Town Square

Lets Move On: Rectifying Sloppy Choice Policy

Original post made by Neighbrhood School Proponent, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 6, 2007

Yes, I agree. Lets move on now. I believe the next order of business is to prevent the board from slinking away from the table and pretending the whole thing didn't happen.

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Posted by yet another parent
a resident of Escondido School
on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:18 pm

Great list. I'd like to add an item.

Require full disclosure of a complete breakdown of the number of students applying for and being accepted into each of the lottery programs, made publicly accessible in a place such as PAUSD's website or the lottery school's website.

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Posted by k
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:35 pm

I agree, you have quite a list of important points, now can we get anyone in a position of authority to pay attention?

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 6, 2007 at 2:41 pm

you should ask all the board candidates these questions, along with the current board.

if you don't, I will.

of board candidates, I'd even ask them how they would have done it otherwise, what lessons have they learned, etc.

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Posted by Midtown Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Too bad it is only 3 out of the 5 seats that are up election this year!

But at least Mandy Lowell, Gail Price and Camille Townsend will either leave the BOE or will face re-election. (I hope that Gail will be willing to serve another term.)

It seems that the only way we can fix this mess is to ask some hard questions of the candidates and make sure to get out and vote.

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Posted by tired of bickering
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 6, 2007 at 3:21 pm

While I still believe a new choice program is wrong for the district in a multitude of ways, I agree with the need for more transparency in the lottery process. I may be wrong about this, but I think [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] children both got into SI - a program that allegedly had only 5 openings for non-sibling kids.

There may be a need to eliminate or reduce the number of automatic sibling slots in all the programs, or give the new slots to students who represent a minority (as in the smaller group - not ethnicity) to attempt to preserve diversity in our choice programs. We should make an attempt to let our choice programs reflect the make-up of the district when ever possible - including reaching out to parent groups that may not consider the program otherwise.

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Posted by nancy
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 7, 2007 at 6:56 am

When my kids were in the Bullis lottery, it was open to the public.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 7, 2007 at 12:35 pm


I agree with you that there needs to be more transparency and outreach. Hoover could use this--not because of their lottery. I've never heard it was anything but fair, but the outreach part. Our choice programs need to be within reasonable parameters of the district's demographics--within 20 percent, say--if the demographics are getting more and more skewed that needs to be addressed. Preferably in terms of creating a more diverse applicant pool.

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Posted by questioning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2007 at 10:54 am

Can anyone clarify if a student can be placed into more than one lottery? For instance, can you apply for Ohlone and Hoover? Can you apply for both Hoover and immersion? Can you apply for both Ohlone and MI?

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2007 at 3:50 pm

You can apply for multiple lotteries, however applying for Ohlone while applying to Hoover may get you thrown out of the Ohlone lottery (SI's okay.). Don't know how the Hoover end feels about this.

So, I'm not sure what's going to happen if you apply for Hoover and Ohlone MI, which sounds like it's going to be the preference of some families from what one surveyed showed--i.e. people who want language immersion want Hoover, not Ohlone, as a second choice.