Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm
I hope they both will run again, and they will need our support. Do we know if Chris Grant attended the Masters in Governance program; have Bowser and Laursen started? As Hintzke and Arkin are the only two board members who frequently ask staff for more information, it seems they learned something from these courses (put together by California School Boards Association).
Posted by ayeaye, a resident of another community, on Mar 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm
I watched the Pleasanton School Board meeting last night, and the continued bickering, as they describe it themselves, at one point, is really distressing. The two men, Jeff and Chris, seem uncomfortable with the three women engaged in what seems like a cat fight at times, and our superintendent must hate these inappropriate behaviors. I would hope the certificate program would address the issue of civil discourse and show board member how to properly conduct themselves at a public meeting. I feel really embarrassed by such behavior. Maybe confine their animosity toward each other to the private sessions?
Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm
What happened to character education in the district, or doesn't it apply to board members? Responsibility, Compassion, Self-discipline, Honesty, Respect, and Integrity--could go along way to helping the board members conduct a proper meeting. If they don't have them already, they should put little cards at their seats to remind them of what is being taught to the children in the classrooms. If they have them already, they need a reminder.
Posted by Parent and Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm
I am not surprised. Arkin and Hintzke are the only board members who care, ask questions and are willing to go against the admin (unlike the three yes men). So their willingness to educate themselves further is yet another indication of how they truly care about the kids and about doing a good job.
Congratulations to both! This is good news because that means you will run again, right? I sure hope so, you can count on my vote and the vote of all my friends and family.
Posted by Joan's #1 fan, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm
Those 2 are an embarrassment to our school board. Hintzke obviously is upset that Joan is the board president, and she didn't "get her turn". She also does NOT support schools; when her kids were in elementary school, she refused to pay the entire "supply kit fee". Arkin needs more education in every facet of life; not just school board government. I'm proud of Joan for standing up to those 2 bullies....
Posted by Kathleen Ruegseggerr, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Wow. Joan probably doesn't need a fan like you, regardless of her ability to lead a proper meeting--why would you put up personal information about anyone, particularly when there is no way to verify your claim. Just who is the bully here?
Posted by jill, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm
I wonder if "Joan's #1 fan" is Joan?
I applaud anybody who questions school fees like a supply kit, workbooks, etc., if that really did occur. So many of our teachers and administrators try to make it look like the additional fees that the school or teacher wants to collect are mandatory. That is actually illegal. I have seen teachers give extra credit for those students who do donations; that is illegal. And teachers who put on the board who has not paid a fee yet; that is illegal. I would be happy to have a school board member who questions things and does what is right. Whether somebody or not pays book fees, supply fees, lab fees, etc., is up to them.
I see the bullies as Joan and the other two guys who try to control the meeting by not allowing questions. Good for Jamie and Valerie for standing up to those bullies.
Posted by Great job, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community, on Mar 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm
I am glad that Arkin and Hintzke are the type of take-charge professionals that are taking steps to fix the problems that the Pleasanton Unified School District did, in fact, create. “Let’s get to the bottom of this” or “What can we do to make it right?” is much more effective than the PUSD mantra of “It’s not my fault.”
One of the biggest problems I see with PUSD is that they simply cannot allow themselves to admit that they made a mistake, much less implementing a corrective action plan to fix the problem.
But #1 Fan, what a *fine* parent and school representative you are, admitting in your post above you support violating the laws of the nation and state, i.e.
->Charging fees to students (student supply kit)for material fees to attend public schools is illegal
->Charging fees to international students (diploma mill operating in district campus building next to Supt) to obtain F-1 work visas is illegal
->Charging fees to students in order to graduate is illegal
I wish Arkin and Hintzke continued success with their new professional credentials of the CSBA Masters in Governance and hope that with these skills they can find where any of that $26 million went that the PUSD said they had earmarked for the Busch property high school that never was built.
Posted by Eli, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm
I also am very interested in getting a CSBA Masters in Governance Certificate. Can someone tell me where to find a matchbook cover that has all the relevant information on it? Will I be able to complete the certificate in less than two weeks? Thanx in advance!
