Town Square

Post a New Topic

School board to discuss union bargaining proposals, other issues tonight

Original post made on Feb 14, 2012

The Pleasanton School board will discuss the district's and its teachers' union contract proposals for the upcoming school year at its meeting tonight.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 7:34 AM

Comments (65)

Posted by Jill, a resident of Birdland
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

A lot of the "reduction" of income is not receiving COLA (Cost of Living adjustments from the State of 3.17% that the district feels they are entitled to). There is also no talk in their presentation about postponing the step and column raises, eliminated car allowances for management, eliminating the Information Officer (they would rather see teachers cut), eliminating free retiree medical insurance, or eliminating Administrative Office jobs except for a fewer lower-level jobs (i.e., no cuts to management). So cuts will occur but people will still receive raises... Only in government... They are also looking at doing yet another special parcel tax election. Sigh...

Also, be careful in how you read the 'cuts'. They are counting things multiple times. If it was cut last year and still cut this year, they count it as a 'new cut'.


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

From examining the agenda, it seems more accurate to say that the board will hold a hearing about the topics that will be discussed during negotiations with the unions, rather than saying that the board will discuss bargaining proposals. The headline for this story is misleading.

Board agendas are available at this link:

Web Link

and the lists of cuts already approved, along with potential additional cuts, are available at this link:

Web Link

There are a number of positions that had already been reduced to 50% (which were reinstated thanks to fundraising) that are now potentially being considered for complete elimination.


Posted by Teachers are corrupt, really really corrupt, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

Pssst. Pass the word! I heard the corrupt teachers union is bringing in SAINT (aka SATIN) to do their bidding.

And as Jill so perceptively points out: "So cuts will occur but people will still receive raises... Only in government... "

Right. They haven't learned yet how to dole out raises after corporate downsizing.

I gotta tell ya, I am soooo proud to be a member of this community!


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

"So cuts will occur but people will still receive raises... Only in government..."

Happens in the private sector all the time. Cisco Systems just made cuts and gave out raises.

" They are also looking at doing yet another special parcel tax election"

And it is more and more likely to pass with each attempt. The demographics of Pleasanton are changing. Many more families with children, and children of highly educated silicon valley parents have moved and are moving here. We are a lot less concerned with lowering taxes than we are with maintaining quality education.


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Hey Teachers are corrupt, if as you said, " (aka SATIN) to do their bidding" isn't that extravagant. Why not cotton, it's certainly cheaper. Especially at Wal Mart. But, I guess part time brain surgeons like you can afford satin.....


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm

"Happens in the private sector all the time. Cisco Systems just made cuts and gave out raises."

Oh for goodness sakes! Does anyone know the difference between raises coming from PRIVATE sector $'s and raises coming from PUBLIC Sector $'s?

Yes John, Cisco and other PRIVATE entities do it all the time, the only difference is they don't do with money that is taken out of our paychecks...get it?!

Geez...

Dan


Posted by Marianne, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm

STAIN, SATIN, SAINT ... aren't they all corrupt, Steve? Lets stay on massage here. When a PR firm can afford to pay door-to-door leaflet distributers over 200 grand, then we are surly in the grip of Satin's forces. Anyway, Walmart is a grocery store and wont be selling ether cotton or sattin.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

No increases until we get a balanced budget.
And stop giving public servants their birthdays off. Not only is it a foolishly unnecessary waste of money, but it's also embarrassingly childish.

Mike


Posted by Marianne, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Hey youse geniuses, like Dan says, private sector companies don't give their employees money that is taken out of OUR paychecks. It's only taken out of the paychecks of the deadbeat employees who got "let go," and we know they're not US and probably deserved to get "let go" anyways.

Besides, why shouldn't Walmart give its managers raises when they've got us paying for Walmartian employee food stamps? Get it?! Indeed.


Posted by Watcher, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Beware all. 'Teachers are corrupt, really really corrupt', is the same UNION mouthpiece dame that was all over several Wal Mart threads for a week under names like Unions are bad, really really bad....to TRICK you into reading her senseless blatherings.
She normally talks pretty harsh, so ...This is the NEW TACTIC of more gentle PRETENSE MOCKERY, RIDICULE, etc. Actually, PW........ you really need to check the computer of 'Marianne' comments above. Several different names were used in the union thread. . . .carries on a whole conversation with herself, with different names, to make the union's case ! (altho a losing case)
Don't let her hijack our school debates with her union biased manipulation.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Tacrrc (by the way, no one posting here thinks teachers are corrupt) is also Marianne--same old tactics. Same answer to both on WalMart--go organize them if they need saving.

