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Feb 5 Results
Why Are We Here?
That Middle Stage  more

2006 Honor Roll  more
Calling India  more
Lessons Learned  more
Demonizing Low Income Students  more
Ralphe Bunche Elementary  more

Our Goal

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Pasadena City Councilman Paul Little Letter to PUSD Board Of Education more


Antonovich ‘Concerned’ About Noyes more


AUSD Petition OTD more


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Feb 5 Results
Why Are We Here?
The Middle Stage


Preliminary Feb 5 Presidential Primary Results for AUSD

Based on observations at the Eliot, Farnsworth, St James, Sue B. Dance Co., and Webster polling places, voters seemed to be in a more festive mood than in the gubernatorial election and more ready to sign the AUSD petition than ever before. Petitioner productivity mirrored the enthusiasm seen in the voters, with a very high average of 1 signature recorded every 4.5 minutes on the petitions received to date with completed affidavits.

Our AUSD message seemed to work quite well on February 5, particularly when we were able to be generous with our distribution of the AUSD brochure – many voters took our brochure on their way in and signed the petition on their way out. It was a “no-brainer” as one volunteer called it, and the brochure seemed to continue to do its job in introducing voters to the very important responsibilities they will need to own after we’ve achieved our signature count goal! As always, voter education regarding the urgency for achieving the following is as important to us as getting the signatures in the first place:

  • Close Altadena’s large academic achievement gap
  • Bring Altadena students to 100% grade-level proficiency
  • Become conversant with what reliably closes the gap in the shortest time possible
  • Distinguish between educators who talk about the gap vs. the few who actually close it

And while some 15 petitions originally distributed for February 5 are now in circulation, most of these have been checked in and redistributed for near-term future AUSD events. Experience also tells us that speculating on the number of signatures on unreturned petitions is a pretty unreliable exercise. So with that said, we’ll continue to focus our published signature counts on those consisting of valid signatures on returned petitions with completed petitioner affidavits. As of today, 670 signatures have been returned from February 5 on completed petitions, lifting our cumulative signature count to 3,256 for 47% of our 7,000 signature goal!

Why Are We Here?

Why do we talk about closing the academic achievement gap? We do so because by the third grade nearly 2 out of 3 Altadena public school students, almost all of whom are low income, end their school year below grade level, with deterioration in future years such that by high school even fewer of our public school students are at or above grade level.

To those for whom concern for the outcomes of our many low income neighbors does not particularly resonate, we talk about closing the gap not only because doing so is the right thing to do for the vast majority of Altadena’s students, but because bringing our students to 100% grade-level proficiency creates outcomes that begin to make the public system a viable alternative for the 1 in 3 parents in our community who choose private schools, a penetration that is itself 3 times the CA private-to-public average and the largest of any school district PUSD’s size in the USA. Is there any better way to unite the Altadena that drew so many of us here in the first place?

The Middle Stage

Needless to say, we have officially left behind the early stages of this petition drive and entered the “middle stage” where it is important for us stay focused on our goal. As we’ve said before, 2008 has a significant number of opportunities for completing this petition drive that 2007 lacked, and we as volunteers need to collectively step up and take advantage of these opportunities, donating whatever time we can and attracting new volunteers to join us along the way. Our volunteers were very productive on February 5, and our Altadena voters were certainly more willing to sign than at any time I’ve ever seen. More arms and legs for distributing petitions in our future events would be useful for getting this petition drive finished this year. A few smaller petition efforts are being added to the calendar for the near term (including this coming Sunday 2/17), along with some big events that are being considered for this summer. Please do whatever you can to help us get through this middle stage and on to our goal. Sign up as a volunteer at


Official website of Altadenans For Quality Education (AFQE, AUSD Now!)