Posted by Amy B, a resident of the Jensen Tract neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 6:45 pm
Maybe it is just me, but when I see the questioning that goes on, over and over, over and over, it often seems that they are asking questions not so much for information, but to hear their own voices and get camera time. To be fair, that is not always the case, but I have felt this way quite often. Or, and also, maybe just to me, but sometimes it looks like the questioner is being combative against another board member. Yes, lots of "bickering" between the women and I think this is terrible on a school board. Could they keep this sort of thing limited to the private sessions if they truly hate each other?
Posted by Great job, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community, on Mar 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm
That's odd. My impression is that two of them seem to ask questions. Maybe part of the course materials for the CSBA two-year curriculum is in depth instruction on how to read a Board packet and ask relevant questions and want to engage in discussions.
For the three that remain mainly mute and nod their heads a lot, maybe they are camera-shy, haven't had that CSBA training, or maybe they just are introverts. But at the end, they turn into some sort of hyped up Jimmy Fallon-Jay Leno-700 Club conglomeration. Monologues! What I Did at Summer Camp! Who I Met! What I Had for Lunch! Where I Went!
Posted by School supporter, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm
To Jill and great job,
I believe in helping our schools succeed by donating items or fees. It is small change to us. So many Pleasanton parents are choosing to opt out of these donations, which is causing many problems in our schools. Our surrounding districts ask for much more money, and their residents are more willing to pay to support their schools. I feel that Pleasanton parents have gained a sense of 'entitlement' here and it is hurting our schools and the children. Regardless if collecting fees is legal or not, Pleasanton parents need to stop being so selfish (spending money on cars, clothes, hair, etc.) and start given our children the educational experience they deserve. Kids should be the priority here.
Posted by Parent and Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 8:30 pm
"To "Parent and Resident"'s comment on the THREE MEN on the board. What school board meetings have you been watching? Ours will be re-broadcast Friday night, starting at 7:00 PM"
OK, the three yes PEOPLE. Ie, the two guys and Laursen. They say yes to everything without thinking.
And to the post that criticizes Hintzke and claims she is just jealous of Laursen for being the president: what proof do you have to state such a ridiculous thing? (btw I do not know Hintzke, I just watch the board meetings and I like how she questions the proposals from the admin)
We all know that Laursen got elected (as president) because she and the two guys wanted it that way, so they could continue to say yes to everything without thinking.
I hope Grant does NOT get re-elected this November, and I hope Arkin and Hintzke remain on the board.
Congratulations again to the only two board members (Arkin and Hintzke) who question the admin, who ask questions and who really care about the students!
Posted by Beth, a resident of the Golden Eagle neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm
To school supporter,
I agree that we should all pitch in and help our schools. For God's sake...we are the only community around here that would not pass the parcel tax...twice! It's time for Pleasanton residents to step up. It's also time to replace the bickering dimwits on the board. Hintske and Arkin are an embarrassment to our community and our schools.
Posted by Jill, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm
To "Amy B", perhaps they keep asking questions because they cannot get straight answers. I would prefer to hear questions than the others who feel their job is to profusely thank every member of staff for doing their job.
To "School supporter", when I was low on money and out of work I donated a lot of my time. When I had the money I donated the money. I think it is fine to ask for donations BUT they should not be mandatory donations that some of the schools try to get away with. While we are a pretty affluent community, some people are hurting financially. Could be a short-term issue or a chronic issue. It is not up to us, or the district, to decide whether somebody can "afford it". I think it is fine to ask for donations and let people know it is voluntary but very helpful. Then let each family decide if they can afford it and if they feel their extra money will help their child's education.
I know San Ramon gets a lot of money in donations; much more than Pleasanton. I believe they are successful because when people make the donations, the money goes to their kid's school and the PTA members of their school can decide how the money will be spent. The is accountability there because the the PTA does not spend it wisely, they will not receive donations the next year. Their donations help pay for CSR, labs, and other significant items. In our district, the administration's policy for some time has been that large donations go to the district and the administration decides how the money will be spent. I think it is safe to say that people trust their student's school PTA more than they trust the district administration. The further away the decisions are, the less faith we have that the money will be spent correctly as there is less accountability. A school donation would be people's first choice, the District a second choice, the State a fourth choice, and Federal a fifth choice.
