News

School board endorses superintendent's plan with hope for successful rollout next year

Board member: 'The trick is converting these good intentions into actual initiatives'

The Palo Alto school board unanimously approved on Tuesday night Superintendent Don Austin's "PAUSD Promise" plan — an overarching vision to guide the district forward under his new leadership — while noting that "the rubber will meet the road next year" with its actual implementation.

The districtwide plan has historically been an unwieldy document that touches so many areas that it is challenging to execute systematically. The board has urged Austin to narrow its focus rather than spread the district too thin.

Austin, who is nearing the end of his first year as superintendent, said Tuesday that the plan is "a start, not an end.

"It's not a box to check; it's a checkpoint. It's one of the key parts of a bigger plan moving forward," he told the board.

The "Promise" plan contains five main sections, each with its own detailed goals and data points for measuring progress: high-quality teaching and learning; equity and excellence; wellness and safety; special education and inclusion; and district office operations. There is also a schedule for when staff will report back to the board and community on "key performance indicators," for each section, such as test scores and survey results. Another section contains Palo Alto Unified's results from the California School Dashboard to raise the visibility of the district's performance in certain areas and for certain subgroups of students.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Join

District staff are already working drafting a one-year road map for next year, Austin said, with focused, realistic "power" goals that will have a high impact on student performance and experience at school. Staff will present these more specific goals when the board resumes meeting in August. Metrics for these goals will be tied to staff evaluations and be presented to the board regularly for review, Austin said.

"I'm very interested in what metrics you're going to bring back to us for year-one goals," said board member Melissa Baten Caswell. "I think that is going to be telling on whether this is a plan that is a workable plan or a plan that we just enjoy up on the ledge."

Austin also said he's emphasized with his team that reporting accurate data will be more important than reporting positive data — "just like a dissertation, you don't go in trying to prove a point," he said.

Baten Caswell and board member Shounak Dharap also asked that Austin find a way to keep a record of the different iterations of the plan, which is for the first time in website form.

Board members largely lauded the work that went into the plan over the course of the year, including at nine school board meetings.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

"This is good but words on a website don't change any students' experience," said Vice President Todd Collins. "The trick is converting these good intentions into actual initiatives with budgets that convert into classroom experience and life experience for our students. That's the whole game."

In other business at the board's final meeting of the school year, board members unanimously adopted the district's 2019-20 budget. They also approved a 2% bonus and extended contract for Austin, who has received a positive performance evaluation. They voted 5-0 to give teachers at the Palo Alto Adult School a 16% increase for their hourly rates and a 5% one-time bonus for this year.

Board members also unanimously backed a resolution advocating for restrictions on placing cell towers near district schools in response to concerns from some parents and community members about the city's plans to do so and the potential negative health consequences for children. The resolution asks cell towers to be set back by 1,500 feet from schools and for the city to notify the district of future proposed projects near existing school sites.

The board discussed the resolution last week, agreeing that it's a worthwhile precautionary measure to take despite the fact that the science is not clear on the health risks of wireless cell towers.

The City Council approved on Monday night a temporary standard establishing a 300-foot setback from public schools.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

School board endorses superintendent's plan with hope for successful rollout next year

Board member: 'The trick is converting these good intentions into actual initiatives'

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jun 19, 2019, 8:49 am

The Palo Alto school board unanimously approved on Tuesday night Superintendent Don Austin's "PAUSD Promise" plan — an overarching vision to guide the district forward under his new leadership — while noting that "the rubber will meet the road next year" with its actual implementation.

The districtwide plan has historically been an unwieldy document that touches so many areas that it is challenging to execute systematically. The board has urged Austin to narrow its focus rather than spread the district too thin.

Austin, who is nearing the end of his first year as superintendent, said Tuesday that the plan is "a start, not an end.

"It's not a box to check; it's a checkpoint. It's one of the key parts of a bigger plan moving forward," he told the board.

The "Promise" plan contains five main sections, each with its own detailed goals and data points for measuring progress: high-quality teaching and learning; equity and excellence; wellness and safety; special education and inclusion; and district office operations. There is also a schedule for when staff will report back to the board and community on "key performance indicators," for each section, such as test scores and survey results. Another section contains Palo Alto Unified's results from the California School Dashboard to raise the visibility of the district's performance in certain areas and for certain subgroups of students.

