News

Greene Middle School celebrates 'transformative' renaming

School dedicates plaque to Frank S. Greene Jr.

Greene Middle School's multipurpose room was filled Wednesday with hundreds of students and staff wearing dark gray shirts with a quote on the back from the school's new namesake, Frank S. Greene Jr.: "Success in life is not about 'me' but about what you can do to help others."

The school held a rededication ceremony in honor of the African-American technologist and venture capitalist, whose name replaced David Starr Jordan's on campus signs, physical education uniforms and the school website earlier this year. The school board voted in March to rename both Jordan and Terman middle schools due to their namesakes' promotion of eugenics. Terman was renamed after Ellen Fletcher, a Holocaust survivor known for her decades of civic leadership in Palo Alto.

"This is a transformative event for our school," Principal Valerie Royaltey-Quandt told the crowd of students, staff and community members on Wednesday.

Among the attendees on Wednesday were Greene's brother, grandson, colleagues, friends; representatives from organizations including 100 Black Men of Silicon Valley, the California Alliance of African American Educators and the Frank Greene Scholars Program; and Palo Alto Unified Board of Education members.

Speakers described a persistent, intelligent man "of honor" who lifted others up — in particular, young people of color and women in an industry that still struggles with diversity. Greene started a venture capital firm to lend money to startup business run by women and minorities, then a leadership program for African-American youth and women.

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He developed high-speed semiconductor computer-memory systems at Fairchild Semiconductor R&D Labs in the 1960s and was hailed as one of the first black technologists to break the color barrier in the local industry. He held the patent for the integrated circuit that made Fairchild a semiconductor leader at the time.

The quote printed on the new school T-shirts is emblematic of a spirit he embodied, Royaltey-Quandt said: "lift as you climb." (Greene made his statement to the Palo Alto Weekly in 2009 when he was honored as one of the 50 most important African-Americans in technology in an exhibit at Palo Alto City Hall.)

Greene "believed in the future leaders of our country and beyond — I think that's who sits in this room," said Thought Leadership Lab CEO Denise Brosseau, who worked with Greene.

Greene's brother Arthur, who cut a green ribbon on Wednesday to officially dedicate a plaque in his older brother's honor, told the Weekly that the renaming is a "profound honor."

Education was highly valued in their family, especially by their father, who would have been "immensely proud" of his brother, who died suddenly in 2009.

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Talking about his brother's accomplishments in the early years of Silicon Valley, Arthur was reminded of something former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said — something he still quotes to his own children frequently: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

The plaque dedicated to Greene will now hang at the front of the school as a reminder that "all are welcomed here," Royaltey-Quandt said.

Also in attendance on Wednesday was Kobi Jonsson, the young man whose seventh-grade book report on Jordan's leadership in the eugenics movement sparked the renaming effort three years ago. He said it was hard to describe how it felt to see a yearslong, often contentious effort come to fruition.

"A name like this is such an important statement, an emphatic way to make it clear that that," he said, referring to the racist belief system underpinning eugenics, "doesn't belong in our communities.

"This right here, the renaming, is a really great way of showing that we are better and that we have people we can look up to," Jonsson said.

A video of Wednesday's re-dedication ceremony will be posted on the school's website.

Ellen Fletcher Middle School is hosting its own renaming event on Dec. 3, organized by Fletcher's daughter Terry. She, along with Ralph Samuels, the chair of the Northern California chapter of the Kindertransport Association, will speak at the school. Ellen Fletcher escaped the Nazi regime via Kindertransport in 1938, just after her 10th birthday. Kindertransport secretly took nearly 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children to safety in England in 1938 and 1939.

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Greene Middle School celebrates 'transformative' renaming

School dedicates plaque to Frank S. Greene Jr.

by Elena Kadvany / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 14, 2018, 4:45 pm
Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 12:53 pm

Greene Middle School's multipurpose room was filled Wednesday with hundreds of students and staff wearing dark gray shirts with a quote on the back from the school's new namesake, Frank S. Greene Jr.: "Success in life is not about 'me' but about what you can do to help others."

