@Metzler McVey – (link #1)
Thank you for your caring post!
I think that there are several issues keeping the occurrences that concern you below the public’s radar. Writing it all is way beyond of any online post.
You mentioned Civility. It seems to me the civility is in the “eye of the beholder”. I think that being “civil” in this area goes many times hand in hand with being very articulate. Also, being able to obtain the services of private lawyer helps “maintain” the notion that those who are not very articulate, who speak up, may not be that civil.
I think it is important to keep in mind that your expediences may be totally different from those accumulated by an “uncivil” parent. Many times being “uncivil” implies economically weakness, or other “otherness”.
You posted in a thread that was restricted only to those who login.
I tried to post several times when the thread was published- my posts disappeared without a trace I ever posted. I doubt my posts were uncivil. I’ll gladly stand corrected.
I have posted my removed comment on the page I dedicated to the Weekly censoring (link #2).
@Not again – (link #1)
Finland -I doubt the Finish’ achievements can be disconnected from the Finish’ social safety network that enables the teachers Academic Freedom. Real academic freedom. I think that these achievements cannot be disconnected from the fundamental cultural differences etc.
While I totally agree that some teachers should not be teaching, their union seems to replace parts of social safety net available for the Finish and other higher achieving countries teachers and general population.
The cultural differences can provide some insight as to “Finish Village” priorities – kids’ “quality time”, the teachers’ status, college route etc.
My attempts to address a “symbolic teacher” who posted back in July relating to the PAUSD Board secret meetings had that thread locked, completely.
@Edmund Burke – (link #1)
Thank you for your incredible research!
I stated on your previous blog that I stand corrected. I think that you are not wasting your time, I hope that you are ahead in time. I wrote hope, since if PAUSD will follow you, it will be a huge step forward.
I have to be extremely careful about the the way I write the following, I am giving it a shot:
I think that currently you are performing the same type of work that was performed by those who looked into Al Capone tax issues. Looking into his tax was very important, by the end of the day the tax inquiries ended his other more disturbing actions.
In NO way I am comparing PAUSD to Al Capone.
I am trying to compare the way of getting into the heart of the matter in both cases. I think you are doing an extremely important job. It had to start with an issue that can be tracked, documented etc.
I suspect that have you chosen any other aspect of the PAUSD, your talents would have produced the same type of credible research and concerning outcome. It had to be about issues that are very clear and straight forward – tax, in the Al Capone case. Policies here, in the PAUSD case.
Sadly, it is a long and windy and costly road.
By the end of the day it is about the well being of so many children.
My open Address to Mr. Dauber to reconsider forming a Shadow PAUSD Board. I started a thread (link #1).
I responded yesterday (below) before the “usual” bashing of Mr. Dauber came out (sniping from the side etc.), and prior to the thread being restricted only to those who log in. I also happened to witness censoring. I posted the comments I happened to see prior to being censored in the page I dedicated to this issue. My last removed comment was:
Posted by village fool, a resident of another community 1 hour ago village fool is a registered user.
The full comment of “parent is full of it” along the vanished comment of “PalyDad” can currently be found on my blog where I have dedicated a page to editing/censoring – Web Link
@Moderator – This is NOT a game. I do wonder about the reasons that had you edit “parent is full of it”s comment and remove Palydad’s one. I also wonder why this thread has been restricted only to those who log in? I asked many times before. My questions were never answered. I believe that I always asked in a polite and civil way. As far as I recall most of the times I started my questions by – May I ask….
I noted yesterday (below) my concerns as to the perspective that emerged loud and clear about what can be done or spoken once the majority has spoken during the elections. This issue was addressed in this thread (link #2) among others.
BTW – As far as I know, Churchill was a member of a Shadow Cabinet.
(I hope to post sometime soon a longer response on Edmund Burke’s blog.)
My open Address to Mr. Dauber to reconsider forming a Shadow PAUSD Board. I started a thread (link #1).
@Great Idea and Badly Needed – I am responding here for two reasons.
1. I think the discussion is not about the results of the elections but about the need to have Checks and Balances. My March thread had responses relating to Mr. Dauber’s “faults” – that is not the issue.
BTW – I noted back in the summer that I hope the children are taught it is OK to be different. That it is OK to speak and express different perspectives even if it is only one student in a forum. Basically, that it SHOULD be OK to be the “other”.
I am very concerned by the perspectives expressed by some people – the fact that the majority has spoken is not an issue for the Shadow Board (which represents the opposition). Not when one student is different, and not here.
2. I restrict my posting on PA Online. Many posts (others’ and mine) were cut in a way I cannot understand, or disappeared completely without a trace. I object to the ongoing censoring . I believe that the discussion is controlled in a way that is biased, muffling mostly the weak.
I think that the quote “Barnacle” posted (link #2) is totally related to these issues as well:.
“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”
― Herman Melville
I have been “using” the protection Edmund Burke provides. I have shared my ongoing dilemma about that usage with Burke.
Egg wars (link #1) – it is this time of year…
I have posted the following question several times since the famous 2009 Gunn egg wars, in various ways.
May I suggest to try to imagine, for example, a hypothetical situation: What would be consequences faced by Minorities – African American/Hispanic/Tongan, from EPA, studying in Palo Alto High if they were the ones caught damaging Gunn’s new track throwing eggs, part of a “group activity tradition”?
Would anyone argue that consequences were too harsh?”
I have no doubt that should minorities have practiced egg wars on Gunn’s track in 2009 no one would have questioned the consequences. I also have no doubt that minorities students are well aware of that.
@They are in it together – you wrote (link #1) – “…The number of folks who recognize the deterioration of the PAUSD brand is increasing, but it hasn’t reached the point to where Skelly is compelled to act.”
