Tuesday Last Day for PUSD Primary Election Voter Registration

Eligible individuals must complete and mail a voter registration application to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.

The March 5 primary nominating election for Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education and Pasadena City Council is right around the corner.

Tuesday is the deadline for voter registration for the elections.

Those eligible to vote in PUSD Board of Education Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 and Pasadena City Council Districts 3, 5 and 7 must complete a voter registration application and mail it to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.

Registration forms are available at the City’s public counters, community centers and U.S. Post Offices.

Those needing registration help can visit City Hall, the Jackie Robinson and Villa-Parke Community Centers, La Pintoresca and Santa Catalina Branch Libraries and the Public Health Building during regular business hours where City staff is available to help with completing registration materials.

For more election and voter registration information, call the City Clerk’s Office at (626) 744-4124 or go to www.cityofpasadena.net/CityClerk/Election.

Peter Drieder February 21, 2013 at 03:44 AM
Sierra Madre was prohibited by a bunch of proto-fascists in Pasadena from voting in this election. That you would printthis article as something of interest to Sierra Madre shows just how incredibly out of touch this site has become.
pusddad February 21, 2013 at 05:10 AM
Another explanation is that Sierra Madre had less participation in the process than other parts of the district due to complacency because it had it so good.
CWP Chu February 21, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Yes, it is always Sierra Madre's fault. Steal our vote, wreck our school, lie to us about school bond benefits, and then confiscate our tax money to fund a cockamamie "community schools" program in Pasadena without even telling us. Yeah, we have it really good.
pusddad February 21, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I've been following PUSD internet discussions for a few years. Until the voting subdistricts and election schedules were a topic, there were a significant number of postings and statements that criticized the pusd for allocating a disproportionate amount of resources to Sierra Madre because its residents were disproportionately white and of higher income. D. Shelley, Phelps and Miramontes come to mind. Sierra Madre residents have legitimate grounds to feel frustrated now, but the middle school is not the only stalled district project. It looks to me like the district realized that it has to proceed more deliberately and cautiously on the construction projects because some contractors were ripping us off.
D Shelley February 25, 2013 at 03:23 PM
They've always been ripping the taxpayers off with the blessings and involvement of whatever individuals were supposed to be "overseeing" these projects. Someone should have gone to prison years ago.
D Shelley February 26, 2013 at 05:21 AM
Sierra Madre has always been VERY active both in supporting their schools and in voting in elections. Although their high school students have always attended Pasadena schools and their middle school students moved to Pasadena schools once in 1920 (returning to SM in 1938) and again in 1948 to stay in Pasadena, their elementary students did not become part of the district until 1960. That beautiful elementary school that PUSD likes to brag about was actually built by the citizens of Sierra Madre and they voted to build it before they had paved their streets. Sierra Madre only had 800 elementary students in 1960, so even if they brought back their middle school students, they still did not have enough students attending school to meet what was, at the time, considered an optimal number for an independent district. BTW, on the exact same day that Sierra Madre's board voted to join Pasadena, the unincorporated area of La Canada (which was 16 years away from becoming a city) voted to form their own district rather to continue sending their children to Pasadena. Sierra Madre was probably wooed by the fact that their kids would be attending the predominately white new Pasadena High while the La Canada folks bowed out of the chance to send their kids to Muir which was falling into disrepair even then. The tragedy was that Sierra Madre was then caught up in the badly needed desegregation order that forced their students to be bused all over the district (including to Muir).
D Shelley February 26, 2013 at 05:45 AM
The PUSD finds themselves in a predicament of their own making. They have continually put the emphasis (when they could do so without being busted by the courts) on appealing to the whiter and more affluent families (because god forbid, they focus on providing a fair equitable education to ALL students.) They love pointing to those high test scores. Anyone having anything to do with education will tell you that the highest scoring schools are schools with a predominately white (or even better, Asian) population. SIerra Madre's scores soared in the past few years, not because their teachers were doing anything differently, but because the district started moving the lowest scoring minority students back to the other side of town. Check the stats - the entire demographics of that school changed and with that change, the test scores went up! And then the district goes, "Ta Da!!!" like they worked some sort of magic. They did NOTHING but move bodies around. Sierra Madre was a wonderful school before it became involved with the PUSD and it became a wonderful school again once the district started giving the community back their right to keep their students in their own community. The problem the community is having right now is that the PUSD made them a promise they never should have legally made. Those money grubbers promised the folks of Sierra Madre that they would build them a big beautiful middle school of their very own if they voted on a bond issue.
