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Editorial: Ken Dauber, Shounak Dharap for Palo Alto school board

Original post made on Oct 5, 2018

With the strongest board in decades and a new management team, the Palo Alto school district is in the process of a desperately needed turnaround.

Read the full editorial here Web Link posted Friday, October 5, 2018, 12:00 AM

Comments (41)

80 people like this
Posted by YES for Shounak!!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:12 am

Thank you, Weekly, for getting it right!! I am particularly excited about Shounak who has deeply impressed me in the debates with his thoughtulness, clarity, & caring demeanor. Having personal experienced attending Gunn in the last decade will bring a student’s perspective to the Board and the fact that he has a legal mind and brown skin fill something that is currently missing and needed. Together Shounak, Ken & Jennifer could accomplish amazing things. [Portion removed.]


77 people like this
Posted by Concerned parents
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:33 am

With all these things happened in the last four years. it's definitely blind to endorse these two people. We need to stand up and vote for the candidates that put students first [portion removed.]


77 people like this
Posted by On Your Toes
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:25 am

We need a board member like Jordan, someone that will get it done!
Her tactics are excatly what a district in the process of a desperately needed turnaround needs.


78 people like this
Posted by Parent of 2
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:28 am

@Concerned, read the editorial. The Board faced up to the problems starting two years ago, when there was finally a majority on the Board that wanted change. Dauber and Godfrey, presidents of the Board the last two years, led sweeping changes in policy and senior people - we are just starting to see the results now.

Jordan beats the drum that "change is needed" - but doesn't seem to recognize that it's already well underway! And Ashlund is not even sure they should have made the changes!

Dauber and Dharap are excellent choices for keeping the positive momentum going.


59 people like this
Posted by Well done
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 10:22 am

Well done is a registered user.

I am very concerned about this race and am very happy for this endorsement. We cannot slide backwards into a more touchy feely Board, no matter how well intentioned a candidate may be. Nor a Board that includes a member that would return us to increasing pressure on students to achieve in modes that have proven unnecessary, but guaranteed to increase stress.
Well done!


71 people like this
Posted by Professor
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 5, 2018 at 10:44 am

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I too believe the Weekly got this endorsement right. All the candidates care deeply about these issues and deserve praise for running, but only two will advance the changes PAUSD students and staff require--Dauber and Dharap.

Dauber has delivered greater accountability and transparency. The OCR program now in place earned praise from the Federal OCR Office. He expects our nearly 1/4 of a billion dollar district to operate in a business-like fashion, as it should. For the first time in over a decade, the district office finally has the personnel to make this a reality, which will truly put Students First.

Finally, Shounak Dharap is the only candidate who authentically connects with students' experience. He is the only candidate with a legal background. He is analytical, persuasive, and collaborative. He will diversify and strengthen the board with his vision and professionalism.

Jordan has a catchy slogan--Students First!! It's tragic she believes slash & burn methods toward administration and teachers will advance the needs of students. Fomenting a combative posture and exacting "punishment" will lead to less experienced teachers and admins entering the district, ones who will invariably fear parents even more than those entrusted with our children today. [Portion removed.]


62 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2018 at 11:30 am

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While I didn't support Dauber 4 years ago, I gradually learned that he was supporting the right positions on every major issue. Had his views been accepted on these issues by the rest of the board and the administration, we would have saved ourselves many of the traumas of recent years including the financial and Title IX compliance issues.

I have followed the PAUSD closely for over 35 years, with both children and a grandchild in the district. I believe Dauber is one of the most effective and indispensable board members in my memory.



71 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2018 at 11:38 am

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I wanted to make a comment about Kathy Jordan. As a district critic myself, I would have been pleased to support someone with a skeptical stance toward the district.

I have been at many meetings in the last two years. I have heard Kathy Jordan speak on many issues. She is certainly persistent. She repeats herself and strikes a combatative pose.

I tried to speak to her once, and she was dismissive and didn't hear my point. I see her as strident and non-collaborative.