I can not see how the departure of the three you mentioned will change everything.
After the (first) OCR case was published, many called for impartial investigation. Such investigation should spell out to the tiniest details all that went wrong.
The occurrences that had the OCR investigate, PAUSD Board meeting in secret to consider not cooperating with Federal Agency (link #2) and all the rest (currently known) could have presented themselves only in a very specific culture/atmosphere. Understanding the infrastructure that enabled the actions of those you mentioned is called for.
A new culture of best practices cannot emerge without considering the current culture/atmosphere, and identifying the reasons that enabled the current culture to thrive for such a long time.
I believe that impartial investigation will trigger such discussion and realization, and that such investigation is absolutely crucial even if those you mentioned were to depart tomorrow.
Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/10/11/special-education-numbers-down-inclusion-up
Link #2 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/07/12/in-secret-school-board-weighs-not-cooperating-with-federal-agency
10/16/13 – Responding to my open address to Ms. Gaona-Mendoza: (link #1)
@ Paly parent – Thank you for your very kind response (link #1) to my open letter to Ms. Mendoza.
After I watched her addressing the board, I felt compelled to try and express my support. I was especially appalled by the contradiction between the way the board reacted to her and the beginning of the meeting – celebrating unity, condemning bullying etc. (link #2). I felt that I had to try to express my admiration, respect, gratitude and shame.
At this point it seems to me that nothing really changed. I noted on July 21 (link #3) that -”… As to other influential elected representatives – I would not hold my breath, nor expect any meaningful act from any representative who is aware of what is going on and who has not already stepped forward. More than that – I would not try to address such representatives. I think that if the occurrences are not compelling enough for the representatives to step forward – it is probably a waste of time to try to convince them. The above is about anyone who is local, and is probably aware of the (first) OCR settlement, at least. Keep in mind, this was all triggered by bullying… I have expectations only of those who are not by-standing.”
BTW – This thread (link #3) was started by Curious. It was locked fast. The title of that thread was: “PAUSD VP Barb Mitchell falsely accuses OCR of interviewing students without parental consent”.
On Jul 12 the Weekly published an article (link #4) titled “In secret, school board weighs not cooperating with federal agency”. I commented there that “… More than 3 months ago I called to form a Shadow PAUSD board, a very unusual suggestion. I could not foresee, then, the occurrences that presented themselves afterwords. Past events that happened prior to the info about the (first) OCR settlement had me estimate that independent investigation was not about to happen. I’ll just mention now the CF carrier (that went the court way and national media way) and math teachers letter that was kept in the dark.”
Obviously, I could not foresee in July the CF carrier issue presenting itself, again. The CF carrier case was one of the occurrences reinforcing my perspective, my understanding of the patterns/modus operandi. My understandings that had me call for an independent investigation.
I mentioned yesterday when writing about the CF lawsuit the connection to lack of accountability.
On Jun 28 the PA Weekly published a great editorial (link #5) titled “Accountability not in lesson plan”. I think that the title of the editorial relates nicely to the reasons that had me write the letter to Ms. Mendoza.
By the end of the day – it is about an Education system. It seems to me that celebrating unity cannot coincide with the response to Ms. Mendoza last week on the board meeting, and holding children accountable (having consequences) cannot coincide with the lack of accountability so nicely described in the PA Weekly’s editorial.
Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/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://www.midpenmedia.org/watch/pausd_webcast/October/PAUSD_100813.html Board recording. Celebrating unity @0:00 hours. Ms. Mendoza’: 1:46 hours
Link #3 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/07/17/pausd-vp-barb-mitchell-falsely-accuses-ocr-of-interviewing-students-without-parental-consent
Link #4 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/07/12/in-secret-school-board-weighs-not-cooperating-with-federal-agency
Link #5 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/06/28/editorial-accountability-not-in-lesson-plan Weekly editorial titled – “Accountability not in lesson plan”
Responding to the article about the CF carrier lawsuit titled: “Family says teacher breached son’s privacy” (link #3).
The family faced, then, an arbitrary decision. There was some discussion, then, about discrimination (Link #1). Luckily, the family was able to challenge that decision, and won in court (link #2).
I think that situation gave a glimpse of the modus operandi of PAUSD. All is not disconnected from the recent discussion about Special education, the reasons that brought the OCR to PAUSD, the lack of accountability, lack of transparency , and yes – a much needed independent investigation.
While I hope that the court looking into “behind the scenes” of this matter will unveil some of the practices, I assume that this law suit will be signed, privately, and we’ll never know the details.
I think that the family suing is not the right “address” for complains, but the PAUSD officials who got used to operating without accountability. Ms. Mendoza who addressed the PAUSD Board last week is another example of parents who had enough.
I would not be upset by the family suing, I think there is no way to imagine the impact of an arbitrary decision made by those in power. It seems to me that the community can benefit from an objective inquiry that may spare others these type of situations.
Link #1 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/index.php?i=3&t=19172
Link #2 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2012/11/06/sixth-grader-back-at-jordan-after-health-case-settled
Link #3 – http://www.paloaltoonline.com/square/2013/10/15/family-says-teacher-breached-sons-privacy
@curmudgeon – you wrote (link #1) “… Can’t speak for Poland and S Korea, but Finnish teachers are almost totally unionized. Draw your own conclusions. “
Have you looked into the social network available for all in Finland, including the teachers? Have you checked the Finnish public health insurance, maternity leave, and so forth ? The US seems to be unique in the aspiration of having public employees without basic security network. While I totally agree that some teachers should not be teaching – their union (or any union in the US, for this matter) seems to me to be taking the role that is covered by the social network in other countries.