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How to attract and retain teachers - the Idaho way

Original post made by Nomad, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Mar 10, 2011

Idaho is implementing reforms to phase out teacher tenure and provide merit pay. Web Link
"Through this plan, we are going to attract and retain more quality teachers in Idaho by offering a 2-year contract, increased pay and the opportunity to earn bonuses," said Rep. Bob Nonini (R-Coeur D'Alene).
Predictably, the teacher response was to hold hands, stand around the state capitol, play music, chant slogans and carry signs. Web Link

Comments (106)

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Posted by Nomad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

And wear 'red' like the California Teachers Association wants everyone to wear on March 15th. Web Link


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Posted by You betcha!
a resident of Avila
on Mar 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm

You better believe I'll wear read in support of our schools. Why wouldn't you?

Merit pay is absolutely ridiculous. Does no one remember what Foothill students did years ago when they were told they could no longer freak dance (and have sex) during school dances? They BOMBED their STAR test. Why would we give so much power to teenagers?

Here's a better idea - parents receive tax breaks based on their child's STAR performance. Suddenly we would see parents more involved in their education.


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Posted by huh?
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm

[Post removed because it did not further the conversation]


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Holy crap! They are raising the starting by by $345 a year. How will they be able to choose from the millions of candidates that will be applying. Oh wait, they offset that by increasing the number of students in the classroom. Actually, I can't seem to easily find what Idaho's merit pay or pay for performance plan actually looks like - anybody have a link?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm

From what I can see the Idaho merit pay system gives bonuses of $1200 based on test scores (or taking leadership positions). But studies have shown that this type of merit system does basically nothing. And really, if your boss said, if you do a exceptional job this year, put in lots of extra hours and if our sales in a department that you have no control over goes up, you will get a $1200 bonus - is this really a great incentive? Put in a merit pay plan that works or don't bother.


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Posted by huh?
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Never thought I would say this but teachers have made themselves into a complete joke and not many can be respected.


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Posted by respect for teachers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Huh? ... is what is expressed often when you haven't received a decent education.


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Posted by sounds good to me
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

Try getting the Pleasanton teachers to go along with any plan that takes away their guaranteed raises and their employment for life, without regard for their ability to the job. Never going to happen. Tenure is the WORST thing that we ever allowed to happen. In no other job, union or otherwise, can the completely inept and incompetent retain their jobs, pay and retirement benefits for life.
I have to agree with huh?, it is getting prtty difficult to have any respect for a bunch of people who protect the worst among themselves with tenure. That isn't unionism, that is a crime.


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Posted by sounds good to me too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I agree with huh? and sounds good to me. Unionism is a crime. Teachers are in unions. Therefore all teachers are criminals. We shouldn't be talking about a parcel tax, we should be talking about having all the teachers arrested. We can replace them with volunteers, and think how much money we'd save! Most of the criminal teachers don't teach anyway. They're high-paid criminal babysitters.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Idaho is trying to go for merit pay, Minnesota, Colorado and other states are trying to reform unions, and it looks like Wisconsin passed the bill to reform unions, including the teachers' union:

"the bill's passage will help Wisconsin close a $137 million budget shortfall with a plan that requires public workers, with the exception of police and firefighters, to cover more of their retirement plan contributions and health care premiums."

"Raises would be tied to the rate of inflation, unless state voters approve an exception. The legislation also requires unions to hold a new certification vote every year, and unions would no longer be allowed to collect dues from workers' paychecks."

Web Link

The Wisconsin governor said, during an interview (NPR), that as an example of the need for union reform were school districts.


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Posted by there it is
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Yep, there it is. Resident cheers Wisconsin's race to the bottom. The level of stupidity here could not be more stupifying.

Look at the states with the highest educational marks. They are, virtually without exception, states with strong teacher unions. Look at those with the lowest educational marks. Yep, you guessed it.

But the Repub Baggers want California to become more like Idaho -- you know, that state where all the Nobel Prize laureates reside? Yeah, let's make the UC system look more like the University of Idaho. Let's have our children in Cal resemble the potato heads of Idaho. Good thinking, eh? Hey, it'll save Resident a few bucks.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:38 pm

To 'there it is' - please share your list of states and their 'educational marks'. Trustee Grant last week rattled off a list of CA statistics that shows CA 49th in class size, librarians and counselors. And CA has an enormously strong teacher union. So, please share your data.


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Posted by hmmmmm
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm

there it is,

What have you got against Idaho? My neighbor is from there and tells me it has a lot of humble god-fearing white folk living there. And isn't Idaho where Sarah Palin went to school? What's not to like?


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Posted by Yet Another Teacher
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Well, there you go again...Proposition 13 is the real culprit in the decline of California's K-12 public education system: before Prop 13, California consistently ranked as one of the Top 10 states for quality public schools, and after Prop 13, the quality of our public schools has been on a long, steady decline.

California's teachers unions were no stronger and no weaker before Prop 13 than they are now. Unions and tenure haven't ruined the public schools, lack of money has done so. No politician has the guts to dismantle Prop 13, or even propose doing so; Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, attacked Prop 13 when he was one of Schwarzenegger's economic advisors (which is why Arnie fired Buffett). The right-wingers who like to say that the state should be run "like a business" by "business people" apparently don't count Warren Buffett, billionaire investor, as a "business man".

I expect the PleasantonWeekly staff to remove my comment, so memorize it or make a screenshot ASAP! They seem to be bent on censoring me for some reason. Ah well.


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Posted by there it is!!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Here's Wisconsin as opposed to the five states that deny collective bargaining rights for their teachers: Virginny, North Caroline, Tyexass, Georgiah, South Caroline. Funny how these are all southern states that tend to vote red, eh? So, the right-wing loony tuners want us to slide down the rat hole desired by Wisconsin's Republican Thug Walker. Pretty obvious what they want, given these numbers. Hugehouse and Princess Bean Counter and Scrambled Eggs want movement that puts Pleasanton on a course for eventual downward convergence with the likes of South Caroline. Nice. They're not only ridiculous lunatics. They are destructive, and intentionally so.


