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API scores up again

Original post made on Sep 15, 2009

Pleasanton Unified School District schools continue to excel well above the state's standard, according to Academic Performance Index (API) rankings released today by the California Department of Education.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 12:24 PM

Comments (68)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Congrats to our great schools and families. Here's hoping we can maintain these scores with the cuts we've had and the ones looming on the horizon!


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Posted by This is why
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:05 am

This is why we moved to Pleasanton. The teachers and staff and the district are a great team. Good schools keep our property values high, our kids educated with bright futures, and our quality of life intact. Congratulations to all students, parents, and schools!


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:11 am

How do we compare to other states? For instance measured nationally where does California stand?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

We don't compare to other states because we use a different test. Our schools are good - but might I also offer that over the years I have seen a change in the Pleasanton curriculum.....many teachers (perhaps all) now teach to "THE TEST" instead of teaching with creativity, critical thinking and passion. We may have improved scores (which is fine) but are we producing students that can think outside the box. I have my doubts. Personally, I take a quick glance at the test scores and file them away. I want to see innovative assignments that cause my student to really think and problem solve not just learn rhetoric to pass a test. I would be interested in the perspective of others.


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Posted by jbgarlan
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

Our Pleasanton schools continue to improve even during the declining California budget crisis. We must donate funds to keep our schools from losing valuable programs and having class size grow.


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Posted by lets not get started
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

We all donate, at least twice a year.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Who is responsible for these high test scores?

The teachers, the students, and their parents can all claim credit. Good students need good teachers. Good teachers need curious, hard-working students. Good students and good teachers need supportive, involved parents.

We have all of that in Pleasanton, which is why PUSD continues to excel year after year in both standardized tests and in graduating students who are ready for the challenges of college and the "real world".

What I fear is that test scores will begin to steadily decline as budget cuts force PUSD to lay off more and more teachers. Fewer teachers working with the same number of students means less individual attention to each student.

Maybe I'm wrong and the budget cuts aren't severe enough to harm student achievement. But really, once a decline begins in a school system, it becomes very difficult to arrest that decline (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, etc.).

The voters of Pleasanton had a chance to avoid that risk by passing a 64 cents a day insurance policy (i.e., the parcel tax) but failed to do so. I hope that PUSD can continue to keep the high level of student success represented by these API scores, but I fear that we won't be able to.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I totally agree with you Daniel. We are all going to have to keep on working as hard as we can to keep the standards high.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Ok back to reality about the parcel tax because by now everyone knows it was about teacher raises. Now back to the original question I asked about how we compare to other states? If we take a different test then how do we know if our kids are better or worse than other states?


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Dare I submit this list? Web Link

I almost bust a gut laughing! PING!


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm

To the person asking about teaching creativity; the "out of box". You do not teach that, that is the point of the expression, out of the box. Teaching to the test is important. If test requires you to know addition and subtraction; yes, your kids better learn to add and subtract; not sure why everyone jumps on this being bad.

Bob, does it really matter to compare state to state? We live in the most populous state in the union; if our district in in the top 10% then we are in pretty good shape; regardless of state's curriculum. Google some of the tests given internationally and try to see scores within the USA; post here on our state results.


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:21 pm

What's up with Alisal???


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Posted by Drexl
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Cholo - that is a silly way to rank high schools; AP tests are a joke to me, and to grade a school by how many tests "taken"; hey, let's all pitch in $40 per test, have every student take two of them, and our schools will be at top of the list. AP tests are worthless, taking the classes is good, but the test, a joke. Took four of them myself, passed them all, got to college and had to take the classes that the AP tests were to be "equivalent", anyhow, did nothing for me.


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Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Bob: "Ok back to reality about the parcel tax because by now everyone knows it was about teacher raises."
Bob, with our new 25:1 student:teacher ratios, by now everyone *else* knows that the parcel tax was NOT about teacher raises.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ask the District how much employee raises cost them this year.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Drexel, Stay cool (LawStudent),

So we do not care what the other states test scores are but we rank high in the state, it is all about class size but 2 schools in Fremont (Irvington and Mission San Jose) are far better than our schools with 28:1 ratios. You teachers and libs better wise up before you lose what respect you have left with parents and the pupils.


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Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Weird, I've never been called Law Student before...
Give it up, really.
Irvington and Mission are high schools, BTW...


