Original post made
on Nov 1, 2007
I disagree with Walt Hays who claims that we need Townsend on the Board of Education for experience sake.
It was DESPITE being under Townsend’s leadership that the board undertook the task of investigating the administrators’ complaints against the former Superintendent Callan. Townsend was a staunch supporter of Callan, and was dismissive of the complaints against Callan in board meetings. It was literally Dana Tom and Gail Price who took the leadership role in the investigation and organizational improvement recommendations.
Furthermore, regarding MI, Townsend’s support of the small special interest group that ultimately prevailed through threat tactics was detrimental to our district. That group prevailed NOT by convincing the board on the merits of the program, but through threats of harm to PAUSD. (The program was originally voted down by the board on merits, only to be reversed when they were presented with a specific charter threat letter from nine people. Tom read the letter allowed in the board meeting. He and Lowell cited that threat specifically as the reason for their reversal.)
Throughout the MI debate, Townsend displayed an alarming lack of interest in consequences and facts (such as enrollment growth impacts of the program, lack of feasible location, lack of supporting data in the feasibility study, literally no research into the feasibility of using an "Ohlone" method for MI, gaping holes in the articulation of full district costs, lack of alignment with strategic plan, lack of curricular equity for our elementary students, and more.)
As recently as this fall, Townsend asked no questions of the staff, and made no comments whatsoever in the board meeting discussion items regarding the 'strings' on a $750K Grant from the Department of Defense in support of MI. Proving again that she continues to support MI without regard to unintended consequences.
Townsend's brand of experience, we can do without. The faster we get three new board members, the sooner this district can heal from her leadership.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Many people feel Townsends experience has done more harm than good to our district. PAUSD would be better off with three new board members who care about setting a sound strategy for the success of our high performing neighborhood schools, for the future.
Plus the remaining board members (Tom and Mitchell) DO have years of experience to help facilitate a transition. It is a false logic that says 4 years of combined experience is not enough or that more 'years' of incumbancy is necessarily better.
PAUSD needs a fresh start to heal from the bruising of the past year, and fresh thinking on the issues of importance in this community. I agree with the Weekly's recommendations.
Bruce Baker, I agree, I plan to vote against Measure M and I hope others do also. I think businesses in PA are taxed to the hilt and you're right you will not gain anything by this burdensome tax. Also, I don't think the residents of PA will gain anything by this tax either, it's just more money our City Council will have to waste.