MUSD Election Results, HS dropout rates, AP vs Vocational, LNCB

Election Results

Scores in the Rosemead schools are strong, so it's going to be hard to unseat the incumbents. (Man, we need stronger performance in MUSD elementary schools.)

The big Urteaga win was interesting. I didn't expect that big a margin.

It's a big win day for UCLA alumni, Dem party insiders in MTB.

Election Results

I don't follow Montebello politics closely enough to know the full implications, but, yes, a pair of incumbents getting ousted by a margin of 2-1 is unusual, especially without a MAJOR scandal of some sort.

[Although I still think the mishandled the Fire Department thing:  Let the people vote!]

need stronger performance in MUSD elementary schools?

Actually, when one compares Rosemead Elementary Schools (all 4) annual test scores to MUSD (all 18), Rosemead's avg API (or Academic Performance Index) is 809, and MUSD's avg API is 674.05, which is ONLY a difference of 135 points--800 being the desired minimum target (or a B, 1000 being an A) and 674.05 (being a C+ to B-).  Of course, MANY factors go into how one "interprets" these scores such as the number of schools being considered, student population, school crowding, teacher to student ratios,
 % on fed lunch program (a poverty level indicator), % of English learners (English as a 2nd language at home), etc.  Also, there are other socio-economic factors NOT considered such as divorce, family size, domestic violence, area criminal activity (at home or school), STABILITY, and last but not least FUNDING!

However, where scores really count, MUSD high schools are holding their own:  MUSD HS (3) API avg 642 vs Rosemead HS (1) API 675.  BTW, Rosemead High is in the the El Monte Union School District, whose overall API base is only 336, and MUSD base (28 schools total) is 303. 

(Oops, is my allegiance to MUSD showing, lol)

Election Results

Definitely, the Rosemead district has a demographic edge. They're skimming from the northern (wealthier) part of Rosemead, and it's a small area. MUSD has a much wider range to cover, from Bell Gardens up to East LA, Pico Rivera, the Montebello Hills, and South San Gabriel. MUSD does above average at all their schools, which is good for starters.

But if you factor in economics, the less wealthy Pico Rivera has done better than MUSD. The most affluent areas in MUSD aren't doing that great compared to areas with similar demographics. So with what MUSD's got, they should be able to send more kids of Ivies, win more CIFs, and do better at all their schools. The district seems to be able to produce some impressive candidates for local office, and you often run into MUSD alumni at the top universities. I still think they can do even better, and help make Montebello a community of choice for parents focused on education.

(If I don't shut up, i'm going to have to get involved.)

Problems w/ Inter-District & Intra-District Transfers

Pico elementary schools, which are in the El Rancho School District avg API is 695.58 versus MUSD 674.05 (so 21.53 points is not much).

I think what is happening is that parents from LA Unified are somehow finding or "paying" to use an address in MUSD so their children can attend school here AND in the past they had principals who were just too willing to accept inter-district and intra-district transfers.  It is a quandry, because kids don't have any control where they live and shouldn't be penalized for it. 

However, school attendance officers are now actually going to the homes and asking to see the student's room and looking for books from MUSD to verify the student actually lives there, b/c MUSD is getting the short end of the stick w/ overcrowding.  And, isn't it illegal to ask if the student is here legally?

In my area, our kids go to Potrero Heights Elementary (which is a Title I Achievement and Distinguished School), Macy Intermediate, then parents can choose to send their child to Schurr (written up positively in Newsweek), Don Bosco and/or Sacred Heart of Mary/Cantwell.

However, as you know, every decade there are population shifts and demographic changes.  I remember when Mark Keppel was a sub-par school in the 70's to early 80's, now I believe it is a Title I Achievement and Distinguished School as well. 

No doubt, there will be more population and demographic shifts in the comiing decades as well.  To be continued, AS THE WORLD TURNS, lol.

PS: "send more kids of Ivies, win more CIFs" - what did you mean?

PSS:  If you are interested, there are many ways to get involved, schools can't have enough volunteers). 

Election Results

I meant that the high schools should try to get kids into ivy league universities, and also win more CIF championships. People pay attention to both.

Ivy League???

dear night reader, i do not mean to be insulting, but what planet or zip code are you living in 90210? because i was under the impression that this was a predominantly proud working class, predominantly asian and hispanic community.  while some educators and a few parents might appreciate setting high goals (two social classes above your own), with a 40-50% DROP OUT RATE affecting not only our area schools, but nationwide in many minority school districts, i would say that was lofty indeed.  i think the idea of mainly focusing on kids in AP classes was novel for the 70's (which benefited only the top 1-2%), but in 2007-08, MUSD and El Monte Union Districts are going back and also investing limited resources into vocational/allied health programs.  I believe a fire fighter and nurse are just as worthy professions as a teacher with a master's earning about the same (not to mention a 60K college loan to boot!).  of course, med and law school are an entirely different blog.  besides, the gates foundation is and will continue to subsidize most, if not all our gifted students' education and beyond. 

