New schools equity plan proposes focus on African-American, Hispanic students | News | Palo Alto Online |


New schools equity plan proposes focus on African-American, Hispanic students

Equity coordinator: 'our system is reaching the point of causing harm for specific groups'

After "botched attempts" to meaningfully address the school district's persistent achievement gap, new leadership is taking yet another swing at developing a strategic plan for reversing the trends that have long left minority and low-income students and those with disabilities behind their peers in Palo Alto.

An updated equity plan, which the school board will discuss on Tuesday night, reflects "the most salient conditions in PAUSD that require immediate attention, support and strategic resource allocation," Equity Coordinator Keith Wheeler wrote in a report.

Data about particular student groups' low achievement and overrepresentation in special education — data that is alarming but not new, Wheeler notes — is driving a targeted focus on African-American and Hispanic students in the new plan.

"Knowing this harsh reality for quite some time, we can now declaratively portend that our system is reaching the point of causing harm for specific groups, for our inability to reverse this growing gap," he wrote.

Wheeler, who was hired this summer to replace the district's first-ever equity coordinator, Martha Castellon, is proposing three objectives for the first two years of the plan: to promote a balanced and welcoming culture for both students and staff; to provide personalized learning plans that are grounded in research and best practices for students; and to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce.

There are about 2,000 African-American and Hispanic students in the district, about 16 percent of Palo Alto Unified's population. There are far fewer African-American students — 211 this year compared to 1,574 Hispanic students.

Results from this year's Smarter Balanced standardized test indicate that the achievement gap is widening for African-American and low-income students in Palo Alto Unified, with the percentage of African-American and low-income students meeting or exceeding standards on the dropping to just below or near to the Santa Clara County average in both English language arts and mathematics.

Both groups are overrepresented in special education, according to Wheeler's report. While African-American students make up 2 percent of the overall district population, 25 percent of them have individualized education plans (IEPs) for students with special needs. Similarly, 13 percent of the district's students are Hispanic/Latino and 19 percent of them have IEPs. Male students are also overrepresented in special education, according to the district: about 70 percent of the plans are for male students.

Income also appears to play a role: 32 percent of the district's individualized education plans are for socio-economically disadvantaged students.

The detailed plan proposes six high-level "district actions" to address these issues, paired with specific outcomes, data, evaluation and the staff members responsible for progress.

Among the actions are tracking all district discrimination complaints so Wheeler can assess "where the district is falling short in terms of (sic) fair, inclusive environment;" developing a recruitment plan for hiring more diverse staff; and working with secondary-school leadership to identify a target group at each campus and align district services with interventions and community programs.

Wheeler is also proposing staff increases at the schools to support equity work, including more counselors, reading and math specialists and behaviorists.

Wheeler, a former teacher and administrator who most recently worked in the Inglewood Unified School District in southern California, is taking over work that has progressed in fits and starts in the district for years. Many in the community felt former Superintendent Max McGee brought a new focus to these issues during his tenure with the creation of the Minority Achievement Talent Development (MATD) task force, whose recommendations included the writing of a comprehensive equity plan and the hiring of a district-level coordinator to make sure this work didn't fall by the wayside.

The district has implemented many but not all of the minority-achievement group's recommendations and some are still in progress, according to an update from Wheeler.

The board last discussed the equity plan in January, when members urged Castellon to create a more refined document driven by data and strategic goals.

The board will hear his report at its Tuesday meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave. Read the full agenda here.


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct inaccurate information in a district report on individualized education plan (IEP) rates.

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27 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 9:51 am

I'm curious how PAUSD knows which student is from low-income family? I don't recall parents have to submit their tax filing to PAUSD in order to enroll their children. Is it just by associating race with income level? Or home ownership with income level?

The reason I'm asking is that I know people of other races (white and asian) who rent in Palo Alto. Their kids excel in schools. But I suspect they are low-income too based on the apartments they rent.

I also happens to know some Hispanic contractors who probably have substantial unreported cash income, yet may be considered "low-income" families.

