News


Nine names proposed for Jordan, Terman schools

Group to present recommendations to school board in March

The woman known as the "mother of Palo Alto schools," a Japanese-American Palo Altan who fought and died during World War II and an early Silicon Valley pioneer are among the people on a working list of new names for Jordan and Terman middle schools.

The Palo Alto school district's Recommending School Names Advisory Committee, formed last fall after the school board voted last year to rename the two schools due to their namesakes' advocacy of eugenics, has winnowed down more than 1,500 name suggestions from the community to a final list of seven people and two geographic names. The members discussed the names at a meeting Tuesday night.

Names were solicited through an online and written survey. Committee members did not submit ideas to avoid conflict of interest.

The committee eliminated duplicates and suggestions for Lewis Terman or David Starr Jordan; applied criteria from a board policy on naming facilities and voted on top names to narrow down the list. Other rationale included a strong Palo Alto connection, "inspirational value" for a middle school name and values such as innovation, integrity and inclusion.

The school board can name school facilities after people, living or dead, and entities that have made "outstanding contributions, including financial contributions, to the school community"; contributions of statewide, national or global significance; or after the geographic area in which the school or building is located, the policy states.

The tentative finalists and brief biographical information about them are below. There is also another name still under consideration by the committee.

Ellen Fletcher: Ellen Fletcher is a former Palo Alto City Councilwoman whose environmental advocacy helped put Palo Alto on the map as a bike-friendly city. She lobbied persistently for biking improvements as a volunteer in the school district and as a council member, according to a Palo Alto Weekly article. In 2002, the City Council officially named Bryant Street as the "Ellen Fletcher Bicycle Boulevard." Fletcher died in 2012.

Frank Greene: Frank Greene was a Silicon Valley pioneer who, as one of the first black technologists in the local industry, focused advocacy efforts on promoting minorities and women. Greene developed high-speed semiconductor computer-memory systems in the 1960s, started two technology companies and later founded a venture firm with a special focus on minority- and female-headed firms, according to a Palo Alto Weekly article. He was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame in 2001. He died in 2009.

William Hewlett: William Hewlett co-founded the Hewlett-Packard Company with David Packard in a Palo Alto garage in 1939. The company's first commercially viable product was the audio oscillator, but throughout its history, HP has developed and manufactured a vast array of high tech products. Hewlett, a Stanford University engineering graduate, founded the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which is among the largest private charitable foundations in the United States. Hedied in 2001.

Edith Johnson: Edith Johnson is considered Palo Alto's first female doctor. She opened a medical practice from an office in her family's home on Hawthorne Avenue in 1907, according to a Weekly article. The city park across the street was named in her honor when it was completed in 1986.

Fred Yamamoto: Fred Yamamoto, who graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1936, was interned in Santa Anita in southern California and then Heart Mountain in Wyoming during World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and later received awards for his service, including the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and Silver Star, according to the Palo Alto Historical Association. He died in combat in France in 1944.

Anna Zschokke: Anna Zschokke is considered one of Palo Alto's first residents and the founder of the local school system. A widowed German immigrant and mother of three, she moved to Palo Alto in the 19th century, according to PaloAltoHistory.org, and later opened a schoolhouse. A 2009 City Council resolution to name a plaza after Zschokke described her as "a Palo Alto pioneer and an active supporter of many civic and cultural projects."

The geographic names tentatively proposed for each school are Adobe Creek Middle School for Terman and Redwood Grove Middle School for Jordan.

Committee members are continuing to research the proposed names in the hopes of uncovering anything that could cause caution or concern. The committee is expected to present final recommendations to the school board in March.

The board is aiming to have both schools renamed by the start of the next school year. A former committee estimated the one-time cost of renaming at about $50,000.

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Comments

119 people like this
Posted by dejiii
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 9:24 am

dejiii is a registered user.

Most ridiculous procedure ever heard of....
You cannot find a USA related event even into 2000s
without racism, or some other form of nomenclature concerns.
WWII greatest "generation", Blacks in separate fighting units,
or more back lines operations, like loading trucks, ships, driving
trucks or doing the dishes. ALL perpertrated by our USA leaders and
even the thinking of many USA citizens in the 1940s. Today those same
leaders are revered in history books, statues, TV movies, list goes
on and on.
But ole Palo Alto manages to need to change history and historical names of schools and complexes because of a few screamers.....
I am sure we can find other historical icons and buildings we can change as well. Oh, Columbus Day, another good one..... I am sure Crockett, Boone, and many other pioneers stealing lands "owned" and used for centuries by Indians, we need to tear down their statues, and history..... What next make University Ave essentially a downtown of fast food and large commercial ownership and buildings? Oh, my bad, it already is....
III


169 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 9:41 am

Well I hope they have gone through all these people looking for skeletons in their closets.

Did any of the women ever wear a fur coat? Did any of the men ever whistle at a young girl? Did any of these people ever take their dog for a walk unleashed or not carry a poop bag for their dog? Did the team look into the crystal ball to see what current behaviors will not be deemed suitable in the future?


93 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:06 am

not a great set of options in my opinion...
* don't want someone whose contribution was "bicycle boulevards". Ross road is now a danger to both bicyclists and drivers.
* don't want someone biased in favor of women and minorities (how about someone focused on excellence irrespective of labels?)
* first female doctor in Palo Alto is wonderful, but hardly earth shattering contribution to human progress.
* loved HP equipment in the lab, but really don't know much about Hewlett as a person.
* Anna Zschokke . sounds like the most appropriate option , but then the school becomes "AZ" middle school since no one will pronounce the name correctly.

The unfortunate fact that these recommendations seem to point out is that many people who have done great things of high impact were imperfect humans. There are many more "perfect" people without significant skeletons in their closets who while perfectly fine humans, had much more limited impact.


132 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:12 am

Crescent Park Mom is a registered user.

NO!!!! Don't name our schools after individuals!!!!


112 people like this
Posted by Just stupid
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:20 am

Just stupid renaming the schools. And new names of individuals.


98 people like this
Posted by Bob Dylan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:21 am

Crescent Park Mom,
I couldn't agree with you more. No more individuals' names. There must be another way.


151 people like this
Posted by Charlene
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:30 am

As a Palo Alto native who attended Ross Road Elementary School (now a housing development), Wilbur Junior High School, now JLS, and Cubberley High School, now a community center, I strongly urge that schools NOT be renamed. You lose the alumni history, school spirit, and sense of Palo Alto history that goes with school names.
- a former Cubberley Cougar


19 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:59 am

Crescent Park Mom is a registered user.

Charlene - an important consideration that may not have occurred to anyone on the committee!! Hopefully they will see your post and consider it in their selection process. There must be a creative way to keep the connection to the new name for past students.


75 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:05 am

Adobe Creek Middle School and Redwood Grove Middle School are fine choices.


24 people like this
Posted by Praisin the Asian
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:10 am

I am a neighborhood mom. And i am in support of Yamamoto for the following reasons:

1. Asian representation
2. We can abbreviate it to YAM, or YAMS, or YAMY middle school and yams are very yummy
3. It's just got a nice ring to it

I am a graduate of the Palo Alto high school of 1986 and i've enlisted in the army. If this name doesn't work out, I propose my last name as well: Lee Middle School.

Thank you very much,
Paly '86


128 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:15 am

I strongly urge the committee to take a step back. Taking Jordan and Terman's names off the schools and replacing them with another person's name is a terrible idea. Even if they seem laudable choices now, there is no guarantee they will withstand the litmus test to which future generations will subject them.

I fear this whole re-naming project has been pushed by a small but vocal minority (in particular, the Jordan student who wrote the paper and his parents) and should never have gotten this far. There have been Jordan graduates for more than 80 years -- you don't dump history, you teach about it.


38 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:15 am

Some of these names would be hard to spell correctly as well as hard to pronounce.

The geographic names are the best of the bunch.

I still like the idea of Schooly McSchoolface.


20 people like this
Posted by allen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:28 am

I went to University High School in Los Angeles. All the iron work around the school had "H" in them after the original name of the school, Harding High after disgraced President Harding. So I understand the importance of renaming schools. We are taking a stand as a community renaming these schools as a result of student activism just as the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are taking a stance against the killing of students. We should be very proud. Making a difference. (They told me to always put a smiley face when I write something like this because some people won't understand it otherwise:^)


43 people like this
Posted by allen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:31 am

PS. As a recipient of the Terman award at Stanford, I am offended by this effort but this and the $80 car wash some poor Joe reported on Nextdoor last night just make me wonder if there might be a better place to live.