Here's a table of the relevant states:

Mean SAT scores by state, 2010:


State Overall Score National Rank Participation Rate
Wisconsin 1778 3rd 4 percent
Virginia 1521 34th 67 percent
North Carolina 1485 38th 63 percent
Texas 1462 45th 53 percent
Georgia 1453 48th 74 percent
South Carolina 1447 49th 66 percent



Mean ACT scores by state, 2009


State Overall Score National Rank Participation Rate
Wisconsin 22.3 13th 67 percent
Virginia 21.9 22nd 20 percent
North Carolina 21.6 26th 15 percent
Texas 20.8 35th 30 percent
Georgia 20.6 40th 40 percent
South Carolina 19.8 46th 50 percent



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Which states have the highest 'educational marks'?


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Posted by this is it!!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I have to confess. When I first started reading these posts a couple of weeks ago, I thought Start Afresh was Steve. Then I thought Arnold was Hugehouse. Now I'm thinking Start Afresh is the princess. But you know what? Here's my confession: I don't think there's an iota of difference among the lot of them. Singular ideology; selective use of numbers; a desire to destroy what is best about California; all the while chanting Republican mantras of fiscal responsibility and accountability. What a pile.


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Posted by Respondant to Start Afresh
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm

You ask, which states have the highest? You might start by looking at that bastion of socialism, Vermont, which scares the holy bejeebus out of the right wingers. You can get off your lazy duff and look up the rest yourself, as you seem to have little else going on in your life.


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Posted by Lars
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm

The I-da-ho way. Rather pathetic, isn't it? That some clown would hold up Idaho as a standard to follow? This crowd has no sense of proportion, and no intellectual integrity.


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Posted by brass tacks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Yes, make Nomad/Start Afresh look up the information. If she can find rubbish on Idaho and Clovis she can certainly locate high educational rankings. Unbelievable.


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Posted by Alex Ondi
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Merit pay is just another rally cry from the right. There's no way it works here and no way to make it fair to all schools, teachers, etc. Think about it. How do you make merit pay work in an area like ours where resources are so unevenly distributed? Teachers in districts like Oakland, Richmond, and even Newark will be held to the same standards and evaluations as those in Pleasanton? Give me a break. It's a stupid, unfair idea that will further the decline of schools in socioeconomically depressed areas. Who's going to want to teach in our underprivileged communities? Nobody.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm

This is silly. Most people know that CA is near the bottom of the list for public schools. And that Pleasanton is one of the top school districts in CA (and I'm sure competes well with any good district in the country except for class sizes), so we're lucky to have our kids in school here.

I had been concerned that a parcel tax wouldn't pass here and was worried about spending money for it if the survey results weren't valid.

However, having taken a step back, I now see that there is no way that we can reform our system in a way that would make everyone happy in the time we have - there are some valid concerns out there, but I don't think everything can be done at once.

I believe we need to trust the people we elected to do the job we elected them to do. And also give them some appreciation for the job they do - they take a lot of time away from their family to do help maintain this community's great reputation for educational excellence. The teachers in this community also helped us hugely last year with the furloughs - this was worth a lot more than S&C.

There's also a lot of nonsense being said on both sides - I don't like that people are making incredibly rude comments about teachers. The teachers overall are very good here and deserve very good pay and conditions, including health care I might add. I'm don't like the way that the union operates but I have tons of respect for the teaching profession and people who choose to do this job. I also don't like the sarcasm from the other side that condemn anyone who disagrees with them as tea party members etc. You need to know you're not helping your case on either side.

We have lost a lot of funding from the state, most good school districts have a parcel tax and we really need to support our schools in this time of need. The parcel tax is for a lot less money than last time and will probably need to be supplemented by some help from the teachers and furlough days once again, so let's pull together on this. I know the word tax is not one people want to hear now and the school system has done well to paper over the cracks for the past few years, but we really need to do this for our community.

I have always said that I would like to support a parcel tax in Pleasanton. I hope that this one passes and I fully intend to vote yes and hope 67+% in the community do too.


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Posted by AD
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Teachers back on the job in wisconsin...
Web Link


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Posted by once again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Without civility and good manners, no exchange of idea's, people leave, end of a useful tool. The end.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

"They're high-paid criminal babysitters." - let's see, CA requires daycare centers to have a 14-1 child-staff ratio for those of school age (5+). Our schools (after 3rd grade and including K-3 next year) have 30-40 students in a class roughly 2.5x CA requirements on "babysitting." If teachers are just babysitters BY LAW we need to reduce the number of students in a classroom to 14.

I'm sure that teachers will be happy that "sounds good to me" supports reducing class size.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:30 am

The CollegeBoard says this about using SAT scores:
"A Word About Comparing States and Schools
Media and others often rank states, districts and schools on the basis of SAT scores despite repeated warnings that such rankings are invalid. The SAT is a strong indicator of trends in the college-bound population, but it should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other nonschool factors can have a strong effect on scores. If ranked, schools and states that encourage students to apply to college may be penalized because scores tend to decline with a rise in percentage of test-takers."


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:31 am

Here: Web Link


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:44 am

But if you do want to use the data contrary to the CollegeBoard's advice, according to this ranking Web Link
California is 35th in the nation in SAT scores, with only a 50% participation rate. New York is 46th and Massachusetts is 27th. These blue union states don't appear at the top of the list as some would have you believe.
Turns out these three states also have the highest teacher pay in the nation. Higher teacher pay does not equate to high "educational marks".


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 7:33 am

"Look at the states with the highest educational marks."

Minnesota and Iowa have really good public schools,look it up. And those are two states seeking reform, there is a reason for that.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 7:36 am

"Merit pay is just another rally cry from the right."

Actually, Obama has suggested merit pay too.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 7:50 am

"Merit pay is just another rally cry from the right."

Are you sure about this? Look at what Obama has to say about public schools:

"President Obama on Tuesday sharply criticized America's public school system and outlined a strategy to reward good teachers and fire bad ones, establish uniform academic achievement standards and increase spending on the first and final stages of a person's education."