D Shelley February 26, 2013 at 06:31 AM
The PUSD is once more legally on very thin ice. They recently completed a beautiful (expensive) remodel and expansion of Blair. Blair was originally built so white families wouldn't have to attend Muir after the La Canada kids had left. Blair only has enough students to exist today because other schools have been robbed of THEIR local students. Sierra Madre Middle School is the same. SMMS will only have enough students to keep it going if they are brought in from other areas and THEIR local neighborhood schools are closed. When the PUSD school closes a school, it isn't usually because they weren't enough students in their area to keep it open, it's been because the PUSD has bussed the local students elsewhere (particularly from the NW, and not always to better schools, either) and then collapsed their neighborhood schools. The recent redistricting "shell game" was an attempt to avoid a lawsuit regarding discrimination. I think the smoke screen of supposedly finding an earthquake fault under San Rafael (Heavens, REALLY?!?!) , which should have been closed years ago as less than 60 local students attend and using that as a pretext for deciding to close the school along with suddenly not having any money to build SM Middle School (Why? They had clear estimates of what it would cost) points to the fact that the PUSD is up to its eyeballs in potential litigation and investigation for discrimination.. If history is any indication, they'll soon be making national news AGAIN!!!
pusddad February 26, 2013 at 04:34 PM
in light of all this, including the make believe earthquake fault, what should the pusd policy be towards the students of your city?
pusddad February 26, 2013 at 07:03 PM
I take issue with one point, that the middle could only fill up unless kids are brought from out of the local attendance zone. It seems that still many local kids are going to private school, so there is an untapped source of kids. Also, the elementary school feeds the middle school, and currently very few kids from outside the attendance zone are receiving slots. Lastly, these construction projects are not designed to serve only the short term needs of the area. They are for the long term. The value of the proposed school will exist long after you are no longer with us. One cannot judge its, and other projects', worth based only on current conditions.
D Shelley February 26, 2013 at 09:21 PM
I think the folks of Sierra Madre should move to recall their current "representative", Ed Honowitz. Why not?
pusddad February 26, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Shelley: in light of the fact that one of your primary gripes about Honowitz over the years is that his school board faction has allocated a disproportionate amount of resources in favor of Sierra Madre, on what grounds should Sierra Madre residents unite to recall him?
Joanne Louisa March 06, 2013 at 10:26 PM
The private school parents who passed over Sierra Madre Elementary are not going to return to Sierra Madre Middle.
D Shelley March 06, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Joanne Louisa, not only is what you are saying absolutely correct, I don't think that many of the families that CHOSE Sierra Madre Elementary are going to ever give that Middle School a second glance. Many Sierra Madre Elementary families have their kids out of there by 3rd grade, are sometimes only there while the families are having temporary financial challenges, or never had any intention of keeping their kids in PUSD schools past elementary to begin with. These folks will never be part of the middle school and, believe me, that town has a good memory! It took over 40 years to start bringing the mainstream families back after the busing debacle. I wonder how long it will take them to get over that mismanaged dirt pile the PUSD has created in their backyard? Sierra Madre, loves their children, their school, and their community, but they HATE the PUSD!!! By totally mismanaging this project, the PUSD has only stoked that rage.
navigio March 07, 2013 at 03:50 PM