73 people like this
Posted by Another resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:33 am

Agree with Resident,
...you forgot to check whether any is anti LGBT, any has a rifle...The list goes on.
Also agree with Cresent park mom, no individual will pass our scrutiny..


34 people like this
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:36 am

I wholeheartedly support and applaud these much needed changes.

These people were wrong in their own time and they are more wrong now.

Good riddance to wrong-headed thinking!


56 people like this
Posted by Eva
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Feb 21, 2018 at 11:55 am

Based on this renaming exercize we know that cultural norms and values change over time. While these named citizens all sound commendable at this moment in time, will that be true in 20 years? Or with the current MeToo movement will one of the names possibly be implicated in some misdeed? Or will we learn that the pioneer of PA education only promoted white education. Or or...

Geographic names are ageless and will stand the test of time.


51 people like this
Posted by been there
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:12 pm

been there is a registered user.

I agree with Anon: "Adobe Creek Middle School and Redwood Grove Middle School are fine choices"


13 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm

All those who oppose renaming.
Where were you when we needed you?
Now it’s all a little too late.


19 people like this
Posted by Roger
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Dear 5th generation,
The top two names that deserve recognition because without them there would be no town called Palo Alto and therefore no schools to name.
Leland Stanford and David Star Jordan.


6 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm

If you named schools after animals it would be easier: Mouse Elementary, Elephant High, Leopard Middle School, et al.

You could also use foreign language names of animals: Tembo High School, Mbogo Elementary, Twiga Middle . . .

And the school's mascot would be self-fulfilling.

Hey, it's an idea . . .


10 people like this
Posted by TRRIGGERRRD!!!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Ross road! Political Correctness! I personally disagree!
ARRRG, it's too much for me to deal with!!!

LOL. I like our local issues over the ones Florida has to deal with..this month. Next month, who knows. Hug your kids.


49 people like this
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Oh.....please please use the geographic names, wood and water are constants that we all need and appreciate. This selection circumnavigates the problems, insults, anger that choosing individuals(no matter how exceptional), will bring about. lets make it easy for us!!!!


76 people like this
Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 21, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Better write these names on the schools using chalk, since you’ll have to wash them off again as soon as the next generation arrives with their own political fads and moral panics.


47 people like this
Posted by Fool's errand
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm

No individuals names! You can anticipate the pointless discussions pro and con no matter which they choose.
(The last thing in the world we need is still more Hewlett-Packard naming.)

Geographic names are ok, preferably if they indicate the location of the school.

This whole kerfuffle is a fool's errand. My sympathies for the (adult) school board members who have to deal with this. What a waste of time, work, and $50,000.


18 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto mom
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Great work committee. I particularly appreciate the number of women on the list. It is so important for our boys and girls to see women’s names represented in public spaces. Currently, women are dismally underrepresented in the names of public schools, buildings, parks, monuments, etc.


20 people like this
Posted by Mondo
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Feb 21, 2018 at 2:04 pm

As someone who attended Terman many moons ago, I can safely say that 99% of the students won't care about the school name. However, for we adults, naming a school after an inspiring individual is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Perhaps many of you know little about Bill Hewlett. His (and Dave Packard's) modesty, open management style and workplace policies, and later contributions in government/community service were big reasons why Silicon Valley grew and prospered, unlike other late 20th century tech centers like Route 128 with their authoritarian business cultures.

One minor example of this that strikes a contrast with many modern tech honchos is that the HP business jet fleet was used for day-to-day use of rank and file employees traveling to distant facilities rather than for jet-setting by Bill and Dave.

Naming a school after Bill Hewlett reflects our inspiration as well as our community and history.


66 people like this
Posted by Jordan 1970
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm

This exercise in sanitizing the past has become ridiculous.

Did anyone stop to think that "Redwood Grove" evokes a non-existent connection to Redwood City?

This is an insult and an affront to the memory of Frederick Terman, fils, a figure of major importance who was considered by all to be a good man and is regarded as a father of silicon valley. The committee [portion removed] won't hear of naming that school after Frederick, fils, because of the guilt-by-association connection to his father, Lewis, pere, who is a casualty [portion removed.] The name of Frederick Terman has been suggested many times in this space so you can't say no one's ever thought of it. [Portion removed.]

What connection has Frank Greene to Palo Alto? Did he even live in town? Not to diminish his accomplishments an an engineer, but did he have any connection to the Palo Alto community or even Stanford? "one of the first black technologists in the local industry". I grew up in Palo Alto and frankly I've never heard of him. Why is Greene's race being mentioned? [Portion removed.]


74 people like this
Posted by blatt
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 2:56 pm

such a ridiculous waste of effort. I attended Jordan and it will always be Jordan to me. This is what happens when our elected officials have too much time on their hands and don't focus on the REAL issues.


1 person likes this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Jordan is easy - just change it to Barbara Jordan Middle School.

Terman is a bit more difficult. Personally I'd rename it after a famous author, perhaps E.B. White, author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan and other excellent books for both elementary and middle school students alike. He also did a critical, key book on writing - Elements of Style - which is a masterful piece of work.

Yes, I think renaming Terman after E.B. White would be great. And as far as a mascot goes either a Mouse (Stuart Little) or a Pig (Wilbur from Charlotte's Web) or perhaps the Spiders (Charlotte, naturally).


45 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:09 pm

The fact people find this is outrageous is interesting.
What if... Jordan was named "Heinrich Himmler Middle School" that we all affectionally called it "Himmler Middle School"?
Then a student does a project on Himmler and finds out the terrible past of this person... Himmler was Hitler's right hand man and was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany?

Do we shrug our shoulders and say, "meh.. part of our history" and walk away? Or should we take a building that our children grow up in and learn in, an educational institution and rename it?

Sure there are many important issues that need to be addressed, but does it also mean this is not important as well? That with someone who was racist and lived a life advocating racism, should be still be the name of such an esteemed building where we send our children to school?

What does our schools stand for? What does our city stand for? In this time of extreme division, and racist hate crimes rising... where do we stand as people of Palo Alto? Do we shrug our shoulders and walk away thinking this is a frivolous matter?

When is racism a frivolous matter?

I went to look for a home to rent last year. We had ample income and are working professionals. I went to a home being shown by a Caucasian realtor in Palo Alto. A Caucasian family from Australia with 2 kids (same age as mine) were in there and the realtor prevented me from walking in (rather rudely) saying I should wait at the front door. I had made an appointment (as she had asked us to) and she made me wait about 7 minutes past my appointment time.When my daughter walked in, she snidely remarked, "oh.. well it looks like your daughter can't listen to instructions" and allowed me to walk in to see a HOME TO RENT.

Then while the Caucasian couple was allowed to roam freely around the home, she followed me room to room literally 2 feet behind me. It was unnerving and unsettling. I finally turned to her politely and said, "you know, you don't have to worry - I'm not going to touch or take anything."

To which she replied, "I made a promise to the current tenant nothing will be taken so I have to do this."

But it was funny how the Caucasian couple and their 2 kids were not being followed by her.

Then after viewing the home, I liked it and the price was reasonable and said, "how can I submit an application form?"
To which she replied, "Oh just email me. and I'll send an application?"

AND THEN, she turns to the Caucasian couple who were literally 4 feet away from me, walks over to them, and says, "is there anything I can help you with? Would you like to apply to rent this home?"

I walked out silently in shock and disbelief. Utter shock.

I grew up in North America. I have multiple graduate degrees. I pay taxes. I volunteer. I am a model citizen.. and yet was treated beyond... just mere rudeness by the realtor.. it was RAMPANT RACISM.

So if you think it's a silly idea to change a name of a school our children attend.. .to a name that is not honoring a racist... think again. Racism is seething and it's a live and it's here in Palo Alto. Maybe.... it will do well to change racism - even if it's a subtle name on a school.


11 people like this
Posted by allen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:12 pm

@James, I don't think anyone has anything against Frederick Terman, it is his dad they don't like. Frederick Terman is, according to Wikipedia, "widely credited as being the father of Silicon Valley." It is a disgrace that his name was not on the list, imho.


