My Problem with PUSD Vision Statement Schools & Kids, posted by Mark, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm
Open Letter to Superintendent Ahmadi,
An email regarding the PUSD Board Update of 6/19/12 was received today. I strongly disagree with the District Vision statement: Every student will be a resourceful, resilient, responsible and engaged world citizen.
It may be true that some pupils attending PUSD are not US citizens, however, our students must be taught American values and the importance of engaging in civil society as Americans. The term “world citizen” is meaningless and usually disapproves of nationalism and citizenship altogether. Every nation is different and each culture has its own values, may of which are very different from American values.
American values are unique among nations and history: "Liberty," "In God We Trust," and "E Pluribus Unum". As simple to discover as looking at a coin. PUSD should be defining, discussing, and educating our students on American values, not as engaged "world citizens".
My problem with the Vision statement may seem trivial but our children will notice the distinction between “world citizen” and being instructed in our American values and engaging in an American civil society. The Vision statement must be changed to reflect our American values and society.
Posted by Lark, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm
I wish I could agree with Mark less. American children must learn American values! Here, the mob can vote to take away the rights of minorities, we are free to be disdainful of so-called "science," and we value the importance of amassing great personal wealth at the expense of the public good and good old-fashioned Christian charity. We don't dissemble by being "polite" or by keeping our opinions to ourselves, and we nobly step up to consume much, much, much more energy than "world citizens" do. Monolingualism, anti-intellectualism, unchecked capitalism, and self-aggrandizing competition make us the greatest nation on Earth. Besides, we don't need to get along with or understand other countries.
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm
Was there a Vision developed just by the superintendent? Did they have a community-based Strategic Planning Committee recently or did I just miss it? I don't recall seeing anything on the PUSD website about it for the last 7 or 8 years or so like was previously announced:
COMMUNITY MEMBERS SOUGHT FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING TEAM
Pleasanton Unified School District is seeking individuals to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee. The task of the committee is to identify the probable and possible future our children will face and to identify what impact these scenarios may have on the educational organization. Through the work of the committee, essential vision points will be created for which goals and objectives will be set annually, starting with the 2004-05 school year. To complete the composition of the committee, the District is seeking applicants to serve in the following categories:
· Community Members (3)
· Parents (1)
· Members At-Large (3)
The district is asking for a five-year commitment to the strategic planning team. The process will involve two stages: The first, over a period of 15 months, will be to establish and recommend to the Board of Trustees a new Strategic Plan for the district. The second will be to refine the plan and monitor its implementation for the remainder of the five-year term.
Individuals interested in serving on the committee should call the Superintendent’s office to secure an application. Applications must be received by the Superintendent’s administrative assistant by the end of the business day, Tuesday, April 22. Those chosen will be notified by April 24.
The team’s first meeting will be Wednesday, April 30, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. in the Bernal Room at the District Office facility. Participants are asked to bring their calendars to the meeting in order to set the meeting dates and times for the next twelve months. Plans include two all-day meetings and approximately four evening meetings.
Questions regarding the task and process should be directed to Superintendent John Casey at (925) 426-4301.
Posted by YAT, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm
To: whose vision?
I hope people understand the point you HAVE made. The PUSD isn't being honest about their uncertain financial future. The district desperately needs more money to camouflage the poor decisions of the past as well as the increased pension costs that will consume dollars the district has already spent. These trysts are nothing compared to the ugliness that will ensue when the teachers pension system (CalSTRS) asks for triple the current district cost to cover pensions. Those dollars will come from the districts budget - the same budget that is cutting hours of education.
Posted by Mark, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm
I cannot agree with your characterization of American values. Our country was founded by declaring our Liberty from Tyranny and in all these years Americans have fought to preserve that freedom for all.
Mob rule: A limited government can only act with the power vested by the people, the sovereign of this land. Only rights “given” can be “taken away”. When + 50% of the people receive public payments/benefits and vote to continue and expand those programs, is that not Mob rule?
Distain of Science: In the Tri-Valley do we not have national labs in Livermore and many high tech companies employing some of the most educated people from around the world solving energy, social, and business problems? The open work environment, social acceptance, fantastic weather and secure civil society attracts talent. Doubt you’d find many that distain science.