I do not see her fitting into the district culture or, for that matter, any board or council in my experience.




70 people like this
Posted by Dotty Henderson
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 5, 2018 at 11:38 am

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Bravo! Re-electing a calm, focused and seasoned leader AND electing a young professional who adds diversity would really cement the gains of the last few years.

Reading the other articles, I appreciate the commitment of other candidates. However, Kathy Jordan seems unwilling to recognize the positive changes and focused on retribution against a few employees. Stacey Ashlund has many appealing qualities but I am particularly surprised by her opposition to transparency in negotiations and what seems like too much willingness simply to agree with teacher requests. That led to disaster a few years ago, with only Dauber taking the right more skeptical view. I know that she was endorsed by PAEA and it's pretty clear why.

Thanks to all for your efforts on behalf of the students!


62 people like this
Posted by AnotherEducator
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:11 pm

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RE: Dotty Henderson post above:
"Bravo! Re-electing a calm, focused and seasoned leader...."

If the board's performance of the past 4 years left you inspired and craving for an encore then by all means Bravo!

If however, you believe, as so many other in this amazing community do, that our board came short on fundamental issues such as: student safety, budget stewardship, and transparency and you believe we could or rather must do better for our students, teachers and community at large then "exit stage right" may be more appropriate.

I much prefer a competent , transparent and earnest leader over a seasoned leader that failed on the fundamentals.


70 people like this
Posted by AnotherEducator
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:44 pm

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RE: Dotty Henderson post above:
"However, Kathy Jordan seems unwilling to recognize the positive changes and focused on retribution against a few employees."

While some of the changes were indeed positive, the process that lead to them was excruciatingly slow and murky. Unworthy of our students and community.

As for your uncalled for disparaging characterization of Katy Jordan as "focused on retribution against a few employees". In my humble opinion, you are confusing it with talking truth to power and a brave insistence for accountability. All too rare bedrock principles upheld by any organization that strives for excellence.


88 people like this
Posted by NoKidinPAUSD
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm

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I just realized that both Ken Dauber and Shounak Dharap do not have a child in our district. Why do they want to be on the board when Mr. Dauber sends his own kids elsewhere, and Mr. Dharap doesn't have a kid?


80 people like this
Posted by AnotherEducator
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 4:58 pm

AnotherEducator is a registered user.

RE: Professor post above:

"Jordan has a catchy slogan--Students First!! It's tragic she believes slash & burn methods toward administration and teachers will advance the needs of students. Fomenting a combative posture and exacting "punishment" will lead to less experienced teachers and admins entering the district, ones who will invariably fear parents even more than those entrusted with our children today. [Portion removed.]"

Combative attributions are sadly the kind of dog whistles all too often slung at the feet of strong female leaders. Kathy Jordan is such a leader.

If a male leader doggedly pursued injustice and incompetence in the defense of the vulnerable and underrepresented. If the same man talked truth to power and insisted on accountability even at the risk of possible retribution against their child in the district, we surly have lionize him has a strong and brave leader worthy of our vote. Kathy Jordan deserve no less.

No one is above criticism just stick to the facts and figures and leave the whistles to the dogs.


71 people like this
Posted by Facts and Figures
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Facts and Figures is a registered user.

#AnotherEducator Thank you

Kathy Jordan stood up for those who were not being protected by the school administrators. She is exactly the type of person who we laud re #MeToo and Christine Blasey Ford. She literally stood up for victims of sexual assault in situations in which the administration chose not to conduct investigations, even when it was known that there was a convicted sexual predator on campus. Maybe your memory has lapsed, but the administration did not even take steps to protect the Paly bathrooms (the location of the prior assault in a church), and the administration did not warn parents or students, which it could have done without identifying the predator.

Kathy created a safe environment for all female students on that campus. She is a hero.


68 people like this
Posted by The Wind in the Willows
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm

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@NoKidinPAUSD,

You are absolutely right! Not only Dauber and Dharap do not have any children in PAUSD, the other three board members do not have children in any secondary schools. If D&D got elected, NO BOARD MEMBERS will have any kid at PAUSD middle or high schools in the next four years! Think about it.

