE TO ITS VISION STATEMENT: ” EVERY STUDENT VALUED, EVERY STUDENT CHALLENGED, EVERY STUDENT PREPARED TO SUCCEED IN A CHANGING WORLD.”

  11. Julie says:

    Thank you Barbara Zivica for your excellent article. I support the teachers at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (DLMHS)as they continue their petition to become an Independent Charter School. I know they will be successful. The teachers at DLMHS have done a good job helping the students excel at school and preparing them for life beyond high school. But is being “good” enough? The school district says “yes”, but the teachers, students and parents are pushing for “greatness” I’m surprised that there are those who oppose greatness, however, many of the parents who are fighting against the independent charter are also school district employees. I tell my kids, in today’s world, you cannot be ordinary and expect to be noticed. You must excel, be extraordinary, standout in a crowd, if you are going to succeed. I believe Dozier becoming an independent charter puts our kids on the right path to making that a reality.

    The teachers at DLMHS want nothing but the best for their students and go above and beyond to prove that. The school districts tactics to stifle them is a form of bullying. I called the district office to discuss my concerns with how Antioch Unified School District was handling the conversion petition. Once they realized I was supporting the teachers, not them, the women became sarcastic, belligerent, and talked over me while I was talking. These are not the type of people I want overseeing my children’s education.

    Again, I support the staff of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School. Thank you for all you are doing.

  12. Rich & Cecile Porter says:

    We are taxpaying Antioch residents who are concerned with the direction this city is taking. Antioch used to be a well known and revered city. We are now number one in many things but education, housing, and community are not among them. If we are going to get this city out the gutter that it has sunk down to we need to start with the younger community. Dozier-Libbey is an up and coming school trying to better this community by helping its student strive to achieve a better education.

    They have already proved this in test scores, grades and students that have graduated and moved onto a better life and deserving careers. This has all been done in spite of the limited resources that the AUSD has allotted them. The AUSD has proven their lack of proper administrating by not providing a full and proper staff for the school, limited library hours for the students, and under budgeted funds, among other issues. The AUSD is treating Dozier-Libbey as a step-child instead of the educational department it is. At the very least it appears AUSD have demonstrated a definite bias against Dozier-Libbey which is hypocritical since AUSD began the Dozier-Libbey in the first place. Since a clean sweep can’t or won’t be made of the AUSD then it seems a better fit to allow Dozier-Libbey to become the Independent Charter school they want and prove the AUSD wrong. Good luck in your fight. There are many residence behind you with and without students that are currently enrolled in the AUSD.

  13. It's broken and needs to be fixed! says:

    At the recent school Board meeting, a “parent” reported that Mello-Roos taxes are being misused if the independent charter is approved.
    No Mello-Roos funds were used to build DLMHS. The wrong information is being spread and needs to be fixed.

    DLMHS received grant funds to purchase 34 computers for the students. When the AUSD received them in May 2013, they sat on them and DLMHS did not receive them for almost a year. AUSD deprived the students and abused their power.
    AUSD is sloppy, slow, and abusive. This needs to be fixed!

    The school Board’s children have almost all their kids at DLMHS. At the recent Board meeting, a parent reported that her triplet daughters attend DLMHS. That “parent” is actually a Board member masquerading as a parent in the audience and did not state she was on the Board. How is it that she (and many Board members’ kids) has all of her kids attending DLMHS when it’s supposed to be a random lottery?
    The Board is abusing it’s power and this needs to be fixed!

    DLMHS is a California Distinguished School, but the other high schools in the district are not. Why isn’t AUSD concentrating their efforts on improving those other schools and instead spreading false information and trying to make DLMHS teachers looks bad?
    The AUSD is broken and this is proven by it’s distorted priorities.

    Yes, DLMHS is successful, but it is not “because” of the AUSD, it’s “in spite of” the AUSD!
    The AUSD is broken and needs to be fixed!

    The only way to continue to improve DLMHS is by approving the independent charter.

  14. Silvia says:

    AUSD is really going to far this time. The schools are all in desperate need of attention and they seem to focus on DLMHS as there only problem. If they really think that by taking it to a dependent charter school they can keep it successful, then they should be able to do this to the entire district. They claim that the teacher’s at Dozier are not the reason the school is successful? then all the schools should be wonderful right? The district really has bigger problems to worry about and should really focus their time on making the under scoring schools better and let the teachers at Dozier continue to teach our kids the road to success!!! I will support the teachers, parents and especially the education of these students all the way to try and keep this school an Independent DLM Charter School. As for the AUSD, shame on you people for being so vindictive and big LIARS!!!

