Our View: Choice for public schools

Our View: Choice for public schools

There are 20 comments on the Pasadena Star-News story from May 25, 2009, titled Our View: Choice for public schools. In it, Pasadena Star-News reports that:

GROCERY shoppers can choose from rows of toilet tissue. An increasing number of homeowners can pick cable, satellite or broadband for their TV programs.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Pasadena Star-News.

Bob

Playa Del Rey, CA

#1 May 25, 2009
What do you mean? How did public schools come to this - fighting for dollars while denying student transfers? You know who and why. That bill will not pass and you know who will stop it.
no sanctuary

Pasadena, CA

#2 May 25, 2009
Competition is the lifeblood of good education, and the primary reason universities and private schools generally provide high quality educations. Schools that compete to attract the best students and students who compete to be accepted to the best schools raise the level of all over time.

The opposite is true for highly unionized, monopolistic, tenure bound public school systems. The teacher unions are all about dues income, political power, defending their turf and protecting bad teachers, roughly in that order.

Private school teachers are not unionized. They are there because they love to teach their kids and see them grow. They know their jobs are secure because they perform and deliver for their kids. What a concept.
Kat

Sacramento, CA

#3 May 26, 2009
Until ALL parents have choice in schooling for their children, schools will continue to fail our children. When the dollars leave the bad schools, the administration will get a clue or die out with the dinosaurs.
Pomona parent

Long Beach, CA

#4 May 26, 2009
The problem is that so-called Districts of Choice end up recruiting other districts' strongest students. Exceptional students help improve learning in any classroom, and when an otherwise struggling classroom loses one of those students to the recruiting of another district, the rest of the students there suffer. Yes, parents should have more choice. But the way this law is written, it makes well-off districts even better and pushes struggling school districts, usually already on the lower economic end of the scale, even farther back. It's bad law and needs to be revised, if not thrown out entirely.
skip9x18

La Habra, CA

#5 May 26, 2009
The argument should not be about choice of public school through district transfers, but choice period. What we have Is state run education with no competition. So why are people surprised when our school system is no better than a trip to the DMV, and soon our medical system will follow suite. The voters of this state need to come to there senses and vote for school vouchers, and tell the teacher unions to go pound sand. It is possible to educate a kid at a private school for less than the state dose and with a better out come than government schools, and the state could save money at the same time.
skip9x18

La Habra, CA

#6 May 26, 2009
The argument should not be about choice of public school
through district transfers, but choice period. What we have
Is state run education with on competition. So why are people surprised when our school system is no better than a trip to the DMV, and soon our medical
system will follow suite. The voters of this state need to come to there senses and vote for school vouchers, and tell the teacher unions to go pound sand. It is
possible to educate a kid at a private school for less than the state dose and with a better out come than government schools, and the state could save money at the same time.
no sanctuary

Pasadena, CA

#7 May 26, 2009
Pomona parent,

The flip side of exceptional students helping classrooms is even more true. Poor and ESL students take valuable teacher attention daily and hold back progress for the entire class but especially for the most capable students. The undeniable result is the dismal and unacceptable performance of Cali schools that is condemning bright kids to inferior educations.

By your rationale, and that of the public school establishment, parents of bright kids should sacrifice their children's one chance at a decent education for the dubious benefit of possibly helping slow and ESL students. Most parents of bright kids don't agree, and will sacrifice whatever they must to get their kids into a good school district or send them to private school.

Competition is the essential fundamental to quality education, period. Within a range, ESL kids should be with other ESL kids, slower kids with their peers, and bright kids with theirs. Instruction can then be tailored to the capabilities of the class, and all will do better. Schools and teachers would also feel the competitive pressure to improve.

Skip9x18 is right, school vouchers would turn our schools around faster than anything else could.

“a good community is OUR job”

Since: Mar 09

Pasadena

#8 May 26, 2009
Me likey the voucher idea.

School systems like Pasadena Unified would go under immediately, given that 35% of the kids attend private.
Pomona parent

Long Beach, CA

#9 May 26, 2009
no sanctuary wrote:
Pomona parent,
The flip side of exceptional students helping classrooms is even more true. Poor and ESL students take valuable teacher attention daily and hold back progress for the entire class but especially for the most capable students. The undeniable result is the dismal and unacceptable performance of Cali schools that is condemning bright kids to inferior educations.
By your rationale, and that of the public school establishment, parents of bright kids should sacrifice their children's one chance at a decent education for the dubious benefit of possibly helping slow and ESL students. Most parents of bright kids don't agree, and will sacrifice whatever they must to get their kids into a good school district or send them to private school.
Competition is the essential fundamental to quality education, period. Within a range, ESL kids should be with other ESL kids, slower kids with their peers, and bright kids with theirs. Instruction can then be tailored to the capabilities of the class, and all will do better. Schools and teachers would also feel the competitive pressure to improve.
Skip9x18 is right, school vouchers would turn our schools around faster than anything else could.
State law already provides for interdistrict transfers of students when another district provides a program or field of interest for a student that the home district does not. The District of Choice law, however, means parents don't have to offer any reason at all for moving a child to a DofC. As a parent, I understand the need and desire for choice, but, also as a parent who supports local schools, I don't believe it's in the interests of maintaining a public education system that some districts get to raid others. It is, in effect, what you espouse, a virtual voucher system, in which public money follows students around to districts that pick and choose the students they want, just like private schools. I guess we just disagree about whether that's healthy for the democracy.
KKI

