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A new school year in Pleasanton

Original post made on Aug 11, 2023

School is back in session at Pleasanton Unified, and the Weekly recently sat down with Superintendent David Haglund for a one-on-one discussion about everything from bond projects, student behavior, classroom curriculum and more...

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 10, 2023, 3:42 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Former PTown Resident
a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 11, 2023 at 6:31 am

Former PTown Resident is a registered user.

"Haglund lauded the idea of grading for mastery because it shouldn’t be about giving every student in a classroom the same assignment and simply giving them a grade based on that performance." - I'm a former PUSD teacher. Interesting comment from Haglund since teachers are to teach to the districts approved curriculum. Additionally many secondary teachers have 200+ students so to customize assignments is impractical.

Posted by Bill Brasky
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 11, 2023 at 8:51 am

Bill Brasky is a registered user.

It is impractical indeed for a public school with a high student-to-teacher ratio. What is Amador and Foothill's college acceptance rate that they need a grading policy upheaval?

IMO, this type of thinking and policy is how the middle class who can't afford private schools really get left behind, "Just master the subject on your time, don't worry about deadlines or challenging yourself to produce outside your current skill set."

Sometimes, Academia has a pulse on things, and sometimes, they are detached from everyday standards.

Posted by Jeff
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 11, 2023 at 5:45 pm

Jeff is a registered user.

Haglund talked about why we lost so many teachers from Valley View and that a nearby district was recruiting teachers and offering them a stipend. This is dishonest and incorrect. Most districts offer a stipend for having a BCLAD (which is a certificate certifying that a teacher is bilingual and able to teach in bilingual or dual language immersion programs). Pleasanton offers teachers with a BCLAD $500 dollars a year, which is pathetic. Livermore offers teachers with a BCLAD $3,800 a year. It's correct that this is a negotiated item, however, the district has had every opportunity to negotiate BCLAD stipends. If district leadership valued teachers and their dual language immersion program, they would have done this already. Haglund also mentions that, "We had to wrestle in order to get $5,000 towards benefits for teachers." This too is dishonest. Who did they have to wrestle? The union? Teachers have been asking for benefits and to be fairly compensated for some time. Pleasanton teachers have had to pay for their benefits. In 2021, Haglund and his cabinet gave themselves a 3.5% raise every year, paid medical benefits for themselves and their families until they reach the age of 65, and they built in a Me Too Clause, which means they get any raise they give their teachers on top of the 3.5% and the paid medical benefits. And they did all this before settling with their teachers union. Pleasanton, and Valley View is losing teachers because they can make ends meet, and be more fairly compensated in surrounding school districts. Haglund also states that, "As in any relationship, trust goes both ways." It's hard to trust senior district leadership when they take care of their own needs before anyone else's, including students. Parents and community members need to be better informed about what is really going on.

Posted by Jimmy The Jet
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2023 at 7:41 pm

Jimmy The Jet is a registered user.

"That's because there was a district nearby that was recruiting them and offering them money that we couldn't offer them in terms of stipends and whatnot, because we don't have an agreement with the association to provide stipends". "That's not part of our contract, so we're not allowed to do it even if we wanted to," Haglund said." PUSD does not want to. The district chose not to renegotiate. Mr. Haglund's statement is misleading. If they wanted to retain these teachers PUSD could have come to the table and made this happen. Teachers last year wanted to come to the table and the district said no. It’s not just a stipend but overall compensation. PUSD is not a destination district any more.

Posted by Former PTown Resident
a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 12, 2023 at 6:15 am

Former PTown Resident is a registered user.

Jeff and Jimmy the Jet - You both actually point out one of the biggest problems with unions. The ability to pay, retain, and fire teachers are really being controlled by unions. Everything is set in stone. Unions prevent employees from being paid their real value. I became a middle school math teacher and came in with +30 years high tech work experience. I got paid exactly the same as newbie teacher that taught art and PE. Both of those are important, but to me not as important as math, science, and ELA. Also I had to go through the same indoctrinting teacher credentialing program.

Posted by Frustrated Voter
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 14, 2023 at 10:14 am

Frustrated Voter is a registered user.

Words matter. That’s what teachers teach everyday in PUSD. Word choice, word use. Either the reporter or the superintendent made some curious word choices here so that Mr. Haglund’s message is often misleading or even entirely untrue. If PUSD management is willing to meet or bargain, why is the head of HR often unavailable to meet for weeks at a time? Is not “human relations” his exact job title? He has ceded having a relationship with humans in order to flex and enjoy the perceived power of his position. Offering $5K signing bonuses for “hard to fill” positions means that maybe the positions need to be restructured, but also that management is disrespecting current employees who do the exact same job, without that stipend, to say nothing of recognizing the folks who have worked here for many years. The result is months-long stalling and negotiations that could be concluded more quickly and satisfactorily for all involved, so that everyone can get back to their real jobs, educating and supporting children. And, Board of Trustees, you are not blameless in this. Start asking better questions! Say no! You authorized payment for training in “interest based bargaining” and are the district folks honoring that training? Start asking the employees doing the actual work of teaching our future and stop relying on office-bound folks who haven’t been inside a classroom in years.

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