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Original post made
on May 8, 2014
Now why can't Pleasanton pass a parcel tax?
Because the residents of Pleasanton think the administration and most of the board are corrupt or incompetent fools who spend most of their time spending taxpayer money on equally incompetent lawyers, lawsuits, removing competent administrators, keeping incompetent teachers employed, and leasing its facilities to criminal organizations such as fake medical, law, and nursing schools that are fronts for visa fraud and endanger national security. Not sure in the history of the U.S. where the State Dept, Interpol, and the Department of Homeland Security has had to run a multi-year sting operation on a fake university running several feet from the superintendent's office on school district property.
Also, the school district is run by the teachers and classified staff union, not the actual elected board of trustees.
Not sure which is worse. Toss a coin.
However, the good thing is that the actual students are smarter than the school officials.
only the foolish vote to increase their own taxes.
Dublin residents are able to see the parcel tax for what it really is, an investment. As their school's APIs rise, so will their property values. Truly a win-win situation for Dublin homeowners and kids alike.
Now if we could only break the vehement anti-parcel tax sentiment here in Pleasanton. My theory is that Pleasanton has relatively more older homeowners whose kids have already gone through the school system. They don't see a direct benefit from a parcel tax. This is short-sighted, because a rising tide lifts all ships (and property values).
The main reason for a lack of a parcel tax passing in Pleasanton is a lack of trust that the administration will spend it well. Also having the administration being dishonest during the parcel tax campaigns and trying to shut down anybody who had concerns. You can still acknowledge that some people will vote against an issue for specific reasons instead of trying to pretend that no issues exist. We have such a defensive administration. Once we get rid of the majority of board members who rubber stamp the administration, and some members of the administration, I think a parcel tax could pass.
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Big supporter of the schools but no brainer has nailed it. The prevailing opinion is one of gross incompetence. Throw housing prices being driven by schools and location and it should be concerning to every homeowner in Pleasanton.
Thanks for the compliment Joe.
It could have been a longer description though: 1) Forgot to mention that PUSD hires a superintendent from a school district (Fremont) where a 3rd grade teacher SLAPS a 9 year old child not once, but twice for getting a math problem wrong on a practice STAR test (wrong place for a decimal point, oh the horror) then the Fremont puts the teacher back in the classroom a few days later. 2) Steals taxpayers money through cash-out refinancing then blames lawyer (David Casnocha) 3) Signs Neal school agreement that violates state law because it does not put the construction of the school out to public bid as it should through state law then blames lawyer (Howard Friedman or something like that) 4) Fails to prevail in Neal lawsuit that lasts nearly a decade then blames lawyer (Louie Leone) and vows to never hire Leone again 5) Rehires Leone whose claim to fame is that in school molestation cases, Leone blames the victim in legal briefs
List could go on....
Investment in quality would be great if that's what the PUSD were doing.
Our API scores are some of the highest in the state. Many people moved here for the schools.
"No Brainer", "Ptown POed", and "Joe", Measure G failed before the superintendent you're talking about came to Pleasanton. She was still in Fremont at the time.
The parcel taxes failed mainly because we didn't allow enough growth that would have brought enough families with children into the area - like Dublin and San Ramon. New senior centers aren't helping. We have enough of those.
Pleasanton hasn't passed a parcel tax because the city has too many greedy schmucks who don't give two hoots about our children's education. They hang out here and provide pathetic ratonalizations for their own selfishness, greed, and ultimately their ignorance.
Congrats to Dublin whose citizens have managed to figure things out. Improved education improves the quality of life for us all.
I agree Herb. The old-timer, tea-party types will do damage to our public schools. These are the same people that hang on every word of Glenn Beck. Their anti-parcel tax stance is pure selfishness mixed with an element of sadism. Their flimsy rationalization is the stuff of legend. Amador Valley is ranked in the top 300 high schools in the country (US News), a number of schools were just named distinguished schools, and API scores are high yet these right-wingers accuse PUSD of "gross incompetence". You have to love when the critics routinely blame the superintendent for the things that happened before her arrival to PUSD. So many outright lies. They make Pleasanton a laughingstock.
