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How/When to vote for/against measure E in Pleasanton

Original post made by Resident, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2011

According to the measure E site, the vote by mail will take place on april 4:

"How to Vote

Measure E will be decided in an all mail-in ballot election

• Ballots will be mailed to all registered voters on April 4
• All ballots must be cast by mail – there will be no polling places open!
• Completed ballots must be received by May 3 at 8 pm to be counted
• Postmarks don't count! Place your ballot in the mail by April 28
• The last day to register to vote for this election is April 18
• If you lose your ballot, you can get a replacement ballot by calling the Alameda County Registrar of Voters at 510-267-8683"

Source:

Web Link

arguments against E:
Web Link

-------------

Whether you plan to vote yes or no, please make sure you vote. Look for those ballots in the mail and do not discard as junk mail. If you do not get your ballot, please call the Alameda county registrar of voters and make sure you vote!

I plan to vote NO, and I hope that everyone who is a registered voter mails their vote, whether in support or against the measure.

Let all your friends, neighbors, family know about this mail-in ballot.

Comments (109)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by In the interest of fairness
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm

In the interest of fairness, I thought I would post a link about why Measure E is needed. I plan to vote yes.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 24, 2011 at 10:51 pm

No vote here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by recycled arguments
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2011 at 6:23 am

Interesting that the con folks are just recycling their anti-tax arguments regardless of the changes and differences between measure G and measure E.

No mention of furloughs, nothing about federal funds expiring....

Their slogan is "wrong tax, wrong time" but in reality, they would never support any tax at any time. A minority viewpoint. Loud, but hiding behind anonymity.

Where's the list of community members who oppose measure E?

Here's the list of local citizens who support it: (over 200 of them!)

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by no more teacher raises
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 25, 2011 at 8:04 am

Thank you for the dates! Our plans were to travel from Pleasanton on April 3rd and return some time in May. We rebooked! We will wait until voting NO ON TEACHER RAISES to go on vacation.
This tax does not fund programs, it pays for S & C raises and the special election. Permanently freeze S & C and I will voluntarily pay ten times this amount every year for the schools. I will never pay it for more raises.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 25, 2011 at 8:08 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It's a school-related tax measure. It will always have the same arguments on both sides. You're fooling yourself if you think somehow everything will be different.

G: "A high quality education system directly benefits the entire community by maintaining higher property values and contributing to Pleasanton's quality of life."

E: "Good schools attract families to Pleasanton, creating demand for our homes and protecting property values."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Familyof6
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Feb 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

We love our kids.
We love our schools.
We love our teachers.
We will vote NO to a salary tax.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

It is interesting that the ballot is to be mailed on april 4, and spring break is april 4-8.

Make sure you vote. Make sure everyone you know votes.

NO on measure E.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

Sneaky vote...the supporters know that this is their best chance at passage with this "quiet ballot". Many people without children in the school system probably won't vote because they won't be as aware as those with children in the system, and since the majority of residents don't have school age children, then this measure stands a good chance of passing. UNLESS PEOPLE GET THE WORD OUT!
Whether this measure passes or not, look for another measure in November. If the measure passes, then they will be back asking for more (if not Nov. then soon after because its never enough), and if it fails then they will be back to try again and again and again and, well you get the message.
The main reason that I am voting against this measure and any other Parcel Tax measure is that the supporters of Measure G made such a poor showing last summer after that measure's failure when the school district had its fund drive. It was pitiful. If all those who voted "yes" on G had contributed, then this new tax attempt would be unnecessary. Apparently it is only the property owners who can solve this because, as we all know, we are just swimming in money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Agree
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

Our family poll: it's a no vote for me, my husband and 2 college kids (now voters)...basically because of step and column...and the fact that we're all slugging along, trying to find jobs (never mind raises and pensions)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2011 at 12:49 am

OK, how many people would be OK with going to a board meeting and saying we'd like step and column to be frozen for the duration of a parcel tax. Would teachers join us to save jobs? I will go for it if we get a group together.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

What are the teachers willing to give up. I heard they are not willing to give up furlough days this coming year. When over a 100 teachers call in on a holiday weekend or just on any Friday and there are not enough subs to cover the classrooms, tell me how they are thinking of our children. I think it's time to tell these teachers enough if enough. It's time to realize that you are costing the district money. If you read there contract which you can find on the district web site, you will see that teachers are allowed to use all of there sick days and still not lose a full days pay. If there are really that many teachers calling in and getting paid plus the subs have to be paid. $$$$$$ Just ask your children when they come home how many subs they had that day or call the school office and ask how many called in. How can you have consistency in the classroom if you bring in subs to babysit and not really teach our kids. If this really happening and I think we can call the District Office and ask, then what makes them think we will pass a tax to help with step and column.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 10:48 am

"2 college kids (now voters)...basically because of step and column...and the fact that we're all slugging along, trying to find jobs (never mind raises and pensions)"

Did they major in engineering or computer science? If so, I can certainly aim them at some employers. We've had to dish out raises and bonuses this year, and have many refusals to job offers because we didn't offer enough. In fact, the only time I've seen a better hiring climate in high tech was in the dot com boom. The majority of Pleasanton homeowners are skilled professionals. There aren't a lot of ditch diggers or hotel maids owning homes in Pleasanton. I think our teachers deserve a high salary, and I wish the amount of the parcel tax were higher. API scores in Pleasanton our excellent. And yes I plan to donate to the schools whether the parcel tax passes or not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by optimistic mom
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

If you want to donate to the schools, you don't have to wait till the parcel tax vote -- just write a check to your child's PTA, or to PPIE or PSEE.

If you want to see the parcel tax pass, donate to the campaign. Here's the link: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm


Not one more penny to the top heavy administration, big spending schools! The schools have plenty of money... they are just wasting what they have and are threatening you with canceled programs and crowded classrooms! Don't buy it! They are never satisfied and continually want more and more. It's gotta end.

I also wonder about the legality of 'registered voters' voting on a parcel tax on property owners. Shouldn't the 'property owners' be the ones voting???

unclehomerr..
taxed enough already


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nancy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Stupid tax for those willing to be conned.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

By the looks of these postings, you'd think that Pleasanton had nothing but mean, nasty, poorly educated, tight-fisted, and highly repressed voters. So what? So were the founding fathers. Call me those names all you want, the point remains there's nothing in the Constitution that says anything about having to pay high salaries to these high-priced prima donnas? Besides: Unsustainable! Unfunded liabilities! Unions are bad! Tenured teachers are incompetent and lazy! Step and column is so passe'! Give them all pink slips like they just did in Providence and let them think about that! Bad for their morale you say? I say that's what they do to factory assembly-line workers at my plant, and it works wonders. Oh, and by the way, I'm available to tudor your children to compinsate for the bad teaching going on right under our noses. Whatever you do, don't listen to the teachers. Don't listen to professionals. Don't listen to the unions. Listen to your neighbors, because they have more knowledge in their little pinky than does the whole rotten slew of those greedy deadbeats who work with union protection.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Money well spent. Vote YES on E.


