Pleasanton schools fail to meet 'No Child Left Behind' standards Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Oct 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm
Despite increasing its Academic Performance Index score by nine points, from 906 to 915 over the last year, and better test scores for nearly every minority group, the Pleasanton school district has joined a lengthy list of schools that don't meet federal standards. Pleasanton school board members learned Tuesday night that the district has been placed into program improvement status because math scores haven't improved enough to meet federal standards known as Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 26, 2012, 7:52 AM
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Oct 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm
"Despite increasing its Academic Performance Index score by nine points, from 906 to 915 over the last year, and better test scores for nearly every minority group, the Pleasanton school district has joined a lengthy list of schools that don't meet federal standards."
That's exactly the intent of "No Child Left Behind".
First, set goals that are higher and higher each year.
Second, starve the schools of resources needed to achieve these goals (funding for K-12 and post-secondary education is down 20%-25% over just the past five years, after Wall Street nuked the economy).
Third, declare "public education" a failure, dissolve the teachers' unions, and turn over the schools to private corporations, which will manage them for a profit. Teachers will no longer be professionals but at-will employees who can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. The private "education corporations" will fatten their bank accounts with taxpayer dollars while reducing or eliminating services such as libraries, counseling, and assistance for special needs students. Librarians, counselors, and special education don't add to the quarterly profit returns, you see.
They call it "charter schools". Got news for you: charter schools and private schools don't perform any better (and in fact, in many cases have a worse performance) than public schools. But then again, public schools don't enrich a few powerful individuals, who have bought and paid for all the politicians they need to ram this scheme down our throats.
I taught in Pleasanton schools for eight years. To call such excellent schools with great kids and outstanding teachers a "failure" just shows the true intent of "No Child Left Behind". Of course, there are a lot of folks in Pleasanton who will support this foolish destruction of public education for ideological reasons: they hate those EVIL UNIONS.
We are in a sorry economic mess, but it wasn't the teachers' unions who exported millions of American jobs to India and China. It wasn't the teachers' unions who destroyed the world financial system and then demanded $12 trillion in taxpayer-funded bailouts. But somehow, the public employee unions are evil...no, it doesn't make sense, but the anti-union folks never were strong on logic or reasoning skills.
Posted by CONGRATULATIONS!!!, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm
Congratulations to Pleasanton Middle School!!!!! You were reemed on this site for not meeting the needs of at-risk students 2 years ago when you discovered you were in PI. People on this site blaimed the teachers' union, Hispanic students, you name it. But you ROSE above this negativity and now you are officially out of PI and are in Safe Harbor. Same school, same teachers, you just changed a few things and made it a better place for kids. You received more funding and put the money to good use.
Congratulations!!! Less than 10% of schools ever get out of PI and yet you did it. EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!
Posted by Mittens, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Bradford, name one private school that has not outperformed public schools? I'm sure there's Avery good reason you no longer teach in Pleasanton schools, but I'm sure you don't want to go there.......
Suffice it to say, that the teachers unions are the primary cause of the mess our schools have become. Your union protects underperforming and ill suited teachers to the detriment of all students and yet your ilk continues to defend their tactics.
If you had the students best interest at heart, you would not go to such lengths to defend union opportunists
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"an AYP target graduation rate of 85.98% for students with disabilities in 2012"
Readers need a yardstick against which to measure this 2012 target. By how much did the graduation rate increase over the years? When you start to investigate by how much the target increases in these last years (around 11 percentage points) compared with actual annual average increases in performance (closer to 4 percentage points), you'll provide a better picture of how everyone is set up for failure as we get closer to 2014, how everyone will be punished even when they show improvement. Maybe it is due to the unrealistic "hockey stick" target increase model that California chose to follow?
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Oct 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm
Charter schoolism is a religion and it's a fool's errand to argue with fanatics.
On the off chance that there's somebody out there with an open mind, however:
"Charter schools have becoming the modern rival of public schools, but does the reality of charter performance match the hype? According to Change.org, "Charter schools get overwhelmingly positive press and make a lot of claims about their success. But actually, numerous studies confirm that their achievement is indistinguishable from that of traditional public schools. Some are very successful, some are troubled and struggling, and the rest are somewhere in between just like traditional public schools."
The big advantage of charter schools, of course, is that they get rid of tenure and unions, making the teachers at-will employees subject to the whims of administrators and parents. At least that's an advantage if you're ideologically opposed to organized labor.
Of course, you can't trust them there eggheads at Stanford University:
"In evaluating some of the statistical studies that seek to compare charter vs. public school performance, recent investigations conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University reveal that students' test scores may prove that public schools are now outperforming charter schools. As CREDO, a national organization devoted to charter school research reveals, the Stanford analysts compared reading and math state-based standardized test scores between charter school vs. public school students in 15 states, as well as scores in the District of Columbia. In fact, in further evaluating the data, experts found that 37 percent of charter schools posted improvements in math scores; however, these improvement rates were significantly below the improvement rates of students in the public school classrooms. Furthermore, 46 percent of charter schools experienced math improvements that were "statistically indistinguishable" from the average improvement rates shown by public school students."
Let me repeat one line from that last paragraph: "In evaluating some of the statistical studies that seek to compare charter vs. public school performance, recent investigations conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University reveal that students' test scores may prove that public schools are now outperforming charter schools. "
Of course, dem dere eggheads at Stanford don't know nuffin' compared to Ms. Ruegsegger (who has apparently gotten tired of her "Stacey" persona, at least temporarily).
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2012 at 12:47 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Personally, I think it's funny when someone urges readers to evaluate the research on a subject yet believes whatever fanatical thing they see written on an anonymous website about other posters who use their full legal name.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2012 at 8:02 am Kathleen Ruegsegger is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Daniel, You said you wouldn't do the research. I get that; so I posted one site and noted it was clearly a pro charter site.
So you ask for those with "an open mind," proceed with some interesting information, and then state I wouldn't trust Stanford. Having worked across the street, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with a few leaders from Stanford. I have no quarrel with them. So not only do you not know me well enough to state how I feel about Stanford; it appears you have the problem with having an open mind.
If you looked at the site I posted, you would have found this: Web Link For 2008-09 (only year with comparisons available), fourth grade students at charter schools underperform public school peers. By eighth grade, charter students outperform their public schools peers--but not by much. I'm actually a much bigger fan of magnet schools.
Regarding your statement: " . . . making the teachers at-will employees . . . " only 11.9% (2011 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics) of the work force are union members, making the majority of the work force answerable to their employers' and shareholders'/owners'.
Posted by john, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2012 at 9:20 am
"name one private school that has not outperformed public schools?"
You are kidding, right? You do realize that Valley Christian has lower test scores generally than Amador Valley. Quarry Lane school has far higher scores than both. There are good public schools and bad public schools. There are good private schools and bad private schools. We had to evaluate all of this when we selected schools for our children. Have you done the research? Google it.