District staff are already working drafting a one-year road map for next year, Austin said, with focused, realistic "power" goals that will have a high impact on student performance and experience at school. Staff will present these more specific goals when the board resumes meeting in August. Metrics for these goals will be tied to staff evaluations and be presented to the board regularly for review, Austin said.

"I'm very interested in what metrics you're going to bring back to us for year-one goals," said board member Melissa Baten Caswell. "I think that is going to be telling on whether this is a plan that is a workable plan or a plan that we just enjoy up on the ledge."

Austin also said he's emphasized with his team that reporting accurate data will be more important than reporting positive data — "just like a dissertation, you don't go in trying to prove a point," he said.

Baten Caswell and board member Shounak Dharap also asked that Austin find a way to keep a record of the different iterations of the plan, which is for the first time in website form.

Board members largely lauded the work that went into the plan over the course of the year, including at nine school board meetings.

"This is good but words on a website don't change any students' experience," said Vice President Todd Collins. "The trick is converting these good intentions into actual initiatives with budgets that convert into classroom experience and life experience for our students. That's the whole game."

In other business at the board's final meeting of the school year, board members unanimously adopted the district's 2019-20 budget. They also approved a 2% bonus and extended contract for Austin, who has received a positive performance evaluation. They voted 5-0 to give teachers at the Palo Alto Adult School a 16% increase for their hourly rates and a 5% one-time bonus for this year.

Board members also unanimously backed a resolution advocating for restrictions on placing cell towers near district schools in response to concerns from some parents and community members about the city's plans to do so and the potential negative health consequences for children. The resolution asks cell towers to be set back by 1,500 feet from schools and for the city to notify the district of future proposed projects near existing school sites.

The board discussed the resolution last week, agreeing that it's a worthwhile precautionary measure to take despite the fact that the science is not clear on the health risks of wireless cell towers.

The City Council approved on Monday night a temporary standard establishing a 300-foot setback from public schools.

Comments

Independent
Fairmeadow
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:28 pm
Independent, Fairmeadow
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Isn't it tiring to constantly listen to these siren songs of sweet and disguised deceit? Everything is fixed now!! One new person will make all the difference to the remaining rotten culture!

Look at the district's history of compliance, its record of academic performance for underserved students, the complaints of special education students, its attempts to strongarm students and parents to bend them to it's perverted will to serve the teacher's union rather than students, and you'll see what it really is.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Off to a rocky start already. I wonder how many school board members keep their cell phones 1500 feet away from their own sensitive tissue?

How about -one- major goal? What -I- would like to see is a PAUSD Special Ed program that actually serves Special Ed students, so that parents won't feel the urge to sue the district all the time. That would be a huge step forward for the district.


Narrower focus
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm
Narrower focus, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm

"The board has urged Austin to narrow its focus rather than spread the district too thin."

Well, I think he's done that. There is a narrow focus in this plan, namely the lower-performing kids and the special ed kids. If you look at the KPIs, even sections that could be broader, like "high quality teaching", are all focused entirely on meeting the state standard. That's it -- just meeting it.

So the focus of the entire vision is on, what, 20% of kids?

Please tell me I'm missing something. I'm sure I am -- I haven't read this in detail. Just help me understand where there are meaningful KPIs for the other 80%. Thank you!


PA Resident
Community Center
on Jun 20, 2019 at 2:26 am
PA Resident, Community Center
on Jun 20, 2019 at 2:26 am

This thing is going nowhere...Even after all the dozens of reviews i'll bet most people can't articulate an example of what will be better for the students and make a real difference that the child can recognize in themselves. My child can't. Too much indirect gobbledigook and not enough integrity. One year to develop the plan while the harm and dishonesty continue!


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2019 at 9:27 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2019 at 9:27 am

Posted by Narrower focus, a resident of Palo Verde

>> So the focus of the entire vision is on, what, 20% of kids?

>> Please tell me I'm missing something. I'm sure I am -- I haven't read this in detail. Just help me understand where there are meaningful KPIs for the other 80%. Thank you!