I do feel sorry for all those that are so angry. I pray the majority of Pleasanton citizens will see beyond the negative rhetoric and see the positives for our community.

vote YES.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by YES Voter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Measure E requires mandatory taxpayer protections to guarantee that funds will be used as promised:

• By law, all funds must stay in Pleasanton schools to protect programs for students
• No funds may be taken by the state or other school districts
• No Measure E funds may be used to increase salaries or benefits
• No Measure E funds may be used for administrator salaries or benefits
• The cost is capped at $98 per year and cannot be increased
• Measure E will expire in 4 years and cannot be extended without voter approval
• Seniors are eligible for an exemption
• Each year a Measure E spending plan must be presented at a public forum
• An independent oversight committee must review the use of funds and report their findings

Please vote YES on Measure E.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

"No Measure E funds may be used to increase salaries or benefits"

Money from program A will be used to finance raises (step and column, about 1.6 million this year, increases each year). Program A is therefore cancelled.

Then from the money raised from measure E, PUSD will re-instate program A. The money left, if any after paying the cost of the election and the consultants, will be used for student programs (not much money left, so no much in the way of programs to be financed).

Indirectly, measure E funds will be used to finance raises. PUSD is playing with words but same outcome: teachers will get their step and column RAISE in 2011, at the same time that programs are being cancelled. Did you already forget that the board voted to keep the birthday holiday and cancel the Barton program funding? (hmmm, programs cut but benefits/pay kept)

Don't be fooled. PUSD is saying no conflict of interest with Bowser on the board and his wife a union leader. PUSD is also telling half truths about measure E not being used for raises. Even a kid can understand, they are taking money from programs to finance raises, then using measure E to fund the programs that were cancelled in order to finance those raises. Get it?

Vote NO on E, it is a salary tax, it is as simple as that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Seems to me that a no vote will only hurt the kids. I do not have kids in PUSD schools but I will vote yes to try and save some programs. Remember who is being affected.....it is the kids. Kids are the future of this community. My kids had larger class sizes but the classroom dynamics were different then. If you are willing to risk losing some programs for $98 a year, then vote no. If you want to save some of the programs, then vote yes. PUSD has done a great job of educating students and I hope they can continue in a positive direction.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gus
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Feb 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm


Marie,
I think you are exactly right. Because of the (unfounded) allegation that SOME portion of the parcel tax MAY go towards teachers' salaries, the teabaggers want us to scuttle the entire thing. They are not for the children. Rather their are angry and selfish malcontents in the community wanting to punish teachers and score some political points. Better to let the kids suffer than to give the teachers one penny more seems to be their logic. Count my partner and I as YES on Measure E.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mom too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm

No one has mentioned the three million dollars lost each year because of children's absences. Unfortunately, when a child is sick, the state of California pulls back $55.00 of funding even though the staff is still being paid as if all the children were there. In an affluent community like Pleasanton, illness is not the only reason children don't come to school in Pleasanton. Children take Mondays and Fridays off for extended travel weekends (especially during ski season), days to a week for a trip to Disneyland so families can avoid long lines, and trips to Hawaii or other vacation destinations during the school year. Besides the funding the district loses to all these unexcused absences, the pace of the instruction is affected when children are constantly missing. It's becoming rare to have a day with 100% attendance. Absences not only cause a funding issue, but affect the quality of education for all children. It's becoming a rare occasion when all 33 of my students show up for school. Mondays are typically the worst, and it's the very day that new concepts and vocabulary are introduced. I am starting to celebrate when they all arrive together and on time (tardies are another huge issue).

As to the parent who mentioned teachers are calling in sick and getting paid anyway, aren't teachers like many private section employees who have sick days? My husband is still paid when he is home sick with the flu, why shouldn't a teacher be paid as well. I don't think we want teachers to come to school sick, do we? Most elementary school teachers drag themselves to school rather than have to plan for a substitute. It takes about 4 hours of planning to be out one day, so it's rarely worth being out unless a teacher is very sick or there is a family emergency. People, even teachers and their children, do get sick over holiday weekends especially during the cold and flu season. What I see over and over in this blog is a lack of appreciation of teachers as people who get sick, need to go to funerals, attend doctor's appointments, take their own children to appointments, and lose family members just like the private sector employees. We can't tell our family members to only get sick or die during the summer or student vacations.

Those of you who think the district is tricking you to vote for a parcel, just look over the hill at Fremont. They lost many of their programs and teacher's also took a pay cut. Furlough days are pay cuts. We still are responsible for teaching the same amount of curriculum in less time with less pay. PUSD is simply out of money. If the voters say "no" and that's their right and decision, we will lose programs, status, and our test scores may possibly slip as they did in Fremont after reading specialists were let go many, many years ago. Why did so many of you move from the south bay and Fremont in the first place? I know why I did. I wanted to be in a school district with great schools elementary through high school, not just elementary. California is a mess, and it's not the PUSD's teachers. administrators, parents or children's fault.

When times were good (dot.com), the city council was considering building "teacher housing" to keep teachers in town. How sad that the council felt that teachers needed assisted housing arrangement. There are many articles which show that the U.S. is slipping behind Korea and Germany on not only school funding, but teacher pay and teacher training. (just google---it's there)

And all that vacation? We truly have no paid vacation. We are paid for the days in our contract, 185 days. We do have many days away from the children, but most teachers stay at least week after dismissal, go to classes during the summer, plan, read, learn new strategies or curriculum if a new textbook is adopted, possibly plan a new grade level or course if they were switched because of funding, shop for new materials, and start setting up classrooms in early August. We don't just open our door the first day of school without prepping or planning. We go early and prep during the summer because we are so excited about our new group of students, and we want to welcome them to a well organized classroom and instructional program on the very first day of school.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

"SOME portion of the parcel tax MAY go towards teachers' salaries, the teabaggers want us to scuttle the entire thing"

1.6 million will be used for financing, indirectly, the raises the first year.

the second year, those raises go up to 3 million, which is more than what the tax brings.

Lie to yourself if you must but don't lie to others. Measure E pays for raises the first year, and the year after it is not even enough to finance raises. Programs will continue to be cut until the root problem of automatic raises is addressed.

As for kids missing school, I agree that it is a problem, but teachers' absences are also a problem. I find it hard to believe that the friday before a long weekend, so many teachers suddenly get sick. Remember that not only does the teacher gets paid but the sub gets paid as well.

One of my neighbors is a sub and has been employed almost daily, non-stop since the 2010-11 school year began. That is not normal.

NO on E because it does not help programs. It will only finance raises indirectly the first year. The second year, the 2.1 million from measure E will NOT be sufficient for the step and column raise. Don't believe me? Call PUSD and tell them how much step and column will cost this year, the next, and the next. It increases.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Mom too wrote: "PUSD is simply out of money."