  15. Dozier Libbey parent says:

    I support the teachers and their petition to become an independent conversion charter. They are a dedicated group who love their school, and they are fighting to keep Dozier a unique, challenging school that will continue to serve the Antioch community. I am grateful they are trying to keep Dozier the amazing school they envisioned. The District needs focus their attention on the violence that is occurring at their middle schools, where teachers are getting assaulted, and kids are out of control with no consequences. My child doesn’t like to go to Dallas Ranch anymore because she’s scared for herself, her friends, and her teachers. Let Dozier-Libbey teachers save their school!

  16. Allain espiritu says:

    I support the petition request of the DLMHS to be an independent charter school. The teachers are so dedicated to their students and they love what they do! Please allow them to become independent!

  17. William says:

    Having lived in areas with strong charter school practices I have seen first-hand the positive effects of increased self-determination that arise when communities, teacher, administrators, and students come together to better direct their autonomous futures.

  18. parent says:

    I believe the the questions are this? How can Dozier stay in the district and yet act independently? I understand both sides and clear heads must prevail. I don’t feel as if you can compare Clayton Vly and Dozier. Different neighborhoods, different sizes and demographics are different. Does Dozier (if acting as a public charter) have the ability to have the parental support it would require? Clayton looked at 1800 students, Dozier 700 approx. Yes Clayton Valley has improved since becoming a charter. The MDUSD was a large district with many high schools and AUSD has only 2. Does anyone know what the amount would be to keep Dozier running? I know that emotions are running deep, but more specifics questions need to be answered. Hard facts not just emotions. The bottom line may turn out to be that Dozier would be better off as a Charter, but more facts needs to come out. I don’t feel as if there is enough information out there.

    • HMS says:

      Antioch already has an independent charter school (Antioch Charter Academy K-8 – 2 campuses) so it can be done. It also sounds like they have a plan for an oversight/executive board and have done due diligence to look at the needs for those students that want to participate in extracurricular activities. Also, AUSD has 2 main high schools but don’t forget all the pathway programs (Performing Arts, Law Academy, etc). Just some additional info to keep in mind…

  19. Rochelle says:

    Thank you for your piece Barbara Zivika. Gary Hack and Joy Motts do not speak for me either, nor will I EVER vote for them or the other board members in their future endeavors. I was at the March 19th meeting & the behavior of the district employees was inexcusable. Comments like ” if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” came up at this meeting…What? School system is BROKEN, has been BROKEN, needs to be fixed. The whole meeting was staged just the way they wanted with all the speakers hand-selected, written up just as the district planned. Extremely political and a way to detract from the real focus: which is our KIDS. They’ve employed “talking points” like calling our school, parents and teachers “elite” and playing the race card. Clearly they think us parents are too dumb to notice their tactics. The parents of Dozier Libbey are NOT FOOLED nor will we be scared off by your constant connectED messages and propaganda. AUSD “leadership” is out of control. They have crossed the line. Bullying parents who are passing out flyers in support of the teachers/independent charter for DLMHS is disgusting. Tell us, AUSD this is the example you are setting for our kids?
    Don’t be fooled by this “counter charter” the district put forth by two principals who’s API scores can’t even hold a candle to the state baseline of 800 either. If I was a parent of the kids that go their schools, I’d be mad as heck that their principals are spending time and district dollars writing counter petitions for another,smaller school and not even focusing on their own school issues! This is why AUSD cannot be trusted–this is how they are spending our taxpayer money folks. I doubt that we would be here today if even half of their 24 schools in the district were meeting the state standards and addressing violence/behavioral issues that constantly plague the schools. None of these are new issues either and its time someone does something about it. I applaud the teachers of Dozier Libbey for taking a stand for our children and proving to me that they are the true examples of what it means to fight for our education. They are the kind of teachers I want to instill the proper values in our children. WE SUPPORT YOU DOZIER TEACHERS 100%!!!!

  20. Dozier Parent in support of the Independent Charter says:

    Thank you Barbara Zvicka for this truthful article! I am a parent of a Dozier-Libbey Student. I would like to state that based on the data and the events of the past few weeks, I overwhelmingly support an Independent Charter for Dozier-Libbey.