One apparent drawback is that these board members are not familiar with what's happening at schools at all. For example, in one of the previous forum, candidates were asked about the serious Vaping issue at PALY. Only Kathy Jordan understands the issue. Only Kathy knows how many times the alarms were triggered. Only Kathy knows what is the impact to the students and teachers of Paly since the beginning of the school year. Only Kahty knows the concerns of the parents! All other candidates just say oh we need to teach the kids how bad it is to vaping!

Dauber even mistakenly said the fire alarms were pulled by students, not caused by vaping. However, Paly Campus Supervisor Carl Hubenthal said '“The problem with fire alarms has mainly been because students have chosen to vape in large groups … and that’s activating the alarms in the bathrooms,” Web Link

If not due to Kathy Jordan's persistent pushes, Dauber and the board would not hire a law firm to investigate the mishandling of sexual assault cases. Now he is taking all the credits?

We need a candidate who has children at our high schools in the next four years. Elect Kathy Jordan!


36 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm

Wow is a registered user.

@Facts and Figures - you are confused. Kathy Jordan first spoke at a Board meeting in May '17, the same time as KTVU reported the story. KTVU had a lot of impact, not Jordan. She did a good thing standing up at a board meeting, but her impact was minimal.

Her subsequent dozens of public record requests, email barrages, and employee complaints have resulted in - well, nothing as far I can tell, aside from a lot of legal dollars on the district's side. Watching her candidate interview Web Link, it seems like her major complaint with how things were handled is that administrator names were redacted in a written report (they were revealed in a public meeting) and that not all vice principals were disciplined (which I presume is because the district determined some didn't deserve it). Those seem like minor points of contention in a situation where the Superintendent, Assoc. Superintendent, and popular high school principal all left the district over the incidents!

Seriously, the sexual assaults at Paly were a big deal but the board did an enormous amount to address them as well as enter into and comply with the OCR resolution agreement. Kathy Jordan acts like sexual assault issues have been ignored, and she is a brave but lonely sentry shouting the alarm - that's just not accurate.


46 people like this
Posted by Professor
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 5, 2018 at 7:22 pm

Professor is a registered user.

@AnotherEducator, your post makes no sense. You suggest I am criticizing a woman for being strong, which I am not. You end by stressing that no one is above criticism. I suggest the same applies to Jordan. Look up foment in the dictionary--it might help. I am not criticizing Jordan merely because she is combative. I dismiss Jordan as she will not innovate. She wants a strong commitment to civil rights? In place. She wants uniform complaint processes? In place. She wants heads to roll? They've rolled. McGee, Bowers, Wade, Mak, Diorio--bye bye. Of Jordan's agenda, what is left to achieve? Opposing state mandated sex ed? Pursuing excellence in a district recognized now as among the top in the state? Jordan's notion appears to be tap anger and seize power. If that's what Palo Alto voters seek, I want no part of it. And for the record, I have in the past, do now, and will continue to support strong women. ESPECIALLY now. But I will not confuse rage for strength, and neither should Palo Alto.


19 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Wow is a registered user.

@Wind in the Willows,

Austin said at least one incident was by a student using a cigarette lighter - quoted in the Merc. Web Link So I guess Dauber was right.

The idea that board members should be getting their info from their kids or their friends' parents vs. from the Superintendent and his team is one way the prior boards went so wrong. We had 10 years of that, as the editorial says. Don't confuse the Board of Trustees with the PTA! The Board's job isn't to manage the Paly bathrooms - it is to manage the Superintendent in doing his/her job.


42 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

@ Wow,
Go check the videos of the board meetings or the public records for May 2016. Jordan spoke at a meeting one or two days PRIOR to the story coming out. The next day, Esther Wojciki and Kim Diorio emailed back and forth about the meeting.


11 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:20 pm

Wow is a registered user.

