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on Jul 10, 2009
This letter was also printed in the Independent last week or so.
Numerous specific suggestions as to what needs to change have been suggested ad infinitum ad nauseum.
So how about writing a nice letter that lays out the details of the fundraiser instead of the accusatory tone towards friends and neighbors that voted no?
I didn't read anything accusatory in the letter, so I'm not sure what "tone" you are talking about. The writer clearly supported Measure G and is supportive of the fund raising efforts. If you want a "nice" letter, please write it.
"Folks shouldn't be negative if they don't have specific suggestions as to what needs to change for the betterment of the school system."
Stacey -- sounds like you and the writer are on the same page, both of you calling for positive and productive communication. I still don't see the negative tone.
Yep, the letter writers clearly supported Measure G, are supportive of the fund raising efforts, then go on to take pot shots at those who voted no instead of focusing upon the fund raising effort. The letter could have done without the entire second paragraph. Even the last sentence of the first paragraph is a bit of a put-off because it assumes that those who voted no are not interested in the fundraising.
Stacey -- I don't think you and I are going to agree on this one. I don't read "pot shots" nor do I see how the writer of the letter assumes that folks who voted no aren't interested in the fund raising (or the success of the district). If what you want is positive discourse, then we all need to stick to positive discourse.
You don't have to agree. If I'm interpreting it this way, others probably are too.
I'm not! The only negative tone I see is in the negative comments made on this board regarding the letter. Weird.
I agree with Stacey on this one. It is easy to "not see" things when a letter largely agrees with your position. I see the negativity she points out, albeit subtle.
Let's get some cohesion and start the process with not only a cessation of addressing people negatively but also by not telling someone that you "don't see it" when they are offended.
If they are offended, and it wasn't intended, then just apologize and move forward toward the goal.
A few letter's to the editor have surpried me in the last weeks since measure G has come and gone. The letter's that have really caught me off guard are folks that are calling upon those that supported G to please donate their $233.00.
I have spoken to 4 different families who all supported G and who have no intention of donating $$ to PPIE or PSEE, all 4 of these families are renters, two of them, low-income families and that extra money is simply unavailable to them.
I'm urging the community....PLEASE STOP asking for the yes voter's to PAY for their yes vote!!! Some of these families are feeling bullied into giving money they simply don't have because they supported measure G. This is WRONG!! These families are wonderful and supported a cause they really believed in, now they are feeling GUILTY for not "opening their EMPTY wallet's" to the fundraising effort.
This is a fundraising effort. The assumption is that the people who voted in favor of Measure G felt that the funding was important. People are just trying to illustrate that since we won't be paying the $233 in property taxes to fund the schools, why not donate that amount to the fundraising effort? I don't think bullying comes into play.
I can see what Surprised is saying: low-income renters voted for Measure G because they wouldn't have had to pay for it, even though they supported it; their landlords would have gotten the bill. So one really can't assume that because someone voted for Measure G they can afford it.
One also can't assume that the number of people who voted for Measure G will correlate to the amount of money expected if each of these people sent in $233. In our household, for example, there were 2 votes for Measure G (my and my husband's votes for our one child in school), so even though we had 2 votes, we donated $233 for our one child, not $466 if you go by number of votes.
I think for the fundraiser to be successful, there has got to be more support from the community, the various businesses in town, and hopefully from people who value education even though they don't have children in the school system.
I've got another idea. I'm just asking. How many people would send their money to me? I can do a lot. Together we can undermine this system of legalized child abuse. I would have have to set up a not for profit organization. The purpose would be to dismantle the public school system. It can start in Pleasanton for all I care.
Would anyone actually donate? I'm just asking? Yes or no.
A better letter would make no assumptions about its audience. The goal is to "net" as many as possible into donating. Don't alienate anyone by subtle language about who voted one way or another or the causes of why Measure G failed. Emphasize the goal and the benefits (i.e., your donation is a tax deduction!).
Really, this fundraising drive should have started back in February when the majority of stakeholders were in school and not during a summer vacation. Someone hedged the bets. (It was even suggested to start this fundraising back then too.)
Privatize, "If you build it (and it's a good model), they will come." I don't think just donating to someone in the hope they can come up with a better way to educate children is going to get very far. There are options available to you, however.
