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Original post made
by Sandy, Mohr Park,
on Jun 26, 2012
I will be there.
Sandy, How is this information getting to first-third grade parents (Connections?)? They can't be expecting very many people given that it is in the board room (and late enough after school is out for families to already be traveling). All I find on the home page is this toward the bottom of the page:
**PUSD will hold an Informational Meeting on Staggered Reading Tuesday, June 26th from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in the Board Room at 4665 Bernal Avenue. Web Link
Glenn, it would be interesting to know about turnout and thank you for attending.
All seats occupied. Room was jam packed with 60 people, 59 which were livid and angry and very upset that this was dropped on the community at the last minute with 1 person there supportive of Staggered Reading. Child care providers are up in arms.
Valley View person said school is already in Performance Improvement Plan and with shortened day there is no way they will get out of Performance Improvement.
Valerie Arkin was there because she is the one who had tried to get this as a board meeting agenda item. Bowser also there. Ahmadi was there and said hardly a word.
In a word...parents furious at PUSD.
Business as Usual! The administration does what they want with the support of three School Board Members. Total contempt for the public. This has been happening again and again. The public cannot get the information they need plus the administration sneaks in changes. Valerie and Jamie need one more person on the Board who questions staff. Until then, expect this type of behavior to continue. I have lived in this district for 30 years and have NEVER seen things this bad as it is now.
The oddest thing that I heard is that some students from Valley View might get to go for the whole day (did I hear this wrong?). I thought all schools / students were supposed to be treated equally in our school district.
There were a lot of people there for this time of year (or any time of year).
NCLB Program Improvement apparently has additional instructional minute mandates beyond what the State requires. That's from these board presentations: Web Link and Web Link
Stacey, you do indeed seem to be correct. I read the links you posted. It looks like the Public knows more about NCLB requirements that those running the PUSD.
This underscores just how badly the administration and potentially board (were they involved?)arrived at this decision in the first place. Instead of holding a series of meetings, openly debating the issues, consulting with various constituencies and actually taking a vote, the administration arrived at this decision with no transparency. The sheep-like willingness of many of the board (other than Arkin) to go along for the ride cannot be easily dismissed.
Ahmadi has not acknowledged and apologized for the flawed way the situation was handled.
One of the first orders of business for the board should be to address problems in how it operates so that there can never be a repeat of the last two weeks.
Glenn, will you be writing up an article? I will look forward to reading it. Is the possibility of hiring more "yard duty" staff to supervise kids during the 45 minutes each day being considered?
My sense is that while the board was aware that a staggered schedule was being considered, the superintendent and cabinet members did not consider it a matter that required board approval. Perhaps the desire to make a decision and announce it before the end of the school year was well-intentioned, but it cut off any opportunity to invite comments from community members about how to make the plan work with the fewest possible disruptions for parents and students. If even teachers were not asked for input, that suggests a major misstep, in my opinion.
I think that doing something to try to limit the negative impact of increasing class sizes in the lower grades is desirable and was a good decision. Announcing the decision was done really poorly. People complain about the cost of a public information officer (PIO) but I think that with a real PR person in that role, missteps like this could be avoided.
Us Tea Party activists, patriots one and all, are the core soul of this community. We've been against paying more cherished taxes on such superfleuos things as PIOs. We're also against inconvenient meetings convened to keep us out. Staggering reading programs is a bad idea and needs to be given something to hold them upright. Weekly recorded visitations to parents in parents' homes by individual Board members is the only way to keep them accountable to the tax exhausted community. I'm tired of travelling, babysitters, and screaming day care providers. Let the Board come to us! Let freedom ring!
It has nothing to do with not having a PR person. We have many top level administrators paid big bucks who should be able to handle community outreach and communication. Community outreach was not done until after the fact and there appears to be confusion about implementation. Child care providers were not informed and said that they may have to drop students from their program because they cannot accomodate the new schedule in terms of drop off and pick ups.
Parents were not considered or included in the discussion, once again. The tone yesterday wsa that "the administrators decided this was best for your children so we did it, sorry you disagree, but we're the experts." Yes, we'll have to drop some things we teach, but we can send it home. No, there won't be more homework.
For the cost of hiring a PR person and yard duties, we could have kept CSR for 1st grade. K is staggered anyhow and 2nd and 3rd graders know how to read.
Those board presentation links I posted above also discuss the benefits of staggered reading, for what it's worth.
Most districts gave up PIOs years ago because they couldn't afford them. The district did hire a person who is supposed to be, in some small measure, a PIO. So I'll agree with Strange that other administrators, like Ahmadi, should be taking up the slack (as most other districts do).
Sandy, I think there is an assumption this was a misstep; it's just as possible it was purposeful. When was the APT contract ratified? This most certainly would have been part of negotiations and the public should have been hearing about this topic through that process. I have mentioned open negotiations (yes, it is done elsewhere) before, and we should be insisting PUSD/APT/CSEA begin this practice.
Stacey, staggered reading is only a benefit if other subjects are not shortened to make it possible. I don't think that is the case here.
These are corrupt public officials who purpusely misstep in order to keep informed citizens in the dark. Their is no excuse for reading programs staggering as they do. I support Jims call for weekly Board visits to the homes of tax payers instead of tax payers having to spend additional money going to meetings that have been conspiratorially set up against day care providers. Its about time these corrupt incompitants use some of there car allowances on the PEOPLE.
Hi fake "steve". Nice to see you here. I guess the union in interested . . .
Another strange issue. Staggered reading was only possible because one session a week of PE was on the chopping block and then was saved through negotiations. But this session of PE is officially cut going forwards just like CSR was last year, so it's just a one year save. So what happens next year when it is cut?
Of course unions are interested.
Did you see the handouts linked by Stacey? Look at page 26 of the second link. Though PUSD is cutting instructional minutes down to State minimums, the PUSD has the second longest union negotiated prep periods for Grades 1 through 3 than any of the other area Districts --- 180 minutes a week (45 minutes for 4 days per week)!!!
The Pleasanton Teacher's contract posted on the PUSD website caps the instructional student contact time at 1445 minutes per week, but right now, the teachers are teaching LESS than the 1445 contractual minutes.
Instead of extending the class times so that the kids would be getting 1445 min + 180 min per week, the instructional minutes are getting cut and the teachers still aren't teaching the full allowable minutes per week which is 1445 minutes.
Those handouts are from 2010. "Had" would be more appropriate.
The current contract still has 180 minutes prep time though, the same as in 2010. It is on p. 12 of the contract. Web Link
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