Town Square

PAUSD Superintendent's Survey (now through June 4)

Original post made by Gunn Parent on May 25, 2013

I found this buried in eNews, and found it strange that parents did not get a specific email announcement to request input on the Superintendent's performance. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete.

Here's the message:
Annual PAUSD Superintendent Survey
Complete by Tues June 4
Every Spring the Superintendent conducts a survey. Please click here to complete the survey by Tues, June 4. Your thoughts and suggestions through this survey are appreciated.
Here's the link:Web Link


Posted by Gimme, gimme, gimmeee.., a resident of Gunn High School
on May 26, 2013 at 8:36 am

I would love, love, LOVE to receive such a survey, but never have!

Posted by sara, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

It was also buried at the bottom of my kids' elementary school e-news. They don't really want you to fill it out - they just want to say it was available.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I can't wait to get my hands on this survey and neither can my friends and neighbors!

By the way, I am so grateful for Ken Dauber, WCDBPA, SEAN, PASS, and CAC for providing the parents in the district an opportunity to ask questions at the forum last week at which OCR attorneys presented.

I was, however, dismayed to see the Supt. there in the back of the room along with Camille. The parents who may have wanted to ask a question of the attorneys from OCR probably thought better of doing so because Kevin and Camille were there. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Just looking at the facts from the OCR violation last year alone Dr. Skelly will not receive a good evaltuation from me. In fact, if the Board were not so ineffective they would have disciplined or fired Kevin last year. Let's all give Kevin the evaluation he derserves! Based on all my investigations I can back up a poor performance review in many ways.

Posted by paly parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

The OCR meeting was a damned if you do, damned if you don't for Dr. Skelly and the BOE. People would have complained that they didn't care if they didn't attend. Might as well attend and get accurate info.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I The ultimate way of showing that you care would you have been to continue sponsoring the event. The fact that the district backed out of sponsorship says quite a bit in itself. If Dr. Skelly and Camille wanted to get information they could have sent someone else to take notes. I bet the Dr. Skelly and the board of education could have deputized one of their top-notch student reporters to come and take notes on a pad of paper. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by learn to thrive, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Where have you gone Joe D?, a resident of College Terrace
on May 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm

We have lived in PA for over 30 years and our youngest child is getting ready to graduate. It is sad to see the steady degradation of our PAUSD value structure in recent years. We have always had challenges and disagreements over various issues, but the current superintendent and board seem to not be well aligned with our traditions nor up to the caliber of past leadership. PAUSD has long nurtured a climate of innovation, embraced diversity and emphasized care for the whole child, working to prepare students for successful and fulfilling lives. High test scores were one natural result of these priorities, but not the primary purpose of our children's education. We recognized that our financial resources and strong demographics have helped us have high achievements, but we appreciated our good fortune and embraced serving all children well.
Despite lip service and half hearted efforts (often after failures occur), the district leadership seems to place test scores and elite college admittance as the primary measure of their success. Many of us believe and have experienced that it is not the best measures of our children's success.

Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm


Who is "They"? What exactly did "they" do, and how do you imagine "they" did it?

Posted by sara, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

"They" is 25 Churchill. Unlike the hot lunch survey, which was advertised several times in several places, including a direct e-mail from 25 Churchill, the Superintendent survey link is buried. If you search the PAUSD website for surveys, you are directed to the hot lunch survey, not a peep about a Superintendent survey.

For the Superintendent survey, you have to know to look, and then you have to really search to find it.

We receive direct e-mails from PAUSD regarding all sorts of things including Dr. Skelly's personal observations about certain times of year....I find it curious that this particular survey is so poorly advertised.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm

It is quite evident that "they" refers to the Superintendent and perhaps the Board of Education. Dr. Skelly is probably required to make it known to the public that this survey is available but he (and perhaps BOE) wanted it buried somewhere so perhaps fewer people would see it and take the iniative to fill it out. A similar thing happened when a letter from the former Paly Principal was neatly tucked into a bunch of other extraneous blah blah on the district's website. It was a letter highly critical of the PAUSD's wanting to spend 150K on a Pulic Communications Officer (or whatever they were going to call it) which was basically a high priced "District Spin Artist".