The school held a rededication ceremony in honor of the African-American technologist and venture capitalist, whose name replaced David Starr Jordan's on campus signs, physical education uniforms and the school website earlier this year. The school board voted in March to rename both Jordan and Terman middle schools due to their namesakes' promotion of eugenics. Terman was renamed after Ellen Fletcher, a Holocaust survivor known for her decades of civic leadership in Palo Alto.

"This is a transformative event for our school," Principal Valerie Royaltey-Quandt told the crowd of students, staff and community members on Wednesday.

Among the attendees on Wednesday were Greene's brother, grandson, colleagues, friends; representatives from organizations including 100 Black Men of Silicon Valley, the California Alliance of African American Educators and the Frank Greene Scholars Program; and Palo Alto Unified Board of Education members.

Speakers described a persistent, intelligent man "of honor" who lifted others up — in particular, young people of color and women in an industry that still struggles with diversity. Greene started a venture capital firm to lend money to startup business run by women and minorities, then a leadership program for African-American youth and women.

He developed high-speed semiconductor computer-memory systems at Fairchild Semiconductor R&D Labs in the 1960s and was hailed as one of the first black technologists to break the color barrier in the local industry. He held the patent for the integrated circuit that made Fairchild a semiconductor leader at the time.

The quote printed on the new school T-shirts is emblematic of a spirit he embodied, Royaltey-Quandt said: "lift as you climb." (Greene made his statement to the Palo Alto Weekly in 2009 when he was honored as one of the 50 most important African-Americans in technology in an exhibit at Palo Alto City Hall.)

Greene "believed in the future leaders of our country and beyond — I think that's who sits in this room," said Thought Leadership Lab CEO Denise Brosseau, who worked with Greene.

Greene's brother Arthur, who cut a green ribbon on Wednesday to officially dedicate a plaque in his older brother's honor, told the Weekly that the renaming is a "profound honor."

Education was highly valued in their family, especially by their father, who would have been "immensely proud" of his brother, who died suddenly in 2009.

Talking about his brother's accomplishments in the early years of Silicon Valley, Arthur was reminded of something former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said — something he still quotes to his own children frequently: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

The plaque dedicated to Greene will now hang at the front of the school as a reminder that "all are welcomed here," Royaltey-Quandt said.

Also in attendance on Wednesday was Kobi Jonsson, the young man whose seventh-grade book report on Jordan's leadership in the eugenics movement sparked the renaming effort three years ago. He said it was hard to describe how it felt to see a yearslong, often contentious effort come to fruition.

"A name like this is such an important statement, an emphatic way to make it clear that that," he said, referring to the racist belief system underpinning eugenics, "doesn't belong in our communities.

"This right here, the renaming, is a really great way of showing that we are better and that we have people we can look up to," Jonsson said.

A video of Wednesday's re-dedication ceremony will be posted on the school's website.

Ellen Fletcher Middle School is hosting its own renaming event on Dec. 3, organized by Fletcher's daughter Terry. She, along with Ralph Samuels, the chair of the Northern California chapter of the Kindertransport Association, will speak at the school. Ellen Fletcher escaped the Nazi regime via Kindertransport in 1938, just after her 10th birthday. Kindertransport secretly took nearly 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children to safety in England in 1938 and 1939.

Comments

Lars Johnsson
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 14, 2018 at 6:23 pm
Lars Johnsson, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 14, 2018 at 6:23 pm

What an inspiring re-dedication ceremony for our Frank Greene Middle School today.
All of us read the biography highlights of Frank S. Greene Jr's life, based on which he was rightfully chosen as new namesake and role model.
What was so special today was how his life and legacy came together and alive, with his family, friends and colleagues sharing memories of an inspiring leader, in front of the entire school, the "future leaders of our country".
Thank you!


