It's been painful watching our good friends and neighbors in Palo Alto dither about grade separation for Caltrain. The community wants a tunnel, the council thinks it's too expensive. So why doesn't the council take the community at its word and put a broad-based tax on the ballot in November to fund a tunnel?
If the neighborhood associations and others who oppose alternative solutions get out and work to pass the tax and it passes, then the council will have the money it needs and proof of the community's commitment.
If not, the council can proceed with a more affordable alternative. In a city where the median home price is over $3 million, the money can certainly be found to pay for a tunnel if that's what people say they want.
Foxborough Drive, Mountain View
Charter schools vs. public schools
Congratulations to Elena Kadvany for her thorough report on the charter school versus public school system controversy in the local Ravenswood School District (March 22).
A high priority for most parents is the education of their children. The article's graphs point out that the charter schools clearly outperform the public schools as measured by both math and English test scores. Is it any wonder that the charter schools are becoming increasingly popular?
Besides spending time discussing the financial and locations arguments involved, one would hope members of the school district board are trying to understand why this disparity is present.
Richard R. Babb
Portola Road, Portola Valley
Appreciation for Paly special-ed teachers
Ms. Oakson and Mr. Hall are very nice. Ms. Oakson teaches Rise and Grind cafe and a smoothie business and lunch-order service. Mr. Hall teaches functional academics and language skills.
We went to the Mountain View Public Library with Ms. Oakson when I was a freshman and sophomore. This year, Ms. Oakson had all the teachers and students tell me "Happy Birthday" at lunch, and she organized everyone to sing "Happy Birthday" to me after we were done eating.
And on that day, Jan. 17, Mr. Hall saw me and said "Hey, birthday boy!"
I will never forget this.
Futures Program senior, Palo Alto High School
Edgewood Drive, Palo Alto
A sweeping generalization
Regarding your editorial titled "The audacity of privilege" (March 22). Your subhead says "College-admission bribery scandal exposes sense of invincibility and entitlement of the wealthy and powerful." Really, everybody who is wealthy and powerful is guilty? That's how your editorial reads from beginning to end.
Don't we all know by now that we can't judge the many by the actions of the few?
In our current times of political stress, we need to hear from more measured voices. As such, your editorial disappoints.
Arbutus Avenue, Palo Alto
Not so audacious
As a high school student who has suffered the consequences of academic pressures from family and peers, it does not come off as a surprise that some families are bribing colleges and admission officers. In my opinion, the tradition of wealthier families bribing schools has always existed, and everyone knows it. In Palo Alto, a rather affluent suburb, it is inevitable that some families will use their connections and wealth to set their kids on a higher path of success.
The recent media attention on this topic is only temporal and will be forgotten quickly, as many families will just pay off the fines and "shame" that accompanied their actions. And I believe that these wealthy elites, who indulge in these actions, don't actually repent for their actions.
The main question that this topic poses is whether or not it is morally wrong for parents to use their abilities and hard earned money to create a better academic standing for their kids. Some might say that it is unfair, but after deep reflection and contemplation: Is it truly unfair?
Byron Street, Palo Alto
This story contains 660 words.
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