THANK YOU 'GUNN PARENT' for alerting us to this opportunity for the parents, tax payers and community members to make our feelings known about the performance of our under performing (or should I say poorly performing?) Superintendent.

Dr. Skelly, how 'bout using that Nixonian approach (some might call it honorable under these circumstances) and just resign before the public makes becomes the "decider" (in the words of another Repub)?

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm

@Sara: You beat me to it by uno minuto! Thanks for your insightful comments!

Posted by Unsurprised, a resident of Professorville
on May 26, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Hiding the survey sounds a lot like UNsponsoring the OCR meeting. Don't educate the public if you don't want them to know their rights and file complaints on violations of those rights. Don't send out a district email on your performance review if you don't want your managers to know what the public thinks. Funny but there have been a couple of "all hands" emails from Kevin in the last weeks but none on this?

Posted by No surprised, a resident of Barron Park
on May 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online due to known false statement.]

Posted by Another Gunn Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on May 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

Hiding the survey - come on. The is submitted to every e-newsletter in the district and is done annually. And "buried in the eNews" - placement is determined by your school PTA email newsletter editor/format - for Gunn it appeared right below the school specific items under the "PAUSD & PTA" heading (where it is the first and only item). Some schools also put on their school home page (here's Nixon's Web Link).

Posted by Duv Mom, a resident of Duveneck School
on May 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Paly parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

We have received at least two emails from the superintendent in the last few weeks. I don't think this survey was mentioned?

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

@Another Gunn Parent: "Come on" yourself. The fact that the PTA was noticeably absent at the OCR meeting (among other instances of not being tuned into what is going on at the highest level at Churchill) it is not surprising that they would not want to make the access too easy for the public to criticize the Supt. Your statement that the PTA newsletter editor determines the placement speaks for itself. Would you even care to entertain the possibility that Dr. Skelly has a pretty tight control on the PTA as seems to be the case with the Board as well? I have noticed that Kevin pretty much calls the shots all the way around. Why couldn't he have made a request to put the news of a survey on his performance in a not too prominent place\?

Posted by confused, a resident of Barron Park
on May 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Why should the PTA be involved in the OCR meeting?

Posted by Another Paly Parent, a resident of Downtown North
on May 27, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I have a graduating senior at Paly and I have never seen this survey. It is not in the Paly Link (PTSA enews) or on the Paly home page. PTA enews is not the proper channel to reach all parents in the district. First you have to opt in and second the content is at the discretion of each school's enews PTA rep.

Posted by Ano, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

If you have to ask why PTA, or PTAC, should be there . . .

Posted by confused. , a resident of Barron Park
on May 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Yes, please explain. Why should the PTA be there?

Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on May 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I am actually very confused. CAC was one of the sponsors of the OCR educational event. As far as I know the existence of CAC (Community Advisory Comity) for special education is somehow mandated by the law (Federal law, if I am not mistaken). I am not clear how the CAC can have be sponsoring/having educational interest in the event while PAUSD officials would not.

Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Paly Parents - -The survey link IS in the PalyLink on Sunday May 26th in the PAUSD news section.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

@confused: You are truly confused if you can't figure out why reps from the PTA shouldn't have been there or even lent a hand in organizing and sponsoring this event. These issues affect ALL of our children and I would think that anyone who is truly interested in a better outcome for all of our precious students would come out and at least write up the event for other members to read. It just makes sense. PTA people are supposed to be doing more than baking cupcakes (no offense intended!) and marching to the orders of Supt. Skelly.

BTW, I make the best cupcakes in town!

Posted by Another Gunn Parent, a resident of Barron Park
on May 27, 2013 at 11:21 pm

"Would you even care to entertain the possibility that Dr. Skelly has a pretty tight control on the PTA as seems to be the case with the Board as well?"

