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News Release


Chief petitioners for Altadena Unified certify audit and announce new petition signature goal
Altadena Schools announces the Altadena Declaration

Altadena, California, June 8, 2011:

Altadena Schools is pleased to announce that volunteers have audited the LA County Registrar’s voter signature count on an LA County Office of Education petition to form the Altadena Unified School District. Altadena Schools believes the Registrar’s team did an outstanding job. The completed audit has allowed Altadena Schools to set a revised signature goal. We believe the new goal of 2,500 more signatures is readily achievable. Please see the Altadena Schools homepage for more information.

A feasible signature goal intensifies the issue of voter support for the priorities that will make Altadena Unified useful. Volunteers for Altadena Schools know from having collected over 7,200 signatures that dissatisfaction with the education status quo in Altadena is extremely high. Based on a recent assessment however, these same supporters of Altadena Unified have yet to support the priorities that will result in grade-level proficiency for every general education child in Altadena.

For busy, well-intentioned Altadenans, signing the petition to form Altadena Unified has too often served as little more than another means to express their longstanding dissatisfaction with the Pasadena Unified School District. Some have mistakenly viewed support for the petition as reinforcement for their obsolete understanding of the causes of low academic achievement.

In reality, the reason for Altadena’s education debacle rests with Altadena’s voters.

No one should expect Altadena Unified will change anything if we have not already dropped our outdated beliefs regarding what is needed to swiftly bring every child to grade level proficiency. Passion for old excuses to the exclusion of the tough choices necessary to make Altadena’s public schools valuable ends up being selfish. We all need to change!

For this reason, Altadena Schools is announcing the Altadena Declaration. The Declaration summarizes the tough choices necessary to make Altadena’s public schools indispensable. Anyone can support the Declaration by clicking on this link: Support the Altadena Declaration. Petitioning for the Altadena Unified School District will resume after support for the Declaration has caught up with the petition. To do otherwise in the presence of overwhelming evidence in support of the activities that rapidly bring every general education child to grade level proficiency is irresponsible.

About Altadena Schools

Year after year and by the 5th and 6th grades, many from Altadena’s low-income student majority have fallen behind by 1 to 2 grade levels, with some as many as 3 grade levels behind. By the 7th and 8th grades, these same students begin to realize “I’m going nowhere”. By the 9th grade, they begin dropping out of school in large numbers. At least 1 in 3 drop out before finishing high school. Those who do graduate perform, on average, at the 8th grade level.

Altadena Schools was formed to raise community awareness of 1) the extent to which Altadena’s public education students are falling behind, 2) the activities elsewhere in the USA that are bringing all general education students regardless of family background quickly to grade level proficiency, and 3) the consequences of failure to support these activities. Since 2006, one of the efforts Altadena Schools has utilized to raise community awareness has been a petition to form an Altadena Unified School District. For more information about Altadena Schools, the Altadena Declaration, and the Altadena Unified petition, please refer to the Altadena Schools home page at

Altadena Schools
Bruce Wasson, Chief Proponent


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