Yes, you are missing something. The 80% you refer to are currently (over)served by a plethora of AP and Honors classes, while the Special Ed program was gutted starting about 10 years ago. There have been high-profile incidents, and an -unknown- number of lawsuits and alternative placement settlements and etc. ever since. Fixing Special Ed should be the #1 priority.

If they want to do something for the 80%, it should be to reduce the workload and stress and give the kids more exercise. How about buying them Fitbits?


Pa
Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2019 at 10:21 am
Pa, Barron Park
on Jun 20, 2019 at 10:21 am

@Anon
You are my hero! well said!
What do you think of the promise?


PA Resident
Community Center
on Jun 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm
PA Resident, Community Center
on Jun 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm

I don't need someone to engage with me. I need to make sure the teacher spends enough time every day to make sure my student actually understands, is making progress on daily assignment, can articulate what they are supposed to do and what they need to do it before the end of the quarter, or ever (as has occurred multiple years in a row) . Getting Fs doesn't trigger anything except that maybe "Your expectations are too high". No exageration! A literal quote.
And when you beg for help, you get excuses. For example, I asked for help for the above stated items and I was told nobody had the time or ability to answer those questions and that its a problem for the whole school. However, that's their problem and its on my child's IEP.


PA teacher
Midtown
on Jun 20, 2019 at 4:50 pm
PA teacher, Midtown
on Jun 20, 2019 at 4:50 pm

Sorry. But someone has to say it. Palo Alto public schools are abysmal. I say this as a teacher who has taught well over 1000 students in the PAUSD. And this is not going to change anytime soon. Too much focus on grades, test scores, teaching to the test, regurgitating facts & figures without any understanding of how to apply knowledge, analytics, critical thinking or creativity. PAUSD follows an outdated system that makes kids dumber. Sorry. But that's simply the truth. And I say this as a lifelong educator who has worked with all sorts of students in various locations around the world.

This is not to say that the teachers in Palo Alto schools are bad. They are following the directives of the misguided administrators. And who is misguiding the administrators?

Parents.

Want a better school system, that helps our students LEARN and develop into productive, free-thinking, creative adults who never want to stop learning and helping others? Work on convincing parents to ease the pressure for higher grades and test scores. Those things are not helping our kids.

They are hurting.

We can do better. Much better.


PA Resident
Community Center
on Jun 20, 2019 at 5:46 pm
PA Resident, Community Center
on Jun 20, 2019 at 5:46 pm

@PA Teacher

Thank you for saying it, as everyone is tired of Special needs parents saying it. I hope I am assuming correctly, that your expectations would be greater than C-Fs for the underserved, that often get their programs cut or underfunding or even exist in name only.

You have to admit that the administrators are doing selective listening, because they have been tuning out and legally attacking many parents who simply are asking for compliance fulfilled with goodwill - so the student is not left a burden of the state for the rest of their lives and needing therapy from the trauma of PAUSD schools.

If indeed they are the professionals with an education background, they should deliver programs that educate, just as you say. The data has been out now for awhile that teaching to the test, achieves only that. In fact, it probably sets you up with a handicap in college as you focus on what you think the Professor wants to hear instead of your own free-thinking.

Maybe the administrators who need to have someone to chase out of town, like they do special ed, can focus on complainers that don't get enough AP, and maybe they'll leave town and allow a normal school, where kids can learn and be kids.


Another perspective
Fairmeadow
on Jun 20, 2019 at 8:52 pm
Another perspective, Fairmeadow
on Jun 20, 2019 at 8:52 pm

@PA Teacher, it's funny how so many of the students do so well - in college, in life - despite this 'abysmal' education. Maybe school isn't that important for their success, who knows? I wonder what school districts around here you think are so different and superior to Palo Alto's?

On the other hand, teachers have a limited perspective, being, well, teachers. It may be that the parents - who in Palo Alto tend to be very accomplished academically and professionally - know better than the teachers what kind of skills and habits are needed to be successful in life. Maybe what you think is most important isn't as important as you think.


Narrower focus
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Jun 20, 2019 at 9:04 pm
Narrower focus, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Jun 20, 2019 at 9:04 pm

I agree with the teacher. The instruction seems to be pretty unimaginative and rote. In contrast, the lessons at some private schools around here are far more compelling and interesting. There is nothing special about them. They aren't expensive or only for small classes. They could work in pausd. But the teachers do not have the latitude to teach that way, and our kids lose.