Personal wealth: Every hour worked, every idea generated, every company formed generates wealth. It is our personal property, both physical and intellectual, and we should have not shame in amassing this wealth for our families and communities. We have great social institutions that benefit from this wealth, including our churches, and they provide essential services to the community and poor alike.
Energy: Our American values have created an immense industrial society that has been in inventor and producer of goods and services that everyone around the “world” utilized. You cannot build jumbo jets using only wood and stone tools. Computer and space communication technology cannot be constructed with string and recycled cans. Energy is only a tool and provides the power to work and change matter from one condition to another, hopefully more useful.
Our Neighbors: What people volunteer more and donate to charities and church than Americans? What country is more generous with private donations and service around the world than Americans? What nation provides more emergency response and help whenever disasters strike than the USA? What country accepts more immigrates seeking education, medical treatment, and a better future for their family than Americans?
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:45 am
How much did PUSD pay some edu-consultant to come up with the Three R's of "resourceful, resilient, responsible" ?
I guess that those abstract and ill-defined and feel-good words don't fit into real education which broadens the mind and teaches skills that can be applied in many useful ways to many different life situations.
By real education, I mean the of 3Rs of R eading, w R iting, and
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 6:48 am
In response to the question from "whose vision?"... yes, they had a community-based strategic planning process between October of 2011 and June of this year, and you have apparently missed it so far.
My evidence is the board agenda from March 30 of this year, presenting an interim report on the strategic planning process. See PDF of the Powerpoint presentation that was given at the March 30 meeting here: Web Link
Minutes from the October 14 board meeting last fall are on p. 25 of this PDF of the board packet from October 25 (also a PDF): Web Link
There were also these stories in the Pleasanton Weekly last October:
I really wish the minutes of board meetings were more easily searchable... the contract with Noli-Porter Associates must have been approved before the Oct. 14 meeting, but I am not sure when. My recollection is that the 9-month long process is costing the district about $50K in consulting fees (but I could be misremembering).
Posted by Michele, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 8:41 am
The Mission: Our students will make a better WORLD... With that Mission, what would the Vision be?? What the original poster and some subsequent comments don't realize is that the district DID, infact, get parent participation when forming the PUSD Mission and Vision (and plan). I was in attendance at one of those meetings. The Superintendent, along with numerous parents (including myself) attended meetings at each school site and the PARENTS put input and agreed on the wording of this document. The original poster is picking out one statement in the entire document and trying to label it as anti-American, which is simply not the case and untrue. I want my child to be successful, engaged and good person of this world, because we are of this world, not just the US. This righteousness mentality - "we are better than the rest of the world and should only concern ourselves with the US and screw everyone else" - by some people amazes me.
Posted by Don't forget: Uncle Sam Wants You, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 11:26 am
Uncle Sam Wants You
To Speak English!
If you can read this, thank a teacher!
One of the largest threats to our United States is foreigners and immigrants who do not want to learn our language and traditions. Most of our ancestors came from other countries, but they worked to fit in. The Melting Pot is one of the factors that made our country great, before we figured out how to run the country on debt.
Look at the native americans if you want to see what happens to a people that does not have good immigration policy and controls.
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Thanks for forwarding the links Sandy from Mohr Park.
I've never seen such hocus pocus babble in my life. This looks so ridiculous it would appear some sort of Hoaxster put it up on the web.
I found this board meeting Web Link and wonder if they also have Uri Geller on the payroll at the District?
I looked up this Ed Porter from Noli-Porter and, for pete's sake, I see he is "a practitioner of Intuition Medicine (Working with subtle energies to promote groundedness, wellness and prosperity) and TiPi (Technique for the Sensory Identification of Unconscious Fears)."
Energy healing, auras, paranormal psychology? WHAT????
Then there are these so-called Listening Campaigns that seemed to have been done AFTER the so-called Moral Imperatives and the New Agish 'strategies' were defined.
I looked up "Listening Campaign" (huh?) and found Pivot Learning consultants/coaches use this rather odd phrase a lot, so much that they even published a PDF about it. Here it is.
They also seem to have a Twitter account where they spout phrases regarding PD (Professional Development --- yes write your training dollar checks to Pivot Consulting!) Here is the Twitter account. Web Link
Posted by LuvPleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm
I AM ABSOLUTELY IN SHOCK ... THE FOLLOWING IS OUR SUPERINTENDENT'S STRATEGIC PLAN FOR OUR KIDS!!!!! DELIVERED AT THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING!
