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Pleasanton Unified tackling implicit bias and problematic disciplinary practices

Original post made on Apr 6, 2021

Pleasanton Unified School District leadership will spend a three year period working with an outside consultant to identify and address equity gaps among students, including any problematic policies and practices.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 5, 2021, 4:42 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Mr. Julius
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 6, 2021 at 10:16 am

Mr. Julius is a registered user.

So over 6% of white students (compared to less than 1% of Asian students) are suspended because of implicit bias? And implicit bias leads teachers to not suspend Asian students? See, the logic doesn't follow.

Maybe a few percentage points can be changed by different approaches, but we see the same behavioral problems in urban schools with a large percentage of minority teachers.

Posted by Zoe
a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 6, 2021 at 10:26 am

Zoe is a registered user.

As is often the case, Steve Maher is the voice of reason. I seriously doubt Pleasanton's teachers are biased or that we have disciplinary problems. Instead of throwing away tax dollars for a consultant, do as Maher suggests -- figure out why these students are lagging and tackle that problem. They need help to improve their opportunities to succeed. Perhaps the school district can work with the families to see what struggles they face. Offer tutoring that others in our district are able to afford for their kids. Make sure these kids end up with the best teachers in our district. Mr. Maher is correct -- the money would be far better spent NOW to help students succeed. Quit wasting our tax dollars on more BS studies and consultants.

Posted by Amador Parent
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 11:35 am

Amador Parent is a registered user.

So I don’t understand why this would take 3 years to complete? I reviewed the presentations under the board meeting agenda item #12.3 here: Web Link

Hardly anything is planned for year 1. This taking 3 years to implement gives me pause for concern. By the time you are ready to implement plan proposals in year 3, many things could have changed obsoleting the plan.

Also am I to assume this starts w/the 2021/2022 school year?

I am going to email the school board & others about this as I actually feel that the administration needs to be planning on addressing the impact of the remote learning time on our students. Thing such as:

1. Mental health issues w/a plan to address these short-term & long-term effects
2. Learning Loss Gaps & how to address this as students move on to the next grade level. We need to understand what may have been missed w/the curriculum conducted under remote learning & how that differs from what would have been taught if students were on-site. What issues will students have moving to the next level in a class? Will students struggle because they have gaps in what would normally have been taught if not for Covid? I worry about how this will effect how students do when teachers assume some things were taught during remote when they weren’t. This will effect students grades, have the students stress & anxiety rise, & result in lower grades than would have been if Covid had never happened.
3. Looking at how a fall school year return to on-site learning will be effected that will impact students, teachers & admin. Things won’t be exactly like it was pre-Covid & we need to understand what is going to be effected & how these need to be addressed. The analysis should be done w/academics, but also on social, extracurricular activities like dances & rallies, athletic programs, band, field trips that typically happen, etc.

Posted by A.F.Soby
a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 6, 2021 at 6:11 pm

A.F.Soby is a registered user.

You seem to offer only one possibility to explain the gaps that are being measured, that of implicit bias that must be institutionalized in the PUSD system. The statistics presented cannot be used to justify your general statement of implicit bias or racism. I think it would be more useful to have actual numbers and statistics on the reasons for the discipline actions and suspensions. I would think you are compiling this information already and someone is actually reviewing it for causation, which may or may not be implicit bias. You might even find actions you can take to reduce the "gaps" that can be implemented now versus at least three years from now (the 3 years is just to get the report, so I would guess you are 4 to 5 years away from implementing anything based on the study and report.). In the meantime, will you just be telling concerned parents you are waiting for the results of the study and the consultant report?

Posted by Dennis Goode
a resident of Valley Trails
on Apr 19, 2021 at 7:47 am

Dennis Goode is a registered user.

I do not believe, in any way, the PUSD is racist or practicing systemic racism. If they are, everything we do in our society is systemically racist. Results indicate Asian students are doping best. Explain that before you claim White racism, dating from 1627, is the reason Black and Hispanic students have a lower score in graduations and discipline.
The past is full of prejudice, ignorance and wrongdoing, and for nearly 500 years there has been an ongoing effort to make it equal for everyone.
The article doesn't say it, but the process to "de-bias" our PUSD staff is called "transforming perception".
Really? This sounds like what the Chinese are doing with the Uyghurs.
As I read about "Critical Race Theory", I see the same words and topics that are in "Implicit Bias" and must conclude that one is part of the other.
Is being "Woke" what we want?
Keep in mind that Implicit Bias is a universal phenomenon not limited to race, gender or country and our present school board can be voted out at next election.

Posted by Sean
a resident of Birdland
on May 25, 2021 at 10:59 am

Sean is a registered user.

I'm concerned the program will continue to ignore the outcomes of boys, as the intersectionality of race and gender data is often conflated. The comment that "it's important to recognize the historical context of public education, which wasn't originally intended to educate women or girls, poor people or minorities" completely misses contemporary realities. PUSD follows the patterns of other districts throughout the state and country when it comes to the academic performance of boys in a number of verifiable measures; including college readiness, suspensions, and meeting and exceeding California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. Boys do worse than their female counterparts. As PUSD continues to move to equity and inclusion programs, parents of sons should say it's time to close the English Language Arts/ Literacy Boy Gender-Gap and the UC/CSU Boy Gender-Gap.

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