The soft bigotry of low expectations

I would hope our parents have higher expectations for their children than to merely not drop out of high school.

Stop drinking the Leftest Kool-Aid

Zebara says, "I would hope our parents have higher expectations for their children than to merely not drop out of high school".

 But as a community our collective responsibility to ensure that our kids are not dropping out are NOT being met, and not being met in a HUGE way!  We have to learn to walk before we can run.  Zebra, as a parent, YOU have every right to have high expectations for your OWN children with your OWN personal income,  but when you depend on my $5000 annual property tax money to support our schools (and when I have NO kids in the district and haven't for decades) I think I have every right to have my own EXPECTATIONS for minimal standards in the broader picture and for ALL students. The schools will always have AP (advanced placement) courses, and then there are our gifted kids, but we have FAILED miserably with almost half our students--and that is the true prejudice--the few over the many.

Soft bigotry of low expectations, redux

Centaur, I think you need to google "soft bigotry of low expectations" before you start talking about leftist Kool-Aid.  This is the same discussion we had a few months ago:  I'm holding individuals responsible for their own actions (and for teaching their children values), and you want to talk about "society" failing.

Stop drinking the Leftest Kool-Aid

My full response is below, but, that quip about AP always being there isn't true. Inner City Struggle in East LA is fighting to get more AP classes at Roosevelt and Garfield. Apparently, the schools have focused on NCLB and dropouts, and the college-hopefuls are getting fewer resources. (I think this only reinforces the "leftist kool-ade" argument, because they are definitely serving it up with a big helping of Che, and are definitely arguing for stronger academics and lower dropout rates at these schools.)

"soft bigotry of low expectations"

Yes, Zebra, while this phrase was attributed to some conservative pundits and unfairly on Pres Bush,.it nonetheless was helpful in persuading and enacting the Leave No Child Behind Law, which requires all schools receiving fed money to meet a B avg or risk losing funding. 

Although you lost me when you took the position that you hoped all parents expected more than a HS diploma. 

My response was to "night reader" in having an "unreasonable expectation" of all our area students going onto ivy league colleges.

Whereas, my pragmatic position is that a HS diploma, with a 40% drop out rate, should be our collective goal, with new vocational programs instituted, so the next gen will have some kind of reasonable hope for gainful employment.

Voc prgs were mostly done away w/ starting in the 70's b/c many liberals thought our students were being "pigeon holed" and that every student should be "college bound". 

As stated above, I believe becoming a police officer, firefighter, nurse, etc., are all "honorable professions", as long as they are the students' and family choice AND that the students are not prevented from pursuing higher education IF that is their choice, and they have their own money to support it (which is NOT the sole responsibility of the gov).

"soft bigotry of low expectations"

I would say it was properly attributed to President Bush:

And it's hardly surprising that I would take your comment as intended for me, since it appeared right after my post, and the first words in your post were, "Yes, Zebra."

No Child Left Behind does not require a "B" average of anybody.  It requires students to perform "at grade level" in math and reading.  That's on a test.  Doesn't say anything about grades in classes.

And, funny, but you added the word, "all" to my response.  I suspect you inserted the "all" into night reader's response, too.  This sort of reminds me of the old saying that "All generalizations are false, including this one."

No, I don't think everyone should go to an Ivy League school, or even that everyone should go to college.  But just because some parents may be satisfied with their child graduating high school is not a good reason for saying that money spent on gifted children or AP courses is a waste.



You are incorect about that NCLB not requiring grading.  What do you think the API (academic performance index) is for?  And, for those not making the grade, what do you think AYP (adequate yearly progres) means?.  The numerical number assigned to the API does stand for something, and it's not a C and definitely not a D.

Zebra, are you on medications, because what ever you're taking you need to double it. 

I said that the Gates Foundation (you know Bill and Melinda) will subsidize our gifted kids now and throughout their entire academic careers, AND I said we needed them b/c they will hopefully find a cure for cancer and the andedote for AIDS.  What I don't need, and I said it,  was for us to graduate more politicians from public unversities. 

P.S. You do not have to be "argumentative for the "sake" of being argumentative when you don't understand something.  Nobody is grading you, certainly not me, and this is after all only a blog site.



First you call me a leftist.  Then you say I'm on medication.  Then you presume to know what I do and where I went to school.  THEN you say *I* should not be argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, and that *I* don't understand something?

Hey, guess what?  Just for the fun of it, I googled [api grades nclb].  The first hit from google explained the API scores here.

A brief excerpt:

"The API score summarizes the results of various indicators (i.e., statewide tests used in calculating the API). The 2006 Base API uses 2006 statewide test results and the 2007 Growth API uses 2007 statewide test results. Indicators used in calculating the 2006-07 API reporting cycle include. . . ."