The budget keeps growing by millions despite all the "cuts". In 2009 it was something like $124MM. Now what is it? $146MM? I don't think electricity costs grew that much.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:47 am

Yes, yes, the kids will suffer, but let's not miss the point: we must punish the teachers! Forget about the improving economy. Just think about those teachers who claim to get sick on the job. Now, I'm a reasonable fella -- honest, I really really am -- and I understand how teaching in an enclosed room with 25-30 little buggers is probably akin to being in a germ factory. But for a teacher to get sick on a Friday? C'mon. I have a neighbor who tells me a teacher got angry at her kid for disrupting the class. See what I mean?

Just follow the lead of our movement's great thinker, steve, and his erstwhile sidekick princess bean counter. No on Measure E!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

"Yes, yes, the kids will suffer, but let's not miss the point: we must punish the teachers!"

You must not be paying attention. The kids have already been suffering because of cuts to programs, but the teachers continue to happily get their raise every year, regardless of performance.

They cut programs, then give raises to teachers. That is what they do, with or without parcel taxes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

"The budget keeps growing by millions despite all the "cuts". In 2009 it was something like $124MM. Now what is it? $146MM?"

Where is that information available?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

"NO on E because it does not help programs. It will only finance raises indirectly the first year. "

But a no vote on E will only make matters worse. It will not "send a message" any more than a no vote on G sent a message. It will only lead to more cuts in programs. That is the bottom line.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Educated
a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

I will vote NO on any tax increase until the unions agree to abolish rules that require layoffs by seniority, and make it easier to get rid of the dead weight, much of which is at the top of the pay scale.

(I KNOW there are MANY teachers at the top of the pay scale who earn every penny they get, but there are also quite a few who no longer teach but continue to show up and therefore get a paycheck. Pray that your children do not get one of these "teachers", and if they do, you're better off homeschooling.)

If the union would agree to measures to keep the good teachers and get rid of the bad ones, I would gladly vote for triple the amount of this measure.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:37 am

Stacey is a registered user.

concerned parent,

From the district. They have the $146MM number on their website for the current year, but you have to ask them for past year budget information because they take that off their website.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:38 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Oh yea, and ed-data.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jill
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

YES ON E


Save our schools
Save our property values!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Millie
a resident of Val Vista
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

It seems sad to read about all these people unhappy about giving raises. I know many teachers deserving of a pay raise. What job does not give pay raises? We are not talking HUGE amounts. We have some great teachers and to keep them and new ones coming we have to stay up to date with pay.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

I donate at least twice the amount of the parcel tax to PUSD each year.

If it passes, my donations will stop (in favor of the forced donation).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

Millie -

You must be a public employee, because most private companies have not given raises quite as freely over the past 3 years. I did get one this year, but didn't last year. Only the top employees are getting raises these days.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:25 am

"You must be a public employee, because most private companies have not given raises quite as freely over the past 3 years."

I got a good raise and bonus this year. I work in information technology. I've also been trying to expand our group for several months now, and have had many refusals due to candidates getting better offers. I have also recommended raises for many on our team and have gotten them. Pleasanton has many engineers and IT professionals. What field do you work in?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:28 am

Heck, I'm a really intelligent guy. I score off the charts on I.Q. tests, and I donate 70% of my take-home salary to PUSD every year. But I'll tell ya, if Measure E passes, PUSD will never see another cent from me. This is about principle. We need to starve the system in order to stave off outrageous salaries of teachers who make more than I do. I'm willing to let my kids take on some of the burden. Your kids should to. It's worth it for the principle: punish our teachers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:37 am

NO!!


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Posted by NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:23 am

"It's worth it for the principle: punish our teachers. "

Are you that dumb? Teachers are hardly being punished. They have been getting RAISES and will again this year, get RAISES.

It is the programs that are being cancelled. And even with the budget cuts to PROGRAMS, the raises for teachers are still a part of the budget. Punish teachers you say? If that is punishment, I am sure a lot of private sector workers would love to be punished that way: with an AUTOMATIC RAISE.

Just because you are dumb and will vote to tax yourself to give raises to teachers, it does not mean the rest of us should be as dumb and willing to give raises to the very individuals (teachers) responsible for the cancellation of programs (yes, because they demand their RAISE, our students' programs get CANCELLED)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

"pay raises? We are not talking HUGE amounts. "

The amount is big enough (1.6 million) to finance CSR (1.3 million), and keep Barton, a few reading specialists. Yet the board is thinking to do without CSR so they can give raises and they already voted to cut funding for Barton.

Companies give bonuses/raises when they are doing well - met sales goals, got profits, but do not give raises if the company is struggling financially. Guess what? PUSD says it is struggling financially and yet they want to give raises?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

"But a no vote on E will only make matters worse. It will not "send a message" any more than a no vote on G sent a message. It will only lead to more cuts in programs. That is the bottom line."

More programs will be cut beginning next year, even if E passes. Why? Because the money raised by E will not be sufficient next year to finance those raises. Unless the root problem of automatic raises is addressed, each year more and more cuts to programs will continue to take place because the cost of the step and column (raises) increases each year, and the parcel tax is fixed - it would help prevent more cuts this year, but next it won't even be enough to cover the cost of raises. Call PUSD and ask them how much step and column will cost next year - you will then convince yourself that E won't even cover that.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

concerned parent -

I'm a Database Administrator and developer working for a large company. So are you still hiring??? Sounds like you're doing better than we are.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm

concerned parent:

Here is an article about a district that passed a parcel tax in 2009:

Web Link

It is Cupertino. The tax was a one year bandaid, and the next, the tax was not sufficient but Cupertino continued to give raises. So as expected, Cupertino gave raises and announced cuts to programs - the community raised over 2 million to save those programs and the district did not address the issue of raises once again Now, in 2011 and with parcel tax approved in 2009 still in effect, they are again going to try to pass another parcel tax, this is in addition to the current parcel tax. See, measure E will NOT help unless the ROOT cause of RAISES is addressed. You are fooling yourself and trying to fool others into thinking measure E will prevent further cuts to programs: it won't. Nothing will help until the main problem of raises is addressed and dealt with.

"Voters will be asked to adopt another $125 per parcel tax, which would bring in an estimated $4.4 million annually and last for six years starting July 1.

The tax would be in addition to what property owners in the district already pay per parcel. In May 2009, voters resoundingly approved Measure B, a $125 annual per parcel tax."


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

"I'm a Database Administrator and developer working for a large company. So are you still hiring??? "

In fact we recently hired an Oracle DBA and PL/SQL developer and had to settle for someone without any Real Application Clusters experience. We're having the hardest time finding people to do web application development and native applications.

"Sounds like you're doing better than we are."