"The president signaled a willingness to take on some traditional Democratic constituencies, including teachers unions, which in the past have been skeptical of some merit pay proposals. "

Web Link


It does not matter what party people belong to (republican, democrat or tea party), they know that public education is in need of reform, and that includes merit pay and the ability to fire bad teachers.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:24 am

To Start Afresh and Resident,

Pleasanton has excellent schools. I know there are many bad schools in other districts because I went to one myself. I am so grateful that my children are able to go to Pleasanton schools and I will do anything I can to support them. I don't care about Democrats or Republicans or any of that.


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Posted by there it is
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:31 am

Well, here we are, with Start Afresh (you know who) throwing sand into everyone's eyes. SAT scores alone are not a definitie measure of academic achievement, yes. That's why I included ACT scores as well. The nonsense she has posted is SAT scores only, and it is obvious that the rankings list is skewed. Look at the participation rates. This is why her appeals for 'civil discourse' fall on deaf ears. Being polite does nothing to offset a consistent willingness to misinform and deceive for the sake of someone's ideology. Like they say, 'statistics never lie but liars use statistics.' Yep, let's become more like Idaho and South Caroline everyone. Only an ignoramus or a shill for the right wing that desires to reduce the quality of education (see red states) would attempt to deceive as she has done.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:33 am

'there it is' - You are the one who brought SAT scores into this discussion.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 10:13 am

"SAT scores alone are not a definitie measure of academic achievement,"

Yet colleges look at them, and the students who are admitted into top colleges score high on their SATs.


"I don't care about Democrats or Republicans or any of that."

Good for you Mary. I was just responding to a post above saying merit pay is something the "right" wants. That is not true, as even Obama has called for education reform, including merit pay and the ability to fire bad teachers.

Also, a person who posts under "yet another teacher" always assumes that those of us wanting reform are republicans. We are not, we are simply people who look for fiscally responsible practices. I vote democrat as much as republican, it depends on the candidate, and no, I am not a member of the tea party as I believe they are extreme.

So, I am glad to hear that you are not interested in party lines.

I am personally voting NO on E because unlike you, I believe there are improvements to be made, and that the automatic raises are hurting the school system. I voted yes on G, but now I am glad it did not pass. Even with a parcel tax, it is clear that programs will be in jeopardy each year because of the raises the teachers must get. I again ask you to see what is happening in Cupertino: they passed a parcel tax in 2009 to save programs including CSR in elementary, then in 2010 programs were again threatened so the community had to raise over 2 million to save CSR. Now in 2011 and with the 2009 parcel tax still in place (amount is 125 dollars per parcel), they are going for a second parcel tax (also in the amount of 125 dollars), they say if the parcel tax does not pass, class size will go to 30 in elementary. You know why? Because of step and column, because raises are taking priority over student programs. And yes, even the bad teachers get the raises.



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Posted by there it is
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

You're showing your true color Afresh, and it is one of deceit. You asked for evidence; I provided it -- SAT plus ACT scores, as either alone is insufficient. Then you deceitfully skewed your conclusion by ignoring the ACT scores. You're a real dish, I'll tell ya. And you want to lead a charge to censor others for incivility? Some things are more important than your half-baked notion of civility: truth is one of them. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Go slither back under the rock from which you came.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

To 'there it is' - You provided only a subset of the state data from some unknown source. If you are going to make a claim, you should provide the source for the data. If you also want to stake a claim on 'truth', then provide the sources. Until then, it is you that is hiding under a rock.


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Posted by Merit & pride
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

To...YET Another Teacher, why would you throw in Prop 13 ?? I was a Pleasanton homeowner in 1978 when it passed. 1978 was ALSO the same year Gov Jerry 'moonbeam' Brown signed into CA law, unionized collective bargaining ! ! ! And teachers quickly adopted the union mob mentality...becoming radicalized, carrying 'attitude' into the classrooms. Up to that time Ca had a relatively small government where ALL CA gov. employees took civil service tests. Separate from teachers, all CA gov workers were civil servants, receiving slightly less pay than private, in exchange for considerable benefits and job security.
So Y E T, 1978 was the magical year where CA got both unionized public employees and prop 13....very propitious timing. I can't imagine starting unionizing without prop 13. Y E T, rather than your empty charge of "prior to prop 13" Educ in CA was perfect, I would say, prior to PUBLIC UNIONS starting in 1978 we had better classrooms ! ! ! 1978 ! !


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Posted by Merit & pride
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

To... Me Too. How tragic that you MOCK merit. You ridicule the small 'incentive'. Could it be you alreay make so much, the tokens for the merit system is not worth your bother. HOW do YOU motivate your students. I pity them. Sad, that you don't believe in the value of merit and personal PRIDE for a job well done ...doing what is right ! Instead you prefer being part of a political mob ridiculing merit, defending poorest performers and promoting entitlement. Teachers with competence and pride in self belive in their own abilities to withstand the merit system. Sad for your students that doesn't fit your profile. You apparently, prefer leaving the worst teachers in our classrooms. Both the students and the 'profession' lose.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm

An interesting discussion about prop 13. It seems like schools were already in decline in California prior to prop 13 and it had to do with limits on spending because of rich vs. poor school districts:

"The last time California was at the top of the heap was 1965, when it ranked 5th. In 1978 – the year Prop 13 passed –California was 14th out of 50. The next year, the state fell to 22nd place. In 1988, California fell below the national average for the first time and never recovered. The state now ranks 43rd."

"FARYON: Well, we can't blame everything on Prop 13. As you can see from the graph, the decline actually began prior to 1978. And there are a couple of things that happened… pretty complicated, I'll try to simplify. In the late 60s there was a court case that basically challenged the gap between rich schools and poor schools, and forced the state to address that issue to somehow even it all out. What happened a couple years later in an effort to address that, revenue limits were placed on schools. So basically the government said you can only spend this much, not more, on schools. Then Prop 13, it was almost like the final nail – not to use a cliché – in the coffin for school budgets. And that dramatically reduced the pool of money that was available to schools. So you add all of those things together and now – and as you saw on the graph – that very sharp decline recently, well we have the recession to blame for that. If we rely on the state for our money and the state relies on income taxes and sales tax, and we have high unemployment and we have this recession going on, they have less money. So in turn they give the schools less money."