It is then followed by a list of TESTS. No mention is made of grades anywhere.  As Homer Simpson would say, "D'oh!"

sighing back at you


Tell me you can't be that "clueless".  Ask a taacher, ANY teacher what the numerical API score means, THEN ask what happens if they do not meet an API score of 800 by the year 2008?  (dee dee dee)

sighing back at you

I see.  So we should take what you say the law means rather than what the California Department of Education says the law means.  Thanks for clearing that up.



LNCB or (Leave No Child Behind Law), is a mandated FEDERAL law (which passed w/ bipartisan support) and SUPERSEDES state law. The CA Dept of Ed has the task of carrying out LNCB w/ a grading system.  That grading system uses API and AYP, CA uses a numerical value, but that num value does ultimately indicate a letter grade, and a B avg must be met by 2008-09 or all schools risk losing fed dollars--GET IT NOW?

Long Reply

I don't see there being any conflict between supporting students seeking higher education and efforts to reduce dropouts. In my opinion, aside from teachers' salaries to teach AP and honors classes, the expense is the same. The academic classes require books, but not much more. It's more about teaching the teachers about what it takes to get into Ivy schools, or the "public Ivies" like U Mich and UC Berkeley. Most teachers didn't go to the most elite schools, and probably think they're unreachable. I went to Berkeley, and know others who have, and met people up there who came up from MUSD, and people who have been to the Ivies. These top universities are within reach for MUSD students. For that matter, they're intellectually within reach for many people in LA who, for lack of money, think they can't go.

If more tried, more would get in.

If more got in, more of the kids coming after them would have expectations of being able to get in.

It's not even up to the parents' expectations. Most parents haven't set foot on one of these campuses. They may think it's impossible to go -- in fact, I bet most parents think this way. (That's just my limited experience.) The main actor is the student; it's up to the school to spread information about these top colleges, so that the kids can get this info, and develop high aspirations. It's also the school's job not to discourage the students by telling them to be "realistic" about their goals. They already have a little voice in their heads telling them that higher education is too expensive or too difficult. They may have parents telling them to stay close to home, or that girls don't need a college degree from UC, or that Cal State is fine for someone with straight A's, or that law school is too hard. There's no need for the policies of the district to contribute to these attitudes.

"Realistic" can be the enemy of "possible."

It was never realistic for Bill Clinton to go to Yale. His mom waited tables, and his brother was on the road to ruin. The "realistic" expectation was that GW Bush would go to Yale.

MUSD could send the next Bill Clinton to Yale. Given our demographics, we're never going to send the next GW Bush. That's something to contemplate. :-)

Again, the issue isn't low parental expectations, but low personal expectations. Parental expectations matter a lot, but, ultimately, the student must learn to balance those expectations with personal expectations.

The reason I think this way is due to an article I read in one of those "youth" papers they give away at the library. A kid from Baldwin Park wrote about how he wished he'd known more about college, earlier in his high school career, because he wanted to attend Yale. He made it to UC Irvine, which is a great school, but, it was a bittersweet accomplishment. His writing was great, his student resume was stellar, and his explanation was clear to me -- all it would have taken to get into the Ivies, was to get Ivies presented as a realistic possibility in middle school. Who's at fault? Well, he had the grace not to point an accusatory finger - so I'll do it: the school district was at fault.

My opinion's also informed by the many people I've met who are smart, self-starters, who seem to be able to crack open moderately complex books, and understand them, and intellectually break them down. They know history backwards and forwards. They're great strategists and tacticians. They're total intellectuals without even a B.A. Maybe they didn't get along with the teachers. Maybe their families were involved with gangs. Maybe they got into drugs and bad relationships. Maybe they had negative parents. Maybe they were social rejects. They all lacked enough money (but that's what loans are for). For whatever reasons, they ended up not pursuing higher education, or restricted their goals to the community colleges, and even rejected the idea of going to UC, when they could have done it.

It's better to try, and fail, than blah blah blah etc.

Even if you fail, at least you'll get to meet some of these "elite" people, and see that they aren't so big.

(I guess you could put me in the camp with people who allegedly caused voc-ed to be defunded in the 70s. I also support public higher education. Better education translates directly into a more flexible labor force, and also gives workers more leverage in negotiating wages. There's nothing wrong with being a cop or fire fighter with a degree. You need one to be an R.N.)

I'm all for reducing drop outs. According to this government page, Texas reports that poor grades was the fourth most common reason for dropping out. Above them were poor attendance, GED, and employment -- these all point to work as a motivator encouraging drop-outs. It could be that real-world "success" - the lure of money - is causing students to give up on academics. Reasons 5 to 7 were marriage and pregnancy issues. Reasons 8 and 10 point to discipline or inability to adjust to school.

It's food for thought.

Yup, that's explains allot


Night Reader, there has never been nor is there currently a policy at MUSD, El Monte Union or LAUSD that "discourages" our students from seeking out UC or ivy league--that is a flat out lie and you know it.

