News

Gunn principal, Stanford lecturer, headline panel

Denise Clark Pope, scholar on student stress, joins Gunn discussion tonight

Stanford University Senior Lecturer Denise Clark Pope and Gunn High School Principal Katya Villalobos will headline a panel tonight (Wednesday) at Gunn High School on the subject of "successfully navigating and surviving the high expectations of the Gunn community."

Also on the panel, which is titled "Taming the Tempestuous Sea," will be three student participants and Menlo Park psychologist Lea Goldstein.

Panelists will discuss ways to "encourage a "realistic perspective, maintain appropriate academic support and reinforce common values" in a high-achieving community where many students feel overwhelmed by academic pressure.

Pope is the author of the 2001 book "Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic and Miseducated Students." She is a co-founder of the Stanford-based Challenge Success organization, which aims to promote a "broader vision of youth success" and "challenge the conventional, high-pressure, and narrow path."

Tonight's event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. in Gunn's Spangenberg Theater, 780 Arastradero Road.

It is sponsored by the Gunn PTSA, and free and open to the community.

Chris Kenrick

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

If Stanford does support this organization, would can not they try to change their admission practice first in the nation.


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 10:10 am

They should not use our kids as their experiment,please Stanford admission officers ,please change your practice first.If there is any meaningful change,please do it top down and also tell chinese india government do not sent your kids to usa.


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

@justsayno: Stanford is returning to interviews (currently, they only interview on the East Coast). They are complaining that they are getting too many robots so they want to interview. So Stanford is changing their admission practices. You cannot expect them to completely lower their standards! People will lose respect for the university if they do that.


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

Goals for my kids: Reach to attain your personal potential. Identify work that is meaningful to you...and that allows you to be a productive member of society. Above all, develop strong character and integrity with a balanced emotional life that is guided by love and consideration for the needs of yourself and others. (Notice I said "needs", not "desires". It is important to know the difference.) Without this, well-developed intellect is dangerous.

How can a university know who they are admitting without an interview?


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

Good for you and your goal, I hope you achieve your goal sooner rather than "later".


Like this comment
Posted by Gunn parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

encourage a "realistic perspective, maintain appropriate academic support and reinforce common values."
Some suggestions for incoming parents and those considering Gunn: ask Ms Villabos how she and the AP teachers help students in AP classes who get ill. My son was forced to give up two AP classes as he was out for 3 weeks with a severe illness. No attempt was made to give him make up tests and the teachers did not accept late homework. Then he was forced off his varsity sports team as he was suddenly not enrolled in enough classes.
No help was given from Gunn despite our hiring a private tutor to help him make up the work, our getting a 504 plan on the basis of chronic illness, sending letters from the pediatrician and pleading with the teachers to help etc. Ms Villabos was cc'ed on every email and did nothing. This impacted his college choices but he is determined and so finishing these privately.
This does not seem to support the mission stated above.
I agree with the other comments and would add that colleges might be able to discern the truly bright students from the "automatons" if students were forced to place on their transcript the number of times they have taken a specific course and their grades each time.


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

One can only know what this "realistic perspective, maintain appropriate academic support and reinforce common values" is really about, when they see their kids trailing behind in their adult lives which is happening now in most part of our country, are unable to find good jobs, endangering his/her own families' welling being later in his/her own life.Americans are dreaming while the other part of the world are rising with their hard work and determination.


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

@justsayno: Who's side are you on? You claim Stanford should revise their admissions practices yet claim that Americans are falling behind the rest of the world. And you ask Asians to not immigrate here. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

While Chinese are hard working, the immigrant Chinese children often have resentment due to their Chinese upbringing in America. It's all work and no play. Yet, this is a generalization because I have met some Chinese immigrants who believe in a more balanced lifestyle for their children. Second generation Chinese usually learn to relax more. There can be a happy medium between being a hard worker and still enjoying life.