Things that should be on the cut list--most consultants, including the $250,000 for facilities (sorry Tom), the Management Assistant position, not replacing the assistant superintendent of Ed Services (curriculum)--and if replaced, only at the director level--the Purchasing position that should have been demoted from the director level, most conferences including the annual CSBA event. So that's about one third of the way to the S&C increase I think. Or it can save counselors or reading specialists or library time or the Barton reading program. And Adult Ed makes money--you can't shut it down just because all the money they banked has already been taken to cover all the things that should be cut.

As long as the cuts start at the school level and not the District Office, I don't see much conversation about a parcel tax--unless the language specifically ties it to what the parents value most.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Interesting that not only did Kathleen in past years say that there should have been a consultant, but she was the one that recommended the consultant the district used! The target just keeps moving according to what Kathleen wants. If the district did everything she has said, there would still be a problem. (Hmmm sounds just like politics these days)

Im wondering why your opinion of what should be cut is taken as the only way to do things in this district and anyone else who disagrees is a union thug according the to many followers who simply take your opinions as truth?


Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Feb 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

"Marianne's" comments are coming from the same IP address as "Vicki," "Unions are terrible," "yet Another Elitist," "Denise" and a couple other names on other threads. When the same person posts under different names on the same thread, in an attempt to support their own comments, I will remove them. Email me at gallen@pleasantonweekly.com if you suspect this.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

" I don't see much conversation about a parcel tax"

You are one vote. The parcel tax is coming. The demographics will take care of that.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

John, Yes, I am one vote; but others feel the same and even more strongly than I do. I would vote for a parcel tax if the language of the ballot specifies exactly where the money is spent. Seems simple enough.

Really, Yes, I thought a consultant was important and I was one person on that committee of many who all chose the consultant used--someone whose work I knew. In being one vote there as well, however, others did not agree specifics were necessary. And the measure failed.

I haven't called anyone a union thug, and others on previous threads have many ideas of what should be cut that were different than my own. There are two reasons for any credibility I might have--experience and presenting easily verified facts.

I would gladly vote for a parcel tax at any price, but only if it is specific based on the desires of the parents of our community knowing my priorities may not be the same as theirs.


Posted by Jimmy the Jet, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 5:14 am

"I would gladly vote for a parcel tax at any price, but only if it is specific based on the desires of the parents of our community knowing my priorities may not be the same as theirs."

Horse feathers.

"There are two reasons for any credibility I might have--experience and presenting easily verified facts."

Honestly?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 15, 2012 at 7:23 am

Jimmy (aka . . . the list is getting too long), I donate every year to individual teachers (more than the first parcel tax amount, by the way) and volunteer where I am able. So my comment stands and is verifiable--unlike horse feathers. Honestly.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 15, 2012 at 7:42 am

Gina,

THANK YOU for recognizing the sock-puppets!!!!!!

Check Phil, Dr. Gator, Monigue as well.

Sincerely,

Dan


Posted by no more teacher raises, a resident of Downtown
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:30 am

Back to the parcel tax to pay for S & C. The teachers will never take a cut, let alone freeze their automatic raises. Teachers in this district make far more than almost any other district around. In fact, I have not found any higher paid teachers than those in Pleasanton.
For those who say that they will gladly pay any amount of parcel tax -- remember that those taxes are not deductible even though they are paid with your property tax bill.
PUSD needs to live within their budget, cutting whatever expenses they need to cut in order to do that.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:44 am

Stacey is a registered user.

To be fair, a comparison of teacher salaries alone doesn't reflect the whole picture since other districts with seemingly lower teacher salaries also pay for health insurance while PUSD does not. PUSD's compensation structure negatively affects teachers who need health insurance (i.e., pay for it out of their higher salary) and positively affects teachers who are covered under a spouse's plan.


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:03 am

Dan and Gina, you forgot mittens, slippers, Teachers are corrupt, sarah. There must be a way to ban abusive IP addresses, but then I suppose the number of posts would be cut in half, making it look like the PW forums are not as active.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

". I would vote for a parcel tax if the language of the ballot specifies exactly where the money is spent. Seems simple enough."