My family members have gone to USC, the Pasadena Art Center, Claremont and Loma Linda (full scholarships or partial scholarship w/ sexy dirty cash, little or no loans--BUT NONE will ever go to the Peoples' Republic of Berkley, not if they want to come home for Christmas! lol

Night Reader, Im glad for your "personal" gain and accomplishment; however, my "legacy " wants to ensure the other 40% of our minority students also have a life.

I'm also very selfish, I need the police officer to protect me from harm, the nurse to clean my butt when I'm old, our gifted kids (yes we we do have them) to discover the cure and antedote for cancer and AIDS.  But the ones with the expectations for a B.A. and M.A. in "history or art" who end up teaching our kids to hate America at Berkley--or worse becoming a politicians (I'm sure as hell NOT paying for that)

Yup, that's explains allot

I didn't say that the district discouraged going to UC or the Ivies. They encourage UC, but don't push the Ivies. I said that it's parents who discourage their kids. Evidently, you don't discourage your kids (except going to Berkeley), but I've met enough people who suffered because of their parents' active, passive, or unintentional discouragement.

Even the encouraging parents are going to be at a disadvantage, because they might think the most elite schools are unreachable, and teach this to their kids without intending it.

There's likely to be a lack of knowledge, on the part of teachers, about what it takes to get into the elite schools. So, they can be encouraging, but may not have the nitty gritty details that can help the ambitious students develop a strategy for getting to where they want.

There's also a lack of knowledge on the part of parents and students, about the existence of colleges. How many folks out here know about Brown, Princeton, U Penn, or Wellesley? Jeez. I barely know about them today. How can you know that you might want to go, if you haven't ever heard of them?

I speak from personal experience. When I was a clueless student looking for colleges, I'd never heard of Princeton. I hadn't even heard of Berkeley, because I wasn't into college football. University of Michigan. Oberlin. Oxford. New School. Columbia. All unknown. In fact, I didn't know about most of those schools until I went to college. In 9th grade, I recall being asked about college, and thinking that Cal Tech was part of the Cal State system, and the other options out here were UCLA and USC.

Did you or anyone know that if you make under $60,000, you probably qualify for free education at the Ivies? I just learned that (here, in a conservative essay). Does the district promulgate this info? That kid who wrote that inspiring article could have gone to Yale for free, except he did not knowing about Yale early enough to adjust his academic plans for high school.

Do any of us here know about the myriad ways to apply to UC, so that even if your grades aren't great, you can still manage to get in? I learned the tricks in college, a year after all the fine young people at the elite prep schools were told. Maybe this info could help someone out?

(By the way, UC Berkeley isn't as radical as it's reputation. It's the surrounding city that has a radical self-image, but a lot of it is just "image.")

Also, regarding the dropout situation. I don't know that much about it, except what I've read, and some anecdotes from a few dropouts. It seems to be under-researched, and also misunderstood. It looks like most dropouts are choosing between school, work, and family, and are not failing out of school.

Here's a clip from:

When 500 dropouts, ages 16-25, were interviewed, they gave many reasons for leaving school:

* 47% said classes were not interesting
* 43% missed too many days to catch up
* 45% entered high school poorly prepared by their earlier schooling
* 69% said they were not motivated to work hard
* 35% said they were failing
* 32% said they left to get a job
* 25% left to become parents
* 22% left to take care of a relative

Two-thirds said they would have tried harder if more was expected from them.
Only 35% were failing. 32% specifically said it was for work.

Of course, this wasn't MUSD. The reasons here probably differ.

I don't see how having the district *not* focus on college would cause money to be freed up to support whatever it might take to reduce dropout rates. The majority of reasons for dropping out have little to do with failing grades.

It seems like some of the people are making rational near-term decisions, based on their situation. If you have a child, school takes 6 hours out of your day. If you have a job, and need to make money for the family, school is 6 hours out of the day, without pay. If you have to take care of a relative, school is 6 hours you can't run errands.

These are bad decisions, but, nonetheless, rational if you don't have long-term goals that would require a decision to stay in school.

ok-but it sounds like you still take exception to

HS vocational programs, and that worries me b/c you sound like an educator or even a school board member.  Nonetheless, thankfully, there are private schools here like Don Bosco (which goes up to grade 14) and like it or not, two school districts (which I'm NOT going to mention the names of) are building new schools geared just towards vocational programs (Amen!).  Also, LNCB will eventually lead to Charter Schools, which will HAVE TO adjust their programs to benefit ALL stakeholders, not just the unions. 

Yeah, yeah, we all heard in our HS junior and senior year and in college about "deferred gratification",  BUT this is a new desperate time.  There are parents here raising 3 or more kids w/ each parent holding down 3, yes 3 minimal wage jobs.  In my generation, we didn't have the volume of illegal migration of today. 