That is laughable.
PUSD has not managed to build a new school in Pleasanton in almost 20 years in spite of subdivision after subdivision being built because the unions have disagreed with building new schools, claiming new schools will take away from the union members' salaries, PUSD mismanagement of developer school impact fees so that developer school impact fees are spent on pseudo-operating expenses rather than new schools, and lawsuit after lawsuit over Neal school.
Not enough school age families? What a crock.
John, the concerns about the administration go back prior to Parvin. Casey was the in charge during the
Neal legal fiasco and rewarded his 4 cronies sweetheart employment contract just prior to his departure. These 4 are still demonstrating their competence with the whole WG fiasco, leveraging further salary increases out of the board all while spending (wasting) hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and retainers that should be going into the classroom. The Casey legacy lives on...much to our schools detriment.
To "no brainer",
They have unions in Dublin too. But they also have a lot of families with school age children moving into the newly built houses. Pleasanton hasn't got that, and that's the problem. Do the math. Pleasanton is skewing old. The people who opposed the new housing developments are the problem.
"further salary increases..." Dublin increased salaries too. Yet they also overwhelmingly passed a parcel tax. I don't see the problem.
Do you guys actually think that not voting for a parcel tax is actually somehow improving our schools? What are you hoping to accomplish? Do you really think San Ramon and Dublin are really doing that much better a job running their school districts than Pleasanton and that's why their parcel taxes passed? Do you not think cronyism and waste exists in their school districts, as it does in any large organization?
Support a new parcel tax in Pleasanton and support growth (but no more senior housing, we have plenty).
A few things;
We have great schools DESPITE the governance team (defined as superintendent A or B and three members of the board) at the district office. That means supportive parents and community members, great teachers, a classified staff that works hard even though they are always the ones taking the cuts to jobs and loss of hours, and very good people at the district office and site administrators are trying to work on behalf of kids in spite of their bosses.
SENIORS are not the problem with parcel taxes not passing--they vote in droves and get the exemption from the tax.
TRUST is the issue. Read the history of the finances of this district. Parents and others are putting their money directly into the schools, their kids classrooms, and their parent/teacher organizations and booster clubs -- anywhere but the DO coffers.
And the district could circumvent even the lack of trust by trying for a parcel tax that has specific language (K-3 classes will be 20:1; all classroom teachers will receive a X% off the salary schedule bonus) not some amorphous "for class size reduction" or "to attract and retain the best teachers."
The schools are distinguished* because of the demographics of our community and the dedication of all members of a school site's staff. *These awards have to be applied for, take way too much time, and ignore the fact that many very distinguished schools do not apply for the distinctions because they are too busy making students their priority.
"TRUST is the issue. Read the history of the finances of this district. "
Only to a tiny minority -- Brozosky, Anne Fox, and some of the anti-growth people. They imagine the average Pleasanton parent's views align with theirs, but they are wrong.
"SENIORS are not the problem ..."
Wrong. Look at the numerous studies regarding this. You are just dead wrong. Use actual numbers, not just hearsay, or what you imagine. Look at the studies. The 55 to 65 are a big part of that too.
"And the district could circumvent even the lack of trust ..."
Dublin and San Ramon had none of that in their parcel tax proposals.
Opposition to Pleasanton Parcel taxes is only hurting our schools. Opposition to growth is also hurting our schools and our town.
Let me start with where we agree, not being able to supplement good teaching is preventing us from supporting enrichment for our students.
I don't think anti-growth means anti-school support. Certainly growth crowds our schools (see comments on the Neal fiasco).
Seniors, the yes vote in 2011 was 65ish percent Web Link You don't think seniors pushed it that high?
Dublin and San Ramon, to my knowledge, don't have the financial disasters of PUSD and have been true enough to their word that they've gotten the reups. I imagine seniors were important in those votes as well.
I agree with Kathleen Ruegsegger. To my knowledge, Dublin and San Ramon have not had nearly a 92% turnover on school site principals like Pleasanton has. For example, in Pleasanton, there have been 5 principals at Donlon in 5 years.