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Stay Cool or whatever,

You should reflect on the statements about those schools and why they are doing better than us with higher ratios. Yes aware they are high schools as I went to MSJ.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Cholo,

In review of your link it appears that both Foothill and Amador have gotten worse each of the last 5 years.


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Posted by Stay Cool
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm

"Bob,"
We are comparing apples and oranges - my post was in reference to elementary schools.
As for comparing to other states, are you referring to performance, funding, what?


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Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2009 at 12:17 am

Bob,
Considering that my son's 1st grade teacher is currently out of work because of the cut in funding, i think we can all agree that it wasn't about teacher raises. Perhaps that's too much reality for you to deal with. Hope you're spending that extra 250 bucks per year well...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:33 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If they want raises, then some of them need to be fired in order to afford the raises.


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Posted by poster boy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:45 am

Stacey, that's sound logic. Perhaps that explains our current economy. All those workers out there needed to be fired to pay for the large CEO salaries and bonuses. It all makes sense now...

Problem is that a bunch of these teachers got laid off AND the surviving teachears got no raises AND they're dealing with more kids per classroom. In fact, some even took pay cuts. Nice.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:51 am

Poster Boy,

Read through the blogs from discussions earlier about measure G. The reason your teacher got laid off was to pay for teacher raises negotiated as part of their collective bargaining agreement. The funds for the raises had to come from somewhere because the union was unwilling to renegotiate so they laid off teacher to save money to give the raises to the ones which were due step and column raises.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 8:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

But don't call them raises! If I use the term "salary increase" or "increase in employee compensation costs", does that make it easier to digest?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 8:04 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"some even took pay cuts"

Are you referring to the idea that increases in health care costs equates a pay cut? Then how do you explain the increased costs to the district as a whole in employee compensation?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 8:07 am

Stacey is a registered user.

P.S. You're right too about the large CEO salaries and bonuses. Casey was more than capable of setting a leading example, but as we now know in hindsight, he'd be affecting his retirement pay if he cut his pay. I bet that nice car allowance figures into his retirement pay too.


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Posted by go PUSD!
a resident of Golden Eagle
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:24 am

Can't we all just be happy and excited for our schools that they are doing well? Why does EVERY single thread always have to turn into a negative one? We already have gone over teacher raises, or excuse me, "salary increases", and Measure G, and everything else.

Be happy that our schools are doing well and are surviving with this economy, just like everyone else is trying to survive.

How about a "Congrats PUSD!" and leave it at that?!


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

Dear "Bob" (if that is your real name):

You wrote: "You teachers and libs better wise up before you lose what respect you have left with parents and the pupils."

You've shown your agenda. "Teachers and libs" means "teachers and liberals" which really means that you have a right-wing axe to grind and want to use Pleasanton public schools are your whetstone.

Good schools are not about liberalism nor conservatism; they are about opening young people's minds. I know as many teachers who call themselves "Republicans" and "conservatives" as call themselves "Democrats" and "liberals" (at least at Foothill High) and all of them have one thing in common: they are very good teachers who are struggling to do their best for Foothill students right now because we've eliminated 35 class sections and the ones that remain are jam-packed with students.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:38 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Good question! Ask jbgarlan.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:40 am

Stacey's on about teacher raises again?

Here's a reminder of the reality: The APT (Association of Pleasanton Teachers, aka the teachers' union for PUSD) offered to reduce the salary of its members an average of $1,000 each IF Pleasanton voters approved the 64 cents a day parcel tax.

The Pleasanton voters said "no" and so the APT didn't agree to the pay reduction.

By the way, the district administrators, who make double or triple the salary of many teachers, didn't offer to cut their own salaries by so much as 10 cents. I don't see "Stacey" beating up on them.

Once again, people have ideological acts to grind: they are anti-union and see teachers as a bunch of Volvo-driving Sierra Club-attending granola munchers.

For the record, I don't have a Volvo, granola reminds me of horse feed, but I do belong to the Sierra Club. Hey, one out of three!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:55 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Daniel Bradford" wrote: "I don't see "Stacey" beating up on them."

You are only seeing what you want to see.

