Abusive management practices in PAUSD Schools & Kids, posted by A Concerned Parent, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2008 at 10:53 am
Iím a Palo Alto parent with children in elementary school and high school, and Iím appalled at what Iím hearing from my children and other parents about recent events in schools this year. There have been allegations regarding the treatment (or mistreatment) of school district employees by principals and other PAUSD administrators. These stories include details of abusive, confrontational, intimidating, and demeaning meetings between supervisors, teachers and other staff, which have caused tears, resignations, and bad feelings. Whatís going on?
Can Palo Alto afford yet another school scandal? Teachers reduced to tears. Employees criticized by groups of their superiors. Threats. This sounds more like a prison than a school system.
If there are new policies being implemented by a new superintendent and new principals that are creating this turmoil, then the School Board should investigate and make certain that the students arenít paying a high a price for policy implementation. Iíve heard that the emphasis is to ďlook good on paper.Ē Iím not certain what that means, but it doesnít sound good.
Readers of this posting who have children in the PAUSDÖ.please add your comments to this entry with a description of what youíve seen or heard regarding this trend towards confrontation in our schools. We canít afford to lose good teachers and qualified staff to bad management or poor policies. And itís our children, the students, who will eventually pay the price for turmoil in the PAUSD.
Posted by CluelessParent, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm
Can you shed some light on what you have seen / heard? I have elementary school kids and I haven't seen or heard anything about the implementation of new policies .. your post is more on the lines of a riddle.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2008 at 5:00 pm
I have one in elementary, one in middle and one in high school. I can guarantee that they would be the last to learn about something like this. If there is something going on, then I suggest you look elsewhere for your information rather than relying on gossip from kids.
I know that there are times my kids get the wrong idea about certain things going on at school, so take anything with a pinch of salt unless you find out about it from ways other than the kids themselves.
This sounds as if someone got the wrong idea from the way I read it.
Posted by Concerned Parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 16, 2008 at 10:50 am
I encountered substantial problems with the PAUSD over the past ten years, but I can't say that things have gotten any worse under the new leadership. It seems to be about the same. Callan = Skelly and Laurence = McEvoy. The instructional supervisors for Math, English and Science at Palo Alto High School have always held unchecked power and answer to noone for as long as I have been in the district. It's wrong, but that's the way it is here in Palo Alto.
I don't think Kevin Skelly should be pandering to the East Palo Alto kids. ALL kids should have the same level of support. Let's all remember that the East Palo Alto kids are here, in our now CROWDED district, under a VOLUNTARY transfer program. A program that would not be forced upon Palo Alto given current case law. The problem is that we have administrators at PAUSD who continue to squeeze more out-of-district kids into the classrooms of Palo Alto schools where there is no more room. It is my opinion that all out-of-district kids should only be admitted if there is room in the current classrooms for them. I believe the agreement reached many years ago even spoke to the "space available" issue. I think Skelly should re-visit this issue and make Palo Alto kids the top priority. Until he does, I don't have any more funds to give the school and will work to defeat any school bonds that come up.
Posted by Concerned Parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 21, 2008 at 10:20 am
SkepticAl - It should be disturbing to you, not amazing. You clearly do not have much interaction with the department heads at Palo Alto High School. My understanding is that the new principal is trying to fix that situation, but it is going to be an uphill battle for her. They each have their own territory and guard it with their lives.
Posted by RWE, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2008 at 1:06 pm
While there may be some staff within PAUSD who are abusive to their peers, it's not a systemic problem. Most teachers and staff will tell you that PAUSD is a very good place to work.
"Concerned Parent" should be more concerned about the harm that outsized assumptions about PAUSD's workplace cause.
One of the constant frustrations of public institutions is outside interference by those who don't seem to know the difference between a situational and a systemic problem. The latter was well-represented by problems that appeared last year, on the Management Team. That was something worth paying attention to (solutions are being worked out). This situation is a blip, compared to that.
Posted by Concerned Parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 22, 2008 at 2:08 pm
RWE - My comments are not assumptions. They are based on first-hand experience over the course of many years. Perhaps you should be more concerned with your assumptions about me and my experience level with the PAUSD.
Posted by Concerned Parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 23, 2008 at 5:13 pm
RWE - I certainly know the difference and you are mistaken. By the way, I don't want to be Superintendent. Do you? I wonder if you are a concerned parent who focuses on what is best for the kids or are you part of the problem at Palo Alto High School? Noone can tell by your signature.
Posted by What Now?, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 23, 2008 at 8:25 pm
"The instructional supervisors for Math, English and Science at Palo Alto High School have always held unchecked power and answer to noone for as long as I have been in the district."
As a Paly student, I have to disagree. I don't think the Instructional Supervisors have "unchecked power." I happen to know that they report to Site Council, among others. I'd like to see some sort of substantiative evidence supporting this statement.