Signs for the September 2011 Education Declaration promotion were taken down at the end of September according to plan.
Before reading the following results update, please review the reader comments to the Sept 23 LA Times article about Altadena’s Noyes Elementary (Aveson) in the 1970s: A bus ride to enlightenment. Come back to this update when you’re finished. Your grasp of these comments will be important for understanding September’s promotion results!
As we’ve said before, much has happened since this effort began in 2006. California public schools that had repeatedly closed the huge general education achievement gap for America’s emerging low-income, Hispanic, and African-American majority were readily identifiable while their common methods remained obscure. Fast-forward to 2011, and these schools’ methods have become extremely well documented. It is clear that these methods take an enormous toll on the priorities that public educators cherish most.
Despite all the clarity regarding these schools’ methods, very few voters seem ready to step up to what these methods require of them. The ground is fertile for their continued bamboozling by the next school board candidate who says “teacher’s choice” or “throw the bums out” with a $30-50K sponsorship from the same PUSD employee unions and friends that have provided these funds for decades. This is important! The law requires AUSD to hire all existing employees with their job protections that assure everybody gets paid weather anybody learns anything or not! Continued sponsorship of “safe” school board candidates is a given!
No surprise, those who run for public office dare not repeat winning school’s methods with any great clarity. Even so, the house of cards the education status quo created long ago has begun to crack, albeit ever so slowly. Retired politicians, like President Bill Clinton, have recently begun speaking out about these methods; methods that Altadena Schools encapsulated awhile back in the Education Declaration.
We cannot afford to wait for more politicians! Politicians did not create the US’ first abolition of slavery in 1790s Vermont, achieving a goal that had eluded humanity for thousands of years. It was the diligence of committed Quakers who reached that tipping point. Our failure to bring change in educational priorities to its inevitable tipping point guarantees that the vast majority of our nations’ future workers will remain far behind – to our nation’s collective economic, social, and some say even moral peril.
So how many Education Declaration supporters did the Altadena Schools team add in September? None! Did any technical issues get in their way? No! We’ve tested adding supporters via PC, Mac, iPad and Android, from anywhere and via any device. Would simplifying the online support form help? Sure. Would adding an email privacy statement help? Of course. Both are easy, and we’ll do those things as we continue to tune the message. Will any of these actions change anything? Not likely.
What we’re still seeing, in the reader responses to the Sept 23 LA Times article about 1970s Noyes Elementary in Altadena: A bus ride to enlightenment, in the 280 viewer responses to the 55,000 views of the Bill Gates videos on Altadena Schools’ You Tube channel (see Part 1 and Part 2), and in the comments petitioners received while collecting over 7,000 AUSD petition signatures, is that people are still enjoying finger-pointing and beating the drum for their old excuses. Eager to sign the AUSD petition, they latched onto their signing as another way to express their “throw the bums out” passions, which the next successful PUSD board candidates will sucker them into with the same funds from the same employee unions and friends that suckered them the last time.
Fans, friends, and “likes” on Altadena Schools’ Facebook and YouTube pages, and re-tweets on Altadena Schools’ Twitter feed, can be raised cheaply, easily, and frequently with a minimum of effort and advertising. But for now, public support for the successful methods summarized in the Altadena Education, which are: a) Support great teaching instead of paying educators the same low pay weather anybody learns anything or not and b) Create much more on-campus learning time instead of believing demographic majority households will somehow create in-home learning environments to match those of demographic minority households, remains on nobody’s radar.
So in closing, what would you recommend that the Altadena Schools team do? Based on the team’s results, a petition to unify a new school district 2006-2010 proved to be a virtually useless vehicle for PUSD parent volunteers to encourage people to begin leaning into the real issues. Shall Altadena persevere like the generations of individuals who ultimately made emancipation the law of the land? Should Altadena “start small”, as every public school that has brought all children to grade level proficiency regardless of family background has recommended? Particularly in light of the team’s poor results in taking these school’s successes “to the next level”, it is hard to argue with their recommendation! And while virtually every parent in Altadena is familiar with PUSD’s academic debacle, virtually none appear ready, despite our volunteer’s best efforts, to even think of electing school board candidates who will be committed to the successful methods summarized in the Education Declaration.
Let us know what you think! Please respond to the email address below.
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