News

Letter: Teacher integrity intact; clarifying misconceptions

Superintendent, school board president, union president submit joint statement

Dear Editor,

The strength and unparalleled success of the schools in the Pleasanton Unified School District continues to be driven by the high quality and long-standing commitments of our teachers, counselors, classified employees and administrators.

Recently, in the district's responsive statement quoted in the Pleasanton Weekly's Feb. 1, 2019 article regarding an investigation involving student records, the use of the phrase "inconsistent high school grading and/or transcript practices" led some to believe that the integrity of teacher grading was in question -- which is absolutely untrue. To further complicate matters, anonymous comments made in response to the article added to a sense of unease in the broader community.

It is important to me to reach out and clarify this misconception. At no point in time were the grading practices of teachers or the personal integrity of teachers and/or counselors an issue or in question. And, to the extent that the district's statement contributed to creating negative energy, I regret the impact this has had on a group of professionals I hold in such high esteem.

As the Superintendent, I am joined by my Board of Trustees, our district leadership team, and the Association of Pleasanton Teachers in expressing gratitude to the fantastic teachers and counselors who have chosen to find a home in PUSD. These highly trained and experienced professionals work tirelessly with and for our students and to the benefit of the broader community.

We are committed to continuing our collaborative work across the district to strengthen policies and procedures and to ensure the highest quality of service to our students and their families, as well as our staff.

-- Superintendent David Haglund, Board President Valerie Arkin and APT President Janice Clark

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Comments

30 people like this
Posted by sueme
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

Well, I am so glad we took another opportunity to kiss the Teachers' Union's backside. We can't keep good administrators. Every time someone shows up and asks the teachers to do their job or do their job better, that someone is accused of bad behavior and removed. Everytime we get a weak-kneed, milksop administrator, they get promoted.

As a parent in this district for 20+ years, it is more and more apparent that the teachers are more important than the students, parents and administrators in this district. Administrators get changed like socks but somehow, we can't get rid of the bad teachers. Yes, I said it, bad teachers. Like the AP Psych teacher/swim coach who discussed the sex lives of the students instead of teaching. Or the History teacher who showed up a few days a month for an entire semester before being replaced. Or the teacher who "teaches" history by having the kids discuss a topic and grade each other while he is on his phone. Or the block teacher who slept on her desk during class. Or the English teacher who didn't return essays and papers, just issued grades. Or the male teacher who accosted a female student in the parking lot. Yes folks, these are all real and all here in Pleasanton. And I bet many of you have experienced more.

Only one of those teachers was fired and that was after years of being "disciplined" and messing up how many students? There has to be balance. There has to be the ability for administrators to address teacher shortcomings and not fear for their job. The administrators should receive protection from the district. Effective administrators should be encouraged, not harassed. Weak administrators should be fired, not promoted.

This letter from our highly paid superintendent and school board president just serve to confirm my impression. We can't have anyone thinking the teachers aren't perfect.

While I have no inside knowledge regarding the current investigation into the Amador Principal, I do know that he corrected poor teacher behavior. And, I do know that as soon as he went on leave, the poor teacher behavior returned. Coincidence? I think not.


9 people like this
Posted by Whats next
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Mar 4, 2019 at 11:46 am

sueme, there is probably some truth to what you wrote. After all humans are imperfect. I would love to see a joint statement letting parents and students know what we can expect in terms of a safe learning environment and quality education and the right way to report so that bad teachers do not continually get away with intentionally horrible behavior.
I believe that admins have very limited ability to remove bad teachers - much less than in the private sector. There HAS to be a way for teachers to be held accountable without burdening the whole profession. If I were a teacher, I would want the same - a few bad teachers really hurt the good teachers as well because then suspicion is cast upon the whole lot. That's the joint letter we need from APT and Supt - the one that informs the public how to deal with bad teachers. Then maybe people like you would not have to resort to posting on Pleasanton Weekly anonymously.


5 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell, Publisher
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 4, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Gina Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

Sueme, Please contact me at gchannell@pleasantonweekly.com.