One is to put together a plan for a charter school, and if it gets approved, a facility and funding are made available to you. It isn't easy, but someone in Livermore did it. Web Link One such model is the KIPP Schools, which began in Texas, and has spread successfully across the country. Web Link The second option would be to start a private school that similarly spreads. The third would be to find a way to secede from the California education system and run PUSD solely on community dollars. Just trying to picture how Pleasanton could make that happen seems daunting from every angle.
I appreciate your passion for change, though. So to answer you question--with the right opportunity for my kids, I wouldn't say I'd donate, but I'd have enrolled my children in a school if it had a program I was equally passionate about.
For the letter that started this thread, I agree it implies that those who opposed Measure G did nothing more than to just say vote no, and ignores that many who voted no have donated.
...and I am not donating a penny until I see some of the wasted money is placed back into the programs for our children.
Kathleen, your children are grown and not in the Pleasanton school district anymore, so please do not mislead people by saying things like "with the right opportunity for my kids, I wouldn't say I'd donate..." You make it sound as though you have a personal stake in the matter--you don't. Nobody is pressuring you as a grandparent to give anything. If anything, it's your children who have to decide whether or not to donate. I do not understand why you are campaigning so hard against this fundraiser. So maybe you don't have a personal stake in the issue, but it sure seems as though you have a personal vendetta.
Make sure you know how your money is going to be used before donating. Someone at the grocery store just told me about what these organizations plan to do if not all the money is raised.
I encourage people to donate, but I also encourage PPIE and PSEE to be forthcoming with people. What will you do with the money raised if you do not raise enough? Will you give the money back? Will you allow people to say: "I want my donation to be used for X"?
From what I've been told, the funds will still be allocated to the programs you intended (i.e., either elementary band or CSR, counselors, reading/math specialists) even if the fundraising goal is not met.
So I take that to mean the programs will not be fully restored if the fundraiser falls short, but they will still be better off than if the fundraiser had not taken place at all.
As I understand, CSR is implemented per grade level but has to be district-wide. This means that they can't have like 1st grade CSR at one school and not at another. If 1st grade has CSR it has to be at all district schools. This leads to the problem of why donations for CSR can't really go directly to an individual school, but has to be done at the district level (i.e., through PPIE). Imagine if one school receives more than enough funds for 1st grade CSR, but another school doesn't. The richer school still wouldn't be able to properly utilize the funds if the other schools can't.
Other programs may not have that limitation.
Huh? Please go back and reread what I wrote. I was responding to Privatize who asked whether people would donate to her/his effort to privatize schools, not about donating to PPIE/PSEE. I then responded with options Privatize could consider if s/he were serious.
There is no vendetta. I am not at all campaigning against the fund raising. I am not against the effort. Please do me the courtesy of reading who I am responding to and the topic before you critique what I'm saying.
My tax dollars mean I already have a stake in PUSD--that makes me as much a customer as any other tax payer. Having a grandchild in the system just means I will be as concerned about the education system as I was for my own children.
Thanks, Stacey, for clarifying. With money from the fundraiser (even if the goal is not reached), the district may still be able to implement some sort of class-size reduction on a district-wide level, hopefully lower than 25:1 but probably not as low as 20:1.
Hopefully those who are financially strapped but support the fundraiser will donate whatever amount they can afford, even if it is not $189 per student.
Stacey, I'm not sure why it is ok for you to take "pot shots" at the Clatworthys, criticizing their writing style for heaven's sake. Yet your opinions and subtly negative posts are irreproachable.
This man has all the right in the world to say what ever he wants how ever he wants to. He is in his eighties and volunteering at our school every day without fail! He is a true role model for "doing" rather than complaining. Can all who post "complaints" against him say the same for themselves?
I think what you post is much more subtle and negative than anything in this letter that also reveals the writers' full names.
Cholo really needs to weigh in on this thread. Where are you Cholo?
Please give your opinion.
Welcome to public discourse. If it isn't agreeable to you, log off now.
You said to Kathleen, "You make it sound as though you have a personal stake in the matter--you don't. Nobody is pressuring you as a grandparent to give anything. If anything, it's your children who have to decide whether or not to donate."
If it is your perspective that only parents of enrolled children in the school district have a right to comment on the district, then will you call for Mr. Clatworthy to retract his Letter to the Editor or is his position of speaking as a grandparent more worthy of listening to if he is on your side of the fundraising? Is it also in line with your logic that only parents should be allowed to donate? I would assume you wouldn't want to ask for money and then ask people to keep their mouths shut, or is that what you expect?