Studio City, CA

#10 May 26, 2009
You have it all wrong District of Choice is by lottery. When summitting the application all they know is the name, district they live in and grade entering. They know nothing more. Once a Child is pick by lottery the child is place in a school and that is when a parent grants permission for transcripts. This is how District of Choice works. They don't discriminate. Keep in mind District of Choice Schools are public not Private schools. In the end it's all about our children. Lets give the choice to the parents not zip codes.
Sandra

Glendora, CA

#11 May 26, 2009
And what will they do with all the "so called" bad schools that are emptied out once everyone moves their kids to the better performing school. The better performing school will probably become a bad school with over crowding and lots of kids who don't care. The main reason a school is better than another is because of the parents involvment(PERIOD),. Parents who are involved, discipline their children, teach them to behave even when an authority is not watching, teaches them the value of an education, makes sure the homework is done, makes sure the child has a routine and gets to bed at a certain time in a home that is peaceful and calm. Makes sure the child gets up with enough time to get ready and have breakfast and leaves the house without chaos. Parents who care, go to open house, teacher conferences, reviews report cards and joins the PTA to make a school better and so it goes.
skip9x18

La Habra, CA

#12 May 26, 2009
Sandra the solution to bad schools is not a difficult one. If a business is run poorly it fails and goes under, and so should bad performing schools. Letís start by firing bad administrators and teachers; letís start holding all education employees accountable as if they worked for a small business, if you donít do your job you are replaced. Sandra is correct in that many parents are not doing their job and are not involved enough in their kids education, but that dose not detract from the fact that if state run schools have no real competition they have no real need to change. Oh and letís all band together and do what we can to vote out any politician who is whored out to the teachers union
no sanctuary

Pasadena, CA

#13 May 26, 2009
Sandra,

Not everyone would be able to move their kids to a better school. In a competitive system, same as for private schools, one must compete and qualify to get into the better schools. Even in the same schools different tracks can be offered, from college prep to vocational. AP and honors classes can be offered to academically stronger kids, the standard curriculum for the weaker or less motivated kids.

When schools compete and kids compete without arbitrary constraints, everyone improves and the kids win. Singapore schools are based on this premise and they have one of the best educational systems in the world.
confused in DB

Los Angeles, CA

#14 May 27, 2009
District of choice sounds great right? WVUSD is all for it right? We were given letters to sent to out local representatives. WVUSD is all for the kids right?
Then why won't Walnut Valley Unified School District let me take my child out of Diamond Bar High School? I was told it's pretty much about the money. There are actually kids that have to go to DBHS that don't want to go there and parents that don't want their kids to go there. I know there is someone that wants her spot why can't they have it?
WVUSD wants the transfers that are coming in, but not the ones that want to leave. Hmmm....
John Q Public

Los Angeles, CA

#15 May 27, 2009
This comes full circle from the segregation that was busted here in Pasadena in 1970 with school bussing under judicial order. It will create segregation along class lines instead of race. Wealthy districts like San Marino have been cherry-picking the best students from all the adjacent cities; one no longer has to live in San Marino to attend the schools. Which is ironic, considering that the residents have just been railroaded into a parcel tax to supposedly retain property values. Rather, the tax on residents only is being used to prop up a regional State magnet school with a tremendous number of special programs and teachers.
susan

Torrance, CA

#16 Jun 23, 2009
i agree, simi valley won't sign and let yoy out. We are driving to a school of choice 20 min away.
bonillasur

El Monte, CA

#17 Jul 9, 2009
you can take your kid to another school you just have to find a class that your present school dosent offer for instance walunths offers
confused in DB wrote:
District of choice sounds great right? WVUSD is all for it right? We were given letters to sent to out local representatives. WVUSD is all for the kids right?
Then why won't Walnut Valley Unified School District let me take my child out of Diamond Bar High School? I was told it's pretty much about the money. There are actually kids that have to go to DBHS that don't want to go there and parents that don't want their kids to go there. I know there is someone that wants her spot why can't they have it?
WVUSD wants the transfers that are coming in, but not the ones that want to leave. Hmmm....
bonillasur

El Monte, CA

#18 Jul 9, 2009
i think you kind of got it because a child is a reflection of the parent and no bad parent goes out of their way to take their kid to a better school because they dont care about them!!!!!
Sandra wrote:
And what will they do with all the "so called" bad schools that are emptied out once everyone moves their kids to the better performing school. The better performing school will probably become a bad school with over crowding and lots of kids who don't care. The main reason a school is better than another is because of the parents involvment(PERIOD),. Parents who are involved, discipline their children, teach them to behave even when an authority is not watching, teaches them the value of an education, makes sure the homework is done, makes sure the child has a routine and gets to bed at a certain time in a home that is peaceful and calm. Makes sure the child gets up with enough time to get ready and have breakfast and leaves the house without chaos. Parents who care, go to open house, teacher conferences, reviews report cards and joins the PTA to make a school better and so it goes.
Ray

Aiea, HI

#19 Jul 12, 2009
My daughter is now under threat of being legally kidnapped and forced to attend Rowland leaving behind her community of councilors, teachers, and friends she trusts. Why - because Rowland wants the daily attendance money from my daughter. No matter what the cost to her. She's going to be a Junior and has been in the Walnut system for 5 years? She never attended Rowland, but that does not matter.
Doreen Pitpit

Walnut, CA

#20 Aug 12, 2009
we believe in the choice of public schools. Some people may not be able to afford to live in an area that has a great school district, but if they are willing to drive their child every day to a good school, I believe that child should not be robbed of the opportunity

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