IS THIS WHAT THESE $200,000+ ($1000+/day) SCHOOL ADIMINISTRATORS ARE FOCUSED ON!
IT IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS BUNCH OF PC GARBAGE I HAVE EVER HEARD FROM A PERSON WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR "EDUCATING" OUR CHILDREN!!!!
WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC!!!
THE ONLY WAY THESE BUREAUCRATS WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IS TO FOCUS ON THE BASICS AND TEACHING OUR CHILDREN HOW TO EMBRACE AND LOVE LEARNING !!!
NOT ALL THIS - BOIL THE OCEAN... FEEL GOOD... SAVE THE WORLD ... GARBAGE...
I CANNOT BELIEVE IN THE ENTIRE STRATEGIC PLAN THE SUPERINTENDENT DID NOT MENTION ONCE THAT OUR GOAL IS TO INSURE OUR CHILDREN CAN READ, WRITE, COMMUNICATE, CALCULATE OR EMBRACE AND LEARN TO LOVE LEARNING!!!!
IT'S ALSO AMAZING THAT THIS PLAN WAS DEVELOPED AFTER MEETING WITH THE COMMUNITY ... I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT IS WHAT WAS CONVEYED TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, IF IT IS, GOD HELP US!!!!
HERE IT IS ... YOU BE THE JUDGE...
Superintendent Ahmadi presented the District’s Strategic Plan. After
conducting Listening Campaigns with many groups throughout the Pleasanton community, input was used to finalize the Vision, Mission, and Bold Goals for the District.
The Vision: Every student will be a resourceful, resilient, responsible and engaged world citizen.
The Mission: Our students will make a better world.
CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION
1. Eliminate racial, socio-economic, and gender predictability in achievement.
2. Optimize student learning by utilizing innovative technologies.
1. Empower all students to develop character, compassion, civility, and community consciousness.
1. Students will be central to all fiscal decisions.
2. Ensure fiscal health through investing in today while planning for
1. All students and staff are provided with a high-quality physical
environment that facilitates teaching and learning.
2. Every student and staff will feel safe, respected, and enjoy positive connections.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm
LuvPleasanton said: "WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC!!!.... I CANNOT BELIEVE IN THE ENTIRE STRATEGIC PLAN THE SUPERINTENDENT DID NOT MENTION ONCE THAT OUR GOAL IS TO INSURE OUR CHILDREN CAN READ, WRITE, COMMUNICATE, CALCULATE OR EMBRACE AND LEARN TO LOVE LEARNING!!!!"
I think that learning reading, writing, and arithmetic goes without saying. No need to put that into a mission statement. It's an obvious part of school to most people here - but apparently not to everyone.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm
The problem with forum topics regarding education is that everybody thinks they know something about education, simply because they themselves were educated at some point. That's like me saying that I know something about the restaurant business, simply because I like to eat and cook.
You all want to make a change?? Then get off your butts and go volunteer, spend time at the schools, listen to what's actually being said by the teachers in the classrooms, and by the administrators in their meetings, make a judgement whatever it is, and then come back here and report. Stop basing all your pontification on sound bites you read in the local paper and hear on the street, without effort on your part. For crying out loud, stop whining.
Posted by LuvPleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm
Sam... This was the Superintendent's STRATEGIC PLAN ... where is the focus, what is the purpose of a school - "To make a better world"?
... I've sent 3 children through Pleasanton schools and believe me when I talk with current parents of school children and teachers today, I am shocked at their disappointment in the current state of the Pleasanton school system ... do the students embrace learning? is it a top priority? - NO, in fact it is not COOL to be a good student, they are not taught to embrace learning, in fact school is a chore and they are bombarded with "political" and "social" stuff including this STRATEGIC PLAN everyday
... "Reading, writing and arithmetic goes without saying" ... have you seen current competency scores, they are heading down buddy, not up!
Where's the focus - as this STRATEGIC PLAN explains it is becoming an "engaged world citizen" , "eliminate racial, socio-economic and gender predictability in achievement", etc
Not one Goal to produce students who can read well, communicate effectively, think critically, be FREE to make good decisions ...