I think the parcel tax will pass without that. The demographics here are changing dramatically. Did you see the article in Sunday Valley times? Pleasanton was the top community listed as having new families with children moving here. There may be a shrinking number of older residents without families who have stong feelings about not supporting a parcel tax, but their numbers have likely crossed the threshold to being inadequate to stop a parcel tax. Moreover, for a lot of us newer residents who work in the technology industry, where the economy is quite strong and unemployment is something less than 3%. The last parcel tax election was a statistical dead heat. A simple do-over will like get the next one through.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

"Back to the parcel tax to pay for S & C. The teachers will never take a cut, let alone freeze their automatic raises."

I'm fine with a parcel tax to pay for "S & C", whatever that is. Why should we freeze wages our teachers, for heaven's sake? I got an 18% increase this year, and two bonuses -- one scheduled, and one out of band, and I work in the private sector. Don't we have a top school district? Shouldn't we be paying at least some kind of raises? Do we want to drive our best teachers to other districts? Didn't I read on these forums that one of our best teachers, the one who organized our "We the People" efforts recently resigned and left for Danville? Is that what we really want in Pleasanton?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

"I think the parcel tax will pass without that. The demographics here are changing dramatically."

john:

We already had two parcel taxes that failed, and one was as recent as last year:

Web Link

The demographics have not changed that much since. What makes you think the parcel tax will pass this time around?

I supported the parcel taxes in the past, but many people were against it, and both times (G and E), the tax failed.

The thing is john, that the board does not take it seriously when people express opposition to the parcel tax. Why? Because no one shows up to board meetings to say no, only the yes people show up. Same with the drug dogs, most don't want them, but the board only hears from a minority of people who attend the PTA meetings and board meetings. No one in their right mind, parents especially, is going to voice an opposing view point knowing it will fall on deaf ears.

I don't think you can say the parcel tax would pass this time. I suppose increasing the voter turnout would help, but it might also go the other way (more people voting against it), it is hard to tell, and I hope we do not spend another 300K on a tax unless we know it will pass for sure.


Posted by a parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:49 am

Aren't they going for a bond measure rather than a parcel tax this time? Isn't that why the money was spent on the facilities masterplan recently? Or is it both?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 11:50 am

Even if cuts to administration salaries and positions do not solve the budget problem, PUSD needs to start there when it comes to cuts: no more car allowances, get rid of positions like PIO, etc.

Step and column freezes are an option only if the union agrees, and what is the chance of that? But some other items such as the goodies given to admin (health benefits at retirement for instance) is well within the control of the board without union negotiations.

I read about a district in LA that fired all of the staff (due to abuse allegations) and hired all new people. Could PUSD do something like that even though there are no allegations of abuse? Could we do this so we can start fresh and not have the mandatory step and column? Does anyone know?


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm

"The demographics have not changed that much since. What makes you think the parcel tax will pass this time around?"

Did you see the article in the Sunday Times this weekend? It showed statistics on families with children leaving places like Hayward or Fremont and singled out Pleasanton as a community with a large influx of families with children. Older people without children are moving out, and younger people with children are moving. Pleasanton, in particular, is getting a lot of people who work in the tech industry. The article squares with what I've observed personally. There has been a marked change from when I first moved here. If you look at the margins by which the parcel tax failed on the first two attempts, the margin is getting smaller. Just interpolate from those to points, and it looks like it will probably just happen.

I'm not saying I that I think everything the school board is doing is great, or that they couldn't be more responsive to the community. I'm saying that they probably will manage to get a parcel tax passed this time around, and I would support it.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm

"Pleasanton, in particular, is getting a lot of people who work in the tech industry. "

Yes, but how much have the demographics changed in one year? And also, a friend of mine who is an engineer and just moved to Pleasanton (from the South Bay) and would support a parcel tax is not a citizen. She is a legal resident but a citizen of a different country, and cannot vote on the parcel tax. I have other friends in the same situation: well to do professionals, legal residents, homeowners but not citizens and therefore not allowed to vote on the parcel tax or anything.

You seem to work in the high tech industry, so you probably have observed that many of our coworkers are not citizens even though they live here, buy homes here, pay property taxes (they just can't vote).

I also don't think that demographics can change that much in one year to make the parcel tax successful.

All I am saying is that the board needs to be careful before spending money again on a parcel tax, OR get a group that supports the parcel tax to raise the required funds to attempt another parcel tax - that way if it fails, at least the district would not have spent money it needs badly these days.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

John, You assume that families with children will vote in favor of a parcel tax--maybe those moving from Fremont or Hayward already stretched as far as they could financially to buy here.