Dublin and San Ramon also to my knowledge, have not had to hire a full time superintendent coach to tell the superintendent day to day what to do. I had understood that the taxpayers in Pleasanton foot the bill for millions of dollars in consultants a year, including a superintendent coach from Pivot Learning called Peggy Green. Web Link
Dublin and San Ramon also to my knowledge have been able to work with developers or sue land developers to get schools built. San Ramon's Dougherty Valley schools came about through a several developer and environmental lawsuits.
I believe the answer to why we haven't passed the parcel tax is a little simpler.
No one likes taxes, and we all are reluctant to pay anything more than we have to, no matter how good the cause. There are some people who are unwilling to pay anything they don't have to, and tea-partiers come to mind. Also, Mitt Romney's memorable quote comes to mind, "I pay my taxes, not a penny less, not a penny more." (I paraphrase.)
I feel like we have more of these types of people in Pleasanton than in other neighboring cities. This is not a criticism (or even possibly a fact), it simply is an observation. The second parcel tax came closer than the first to passing, so I believe the education piece was strong in-between elections, but obviously not strong enough.
Bottom line, in my humble opinion, we have a more uphill battle to fight here in Pleasanton than what occurs in Dublin, San Ramon, and elsewhere.
I agree with you John, the "trust' issue is not what is spoken about in the very large group of parents and volunteers that are currently working daily to keep our schools afloat. The only ones with a trust problem are a small minority posting erroneous, disingenuous information consistently here. It reminds me of politics today- same story- good news is bad news.
After years of listening to people like Kathleen, Fox, Brozosky post their agendas to highlight only the negative and strive to build a lack of confidence in PUSD, so many of us now call their bluff. Same story from them, yet what's actually happening in our schools is really not reflecting their claims.
Failures happen all the time in real life. It's how companies grow and thrive. It became clear when there was never a balance of passion in the posts from this minority about the amazing things that are happening in all of our schools. I've watched as comment such as... "a parcel tax would be possible if language was specific..." Yet then the campaign began again when the "specific language" i.e. class sized reduction, was the wrong language according to their personal opinion- not enough bang for the buck!"
It has become VERY clear- the language will never be right enough, the leaders will never be good enough. They can say they support the schools, yet have noticed that you never have heard it from them? Do you see hundreds of posts on the articles about the distinguished schools, the Civics team, the teacher of the year, Annie Wu? Of course not, that might highlight the successes. I find it amazing that PUSD can have the TWO of their HS nationally ranked higher than any others in the TriValley - yet our district cant be trusted? The way this community reacts to this kind of news is so telling. I wish this community put the same fervor and energy into the positive stories and events posted here- imagine what that kind of effect that would have for our children's schools.
This thinly veiled attack on our schools is shameful and whether they chose to see what their outcomes have accomplished or not- it has ironically only worked to build a terrible reputation about the way our community values education.
GtF, It isn't that simple. A lot of information--factual--about how the district governance team(s) handled the finances of the district was important enough for people to take an active stance against the parcel tax attempts.
Two bonds passed in this community, PPiE raises a fair amount of money (although I think they are hampered by a variety of things), and all the funds that pour into the schools as I already mentioned.
This is not a community saying "not a penny more," it's a community saying, at least in part, either throw the bums out AND/OR tie their hands so the money goes to its intended use.
For example, how about a parcel tax for a fully open and enriched summer school session? It certainly would help test scores through higher retention, help students who are falling behind or in need of improving a grade, who would otherwise be latchkey kids or just bored, who could benefit from more science, math, music, arts . . . So many opportunities, so little will of that leadership to do it.
"Reduce class size" isn't specific. Keep class sizes at X:1 is specific.
All the people you blame as naysayers, have or had kids in these schools, likely voted for the bonds or even worked on those campaigns, unified the school district, did much to benefit your students without immediate benefit to their own. Some DO INDEED still find ways to support schools directly, but choose not to enrich a governance team that has failed us.
