News

District to consolidate Tinsley students at fewer schools, cut busing to four elementaries

Parents protest decision, saying the district did not give them the chance to weigh in first

The Palo Alto school district has decided to close new enrollment at four elementary schools for the Voluntary Transfer Program, which allows East Palo Alto students to attend Palo Alto Unified schools, in the hopes of cutting down on young students' long bus rides and alleviating isolation by grouping more minority students together.

The district sent letters in English and Spanish to about 50 affected families on April 17 informing them of the change. Starting this fall, no new Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP) students will be able to enroll at Palo Verde, Barron Park, Juana Briones or Nixon — the elementary schools that, except for Palo Verde, are farthest from East Palo Alto — and bus routes to those schools will end in the 2021-22 school year. The letter asked current VTP parents to voluntarily move children at these four schools to Duveneck, Addison, Hayes, El Carmelo, Fairmeadow or Escondido elementary schools this coming fall. When the bussing ends, students can either move to a school still served by the buses or parents will have to provide transportation.

Parents said they have been surprised by the sudden announcement and are concerned about the choice they feel it presents: to either uproot their children or arrange transportation themselves, which means navigating around their work schedules. Others also criticized the district for not consulting with families before making what they see as a consequential change.

"Sad and disappointed" were Liz Hernandez's first reactions when she read the district's announcement. Her son, a Tinsley student, is in first grade at Juana Briones Elementary School, where he started this year after attending kindergarten at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Palo Alto. She's a hair stylist and doesn't get off work until 6 p.m., so her son takes the bus to and from their East Palo Alto home. Her older child, a teenager, attends school in a different district, so handling transportation for both of them would be difficult, she said.

Her first-grade son is behind in reading and is still adjusting to his new school, Hernandez said. She doesn't see moving him as a viable choice.

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"Changing schools, I feel like, will just add something else to his ability of being on the same page of the other students," Hernandez said.

Director of Academic Supports Judy Argumedo, who oversees the Voluntary Transfer Program, said the district has been considering since 2014 how to improve long bus rides and the experience of racial isolation for East Palo Alto students. In that year, the district's Minority Achievement and Talent Development Advisory committee heard students and parents describe both as pressing issues. The committee recommended that the district place Voluntary Transfer Program students in targeted schools in each region of the district and provide those schools with extra funding for bus duty and professional development on "how to create identity-safe classrooms."

At the time, Argumedo said that then-superintendent Max McGee asked the San Mateo County Office of Education if the district could enroll an additional 40 Voluntary Transfer Program students. The request was denied because enrollment figures are set for the program, the result of a court-ordered settlement from the 1980s.

The 60 kindergarten through second-grade students who enroll in Palo Alto Unified through this program each year are spread out across 13 elementary school sites, including Greendell School. Some students also request to move to other district schools or leave the district, meaning that at some schools there is only one East Palo Alto student in a grade level, Argumedo said.

All of the transfer requests come from parents of students at schools in south Palo Alto, who often cite transportation challenges, she said. The bus ride can be longer than an hour for some students, according to the district.

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The district also offered families of fifth-grade students who were slated to go to Fletcher Middle School in south Palo Alto the opportunity to transfer to Frank S. Greene or JLS middle schools, which are closer to East Palo Alto. Ten out of 12 families decided to transfer; the two who didn’t had older children already attending Fletcher, according to the district.

About half of the parents who have responded to the letter so far have chosen to transfer, Argumedo said. The district on Friday, April 26, called families they haven't heard from and will continue doing so on Monday, April 29.

"In some cases, our change in placement will now provide an opportunity to walk or bike to school," Superintendent Don Austin wrote in a weekly message. "We view this revision as a positive."

Special-education students who are bused separately will not be affected by the change, Argumedo said.

Juana Briones Principal Katy Bimpson said at a PTA meeting on Friday night that in spite of the district's plan to not to enroll new VTP students at her school and to encourage families to transfer their children out, "Personally, I'd like to see our community stay intact."

"I've only ever experienced education with diversity among our community. It's something I know we all value very, very deeply," Bimpson said.

She said she's been aware of the pending change for several months but that the district sent the letters home to families without telling her until three days after the fact. She urged parents Friday to "rally around all of our families to make sure they know what important members they are of this community."

There are about 20 Voluntary Transfer Program students at Juana Briones. Bimpson described the district's intent to shorten young students' bus rides to school as "well-intentioned."

Bimpson and Juana Briones staff will be hosting a meeting to answer parents' questions about the change on Monday, May 13, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Foundation for a College Education, 2160 Euclid Ave. in East Palo Alto. She's reaching out to other elementary principals to involve them as well, she said.

Other Juana Briones parents expressed outrage at the change and how it was communicated. For Elaine Heal, it raised larger questions about transparency in the district -- decisions that are "perhaps well-reasoned" but made without public awareness of or input into the process. She and other parents compared it to the recent reorganization of the district arts department, which was similarly criticized by teachers and parents.

Mayra Gonzalez, the parent of two Voluntary Transfer Program students at Juana Briones, said her children don't feel isolated at school -- but she worried they might if other East Palo Alto students leave as a result of this decision.

"The ones that depend on the bus; they're going to have to go," she said at the PTA meeting.

In an interview, Argumedo apologized for any communication breakdown with families but defended the changes to the program.

"Our intent was really to positively affect the student experience and address concerns that have risen from the VTP community for many years," Argumedo said. "I really want the families to feel welcome. If this has come out negatively, I'm truly sorry because our intent is to positively impact students."

In spring 2021, the district will collect feedback from families to evaluate the change, she said.

Argumedo urged any families with questions to contact her office at 650-329-3736 or [email protected] Both she and her assistant speak Spanish. A FAQ page, also available in Spanish, is posted on the district's website.

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District to consolidate Tinsley students at fewer schools, cut busing to four elementaries

Parents protest decision, saying the district did not give them the chance to weigh in first

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 10:44 pm
Updated: Mon, Apr 29, 2019, 8:29 am

The Palo Alto school district has decided to close new enrollment at four elementary schools for the Voluntary Transfer Program, which allows East Palo Alto students to attend Palo Alto Unified schools, in the hopes of cutting down on young students' long bus rides and alleviating isolation by grouping more minority students together.

The district sent letters in English and Spanish to about 50 affected families on April 17 informing them of the change. Starting this fall, no new Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP) students will be able to enroll at Palo Verde, Barron Park, Juana Briones or Nixon — the elementary schools that, except for Palo Verde, are farthest from East Palo Alto — and bus routes to those schools will end in the 2021-22 school year. The letter asked current VTP parents to voluntarily move children at these four schools to Duveneck, Addison, Hayes, El Carmelo, Fairmeadow or Escondido elementary schools this coming fall. When the bussing ends, students can either move to a school still served by the buses or parents will have to provide transportation.

Parents said they have been surprised by the sudden announcement and are concerned about the choice they feel it presents: to either uproot their children or arrange transportation themselves, which means navigating around their work schedules. Others also criticized the district for not consulting with families before making what they see as a consequential change.

"Sad and disappointed" were Liz Hernandez's first reactions when she read the district's announcement. Her son, a Tinsley student, is in first grade at Juana Briones Elementary School, where he started this year after attending kindergarten at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Palo Alto. She's a hair stylist and doesn't get off work until 6 p.m., so her son takes the bus to and from their East Palo Alto home. Her older child, a teenager, attends school in a different district, so handling transportation for both of them would be difficult, she said.

Her first-grade son is behind in reading and is still adjusting to his new school, Hernandez said. She doesn't see moving him as a viable choice.

"Changing schools, I feel like, will just add something else to his ability of being on the same page of the other students," Hernandez said.

Director of Academic Supports Judy Argumedo, who oversees the Voluntary Transfer Program, said the district has been considering since 2014 how to improve long bus rides and the experience of racial isolation for East Palo Alto students. In that year, the district's Minority Achievement and Talent Development Advisory committee heard students and parents describe both as pressing issues. The committee recommended that the district place Voluntary Transfer Program students in targeted schools in each region of the district and provide those schools with extra funding for bus duty and professional development on "how to create identity-safe classrooms."

