Town Square

Palo Alto Unified to reorganize equity and student affairs department

Original post made on Jun 23, 2021

To overcome the losses distance learning has caused in education, Palo Alto Unified is restructuring its equity and student affairs department to help streamline academic and support services.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 9:15 AM


Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:06 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

Lana Conaway is an exceptional leader, and a truly high-integrity and courageous advocate for equity, inclusion, and common sense. Installing Dr. Conaway as the head of this expanded department was the smartest thing that the PAUSD School Board has done in years, and I applaud this decision wholeheartedly!

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:45 pm

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How about "equality" instead. "Equity" in education is progressive speak for making exceptions for those who don't perform well and then taking action to "level" the playing field by dumbing down testing, college admission requirements and numerous other markers that indicate academic achievement and eventually leads these same students to believe they aren't capable of succeeding without special consideration, resulting in a "victimhood" mentality that carries on into adulthood. We see more and more evidence of this in society every day. Equity and diversity training have become new industries unto themselves over the last ten years or more and parents with children in public schools across the country are beginning to confront their local school boards and demand these policies be removed.

Let's do our best to help all who are struggling and create opportunities for them to succeed, but let's not take away from those who work hard to achieve academic success and already are. And that includes the many minority and low-income students who are doing so. That means equal treatment for all.

And let's not attribute the lack of academic success of minorities and low-income students to the false notion that "white privilege," the term invented by wealthy, guilt ridden progressives is responsible for their lagging behind in achievement.

Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 8:13 pm

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Make no mistake, the focus on "mental health" means in this context the crazy and cancerous notion that academic excellence is harmful to everyone, not only those who are encouraged to study hard (stress stress stress from those "certain" types of families!) but also bizarrely that it harms other students who now might now feel bad because someone else worked hard to be good at something. Can't have that! I think Don Austin just needs a football analogy before he can realize that they have gutted what was (once) among the nations best public school systems in the interest of ideology. No grades, no levels, no homework, no feedback, no stress. Great results, cause everyone is doing stuff outside, so they'll count it as a win all around.

It used to be that privates were for Menlo Park and Atherton, because their publics weren't as stellar. Now the private trend has hit Palo Alto as much as anywhere. The charters will follow, just give it 4-8 years. Sad.

Posted by ProfvilleResident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 19, 2021 at 9:59 pm

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Too bad the Board's contract extension for Dr. Austin -- and subsequent installation of his buddy as his deputy -- sacrificed transparency. And that Board members escaped accountability entirely. Dr. Conaway should be supe.

Posted by Howmanybikesdoesittake?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 17, 2021 at 1:37 am

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A joke and more smoke and mirrors. Just a shell game, all talk no value - that's why the gap is so extreme, the kids are actually permanently damaged by how they are treated. my kids been traumatized by multiple personnel who ignore their diagnosised needs even in a crisis. They would absentmindly redirecit my child to somebody else, even though my child was in crisis, which they refused to acknowledge and insisted on my child doing something he's marginally capable of on his best days. Both Collins and Austin have received the inside info and instead of help, have shamelessly supported grandiose and unbelievable dishonesty to CYA with no concern for how they contributed to making the campus toxic by supporting administrators that lie to cover-up their actions against special needs children. The experience is like forcing a child to return to the place where he's been abused, ridiculed, refused to help him get his lunch, day in and day out because that is exactly what has happened. There has been no support stopping the verbal and physical bullying or overtly condescending low expectations.
The summer school teacher sent me email that my son was failing. I thought, another teacher avoiding responsibility & accountability. I came in braced to hold my ground and not let another teacher "explain" to me my child is not capable of more and I should get a tutor. She was helpful & I apologized for anticipating the worst. She said I was right about my perception of hostility and disinterest in doing enough to help kids succeed and deal with hur parents. She said she foud the culture toxic and had already quit because she couldn't work in such an empathy lacking school climate that uses marketing pitches and gaslighting instead of actual teaching strategies that work. She said she saw really harmful outcomes all the time for the avidly talked up equity programs, but instead of seeking solutions they hide it, they know they can get away with it and they don't value them

Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 17, 2021 at 10:32 am

eileen is a registered user.

I agree with: "Howmanybikesdoesittake?"

My son lost interest in school when he started to go to Jordon Middle School, now Green.

Those years were very difficult because the public school system has no understanding of how kids learn. There is a one-size-fits-all mentality which is very destructive for kids that don't fit the mold. That was my son. He was beyond gifted but didn't perform well so was thrown into special Ed! He took the high school equivalency test at 16 and left. Went to Foothill at 17 and then UC Santa Cruz where he got straight A's. From there he went on to Vietnam to teach English, do Photojournalism, and became the director of a media arts collective in Nepal. My son took the GRE and scored 340 in English and very high in math. He was excepted to the Harvard Ph.D. program in Cultural Anthropology with a full scholarship! Paly was a complete disaster for him but he found a way on his own.