@IB - not sure if you are involved in any PTA work, but as someone who has served on and off in PTA officer positions from elementary through high school, I can tell you that it is pretty decentralized, with each school being about as independent as you can imagine. There's actually very little sharing of information, guidance, etc., between sites, much less top-down control or manipulation by any central group or person.

If the PTAC or PAUSD submits something for the eNews, it just goes in, just as with any other relevant items that come along. And the editors and VP Comm's include wherever else they think appropriate (paper newsletter, web site, etc.).

If any special requests were made to downplay, as you suggest, it apparently didn't work, since it was exactly where I'd expect it to be for the Gunn eNews (first and only item under PTAC & PAUSD News) and even more prominent for Nixon (home page of their web site). Hiding in plain sight, I suppose.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 28, 2013 at 6:49 am

Thanks "Another Gunn Parent" for your posting. I appreciate your analysis of the inner workings of the PTA and appreciate your work for our students. It is interesting though that you say first and only. If an item is the only item than by definition it has to be first but conversely it is last as well! Two ways of looking at it!!

I still believe that the PTA should have been out in force at the OCR meeting. I didn't see anyone who openly identified themselves as PTA people which I would normally expect. There weren't any cupcakes at the meeting though (next time I will bake some!). The baked goodies they had were REALLY awesome though. And, the table stated that Peet's Coffee donated the coffee for the event. I am grateful for the eye-opener.

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2013 at 7:33 am

@IB Brockovich Are you a member of your school PTA? If yes, then the PTA was at the meeting. If no, then why do you care? If the PTA is that important to you I would think you you spend the small amount of money it takes to be a member.
Did you survey the room to see if other people present were members of their PTAs? I don't think most people walk into a class and say "I'm a pta person". Really, what is your point except to diminish an organization that does a lot of work for our children? The people who wanted to hear from the OCR showed up to the meeting. The people who didn't need the information, didn't.

Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on May 28, 2013 at 7:42 am

@parent - I do not understand. By the same token PAUSD was also officially present in the OCR educational presentation,meeting since the superintendent and a board member were there. As far as I recall PAUSD announced that it will not be related to this event.

Posted by Cannot wait!, a resident of Jordan Middle School
on May 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by confused, a resident of Barron Park
on May 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Not good enough. There needs to be a better reason to support an event than a general cry of: "I would think that anyone who is truly interested in a better outcome for all of our precious students would come out". You need an actual reason for the PTA to support it. It was after all fewer than 100 parents that went, once you elimanate the organizers and hangers-on, out of a district of 11,000 students.
The PTA isn't a political organization. It is staffed by volunteers from all backgrounds, beliefs and politics with no central organization apart from a set of guiding rules. There was even a backlash over the PTA supporting the last library bond...go figure.
If you want to have a go at the PTA, at least make an effort to understand the organization...and provide an actual reason they should support the effort to organize this event.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Green Acres
on May 29, 2013 at 12:16 am

@confused: The CA State PTA has at the beginning of their mission statement, "The mission of the California State PTA is to positively impact the lives of all children and families" Perhaps the Palo Alto Parent Teacher Assn. has a different mission statement. I could not find it. If you could supply us with that it would be great! I think an actual reason for supporting the event would be that acquisition of the information disseminated at the OCR meeting could positively impact the lives of ALL children and their families.

I don't know where you got your attendance information from but it is dead wrong. Additionally,it doesn't matter much whether it was 92, 104, 119, or 130 (I would say that this was a closer estimate. I have many friends who were working at the event and had to stand.

I am curious, "confused" about the difference between the PTA and the groups that sponsored the OCR meeting. The groups that did sponsor the event were all volunteers as well and come from all backgrounds, beliefs, and politics. What the heck does "no central organization" mean and what would be the set of guiding rules (perhaps marching to the beat of Skelly's drum?).