At the time, Argumedo said that then-superintendent Max McGee asked the San Mateo County Office of Education if the district could enroll an additional 40 Voluntary Transfer Program students. The request was denied because enrollment figures are set for the program, the result of a court-ordered settlement from the 1980s.

The 60 kindergarten through second-grade students who enroll in Palo Alto Unified through this program each year are spread out across 13 elementary school sites, including Greendell School. Some students also request to move to other district schools or leave the district, meaning that at some schools there is only one East Palo Alto student in a grade level, Argumedo said.

All of the transfer requests come from parents of students at schools in south Palo Alto, who often cite transportation challenges, she said. The bus ride can be longer than an hour for some students, according to the district.

The district also offered families of fifth-grade students who were slated to go to Fletcher Middle School in south Palo Alto the opportunity to transfer to Frank S. Greene or JLS middle schools, which are closer to East Palo Alto. Ten out of 12 families decided to transfer; the two who didn’t had older children already attending Fletcher, according to the district.

About half of the parents who have responded to the letter so far have chosen to transfer, Argumedo said. The district on Friday, April 26, called families they haven't heard from and will continue doing so on Monday, April 29.

"In some cases, our change in placement will now provide an opportunity to walk or bike to school," Superintendent Don Austin wrote in a weekly message. "We view this revision as a positive."

Special-education students who are bused separately will not be affected by the change, Argumedo said.

Juana Briones Principal Katy Bimpson said at a PTA meeting on Friday night that in spite of the district's plan to not to enroll new VTP students at her school and to encourage families to transfer their children out, "Personally, I'd like to see our community stay intact."

"I've only ever experienced education with diversity among our community. It's something I know we all value very, very deeply," Bimpson said.

She said she's been aware of the pending change for several months but that the district sent the letters home to families without telling her until three days after the fact. She urged parents Friday to "rally around all of our families to make sure they know what important members they are of this community."

There are about 20 Voluntary Transfer Program students at Juana Briones. Bimpson described the district's intent to shorten young students' bus rides to school as "well-intentioned."

Bimpson and Juana Briones staff will be hosting a meeting to answer parents' questions about the change on Monday, May 13, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Foundation for a College Education, 2160 Euclid Ave. in East Palo Alto. She's reaching out to other elementary principals to involve them as well, she said.

Other Juana Briones parents expressed outrage at the change and how it was communicated. For Elaine Heal, it raised larger questions about transparency in the district -- decisions that are "perhaps well-reasoned" but made without public awareness of or input into the process. She and other parents compared it to the recent reorganization of the district arts department, which was similarly criticized by teachers and parents.

Mayra Gonzalez, the parent of two Voluntary Transfer Program students at Juana Briones, said her children don't feel isolated at school -- but she worried they might if other East Palo Alto students leave as a result of this decision.

"The ones that depend on the bus; they're going to have to go," she said at the PTA meeting.

In an interview, Argumedo apologized for any communication breakdown with families but defended the changes to the program.

"Our intent was really to positively affect the student experience and address concerns that have risen from the VTP community for many years," Argumedo said. "I really want the families to feel welcome. If this has come out negatively, I'm truly sorry because our intent is to positively impact students."

In spring 2021, the district will collect feedback from families to evaluate the change, she said.

Argumedo urged any families with questions to contact her office at 650-329-3736 or [email protected] Both she and her assistant speak Spanish. A FAQ page, also available in Spanish, is posted on the district's website.

Comments

Seriously
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 6:53 am
Seriously, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 6:53 am
35 people like this

“...grouping minority students together.”

Said without a hint of irony. The Democratic Party has now come full circle.


Aisha
East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 6:54 am
Aisha, East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 6:54 am
33 people like this

[Portion removed.] It’s easier to shut children out of an opportunity of a good education in order to save the district money, all under the disguise of long bus rides and student isolation?

In reality, the declining numbers of Tinsley Program Transfer Students have been declining due to the gentrification that’s had devastated the community of East Palo Alto. The buses are half empty, and the Palo Alto School districts along with Judy are looking forward to saving that good old buck or two.

Other Tinsley Program Transfer Students ride buses over to the San Carlos School District In and Portola Valley School District? Why didn’t the district consult with them about how they deal with long bus rides and isolation? Why didn’t the district hire an outside firm to evaluate this sensitive issue? Why is it that no East Palo Alto Family is in support of this?


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:23 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:23 am
28 people like this

There may be some wisdom in trying alleviate long bus rides, but that doesn't explain Palo Verde. There is no wisdom in making children change schools that they are happy and established in already.

If this is to consolidate and ease the bus rides, which with traffic and time in the bus may make sense, then why suddenly make an announcement without any prior warning and see if some alternative arrangements can be made for existing students going to these schools without adding any new students in the next school year.

I can understand why parents are unhappy with this. I know that they have it hard enough with their children not being able to remain at school for clubs and other activities that their cohorts are able to do due to the buses, and this will put additional difficulties as their children have to make new friends in a new school.

I tend to feel that the way this has been done is not only unfair, but that there is something deeper that we do not know about. Otherwise, why has Palo Verde been included in the grouping?


Seriously
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:48 am
Seriously, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:48 am
22 people like this

“... there is something deeper that we do not know about.”

I’m guessing that this is actually being driven by the interests of language and learning disability specialists. It comes right on the heals of the negotiations with the teachers union.


Restricted Access
Professorville
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:55 am
Restricted Access, Professorville
on Apr 27, 2019 at 7:55 am
13 people like this

>> “...grouping minority students together.”

>> Said without a hint of irony. The Democratic Party has now come full circle.

This sounds more 'Trumpian' to me...Republicans as a whole don't particularly care for a consolidation of various socio-economic levels and ethnic diversities.

The PAUSD is simply following the predominant political mindset of the times...isolate & eliminate under the ostensible reasoning/logic of budgetary constraints and practicalities.

It is unfortunate that East Palo Alto lacks the vision and resources to create an exemplary public school district of its own. Perhaps this is the eventual goal of its redevelopment efforts and emerging gentrification.


HS
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2019 at 8:57 am
HS, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2019 at 8:57 am
9 people like this

How do kids get to Gunn? Or will all VTA go to Paly now?


what’s really going on
Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:16 am
what’s really going on, Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:16 am
23 people like this

How long of a bus ride is too long?
Bus rides aren’t necessarily bad.
The destination of a good education and community can be worth it.


Natasha
East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:32 am
Natasha, East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 10:32 am
20 people like this

I’m a very very upset disturbed mother to hear such cruel news. What is the real reason to why this is happening. Are we that much of cowards that we have to hide behind the truth because we have the power of money to fix a certain groups feelings ? What are we teaching are kids? What are we going to say to our kids now we are lying to our kids . There’s a holiday called Martin Luther king holiday where all schools are closed to reminisce on the great legacy that he left behind and to live his dream where he says

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of there skin but by the content of there character. “

Why are we closed that day if we’re moving in the direction where he didn’t want ??????

[Portion removed.] This is not about transportation it’s about we don’t want your kids at our schools .

Now it’s up to the parents to fight back we must not let them win!


bemused
East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 12:02 pm
bemused, East Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 12:02 pm
5 people like this

@Aisha,

"In reality, the declining numbers of Tinsley Program Transfer Students have been declining due to the gentrification that’s had devastated the community of East Palo Alto."

Is this true? I assumed the program was still fully subscribed. My _guess_ is the number of children riding buses is decreasing because 'gentrifiers' who use the program drive their children to school. But I don't have access to any data, so this is just a guess.


JR
Palo Verde
on Apr 27, 2019 at 12:15 pm
JR, Palo Verde
on Apr 27, 2019 at 12:15 pm
41 people like this

Announcing that bus routes will be cut for the 2021-22 school year is not sudden, just the contrary. Palo Alto and PAUSD should be proud of the work that they are doing to educate those less fortunate. There is noting nefarious in this plan. It doesn't make sense to run a bunch of half-empty busses all the way across town. Shame on those trying to create a phony controversy.


Maya
Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:01 pm
Maya, Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:01 pm
19 people like this

If it’s about busing- then why is Nixon losing all of its VTP students and Escondido is not? Escondido is 1 minute away from Nixon? Basically the same long ride.
If it’s about bussing and “isolation” why in the world weren’t parents asked their opinion about bussing and if their kids felt isolated before the decision was made? How can a bunch of district admin think they know what’s best without consulting those who are affected? Why weren’t teachers asked about what they observe and know to be true about their students?
The article makes this mandate seem all pc and on the up and up and full of choice for families. I assure you that is NOT the case.


