Fox 11 News
News featured Altadena Schools last week. Click
here to see "Taking Control of Education in Altadena
Control of Education in Altadena Schools” video is also
on Altadena Schools’ Facebook page. Did you know that
every post Altadena Schools makes on its Facebook page ends
up receiving over 1,000 views? With over 250 Fans, the video
from Gigi Graciette at Fox News is off to
a great start!
Volunteers for Altadena Schools have learned much these last
few weeks about the readiness of our state and county partners
to complete their responsibilities in the petition process.
moment that the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE)
delivered their approved petition to the chief petitioners
in 2006 until the completed petitions were returned to LACOE
in September, virtually every task associated with the petition
was the responsibility of Altadena Schools. Since then, Altadena
Schools has been able to see how its partners LACOE, the California
Department of Education (CDE), and the County of Los Angeles
Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RRCC) will perform their
responsibilities in this process.
and the CDE have executed their responsibilities these last
few weeks in manner that reminds Altadena Schools of Pasadena
Unified’s inability to make any progress in raising
student achievement or in closing
the academic achievement gap. Altadena Schools wrote LACOE
on Nov 8 asking for an audit of the rejected signatures and
the escalation path for resolving issues, including LACOE’s
cumulative negligence in giving the wrong signature goal from
2006 until present. In reply, LACOE gave an extremely bureaucratic
49-page response that attempted to free them of any accountability.
Their reply also pointed Altadena Schools in the direction
of a CDE staffer who has never returned any Altadena Schools
emails or phone calls. In the end, the LACOE letter answered
nothing. Now it would be one thing if LACOE were some
obscure little government agency, but LACOE is an enormous
county bureaucracy with an annual budget of $1B, 4,000 employees,
headquarters one block long!
Schools also made a similar written request for process clarifications
to State Superintendent of Instruction Jack O’Connell
on Nov 8, addressing its letter per the CDE’s instructions.
Despite numerous follow-up calls and voicemail messages to
Mr. O’Connell’s office since then, there has been
no reply in over a month.
this mean for Altadena Schools? If anyone had any hope that
some “Superman” is going to save us, the behaviors
of these huge agencies should put that hope to rest. The status
quo will work very hard at every level to preserve its interests!
On a brighter
note, there has been much progress in the last few days from
the Registrar’s office. The Registrar has edited the
process for conducting the audit in the last few days from
a 600-hour activity to about 330 hours. Altadena Schools received
the first few reports this week from the Registrar that will
begin the process of reducing the effort hours considerably
more. The Altadena Schools team will continue pressing its
Nov 8 audit requests until all of the requested reports are
made available in advance so that the Altadena Schools volunteers
can conduct the audit in 20 hours. The goal of this audit
will be to recover as many of the nearly 2,000 rejected signatures
Schools has also learned that LACOE has finally given up the
308 petitions and returned them to the Registrar. This is
great news! By putting the petitions back in the Registrar’s
hands, the Registrar’s office will have a better opportunity
to prepare the reports that Altadena Schools has requested.
If, as we suspect, the Registrar extrapolated its original
count of rejected signatures from a sample, then they now
have the opportunity to count the entire stack of 308 petitions
to produce the requested reports without public harm to the
should be aware that Altadena Schools believes the requests
it made on Nov 8 will be simple for the Registrar to fulfill,
assuming every petition has been counted:
advise by when a soft copy exception report inclusive
of the following items will be presented to the chief
The number of insufficient signatures by petition
The total number of insufficient signatures by insufficiency
The effective date of the voter record(s) used by
the Registrar to verify the signatures for each petition
The total number of petition area voters in the
voter record(s) used by the Registrar to verify the
signatures for each petition section.
Each insufficient signature by name, petition section,
petition row number, and insufficiency reason.
In the case of duplicate signatures, the petition
section and petition row number for every other petition
section where each duplicate signature can be found.
confirm by what sort order(s) the 308 petition sections
can be presented to the Altadena team for auditing purposes.
The sort order(s) need to be constrained to one of the
many sort orders that can be achieved using a soft copy
of the attached manifest. This manifest is a version
of the manifest that accompanied the 308 petition sections
delivered to you at LACOE on Sept 23.
soft copy version of the manifest that was given with
the 308 petition sections on Sept 23, 2010 is available.
The soft copy version provides many different ways the
Registrar can key the information requested in 1) b-f.
Additionally, 1) a. can be provided simply by adding
a new column to the end of the soft copy manifest.
have mentioned their desire to see petitioning resumed ASAP.
This enthusiasm is much appreciated, particularly considering
the time and money volunteers recently put into mailers,
yard signs, press releases, lining up participants to visit
KIPP:LA schools, developing the charitable foundation, and
other efforts necessary to reach the Every Child To And
Through College By 2020 goal. That said, it is important
to remember that the Registrar rejected almost 2,000 of
the over 7,100 signatures it received, even though 3,700
were collected a little over 100’ from polling booths
on election days! Petitioning administration, including
printing petitions and supplies, control-numbering the petitions,
checking them into inventory, securing enough petitioners
to cover our community’s relatively rare high-volume
venues, checking out petitions and supplies, and returning
them to inventory afterwards is a labor-intensive activity.
Altadena Schools will focus on getting the signature count
audited and to learning from its mistakes before volunteers
resume petitioning. The last thing we need to do is make
a growing percent of Altadena’s remaining voter’s
signatures invalid by blindly doing the same thing harder!
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.
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 Top
Five Reasons For AUSD.
Bruce Wasson, Chief Proponent