Palo Alto Weekly
Cover Story - September 12, 2007
Candidates' Web sites
(as of 9/9/07)
http://www.paloaltounited.com (under construction)
http://www.gregschmid.com (under construction)
Board of Education
Melissa Baten Caswell
Posted by Paying Attention,
a resident of Stanford
Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.
on Sep 15, 2007 at 3:57 pm
Dear Mr. Pingyu Liu:
I believe that you miss the point. I don't think anyone is wanting to go back and "revisit" the MI thing, and I don't think it is about "if all the costs are covered, no more MI problem". I suppose if there were enough money that all the kids who wanted MI could get in, and if there were a site which did not displace any neighborhood kids anywhere,ie where there is no neighborhood, and if all the rest of the kids in the district had full access if they wanted it to quality foreign language instruction in their neighborhood elementary school, maybe in that sense money would matter to ease concerns in the short term. But, I don't think that will ever be the case.
I think that people are saying that they need to know if a candidate believes it is good to have more and bigger Immersion programs and other Choice programs, or not. A Board member votes for the vision, for the direction we take as a District.
And, if someone is for more and bigger "choice" programs, s/he will vote for that vision. Perhaps without concern for how this direction can't co-exist with the desire for those to have a the "choice" of a unified, neighborhood elementary school system.
If I understand you correctly, it seems you are completely for having more and bigger Immersion programs, maybe even more and bigger other Choice programs. It also seems that you are confident, if I am understanding correctly, that you would like to grow the currently approved MI program, and are not concerned about exactly how that will happen and the effects on the overall picture on the District, which is what the person asking about "what happens in 3 years" is getting at. There are only so many scenarios available in 3 years, ..the program grows into another space, turning a space into an MI space and not letting it be used for another priority, ..the MI program dies ( extremely unlikely)..the MI program stays small at Ohlone ( extremely unlikely), ...the MI program grows at Ohlone, displacing Ohlone wannabes. In other words, we now have another "choice" program which removes choices from other kids.
There are people who really like this scenario, which will lead us to the San Francisco approach, where every elementary school child is "divided up" into various schools across the city on a number of variables, including parental choice, lottery, etc, and each kid gets the education s/he "wins". Each family then has to decide if they are going to live with the roll of the die, or move out, or put their kid in a private school. If they decide to stay, they have to figure out how to get the kid across town every day, or not, etc.
Some people, obviously, think this is the way public elementary school education should go. SF is voting with their feet..with ever decreasing student population by the year. Maybe that would be a good thing here, i don't know, to make our District less attractive. Beside that, there are clearly benefits for those who get into the program they want and can manage to handle the commute etc. And those that like this way, will vote for you, I presume.
Some people think that we shouldn't continue down this road and keep creating more specialized lottery programs, which de facto dismantles the Unified concept in elementary school education. Obviously, if this a priority for them, they will vote accordingly.
Not saying either is bad or good, though of course I have my druthers and probably didn't hide them well in this writing, though I tried to be even handed. But, I am very happy that there is someone who is going to be clearly FOR the SF type vision, and then we will know how many people vote for it.
So, thank you for giving PA that opportunity.