The actual reason that they should support the event is that they could demonstrate their total caring about the well being of ALL of our students. That is a great reason to most people.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Food, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

What possible interest does anyone have about the lack of cupcakes and the awesomeness of the baked goods and the presence of branded coffee at this meeting?

And, since the PTA is a volunteer organization, IB has no right to criticize its presence or absence at that meeting. If there were members there, they bore no responsibility to identify themselves to IB.

I find his/her unfocused nattering unhelpful to the conversation.

Posted by a volunteer who cannot bake, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Not to mention, PTA volunteers do thousands of little things for the well being of kids and schools year around. As one wise volunteer once told me, "you get what you pay for" and that means, we all give what we can, but it's within the boundaries of the hours or abilities we can give.

OK to go after PTAC leadership for politically not supporting the OCR event, but I find it ridiculous to insult the many baking handicapped volunteers like myself who are simply helping out where asked or who step up to take a volunteer job nobody else wants.

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2013 at 11:46 pm

@ a volunteer: I did state in my first mention of cupcakes that there was no offense intended. I will repeat that along with an apology to those who may have been offended. I stand by my claim though that I make the some of the best cupcakes in town. When my mom was a member of the PTA I clearly remember that she was always baking cupcakes. Cupcakes seem to be all the rage right now as well. When I see folks plunking down 3 or 4 bucks for a designer cupcake in this town it really causes me to pause and think about what the child who can't even afford a school lunch could purchase with that money. Thank you to all the PTA members who really do lots of good for our kids. Just wondering why attending a meeting about civil rights in school was considered too off the grid for PTA members to attend. Does anyone know what the mission statement is for the PA PTA? I am still curious about this. Confused, are you still out there and could you shed some light on this?

Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2013 at 12:06 am

I second IB Brockovich. I got the clear impression that IB had issue with the fact that the OCR educational presentation was not sponsored formally by the parents organization/organizations. It is not about personal choice as to the preferred way of spending a weekday evening, or personal interest of the individuals affiliated with the organization. I am pretty sure that not all the members of organizations sponsoring/organizing this event actually attended. I second IB, thinking it was a statement called for. A statement of support of the whole community.

Posted by Duv Mom, a resident of Duveneck School
on May 30, 2013 at 12:39 am

I think that IB is pointing out that PTAC has as its primary mission two things: advocacy, especially advocacy for social/emotional health for all children in the district; and parent education. PTAC also advocates for "the understanding of learning differences." Please see the mission and goal statement: Web Link

This is a terrific mission and goal statement. However, the actions to support this mission and goal statement are currently lacking. Despite the fact that PAUSD has been found to be in noncompliance with federal law regarding the bullying of disabled students (which impacts two of the primary PTAC advocacy missions; social emtional health and learning differences) PTAC has been silent. While PASS, SEAN, CAC, and WCDB all publicly expressed concern about these issues, and have advocated strenuously to improve district policies and procedures to ensure that further violations do not occur (and that those that have occurred are properly remediated) PTAC has been silent. PTAC has not advocated on this important topic although it claims to be an advocacy organization and this is squarely within its mission.

Then the opportunity presented itself to help conduct a parent education event for members of the community with OCR officials. PTAC board members were asked repeatedly by members of the PTAC board and by other parent organizations to please help co-sponsor the event. Not for the baked goods. For the symbolic importance of showing that all members of the community are united in our support for the victims and families of discriminatory bullying. PTAC declined several times -- once on a BS technicality about not having enough notice; and then based on who knows what. Not on it's mission. It is not clear why any organization with the mission and goals of this one would decline to participate in a show of unity for the victims of bullying but the fact that PTAC has been silent and rejected that opportunity speaks volumes about its willingness to walk the walk.

This is not about the local PTAs, which are to be independent. PTAC is not hierarchically over the local PTAs but exists to conduct advocacy. Yet in this instance it appears that the object of PTACs advocacy was not parents or children but PTAC board members, who long have used PTAC presidency as the steppingstone or career trajectory for board member. My view is that Sigrid Pinsky is preparing to run for school board in 2014 and simply wanted to keep PTAC out of the controversy so that she could have the endorsements of current board members and the support of Kevin Skelly when she runs for the board. Just an opinion.