What staff and the board continue to ignore is that they could possibly win just by using specific language in the ballot: . . . to retain X high school or X middle school counselors or X reading specialists or for X high school math teachers for CSR or X teachers for K-3 CSR (again, I'm personally fine with parents being polled for what is most important).

The last time they ran the experiment for the tax, the district actually said it needed something like $500 a parcel, but the reality was they needed to start much lower (sub $100) to gain the confidence of the community PRIOR to seeking future increases. So once this gets voted in, there is little likelihood it will ever go away or a renewed attempt would ever be for fewer dollars.

Resident, administrators have contracts and unless you have cause, you would have to buy out the remainder of their contracts. Assistant superintendents run through the 2012-13 school year, I believe. However, like the superintendent, their contracts could have been renewed annually so that the contract is actually a perpetual three year contract.

S&C is also contractual with the union. It can be negotiated to suspend it, but there are a lot of rules that come with it, like paying it all back when the district is flush. Unless there is the will to save jobs rather than salary, I don't think you'll see it happen. In fairness, the only increases the teachers have been getting since maybe 2008-09 are S&C.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm

"John, You assume that families with children will vote in favor of a parcel tax"

I assume that greater that a higher percentage of them than needed will.

"maybe those moving from Fremont or Hayward already stretched as far as they could financially to buy here."

I think a large percentage moving here are in the technology industry like me and are doing well. I think a large number are moving here for the schools and for the safety. It may not happen, but if i had to bet, I'd say a parcel tax would pass even it had all the same terms and conditions as the last one.

Resident,

Yes, I know that some of the new Pleasanton residents are non-citizens, but many of them are citizens, and it won't take that many to pass the tax.


Posted by Ferdie, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

John,

I moved here from Fremont and would not vote for a parel tax because it was a disaster in Fremont and did not work at all. They have a high school in Fremont which is far better than either Foothill or Amador and that school is Mission San Jose. Their teachers make less than ours do over here so it is not money which makes excellent students but rather dedicated students and committed and engaged parents.

PS fire everyone on this school board over here as they are part of the problem.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Bingo Ferdie.

Thank you for articulating the REAL REASON why our schools are high performing.

Take our students and parents to any low performing district and see what happens to that districts scores. Hint: they'll go up..

This is not to say teachers don't matter, but good families matter more.

Dan


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm

" They have a high school in Fremont which is far better than either Foothill or Amador and that school is Mission San Jose."

They also have elementary schools and middle schools in Fremont that are better. As Dan points out, teachers are only one factor contributing to good student achievement. Class size is another. There are many factors.

"PS fire everyone on this school board over here as they are part of the problem."

I don't see that we have a major problem. I don't think the consequences of not passing a parcel will be disastrous like some people on the board would have us believe, but I do think a parcel tax would help the district and would benefit students. Do you think it would be of no benefit?

Ferdie and Dan, what is your take on why some of our best teachers are resigning and moving to other districts? Does it concern you?

Dan, I have to admit that I thought you were being facetious when you said:

"Yes John, Cisco and other PRIVATE entities do it all the time, the only difference is they don't do with money that is taken out of our paychecks...get it?!"

I was responding to someone who said such things happen only in the public sector, which is clearly wrong. I have to say that I don't get it then. I think Cisco did the right thing. I think PUSD did the right thing.

My basic point is that I think you will see the next parcel tax effort succeed based on demographics alone. Look at the closing loss margin on the last two attempts and do some basic analytics. It looks like it will pass.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Its really unfortunate that among the posts here, you would not even mention the importance of the partnership between parents, students and teachers when it comes to success in school. Im wondering why the parents are feeling the need to take the "credit" for our successful schools, yet when something goes less than perfect ( look at the WTP post) it is the teachers' fault. I certainly dont hear the teachers here trying to take the credit.

I appreciate what you shared about the teachers not gaining anything since 2008-09, you should have also included that the majority of teachers are at the upper end of the salary schedule where they no longer move on the S&C schedule and the rest move only 50% of their entire career. #fulldisclosure


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Resident Im curious, did you watch the school board meeting? I was intrigued by the reporting of the test scores- did you see it? I caught it when they were reporting the 8th gr. ela scores- 84% of the kids are proficient or advanced. The Geometry scores- 100% of the kids are proficient or advanced.

Those numbers dont seem to warrant firing all the teachers in this district do they? Where in the private sector do you see 100% success rate? Where in the private sector do you see 100% success rate without a bonus or compensation attached?

