Posted by parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2007 at 9:33 am
Notice all the extremely rich element PAUSD is committing to in this grant, that are completely INVENTED by the staff in the application -certaintly NEVER approved, many never even discussed, some specifically REMOVED from the table by our board:
2 Kinder classes starting in 2007. FALSE. This is not happening. The grant was written as if the program was already approved and in implementaton phase. (back in June 2006 when the application was submitted, and the MI proposal was no where near approval, feasiblity study was barely under way.)
Program will serve 240 elementary dual- immersion students, and 500 secondary-level students. FALSE The grant was written as a K-12 program, including middle schools. Middle school was specifically asked about by the board from the beginning, and the PACE representatives, Marilyn and Becky Cohn Vargas specifically said they were NOT studying or including middle school elements. The board has also speficially state they would NOT approve middle school MI at this time.
The program will have a strong technology component across the grade levels K-12. FALSE The grant was written witha 32K per year technology investment including classroom notebook computers, chinese language software, ipods for all students, digital cameras per classroom, and more. The Board specifically balked at this part of the proposal saying that the technology component of this program would NOT be allowed to exceed the standard technology of PAUSD. And this is wildly over average technology in PAUSD classrooms.
"The Mandarin Chinese program will provide intensive professional development activities for both program and site staff." FALSE The program approved will provide minimal staff development - it will be "bare bones" as outlines by the feasibility study cost structure.
The program will contain a parent education component. Parents whose children are in the immersion program will be invited to participate in a Mandarin Chinese language evening class offered through Palo Alto Adult School. FALSE LAUGHABLE! Did ANYONE ever hear a discussion of a parent education offering in ANY of the MI discussion? Can anyone point to a discussion of a PARENT EDUCATION component in the FEASIBILITY STUDY. This is an utter fabrication on the part of the grant writers. This has NEVER been approved, or even discussed by the board. How much will this cost, and who will pay?
The grant application itself becomes a binding committmnet to the federal government upon acceptance of this award. The Board and this district can not accept these funds.
Posted by Parent 2, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2007 at 10:21 am
Thank you for your breakdown of these points. It is all extremely useful to know this as now we know what we should be watching for.
I can't help but feel really scared about what is happening. If MI does get going next year at Ohlone as has been approved, then we have got a lot to be extremely careful about.
Taking apart the grant moneys, if this is what the MI parents are going to be raising funds for in their classroom, then we must make sure that particularly the technology aspect is kept on a similar level as the other PAUSD classrooms. I know that ipods are being used in some classrooms at the secondary level, but kindergarten!!!!
Posted by natasha, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2007 at 3:32 pm
Last we heard, Dana and Gail were trudging ahead with it. No longer clear whether it will include trust issues surrounding the outgoing superintendent's administrators (there have been many comments about that being appropriate) or whether it has become an investigation of what went wrong with the Callan regime as sort of a lessonfor the future. I for one hope that the people at various levels of administration and management who might have been investigated as part of a full-scope inquiry will still find themselves answering some tough questions.
Posted by yet another parent, a member of the Escondido School community, on Jun 21, 2007 at 2:34 am
"keep in mind this grant application was submitted around the time of the 'Trust and Respect' bubble up."
Is that right? I got the impression this grant was submitted earlier, but maybe 'trust and respect' has been an issue longer than I'm aware of.
The other thing I'd like to understand before placing potentially false blame is who submitted the application? Maybe it's not the 'trust and respect' people. Please, Grace, would you let us in on the details of the grant - post a link, perhaps? Real facts go a long way in eliminating the need to defend against erroneous accusations. Of course, that still leaves the legitimate ones to be reckoned with.
Posted by yet another parent, a member of the Escondido School community, on Jun 23, 2007 at 11:46 am
Whose responsibility is it to inform the public of these grants? I assume if Grace posted the application in a public space it would be a favor, not an obligation. But what about the district? Are board members responsible for informing the public? Superintendent? Someone else in the district office? Or is transparency simply not required. Grace is either not present on these threads or choosing not to answer. Rather than gripe here, I'm willing to ask (as I hope others will, too). Who to ask???