Also, as I've written here in the past, APT's offer would end up with some still making out with a salary increase while others would indeed have a cut. But those salary increases would have to be paid out every year. Remember, a $1MM raise today plus another $1MM raise next year is $3MM total over those two years that you'll have to pay so we'll be cutting more classes later to pay for those.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 11:24 am

Stacey is a registered user.

"Daniel Bradford" wrote: "Once again, people have ideological acts to grind: they are anti-union and see teachers as a bunch of Volvo-driving Sierra Club-attending granola munchers."

Incidentally, where did I indicate my ideology? If you expect to be treated as more than a partisan (or Volvo-driving granola-munching Sierra Club member), you'd do well affording others the same respect.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Web Link

"I'm also a big fan of the right to organize private-sector unions, which can give many otherwise powerless workers a needed say and stake in our free-market system -- especially in dealing with huge, faceless firms. But public-sector unions are something else: They're virtually untrammeled monopolies. They control services to which the public has few alternatives. That politicians benefit financially and otherwise from public-sector unions, and vice versa, further strengthens the monopoly. Together, the two groups do pretty much what they want, whatever the citizenry's needs and desires.

Thus, to raise concerns about public-sector unions is not to be "anti-union." Nor is it to condemn civil-service protections for public employees. It is simply to face reality. "


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I think you might be mistaken Daniel. As I understand it, the administration took the biggest hit with losing 1/3 of their workforce, classified second biggest and teachers third. Also, administrators have take a pay decrease- for the 2nd year in a row.
Check you facts carefully.


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Posted by Blacklist
a resident of another community
on Sep 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Daniel, you are correct. The APT did vote to eliminate two staff development days, contingent upon the passage of Measure G. Ultimately, because of the failure of Measure G, the union ended up doing NOTHING to protect its members from layoffs or to act in a responsible, proactive manner to help the students, teachers, and schools in this state. The CTA/APT is the weakest excuse for a labor union, and with the resources it has--$90.00 a month from well over 320,000 members--there is absolutely no excuse for the way they handled the budget crisis. The biggest crime in all of this is not teachers who want raises, or administrators who fail to take pay cuts. The biggest crime has been perpetrated by a massive union that failed to recognize the gravity of the situation and that maintained the old-school union stance of get nothing, give nothing! I maintain that this strategy amounted to no strategy at all and this clearly points to the need to throw all of those bums out and get some progressively minded people in place. Allowing 30 thousand teachers to get laid off with more to come, and to allow class sizes to increase with ratios sure to increase, without making any attempt at concessions is short sighted and completely ignorant. I feel sorry for those teachers who think that their seniority is all they need for job security. Better wake up and demand action from your union reps. and some value for your union dues.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Unions eat their young!


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:19 pm

To all of us who are donating to the schools, are "Bob" and "Stacey" saying that our donations are about teacher raises? And that we should stop donating because donations are just about teacher raises? I don't see how you can say one and not say the other.

So are you guys organizing a "No on Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) and Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment (PSEE) foundations" campaign? Will you be distributing lawn signs? Will there be "stop giving money to the schools" rallies (dare I say tea parties). What about people who volunteer in classes or donate their time. Doesn't that mean the PUSD won't have to spend the money on counselors and reading assisitants if volunteers do it. Won't that just free up more money for teacher raises? Will you guys also be campaigning against people volunteering in classrooms?

But really, true Americans know the issue isn't about teacher raises, it is about supporting our community. When this country was attacked on September 11, 2001, the we came together as a community and sent a message to the terrorists that we will not let them cause us to live in fear. We will not let them tear us apart and turn us against each other. These are not normal times. The country is at war. We need to not let the terrorists change our behavior and destroy our economy. We need to continue to shop, to buy cars and houses, and to support our schools. When we fail to support our communities, we make the terrorists' job much easier.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Patriot,

Stop putting words into other people's mouths. Your idea of community sounds like communism where everyone is supposed to agree otherwise they get thrown in jail and never heard from again. Thank God we live in America and are free to disagree. You've written along these lines before, linking terrorism with support of schools. Do you think it's funny or something? It's actually quite offensive, like questioning someone's piety and/or patriotism. You think "Bob" and "Stacey" are supposed to be shamed by your words. I think it is you who should be ashamed. Did you know that the kind of Islam that the Muslim terrorists believe in requires complete agreement and absolutely no questioning of their faith? Your own ideas are similar, that no one is allowed to question how schools spend taxpayer money otherwise they are labeled as supporters of terrorism or anti-community. Grow up.