PA Resident
Community Center
on Jun 21, 2019 at 1:33 am
PA Resident, Community Center
on Jun 21, 2019 at 1:33 am

@Another perspective Yes many do well, I'll bet it's the students that have a robust network of support, summer programs, resources, people that offer suggestions, role models, no financial worries, and no special needs for sure. However, if you are lacking sufficient support because not every one is living in abundance and accomplished, the schools are terrible. Even Florida schools are better. And keep in mind there are really two schools in one, the HUR get a completely different experience and its not pretty.


Truth
Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2019 at 3:29 am
Truth, Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2019 at 3:29 am

Negative Palo Altans, as usual. Austin is much better than Skelly and McGee, two cardboard stand-ups. At least Austin is trying to make a difference, asking parents for feedback. Parents who want creative teaching or special ed can go elsewhere; this is a large, public school, it’s eat or be eaten, same as other large public schools. Also, those complaining about teaching to the tests and rote memory? That prepares them for college.

Austin should address peer grading. The only way to learn to write is by receiving returned papers with teacher corrections. Many of our English teachers do not assign papers because they don’t want to put the time into correcting them. Everyone knows that becoming an English teacher is going to require outside time on weekends to correct papers. However, many at Greene and Paly do peer corrections or simply do not return papers until the end of the semester (therefore, the student cannot improve in class).

Teachers are also very disorganized. If a deadline is too soon, they postpone a test the day the students walk into class (having studied until 3am). Or they give incorrect study guides so students study the wrong information or there are test questions on info not taught in class.

The new World Language program is a disaster! No textbook, no way to study for tests! This curriculum is stressful for students.

And what about access to teachers? Many are not available in Tutorial or after school. Many do not answer emails. This adds tremendous stress for students.

My son had a science teacher who encouraged study buddies so he wouldn’t have to answer questions.

Teachers should also be enlightened that college admissions are not easy these days. In fact, this was a terrible year at Paly for college acceptances. Students not only need top grades and top SAT/ACT scores, but they also need extracurriculars. There is only so much time in a day. Some teachers realize this and give extra credit, homework passes, test corrections, dropping a test grade. Others don’t care about student stress and overwork them or distribute only 3 As.

Keeping the grade reporting updated lowers stress for students too because they know where they stand in the class.

It’s all about the teachers. Some are good, some are only there to collect their paychecks or on power trips to show students that they are the boss.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2019 at 9:21 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2019 at 9:21 am

Posted by Narrower focus, a resident of Palo Verde

>> I agree with the teacher. The instruction seems to be pretty unimaginative and rote. In contrast, the lessons at some private schools around here are far more compelling and interesting.

At some point in one of these school discussions, Math curricula were discussed. It was said that Menlo School has a much more engaged/engaging math program than the by-rote programs used by most schools, including PAUSD. I'm not sure how easily Menlo is copied, though, because a program like that depends on teachers who are both knowledgeable and engaged, and, receptive students (and parents) as well. PAUSD has become very rote-oriented, I guess under the influence of AP and other standardized tests.


Fool me how many times?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 1:53 am
Fool me how many times?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 1:53 am

" However, that's their problem and its on my child's IEP."

I sure am glad for the dishonest and nasty behavior of Stephanie Sheridan, who made it clear that it was useless for us to waste any more of our lives trying to ask for an IEP evaluation, since the 504 only let us in for a ton of grief and the IEP process probably would have been more trauma.

But I'm sure this post will be deleted like the posts about Brenda Carrillo's lying and calculating, vengeful behavior, even though the reporter could just ask parents and even some board members and get an earful (and proof without much effort). That alone makes me think we should sue. Because it's just not right for a school district to treat people -- children -- like that, and it's not right that only people who can afford lawyers and have the stomach for the kind of abuse can get the education they are paying through the nose for here (in our taxes).

The families who were wronged the worst still have children in school, many had to leave our district. That didn't fix things, just like the board and the new superintendent (again) don't fix things by turnover and turning a blind eye to the wrongs and the culture that made the wrongs.

How about first the failure analysis, the apologies, the righting of wrongs, as a way of understanding what's wrong here. Otherwise, we are simply doomed to repeat.


