Dear Mr. Dauber,
I am writing to  ask you to withdraw from the PAUSD Board race.
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On March 2013 I wrote  on the PA weekly, asking you to form a Shadow PAUSD Board (link #1).
My suggested short term objective was to investigate and document. I think that given all that has since happened, this thread reads very differently now.
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On December 2013 I wrote asking you to reconsider my plea to form a Shadow PAUSD Board (link #2.1 my blog, Link #2.2 weekly).
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When I first addressed you I thought of the dire need for an independent investigation. In response to the  lack of accountability and transparency, I thought of  a Shadow Board as a mechanism of Checks & Balances.
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Churchill led a Shadow government (Shadow Cabinet – Link #3)
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Currently, there are two open slots ( of five board members).
Back in June, the PAUSD board decided unanimously to challenge the OCR – Office of Civil Rights  (link #4). I think that even if you win this race with another like minded member, you will be in the minority and may need to  comply with this decision which was made with questionable timing given the election date.
You will also have to comply with the Brown act. While I do appreciate this act, I think that in the current situation parents may hesitate to bring concerns to you since, being a minority on the board, you may need to share the parents’ concerns with Board members who’ve heard previous concerns and have possibly  taken that info to the secret meetings which became public knowledge  last summer (link #5).
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Also – A new Superintendent was hired recently,  I am assuming that the new Superintendent has the best intentions.
There was discussion about the atmosphere and culture that enabled the actions of some individuals. It is not only about the specific individuals but about the culture of the PAUSD organization.
Many called for a “clean house”.  How will the new Superintendent  know what has happened before? How will he know what needs to be cleaned without outside input?
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It is my understanding that the Board is supposed to be the “check”.  The Superintendent is evaluated by the Board.
Given all we learned (and what we possibly do not know), I am more convinced now than before that an outside independent entity is absolutely needed.
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My above writing includes only a fraction of the facts and reasons that had me write to you today.
All can be summed by Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous quote: “Better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in”.
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I hope you will consider my appeal.
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Thank you
Village Fool
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Having written the above, I wish that your journey will go your way, any way you choose to go.
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@Peter Carpenter-

You asked  on the thread which suggested a real life Town Square (link #1):

“..:When people post anonymously they are, by definition, hiding something – I wonder why?…”

One answer is – Fear of Retaliation. These issues are not disconnected from the ongoing censoring.These  issues were discussed in many many threads. By the end of the day, it is the Editor’s choice.
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These are just two samples:
1. Two years ago, at the bottom of the thread, You, Steven Levy and I responded to this issue. The thread was restricted to registered users. (link #2).
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2. A year back I  wrote here, thread locked completely  (link #3)  “…Fear of retaliation was not publicly discussed prior to the first OCR settlement becoming public. I asked for feedback back in March, here is a link – (link #4)  …”
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 Other notable quotes: :
“…I feel this is an important area for discussion within the community about the power of censorship in shaping an biasing the discussion on Palo Alto issues…. – Anonymous (link #5)
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“… Lately Bill Johnson seems to be editing for content of speech rather than manner or tone. He appears to have particular ideas about what kinds of arguments “help” the “community” and what do not. This is unfortunate since it appears to be a slippery slope with a lot of deletions occurring. To say he owns the means of expression is a bit unsatisfactory given the expectations set for online communications and free speech in the electronic age. In practical terms it is a big commitment of time and energy for the weekly staff that would be better spent in improving its reporting especially in the area of education…” -PalyDad (link #6)
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* Why would anyone who had a bad experience in a school come forward?
Thinking of Palo Alto High as an example  – reports as to the health based reasons of the ex-principal’s departure were not questioned for many months. Could a student or adult be confident that any concern would be heard?
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The facade that all was great was kept for many months….
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* Why was “Doubting Thomas” censored? (just an example).
The following was removed from “doubting Thomas”  comment (link #1):
“… Do you have a viable solution or,is it just ” paloalto,is,special and should not be disturbed by anything? Shall we close SFO?

Palo,alto derives plenty of benefits from having SFO. Anyway, all these claims about air traffic in palo,alto are grossly exaggerated.”