So easy to blame a few rather than see the truth of what is said. So easy to call out a couple of names and not demand more of the district leadership. By the way, this district does not have a terrible reputation, nor should it. Web Link
Anyone who has seen the Open Comment period for the last seven months has seen large numbers of parent and community members one after another indicating that the PUSD cannot be trusted, that the staff retaliates against parents and children and community members as well as district staff.
The behavior of the District has come to an all time low.
If you happened to catch the meeting on April 22nd, two members of the public said that district staff said the parents had a low IQ and were crazy in an audiotaped meeting.
Once there is a leadership change, it will take decades for PUSD to recover.
"I don't think anti-growth means anti-school support."
That's not the intention, but it is the result.
To "get the facts",
I think you're probably right about more of an anti-any-tax base existing in Pleasanton more than in Dublin, San Ramon, or Danville. But building more housing will dilute that also. Likely enough to turn 65% to 68%-70%.
John -"further salary increase" = Luz C who played Pleasanton off against San Ramon to get a nice raise and consolidate her position when, given the lack of communication and, most importantly, serious lapses in judgement relating to the use of district offices for the illegal degree factory, she should have fired.
And as an FYI - my spouse works in the district, we donated both time and money on the initiatives. I'm all for a Parcel Tax but I have serious reservations about the competency, decision making, and ethics of the current administration.
@ "All the people you blame as naysayers, have or had kids in these schools, likely voted for the bonds or even worked on those campaigns, unified the school district, did much to benefit your students without immediate benefit to their own. Some DO INDEED still find ways to support schools directly, but choose not to enrich a governance team that has failed us."
Wow, this girl really knows how to sling the &*/x***. How can she say that with a straight face? Because, unbeknownst to all of us, she took a very, very private poll, in her head, and such were her results!
Someone else might more accurately say: "All the people you blame as naysayers are probably just that. They don't have kids (probably a good thing), they don't care about other people's kids, and they'll vote against any and every tax increase they face, because down and deep they are just chintzy individuals who care more about their pocketbooks than the quality of education in our community. They are happy to appeal to any and all rationales beyond the issue of selfishness. Language -- now that's a good one -- and just about any other (false) standard that can easily amount to moving the goal posts to further rationalize one's churlish refusal to support the community through a parcel tax.
Three people were named above my post, hence "all the people you blame"--two who were board members, one of those who was also a council member, who have had children in the schools. Hardly people who do not care. It hasn't mattered what I've had to say about my support of the schools. It's easier to lie about an easily knowable truth than to accept that I can support and criticize the same institution. But follow blindly what you are told by people with their hands in your pockets. It is certainly your choice despite the facts.
Ganging up and removing a principal because he fails to acquiesce to two teacher's demands to place their children in the classrooms they handpick for their own children, reads from District-adopted materials broadcast loudspeaker announcements about African Americans (the same materials Charles Young read), moves a shade structure without supposedly getting these two teacher's okay, and asks the management of the school district for self-closing gates to increase safety on campus (which also prevents teachers and their friends coming and going as they please without coming back from the office) will be ultimately heard through the court system.
Any Pleasanton parcel tax will be spent on the millions of dollars in legal fees to win an impossible to win legal case. Meanwhile, Steve Maher is again sending out emails regarding placement of children in classrooms at Walnut Grove.
Example: "In recent days, I have received many inquires regarding the process for student placements for next year. In hopes of alleviating many of your concerns, I would like to explain this process. Ultimately, our main goal is to establish balanced classrooms where all students can achieve and be successful." (quote from Steve Maher email)
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I'm sure that will go down well with the judge and jury.
And the public will not stand for a parcel tax bailout for a situation, like Neal, that the District has again brought on itself.
The Walnut Grove/Vranesh situation was certainly unfortunate, and does not reflect well on the district, even if one thinks the district made the right choices. But the Walnut Grove community consists of less that 5% of Pleasanton voters. Even if all WG parents voted against a parcel tax, there would be plenty of votes to pass one. (But, still a very uphill battle to pass one, as the past has shown. I am simply saying the WG mess will make little difference on the outcome.)
"... it's a community saying..."