The double standard is no longer applicable as many private sector companies are seeing huge increases, profits, and raises. Especially when PUSD continues to show amazing results- yes due to the partnership the SCHOOLS create with parents, teachers and students.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:55 am

John,

Nope, wasn't being facetious at all.

If you want to talk "analytics", do yourself a favor and look at the actual classroom time that teachers teach. Then compare their time/salary to the average tech time/salary and see what you find.

I posted the numbers in a school thread before the first parcel tax vote and got some real howling from other posters. Funny thing is, they never disagreed with the numbers, they just attacked.

Wonder why?

Dan


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:17 am

Really?,

I didn't read any post stating that teachers weren't important and I certainly didn't mean to imply that in my post.

But the "demographics" that John is so fond of citing are also the reason why are schools are so successful: we have high-functioning parents raising high-functioning children. This is indisputable.

If a partnership between the parents and teachers is the reason for success in schools, then by extension, the lack of partnership is also the reason for failure in low-functioning schools. Teachers must share in the blame but does that ever happen?

Therein lies the problem and you know what? I don't blame the teachers. There's only so much you can do if parents are not engaged.

Dan


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

"Resident Im curious, did you watch the school board meeting? I was intrigued by the reporting of the test scores- did you see it? I caught it when they were reporting the 8th gr. ela scores- 84% of the kids are proficient or advanced. The Geometry scores- 100% of the kids are proficient or advanced. "

I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that my kids score in the advanced range in spite of teachers, budget cuts- even when they have teachers who do not understand Math.

Of course Geometry scores are going to be 100 percent! Those are scores from kids in the sequence II (advanced) math program (taking Geometry in 8th instead of 9th grade).

That said, the only reason I proposed the "starting from scratch" is to stop the union rules. Perhaps if we could start fresh, we could reduce costs and rehire some of the excellent teachers that were let go due to seniority rules.

I know at one of the high schools an excellent Math teacher was let go (was fairly new and got displaced by seniority) and the replacement was an incompetent teacher who does not know Math.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

John, the survey done last time indicated the parcel tax MIGHT pass (67%) at $97 with a margin of 5% either way. Not exactly an overwhelming endorsement. They also used a mail in ballot (first for this community) in a somewhat hope that only yes votes would come in. Also, the last two attempts did not have organized competition, but there is the chance that another attempt, at least without a shift in approach, will face that organized effort. So saying "It looks like it will pass" is a bit naive.

Also of concern is the apparent blind faith in some/most of the board members. They are a disappointment, IMO, because they don't press staff for more transparency, for creative ideas to the financial issues, nor do they protect the most important part of the system - the classroom. Very few press staff with more probing questions about any of the recommendations being made (like why do we need a management assistant (PIO) position). Boards and staff should build mutual respect, but the board needs to firmly remain the representatives of the community and the children, and they are not doing so.

Really?, Appreciate the comment about the load at the top end of the salary schedule and the process for moving up. But then I would also want to talk about the perils of tenure and how it limits the ability to keep the best of the best and to pay them accordingly.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

"Where in the private sector do you see 100% success rate without a bonus or compensation attached? "

Where in the private sector do you see 100% success rate followed by a pink slip? I again mention the excellent high school Math teacher that was let go due to seniority rules. Her replacement? An incompetent math teacher who does not know the first thing about math.

And again: the geometry grades are from kids who are very advanced in Math and take geometry in middle school as part of the advanced math program. My child was in that program and we did the math teaching at home, as the teacher expected the kids to be self-directed and learn on their own


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

The Barton program is likely to be cut:

Web Link

Had we not pushed for another parcel tax, those funds could have been used for this program.

Let's not push for a parcel tax that may or may not pass.

If we eliminate the position of the PIO, that would pay for Barton. Arkin and Hintzke, again, were the only ones with something smart to say: find other cuts, admin. It is time to start listening to the two board members that seem to have the best interest of all kids in mind, and stop listening to Laursen,Grant and Bowser


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Resident, good news is good news, why take away the success students are finding in the classroom? You simply dismiss by saying that because they are advanced students they should be scoring high? Not a mention to the fact that they are working a year above their level, much more complicated material, and still finding success. I would say that has to do with the partnership between the students, teachers and parents.

Do you recognize the accommodation the schools have had to make with 20 million less in their budget or because you are not seeing it, means there isn't a problem with working with such drastic cuts to the budget?