6 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:15 pm

I vote for Steve Jobs Middle School.


8 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Steve Jobs lived here and contributed much to Silicon Valley. I vote for Steve Jobs Middle School.


16 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:22 pm

The cranks in the comments are hilarious as always.

Lots of good options here.


15 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Bill Hewlett was a fantastic human being as well as a founder of Hewlett-Packard. To learn more, read wikipedia. His influence on philanthropy and business is incredible.

To cite just one thing: he regarded employees as assets to be nurtured instead of liabilities to be minimized.

He would be a great choice.

HP retiree


29 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:51 pm

I have a strong suspicion that every last one of those people at one time or another contributed to air pollution and/or global warming. So I can't abide seeing them honored.

Gotta go with place names. Humans are too *&^% flawed to be honored.


14 people like this
Posted by Concerned mom
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:52 pm

As a child that played at lytton school house, with its tall trees and little places to tie up the horses, you have killed that part of history. For the little people that grew up there and paid 50K for houses before these corporations came in paying ridiculous amounts to develop the brainiac tech that have led to paying an asian child a 1.00 a day........I pray you stop this and leave the names alone. Most of these high tech cowards have hired young kids, stole their inventions as intellectual properties to work a child a 12 hour day...you people are living in your own little brain.


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown

>> Bill Hewlett was a fantastic human being as well as a founder of Hewlett-Packard. To learn more, read wikipedia. His influence on philanthropy and business is incredible.

>> To cite just one thing: he regarded employees as assets to be nurtured instead of liabilities to be minimized.

Assets?! Clearly, Hewlett and Packard would have been out of step with the last 20 years. The good news is that Antonio Neri apparently doesn't have an MBA. There is hope for HPE after all.


1 person likes this
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of University South
on Feb 21, 2018 at 3:55 pm

I had nominated Palo Alto born and raised, Kelly Kobza, an unsung teacher and administrator of a school in Haiti for 9-12 year olds on the island of La Gonave. These children are taken off the streets and have become literate. Her story is at www.greatergoodhaiti.org She is a substitute teacher in PAUSD and went to Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Her work is astounding. I am proud to be on the board of the 501(c)(3) Greater Good International, which funds her program.


42 people like this
Posted by realitycheck
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Renaming schools after "noteworthy" people to disassociate the institutions from formerly "noteworthy" people. This is what happens when you live in a politically correct bubble and have no common sense. How much time, energy, and taxpayer money has been and will be wasted on something so dumb?! There are only THREE middle schools - name them after the street they're on. No controversy now or ever. Unless of course the street is named after someone who will be deemed persona non grata, causing the street and school to be renamed. You know it's true, haha!


8 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:27 pm

In an ironic twist of fate I ended up attended both schools for 1 year.

I think the arguments for changing the names are good ones.

I agree with those who said they don't think schools should be named after people.

I like the "Adobe Creek Middle School" and "Redwood Grove Middle School" names.

On a subject like this a little sarcasm might be helpful, you an always make fun or anything,
so how about making an effort to take things seriously.

I'm just glad we don't have Confederate Flags or memorials in CA, that would lead to more
cans of worms. Get rid of it all. Blast Stone Mountain clean. Let's take our Constitution
and mission statement seriously for once.


18 people like this
Posted by Jordan 1970
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm

"I attended Redwood Grove middle school.'

"Oh, you're from Redwood City?"

"No, Palo Alto."

Stupid, stupid, stupid.


12 people like this
Posted by Terman parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Adobe Creek and Redwood Grove all the way!


4 people like this
Posted by Stew Pid
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:48 pm

A school by any other name would spell as fleet.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Posted by Jordan 1970, a resident of Old Palo Alto


"I attended Redwood Grove middle school.'
"Oh, you're from Redwood City?"

I think your concern is misplaced. There are a lot of Redwoods between here and Crescent City. Redwood City is only one place with Redwood. It will take a little while for folks to get used to this one, but, I still like it. It goes with "Palo Alto" pretty well.


12 people like this
Posted by Rissshurd
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 21, 2018 at 4:59 pm

I hear the name Trump University is available....


8 people like this
Posted by KISS
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 6:25 pm

PS#1, PS#2, etc.


28 people like this
Posted by Mble
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 21, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Why is time and money being wasted on this? Aren't there much more important agenda items? Mental Health, Sexual Harassment? Budgeting? Staffing with qualified folks?


Like this comment
Posted by Midtown Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 7:50 pm

It doesn’t necessarily have to be named after someone from Palo Alto; it could be somebody who represents the values of many of us in Palo Alto. How about “Malala Middle School?” She is a hero who embodies value and importance of education, and a role model for young girls and women, as well as men. Future generations will be hard-pressed to find a blemish on her resume!


22 people like this
Posted by first things first
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Now is the time for a realistic estimate of what name changes willl cost ....item by item,with a timeline to account for inflation.
So we can put a real price tag on it - maybe it becomes part of the master plan, maybe it get re-prioritized.

Given all the BIGGER issues at our middle schools that really affect our kids it seems the right thing to do.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Posted by first things first, a resident of Midtown

>> Now is the time for a realistic estimate of what name changes willl cost ....item by item,with a timeline to account for inflation.
>> So we can put a real price tag on it - maybe it becomes part of the master plan, maybe it get re-prioritized.

I hope that they set up a voluntary cash donation option, so that I can give an extra $10 to this (above and beyond property taxes). 40% of households contributing would pay for it. That way, the re-naming would be in no danger of being "re-prioritized".


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 21, 2018 at 8:34 pm

I do believe the people who doth protest we should keep the names for the sake of "history" and "good 'ole times" and "memories" and "historical roots"... are providing the same reasons why many people still want the Confederate statutes up.

How dare we demolish and remove Confederate statues that were erected after the Civil war was over? They are "part of our history" and we should keep it all... the bad adulation of white power, and white entitlement and blatant racism in various areas of our town and cities. Lets continue to honor racist historical roots that was part of Palo Alto's story. After all, if it was good enough for us back then.. darn it.. it's good enough for us now. We should embrace that we were racists as a city back then and keep those names up there on the public schools.

Don't bother changing school names. Don't bother changing laws. Why have a civil rights movement? Darn it.. it was so good back in the good 'ole days... .when everyone knew their place in life. Who needs equality and justice in society?


5 people like this
Posted by Yuri
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm

Guess again about that 50K figure. That's a woefully low figure when one consider's all that will need to be changed, the usual cost overruns, and district mismanagement of anything involving construction, or in this case "de-construction". Since, however, the district is overflowing with cash, unless of course your talking about a 2% teacher bonus, here is an idea for a namesake: He was one of the best students to ever grace the halls of Jordan. Bright, caring, humble, hard working, inclusive, and now very successful. In other words, he (or they if you will) embodies the many values that the former Jordan Middle School represents. His name: Davey Franco.

Davey Franco Middle School!!!!


2 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:28 am

Adobe Creek Middle School for Terman and Redwood Grove Middle School for Jordan are pretty lame sounding geographic names for the two middle school. If going with geographic names for the middle schools, make them simpler: Arastradero Middle School for Terman, and Midtown Middle School for Jordan.


8 people like this
Posted by r.o.w
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:22 am

r.o.w is a registered user.

Redwood Grove and Adobe Creek are amazing name choices.

Nobody lives in Palo Alto because of any of the people named on the short list. We live here for the nature, the beauty, the Redwood trees and the Adobe creeks.

Congratulations to the students, parents and administrators who contributed to this project.

Graduate of Escondido, Jordan/JLS and Paly


33 people like this
Posted by dejiii
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:42 am

dejiii is a registered user.

Some Names I can think of:

Too Many Speeders On Middlefield Road School....
Too Many New Large Commercial Buildings Going Up School....
$2 million dollars for a Tear Down 50yr old home School....
Don't step on ANYONE's Toes School.....