Could be. Have you shopped your resume on Dice? I'm seeing a decent number of Oracle and SQL Server DBA positions advertised.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

"In fact we recently hired an Oracle DBA and PL/SQL developer and had to settle for someone without any Real Application Clusters experience. We're having the hardest time finding people to do web application development and native applications."

Wow. I have a lot of experience with Oracle RAC and PL/SQL. I've managed web servers and done web development. Nothing with native apps, but that's not normally the work done by DB people anyway. Unless you're paying under 150K per year, I'm surprised you're not finding people.

We're still laying off DB people left and right, and like I said, raises aren't happening.

Maybe I need to shop my resume.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

The jobs that are hard to fill are those which ask for a highly qualified individual but offer a small salary.

How much are you offering for the jobs you speak of, concerned parent? I know people who have rejected offers because they have been insulted by the salary offered, given that the jobs required tons of skills and experience. That is a sign that the economy is still not recovered, when employers feel that they can treat a highly qualified individual as if she/he were entry level.

What is the starting salary for these positions you speak of? It is not a violation of confidencial information as we do not know what company you work for.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

"Unless you're paying under 150K per year, I'm surprised you're not finding people."

Well it was not that far under 150k, and I'm not talking about high levels of experience, not a guru position.

"We're still laying off DB people left and right, and like I said, raises aren't happening.

Maybe I need to shop my resume."



If you're not happy with your employer, you may be surprised what you find.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I don't get the logic of saying "No on E". By all accounts, doing so will have a higher cost to our community than $98/year.

By voting "No on E" you will increase our district's vulnerability to fluctuations in state funding to our schools (which generally account for more than 2/3 of the budget). BTW, the state has not even been able to meet minimum school funding requirements as determined by Prop 98 for years now. So our schools have been stiffed by the state, and you want our teachers to absorb all the costs?

By voting "No on E" you will be depriving the next generation of critical programs designed to expand their education. You may argue that Pleasanton schools should just "teach the basics," but many, many other school districts do that already, and what makes PUSD such a great district is that they go beyond just "minimum" requirements by offering longer instructional hours, extracurricular activities, science and computer specialists, and so on.

By voting "No on E" you will not change the step/column increases you so despise. You will only be depriving children.

By voting "No on E" you will assure that Pleasanton will be the only district in the valley without a Parcel Tax aimed at protecting schools from funding decreases. Livermore, San Ramon, Dublin, Piedmont, Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek all have them. Take a look at the districts without parcel taxes protecting them (West Contra Costa)--they are closing schools left and right, cutting programs, and increasing class sizes.

By voting "No on E" it shows that we as a community are unsupportive of our schools. Why would any family with young kids want to pay a premium to live here? Right! They wouldn't! The cost to our housing prices would be FAR more detrimental than $98/year. Think more like $98,000.

And so what if some money goes towards step/column? If PUSD were to halt step/column, again we would be the only district in the valley to do so.

I think many of the posters here are asking teachers to do way more than they should. Not only are they asking teachers to give up raises and pensions, they also want them to have larger class sizes; teach PE, science, art, and music additionally; and on top of that take unpaid sick leaves and give up instructional days.

I am really amazed that "No on E" people have the gall to call teachers selfish.


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Posted by interesting
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Anonymous, do you know exactly what this tax will pay for? I've only seen very general info. Will it protect CSR and for how long?


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Posted by Yes on E
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Feb 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I will vote yes on E for the simple reason that our schools need the money. Our state government has taken so much from the district in the last few years, that this will only help to fill that gap a bit. Even if it goes towards step and column, I am happy to support our teachers. Many people in this city spend $98 on coffee, dry cleaning, kids sports, "trendy" clothing, unneeded tutors, etc..... it is a matter of priorities.
The district is not perfect, and there are changes to be made. If you look around at other districts and states, ours does a pretty good job!! I know there are people who disagree, but that's the great thing about living in the United States (freedom of speech), and we can agree to disagree.


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Posted by more ideas
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Interesting Washington Post article by Bill Gates emphasizing need for improved teacher development as key to achievement, as opposed to class size reduction, seniority, & raises: Web Link

"The same advances haven't been made in teaching because we haven't built a system to measure and promote excellence. Instead, we have poured money into proxies, things we hoped would have an impact on student achievement. The United States spends $50 billion a year on automatic salary increases based on teacher seniority. It's reasonable to suppose that teachers who have served longer are more effective, but the evidence says that's not true. After the first few years, seniority seems to have no effect on student achievement.

Another standard feature of school budgets is a bump in pay for advanced degrees. Such raises have almost no impact on achievement, but every year they cost $15 billion that would help students more if spent in other ways.

Perhaps the most expensive assumption embedded in school budgets - and one of the most unchallenged - is the view that reducing class size is the best way to improve student achievement. This belief has driven school budget increases for more than 50 years. U.S. schools have almost twice as many teachers per student as they did in 1960, yet achievement is roughly the same."


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Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

more ideas,

Yes!!! That's exactly what I've been talking about!!! We need to expand the teacher-student ratio!!! Any idiot would realize that it's no less difficult for a first grade teacher to teach a class with 30 than 60, or 90, of even a 100!!!

Now, since More Ideas aka bean counter points out that perhaps the most expensive assumption embedded in school budgets is the view that reducing class size is the best way to improve student achievement.... Well, wait a minute just right there. See, we do have different kinds of students today than we did in the 60's, and what counts as an adequate high school education is different than in the 60's. But you know what? These are small matters. Like I've been saying all along, let's get rid of the teachers with seniority -- most are burned out after only a couple years and given to mediocrity anyway -- and replace them with young teachers who will have the necessary energy and enthusiasm to teach an auditorium full of a 100 or so first graders.

No on Measure E. These teachers should be giving us a refund!!!


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Posted by Yelena
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

As someone said earlier. The No people can only throw mud up at wall.


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Posted by To Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

"By voting "No on E" you will increase our district's vulnerability to fluctuations in state funding to our schools (which generally account for more than 2/3 of the budget). "

Obviously you are not a finance person. If an annual budget for the district is $120M, having a $2M income stream does NOTHING to address the vulnerability. This is less than 2% of the income.

"By voting "No on E" you will be depriving the next generation of critical programs designed to expand their education."

Voting No forces the District to look at the unsustainable business practices. Voting yes just finances raises for a year and does nothing else to help the programs. Then on year two, we are behind again.

"By voting "No on E" you will assure that Pleasanton will be the only district in the valley without a Parcel Tax"

We also collect much more from the State than surrounding districts on a per pupil basis. For example, San Ramon's State income PLUS their parcel tax comes up to slightly below what PUSD already received from the State.

"By voting "No on E" you will not change the step/column increases you so despise. You will only be depriving children."

No, the teachers union is depriving the children. They are demanding raises in this environment and because of collective bargaining, the union is holding our children hostage.

"By voting "No on E" it shows that we as a community are unsupportive of our schools."