Web Link

scroll down to page 3:

Web Link

Look up Serrano v Priest, it limits spending in "high wealth" school districts. (see p. 5 of above pdf link document)


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The interesting fact often not addressed by those quick to blame Prop. 13 is that the revenue limit system was enacted by the Legislature years earlier in response to Serrano v. Priest.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Another interesting tidbit... Which California school district challenged Prop. 13 in court? :)


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Posted by there it is
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Stacy/Start Afresh would have you believe she's incapable of locating the data I provided above. Again, she's being deceitful. I found the data on the internet in less than 2 minutes. She's claiming ignorance. She is ignorant, but she could find the data in less than 2 minutes like I did were she to try. And she probably did, because all she does in any event is park herself on these sites all day long and present deceitfully lies and misinformation.

She also skirts the truth of how she intentionally skewed the data presented to her in order to avoid the facts themselves. This clearly indicates that she is not to be trusted with any information she presents as facts.

Fact is, she would have Pleasanton seek to emulate Clovis, CA, in terms of cutting teacher salaries. That's right, Clovis. Which goes to show you how much she really cares about Pleasanton. And then she would have California seek to emulate Idaho and South Carolina. Allow me one simple deduction: She does not have kids in the California educational system; for it she did, she couldn't in good conscience make these kinds of claims. But perhaps I've hit on a truth here: her one-trick-pony ideology eclipses all moral reasoning and cognitive flexibility. Or, permit me to put it another way: she and steve are two peas from the same pod. The quality of their thought seems to be identical. I'm beginning to think they are the same person posing as two separate entities.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

there it is,

I would not respond to you about Start Afresh's post because it isn't my discussion; I'm not Start Afresh. I've been offline most of today. I know that doesn't jive with your assumptions about other posters. That's your problem, not mine.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Fact is, she would have Pleasanton seek to emulate Clovis, CA, in terms of cutting teacher salaries"

BTW, I've advocated here before for paying teachers better. My issue is and has always been with giving automatic raises during years when the economy tanks. Teachers need to be treated as the professionals they are and the S&C salary schedule does not achieve that. The S&C salary schedule freezes our most senior teachers on a top step. It doesn't have to be that way. Here's one of my previous posts on the subject: Web Link


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

A big problem is that school districts, not just PUSD, would rather give raises than keep/restore programs. Read about Walnut Creek, it just gave raises from reserves but those reserves are there thanks to cuts to student programs and funds from parcel taxes.

"The raises are possible because the Walnut Creek district stockpiled its reserves"

"Walnut Creek has cut $3 million from its once $26 million budget over the past three years. The district stuck with those cuts and didn't restore anything from year to year."

""We will use some reserves to cover anything else for next year but after that we would have to cut very significantly. It's a calculated risk to use the reserves," she said."

Web Link

So give raises now instead of using the funds for programs cut. btw, just two years ago, Walnut Creek went for a parcel tax, measure H:

"PARCEL TAX MEASURE H
WALNUT CREEK SCHOOL DISTRICT
To provide the district with the stable, local funds needed to support high quality education programs, smaller class sizes, classroom technology, libraries and to attract and retain quality teachers, shall the Walnut Creek School District renew its existing special tax of $82 per year beginning July 1, 2010 offering a complete exemption for citizens 65 years and older?"

So they don't have money for programs but they do for raises! They already are planning to make significant cuts to programs, that after just announcing the raises! And of course, Walnut Creek is relying on the June initiatives to pass.

See why it is not a good idea to support parcel taxes? School districts have bad financial practices, and they always cut student programs while giving raises.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

... oh, yeah, and the most important reason to vote No is because it'll save me 35 cents per day. I'm an ornery cheapskate that dislikes others (students) benefitting at my expense, and I admit it.


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Posted by KC
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

Here we go again Pleasanton!
Why criticize the teachers?? What did they do wrong?!! Seems to me that anyone who thinks teachers are criminals is completely unaware of how hard teachers work. I work with a teacher. I am an aide in the class. He is the best thing that has ever happened to the teens he teaches. They respect him and he loves what he is doing. He has a tremendous amount of respect from the kids as well as from his fellow teachers and from me.
What's wrong with some of the people on here? The teachers are not the ones ripping you off! Get your facts straight. They are just trying to survive all this budget crap while teaching YOUR kids!


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Posted by reality speaks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

@kc,

but the teachers make more money than i do. no teacher should make more than i do. i work hard in the private sector. teachers don't work hard at all, because they're in the public sector. they're just glorified babysitters. and criminals, because they make more money than i do. we're in a fiscal crisis. the world is ending. have you seen video footage from japan? it's because of U.S. monetization policy. wake up! smell the brewing tea!


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Posted by Three thru PUSD
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 14, 2011 at 11:59 am

Let's be fair - over my 11 years here I've observed some great, hard working, caring and effective PUSD teachers from elementary up through HS. Unfortunately I've also seen firsthand some jaw dropping lousy teachers here in our town mostly because they don't care and hide comfortably behind a union. It is sad that many teachers have their eyes only upon a pending pension and not their students. Yes Virginia, there are indeed some teachers within the PUSD that ran out of gas and are shamefully just going through the motions. It's not a high percentage of our teachers, but that is indeed a fact.

At first glance these opposites can all blend in very well together. I notice many comments here from 'teachers' who seem to suggest keeping our status quo no matter what. I can almost guess on whom some of you commenting in here are.

Maybe the Idaho idea is not a fit for our PUSD, maybe some aspects of it are. But any teacher who refuses to investigate ANY union changes and allow bad teachers to continue teaching is not a friend of my household. The stronger, more caring teachers should absolutely get more of the pie. Duh.


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Posted by Allen
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Mar 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Get rid of the Teachers Union and most of your problems will solve themselves. It is time to stop it with the taxes already!!


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Posted by KC
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

@ reality speaks....
You're kidding me right? no teacher should make more than you do???
Get another job then!


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Posted by KC
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

@ reality speaks....
You're kidding me right? no teacher should make more than you do???
Get another job then!