Will never end....
JUST LEAVE the names of local schools ALONE!!
I suspect most of those asking for change are less than 10yrs in Palo Alto.
So to them, 50+ years of history, means nothing.
III




5 people like this
Posted by Hal Plotkin
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:46 am

I want to thank the school renaming committee for their thoughtful work. They have come up with a truly excellent list of possible names for our schools to replace names that no longer reflect our shared modern values. Personally, my two top candidates are Ellen Fletcher and William Hewlett. We would honor ourselves and our students by highlighting the lives of these two extraordinary individuals. Like others on the list, they were positive role models whose work and selfless contributions helped make Palo Alto a town that others around the world seek to emulate. I look forward to the day when I can ride my bike or walk our dog by those new signs. They would signal a lasting victory for something that truly matters: showing our kids what we think it means to be a good person.


3 people like this
Posted by Alex
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:53 am

[Post removed.]


33 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:55 am

@Hal Plotkin, the idea that kids will care, much less benefit, about the names of the middle schools shows how hopelessly confused this issue is. This is about the vanity of adults, not the best interests of children. It's a sad distraction from doing things that actually help kids, particularly low-income kids who struggle in school. But that's pretty much par for the course in Palo Alto - lots of high-sounding talk, very little action that matters. "Let's rename the middle schools, that will help those minority kids!" - except it won't.

PLEASE name the schools after trees, rivers, streets, or neighbohoods, not people - spare our future residents the burden of having to do this ever again.


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:57 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


3 people like this
Posted by Vafer
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:40 am

To all the name-change haters, it's never too late to set things right. Just because it's history, doesn't mean it should stand.


13 people like this
Posted by stanhutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:44 am

stanhutchings is a registered user.

Another waste of time and money, while serious problems lack the attention and money to solve them. Just how is this exercise going to improve students', teachers' and staff behavior to one another? Rather than $50,000 to rename, it should be used to re-educate everyone so each person becomes more empathetic towards others, and treats them with respect?
In any case, do NOT name after a person! (if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it)


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:57 am

Posted by Yuri, a resident of another community

>> Guess again about that 50K figure. That's a woefully low figure when one consider's all that will need to be changed, the usual cost overruns, and district mismanagement of anything involving construction, or in this case "de-construction".

I assume that the district has a good idea of the cost because it has been done so many times before. After Terman disappeared, and was then restarted on the site on California east of Jordan (I forget the earlier name) and then moved back to former, now current Terman site which had been the JCC &etc, while Hoover Elementary morphed into the "more structured school" and then moved from Barron Park to the former Ohlone, requiring Hoover to change to Barron Park, while Ohlone moved to-- I forget what it was before. I would have to dig out an old USGS map to see what all the names were in, say, 1970.

The fact is, a bunch of school buildings have been renamed, some names moved to different sites, some names disappeared, over the years.


11 people like this
Posted by Miss
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 11:11 am

It should be clear, given the strong feelings so many people have, that it is wrong to use any person's name--if for no other reason than that their family members would feel that they had been put in a very uncomfortable position.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 11:31 am

Posted by Miss, a resident of Midtown

>> It should be clear, given the strong feelings so many people have, that it is wrong to use any person's name--if for no other reason than that their family members would feel that they had been put in a very uncomfortable position.

I agree, but, to stay positive here, the "Palo Alto" was here at the founding of Palo Alto, and I've always been partial to redwoods.


3 people like this
Posted by Cara
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Thank you for all the research and explanations for choosing these wonderful individuals. This collective group is representative of our current values and any one of them would be a great choice!


4 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 22, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Peter:
Adobe Creek Middle School for Terman and Redwood Grove Middle School for Jordan are pretty lame sounding geographic names for the two middle school. If going with geographic names for the middle schools, make them simpler: Arastradero Middle School for Terman, and Midtown Middle School for Jordan.''

I agree with Peter -- think Redwood Grove and Adobe Creek are meaningless, and I wouldn't know which one applied to which site. Love his suggestion of making it place names -- much more simple. And PLEASE don't name the schools after people.


11 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm

I vote for something more descriptive of the environment:

Arastradero Traffic Fume Middle School

and

Middlefield Traffic Congestion Middle School

To be further descriptive, we could add Kniss and any of the other City Council overdevelopment enablers like Larry Klein to the names.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Posted by Charlie, a resident of College Terrace

>> I agree with Peter -- think Redwood Grove and Adobe Creek are meaningless, and I wouldn't know which one applied to which site. Love his suggestion of making it place names

You mean, like naming a school on Adobe Creek "Adobe Creek"? !?

"Redwood Grove" is a bit trickier-- there are quite a few small groves of redwoods throughout the city, but, I like the name anyway.


6 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm

@LOL: For Terman, One-Hour Mile. For Jordan, Crazy Bike Lane.

I think it should be location-oriented: South Palo Alto Middle School, Palo Alto Middle School (East Palo Alto Middle School would cause confusion), North Palo Alto Middle School. No skeletons with these names.


6 people like this
Posted by Yuri
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:36 pm

Hey Anon, guess you missed out on B4E. That's what the cost enlightened district leaders at the time (pretty much all gone) called a shoddy and blatant miscarriage of bond money back during Y2K. Exposed gas mains, crooked and leaking toilets, the wrong paint, bad heating, no air conditioning (unless you were a computer or administrator), wires to nowhere, useless ethernet connections, bad lighting, spotty Wi-Fi, falling ceiling tiles, porous roofs, insufficient downspouts, rats o'plenty, and no replacement of 20 year old desks. Hey, at least the carpet was dry. It was such a great, district monitored project that it had to be "re-done" with a subsequent bond, that did virtually nothing to fix the B4E issues. Now another bond is coming, and I guess you will buy the lowball figures again, vote for another parcel tax, and then sue the district when your child trips over a faulty tennis net.

If you think the district spends money wisely, with students in mind, you must be the partner of a contractor who will bilk the clueless, high turnover hacks that reside at 25 Churchill.


6 people like this
Posted by Megan Swezey Fogarty
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm

I was against changing names preferring to install a plaque that acknowledges history for generations to come. But if we must, while I like the school founder and the Japanese intern (just to have some non-white men!), I say go with geographic. Why is Redwood geographic with Jordan????

Good luck and let's get this one done. Too many more important issues that need addressing!


1 person likes this
Posted by Allyson
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:36 pm

I like the name Hewlett but there are so many amazing people to choose from if you check out the wiki page.

Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 23, 2018 at 1:18 am

"I think it should be location-oriented: South Palo Alto Middle School, Palo Alto Middle School (East Palo Alto Middle School would cause confusion), North Palo Alto Middle School. No skeletons with these names."

Correction, of course: West Palo Alto Middle School.

They changed Palo Verde to Sequoia, then back to Palo Verde. They changed Wilbur to JLS. They changed Green Gables to Duveneck.

They razed these elementaries: Ortega, Ventura, Crescent Park, Mayfield, Lytton, Van Auken, Ross, DeAnza. Yes, we used to have neighborhood schools close to our homes so we all walked or biked to elementary school. And there was virtually no traffic for bikes to avoid, even on Embarcadero Road.

The School Board has a history of short-sightedness.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2018 at 8:44 am

Posted by Mom, a resident of Jordan Middle School

>> "I think it should be location-oriented: South Palo Alto Middle School, Palo Alto Middle School (East Palo Alto Middle School would cause confusion), North Palo Alto Middle School. No skeletons with these names."

>> Correction, of course: West Palo Alto Middle School.

Thank you for bringing this up. Whatever we do, let's not name things North, East, South, West. Bring up Google Maps in your browser and look at where things actually are. This seems to surprise many people, but, Channing runs East-West, Embarcadero runs West-Southwest - East-Northeast, and El Camino runs Northwest - Southeast. For extra credit, if we assume Rinconada Park is the center of "North Palo Alto", where is "East Palo Alto" in relation to it?


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Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:41 am

James Thurber is a registered user.

Barbara Jordan, Barbara Jordan, Barbara Jordan Middle School. NO COST to change the name - it's already Jordan Middle School.

Thanks for listening!


Like this comment
Posted by Ex-long-time resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2018 at 10:30 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 23, 2018 at 10:44 am

PS !, PS 2 etc......


5 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm

@James Thurber: The School Board wouldn't allow the name to include the name "Jordan" in it. Otherwise, it could just stay Jordan Middle School with no affiliation to anyone, which is the right thing to do.

I would have volunteered to be on the committee but they wanted hours and hours of time! Like two times per week for 3 hours, two months, something like that. Sounded like an inefficient use of time to me.