No, it means that we are a more educated community that does not feel the district's financial policies are sustainable and we want them fixed now. We are also not supportive of a tax that will only go to raises. To answer the question above, this tax will do nothing to protect CSR.

I don't think the posters are asking teachers to do more than they should. They are saying they support the teachers but this is not the time to give out raises.

"they also want them to have larger class sizes; teach PE, science, art, and music additionally"

CSR is fairly new and our district did very well then. When we added classroom size reduction, the teachers salaries did not go down so you cannot now say that with the sizes going back up that we are putting the teachers at a disadvantage of what we have 5 -7 years ago. Our teachers used to teach science and art. Now we have additional teachers doing this so teachers can have more prep time in their classroom. The teachers did not get a pay reduction when we gave them more time to prepare and hired others to teach science and art.

I am really amazed that "Yes on E" people have the gall to call taxpayers selfish. It is the union that is selfish.





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Posted by Helen
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Changes in compensation and retirement are definitely needed however in the meantime the youngsters in our community need and deserve to get a good quality education. Our kids and grandkids cannot sit back and wait for us adults to fix these systems! Students are affected everyday by their teachers, the curriculum and school environments. As a community,we should support the programs and services kids need to develop into responsible, contributing members of society. Counselors and reading specialists may prevent more kids from becoming dropouts. Cities with higher dropout rates also see a higher crime rate. (Maybe it helps to think of this as a public safety measure.) Yes on Measure E-it's the right thing to do for our students, our families, our community.


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Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Wait a minute there, To Anonymous. Me and a lot others want the teachers to teach more in order to earn their money. Bigger the classes the better. According to 'More Ideas' class size isn't any big deal, so I say, the larger the class size the better. I scored 168 I.Q. on an official internet testing site. Moreover, I'm Educated. Seriously. I want to Start Afresh. I'm in finance, too. And I manage from my house an interent data base. I'm not being selfish. This is tough love. We need to make greedy teachers and their corrupt union feel the pain. To Anonymous, you are right, right, right. The unions are depriving our kids of a good education. And about rising crime, well, maybe some of these kids need to see what the inside of a jail cell looks like. Oh, by the way, after we cut some more, I'm available to either teach or give counseling to your kids if you desire.


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Posted by Vote NO on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

"By voting "No on E" you will be depriving the next generation of critical programs designed to expand their education."

This will happen if E passes or fails. Remember, this year raises will cost 1.6 million so E will be enough to fund them. Next year, the cost of raises will be more than the 2.1 million E collects, so next year, programs will be cancelled in order to fund the raises.

Voting NO or yes on E has the same outcome, just delays it a year: programs will be cut.

The union and the teachers are choosing to deprive kids or a good education by clinging to ideas and benefits that are not sustainable. Raises are not sustainable when you have a shrinking budget.

"By voting "No on E" you will not change the step/column increases you so despise"

No, but at least I will not be part of the problem. By voting yes, you tell the district and union that it is okay to continue business as usual, that it is okay to cancel programs to fund raises. By voting NO on E, you tell the unions and district thqt they are not fooling you, that you don't buy their lies, because you know that even if E passes, programs will be cut.


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Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Now, look. You all know I and others of us fought vigorously as patriots against those who wanted a larger parcel tax. So here it is. Now it is smaller than needed, and because it is smaller than needed, I'm going to vote against it. It isn't adequate. So, rather than be part of the problem, I'm going to vote NO! It's time to be logical, like I am. Vote NO!


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Posted by optimistic mom
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Feb 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Class size reduction was implemented in 1996, so 15 years ago, not 5-7.

Since elementary science specialists were hired at all 9 elementary schools, scores on the 5th grade standardized tests have gone up approximately 15%. It's a jump from something like 75% proficient to 90% proficient.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yelena,

Haven't figured it out yet that woody is just being sarcastic? Don't believe everything you read here.


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Posted by Yelena
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I understand these things. Woody is funny guy. You and others throw mud at wall. Where I come from, education very important. We vote yes I think.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yelena,

Where I come from, education is also very important. So is accountability.


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Posted by John Thomas, Jr.
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

"Where I come from, education is also very important. So is accountability."

My god, so insufferably glib. Stacey, if you can be reasoned with, PLEASE give it a rest! The world already has a Sarah Palin, thank you very much.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Whatever.


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Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Nice touch, Stacey! That's really putting Yelena in her place! She's come here from another place. But you and me really belong here, don't we? But Yelena? Not so much. Nice!!! Along with fighting these scoundrels in the teachers union, we also have to remind others about who really belongs to our community. Oh, well, back to counting beans. Me too, I'm with ya all the way.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

woody, what are you posting here for? Shouldn't you be out marching against Wall Street? We need you out there fighting to get Washington to raise taxes on Californians because, after all, we're all rich, rich, rich here! We're not distributing enough of our money to the poorer states and that's where you need to come in.


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Posted by Woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I think some of the posters here really deserve our thanks. They wake up at 8 in the morning and they're on this site before they even have their first sip of coffee and stay on it until they retire at night. Think of steve and princess bean counter as your internet campaign lawn signs. You take the sign off your lawn at night, but the next morning there it is again, like a mushroom, same message, only it says its from Center-Right, or Start Afresh, or Resident, or Seriously, or Vote No on E, or Minimum Wage Earner (a tickler, that one). They are omnipresent and will give you the same point of view, informed by the same ideology, and motivated by the same self-interest time and time and time and time again. I imagine they're getting paid by someone to do this thankless task. But given the yeoman's effort they contribute day in and day out, day in and day out, day in and day out, I'm sure it's worth it to the donors supporting their campaign. Let's give them a heartfelt -- er, an interest-felt -- round of applause for their constant efforts to create an illusion of multiple NO! posters on this site. We're with you guys. Sign me as 'Was going to vote yes until I was innundated with steve's and the princess's campaign signs.'


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I concur. We should all thank Woody for his tireless effort here.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Avila
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Woody,

"tudor" and "compinsate?" No, you won't be "tudoring" my children!


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Posted by Woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Just think of steve, princess bean counter and me as a trio of toadstools on your front lawn. And don't forget: Vote No of Measure E!!!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

C'mon woody and man up. Quit robbing yourself of your self-dignity by resorting to ridicule and name-calling against those with whom you disagree, putting words into other people's mouths, and fomenting class envy. How can you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning? You don't deserve to bring yourself so low!


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Posted by Iniyo
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

The Palin comparison is dead on target. She'll refudiate each and every one of you with her almighty Google powers, you betcha! Not to mention the constant digital carping inversely proportional to her positive and constructive community participation. There's no way she'll give it a rest, so just do your best to tune her out.