Kathleen has every right as a tax payer to question everything at the disrtict. We all do. And we all have a right to openly discuss whether or not it is prudent at this time to give money or not.
Mr. Clatworthy is due the respect of his opinion, but he gives up some when he requests others to hold their fire since he thinks the teachers are doing a good job. You also do when you tell others they can give, but they have no say if it isn't in cheer of the fundraising.
Cholo, please answer!
Interesting response Stacey- note to self- only Stacey can correct others writing, opinions, and "attitude" exposed in their writing. Otherwise she will tell you to sign off?! You do act as if you are above reproach and thank you Judy for calling you on it. Seems like Judy WAS participating in the public discourse you mentioned, why should she sign off?
It is only OK to agree with Stacey, not to disagree.
The city of Pleasanton takes a lot of your money; so does the state of California and the Federal Government. By the way, have you been campaigning so fervently against fiscal waste in those institutions as you have been against PUSD? Like Huh? said--personal vendetta.
Yo Me, Yes, I do (although not the city so far)--legislators, the governor, the presidents--even write to the pope and once to a gasoline company. I don't do that anonymously either. My husband often kids the black vans with dishes circling our block are running out of room. Kinda blows the personal vendetta thing, doesn't it?
Sorry, Kathleen, but your name has been dragged through the mud already. You've been sounding very defensive lately. Is your conscience eating at you finally? Have you realized now that your campaign against a school fundraiser makes you seem vindictive and self-aggrandizing?
Rallying against high-quality education for the children of Pleasanton (and we're not talking about luxuries here--we're talking about small class sizes, school band, counselors, reading and math support--programs that schools in Livermore, Dublin, and San Ramon enjoy) isn't going to win you any friends among the families here.
Yo--Not at all defensive. My conscience is clear. If this is about what Huh? was posting, then please go back and read Privatize and then my response, which is what seems to have started this latest round of badgering. Not against the fundraising and have said so multiple times.
I have also said I'm in favor of CSR (non-academic reasons); counselors, reading and math support--against the fiscal policies of recent years, and I don't personally believe the school board needs additional staff support (after all, they have the entire staff) over bringing back another administrator such as a VP or any of the other programs noted. I am in favor of high quality education and a responsible fiscal policy that insures it.
I agree with you YO- the problem is when you call people on it, they claim they are being attacked, so watch out.
This goes way back with Ms. Ruegsegger using her past positions in the district to create the idea that she is the authority on the decisions that the Administration makes. She has stated her OPINIONS, not the facts, and MANY people took that as the truth, thus believing that PUSD was to blame for the fiscal crisis the state is currently experiencing. Many people joined the band wagon stating that if Kathleen said it, it must be true.(For example- one of her biggest arguments was that "the district abandoned a GOAL for a 7% reserve"- never stating any FACTS about why the reserve was at the State required 3%, just assumptions that is was misspent creating a panic among voters)
This is not a failing district. If her statements were true, then why has PUSD's success been on the rise since she was here? The API scores continue to rise every year, this couldn't happen with the "mismanagement" claims that have been made.
Many people tried to call her on this only to be accused of attacking her. Funny how the double standard works here. Ms. Ruegsegger does have the right to post her opinions, just as we have the right to say something when she continues to post false assumptions about PUSD.
I agree that this type of constant posting works against those thinking of donating, just as it affected voters with Measure G. The hidden jabs, and double entendres are not so hidden and come across as interference with the work that many are doing to voluntarily raise funds for our schools.
Sheeeeeeeesh...I THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS PEPSI ADVERTISEMENT.
ALWAYS SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN, EDUCATION AND ESPECIALLY TEACHERS!
THERE ARE SO MANY BLISS NINNIES THAT LIVE IN THIS WATER HOLE OF A TOWN, GROW UP, PUT UP THE MONEY OR SHUT-UP!
Not to forget: 496 & 552!
Education will always make the country a better place. Like I said, PUT UP OR SHUT-UP!
If any money get funneled to administrators, bust their chops and snatch the green!
And, I don't mean maybe...
Let's try this...