17 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 4, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

I do think as a whole, we have great teachers. And those that are great deserve to hear that from the public. We appreciate and support you. And that reputation and consistency is threatened by the lack of ability to get rid of those mentioned.

Unfortunately the teacher's union will take the complaints against a very specific few (previously mentioned for example) and present it to the teaching population as the public's impression of the whole. Entirely false and purposefully misleading. It is possible to support great teacher's while calling for the dismissal of the few problematic - maybe even good enough by state standards, but not to Pleasanton expectations.

Superintendent David Haglund, Board President Valerie Arkin and APT President Janice Clark also fail to recognize the commitment the Pleasanton community has to education. We stress the importance of education within our kids, we pay for extra services to supplement their needs, we succumb to school ransom requests for funding, etc.

So instead of defending the Teacher's and the Professionals we also already support, how about defending those good Teacher's and Professionals and students from the few bad ones by eliminating them from teaching in our schools. Show your support of the great teacher's by not allowing the poor performers and bad apples to tarnish their reputation.

Why does the teacher's union get to sit behind the curtain and pull strings while you have to address the public. Why not put the Teacher's union and public in the same forum and sponsor a discussion around what problems (real and perceived) exist.


28 people like this
Posted by Amador Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:10 pm

I'm not sure why Sueme (and others) is blaming the teachers for the admin turnover. Solorzano made choices that had nothing to do with the teachers and is on leave as a result. Williams took a promotion. Drescher just stopped coming to work and moved to another state, leaving us all frustrated. Hanson retired, then was brought back as interim Supt. Coupe retired.

Every time I read this blog I'm left with the impression that the community hates us and thinks we all participate in some grand union-sponsored conspiracy to be the worst teachers possible. We are just as frustrated with the lack of consistent leadership as anyone else, actually more because it affects us directly on a daily basis.

I appreciate that Dr. Haglund wrote this letter. The previous statement with it's phrase "grading inconsistencies" was misleading, and of course resulted in several posts about how we nasty, awful teachers, with the help of our union, are unfair, corrupt graders.


13 people like this
Posted by Sue
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 6:36 pm

The PUSD school board does not govern the PUSD. It is a completely out of control organization where principals come and go in a matter of months. Since Casey left, the fly by night principal positions have become a complete joke.

Teachers at PUSD want students to private pay them for individualized instruction, tutoring or coaching. Teachers at PUSD have little to no boundaries with students as demonstrated by the track and field coach texting a student over and over and over. And over. The student was private paying another teacher which is a common theme in PUSD.

Teachers as demonstrated by the document below have no boundaries....whether it is ranting about eliminating "crap" or pushing them to take supplements and have copious medical tests, for example, for iron, they have no boundaries. They believe they can give medical advice. Let's just wait to one of the athletes sues the District after overdosing on one of their supplements they give the students....

Take a look ---
Web Link


50 people like this
Posted by Amador Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:00 pm

@Sue I think there are around 120 teachers at Amador. It's evident you're unhappy with the one who is also the track coach. I've never had a student pay me for anything, unless you count donations of kleenex and hand sanitizer to my room so I don't have to keep paying for it out of my own pocket.

Again, everyday I see people working very, very hard to support your kids. This week we had a 3-day WASC review (including Sunday, by the way) and a huge Every 15 Minutes anti-drunk driving event, and NO PRINCIPAL. Who is killing themselves trying to keep the ship afloat? Teachers.

You may not know this, but teenagers aren't always the most appreciative or considerate population of people to work with on a daily basis, either. Please, stop with the constant teacher bashing and sweeping generalizations about all of us and our union. We are tired. We are demoralized. We may make some mistakes, as humans do, but don't we do more right than wrong? I understand that people pay quite a bit of money to live in this town for the schools. Maybe that means a few things are actually going well here. I wish some of you could recognize that.


