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News Release


Altadena Schools announces petition insufficiency
L.A. County Office of Education rules that the petitions to form Altadena School District need more signatures

Altadena, California, Nov 1, 2010:

The L.A. County Office of Education has advised the Chief Petitioners for Altadena Unified School District that the petition needs more signatures in order to begin the unification process. The petitions, signed by more than 7,000 Altadena voters, were submitted to the Los Angeles County Office of Education on September 23rd. Altadena Schools’ volunteers have requested an audit of the official signature count.

Altadena residents are currently served by the Pasadena Unified School District. For the past several decades, Pasadena Unified students have turned in academic proficiencies that rank among California’s bottom third. Pasadena Unified’s predominantly low-income students are further burdened by a 140-point academic achievement gap, which, at current rates of improvement, will not close for well over a century.

Even worse, at least one-third of Pasadena Unified’s low-income student majority drops out before completing high school. Those who do graduate, enter the global workforce performing, on average, at an eighth-grade level.

In stark contrast to the Altadena experience, schools can be found across the USA that actually accomplish the hard work of preparing their primarily low-income students for success in college: Almost 90% of these school's bottom-income-quarter students choose to go on to college, significantly more than the 70% nationwide matriculation of top-income-quarter students.

Altadena Schools intends to build on the progress of these best schools to low-income communities. By making Altadena the destination of choice for esteemed educators, Altadena Schools plans to get all of Altadena’s approximately 4,000 public school students onto the road to and through college by 2020.

Apart from Altadena Unified and the “Every Child To And Through College By 2020” goal, the social, economic, and school closure issues Altadena has experienced these last few years will steadily worsen. Altadena’s deteriorating academic performance in relation to an increasingly competitive global economy will contribute to what a recent McKinsey and Company study called “the equivalent of a permanent U.S. recession”.

With Altadena Unified, Altadena has the potential to become the first community in America to close the academic achievement gap system wide – a challenge some consider the moral, social, economic, and civil rights issue of our generation.

About Altadena Schools

Altadena Schools is a grass roots organization of over 160 volunteers who are collectively as diverse as Altadena. The Altadena Schools team includes many current and longstanding PUSD parents, tutors, active participants in Pasadena Unified district-wide advisory committees, and numerous others from around the community.

For more information on what makes Altadena Unified the superior solution for getting every child onto the road to and through college by 2020, please read the Top Five Reasons For AUSD at

Altadena Schools

Bruce Wasson
Chief Proponent

Background on the Altadena petition:

LA County Office of Education March 2006 original instructions to the chief petitioners (1 page, PDF)

LA County Office of Education October 2010 revised instructions to the chief petitioners (5 pages, PDF)

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