Kim
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:03 pm
Kim, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:03 pm
11 people like this

@JR the busses are not half empty. They are full, 2-3 students per seat. Go see for yourself.


Resident
Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:58 pm
Resident, Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2019 at 1:58 pm
22 people like this

This is clearly NOT about bus rides because Nixon is a few blocks away from Escondido.
I suspect this is to group the specialists and teacher aides into a few schools and cut down the budget of these resource teachers. Escondido is a much larger school and Nixon is much smaller. I would't be surprised if specialists are cut and teacher aides are cut.

This will decrease diversity in the schools losing the Tinsley students, and at the same time increase the concentration of Tinsley students in the other schools. How is this beneficial for PAUSD students in general? One group loses diversity, and another group has increased pressure to provide additional resources to students who will need special aide.

This solution seems a lose-lose, hidden behind a weak excuse of "half empty buses" and "reducing log bus rides" ...

Also agree with another poster who says buses are becoming less crowded due to gentrification where the gentrified parents are driving their own students into Palo Alto.


Concerned parent
Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm
Concerned parent , Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm
34 people like this

Wow! This new superintendent is making quite a few eyebrow raising decisions. First he got rid of the Equity coordinator, now he is displacing kids from the schools where they felt at home with zero transparency. What type of abuse is this. Is this his answer to getting rid of the achievement gap. You eliminate the “problem” one by one? SMH


Observer
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:28 pm
Observer, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:28 pm
32 people like this

“...grouping minority students together.” Sounds like segregation to me.
From reading the article, it appears there was a lack of transparency, and outreach. Was there discussion that involved all parties, admn, teachers, and parents?

Seems that Argumedo needs to interact with the community more.


Mays
Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:42 pm
Mays, Downtown North
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:42 pm
16 people like this

@Observer- there was no communication with teachers, principals, and parents until it was announced that it was happening. Then, and now information is scant and confusing.


Resident
Community Center
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:59 pm
Resident, Community Center
on Apr 27, 2019 at 4:59 pm
22 people like this

@Mays, the principal in article said she'd known about it for "several months," so clearly it was discussed with principals.

Does anyone know how well Tinsley students do in PAUSD vs. the ones who stay in Ravenswood? Answer - they do no better, especially those who are low-income (a majority, though a disproportionate share are actually middle-income). I'm glad PAUSD is finally trying to change things up, instead of continuing with an approach that has not worked for a generation of low-income students.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:05 pm
10 people like this

If it was about the length of the bus rides, then Palo Verde is closer than other schools to EPA and would not be included in the elimiation of EPA students. If it was about the distance then Escondido, Nixon, Barron Park and Briones are the furthest away and they would be the ones to lose the students.

It just sounds fishy to me.


Michelle
Crescent Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:29 pm
Michelle, Crescent Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:29 pm
35 people like this

Resident - you are incorrect. The children in the Tinsley program do better than in Ravenswood. Did you know that only 4% of children in the Ravenswood Middle school meet state standards in math and English? Very sadly, the ousted superintendent made a lot of bad decisions that made the district really underperform.

As for this change, since this has been in consideration for years - why not just phase out the farther schools so that kids can finish 5th grade. That could have been an easy way to make change. The EPA families could have been a part of the discussion and the kids wouldn’t have to leave their schools. This is really uncool.


Cover-up Culture
Community Center
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:35 pm
Cover-up Culture, Community Center
on Apr 27, 2019 at 5:35 pm
26 people like this

How about this is to help the teacher's union under the guise of supposedly cutting down the students' bus commute? Those Northern Palo Alto elementary schools have a lot of empty classrooms...declining enrollment and overbuilding. Don Austin spoke at one of them and said he would fill up the (empty) classrooms to make the school whole, so no charter school could come in. Way to run the district to benefit the teacher's union Don! Keep those charter (non-union) schools out to fend off competition for the teacher's union!!! Bet that is part of this as the South Palo Alto elementary schools are much more full.

How excited must the parents be to have a higher concentration of students who may need more resources in one place.


Citizen
Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm
Citizen, Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 27, 2019 at 6:08 pm
20 people like this

How will this affect the learning of the other non vtp students? What about the test scores of these school - will they be affected? And what else will this have on the home values in those elementary school districts if the test scores decline?


Concerned parent
Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm
Concerned parent, Barron Park
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:08 pm
21 people like this

Where can we sign up to protest this? This definitely looks like a Trumpian move. I never thought we would experience this trickledown effect from Washington here in Palo Alto. We were all blindsided by these moves that Austin is implementing. I say we shout loud and clear that we need transparency, we need decisions to be vetted by all stakeholders and most of all we need diversity in all our schools.


YSK
Charleston Meadows
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:09 pm
YSK, Charleston Meadows
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:09 pm
13 people like this

The parents are complaining.

What else is new? Everybody in the surrounding districts know the parents run the schools. I don't see what is the problem. It's not really a "long distance" from East Palo Alto to Palo Alto. A lot of people want their kids to go to Palo Alto schools. The kids who get to go under the Tinsley act are very lucky regardless which school it is.

"Palo Alto -- the only K-12 district of the seven -- educates the lion's share of Tinsley students, with 560 currently enrolled in the district."

Web Link


Cover-up Culture
Community Center
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:36 pm
Cover-up Culture, Community Center
on Apr 27, 2019 at 9:36 pm
22 people like this

The teacher's union runs the schools and controls the district and the school board.


Local Parent
Midtown
on Apr 27, 2019 at 11:02 pm
Local Parent, Midtown
on Apr 27, 2019 at 11:02 pm
39 people like this

I'm so tired of people using any excuse to bash teachers. What a cheap shot! My children's teachers here in Palo Alto have shown over and over that they are devoted to their students and willing to work long hours and go many extra miles when their students need help. Their union is essential to ensure they are paid a living wage and have health insurance. Even with a union, they cannot usually afford to live in or even very close to Palo Alto where they serve our families. Bashing teachers and their unions shows such a lack of understanding and appreciation for their essential work. Why not also bash our fire fighters and nurses while we're at it?! By the way, the teachers unions definitely do not run this district and if you want local oversight of schools, charter schools do not provide that.


who pays?
Fairmeadow
on Apr 28, 2019 at 12:04 am
who pays?, Fairmeadow
on Apr 28, 2019 at 12:04 am
32 people like this

Just wondering: does PAUSD pay for busing the EPA kids in the Tinsley Program? If so, it's not unreasonable to consider ways to reduce the expense.


tossed work & broken promises
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:47 am
tossed work & broken promises, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:47 am
18 people like this

PAUSD -- "no new Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP) students will be able to enroll at Palo Verde, Barron Park, Juana Briones or Nixon — the elementary schools that, except for Palo Verde, are farthest from East Palo Alto "

Guess Dr. Austin's rejection of PAUSD's Minority Achievement and Talent Development Committee's work is nearly complete now.

MATD's recommendation, after "six months of careful examination of the root causes and consequences of these disparities" in student achievement by over 25 faculty and community leaders, was this:

"Create an enrollment plan for Voluntary Transfer Program students. They would be
placed with targeted schools in each cluster; North, South and West. The targeted sites would receive extra funding for bus duty and professional development on how to create Identity Safe classrooms. This would help lower racial isolation of Voluntary Transfer Students."

and

"Parents and MATD committee members were concerned about the lack of transparency and information." It was to be the now eliminated Equity Coordinator's job to up communications and provide the needed transparency. Dr. Austin ensured us that this could be better done de-centralized.

Minority Achievement and Talent Development Advisory Committee Report to the Board of Education Web Link


see-sth-say-sth
Leland Manor/Garland Drive

on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:18 am
Name hidden, Leland Manor/Garland Drive

on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:18 am

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Cover-up Culture
Community Center
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:22 am
Cover-up Culture, Community Center
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:22 am
23 people like this

Teachers are different than the teacher's union. The teacher's union makes sure that there isn't too much spending taking place on special education; it defends administrators who don't follow the law and who harmed students; it tries to shave time off the mandated instructional minutes for students, and it puts job security and wages first, with no accountability whatsoever. Students do not come first in this district.