Christian
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 14, 2018 at 7:49 pm
Christian, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 14, 2018 at 7:49 pm
Lip service
College Terrace
on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm
Lip service , College Terrace
on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:16 pm

I wish all of this wasteful expenditure was instead dedicated to actually making a difference and bridging the opportunity and access gap in our school for underrepresented minorities so diversity in technology becomes the norm and not the exception! Thie whole renaming process was an example of white privilege and fragility at the sane time starting with the ‘project’.
I am so disappointed as a person of color. We can all pat our backs and feel good about the right ‘name’. To students of color it will be the same old lip service. We did not do the right thing by our kids!


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:32 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:32 pm

The renaming was a waste of money spent by the spineless school board. thanks for reminding why i stopped contributing to PIE several years ago as clearly they have no priorities on how to spend our money.


kinda creepy
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 14, 2018 at 9:15 pm
kinda creepy, Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 14, 2018 at 9:15 pm

so looking at the photos the kids were forced to wear T-shirts with a quote on their backs? Seems like something you would find in a cult. Perhaps the cult of political correctness!, LOL ! Just saying


Parent of 2
Fairmeadow
on Nov 14, 2018 at 9:32 pm
Parent of 2, Fairmeadow
on Nov 14, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Well, at least the silliness is over, we can all just go back to literally not caring at all who our middle schools are named after.


Eyes Rolling
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm
Eyes Rolling, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2018 at 9:40 pm

What a way to ruin history for the rest of us. No one even knew about Jordan's life until the paper was written, nor did anyone care after the whistle was blown. But yes, it will look good on college applications.


Former Jordan Parent
Greene Middle School
on Nov 14, 2018 at 11:08 pm
Former Jordan Parent, Greene Middle School
on Nov 14, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I am so pleased that I can claim to be a Former Jordan Parent and list my school community as Jordan Middle School.

My daughter spent 3 years at Jordan Middle School many years ago. She made many new friends, went on school trips, owns Year Books and has bumper stickers (which were never attached to cars). She played sports for Jordan Middle School and has pictures in her uniform with Jordan proudly displayed.

Her memories can't and should not be wiped away and forgotten. When asked which schools she attended, she will always reply Jordan Middle School, Palo Alto.

Her memories now seem disrespected. Her school has been irrevocably changed. She has no affinity to the new name of the school. Her school pride has not only gone but the spirit and history that went along with it has been wiped out.

Is she upset and angry, to some extent yes. Childhood is a precious thing and although in the big scheme of things this probably won't matter to her life, there is still a blot in her memory that something she cherished has been deemed to be not worthy.

Political correctness is wiping away memory after memory all over the country and all over the world. At some stage we have to say "Enough". The past will always be with us if we can learn from it if we care enough to remember it. Burying the past and pretending it never happened does nothing but beg repeating. D.S. Jordan may have had some faults, all of us do, and some faults are only faults if judged by today's standards. It should not and does not wipe out the fact that he also was considered worthy enough to have his name on a local school. Nobody is perfect (one of the previous posters here is already placing criticisms on the conduct of the new namesake) and perhaps forgetting D.S. Jordan's achievements and accomplishments now and only remembering him for some views that were just a minor part of who he was, will be all that he is now remembered for in the future. How wrong is that?


Alum
Registered user
Palo Alto High School
on Nov 14, 2018 at 11:58 pm
Alum, Palo Alto High School
Registered user
on Nov 14, 2018 at 11:58 pm

@YP -- what does PiE have to do with this? Their money is allocated to very specific things like classroom aides, science/art programs, elective teacher salaries, college/career center, etc. PiE's one of the better ways to donate to PAUSD as there is actually some level of reassurance the money isn't going to waste.

Honestly for there to be no controversy, the school needs to be named after a bird, tree, etc... people aren't perfect, and while someone may have done a lot of good, there's virtually always something questionable about them. If there's not a critical mass to push for a name change, then the current name is probably good enough. Eventually Palo Alto needs to put this to rest and worry about other things... maybe the fact that jaguars are not green.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:10 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:10 am

More money being spent on this name change!

It is no wonder people are not giving PAUSD more money to waste.