@Anon: Not exact directions on the Google Maps. Common sense, general directions of where the schools are located. JLS is in South Palo Alto; Jordan is in North Palo Alto; Terman is on the west side of Palo Alto. Otherwise, you are suggesting Arastradero Middle School, Meadow Middle School, North California Middle School? That's acceptable too, I suppose.


25 people like this
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm

With this renaming project, the transformation of Palo Alto is almost complete, comrades. To think you can match the positive contributions that Frederick and Lewis Terman or David Starr Jordan made to Palo Alto and the world with the wanna-be heroes and heroines being foisted on the community [portion removed] is truly heartbreaking. [Portion removed.]

Seriously, if you want to do something constructive, Palo Alto, take the hundreds of thousands of dollars you'll need to earmark to support this knee-jerk move, and invest it in developing middle school lesson plans that teach kids about all the good that the Termans and Jordan did in their lives and, yes, include the issues that, by today's standards, are controversial and help those kids become critical thinkers, capable of sorting the good from the bad and of understanding the many moral dilemmas that arise when we canonize mere mortals by putting their names on schools.


7 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 3:34 pm

>> What evidence do you have that most of the people opposed to changing the names are liberals?

This is one thing Palo Alto Online seems to nurture ... outlandish and insulting statements towards Liberals posted over and over without any proof, just nasty ad hominem attacks on things that are not even related towards Liberalism or even politics.

Anyone who steps over of the SS fascist police state line for having the audacity to mention a problem, or take the side of the underdog or just who says anything that NOT the Palo Alto corporate line is somehow always personally maligned on almost every since chat board on PAO. I remember back about 15 years ago when I was up late night and posted a comment about how loud and frequent airplane noise has gotten in Palo Alto. I was immediately jumped on for being a Liberal whiner. Not it is a major quality of life issue. When we do not push for things to keep getting better, as we can see, they get worse as business chips away at public for money, and gives back as little as possible.

Maybe there are lots of Liberal whiners who do not think of themselves are Liberal whiners, and who want to improve our city for ourselves and our neighbors, but the ... word terrorists from the swamps show up constantly to berate the idea of improvement, or regulation, or protection for people of the environment.

A town square forum should be like a brainstorming session on how to make our city better and happier for everyone ... and in a brainstorming session or in evaluating ideas the first people who need to get out and the constant negative nay-sayers who drain the energy and life out of everything.

I have reported comments like this to management, and they have deleted my comment for even mentioning it.

Palo Alto Online brands itself and would like us to think it is a Town newspaper with a little ole Town Square forum, but what it really is the Stanford owned and operated Palo Alto Ministry of Right-Wing Corporate Propaganda.


4 people like this
Posted by GM Dad
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 23, 2018 at 3:57 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 23, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Whoa, Crescent! Time for some chilling aromatherapy or whatever helps you find your inner teddy bear. Just commenting on the sad fact that the PC/SJW movement is truly moving American society toward exactly the kind of world Orwell predicted in 1984 and Animal Farm. Personally, I don't know any moderates or conservatives who are a part of that movement. I do, however, know scads of liberals and progressive leftists who are proud to wave the PC/SJW flag. More power to them...it's their right as Americans to do so. Does not mean I have to like or support it. It just means I have to tolerate it, which I do. But please don't try to take away my right to oppose it with my words because, on the day you (collectively) do, Palo Alto will have completed its transition and will thenceforth be known as Animal Farm.


22 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 23, 2018 at 4:21 pm

The comments on this article should be mandatory reading for the committee that is looking at the renaming of the two schools. I think it is fair to say the majority of people would say if we have to rename the schools (which is not universally embraced) then they should not use any of the names they have on their short list because we don't want to name the schools after people.

Could the Weekly staff please get this information to the committee? Thank you.


Like this comment
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2018 at 4:48 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

Mom, I'm just trying to save money. Since the school already has the name Jordan - you could simply say that you changed the person you were naming it for and voila - all done - on the cheap.

Terman is much more difficult. I suggested using a famous author but that was in a previous e-mail. I've also suggested being politically "correct" and using animal names - mice, bats, dogs, cats, et al.

Hopefully this will all be over in a very short time. Ciao and best!


15 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 23, 2018 at 5:54 pm

"...outlandish and insulting statements towards Liberals posted over and over without any proof, just nasty ad hominem attacks on things that are not even related towards Liberalism or even politics."

Be charitable. Tribal insults and general trash talk are the only kind of argument that group can muster. They have no substance to offer, nor any capability to create or comprehend it.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:11 pm

I have said my piece here.

I emailed all the board members and superintended before it was agreed to change names explaining my point of view why I did not think the names should be changed. I actually received a couple of replies telling me that they were not going to pay any attention to any of the emails they had received against the name change.

I submitted my idea for names (if they had to be changed) according to the form that was advertised. Once again, no acknowledgement to my concerns.

I think the committee was chosen with bias, the committee had its own agenda, that no input from the community was taken into account.

I think this name change is wrong for so many reasons one of which that they were not interested in getting any type of feedback or using any feedback they received.

They will do what they want and probably choose names already decided and give no thoughts to alum, community or reason.


2 people like this
Posted by Disability Bullying
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Named the two schools after the boy and girl with disabilities who were bullied at Terman and Jordan. That way their suffering will not be in vain. They both still suffer the consequences of the bullying that took place at the schools based on their disabilities.


7 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 11:51 pm

Almost a year ago there was a KQED Forum program about this subject.

I have always been for the name change, but the discussion from that
show cinched it for me. Go back and listen to it and what both side
have to say. It was a good show, as most of the Forum shows are.

KQED Forum:
Palo Alto School District to Vote on Renaming Two Schools, Joining National Debate : Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 11:55 pm

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 24, 2018 at 1:28 am

@James Thurber: No, using the Jordan name is not an option. School Board already stated that they would not allow the name to be kept even if it’s not affiliated with anyone. I agree with you, just keep it unaffiliated.


11 people like this
Posted by Supply & Demand
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 24, 2018 at 9:11 am

This is another example of misplaced priorities.

Who (students) benefit from this?


32 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Feb 24, 2018 at 9:17 am

@Supply & Demand: Who benefits from this? Only the one student who complained in the first place because he can list it on his college application.


8 people like this
Posted by Concerned Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Concerned Observer is a registered user.

To Mom....BINGO !!!


6 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@CrescentParkAnon

Thanks for the Forum link. Michael Krazny did a service by providing a way for people who do not go to meetings to hear the case argued. For a close look at relevant arguments, for and against, check out the well-organized, readable RSAC final report at Web Link

@Supply and Demand, @Mom

"Who benefits from this?"

Anyone who is concerned about the resurgence of "white supremacist" notions, for starters. The mandate for education about the eugenics of the 20th c. (more important IMHO than renaming schools) will arm Palo Alto students to recognize and call out eugenics-related elements of the "white nationalism" of the 21st. Maybe Palo Alto's example will spread to other parts of the country where educators are looking for ways to address inequality in schools.


6 people like this
Posted by Whosis
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2018 at 7:13 pm

@Jerry Underhall, there is no such mandate, what are you talking about?


15 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 24, 2018 at 9:06 pm

Please make it geographic and stop naming schools after people!


2 people like this
Posted by Ecoulson
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 24, 2018 at 11:42 pm

Why don't you name the schools for the street it is on like sunnyvale. Even someone like Packard is controversial as I think he was Secretary of state during part of Viet name war years.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 12:36 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@whosis

The board action on renaming almost a year ago.

Web Link


14 people like this
Posted by Whosis
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2018 at 9:05 am

@Jerry Underhall, umm, that looks like a budget appropriation for a team to develop a "unit of study." It doesn't even say that the work be done, which means it probably wasn't, McGee being so strong on follow-through and all ("Hey, did anybody remember to send in that notice cancelling the raises?"). And there's no "mandate" that the module be taught, which is good, since the idea that the local school board would say what exact history our teachers should teach is a prospect that should frighten all of us, and I'm sure is anathema to our educators.

On a larger topic, the idea that you think teaching primarily white and asian kids about the US Eugenics movement, or changing the name of their school, was an incredibly important way to "address inequality," and that we would be a shining example for the nation, shows how mixed up the thinking is here. The inequality we should care about in schools is in student achievement, i.e., learning. Teaching the white kids about Eugenics in high school won't help the low-income black and hispanic kids learn math and reading in elementary school, which is where the game is currently being lost. As usual, this is about making the adults feel good about themselves ("we've got a mandate!"), not actually doing something for struggling kids.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Whosis

"It doesn't even say that the work be done, which means it probably wasn't . . ."