Many teachers are great. The teacher's union is not great.


The Public Interest
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:32 am
The Public Interest, Charleston Gardens
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:32 am
40 people like this

According to this post, the average teacher in PAUSD makes more than the average tech worker in Silicon Valley:

Posted by Train Fan
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2019 at 6:16 pm
PAUSD teachers make...easily...more than the average Silicon Valley tech worker.

Proof:


PAUSD teachers:
* Average PAUSD income: $109,894 (source: Web Link)
* PAUSD teacher service days: 187 (source: Web Link)

* Income per work-day: $109,894/187= $587.67


Tech workers:
* Average tech income: $122,242 (source: Web Link)

(note: that was the HIGHEST average income for tech workers in the area. All other areas of the bay area are LOWER).

* Tech worker work days. Eliminate these days to make a comparable comparison with teacher 'service days':
- Saturdays: 52
- Sundays: 52
- Holidays: 10
- vacation: 10

* Income per work-day: $122,242/(365-52-52-10-10) = $507.23


So the average PAUSD school teacher makes over $80/day more per-workday than the average tech worker (using the highest average for a tech worker in the bay area, no less!!!)


To put that $80/day difference in perspective, if a PAUSD teacher had to work as many days as a tech worker, the average PAUSD teacher would make (587.67*241)...drum roll please...

$141628.47/year for PAUSD teachers


Just to be clear, I'm happy that PAUSD teachers make more than the average tech worker. But please spare us the "poor, underappreciated teachers" pity party. They are very, very well paid, and that doesn't even count some of their other perks (retirement pension, for example).


Anna
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:58 am
Anna, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:58 am
15 people like this

@The Public Interest- What's your point? Teachers aren't paid enough and never will be. Unless you can prove you have taught any grade- K-12 please spare us your condescending, uninformed remarks. You surely mean tech factory workers right? Not, Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Waymo, Tesla, Salesforce, Intel....employees.
Getting back to the point of the article. Why is it that MATD's recommendations were discounted? Is it the fact that the district decides what it wants and then forms a committee for appearances and then just ignores the findings and goes on with it's plan?


Ginnie Noh
Juana Briones School
on Apr 28, 2019 at 12:20 pm
Ginnie Noh, Juana Briones School
on Apr 28, 2019 at 12:20 pm
26 people like this

I attended this meeting and the article unfairly implies that Mrs. Bimpson was promoting dissent between parents against the district, which she was not. She wants to support the VTP families and address our concerns, while still being respectful of leadership decisions.
The article also states the letter was sent in Spanish, which it was not. I wish there was a way to post a copy of the letter hereto. It was on district letterhead, but not signed by anyone; did not say where to turn in the letter or the time frame; and offered alternative schools that cut off the travel time by about five minutes.
Those things being said, I would argue that a long commute to school is the norm for lots students in this country; the VTP families know the positives and negatives and chose this program for a reason; the VTP families are part of our family at Juana Briones, they are not having an isolated experience. To imply as much is insulting to our school and implies VTP families fit a mold the district has determined for them.
Our hope is that the district will 1) grandfather in the VTP families until graduation, 2) keep the program, and 3) add more busses for shorter commutes.


JR Reply
East Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm
JR Reply, East Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm
4 people like this

JR > No one is creating a false narrative. The reason Tinsley exist is because of a lawsuit won by East Palo residents citing racial discrimination in school placement of "minority" students. No doubt this is concerning for parents of the EPA area. PAUSD deserves credit for accepting their unfortunate neighbors, but it appears the decision was made without consulting the parents first - bad move.


Tinsley
East Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:09 pm
Tinsley, East Palo Alto
on Apr 28, 2019 at 6:09 pm
20 people like this

Tinsley was actually a fair housing suit, not school placement. Most were black at the time vs Hispanic today. While it achieves its stated goal of desegregation, it has harmed Ravenswood district without meaningfully helping most students who participate - they do no better than similar students in Ravenswood. Overall this is a good example of a well intended program that actually made thinga worse.


LivingAmongdelusionalPsychopathicElitist
Barron Park
on Apr 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm
LivingAmongdelusionalPsychopathicElitist, Barron Park
on Apr 28, 2019 at 7:46 pm
14 people like this

..You got one thing right...this is a crime (listed under Crimes)

For those advocating thank you! I really haven't seen a change for the better with the new administration. The promise does not include implementation. At the last board meeting, the focus was on cutting cost not reducing costs by being compliant. Saving $100K for the art is ridiculous especially when you hold it up to the "me too" raises for egregiously performing staff.

Let's group all the historically underrepresented together and destroy any relationships and comfort level they may have had (which is not easy to achieve and make them start over again). Hey, let's add special education in there too! And ensure that there are not enough co-teachers, oops, any co-teachers, so that the HUR students are included but not taught! This will free up resources for those that never have enough support for their AP and resume building race and not waste resources on those that will fail anyway! It's like a virtual stoning "lottery." Abusive and if no one at the district sees this - we are way too white and insulated here. It's never going to stop or get better. The only change I see, is a little kinder voice but the same serpent environment.

This district is so bad - Jus marching along follin' orders and looking out for #1. You all should get another career where there are no children you can stunt for life and drive families who are already barely hanging in there over the edge. We are one of those on the receiving end. We have pounds of written promises not worth the time it took to write them. A waste of resources all the way around. It's a stalling game. The District is the biggest Bully in town causing the most harm and no one will hold it accountable.

Doing nothing is also not excusable....but hey let's hear it for that art job!!! So what if kids are not being educated and will not be able to take care of themselves but Everyone got their weighted grades program. I guess there wasn't enough mindshare to have both equity and weighted grades.

You know Bullis tried this and last time I checked it was seen as rascism, not wanting minorities in the main school, so you didn't have to mix.


DuvMom
Crescent Park
on Apr 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm
DuvMom, Crescent Park
on Apr 28, 2019 at 8:27 pm
15 people like this

Trumpian this...Trumpian that. Rebecca Mankey, Palo Alto resident verbally assaulting an elderly patron of local Starbucks (not one resident intervened). Palo Alto Online publishes Steven D Lee’s (HR City Rep) bigoted essay. The City of Palo Alto’s failure to distance itself from Mr Lee’s essay. Palo Alto is failing to create an atmosphere where citizens of the United States of America can respectfully disagree politically. Maybe it is time for the real bigots of this city to stand up. This Palo Alto resident supports the elected president of the United States of America and the Tinsley program. It is not fair to displace the students who are already struggling enough. Let the Tinsley students maximize the opportunity they have been given.There is much more to this story..


Parent
Palo Verde School
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:04 pm
Parent, Palo Verde School
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:04 pm
10 people like this

"If it was about the length of the bus rides, then Palo Verde is closer than other schools to EPA and would not be included in the elimiation of EPA students. If it was about the distance then Escondido, Nixon, Barron Park and Briones are the furthest away and they would be the ones to lose the students."

Escondido has the Spanish Dual Immersion program, which serves a large number of Tinsley Spanish speakers (over 50 I believe), so they won't cut that. Palo Verde is the last stop on the bus route (not sure why, but it is) and has a smallest number of VTP students (<15), so I can see the logic.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:13 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:13 pm
3 people like this

My comment is a bit tangential to the topic but: KeeSean Johnson, a former Palo Alto Viking footballer from East Palo Alto, was drafted by the Cardinals of the NFL this weekend. As was, years ago, Davante Adams, now of the Packers. I'd like to see a breakdown of football and basketball stars in PAUSD schools who were also Tinsley VTAs. My guess is that many more play or played for Paly than Gunn -- I thought someone told me that Davante went to Barron Park School, a Gunn feeder, before Paly.
Also, I thought I read that Darrell Page, who led St. Francis to the state football championship in 2017 fall, attended PAUSD schools.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:14 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Apr 28, 2019 at 10:14 pm
Like this comment

My comment is a bit tangential to the topic but: KeeSean Johnson, a former Palo Alto Viking footballer from East Palo Alto, was drafted by the Cardinals of the NFL this weekend. As was, years ago, Davante Adams, now of the Packers. I'd like to see a breakdown of football and basketball stars in PAUSD schools who were also Tinsley VTPs. My guess is that many more play or played for Paly than Gunn -- I thought someone told me that Davante went to Barron Park School, a Gunn feeder, before Paly.
Also, I thought I read that Darrell Page, who led St. Francis to the state football championship in 2017 fall, attended PAUSD schools.