Fool me how many times?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 1:55 am
Fool me how many times?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 1:55 am

Did some of the employees who left bring back the student records they were keeping at their homes for CYA purposes when they left?

Is it possible to teach someone to have integrity?


Fool me how many times?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 2:08 am
Fool me how many times?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 2:08 am

@Truth,
"Parents who want ... special ed can go elsewhere"

Um, you do know that what you just said is illegal? Districts have an obligation under both state and federal laws to provide a free and appropriate public education to everyone.

The teachers have a duty to proactively identify and get support for students with special needs, such as learning disabilities. It is actually against the law for the district to ignore the recommendations of a teacher for a child to have evaluations, ignore the recommendations of the evaluator, allow the child to suffer educationally for years (and label the child as a problem for lack of support) without ever following up on the original evaluations, fight the parents when they ask for an evaluation, allow the child to suffer the negatives academically because of a lack of identification of and support for learning disabilities, figure if they haven't sued, it doesn't matter the damage done to the child and that our district can and should do the right thing when things are brought to their attention (board members), and then feeding into a negative administrative culture that spends taxpayer money pushing families to leave and not darken their doorways with their children's special needs. All illegal.

And immoral.

Some functions of a school district are going to cost more than others. It simply makes no sense to expect that special needs students are going to cost the same as other students, although it would help if the district developed a culture of respect for and working with families, so that anything that smacks of "win-win" isn't summarily rejected offhand.

I'm tired of the promises -- heard 'em before. Actions speak louder than words. I'm not seeing ANY action -- hint, sincere apologies can happen without hardly breaking a sweat.


Fool me how many times?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 2:16 am
Fool me how many times?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 2:16 am

"without fear of threat, humiliation, danger or disregard"

PAUSD: When you've done the damage to a child already, you cannot just fix it by deciding a promise will keep it from happening to someone else. You cannot undo the loss of trust from the damaging LIES, backbiting, gaslighting, calculated retaliation for just trying to get the district to do its duty under the law, through turnover and pretending nothing happened.

There. Must. Be. Truth. and. Reconciliation.

The past is a festering wound, and it will drag down your promising administration, just like it did others before you, if you do not address it with love, honesty, concern, and proactive attention.


Fool me how many times?
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 2:31 am
Fool me how many times?, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2019 at 2:31 am

@ PA Teacher,
I can agree with everything you said until you got on the bandwagon to blame everything and the kitchen sink on parents. Try walking a mile in the shoes of parents of kids with special needs, especially kids whose teachers utterly failed them all through K-12. Do a survey asking teachers to list and describe the 5 most common learning disabilities, I'll bet very few could.

Do you know what parents who try to change things for the better in this district endure? I can even recall a conversation with a well-meaning administrator who said the inexpensive, innovative, fast proposal we recommended couldn't happen in this "dinosaur" district (referring to teachers, too, who feel threatened by changes that give children too much independence) and that if they allowed some kids to have a more innovative, creative experience, then everyone would want it (and we can't have that, can we).

People for whom the system is working are not innovators. That's a reality if you study innovation. The innovators are the people with a problem who are willing to be the first one to solve it because they expect a benefit to themselves from solving it. (That's what research shows.) Our district is uniquely experienced and well-resources at CRUSHING that kind of parent/student.


PA Teacher
Midtown
on Jun 24, 2019 at 4:13 pm
PA Teacher, Midtown
on Jun 24, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Fool me how many times? wrote:
"I can agree with everything you said until you got on the bandwagon to blame everything and the kitchen sink on parents. Try walking a mile in the shoes of parents of kids with special needs, especially kids whose teachers utterly failed them all through K-12..."

I am sorry if I was not clear. I was not meaning to place the blame on ALL the parents for the pressure the school administrators (and teachers) receive to prioritize on standardized tests and preparation for them. But there are many parents - the squeaky wheels - who should be sharing the blame for the situation we are in.

I have taught many kids with special needs and know how to modify my teaching appropriately to maximize their learning. And I have found that most of the parents of special needs kids are - refreshingly - far less concerned about test scores.

Please accept my apologies if I was unclear about WHICH parents I was referring to.