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Posted by reality speaks
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Hey, I'm in sales and public relations. I'm responsible for buying gizmos for $1 and then I sell them for $2. What can be more important than that? Teaching? Give me a break! These pampered prima donnas make way too much money.

Allen is right. South Caroline has the right idea. Bust the teacher's union so that we can join the race to the bottom. Then we can have further justification for cutting teacher salaries. It would be a brilliant cost saving measure. It's like making California a right to work state. Remove minimum wage. Most minimum wage earners make way too much. If we paid walmart workers $2 an hour instead of minimum wage, then walmart and other companies could afford to hire more workers. By the same reasoning, bust the teachers union. Pay them a third of what they're getting today. We all save money that's otherwise wasted on a nonessential occupation.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I have a friend who taught in the Engineering Dept. at San Jose State. He is also a consultant in Silicon Valley. He was temporarily laid off because of budget crisis and lack of tenure. I Googled him and read his student approval scores . . . 5 stars . . . read some of the comments . . . doesn't mind answering questions . . . twice . . . you can tell he loves what he teaches . . . keeps the interest up with real world examples . . . and so forth. Someone please tell me what is right with tenure w/o any link to merit. I do agree however, that parents need to be more involved in their child's education.


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Posted by a doze of reality
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Chris,
Yes, your friend might not have been laid off had his parents been more involved. With better parenting he might have gotten a tenure track job at a good university instead of being a part-timer at a mediocre one. Or, if his parents had given him any sense of discipline and get up and go, he might have tried to get a job at one of those pay-for-a-degree universities where they don't have tenure because none of the professors they've hired could earn tenure if their lives depended on it. But at any rate, Chris, so I've got a friend who tells me you were educated in Idaho. Is that right?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Merit and Pride - Apparently your reading comprehension is quite lacking. I said implement a merit system that WORKS. I'm all for a merit system. Its just that ones such as the one employed in Chicago (which is also similar to the proposed Idaho program) shows NO sign of improving education. The reason to implement merit pay is assuming that it will raise the level of education. If it doesn't then the program implemented is worthless. Why should anyone make a change if there is no improvement. If I went to my boss and suggested that we change the way we do business, he would ask what are the benefits. If my answer was "none" do you really think the program would be implemented. The Florida program has shown some benefits; however, I'm not sure their model works well in Pleasanton, but I could be wrong.

Please actually try to read and understand what people are saying BEFORE you make ridiculous attacks.


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Posted by Proud Educator
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Gotta tell ya. I've been teaching for almost 30 years. I've implemented many changes that have improved the quality of my classes. Not a single one of those changes came from a need to satisfy some administrator holding the 'merit pay' carrot in front of my nose.

Most of the silly tea baggers on this thread know nothing about education. They appear themeselves to be commodity fetishists. THEY only seek to improve THEMselves when there's an economic carrot dangled in front of their nose. THEY act like commodities and so they assume all others act in the same manner. I pity them. Their bosses must find them tedious at best; for they evidently themselves will not move an extra inch unless there is merit pay held up to their noses as incentive.

Further, in the almost 30 years I've been teaching, I have never seen a colleague institute something creative in the classroom simply as a response to a merit pay incentive. Merit pay 'may' work in the private sector, but even there I doubt its overall effectiveness. Rather than carrot and stick approach, what organizational theorists have found is the best way to motivate a workforce is to give them something challenging to do and then get out of their way.

These posters who think they're on to something with this merit pay business for teachers don't know what they're talking about. Their ideology reflects a certain pathetic state of their own character. It goes like this: I won't do anything to stretch MYself unless there is merit pay dangled in front of my nose. Everyone else is like me. Therefore, merit pay should replace seniority within education. Well, I've gotta tell ya, everyone isn't like you. Teachers, especially, aren't like you. (And that's why they are in the classroom and you're not.) You may need motivation to sell your next widget. Teachers don't need motivation to educate the students in their classrooms.

These tea baggy Republicans, suffering from a real thinness of character, are unable to see past their own deficiencies. They want to turn everyone into commodities, because they themselves have been turned into commodities. Very sad. When they stick their ignorant noses into matters of public education, the very sad becomes the very bad.


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Posted by Merit & pride
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

ME TOO !. . You stoop to the union activist tactic of avoiding facts and instead just shift the focus. I comprehend just fine. You have offered NO specifics on merit 'that does not work'. just your statement doesn't make it so. You did not answer, so again, How do YOU motivate your students, and Don't you believe in the value of merit and personal pride for a job well done,...just doing what is right. This isn't dodge ball.


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Posted by Merit & pride
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Proud Educator, what a hypocrite ! How can you possible make your silly statement, "teachers don't need motivation to education students". Then why do you protest so loudly and kick your heels...you won't attend parents night unless you're paid to do it
(not exactly like teachers in the days of old, when we were on TOP). More pay, more fits, more threats, etc. but certainly NO merit or pride for you,,,strictly MONEY !! So don't think you're snowing us with " we don't need motivation tp educate students" Oh, really ?? Your silly statements makes it obvious you don't value merit or have little personal pride. (just follow the money tells the story).


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Posted by Proud Educator
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Mar 15, 2011 at 1:43 am

Like I said, 'thinness of character ... and unable to see past their own deficiencies.' Evidence? See Merit and Pride above, aka, Mr. Cognitive Deficit.

Some people need motivation. Some people don't. My hope is that the people who don't are able to gain some protection from those who do and who insist on foisting their deficiency upon others. And then there are some people (see above) for whom motivation matters not a whit. They are beyond help.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

All your talk of motivation does mean nothing if you wish to make a change that has no affect on motivation. You are implying that if you implement a merit plan that it will motivate teachers and education will improve. My point was that the evidence does not show any improvement for the type of plan Idaho is implementing.

