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Town Square

Letter: Counselors are important, support parcel tax

Original post made on Mar 9, 2009

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments

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Posted by Buford
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 9, 2009 at 10:13 am

Sorry, but why should I pay some liberal parcel taxes for the spoiled, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, students of our district. What these kids need is an education in pulling up their bootstraps at the Richard Pombo Ranch. So what if they don't get into some fancy college, the Bible is the only book they need to learn about anyway. I didn't have no fancy programs at my school in Amarillo, Texas when I was growing up, but still learned to trust my gut and fight for the dream we call America. Look people, GW Bush came from a poor Texas family with little education and he became the greatest leader this land has ever seen, so maybe these tax loving students should follow his lead. I talkin' bout America!


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I have no idea what your posting has to do with my letter. You and I have obviously no common political ground. I don't agree that George W. Bush was the greatest President and in fact I'd say he was an embarrasment to Texas and certainly our country. My children are raised with strong religous beliefs and in fact were at parochial schools until two years ago when we transferred to PUSD. The Bible certainly is an important document but that alone will not raise our children with the proper education they need to be active members of the global community. You obviously have some very strong opinions which I do not share. I wish you well but certainly do not ascribe your opinions at all.


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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Sandy is a registered user.

Chris Peters, thank you for your letter.

I couldn't have said it better myself: "Education is an area where our decisions have an everlasting impact. Short-sighted decisions are not acceptable."


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Posted by Another Gatetree Resident
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

"Education is an area where our decisions have an everlasting impact. Short-sighted decisions are not acceptable."

Does that include not realizing years back the "builder funded train" was coming to an end and alternatives should have been in the plan? Not seeing that and doing something about it then has contributed to where we are now. Myself, I'm not prone to funding a knee-jerk reaction via a parcel tax. Just as short-sighted decisions are not acceptable, neither is a "rush to fund" parcel tax.


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Posted by -
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 9, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Chris...I empathize with your situation and agree that counselors, if competent, can make a huge contribution to a child's life. However, I will not be voting for the parcel tax because ...

1. I vehemently oppose the stranglehold the teacher's unions have on our school system as they drive the costs way up and the quality of education way down.

2. B. Hussein Obama has spread our personal wealth around so much (or will do soon) so I am taxed too much.

...


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Posted by Qwerty
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2009 at 8:15 pm



I agree that unions need to make concessions. They gained quite a bit during the heyday of the dotcom's when there was plenty of tax revenue to spread around. The state of California failed to reduce spending when the same dotcom's went under and we lost tax revenue from those sources. why should the rest of us have to pay for California's bad decisions? Take the money away from the groups who receive more than they really should have in the first place.

Will students suffer? No. There are plenty of private citizens willing to volunteer to help replace services that would be lost otherwise.





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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I agree that the counselors proide a valuable service. All we need is a 20% cut for top administrators and 10% for the others so that we go back to 2000 levels adjusted for no. of students and inflation.Then we can have counselors and all the other services. The public sector unions have been running amok in salaries, retiree med. benefits and pensions way beyond the private sector. The model is broken. We cannot support these charges. Either we go thru concessions or we will have to reorganise thru bankruptcy as GM is being forced to.

OBama is a supporter of these unions but we can beat this parcel tax easily.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2009 at 10:13 am

Obama, taking on unions, backs teacher merit pay

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer Philip Elliott, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama embraced merit pay for teachers Tuesday in spelling out a vision of education that will almost certainly alienate union backers.

Educators oppose charter schools because they divert tax dollars away from traditional public schools. Merit-based systems for teachers have for years been anathema to teachers' unions, a powerful force in the Democratic Party.

Obama acknowledged this in his talk to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"Too many supporters of my party have resisted the idea of rewarding excellence in teaching with extra pay, even though we know it can make a difference in the classroom," he said, delivering the first major education speech of his presidency. "Too many in the Republican Party have opposed new investments in early education, despite compelling evidence of its importance."

But he argued that a far-reaching overhaul of the nation's education system is an economic imperative that can't wait, despite the urgency of the financial crisis and other pressing issues.

"Despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we have let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us," Obama said. "The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, unsustainable for our democracy, and unacceptable for our children. We cannot afford to let it continue. What is at stake is nothing less than the American dream."

The ideas the president promoted were nearly all elements of his campaign platform last year. He only barely mentioned the reauthorization of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, which introduced sweeping reforms that schools are struggling to meet without the funding to match. Obama said his administration would "later this year" ensure that schools get the funding they need and that the money is conditioned on results.

Among the principles Obama laid out were:

_Challenging states to adopt world-class standards rather than a specific standard. Obama's economic stimulus plan includes a $5 billion incentive fund to reward states for, among other things, boosting the quality of standards and state tests, and the president said the Education Department would create a fund to invest in innovation.

_Improved pre-kindergarten programs, including $5 billion in the stimulus plan to grow Head Start, expand child care access and do more for children with special needs. He also said he would offer 55,000 first-time parents regular visits from trained nurses and said that states that develop cutting-edge plans to raise the quality of early learning programs would get an Early Learning Challenge Grant, if Congress approves the new program.

_Reducing student dropout rates. To students, Obama said: "Don't even think about dropping out of school." But he said that reducing the dropout rates also requires turning around the worst schools, something he asked lawmakers, parents and teachers to make "our collective responsibility as Americans."

_Repeating his call for everyone to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training, with the goal of highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020.

On charter schools, he said the caps instituted by some states on how many are allowed aren't "good for our children, our economy, or our country."

Obama also spoke at length about what he described his policy toward teachers, what he called an `unprecedented commitment to ensure that anyone entrusted with educating our children is doing the job as well as it can be done." In up to 150 more school districts, Obama said, teachers will get mentoring, more money for improved student achievement and new responsibilities.

Also, Obama said, "We need to make sure our students have the teacher they need to be successful. That means states and school districts taking steps to move bad teachers out of the classroom. Let me be clear: if a teacher is given a chance but still does not improve, there is no excuse for that person to continue teaching."

The president acknowledged that a rethinking of the traditional American school day may not be welcome — "not in my family, and probably not in yours" — but is critical.

"The challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom," Obama said. "If they can do that in South Korea, we can do it right here in the United States of America."

After the speech, Obama stopped at a hotel to drop in on another meeting, an already scheduled and ongoing round-table discussion between Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which involves the heads of education from every state and U.S. territory.

Web Link


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Posted by IMO
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Wow lots of posts on all these blogs. Very intelligent ones and even some that are quite funny (wearing green blog). Looks like some posters are posting on the multiple blog sites.

Having read many, many of the posts on all the blogs I find the most consistent argument and sound reasoning for the NO vote to be those written by: Disagree w/B. Lots of clarity, facts and clear reasoning in all of her/his posts. Seems to answer the opposition w/ a good sound argument.

Can anyone tell me what poster I should go back and re- read for the same consistency and sound reasoning as I noted above for the Yes vote.

I would appreciate that. thanks in advance