It isn't a community. It is a small minority. Building the new homes and luxury apartments already proposed will likely be enough to push that small minority into irrelevance. Unfortunately, the schools will suffer until then. I wish there were another way, but there doesn't seem to be.
"Any Pleasanton parcel tax will be spent on the millions of dollars in legal fees to win an impossible to win legal case."
Likely some of it will be spent for that, unfortunately, but not all of it. That is all the more reason to pass it.
No one will vote for a parcel tax where the proceeds will end up in the hands of the PUSD legal team misfits and other lawyers that will be called up and begged to represent the District when it loses the case(s) and ends up suing their existing lawyers (again) for malpractice.
Regarding the union led ousters of principals, Thomas Hart Middle School(several elementary schools feed into that middle school), parents from Donlon with 5 principals in 5 years, and upset parents with Foothill High class sizes, PTA donors unhappy with PPIE money grabs, east side residents angry that Neal School was never built, Busch property residents angry that the small high school they were promised nearby by Ponderosa and PUSD was never built, South Pleasanton residents angry that the third high school promised to them was never built and the land was instead sold off to real estate developers, I'd say that 5% ends up being more like 75% of the community at odds with the PUSD.
Funny that at the Farmer's Market this morning, not one of them up for re-election in the fall showed up. They must be in hiding and afraid to show their faces (Laursen, Grant).
"Regarding the union led ousters of principals. . ." The only principal ousted was Vranesh, and it was not union led.
Actually it was. Read the previously posted materials that PUSD put on its website - specifically the interview with [removed because it is was based on speculation], who initiated it by going to Walnut Grove in October. She is the one who speaks of a 'climate survey' in the poorly redacted records posted by PUSD. Her name [removed]is easily visible through the poorly marked out names. Several days later, Vranesh was put on leave.
[Removed] visited Walnut Grove after the issue with the custodian (night) at Walnut Grove, subject of a OAH hearing (see OAH calendar), who is the daughter of the president of the Classified union.
The union is also attempting to oust Terry Conde, principal of Hart Middle School.
They have an enemies list.
I do not see how a parcel tax can pass in this city until there are major changes at the top. Just like you would not invest in a company that has a management team I cannot believe in, people in this community would not invest more in a school district that has a management team they cannot believe in.
When this superintendent was hired I spoke with her about the parcel tax. I was against the first attempt and was very vocal about it and said that there were people who were on the team against the parcel tax that would be willing to talk with her about some of the issues on why we did not support the tax and some ideas on how to make a parcel tax work in this community. The superintendent never even talked with this group of people who offered to talk with her before she put another parcel tax on the ballot that was essentially the same as the first attempt. My guess is a few minor changes in policy and how the parcel tax would be spent would have been better for the district and also gained support in the subsequent parcel tax. Looking back o it now, it seems the superintendent listens to the union but not the community. We need to take the district back and only then can we improve it.
If you found yourself in San Ramon or Dublin, would you support their parcel taxes without any changes?
A governance team must provide oversight to the District's management team. Usually board of director members of private sector corporations are seasoned professionals.
john looks to be a board member or a PTA member fixated on a parcel tax.
In Pleasanton, PTA members that think they are on a board simply to raise money for the school district as if it is all a giant bake sale rather than actually provide management oversight to the superintendent and the management have to go before they do even more damage to its credibility.
To John, I don't know enough about Dublin's parcel tax and how they run the district but I would probably have supported San Ramon as I know a bit more about them. In fact it was some of the policies of San Ramon that I would recommend to Pleasanton. San Ramon also receives significantly less funding from the state than Pleasanton does; giving San Ramon an unfair disadvantage. For San Ramon, the amount they get for the parcel tax plus what they receive from the state equals what Pleasanton gets from the state. Besides the actual funding dollars, the management team of San Ramon has made some good financial decisions over the year by not passing along every cent of increase to the employees that year but rather holding on to some of the increases so when there are bad year, San Ramon has money to keep the teachers. With Pleasanton, in good years they give all the state increases to the employees which means when the funding goes down they are left with no alternatives than to let people go.