Its simple...in any business you do not implement a change simply for the sake of change. There needs to be a reason for it and in the business world that is simply does it increase profit. In our schools that question should be does it improve our children's education? If the answer is no, then why implement the change?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:27 am

No facts?!?? Please type in Chicago merit pay into google and read the details on the results. Then go check some other systems like Florida which has shown some improvement. I don't understand why you think I'm this union person against merit pay. I'm all for it. In fact I think we should privatize education, but that's another story. I guess you just resort to name calling to try to make some sort of point, although i dont' know what that is.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:47 am

Proud Educator - keep up the good work! (But watch yourself - everyone on these post seems to think that since you are an experienced teacher, that you must do nothing all day and we should only hire teachers


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Posted by me too, too
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm

States 'me too': "All your talk of motivation does mean nothing if you wish to make a change that has no affect on motivation."

Restated: colorless ideas green furiously sleep

Kids, this is what a brain looks like when you've been poorly educated. Unable to make basic analytical distinctions, you become frustrated, hate-filled, and capable only of lashing out incoherently at others.


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Posted by me too, three
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Hey ME too,too, what about the facts?!?!? What about the facts!?!?!


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Me Too, Too - that's funny! Where is the hatred? Yes, I did change thoughts and did not do a final review on my language, so there is an extra word and a missing "s". It is funny that with your brilliance you were unable to understand the post though. So here it is again slightly rephrased.

If you want to motivate someone, you need to use a process or method that actually motivates them. (Not just a change that has been proven not to affect motivation)

If you can't understand that, here's an analogy. If a person uses the carpool lane on the bridge and receives a $6 fine each time, there is not much motivation to not use the carpool lane even though they are getting fined. If the fine is raised to $20 it may still be worth it to some people for the time saved (i.e. motivation for some people to stop breaking the law, but not others). If you raise the fine to $2000 you have greatly increased the motivation to follow the law.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

The New Teacher Project has a report (Web Link) on the practice of seniority-only layoff practices. Lists other states that are working on introducing performance measures into the layoff criteria.


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Posted by never ceases to amaze
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I'll not attempt to steer you clear on the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'. That's something your teachers should have done. Where were you educated? Idaho?

Your logic is worse than your garbled syntax and inability to use words with their proper meanings.

Believe it or not, pal, there are people on this earth who don't need to be motivated by negative sanctions. When I'm driving alone, I do not enter the carpool lane. Do you know why? Now, get ready, because this may really bowl you over: Because I've reasoned that carpool lanes are a good idea, for carpoolers as well as for all of us.

Authoritarian personalities like yourself require negative sanctions. I exercise my own reason. I do not speed excessively because I'll get fined, but rather because I have reasoned that it is dangerous to myself and others around me to do so.

Authoritarian personalities like yourself require a boss standing over you, punishing you whenever you step out of line. Authoritarian personalities like yourself are not self-motivated, but must have a boss holding out for you a carrot and stick. Authoritarian personalities like yourself -- as your logic so artlessly reveals -- need others to think on their behalf. Authoritarian personalities, seeking reward from a higher other -- substitutes for a powerful father figure who is always sitting on their shoulder -- are incapable of thinking for themselves. Unable to think on their own, they are unable to create anything. Authoritarian personalities like yourself are best likened to Pavlov's dog, or B.F. Skinner's programmed behavioral units. (No, I do not expect you to be familiar with either.)

Teachers are not like you, Steve, or whatever you're calling yourself today (your 'grammar' and 'logic' always gives you away). They don't need external motivation. Their motivation comes from within. They are motivated within by the felt need to offer themselves for the betterment of society. I know, you simply can't understand that, because you're not that way. That's too bad. Every creative teacher I know has introduced changes not from external motivation but rather for love of the job. People who love their jobs don't need carrot and stick. Again, I'm sorry you're incapable of understanding that. No doubt that's why you're not a teacher; no doubt that's why you did poorly in school; no doubt that's why you consistently embarrass yourself on these posts.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I wish we could keep the conversation civil.

Start Afresh,

I don't think Pleasanton has a problem with attracting and maintaining quality teachers. Have you spent any time with or gotten to know any of the teachers here. I think the quality range is good to excellent. I think we have many other more important things to concern ourselves with here.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

To 'never ceases to amaze' - Does this mean PUSD can eliminate the Masters stipend, the Doctorate stipend, and the National Board certification stipend? After all, if the "motivation comes from within by the felt need to offer themselves for the betterment of society", the the stipends are meaningless and can be used for another one or two teachers' salary.


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Never ceases to amaze me,

now now now take a load off little guy and it will get better you see even if you work in a pay for performance environment if you do your best and a good job you have nothing to worry about. Worry and unions are only for those who are not capable or do not try or both. If you are as good as you think you are then you will have nothing to worry about. Like it or not big pensions, big retirements, and unmerited increases will soon be a way of the past. Past retiree pensions will be next I guarantee it.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Mary - If Pleasanton does not have a problem with attracting and maintaining quality teachers, then why did they place a new parcel tax Measure E to 'Attract and retain highly-qualified teachers'? Are you saying that we don't need Measure E?


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Posted by another exposed
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

The New Teacher Project offers great suggestions for those like Steve/Stacy, Start Afresh, Resident and others who have authoritarian personalities and want to impose their personalities on others. They prefer the Ford Assembly Line Stop Watch model. Reward 'good' teachers; punish 'bad' teachers. What makes for a 'good' or 'bad' teacher? Let some authoritative administrator make the call. Let's make our schools run more like businesses. Let's make our teachers feel just like Ma Bell telephone operators do. Don't let them forget that a zealous politico-religious fanatic administrator is judging the quality of their work; don't let them forget that right-wing authoritarians out in the community are breathing down their necks at every turn. Will teachers want to create in this model? Heck no, all they'll be thinking to do is duck. Will teachers experiment with new techniques? Nope. Too busy ducking. On this model, too, the mediocre are the ones who survive. Creative teachers MIGHT survive, or MIGHT not. But they will learn that the best way to survive is to fit themselves into a mold of mediocrity such that they'll neither risk reward nor punishment. Now, why don't the right-wingers think of these things? Most aren't educators, that's why. And, truth be told, they're simply looking to impose their pathetic agenda on the rest of us. Thanks, but no thanks. The authoritarian personality model worked best in 1930s Germany and Italy. Thankfully, our teachers are a far cry better than that.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Start Afresh,

I'm saying that we haven't had that problem in the past, but if we start things like freezing salaries, then we will have that problem in the future. That is one reason why we need Measure E.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Mary - To answer your other question about quality teachers. There are many excellent teachers at PUSD. And there are teachers who should be replaced with better teachers. How can that be accomplished?
Trevor Knaggs believes that today's system works just fine, but these same ineffective teachers remain. And worse, PUSD administration and the teachers union agreed (Web Link) last year to make the teacher evaluation cycle 5 (five!) years, making the ability to address the ineffective teacher that much harder.
Both the district and the union are in bed together with no intention to remove poor performing teachers. That is a shame.


