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Pleasanton school district receives one-time windfall from state

Original post made on May 18, 2013

The Pleasanton school district can look forward to some unexpected funding.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7:13 AM

Comments (29)

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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

I hope this money is put to good use to help the schools. Amador has become so competitive that it is now a necessity to hire tutors and have your child enroll in summer school to get ahead. We were unaware when our daughter started her freshman year of how much extra money we would have to spend to help her keep her grades up. She never struggled in school before. Now she is telling us that she needs to take a summer class at las positas so she can skip something because that's what all the students are doing. I'm shocked at how much is expected of her as a 14 year old child and by the lack of communicatin at the school. The only reason Amador is ranking so high is because the community is subsidizing the education of the students with tutors. This is not what I expected from a good school.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

You're condemning a school because your daughter is receiving a challenging and rigorous education? Or is it because you're taking a 14-year-old's perspective based on what she says all her friends are doing? And exactly what "lack of communication" are you talking about? I don't mean to be rude, but it sounds like you're the one who's in a little over her head.


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

How is overwhelming students challenging and rigorous? I don't think that's a correct connection to make. Is it challenging and rigorous to throw as much as possible at these kids, let them sink or swim then see who rises to the top (all while cheating, lying and stealing to get there) and congratulate them for getting there?
I'm just saying that my child has a stable, loving home. Parents who are educated, she's hard working and of normal intelligence. Challenging and rigorous are welcome in our home. Aggressively competitive is not.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 8:51 am

Okay, I'm big enough to admit when I am wrong. You're not in a little over your head; you've gone off the deep end.


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

Dude, I'd love for you to describe a challenging and rigorous education, what does that look like?
Don't give up on this challenging and rigorous conversation!


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

I'd describe a challenging and rigorous educational as one that sets a brisk pace and covers material that truly requires hard work and maybe even extra help for many, but is still possible to succeed in. You say your daughter works really hard to earn her 4.0? Great! Well done, Amador, and well done to your daughter, too!


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

But how much extra help is too much? Have you noticed the tutoring companies popping up all over town? I worry that we are moving beyond your definition and onto a whole new level of expectations. As another person posted not everyone excels at Amador. Is this because a student can't excel at Amador anymore without an army of tutors at their avail?
I think it's important for the community to challenge this trend. My family moved to pleasanton from Fremont for the schools. I did not want my children to attend Mission San Jose like my husband and I did because it turned into a very different school. A highly rated, much higher than Amador, but very different school. I fear that amador is headed in that direction and pretty quickly. Maybe it's just inevitable with the increase in Asian students but I hope not.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

Ah, so this is about race, is it? The self-portrait you've been painting here is very helpful in seeing where the problem truly lies.


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 9:29 am

No. It's not about race, it's about cultural differences in education. You can try to discredit my argument by painting me a racist. But that is not make the problem in our schools go away. And I'm not even saying that the cultural differences are bad/wrong.. I'm just saying that as the parent community absorbs more of the responsibility for the teaching that should be happening at school the school could respond by expecting all parents to do that much when some cant. Then some kids will have a very hard time at this school.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

Too busy to parent, huh? Clearly the whole school is to blame.


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Posted by AVmom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

Some parents can't do as much as others for a variety of reasons. Should their kids not be able to go to college? It's not the kids fault. If the success of the kids is going to depend on how stable and wealthy the parents are why bother with school,at all? Just give the good jobs to the rich kids, teach them what they need to know on the job and we can skip this public education experiment.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

The success of kids DOES depend upon how stable their parents are. I'm sorry you are--as you yourself say--not stable or well-off and that you can't do as much for your child as other parents do. I'm sorry for your daughter, too. But it's not the school's doing.


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

I guess that's fundamentally where we disagree Dude. I respect your opinion but I disagree that the success of the student should be dependent on the means of the parents, financial or otherwise. I do expect the schools to do the very best they can for students from all backgrounds. Not because I need that for my kids, we are fine. I'll hire tutors and test prep and whatever. But I want my kids to grow up in a society where schools give everyone a fighting chance. I'm a dreamer.


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

Very moving! And it would almost even be persuasive if you're daughter, who was never even given a "fighting chance" at success in school, wasn't a 4.0 student.

Do you really not see the crazy in what you're saying?


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 10:00 am

I'm not talking specifically about my child's needs here anymore. Are you not capable of thinking of others? I've mentioned numerous times that my family is fine, my kids have all they need and I can buy them whatever resources are needed to succeed at AVHS but that as I see how much we parents are putting out there to help our kids I do think about what is happening to the kids from the families who can not. That's what I am saying, I'm very sorry you lack the empathy to understand that perspective.

There are many families in this town that lack the EXTRA resources needed to do well in our schools and that is just not fair.


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Posted by Mr. Lee
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

Wait, what I'd like to know is who you were referring to earlier when you said that the only ones who rose to the top did so by lying, cheating and stealing? Your daughter or "those Asian students"? I would really like to know.


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

Kids in general Mr. Lee. Btw, our family too, is Asian.


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Posted by Carl
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

Maybe we should place schools in a larger context? Kids today have more science to learn (increased technology), more math to learn (in order to do the science), more history to learn, and are expected to read books when wikipedia is sitting right there: why read 200 pages when wiki gives you a concise 200 words?

Too many students, and not enough teachers. Teachers and administrators make concessions to reality by teaching for the 'next exam'. Your kid lags behind? Sorry! It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and gets worse all the time. People who have jobs don't get/take vacations anymore. People are needing to retire early because the stress levels are too high.

