Town Square

Electing a New School Board

Original post made by Soccer Mom, Community Center, on May 28, 2007

After watching the last several school board meetings, its clear that Dana Tom, Many Lowell, and Camille Townsend have no business being on any board. Shame on us for electing them.

Take Mandarin Immersion - a divisive issue in our community whose impact has been greatly amplified by their leadership vaccuum. Barb Mitchell and Gail Price, though on opposite sides of the issue, have made their decision process clear with logical and to the point comments and questions. No grandstanding, no waffling, no concern about the political impact of this decision on them personally. I applaud both of them for their honesty and efficiency.

The rest of the board has no business being on a decision making body. While I am sure they are all good people and concerned about our schools, they can not lead or decide. After 18 meetings on Mandarin Immersion, the board deferred the vote yet again - even though it was very clear a majority had already decided how to vote. Their stated reason for deferring was ludicrous, I can only imagine what they are thinging - that people will stop paying attention if they drag it on long enough? that they can maneveur themselves to be seem in a more positive light on this issue?

While delibrative government is usually a good thing, this is too much. A lot of time has been spent discussing the "cost" of MI. The true cost is the intellectual bandwidth the issue consumes - with 18 meetings on the topic, many other board issues have had to be ignored or delayed. Imagine how much more this board and staff could have accomplished if they didn't allow this issue to spiral out of control.

Camille's leadership of the board is non-existent. She leads by abdicating. Dana Tom and Mandy Lowell appear to have flawed decision making processes and are unwilling to say they made a mistake with their original votes and want to change them. Instead they cast about for justifications to change. They are unwilling to stand on their principles and instead seek "approval polls" through town meetings.

I have seen enough. I hope you will join me in electing new faces to the board to replace these three.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 28, 2007 at 10:21 am

Good idea.

Any idea who? I have heard nothing about anyone standing? What happens if no brave soles stand forward. In these times, they have to be brave. Anyone willing?

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 29, 2007 at 8:47 am

The Board of Education already voted against introducing MI into PAUSD at this time. Stick to your recent decision and stop being strong-armed by anyone. It really does make the entire Board look pathetic.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2007 at 3:15 pm

I heard through the grapevine that there's some sort of change-the-board org? Anyone hear anything?

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Posted by Witness
a resident of Barron Park School
on Jun 2, 2007 at 7:35 am

The BOE voted against MI for fall 2007, it did not address fall 2008 or other later dates.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 2, 2007 at 12:02 pm


It's revisiting the issue and voting on 2008 next Tuesday. Unless it delays again.