PTAC has a great mission statement. Maybe not such a great mission though.

Posted by Annie, a resident of Midtown
on May 30, 2013 at 6:04 am

Actually Duv Mom is wrong--PTAC hasn't been silent. Sigrid did an interview with Jay Thorwaldson where she defended the district and said things that weren't true such as that the district wanted to do more than OCR had asked it to do (clearly toeing the party line from the lawyer). I guess that could look like "advocacy" on the issue of bullying of disabled students, if you cross your eyes and squint. I myself would like to know why PTAC did not get involved in advocacy and parent ed on this burning issue.

Posted by Three ring circus, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 6:59 am

Skelly-Young and the board could not ask for a better outcome: it's the last day of school, message postings are down, and they have got people talking about cupcakes. Transparency and civil rights just don't have the staying power they used to. These are the leaders you deserve.

Posted by a volunteer , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 9:46 am


"Just wondering why attending a meeting about civil rights in school was considered too off the grid for PTA members to attend."

It's not about PTA members.

From your post, you mention your mom was in PTA, and that you appreciate "the PTA members who really do lots of good for our kids," but if you yourself had first hand experience with PTA in your PA school, you would know that you can be a PTA volunteer and not be a PTA "member" and you can be a PTA "member" and never volunteer. Membership is a fee.

There were probably dozens of PTA members, PTA leaders, or PTA volunteers at the OCR event, including among the organizers.

village fool,

Duv mom explains how PTAC is different. Even looking at their website there is no explanation how they get to be on the board, they probably have a rep from each school but those reps in turn do not really represent parents in Palo Alto. It is unfortunate PTAC failed at the most important part of their mission.

That is what happens when "PTA" leaders use these organizations as "steppingstone or career trajectory for board member."

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

I agree with three ring circus. I am sorry that I every mentioned the word "cupcake"

To protect and serve ALL children in this district should be of utmost importance to ALL PARENT GROUPS including the historically good guy (or gal or both!) PTA. An attempt to add a bit of levity to a very serious topic (that of civil rights for children unable to advocate for themselves) was turned into a three ring circus by people like "confused".

I voted for Ken Dauber who is a good man. Ken was trashed by the establishment in PA....those who would instead get the leaders they deserve. I think thå† Sigrid is totally off base and would be more of the "wrong stuff" for our Board. I think it would be great †o get a totally new board. One that will advocate for ALL students. One that would protect and defend our students instead of protecting and defending Dr. Skelly for NUMEROUS SERIOUS MISSTEPS! I still am reeling from the spin put on the Letter of Finding against the district. Something to the effect of "It's no big deal....this happens all the time in other districts across our great land. We'll just let Kevin off the hook as he is "embarrassed" by the revelations that we violated the civil rights of a developmentally disabled middle school girl who was punched in the face and ignored by the district (for all essential purposes since she didn't receive any help from the district until the story broke in the press).

Thank you PA Weekly for bringing this to our attention (even if the school board doesn't seem to care). Thanks to Curious for many great postings and thanks to WCDBPA. SEAN, PASS and CAC for presenting us with the facts about civil rights violations.

This is not going away no matter how many postings talk about cupcakes (I won't anymore!). Transparency is in! PLEASE EVERYONE, SEND IN YOUR EVALUATION SURVEY ON DR. KEVIN SKELLY'S PERFORMANCE.

Here's the link: Web Link (it's in the article that we are commenting on as well). Please encourage all your friends, neighbors and community members to send theirs in as well by June 4.

I don't want to deserve the leaders I have through sheer inertia and apathy. Stand up and fight for our kids!