14 people like this
Posted by PUSD Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Teachers need to help students. This does not always happen. And yes we pay a lot to live here so will hold teachers to high expectations. If teenagers are not the age you like to teach go to elementary. I give so much money to the PPIE and school for every tiny thing the teachers ask for. Is it too much to ask that teachers be helpful and not expect me to teach my kid or to hire a tutor? I work hard too. And I work 40-hours a week, spend 2 hours commuting and then get home to my kid who needs help with busy work (that teachers call homework) that the teachers don't even explain. If my kid forgets to write his name on the paper it's an F. It is common knowledge among people I work with now that Pleasanton schools are not what they used to be. All the movies about stress but no understanding of how the school is causing stress. Respect should be earned. Help the students.


27 people like this
Posted by Amador Teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2019 at 7:08 am

@Sue: I do help the students. Every single day, I do!

Do you actually think all 120 teachers at Amador fail to help students? This is what I mean. You paint all of us with this broad brush as though every single one of us is terrible at our job. Have your kids had no decent teachers in PUSD? Or are you just so negative that you can only focus on a couple who have done something like, God forbid, use the word "crap" to dissuade kids from eating junk food or not give credit for an assignment until a child puts their name on their paper (I guess you expect teachers to be clairvoyant and know who papers belong to regardless of the fact there's no name on them?).

I don't mind being held to high standards. I feel I live up to them. It's great that you give money to PPIE. I appreciate that, too. I wonder what your motivation is for doing that. Is it to make the schools a more positive learning environment? I can give you something that you can donate that would have the same affect and not cost a dime: kindness and grace.


6 people like this
Posted by Wait a second...
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Mar 5, 2019 at 11:46 am

Amador Teacher(s) - The only one painting teachers and parents with a broad brush seems to be you, to suit your purpose which I believe is to make teachers feel vilified so they "stick together". And for you to insinuate that PUSD PARENT needs (from you?) is kindness and grace is well, disingenuous.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF PUSD TEACHERS work hard and are held in high regard by the vast majority of parents.

It is the few "bad", drama-producing ones that parents don't know how to deal with. Bad teachers inhibit good teachers from innovating. What's the union's advice on how to deal with bad teachers, without the self-victimization and portraying it as if ALL parents or ALL administrators are out to get ALL teachers? All the movies and professional development in the world will not help our students if teachers are always in a defensive mode of protecting their profession.


9 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Now this is my district, so I'll wade in.

I support teachers unions, mostly because standardized testing and "Common Core" curricula force teachers into a terrible spot and make it likely that without fair protections the teachers would be punished or fired for political reasons (gave a powerful person's child a deserved B) or reasons outside of their control.

And yet, to be fair, even I find that the union here does protect obviously poor teachers and unusually bad situations. It's a common refrain from other parents that PUSD really looks bad compared to, say, San Ramon, or that PUSD is a mediocre district with brilliant students.

I don't think it's as simple as most people on here think. The physical plant is ignored, the district has insane turnover, and there's constant controversy about firings of administrators. That tells me everyone is at fault: parents, students, teachers, administrators, voters.

So I'd suggest that everyone get better at admitting their own failings that lead to how we got here and stop blaming others. Then we might have a real taking stock of what's wrong, rather than everyone kicking dust in each other's faces so that we all end up blind.


11 people like this
Posted by Not Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:36 pm

The simply fact is that most teachers in PUSD and wonderful teachers. Most students are wonderful students. Most parents are wonderful parents.

We live in a place where our children can learn in a good and safe environment. Are there a few teachers not up to par? Sure. Are there parents that make mistakes? Of course. Are there students who make mistakes, disrupt class, refuse to learn? Of course.

Are the people posting on Pleasanton Weekly with ZERO knowledge of what goes in in a school and classroom? Obviously.

I have no idea why anyone (Sueme) would keep their children in a school district for 20+ years if it is that awful?


Like this comment
Posted by Not Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

Sorry about all the typos in the previous post, but I think you get the point.


Like this comment
Posted by Not Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:42 pm

"And yet, to be fair, even I find that the union here does protect obviously poor teachers and unusually bad situations. It's a common refrain from other parents that PUSD really looks bad compared to, say, San Ramon, or that PUSD is a mediocre district with brilliant students."

yet the teachers from both districts are in the same union. SO once again, I'm not sure how you can blame the union.


