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Where the Palo Alto school board candidates stand on innovation

Original post made on Sep 28, 2022

In their own words, the four candidates seeking two open seats on the Palo Alto Board of Education share what innovations they'd like to see come out of the school district.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 9:39 PM

Comments (2)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2022 at 9:21 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Over the years, parents have put forward many innovative ideas around the hot topics about PAUSD at the time.

FLES (foreign language in elementary school) was discussed in passing at the time of the discussions about Mandarin Immersion. We were told that PAUSD would look into it. Absolutely nothing happened. Now we have two immersion programs for lucky lottery winners and zilch for the rest. It would have been innovative to bring some type of foreign language programs into the elementary schools since these are the best ages to start learning a new language. But no, the innovative idea was ignored.

Likewise, when moving the end of the semester to December rather than January as previously done, it was suggested by many to start becoming leaders rather than sheep and instituting a quarter system rather than a semester system. This would have been an innovative way to keep school starting after Labor Day an aligned ourselves with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere in school year start times which is extremely useful to those with international families as well as those who are unable to take annual leave until after the end of June. There were a lot of ideas put forward but PAUSD ignored them and were pressured by high school parents who were worried that they might have to put pressure on their kids to study through winter break, regardless of the fact that finals would be right in the middle of the holiday season with many holiday celebrations, events, parties and family traditions coming in the middle of what is now finals season.

Innovation can come from the community in very well thought through ideas which deserve consideration, but the board tends to ignore them. I am pleased to see that the one board member running sees the Covid lockdowns as a learning lesson for preparedness. This is good in my opinion.

But I see very little innovation from PAUSD over the years and I would like to see new board member willing to lead not follow like sheep.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

So far, the gaps in Ms. Chiu-Wang's knowledge about PAUSD appear greater than her knowledge. [Portion removed.] I would like to see her at work as a volunteer in our district--either in the PTAs or on citizen-advisory committees in order to understand how she applies her stated values in decision-making. I want to understand how she makes choices when she is confronted with facts that may not conform with her world view [portion removed.] Public education experience and deep understanding of local needs and constraints matter. Public education is a very different arena from the business world. Business experience applies less than one might think. I'd rather candidates did not do this foundational learning while serving on the Board of Education and making decisions that affect our children. Please get involved as a volunteer and show us your stuff, Ms. Chiu-Wang. If you still want to run after that, you seem like you might be someone I'd consider... after you have worked to gain experience and knowledge of our district. [Portion removed.]

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