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School board sets special meeting for Saturday on conflict of interest concerns

Original post made on Dec 8, 2010

The Pleasanton school board will hold a special meeting Saturday to discuss governance--how the board is run--and to get information from an expert on conflicts of interest.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 6:12 AM

Comments (47)

Posted by no nonsense, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 8, 2010 at 9:49 am

Electing someone who's family income is directly linked to governance decisions was a very bad idea. There will be many, many times when salary or other compensatory issues come up. Who is to decide which decisions are recusable? How? A serious waste of valuable time if you ask me, not mention a board member absent from important discussions regularly.
Selfish choice to run on Mr. Bowser's part.


Posted by Beth, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

....and ignorant of the voters who voted for him not understanding that. Kudos to the school board members who pushed for this (Jamie and Valerie) community meeting and researching "conflict of interest". Maybe the by-laws need to be updated to prevent further "conflicts of interest". I think this will really hamper the school board over the next two years.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:39 am

"Electing someone who's family income is directly linked to governance decisions was a very bad idea."

I agree, but it was the voters who had the last say. I did not vote for Bowser, but I guess we have enough uninformed voters to have made his election possible. I had hoped Laursen and Piderit won.

The teachers' union campaigned hard for Bowser, and they did a disservice to the community, now we have a board member who will be a zero to the left on MANY decisions as it will be a conflict of interest.


Posted by Buddy, a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:44 am

wow don't most Public representatives have Financial conflict of interest disclosures they need to make. So when they vote if it effects them personally? I recall Pleasanton City Council members Abstaining from Votes due to potential Financial Conflicts of Interest.


Posted by Recuse or EXCUSE, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

TEACHER and council member Cook-Kallio should also recuse herself from any council discussions and votes regarding public union members.....automatically.
As always, she defended the generous concession in the recent fire contract....that we have no input on.....a giant 2% contribution from our firemen to their own retirements ! Do you contibuted 2%, OR 40%, OR 60%.....OR MOST LIKELY ALL OF ANY CONTRIBUTIONS MADE TO YOUR RETIREMENT ! Being a public union member herself, she honestly thought a measly 2% was really stepping up ! ,...a real gap with reality. IF she thinks 2% can seriously be called a 'contribution' you KNOW we have a problem with her on this issue.
In most of these general public employee contributions however, I don't think teachers, whose terms are not as outrageous as safety, should be lumped in with them. But the mindset, and unity are the same for all public employee union members.
And for this school board issue, I thought the people voting for him were idiots...for just that reason !


Posted by question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:10 am

Should Ronald Reagan have recused himself from any discussion of labor issues because he was a lifetime AFL-CIO member?


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

Jamie had a brother who was working at Amador, Kernon had two daughters employed by the district, all members are tax payers in this community...where does conflict of interest begin and end? You could dig and find this with any member on any council, or you can just isolate those you don't agree with and make it an issue when it really isn't. We need to focus on real issues, not the "what ifs".


Posted by Ian, a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Dec 9, 2010 at 11:36 am

I, and many other voters, voted for Bowser. We were NOT ignorant to his interests, however we wanted his opinions to provide a balance to the board.


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm

How does voting for someone with strong association with the already strongly associated Teacher's union board provide balance?


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Dec 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Oh come on, people! Do you really believe Mr. Bowser would put his own financial interest over those of our schools and children? I'm very convinced that he would vote to eliminate his wife's job if doing so would help the school better balance its budget. Since the community overwhelmingly voted for him, we should just let him do his job and not question his integrity and character after the fact.

Voting for someone who is blessed by the Teacher's Union is always the right thing to do. The union always have our children's interest at heart and we know it.


Posted by Beth, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm

@ Jerry

I hope that was sarcastic.

If not....The majority of the teachers at our schools have the children's best interests at heart. The Union only has the Union's dogma at heart. I will do everything to support the teachers...NOT the union. Ms. Bowser's specific tie with the Union makes it suspect, not that she is a teacher.


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm

The teachers are the union. I'm confused by the comment that you support one, but not the other. Mrs. Bowser is an amazing teacher, dedicated, goes above and beyond, and our kids are fortunate to be in her class. Our Union/teachers gave back to our schools- 4 million dollars- this is tangible "kids interest at heart", not just talk.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm

"The teachers are the union. I'm confused by the comment that you support one, but not the other"

Wow, what a comment! The teachers are NOT the union. The union FORCES teachers to become part of the union.

Supporting the teachers means: we value the job they do. Not supporting the union means: we understand that the financial crisis is directly tied to the unreasonable pensions, etc, which exist only because of the unions, and we also understand that seniority (another union nonsense) is absolutely wrong.