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Posted by steevacy
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Stop putting word in my mouth!!! I'm not for freazing teacher salaries. We need to cut salaries and keep cuting until they feel our pain. Stop knocking Idaho. It's better than the corrupt UC where they pay the Nobel Prize Committee in Germany to vote for their professors. Sara Palin went to school in Idaho. Let's tick with the arugment.


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Posted by Michael's another wonder
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Hey there, Michael. "Past retiree pensions will be next I guarantee it." If your guarantee is as good as your grammar I doubt teachers good or bad have much to worry about. Do we have another proud Idaho grad in our midst? Or does the poor grammar and lack of any coherent argument point instead to the Idaho drop-out stevarino? My bets are on the latter.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Start Afresh,

Thanks for that New Teacher Project link. That looks like a nice follow-up to this paper they published earlier about quality-blind layoffs: Web Link

TNTP surveyed over 9,000 teachers regarding quality-blind layoff rules. Over two-thirds majority of them thought factors other than seniority should be considered. And what did they favor over seniority?

"... on average, 60 percent of the teachers who want additional factors considered said classroom management should be part of layoff decisions—making it the most popular choice—compared to 42 percent who said district seniority should be a factor. "Instructional performance based upon evaluation rating" was also a popular factor among teachers, a finding that contradicts conventional wisdom. And many teachers in both districts believe layoff decisions should consider teacher attendance, a factor that research has shown has a significant impact on student performance."


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Here it is... the year-old thread on seniority-based layoffs: Web Link


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Posted by Michael
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Do the math stud and figure out where the pension money comes from. Look up the teachers pension deficit and the state workers pension deficit and you will see that judgement day is coming. If I am not correct please explain the errors of my ways there teach!

Remember "those who can, do, and those who cannot teach"


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Posted by exposing the posers
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Without going into painful details as to the shortcomings of the study (which either someone else or I shall have to do later, because Stacy is too gullible or intellectually lazy or morally deceitful to do so herself), let's just consider this as an option:

Do away with s and c. In it's place we'll have Steve, Stacy, and Start Afresh be responsible for keeping or letting go teachers. They can introduce their Idaho and South Caroline principles to guide them in their decisions. Count on them to 'do the math.' Upshot?

The good teachers who don't leave the system -- many will -- shall cringe and duck in order to escape attention. How will they do that? By avoiding anything dicey, such as creative introduction of new pedagogical techniques into their regimen. We'll see mediocrity raise it's ugly potato head in an Idaho second. Oh, they'll probably all show up for class, with flu viruses and headcolds and bronchitus, as attendance[!] is likely to be one of the Idaho clown club's criteria of assessment. What a joke. Let's keep this potato-headed bunch out of our kids' classrooms, unemployed and homebound where they belong.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Or we can pass a parcel tax and lay off bright young teachers (now there's an incentive for them to get out of the profession) to continue to pay for step and column since the district is locked into that labor cost structure over many many years, even when no funds are available to pay for it.


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Posted by Michael's past teacher
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Forgive me. As Michael's past teacher, I must confess that I failed him. (Notice Michael's fixation on 'stud'? I think he meant 'spud'.) The people in Idaho care more about potatoes than students, and so we teachers didn't have a lot of resources to work with. Slow students like Michael and Steve were left to fend for themselves. Now, poor Michael wants to punish those around him for his own ambundantly clear educational and intellectual failings. Ignorant as to how to use an apostrophe? Clueless as to where a comma fits in a sentence? Prone to use an ungrammatical cliche in place of a clearly articulated idea? No matter when the garbled thoughts in one's mind collide with one another like an upturned tractor trailor's load of potatoes spilled out over the highway.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Step and column is additive so what costs $1.5MM today will cost $3MM next year. By then we will have just blown through the parcel tax and will have to either pass another parcel tax for a higher amount or lay off more teachers in order to fund S&C. In the meantime, the district defers payment for other post-employment benefits AGAIN.


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Posted by exposing the posers
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

States Steve: "Or we can pass a parcel tax and lay off bright young teachers."

Better I guess to not pass a parcel tax and lay off even more bright young teachers. Call this Idaho logic. Fact is, put Steve/Start Afresh/Michael/Bean Counter in charge and there will be no bright teachers at all.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

During good economic times, it was the State that funded step and column through a COLA increase tacked onto the revenue limit formula. They cut that. I guess that's pretty smart on the State's part. Shove the cost of S&C onto the local districts since local districts negotiate their own cost structure. It isn't like the State has control over how much S&C costs individual districts. Now it's our turn, Pleasanton, to fund S&C with our parcel tax dollars. Get to it.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

We'll need a parcel tax of $1.5MM this year, $3MM next year, $4.5MM in year three, and $9MM in year four. Now we're up to $450 a year, or $1.20 a day. What, are you cheap or something?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Now here's a question to ask Luz, when is it expected that the State will resume the COLA increase that they have paid in the past so that S&C doesn't have to be paid for by a parcel tax?

With California facing annual deficits of $20B in the coming years, my guess would be, not anytime soon. So get busy because we need to pass more and more parcel taxes to pay for S&C so that we don't have to lay teachers off.