And for those who think PIE has nothing to do with PAUSD money, think again. If PIE didn't pay for these things, then PAUSD would have to. By contributing to PIE you are freeing up PAUSD funds so that they have more money to spend on frivolous items. PAUSD money should be spent on education. Not feel good things. If someone petitions to change a school name, they should also cough up the money to pay for it. Q E D. Not my money.

BTW it is no surprise the first poster here is the one responsible for this hoo ha. The rest are not in the slightest bit supportive.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:21 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:21 am

Let’s hope that within the next 80 years Greene produces a boy or girl whose success in life is enough that his or her school board or blue ribbon committee will feel justified in naming a new school after him or her, something that Jordan and Terman apparently never did, according to Dauber, Baten Caswell, Collins et al.

(I nominated Zoe Lofgren and Ron Wyden, for instance — serving in U. S. Congress doesn’t cut it, apparently. Joc Pederson and Davonte Adams? Joan Baez and Steven Jenkins? Heck, PAUSD special ed coordinator Luke Oakson went to Gunn and earned a gold record for his Rock band, Brougham. Greene should have been discounted because he’s not even from here. I would have preferred Luke Oakson Middle School to what we ended up with based on that criterium. )
I agree with @kindacreepy the slogans on tee shirts is more disturbing than inspiring. It should lively up the discussion when they get to Animal Farm or 1984.


Yuri
another community
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:38 am
Yuri, another community
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:38 am

All politics aside, the Greene staff should be commended for pulling off a dignified and orderly ceremony especially given all of the last minute changes required due to poor air quality. Certificated and classified staff stepped up, putting in extra hours and accommodating a myriad of changes to the normal daily routine. Great teamwork yet again.


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:56 am
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:56 am

By the way who paid for all those T-shirts? I think there are about 1,000 kids at Jordan-Greene. Did they all get T-shirts? If so isn't that thousands of dollars of our money spent on another frivolous expenditure?
Bye Bye PAUSD PIE drove my Chevy.......


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2018 at 10:09 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2018 at 10:09 am

Posted by Christian, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive

>> Why would a man who was divorced be considered a role model? I know Trump is divorced, and I believe our first President with that on his portfolio.

I hope you are trolling, but, I fear not. Everyone knows that Ronald Reagan, the favorite President of many conservatives, was the first President who was divorced. You can read about his wife, Jane Wyman, here: Web Link Executive summary: it was her choice, Reagan was too liberal for her.

>> What is the truth here?

The truth is that if we want to name buildings after well-known people, then, every person we consider will have some warts. Which, surely, you already knew? Personally, I prefer to name public schools after trees.


Green Gabled
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 15, 2018 at 10:59 am
Green Gabled, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 15, 2018 at 10:59 am

What a waste of taxpayer money renaming Jordan. The school board should have started with Stanford which was of the same ilk as Jordan.


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 15, 2018 at 11:11 am
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 11:11 am

@ Lip service.......the "white privilege" thing is getting old. This was about the father of a student pushing an agenda that wants to change history based on an isolated episode in the life of a person who did enormous good. Simple as that. Every one of us has made some bad choices. Color doesn't discriminate in that regard, yet the white privilege activists only seem to focus on.....you guessed it, white males.


Jordan Middle School
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm
Jordan Middle School, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 12:47 pm

What a bunch of P.C. baloney. Huge waste of PAUSD time and money.

Hope all involved in this ridiculous self-serving feel-good pet project enjoyed patting each other on the back at the ceremony. The worst part is that they used taxpayer money (my money, your money, their money) to fund the name change (and Tshirts above that will end up at Goodwill!). If the name change was so important to the advocates, they should've been required to fundraise privately and pay out of their own pockets instead of spending other people's money. It's easy to fight for a perceived cause when it's on someone else's dime! And that feeling of having our money wasted, money we donated to Pie, or campaigned for on parcel taxes, or donated to the district outright, is exactly why people have chosen to no longer donate/vote yes on these measures. Never again.

Jordan Middle School.


Judith Wasserman
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Judith Wasserman, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm

What a bunch of spoil-sports! The deed is done, get over it. T-shirts, cults, divorces - stop trolling and go out and meet your neighbors.