Would you like to have open heart surgery performed by a doctor whose only qualification is that he has seniority (even if he is incompetent)? And then when that doctor that screwed up your surgery is kept on board to screw more surgeries, thanks to some union, would you be happy?


Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 10, 2010 at 12:10 am

Get Educated:

Giving back means providing something without taking something in return. Not receiving pay for days not worked is not "giving back".


Posted by question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 8:14 am

"we understand that the financial crisis is directly tied to the unreasonable pensions,"

If by "financial crisis" you mean the current recession, I hope you understand that it was caused by the popping of the real estate bubble and over-leveraged Wall Street firms. State and local pension obligations are another matter entirely. They played no role whatsoever in causing the global recession that started in 2008.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 10, 2010 at 8:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

question wrote: "They played no role whatsoever in causing the global recession that started in 2008."

CALPERS investments in higher risk real estate deals (a change of their strategy from a decade ago) and CDOs is the stuff of legend.


Posted by question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 9:16 am

"CALPERS investments in higher risk real estate deals (a change of their strategy from a decade ago) and CDOs is the stuff of legend."

As a percentage of the entire MBS, CDO, SIV market, it was minuscule. The vast bulk of mortgage backed securities trading was done by large investment banks, insurance companies, and mutual funds (more than 90%). The total percentage of all pension funds nationwide, public and private investing in CDOs is less than 5%. CALPERS is a small percentage of that. They played no role in creating the market, or causing its collapse.


Posted by Disgusted, a resident of Beratlis Place
on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

Question, finally someone who knows the facts vs. those that flap their gums because they do not like Unions. You want to "Wal Mart" schools, city, state, federal, jobs go ahead. Then you will bitch about "Old" employees that can barely speak English and provide a lousy work product. But by golly you will have "CHEAP". Pleasanton is in better shape than most cities. You want less Pension obligation, separate the fire dept. Go back to Pleasanton Fire Dept. and halve the number of employees. Let Livermore deal with firefighter pensions. Did the consolidation save tons of money, I don't know. Hell, give all the employees to the County and have less say in what you want. You bitch but suggest little.


Posted by Recuse or EXCUSE, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

question, don't blame or even confuse this pension crisis, with the mortgage bubble. That just will NOT fly! It has been evident the pensions crisis was pending, because they are numerically, statistically UNSUSTAINABLE period. regardless. The mortage/recession only made it VISABLE to all who had not been paying attention.... sort of like Madoff...it was there.. but the blind were not yet aware... Awarenss and presence are 2 differnt things. We are need to be adult, CRITICAL THINKERS !!!
Adolescent excuses won't hold up !


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

BTW, I'm sorry to bring up CalPERS in this thread as teachers are not members of it. I just wanted to say that claiming that pension obligations have no role "whatsoever" in the crash of the market sounded rather absurd to me. CalPERS (and CalSTRS too I think) determined that they needed an 8% return in order to meet their pension obligations (most private pension funds assume a more conservative 6%). To try to get that, they needed to make riskier investments (because the Fed pegs the prime interest rate so low, thereby stiffing investors) whereas in the past they did not. CalPERS' size in the CDO market as a percentage of the total CDO market is not really relevant because the fact remains that CalPERS sought out those riskier investments, just as everyone else that wanted higher returns did. When there's a demand, someone will find a supply to meet it. "Whatsoever" is like saying they had 0% in the CDO market. <sarcasm>Well, it's not the customer's fault they're fat. Those Big Macs were just shoved down their throat.</sarcasm>


Posted by question, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

" When there's a demand, someone will find a supply to meet it. "Whatsoever" is like saying they had 0% in the CDO market."

Point taken. I should have said they played a negligible role in bringing about the credit crisis.

"When there's a demand, someone will find a supply to meet it."

Yes, and that demand was overwhelmingly coming from investment banks and insurance companies, not pensions.

"...sought out those riskier investments..."

Remember entire CDO and mortgage market was junk, as we found out in October 2008. Even much the stuff rated "investment grade" by rating agencies like S&P turned out to be junk.

"Adolescent excuses won't hold up "

Who is making excuses? Someone said "we understand that the financial crisis is directly tied to the unreasonable pensions", as if to say that "unreasonable pensions" caused the recession. That is wrong.


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Is there any way, that the School District or City could break the union?(companies usually use bankruptcy, I think...is that an option?)

Let's say a large number of Pleasanton teachers wanted to get rid of the union, how would they go about it?


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm

"Giving back means providing something without taking something in return. Not receiving pay for days not worked is not "giving back"."