@Samuel L - yes, so? Like I said, she did a good thing to stand up and talk at a meeting. But the impact came from KTVU, not from Jordan. And her subsequent actions as far as I can tell did nothing.


49 people like this
Posted by NoKidinPAUSD
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm

NoKidinPAUSD is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

In Mr. Dauber's mailer that I received today, it says that he's a father of five. But none is at PAUSD.

As a voter, it concerns me that someone does not walk the talk.

It is also interesting to learn that most of our board members send their kids to private schools. I wonder why.


21 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:44 pm

Wow is a registered user.

I believe some or all of Dauber's adult children went to PAUSD. Lots of people choose private schools for a particular kid if they think it will meet that kid's needs, including, I believe, Dauber, Baten Caswell, Dibrienza, and Collins, who all had or have kids in both PAUSD and other schools. Collins has talked about having a special needs child placed at a special school by the district.

Particularly with an incumbent, I don't see the issue - my concern would be that they didn't really care about the district or wouldn't really pay attention to the job. With Dauber you can look at his track record to judge that.


38 people like this
Posted by Public Parent
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 5, 2018 at 8:52 pm

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Both of Godfrey’s went to PAUSD. Both of Caswell’s went to PAUSD for elementary and her son went all the way through. Two of Collin’s 3 went all the way through. Two of DiBrienza’s 3 are in PAUSD with the oldest starting Paly next year. Most of Dauber’s went to PAUSD. They all graduated already.

Great endorsements, Weekly. I wholeheartedly concur with your choices and your reasoning. Thank you!


53 people like this
Posted by Undecided
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:14 pm

Undecided is a registered user.

I think we have a better selection of candidates than I can remember in a school board race. I wish they could all serve.

That said, I'm really annoyed at people who cannot seem to remember that the criticisms of Kathy Jordan are the same as people were saying about Ken Dauber when he was running -- people said he was hard to work with, too critical, dealing with him too much of a burden. I have noticed about Kathy what I noticed about Ken -- that she's in the race for all the right reasons, and she's someone who will stick up for the most vulnerable even at a cost to herself. Right now, at this moment, she's the only one I can say for sure would do that now.

I don't see anyone running who has been willing to personally stick their neck out for wronged students the way Kathy has. When Ken ran, he was the one willing to speak truth to power, and he was criticized mightily for it, and now it's Kathy.

I really like what I hear from all the candidates in the debates, but in terms of putting together a functioning team, we should know by now that a highly qualified echo chamber never works very well. I think having someone who challenges everyone to not sweep anything under the rug is good for the performance of the whole.

I'm also not sure I agree with the portrayal of our leadership attrition as some kind of clean sweep. There are still rotten apples in the bin, so to speak. No one was fired for poor performance, and no one or their behavior was rebuked by the leadership or board. The administrators supposedly drummed out are all just in other positions or school districts nearby making higher salaries and just as prone to wrecking the lives of vulnerable kids and families they don't like as before.

I wish the board hadn't been made smaller so we could just choose them all.


18 people like this
Posted by NoKidinPAUSD
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:17 pm

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[Post removed.]


49 people like this
Posted by Undecided
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm

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@Nokid,

Kathy Jordan has a child in PAUSD.


2 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 5, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Wow is a registered user.

I believe Collins has a special education student overseen by the district's special education department but attending a different school.


45 people like this
Posted by Parent101
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 6, 2018 at 12:39 am

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Pleased to read that others see the true Kathy Jordan also. Kathy may have helped with the sexual assault fiasco because it's dear to her heart. However, her time has passed. Appreciation to her work on Diorio. I worked with her in the past and when she is irritated or overwhelmed, she can be unprofessional, dismissive, rude, unreasonable, hypocritical and irrational, not the kind of behavior that is common in Palo Alto. She is also quite moody so sometimes she is nice, other times, distant. Don't be fooled by the Stanford degree, she played tennis there. She doesn't have the temperament for this position. Her campaign is based upon past issues that have been resolved (bad superintendent, bad Paly principal, both have been replaced). I have no doubt that she cares about students, but ask anyone who knows her or has worked with her at Duveneck, Jordan, Paly . . . she is unprofessional in both her oral and verbal communication. And she has the support of people who want to increase the rigor of our high schools when we already have suicides due to stress. Just wrong, we have plenty of other good choices for the two spots.