6 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 5, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Not Me, I think you know the answer, but don't want to say it because you're afraid it will give more daylight for union haters.

The fact is that unions, as a side effect, do preserve the jobs of people who deserve to lose it. And in Pleasanton, I can specifically point to some. On the other hand, without unions, as a main effect, many teachers who deserve their jobs will lose it.

Black and white thinking is the problem. It's okay to admit that the Pleasanton union is doing some things wrong, without undermining their entire reason for existence.

By the way, the point that San Ramon has the same union is irrelevant, and not even correct. APT is the union here. I believe SRVEA is their union.


13 people like this
Posted by Shirley
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm

I am a senior mom at Amador, and have been volunteering a lot at school. Based on my personal experience and my son’s almost 4 years personal experience, most teachers at Amador are competent and genuinely caring for our kids.

My son’s AP Spanish teacher during his Junior year recommended him to Comp Civics/We the People program, and the team just won State championship on Feb 2! They will go to DC in April representing California for National competition!

His AP Spanish teacher also wrote recommendation letter for his college application during her maternity leave.

Comp Civics teacher and his counselor called me to give suggestions when my son had thrush symptoms.

Just name a few examples.


14 people like this
Posted by A Compassionate AVHS Parent
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 5, 2019 at 5:17 pm

A Compassionate AVHS Parent is a registered user.

As a senior parent of AVHS too, I second both @Teacher and many others to support that most of the teachers at Amador are caring, supportive and great! Yes there are a few outliners, not only at the school but also at work, and everywhere else. Majority of the teachers are responsible. Please don't let a few rotten apples spoiled a whole barrel!


6 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 5, 2019 at 7:10 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Wait a second....
You nailed it.

Grumpy,
You have no evidence to the claim good teachers would lose their jobs if a union didn't exist. That is the fear mongering that the union pushes to remain in existence. It really is a domestic terrorist organization- holding a knife to the throat of children's education.


6 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 5, 2019 at 7:54 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Pleasanton Parent,

You have no idea what a domestic terroist is, and in respect for the innocent Americans who have lost their lives to them, you should stop using that phrase.


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 5, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Grumpy,
I will not. I view this union as damaging as those that take the lives of individuals. Actually its worse as it operates in the public, but shields itself from the public. It impacts the lives of children into adulthood. Teachers pay good money for it to defend the bad and limit rewards to the good. Its a parasite that continues to feed on good hardworking people, and has no problem using children as a shield against any attack. Its limited and hindered all progress in education, its the first barrier to change. Yet contributes nothing directly to education


8 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 5, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Pleasanton Parent, that's the most horrible thing I've seen you say, and I've seen you say a lot. Please reflect on it, preferably with your family and your spiritual guidance, before you decide that you actually mean to compare the teachers union to murderers, rather than just trying to exaggerate for effect.

It is really that sort of damn-morality extremism that makes solving problems in our society so difficult now.

The union makes lots of mistakes here. But they have an important job to do, which is to prevent the powerful from threading teachers who are being honest in grading, and to stand up against attempts to punish teachers based on unscientific assessment standards. It isn't one or the other. It's both. I get frustrated at the teachers for many things: for protecting teachers who seem to genuinely dislike their students, or who do the bare minimum, or who play favorites in class, or who sell their services after hours that they should have given during the school day for free, or who push for strange schedule changes which make their lives convenient but don't factor in the community. But I'd never, never compare them to someone who actually steals a child's life from their parents.


4 people like this
Posted by Sue
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2019 at 9:17 pm

There are almost 100 tutoring businesses in Pleasanton which speaks volumes in terms of the poor quality of teaching that is going on at PUSD.

Thank goodness for Khan Academy, Crashcourse and the tutoring businesses. Without them, the test scores would be bottom of the barrel.

I disagree that a majority of teachers (51%) are okay. I'd say that a student would be extraordinary lucky to get half of their teachers that actually teach. Most common today is that 4 or 5 out of 6 or 7 teachers don't teach.