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 15, 2018 at 7:04 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 7:04 pm

@Judith

some of us actually care about where our tax dollars are spent. And thanks for the advice I just went out and met my neighbors, I didn't realize I had any until you mentioned it.


Jordan Middle School
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:15 pm
Jordan Middle School, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:15 pm

If the advocates for the name change had any integrity or confidence in their proposal, they would have distributed a legitimate survey at the beinning of the process instead of the farce survey they actually distributed. The farce survey didn't ask IF people were in favor or opposed to the name change. The survey simply asked how the community would like the new name to be chosen! It was a dishonest approach. Obviously, the advocates for the name change knew they did NOT have the support of the majority of Palo Alto residents or they would not have sidestepped the most important and obvious question: should PAUSD do this. The majority of Palo Alto citizens (based on previous articles and the volume of comments slamming this ridiculous name change idea), clearly did not support the name changes. Palo Altons have every right to be upset about being dismissed by a small minority bulldozing through their pet project and our tax dollars wasted.


Parent
Greenmeadow
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:27 pm
Parent , Greenmeadow
on Nov 15, 2018 at 9:27 pm

@Jordan Middle School, I think your point is basically right, though I would give a major part of the blame to McGee, who was personally involved with the effort. That kind of low integrity, mislead the community approach was his MO. It's hard to get a satisfying outcome from a bad process.


Lei Ping
Charleston Meadows
on Nov 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm
Lei Ping, Charleston Meadows
on Nov 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Palo Alto should have a school name after a Chinese individual as well. Why are only African-Americans, Jewish people and Caucasians considered?

There are many Chinese who have made profound contributions to science and engineering. Some teach at American universities and others are still in China.

What did Jordan do to lose his school name? Something bad?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Posted by Lei Ping, a resident of Charleston Meadows

>> What did Jordan do to lose his school name? Something bad?

David Starr Jordan was, at times, outspoken in favor of Chinese and other Asian immigrants, as was Jane Lathrop Stanford. (see the book "Thinking Orientals" by Henry Yu.). Paradoxically, Jordan was, at the same time, an early proponent of eugenics. This is a huge subject. You can start with Wikipedia: Web Link


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Posted by Lei Ping, a resident of Charleston Meadows

>> Palo Alto should have a school name after a Chinese individual as well. Why are only African-Americans, Jewish people and Caucasians considered?

Actually, they did consider others. In fact, Fred Yamamoto was proposed.

Web Link

On these pages, another proposal I saw was for Michio Kaku, who was born in San Jose and attended Cubberley High School:

Web Link

>> There are many Chinese who have made profound contributions to science and engineering. Some teach at American universities and others are still in China.

They were looking for people with local connections. Do you have some proposals for locals for next time around?


Yusef
another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm
Yusef, another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

No PA schools named after Muslim scholars either. Very ethnocentric but par for the course. Only the 'pre-qualified' need apply.


R.Davis
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2018 at 9:46 am
R.Davis, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Nov 17, 2018 at 9:46 am

QUOTE: Why would a man who was divorced be considered a role model?
QUOTE: The renaming was a waste of money spent by the spineless school board.
QUOTE: Political correctness is wiping away memory after memory all over the country and all over the world.
QUOTE: By the way who paid for all those T-shirts? I think there are about 1,000 kids at Jordan-Greene. Did they all get T-shirts? If so isn't that thousands of dollars of our money spent on another frivolous expenditure?
QUOTE: What a bunch of P.C. baloney. Huge waste of PAUSD time and money.
QUOTE: Palo Alto should have a school name after a Chinese individual as well.
QUOTE: No PA schools named after Muslim scholars either.