So, so what if these new immigrants (or old immigrants for that matter) want to maintain cohesiveness in the family, wholesome family values, religious values, take pride in having large families, want to buy a house (the American Dream and expect the kids to chip in), if multigenerational members live in one household, or want their children to go into business with them?

This is what our community is mainly all about--and we need to "cherish" that fact as well.

You seem a little "fixated" on Ivy League (which traditionally meant East Coast colleges), but never mind.  That seems to have been YOUR goal, and the personal goal of most teachers I suspect, BUT clearly as an educator, if our students don't hold your same dreams and goals, you seem to come up empty handed. 

We need to do better. 

You know, one family started and own Panda Express.  Is that so bad? Maybe some of their family members went to college, maybe none did. 

There is an Asian proverbs--all our ten fingers are not exactly the same for a reason, to remind us that people aren't either (or something like that). 

Panda Express founders graduated from Mizzou

FYI:  Peggy and Andrew Cherng are the founders of Panda.  They both graduated with masters degrees from the University of Missouri.  Peggy has a PhD.  They're engineers, by training:

. . . which goes to show that the value of a college education is not just in the specific skills you learn, but also in terms of critical thinking, logic, problem solving, etc.

and andrew's father

Master Chef Robert Cherng, on whom's recipes the company was founded on.  Zebra, we can go on and on and on and on and on and on about "Asian success stories", which is almost a cliche ad nauseum at this point.  But, how can one tout one group's personal success stories, when others around us, or next door to us, are flunking out at 40% and are hungry, maybe almost homeless?  Yes, one certain group might have qualities of being "clever, motivated, value education at the point of suicide (yes, I have heard horror stories), but what happened to understanding and generosity? Is this a "winner takes all attitude"?  All my blogs above point to the fact that I have taken a position as a "stakeholder" in my school district and support NCLB.

and andrew's father

I was not talking about "Asian success stories," per se.  I was responding specifically to your comment that, "You know, one family started and own Panda Express.  Is that so bad? Maybe some of their family members went to college, maybe none did."

It seemed to me you were implying that you could become fabulous wealthy without having to go to college.  Fair enough--it's possible.  Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are examples of that.  But your example does not illustrate this point.  Your example illustrates exactly the opposite:  The folks who made Panda a success DID have to go to college and did get advanced degrees.  If all they had was the vocational knowledge, then they'd be cooks in a restaurant like Panda Express and not the owners/CEOs.

and andrew's father

Dear Zebra,

This is what I said in a previous post, AND I was referring to family cohesiveness and family values.

.....["So, so what if these new immigrants (or old immigrants for that matter) want to maintain cohesiveness in the family, wholesome family values, religious values, take pride in having large families, wanting to buy a home (the American Dream and expect the kids to chip in), if multigenerational members live in one household, or want their children to go into business with them? This is what our community is mainly all about--and we need to "cherish" that fact as well"]....

BTW, I don't mind being "doubled team" by both night rider and zebra.  It is me and my family members who went to PRIVATE colleges (and where religious studies were required and NOT ridiculed), NOT public ones.  And, while teaching is a noble profession, it is still a GOVERNMENT JOB--not a Fortune 500.


night reader, your gen had the highest default on student loans 22-30% in the 80's, its now down to 5%

Well, the interest rates were higher...

See: says they peaked in 1990 when I was in. The interest rate was 9%. We had also coming out of a period of high inflation and high interest rates, so people may have borrowed more, to pay expenses, and found themselves entering a period where interest rates dropped, and they were paying a higher, fixed rate. So the future looked more expensive than expected (because the principal doesn't decline in value as fast). Also, credit rules were relaxing, and personal credit was more available than before. That probably made defaulting on a loan seem like a good idea. They sacrificed their credit ratings to get cash for living.

In 2003, it was less than 4%.

Also, there's a growing income gap between the college grads and everyone else (aka, the vanishing middle class), so for some people, the payments aren't so onerous because their income, or expected future income, is higher. So it makes sense to keep paying, to keep a good credit rating for large capital purchases, like a house.

Personally, I took on a few loans, but not for very much, and payed them off in a few years. I got some help from parents, and worked a lot, and lived in low-income neighborhoods. I'm debt-phobic.


I posted this as a reply further up in the discussion.  But, for some reason, it does not always appear when I click on the thread, and I can't seem to get it inserted where I want it.  So I am including this link here.  It may or may not work.  This was in the context of explaining what NCLB was and what it required.

wEIRD comment bug

The comments seem to show up under two different nodes. One is "MUSD Elections..." and the other is "Election Results".

Thanks for the link, and the link on the post.

After doing a little web research, I learned a few weird things.

The MUSD scores kinda suck. See

The scoring system description is complex, but rational.

There's a problem with the "API Growth Target" though. Not only must the school's API grow, but so must all measured subgroups. One subgroup is "special ed". It's not realistic to demand that they raise their scores.