4 people like this
Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2018 at 10:27 am

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[Post removed; unable to verify assertion made.]


38 people like this
Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2018 at 10:40 am

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Paly's newspaper the Campanile had an amazing editorial that's worth a read.

Web Link

There are a few points to highlight. Jordan was attempting to set up private meetings with Campanile student staff members to address her concerns. She did not want PAUSD staff to be present. She sent multiple emails to individual students, even after they asked her to stop. Here is the important thing to note: PRIVATE CITIZENS, EVEN SELF STYLED CRUSADERS, DO NOT GET TO TRY TO HAVE PRIVATE MEETINGS WITH PAUSD STUDENTS. This is a basic child safety policy. Any person remotely familiar with the training that all PAUSD staff gets on mandated reporting of abuse and sexual predation knows that you can't meet alone with students. And PAUSD should never let private citizens attempt this.

This is a person who wants to take a leadership role in a school district but is blind to this basic fact.


33 people like this
Posted by Anony Mouse
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2018 at 10:47 am

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Here's one more bit from the Campanile:

Web Link

Jordan's response to allegations that her numerous emails to individual student staff members felt like harrassment:

Jordan wrote, “emails that no one need open are not harassment.” In an email statement about her interactions with The Campanile staff, Jordan reiterated that “no one is forced to open any email sent to them.” Jordan said she never called reporters.

This is a strange definition of harassment. Again, Jordan wants to take a leadership role in this school district and this is how she interacts with children?


29 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm

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Two points:
1) The student publication at Palo Alto High, The Campanile, claims that current and recent former students here requested anonymity because they fear her;
2) Melissa “Missy” Anderson, Arden and Marilyn’s daughter, herself a Paly grad and mom, has a letter in these very pages this week distancing herself from the Kathy Jordan campaign whose manager is also named Melissa Anderson.

I’d have to learn a lot of positive things about this candidate to displace what to me and likely many others are red flags.


8 people like this
Posted by wayne douglass
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

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Well, Dauber is better than nothing, but barely. It's a weak field.
Let him advocate that a high school student have an actual VOTE on the school board, and we'll talk. It's only one vote, but giving a student an actual voice in his/her education is too radical an idea for PAUSD, even though Dauber gave lip service to the "eloquence" of the current student representative. If by "eloquence" Dauber means that the current student representative makes more sense than ANYBODY in PAUSD, I would agree with him.
I know tokenism when I smell it, Ken, and this stinks. Talk is cheap. [Portion removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by Undecided
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Undecided is a registered user.

@wayne douglas,

I completely disagree with you about the field. There are reasons to prefer one over another, but I think this is the strongest field we've had in as long as I can remember.

I think every one of the candidates Jordan, Dauber, Ashlund, Dharap, and Scharf is honest, earnest, and focused on families (over their own egos or interests) in a way that we haven't ever seen in a slate of candidates in years and years.

This is a volunteer position, people, and it's hard. I wish the community understood that disagreements are inevitable, not the sign of anything wrong -- it's a willingness to foster community input, find win-wins (which in my opinion has been one of the big weaknesses hear, a mistrust of win-wins), consider lots of evidence and change one's mind when warranted, make the hard choices when there is no easy answer, stand up for what's right even when it's hard. I think all of the candidates running now are more likely to bring that to the table than many who have won in the past.

Dauber has served with a lot of courage, calm, and caring. I have called him to the carpet myself when I have disagreed with him, even recently, but I do that in the context of his having done probably more than anyone else to steer this district into a direction that focuses on serving families. My biggest concern with him is just that he forgets what it's like to be powerless in this district. We will be in good hands if he is re-elected. He has the courage and wherewithall to be an important balance to Caswell who has long been taking a spot from people who would actually care and be good for our district.