"And there's no "mandate" that the module be taught . . ."

From the PAUSD link above: "Provide funding for a curriculum team to develop a unit of study regarding California’s and Palo Alto’s role in the Eugenics Movement for inclusion in the secondary history curriculum beginning in the second semester of the 2017-18 school year." You might want to check with the district to see where they are on this. You make a powerful point in expressing your fear about this being taught. I don't believe that parents with children in PA schools today share your fear.

"Teaching the white kids about Eugenics in high school won't help the low-income black and hispanic kids learn math and reading in elementary school . . ."

I don't know if you attended the Town Hall Forum, but one of the presenters, from Stanford's Diversity and First Gen program spelled out how stereotype threat and identity threat impact school performance from elementary school through university. You're right that high school might not be the optimal level to introduce eugenics, how about middle school for introduction and high school ethnic studies or U.S. History to apply their understanding to current issues?

Making kids feel comfortable in their learning setting is acknowledged by educators to positively contribute to their performance. Distancing itself to the greatest extent possible from old, prevailing notions of Nordic supremacy may have some effect at the margins in helping underperforming students improve their school performance. Please keep in mind that this is no longer forgotten history. How Palo Alto Unified School District is dealing with this is morally right, inexpensive and at least as likely to budge the achievement gap needle as other efforts.

Learning about the fallacies of eugenic thinking will help students of all backgrounds be more successful in the future to the extent that they won't have to unlearn stereotypes and biases, positive or negative, about the inherent "fitness" of themselves and others in dealing with America and the world.

There's lots more we could talk about. I wish we could have had a real, face to face conversation renaming was an undecided issue two years ago.



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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2018 at 1:47 pm

There is value in teaching local history at the middle school level. The history of Stanford, Silicon Valley is very important to those growing up in this area. Silicon Valley is made up of many communities with important historical events not forgetting the hows and whys of the early days of Silicon Valley and the importance of technological breakthroughs to the world at large.

To teach Palo Alto history to middle school students it would be necessary to mention all the names of all the schools and the aspects of the good reasoning behind why they were given certain names. Regardless of their views on eugenics, they were not bad people who should go down in local history as unworthy individuals. Rather they should be seen as individuals who were important in their fields, but had some flaws in their characters - as we all do.

In the area where Hewlett, Packard, Jobs, Zuckerberg, lived and the history of Xerox, Sun Microsystems as well as others, we should be teaching the students the value this area has made to the modern technological era. To ignore that fact would be denying them the ability to feel part of the area, to take a pride in local history and the desire to perhaps emulate their forebears in continuing the trend. We must make sure that both Jordan and the two Termans do not become personae non gratis, but are still remembered with dignity the leadership and pioneering spirit that made them icons in Silicon Valley history.


2 people like this
Posted by bikermom
a resident of Mayfield
on Feb 25, 2018 at 9:59 pm

don't name them after anyone, just make up a nice name, like wildflower junior high, or rolling hills, or just anything pleasant then there won't be any negativity or hard feelings associated with them. Gunn should be renamed too.


26 people like this
Posted by Mitch Wiebner
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 25, 2018 at 11:03 pm

Ah yes, Anna Zschokke Middle School rolls right off the tongue. great work...


9 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 26, 2018 at 3:12 am

Oh-oh. What did Henry M. Gunn do? Nobody is safe anymore.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2018 at 8:34 am

For those of you who are so attached to the names "Terman" and "Jordan", ask yourselves, Why?" Why are you so much more attached to those particular names? Rather than, for example, these bygone names:

Sequoia, Wilbur, Green Gables, Ortega, Ventura, Crescent Park, Mayfield, Lytton, Van Auken, Ross, DeAnza.


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 26, 2018 at 10:15 am

** Update **

Updated list of past names no longer in use (corrections?), names that moved to a different location not counted):

Green Gables, Loma Vista, Ohlones (now Ohlone in a different location), Sequoyah, Los Ninos, Crescent Park, De Anza, Van Auken, Garland, Greendell (sort of), Lytton, Ortega, Ross Road, Mayfield (Continuation School and Elementary School), Ventura

Hard to keep track of all those name changes, but, some folks seem to be inordinately and particularly fond of David Starr Jordan and Lewis Madison Terman.



7 people like this
Posted by Charade
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

[Post removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 27, 2018 at 9:35 am

This is all ridiculous and a waste of time. Exhibit A: The Terman name is being changed because Frederick Terman is considered guilty by association. True, his father had some views that are distasteful (in any era). But Frederick, by all accounts, was an upright guy. Just the read the below comment from Ken Dauber to understand how tortured the logic is in all of this.

'The renaming of Terman is complicated by the fact that when the school reopened in 2001 it was named to honor both Lewis M. Terman and his son, Frederick, an accomplished electrical engineer often referred to as the "father of Silicon Valley." The renaming committee said it found no evidence that Frederick was involved in eugenics. While some community members believe the name could be retained to honor only the son, others have argued that only a total name change will disavow the father's legacy.

"Can we truly make a break with the name Lewis Terman if we retain Frederick? I think the answer to that is 'no,'" said Board Vice President Ken Dauber. "I don't think we have to cast aspersions on Frederick Terman to reach that conclusion."

Sitting in the audience at the district office on Friday were Terrance and Jim Terman, the grandson and great-grandson, respectively, of Lewis M. Terman. They said in an interview with the Weekly after the meeting that they only heard of the renaming proposal recently, after a sermon at their local church on historical legacy.

They said that they don't oppose renaming but hope the school will be formally renamed to honor Frederick.

"I feel like my grandfather is being thrown under the bus because no one has accused him of doing anything wrong, but there's somehow the idea 'because of his father he's tainted,'" said Jim, whose middle name is Lewis. "That's even more chilling -- the idea that you're not judged by your own actions or your own beliefs, but you're being judged by your immediate relatives."'


7 people like this
Posted by Alex P
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 27, 2018 at 1:32 pm

To the folks who curated this final list, did you even put these names through the simple test of saying "________ Middle School" aloud? Do you really think that Yamamoto Middle School or Zschokke Middle School are acceptable names?

Go with the geographic names... who knows what people will find offensive in the future. While, you're at it, might as well cover the schools in foam padding so that none of the young adults get a boo-boo.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2018 at 8:17 pm

Posted by Alex P, a resident of Professorville

>> To the folks who curated this final list, did you even put these names through the simple test of saying "________ Middle School" aloud? Do you really think that Yamamoto Middle School or Zschokke Middle School are acceptable names?

"Yamamoto" is easy-peasy. Easily phonetic in English. I guess someone might wonder if the stress is on the first or third syllable. I'm uncertain why you would find the name that difficult?

"Zschokke" is more work. It is a Swiss-German family name, and there are several possible ways to pronounce the "Zsch". How did Frau Zschokke pronounce her name?

>> Go with the geographic names... who knows what people will find offensive in the future.

I agree. I like place names, especially with trees. Most people are not offended by redwoods.

[Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Alex P
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 28, 2018 at 12:27 am

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


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Posted by CrecentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:39 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Yuri
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

Dear Resident,

This district has a history of doing surveys and gathering "input" after their minds have been made up. Data is then screened and selected to bolster the district's position. Comments on surveys are ignored in favor of "hard data" which is cherry picked to support the agenda. Any counter arguments are ignored, and questions dismissed. It doesn't even matter if the policy or program is misguided and/or has no tangible positive impact on students. 90% of what comes out of 25 Churchill is for adults and their ego's (not my statement, one made by a district funded speaker). Look at how fast high level administration comes and goes. That is your measure of their commitment to students. Checking boxes, placating squeaky wheels, avoiding lawsuits, and building resumes are the order of the day.


3 people like this
Posted by Memories only
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 28, 2018 at 6:29 am

Went to Ortega (housing development), Wilbur(some other name now),Cubberley(at least the name still exists). All we need is to change the name of the hospital I was born in (Stanford) and memories are the only thing I have left of this once beautiful middle class town. Most people are relatively new to this town and could care less about anything but the wealth they have accumulated. Sad but true.