    Dozier-Libbey has achieved its success as a California Distinguished School through the hard work of the teachers, students and parents. The teachers, not the District, work countless hours to ensure student success. Yes, the requirements are tough and the work is hard, but if you go forward into any career in the medical field, you cannot opt out of required courses or just skate by. The curriculum at Dozier pushes the children to work hard to achieve what they never could have possibly imagined. I believe the teachers of this school are making a proposal for an Independent Charter because it is in the best interest of the students and their future success.

    The District has provided roadblocks to Dozier success through misdirection of funds and grants, lack of staffing, lack of funding courses, and elimination of requirements this program created at its inception. With Dozier becoming an independent charter, funds would be available to add the additional classes and resources the District has failed to provide and changes could take affect quickly with the elimination of large district red tape.

    The District is accusing Dozier teachers of using the children to wage their battle. This is untrue. Dozier teachers have carried out their message with class and have largely remained silent due to a District gag order. They have also continued to teach our children with grace and professionalism while being watched constantly by District personnel. The District, on the other hand, sends out daily intimidating messages, through its threat of not allowing sports through a multi-school agreement to forcing parents to sign a letter if they want their child to attend the school next year BEFORE the appeal can even be heard at the County level, circumventing Charter law by creating a bogus Dependent Charter to try to confuse everyone, spreading lies about the facts through letters and voicemails to the parents, publishing misinformation on the Dozier school page and District website, and placing gag orders on teachers and students. The District has made our children the pawns with their dirty tactics.

    And here are some facts regarding the District meeting and the speakers who were against the Independent Charter and for the Dependent District led charter:

    * By my count roughly 95% of the speakers may have been concerned citizens, but they were also school district employees and administrators. The other roughly 5% of the speakers represented special interest groups recruited by the District to fight this proposal. I counted 1 student and MAYBE 1 or 2 parents who actually may have been opposed and weren’t school district employees.

    * Mayor Wade Harper, who spoke for the “citizens of Antioch”, was until just recently teaching at Black Diamond Middle School, again, another biased employee of the School District.

    * The students who chose to speak at the Antioch School District special meeting for the Independent Charter did so with the backing of their parents. I was in the audience, I saw my child speak, and I fully endorsed what my child said.

    * Dozier-Libbey was not built with Melo-Roos funds. Melo-Roos funded 7 schools (London, Grant, Dragon, Diablo Vista, Lone Tree, Black Diamond, Dallas Ranch, Deer Valley). I know, because I have been paying Melo-Roos for 23 years.

    * If the District wanted to grant the students of Dozier-Libbey Independent Charter the right to play sports they could. They choose not to. If you look at NCS multi-school agreements already in place, there are charter schools in other school districts with these agreements.

    In closing, I would like to reiterate that I support Dozier becoming an Independent Charter because it is in the best interest of the children and their future and in the best interest of this community. Let’s make the best school in Antioch even better.

  21. Dozier Student says:

    This article is perfect. Thank you Barbara Zivica and the rest of the Herald staff for posting an article that is so accurate. Our teachers are being attacked, in many aspects, by the district. The sad part, is that the public never gets to hear anything from our teachers’ perspective. Being a student that actively seeks out information from our teachers after hours, I get to see a side of the district that no one should ever see. They are evil and deceitful, and the community should know the truth.

  22. Jerrico says:

    Thank you for taking the time to gather all of the facts and create an article that desperately needs to be seen by many parents and students. During this time it seems like the perspectives of the teachers are being smothered misinformation and a general fear of change.

    The teachers of DLMHS are by no means attempting the conversion to a charter school maliciously; our deeply caring staff, whom a large amount of us students support, are trying their best to craft their school for the better. As a current student who WILL be around for one more year it deeply disappoints me to hear my fellow classmates being misled into believing their teachers are doing wrong by wanting the best for their students.

    The students who have participated in this discussion both via the media and in live attendance to its events are also not being manipulated by the teachers. Those who do simply understand that there could be no possible reason for our teachers to be converting for a reason that would harm us. Including myself, the students in favor of the INDEPENDENT CHARTER have come to learn, by BOTH our teachers and by our OWN RESEARCH, that governing OUR school by a board that has OUR interests at heart first and foremost would be an incredibly needed benefit.