Toni
Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:43 pm
Toni, Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Apr 28, 2019 at 11:43 pm
59 people like this

Just a note for everyone characterizing the Tinsley students as “low-performing” and needing extra resources - this is an unfair and inaccurate assumption. My son is a Tinsley student in another district and he and his friends who are part of the Tinsley program are as bright, engaged, and successful as any other student in that school. Please do not speculate or comment on the qualifications of these students if you know nothing about them.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2019 at 7:02 am
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 29, 2019 at 7:02 am
3 people like this

I spoke with a former Paly student - several years graduated - on the topic of VTA students at Paly. I was told that most of the Paly VTA students at that level were very involved in sports. Just an interesting observation.

If that is true, then does it mean that sports are the incentive to keep them in school? Does it follow that unless they are interested in sports then they choose not to remain in PAUSD?

I think Mark Weiss may be right and it is worth investigation.


The Public Interest
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 29, 2019 at 11:38 am
The Public Interest, Charleston Gardens
on Apr 29, 2019 at 11:38 am
9 people like this

@Anna: I just reposted someone else's post from this article, Web Link, but now I'll add the links as they didn't come through for substantiation.

PAUSD teachers make...easily...more than the average Silicon Valley tech worker.

Proof:


PAUSD teachers:
* Average PAUSD income: $109,894 (source: Web Link)
Web Link

* PAUSD teacher service days: 187 (source: Web Link)

* Income per work-day: $109,894/187= $587.67


Tech workers:
* Average tech income: $122,242 (source: Web Link)
Web Link
"Silicon Valley's typical tech worker makes $122K per year — how salaries at giants like Google, Facebook, Cisco, Intel, Oracle, Salesforce and Netflix compare"

(note: that was the HIGHEST average income for tech workers in the area. All other areas of the bay area are LOWER).

* Tech worker work days. Eliminate these days to make a comparable comparison with teacher 'service days':
- Saturdays: 52
- Sundays: 52
- Holidays: 10
- vacation: 10

* Income per work-day: $122,242/(365-52-52-10-10) = $507.23


So the average PAUSD school teacher makes over $80/day more per-workday than the average tech worker (using the highest average for a tech worker in the bay area, no less!!!)


To put that $80/day difference in perspective, if a PAUSD teacher had to work as many days as a tech worker, the average PAUSD teacher would make (587.67*241)...drum roll please...

$141628.47/year for PAUSD teachers


Just to be clear, I'm happy that PAUSD teachers make more than the average tech worker. But please spare us the "poor, underappreciated teachers" pity party. They are very, very well paid, and that doesn't even count some of their other perks (retirement pension, for example).

* PAUSD teacher income per work-day: $109,894/187= $587.67
* Tech worker income per work-day, plus alleged 'meals': ($122,242+5000)/(365-52-52-10-10)= 527.98

PAUSD teachers STILL make more than tech workers.


"lavish workplace perks"

Really...you want to argue perks between tech workers and PAUSD teachers???? Wow, OK, let's do that. We'll put aside the income and look at perks.

PAUSD teachers have perks that no tech worker comes close to matching. A few examples:

* Pensions:
- tech workers: 401k + Social Security. Funded by workers, taxpayers (and in some cases, employers offering some matching).

- PAUSD teachers: CALSTRS, with a government-backed guaranteed rate of return (regardless how the fund performs). Funded by taxpayers and teachers.

WINNER: teachers, by a landslide.


James Hall
Registered user
Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm
James Hall, Barron Park
Registered user
on Apr 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm
24 people like this

Well - I came upon this issue late this time Back in the day I was involved with others in an attempt to foster more integration in both Ravenswood and in predominately white student bodies. Tinsley Court Decision was a direct result of other local districts refusing to allow students from Ravenswood. It was a Court to MANDATE SCHOOL INTEGRATION. It was a hard battle that I thought we had won

"Director of Academic Supports Judy Argumedo, who oversees the Voluntary Transfer Program, said the district has been considering since 2014 how to improve long bus rides and the experience of racial isolation for East Palo Alto students"----

this is just the same old argument used in the deep South for years...it wasn't true then and it isn't true now! I'm not SAD - I'm disgusted that this just demonstrates how our communities have abandoned some of the hard fought Civil Rights remedies.
Is this the way we want to become again? And are we going to dig out the same old "anti-busing" arguments to rationalize this sneaky action?


Dan
Midtown
on Apr 29, 2019 at 2:17 pm
Dan, Midtown
on Apr 29, 2019 at 2:17 pm
8 people like this

I agree that this doesn't seem to have been handled very well. However, I do think that longer term Tinsley-type programs should be phased out. They don't seem like a sustainable solution to any problem at hand. Moving students around outside neighborhoods, selecting a few lucky ones through a lottery just doesn't work. Article in NYT on this very topic related to SF's disastrous school lottery system:
Web Link


It's about time
Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm
It's about time, Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm
Like this comment

North Palo Alto needs its own cat bus. How long will this go on for?


Another teacher perk
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm
Another teacher perk, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm
11 people like this

Unless this has changed, PAUSD teachers get to have their kids educated in PAUSD schools. This is an incredible perk ifbthey don’t live in the district (some do, some don’t).


Concerned Mom
Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2019 at 8:49 pm
Concerned Mom, Barron Park
on Apr 29, 2019 at 8:49 pm
19 people like this

This was handled so badly. It is really an outrage. The teachers were not told ahead of time and I don't think the principals were either -- the district sent letters to the parents in EPA first, then told teachers after the parents found out. We've had teachers and parents crying about this. I can't understand why this sudden change was forced onto staff and parents. It would make much more sense to phase out the bussing to certain schools, allowing students to be bussed to their schools if they've been there and then new students attend only those schools that have been selected for bussing. One parent was trying to hold back the tears as she considered her choices - pull her son away from the good friends he's had for years, his only school friends, or quit her job and take a night shift somewhere so she can drive her children in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. The lack or consideration in how this decision came down is cruel. These children attend Palo Alto schools to correct a problem with unequal education - this was mandated by the courts. Our town is not doing them a "favor" - this is the law.


Resident
College Terrace
on Apr 29, 2019 at 9:12 pm
Resident, College Terrace
on Apr 29, 2019 at 9:12 pm
7 people like this

Somebody cried? A child is changing from one Palo Alto school to another? A change announced only a year+ in advance? And the same month they consolidated that art coordinator position? This is indeed the stuff that outrage is made off.


Mila Zelkha
Midtown
on Apr 30, 2019 at 4:28 am
Mila Zelkha, Midtown
on Apr 30, 2019 at 4:28 am
28 people like this

@ConcernedMom has it spot on: "These children attend Palo Alto schools to correct a problem with unequal education - this was mandated by the courts. Our town is not doing them a "favor" - this is the law."

and "It would make much more sense to phase out the bussing to certain schools, allowing students to be bussed to their schools if they've been there and then new students attend only those schools that have been selected for bussing."

Switching school communities is a huge event in the life of a child and a loss to the school they're being asked to leave. These families should be allowed to stay.

None of us Palo Alto residents would accept such a mandate if we were told we had to move our kids midstream. Why should our neighbors have to accept that, especially given that the whole point of this program is to provide access to educational opportunities to neighbors who our community disenfranchised in generations past. It is their choice to opt in or out but our obligation to keep the door open.


Disposable People
Juana Briones School
on Apr 30, 2019 at 7:09 am
Disposable People , Juana Briones School
on Apr 30, 2019 at 7:09 am
7 people like this

East Palo Alto parents had no say?
Flyers were posted only in english?
The Palo Alto School District didn’t brother to have a meeting to address the concerns?

I sure hope a attorney or community member can provide some pro bono work to help advocate for the VTP parents. It’s another NIMBY move !

Can we give some advise to our neighbors?
What’ would you do if it was your children?
What can be done to overturn this cowardly move?
Has or will any parents or school personnel speak out against this ?