Far too many distracted 'teachers' stare on their iPhone and MacBook most of the day. And because most Honors and almost all AP classes have to start in the summer break, this just sets the expectations that the students are going to have to learn the material on their own. This is absurd.


29 people like this
Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 5, 2019 at 10:20 pm

Sandy Piderit is a registered user.

As a parent of an Amador senior as well, I would say that of my daughter's 15+ teachers over 4 years, all but one were competent, and the majority were excellent. (Fortunately, the one incompetent teacher has since retired.) I have nominated three for awards. I'm tremendously grateful for the hard work and skill of the teachers and staff at Amador.

It may be frustrating to deal with teachers when you have complaints, but I have found that polite and persistent interactions with teachers (and if no change occurs, with administrators) are quite effective. That said, I think it's important to keep in mind that each teacher manages five classes of 30+ students each -- and staying in connection with 150+ teenagers weekly is not an easy task.

As a college professor, I would remind parents like Sue that AP courses are supposed to be equivalent to college level courses, in which students are absolutely expected to prepare themselves for their learning in class by doing extensive pre-work and homework at a high degree of difficulty. In those courses, students must be willing to take on more responsibility for directing their own learning. I would also suggest that the variety of tutoring businesses in Pleasanton could just as easily be a response to the subset of affluent Pleasanton parents who have unrealistic expectations for their children. Many students are pushed too hard, too young, and we see evidence of their suffering in the depression and anxiety at middle and high school levels. Personally, I would support the implementation of limits on how many AP courses students can enroll in because it is unhealthy for students to feel that they should take every course that is offered at the AP level.

I agree with Grumpy that referring to union members as domestic terrorists is beyond the pale. Whatever mistakes the local union makes, no one is dying. Unions are legal in California. Hyperbole is not likely to motivate the Pleasanton APT to improve.


1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 5, 2019 at 11:03 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Grumpy,
I'm not asking you to agree with my opinion or assessment, you are completely entitled to disagree. I hold my position however.

And I want to be clear, I think teacher's are victims of the union as its forced upon them - in no way am I stating teachers are domestic terrorists.


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2019 at 8:32 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Teachers in California receive tenure the first day of their third year. The very easiest way to honor unions and still ensure that only the best teachers reach tenure is to extend that period (five years seems reasonable). As one teacher told me, just about anyone can fake it for 16 months.

“Technically, California teachers are granted lifetime tenure after just two years. **Actually, they must be notified of tenured status after just 16 months.** (Thirty-two states grant tenure after three years, nine states after four or five. Four states never grant tenure.) When incompetent or negligent teachers gain tenure, dismissal procedures are so complex and costly that the process can take up to 10 years and cost up to $450,000. The trial court called the power to dismiss “illusory.” Each year approximately two teachers are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance — 0.0007 percent of California’s 277,000 teachers.”
Web Link

The dedicated people who choose this profession and who are great teachers from their earlier days until they retire, I would hope, would support a change for tenure. Those who can’t would be easily removed. Certainly teachers deserve support throughout their careers, but if intervention does not help, we should be able to encourage those who should consider another career to do so earlier and without the huge expense. It’s the best way to support teachers, their students, and the administration.


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 6, 2019 at 9:30 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

No elementary or middle school teacher should be tenured. High School I can start to see an argument, but would tend to believe shouldn't be. College Professors, ok. Tenure was meant to prevent the government or institutions from firing teacher's for teaching certain content. Elementary and Middle School content (and High School) are dictated by the state, there is far less creativity in content creation/determination from these teachers than say a college professor.


8 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2019 at 10:58 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

PP, the reality is short of I don’t know what, the unions are here to stay. What suggestions do you have to improve the education environment for good teachers and all students? We have to work from where we currently are toward something concrete and achievable in the near term.


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 6, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Kathleen,
That is exactly the danger in this way of thinking - focusing on short term "wins" that really don't aggregate to overall improvements we desire because the bigger problem prevents them from happening. This is exactly what the union wants. It wants people to think its a solidified structure incapable of being moved; and that all decisions must pivot around it. How flawed is that? The customer should be the solidified structure we pivot around, in this case children. The product, education, is the product we optimize to address the customer need. The organization that develops that product, teacher's, need to be organized/compensated in a manner to support delivering value to the customer through that product.