Trust me if you stick to simple basics you will develop young adults that will make the world a better place - if you stick to the basics "MAKING A BETTER WORLD" will go without saying !!!!!!
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm
LuvPleasanton, thank you for posting this. This feel good "enjoy positive connections" and "community consciousness and "personal growth" empowerment-speak reminds me of some sort of Oprah Winfrey book club-speak.
And given no doubt that 1.3 million bucks has been spent on a bunch of district office consultants so that class sizes have been increased from 25 to 30, it looks like "Students will be central to all fiscal decisions" has not been followed.
Sounds like this "investing in today" has been in fact a boatload of Organizational Development and Leadership "consultants" who have been delivering personal empowerment seminars more suited for a yoga/massage/meditation retreat than the public school system.
Posted by LuvPleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm
Hey Paul ... I've sent 3 children through Pleasanton Schools ... believe me, my wife and I have volunteered every step of the way .... our children went to Foothill when there was no pool and one gym, our daughter practiced basketball at 11:00PM to fit into available time in the gym ... the parents helped raise the money for the new pool and second gym ... our daughter was the first class to graduate from PMS ... our oldest son was the first class to spend 3 years and graduate at PMS ... all three of our children graduated from Foothill... I have seen what the school system should focus on and what it is today!!!!
Don't be so cavalier with your "whining" comments and don't give me any of that pontification stuff .... I live it everyday!! ... I do believe that participation in your schools is the only way to help make it better and insure your children get the best education possible...
That's why I am alerting folks about what is going on ... my children are no longer in Pleasanton schools and are now contributing to a "Better World" with the help of the Pleasanton Schools
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Paul said : "You all want to make a change?? Then get off your butts and go volunteer, spend time at the schools, listen to what's actually being said by the teachers in the classrooms, and by the administrators in their meetings, make a judgement whatever it is, and then come back here and report. Stop basing all your pontification on sound bites you read in the local paper and hear on the street, without effort on your part. For crying out loud, stop whining."
GREAT POST, PAUL! (See, LuvPleasanton? I, too, can yell in all-capital letters!)
All the energy spent by armchair quarterbacks here whining about the school system would be put to much more productive uses if they got out of their chairs, and rolled up their sleeves, and went out and made some real contributions to our school system with some volunteer work. Will they do that? No. Just whining is a lot less work. In fact, whining is a very popular national pastime in this country. If we could harness all the energy spent whining about problems, not only could we solve our school problems but we would probably have enough surplus energy to solve the world's energy problems as well.
Posted by Difficult, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm
I have to say JC's previous strategy as outlined above sounds very good. Our family spends tons of time volunteering on many levels for the schools. I don't really understand why we have moved so far away from these specific and student focused goals to the current plan, which seems vague, pc, and a bit like no child left behind, which while a worthy goal, most people agree has been a disaster for education. We need to prepare a workforce for what will likely be very competitive future.
Posted by Visionary bunk, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 6:53 pm
All this new PC visionary stuff would be nice if PUSD could actually delivery reading, writing, and arithmetic. But they are failing and are being bailed out by private tutors and parent help. Look at the latest fiasco with the Barton reading program where PUSD administrator visionaries have blown it away and tossed out the loyal volunteers. Without solid reading skills, our students cannot even understand what's being published by PUSD! The vision statement we need is very simple: To the best of their ability, our students will acquire essential skills in language, mathematics, science, and critical thinking to enable them to function effectively in the 21st century. Our school board now needs to get moving to make that happen.
Posted by john, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm
You said "have you seen current competency scores, they are heading down buddy, not up!"
I have had children in PUSD for some time now, and have been watching the test scores, and as far as I can tell, they are going up. Can you please send a link or something that shows they are going down?
Is this any different from years past? There seem to have always been tutors and parental help. 30 years ago, Pleasanton didn't have its own school district, and the schools did not have the reputation they have today. Part of the business with more tutoring in Pleasanton could be related to parents pushing their children harder today than they did decades ago.
Posted by common sense, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm
I am amazed the statement in the original posting that students should be world citizens is what started all this diatribe. The political correct statement should of said Pleasanton citizen at the least or US citizen at most , I guess. Somehow though I believe we can all live together.