4 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 28, 2018 at 9:04 am

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Bob

"True, his father had some views that are distasteful (in any era).

Which views would those be? Are they significant from your perspective? Since the publication of Stephen Jay Gould's book, The Mismeasure of Man, in 1981, the education world has singled out Lewis Terman for criticism for the very views he was feted for in the early 20th century.

Since Terman Jr. High was named for Lewis Terman upon its opening in 1958 , and since the connection to Lewis Terman was reaffirmed in the 2001 naming of Terman Middle School, and since that school now occupies the same location as Terman Jr. High did, it would seem that Ken Dauber was correct when he asked, "Can we truly make a break with the name Lewis Terman if we retain Frederick? I think the answer to that is 'no.'" Despite the many contributions and stellar reputation of Stanford luminary Fred Terman, son of Lewis Terman, the school could not reasonably end up being renamed with the same name it had before the board decided to change it: Terman Middle School.

Clarity of the purpose driving renaming, namely repudiation of Lewis Terman's connection to Palo Alto schools in view of his leadership role in the eugenics movement, drove the board's decision. Neither the intent nor the effect of that decision was to defame Fred Terman. As a result of the controversy over this question, It's likely that far more people are aware of Fred Terman's valuable contributions to Palo Alto, Stanford and Silicon Valley now than before, and that's a good thing.


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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 28, 2018 at 11:01 am

When you look at a screen or a book (in English) to read .. how do you do it ..
You read the first line starting at the top left corner, read it till the end , then move on to the next like i.e. top to bottom, left to right .. its a standard, well accepted norm.

So, Palo Alto - divide that into grids - top to bottom ( North to South ) and Left to right - name the schools as Palo Alto Highschool A, Palo Alto Highschool B , Palo Alto Middle School A, Palo Alto Middle school B, Palo Alto Middle school C .. there, no debates on which high school should be A or B (or 1 or 2 ) -- follow the norm of how you read the book -- after all its education, right :) ?


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 28, 2018 at 12:39 pm

"Neither the intent nor the effect of that decision was to defame Fred Terman."

Intent, umm, maybe not. Effect, definitely defaming.


"As a result of the controversy over this question, It's likely that far more people are aware of Fred Terman's valuable contributions to Palo Alto, Stanford and Silicon Valley now than before, and that's a good thing."

Then why not name a school after him? Say, the to be former Jordan Middle School? Since it was not named for Lewis Terman upon its opening, nor was its connection to Lewis Terman reaffirmed in the 2001 naming of Terman Middle School, and it does not occupy the same location as Terman Jr. High did, it would seem to be eminently qualified per your logic. Recognize Fred Terman's valuable contributions to Palo Alto, Stanford and Silicon Valley.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North

>>> "As a result of the controversy over this question, It's likely that far more people are aware of Fred Terman's valuable contributions to Palo Alto, Stanford and Silicon Valley now than before, and that's a good thing."

>> Then why not name a school after him? Say, the to be former Jordan Middle School? ... Recognize Fred Terman's valuable contributions to Palo Alto, Stanford and Silicon Valley.

Excellent suggestion. Frederick E. Terman Middle School in place of (Jordan), and, Adobe Creek in place of (L.&F. Terman). Works for me. But, I still like redwood names better.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Sempervirens, just so people learn how to spell it.


6 people like this
Posted by Supply & Demand
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm

This is a completely misplaced priority.

Who Name change will benefit? Students or who? Politics is the only downfall of this districts.

We have a handful of priorities already - Financial shortfalls, long term obligations, safety and instabilities in personnel issues to name a few.

What is so bad in keeping the old names. Name change wasting money and energy.


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Posted by Supply & Demand
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:31 pm

True legacy is to use this money and energy for this as a starting point.

Create scholarship with names nominated. Donate your money and energy to them!


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Posted by Jordan 1970
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 28, 2018 at 5:03 pm

"Walter Mitty Middle School" and "Percy Dovetonsils Middle School" appeal to me — two fictitious characters who should offend no one.


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 28, 2018 at 10:06 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Curmudgeon @Anon

"Then why not name a school after him? Say, the to be former Jordan Middle School?"

I entertained this scenario in my own mind a few months ago. What if the board had approved Fred Terman's name for consideration along with others suggested by the community, but only for the school formerly called Jordan? How would that have played out?

I don't think it would have gone well. I tried out the idea on a few folks, both supporters and opponents of the original renaming, and got nothing positive back in response. I'm glad to hear that at least two other Palo Altans had played with the idea.





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Posted by Jordan 1970
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2018 at 12:05 am

I have written several posts encouraging the use of Frederick Terman's name. I feel it would be an affront to his memory to omit him in view of all he contributed to the area. Call the school "Frederick Terman Middle School" and not plain "Terman". Let's not fall into the guilt-by-association trap because his father was Lewis Terman.


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Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 1, 2018 at 6:20 am

James Thurber is a registered user.

Why name a school Walter Mitty when you could easily name it after the writer / creator of Señor Mitty:

James Thurber Middle School.

Not that I'm prejudice or anything :-)


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Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

"Let's not fall into the guilt-by-association trap because his father was Lewis Terman."

Son paying for the father's sins? How un-American.

History is best understood when the context of the times are understood. History is misunderstood if we only look at the past in today's lens.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm

"What if the board had approved Fred Terman's name for consideration along with others suggested by the community, but only for the school formerly called Jordan? How would that have played out? I don't think it would have gone well."

Why not let the real deciders decide? Let the board to approve it and see how it actually goes. Save yourself all that baseless second guessing.


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Posted by OMM 0910
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2018 at 11:55 pm

Khan Noonien Singh Middle School.


9 people like this
Posted by Dennis Wilkinson
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Hi, I wrote and tried to get the board to consider a rededication to Fred Terman. Thanks to all who supported that at the time. I think the comment by Yuri above (which is absolutely spot on) exactly summarizes why that effort got no traction.

To me, the rename is a story of adults, and especially members of the board, wishing to make a statement about right and wrong no matter the cost. Mostly absent from the story are: responsible use of funds, democratic process, or any honest attempt to evaluate how the rename truly impacts our students. In short, it's just not good governance.

I attended a meeting of the committee who will recommend the name. It is clear that most members of the committee, while dedicated and passionate, represent only one [portion removed] end of the ideological spectrum. That is their right and the way this process played out. [Portion removed.]

I still believe that our kids are being taught to think critically [portion removed.] We should all ask them what they think and discuss both sides of these issues with them.


4 people like this
Posted by Board Watcher
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 6, 2018 at 1:32 pm

@Dennis Wilkerson, yes well said. This is much more about the vanity of adults, including, sadly, some of the board members, than what's good for children. We'll see if the school board has evolved enough to put this kind of divisive distraction aside, or if it becomes another "Tuesday Night at the Fights" event.


2 people like this
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Dennis Wilkerson

"It is clear that most members of the committee, while dedicated and passionate, represent only one [portion removed] end of the ideological spectrum."


I attended several meetings and didn't pick up the ideological slant you allege. I saw people with divergent views doing the hard work of forging a joint product that they would be proud to present to the board. Granted, I hold a different position on the initial issue of renaming Jordan and Terman than you have expressed, but I think you owe an apology to volunteers on the committee who have worked hard for months to winnow the well-more than one hundred names that passed screening criteria set by the board in its charge, down to the set that will be presented for consideration next Tuesday.

Are you dissatisfied with the choices they made, or is your complaint that Fred Terman wasn't an option that could be considered for reasons fully explained in the RSAC final report Web Link and presented to the public at the March 7, 2017 Special Study Meeting on Renaming Schools archived at Web Link ?


Thank you for posting under your name. I wish more would adopt the practice, but it doesn't seem to be the norm.


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Posted by A resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2018 at 6:08 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by A Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Jordan 1970
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 6, 2018 at 7:54 pm

"20
RSAC Report, January 8, 2017

"he also recruited his friend and staunch eugenicist William Shockley to Stanford. Frederick does not appear to have disavowed his father’s eugenics doctrines and activities, neither does he appear to have publically [sic] advanced them."

So the truth is out. Frederick Terman is not being disqualified because of anything related to eugenics; he is being disqualified because he recruited William Shockley to Stanford.