Poor kids don't do well? How can we expect them to? Their parents are working two Walmart-like jobs simply to put bread on the table. The poor kids get frustrated, want to work but all the adults have taken the McDonalds' jobs. Resort to crime. Prison guards become vital to our economy. In short: As a society we suck.


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Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

Carl,
You are correct again, I'm silly enough to think that by working together here in ptown maybe we can do better than "society".


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Posted by Mr. Lee
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on May 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

After speaking so disparagingly of Asians and what "they" are doing to California schools, it is asking rather a lot for us to believe you later when you claim to be Asian only after your intolerant views have been caught out. More likely, you realized how much you have given away about your prejudices and are now using the anonymity of the Internet to pretend to be what you are not. It's hardly new. In fact, you'll probably respond with vehement, caps-locked aggression and/or either start attacking others or trying to the distract from the topic. But it doesn't really matter, it's already clear enough that the problem is you, not the high school.


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Posted by AVmom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

I've never blamed Asians. I'm sorry you think that and I only felt compelled to disclose my race because this conversation was moving in a different direction. The fact is race matters in school and out of school. We can start a whole other thread about how people treat other races if you like. I'm not trying to implicate any race in this discussion about schools but we can not ignore that the racial make up of the schools is changing. I also never said that is a bad thing. What can be bad is when the school system responds inappropriately to the extra support that Asian families (typically) provide their kids. I apologize if you think I'm blaming. I'm really not, thus the dangers of online conversation. I also will not respond in all caps or berate you.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Dear Students, Do your best in school. If your parents are full of it and you know it, CLAP YOUR HANDS!

There are some seriously disturbed parents who lie, push you unreasonably, disparage people of color, and who are intellectual lightweights. Be respectful of your parents and don't assume that they always know what is best for you. Eat well, get adequate sleep, study hard, take a bath, hang out with your buds, do your homework, be polite and respectful of others, and leave racism for the folks that are caught in a rut.

If your parents need a mental health referral, refer them to a counselor at your school...she/he might have a list of referrals.

Have a nice day!




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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm

av = miss primitive

maybe we can all work together to solve the problem...


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Posted by Some Dude
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Did you notice how Asians were "culturally different" earlier, but now AVmom IS Asian? ;-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by AVMom
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Dude, Asian families do have some cultural differences sometimes. Why is it impossible for me to recognize that just because I am of Asian decent? I am a first generation Asian American. Culturally, I was raised a little differently than some of my non Asian peers. That's all. Nothing more or less.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I agree with Mr. Lee.


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Posted by Pleasanton Teacher
a resident of Birdland
on May 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I'm a high school teacher in Pleasanton. The standards are high. The pressure on increasing test scores to increase API for home owners drives just about everything. But I will let you know that the suggestion of teachers is that students absolutely DO NOT take summer classes at Las Positas to skip grades. I tell my students this over and over - those classes simply cannot cover the material of a whole school year in a semester and the kids who take them to get earlier access to AP courses more times than not do very poorly in those AP classes. The idea that this is what they HAVE to do does not come from the school. It comes from the parents and students themselves. We have an expectations problem in this town. It's not unrealistic to expect that every student in this district should be prepared for college. But more times than not its parents who think their kid is a failure if they don't attend Berkeley, or Stanford, or an Ivy League or other "prestige" university. We teachers know, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU GO TO COLLEGE! Go to LasPo and transfer into a 4 year school when you're ready. Or go to a -GASP!!- CSU! What matters is not WHERE you go, but what you do when you get there. Pleasanton parents don't get this. Don't listen to your daughter. She doesn't need summer courses (she's better off taking the year-long course at her high school - REALLY!). She doesn't need 2 or 3 AP courses per year (even the very best students can't cut it and won't admit it). Ease up and allow her to be okay with B's, and get her involved in after school activities she actually LIKES, like sports, or clubs she's interested it. I teach here, but I also graduated from school here. Sure, the climate has changed, but I was a B-B+ student who didn't stress about being in the TOP 10%, and now I'm a happy, well-adjusted, well-balanced Pleasanton parent myself. I love my teaching career and I'm damn good at it. My kids are just starting in PUSD, and I'm not buying into this crap. Encourage them to do their best, and YOU help reduce their stress by reducing their expectations and calling "bullsh--" on what the "other kids" are doing. This is a great school district. Our "B" students are better equipped than the "A" students from most places. If they can just learn to accept they're not ALL going to Berkeley, they WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. So just relax. Seriously.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hortense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2013 at 3:26 am

Can you imagine that? A P-town teacher recommending a one-way ticket to mediocreville. No doubt this view was shaped by union leaders. Talk about the propaganda of lowered expectations. I've seen it all now, from the yellow window of a passing train.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2013 at 11:09 am

Hortense - not sure what you mean. All the teacher was saying is that students do not need to have a 4.5 GPA and get into Stanford and MIT is be "successful." Guess what? Most students do not go the the "Top" universities and many can not actual afford it. The worst person that ever worked for me when to an elite school and couldn't manage to complete a basic task without substantial help.

Advising and guiding students to be successful is not mediocrity. Why should someone take AP Physics when they couldn't care less about Physics (or even hate the subject)? Kids do because somewhere along the way they have come to believe that only a high GPA or athletic scholarship is the measure of success.


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