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Great rankings for Pleasanton high schools

Uploaded: Feb 15, 2018
Pleasanton's high schools received some notable recognition this week when Niche, a website focused on housing and quality schools, cited both comprehensive high schools on its list of the best public schools in the Bay Area.

Amador Valley ranked No. 13 on the list that cited its average SAT of 1340 and 30 on the ACT. Foothill was at No. 24 with an average SAT of 1300 and a ACT score of 30.

The top-ranking school in the Tri-Valley was Dougherty Valley in San Ramon No. 11. Dougherty, with its heavily Asian student population, tallied 1360 on its average SAT and 31 on the ACT.

The top-ranked school was Henry Gunn in Palo Alto, where students scored an average of 1410 on the ACT and 32 on the ACT.

The list was dominated by Silicon Valley schools from Palo Alto to Cupertino to Sunnyvale. East Bay schools were led by Mission San Jose (another Asian-dominant student body, No. 5) and Miramonte (No. 7). Campolindo (15), Irvington (23), and Berkeley (25) round out the list.

Notably, there was only one San Francisco public school and one Marin County public school on the list.

The list includes comments from students that would be helpful to read. For instance, Dougherty Valley, given parental and most student expectations, is aimed at the hard sciences and medicine. Good luck if your gifting is in the arts.

So, while it is easy to bask in the achievements across the board, educational leaders and parents must ask the question: at what cost?

The East Bay Times must be desperate for news. In its Monday, Feb. 12 edition, editors ran a screaming 72-point headline across the top of the local news page announcing that Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne had agreed to pay a $100 fine to the Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to file a form.

No, that's not a typo -- $100, a Benjamin Franklin. For serious violations, politicians have been fined tens of thousands of dollars. This amounts to less than a slap on the wrist -- not that you can tell that from the headline.

Just wonder what passes for news judgment these days.

For the record, the Pleasanton Weekly's Express reported the news on Feb. 6.

Comments

 +   8 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 15, 2018 at 9:51 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

So if a school has a high rating it is necessary to mention they may have a high percent of Asians?

Odd.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Feb 15, 2018 at 4:07 pm

@Scott Hale

:-)

Reminds me of a quote by Principal Skinner of “The Simpsons":

"Well, Edna, for a school with no Asian kids, I think we put on a pretty darn good science fair." -Principal Skinner


 +   3 people like this
Posted by S. Johnson, a resident of another community,
on Feb 15, 2018 at 5:37 pm

Great that Amador ranked so highly but........why is there no news regarding the Amador varsity girls basketball coach that was either fired or put on administrative leave less then two weeks ago? What happened and why does it seem to be hushed up?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 15, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

I wonder if Tim knows Indians are lumped in as 'Asians'. DVHS the Asian's are mostly Indians (not to be confused with American Indians)..... And white folks come in a long way behind in 2nd. In fact, great percent of DV ARE Indians...with a sprinkling of 'other than Asians' here and there....

And if that gives my son's (he belongs to lowest percent: multi-ethnic)HS a higher rating....all for it w/o the slightly insulting reference to 'they have Asians' at that school.



 +   4 people like this
Posted by Derek Logan, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Feb 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

As a 50-year resident of Pleasanton, I have read Tim's writing for decades. He's often furiously parochial, but rarely small-minded. So Tim's unfortunate phrase "heavily Asian" surprised me as incoherent with both the journalist I knew and the subtext of the piece, (Are high standardized test scores really the one true measure of the performance of a high school?) with which I strongly agree. I'm sure that Tim is well aware that "Asian" is a clumsily monolithic descriptor for an extremely diverse group of people. I'm also confident Tim knows that US immigration policies since 1965 have favored citizenship for people with more education and professional skill (regardless of country of emigration). These policies, combined with statistics and geography, have increased the local population of folks from Asian countries where education is available, but social and economic opportunities are not so attractive as in the US. Since the singular predictor (regardless of ethnicity) of both intelligence and academic success is the education level of one's parents (Web Link), it is entirely predictable (and desirable) that local schools' test scores have improved as the children of more-educated parents have enrolled. Compare the percentage of adults with post-secondary degrees in 2 communities: Dougherty: 66% Pleasanton 56% (CA average 38%)

Perhaps an edit would clarify the intention? TIm, would you consider editing your column to say "Dougherty, a school situated in a highly-educated community, tallied...?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by caywen, a resident of Del Prado,
on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:25 am

(I am Asian)

If the stats were such that whites were the reason for the high scores, would we say that the school succeeded due to the high percentage of whites? I don't think so. Thus, seems strange to make the attribution to Asians in this way. Makes us sound like some kind of chemical agent.

