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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Changing demographics in Pleasanton

Uploaded: Oct 27, 2015
Pleasanton school trustees heard an interesting update on the ethnicity of the district schools from Kevin Johnson, the senior director of pupil services.
Johnson’s stats showed how the Asian population in Pleasanton, that were largely non-existent 20-25 years ago, continues to grow and the number of white students continues to shrink. The white population is off eight percentage points to 46 percent over the last five years, while the number of Asians have increased to 38 percent, gaining almost 10 points.
Hispanics make up 10 percent with 3 percent Pacific Island and 2 percent black. Johnson said one response from the district has been to create a liaison position for a Mandarin speaker to encourage parents to become more involved with the schools. For most Asian parents, encouraging their students to focus on academics is not an issue—it is a given.
Johnson’s report also outlined the district student population that actually has fallen by 139 students over the past five years. Keep that in mind when you hear or read about residents shouting about school crowding as an argument to stop any and all growth. Shrinking enrollment, if that becomes a trend, is a big problem for school districts. It is one that Livermore has wrestled with over many years that resulted in closing three schools and selling two school sites off for development.
Trustee Joan Laursen was quoted in the Independent saying “Getting into a declining situation is terrible.” She is absolutely right. Dealing with declining enrollment, given the way the state funds schools, is a great challenge. She asked for numbers on how many parents are home-schooling their children or sending them to the publically funded Livermore Valley charter school.

Pastor Jim Bliss at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Dublin provided a little insight into Martin Luther, the man for whom the denomination is named.
Prior to blessing the meal at the church’s annual Oktoberfest—complete with craft beer donated by a Livermore brewery, he observed that when Luther finally got married, it was to a former nun. Her nunnery was supported by a brewery and she was one of the beer mistresses. So, she continued to provide Luther with his own home brew throughout their life together.
The Lutherans celebrated Reformation Sunday on Oct.25.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 9:11 am

Mr. & Mrs. Martin Luther: Web Link

Posted by overcrowded nightmare, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Many parents have enrolled their kids in private schools, local charter schools, surrounding school districts and/or are home schooling their children due to the already overcrowded schools, the nightmare of staggered reading, the dropping of reading specialists and the Barton program and the decline in the educational quality of Pleasanton schools Joan Laursen helped create. PUSD has not been able to build a single school for over 15 years. She now wants to have a headcount and list of these children? And for what reason? Sounds creepy to me.

Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm


You may want to reread what Tim said. I think you missed something.

Posted by Ed, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 10:21 am

To OC - so if Asian parents value a good education, and if the Pleasanton Asian school population has increased 10% in 5 years, wouldn't that equate to Pleasanton having a good system, instead of the decline in quality you point out?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

I have the impression that "overcrowded nightmare" is worried about too many children/teens functioning well in Plutonian schools and it worries her?

It seems to me that there are capable students of all races etc. and thatwill only make Plutonia a better place!

There's nothing in the world to have a boat-load of students who want to study and learn the 3 R's! HOORAY STUDENTS! VIVA! ps study hard pays off...

Posted by Tutor town, a resident of Downtown,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm

There are three dozen tutoring companies in town. The high scores are due to them and parents teaching their own children. Teachers ceased teaching in pleasanton years ago. In 2003 there were 3 tutoring centers. Twelve years later there are 36.

Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm


It wasn't that teachers that changed, it was the parents.

Posted by overcrowded nightmare, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Teachers can't be fired if they simply don't teach. Heck, they can't even be fired for sexting and serving alcohol to minors particularly if they are female. Instead they are paid big bucks by the administration/HR department to resign.

The quality of teachers and teaching has been in a decline for years.

Children end up in college but have to take remedial courses even if they had AP courses at the high schools. Meanwhile the parents send their children to tutoring companies because the teachers fail to teach the required subject matter.

Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 3:27 pm

"Johnson’s report also outlined the district student population that actually has fallen by 139 students over the past five years."

I was surprised to read somewhere years ago that the number of public schools in the US today is about the same as it was when I was a small child in the 1960's. The overall population of the US has increased considerably since the '60's but apparently the number of school-aged children has not dramatically changed. Maybe that's because of a large influx of immigrants who come into the US as adults and never attended public schools here?