Instead, you're supporting the current union prioritization of the organization over the customer and product. We cannot accept that. So I fully reject any "acceptance" that this is the way it will always be, and I think we should all call it to question every time it comes up. Enough already.

Now to your point, or I hope the intent of your statement - where do we begin to wage war against this embedded destructive organization.

1. Recognize it exists. Stop hiding form it. Flush it out into the open. If the union is preventing something from happening, we call them to the public floor to speak openly about why. Stop letting it prey in the shadows. (and maybe there are merits not being realized that should be incorporated).

2. Make it accountable for something related to the product and customer its supposed to be supporting. The union has no problem marketing children's benefit during elections for issues it supports, fine - then make the union accountable to taxpayers for some tangible deliverable it must present in a public forum on a regular interval.

3. Develop a better alternative. No one is going to jump from something they know, to something that doesn't exist. We need to present a viable alternative that promotes top talent and holds those not meeting expectations to a higher standard of improvement/execution.

Obviously this can't be done overnight, I think I'd start with 1, and our district should be able to force it. Seems reasonable even if we never make it to 2 or 3.


9 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

PP, certainly we can push for plan #1 on a local level. I think you will hear a variety of test scores and WASC accreditation and college attendance rates and a whole host of other reports already cover #2. #3 has to be done at the state level. The more difficult part is being welcoming to teachers in general and to make them part of the solutions we seek. I can't see that they'd believe our intention is to help them just based on some of the posts they can read on the PW.


9 people like this
Posted by Ornithology
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2019 at 11:26 am

Ornithology is a registered user.

PP:

in different posts, you wrote:

"It really is a domestic terrorist organization- holding a knife to the throat of children's education."

"I hold my position however"

"I think teacher's are victims of the union as its forced upon them - in no way am I stating teachers are domestic terrorists."


YOU DID call the union a domestic terrorist organization and referenced knifes to throat. And then, when questioned by another poster, YOU DOUBLED DOWN, saying you DO HOLD that position. And then later try to 'clarify' you are not talking about teachers - just their union. Huh? Who do you think makes up the Union?


I don't get too worked up over the 'stuff' people say here on the weekly. Lots of tough, as well as idiotic words are written. Such is the way of the world these days...

HOWEVER, your "Held Position" of the union as terrorists is way over the top. This type of exaggeration to make a point is insulting and does not lead us to any positive outcome, nor move the conversation forward.


I for one would like to see your posts removed and maybe you be given a 'time out' from posting for a while.

Disgusted.....


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Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 7, 2019 at 8:13 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Ornithology,
You do realize the teachers union is a paid organization with its own offices/functions/departments that are not necessarily made up of full time teachers right? Just want to make sure you understand the differentiation between the organization and its forced membership.
Because if you didn't understand this differentiation i could understand how you would misconstrue my comments. Kind of like how we dont hold cult followers to the same disregard as we do the cult leaders.
Sorry not sorry about you finding my opinion insulting. I find the teachers union insulting and that it does not lead us to any positive outcome, nor move the conversation forward.

I for one would like to see the union removed and maybe given a 'time out' from terrorizing for a while.

Disgusted.....


3 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 8, 2019 at 8:54 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"The strength and unparalleled success of the schools in the Pleasanton Unified School District continues to be driven by the high quality and long-standing commitments of our TEACHERS, COUNSELORS, CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES and ADMINISTRATORS."

Emphasis mine.

Complete and utter BS right there in the first paragraph.

It is PARENTS AND FAMILIES in our district that are driving excellence. You take our families to the worst district in the area and watch what happens to its test scores.

All teachers teach to standards. Teaching standards to bright kids and supportive parents is easy.

Don't let those on this board try and convince you that the union helps in education. Far from it.

It is the PARENTS that make all the difference.