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Posted by Woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

"Man up." Now there's an original line. Haven't heard that one used since Sharon Engel used it against our Senate Majority Leader. Same playbook perhaps, containing a recipe of comebacks? But, alas, now my feelings are hurt. Oh, well. Vote No on Measure E, punish the teachers!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Keep following those Rules for Radicals, woody. I'll use them right back at you.

For example, I don't understand how you can advocate for a regressive parcel tax. I thought you wanted to tax the rich MORE not less? On another thread I've advocated for a progressive parcel tax based on square footage which is legal. Didn't you know that such a tax, according to former superintendent John Casey, can end up raising MORE revenue than the regressive, flat-rate tax? It also means rich families pay more. Yet you continue to support a regressive tax that affects middle class families more than the rich. It makes no sense. Teachers are also middle class and you want them taxed more than rich families. Haven't they sacrificed enough already?


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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

A no vote for me. I do not appreciate how the Gov cuts everything but K-12 in his budget so that we all feel the need to extend the tax increases and pass the parcel tax. If he would just address the real problem of entitlements, I might vote differently. Those temporary tax increases were to give the Assembly time to correct the spending problem. It is worse now than before the increases. What makes anyone believe that the 5 year extension will solve the problem any more than the parcel tax will solve the problem here. A few words to those in power, FIX THE ENTITLEMENT PRBLEM if you want the support of the people.


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Posted by concenred parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

"any more than the parcel tax will solve the problem here"

It will protect programs that would otherwise be cancelled.


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Posted by educator32
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

Let me pose several questions to all thos opposing Measure E-
Why do you parents willing pay over $2500 for soccer training, plus travel, uniform costs, and private trainers that may or may not improve your child's ability to play soccer much less guarantee a sports shcolarship without batting an eyelash?
Will you child ever play soccer once they leave high school? Is that money well spent?

Why do you parents also buy season tickets for themily that costs hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars per year? Yes, simple enjoyment but is it really educationg your child?

And you balk at $98 to educate your child that will last a lifetime. That is just over 30 cents a day for an education. Just think about it. These kids are our future. When you are readyfor a nursing home, or being hook up to a life support machine, or deciding what cancer treatment is best, your child should be able to read the documents and understand wha is going on. They also need to communicate with the professionals. I would certainly want my child to understand what is going on. My life depends on them. Yours does too!


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Posted by long time parent
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 1, 2011 at 10:37 am

educator32, we balk at paying $98 for raises. If the money actually was guaranteed to go to a specific program, we would most likely pay. Even the consultants for the board said to not put anything specific in the ballot measure as it would require the money to be used that specific way. I look at it the opposite. If I know that the money will go to a specific program, and I think that is a worthwhile program, I would support it. I do not support a tax that pays for raises.


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Posted by more ideas
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

Oh dear, yesterday was my first time posting on the PW forums. I am not a member of a yes or no camp, and I certainly do not have time to sit and argue on these boards. I am a long-time Pleasanton resident who has advocated for educational excellence and supported the last parcel tax.

I referenced the Gates article as a timely addition to the overall funding discussion, or what I thought was a discussion. I believe the gist of the article is that when funding is tight it is appropriate to question the cost/benefit analysis of all program spending. The emphasis on teacher development resonated with me. It is that simple really.

I believe in these tight economic times, parents are feeling assaulted on all fronts. Programs are cut, taxes are proposed and fundraising falls to the parents at the very time that their personal income has taken a major hit. It is fair and reasonable to question budget decisions that directly impact our school children. I do not believe that the district and their consultants have been responsive to parent concerns.

Here is a follow-up piece to the Gates Opnion piece: Web Link

Gates's central point is that the nation is spending more than ever on public education and not getting better results in return. Per-student spending has more than doubled in the past four decades, yet math and reading scores haven't significantly improved. Performance is essentially flat on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the only national test of reading and math with data that goes back to the 1970s.

Many education leaders would say that Gates's criticism is unfounded. While NAEP scores are flat, scores on many state tests have risen over the past decade, to great fanfare. Test scores in both Maryland and Virginia have risen substantially in that span.

Gates contends that those gains are probably largely a result of new-test phenomenon: Test scores almost always rise under a new test, as students and teachers familiarize themselves with the test and the material it measures.

"Whenever you have a new test, people learn what's in that test over the first three or four years," he said. "The fact that doesn't show up on NAEP at all is a bit damning."

"Gates contends that the K-12 education industry has been steered for five decades by a misguided belief that the way to higher performance is smaller classes. Many states pursued class-size reduction initiatives in the 1990s. California, an example I covered as a reporter, reduced average class size from 30 to 20 in kindergarten through grade 3 in the mid-1990s, at a cost of over $1.5 billion a year.

Over the years, though, the research community has more or less confirmed that class-size reduction doesn't yield significant performance gains. The most expensive education reform is among the least effective."


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Posted by Honest Injun
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Mar 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Dear, oh Dear! I never post on this site, and this is my first time, honest. And I don't support No or Yes, honest. I haven't made up my mind about Measure E, and I certainly don't want to argue with anyone about this. This is all so new and complex to me. Something like 30 cents a day for our kids is such a big decision to make.

Please bear with me, and sorry if I offend anyone ... but the Gates opinion piece actually doesn't advocate larger class sizes. That of course would be absurd. If somebody thinks that's his point, then I recommend you volunteer your kindergartener for an experimental class with one teacher per hundred students.

Gates does argue that good teachers who are assigned larger classes should be paid more for their efforts. Of course, Gates offers no recipe for how to determine a good teacher from a not so good; nor does he recommend who should make the determination; nor does he consider at what the additional cost might be for our poor overtaxed parents; nor does he consider who would ensure that a bunch the likes of scrambled egg man or princess bean counter aren't imposing their political values on the process; nor does he consider the dire consequences of stripping away union protection against the likes of scrambled eggs and bean counter; nor does he admit that what he is suggesting amounts to union busting.

My oh my. I didn't mean to go on as I have. I'm not someone who spends time commenting on these posts, ever, honest. Well, off to the spa. Bye-Bye.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

to "more ideas",

Your entire post was a completely generic rant that said nothing about Pleasanton specifically. You do realize we have an excellent school district that has been improving its test scores, right? Have you ever even visited Pleasanton? My family moved here mainly for the schools, and we've been pleased.


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Posted by Learn to read
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm

"Have you ever even visited Pleasanton?"

Did you read "more ideas" post? He/she said that he/she lives in Pleasanton and even supported measure G. The post said specifically
"I am a long-time Pleasanton resident who has advocated for educational excellence and supported the last parcel tax"


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Posted by Honest Injun
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Mar 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Yeah, well I guess 'concerned parent' probably thought 'more ideas' wasn't being truthful. Can you imagine that? I sure didn't. I always think people are as truthful as I am, especially on these posts.

Now, let's see. Either 'more ideas' was somebody we know really really really really really well (hint: she's baaaack), and in which case she's lying. Or, 'concerned parent' doesn't know how to read very well. Hmmmm, let me see.... This is a tough one. So, 'more ideas', what did you say your name was again?