Also, this calculation obviates the purpose of a school-wide growth target, because if each subgroup meets or exceeds its own growth target, the overall growth will exceed the average growth target.

Bill Gates was mentioned. Turns out Bill Gates and I agreed. He said (at ):
Today, only one-third of our students graduate from high school ready for college, work, and citizenship.

The other two-thirds, most of them low-income and minority students, are tracked into courses that won’t ever get them ready for college or prepare them for a family-wage job – no matter how well the students learn or the teachers teach.

This isn’t an accident or a flaw in the system; it is the system.

And a few paragraphs later...

Once we realize that we are keeping low-income and minority kids out of rigorous courses, there can be only two arguments for keeping it that way – either we think they can’t learn, or we think they’re not worth teaching. The first argument is factually wrong; the second is morally wrong.

The rest of the speech argued for college prep for all students. He even said, "all students can and should graduate from high school ready for college, work, and citizenship."

That was refreshing, to read a Republican make a speech that ventured past Democratic Party rhetoric, straight into the Communist Party USA analysis of reality, followed with a classic leftist proposal of equal education :-) And to think, he and Ralph Nader are enemies!

Of course, Gates wants quasi-privatized public charter schools, and that speech seemed to inaugurate his investment into them. What a pitchman.

(And the privatization issue brings us back to NCLB. Scoring is obviously a way to implement a mass marketplace for education -- to make a school's performance "knowable" without deep research by the customer. Of course, ironically, it might not ever be applied to private schools, because those schools sell themselves by their reputation and political connections, rather than raw performance.)

Montebello Unified Failing NCLB

Large article in the L.A. Times, that mostly focused on L.A. Unified. But Montebello Unified is also on the list of schools that are subject to sanctions.

Amazingly enough, the article says schools that fail to produce adequate standardized test scores are subject to sanctions. And no mention is made of the grades the students are earning. Huh. Who’d have thought NCLB was all about test scores and had nothing to do with grades earned by the students? Oh, yeah: Me. :D

NCLB volume 10

I never said the API was based on students collective grades.  I meant that the standarized test scores meant something more than just "adequate".  Zebra, I personally know MUSD's Superintendent.  He agrees with me that "adequate" is not "just passing" when students are being "test scored".

I am glad that "night reader" is learning allot here lol.  It's ironic though that Bill Gates is a college dropout from Haaa-verd.  I think he made a carefully worded statement that is very "politically correct" AND that he is investing in private schools that will be teaching the top 1% to which he can pick off the cream for employment at Microsoft (it's his money).

Who can blame Gates or Mayor Villiragosa for wanting to explore different concepts in our educational system.  After all, there are more stakeholders than just the parents and the people getting a paycheck from our public schools.  Stakeholders must also involve the people who are footing most of the bill--people who pay property taxes, people who pay property taxes and send their kids to private school and colleges, and the children themselves.  They MUST be part of the equation.


Hey, he dropped out of Harvard. That's pretty good :-)

Renters pay property taxes too. It's just passed through in their rent.

You could argue that people who don't have kids are stakeholders. Maybe they'd want "education vouchers" too, for taking art classes at the community center. If the cost of education was borne only by people with kids, education would stink, because young parents tend to have the least money and the most expenses. Education is valuable to society, so everyone should pay.



Night Reader stated, "You could argue that people who don't have kids are stakeholders. Maybe they'd want "education vouchers" too, for taking art classes at the community center"

Not really Night Rreader.  People who don't have kids, or who are paying high property taxes AND paying private school expenses for their own kids, are definitely "stakeholders" because living in a well performing public school district reflects on property values and their community on a whole, as well as having an effective police department who keep crime down. 

So, we both agree that education is good for society.  I would be horrified if I lived in LAUSD, this huge fractured ineffective monolith with, it appears, no accountability, that is until LNCB.

MUSD Election Results, HS

I don't doubt that you think the superintendent agrees with you.  But that still doesn't explain why you think a law that requires students to perform "at grade level" on a standardized test requires anything more than a minimal passing score on a standardized test.  It's a tautology.

I bet you're a

"laugh riot" at parties. 

Anyway, besides knocking MUSD and my blogs into microscopic pieces (yawning) looks like the Rosemead's legal fees and issues are more pressing and need for your city to pull together. 

Good luck.


Night Reader stated, "You could argue that people who don't have kids are stakeholders. Maybe they'd want "education vouchers" too, for taking art classes at the community center"

Not really Night Rreader.  People who don't have kids, or who are paying high property taxes AND paying private school expenses for their own kids, are definitely "stakeholders" because living in a well performing public school district reflects on property values and their community on a whole, as well as having an effective police department who keep crime down. 

So, we both agree that education is good for society.  I would be horrified if I lived in LAUSD, this huge fractured ineffective monolith with, it appears, no accountability, that is until LNCB.