23 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 10:27 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

So when this fails, what's next?

41 people like this
Posted by Carlos
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

Here we go again. This must be an 'easy' initiative to try to tackle or gain some brownie points because every new administrator addresses it when he/she first comes to the district.

Unfortunately the focus is always on 'race', perpetuating a wrong approach which guarantees that these initiatives will be a waste of time and resources, and not accomplish much at the end. Mark my words.

We in this country tend to use 'race' buckets to categorize pretty much everything, but we fail to see that family/cultural circumstances are the key factors affecting school performance. Some of these items are far beyond the reach of what our school district can influence. Remember that 'equal opportunities' do not mean 'equal results'. Would rather spend our limited resources on areas we can influence.

I'm not an expert in the subject of achievement gaps, but as an immigrant of color who has lived/studied in other multi-racial societies, I think these initiatives will never succeed until we stop making it a race discussion.

7 people like this
Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 18, 2017 at 11:12 am

School districts use signups for the federal free lunch program to figure out who is low-income.

Whether this effort amounts to anything is really about teachers, not Keith Wheeler. In the past there has been occasional lip service paid to closing the achievement gap but not much progress. McGee shone a light on the problem but he was "all hat, no cattle" on this as he was on other things. Will Hendricks push for real implementation? Can she as the interim superintendent?

22 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 11:32 am

Just to provide another data point:

Web Link

In Britain Black African students perform almost at the same level as White British students. In particular poor Black African students, those who qualify free school meals, perform far better academically than poor White students.

Even the worst group, Black Caribbean students, is not that far away from the average, unlike the reported huge achievement gap we saw in Palo Alto.

So I'd suggest whoever is leading the effort to bridge achievement gaps should take a look at what has been done in Britain, or elsewhere, instead of cooking up variations of the same recipe that have failed miserably.

50 people like this
Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

Tilting at windmills once again... all because we're too cowardly to just accept that different people are different.

Of course the special ed programs skew male. Both ends of the IQ spectrum are heavily male because the male bell curve is measureably wider. Of course Palo Alto has Asian super-students, because the best and brightest of Asia is flooding into Silicon Valley and bringing their brilliant kids with them.

The only just and realistic goal of a school system is to help every individual student reach his or her full potential -- not obfuscate a so-called "achievement gap" by dragging everyone down to the same level of mediocrity.

25 people like this
Posted by Concerned Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

Hopefully, closing the achievement gap won't be based on "dumbing down" academics for the two groups mentioned.Everyone loses when that happens. The points made by Carlos are excellent.

29 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 18, 2017 at 12:22 pm

The reality is that PAUSD teaches to the lower end of the scale for education. Instead of challenging the students, knowing they will rise to the occasion they continue to dumb down the curriculum even further.

This also goes hand in hand with the point that children on the other extreme end of the spectrum (gifted children) are left behind, thinking that they can simply cope with things because they are gifted.. when truly gifted students are also special education needs as well.

This one pronged approach to special education, and also assuming gifted education is NOT special education has made PAUSD fail miserably in many ways. It's causing the flourishing of private gifted schools and exorbitant tuition.

From health care to education, lets look to our neighbors to the North of us, who have a fully funded GATE program in public schools and free health care that is of good quality.

For a purportedly "great" city and "one of the best" education systems in California... if PAUSD is the best of the best... well. I have no words.

11 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I wish we would stop labeling blacks and Latinos - especially children. Its a terrible thing to do to a child. They are people and we should all be colorblind as we work together. Labeling a young child as black and therefore discriminated against, therefore underserved, therefore disadvantaged, is such a cruel thing to do. Its racism. Let them just be people accepted and judged by the size of their hearts and the commitment and energy they bring to their lives. Poor people in many ways develop strengths and often manage their way up in life far better than many advantaged. Communities of latinos and communities of blacks can do more and should do more to encourage achievement and responsibility - its not a problem for some charity to solve. I began poor and know that good families and effort make all the difference. So-called ‘equity work’ is the completely misguided idea that achievement can be engineered with just one more program, one more grant, and one more specialist. Making sure a school is able to help every child reach their potential, as mentioned above, is great but we should put an end to race-based programs as though they actually work.