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Posted by Daniel Bradford
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm

"Stacey" (if that is your real name...it's hard to take people seriously when they hide behind pseudonyms or don't give their real names):

"Unions eat their young!"

And you say you're not a right-wing ideologue?

It's because of labor unions that we have the minimum wage, the 40 hour work week, unemployment insurance, Social Security, and workplace health and safety regulation.

Unions have done, and continue to do, a lot to improve the lives of all Americans, whether they belong to a union or not.

Of course, that historical fact doesn't fit into your ideology, so you toss it out.

If you want me to take you seriously and show "respect", you might want to sign your real name to your comments, as I do.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"Daniel Bradford",

You offer a fact then you offer an opinion and call it a fact. I think you might be wrong on your facts too, I'd have to look it up. Besides, what do these facts have to do with the monopoly power public unions hold over taxpayers? It seems your own ideology doesn't allow such scrutiny as you only cite what good unions have done.

Next, what is it about the statement "Unions eat their young" that makes me a right-wing ideologue? I've certainly been called a lot of things around here, but you'll have to explain that one. Do unions not eat their young?

People sign with "Sarah Palin" here. I'm sure that's not the real Sarah Palin. Just because you claim to sign your real and full name doesn't mean I can trust that. At minimum, you can verify that I'm Stacey of Amberwood/Wood Meadows since I'm a registered user and the post is marked as such.


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Posted by Brian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:09 am

My fellow co-workers didn't take a pay cut to save my job, no one who had worked there longer than I said "cut me instead." They could have saved all of the newest hired at this reputable company by everyone taking a pay cut, didn't happen. Your employer would do that?

This is a post with positive news about one measure of success for our schools. It has nothing to do with the structure of how teachers have been paid in the state of California for the past 2 decades.

PUSD was the best investment I made all year. Great job kids!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 7:47 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Perhaps you needed to be a member of a union.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 8:18 am

You didn't even answer my questions, and I think that is sad. I can't understand why anyone would discourage people from donating to their schools or volunteering in classes. Is volunteering in classes really all about teacher raises? You can't really be saying that. If I'm putting words in peoples mouths, tell me where I'm wrong, and I'd be happy to apologize.

I don't think saying things like "Grow up" helps the community come together.

I'm hoping that you are doing your part. We, as a community, are all responsible for educating the next generation of citizens.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

Patriot,

Sorry about not responding but did not see your post and have been busy. No actually I believe that people should be free to donate if they so choose and if so should be encouraged to do so if the cause is worthy and not pork. I speaking about the people who keep posted about the failure of "G" and try to make people feel bad about not supporting it. I for one do not believe that "G" was about the kids but rather about keeping the status quo and giving raises without reducing cost. I think the lack of reduction in cost has been illustrated after the failure of "G" by Casey bringing back administrative people who were laid off so that they could get a larger pension and then he in turns announces he is going to retire after only a few years on the job and we will be left paying for his retirement. Everyone in this environment has or will be making sacrifices and to expect others to sacrifice and the teachers to continue to receive raises just comes off as being selfish. In my personal situation I have lost over 45% of my annual income and expect I will not get it back for years if ever at all and I consider myself to be fortunate in that I still have a job in this state.

I really thought deeply before I voted against the parcel tax but did not know all of the facts until aftewards and would definately vote no again. If they get rid all of the costs possible, reduction of district staff, cell phones, cars, lunches, if they can come up with a plan that eliminates all waste and can show that without additional funding the kids will be impacted in terms of education then even though I no longer have kids in school I would vote for it. I will not under any circumstances vote to pay for more teachers raises.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Patriot,

When you write loaded questions, don't expect answers. It is obvious to anyone reading that you have a difficult time telling the difference between a donation and a tax.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Patriot is far from one. Patriot seeks to enslave the mind of a community through social tactics usually reserved for middle school girl cliques. As adults we usually move beyond that kind of thing, but some are still stuck in the past.


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Posted by Yo Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Oh, that's just great, Bob--get rid of all the costs. Hmm, let's break down the things that cost money: teachers cost money; school upkeep costs money; computers cost money; textbooks cost money. I could go on. Where do you draw the line?????