Singling out in this way can foster animosity. Were this a piece about the underlying dynamics of education, it would make sense, and the statistics would be topical. But here it feels misplaced.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:32 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

I think what bothered me most is he mentioned it more than once. A single time, yeah ok, that would have been ok. Multi times means perhaps something else going on. A school is good or it isn't. No need to interject an opinion as to the maybe 'why' of it. I moved here because of the school district and really don't give a hoot of the ethic background of the students.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Really?, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 18, 2018 at 12:51 am

Your article is truly offensive and bias.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 10:08 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This falls short of a few facts. Amador is #14 for Public High Schools in California. There are 50 Private High Schools that are ranked ahead of it (and 13 public). Web Link

It also helps to know how these rankings are determined. Web Link

Here is Amador's page: Web Link
It states: "Amador Valley High School is an elite, public school located in Pleasanton, CA. It has 2,612 students in grades 9-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 26 to 1. According to state test scores, 78% of students are at least proficient in math and 93% in reading." Anyone bothered by "are **at least proficient** in math and . . . reading" considering conversations to change the math program?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 10:10 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sorry, I am having to post more than one comment for "having too many URLs", because heaven forbid if we share data.

Here is another ranking from US News & World Report: Web Link Amador is ranked #66 in California. In this ranking, Foothill is #61.

Here are English and Math test results for 2017 for the Smarter Balance Assessment (economically disadvantaged students in 11th grade): English: 10.34% did not meet the standard; 24.24% nearly met the standard. Math: 32.26% did not meet the standard; 32.26% nearly met the standard. So, 34.58% are not--or barely near--achieving in English; 64.52% in Math. Web Link

We have much to celebrate with our students, families, and teachers who are succeeding. We need to look beyond rankings though to spend time considering how to give those same advantages to those who are still struggling in our "very good schools."

I think if we are going to report responsibly, ALL the information should be considered, not just the bits we like.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Funny how Pleasanton school ratings keep getting better, even though the kids are going to some classes in portables, eh Kathleen?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Dan, the students doing well do so because of parents and teachers (and booming tutoring businesses). Nobody chooses a portable for their educational experiences.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 4:40 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Couple of points:

1. You have suggested in past posts that portables are not conducive to a positive learning environment. You are statistically and practically wrong, based on the evidence YOU provided in your posts above. We've tangled on this very topic. Now you seem to be indicating what I always have said, that parents (and to a lessor extent, teachers) commitment makes all the difference.

2. From a statistical standpoint, rating 14th best public school in California is a monumental achievement for Amador and Pleasanton when California has a student population of well into the millions. When compared to Amador' student population, you DO realize the significance of this achievement, right?

3. Of course private schools are going to fare better, they always have because they don't have to offer all the nonsense of public schools, and parents are even MORE invested in their children at those schools.

4. There will ALWAYS be students who perform lower on the educational spectrum. For you to imply that something has to be done to somehow "fix" this is utopian at best. Not everyone can be a doctor, I'm sorry to say.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

1. Go look at the portables in question. They aren't conducive to learning; this is people rising above"students, parents, teachers. They have a nickname for the portables at AVHS that escapes me now. It isn't flattering. There's one at FHS that looks like recent winds could have blown down.
2. Statistics are all about slicing the data, right? So we are 64th in the state for all high schools. We are probably in the top 5 for Alameda County. We are 14th if you ignore private/charter/magnet schools.
3. Sure.
4. Don't need everyone to be a doctor. They do need to succeed in high school, and, with the same opportunities, have a shot at college and the careers they hope to have.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 6:08 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

1. "Rising above" as opposed to, what, just being flat out intelligent and not letting a "portable" get in the way of learning? I find it hard to believe that this is your best answer, but I won't debate this point any longer.

2. Yeah, statistics are a funny thing, especially when you look at math like percentages and can calculate that our schools, while being in a relatively small district, are some of the best in a state of over 35 million. To disagree is to ignore simple math. But whatever...

4. EVERYONE has a shot at college and careers, that's kinda the point of PUBLIC schools, isn't it? Conflating "opportunity with "outcome" is not only absurd, it just can't and won't happen not matter how much money you attempt to throw at it.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 19, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Your assumption is only the brightest are in portables.

Well, students are about 8MM. And I said we have very good schools.

Everyone Is not getting a shot; this nation, and this district (although not alone), are not serving our disadvantaged students well enough. You are accepting defeat without effort. We have to try or that “money" you are worried about will be spent in other ways when they can't provide for themselves or their families.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 7:29 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

I'm not accepting defeat, I'm accepting human nature and differences.