Now you see why NYC refers to their schools as PS #1, PS #2 and so on....no hassles or petty bickering to contend with.



parent
Walter Hays School
on Nov 17, 2018 at 10:52 am
parent, Walter Hays School
on Nov 17, 2018 at 10:52 am

It is important to remember that all of these activities build community and makes common ties for the children that come from so many backgrounds.
My daughter was very excited to come home and tell me about this event. She loved getting to be apart of it. She is wearing that t-shirt today (Saturday). She loves the quote on the back as do I.
If your only complaint is that the school does not have the same name as when your child went there, then I am relieved that is a problem in life that deems to be complained about. I'm not sure you are teaching your child resilience in that everything will NOT remain the same as they go through life.
It is sad to hear so many negative feelings about this. Please ask someone how they felt to be at the assembly. It was a great positive event for all that went.


What we do
Stanford
on Nov 17, 2018 at 12:27 pm
What we do, Stanford
on Nov 17, 2018 at 12:27 pm

We changed a school name from that of someone involved with Eugenics to someone involved with work that emphasizes “race matters” and “gender matters.”

Who woulda thunk?


The Name Game
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm
The Name Game, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Will future PA school names be based on a 'so what have you done for me lately?' criteria?

If so, there are many sub-groups (along with their zealous advocates) to be further considered and represented (e.g. other ethnic minority groups, the LGBT community, the 'Save the President Hotel' proponents, commercial developers, the residentialist movement etc.).

Pretty soon everyone will want a school named after something or someone. Welcome to the 21st century PA.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Posted by What we do, a resident of Stanford

>> We changed a school name from that of someone involved with Eugenics to someone involved with work that emphasizes “race matters” and “gender matters.”

Jordan was somewhat more paradoxical; if the issue had just been Jordan, I would not have given it much attention. OTOH, Lewis Terman was a real problem. A "nice guy" who also legitimized being smart at a time when it wasn't so valued, why not consider him a role model? Read this article in Stanford Magazine, "The Vexing Legacy of Lewis Terman":

Web Link

From this article:

==

His support of the gifted was heartfelt, but an equally fundamental part of Terman's social plan was controlling the people at the other end of the intelligence scale. Both were aims of eugenics, a movement that gained momentum early in the 20th century.

The eugenicists of Terman's day held that people of different races, nationalities and classes were born with immutable differences in intelligence, character and hardiness, and that these genetic disparities called for an "aristogenic" caste system. [... much omitted ...] In the United States, the movement peddled a topsy-turvy form of Darwinism, claiming that the "fittest" (defined as well-to-do whites of Northern European ancestry) were reproducing too slowly [...] He was a member of the prominent eugenics societies of the day. " [...] Eugenics was "hugely popular in America and Europe among the 'better sort' before Hitler gave it a bad name," as journalist Nicholas Lemann puts it. [...] In fact, Terman sat on the boards of two eugenics organizations with Stanford's first president, David Starr Jordan.

[...]

During the 1930s, as the brutality of Nazi policies and the scientific errors of eugenic doctrines became clearer, the eugenics movement withered in the United States and Terman inched away from his harshest views. Later in life, he told friends he regretted some of his statements about "inferior races." But unlike several prominent intelligence-testers, such as psychologist Henry Goddard and sat creator Carl Brigham, Terman never publicly recanted.

==

-Terman never publicly recanted.-

Now, one of the societies was E.S. Gosney's "Human Betterment Foundation."

== Web Link ===

"Gosney and Popenoe's book was specifically referenced by officials in Nazi Germany in the creation of their own sterilization legislation in 1933 as having provided them with proof that sterilization programs could be safe and effective. According to a U.S. health official at the time who had just returned from a trip to Germany, "the leaders in the German sterilization movement state repeatedly that their legislation was formulated only after careful study of the California experiment." (quoted in Kühl 1994, p. 42-43) Gosney and Popenoe believed the population of mentally ill in the United States could be reduced by half in "three or four generations." The Sacramento philanthropist/eugenicist Charles Goethe wrote to Gosney in a letter from 1934:

You will be interested to know that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought and particularly by the work of the Human Betterment Foundation. I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.

==

I'm glad Lewis Terman is no longer considered a suitable "role model".


Sports Eugenics
Stanford
on Nov 17, 2018 at 6:57 pm
Sports Eugenics, Stanford
on Nov 17, 2018 at 6:57 pm
Me 2
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2018 at 8:43 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Context is everything in history.

