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School board brainstorms ideas for 2013-14

Original post made on Jun 19, 2013

The need for more sharing of ideas among Palo Alto teachers emerged as a theme Tuesday as members of the Board of Education gathered for their annual retreat.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:55 AM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Get Transparent and Replace The Supe
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

I watched the meeting at home last night and there was a speaker (lady) who brought up the "transparency" issue which is part of one of the Board's goals for the upcoming year. Why do we need to spend 150K a year on someone to make not being transparent easier?

I am disgusted. This paragraph says it all:

"Skelly, who came to Palo Alto as superintendent in 2007, has been under fire by members of the parent group We Can Do Better Palo Alto for not promptly and fully disclosing to the board and to the public a federal investigation that resulted in findings against the district in a middle-school bullying case."

Thank goodness for that WCDBPA group and also for Ms. Curious who is continuing to unearth more missteps. We can't afford all the additional legal fees as well. The students need that money to support their needs. Our money should not be spent to protect Kevin Skelly from public scrutiny.


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Posted by small print
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

@Get Transparent and Replace The Supe,
"Skelly Tuesday disclosed that one of those cases, alleging racial discrimination in the way a district middle school handled a disciplinary case, resulted last week in a finding by the OCR that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim."
Amazing you missed this entry.


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I would like to thank Board Member Dana Tom for bringing up my suggestion of having Board Members, and other School Officials, be available, on-line, for increased access by the public. The essence of the idea can be found here:

Web Link

All of the "technology" is readily available to everyone, so why shouldn't we expect our elected officials to make use of the tools that Silicon Valley has made available over the years?


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Posted by Reality check
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

@small print says,

"Skelly Tuesday disclosed that one of those cases, alleging racial discrimination in the way a district middle school handled a disciplinary case, resulted last week in a finding by the OCR that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim. Amazing you missed this entry."

Notice that when OCR rules against the district or doesn't approve the bullying policy, we hear nothing. In fact, Skelly buries it in his bottom desk drawer, and would be happy for the public never to find out. And the school board is happy to go along with him.

Telling only good news, while hiding bad news, is not transparency. It's self-serving PR.


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Posted by Umm
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

@Reality check - so you would prefer that the district NOT disclose that the OCR dropped the case? Or that they announce, blow by blow, everything that happens with OCR (or other outside agencies, or in general)?

It seems to me that Skelly said he made a mistake not disclosing the settlement in the first case ("I blew it" I believe were his words), and since then, major events have been disclosed in a timely fashion. Am I missing something?


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Posted by Get transparent.
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Small print: it's amazing that you had not even noticed that these are two separate unrlated issues entirely. Quit trying to deflect attention from the fact that Skelly blew it.


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Posted by Reality check
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Umm,

I would prefer that the district do what Skelly promised months ago to do, but hasn't: provide regular updates to the public and the board about the progress of compliance, including submissions to OCR and the OCR responses, the status of the current complaints, and an accounting of what went wrong, why the district's policies weren't followed, etc. Providing information only when the news is good (which unfortunately isn't that often) is self-serving, not public-serving.

So no, major events have not been disclosed in a timely fashion. In fact, even after Skelly's "I blew it" he continued to conceal the second OCR agreement (the one that he signed in October), until Melissa Caswell asked him, "Is there anything else you would like to tell us?"

And to gild the lily, he orchestrated the district lawyer spinning out a series of falsehoods. But I think that is beyond your question, which is about sins of omission.


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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I would like to thank Wayne Martin, citizen, and Dana Tom (and Camille Townsend) PAUSD Board, for the ideas about technology assisted community connection. In many things, I consider the community input in Palo Alto to be an improved standard for what we do in Mountain View [hey not a perfect standard!] We are just starting to experiment with video recording our Board meetings - maybe webcasting through Google. I will look forward to what's tried @ PAUSD!
-note- the posted "Weekly Communication" from Superintendent is a standard for open shared disclosure -
Steven Nelson is a new MVWSD Trustee


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Posted by No more mediocrity
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm

They should be firing Skelly right about now as I write this. They SHOULD, but they are probably not. They should have never given him a one-year extension last year. My idea is for the board to cut their speaking time in half, reform the leadership team by releasing Skelly, Young, Wade, and then direct the team to make significant changes in counseling, transparency, and equity.


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Posted by Tony Putulin
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Why on earth are we wasting our time bringing down Dr. Skelly and the PAUSD Board Members? We elected the Board Members via our democratic process. The Board hired Dr. Skelly. Shouldn't we, the people, be the one to blame for all these mess? What gives? We should focus on the issues, not the personalities. Palo Altans, including me, are a spoiled lot. We think we know how to run the school system but we don't. Why don't we "recivilize" ourselves. Do something positive to better our community. The press is not helping either by allowing these kinds of negative community conversations. The fact of the matter is it sells.


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