Pleasanton schools are no longer in the top ten in the state. San Ramon's still are (they have a parcel tax, by the way). Livermore and Dublin also have better schools now (smaller class sizes and better administrative staff ratios) with help from their parcel taxes. And their teachers still got COLA adjustments. Just how mediocre do you want Pleasanton schools to be?

Of course you don't have any kids in school anymore. Anyone can see that. Now that you've milked the system, you don't want to support it anymore. If your kids were in school, being supported by people like you in the community who want to see that the local schools barely keep their heads above water now that they're done with the system, then I would feel sorry for your kids. But I can see you are cold-hearted and selfish. And I HIGHLY DOUBT you would support any parcel tax. I bet you would find fault with anything in any parcel tax. Give me a break!!!!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Pleasanton lost it's top ten position while having 20:1 CSR, lower counselor-to-student ratios, etc.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Please, let's try to keep the discussion civil. I think Bob answered my questions fairly. I'd agree that Measure G was a little short on language like "we're all making sacrifices, and here is how PUSD is cutting costs in these difficult times..." I personally don't have a problem supporting a new parcel tax even with step and column increases maintained at their current levels. I don't think our district is overspending, but I would like to see more specific language in the new parcel tax regarding cuts. I do realize that cuts alone cannot solve the problem without affecting quality of education.

Stacey,

I'm sorry if I've committed some unforgivable sin in your mind so that you won't answer my questions. I meant no offense. I don't see where you've ever encouraged people to give to the district or volunteer in the schools. I have seen that you've posted negative comments regarding the PUSD on threads that were purely about the recent fund raiser, and not about Measure G. What was the point of those comments, if not to discourage donations and volunteering? You're welcome to correct me if I'm wrong. I hope that you don't just shut off the discussion.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

This Web Link will take one to the API reports website. PUSD got above 900. Dublin and Livermore are below 900. Also PUSD met Federal standards (AYP) while Dublin and Livermore did not. Livermore also has a school in "PI" and if they don't improve again this year then NCLB will kick their butts and take over.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Patriot,

I've never written anything disparaging the summer's fundraiser and I've even encouraged it, but you interpret my criticism of PUSD as criticism of the fundraiser. In school that would be known as a reading comprehension problem.


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Posted by Yo Stacey
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Just wait until the scores for the 2009/10 school year come out. That is when the fallout from the budget cuts will occur. We'll see the effects on PUSD's scores as well.

And, by the way, regarding Dublin and Livermore's scores, they enacted their parcel taxes as a way of MAINTAINING their schools, not to improve them. Were Dublin and Livermore's schools ever great? No but they haven't gotten worse. And Livermore always has had a school or two in PI--nothing's changed in that respect. Now with the failure of the parcel tax, Pleasanton's schools have nowhere to go but down.

The Pleasanton community has chosen not to support their schools. What do you think is going to happen???


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The facts don't support your supposition that throwing money at a problem leads to higher student achievement levels. Give parents and teachers some credit.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:08 pm

So please review the link from Cholo below and explain to me why just comparing high schools nationally both Foothill and Amador have dropped in ranking each of the past 5 years with the only exception being Amador in 2007? It seems that money is not the answer but someone intelligently explain to us.

Foothill 2009-495, 2008-408, 2007-398, 2006-272, 2005-234

Amador 2009-551, 2008-317, 2007-334, 2006-301, 2005-262


Web Link


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Posted by Yo Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

If you can't say for sure that money has anything to do with it, the inverse is true, too: money may have something to do with it.

How do you know the other schools overtaking Foothill and Amador haven't been throwing money at their schools to improve them? You don't know; neither do I.

But I am willing to bet that these schools who are moving up in the ranks are getting support from their community.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Yo bob,

I do know one thing and that is that two schools in Fremont better than ours, Irvington and Mission San Jose< demand perfection and achievement and if the parents do not get it they force out the teachers whose classes are not performing. Only the best teachers wnat to teach at Mission San Jose. Mission I believe is about 65 in the nation and they have a lot of parents engaged. Actually if a kid does not want to be engaged in class they send the kid to the office and they must sit there until a parent comes from work to pick them up. I know as I went there and was a speaker at their graduation ceremony. It is not about money as Irviington is a very poor area of Fremont.


