To those who frequently address the PAUSD board and all who are OCR-minded:
Please, do not come to the meeting today.  Past meetings have proved that the PAUSD board ignores the public’s pleas.  There are too many examples to list now.
The superintendent announced on Sept 23 that today he will tell the community the costs of “dealing” with the OCR.  I previously wrote about that meeting  (link #1).
As many have mentioned, it is hard to know the exact cost of actions that were made to correct previous wrongs.
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Please, let the report be heard without your presence.
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Today’s  presentation happens to take place a few days after PAUSD schools celebrated unity week.  A year ago we had similar situation (link #2, and many more).  I hope that the content of today’s presentation  will be different and will indicate a sincere change of direction.  We do not know, yet.  This is the reason I am asking you not to honor the meeting by your presence.
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I want to think that tonight’s presentation will be a milestone in a new direction. Having read parts of the Board Packet, I doubt that. I hope I am wrong; I hope to stand corrected.  Should today’s presentation mark a new direction I am sure you’ll be the first to applaud, loud and clear.
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This post is a rehash of my writing to Spectator At Large back on Jan 27, a day before what will be remembered as “cut the mike” night  (link #3), and of other postings before that.
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I believe that it is necessary to further demonstrate your frustration and concern.  PAUSD Board’s secret meetings were a very clear statement of their approach after the vigils, the many citizens addressing the board calling for independent investigation, etc.  It seems to me that your absence, your silence tonight, can be such a demonstration.
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I want to thank each and every one of you for all you are doing.  At the end of the day, this is about all the children. Only those who were hurt know that no one is really immune, that all kids should be protected, and that if the weak are treated this way, anyone can be treated this way.
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Dear PAUSD board candidates who oppose the PAUSD board decision to challenge the OCR -
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I am writing to ask you to withdraw from this race, to make a clear statement that you do not want to be part of a governing institution which goes to secret meetings and all the derivatives of those secret meetings – we know enough to know that this board is not transparent.  I am pretty sure we do not know how deep it goes.
I am writing to you asking you to withdraw from the race, and to unite as outsiders to work for the well-being of all PAUSD children.
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Let the sole candidate who would not state a clear opinion about the OCR run and win.  Let the board potentially include only four members who will continue to spend $ on legal advice “fighting” the OCR, publish the cost of “dealing” with Laura’s mom, for example (link # 1) and so forth, rather than focus on the educational needs of our children.
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I have addressed Mr. Dauber before, calling him to form a Shadow PAUSD board (link #2), asking him to reconsider my suggestion (Links #3.1 my blog, 3,2 weekly), and asking him to withdraw from the race – link #4.
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While I totally agree that the OCR is not perfect, as it is a Federal agency with all that implies in terms of resources, etc., I think that the decision to challenge the OCR is a “deal breaker” when it comes to Public Education.  This decision, especially when added to the secret meetings is a clear statement.

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The best case scenario regarding the OCR situation would be that two of you got elected.  Unfortunately, you would still be a minority in a board that has shown neither accountability nor transparency.
I think that a potential PAUSD Shadow Board just presented itself – four out of the five candidates who stated clearly that they would work to repeal the PAUSD board decision regarding the OCR.
In the current situation, I cannot see any mechanism of “checks and balances” for the PAUSD board.  Shadow government  is one approach used in other countries.  Maybe there are other options of which I am not aware.
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I hope you will consider my appeal.

village fool
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Link #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqHSVZOZRg8&feature=youtu.be&t=3h3m35s
Link #2: http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/open-address-to-ken-dauber-please-reconsider-forming-a-shadow-pausd-board/
Link #3.1: http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/open-address-to-ken-dauber-please-reconsider-forming-a-shadow-pausd-board/
Link #3.2: http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/12/17/open-address-to-ken-dauber–please–reconsider-forming-a-shadow-pausd-board
Link #4: http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/open-address-to-ken-dauber-please-withdraw-from-the-pausd-board-race/

 

Dear Laura’s mom-
I have no way to start and express my thoughts and emotions while watching you talk to the board on Tuesday, 9/23/14.  You just posted on the editorial thread addressing the word “fight” (link #4).  Thank you. I’ll try to gather myself and write to you soon.
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The new Superintendent announced during this board meeting (9/23/2014)  that PAUSD is not fighting with the OCR, and that the cost of dealing with complaints will be published on Oct 28th 2014.  It so happens, just coincidence of course, that Oct 28th will be just a few days before the upcoming elections.  I did not check the recording, but I will try to do that as soon as I can and post the time difference between Laura’s mom’s words to the board and the Superintendent’s announcements.
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Obviously, PAUSD board is going full speed ahead with their June resolution to challenge the OCR.
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Sadly, I think that none of the latest developments should come as any surprise to those who watched the Oct 8th, 2013 meeting.  As it turned out later, PAUSD was under state investigation and nobody bothered to announce it during that meeting when everyone was told about the Special Ed successes.
I commented about this meeting several times:  Addressing Ms. Gaona Mendoza (link 1.1 my blog, 1.2 weekly), Link #2 and quite a few more.
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No surprise – please take few minutes and watch a bit before and after the two parents addressed the board (link #3).
Obviously, the board heard only of the great things were happening.  (“all was quiet”, already.)
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It was clear back in October that the PAUSD board was in the “pre-acknowledgment” phase or step, as I defined it in my open address to Ms. Gaona Mendoza (link #1).
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No news, really. However – I am glad that the new superintendent has let everyone know how things work. Clearly. Small step.
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Link #1.1 http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/open-address-to-ms-mendoza-the-lady-who-brought-the-office-of-civil-rights-ocr-to-pausd-and-few-related-thoughts/
Link #2: http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/anonymous-and-josef-stalin-the-past-few-days-and-additional-thought-about-the-oct-8th-pausd-board-meeting/
Link #3:: -http://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/October/PAUSD_100813.html – Parents  addressing the board: 1:46 hours
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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10/4/14 – I published a post asking the four candidates who stated clearly their view about the “fight” with the OCR to withdrew from the race and unite as outsiders – link:http://villagefoolopenboard.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/open-address-to-ken-dauber-please-withdraw-from-the-pausd-board-race/
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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

 

 

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