I disagree that private school goers in SM wont ever give public schools another chance. The change DS is referring to only happened about 5 years ago. Enrollment has been increasing since then, not decreasing. Those kids had to come from somewhere. Obviously some of them came from other areas of the district rather than from within SM, but I expect its both. In addition, even though that 'change' happened all at once, the kids that were already there had the option to continue to attend. Obviously not everybody did, but some did. As time goes on those kids will eventually move through the system. The reason I think its both is the PEL of SMES has been increasing consistently since that change occurred. A small part of that is the effects of those kids eventually moving on, but I think its more an increasing choice by locals to attend the school. I do agree that middle school can be a different issue, however, as the elementary school becomes more homogenous, the ability to maintain that demographic through to higher grades increases. SM is much different than other low-local-enrollment areas of the district where the vast majority of families (in some areas virtually all) choose private even at the elementary stage. I think most SM families actually want a good public school. In other areas of the district that dont use them, they could really care less. That makes a big difference.
D Shelley March 07, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Navigio, I had a little trouble following your post. Yes, enrollment at SMES has been increasing since the district stopped busing in large amounts of low income minority students, thus making the school "whiter". As it becomes whiter, more people want to be there (sad, but true) Obviously, most of the students already there chose to remain. Why would they have left at that point UNLESS their parents had already decided to take them out by a certain age AHEAD of time? I know many of my friends who had kids or grandkids at that school and knew ahead of time that they were pulling them at the end of 3rd when class sizes would increase and discipline issues typically become more of an issue. At that point, parents from outside Sierra Madre are often able to finally get their children into the school as openings occur. A Sierra Madre 5th grade class can easily contain kids from Jackson or Cleveland schools. Sierra Madre is not alone in this. Don Benito also had a history of having students leave after the early primary years. DB once had 6th grade classes that contained hardly any students that had been educated at DB - they were almost all from somewhere else. All of this confuses test scores. An outsider often looks at the scores of the older students and can't figure out why the test scores fall off. Surely the upper grade teachers aren't doing their jobs, right? It turns out they AREN'T looking at the same students!
D Shelley March 07, 2013 at 06:10 PM
In the past few years, schools in the PUSD have had the advantage of a poor economy. Many parents who had their children in private begrudgingly pulled them and went with public. Again, that very slight bump in test scores that PUSD was bragging about a few years ago had nothing to do with their students doing better, rather they were gaining well educated students from the private schools. Most parents who had to switch to public this viewed it as a temporary solution and adopted a "wait and see" attitude. In many of these families, the job market has improved and they are returning to private, BUT Navigio, those who were "waiting and seeing" if PUSD was up to the task of educating their middle school students only have to look at that pile of dirt to know that nothing about the PUSD has changed. They still can't pull it together and, I will state again, this community has a LONG memory. I am of an age where many of my friends were the children who lived in SM as busing began. They were denied the right to attend the same schools that their parents and grandparents had attended even though they lived in the same neighborhoods and even sometimes, the same houses. They were forced onto buses and went that didn't work out, they ALL went to private. When it came time for their children to go to school, not a single one I know allowed their children to attend SMES - the aversion and the hatred of the PUSD was THAT strong!
navigio March 07, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Thanks DS, yeah, I was typing partially on a phone and lost my train of brain..sorry. This year, SM 5th grade had zero OE openings, so that process woulndt have achieve what you're mentioning. Again, middle school is something quite different. Remember, a student who started kinder the year after that change would only be in 3rd or 4th grade right now, so I think its too early to assume whats happened up to now is what will continue to happen. I agree with you on the confusion of test scores. I know nobody actually takes the SSC process seriously, but the role of that group and the document it is tasked with authoring is supposed to explain exactly things like that so that the community can understand those kinds of dynamics. Until we understand how those things really work our actions will continue to exacerbate the 'ability segregation' that test results foster..
D Shelley March 07, 2013 at 06:25 PM
I maintain that this mismanagement of the middle school scene will haunt PUSD for as many years as that busing scene did. Whether it ends up that that school doesn't get built for a very long time or that it gets built and only filled by adding a large amount of outside students (thereby collapsing THEIR neighborhood middle schools), SMMS is NOT going to end up doing what the PUSD intended (increasing middle school enrollment for SM and therefore the district s a whole!) If you or anyone else have any doubts, look up the stats for what the opening of McKinley (another school built to attract those mythical white kids) did NOT do for the district. After it opened, enrollment did NOT increase, white enrollment did NOT increase in the district, but the siphoning off of those students was a direct cause of the collapsing and closing of Noyes (which had almost the exact scores of SMES the year before McKinley opened!) and many other schools over the years. It was years before McKinley's test scores approached the scores that Noyes had had, one of the schools the PUSD knowingly sacrificed to create McKinley. This idea of creating vacuum cleaner schools to suck up all the white kids is WRONG!!! It hasn't worked in the past, it isn't going to work in the future, and it is ethically wrong (to say nothing of illegal) to make that the focus of this district.