Kathy Jordan's concerns about being able to communicate directly are real because district employees still have a way of acting like minions for the prosecution, circling wagons and thinking that any dissent or concerns must be responded with scorched earth tactics, shunning behavior, and even retaliation against the messenger. As much as he has done for the district, I don't think Ken sees the retaliation problem's seriousness, and if someone on the board does not do something, I feel we are condemned to repeat past mistakes. (Those who do not remember - or even see - the past, are condemned to repeat it.) Kathy Jordan has been the only candidate really willing to put her money where her mouth is, so to speak, because she has been on the receiving end of those tactics more than anyone else. This makes her a really good representative for parents, especially because of her courage. Jordan is the only one with a kid still in the mainstream of the district schools.

Dharap is kind of a concern because he doesn't have kids, but he was a student here, and let's face it, he's pretty smart and willing to consider nuances. If he governs the way he talks, he'll be a good choice, too. I think he would be better along with someone who has experience.

I have worried that Ashlund would be another Heidi Emberling, and I don't think the CAC was all that effective with the problems we've had. Parent organizations like this that don't engage in real activism because they find it distasteful tend to be apologists for dysfunctional administrations. So she's actually my last choice. I think she's smart, caring, and if I see her involved in ways that display the kind of courage and backbone that Dauber and Jordan have displayed, I'd vote for her next time.

If we still had more spots, I'd be happy to vote for Scharf. I think he brings a sincere and smart perspective, I've been very impressed by him during the debates. But board politics are bruising and it's probably not even fair of us to put someone his age in line for that.

I think Dauber/Jordan, or Dauber/Dharap is probably my optimum result.


4 people like this
Posted by wayne douglass
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2018 at 6:35 pm

wayne douglass is a registered user.

So @Undecided "disagree[s] with [me] about the field." Well, as Richard Nixon once put it, "that's your right." [Portion removed.]
@Undecided wants to be fair, but he doesn't want to commit. There you & I really disagree, @Undecided. I think "families" are the PROBLEM, not the solution--in PAUSD and the City as a whole.
[Portion removed.]
Like @Undecided, I, too, am concerned by "Kathy Jordan's concerns about being able to communicate directly." Actually, I think she communicates directly very well. In fact, it looks like bullying to me, with a lot of "Winning Through Intimidation" for good measure. My co-conspiritors are @Anony Mous & my fellow City Council candidate @Mark Weiss (he & I both lost in the same election that picked Tom DuBois & Vice Mayor Eric Filseth). I'll give @Mark Weiss the last word on Kathy Jordan: "I’d have to learn a lot of positive things about this candidate to displace what to me and likely many others are red flags." They shoulda elected you and me, @Mark. Dartmouth College, out.


24 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 7, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Wow is a registered user.

Except for Dauber, this is a pretty weak field. Jordan is too angry and destructive and has no positive vision at all. Ashlund just incoherent (check out her candidate interview for a portrait for confusion, e.g., "we don't need more transparent negotiations; I trust the teachers to propose things that are reasonable."). Even special ed people in town people aren't noticeably supporting her.

Scharf and Hayes are below threshold (sorry) - not up to snuff for serious consideration.

Dharap is the best of the bunch. He is at least coherent and seems thoughtful. It's hard to put someone so young on the board - they don't have the experience base to make reliable judgments - but he seems like a reasonable choice and the best choice of a weak bunch.

But Dauber is very strong, really one of the best in a long time. Dauber & Dharap.


6 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 7, 2018 at 11:41 pm

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Melissa Baten Caswell is my former Dartmouth classmate, and was a cheerleader, to boot and since I worked for her 2007 campaign, or at least displayed her yard sign at my rental on Chimalus, albeit modified slightly by a Disney Princess sticker, and since my friend and fellow book reader and poetry spotter or spouter Wayne D invoked or namchecked The Old Mother, I wish to come to her defense or theirs and clarify, for today’s readers and voters, and future Martian or Venusian or Aplanet observers or anthropologists that the Notorious MBC did not “take up space” she was elected. And re-elected. And did win over and over muchly the dauphins as GMH might it have put.