Posted by learn to thrive, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Wow, now you're really going after PAPTA because they didn't do what you wanted? This is becoming a joke. People and organizations don't have to "give" because you ask. The onus is on you to make the case for support not on them.
You obviously haven't made your case if the above posts are all you have: "I want to give a book to every child in Palo Alto. The PTA should support me because their mission statement says..." ain't cutting it.
First it was "don't give to PiE until they ask for Skelly resignation" and now this? What is with you supporters and every other group in the district?

Posted by a volunteer , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm

learn to thrive,

yes, but

there is a lot more that "aint cutting it"

If PTAC is a more of a career move, than a legit advocacy group, they serve themselves more than the students.

Making a case to who? PTAC board embers appointed by the Super or by their book club? I don't think so.

I would say that it's up to people to step up and change PTAC - for starters, does the PTAC Pres get appointed by the Superintendent or not?

There should be a clause - you cannot run for BOE if you take the PTAC press job. I wonder how many takers there would be for that. Once that's clear, maybe some real advocates could get to work. Or PTAC presidents should be elected officials. Palo Alto could use that.

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm

IB and volunteer,
I hope to see you both step up next year to be on the PTAC board. Your leadership would be refreshing. Can you guarantee that you will do this? Are you willing to serve or do you just want to complain? Please name the PTAC board members who have gone on to other elected positions? Is it just possible that they are willing to serve in positions that most people wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole? Of course, to be elected to the PTAC board you must be a PTA member. Are you? It doesn't seem so since you don't seem to know how the board is elected, not appointed.

Posted by last year, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm

the survey says is it last year's? What the heck is going on??

Posted by a volunteer , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm


how do I get to be elected president of PTAC?

Who votes? when? Do I just call somebody and get on the board?

Do I need to be on the board to understand how it works?

Posted by IB Brockovich, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 7:51 pm

@parent: in all due respect to PTA members, I prefer to use my time, financial energy, and other resources in the service of love. I love the kids and feel the most effective way to serve them is to be a student advocate. Being a parent educator is of utmost importance to me. Children learn what they live. The values system in this district (even more so among the upper crust PA"establishment")leaves much to be desired. The kids are bullies and competitive because that is what they see modeled at home. This is very unfortunate.

I don't feel that I would be effective in creating the kind of environment that I think our kids need in terms of social and emotional simply by taking up a chair in the PTA. I leave that to the people who feel that their skills can best be utilized as a PTA member. That its just so not me but thanks for inviting me to take on the presidency of this historical organization. I must respectfully decline to run for office or even be a member. I want to join forces with groups such as WCDBPA, CAC, SEAN, PASS and a half dozen other groups out there who I see really doing something besides propping up a dying administration at Churchill.

Posted by confused, a resident of Barron Park
on May 31, 2013 at 9:43 pm

@Ms. Brockovich,
You remind me of a teenager who tries to trash a girl's reputation because she turned you down. Then try to justify your actions because she wears short skirts.
It's ironic that a supporter of the OCR evening doesn't know that "no means NO"! SHE doesn't have to explain why.

Posted by parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Well, IB and volunteer, there is the problem You feel free to criticize the PTAs and the council, yet through your postings you indicate you have no idea how they work. @ volunteer, if you were already a member of your PTA and active, you would know how you get on the board. If you read your school enews you would see the solicitations for people who are willing to run for office. If you went to your PTA meetings at your school, you would certainly hear the appeals for people to run for office. If you were an active volunteer, you be getting phone calls, asking you to consider running for office. It really isn't difficult, however, it does mean volunteering your time in a meaningful way. The council is always begging for people to step up to take on the various roles. It is similar to many of the PTAs. Over the last few years, some of the PTAs have been close to having to disband because they don't have the minimal of 15 members including a President, Treasurer, and Secretary. If a school doesn't have a PTA, or a PTO, it doesn't have a non-profit status and can't raise funds. Most of the PTAs in this district raise funds to provide the "extras" for our kids including noon programs, assemblies, supplies, etc. Before anyone raises the issue that the schools must provide supplies, just think what the minimum is: paper and pencils. It doesn't mean a school must provide colored paper, colored pens, crayons, glue, clay, paint, etc. PTAs also work to support the staff by providing volunteers in the classroom. Of course, you don't have to be a PTA member to volunteer.