Looking at the past with today's lenses is for the simple minded.

I thought we were smarter than that in Palo Alto.


Jordan Grad 1970
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2018 at 2:06 am
Jordan Grad 1970, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2018 at 2:06 am

"an equally fundamental part of Terman's social plan was controlling the people at the other end of the intelligence scale"

I hope you're aware that there were two Termans: Lewis, pere and Frederick, fils.

Pere Lewis was politically incorrect by today's standards but fils Fred was a prominent and highly esteemed educator who did not share his father's beliefs. Frederick Terman changed a lot of his students' lives for the better.

I can't help but think there was an element of racism, or "reverse racism" as it is called nowadays, involved in the selection process. White Frederick Terman was exclued from consideration in part due to guilt by association with his politically-incorrect father and in part due to his ethnicity.

I graduated from Jordan and lived in Palo Alto for two decades. I was certainly aware of the legacy of F. Terman but had never heard of Frank Greene until this manufactured controversy came along. I have no objection to the school being named after Greene. What I object to is that an equally, if not more worthy, candidate was excluded from consideration due to guilt by association and his own ethnicity. There seems to have been a hidden agenda at work, not only to purge the name "Jordan" but also to create a role model for a specific ethnic group at the expense of another deserving candidate.

The process of renaming the school has so many racial overtones, all cloaked in political correctness.


Jordan Grad 1970
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2018 at 2:34 am
Jordan Grad 1970, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2018 at 2:34 am

"Palo Alto should have a school name after a Chinese individual as well. Why are only African-Americans, Jewish people and Caucasians considered?"

So you would exclude Fred Yamamoto because he was Japanese?

"There are many Chinese who have made profound contributions to science and engineering. Some teach at American universities and others are still in China."

There are more facets of the human experience than science and engineering. I hope this is the case in Palo Alto.

If you count the elementary schools, maybe there are enough schools in Palo Alto to name one after a member every ethnic group. That should please everyone.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2018 at 9:17 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2018 at 9:17 am

So the dissent goes on. It does because humans are fickle characters. We all have character flaws. And even things that are not flaws now may one day be thought so.

The naming of any type of building or institution after an individual to honor that individual is begging for dissent. Not only is there dissent for who is chosen, but dissent for who is not.

Tribal warfare is living strong and as long as "my" tribe is not honored, then I will not be happy with another tribe being honored.

School Board has opened a huge can of worms which cannot be closed. Unfortunately they have not learned from past mistakes and so the mistakes are most likely to be repeated.

Very bad from a governing body supposed to be concerned with education. If they can't learn from past mistakes (of naming after a person who may be seen as flawed), then why are we trusting them with the education of our children?


Resident of PA
Charleston Meadows
on Nov 18, 2018 at 5:06 pm
Resident of PA, Charleston Meadows
on Nov 18, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Greene was a pretty weak candidate without almost no Palo Alto ties. He didn't live here, go to school here, taught briefly at Stanford, had an office in Palo Alto for a relatively small part of his career. It's a stretch. But what difference does it make? A name is a name; some people are satisfied; the rest hopefully can move on to something more important, which includes just about everything.


Perplexed Over These Renamings
College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm
Perplexed Over These Renamings, College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2018 at 5:19 pm

What perplexes me is how the renaming of Terman was continually misconstrued by some Chinese parents even after it was fully explained to them that the school was being named after a native son of Palo Alto who died a World War II hero while fighting for the United States and had nothing to do with the Imperial Navy architect of the Pearl Harbor attack.

It's like rejecting the trade name of Sarah Lee poundcake because the brand shares the same last name as the Confederacy's Robert E. Lee.


a Rose by any other
Greene Middle School
on Nov 19, 2018 at 1:59 am
a Rose by any other, Greene Middle School
on Nov 19, 2018 at 1:59 am

^ . . . you didn't see Dr Russel Lee seriously considered.