4 people like this
Posted by wayne douglass
a resident of another community
on Oct 8, 2018 at 11:05 am

wayne douglass is a registered user.

"You are currently logged in to Town Square.
Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff."
I love @Mark Weiss dearly, but his latest post is proof positive that Bill Johnson believes in free speech. A message must avoid lying and and rudeness, to be sure, but it doesn't have to make sense--very much like the Weekly's editorials. For @Mark, incoherence and free association are art forms. (See his blog for examples.) I recently wrote a poem that includes the lines "Sanity's overrated / I'd rather be nuts." @Mark is a true believer.


14 people like this
Posted by Ferdinand
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2018 at 11:30 am

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Although we enjoy and depend on the PA Weekly for much of our local news, I'm sorry to say I believe they are backing the wrong horses in this race. Please look over the CHALLENGES, CONCERNS, ISSUES in the January 2018 HYA Leadership Profile Report, for each constituent--Administrators [p 5-9], Board Members [p 12-13], Community Members [ p 16-17], Parents with Children in the District [p 21-24], Students [p 28], Support Staff [p 30-31], and Teachers [p 33-35]. Survey's don't totally represent reality, but there is quite a bit of redundancy to suggest accuracy here.

Here are 3 broad categories which have lacked adequate progress from our current board combination:
1. Collaboration and Relationships
2. Data Informed Decision Making
3. Equity and the Achievement Gap

Look over the specific issues identified by each group--they are lengthy and substantial. I've included the BOE's own self-criticisms:

Board Members:
• Business policies, HR procedures, data, basic compliance and operations not monitored
• District office management doesn’t reflect best practices
• From top to bottom the district is incredibly weak as an organization
• Improvement needed in adversarial relationship between parents and district
• Keeping track of stuff--not enough metrics to evaluate activities and programs
• Sloppy around basic operations –Brown Act, budgeting, operations

Although I appreciate Shounak Dharap's kindness, youth, and idealism, this is a job for someone with more district experience [such as Stacey Ashlund] and more time to devote. Being an attorney is not enough to overlook those. And considering how elite-credentialed our current BOE is, some of the blame placed on prior superintendents did fall on their shoulders too. When one cares about issues, one probes/inquires about them regardless of whose "To-do" list it falls on.

I haven't totally made up my mind, but after wading through the anti-Kathy Jordan media, and meeting her in person, she has much to offer this community: transparency, integrity, endurance, honesty, and appropriate ego. She is not perfect but doesn't appear to be politically dishonest. We may not have enjoyed her shedding light on the mistakes of people we liked, but it was probably unavoidable considering how the Title IX issues were revealed to the OCR and public in the first place.
Open to reconsidering, but probably voting for Stacey Ashlund and Kathy Jordan.


4 people like this
Posted by Ferdinand
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 8, 2018 at 11:32 am

Ferdinand is a registered user.

HYA Leadership Profile Report:
Web Link


42 people like this
Posted by Patsy Mink
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Patsy Mink is a registered user.

The Daily Post just came out today with their editorial which endorsed Dauber and Dharap. Their praise of Dauber’s tenure was profuse in all regards. They made a clear and principled acknowledgment of their mistaken appraisal of him four years ago. "Let's start off this editorial by admitting we made a mistake four years ago when we didn't endorse Ken Dauber for Palo Alto school board. We were concerned that he would demonize the district's employees who disagreed with him and wouldn't act with civility if he joined the board. Honestly we were wrong about both counts. He's been very respectful to the district's employees and parents. And, as president of the board this year, he's made sure that everybody gets their opportunity to speak. He's civil and congenial, and has comported himself in an exemplary manner." The editorial lauds Dauber's leadership over the past four years ending with "after four admittedly rough years we think that Dauber has put the district on the right track and has earned re-election."


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