35 people like this
Posted by math instructor
a resident of Gunn High School
on Dec 18, 2017 at 12:38 pm

PAUSD could narrow its achievement gap if it added a "do not do again" list to new hires' info packets to inform admins like Mr. Wheeler of everything PAUSD has tried that hasn't worked.

Here's one for the list: "social engineering/moving chairs"

A few years ago Gunn was troubled that its regular 9th grade Algebra class had more minority students in it than its advanced class did so Gunn assigned all 9th grade Algebra students to its advanced class.

Result: It hurt students.

No 9th grader did better in math. Lots more failed it.
Web Link

1 person likes this
Posted by history lesson
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2017 at 1:28 pm

The new Equity Plan reads like PAUSD wants to "Make Palo Alto Great Again."

Whomever wrote it should read the 1986 Tinsley desegregation court order and newspaper articles to learn about minority students' social isolation and academic struggles.

Then opine whether Palo Alto was more "charming" and "inclusive" and embraced and succeeded in closing the achievement gap in those olden days.

The Equity Plan -

"with such rapid industry growth and new-found wealth—the once quiet and charming community has been transformed—now separating from its welcoming origins of inclusivity and family—while slowly adopting a new profile as an ‘suburban superior.’

With changes in student demographics, the school district’s achievement gap and other forms of educational equity have become substantial points of district and community controversy." Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Teachers/Admin tasked with working with ALL students,
even those who aren't Palo Alto taxpayers:
hamstrung by Special Ed law and
fear of lawsuits.

3 people like this
Posted by Steven Y
a resident of Ventura
on Dec 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm

My specific industry is math education, and I believe we need to switch to assessments that measure absolute ability vs measuring ability with regard to a specific grade level. For example, suppose a student takes a 2nd grade assessment and fails, then the next year, takes a 3rd grade assessment and fails. The question is, did the student achieve meaningful growth? The answer might actually be yes, but you can't tell because the student failed as a 3rd grader. If the test taken in 2nd and 3rd grade were adaptive and produced an absolute score, however, you would be able to accurately quantify the actual gains made by that student in 3rd grade. Now understand the effect this type of test would have on teaching:
- Currently, a 3rd grade teacher's goal is to teach 3rd grade standards. In some districts, the teacher is mandated to teach to all of the 3rd grade standards even if the students are not prepared to learn those standards.
- Now imagine if the 3rd grade teacher's performance were measured based on showing improvement on a test that provided an absolute score. The teacher's goal would be to help each student improve their individual scores, not worrying directly about 3rd grade standards. Whether a student displays first grade competence or 5th grade competence, that 3rd grade teacher is going to focus on helping the student achieve a higher score.

When you apply this approach to the achievement gap, this approach finally gives teachers a realistic means to prove that they are effective because honestly, it's not a 3rd grade teacher's fault if she inherits a student whose math skill is still kindergarten-level. If she raises that student to 2nd grade competence in a single year, that student would fail a 3rd grade test, but would show an incredible gain on a test that gave an absolute score, giving us a chance to commend that teacher for a job well done.

This approach caters to everybody's self interest and additionally can help gifted students as well. I believe everybody wins when you move to assessments that provide absolute scores. Very importantly, teachers will no longer waste time teaching skills to students when they know the students aren't ready to acquire those skills.

37 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Concerned Observer - "Hopefully, closing the achievement gap won't be based on "dumbing down" academics"

It can't lead to anything except that. Some kids are literal children of rocket scientists. Some are learning disabled. If you demand an equal outcome, then the only solution is to move to the lowest common denominator.

@ m2grs - "look at what has been done in Britain"

Take a look at Britain as a warning sign. The black scores are not good there, with >60% not meeting standards. The "accomplishment" of the social engineering in the UK is they have dragged other groups down to the same level.