Let me paraphrase what some folks like to say on this board; "why don't you leave? we'll be happier when you're gone."
In other words, move to Dublin or one of the other towns that has passed parcel taxes for their schools...or better yet, why don't you pony up some extra donations to the school district. Nothing is stopping you from paying more in taxes than the required minimum. I've contributed in excess of $10k directly to school programs over the past six years plus hundreds of hours of my time to help support those programs. I'm sure some of you have done the same but I presume most just like to volunteer others to pay the cost of government services.
To "Same old",
Why is it necessary to call names? Why the anger. I thought I was only expressing my opinion and asking questions. Why is name calling necessary?
"Nothing is stopping you from paying more in taxes than the required minimum."
And I have. And I have also volunteered many hours.
" ... I presume most just like to volunteer others to pay the cost of government services."
Why would you presume a thing like that. Do you know me?
"move to Dublin or one of the other towns..."
I'd like to, but have you tried buying a house in Dublin or San Ramon lately? It's fairly easy to sell my Pleasanton house, but not so easy to buy in Dublin or San Ramon. Be prepared to camp out and overbid. Seems like San Ramon and Dublin have their act together.
Ben Tarver brokered a pay-as-you-go Developer Fee Agreement that provided developers provide fees upfront for new schools. The school district gets school impact fees higher than anywhere in the State, yet the PUSD including Bowser, Grant and Laursen want to pass a nearly $500 million dollar bond measure to saddle existing taxpayers with the burden to fund the development of new schools.
The motto for Bowser, Grant and Laursen is "let the developers get richer while saddling taxpayers for growth."
Meanwhile taxpayers will not be able to pay back existing Measure A and Measure B bonds until over 10 years from now.
The PUSD wants to bankrupt the citizens of Pleasanton while the developers get richer.
Wake up people. As Dublin and San Ramon schools get better and are supported by their communities and their parcel taxes, your home values are decreasing. Most people move here because of the schools, that is a fact. It may take a few years to see it but your $250 saved in parcel tax = 50,000 less on your home. You can bash the board as much as you want but other communities are financially supporting their schools while we don't. It makes a difference both financially and in the perception of those with kids looking to move to a new community.
I've said it once and I'll say it again:
You can take all of our kids and put them in a low performing school/district. Then you take all of the kids from the lower performing school/district and bring them here. All teachers stay put.
I would be willing to bet the formerly low performing school/district test scores will sharply rise, and our district scores will sharply decrease.
Money has nothing to do with it.
There were two attempts at raising revenue for schools and both failed. But guess what? Our test scores continue to rise.
It amazes me that there are still individuals who want to continue to raise money for something that is DEMONSTRABLY not broken.
The amount of money Pleasanton receives from the state equals what San Ramon gets from the State plus from their parcel tax. So we should not be at a disadvantage vs. San Ramon ASSUMING our administration and board spends the money wisely. Recent history validates that the district does not spend money wisely.
The San Ramon district receives significantly more in parent donations than Pleasanton. The simple reason is parents in San Ramon contribute directly to their school and the school foundation decides the best way to spend it at their school. In Pleasanton, the donations, through PPIE, are going directly to the district and they make the decision on where to spend it and at what schools. People will donate significantly more to their own school than they will donate to another bureaucracy (i.e., the school district).
"There were two attempts at raising revenue for schools and both failed. But guess what?..."
Guess what -- Dublin allowed development and passed a parcel and their math API scores moved ahead of Pleasanton -- go figure.
"Money has nothing to do with it."
If money had _nothing_ to do with it, why not just zero out all school budgets. Your statement is a ridiculous oversimplification. 79% of Dublin voters disagree with you, by the way.
The principal turnover and forced ousters of administrators (including an excellent one) has nothing to do with a parcel tax or not. It has to do with bad management, a poor choice of a superintendent and the Pleasanton voters' poor choice of several board members.
The school board also cannot apparently decide what positions and programs to eliminate. The unions tell them what to do, what positions to save, and what positions are allowed to be let go.
