At the March 7, 2019 MVWSD board meeting, there were clear signs the Bullis Mountain View (BMV) Charter Petition process was unraveling. BMV School Principle Jennifer Anderson-Rosse told the board that the BMV enrollment lottery had been scheduled for that same evening, but had been postponed. She said the postponement was in large part because MVWSD had suddenly asked for an update presentation about the progress towards an MOU. In other words, MVWSD had suddenly created a schedule conflict for March 7 in her opinion.
And today March 21, 2019 BMV issued a press release saying the school would not open in the fall of 2019 as originally planned. The March 7 Bullis Mountain View (BMV) lottery would have selected 168 seats from 210 applications.
BMV Objects to Rewriting the Charter Petition
At the March 7 meeting, Ms. Anderson-Rosse went on to complain about the inability to negotiate the terms of the ‘conditional’ Bullis Mountain View (BMV) charter approval ‘granted’ last December.
Video: MVWSD March 7, 2019 meeting. BMV segment
https://youtu.be/LZ-J6idMTm8?t=19801 starts at 5:30
Low SES students admitted before Siblings
In particular, she explained that Bullis Mountain View (BMV) objects to the MVWSD board’s rewriting of the charter’s admission preferences. The MVWSD board wants an admission preference for lower socio-economic status students to be ahead of a preference for siblings and staff. The charter says this harms families and violates state law.
“Quota” for Low SES students
She also objected to the board’s insistence that BMV “precisely match the Distrct’s demographics – specifically that they should have the same percentage of socio-economically disadvantaged students and students who receive free-and-reduced lunch as the average District school.” Bullis Mountain View (BMV) says “state law prohibits us from imposing quotas for certain student subgroups. This would amount to discrimination, and it is simply illegal.’
Scores Must Outperform by 5%
On March 7 Anderson-Rosse said Bullis Mountain View (BMV) had not yet had an opportunity to discuss and understand what kinds of assessment methods (tests) MVWSD was asking BMV to use. Both sides accused the other side of being unresponsive to emails, emails from lawyers, and not scheduling timely meetings about assessments and the other bones of contention.
On March 7 Bullis Mountain View (BMV) seemed to be open to looking at the tests MVWSD might prefer. But as of today, BMV have flatly rejected the MVWSD condition that “BMV outperform [ scores in tests] in every student subgroup by each year by five percent” or else be closed or not renewed.
Lalahpolitico: Bullis Mountain View (BMV) is correct in pointing out the ‘law of small numbers’ means that when BMV draws a small sample of 168 from the entire MVWSD enrollment, that “a handful” of BMV students can swing results by 5% from the average across the ~4000.
Lalahpolitico bottom line
BMV leaders seemed happy to get their Charter Petition conditionally approved (with MVWSD written amendments) last December. That MVWSD board vote was 4 to 1 with the union guy saying, “No, No, No.” But at that December meeting, the BMV reps did already make noises about wanting to negotiate those MVWSD imposed amendment terms of the charter petition. The public hoped that behind the scenes talking was happening.
Things were looking up this spring when MVWSD actually made public a pretty decent offer of facilities at the Therakauf – Stevenson campus. See photos.
Sadly, it sounds like the parties never spoke directly to each other again after the December conditional charter petition approval. They interacted only through some lawyers. However, let’s recall that MVSWD Superintendent said he was taken aback when the petition just arrived on his desk without any face-to-face with BMV reps. I guess both sides are keeping each other at arms length, and that’s unfortunate.