Original post made
on Oct 19, 2012
Re: Buena Vista diversity
Thanks for your letter, Fran Kitt! Unfortunately we have a greedy landlord.
I am not speechless, but I am surprised at the Editors "No" on Prop 37. My first thought was "follow the money" as this recommendation and reasoning is simply wrong. An industry proud of their product Labels It as a selling point... organic, fair-trade, grass fed, free-range, natural. The resistance of the industry regarding proper labeling is suspect at best and we, here in California, have the power through the voting booth to demand knowing what foods we are buying and ingesting. Neither our Congress nor our FDA, which is run by a former Monsanto executive, is going to do anything about this. Californians have always led the way in making course corrections for the environment, for food sourcing, for recycling, etcetera.
We are here, now, voting YES on Prop 37 because it is the honorable action to take for our country.
I wish to commend your endorsement of Ken Dauber and Melissa Baten Caswell for the PAUSD board, and for not endorsing Camille Townsend for a third term (I have not met or heard Heidi Emberling.) Until recently, I was one of the silent majority of parents who "outsourced" any decision making to the board and the PAUSD, and was content knowing that my children go to some of the best schools in California. Recently, however, thanks to We Can Do Better Palo Alto, I learned about the stark differences in the advising models between Gunn (where I have a child) and Paly. As someone who served as a resident fellow at Stanford some years ago (the "adult" in an undergrad dorm), I recognize the importance of safety nets and a strong advising system. I have also tried to educate myself more on the topic, and it seems clear to me that the bulk of research suggests that Paly's system is indeed the better of the two. What I found more disturbing is that the survey commissioned by PAUSD had in its data sufficient evidence o this effect, but the analysis done was below par, and it was Ken Dauber's careful and thoughtful quantitative analysis that shed much light on the pronounced differences between the systems. I then chose to attend three PAUSD board meetings, expressing my opinions on the matter in two of them, and I was underwhelmed by the leadership of Camille Townsend. I am sure that Mr. Walter Hayes, whose Letter to the Editor commended her collegiality, believes that this trait is key to success. I, however, would like a board that addresses the real problems and is able to both question the status quo and have the assets needed to offer positive change where needed. I believe that proven critical thinking and analytical skills, which help shed light on the issues that need improvement, are what is really needed at this point. Ken Dauber possesses these skills (and from my attendance at the board meetings I believe that Melissa Baten Caswell does too.) Also, from my own interactions with Ken Dauber, I can only attest to his respectful attitude and engaging demeanor. Mr. Hayes suggested doubted whether "cooperation among board members would be maintained if he replaced Townsend." I have no doubt that cooperation would not only be maintained, but that we would have a board that would be able to offer guidance and insights that have been lacking in recent years.
Steve Tadelis, Greater Miranda, Palo Alto
Thank you Walter for your thoughtful letter.
The three strongest candidates have shown they can represent the students, parents and teachers whilst moving the district forward. They have engaged with the community to make this one of the best school districts in California. Their endless support and volunteering in schools over the last decade have shown their commitment and understanding of the problems we face.
Hopefully all will recognize the validity of your analysis and vote accordingly.