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Posted by more ideas
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Geez…tough crowd.

Yes, I know our school district quite well. Our children attended PUSD schools from elementary-12th. I have been active in education reform efforts since the birth of our first child nearly 20 years ago. I come from a family of educators. I volunteer in the schools, and I'm not here to bash the teachers or administrators. Yet I do believe parents need to think critically about the education their children receive. Even here in Pleasanton.

We are not well served to blindly think that everything is fabulous in our "excellent schools" based on union talking points and superficial data suited for realtors. As parents we need to be smarter than that.

When you carefully scrutinize the API, Star, and NAEP testing data, there is a more varied picture than many Pleasanton parents care to admit. That may be acceptable to many, but in our experience we found it necessary to enrich and supplement our children's education. Many in our district have done the same.

It is a competitive world out there. It is natural for parents to take a thoughtful look at the educational landscape. Here is another thought provoking read on educational excellence with a Palo Alto perspective from The Atlantic: Web Link

Your Child Left Behind

For years, poor performance by students in America relative to those in other countries has been explained away as a consequence of our nationwide diversity. But what if you looked more closely, breaking down our results by state and searching not for an average, but for excellence?

"HANUSHEK…has spent the past 40 years calmly butchering conventional wisdom on education. In study after study, he has demonstrated that our assumptions about what works are almost always wrong. More money does not tend to lead to better results; smaller class sizes do not tend to improve learning…

Over the years, as Hanushek has focused more on international comparisons, he has heard a variety of theories as to why U.S. students underperform so egregiously. When he started, the prevailing excuse was that the testing wasn't fair. Other countries were testing a more select group of students, while we were testing everyone. That is no longer true…

These days, the theory Hanushek hears most often is what we might call the diversity excuse. When he runs into his neighbors at Palo Alto coffee shops, they lament the condition of public schools overall, but are quick to exempt the schools their own kids attend.

"In the litany of excuses, one explanation is always, 'We're a very heterogeneous society—all these immigrants are dragging us down. But our kids are doing fine,'" Hanushek says. This latest study was designed, in part, to test the diversity excuse…"

"Of course, the fact that no U.S. state does very well compared with other rich nations does not necessarily disprove the diversity excuse: parents in Palo Alto could reasonably infer that California's poor ranking (in the bottom third, just above Portugal and below Italy) is a function of the state's large population of poor and/or immigrant children, and does not reflect their own kids' relatively well-off circumstances…

As it turned out, even these relatively privileged students do not compete favorably with average students in other well-off countries…
Parents in Palo Alto will always insist that their kids are the exception, of course. And researchers cannot compare small cities and towns around the globe—not yet, anyway. But Hanushek thinks the study significantly undercuts the diversity excuse. "People will find it quite shocking," he says, "that even our most-advantaged students are not all that competitive."


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Posted by Honest Injun
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Mar 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Above I posed the question: Is 'more ideas' someone we know really really really really well, or does 'concerned parent' not read very well? With 'more ideas' most recent post, I guess we have the answer.

Oh, by the way, I don't know which way I'm going to vote, honest, but I do think parents should think critically about those greedy teachers and the immoral union thugs who are trying to get rich off of our 35 cent contributions.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

"Parents in Palo Alto will always insist that their kids are the exception, of course. And researchers cannot compare small cities and towns around the globe—not yet, anyway. But Hanushek thinks the study significantly undercuts the diversity excuse. "People will find it quite shocking," he says, "that even our most-advantaged students are not all that competitive."

"more ideas", thanks for the read. It isn't any secret that our educational system is falling down the global rankings in several important categories, but Why does Hanushek think "that even our most-advantaged students are not all that competitive."?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, yea, woody/Honest Injun, I get it. You think I post under different names and that "more ideas" is my post. I only post while logged in as myself. You don't have to believe that and I care not if you don't, but at least I can look myself in the mirror knowing that what I write is the truth. I'm not so creative as that to be able to write in different writing styles for multiple personae. The PW's site logs can always back me up if it has to get down to that. Now, I can't say the same about other posters, but I can take some comfort in knowing that you've just alienated another person in our community who took the time to try to have a meaningful conversation.


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Posted by Honest Injun
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Touchy-touchy-touchy. But Woody isn't me. Honest! You guys can check PW's site logs!

We're giving too much money to teachers. That's why we're falling down. And too many cities are substituting parcel taxes for tough love.

'more ideas'? Arnold seems to want your vote. As for me, I'm with you -- entirely neutral and ever on my guard against union talking points and superficial realtors.


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Posted by Yelena
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I think Stacy is center of universe.


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Posted by What?
a resident of Avila
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

That's why we're falling down? Are you kidding me? Where were you 4 years ago before the financial mess caused by the banks? Why weren't you fighting to control unions then?

You have been drinking the Tea Party Cool-aide and it's time you realize it.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

And there you have it. We are witnessing the full glory of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals in action.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 1, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

To be fair, woody doesn't represent the pro-Measure E opinion on the matter. He's really doing a disservice to those who are looking to pass Measure E. None of his posts are relevant to this discussion. His attempts to ridicule others only shows that he has little to offer on the subject. Hanushek is a respected researcher on education. Woody doesn't care about the issues associated with the schools or education or kids. He's offered nothing in the way of solving the district's budget crisis.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm

"The PW's site logs can always back me up if it has to get down to that."

It is a fairly easy matter to use a proxy to disguise one's IP address. But that isn't what we're here to talk about.

"He's offered nothing in the way of solving the district's budget crisis."

Wasn't he hinting that a parcel tax would help solve the district's budget crisis, without coming out and saying it directly?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Disguising one's IP is irrelevant because all the posts would still be from the same proxy IP.

I don't really think hinting is a good form of advocating. Also, diverting attention away from the subject to ridicule and name-calling of other posters is a sure funny way to advocate for a parcel tax. Some may be entertained by it, and that's part of Alinsky's rules too. But really, one can only conclude that woody doesn't care about advocating for the parcel tax. He only cares about applying Alinsky's rules to harass others and shut down any real conversation. Such dialog should not be welcome here.


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Posted by woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm

I agree 1000% with Stacey. Humor and satire should not be allowed! Those who post ridiculous comments should not be told their comments are ridiculous. It's not fair to the ridiculous among us. And no hinting allowed! New Rule: We should only be able to talk the way Stacey talks. She talks good. She talks a lot. Really a lot. Really, really, really a lot. There just shouldn't be room for someone who communicates their ideas differently than she does. No fair not playing by Stacey's rules! Oh, yeah, and join me and the 35 other members of my household who are voting NO on Measure E. It'll make Pleasanton a better place.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:00 am

Stacey is a registered user.

If it makes woody happy, he should continue to be the comedian he thinks he is. I can't disagree with that. People should do what makes them happy; pursuit of happiness and all.