This is not a reason to simply fire all teachers, when the success rate is rising. Im wondering why the success PUSD is finding in classrooms all over the district is absent from these posts? Is your goal to show our district is failing, because it's not. Apples earning are up, should they fire all their employees so they can pay them less and save more money? Why would you post that PUSD does that?


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Really?:

The private sector would not need to fire all its employees when they are doing well because doing well means EARNINGS for the company. If a company is in financial trouble, no matter how well the employees perform, you might see no bonuses that year, or no raises, or some layoffs based on performance and need (not seniority as you see in the public sector)

In PUSD or other school districts, we have unions who will not agree to paycuts or getting rid of personnel based on performance, or doing without a raise (step and column) that year where there is not enough money....that is the difference.

As for the performance in the more advanced math classes: I have personal experience with that as my child was in that accelerated program. Maybe my child ended up with the wrong teachers but the teacher is not at all responsible for my child's success and high scores. I know because I stayed up until late, tutored my child on the weekends. What I saw was a teacher that expected the kids to learn math on their own, and the kids lived up to that expectation, THANKS TO THEIR PARENTS AND THE STUDENTS' EFFORTS OUTSIDE OF CLASS. Many parents of kids in the advanced program can tell you that. 100% performance in geometry is more due to students and parents than the teachers.

You must be union friendly because in other forums you insist that union paid reading specialists (quite expensive) are better to keep than reading helpers (Barton volunteers). Barton costs the district LESS than the PIO makes. Reading specialists are quite expensive and not as effective as the Barton tutors who work for free one on one with struggling students. You accuse Barton supporters of advocating for programs that benefit their kids: well, my kids NEVER used the help of barton tutors or reading specialists, yet I can see how it is a no brainer to fire the PIO and the now director of purchasing (former PIO) and keep Barton. It does not take a genius to figure that out.

Reading specialists are more complicated as they cost a lot of money, but if you know of admin cuts that can be made to save reading specialists, by all mean propose that. But Barton costs 106K per year, less than what the former PIO (now in Purchasing) makes...a no brainer, fire the admin and keep Barton.




Posted by HS perspective, a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Dan,

When you say "If you want to talk "analytics", do yourself a favor and look at the actual classroom time that teachers teach. Then compare their time/salary to the average tech time/salary and see what you find" I wonder if you also take into account the time teachers put into their work that is not in the classroom with students.

Please keep in mind that classroom time (which is approximately 5 hours at the HS level) only makes up about half of the time teachers spend on their jobs.


Posted by Charlotte, a resident of Avignon
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Oh boy, here we go again with the argument that teachers spend time outside of the classroom preparing for classes, attending meetings, purchasing supplies ... we've heard all the lame excuses before haven't we? Teachers ARE important, but unionized teachers are corrupt because unions have a bad influence on everyone that's in them. Hence, union teachers are liars. Any analytical line of thought will bring you to the same conclusion. We need to fire them and only hire back the ones who will come back and work for half the bloated salaries they currently squeeze out of us.

I'm glad they got rid of the rude poster who uses different names. We should be able to agree with one another, and if not, there's always other posts out there.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm

HS,

Got a citation for that 10 hrs a day for every teacher? I'd like to see it.

Hi Genius (Charlotte)

I see Gina hasn't taken care of this name yet, eh?

Dan



Posted by HS Perspective, a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Dan,
No. No citation, just anecdotal evidence. As a HS teacher I know many of us put in nearly 10 hours per day. I can't vouch for every teacher but the ones I know put in far more than the 5 hours of classroom time.

I don't want to get defensive, and I respect the varying viewpoints here. I simply want to make sure that you take into account hours outside of "instructional time" when you make your comparisons.


Posted by Private Sector Employee Perspective, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

In the internet/cell phone age, most private sector employees work a minimum of 10-12 hours a day. Sometimes there are 16 hour days. We work weekends and holidays. We do not have the entire summer off.

Teachers have the summers off and a number of holidays. You don't teach on weekends. What other jobs in any other industry have a nearly 3 month holiday? Hours outside of 'instructional time' during the school year do not even come close to an extra 480 hours, which is about the time spent on the job for 3 months during the summer.

Also, the town is full of tutoring centers. I agree with 'resident' above that parents must spend many hours tutoring their own children or send them off to tutoring centers or a combination of both. This is not because of enrichment activities. It is to make up for sub-standard teachers that should have been let go long ago.