That's pretty optimistic to think that a significant fraction of private school customers would support quality public education. You can preserve property values with lousy public schools. Pasadena is a good example. The folks with money just kind of assume that they'll have to pay for private school. Middle class people in LA already think this way - a lot of parents are still pulling out of LAUSD.

I could see MUSD going down the tubes if more parents in the hills opt to use private school instead of public school, if this leads to people demanding some kind of discount, or lower taxes for schools.

After the downward slide goes far enough, even the liberal folks dedicated to public education stop criticizing the middle class folks who send their kids to parochial school. If attendance at a school pretty much guarantees that your will not get into college if they can't manage solid As, middle class parents will opt-out. They'd rather their semi-hard working, not quite super-gifted kid has a chance to go to college, and attending a private high school is one avenue to college. I don't know what private school is like, but I kind of sense that the message there is "you will go to college, even if you need a tutor to raise that C, and rehab to get off the coke."

BTW, it's NCLB, not LNCB.

NCLB is turning out to be okay for charter schools and their constituencies, but it's only going to be disaster for poor kids. If the parents are uneducated, and unable to "choose", the kids definitely will be left behind. The stakeholders/taxpayers will freak out when studies come out that say it'll cost $20,000 per child per year to educate a kid with a hard life.


Night Reader states "If the parents are uneducated, and unable to "choose", the kids definitely will be left behind"

Poor non-English parents (most probably un-documented) are already using "fake" addresses to send their kids to Schurr and Mark Keppel (from far worse schools in LAUSD). 

If you crossed a dirty river and desert, crawled through a tunnel and barbed wire to get here, OR came here on a tourist visa and just over-stayed your welcome---what kind of PRIVILEGES do are you think you are OWED (over people who stood in line or have been here paying all along)???


I should have been fairer to the uneducated because some have the mind to lie to get into a better district. It's the fool-ass parents who don't have the wherewithal to choose, or go and choose the wrong thing. There's plenty out there.

I really don't want to get into it about illegals. It's just the piss of the day... but we were all pretty okay with it for the last 10 years. There's some BS on all sides, but all the anger out there on the right is just noise to distract each other from the mess in Iraq.


Night Reader also writes, "They'd rather their semi-hard working, not quite super-gifted kid has a chance.."

ROFLMAO (I think that speaks for the majority of us or our kids)

Harvard lowering costs for "middle income" families

Harvard's lowering their costs for families making 120-180k per year.

They're already free for the typical area family, which earns less than 60k per year.

So, if any bright kid reading this is thinking about settling for ELAC because you're low-income, get your ass in gear and know that you can afford the best universities in America.

Harvard lowering costs for "middle income" families

[Edit--OK, sorry about that. I was trying to take out the code that creates the bold font all the way through the rest of the page and couldn't figure it out right. If I've taken any actual content out of your post, I apologize. feel free to reinsert it. In the meantime, please take care when you paste material into your post, especially if it contains embedded php or html codes. -- Todd] night reader, and here are some replies from this article you gave a link to.  these readers don't seem all that thrilled. 
  • "Harvard University will cut the costs of attending the Ivy League school by as much as 50 percent for families that earn $120,000 to $180,000 a year, making access easier for ``middle-income'' students."

    WTF? My dad makes 105,000 this does sh_t...this is very upper middle class (bordering upper class)
    This basically excludes pharmacists, general managers, etc.. All that are up there but not really up there.
Middle Income = 120k - 180k? Where is this? The Hamptons "Harvard will also install soup kitchens and shelters to help support the po folk coming from homes with net-assets less than $3 million"

BTW and with "all due respect", your mayor, John Tran, seems to have done well for himself.  I have read his bio on an Asian who's who's online mag, but it does not mention him attaining anything beyond a high school education.  However, I am certain his family, the Vietnamese community, and, it appears, the Asian American community in this article he appeared in, was very congratulatory and proud of his accomplishments.  

Although this mayor-ship only pays a stipen with traveling expenses, I'm sure that someday he can "parlay" his political experience into a career in corporate America or any variety of governmental positions.  LA City, LA County and State politicians can make a six figure salary. 

I even remember some time back, you or Todd replied to an article that took exception to Mayor Tran having a number of children with a number of women out of wedlock.  I think Todd stated something to the effect that what did the mayor's personal life (kind of Clinton--est) have to do with his official performance as mayor. 

Perhaps night reader's passion in pushing for higher education over vocational programs and that kids don't have to "settle" for schools like ELAC, is wasted on me, having attended Loma Linda University myself.  Perhaps, you can get an Ivy League application, even a Harvard application for your Mayor, lol. (I mean this in the BEST possible way, really I do).

Harvard lowering costs for "middle income" families

It's kind of low, don't you think, to be trying to score "points" by dragging John Tran's kids into this?