Dan


5 people like this
Posted by Dark Father
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 8, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Dark Father is a registered user.

So Dan, if a child fails, who is to blame? I'd guess by your post that it would be parents and families.

My oldest is a junior and my youngest an 8th grader, and while not all of their teachers have been all-stars, they've all been more than competent, and some have been outstanding. I'm wondering why your experience seems to have been so different.

DF


18 people like this
Posted by Teachers Spouse
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Mar 9, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Teachers Spouse is a registered user.

I am very upset, dismayed and dishartened by a lot of the misconceptions being posted here about Pleasanton Teachers. I am married to one who has been here for over 20 years.
Here are a few things you may not know.

No Professional Teacher wants protections in place for peers that are not performing or outright displaying terrible behavior. It reflects poorly on them and defeats their main purpose which is to inform, educate and support students learning. The Union dues are a MANDATORY withdrawl from a PUSD teachers paycheck. Regardless of weather or not the teacher actually supports any certain action of the Union they are a Member not by Choice.

My husband teaches at the H.S. Level. He teaches not only typical courses but AP (Advanced Placement)classes. Yes, He is given content that is to be covered and spends countless hours inside and outside the classroom making that content palateable and relateable for all different learning styles (visual, auditory, differently abled, etc.) and all different students.
There is no one size fits all. There is a lot of "homework" and research that goes into teaching well outside their "business hours".

Not only does he teach the student he is concerned about their emotional well being in school as well. He frequently comes home concerned about the student that fell asleep on their desk, not due to partying but due to staying up as late as 3am studying for 3-4 AP classes they are taking at one time. He regularly talks to the kids about how they need to take care of themselves to get proper sleep and nutrition to be in a good state of mind to study.

The largest issue he is dealing with right now is cheating. No one will want to hear this and as a parent myself it is hard to hear. It is rampant in both High Schools. He has to create multiple versions of a test, have a seating chart, take phones, be in plain sight walking the classroom when there is a test. Kids use phones, they go to the bathroom and share answers, they even share answers in between periods on test day. Some kids and parents see nothing wrong with this.

The same teacher spends countless hours writing college recomendation letters for students each year. On his own time. He wants to do this for the kids. Because he wants to see them succeed. He writes at least 75 recomendation letters individually taking care to express each students unique qualities to the program they are applying for-no form letter here.

Everyone, Teachers, Parents, Union and Adminstration all need to work for the benefit of the Student. Each have different functions. Not any one of these is perfect. It is better to come from a place of wanting to do the right thing for the students as opposed to assigning a percentage of blame to each party involved in the process. No good will come from that. Think of how the students view this they see other adults and parents disparaging their teachers in an open forum. How will they view the way to deal with a disagreement? How will they view their teachers are they to be listened too or valued?

There is not any job in the private sector that compares the the job duties and responsibility of a teacher. You cannot compare the two. The "product" the teachers are putting out is more valuable than anything else it is your future.

(I am not trying to say that no other job is very important)

Thank you for listening.







5 people like this
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:30 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

DF,

One of my children was under-performing for most of her elementary, middle school and Freshman year at Foothill.
We spent thousands of $ on outside tutors over the years and you know what? Not one time did we blame the schools or the teachers. Though her 2nd grade teacher at Hearst was not at all supportive, the rest have been adequate. I know that her Xth (for privacy) grade teacher was unbelievably effective at teaching to her strengths and weaknesses and to this day, still tutors her. She is now an A and B student.

It was tough going for a long time.

There are exceptions. There is that one teacher that stands out. The one who GOT IT.

The larger point is by and large it was me and my wife that made sure that we gave her EVERY resource and chance to be able to succeed. We stayed engaged and questioning. We found that although she was doing poorly, there was no outreach from any administration UNLESS WE ASKED. We were very proactive.

You put my daughter in any school and WE will make sure she succeeds. I'm willing to bet that most parents in this district will insure the same outcome for their children.

And to answer your question: If my child did not succeed, it would be Me and my wife' fault. No question. I don't blame others for things that I control, and I control my kids educations...PERIOD.


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