If this is all true, it seems that the relative burden of public schooling a child should be less than it was in the '60's since the cost of education is distributed among more tax-paying adults than it was in the '60's. In particular, we don't have to support significantly more public schools than in the '60's since that number hasn't changed by much.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.


The PUSD does not properly define the Asian numbers.

People from the sub continent India are Asian Indian or East Indian.
That is the proper term for people from India, necessary to indicate separation from American Indian Natives.

That would nearly half the numbers of Asian to approximately 18 percent Asian Indian, or East Indian and 20 percent Asian for Chinese, Japanese, etc., with the Pacific Islanders as 3 percent.

American Indian, Natives are 0.3 %.

Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 8:12 am


That's just silly. If you score well on an AP exam, you don't get placed in a remedial class; You get college credit for the class.

Parents use tutoring centers to give their children an advantage, and would do so regardless of the quality of schools and teachers.

Posted by Ed, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 9:52 am

@ tutor town - yep, I've also noticed the big increase in tutoring centers in our area. There must be good demand for this service judging by the growth.
My son used a tutoring center a couple of years ago when he was at Foothill because he wasn't getting a good grasp of the Geometry he was taking. It helped him and increased his confidence in class.
This past summer my 7th grade daughter took a summer math class, not because she was struggling, but we wanted to give her a head start for the coming year. The payoff came when her math teacher came up to her a few weeks into the new school year and asked her why she wasn't in a more advanced class. She's feeling pretty good about her math skills, and so are we.
We have friends (Asian, if it matters) whose kids are straight A students and go to tutoring throughout the school year.

Posted by Tommy F, a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 5:32 am

Tooling around town these days hard to tell Pleasanton from Fremont. Downtown businesses will die off as Asians and South Asians (Indians for the geographically challenged) don't spend a dime on the things Main St. has to offer.

Posted by Ma Hottmuh, a resident of Birdland,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 11:53 am

Okay Tommy, let's assume your questionable premise that the current Main Street menu won't appeal to new residents. It's the job of the proprietors to adapt to their customer base -- Not the other way around. Any proper capitalist knows that, but xenophobes? -- maybe not so much.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I've never purchased anything on Main St. and I have no intention of doing so.

People would do well to adapt to change! GO FOR IT!

If you wanna make friends of your new residents, ask them what they want. Develop relationships in the Asian communities. Reach out to their children.
Reach the families and the children will bring in their parents.

You're not helpless and you're not alone! VIVA AMERICA!

America is great because of all the immigrants!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Oct 30, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Despite what many American do to distance themselves from people of color, the more difficult it will become to develop mutually satisfying relationships.

It's much easy easier to introduce yourself to a neighbor, share common interests, and be happy that you are neighbors. That's how healthy communities thrive!

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Oct 31, 2015 at 10:29 pm

"The quality of teachers and teaching has been in a decline for years."

And you evidence for this? I suppose you mean the rising test scores every year. Ok, let's throw out those test scores because standardized test scores aren't good. So what is your evidence? Perhaps the increased number of students accepted to 4 year universities? Maybe we should throw that out to since those numbers may change with the change in population.

So just how are we measuring that teaching has declined? The number of tutoring centers? Well, if the Asian population has increased and a typical Asian students spends twice the amount of time in school/tutoring that the US, that would seem to be a reason for the increase in tutoring centers.

So, perhaps there is no evidence. Perhaps you just want to suggest that there is one bad teacher somewhere and that means every other teacher on the planet doesn't care or is doing a bad job.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Oct 31, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Micheal Austin - not sure when you became the expert on how to refer to people from other places, but when you talk to a kid and he says he "Asian" because he is from India, I take that at face value, not what some geopolitical pencil pusher has to say.

Posted by Mindy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Nov 10, 2015 at 8:50 am

CHOLO PLEASE SAVE THE "WE ARE THE WORLD" mantra from me. My entire neighbourhood is Asian. It is not an all inclusive experience. In fact, it feels we are being tolerated. As a native Californian, I grew up in a Hispanic area and with lots of different cultures We miss our old neighbourhood where there was a mix. We are tired of being PC.

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