And let's not even get to the long commutes to get to jobs down the Sunol Grade into San Jose/Silicon Valley. That is another topic. But needless to see, when parents get home, it is tutoring time for many parents in this community.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm

In what other profession do the people outside of it seem to know more about the work load than those within the profession? I dont judge the quality of time you spend at your job "15 hrs a day" and I expect you to not judge my hours. To simply look at the school calendar and daily time schedule is very short sighted way to judge how many "hours" this job entails. (You do realize you are only quoting hrs in front of students, which is a fraction of the entire job) I also wouldnt look at one company's bonus schedule, raises, perks, catered lunches, holiday parties, weeks of vacation schedule and deem all those working in private sector to have this reality, or I guess I should, as you do?

I also am finding that the amount of "tutoring" you seem to be doing at home seems common with others viewpoint of jumping to blame teachers first for student's struggles with learning. When a child is failing its the teachers fault, yet when successful its because of the parents? This is more telling of the type of attitudes we are contending with in classrooms today, not only from students but their parents. Learning is struggling, otherwise they must already know the content. This is a common mistake parents make, adding even more pressure to kids who don't get it right away, or struggle to pay attention to the lesson in class.


Posted by HS Perspective, a resident of Foothill High School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm

PSE,
10-12 hours per day, 7 days per week, 12 months a year and you make less than the average school teacher? No wonder you're disgruntled!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Really? More of a side note than anything, but if you purchase a product and see where it could improve, you call or write don't you? Input from consumers is not at all uncommon. I spent a lot of time on the phone with parents and just as much with shareholders and/or customers when I worked in the private sector.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Kathleen, not sure what your point pertains to, communication with "clients" is a huge part of my profession. When I mention the "partnership" over and over here, that is what Im speaking of. Parents are able to reach a teacher 24/7 and expect/deserve a response within 24hrs. It is a great way to adjust what is going on during the day.

I wasnt about to mention the hours spent responding to emails, phone calls, report cards etc. because of the backlash from the community saying Im complaining. Im just saying that if those in the private sector are going to jump to conclusions about the profession, then they will miss out on really "hearing" the truth about the real job we all love doing, and isnt that the point, to learn more about what learning really is, and the best methods to accomplish it? I believe we deserve a voice in the conversation, and respect for our point of view due the success we have shown year after year, that is something that is currently not happening outside of PUSD in this community.


Posted by Private Sector Employee Perspective, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm

There are dozens of tutoring storefronts in Pleasanton. That is only a portion of the tutors because many do so in residences. Ten years ago there were 2-3 tutoring businesses in Pleasanton. Now there are dozens. I just say how it is.

Also, I can hardly understand the what is meant by partnerships, other than perhaps referring to the motto on the PUSD letterhead. I don't know what Really? is talking about because parents can't reach teachers or administrators 24/7. I've never seen any teachers in Pleasanton wear pagers, give out cell phone number or even home phone numbers. Most say they don't respond to voice mails left on the school phone system so they say don't call them there either.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm

HS,

Thanks for the response and I'm glad you added that it was anecdotal.

Am I to assume that the same anecdotal evidence extends to the elementary and junior high levels?

Dan


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

"When a child is failing its the teachers fault, yet when successful its because of the parents?"

If a child is not keeping up that reflects on the teacher's inability to teach.... or the fact that a teacher pretends to teach many chapters per week, goes through the material really fast, when a student asks questions there is no good explanation, the teacher only repeats what is in the teacher's workbook.

We all know that at least here in PUSD, for a child who is not getting it (even those in the advanced or honors or gate block classes), the teacher does not do anything about it, and parents either tutor their children OR hire tutoring services. Children succeed in spite of their teachers, children score high on test in spite of their teachers.

Have you seen how many tutoring services we have in Pleasanton?

And as for working outside the class, please.... teachers won't even release the tests to students so they can go home and learn from mistakes. No, because they reuse the tests over and over. And how long does it take to run a scantron through a machine? Yeah, even math teachers give multiple choice tests!