The superintendent dismantled a practically free, excellent, volunteer driven Barton reading program. The superintendent got rid of all the pull-out reading specialists. There is now staggered reading, and the superintendent is trying to extend the entire school year.
The good news is that if a bond measure is put on the ballot, those up for election on the school board will be voted out, anyone pushing for a bond measure will not be elected, and there will be some brand new board members that can hopefully get control back from the out of control union members and superintendent.
Sorry John, I wasn't actually referring to you but to others who post on this site and like to blame tea partiers, greedy people, teacher-haters, kid-haters, etc... for everything that doesn't go their way.
"If money had _nothing_ to do with it, why not just zero out all school budgets. Your statement is a ridiculous oversimplification. 79% of Dublin voters disagree with you, by the way."
Sure John, don't pay any bills or salaries. Talk about oversimplification...
I've tangled with you over CSR and you still cannot come up with the reason for why larger class sizes have not led to reduced test scores in our district.
So let's put up the score, shall we?
1.Classroom size goes up - test scores stay flat and/or go up.
2.Revenue stays flat/goes down - test scores stay flat and/or go up.
Last I heard, Pleasanton High Schools are pretty highly placed in the US and going up!. Go figure.
Here is a point to ponder. During the same time our class sizes have gone up as well as our scores the demographics of our city has changed as well. We are now 35% asian. We put a tremendous value on education and work hard with our children after school and on weekends. Look up the test scores broken down by ethnicity and the answer to your questions be ones clear.
"Talk about oversimplification"
That's what you did. You oversimplified. That was my point. You said "Money has nothing to do with it." Those were your words. That's a gross oversimplification and is wrong.
"Last I heard, Pleasanton High Schools are pretty highly ..."
Again, look at what they did in Dublin. Their scores have climbed much faster, and some of Pleasanton's scores have gone down. Their math API scores have now surpassed Pleasanton's in some cases for the first time. See if you can figure out why. You've presented no explanation. Were 79% of Dublin voters wrong? Are you also opposed to Dublin's parcel tax?
On classroom size, I've presented abundant evidence an optimal size for k-3 classes is around 18 students. You've presented nothing. If that isn't the optimal size, what is, and why? All you've said is "Classroom size goes up - test scores stay flat and/or go up." Have you considered that they may have gone up instead of stayed flat with smaller classes? Think about it. Better yet, go get some experience. Go volunteer some real time in a first or second grade class and see how things work.
If I recall, you've said that you have no children in schools, and you have no experience volunteering in them. All your opinions in the matter come from reading stuff on the internet. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I agree, the only reason test scores have gone up is the demographics and education levels of the families moving here. Unfortunately though, the reputation of a community that does not support it's schools in a parcel tax, while neighboring schools do is already happening, the demographics will change. That means lower home values. Bad move Pleasanton voters, or should I say the minority of voters, since the majority did support the parcel tax. It takes a few years to see the changes, but we will, guaranteed.
I was primarily advocating for class size reduction in Kindergarten and first grade, where student didn't take API tests, so comparing API test scores is not possible in these grades.
This district is inept. They are succeeding by the grace of the amazingly talented students they are blessed with. I've vote for a parcel tax when I have confidence that the district is well run.
Teachers, management, the board. Right now, I have zero confidence in any of them. I will not support them.
Aren't we already paying two schools bonds?
Yes Bobby, we are already paying for two school bonds. Plus the district cashed-out during refinancing instead of paying down the debt so that increased our debt even more. That was done without voter approval, something the attorney general said was illegal. So essentially we are paying off three bonds now; two that were voted upon and one the administration did illegally.
And our teachers are in the top 1% paid nationally? I think 3 bonds and that are enough.
Remember that bonds and parcel taxes cannot be used for the same things. For example, bond funds can't be used for class size reduction. Bonds are for things like buildings and facilities.
John, We know what bonds can be used for. But both the bonds and the parcel taxes both come out of my same pocket. So our district has felt that three bonds are more important than a parcel tax.
In no way should we be adding another bond until the current ones are paid off. I do not like the concept of taking out a 30 year (or how many years the bond is for) for something that has a lifespan of less than the loan term. The life of the projects should be greater than the term of the bond.