The facade that all is great cannot even be mentioned?
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And, I have started to list the threads which were locked completely. I’ve listed those in the page I dedicated to these issues (Before & After, Link#3).  Obviously, it is a very partial list. The trigger for this list is the thread titled “More PAUSD turnover” (link #2) which was heavily censored. I have not yet posted all of the occurrences I noticed.
Due to my timing constraints, this initial list of locked threads does not include the threads which were started by “Curious”. I’ll try to update the list soon.
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It so happens that my comments were the reason for the locking of a few threads.  I have shared my perspective on the locking of the thread titled:”In secret, school board weighs not cooperating with federal agency” here (link #4) and  my perspective on the locking of the thread titled : “In-depth report: How a federal inquiry is changing the way schools respond to bullying”  here (link #5).
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I did not write my take on the locking of many other threads. I guess why they were locked is anyone’s guess.

for example:

– “Why is Town Square So Out of Sync With Dominant Free Speech Norms of the Internet; or, is this Forum Not a Forum Anymore Due to Heavy-Handed Editing of Posts” (link #6)

– “A plea to Village Fool” (link #7).

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1.

California’s court ruled that  teachers’  tenure is unconstitutional.   Does this ruling apply also to PAUSD’ principals/assistant principals/other officials?

It is my understanding that some district officials are tenured after two years. I do not know if this is resulting from the fact that those officials are credentialed teachers. I posted my question on a thread relating to this issue (link #1).  BTW – I posted yesterday parts of the reasons for which I do not agree with the court decision. My question, above, about the principals is not disconnected from my understanding the reasons that the court decision will not solve the real problems.

2.

Is there any way to know what is the new PAUSD’s superintendent stand as to  the PAUSD board’s decision to  approved a resolution set to challenge the OCR?

While the new superintendent’s first day of work is more than a month ahead, the community/media were invited to meet him (link #2). An open reception was set before the last PAUSD board meeting prior to summer break. I do wonder if the media or other asked him, and what was the answer. I think it is a fair question.

3.

What % of teachers/parents/students  responded to the survey (of PAUSD teachers/parents/high school students)?

PAUSD published some survey results.I have many more questions. I posted few questions on the thread letting us know of the survey (link #3).

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Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2014/06/17/educators-ending-tenure-no-magic-bullet#comment_form

Link #2 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2014/06/16/public-invited-to-meet-new-superintendent-tuesday

Link #3 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2014/06/15/survey-probes-school-satisfaction-levels

 

 

PAUSD board is planned to pass a resolution challenging the OCR –  Office of Civil Rights (Link #1).
Obviously, many questions are called for. Questions related to the many details discussed,  and questions related to the bigger picture. I’ll try to address some of those soon.
While PAUSD’s Board will vote tomorrow, I decided to respond to the ruling as to  the teacher’s tenure now. (link #2).

I’ll try to explain why I think that teachers’ tenure ruling  is directly related to the ongoing PAUSD Saga, and why I do not agree with the court’s ruling, and yes – I do think that many problems can be solved with an appropriate approach to the teachers’ contract. And no  – this issue is not disconnected from my previous observations and beliefs that the solution is pretty simple, no legal education is needed.
With all due respect, I do not agree with the court’s ruling.  I do agree that the current situation results in many problems that mostly impact those who are less affluent. I doubt that going the court’s way will resolve those serious problems.
Thinking of PAUSD, I actually think that the court’s ruling will make “things” worse, will give more power and influence on the kids’ well being  to some of  those  who seem not to care at all about the children or the tax payers’ $.
I do believe that teachers have  huge impact on everything, and addressing their issues appropriately can resolve many of the problems public education faces. Seems the tenure did not produce the desired results.
I think that the solution can be found in the colleges and universities. Letting the teachers have even more security in their position and giving the teachers real academic freedom should raise the expectation that  the teachers will speak up about any wrong they see.