So you mean to tell me that saving the district 4.5 million dollars, doing what the community cried for- shared sacrifice- was not really giving back? This is absurd. If this vote were to come around again, I guess I should not vote to take a pay cut again, first of all the community doesn't "believe" it was real, and second it didn't really save the district money?! You are making this easy for us Pleasanton Parent- you don't see any value on our end of the sacrifice, we'll be sure not to do that again!


Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Get educated - you really have to stop trying to make sense of comments by morons. Life is far too short, sort of like their brain capacity.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 10, 2010 at 9:29 pm

More rabid anti-union propaganda and teacher bashing in the pixels of the Pleasanton Weekly.

Yawn.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Merry Christmas, everybody.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2010 at 5:55 am

Union employees will always get mad when people remind them that the unions are a huge financial burden not just to California but to the entire nation.

At some point, money will not be there to finance pension obligations and like the city of Vallejo and GM, there will be some sort of bankruptcy proceedings for the union entities, pensions will be eliminated and things will get back in shape.

What is so hard to understand? Unions are killing the economy, they are not the only ones: we also have the countless govt employees collecting benefits, and yes the housing bubble is the main culprit of this financial mess, but remember: the unions (Calpers) played and speculated as well. Just like the rest of us saw our 401K go down and we had to deal with it (no govt bailout for us), unions must do the same. Taxpayers should not have to suffer because of the bad union decisions. Not enough money for pensions? Deal with it like the rest of us, do not demand that programs be canceled so YOUR mistakes can be fixed with that money.

There is no union bashing, we are just stating facts. Look, Palin blames the liberal media for all the GOP woes, without realizing what is really going on. The union and union-supporters are acting the same way: ignore reality and blame, blame, blame when others point out the truth.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2010 at 5:55 am

Union employees will always get mad when people remind them that the unions are a huge financial burden not just to California but to the entire nation.

At some point, money will not be there to finance pension obligations and like the city of Vallejo and GM, there will be some sort of bankruptcy proceedings for the union entities, pensions will be eliminated and things will get back in shape.

What is so hard to understand? Unions are killing the economy, they are not the only ones: we also have the countless govt employees collecting benefits, and yes the housing bubble is the main culprit of this financial mess, but remember: the unions (Calpers) played and speculated as well. Just like the rest of us saw our 401K go down and we had to deal with it (no govt bailout for us), unions must do the same. Taxpayers should not have to suffer because of the bad union decisions. Not enough money for pensions? Deal with it like the rest of us, do not demand that programs be canceled so YOUR mistakes can be fixed with that money.

There is no union bashing, we are just stating facts. Look, Palin blames the liberal media for all the GOP woes, without realizing what is really going on. The union and union-supporters are acting the same way: ignore reality and blame, blame, blame when others point out the truth.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Unions are killing the economy?

Huh?

The percentage of the US work force that is unionized is the lowest it's been since the end of World War II: 12.3%.

As for who killed the economy, why don't the P-Weekly blahggers blame the true culprits, the Wall Street bankers and the corrupt politicians they have in their pockets? It's Wall Street's massive manipulation of the global financial system that led us to the brink of a second Great Depression, which we narrowly averted at a cost of over $20 trillion from various governments (including about $6 trillion from the US government).

So P-Weekly blahggers never, ever blame the true culprits because that doesn't fit into their pre-existing far-right-wing agenda.

If it rains on Christmas Day, you'll find a way to blame that on unions, too.

Unions didn't get the US nor the world economy into this mess: the big banks did. Yet not one bank executive has gone to jail over this mess, and in fact the big banks that we taxpayers bailed out are getting ready to issue some fat bonus checks to the exact same criminals who melted the economy in the first place.

But please don't let these inconvenient facts interrupt a perfectly lovely rant. As Buddy Holly once sang: rave on, it's a crazy feelin'.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2010 at 6:54 am

"blame the true culprits, the Wall Street bankers and the corrupt politicians they have in their pockets?"

Yes, they are guilty, but what about Calpers (union), which INVESTED and SPECULATED and now they don't have enough money to meet their financial obligations (pensions) and are passing the tab to us, the taxpayer from the PRIVATE sector?

ANd the unions feel entitled to raises and continued unreasonable benefits, while the rest of the work force in the private sector has made adjustments.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2010 at 6:57 am

"Yet Another Teacher" is the perfect example of WHY Jeff Bowser should NOT be allowed to serve on the baord. If every teacher has a similar way of thinking as the rest of the teachers posting on this board, and Jeff is married to one of them.... he cannot possibly be impartial (imo) and his decisions (again, my opinion) will benefit the teachers (and his own family income) at the expense of the students of PUSD


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Resident makes no sense- since when does becoming a teacher mean we have no right to express our opinion on a topic? I suppose you have no valid opinion or insight to your line of work and are often ridiculed for trying to speak out about your job when people misunderstand the truth behind the work?