"We know what bonds can be used for"
You and I know, but I'm not sure everyone reading this knows.
Our teachers are paid in the top 1% nationally? Can someone prove this with a link to a story? I'm assuming this factual amount is after teachers pay health care.
California is not even the top state, by average. Web Link
john, For Dublin you are ignoring they have had a change in demographics as well. I don't want to negate other good work occurring in the district, but there is more to the picture than "they get $$ and scores went up."
You are very well aware that after the last contract we were among the highest paid tenured teachers at almost $100,000 annually
"For Dublin you are ignoring they have had a change in demographics as well. "
I don't see how you can say I'm ignoring it when I say it over and over again. I keep saying they allowed growth, and built new housing for aspirant families with children and passed a parcel tax. Please read what I wrote.
Building new housing may have helped Dublin as when Pleasanton was developing affordable bay area housing housing in the past decades, Dublin did nothing.
Also, the demographers admit that Pleasanton is unique in that our enrollment numbers have not gone down as in most communities. In Pleasanton, when somebody moves out, typically it is another family moving in with younger kids. Adding uncontrolled growth, like Dublin, might seem like it is working now but in the long run it will probably cause problems in their community.
Demographics is certainly not lost on me, which is EXACTLY my point. White/Brown/Yellow/Black/Red...I don't care what color you are. The fact of the matter is Pleasanton attracts a demographic that CARES about and actively participates in our children's education.
John and other can persistently and loudly proclaim that more money is needed, but that simply is not supported by the facts.
My kid just came home today, and said her classes at PMS had no activity because a couple of teachers took many kids to an A's game.
That's education. The district can go pound sand. I'm voting NO on any parcel tax. The district employees are an embarrassment.
"John and other can persistently and loudly proclaim that more money is needed"
I'd prefer to say that more money would be helpful, beneficial. That is what 79% of voters in Dublin thought also. Demographics played a role in that just as it played a role in raising test scores.
"Adding uncontrolled growth, like Dublin, might seem like it is working now but in the long run it will probably cause problems in their community."
Please elaborate, what problems?
Beth, feel free to send the district your annual salary. I am sure they can never have too much money. Of course every agency wants more money. It would also be beneficial to me to have more money. You just have to learn to do the best with what you have.
If the parents who have children in Pleasanton schools feel their children need more money to enhance their education, let them donate money for that end and not require people without children in the system share their burden.
john, "I'd prefer to say that more money would be helpful, beneficial." Do you mind saying what you would add and at what cost.
Me? I'm no expert. I'd like to see smaller classes in first grade and kindergarten. That's one example.
Or maybe they could spend the money to find a way to ditch common core.
Good schools and good teachers don't exist where teachers' unions are in charge. Parcel taxes just throw more money at the problem, and the money is never spent to solve the real problem.
"I'd prefer to say that more money would be helpful, beneficial."
What was it you were saying about oversimplification earlier in this thread?!
How is "helpful, beneficial" simpler than "needed". I said "helpful, beneficial", as opposed to "needed". You get that right?
Anyway you sound like a good kid. You may one day have children of your own and will see this from a new perspective.
You do get that people move to Dublin for the good schools, right? That don't see them as broken. By passing the parcel tax with such an overwhelming majority, they weren't saying "oh, no the schools are broken, we need a parcel tax," they were saying "we have good schools that can be made even better with a parcel tax." 79% really is a huge majority, isn't it.
Of course, getting rid of the union would is probably a pipe dream, but would also likely be an improvement.
(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)
Again, great response! No clear point, empty of any data AND juvenile all at once.
Right. As. Rain.
I have kids in the district.
Thanks for playing.
Maybe it was someone else on the other thread, but that person said they were younger and had no children yet. My mistake.
(Comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)
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" no brainer, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows" You must be someone who moved to the Tri-Valley in that last 15- 20 years. For those of us who have lived in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin, for many years appreciate what those who came before us in what they have created.
And, if you think you are so smart, then please run for office.
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