    Parents and students alike need to read this article and at least recognize that a conversion could be a major benefit for their child’s future. Furthermore, the confusion that is surrounding the subject in the school itself would be greatly cleared up if more pieces like this where advertised more broadly. Thank you again for the story Ms. Zivica.

  23. Johan Kim says:

    I am a senior at Dozier-Libbey, and even though the independent charter does not concern me in terms of my education, I adamantly support our teachers’ efforts in the petition. DLMHS (hopefully soon to be renamed as DLMCHS) is a school that is intellectually stimulating and fun because of the tight-knit group of students we have here, in conjunction with the passionate and friendly staff and teachers (if you have never met Felicia, for example, you are missing out on knowing one of the nicest people in Antioch). DLMHS, due to the lack of sufficient funds, is unable to provide many resources that other schools may offer, such as a proper athletic field, a hint of a sports team, and a decent Internet connection that does not falter every thirty seconds. However, Dozier makes up for what it lacks in those departments with the amazing assortment of educational and vocational training opportunities that more than adequately prepares each student for his or her adult life. Our high school has an insurmountable potential for growth and excellence, but many of our teachers’ efforts in improving the curriculum of our school have been thwarted by none other than its own school district. With the plethora of amazing accomplishments and breakthroughs made by our school, our students, and our staff, would YOU not agree that an independent charter will promise an even better future for the students of Antioch? We students are the future, and we will NEVER be able to take the reins of society for ourselves if CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS (*cough*) hinder our progression and evolution as young leaders of tomorrow.

    P.S. As a final note, I call BS on the notion that DLMHS is a racist school that does not allow particular minority groups to attend it (speaking as a minority). DLMHS is one of the most diverse schools I attended. Trust me; I went to middle school in Marin County, where probably ninety percent of the school population is white.

  24. Exhausted says:

    Oh Antioch, when will you learn? The AUSD board has been bullying us parents and the students around for years. The racist are not at DLMHS, it’s the board! Why is it when a school can think for itself and out shine the board they want to stomp on it? Do any of you remember Delta Academy? Guess what, it’s gone! They ran the most amazing group of teachers out of the District because they didn’t want any teacher / parent / or student who can think for themselves and run their own school. Dozier doesn’t need AUSD, they have the means and methods to run their own school and have proven it over the years with amazing test scores. Just think if all of the academies became independent charters how awesome our students would be. Don’t allow AUSD to continue to be the bully here. Forge ahead; stand for what you believe in. If you can’t play sports for AUSD, form your own teams. It will be the loss of AUSD should they enforce this as the students of DLMHS have the grades to play.
    P.S. Come next election, we need to get fresh, innovative, intuitive board members. Out with the old, in with the new!

  25. Analysis 101 says:

    Hi I am a parent of a DLMHS student and I support the independent charter. I also work as a Failure Analysis Engineer. So on a daily basis I analyze process and procedures be it human or mechanical. I have attended all the meetings and have a few analysis details for those that don’t support the charter and the school district.

    1. The district says only a small group of teachers support the DLMHS independent charter. Well if you did math (maybe they should practice what they preach) it was 88% of the teachers that is a big percentage and only 3 did not support it. Has anyone asked Why? Maybe there at retirement? But to say what the district is saying is ludicrous. IT WAS A MAJORITY!
    2. At the DLMHS meeting at Prewett there were some parents that attacked the teachers (calling them dumb). Well those parents should look in the mirror. I have been involved with my kids Schools and donated my time helping. Also being a parent that has attended private school all my life. As I see it the teachers at DLMHS and other schools with High API scores are one of the main reasons for there success. I also have to add that the parenting at home and parent involvement is a major factor to a schools success. If you believe the schools are a success due to the school district well then why did you have your child attend DLMHS? I guess they could have gone to one of the other high achieving high schools in Antioch I know there are two more that the school district over sees. One thing I do know that leads to low test scores at high school or grammar schools is the parenting. I have seen it at other schools when teachers don’t have parent involvement or parent that care what there little Johnny is doing at School this takes a toll on teachers and they loose interest. Its hard for a Teacher to be a discipliner in class when their job is to teach!So I commend the DLMHS Teachers for the Schools Success Great Job!
    3. The reason for the secrecy as I see it, the teachers fear of retaliation. I remember one parent that said she worked for the district and her kid attends the school. She stated the school can not do anything to retaliate against them. I guess we all live in a perfect world Right? How many times have we seen it and we still think that everything is done by the law. Give me a break. Read the paper we just saw a politician getting arrested but hey he is part of the government that doesn’t happen and I got a bridge to sell you. And now the school district is trying to apply for a charter.