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Posted by exposing the posers
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Princess Bean Counter just tosses it out without thinking. A product of Idaho who has never been able to figure out that pensions and salary are basically the same thing -- payment for work achieved -- she has now entered the realm of actuarian science. "We'll need a parcel tax of $1.5 MM this year, $3MM next year...." How does she know this? In fact she doesn't. Nor does anyone else. How can she say it. Hey, she can say whatever she wants to say. She believes whatever she wants to believe, and does. She's not a teacher, she's not an actuarian, and she's not a scholar. An ignoramus when it comes to education, with no kids in the school system, and with no real interest in Pleasanton, she just keeps shovelling out the you know what. Kinna sad, when you think about it.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Roughly $20 Billion Annual Problem Forecast Through 2015–16. ... By 2015–16, the annual budget problem is $19.4 billion" Web Link

"The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) estimates that it needs billions of dollars more per year in contributions—not included in our forecast—to retire its unfunded liabilities within about 30 years and continue operations past the 2040s."

OK, so no COLA coming from the State for probably the next 10 years. And while CalSTRS is busy imploding and putting the retirement security of Pleasanton teachers at risk, PUSD is still not funding other retiree benefits that were promised to employees.

Let's pass another parcel tax to pay for that too, couch it in the language of saving programs and it is sure to pass.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"How does she know this?"

When Luz says that S&C costs an _additional_ $1.5MM each year, how do you NOT know this? Do you not understand what "additive" means?

All four years come out to $15MM that taxpayers would need to pay to fund 4 years of S&C (should be $6MM in year four, it's $9MM total over three years). So we really need a four year parcel tax that raises $3.75MM annually or $188 per parcel. It's only 50 cents a day, you cheapskate!


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Posted by concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Please tell me you're joking. Are we seriously not funding our retirement plan for teachers? Is this another one we're going to pass on to our kids?

Honestly folks, if this is true, we need to get to grips with this before anything else. It's like a credit card not being paid off regularly, your debts escalate - and that we really cannot afford.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

CalSTRS is the retirement plan for teachers. Teachers pay 8% of salary towards it and the district pays another 8%. So it is being funded, but it isn't enough because CalSTRS needs bigger contributions for normal costs annually. CalSTRS is expected to become insolvent somewhere past 2040 (Web Link). It means many teachers in PUSD today may have no retirement security.

Employees also are promised retiree health care, also known as "other post-employment benefits". That is not being funded. You can ask the district about that one.


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Posted by concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

That's odd, because I've read that working teachers are not getting health care paid for now. So this means that they don't get health care benefits paid for when they work, but do when they retire? And we're not funding it? I'm thinking I have more and more to learn!


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Posted by exposing the posers
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Predictions of the sort made by lao are about as reliable as predicting where the stock market will be in 2-4 years. There are those who make such predictions, but they must hold certain variables constant. There's the rub. In real life, variables do not remain constant. What if California pols raise taxes within the next couple of years? What if the economy takes off? What if Pleasanton thrives at a rate superior to that of the city of Clovis? The alarmist predictions, so zealously embraced by bean counter, don't take such possibilities into account.
The NO people want us to entertain an apocalyptic scenario ... which for Pleasanton citizens might mean additional parcel taxes down the road. The YES people look at the rebounding economy and realize that the 35 cent investment is worth it for the kids. This is a no brainer. By the way, I for one would have no problem were another parcel tax necessary somewhere down the road. We live in an increasingly complex and diverse society with increased needs. If our Prop 13 limit on taxes does not prove adequate, then the price of having a top-quality school system may be a parcel tax. Small price to pay for our children. This is not a teacher problem; it is a tax revenue problem.


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Posted by hmmmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

That's interesting what you have to say, 'exposing the posers'. But why don't we want an educational system like Idaho's? Doesn't Sarah Palin come from there? And Picabo Street? And, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't one of Walt Disney's wives from Idaho? I mean, with such famous people going through the state's educational system, what's not to like? And say what you like, I've always enjoyed their potatoes. Can you answer some of my questions?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Since you know more than the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office, when do you think that the State will resume paying COLA to districts? If the economy is rebounding, then we don't need a parcel tax because the State will be resuming payments.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

If the variables are so unpredictable then why is the parcel tax for 4 years? Why not shorter?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Are you saying that 35 cents a day is not worth it for the teachers? We should not be laying teachers off like this, but the district locked itself into a labor cost structure that it can't pay for without COLA from the State.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Measure E won't even ensure that four years of S&C is paid for. We need a $188 parcel tax to pay for S&C. The district's consultant found that there is not enough support amongst Pleasanton voters for such an amount. I propose that $188 is the default donation amount so we can keep all of our teaching staff.


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Posted by exposing the posers
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm

hmmmmm, you raise some very thoughtful questions. I agree with you that Idaho has quite a track record of producing quality minds. You neglected to mention that Harmon Killebrew came out of the Idaho school system. So, you can see, Idaho is on the cutting edge. Who amongst us living in Pleasanton wouldn't want our daughter to be married to Walt Disney, or to become an oil drilling specialist like Sarah Palin? All our kids becoming physicists and doctors and teachers? Those are all elitist positions. I mean, read the thread on which our kids wrote on the value of We the People programs. Did you not recognize the inherent elitism in such well-written defenses of the program? So, I'd exchange Pleasanton's school system with Idaho's any day of the week. I guess that's why a handful of P-towners are against the parcel tax. Wouldn't have to pay that in Idaho!


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Posted by wow!
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm

"I propose that $188 is the default donation amount so we can keep all of our teaching staff."

You go, girl! Knock yourself out!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

exposing the posers,

The whole point of discussing reform that attempts to align the educational system with the organizational goals that maximize benefit to students is to try to save programs and teaching jobs. No one likes to see teachers let go because of budget cuts. Since the status quo means COLA payments for S&C cost growth from the State is no longer coming, we need a parcel tax to fund that growth. Measure E doesn't even accomplish that. Or we need to start thinking outside the box, implementing policy that gets us through this short-term crisis and ensures long-term sustainability.

BTW, I support We the People. It is a good investment of resources.


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Posted by Start Afresh
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

And now Florida will implement merit pay for teachers and phase out teacher tenure. The goal is to "recruit and retain the best people to make sure every classroom in Florida has a highly effective teacher".
Web Link


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Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I actually took a look at all that...and I passed on applying for Idaho teaching positions. I don't see how your plan makes teaching in Idaho appealing. That 31k starting salary was pretty funny too.


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