I'm not assuming anything other than your saying that portables are not conducive to learning. Our school test scores have proven your assumptions incorrect.

Here's a good way to test your theory: What are the scores for the lowest performing students in our district compared with the same from lesser performing districts with newer schools? Say, Brentwood or Oakley or Tracy?

Could be interesting.




 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy, a resident of Vineyard Avenue,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:15 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

Oh man, really? Yes, we understand that kids can learn in portables. We also understand they can learn if you take turns spitting on them every 15 minutes. So no, the statistics don't prove that portables are fine and your point is not borne out. They merely show that the schools perform as expected for an affluent community of highly-educated parents. Let's not rehash this again, unless you want us to bring up other infirmities that will probably not stop you but surely annoy you, like replacing your car with a Ford Pinto filled with horse manure--I'm sure you'll still get to work fine and it won't show any drop in your income.

As for the Asian comments, I have to pile on here. Tim, what gives? Stop mentioning that schools have Asians. It's tasteless and smells of bigotry. I think I understand why you mentioned it--having to do with reading too many API scores and other race-broken-down statistics for Bay Area schools--but it doesn't really help.




 +  Like this comment
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts, a resident of Mission Park,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:25 am

to: DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek

You have certainly stated your position regarding portables.

With such a position, where is your outrage of the Lydiksen pod tear-down and re-building costing taxpayer bond money of $35MM (the largest single element of the Measure i1 bond).

The two primary reasons given for the tear-down & re-build is that the rooms do not have sinks, and that the walls separating the classrooms are not totally soundproof.

Also...only 1 portable at Lydiksen


 +  Like this comment
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts, a resident of Mission Park,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:29 am

to: Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,

I think the students at AVHS refer to their portables as SECTION 8 HOUSING


 +  Like this comment
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts, a resident of Mission Park,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:34 am

To: Tim Talk

As Grump asks "what gives?"

Why did you feel the need to mention an Asian demographic?

What is your point?, and what point are you trying to make?

As an FYI, Palo Alto (which you refer to), has a 40% white student population, 36 % Asian


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jerry, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 9:52 am

I am Asian and believe school ranking is for real estate property pricing.

A little about my background: I am a refugee from South East Asia in the late 80's. I started learning my ABC when I was in the 3rd grade, did not speak a work of English until mid-year. After picking up the basic I was able to communicate and excel after. How I caught up with other kids was continuous read at every hour and having a stable household with caring parents.

Fast forward to High School (horrible experience), graduated with a 3.9 GPA and 16 college units under my belt from a JC, AP was useless. I went to a school with many portables and some without AC. After graduation, I did not have any desire to attend a "great" college, in my opinion it did not matter, I just wanted to make money. I currently holds a Bachelor in CS and an MBA.

Currently, works in investment banking (hedge fund) with majority "Ivy League" graduates. Most are not smarter then I am, they just had better preparation and guidance for well educated and funded parents. What I learn is sometime you are born with a little more brain power and desire to excel, especially from a disadvantage background. But progressing by reading, learning, understanding and practice was my way to achieving a higher standard in post and secondary education. My belief is the current vacation system is what's failing our students, we need a year round system - 3 months off is too long...


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 10:55 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Grumpy, thank you. Your post made my day. The Pinto! :o)

FNAF, Thanks, they do call it Section 8 housing.

Jerry, Currently, year round systems in the US are still only 180 days in the classroom, just spread around the calendar (six weeks in school, two weeks off for example). Having a child who experienced it, it was awful. Better to use the summer break in other ways for enriched learning (travel, camps, family time). Summer is a very fast ten weeks in PUSD. Your personal story is a great example of determination. The other key seems to be "a stable household with caring parents."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:27 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Yes, we understand that kids can learn in portables."

So why are you pontificating here if you agree with me? In fact, you've made the same points I have made about portables every time the subject is brought up.

Nothing in your screed tells me that you have an actual, um, point.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:32 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Of course G has made your day, you might have to actually back up your claims with "statistics" otherwise.

Can't have that, can we?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

FF and AF,

"With such a position, where is your outrage of the Lydiksen pod tear-down and re-building costing taxpayer bond money of $35MM (the largest single element of the Measure i1 bond)."

I'm outrage that taxpayers of Pleasanton voted for a bond measure that will saddle them with more debt. Additionally, if a new sink or sound-proofing is required, build the new sink and sound-proofing.

If I need to soundproof my bedroom or build a new bathroom addition, why on earth would I tear down my house to do it?