Parent
Fairmeadow
on Apr 30, 2019 at 7:49 am
Parent, Fairmeadow
on Apr 30, 2019 at 7:49 am
20 people like this

Kids are resilient; switching elementary schools is not "trauma."

The injustice here isn't a small number of kids switching schools - it is sticking with an approach that doesn't yield better academic results. The results for low-income student in Palo Alto are abysmal, both for those in the VTP and those who live here. It's about time they took steps to change that.


Resident
Downtown North
on May 1, 2019 at 12:18 am
Resident, Downtown North
on May 1, 2019 at 12:18 am
2 people like this

Someone wrote: "How will this affect the learning of the other non vtp students? What about the test scores of these school - will they be affected? And what else will this have on the home values in those elementary school districts if the test scores decline?"

Agreed. Time will tell. Likely WILL have an effect on the home values and student scores of those specific schools with increased concentration of Tinsley students. No doubt.

The lack of transparency and how things are done at PAUSD is shocking, especially compared to how LAUSD operates.


Historian
Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2019 at 2:08 am
Historian, Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2019 at 2:08 am
21 people like this

It's about time the sun sets on the VTP. In the 1980s when Tinsley sued the school district because she wanted a better education for her children, the PAUSD student population was low. In fact, there was a time where one of the middle schools was closed due to lack of students. Now, our school district is overcrowded, we don't need extra students to fill the classrooms. Stanford is going to build more housing which will bring hundreds more students to PAUSD. Where else in the nation are students allowed to be bused to a different county for school?

Each of my children had friendships with VTP students. One worked out well and they had playdates for years until he moved out of state after 7th grade. Another had parents who were not interested in playdates. Another had sociable parents and they had a few playdates but ended up with other friends, as she became friends with VTP students, leaving PAUSD after 7th grade.

My children could be friends with two VTP students because the families had similar values to ours. The other one had parents who seemed to feel inferior and squelched the friendship. As a frequent school volunteer, I have witnessed that many of the VTP students self-segregate and develop friendships with each other rather than assimilating with Palo Alto students. In addition, if our students who reside in Palo Alto can have difficulty with schoolwork in middle school, how can the VTP students do well in school when they don't have parents who can help them or have money for tutors as we do? And they cannot stay after school for help because the bus leaves after school. The reason the Jordan yearbooks are distributed prior to the start of the school days is that the VTP students need to take the bus home after school. And years ago, the infamous math letter from the Paly Math Dept. targeted these students, claiming that the students don't care to learn.

Moreover, the school district is having difficulty finding bus drivers and PAUSD pays for the VTP bus transportation. PAUSD does have two school buses which transport students from Stanford properties to Gunn, Terman, Nixon, but parents pay for it, $1000/year: Web Link

Simply put, these students do not live in Palo Alto and should not be allowed here since public schools educate students who live within the same city. Surely, there are parents who live in another school district but would love for their children to attend PAUSD. Where is the line drawn? Do we allow anyone who want to attend? No, that would be a private school. And for those who state we need the diversity, is your head in the sand? There is diversity everywhere in the Bay Area.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2019 at 9:02 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2019 at 9:02 am
11 people like this

It is surprising that a proposed change like this would not be discussed with parents and teachers first. Hasn't the district office learned anything about being businesslike what with the mess of the last ten years?

Posted by Historian, a resident of Palo Alto High School:

>> Simply put, these students do not live in Palo Alto and should not be allowed here since public schools educate students who live within the same city. Surely, there are parents who live in another school district but would love for their children to attend PAUSD. Where is the line drawn?

Since schools in California are generally done within county boundaries, it was an odd court decision. However, for several decades, PAUSD needed more students, so, it wasn't challenged. Doesn't matter-- it may have been wrongfully decided, but, it was decided in a court of law, and until someone goes to court to change it, it is legally required. That is one small part of "The rule of law".

In the meantime, seems to me that the district ought to talk things over with the affected students, parents, and teachers, before making decisions like this. It doesn't have to be, but, it can be traumatic for students to be yanked from a school where they have an established social network-- and, I don't mean Facebook, I mean a real people network.



Historian
Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2019 at 1:04 pm
Historian, Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2019 at 1:04 pm
18 people like this

@Anon: "the district ought to talk things over with the affected students, parents, and teachers, before making decisions like this. It doesn't have to be, but, it can be traumatic for students to be yanked from a school."

They are not being "yanked from a school" as if they need to leave tomorrow, that is far-left wing hyperbole. The City of Palo Alto is slow in decisions because they solicit opinions. Look at the Buena Vista mobile home park fiasco: The people cannot afford to live in Palo Alto but they refused to leave even when presented with a generous financial offer. They claimed they have a right to live there. Then politics bailed them out: Web Link aren't minorities so they don't get a break.

Why do people insist on helping outsiders (VTP) when we need to help our insiders (special ed)? It's just like the undocumented immigrant issue, where people want to help them before we help our own citizens. Yet, throw the homeless in front of their houses and they won't accept them. Here's my idea: Since the issue is long bus rides, the pro-VTP movement can organize carpools to help these students stay at their schools so they aren't "yanked" from their schools. No? It's easier to sympathize than to engage in the solution, isn't it?


Historian
Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm
Historian, Palo Alto High School
on May 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm
5 people like this

"Then politics bailed them out: Web Link White/Asian tech workers aren't minorities so they don't get a break, they have to commute from elsewhere."


KYA
Registered user
Palo Verde
on May 1, 2019 at 2:36 pm
KYA, Palo Verde
Registered user
on May 1, 2019 at 2:36 pm
16 people like this

The Tinsley Settlement should have a sunset provision, not go on in perpetuity. Historian is right, don't all the kids living in other poor nearby Districts have the same needs as East Palo Alto children?Palo Alto's population is diverse, way different than it was 40 years ago. Why do the homeowners in Palo Alto have to support the District if we don't agree with the $$ going out to educate children that don't live in Palo Alto? Why is this East Palo Alto Tinsley settlement still in effect? Seems like a court challenge should straighten this out.


Midtowner
Midtown
on May 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Midtowner, Midtown
on May 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm
9 people like this

@Historian: The courts found that children in EPA were being denied their right to an equal education so ordered the Tinsley voluntary transfer program to resolve this. It is a modest solution, not really helping most children in EPA, but it does help some. When schools in EPA are similar to Palo Alto schools in quality then the voluntary transfer program can be ended. The program does not end because some people are annoyed with it or want to save money. The way we fund public schools is very unequal and that is the real problem -- not the families who would like an equal education for their children.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2019 at 5:05 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 1, 2019 at 5:05 pm
1 person likes this

Posted by Historian, a resident of Palo Alto High School

>> They are not being "yanked from a school" as if they need to leave tomorrow, that is far-left wing hyperbole.

That is what the article is about?!?

"Parents said they have been surprised by the sudden announcement and are concerned about the choice they feel it presents: to either uproot their children or arrange transportation themselves, which means navigating around their work schedules. Others also criticized the district for not consulting with families before making what they see as a consequential change. "

BTW: "far-left wing hyperbole"? I think you're embellishing the level of hyperbole in my post. ;-)


PA
Midtown
on May 1, 2019 at 7:04 pm
PA, Midtown
on May 1, 2019 at 7:04 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


musical
Palo Verde
on May 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm
musical, Palo Verde
on May 1, 2019 at 7:38 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


james hall
Barron Park
on May 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm
james hall, Barron Park
on May 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm
6 people like this

Perhaps we should all consider that one of the values of integrated education is to give majority students the opportunity to experience in person the qualities of less fortunate peers. One real goal should be to make sure that each child not only has an equal opportunity to excell in shchool, but also the concurrent experience of the diversity of our world. When I was growing up in Palo Alto long ago there was little chance of grasping the commonalities of all people. I was stunned to find that there were actually poor people on the other side of the freeway. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that as a mature adult in our community I have the real responsibility to ensure that in a way - all children are my children. Adults who value community have a real choice; to grow these kids to be able to value each other. Look beyond your front door, and your aspirations of your kids and recognize that the challenges they will face are quite different than those you faced. Our country is beset with "us vs them"... with trying to get our kids fast-tracked to penultimate "success>" Somebody once said "a house divided will not stand". It's your choice. look at San Francisco which is now considering the bennefits of reinstating busing to integrate their schools (NY Times).


