Countering Fox News; Linda McMahon and WWE Problems; More on SEIU-UHW; More on the New Student Assignment Policy …

by on August 31, 2010

To the Editor:

I couldn’t agree more. A positive, proactive approach to communication will be a lot more effective. And in the case of progressive causes, we can just use the truth to make great points (whereas the right‑wing needs to resort to lies to bolster their corporate/elite agenda). Before I finally got fed up with cable and cancelled it once and for all, I remember I watched Olberman and Maddow for awhile but got so bored of the constant focus on the political idiots of the day, rather than providing real news about progressive causes (though Maddow occassionally did something good). Their shows often seemed childish, stooping to the level of Fox (though not quite because they weren’t outright lying). I am now even board with John Steward, though Colbert is still fresh in his approach.

Daniel Krause
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Do you mind informing your readers when was the last time Luna Vachon worked for WWE? I recall her last working for them in the early-mid 90’s. So I think it is much to their credit that they would underwrite her rehab, since it has been well over 10 years since she had last performed for them. Try to be a little less biased.

Matt Bauer
Plantsville, CT

To the Editor:

The state of the union affairs of SEIU-UHW is crumbling down to the end due to the damage it had created since imposing trusteeship. Thus, the current union “trustees”, Mr. Dave Regan and Mr. Eliseo Medina both appointees by the scumbag Andy Stern are holding their breaths through blatant collaboration with hospital owners in order to continue collecting members’ dues to pay their exorbitant salaries, allowances and benefits.

They are selling workers to corporations the name of union advocacy, but the labor community knows that they are here for power grab and to support their lavish lifestyles. But union members in California have been awakened and are fighting back against these union bureaucrats from Washington, D.C. SEIU members say, end the trusteeship now!

Andres Bonifacio
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I agree with you and others that there will be unforeseen consequences to the Student Assignment Policy, and I too observe with concern the isolation of neighborhoods which could all but doom low-income neighborhood schools to mediocrity at a time when parent money and connections can make a huge difference in our perennially low-budget environment. There is no doubt that economic and racial isolation will be codified in the proposal’s neighborhood-based scheme, and this should be considered a major problem.

That said, while your article raises some interesting and valid points, it is, IMHO, overly one-sided. There are potential positives to this kind of system. For example, I believe that knowing in advance which school my child will likely attend allows me to start making a difference at that school before I even get there. Neighborhoods will be more likely to rally around their middle and high schools if they know where most of their neighborhood kids will be going.

This is not just wishful thinking. I guarantee you will see me and other Starr King families volunteering for Mann (or whatever our middle school will be) a year before our children arrive. There are organizations where I live on Potrero Hill- a very school-friendly community – already supporting our local schools. I would be surprised if this didn’t extend to Mann, where all three of Potrero Hill’s elementary students would go under the current proposal.

Of course, not all parents will do this, nor will all neighborhoods. We could also talk about reduced busing costs, and many other things. My point is that there are potential pluses as well as minuses, which your article seems to go out of its way to ignore. By the way, Starr King’s low income family numbers aren’t declining, as is implied in one of your comments on the PPS Yahoo group; nor can one say low-income families are choosing to go to other eastern neighborhood schools as though they were avoiding Starr King.

What’s happening is that the Mandarin Program is filling out the classrooms that used to be vacant in what was a chronically under-enrolled school; new parents/families are being added to the school, rounding out the composition of the student population. It is not a major point, but it is a distinction worth noting in the context of this discussion about enrollment pathways, because we should be carefully considering what the impact on enrollment into elementary schools will be if they are fed into middle schools which are *perceived* to be undesirable.

Although I am completely at ease with my son’s assignment to Mann under the current proposal – and I certainly don’t speak for all parents in this regard – I agree that this seems a bit rushed. I don’t think there will ever be a *perfect* plan, but I do think that a feeder system can work well if implemented properly. There are a LOT of moving parts, and the devil is always in the details. More time for feedback and careful consideration should probably be allowed to ensure maximum success.

Dale Scott
parent of a Starr King Mandarin Immersion 3rd grader
San Francisco

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