Good enough for you?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy, a resident of Vineyard Avenue,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

DKHSK, glad you agreed to drive the Pinto! I'm so excited!!! It will take be a couple of days to get the horse manure ready for it though, so I hope that you're okay with the short delay. But as you do seem to be quite the amenable sort, being willing to put up with horse, well you know, I think you'll be most gracious about my delay. Of course, if you have any access to horses or your own, then this might not even be a real problem and we can get started right away!

Oh, and let me know if you'd like to borrow my screen name too. I think you might find the fit to be extraordinary!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:54 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Dan, there is no reason, statistically or otherwise, that children of this community, any community, should have subpar learning environments. Ask the teachers. Visit the portables. Spend your entire day in a space with little natural light, inferior ingress/egress, separated from most campus activities, propped up on cinderblocks. Do that 180 times while trying to learn anything complex. Wait for the earthquake. Keep me posted.

You don't want a Pinto full of manure; nobody chooses that option when others are available. Nobody chooses to teach and learn in a portable when other options are available. This is about how to treat children and employees.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy, a resident of Vineyard Avenue,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

Ok let me simplify it, since Dan sees my humor as a screed.

We demand to get our money's worth. We're fine spending money, if we get what we deserve from it. Portables are not our money's worth. That's all.

And yeah, I personally also don't understand the Lydiksen teardown. That also sounds like not our money's worth. Sorry.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Grumpy,

I guess not having a point is a 'thing' for you...

Not clever.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Portables are not our money's worth. That's all. "

Sorry Grumpy, you don't get to just say something and wish it to be so.

Since the point has been made numerous times by Kathleen that they're not conducive to learning, the above rankings she linked, statistics, and history don't agree with you.

'Dem's just the facts, grump.





 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:24 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

And you also agree with my point on Lydickson...

Wow...we're like twins...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:31 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Dan, there is no reason, statistically or otherwise, that children of this community, any community, should have subpar learning environments. Ask the teachers. Visit the portables."

"Subpar learning environment" is not backed up by ANY data other than the dramatic phrasing you are using. You posted great results from our district, yet you continue to say that the opposite is true.

I HAVE been in those portables. I HAVE kids that go to Pleasanton schools, and our schools are STILL some of the best in the state and most likely get even get better, regardless of the portables.

And as far as the lower performing students of our district compared to other lessor performing districts, I'm not shocked you haven't addressed that issue.





 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Grumpy, a resident of Vineyard Avenue,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Grumpy is a registered user.

I've actually made a few points. I don't think you're missing them. I think you're trolling.

But I'll repeat them in case others have opinions and want to discuss.

1) Given our high tax base, we ought to have plenty of money to have good permanent infrastructure. Other school districts in equally affluent areas with the same tax base have avoided portables. PUSD hasn't. That's what would compel a reasonable person to say that we are not getting our money's worth.

2) Portables are certainly better than nothing. But they're not good. Thus, the Pinto analogy.

3) Mentioning Asians was in bad taste for Tim and seems even worse.

4) The statement “Children have done well here with portables" is not proof that portables is not a problem. That's basic logic. It may bias your emotions towards that claim, but it falls as the same sort of fallacy as “my grandfather smoked all his life and lived until 90".

5) Tearing down rather than retrofitting SEEMS wasteful. Maybe they had a good reason. It's seeming so isn't evidence that it is so. But it does bias my emotions towards wanting more information on why they chose this path.

6) You know I've made points. You're just trying to be provocative and avoid the discussion on the face of the statements. It's not unusual to see ad hominem attacks here, especially since you don't know me and thus can speculate or fantasize about the person you think you're attacking. I don't know you but don't care to attack you. I do care to call out when you're trolling, however.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 2:44 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"I think you're trolling."

Says the guy talking about 'Pintos' and 'manure'.

You are a caricature wrapped in absurdity.

But let's take your points and do a little fisking, shall we?

1.) "Other school districts in equally affluent areas with the same tax base have avoided portables. PUSD hasn't. That's what would compel a reasonable person to say that we are not getting our money's worth."

Which one's?

2.) "...But they're not good".

Why? Use facts, not inane (I'm being kind) analogies.

3.) "Mentioning Asians was in bad taste for Tim..."

I don't disagree, but frankly I don't care.

4.) "“Children have done well here with portables" is not proof that portables is not a problem."

Ah, so we have a problem with no description. Please, inform us as to what this problem is you keep repeating, but not describing. How is it impacting the students learning and education? Citations please.

5.) "...But it does bias my emotions towards wanting more information on why they chose this path."

So, figure it out and get back to us.

6.) "You know I've made points."

LOL! "Pinto" and "manure" are hardly points. But do keep trying.