Like this comment
Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on May 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Great Job Palo Alto PTA Council for putting on another provocative meeting in your series of Parent Ed pieces all year long! Thank you Chris AGAIN for covering these important topics! It is great that "we" - our town - is bringing Stanford into the dialog on youth emotional health. Clearly their administration is anxious to promote the welfare of their students by reframing the dialog here. It's a step in the right direction.


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I would like to know who could come out and tell our companies to hire our students first over other countries's students who have much more strong background.


Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

A healthy society should provide jobs to smarty people like professor and less smarty people who are happy just work in a factory or just a regular worker at different level. US nowadays ships bunch of jobs overseas...anything that can be done by a remote site is on the chopping board to go to another country. This is not just to China and India, but many other countries which have cheaper labor. Like my company, which closed the Finance/account payable dept and move it to Mexico. Then all employees were let go unless one wants to move to Mexico. With less and less jobs in US, the competition of looking for a job is really high. Many companies only hire kids who graduated from top college because there are so many college graduates on the market, and for sure a company to pick and choose a smarty one. To solve this problem, US should bring jobs back to its own country. Or, those company that shipped jobs out of US should pay a HIGH tax as penalty. Without this law, there is no way to bring jobs back and there is no way to ease student competition. Too many people for a few jobs, very stressful for everyone.


Like this comment
Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm

"US should bring jobs back to its own country. Or, those company that shipped jobs out of US should pay a HIGH tax as penalty. Without this law, there is no way to bring jobs back and there is no way to ease student competition."---Parent, a member of the Gunn . . .

I absolutely agree with you on this point. Today's paper showed that corporations rarely pay the 35% tax levied on them.


Like this comment
Posted by Defining Success
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

Dennis asked us audience to define success. As a former Gunn parent success to me is finishing the forth grade and be alive and emotionally healthy at the end, even if they do not graduate. My child graduate. When he started the Gunn competition, he was very healthy, but one year before graduation with all the emotional trauma and not the right counseling system he got emotionally ill, and not is spending time in recovering, and learning to undue the damage that he got at Gunn. So success is being alive and mentally and emotionally healthy at the end of the race.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 5, 2011 at 11:38 am

Question

Does this Principal and Denise Clark Pope have teenagers?

Until they have teenagers of their own, I don't see how anyone can be called an expert on teenagers.




Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

@ Gunn parent: While I'm sorry that your son became ill and had to drop the AP courses, I am not surprised at this outcome. Neither should you.

AP courses are college courses...the students are treated/graded as such. I have not heard of a college or university who would do whatever you wanted for your son (missing 3 weeks). Typically college students who miss 3 weeks of school drop out for the term (take an incomplete) and start over in the next quarter or semester.

Note that you and your son had no such issues for the "regular/normal" HS classes.

Unfortunately "life" does happen.


Like this comment
Posted by Agreed
a resident of College Terrace
on May 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I so agree with Resident above. Stanford "experts" don't always know better. Look at what happened with the charter school run by Stanford in East Palo Alto. The outcome was less than good...

What makes Ms Pope such an expert??


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

@agreed

Because she is an outsider that makes her an expert?


Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

To the several folks asking what makes Denise Pope an expert, and what does she know about teenagers...I don't know her, but one of my educator relatives has met her so I've heard a lot about her from time to time. She is highly respected.

She has been an award winning researcher and instructor at Stanford's school of education for over a decade, which snide comments aside is widely considered as one of the foremost schools of education. Her work is heavily informed by actual research. As far as direct experience with teenagers, she isn't just a theoretician -- she taught high school and directed the Castilleja School Summer Camp for several years.

Oh, and she has kids.

It seems to me that if you have data-driven disagreement with what she has to say -- some research for example, rather than vague (and factually incorrect) comments about her purported lack of experience with teenagers or teaching (which don't reflect reality), I'm sure people would be glad to hear about the facts.


Like this comment
Posted by justsayno
a resident of Midtown
on May 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Every school every situation is different,we do not need outsiders to tell us what to do .


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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