Town Square

Post a New Topic

Homework policy, district finances to be discussed by Pleasanton school board tonight

Original post made on May 24, 2011

The Pleasanton school board will take its first look at a new homework policy for the coming school year at its meeting tonight.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 7:24 AM

Comments (33)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by start here
a resident of Downtown
on May 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

How about this for a start? --

Eliminate car allowances for everyone, no exceptions. If a personal vehicle is used for business reimburse at the IRS mileage rate as long a proper documentation is provided.
Elimintate cell phones for everyone. Show me one person who does not already have a cell phone. Show me one person whose plan does not include unlimited minutes. This is a benefit that is not warranted any longer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ... and keep going
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Good start start here. We need to reign in unfunded liabilities that are unsustainable for us overburdened tax fatigued taxpayers. Car allowances and cell phones are irresponsible and unaccountable. Office phones too. Since everyone has a cell phone there's no need for office phones in the offices. Its just another way to keep secretarial staff hired on at ungodly salaries. Many are retiring with triple figure pensions. File cabinets is another one. Why are we expected to pay for file drawers when its the public employee who is using them? Office supplies... Don't get me started. Make them do they're job. They work for us. Next they'll be asking for uniform allowances in our increasingly socialistic state.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Just remember.. Less homework scores mean higher percentage of the student's grade will be based on test scores. If your child is not a good test taker this may ultimately result in your child receiving a lower overall grade on his report card.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

"Just remember.. Less homework scores mean higher percentage of the student's grade will be based on test scores. If your child is not a good test taker this may ultimately result in your child receiving a lower overall grade on his report card."

But that is a good thing. It is not a good idea to give good grades to students just for warming up the seat and do what the teacher says.

Tests evaluate student learning and eliminate the "teacher plays favorites" with students.

And the good students, the A students who know the material, often end up with Bs because they did not turn in a busy work type of assignment. Not a good idea to have a kid who does not know the material but does all the busy work get a good grade and at the same time give the kids who do know and understand the concepts a not so good grade because they did not do all the busy work.

Good students learn the material and thus score high on tests. Bad students get by with busy work and grades for warming up the seat.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmmmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm

and some students are so busy doing the busy work that they do not have time to actually learn.

Stop giving so much homework and focus on true learning.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

This is an outstanding direction of thinking and should be encouraged.

Cut waste, as "Start Here" suggested, by eliminating such things as overly-generous gasoline allowances and free cellphones. I would also suggest cutting paid birthdays as fiscally irresponsible under the present circumstances. The important thing in this area is to cultivate a "cut-waste" mentality among public employees. Like Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned."

Cut unsustainable liabilities buy bringing salaries and benefits to a level that can be supported by revenue. Set the standard at fair and reasonable in relation to actual finances, eschew plans based on projections that are nothing more than wishful thinking, and stop indefensibly expensive give-aways such as salary spikes in the final year of employment. The important thing in this area is to cultivate a "within-reason" mentality among public employees. Like Sophocles said, "Be a thrifty steward of your goods."

I am pleased that the public is gaining awareness of the need for fiscal responsibility, and I hope this awareness will translate into action that will bring our economy closer to health.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Time to eliminate free health insurance for retirees. This is unfunded by millions of dollars and something we cannot afford.

District management is well paid and they get 8 weeks off per year. If we have management work a whole year, we can eliminate jobs in the district office but having the management staff do district office jobs during school holidays. If we are paying them $175,000/year, they should be working a whole year and not getting 8 weeks off per year like they do now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another parent
a resident of Lemoine Ranch
on May 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Another possibility is to stagger the administrators' years so that they have to work 11 months out of the year instead of 9. This would eliminate the need for some of the staff secretaries who are making way too much money and laughing all the way to the bank with their unsustainable salaries and pension benefits.

We don't need vice principals. They just do what the parents are supposed to do. If the kid can't stay in line, send them home. Two 'send them homes' equals expulsion. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on them.

Home work is overrated and sometimes I think the union teachers just assign it to make the parents think something important is going on in the classroom.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by lossoflove
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on May 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

"set the standard at fair and reasonable in relation to actual finances,"

Why don't we link teacher salary to the Pleasanton median income, so that the average teacher in Pleasanton makes the median income.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm

"We don't need vice principals. They just do what the parents are supposed to do. If the kid can't stay in line, send them home. Two 'send them homes' equals expulsion. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on them. "

Who is going to send them home? Would you like the teacher to ignore the rest of the students to spend a few hours with the troubled student to get them home. (The district is still liable until the student is in the hands of a parent or guardian) PUSD is still financially responsible if you expel them because under 18 need to be in school. So if they go elsewhere we have to pay including transportation (compulsory education laws).