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm
It is the epitomy of hypocrisy to espouse having to be an "engaged world citizen" then PUSD acts in the opposite. It discourages anyone in town from being an engaged local citizen.
Why does PUSD effusively state they are preparing each pupil to be an "engaged world citizen" when in reality, their local board meetings don't encourage citizen participation in any way?
Juanita Haugen often spoke about regarding civic responsibility including social participation and action which is a core element to a democratic society.
Too bad that the district she worked so hard to bring up to high standards for 30 years has schools now in Performance Improvement, has just eliminated instruction time to barely above State minimums in some grades, and has eliminated any and all goals for rigorous academic achievement in its plans.
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm
john, have you read LuvPleasanton's post with the plan? The PUSD new 'mumbo jumbo plan' has no measurable objectives with a mission of "to make a better world." Sounds like lyrics from "We are the World" from the mid 1980s. Also there is no focused, transparent governance process of informed communication and decision making at PUSD.
Compare the mumbo jumbo to PAUSD (Palo Alto) Strategic Plan Goals
Goal A: Academic Excellence and Learning – Create an exceptional learning environment that engages, challenges, and supports all students so that they thrive and achieve their academic potential every year, while preparing them to pursue college and other postsecondary opportunities to be global citizens.
A1 Improve curricular system and instructional practices to challenge every student.
A2 Provide college readiness and post-secondary preparation for all students.
A3 Ensure high expectations and support for all students.
Goal B: Staff Recruitment and Development – Create an exceptional teaching environment by recruiting, developing, and retaining the most talented staff.
B1 Improve District’s ability to attract and recruit staff.
B2 Re-examine and enhance staff evaluation system.
B3 Enhance professional development.
Goal C: Budget Trends and Infrastructure – Be prudent stewards of our resources through rigorous planning and budgeting, and build further resources by enhancing public and private support for public education.
C1 Ensure financial stability and growth through effective stewardship of financial assets, community funding sources, and dynamic activities to improve District resources.
C2 Construct facilities that address enrollment growth and are worthy of the promise and talent of our students.
C3 Develop short-term and long-term plans to address non-construction issues associated with enrollment growth (e.g., boundary issues, school/class size).
Goal D: Governance and Communication – Create a focused, transparent governance process that is a model of informed communication and decision making.
D1 Improve alignment of District leadership (superintendent and Board) and community’s focus on most crucial District aspirations while fostering an environment of innovation.
D2 Improve District transparency and communication between District leadership (Superintendent and Board) and the community.
D3 Diligently monitor and report staff and student progress on strategic plan initiatives to gain trust, promote constructive dialogue, and determine success.
Revised April 2010
Strategic Plan Academic Achievement Goals
Goal 1: By 2012, 95% of students in grades 3-8 will be on grade level as measured by the CSTs in ELA and Math
Goal 2: By 2012, 85% of students in grades 3-8 will show one year’s progress or more in the grade level curriculum as measured by the CSTs in ELA and Math.
Goal 3: By 2012, the percent of students in grades 4-8 not-yet-proficient will be reduced by 50%.
Goal 4: By 2012, the percentage of graduates meeting the UC/CSU a-g course requirements will be 85% or better.
Goal 5: By 2012, the percentage of underrepresented minority students who graduate meeting the UC/CSU a-g course requirements will be increased by 50% or more.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of another community, on Jun 22, 2012 at 7:56 am
Sam and Paul obviously are communists deployed to divert our attention from the onslaught of political correctness that disguises itself as reason when it is really just another masking of the tumultuous waters of debt that will eventually envelope us all. As one poster so trenchantly and repeatedly pointed out, there's a lot of distain of science out there. And meanwhile our teachers stress the boiling oceans when the oceans aren't boiling but rather are percolating like a violent oceanic volcano that will explode and send enormous streams of lava in the form of unfunded liabilities upon us.
Posted by whose vision?, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm
Hey, on second thought, I do think our strategic plan should be developed by psychic healers. Maybe the budget was developed via Tarot Cards, as well as Intuition Medicine (Working with subtle energies to promote groundedness, wellness and prosperity) and TiPi (Technique for the Sensory Identification of Unconscious Fears).
After all, didn't Chicago columnist Mike in one of his quips of wisdom observe with California’s oddities, the state was “the world’s largest outdoor mental asylum?”