PA Teacher
Midtown
on Jun 24, 2019 at 4:22 pm
PA Teacher, Midtown
on Jun 24, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Another perspective wrote:
"@PA Teacher, it's funny how so many of the students do so well - in college, in life - despite this 'abysmal' education. Maybe school isn't that important for their success, who knows? I wonder what school districts around here you think are so different and superior to Palo Alto's?

On the other hand, teachers have a limited perspective, being, well, teachers. It may be that the parents - who in Palo Alto tend to be very accomplished academically and professionally - know better than the teachers what kind of skills and habits are needed to be successful in life. Maybe what you think is most important isn't as important as you think."

I have taught in many different school districts and while I must say that most public school systems are also nowhere near as good as the average private school, it is my opinion that PAUSD is as bad as I have seen for not living up to its potential. It is amazing to me that with the wealth of intelligence in this area, that this is the best we can do.

I find it interesting that someone thinks they know more about teaching and learning than teachers, who almost universally enter the profession as a passion as opposed to a way to make it rich. It may be worth noting that some of us have a business background as well. There are many of us who have left more lucrative careers to become teachers, thinking they could help educate the next generation. Unfortunately, many find that the restrictions placed upon them by school administrators (who are under pressure from parents) limits their ability to teach.

Again, we can do better. Much better.


Member
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm
Member, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm

When they take complaints in as information to react to instead of bury then things will carafe. Egos are blinding though.

All levels of students suffer from low expectations and the idea that the old way is the only way.


Another perspective
Fairmeadow
on Jun 24, 2019 at 5:50 pm
Another perspective, Fairmeadow
on Jun 24, 2019 at 5:50 pm

@PA Teacher - your answer reinforces my point. You think because you have are employed as a teacher, you know *what* is most important to be taught. But that's not right - you are a front-line worker in a big organization, like a policeman, or a nurse, or an assembly line worker (all similarly unionized). Front-line workers don't set policy - they carry it out.

It is common that teachers think they understand the goals of education better than anyone; there is a groupthink, more than most employee groups. But many high performing parents don't agree - they think they know what's best for their children, and shop for schools that will deliver it. And so there are state depts of education, which delegate in part to local school boards, who hire administrators, who hire principals, who supervise and oversee teachers, to deliver state-mandated curriculum.

Many teachers feel "if we could just run the schools, everything would be great" (as you seem to feel - if it weren't for those ignorant parents and administrators!). But would it? I'm sure many policeman also feel "if we could run law enforcement the way we like, without those ignorant civil authorities and oversight bodies, it would be great." I'm sure you see the problem there.

I'm glad you are passionate about teaching and I hope you are a good one. But I'm only mildly interested in your views of Palo Alto schools, just like I'm only mildly interested in the views of a cop on the street of the effectiveness of her large department. You think "we can do better" - maybe. There's a lot of support that we are doing ok.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 24, 2019 at 6:10 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2019 at 6:10 pm

WOW - what a bunch of comments. I grew up in the Los Angeles School System which was rocking boat. As the population was shifting to the valley the older schools had to keep rearranging where the students went to maintain the required number of students for each school. A lot of bussing was not to integrate the schools - it was to spread the students out over an ever changing population mix. As cities expand and contract that changes how many students you have in each area. There was a predomitly black school that was in the well-off area of LA with a lot of professional parents so that school had the best athletes, band uniforms, and movement on to UCLA on scholarships. The mayor of LA was black.
Another area had a predomitly eastern European population so they had a lot of Charter schools which taught in the native language - Armenian. That is Mr. Adam Schiff's congressional area. Yes - he does U-Tube support videos for the Armenian Fund. I consider him the Russian connection via Burbank. As to PA schools my son who went to Gunn did not think that his school experience was what it should have been. He was disappointed with his school experience. It is hard to tell if disappointment with the system is because parenting was not what it should have been. What a bunch of guilt here.


member1
Registered user
another community
on Jun 25, 2019 at 1:32 pm
member1, another community
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Fun to have plans and ideas, but just following their own actual policies and state law would replace any new plan and kids and families would have what every other public school has instead of waiting for some "plan" An ombudsman for families that will identify the policy and some outside enforcement is needed much more than a new plan when one really good one is already in place and not always followed.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

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