    To conclude I think the direction the DLMHS teachers are taking this school is the right direction. Remember people this was started as a Medical High School. For the district to say or people to say the school is trying to exclude students is ludicrous. This school should be challenging and should push the students to the limit. What do you think College is easy. Maybe we should just hand out doctorate degrees. I see my student learning things I did not learn in private High School. This is how a high achieving school should be run. Open your eyes Antioch community. If you honestly believe this High Achieving School is all due to the district then don’t worry there are two more district High Schools and they have a sports program.

    Supporting the DLMHS Teachers 100%

  26. Marie says:

    I am a Dozier parent and I am in full support of the INDEPENDENT CHARTER put forth by our amazing teachers. Throughout this whole ordeal, it is pretty clear that they have acted like professionals and have the best interest of our kids at heart. All this while being stifled by greedy, political and arrogant individuals. The district continually tries to discredit them on a daily basis and smother us with more and more false information. The latest is that their coining the independent charter as a “private charter”. What does that even mean? We are a public school/public entity! It’s astonishing that they are so arrogant that they think they can get away with such blatant inaccuracies. You have to ask yourself: why is the district so scared to lose this school that they would go to such great lengths to confuse, distort, bully, and manipulate those trying to do whats best for our kids? Their behavior should raise the eyebrows to all the schools/parents in the district. They have proved time and time again that they will throw you under the bus as they see fit! Very disturbing! Thank you Dozier teachers for all your courage and fighting for our kids and their education!! We support the INDEPENDENT CHARTER! We support OUR TEACHERS!

  27. APL says:

    Thank you so much for this article!. I am a Dozier-Libbey parent and am in FULL support of the INDEPENDENT charter petition. The current teachers and administrators made DLMHS what it is today. They made it the school I desperately prayed my child would be lucky enough to attend. I trust the current teachers. There is no doubt in my mind that they have the students’ best interests at heart. They have acted with nothing but integrity throughout this entire process. The misinformation being issued about the independent charter has done nothing but confuse and frighten parents. I have been stressed to my breaking point over this issue. DLMHS is a wonderful school which should have been nurtured. Now, the teachers want to convert to an independent charter. LET THEM! This does not take away from the AUSD. As an independent charter school, Antioch residents are still first on the enrollment list because of the lottery. Nothing has changed – the process for selecting incoming 9th graders remains the same as before! The school would still be a part of the AUSD; the independent charter simply gives them more autonomy. In fact, the AUSD could have been seen as a more progressive, forward-thinking district by allowing the independent charter to take place. I will be relieved when this situation is resolved and we can get back to the business of educating our children. Support the INDEPENDENT CHARTER!

  28. Anna Morris says:

    I am a Parent of two Dozier Libbey students, one Sophomore and one incoming Freshman. I am in full support of the teachers and their petition for an Independent Charter. When we first heard of the petition for Dozier Libbey to convert to a Charter, I only thought that it would make the school better. We imagined with a Charter, resources will be readily available to the Teachers and Students. A concern before was that there were limited resources and classes available to the students at Dozier Libbey compared to the larger high schools. We had few options in classes that would prepare the students for the real world.(e.g. no technology classes, poor internet connection/ bandwidth issues through out the school, no options for more languages such as Chinese, little exposure to emerging medical technologies, etc..) It was apparent that there was a definite dysfunction and disconnect between the school and the governing AUSD. Despite the lack of resources, the school excelled and triumphed. It received a Distinguished School Award, the only school in Antioch to receive such an honor. I believe that was mainly due to the dedicated teachers, the supportive parents and of course, our bright, hard studying students. Dozier Libbey teachers have nurtured and honed our children. With this battle to cure what is ailing within our local school system, I know they are setting another fine example of how to stand by principles and what is fair. One will come across many types of adversities in life. I am confident that the Independent Charter has a solid plan to make Dozier Libbey an even better school, a more distinguished school than it is. We plead to the Board of Education that they give our teachers and students a fighting chance with offering them a life line of an Independent Charter.
    Anna Morris

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