Really, you couldn't be more absurd, but I'm willing to continue to let you try.

:)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts, a resident of Mission Park,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Everyone is getting a little off the subject of Tim's Talk Blog (but the subject matter IS very important)

The PUSD this week is hosting 2 community outreach events to share with the community an update related to facilities, AND solicit feedback from the community.

Tonight's event is at PMS I believe.

Hope to see you all!

John


 +  Like this comment
Posted by FalseNews & AlternativeFacts, a resident of Mission Park,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Hopefully Tim will clarify, and tell us exactly what point he is attempting to make regarding his comments related to Asians.

Being curious, I wondered what the demographics of top high school district in the USA looked like.

Fairfax , VA appears to have the top High School.

...
Demographically, 39.3 percent of FCPS students are White, 25.4 percent are Hispanic, 19.5 are Asian, 10.1 percent are Black, 5.3 percent are two or more races, 0.3 percent are American Indian and 0.1 percent are Native Hawaiian (source: 2016 Fall Membership by Subgroup as reported in the Virginia Department of Education School Quality Profile).


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Dan, This seems important to you because you raised the issue of portables. No one chooses to be in a portable. So see if you can get the district to put on employment and registration forms: Do you prefer to teach/learn in: (a) Classroom (b) Portable.

It's been said multiple times already, students with proper support and dedicated teachers are going to succeed. What is happening to those falling through the cracks? I posted that statistic: 34.58% are not--or barely near--achieving in English; 64.52% in Math.

Here's an article about portables: Web Link

"Thinking about that brings Lane, the only teacher on Puyallup's bond advisory committee, to tears.

“'Our priorities are messed up. Excuse me, this is going to bother me a little bit,' she says. 'I don't understand how we can spend money on sports arenas and on prisons and on so many things that have such a big ticket item to it, and we will not put that money towards our kids.'

"Without her students in the room, she wonders aloud what message these classrooms send to them. Maybe they'll see how they were treated and perpetuate it. Maybe they'll take it as a challenge to their generation. She hopes it's the second.

“'I don't know what to do,' she says. 'I'm not giving up.'"


 +  Like this comment
Posted by caywen, a resident of Del Prado,
on Feb 20, 2018 at 4:55 pm

sigh


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:01 am

Hi Tim...Teens nationwide are protesting the recent killings of youth in schools.

What good is an academic environment if anybody can purchase an assault weapon to kill students? It continues and it is an almost daily experience in the US.

Have you considered writing an article related to school shootings and what administration can do to protect students? Is it time to reconsider a different plan? Hire armed guards to patrol campuses? Something has got to be done and immediately. Elected officials have no intention of changing the gun laws.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:17 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Thanks for posting an article full of anecdote and emotion. I noticed the article was REALLY short on the academic achievements of the students in their horrific portables. Wonder why?


I find this paragraph from you very interesting:

"It's been said multiple times already, students with proper support and dedicated teachers are going to succeed. What is happening to those falling through the cracks? I posted that statistic: 34.58% are not--or barely near--achieving in English; 64.52% in Math."

Our district is chock full of parental support and dedicated teachers AND is rated 14th in the entire state. That being said, you are indicating that either: 1.) some parents aren't supporting their kids or 2.) some teachers aren't as dedicated as they should be or 3.) some school does not have the support systems in place 4.) some kids are just not suited to a structured school system to learn.

So what is your solution if any or all of these is/are the problem?

Notice, I didn't put down portables as being a problem because, as I've been very clear, there is no statistical reason that portables in PUSD are affecting overall school educational opportunities and outcome, no matter how much emotion you throw into the debate.







 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

1. Some families are double-income and have little time to do it all; some do not speak English; some families are stressed emotionally, financially; some don't feel connected to the community or school. Lots of reasons parents are unable to do more.
Reaching out to parents more, to include, to meet their time restraints, to educate them on the importance of education. For students who struggle, involving parents more in engaging their child. How to work around time, language, and other barriers to success.
2. True statement. I don't think it's a large percent. But a struggling student with a struggling teacher means that student will pay a hefty price in achievement. Need to help struggling teachers, wait longer for tenure (5 years), and move the worst out of education more easily.
3. Budgets are thin and programs like Barton Reading get axed. Yes, we may not have everything it takes to support students with a variety of disadvantages. Anything from changing budget priorities to engaging the community to volunteer at all grade levels to using parent expertise to lobbying Sacramento.
4. There are many ways to learn. Explore Montessori/Discovery and other types of magnet schools.

Notice I'm done talking to you about portables. You don't care to see the problems and I'm not going to change your mind or mine.


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