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Posted by john
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm

we are going to need a forensic investigator to determine if this horse was actually a horse at all.


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Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Yo Bob said it correctly "I am willing to bet that these schools who are moving up in the ranks are getting support from their community."

Sorry to say Bob, that kind of community commitment would never fly in Pleasanton. I can only imagine the rage we would hear from parents being called from work to pick up their student because they were not engaged. Remember the Senior Project debate? Support for the Excellence Committee?


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Bob,

Those rankings are ridiculous at best. It only correlates the number of AP tests taken per number of students at the school. It doesn't matter if every kids who took the test gets a 1 (basically failing) it just matters tha they took them. If you want Pleasanton schools to move up on that list, all we have to do is pay for every student at the school to take an AP test - whether they are prepared or not.

Its nearly impossible to rank schools especially between states. CA and MS (for example) have very different standards of what students should learn in each grades level or subject area. CA standards are usually accepted as being one of the highest (toughest) in the country. Good or bad, I don't know, it is what it is.

And yes, teachers are going to teach to the test as long as this is the measuring stick. Is it great? Probably not...but its at least a starting point to know students have been taught (or at least exposed to) the same material.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Bob,

What really does "If they get rid all of the costs possible" mean?

Should no administrator have a cell phone? Or even a desk line...these cost money. What about electricity? Costs money...administrators and even classes could be held outside, no electricity necessary. As someone else said, get rid of half the teachers , that's huge cost savings...just put more kids into each classroom.

At what point are we really willing to spend money?

My problem is, either we are willing to spend the money we need on public education (safe schools, proper building, proper pay for good teachers, etc) or we are not. If we are not, that's fine, make it private. But everyone has to agree that in a private scenario, not everyone in this country is going to get the same education. Of course this goes against the thoughts of some of the greatest minds of human history, but then again, many of them did not have the internet.




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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I heard that parents send their children to Las Positas instead of enrolling in an AP class and taking the AP test and failing.


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Posted by Yo Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:36 am

The Fremont Unified School District is also proposing a parcel tax due to a $17 million budget shortfall.


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Posted by Yo Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2009 at 6:40 am

They have had to increase class sizes, cut library staff and couselors... sound familiar?


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Posted by klyoung
a resident of another community
on Sep 20, 2009 at 10:06 am

In regards to CA's ranking with other states - well, it's impossible to compare that way in reality. We just moved here from Tennessee and I am also an educator (middle grades) so I will use my home state as my example. To put it simply - TN lies. They are ranked 42nd in the nation and CA is ranked 46th according to the test scores each state uses. However, TN's standards are so low that only the top 20% of the states students are able to compete on a national level. By national level I mean ACT exams, SAT exams, academic scholarships, etc. TN is not alone either. Quite a few states also figured out that not only did they get to set their own bar (standards) they also got to measure their own bar (make their own exams) and so they decided to set the bar low and make the test easy to make themselves look good (now, the fact that this is all true and that TN still ranks 42nd is one of the main reasons we moved).

As far as CA is concerned, CA and 2 other states have been deemed to have the most rigorous standards and exams in the country. Take comfort families that if your school is performing well on CA exams based on CA standards your child is receiving a top notch education and will certainly be able to compete on a national level. I don't recall the other 2 states, just that they were in the NE part of the country (we didn't even consider moving there). CA may rank 46th in a side-by-side comparison but they rank that way because the standards are higher and the exam more rigorous. I'll take that 46th over a fabricated 42nd any day.

On another note - as an educator I strongly feel that it is important for teachers to be able to teach the standards and above (not to the test - tests only measure whether or not you have met the minimum standard, standards are just that, the bare minimum). However, let us not leave out creativity and enthusiasm for our lessons and our subjects. I refuse to enroll my child in a school where classrooms are silent - learning is ACTIVE, not passive. If a child never speaks in class, how does the teacher know if they understand?

Einstein said it best, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is a good as dead. His eyes are closed." Let us not be so consumed with standards, exams, and basic facts that we forget show out children what it's like to stand rapt in awe at the wonders around us.


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Posted by Chris H.
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 20, 2009 at 10:57 am

So again the question..........where does the money come from?


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

495 & 551 - I rest my case!


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Posted by Chris H.
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

Cholo does have a good point. Regardless of the measure our trend has gotten worse each of the last 5 years.


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