Jordan Grad 1970
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2018 at 2:42 am
Jordan Grad 1970, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2018 at 2:42 am

"Greene was a pretty weak candidate without almost no Palo Alto ties. He didn't live here, go to school here, taught briefly at Stanford, had an office in Palo Alto for a relatively small part of his career. It's a stretch."

Dr. Frederick Terman, fils, was a much more worthy candidate, having been a prominent educator who touched the lives of many of his students including Bill Hewlett, David Packard and the Varian brothers. Greene may have worked for Dr. Terman at the Stanford school of engineering during his brief stint there.

But Terman was white.

I maintain there was a hidden agenda which resulted in the exclusion of a worthy candidate who was not an ethnic minority. Is Palo Alto posthumously atoning for the decades-past Eugenics beliefs of David Starr Jordan?

Ethnicity takes precedence over achievement — is that the lesson you want your kids to walk away with? You've already taught them how to sanitize history in the name of political correctness — congratulations!

"Reverse raciscm" is still racism and it's alive and well in Palo Alto.

I studied at Jordan junior high school as did my father and brother. Going forward I refuse to call it Greene Middle School.


Green Acres parent
Green Acres
on Nov 19, 2018 at 11:22 pm
Green Acres parent, Green Acres
on Nov 19, 2018 at 11:22 pm

@Perplexed

Many of the Chinese Americans who spoke at the board meeting pointed out that if Fred Terman was excluded because he had the same last name as Lewis Terman, then Fred Yamamoto should be excluded because he had the same last name as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. They said it was a double standard.

Terman Middle School was originally named for Lewis Terman and was later rededicated to honor Fred Terman as well. Fred Terman is known as the father of Silicon Valley. During the renaming debate, no one gave any reason why he should lose the honor of having a school named after him. I think the fact that he didn't follow in his father's racist footsteps should be commended.


Jordan Grad 1970
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2018 at 2:35 am
Jordan Grad 1970, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2018 at 2:35 am

"Many of the Chinese Americans who spoke at the board meeting pointed out that if Fred Terman was excluded because he had the same last name as Lewis Terman, then Fred Yamamoto should be excluded because he had the same last name as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. They said it was a double standard."

IMO Fred Terman was excluded because he was white. Frank Greene was black.

IMO Fred Yamamoto was excluded because he was Japanese, not Chinese. Excluding a Palo Altan and war hero for having the same last name as a long-deceased Japanese admiral is absurd. This business of "has the same last name as" is guilt by heritage and is B.S. Isn't guilt by heritage at the root of all racism?

My, what a fine lesson you've taught your children, Palo Alto, that ethnicity takes precedence over merit. How is this reverse racism preferable to having a school named after David Starr Jordan? Jordan and the Eugenics movement are decades gone and long forgotten by all but one Palo Alto parent, but clearly racism is alive and well in Palo Alto in 2018. As I said earlier, "reverse racism" is still racism.

I would have been satisfied with a "Fred Yamamoto Middle School". At least Yamamoto was a Palo Altan, which Frank Greene was not. No reasonable person can make the case that non-Palo Altan Greene has a stronger resume than F. Terman. I grew up in Palo Alto and had never heard of Frank Greene until this tempest in a teapot came up.

George Washington owned slaves. Is Palo Alto going to lead the charge to have him removed from the dollar bill and the nation's capitol renamed "Greene, D.C." after Frank Greene?

Palo Alto has turned into Hooterville, folks, with idiotic townspeople putting themselves on committees to rename schools.


Jordan Grad 1970
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2018 at 3:08 am
Jordan Grad 1970, Old Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

Aside from his legacy as co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, David and Lucile Packard have a storied legacy of philanthropy and charity which continues to this day, helping many in need. They are certainly worthy of having a school named after them.

Think there could be a Packard middle school in Palo Alto? Not a chance. Neither Mr. or Mrs. Packard was a member of an ethnic minority.


Grren Acres Is the Place to Be
Green Acres
on Nov 20, 2018 at 7:55 am
Grren Acres Is the Place to Be, Green Acres
on Nov 20, 2018 at 7:55 am

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