Bruce W
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 1, 2019 at 9:43 pm
Bruce W, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 1, 2019 at 9:43 pm
Like this comment

@ James Hall
Hi James, are you the James Hall of RawDaddy fame? Are you still at the Cal Ave Farmers Market???


Resident
Adobe-Meadow
on May 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
Resident, Adobe-Meadow
on May 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
17 people like this

@Midtowner: "When schools in EPA are similar to Palo Alto schools in quality then the voluntary transfer program can be ended"

Well, that time is here. A Stanford PHD dissertation in 2011 with access to all the data showed that Tinsley students did no better in host schools (e.g. PAUSD) than students who did not "win" the Tinsley lottery did in Ravenswood. Read it clearly: they did no better. And of course, the program sucks away both engaged families and funding from Ravenswood. Overall, I'd say it is a net negative.

@James Hall: "one of the values of integrated education is to give majority students the opportunity to experience in person the qualities of less fortunate peers"

What an interesting statement! First, the presumption that the Tinsley kids are "less fortunate" (because they are minorities? There is no means-testing for Tinsley, and a significant percent of students are middle class). Second, the presumption that it makes sense for VTP students to take long bus rides, attend school with people from another town, etc. - for the benefit of the majority students!

Here's an idea - since the Ravenswood schools apparently are no worse than PAUSD, let's reverse Tinsley, and start bussing 600+ PAUSD kids to Ravenswood. That will provide even better integration and experience for those kids. Note that this was (and is) part of the VTP - but virtually no-one has done it in the program's 30+ years. Any volunteers?


Resident
Adobe-Meadow
on May 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm
Resident, Adobe-Meadow
on May 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm
16 people like this

@Anon, it appears the district told affected parents they had a choice to continue at the school indefinitely, but busing would be discontinued AFTER NEXT YEAR. So they have a year from June to mull it over, explore their options, and decide. So 'yanked from a school' does seem inaccurate - the students are welcome to stay, and have over a year to decide what they'd like to do.


member1
Registered user
another community
on May 2, 2019 at 9:47 am
member1, another community
Registered user
on May 2, 2019 at 9:47 am
4 people like this



Kipps school and some other charters could be great. They will be diverse and will not have an achievement gap and will have some pretty good math programs. Maybe the East Palo Alto parents will let some of the palo alto kids attend there. : ) Could there be busses that get them across 101 and then to location where there are smaller shuttles. Could the families that go to the MLK celebration and sing songs and take pictures step it up and offer rides to kids from Escondido to Nixon ?


Aren't there some free shuttle options once the kids get over 101?


Argumedo
Midtown
on May 3, 2019 at 8:04 pm
Argumedo, Midtown
on May 3, 2019 at 8:04 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


john_alderman
Registered user
Crescent Park
on May 4, 2019 at 8:59 am
john_alderman, Crescent Park
Registered user
on May 4, 2019 at 8:59 am
18 people like this

@Midtowner - "When schools in EPA are similar to Palo Alto schools in quality then the voluntary transfer program can be ended. "

How can Ravenswood improve when the parents most invested in their children's education use Tinsley to move their kids out of the district? With the improvements in EPA, it is better positioned than ever to provide a good education to its kids, but not when you skim off the kids of the parents most likely to care.


H.tee
Green Acres
on May 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm
H.tee, Green Acres
on May 5, 2019 at 1:51 pm
1 person likes this

The most of VTP students who had attended at Baron, Buriones Nixon are in Fletcher(Terman) and Gunn. Becuase they prefer to stay with school friends. Probably, Flecter(Terman) and Gunn will not have the VTP students in the furutre.




Staying Young Through Kids
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on May 6, 2019 at 12:40 pm
Staying Young Through Kids, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on May 6, 2019 at 12:40 pm
3 people like this

I'm a PA parent who has seen en enormously positive effect for both affluent Los Altos Hills kids and Tinsley kids at Nixon. While we're no longer there Nixon was an amazing mix of kids from every local socioeconomic class all over the world (visiting faculty from all over the world would have kids there). Removing the opportunity for Tinsley kids to attend any PAUSD school is a disservice to all. Cancel bus service to all but a few schools? Perhaps that is a possibility. please don't take away the choice of allowing VTP parents to opt to get their kids to any local school on their own if bussing is unavailable.

That said...If the primary goal is to reduce the time on the bus then a great option would be to swap the Spanish Immersion and Mandarin Immersion programs between the Ohlone and Escondido campuses. That would make quite a bit of sense in a lot of ways. It's one of the closest schools to EPA and the current number of VTP kids @ Ohlone is probably very low (same with Hoover). Perhaps there's a reason for that? Are the Hoover & Ohlone choice programs open to VTP families?






Staying Young Through Kids
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on May 6, 2019 at 12:49 pm
Staying Young Through Kids, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on May 6, 2019 at 12:49 pm
2 people like this

Oh...Also...The Thatcher (back then it was Terman) and Gunn VTP kids used to arrive @ Nixon before heading off the their new secondary school...Not sure if they still do that?

because of that, it was always fun to see and say hi to a kid who had gone through Nixon as they advanced their learning. Many of those kids went on to be the first member of their family to learn to speak English, read (in any language), and to go to college. The VTP program was truly enriching or me as a parent and for all of our kids.

Hey school board...Please Nixon as a VTP school!


Transport Service
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Transport Service, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 6, 2019 at 10:57 pm
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@member1 The school district has a child transportation car service, but it charges school districts inflated rates over private pay. The service can be late and unreliable, so it is not a recommended option.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 7, 2019 at 7:11 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on May 7, 2019 at 7:11 am
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I'm amending my previous in that someone who was his classmate claims that Davante Adams, the Paly grad and Green Bay Packer star, who claims to be from East Palo Alto, lived at least part of his school years in an apartment building in midtown palo alto.
But I'd still like to see a break down of blue chip athletes from Tinsley who played at Paly (in major sports) and not Gunn.

P.S. Don Austin the school board supe personally wrote me to rebut my stance, in nearly-complete English sentences!
(Austin the former football captain from that powerhouse Baker College of Kansas -- I'm meaning to write back and ask if he wore a helmet or merely shaved his head)


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on May 7, 2019 at 7:15 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on May 7, 2019 at 7:15 am
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I'm amending my previous in that someone who was his classmate claims that Davante Adams, the Paly grad and Green Bay Packer star, who claims to be from East Palo Alto, lived at least part of his school years in an apartment building in midtown palo alto.
But I'd still like to see a break down of blue chip athletes from Tinsley who played at Paly (in major sports) and not Gunn.

P.S. Don Austin the school board supe personally wrote me to rebut my stance, in nearly-complete English sentences!
(Austin the former football captain from that powerhouse Baker College of Kansas -- I'm meaning to write back and ask if he wore a helmet or merely shaved his head)

Ok:

Mark,

I don’t care about anonymous (or not) posting on a blog. In your email, you suggested that Tinsley and Novak’s “resignation” were possibly related. That’s it.

Don
(I had conflated the two topics: Novak's retirement and the Tinsley uproar


Stop Whining
Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2019 at 10:11 am
Stop Whining, Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2019 at 10:11 am
10 people like this

Budget Cuts are not uncommon nowadays. It happens in Profit companies and non-profit organizations all the time. If you consider district has no funding to provide buses to field trips, to reduce large class sizes, to hire more staff......

People should accommodate what's on the table!!


old enough to remember
another community
on May 8, 2019 at 10:55 am
old enough to remember, another community
on May 8, 2019 at 10:55 am
4 people like this

The reason why Tinsley exists is not as JR says because of a lawsuit "won" by EPA. Tinsley was a result of a proposed settlement offered by the involved non Ravenswood school districts that led to a non-mandated resolution. Nobody won anything though the court had to sign up on the settlement. Nobody won anything and Palo Alto et al is the responsible part for the terms of the settlement which states that until Palo Alto et al is/are integrated Tinsley will be
on. Even if and when EPA becomes integrated that won't affect the Tinsley program at all. Only if Palo Alto et al become integrated.

