Open address to Ken Dauber – PLEASE, reconsider forming a Shadow PAUSD Board.

Dear Mr. Dauber,

I addressed you back in March calling on you to form a PAUSD Shadow Board (Link #1).  To be clear, by “Shadow Board” I mean an external, unofficial committee which will review and monitor the official school board’s activities and input from the public. (Shadow Cabinet – link #2).

I am writing to you now, asking you to reconsider my appeal. I’ll try to explain my rationale for asking you again. All that I wrote in my March Address still applies. I am posting my March Address below.

I addressed you in March when many community members assumed that some kind of investigation committee would be formed to look into the PAUSD issues. I wrote my March Address assuming that such a committee was not about to be formed. That is really water under the bridge.

My March Address was the result of my wish to see an outside “check” (as in checks and balances), my wish to see attention to moral and ethical issues that may impact all the children.  My desire is to enable clarity and accountability vs. the apparent ongoing cover up actions. 

Obviously, I could not foresee any of the events that presented themselves afterwards. I’ll just mention a few things that have since come to light:  info about secret meetings to check the feasibility of challenging the OCR’s jurisdiction,  keeping a new investigation out of the public eye, having committee discussions in violation of the Brown Act, etc., etc., etc.

A Shadow Board is a very unusual suggestion.  I think that at this point in time, when so many seem to have lost trust in the leadership, there is really nothing to lose.  I am suggesting to form a Shadow Board comprised of members that you respect and trust.  Several names were mentioned back in March.  I do realize that should the community respond to your call to come forward with info about incidents, implementing all I suggested in March is a full time job. I am thinking that the board might investigate few test cases and bring visibility by listing the rest.  I think that community members who support your cause will be willing to volunteer to handle the administrative issues that such an operation calls for.  Looking back, Eileen 1, for example, comes to mind. I do not know her.

I think that if community members respond to your call as the leader of such Shadow PAUSD  Board, and  come forward, trusting you and your board’s judgment, trusting  you and your board to keep the children’s details private, some patterns may become clear.

I think that a clear statement is called for.  A statement that does not define policies without looking into reality.  A statement that all children are important.  A statement of real interest in  – What is going on here????

I hope you will consider my appeal

Thank you

village fool

.

Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/03/21/open-address-to-ken-dauber—please-form-shadow-pausd-board

link #2 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Cabinet

My March address copied from link #1:

Dear Mr. Dauber,
I am writing to call upon you to form a Shadow PAUSD Board.
I do not know you. You recently posted here – calling for an independent investigation. Seems that it is not about to happen.
I think you have everything necessary to lead a Shadow board – heart, basic common sense and integrity. In no way I am undervaluing your academic achievements and titles. It seems to me that you are trying to promote basic village values. ‘Village’ as in: It takes a village to raise a child.
My suggestions as to goals of Shadow PAUSD Board, bearing in mind that it is not Enron (as one commenter noted), but a public education system:

Short term goals of Shadow PAUSD Board: Investigate. Document. I am suggesting to call for input about incidents from the past decade. Reasons for the suggested long time frame:
1. Trust is easy to lose, extremely hard to gain. Given the fear of retaliation that was mentioned many times – hopefully graduates, or parents of graduates, will come forward. Hopefully trust can be rebuilt, slowly.
2. If past incidents were real – quite possible that some of those responsible are still around. Many of the staff members work decades in PAUSD.
3. Find out where and why the previous Strategic Plan failed to outline the process flows indicated by the recent OCR investigation. The excellent editorial initiating this discussion mentioned systemic issues. Such issues should have been noted by the previous Strategic Plan.
4. Try to figure out how the future Strategic plan will address these issues. A classified employee quoted part of the current survey, above. I do hope this input is not correct. In any case – survey questions are very important.
5. Maybe past employees will come forward? Those who retired? If their trust or support can be gained, it may impact others.
6. Hopefully current employees will come forward, and not only teaching staff. Many of us know that secretaries, for example, often are the most knowledgeable about the organization. I’m hoping for insight that could be gained if all levels of district employees were to come forward.
7. Possibly you’ll find out that there is nothing to worry about. That would be a very important outcome as well to the many concerns posted lately.

Long term goals of Shadow PAUSD board: Many. A good start may be investigating the possibility that the current type of governance is not suitable to the current local culture. It is quite possible that this board model was set when there really was a village, prior to Corporate America culture taking over.

I hope you will consider my appeal.
Thank you
Village fool

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