“If it babbles and its eyeballs are glazed it probably comes from California.”
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm
A strategic plan should set the goals by how the community can measure progress. Make them sufficiently vague, say, like language for a desired parcel tax, and no one can hold your feet to the fire for actually achieving them.
Posted by john, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2012 at 8:49 pm
"I have had children in PUSD for some time now, and have been watching the test scores, and as far as I can tell, they are going up. Can you please send a link or something that shows they are going down?"
"john... if you are happy with the Superintendent's STRATEGY PLAN ... enjoy the ride! with Sam"
Could you please actually answer my question? If you have a link to some information that shows test scores are going down, please provide it. I, and many other parents would be very interested in seeing the data.
Posted by john, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm
To "whose vision?",
Can you please provide a link for that so I can pass it on.
I'm also looking for something that shows a trend, like improving or declining over time. The only stuff I could find showed improving or flat over time. Comparison to other districts was good too -- That was our original motivation to move here.
Posted by LuvPleasanton, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm
john... our Superintendent just spent $1000s of our dollars on Consultants, pulls down a $1000+/day, hires two more $150K+ administrators and shows up to a PUSD Board meeting and presents this absolutely pathetic STRATEGIC PLAN, that is an unmeasurable amorphous piece of garbage and you ask ME for data showing how poorly our schools are performing - MY GOD GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND!!!! ... here is the link, look it up ...Web Link
BTW if "flat" results are OK with you, then you should love the results you'll see from this STRATEGIC PLAN ...That PUSD Board Meeting should have exploded when this PLAN was presented...
Posted by difficult, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 6:57 am
John, an Independent (local newspaper) article this week said that most of our schools are in the top ten percent compared to schools across CA, but most were in the 40th percent group compared to schools with similar demographics.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 8:16 am
Kathleen sticks it again right where it's needed. Strategic plans, mission statements, parcel tax language -- all of these should be dead-on specific. Our Founding Fathers knew this. That's why, for example, the 2nd Amendment is so specific. [sarcasm :-)] Well, actually, it SHOULD have been more specific. That way when times change, when today becomes tomorrow and tomorrow becomes the day after that, we'd know that AK-47s and bazookas actually DO fit the language template of the Constitution (unless they are owned by Islamic Americans).
A specific language would have to acknowledge the precarious situation we are in. With public school teacher salaries and pensions, none of us are land locked. To wit, we are all Islanders (and a small Island it is!) subject to an upcoming flood of unfunded liabilities that are unsustainable and that only a specific parcel tax language can address affectively. The flood will wash away everything in its path. We need language specificity to tie down administrators and practitioners so that they can't bore holes in the fragile dike of fiscal responsibilitiy that currently protects us. Nonspecific language, to wit, language that is flexible enough to give our administrators and practitioners discretion in their day to day work, can only aid and abet those who are atop the dike, chipping away at its hallowed, Constitutionally based fortifications. A specific metric system might also help.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 9:08 am
Every strategic plan needs measurable goals. You can have every feel good, generalized, amorphous comment you want as long as there are measurable goals somewhere in the plan. Not so difficult.
As to the parcel taxes, go see what is happening in all the districts that promised to "maintain" small class sizes. It's a guess, but if I'm a new teacher, a counselor, a reading specialist, a library aid, name whatever else here, the notion that the positions most valued by parents in their child's education are protected from the yo-yo pink slip, rehire process is worth the specificity of language. Also not so difficult.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 9:26 am
Kathleen's reasoning is genius! Freedom, liberty, justice for all ... you'll not find these general, amorphous, feel good terms in our Constitution. You know why? Because our Founding Fathers knew they had to keep things specific. Hence the detailed commentaries on private gun ownership, bazookas, and AK-47s. So too with parcel tax language and mission statements. If heating system breaks down in a couple of classrooms, rough rocks! We want our money spent on what WE want. What do administrators and school boards know anyhow? It's activist, patriotic parents who know best. Banish the unions! Install mandatory creationist teaching in the classroom! Begone with the unpopular teacher whose assignments are double the length of our more popular teachers! [Anyone consider that this 'secretarial consciousness' introduced by you-know-who is a reflection of how administrators kept her relegated to what she knew/knows best - secretarial tasks? Just asking...]