Judy wrote: "Stacey, I'm not sure why it is ok for you to take "pot shots" at the Clatworthys, criticizing their writing style for heaven's sake. Yet your opinions and subtly negative posts are irreproachable.
This man has all the right in the world to say what ever he wants how ever he wants to."
The answer for why it is ok is easy. The Clatworthys voluntarily chose to write a Letter to the Editor. Anyone, including me, who chooses to participate in public discourse opens themselves to public response. The responses so far on this thread have been highly illustrative of this point. If I were really worried about the responses, I wouldn't write. Maybe that's why I'm irreproachable.
Judy later wrote: "Ms. Ruegsegger does have the right to post her opinions, just as we have the right to say something"
Additionally, just like the Clatworthys, everyone has all the right in the world to say whatever they want however they want. Just as everyone has the right to respond however they want. Again, welcome to public discourse. Those who are uncomfortable with potential responses should not participate.
To be more clear, I never intended to imply that the Clatworthys were taking pot shots on purpose. The intent of their letter was clearly to encourage the fundraising activity. And with such an intent, a better written letter would focus on the fundraising and not bring up Measure G or characterize potential donors based upon which way they voted.
My reference was to pestering, not attacking; no worries.
This was about fiscal responsibility and how taxpayer dollars were spent; the reserves were just analogous to imprudent decision-making. This district is not failing academically, or to be more precise, the students (and those who impart the educationparents and teachers) are excelling. Fiscally, however, the district is on the CDE watch list (posted to another thread). Those are two very different areas of responsibility the district has to this community.
The personal jabs are a mind game meant to distract readers from the information presented and/or to intimidate the poster (whomever it may be).
I have not posted against the fund raisers. Maybe this will help:
• See What Events are Coming Soon! Until August 14th, there will be various fundraising events taking place in our Pleasanton community. Check back frequently to see what creative and innovative things are happening! On-line Auction hosted by Amy Taylor Come see what items close this Friday! A cabin get-a-way.... financial planning...teeth whitening....Clubsport fun.... just to name a few things up for auction this week!
• During the month of July, GourMade Cookery is offering a "Cook for the Cause" fundraiser and will donate 20% from every order of Korean Chicken to ILPS. July 1st through July 31st
• Parkside Garage Sale! July 18th. 8am-1pm 3295 Melanie Circle, Pleasanton, 94588 All monies collected at this house will go directly to PPIE and the I Love Pleasanton Schools campaign. Come by to check out the goods and/or donate. It is for a great cause- Our children!!
• Papa Murphy's Pizza will generously donate 35% of sales on the following dates! Mark them on your calendar! Tuesday, July 21
Wednesday, July 22
Tuesday, August 11
Wednesday, August 12
Papa Murphy's Pizza in Pleasanton is located at 1991 Santa Rita Rd # E. Phone: (925) 417-7511
• Come one! Come all, and join us at the Hopyard! The Hopyard will donate 20% of your bill on August 1 from 11am-10pm!! Please present this flyer Spread the word! Forward the flyer! Meaning to get together with friends? Why not schedule it for August 1st?
3015-H Hopyard Road (at Valley Ave.).
• Exercise for Education! ClubSport Pleasanton is offering a fun, "Exercise for Education" event on Friday, July 24, 6-9 p.m. Join PPIE and Clubsport for this lively evening of guided group exercise and good health.
Enjoy 30-minute rotations of Group Kick and Cardio Cycle in the studio, and Zumba Dance on the pool deck with the club's fun, professional instructors. The event will culminate in a relaxing social at the club's poolside Cabana.
The event is open to members and guests. Sign up at ClubSport's Acitivites Desk. The donation is a minimum $50 per person. All of the proceeds support the "I Love Pleasanton Schools" campaign. To sign up, call the Club at (925) 463-2822 and ask for Activities. Information Flyer
• Main Street Carnival Saturday, August 8th 5pm-9pm Businesses in downtown Pleasanton are hosting an old-fashioned street carnival on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 5-9 p.m. Watch for details about ticket presales and planned activities. If you would like to help, email PPIE.
• Want to know how you can make your donations go twice as far? Ask your company if it will match your donation to Pleasanton Partners in Education
• And, don't forget to look for the "I Love Pleasanton Schools" table at the Farmer's Market this Saturday!
Additional information is at www.ppie.org
Money please: Web Link
Thank you, Kathleen! This info is very helpful.
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