While it's good to hear at least an idea of a solution, it really must be reasonable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by another parent
a resident of Lemoine Ranch
on May 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Me Too raises a good point. I hadn't thought of that. But the object is to save money so we could hire minimum wage responsible babysitters to sit the troublemakers. Put them in an enclosed confinement facility. We'd still save money after getting rid of the unsustainable vice principals. Is it me or does anyone else think some of these nanny state laws are there to keep unaccountable school administrators in there triple figure salaries?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ellie
a resident of Birdland
on May 25, 2011 at 7:37 am

I went to school a long time ago. We didn't have homework till about 5th grade and even then it wasn't a lot.
We learned all we needed to learn to go on to high school and college. The teachers taught what needed to be taught.
What has changed so much that the kids need hours and hours of homework?? We learned what we needed to learn in the classroom!!
Why doesn't that work anymore?
AND....the teacher had three grades to teach!!! 3 teachers, first, second and third grade, fourth and fifth, and six, seven and eight!!
Somehow the teachers managed and the kids learned.
Amazing concept.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 8:18 am

"We learned what we needed to learn in the classroom!!"

Are you quite sure of that?

"We learned all we needed to learn to go on to high school and college."

What college?

I went to grade school in the sixties. Homework stated in second grade. By fifth grade there was a lot of it. I went to a prestigious University and graduate school. Mastering skills requires practice. That is why our children need homework. Our increasing complex society needs more educated citizens, not more ignoramuses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ellie
a resident of Birdland
on May 25, 2011 at 8:44 am

Yes Jake I am quite sure of that. What college? I went to Stanford and graduated with honors.
I have a Masters in Political Science. Also have my Phd.
I wouldn't consider myself an ignoramus because my school didn't have a lot of homework.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Skippy
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 25, 2011 at 8:47 am

Jake makes a good point. NOT. What good does going to a prestigious University do when you can't even spell "start" ... ???
What good does going to a prestigious University do when you don't know how to use a adverb correctly??? "Our increasing" !!!!!!
And what good does going to a prestige University do when it turns you into a raving Marxist name caller who looks down on everybody and calls them ignoramuses??????

Jake is probably at the front of the line ranting about wanting to descrease the size of the classroom and hire more teachers with unsustainable salaries and pensions. @Ellie has it right. The teachers give out homework to impress the parents. Most of the time they don't even grade it. Or they let the other kids grade it. They do whatever they can to make themselves look good.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

OK pick on my grammar all want, it is the way I was brought up. I would say increasing complex. You can say it any way you like. Just don't make assumptions about me. I voted no on E and yes on Harmer and no new taxes ever. Whos the Marxist now? I'm against all the lazy teachers just as much as anyone. It is all unsustainable unfunded liabilities. There are you happy now?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

I thought so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

I'd rather they do homework than sit around watching TV and acting like ignoramuses.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ignoramus
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 25, 2011 at 11:07 am

Jake, Isn't that supposed to be 'who's'?????? It's okay. Stay strong brother. We're doing our best to take back our country. Some of our best information comes from the T.V. Some of the cable networks are our last line of defense against the lazy homework giving union slackers that pass for teachers in school and try to shove Marxist doctrination right down the kids' throats.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Night Owl
a resident of Birdland
on May 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm

@Jake,

I'm going to stick my neck out and ask you. You say you 'went to' a prestigious university and graduate school. I'm wondering which school(s) that(they) might be. Second, I'm wondering whether you graduated from either that university or that graduate school. And, third, I'm wondering what your university and graduate professors thought of your refusal to use adverbs in a proper manner (increasing v. increasingly) and also contractions as in your use of 'whos' as in your odd construction 'Whos the Marxist now?'

Perhaps we share a different meaning of the term 'prestigious university'. I've had a little bit of experience with some highly reputed prestigious universities, but none would have allowed such conspicuously poor usage of grammar, at any level. Is the prestigious university you refer to Burger King Hamburger College by chance? I'm sorry, but I'm unable to imagine the kind of grammar you deploy being permitted in any reputable university. And graduate school? You are exaggerating a tad are you not?

@Ellie,
Now I guess I have also a bone to pick with you. You did not truly graduate from Stanford with honors did you? Then you give us this whopper: "I have a Masters in Political Science. Also have my Phd." You should know that no one with a Ph.D. would refer to their Ph.D. as Phd. Too much work goes into the attainment of such an advanced degree. Nor would anyone with an earned Ph.D. state that they had attained a Masters degree and then provide 'Phd' as something of an afterthought. To a true holder of a Ph.D., the degree is far more significant than any Master of Arts or Science degree. I mention this to let you know that educated readers are not falling for your transparent effort to appear intelligent. Quite to the contrary, the ruses you and Jake adopt work in the opposite direction.

I can only conclude that Jake and Ellie are being untruthful, do not hold college degrees, know very little about education, but present themselves as if they actually have something significant to say about education. They do not. It is why we put educated teachers and professors in a classroom and not uneducated parents who often are in the grip of a pernicious ideology that rewards loudness and nosiness above all else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2011 at 8:17 am

It is because people like you that I voted NO on E!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Andy
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on May 26, 2011 at 8:52 am

Hmmmm is a moron....