Posted by Charlotte, a resident of Avignon
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Without proper citations, all the union shill teachers here are only offering anecdotal evidence. Objectively speaking, I know for a fact that some of my neighbors who are union teachers don't spend much time working outside of class. And I know they're not very good teachers, either. They make way too much money and then blow it all on vacations, driving in their sporty new Kias all the way to Los Angeles and Tijuana. Walmart workers have to punch a time clock and show citations. Why don't teachers have to do the same thing? They're not much more skilled than the Walmart workers, and an hourly citation-based wage would be more fitting for their skill level. We should make public education more like the private sector. Like Walmart. Then we'd get more value for our tax dollars, and we'd know exactly where our money was going. I won't give a nickel to another parcel tax unless I know exactly where my money is going. I'm otherwise a very generous person. Really I am. But I see my lazy union protected teacher neighbors in their high-priced new Kias and it disgusts me.They shouldn't be in unions. Walmart workers aren't. Write a letter to the principal of the school in your district, just like you write all those letters to private companies after buying one of their products. Private companies produce. Public school teachers just sponge off the private sector.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Really? I was just responding to your comment: "In what other profession do the people outside of it seem to know more about the work load than those within the profession?" Beyond what I said above, parents went through the education process themselves and/or volunteer. This is not a closed door process like making widgets, nor should it be.


Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Are you implying I said it was? Because if so you are not hearing my point. Just because they went to school and might volunteer, does not make them the expert. Education has changed immensely since many posters have attended. Not to mention the specifics of our community schools and what specialty programs and trained teachers we have. I can see I will no longer be posting here. It falls on deaf ears.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggere, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Really? No, sorry. I guess I should just clearly state that unlike most private sector jobs, there is a different and closer relationship between most parents and teachers that makes it possible for both to comment on what is best for the child(ren) in their care, although plenty of consumers and shareholders do call private sector companies. And while I agree it's been a while since parents were in a K-12 classroom and many things have changed, it's not so different (one teacher, classroom of X students, curriculum, though more intense, and so forth) that parent input is invalid. One can observe closely enough and not need to be an expert. Certainly there has to mutual respect.

I would shudder to think no one would comment on what this board is doing or how poorly, IMO, the administration is making decisions that are impacting the classroom and learning. I hope you don't stop posting; I appreciate the exchange of ideas.


Posted by Private Sector Employee Perspective, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Who is this 'expert' that you keep referring to that is the 'expert?' Do tell.

Education has changed immensely in several decades indeed. But not in a positive way. Studies show students are learning less and less and it is costing more and more every year.


Posted by Charlotte, a resident of Avignon
on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:59 pm

One doesn't need to be an expert to see how the unions are responsible for kids learning less and less. Pray tell. We are the experts. I elected the school board to carry out my will. I know more than they do, and if they don't act like I want, I'm going to write on these posts and holler until I get what should be. I want a personal accounting of every penny spent on erasers, paste, chalk, pencils -- see? what can't parents provide ALL the pencils? If they don't I'll assume they are corrupted thoroughly by the unions, and I won't give to the parcel tax slush fund. It's like the union teachers. They don't know much either. Isn't this a democracy? Why can't my opinion be just as valid as a teacher's when it comes to educating kids in the classroom. The classroom is mine, after all, and I've paid for it with my hard earned tax money that I'm forced to cough up to the state.


Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:33 pm

"Also of concern is the apparent blind faith in some/most of the board members. They are a disappointment, IMO, because they don't press staff for more transparency, for creative ideas to the financial issues, nor do they protect the most important part of the system - the classroom. Very few press staff with more probing questions about any of the recommendations being made (like why do we need a management assistant (PIO) position). Boards and staff should build mutual respect, but the board needs to firmly remain the representatives of the community and the children, and they are not doing so."

I largely agree. I'm really irked by these calls for fewer classroom hours. I'm just saying that I expect they will be able to get a parcel tax passed. I'm also concerned that at least one of our best teachers chose to leave the district. Some posters here seems to be saying good riddance; They're all rotten. I think the situation is getting ugly.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

john,

You may be interested in this: Web Link It deals with teacher retention.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggere, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 17, 2012 at 6:09 am

PSEP, I'm not sure to whom you directed your question. I don't personally claim to be an expert about teaching, but I do have 16 years experience with the operations side (still not an expert). Another poster started the question of being an expert.

I would agree education is costing more without overall better outcomes. A lot of reasons why that have been beaten to death on many threads. I would repeat that we might all be better served if we threw away everything and started building from the classroom first rather than the DO.


Posted by Charlotte, a resident of Avignon
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

Why should the situation be getting rotten when we have so many deeply committed zealots who seek to undermine the public school system? (Hint: tea bags don't spoil easily)


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

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

Moneyball, the Sequel: Billy Beane for President!
By Tom Cushing | 6 comments | 984 views

Spedowfski Announces run for Livermore City Council
By Roz Rogoff | 1 comment | 881 views

Planning the "Pleasanton way"
By Tim Hunt | 11 comments | 847 views

Take Full Advantage of Free Standardized Testing Opportunities
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 352 views