Original post made on Nov 2, 2012
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 2, 2012, 12:00 AM
on Nov 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm
Thank you for all the positive letters about Ken Dauber. I have been watching him for past couple of years and feel very strongly that his ideas would benefit the district immensely. Barbara Klausner's statement, "In fact, the district has recently moved forward on several of the issues embraced by Mr. Dauber, and his comments have contributed to the depth and breadth of our discussion." should be recognized by voters as evidence that Ken has many good ideas that the district needs and has already benefited from in order to provide an environment where all of our students can thrive. To the many critics who are spreading falsehoods about Ken's style not being a good fit I would point out that Barbara's letter states: "he has continued to engage constructively and with civility in our public discourse." Barbara has not endorsed any of the candidates but I think her letter comes as close as one could get without giving an formal endorsement. Thanks Barbara for recognizing Ken's board worthy qualities. I also think that Esther Wojcicki's letter is outstanding and should serve to assure those people who think that Ken is not liked by teachers and administrators that this is just plain false. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I am glad that facts are starting to be looked at rather than a bunch of groundless assertions which are nothing more than opinions being bandied about in whisper campaigns throughout neighborhoods in PA. Let's move on and do what's best for our kids. Thanks for all the positive letters Weekly as well as all the endorsements from individuals as well as local publications. We can change and I am so excited about all of the benefits our students will derive from new board members. Thanks to Barbara Klausner for your service to the district. You did some wonderful work on behalf of our all of our students.
on Nov 3, 2012 at 12:01 am
Micaela Presti is a registered user.
[Editor's note: The following post has been edited to remove language and characterizations that either present information out of appropriate context or is disrespectful. All posts to Town Square made in the final days before the election will be held to a higher degree of scrutiny and will be edited when necessary to keep political debate as constructive and thoughtful as possible.]
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
As a former co-president of the Palo Alto Council of PTAs, former Project Safety Net steering committee member, and a member of the Developmental Assets Committee I've invested thousands of hours in our schools and our kids, as have many other parents in the district. It is so disappointing to see people so polarized on the candidates.
I do not, in good conscience, support the candidacy of Ken Dauber, because while his intentions may be good, his methods of making changes in the district have been incredibly divisive [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Because many parents and I shared some of Mr. Dauber's concerns, I met with him to ask him to work more closely with other parents and community members by joining the community collaborative Project Safety Net, whose work he frequently referenced. He chose to continue to work independently through his Facebook group, We Can Do Better Palo Alto [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]. I frequently spoke at Board meetings decrying the tone and tenor of the remarks from We Can Do Better, Palo Alto members particularly related to changing the guidance model at Gunn, as being a hindrance to making any change. I think the fact that many people commented on my "bravery" to speak up testifies to the atmosphere of fear at these board meetings.
There are many parents in this district who have effected positive change by working collaboratively with those who need to implement said changes. Mr. Dauber has not done this in his effort to implement changes in the counseling system at Gunn High School. He wanted Dr. Skelly and the board to mandate a change to the advisory system at Gunn without giving the staff and faculty time or opportunity to make their own, educated decisions. He wanted Dr. Skelly and the board to mandate changes in the math curriculum. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] For change to be successful, there must be buy in from the people who are to make the change. Being "told" what to do does not lead to buy in.
Mr. Daubers actions were in direct contrast to the statement from Ms. Wojcicki's letter of support for Mr. Dauber above: "He knows that teachers are the key to an excellent learning experience in the classroom and wants to locate decisions as close to the classroom as possible. In his own words, "I am not in favor of top down control." He strongly believes that teachers should be able to structure their teaching according to their professional judgment"
When Mr. Dauber did not get fast enough action from the top down on counseling changes, he filed several Freedom of Information Act requests [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] The staff at Gunn deserve to be part of the decision making process instead of being mandated a change to a system that is not without its detractors at Palo Alto High School.
Mr. Dauber is a very smart man and I think he does genuinely care about the kids. Unfortunately, [portion removed] I think Mr. Dauber has burned too many bridges to be able to work effectively with the rest of the board, staff and many parents in the district. Yes, he uses data, but data can be manipulated and data can be left out. [Portion removed.] In my opinion, if Mr. Dauber is elected, I think the board will be paralyzed for a long time because it will take a significant time for Mr. Dauber to build any trust back.
Although I have moved from Palo Alto, I still deeply care about the kids and the schools. [Portion removed.]
I know that supporters of Ken will be upset/angry with me for posting this as they so strongly believe in him. I, however, cannot get past the damage that has been done to the district due to his actions.
on Nov 3, 2012 at 8:07 am
David S. is a registered user.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Barbara Klausner says Ken's "tone at our meetings has always been civil and his comments have been result-oriented and data driven. In fact, the district has recently moved forward on several of the issues embraced by Mr. Dauber, and his comments have contributed to the depth and breadth of our discussion." Doesn't sound like a climate of fear to me. And I venture to say that Esther Wojcicki knows a lot more than Micaela what teachers need on the school board.
This letter is a perfect example of the negative whisper campaign that is hurting our local politics.Shame on Micaela for writing it, shame on PTAC for having its name in the letter, and shame on the Weekly for leaving it up here.