IB, it's great to be a student advocate. What does that mean? Are you actively working in any capacity at a school as an advocate or are you just posting on these forums. Huge difference. Do you know what social and emotional learning involves? You say you want to join other groups such as WCDBPA, CAC, SEAN (by the way it's a student group) and a half dozen other groups (what are they). Have you joined? Are you actively working to make a difference or are you just complaining?

It's so easy to post opinions, it's takes a lot more to actually make a difference. I'm hoping you will actually make the difference you want to see instead of just talking about it.

Posted by Spectator at large, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 31, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Spectator at large is a registered user.

@parent: I have a friend named Barbara who has tirelessly tried to help provide information and help for kids with alcohol and other drug problems. She is a kind of advocate who is not connected with any group. She just does it from a true to desire to help kids. Does that kind of work (even though I don't think she is in the PTA) count for anything? In fact, I saw her on TV speaking at the open forum at the last school board meeting. Would you say that one can have as much value doing that kind of work as the PTA parent? If you go to the board meetings or watch them on TV you would realize that many Other parents get up and speak about a host of different things that could potentially have a huge positive impact on our students but for some reason those suggestions often fall on deaf ears. I think the best illustration of this phenomenon revolves around the failure of site-based decisions on counseling to provide good support for Gunn students. I call people like those in WCDBPA student advocates and I doubt whether many of them happen to also be PTA members. I don't think that the fact that he/she is clueless about the internal working of the PTA should be held against Brockovich. Perhaps Brockovich has other interests. I think that Brockovich is on to something when he/she mentions values. Core values of the parent community are very important to me as well. I think those who assist the bullied students are student advocates. I applaud all of them for doing that good work. Perhaps you think that they could be more effective as PTA members? Please explain what they could be doing through the PTA that would be better than getting help for children who have to endure the mine field as a bullie's victim every day? I think that those parents who would stand with the child and help them get justice for wrongs done are truly worthy of the title "student advocate". I aspire to be more like these people who are brave enough to get up and speak out on the wrongs perpetrated on our kids. So, that is my opinion and if you think that PTA work is more important then so be it. Different strokes for different folks and so on and so forth and scooby dooby doo!

Perhaps Mr. or Ms. IB is part of one of those groups but declines to state because of the negative backlash certain groups like WCDBPA have gotten. I was astounded at the viciousness of the attacks levied at their founder during the elections. Who would want to publicly come out as belonging to a group such as WCDBPA if they were aware that people have attacked a good man like Ken Dauber for no reason? Certainly not I.

Posted by Spectator at Large, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Spectator at Large is a registered user.

Recently it has come to my attention that many people in Palo Alto are quite dissatisfied with the level of services that the district's higher ups are delivering. They are most dissatisfied with Dr. Skelly especially after it came to light that he was lying by omission by failing to inform the BOE of the Letter of Finding issued by the Office For Civil Rights in early 2012. Dr Skelly's recent performances do not warrant the hefty salary (278K) plus additional perks (brings total copensation to over 300K).

When talking with friends and neighbors and the friends I meet up with in my daily travels about Dr. Skelly I am made aware that I am not the only tax payer in Palo Alto who is upset about the failure of the school board to call for a full investigation about how this happened. I think it is time for the school Board to implement the plan called for by WCDBPA namely full transparency. We cannot continue to pay for F, F, and F (legal counseling firm) to try and make good an impossibly bad situation.

We, the tax payers of Palo Alto (and also Kevin Skelly's bosses) must use the only recourse that is currently available to us. That recourse is FILLING IN YOUR SURVEY BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON TUESDAY!

To paraphrase the Bible, "Faith Without Works Is Dead"

Please take the time to click on this link right now and get to work!:

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