Promise Neighborhoods conceals Castle Park, Chula
Vista from search results on its website--so what's the
truth about its $60 million grant to Castle Park?

December 2, 2014
by Maura Larkins

Castle Park area in Chula Vista, CA was granted $60 million in Promise
Neighborhood money

Today I tried to search the Promise Neighborhood website for "castle park
elementary" and I got NO RESULTS!!!

I also searched for "Chula Vista" and got no results!

What kind of a search tool do they have that would leave out their own article:

I clicked on the tag "chula vista" at the bottom of the article and discovered only
one other article that mentions Chula Vista Promise Neighborhoods:

This last article is dated Aug. 22, 2013.  It's now December 2014.  Why no
follow-up on the $60 million investment????

The links in the Castle Park article are not so great either.  The link to the
Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood’s South Bay Community Services resulted in
this message:

Not Found
The requested URL /services/promise-neighborhood/ was not found on this server.

I'm guessing that things aren't so great in Castle Park!  But if a
$60 million grant isn't working, shouldn't Promise
Neighborhoods be honest about it?  Who is gaining from their

Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood Gets Results with
Innovative School Turnaround Model
June 7, 2013
By Samuel Sinyangwe
Promise Neighborhoods Institute

Groundbreaking research from Dr. Robert Balfanz establishes that middle
school is a “make or break” period for children. Children who fail math or
reading, are suspended or expelled, and/or are chronically absent during these
critical years often drop out when they get to high school. To keep children on
the path to success, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood’s South Bay
Community Services has collaborated with Principal Robert Bleisch to
implement the Granger Turnaround Model (GTM) at Castle Park Middle School.
This innovative model has produced immediate, dramatic results in ELA and
Math proficiency scores and attendance in all five schools that have adopted
the model to date.

How do they do it? Through a well-defined, data-driven system that intervenes
immediately to keep students from falling behind. When students are absent,
they make up that learning time during the weekend. If a student fails a quiz,
they are re-taught after-school and re-tested the following week.

The system works through collaboration. South Bay Community Services
provides staff who collect daily achievement and attendance data before the
bell rings to identify students who need support. They then distribute folders to
these students at the end of the school day telling them where to go for
appropriate intervention. Students are re-taught until they succeed, teachers
feel more empowered when they see their students improve, which leads to a
culture of success for the entire school.

During the first year of GTM implementation (2011-2012), Castle Park Middle
School dramatically increased math and science proficiency scores, reduced
incidences of misbehavior and achieved a remarkable 99% attendance rate!

Given these impressive results, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood is
replicating the GTM model at
Castle Park Elementary School and Hilltop Middle


 please help me understand why stories like this never hit the mainstream
media. in our part of the country, we are trying to change the downward curve,
and it is perfect time for info to get before people who are trying to save public
education. the other piece is that patents and caregivers need to get the same
info in an appropriate way so that THEY WOULD BE MORE PRONE TO
COOPERATE ! i guess that only so much can be done at one time. keep up the
great work and collaboration!!

 Comment by don speaks — June 10, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

 Hi Don,

 We agree!

 If you think these stories should get more coverage, help us spread the word
by sharing this post via email to your networks, posting on social media, etc! If
we show interest, reporters will take note.


 Comment by Shantha — June 10, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

 Just a couple of comments from a teacher at Castle Park Middle, although
aspects of this model have merit it must be said that the way the model has
been portrayed here does not reflect what is actually happening at CPM. The
data that is being used to show growth is from the 2011-2012 school year, that
was the year Principal Bleisch took over as principal, the school did not start
implementing these reforms until the 2012-2013 school year; the growth is from
the hard work of teachers not from Principal Bleisch’s reforms. Interesting this
starts with a statement of the need to keep students in school since for the last
month of school many students (low scoring, attendance issues, behavior
problems) were forced onto independent study contracts to keep them out of
school and then were removed from our attendance rolls the last week of
school to take their grades and scores off of the books. Principal Bleisch is
attempting to gain notoriety and make money off his “system”. That is why he
takes credit for everything good, blames teachers for anything wrong, and has
no qualms forcing students and parents to sign away their rights.

 Comment by CPM Teacher — June 12, 2013 @ 4:35 pm
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