The budget cuts faced by the district are not so funny and no one likes a leader that makes light of such a situation. Al Franken sure didn't get to the House of Representatives on such comedy in poor taste. He dealt in rational debate injected with humor, a far cry from woody's lack of rational debate injected with vitriol.


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Posted by Woody
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:08 am

Um, someone's beans seem to be out of order. Don't mean to sound irrational and vitriolic here, but methinks Al Franken didn't get into the House of Representatives at all, comedy or no. Last time I looked he was representing the state of Minnesota as one of its two Senators. You see, Stacy, the Senate and House of Representatives are not the same thing. Sorry to bring in the big picture here.

But, hey, who cares about facts, eh? We've got an agenda to push, you and me. Everybody in the world! Your NO vote is a vote against the dishonesty of those who attempt to make a link between property values and quality of education in the community!


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:28 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Oh sorry. I guess my Google powers aren't so great as they are purported to be. I guess I'm not such the bean counter woody would have everyone believe I am. I guess I'm a fool for making a link between property values and education quality in another thread and then being dishonest against myself. Looks like I'm still right that woody cares nothing for being serious about the budget cuts faced by the school district and can't engage in any rational debate injected with humor.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yep, anyone can play at Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Let's call it out and name it for what it really is. It is better when we equip our readers instead of deceiving them.


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Posted by PE is Academic? No on E
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 1:36 am

I was just watching the board meeting tonight and will vote No on E.

The parcel tax ballot measure said "academics" for science, reading and math.

Now they are saying that the money could be used for P.E. and Sports personnel!!!!

This demonstrates to me the overall dishonesty of Pleasanton Unified School District and the fact they want the money for a catch-all piggy bank, including things that have nothing to do with academics.

My entire family will be voting No on E.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:28 am

"Disguising one's IP is irrelevant because all the posts would still be from the same proxy IP."

No, there are plenty of services out there that use large pools of IP addresses and give the effect of many IP source addresses for a single real source address.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Conspiracy theories are always fun. You do realize that one would have to disconnect and reconnect and then do the extra check to make sure the IP address is different on top of loading up the page in the browser, typing in the message, and typing in the verification code, a time consuming process. Or maybe there's a botnet and someone wrote a little hack that allows the botnet to post to the PW. So much work for so little reward. It is much more efficient and effective that like-minded people post. And it doesn't rely upon any conspiracy theory about the hacking skills of a single person.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 8:58 am

"You do realize that one would have to disconnect and reconnect and then do the extra check to make sure the IP address is different on top of loading up the page in the browser, typing in the message, and typing in the verification code, a time consuming process."

There are services for hire that will take care of most of that automatically. It doesn't take all that much work.


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Posted by more ideas
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Sorry, I only have a couple of opportunities to post.

Arnold you asked, "Why does Hanushek think 'that even our most-advantaged students are not all that competitive'"?

Raising the standards for all students is the area that I am personally interested in. There are two issues that Hanushek identifies: policy issues and less than rigorous academic standards.

With regard to policy issues, here is Hanushek's report: Web Link

Among his conclusions:

"Unfortunately, the United States trails other industrialized countries in bringing a large proportion of its students up to the highest levels of accomplishment. This is not a story of some states doing well but being dragged down by states that perform poorly. Nor is it a story of immigrant or disadvantaged or minority students hiding the strong performance of better-prepared students. Comparatively small percentages of white students are high achievers. Only a small proportion of the children of our college-educated population is equipped to compete with students in a majority of OECD countries."

"Major policy initiatives within the United States have in recent years focused on the educational needs of low-performing students. Such efforts deserve commendation, but they can leave the impression that there is no similar need to enhance the education of those students the STEM coalition has called "the best and brightest." Yet, with rapidly advancing technologies in an increasingly integrated world economy, no one doubts the extraordinary importance of highly accomplished professionals."


Second issue: Disparity in State Standards

Sharp disparity between NAEP standards and state standards: Web Link

"States have strong incentives not to set world-class standards. If they do, more of their schools will be identified as failing under NCLB rules, and states will then be required to take corrective actions to bring students' performance up to the higher standard. As a result, the temptation for states to "lowball expectations" is substantial. Perhaps for this reason, a sharp disparity between NAEP standards and the standards in most states has been identified in all of our previous reports. In 2009, the situation improved in reading, but deteriorated further in math…"

"Eight states improved the overall rigor of their assessments by a full letter grade or more since 2007: Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia. By contrast, we gave just four states—Alaska, California, New York, and South Carolina—grades that were at least a full letter grade worse than they received in 2007…"

"In this report, as in previous ones, we assess the rigor of standards that states set. This is an important task, as it reminds states that whether students have or have not learned cannot be a matter of how the test is designed and where the "proficiency line" is drawn. Rather, setting high standards for proficiency is the first step in the journey toward actually improving the learning of a high percentage of students. According to NAEP, less than one-third of students are proficient in reading and a similar proportion in math nationwide. For the sake of the children of this country, we should be doing much better than that."

Back to the regularly scheduled discussion :)


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

concerned parent,

Why don't you name one then since you know so much about this subject? And while you're at it, explain how I can be logged in and posting from the same IP, which the server logs will back up, at the same time as all these other posts that are allegedly attributed to me. You give me too much credit with your conspiracy theory. Perhaps it isn't I who is the one using such services.


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Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm

"You give me too much credit with your conspiracy theory"

Take it easy. I never said you were doing this.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 3, 2011 at 12:42 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'm only asking for you to provide more information if you're going to sew doubt and uncertainty.


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Posted by Vía Di Salerno
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm

VOTE NO, and my WHYS

We do have good schools here, that said... It's NOT TO CRY FOR MORE PROPERTY TAX DUMPED ON US.

Pleasanton Teachers are amongst the HIGHEST PAID in California for public schools... In the TOP 5% for sure... Teacher will NOT be running elsewhere for jobs. cause the grass is NOT greener elsewhere. Of course those lost in the cuts will be looking and I am sorry but, that is what poor economic times do to us all...

My kids are doing GREAT even with the last couple rounds of budget cuts. I think this further emphasizes how much fluff was in the Pleasanton School District.

The sensationalism is off the chart on cuts... We have budget spending challenges larger than revenue, MAKE CUTS. That's what PEOPLE do at home when times are tough.

Libraries are GREAT, but, it's OK to close the them for a few hours. That is a reasonable CUT.

Does the elementary system really need @ WG: The Discovery Program ? CUT this crap. Even the district has adopted these teaching methods across the board, so why a special group ?

Do we really need Dual Immersion @ VV ?: Almost 1/2 the kids in DI are from RH... can't they afford a Rosetta Stone program for their kids ? Bilingual teachers and a principal make more salary than their peers, for what ?

VOTE NO !



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Posted by YES ON MEASURE E
a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

YES ON MEASURE E


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