Posted by Start listening, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Aug 25, 2008 at 11:09 am
Six school board candidates to run for three seats:
Extensive history of School and Community involvement
(Understands the parent perspective, has the educational background to work the budget, has paid her dues with service to youth issues in our community)
Sales Director,teacher and assistant principal at Village High School, district officer and county office administrator
(Wife is a teacher, is there a conflict of interest with the Union, is this someone too close to the district with a district minded perspective? I am very interested in this candidate.)
JAMIE YEE HINTZKE:
Very involved with PTA, extensive district involvement.
(Will understand the parent perspective, has paid her dues with service to the district, is she too close to the Union?)
STEPHEN PAGE (Doctor/ Consultant / Educator)
"His desire for schools to have independent oversight from conflict-free people is just part of the reason he decided to run." PW 8/15/08. ( I am interested to learn more as he has a history of conflict, which is not necessarily a bad thing but I want to understand what he means.)
PRASAD V. RALLAPALLI:
Database Architect for Yahoo, Pleasanton Science League
(His kid got an award, congrats, is his only interested for the high achievers?)
Nice, smart, guy has paid his dues with service to our district. As a Board member has not shown independent thinking, does not ask hard questions. Spends too much time nodding his head yes, and thanking everyone (appreciation is good but enough already...they get paid). Seems to want a parcel tax whether we need it or not.
Should candidates seek Union endorsements and accept union money?
The Unions are strong special interest groups is it a conflict of interest for them to select their bosses?
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 25, 2008 at 11:43 am
You give way too much credit to teachers' unions. What does being too close to the union mean? Is this euphemistic for, they try to understand teachers' issues?
Teachers promote all sorts of things that are beneficial. Yes, they want to get paid for hard work but they also want to make sure students are in an environment conducive to learning. They address issues like class size and teacher roaming, equal access and academic freedom to address state and national standards within the confines of their discipline.
Parents have a vested interest in what is best for their children. Teachers have a vested interest in what is best for all the children they teach. Each is a appropriate approach and should be valued.
Posted by Tonni, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on Aug 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm
We love our teachers and we want what is best for them but the teachers union does not care about our kids!! Parents need to separate our teachers in the classroom from the agenda of the union. Web Link
That aside, the school board makes collective bargaining decisions on union contract issues there should be no conflict of interests with campaign contributions or good-old-boy relationships. The unions should not have the power to select our trustees.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Aug 25, 2008 at 12:16 pm
Start listening wrote:
"PRASAD V. RALLAPALLI:
Database Architect for Yahoo, Pleasanton Science League
(His kid got an award, congrats, is his only interested for the high achievers?)"
I don't get it? The guy's kid wins an award and suddenly that means he's only interested in the job because of high achievers? If you've really got nothing to say about the guy, just say that. Don't make up accusations.
Posted by Listening, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Aug 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm
No accusation, a thought , a question, we are starting the discussion I want to know as much as I can to make a decision on who to support. I think it is a question worth asking. These are the things I know. Do you have anything constructive to add?
Posted by Mom of 4, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 26, 2008 at 11:56 am
I agree with "listening" that we need to ask a lot of questions about the candidates this time around and their connection to the union. Maybe the parent candidate being discussed IS only interested in high achieving kids but that might also mean he would work to eliminate a couple of teachers who are not doing very well but who are protected by the unions. Many parents have been frustrated by that issue.
These are all things we need to consider as we evaluate candidates and there is nothing wrong with asking these questions.
Posted by raven, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Aug 30, 2008 at 9:18 am
It is an interesting this time around. We should particular attention on their views of the overcrowded high schools and the lack of student safety that has come with it.
As far as who the district and the teachers union would love to sit on the board is quite clear. I love the idea of having a board members that will be fair and balanced. No agendas coming in. They are not just an automatic yes vote for the district and TU for everything they want.
These candidates should be willing to take some really strong stances for our students. Sadly, the district has lost focus in these past few years. I expected so much more from Supt. Casey.
The earlier poster is correct, follow the candidates and ask the tough questions. Our kids deserve the best from the school board.
Posted by Julie, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Aug 30, 2008 at 1:43 pm
Sadly I am not sure I see much alternative for the overcrowding at the high schools any longer. Ten years of decisions that have been intended to prevent building another HS, and leadership with no vision has left us with few choices.
Our next generations of students will have to live with the consequences of those decisions as the numbers continue to increase in our schools.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the student population when the economy picks up again.
Posted by raven, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Aug 30, 2008 at 2:51 pm
There are always ways to decrease the overcrowding, But it will take some courageous changes to make it happen. Crisis management is not effective management. The school boards in the past were unwilling to face this challenge. With overcrowded schools comes school safety issues.
In short, I believe we can and should improve on all fronts and for all students not just high achievers.However we may need different strokes for different folks and need to define the core mission and fund it adequately. We also need to step up community involvement via ideas like "Each one teach one" as we are going to have structural budget deficits at many levels of government for foreseeable future.
So it is up to us - all of us - to give back.
I would also urge you to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and feedback.
Posted by Alyssa, a resident of the Castlewood Heights neighborhood, on Oct 13, 2008 at 2:22 am
I have three kids in Pleasanton schools and I think Chris Grant is an excellent trustee. He is thoughtful and does his homework. One of my children has special needs and Chris made sure that services to kids in special ed were not affected by budget cuts.
I say vote for Chris Grant!!!! You won't regret it.
Posted by Julie Testa, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Oct 13, 2008 at 8:33 am
After watching the candidate forum and reading their literature together with my knowledge of the candidates this is my two cents.
Taxpayers hold on to your wallets without Steve Brososky on the School Board, Arkin is our best hope to fiscally challenge the district. We need representatives that are independent critical thinkers, who listen to parents, understand that kids are not academic robots and understand the Boards management role with the Superintendent and Unions.
Valerie is smart and likable with a parent perspective. Valerie has been involved in many areas of our community advocating for our youth. I believe she will work to look critically at issues.
Jamie has worked hard at the PTA level, she has a real knowledge of PUSD issues, and she has a parent perspective. She has been on district committees and attended board meetings; she has worked hard for the district and is not afraid to challenge the district, which I believe is why we have elected representatives.
I was shocked that the teachers union did not endorse Jamie, she organized a rally in support of the budget, she deserved their endorsement. I like her more for not getting the CTA endorsement. Independent thinkers are a threat to special interest groups.
I am not comfortable with Jamie’s partisan involvement (I want our local politics to be nonpartisan).
Jamie and I don’t always agree on issues, it is her hard working, independent thinking that I respect.
Chris is also smart and likable; he has a high level of knowledge of PUSD. He was appointed to the board so he has the gift of incumbency. Chris is far too eager for a parcel tax and has not look critically at the many manipulated justifications for a parcel tax. Brozosky was the only Board member to understand the “budget crisis”.
Chris has been on the Board long enough that I hope he will start showing more critical thinking.
Chris is a nice guy, he has given a lot of time to the district and he is open to parent input.
Jeff Bowser is smart and pleasant but his wife is a teacher. It may not be a legal conflict of interest but I believe it is a practical and ethical conflict of interest. It is no surprise the CTA gave him their endorsement. I will not vote for him.
Prasad Rallapalli has had limited involvement with the district, he does not know enough about the district.
Stephen Page, does not appear to be running.
VALERIE ARKIN, JAMIE HINZKE, CHRIS GRANT For School Board