If you read the essay " A conscience of a community" by a group of Atherton residents you will learn that Palo Alto et al admitted that they conspired to have children of other races out of those districts and that was the basis for the lawsuit, which was ultimately resolved without winners or losers, just a settlement whose terms were entirely proposed and written by the defendants.

The Tinsley suit was our Brown vs Board of education moment. resolved without a court mandate.


Let us not alter history!






Cheryl
another community
on May 9, 2019 at 9:20 am
Cheryl, another community
on May 9, 2019 at 9:20 am
11 people like this

I wonder how much outrage there will be when Palo Alto USD finally leaves the program due to the 60% minority threshold they are reaching. Other districts in the VTP like San Carlos and Belmont-Redwood Shores only allocate certain schools for their Tinsley students but no one seemed to care. The court order did not state the districts had to provide transportation and the schools being phased out are schools most parents did not want due to distance. Just like with inter-district transfers, the school district gets the final day in where the student attends not the out-of-district family.


doctor
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jul 6, 2019 at 9:30 am
doctor , East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2019 at 9:30 am
12 people like this

I wish I knew where everyone was getting their stats from. where is the data showing tinsley students don't fare better than ravenswood? Can someone post this info? I am a product of the tinsley program. neither of my parents graduated from high school, they had me when they were 18. Attending palo alto schools exposed me to a culture where education is not only important but a must. The question was never are you going to college, it was where are you going to college? I know that were it not for the tinsley program and Palo Alto's awesome schools I would not be a doctor today. I am forever grateful to Palo Alto (even if i cant afford to live there after becoming a doctor).


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2019 at 10:29 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2019 at 10:29 am
Like this comment

Posted by old enough to remember, a resident of another community

>> Even if and when EPA becomes integrated that won't affect the Tinsley program at all. Only if Palo Alto et al become integrated.

>> If you read the essay " A conscience of a community"

I found it here. Haven't read it yet.

Web Link

We often see posted "Just So Stories" with inaccurate history in them. Thank you for posting a sold reference to work from.


Kerry55
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jul 7, 2019 at 4:02 pm
Kerry55, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2019 at 4:02 pm
2 people like this

Thanks for posting the WebLink. I notice that the article is from 1969-1986. Our demographics have definitely changed since then. I taught in the Redwood City Schools around that time period and experienced total white flight, plus many other changes.Also, EPA, Palo Alto has definitely changed. It seems to me that court rulings should be examined to take into account changing demographics and then reflected in updated court rulings.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm
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Posted by Kerry55, a resident of Palo Verde

>> Thanks for posting the WebLink. I notice that the article is from 1969-1986. Our demographics have definitely changed since then. I taught in the Redwood City Schools around that time period and experienced total white flight, plus many other changes.Also, EPA,

Census data is here:

Web Link

Looks to me not like "white -flight-" but, a white baby boom followed by an influx of non-white newcomers. Redwood City grew a lot between 1960 and 2010: 46,000-76,000. In 1960 there were 45,198 identified as "white". In 2010 there were 46,255 identified as "white".


member1
Registered user
another community
on Jul 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm
member1, another community
Registered user
on Jul 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm
Like this comment

Walter Hayes is much closer for the kids. It takes another 10 -1 5 minutes to get across the traffic up to Nixon. Putting them all there would be cheaper. It is right off the freeway.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2019 at 3:11 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2019 at 3:11 pm
2 people like this

Posted by member1, a resident of another community

>> Putting them all there would be cheaper. It is right off the freeway.

Thus depriving all the other students at all the other Palo Alto schools of the experience of having a more socioeconomically diverse community.


Kerry55
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jul 9, 2019 at 5:25 pm
Kerry55, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2019 at 5:25 pm
1 person likes this

Anon:
I taught in Redwood City for over 20 years, I know what happened to that School District. I lived it.White Flight.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2019 at 7:54 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2019 at 7:54 pm
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Posted by Kerry55, a resident of Palo Verde

>> Anon: I taught in Redwood City for over 20 years, I know what happened to that School District. I lived it.White Flight.

I'm not sure what you mean by "flight". According to the census data, the population of people in Redwood City identifying as "white" -increased- by more than 1000 between 1970 and 1990. Web Link Another thing that happened is that the number of schoolchildren declined dramatically to a minimum in the early 80's. A lot of teachers lost their jobs due to the "baby bust" that followed the baby boom. I could speculate that the baby bust might be why you left teaching in RC after 1986.

The census statistics are not detailed enough to tell for sure, but, based on your comment, I'm guessing that many of the young families who contributed to RC growth after 1980 were Hispanic and that you saw an increasing fraction of Hispanic kids in the schools. That doesn't mean the "white" people left, just that they got -older-. Don't we all? The median age in RC went down until 1970, and has been going up ever since.


Been Here, Done That
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2019 at 11:57 am
Been Here, Done That, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2019 at 11:57 am
6 people like this

@doctor: Great that you were a Tinsley success! However, having been in PAUSD for 15 years, I have witnessed that yours is a rare case. Sure, in the 80s when the program began, PAUSD was lacking students (at one point, there was only one middle school open because there were so few students). But times have changed, PAUSD is overcrowded and we should not allow non-residents into our schools anymore. Perhaps, politically, PAUSD should still allow Tinsley students, but they should have to take a test and score as high as PAUSD students, therefore being academically capable as you are. Otherwise, overall, our Tinsley students are using our district simply as daycare.

My children tried to be friends with Tinsley students and the parents aren't interested. Whether they feel inferior or whatever, this program does not help Palo Alto students because the Tinsley students end up hanging out together, not integrating. And how can one blame them? They have more living similarities with each other and they ride the buses together. There are rare ones who do integrate, but it's very rare. Thus, as far as the "diversity" argument, these Tinsley students are only present on campus, they are not integrating. There were a couple who were friends with my children but only in elementary school (one was female, another was male, different grades). By middle school, when awkwardness sets-in, both students became friends with Tinsley students instead. Both of the friends struggled academically at Jordan and ended up leaving the school district. If even our Palo Alto students struggle in academics, how can we expect Tinsley students to succeed? They do not have the finances for tutors or parents who can help them with homework. In addition, the bus at Jordan (now Greene) leaves immediately after school so the students cannot stay after school to obtain help from teachers. The yearbooks are distributed at 7-8am because of the Tinsley students having to leave after school on the bus. These are non-residents, why should PAUSD have to work around them? What about focusing on our students who are residents?


Doctor
East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2019 at 1:40 am
Doctor , East Palo Alto
on Jul 13, 2019 at 1:40 am
Like this comment

@been here, done that- my case is actually not “rare”
There were plenty of Tinsley kids from my graduating class as well as my two younger brother’s classes that have done really well. I’m not going to argue and say that most of the Tinsley students do well but it is also not as uncommon as you make it seem (I’m sure you don’t want to hear that). No one is really collecting data (your anecdotal evidence doesn’t count).
Using standardized tests like STAR tests as evidence is not great in my opinion as many people including myself did not try or care. I did however do well on my sat tests as those do matter.

Sorry the year books were distributed in the morning. Thank God this was the worst thing your kids had to deal with growing up. #firstworldproblems


Been Here, Done That
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm
Been Here, Done That, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm
6 people like this

@doctor: Based upon your grammar and composition, I doubt you are a doctor. My husband is an M.D. and no doctor writes as you do. Plus, doctors would perform well on STAR testing because they care about academics. M.Ds are the highest quality students who know how to ace any exam. In addition, professionals do not use hashtags. Online law school graduates or any graduate student can also call themself a doctor.

People who wish to support a cause can post anything they want online, whether true or false.


member1
Registered user
another community
on Jul 21, 2019 at 10:10 pm
member1, another community
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2019 at 10:10 pm
Like this comment

Just treat these children like they are equals and not just a way to educate your children better as if they are objects.

Denying your child a more rich environment should not trump a kid being a bus 20 -30 minutes longer per day. The 3 schools they should go to are Duveneck, Walter Hayes and Addison because they are close. They should get to stay at the same school from K-5 . Forcing them to transfer this year or next will cause lower achievement and stress and no other students are forced to leave. It is not fair at all and is a public way of making them feel lower and look lower. Disgusting.


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