C'mon people. Let's all hop on the life raft before the union teacher and corrupt administerial-caused flood has us all swimming like rats with no land in sight.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 9:49 am
Arnold, I'm only speaking about the strategic plan. You can start a topic on the Constitution if you like. I seem to recall, by the way, that the deferred maintenance fund was spent down which caused borrowing from the Sycamore fund which is intended for technology. Also raked in the reserves from adult education and handed a pink slip to the guy that made that possible. Let's be sure to omit the cash out bond refinancing discussion. And you don't know much about secretaries, do you? I've worked with amazing administrators, and oh, served on the PUSD board.
Posted by Arnold, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Excuuuuse me, Kathleen. Usually we are agreed on the issues. Very agreed. But here I think you're more concerned about self-promotional chest-thumping than about the issues.
I am not forking out 45 grand per year for each of my kid's college education in order for them to become secretaries. Sorry. I mean no disrespect. Perhaps you've never bothered to learn and appreciate that most of us in the area have advanced degrees that place us in careers that draw upon secretaries, who, truth be told, are only just-this-far from stoop labor. That's part of being a rural, uneducated type like yourself perhaps; an inability to grasp general, abstract concepts and a penchant for narrow and pinched specifics.
All that said, my careful mathematical formulations and predictions show a meteorological effect that threatens to innundate us all beneath a crushing wave of unsustainable debt caused by a salary/pension system for public school teachers that is out of sync with a tax system that insists on drawing more tax money from citizen-patriots than does the state of Mississippi. We cannot afford to fund this liability because California is not as wealthy as Mississippi. Lifeboats will soon be going on sale at Kmarts. As for paying more taxes? Out of the question! My wife and I already have scuba diving gear perched on our front porch in anticipation of the upcoming flood.
Posted by john, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm
You said: ""have you seen current competency scores, they are heading down buddy, not up!""
Then, following the link you provided, the test scores proved just as I remember them -- flat to up over time, not "heading down buddy"
Then you ask:
"BTW if "flat" results are OK with you ..."
So you are admitting that you were wrong about test scores "heading down", and now you're asking if flat is OK? Again, they are not flat, they generally trending up. But again, thank you for correcting your earlier mistake.
As to the strategic plan, I agree with the people who pointed to Palo Alto's plan as a better example. I also agree with Sandy that you should probably lay off the Caps Lock key, because it makes it hard to tell if you're just another alter ego for the person who keeps misspelling everything.
Posted by Difficult, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm
John, it's dated 21st June. Relevant lines say "Pleasanton had eight schools in the 10th decile in the statewide results. The four remaining schools were in the 9th decile . . . Although Pleasanton scored high in the statewide ranking, only one score as high as the 7th decile in same school rankings. Six of the schools were clustered in the 4th decile.".
I can't find the one school that was in the 7th decile listed in the article even though they list the results so don't know if that statement was a mistake.. . .
Most were 4th and under and some surprising ones were in the 2nd decile for same schools ( two elem. one middle and one high).
The scores are based on spring 2011 results. Next year will be telling as the students with higher class sizes from k-2nd will be included.
Luvpleasanton to me sounds like a very frustrated parent who is dismayed by the direction we are going. The one who does the strange spelling and is fake arnold, fake Steve etc is a web troll trying to divert / end the discussion. Don't feed the troll!
Posted by Difficult, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm
The list for elementary was reported as:
Alisal 899, 9th (ca), 4th (same school)
Donlon 916, 9th, 4th
Fairlands 949, 10th, 5th
Mohr 957, 10th, 4th
Lydiksen 893, 9th, 3rd
Hearst 945, 10th, 4th
Valley view, 899, 9th, 4th
Vintage hills 928, 10th, 2nd
Walnut grove 931, 10th, 2nd
Harvest park, 925, 10th, 2nd
PMS 922, 10th, 5th
Hart 907 10th 4th
Amador 893, 10th, 4th
Foothill 884, 10th, 2nd
I can only think that the schools like mohr, which have great demographics are compared to other really schools with excellent demographics. Though how you can do much better than 957 I have no idea. I think they are comparing class sizes, other offerings so that might be it. As I mentioned, I don't see the school in the 7th decile, so maybe there was a mistake.