This post is just a continuation of the "Students shine ......in Pomona?"
Anonymous offered a view of my post that I hadn't fully expected, so I wanted to elaborate on my intent behind that type of a post. The critique if I understand it correctly was that students are succeeding at Pomona schools without a puff piece, so is there really any value to that type of a story. I guess I always see someone's accomplishments as a story. Whether that story rises above dinner conversation to reach the level of a Pomona schools news release is the school district's choice, but I fundamentally don't think PUSD is wrong in their effort at self-promotion. My rationale for the post reflects my view that the biggest hurdle facing this city is misperception: whether it's an overexaggerated concern about crime or a fear about the public schools.
The "feel good" stories, however annoying, are key to changing perception of PUSD. We live in a world of marketing and with a crop of parents who no longer feel an obligation to use their neighborhood schools, school districts need to "sell" their schools. Do I like it? No, but I'm not blind either. Successful schools actively cultivate their image by plastering these "feel good" stories into our psyche so we accept them as the norm. Would Anonymous have said "Look honey, those gangbangers and teenage mothers at Claremont really can do something!" if the post was about Claremont schools? Or would we just roll our eyes and say what do you expect, it's Claremont schools. I'm guessing these types of stories show up all the time in the Claremont Courier, so why not give these Pomona students and Pomona schools some credit.
If I could convince at least one of the "some of us" that aren't attending Pomona schools to take the chance, then maybe a school has a new classroom parent volunteer or a new student who can work independently. Perhaps the entire classroom will benefit if we can steal back these students that are fleeing to Claremont. Just in financial terms, how much revenue is PUSD losing because of the "perceived" superiority of the Claremont schools?
I don't know if others have noticed the couple of "feel good" stories that have trickled out of the Daily Bulletin in the last month or two. Is that an effort on PUSD's part to shape its image? I hope so. PUSD's negative image has taken years to evolve, so I doubt a handful of puff pieces will suddenly alter people's perceptions, but at least it's a start. I see the same hurdles facing the city. How do we convince residents both in this city and in adjacent cities to shop in Pomona? to spend time in metro Pomona? to dine in Pomona? I'm suggesting we need to control the message and focus on the positive.......like PUSD is doing with these bits of news. We need to pummel the doubters with the reality that Pomona schools are succeeding through innovation, committed parents and students, and excellent teachers. We need the city employees and elected officials to show more restraint when playing the crime card and restrict their depictions to a city that is a safe place to live, shop, and eat.
Was there a story? Hell, yes and expect me to relentlessly applaud any students' accomplishments when they come to my attention.
If Anon wants to share their experience in PUSD and how it prepared them for college, feel free.