Posted by Barton Parent, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm
@School supporter said:
Regardless if collecting fees is legal or not....
So we should just allow any teacher or Principal or school employee to break the law by demanding money for what the state mandates to be a free education?
My son is in 8th grade and she has had 3 teachers who actually give a crap. The rest were just putting in time until they collect that big, fat never-ending retirement check. They waste precious class time routinely - one has not taught him anything for the last 3 years. The rate of substitute use is outrageous and of course those days are even more of a waste of time. If all her teachers put in even half the effort of the three excellent teachers he has had, they could have all the money they want from me. But why should I keep paying for teachers who are not capable or won't put in the effort to make sure all their students are achieving at the level of their potential. When I think of some of the crap we have put up with (he learned essentially NO math in the entire 3rd grade - because he was already above 3rd grade level math when he entered the class) and that teacher was promoted to VP!! That was under CSR so don't tell me it's because there are too many kids in the class to teach properly. I could go on but NO MORE MONEY from me. Thank goodness at least one of our board members has sense!!!
Posted by lazzboy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm
it is so funny to read these posts about how " none of them deserve" to be on the board, yet come election time, there are very few candidates to choose from. I guess anonymous posting on the site is a whole lot easier and less time consuming then actually being a part of the solution.
Posted by Lance M, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm
"My son is in 8th grade and she has had 3 teachers who actually give a crap."
Assuming your son has had somewhere around 25 teachers through elementary and 3 years of MS, could you please list the ones that "don't give a crap". As long as you have evidence, it is not illegal, slander, etc. We need to start calling out these teachers so they can be removed.
Posted by Steven, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm
The title "Masters In Governance" is really a misnomer.
It is a 60 hour program of "instruction and participation", that must be completed within 2 years. NOT that it takes 2 years. It is more like 2 weeks!! It also has nothing to do with what we associate with an actual "Masters" degree from a University.
It is offered by the California School Boards Association (Hence CSBA). Fancy title. As they say in Texas: "Big hat, no cattle!"
Posted by hmmmm, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm
So Steven and Eli, when have you added 60 hours on top of an already busy volunteer schedule? These ladies have shown serious commitment to their positions for the benefit of the community of Pleasanton, which they do not get paid for.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Agreed. It's a funny misnomer since CSBA is not a school and all they're doing is providing a certificate to people who pay to take and complete a course. Sounds though like someone is jealous that others took the time out to become more educated about their role in school district governance. Would that more who become elected gain such a better understanding.
Posted by Great job, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community, on Mar 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm
Why is it when there are articles about two female school board members being involved and active with the California School Board Association, there are people coming out of the woodwork attacking them and belittling them?
But then when there are articles about a male city council member being involved and active with the League of California Cities like this one Web Link ,
there are only positive comments of congratulations and good work?
Some members of the community indicate the union environment definitely plays out in the school board where it seems to be a group norm that mediocrity and sameness prevail with a concerted effort to attack rather than commend any effort for one or two individuals to better educate themselves on school governance.
I even heard someone say a school staff member once said to a governing board member "Board members should be seen but not heard."
Scary really. Especially in an education environment. People being attacked and belittled for getting better educated about how to be better governing board members? Sad.
Posted by lazzboy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm
"The school board worked hard and we have a budget surplus"
Why would the school district have a budget surplus? If that happened everyone but be complaining that the money shoudl have gone to provide th students more opportunities. There is no possible way for any school district to "win" in the eyes of everyone. Of course, the school board could make a budget surpuls next year, if they cut every program and educational opportunity to it's bare bones (i.e. providing only enough classes so students can graduate) but is that really what we are looking for as a community????
Posted by Jill, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2012 at 9:27 am
There would be no such thing as a surplus in our district as the unions feel they are entitled to any surplus. It was a real fight with the unions when the board previously asked for a reserve fund more than the mandated 3%.