Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pasadena Star News: No on PUSD Measure A

(Mod - 2 new articles up today. Both equally important in our modest opinion. Let's kick it off with this one first.)

We have discussed this topic on The Tattler several times. But until now we have been the only news site or paper in the area that has come out against Measure A. Or, as is usually the sad case here in Sierra Madre, even discussed it at all. After all, how could something that potentially threatens our public schools with the loss of millions of dollars in Measure TT bond money, or timely representation on the PUSD Board of Education, ever compete with Fresh & Easy applying for a CUP? I ask you.

But despite our information flow woes here behind the Michillinda Curtain, things have now changed. Today the Pasadena Star News has published an editorial that slams Measure A, in the process adding a whole new level of urgency to the need to defeat this bizarrely unfair initiative.

Here is the conclusion of the PSN editorial. For the whole thing click here.

Since the forced busing for integration of the early 1970s, three kinds of flight - white, then black, then middle-class - have changed the makeup of the schools. They are now mostly Latino, with fewer African-American students and even fewer white ones. Middle-class parents frequently band together in efforts to support their local elementary campuses, but often leave by middle school. Though private schools have been popular for almost a century in Pasadena, about 30 percent of district families opt out of the public option - an extraordinarily high number. Still, there is a certain community pride attached to the schools even for those who don't attend.

Oddly, interestingly, on the seven-member school board, there is one black member, one Latino - and five whites. Fearing a lawsuit over a lack of diversity, as happened in the '70s with the Pasadena City Council, the district proposes Measure A on the June 5 ballot. It would amend the current at-large system and instead have voters nominate and elect board members from within seven geographic sub-districts.

It sounds reasonable enough. But in our view, Measure A is a mere distraction from the district's real problems. Legally, "racially polarized voting" occurs when minority candidates win in certain neighborhoods but lose in at-large balloting. That used to happen in Pasadena City Council elections - but it's not happening in the PUSD. The way the board is elected is a non-problem that doesn't need solving.

And Measure A's passage could create problems of its own. Now, if a constituent wants a board member's ear, he's got it - as a voter. If elected by neighborhood, a trustee from Sierra Madre would not be answerable to a resident of San Rafael - or Altadena, or anywhere else. The Pasadena schools don't need to add Balkanization to their problems. They need to focus on solutions. We strongly urge a "no" vote on Measure A.

Be sure to vote next Tuesday.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

33 comments:

  1. Nice to see this today. Measure A is about to follow Measure BB into the ashcan of PUSD history.

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  2. 2 Tattler articles today, and they both have something to do with Bart. You have to wonder what it is that this town did to deserve this man.

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  3. "They are now mostly Latino, with fewer African-American students and even fewer white ones."

    The PSN breaches the cone of politically correct silence, and states the truth. Frankly, I'm surprised.

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  4. This took some guts. The PUSD institutional lunatic choir is going to howl.

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  5. Thank you PSN for fulfilling the important job you have - getting the truth out to the readers.

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  6. Good to get this in front of the wider audience. Measure A is a very, very bad idea.

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  7. So if the district is mostly Latino, what's to stop Latinos from running for the board and winning? Who needs segregated representation? The majority will rule anyway.

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    1. It is the perfect storm of bad Sacramento legislation, predatory lawyers, gutless pols and political correctness run amok. Why do you think Sierra Madre doesn't get representation under Measure A until 2 years later than other districts? I would say that decision had it's basis in race.

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  8. The Pasadena Star News performed it's role as a member of the free press should. It called out a bad measure despite what entrenched special interests might say. As they say here in Sierra Madre, Bravo!

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  9. Pasadena Weekly also says "NO" on Measure A

    http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/one_honest_man/11257/

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    1. They also said Yes as well. I guess it all depends on what page you're on.

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    2. I read the article and that hardly looks like a no. It reads more like a quizzical expose on Bill Bibbiani. The editorial in the P. Weekly, on the other hand, is a demonstrative yes. Much more in line with the Weekly's usual slavish devotion to the PUSD establishment.

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    3. You're mistaken. The online article as well as the hard copy clearly says "Vote No on Measure A" at the end.

      The article is actually an opinion piece by the editor of the Pasadena Weekly.

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    4. Really? Then it was a pretty tepid no. The first article about Measure A I saw on their site was a very vigorous yes. For all the usual stupid reasons. Is it true they're all scared to death of Peter Dreier over there?

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    5. That wasn't an article. It was an opinion piece by Bogaard.

      The Pasadena Weekly itself is NO ON MEASURE A.

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    6. Well I'll be. Who did the hit pieces on Baggett? Has the P Weekly been named in the lawsuit?

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  10. Bravo, yes, to PSN for doing its job of reporting investigatively and exposing the truth for the greater audience of the San Gabriel Valley and for the Pasadena Unified School District residents. Hopefully, it's not too little too late. I'd like to see Measure A go down in flames just to see Darth Doyle's reaction, but that's getting personal...

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  11. I don't understand how the City of Pasadena has control over various aspects of the Unified School District. Too many fingers in the pie. Too political for making decisions that should be based on education and the welfare of the students. How did this happen? Is it common for other cities? I looked on line but cannot find information on the history behind this.

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  12. There's some back and forth on Patch about Measure A, as well.

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    1. So how does AOL feel about the measure?

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    2. AOL never says, they just want to know YOUR opinion. They prefer not to put their fannies on the line very much.

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  13. Dear JOhn CRawford....

    We the residents of Sierra Madre want to thank you for the endless hours which you have spent to share your views with us.

    If the residents of Sierra Madre, would like to show their support, by placing signs in their yard, stating "VOTE NO ON MEASURE A",

    1. please give us a call,
    2. or please insert a column in the tattler, asking property owners for their name & address as to who would like to participate!

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    1. The Moderator would like to request a sign. Send me an email with your info and number. Thanks!

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    2. who's up for a sign wave at Kersting Court?

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  14. Harabedian is on Gene Goss's Village Idiot - I mean Village Intersection - show on Radio Fishbowl. Arguing up a storm for Measure A. He is calling our 2 years of no representation "short term pain for long term gain." He says it's OK because we'll have Honowitz will be representing us. Good God.

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  15. "Voting power is the name of the game." John Harabedian. 2 years without representation is the name of the game, too. It is called kiss that Measure TT money goodbye.

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  16. Dear, Goss and Harabedian -

    Do I have more power with 1 vote or 7?

    Man, have you two taken a big gulp out of the Doyle Kool-Aid cup

    Sub-geographic districting invites formation of coalitions which can be very self-serving and not in the best interest of ALL the students in PUSD. This is about the students, right? Not about political careers???

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    1. This is about young John polishing all the apples on Eric Bauman's desk. We're not going to get much original thinking out of that one. Wouldn't be good for his political career.

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    2. AMEN to that!

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Funny, but unfortunate. I'd probably get complaints in the morning.

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  18. Sorry, Mod - I was in surly mood about this whole Measure A thing:)

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