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Why was the thread discussing PAUSD schools ranking in US News locked?

Original post made by village fool, another community, on Apr 24, 2013

The thread dealing with ranking was just locked. It became a stage to - unti VTP comments. Those comments present themselves, and their writers, every time when these issues are discussed. years, now.
Hmmm wrote: The chickens, finally, have come home to roost & upset the previous "balance" that I experienced in Palo Alto schools. Now that it's become obvious what the problem is, how will it be fixed?
I totally agree. It is about high time to discuss. Systemic issues were mentioned in the excellent editorial accompanying the news about the FIRST OCR investigation. Systemic issues were present for a long time. Such are systemic issues. Seems to me that those are not disconnected from the achievement gap, famous math letter etc.

Comments (9)

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Posted by Jump, editor
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Too much free exchange of ideas and opinions, as far as the weekly is concerned. If they cannot totally. Control the discussion, they shut it down. Or else, one or more of the " movers and shakers" in the community complained and the editor jumped to,appease them.


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Posted by how high
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I have no idea why this would be locked. Bizarre. Maybe it is because the Patch education reporter actually reported a story and actual journalism by an actual reporter on the actual schools involving "fact checking" and "interviews" was happening and it was so unfamiliar it scared everyone.


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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Good news - That thread was just opened to those who are registered/logged in. I am guessing that the thread being locked, completely, could have been an "online admin. typo".
Enabling comments only to those who are logged in proved in the past to stop the flood of comments. I mentioned prior. I asked Web Link, fear of retaliation. It was mentioned many times in many threads after the info about the OCR investigation became available. Seems to me that this fear is very telling, part of the systemic issues that need to be checked.


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Posted by how high
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Yeah but the post itself is gone (the initial post). It's all messed up. Can someone start the thread over? Maybe with some background and statistics about the local achievement gap? Is there anyone out there who could just post some data and also context and also the US News information? I sure wish there was someone who could call people for comments, and gather statistics, and use research, and sources to help the community understand what this is all about. Darn shame there is no such thing.


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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm

@how high - Yes - initial post gone, thank you for noting.
I am sorry, I can not provide you now with the organized data you requested. I do not know if you know that about 3 years ago, PAUSD was found by the FEDS to have "significant disproportionality". I copied the quoted term from a district report. Fools (me) know this quoted term simply as - unacceptable achievement gap. This issue tends to trigger comments that have threads locked, fast. Having said that - I think that a serious discussion is long overdue. Seems to me that this issue is not disconnected from the systemic issue mentioned lately.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I think when you can perceive clear and coherent partisan behavior in and editor, that editor is not doing their job. I consistently see the most frivolous and partisan actions taken that do nothing to further discussion or even stop some nasty exchanges. There is no consistent message given to posters, so they constantly do the same thing over and over.

The example that always bothers me is the post by ... and it's almost always a right-winger who is talking about some issue and out of the blue throws in an insult to all Progressives or Liberals ... this is so common it's chronic - and the editors do nothing. It seems plain when someone just drops a categorical insult it is akin to hate speech and needs to be taken out.

I just imagine they have someone who is not up to the task and who cannot restrain themselves from acting out again who they imagine is posting on certain topics - in short an abuse of power and betrayal of the idea of a town square.

Palo Alto Online, please take you responsibilities here seriously.


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Posted by Whatever
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm

PAUSD is not such a great place to be anymore. I am surprised it hasn't hurt home values. I know I do not want [portion removed] daughter to attend school here after what has happened to her older brother. Especially after what happened at Saratoga High, a school with even better scores than Gunn.

We are switching to Catholic schools. At least the class size is smaller and we will have more control.


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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

@how high - You asked for data - I think this link can be extremely helpful: Web Link
I think it is interesting to note that PAUSD is pretty unique, possibly nationally. The % of the VTP kids is defined by law - 5%. The total % of kids who "earned" the privilege to be identified as - "slackers" is pretty low, less than 10%, anyway you check. (Editor - this word was used in the Math letter - please do not remove).
The vast majority of the population is affluent, educated. IF PAUSD can not "make it", who can?


"Reality Check" explained, nicely, one way to interpret the data. Below, his posting, copied from: Web Link
@Let's Digress, U.S. News and World Report dropped PAUSD from its rankings because our schools do a worse job of educating poor and minority students than other districts in the state. We are below the state average. In other words, an Hispanic student has a better chance of getting a good education in most other districts in the state than in Palo Alto.

That says that we do indeed have a problem with underperformers, but it is our teachers and staff who are underperforming. They have more resources than almost every other district in the state (and more than any other large unified district) but are delivering worse results.

For why that is, I recommend as an instructive text the Paly math letter disparaging minority and poor children's ability to learn math. It also, incidentally, attacks students from more affluent families who don't do well in math as "slackers" -- reminiscent of your last line. In fact, I wonder...


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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

The PAUSD threads that get locked typically have a lightning rod comment written by one of the infamous critics from the we can do better organization. Sometimes they support PAUSD, but mostly it is critical - not a judgment, just my overall impression.

But then the pro's versus con's postings amp up. Then it gets personal.

Predictable result is censoring and locking.


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