"Good students learn the material and thus score high on tests. Bad students get by with busy work and grades for warming up the seat."

"And the good students, the A students who know the material"

So any student that has less than A's are bad students????

Even good students do poorly on test. Homework or "busy work" as you call it also helps the kids learn. And some learn it better at home in a quiet setting as opposed to in a class with friends talking. You have to think of all students not just the FEW with A's.

When reading your comments they read as only the students with A's matter. Pretty narrow vision you have! My thought..... All students matter!



 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2011 at 8:56 am

Regarding homework, it is a way for some students who do NOT grasp all the concepts in class to work through it at home. Homework is also a way to gauge whether the student can follow directions and take the responsibility to complete an assignment. In a way, this is a prep for the working world.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on May 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

Anybody who thinks only A students are good students needs to have there heads examined. This is the kind of elitist soup that is being spoon fed to our children by the liberal union handpuppet teachers. Just because THEY were good students, just because THEY kissed up to THEIR teachers, THEY think any student who isn't kissing up is just a seat warmer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fatigued Enough Already
a resident of Hart Middle School
on May 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

To Concerned Mom. You say

**Regarding homework, it is a way for some students who do NOT grasp all the concepts in class to work through it at home. Homework is also a way to gauge whether the student can follow directions and take the responsibility to complete an assignment. In a way, this is a prep for the working world.**

Yeah, the kids take it home and then the parents have to learn how to do it. Homework is only a *guage* to see whether the parents no how to follow directions. I'm all ready in the working world for kripes sakes! I need a prep like I need a whole in my head! Meanwhile what are the teachers doing? Just waiting for when they can retire at 50 and receive quarter-million dollar annual pensions and all the Medicare they want? If my kid isn't learning in school they need to fire the teacher not make me do my kids homework.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vernon
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on May 26, 2011 at 9:47 am

The time is now, there is no money, I went to school in the 30's and 40's, teachers taught and we listened, in elementary school we got a new pencil when the old one was too small to hold, when our sheet of paper was full we turned it over and used the other side, time to cut the whining, for many it will be a reality check that has been long overdue, but it has to come,the time is now, we cannot wait any longer,why don't some people get it, we are broke.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

to "Fatigued..."
Why are YOU doing your kid's homework?????


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jared
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on May 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

There is a huge body of water coming that is going to wipe all the pencils and hardened paste right off your kid's desk. And that socialist union propagandaizing teacher will have that smug smirk wiped right off her face. Face it, people. A humongous wave is coming.

We need to get rid of the unions. Get rid of unnecessary homework which is written up on wasteful paper that is choking us to death. End S and C and other unfunded laws and liabilities. We're awash in unsustainable teacher salaries and non-value-addled pensions, and your expanding tax burden will only lead to more fatigue. Is anyone listening? Hear that roar? That's something big and huge and powerful that is going to sweep over us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Birdland
on May 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

Interesting Article from "Psychology Today". The article summarizes the book entitled "A Nation of Wimps".

www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200411/nation-wimps

"Parents are going to ludicrous lengths to take the bumps out of life for their children. However, parental hyperconcern has the net effect of making kids more fragile; that may be why they're breaking down in record numbers."

Padded playgrounds, parents going through the playground with their kids etc.

I'm wondering what would happen if some athletic coaches or music teachers decided to eliminate "busy work" and cut down practice?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gwyneth
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

Parent from Birdland,

Have you heard about Justice Sheds? It may be the answer to the problem of wimpy kids and the crushing mountain of water that is coming if we don't watch out. If your kid is acting out, just toss him into a Justice Shed. They're kind of like dog houses accept they're bigger. They're padded but not so much so that if your kid starts banging his limms against the walls that it won't hurt a little bit. Hard knocks is part of life.

Justice Sheds start at around $300, which seems steep but you save a lot on babysitter fees. It also saves taxpayers money because we can eliminate unaccountable school counselers and irresponsible vice principles. We're drowning in a blue sea of unsustainable red ink and we've got to start bailing if we want to survive. Just a thought. Have a good day. :,)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Afternoon Reflection
a resident of Verona
on May 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm

What most stands out for me is that the teachers have to start listening more to what the parents have to say. Parents have so much to offer. The teachers are just kind of padding their pocketbooks in preparation for the great flood. They're going to be okay because they have outrageous million dollar pensions. So they think they don't have to listen. But the flood has already started. We're broke and teachers can't do the plumbing without parentel help.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm

The competent teacher knows that the function of homework is reinforcement of learning; and when assigning homework, the competent teacher can and will link the assignment directly to specific learning goals in the lesson plan.

The absence of a direct link is a pathognomonic sign of "busy work".




 +   Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Thanks Mike. Who would have known?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Vote YES on Measures 45, 46, & 47, NO on 48
By Roz Rogoff | 32 comments | 2,191 views

Prop 47: not perfect, just preferable.
By Tom Cushing | 2 comments | 885 views

The Vranesh situation heads to court
By Tim Hunt | 8 comments | 710 views