What unreasonable benefits are you talking about? I contribute monthly to my retirement, for the past twenty years I have, the same as my spouse has done in the private sector- minus the matching 401k, stock options, and bonus schedule. I pay for my own medical benefits, and I can tell from your post you have no idea of the "adjustments" that we have had to make in our take home pay reductions and classroom budgets- that now come out of pocket. I'm also a taxpayer, the difference is my reductions are published and public knowledge unlike the private sector.


This new bandwagon of blame continues to lead people away from the truth of what is really troubling our schools, a lack of funding that was guaranteed from the state and never happened.

You should see The Inside Job, Web Link


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm

To 'Get Educated' - It must be really frustrating explaining to the voters how the teachers 'gave back' $4.5M. After all, the one year agreement between PUSD and APT, TOOK AWAY the high school seventh period, it TOOK AWAY high school teacher positions, it TOOK AWAY middle school teacher positions, it TOOK AWAY school days, it TOOK AWAY Open House events, and more.
Since you are not inclined to approve such a deal again, let's make a deal that is much simpler for you to explain to the voters.
Let's do an across the board 8% pay cut. Given this year's $50M certificated salary expense line, this will be an honest-to-goodness self-explanatory REAL GIVE BACK of $4M. Then with STRS savings of $300K, we have the same dollar amount deal as last year. OK?


Posted by Nomad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Let's all get educated on what really happened. The actual PUSD/APT agreement can be found here Web Link
It's interesting to see that the $4.5M referenced above includes $1M savings from the prior school year. In order for PUSD to generate the same savings this year (via the PUSD and APT negotations currently underway) will PUSD have to add more furlough days to this year's calendar? Or find expense reductions in other areas?
It's also interesting to note the estimates for teacher position eliminations at the high school level (5.6 FTE due to 7th period day and 6.3 due to staffing ratio increases). If I recall, the number of teacher positions eliminated at both high schools was much more. Worth looking into....


Posted by Get Educated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

DCOT I notice you like to highlight what is taken away, yet nothing of what was saved by the $4.5 million given back from the teachers. You also conveniently leave out all the was cut and taken away from the elementary schools the previous year- the loss of 20:1, teachers fired, classroom budgets cut etc. You must not have a child in elementary, not affected- you dont seem to care. I certainly didn't hear your blame when elementary to the brunt of the cuts.

You cried for shared sacrifice- we did our share. Seems to me like the community voted for those "take aways" loud and clear with Measure G. What part of "share" did you mean?


Posted by concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm

"Seems to me like the community voted for those "take aways" loud and clear with Measure G"

Why do you say loud and clear when almost 2/3 of the population supported Measure G and many have contributed significantly over the last few years to help out? I would say the community is mostly supportive.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2010 at 6:14 am

"You must not have a child in elementary, not affected- you dont seem to care. I certainly didn't hear your blame when elementary to the brunt of the cuts. "

I am not DCOT but this comment needs my personal response.

I have children at all three levels, and I was not as concerned with the cuts to elementary as I was with the cuts to the high school. HS students made their 4 year plan based on 7 periods, and now some are struggling to meet their requirements and the community colleges are full, with HS students not being able to enroll.

Elementary cuts were not bad. We can do private music lessons (and in fact, elementary music is not all that good, the strings program students were plucking by the end of the year!), the science specialists are not all that good (the main teacher can and should be able to teach science concepts and labs), and CSR is overrated. It is a problem for the teachers because they have more kids, but think about it: beginning in 4th grade, classes go up to 30 or more students, and that went on even when my HS student was in elementary (nothing to do with current budget cuts). It is better to not pamper the kids with smaller classes because the shock in 4th grade is too much....better to have that class size from the get go.

The HS cuts were bad for the students, and the teachers were selfish to advocate for their "Prep periods" (aka, science specialists and music specialists, and PE specialists taking the kids from them for a while during the week). An elementary school teacher should be able to do all this. The music they teach does not even require music reading (I know from personal experience), so anyone can do that. Science? You better be able to or you are not competent and have no business teaching.

HS subjects DO take more preparation. Not everyone can teach Calculus, or Physics, etc. And kids need 7 periods to graduate and be competitive to apply to top colleges (not just the UCs)


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

It's funny, ya know.

Nobody presumes to tell a pilot how to fly a 747.