For all his flaws, Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor, was a brilliant engineer, so it would stand to reason that Fred Terman would recruit him to Stanford in the era before eugenics-sanitization mania.

So yeah, let's teach our kids that guilt by association is a good thing.


6 people like this
Posted by A restident
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 6, 2018 at 8:27 pm

While I'm not a fan of the renaming because I think we're holding people of a different times to today's standards... (and please no hitler comparisons, Jordan and Terman were not mass murderers).

I can not think of a finer person than Bill Hewlett. It was an honor to work for him and at the wonderful company that he built. You will not find a single skeleton in his closet... other than the fact that Fred Terman was one of his mentors!

I was shocked when I moved here that neither Bill nor Dave (who was a PAUSD board member for a number of years) had a PAUSD school named after them.

If we're going to name a school it's high time to honor Bill or Dave. Aside from Leyland Stanford, no one did more to shape Palo Alto in the 20th century than Bill and Dave.


2 people like this
Posted by Terman grad
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 12, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Let's name the schools San Quentin Middle School and Rikers Island Middle School -- the kids all feel like they are in prison anyway.


4 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm

I agree with those who say that this entire exercise has nothing whatsoever to do with the kids, but rather is an exercise in virtue signaling by adults.

My dad had a job that required us to move around a lot when I was in school. Among the school names (that I remember) were a Booker T Washington Elementary, a Robert E Lee Jr. High school and a Roosevelt Elementary (I don't know and never knew which Roosevelt!). I can't say that I was affected one way or the other by these disparate school names, and I would venture to say that the same is true of the vast majority of my one time classmates - of all ethnicities.

Instead of spending time, money and civic energy arguing about this, I propose instead that we put a plaque in front of every school in town reading "We, the undersigned concerned citizens of Palo Alto decry racism in all its forms - past, present and future" and then the names of all the committee members and all other residents in town who want the world to know that they oppose racism.

Seems like a few bronze plaques would achieve the real purpose of this exercise for a lot less in time and money than this renaming project is costing the city.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2018 at 3:41 pm

Posted by Mary, a resident of Old Palo Alto:

>> I agree with those who say that this entire exercise has nothing whatsoever to do with the kids, but rather is an exercise in virtue signaling by adults.

Virtue signalling?

"Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values done primarily with the intent of enhancing standing within a social group. The term was first used in signalling theory, to describe any behavior that could be used to signal virtue—especially piety among the religious. In recent years, the term has become more commonly used as a pejorative characterization by commentators to criticize what they regard as empty, or superficial support of certain political views, and also used within groups to criticize their own members for valuing outward appearance over substantive action." Web Link

Speaking of signalling theory Web Link , what do you think the message was when adults in 1962 (not 1862, 1962) named a high school in Houston, Texas "Robert E. Lee High School"? If school names don't mean anything at all, then it shouldn't bother you to change the names. Why do we name schools after people, anyway? You could certainly argue that the 1962 name in Houston was "virtue" signalling of a sort. Likewise Terman and Jordan. That is the problem. If we choose not to celebrate racism as a "virtue", we might prefer different names.


2 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 12, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Last night, 60 Minutes included a segment about removing Confederate statues. In it, professor Julian Hayter, an historian, spoke in favor of what he calls "recontextualization". He favors keeping the various statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA, but adding context and finding a way to "tell two stories". When questioned about Washington and Jefferson and how they are different than General Lee he noted that they "built as much as they destroyed". I commend the 60 Minutes segment to everyone involved with the re-naming project.

We cannot change history so we may as well learn from it. In our zeal to be politically correct have we missed an opportunity to recontextualize and tell two stories about Jordan and Terman?


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace

>> Last night, 60 Minutes included a segment about removing Confederate statues. In it, professor Julian Hayter, an historian, spoke in favor of what he calls "recontextualization". He favors keeping the various statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA, but adding context and finding a way to "tell two stories".

Sure. Someone might want to recontextualize the Jeff Davis monument by setting up a speaker to play the original "John Brown's Body" song when cars drive by. And enhance Monument Avenue by adding statues of Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman -- there is more than enough room to accommodate these and many other statues.

>> When questioned about Washington and Jefferson and how they are different than General Lee he noted that they "built as much as they destroyed". I commend the 60 Minutes segment to everyone involved with the re-naming project.

I'm still stuck on this: If the names don't mean anything, then, why object to changing the names? What is the purpose of naming a public school after a person? If a school is named after a person, should(n't?) it be someone the kids who attend the school can feel proud of?

>> We cannot change history so we may as well learn from it. In our zeal to be politically correct have we missed an opportunity to recontextualize and tell two stories about Jordan and Terman?

I think we can do both-- that is, rename the schools after trees and creeks, and, provide context for students about Jordan and Terman.


2 people like this
Posted by Dennis Wilkinson
a resident of Terman Middle School
on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:59 am

Hi Jerry and all,

Jerry, in response to your comment and question, some of that was addressed in the portion of my comment the moderator removed. I do understand that the committee has worked hard, and they have identified some good candidates. My continued worry is that the name will not have broad community support because of the way the process has played out.

The new name should be something we can all celebrate, but there is a great deal of skepticism in the community. Just read the comments on this thread. The issue has always been the opacity of the process. We should have just voted, from the very beginning.

And now, we should just vote on the new name. That would be a simple way to insure broad, community support.

As for the board's refusal to even consider Fred Terman as namesake, I am of course upset about that. Are you not aware how it happened?

Board policy 7310 states that "Any name adopted for any new school shall not be so similar to the name of any existing district school as to result in confusion to members of the community."

At a sparsely attended Friday morning continuation meeting, after Todd Collins had left and outside of its stated agenda, the board took the decision that BP 7310 eliminated Fred Terman. (It's not even in the meeting minutes; I only heard by word of mouth.) The policy is clearly meant to prohibit, say, "JL Samford MS" since we already have a JL Stanford. Who on earth would be confused by Fred Terman MS? Is this a "new" school? Does Terman count as "existing"?

My hometown of Austin TX, renamed Robert E. Lee Elementary to Russell Lee Elementary, after a little-known local photography professor. It was a fantastic solution to a very divisive issue, a solution that has ended up uniting the community. But I guess Austinites must be less easily "confused" than Palo Altans.

Anyway, as for the choices the committee has made, Zschokke seems to me the most fitting of the people. Greene is impressive, but there are lots of really accomplished engineers in PA history (hey, I know one... who had a lot to do with education, to boot...). Hewlett is famous and important, but perhaps not that connected to education and they won't choose him anyway. The other names don't really make sense to me. Adobe Creek would be fine.



8 people like this
Posted by Miss
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2018 at 10:45 am

Again, let's not use any person's name. We don't want any surviving family members to feel uncomfortable.

Since I last wrote I learned that Stanford is suing HP. Stanford land was polluted at the time "Dave and Bill" were still there.

As more things come to light... and standards shift...


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Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 15, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Dennis Wilkinson

"My hometown of Austin TX, renamed Robert E. Lee Elementary to Russell Lee Elementary, after a little-known local photography professor. It was a fantastic solution to a very divisive issue, a solution that has ended up uniting the community."

And it will be known henceforth as Lee Elementary, just as it was before community members, motivated to act by the Charleston church slaughter, argued that it was inappropriate for any child, especially descendants of the victims of the south's "peculiar institution", to attend a school named for a general who led a rebellion against the United States of America.

A consolation prize was offered to those troubled by the name. The kindergarten wing of the school was named for Bettie Mann, the school's first African-American teacher. Was that, and the transparent dodge of renaming Lee Elementary by replacing "Robert E." by "Russell" in the letterhead name of the school enough for this to be a fantastic solution that united the community?

Fortunately, the PAUSD board did not leave this path open. The schools will have new names, not just new namesakes. As awareness of the impact of (negative) eugenics grows, Palo Alto schools will be spared from association with leaders in the (negative) eugenics movement.

I point to (negative) eugenics because there's another story to tell about eugenics as it morphed into genetics, genomics, bioengineering and personalized medicine to name just a few of its descendants. Stanford could do much more to teach us about eugenics past and present. It is ideally placed to do so and I hope it will.


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Posted by Standford Alumi
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

We use to name our school accordindlg to first School Deen (Principal) second school deen names...good memories to commemorate their contribution to school itself...


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

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