Candidate riles 'Mount Pregnant' High

A Republican candidate for governor of California, Steve Poizner is coming out with a book called Mount Pleasant: My Journey from Creating a Billion-Dollar Company to Teaching at a Struggling Public High School.  April Fool’s Day is the publication date. Teachers at San Jose’s Mount Pleasant High are angry about Poizner’s portrayal of their school as a gang-ridden dump with a high pregnancy rate, reports the Sacramento Bee.

“Mount Pleasant is a rough place,” the jacket reads. “There’s no money to fix broken copy machines, burned-out lightbulbs go unchanged, and student pregnancies are so common that the school’s nickname is Mount Pregnant.”

Now the state insurance commissioner, Poizner is running a losing campaign against Meg Whitman, also an ex-Silicon Valley CEO. He uses his school experience — he taught a civics class in 2002-03 —  in the campaign.

Mount Pleasant High, which is about two-thirds Hispanic with 40 percent of students qualifying for a free lunch, is not considered an especially tough school by San Jose standards. It scores below average for California high schools (4 out of 10) for state high schools, but above average (7) for those with similar demographics. That doesn’t mean there are no gang kids or pregnant girls at MP — or unfixed copiers. Its district, East Side Union, which pays the highest teacher salaries in the county, is broke.

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  1. I did my student teaching at Mt. Pleasant.

    I don’t find it hard to imagine that it’s still the worst high school in Silicon Valley.

    English classes didn’t teach literature because the students weren’t expected to understand any of it.

    Art class was a place where you could sit and draw while the teacher played the radio.

    The Home Ec teacher mostly had students fill out “Values Clarification” worksheets.

    I’m not a fan of Poizner, but I don’t fault him if he’s calling the place a dump.

  2. I love the quote from the Mt. Pleasant teacher in the Sac Bee: “the school’s gangs and teen pregnancy problems [are] not more pronounced than other schools in the region.”

    Saying other schools are just as bad is not exactly a denial.


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