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Candidates debate top issues in race for Palo Alto school board

Original post made on Sep 21, 2022

The four candidates running for two seats on Palo Alto's school board discussed issues ranging from student achievement to the board's oversight during a forum on Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 12:47 PM

Comments (1)

Posted by Greene and Paly Parent
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 21, 2022 at 9:57 pm

Greene and Paly Parent is a registered user.

Thank you for hosting the debate! I am concerned with the limited view expressed by board member Dharap of the role of PAUSD board, that contrasts the more expansive view at similar districts. According to Dharap, hire the superintendent and dictate a "vision". But the "vision" examples were of picturesque statements of the type designed to advance political careers rather than improve ground level experiences and outcomes. This view avoid accountability under the umbrella excuse that "board members are not education experts."

The board is the elected entity linking the interests of community and families to a self-interested entitiy providing service. If it does not ensure
that the diverse needs and priorities of our students are met, then no one will.The board should require transparancy, that policies are data driven and evidence-based, that meaningful measures are in place and data is collected, that parent and student input is meaningfully taken. Board members do not need to be education experts to do that.

The result is our PAUSD that lacks in communication and transparency and lost the trust of families and teachers. The board should work to fix the culture but instead allows PAUSD to change optics: a "communication officer" replaces transparency, in-house lawyer for the fallouts of mistrust and malpractice. PAUSD students that depend on PAUSD are years behind grade level but instead of insisting on evidence-based practices, our board allows PAUSD to not produce required achievement reports, not collect relevant data, and create ineffective one-size-fits all classes to create a perception of equity at the expense of students.

We don't need lawyer board members but board members that are committed to address the non-evidenced, non-transparent, and often harmful conduct that lead to an excessive number of lawsuits. That insist that PAUSD follows the *intention* of the law by serving our students rather than dodge it.

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