navigio March 07, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Yes, I understand the impact of those LONG memories very well. It is a shame that people use historical behavior as a basis for current decision-making, but alas, we are humans, and that's how we work. I even had someone tell me they wouldnt vote for measure cc because they didnt like percy clark (of course, he wasnt even super at the time). Regardless, I agree that the district does not do the best job it could to try to counter these perceptions. I think a fundamental reason is too many of its 'leaders' do not understand Pasadena area history. Worse, I dont think they think they need to. I think principals who come from outside the district eventually 'learn' how different Pasadena is, but central admins probably never do. The board could probably improve on that situation by making it a priority to hire leaders either from within, or from the community, but obviously there are also problems with that. But I think until that happens, we will see more head-butting than not between the community and the district. And I'll agree with you on busing. I dont think anyone would disagree in retrospect that it was the proper solution to the problem at hand. I recently read "This happened in Pasadena" and its clear that the situation had been brewing for more than a couple decades before the supreme court and the BoE brought it to a head.
navigio March 07, 2013 at 06:40 PM
The TT issue is very complex. I know I dont need to explain facilities stuff to you. :-) But I think the failure lies more with outside consultants than with 'standard' PUSD staff. I do think some board members share responsibility given they are the ones eventually overseeing everything, and more importantly, because they approved the useless COC. I am still surprised that more of the public is not outraged at the lack of oversight by the 'oversight committee'. Of course, there is a lot of money to be had there, and the community also benefits from that, so that's probably why. It should not go unnoticed, imho, that measure TT passed but measure CC failed. TT was a way for the community to make money off of schools. CC was a way for schools to get money from the community. It should be clear where the 'voting' priorities lie.
navigio March 07, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Is it wrong because it wont work, or is it wrong in principle? The area around McKinley is one that I believe could mostly care less that they had access to a public school. I think thats why you saw what happened happen. Same applies to Blair I guess. Although I would respect the principle argument, I think pasadena schools will fail without community support. An area where 30%-40% of all kids go to private school (and take most of their financial and logistical support right along with them) is clearly going to have a school system that does not match the expectations of those who chose against it. Its clearly valid to make the arguments for leaving, but having left, its as easy to see what impact that has on the system and the remaining kids. I think the district has a responsibility to think about how to address (correct?) that, if it can. I wont argue that their methods were the right ones, but I cant see how they would be responsible to ignore their own community's resources. Especially this community's. Most public districts are challenged by volunteer and financial resources. PUSD is extreme in that most all of those who would be most involved (in both ways) have been extracted from the community, in a sense. We are lucky to have many die-hard parents and community members who put in herculean efforts (luckily some are also quite well-off), but its almost a losing battle when they have to essentially work in spite of the beat-down from the community.
navigio March 07, 2013 at 07:01 PM
And to be clear, my goal is not to deflect any blame from the district. There is clearly a lot that belongs there. But things will not improve by people running away or further hindering their abilities. I recently re-read Lord of the Flies (again--incredible prose btw) and there was a short blurb at the end from an interview with Golding about the book. He put it incredibly succinctly, "the theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature." I am an optimist, so I dont view that as a defeatist point of view, rather as an opportunity to understand the things that can be improved upon. Can we improve in spite of human nature? I think so, because human nature is a complex, not singular force. But the sure way to succumb to those flaws is to not realize that they are flaws, or that they even exist. IMHO, anyway.


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