Nobody presumes to tell a surgeon how to make an incision.

Nobody presumes to tell a lawyer how to prepare a brief.

Yet EVERYBODY knows more about teaching than we, the teachers.

Why don't people respect our professionalism and expertise?

Well, next time I'm flying (as I will be over the holidays), I'm going to tell the flight attendants to pass on my instructions to the pilots ("tell him to bank to the left a bit more, then a barrel roll just to make things interesting, and keep the nose of the plane UP when we're landing!") and see how it goes.

The comments of "Resident" are a perfect example of why busybody "helicopter parents" and know-it-all citizens who don't have kids in our schools and who have never taught a day in their lives need to be *less* involved in civic affairs.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

To 'Get Educated' - I notice you didn't answer the question about an unambiguous straight-forward 8% pay cut instead of the confusing one year MOU that you would not vote for again. Instead you accuse me of ignoring the prior year cuts to the elementary grades, when it was you that brought up last year's four million in 'give backs' to begin with. And you digress.
I'll take that as your answer that you would NOT like to have a real give back of an 8% pay cut, but instead would prefer to cut teacher positions, reduce high school student periods and have unpaid vacation days.
Let's add in reducing all longevity bonuses by 2%, eliminating the top management step 6 on the salary grid, reducing the management and classified salaries by 6%, oh and removing the 'Birthday' vacation day.
Now we're talking REAL permanent structural expense reductions that will allow PUSD to restore student programs and services. And (*gasp*) hire back teachers and staff.
So, how are those negotiations between PUSD and APT/CSEA/management progressing? No mention of sunshining proposals at last Tuesday's school board meeting.... Guess we need to wait till January?


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:00 am

To 'YAT' - Yes, you are funny. I'll be funny, too.
It is my wallet that pays for your 'civic affairs'. How about I stay out of your affairs, if you stay out of my wallet. Except, you are already in my wallet, and you want to take even more.
So that means lots of us will be *more* involved in civic affairs. And with the new CA governor asking us to be seated when the new budget is proposed on Jan 10, you can bet that will *increase* civic involvement. Hang on everyone, including those on YAT's flight during the barrel roll.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

Well, as my Dad once said: "Never wrestle with a pig. You'll get muddy and the pig will enjoy it."

That tired old hack, "My taxes pay for..."

Right, so why can't I tell the doctor how to operate on me? After all, my medical insurance pays for his fee.

Why can't I tell the pilot how to fly the plane? My ticket helps pay his salary.

See how brainless your argument is? No? Didn't think so.


Posted by Dark Corners of Town, a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

To 'YAT' - Last I checked, no one forces you to buy a plane ticket. And last I checked, I am forced to pay you to teach our public school children.


Posted by Family of Teachers, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I think the reason teachers feel like people are telling them how to do their job is that we have a well educated populace here.

My sister was a nurse and she always said that nurses and doctors were the worst patients because they knew what could go wrong. When my husband was a pilot in the military, he finagled ways to make sure he didn't fly with certain other pilots.

Obviously, most of us did not go through medical school or pilot training but many of us have college/graduate degrees and we are surrounded by our kids and their friends so we feel a little bit closer to what teachers do than what surgeons or pilots do.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Family of Teachers: We teachers welcome parents who are interested and involved in their children's education.

What makes our job more difficult is parents who substitute their judgment for ours. They see teachers not as professionals with independent judgment, but employeees to be ordered about.

I have had many parents tell me, "I've evaluated my child's work and he doesn't deserve the B+ you gave him. He deserves an A+ and you need to change the grade to that."

Not an uncommon occurrence at all in PUSD, but I can count on my fingers the number of times parents acted so brazenly in other districts where I taught.

And if the teacher doesn't capitulate--and no self-respecting professional educator would--the parents go to the principals, and if the principals back the teachers (they usually do), the parents go to a friend on the Board or to the district office.

Once you've dealt with this for the 100th time or so, you just get fed up.


Posted by Question?, a resident of Danbury Park
on Dec 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Yet another teacher,

I have a question? Is school out this week? The reason I ask is that you have been on this blog commenting multiple times today, 10:30 AM, 11:36 AM, and 3:05 PM. If you are so busy how do you have some much free time on your hands? Not only today but many times in the past.


Posted by tonyg, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I believe YAT is a Librarian, not a teacher.


Posted by Yet Another Teacher, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Question?: Gosh, if only I used my real name, you could harass me and threaten to have me fired.

Tough luck, pal.


Posted by Mr. Geeneeyus, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:26 am

Silly taxpayers, you can't fire YAT, she (he, it, whatever) is TENURED!


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