BUT – serious clean up is called for as well as agreements as to best practices and what is right?
Well, none of this can happen before a serious impartial investigation takes place to spell out the details that unnecessarily and negatively impacted children.
I think that there is no way to have any correction without spelling out the wrongs. Rehashing.
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@Edmund Burke -
Back in March,  I took the liberty to ask you to view a Palo Alto district case that made it’s way to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). I asked you to analyze  (the details that were made available to the public) using  the “bullying policies” I suggested. “My” suggested bullying policies  are simply  the teachers’ code of ethics.  (Link #1).

Obviously, back in March,  I could not have foreseen any of the info that’s become available since.

Back in March (long long time ago) I wrote:

 “…
I found the California Teacher Association Code of Ethics (link #3). Within this, I believe we have the fundamental basis for bullying polices and best practices.

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Preamble:
“The educator, believing in the worth and dignity of each human being, recognizes the supreme importance of the pursuit of truth, devotion to excellence, and the nurture of democratic principles. Essential to these goals is the protection of freedom to learn and to teach and the guarantee of equal educational opportunity for all. The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards. The educator recognizes the magnitude of the responsibility inherent in the teaching process….”
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It seems to me that this code says it all. Covers it all.

While I do realize that this ethical code may not  be  sufficient, legally,  I am  very curious to know your insight as to where, if at all, any of the code of ethics was violated in the cases the OCR checked (the cases that have been made available to the public)
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What say you?
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Dear Edmund,
I hope you do not mind me addressing you by your first name.

I want to thank you, again, for taking the time to educate us in an extremely caring and down to earth way. Knowledge is power, or at least should be.
I also want to thank you for providing a space free of censoring. I am wondering about the results of the  CDE (California Department of Education)  review, and I do not even want to mention the unfolding of the bullying policies.

A new manifestation of the online censoring appeared yesterday. I kind of got used to being “edited” – comments cut and [portion removed] indicating the point of removal, having my comments “deleted” completely without a trace left to indicate that I ever posted, etc.

Yesterday was the first time that my comment was censored and there was no indication left to mark the fact that the moderator “edited” my comment. I assumed it was a “glitch” and I requested the moderator to note where my comment had been edited.
BTW – my comment asked some questions about  the process of selecting the new Palo Alto High principal last year, especially given the fact that the community was not aware of the circumstances behind the departure of the previous principal.

I copied part of a post made on my blog about a week ago.  My reference to my blog was removed without indicating that the moderator had changed my comment. While I do realize that references to my blog are  not welcome on PAOnline, I would like to comment that my blog is part of my response to comments on PAOnline being “deleted” many times, giving me no way to respond.  I decided to try to find a place where my comments cannot be deleted this way.  I commented many times, I started several threads trying to address the censoring until I reached the conclusion that I need to think of an alternative.  Also, others’ comments refer to their blogs, and their references often remain intact.
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Again – Thank you!
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village fool
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.PS -
Below is my yesterday’s comment as I originally posted (link #1). The comment cannot be found anymore. The “story” of this comment can be found in Before & After – (link #2):

Posted by village fool, a resident of another community
22 minutes ago
@Chill Pill – The following is part of my recent post:

“….
When the new principal of Palo Alto high was announced last year, the Weekly published an article titled: “New Paly Principal Knows Her Way Around Campus” (link #8). Again – the second part of the broom quote comes to mind.

The following is a partial list of questions I asked myself, particularly in light of the recently published allegations around the prior principal’s actions and his subsequent demotion.

I do hope that these questions were properly considered:

1. Was Ms. Diorio aware of the sexual harassment allegations that were investigated by PAUSD officials before those became a cause for PAUSD official’s investigation?
1.1 – If Ms. Diorio was aware of the allegations:
1.1.1 Where did she take the info?
1.1.2 – If she was aware, and did not forward the info, why didn’t she? (Was it because she was afraid of retaliation?)
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1.2 If Ms. Diorio was not aware of the allegations -

1.2.1 Was she approachable to the woman who felt harassed?
1.2.2 How come she was not aware?
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2. Streaking, campus culture, etc. sampling -


The above copied from my blog- Web Link

I wonder if you think that these questions are called for, especially given the fact that the community was not aware of the circumstances behind the departure of the previous principal?
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