Harvard lower costs for middle income families

1.  I don't have a "horse in this race", meaning I can't vote in Rosemead, and Mr. Tran, it appears won his council seat correct?
2.  He is a "public figure", and while his children are not, I assume registered voters of Rosemead can consider someone's "personal life" if they want to make a point.  My point was definitely not out to deliberately "hurt" his children at all, and I greatly apologize if I did.
3.  I don't know the man or really any of the former or current Rosemead City council members, so I don't get "how I scored points" with any political group.
4.  I would NOT have known anything about Mr. Tran's out of wedlock status, IF IT HAD NOT BEEN POSTED HERE IN SOC's BLOG!!! In fact, someone named Brian Lewin, provided a link in response to a letter to the editor from somone named Sharon Esquivel to the SGV Tribune, and about how offended she was to see Mr. Tran's pregnant, yet unmarried girlfriend just waving at the crowd of citizens at their 4th of July parade, particularly young impressionable children (I'm paraphrasing).  Brian Lewin went onto to respond about "what an elected official's personal life had to do w/ his/her performance in a job".  This was also signed by Caroline Kunioka (I supposed related to Todd) and Frances Chavez.  So Todd, if you and SOC believe so strongly in that position-- that it has nothing to do w/ someone's job--STICK TO YOUR GUNS!  By objecting so strongly and trying to shy away from an obvious fact to everyone else, aren't you making Sharon Esquivel's point! (you know, "The lady doth protest too much")
5.  What I stated in this almost month long blog is very CONSISTENT WITH what we have been blogging about re our local area's high HS drop out rate, NCLB, API scores and emphasis on advanced placement students versus vocational programs. 
6.  I was ready to quit this blog b/c I thought I was blocked out for disagreeing w/ Night Reader, Zebra and Todd, when I couldn't log onto this site, until Night Reader submitted a recent blog w/ my user name (centaur) as the title, and again about lower middle and middle income students being able to afford Ivy League schools, specifically Harvard (which I know Night Reader is VERY passionate about).
7.  If you go up a few threads, even Zebra stated (and I'm paraphrasing again) "I hope our parents care more about their children than just attaining a high school education".
8.  I think Zebra said it all, and I just coincidentally came across an Asian American website (being multi-racial myself) on a biography of Mayor Tran that was very positive, but it did not indicate ANYTHING beyond a high school diploma.
9.  Again, you are "preaching to choir" when you assume I'm not for AP.  As stated, I attended Loma
 Linda.  My family members went to SC and the Art Center.
10.  With Mayor John Tran, I think it makes my entire point about this month long blog--that our school districts need to be more responsive to ALL our students, not just the AP kids.  Only having a high school diploma did NOT hold Tran back along with, it seems, his not so perferct personal life, which SOC mentioned first, not me, and bully for him!.

College Is Not a Must


If Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is correct, the only jobs that will be secure in the next decade will those that cannot be sent abroad electronically. That means plumbers, electricians, and auto mechanics, for example, will be working steadily while many of their degreed classmates will be collecting unemployment checks."


...."The Wall Street Journal reported last month that some unionized craft workers already earn more than the average college graduate – and do so without carrying the heavy burden of student debt. The demand for this skilled labor is expected to intensify in the coming years as more workers retire and the economy revives.".....

I know we blogged on this subject for over a month some 6 months ago, but I just came across this article in defence of vocational skills for young American students in the future, and had to post it here.  Happy and good thought prokoving reading to you all.

MUSD Election Results, HS

I have no beef with John Tran not having a college degree. He's in the City Council, and it won't prove to be an impediment.

Also, these are politicians. They win popularity contests. We don't expect them to be brainiacs. At least I don't. I expect them to have brainiacs on staff or on committees to do their thinking for them, to work things out. The politician's job is to craft a politically feasible policy, make the compromises that will upset some folks, and "sell" it to the people.

This is why it's important to have more people from working-class areas go academic - so they can participate in the creation of knowledge. I mean, look at this city's situation with trailer parks. Someone with trailer park experience, who can also do the public policy thing, would be a good person to consult on trailer park issues.

I think, by and large, the Rosemead City Council is pretty undereducated, except for Maggie Clark and Polly Low. They also happen to be the two women on the Council. Interesting, isn't it?

Locally, I can only name a few other brainies with fancy degrees. There's Urteaga, Vela, and Calderon on the MUSD board. There's a smart Asian guy on there whose name I can't remember, but will learn. Ron Calderon too. Felipe Agredano (who is now out) who has a degree from Harvard Divinity, Henry Lo is a Bruin, and Breusch must have some degree to teach school, but maybe it's not fancy. Hilda Solis, Gloria Romero, and Judy Chu were all academics. (It's those educated women again!) I'm sure there's more.

MUSD Election Results, HS

I should have added that I have a bias for policy wonks who become politicians. So, if someone's a brainiac, they get my vote. I just try not to get too upset if they get beat by someone who is more charming and knows how to speak well without saying anything.