14 people like this
Posted by Thomas Paine
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 18, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Sounds like a great deal of effort and money will be spent to overcome this unfortunate situation. These programs will be funded by reducing resources for the majority of students in the PAUSD. I would support this negative side effect of the equity plan if there was the slightest evidence that investing more money in equity plans and diversity solutions has any impact on academic performance. California standardized CAASPP mathematics and ELA/literacy results declined over a three-year period at the school district where PAUSD’s newly hired equity coordinator was previously employed. The same CAASPP results show a significant improvement in academic results for PAUSD’s economically disadvantaged students between 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

2 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm

@john_alderman, I strongly disagree.

In California 53% White students meet/exceed standards, about the same as Britain. But Black is 18%, far worse than Blacks in Britain! Hispanics at 24% is not much better either. The gap is obviously much wider in California.

Web Link

2 people like this
Posted by words matter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

"With changes in student demographics, the school district’s achievement gap and other forms of educational equity have become substantial points of district and community controversy." -- Equity Plan

What is this supposed to mean?

That Palo Alto didn't have an achievement gap problem before the Black and Latino students from East Palo Alto came to our schools?

That Asian families moving here for tech somehow made helping minority and poor students in our schools controversial?

If PAUSD feels a need to point the finger at someone for the challenges IT hasn't made much progress on over the last decade, or two, or three, consider its own Superintendents, Principals, and School Board members who prioritize where the money gets spent.

9 people like this
Posted by being practical
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Mr. Wheeler, it would help to have a backup Equity Plan ready that says how the teachers and counselors we currently have can best address students' needs.

That is because your call for more counselors, reading and math specialists, and behaviorists cost money which PAUSD doesn't have.

This year the district will be $3.5 million in the red and won't climb out of that fiscal hole until 2021. Web Link

19 people like this
Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm

[Post removed.]

21 people like this
Posted by Starts at home
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Personally I think a huge determinant in academic performance is the role of parents Good luck pausd to solve this issue.

15 people like this
Posted by Opportunity or results
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

18 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 6:22 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@ m2grs -I'm not sure what you are seeing in the data you posted, I see huge gaps for economically disadvantaged kids, as big or bigger than the US. Your data was old, but I looked and the scores from last year aren't that different. Poor kids (as defined by being on free lunch), massively underperform their peers. If that's what we are trying to fix here, then the UK doesn't have the answer.

Web Link

5 people like this
Posted by Just a Thought
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

The challenge if you attempt to address the issue during regular school hours is you risk never fully developing a solid foundation for the kids to build upon and/or holding other faster kids back. It should really be addressed after school or during the summer.

In fact the existing after school PAUSD Kids Club could be an integral part of the support system. Utilization of Khan Academy via low cost Chromebooks with some sort of reward system (like Chucky Cheese redeemable tickets) has the potential to go a long way to ensuring children are keeping up with the core curriculum at an early age and leveraging the existing staff members.

6 people like this
Posted by What an ephiphany/ Gunn
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm

50% of the problem stems from home. The other 50% stems from teachers especially GUNN who DON'T BOTHER scheduling appointments for FLEXTIME for these kinds of students because they don't fit their accolade schema and they don't get anything public in the Oracle, or Titan Talk , or pat themselves on the back feel good topical shallow claps. Too much work for not enough publicity. Real.

15 people like this
Posted by Root cause
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

Like this comment
Posted by ask the admins first
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Can't speak to Gunn but Paly catches its students up.

Take Paly's Class of 2015. 97% graduated. 94% passed all of the UC's required college-prep classes.

In that graduating class were minorities - 16%, disabled - 10%, and low income students - 8%.

Web Link

Web Link

18 people like this
Posted by Balance
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]

10 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm

[Post removed.]

12 people like this
Posted by Sean
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

This argument will go on indefinitely. Palo Alto schools are no longer superior, and the realtors are perpetuating a myth. The parents in Palo Alto, who are serious about a serious education, are taking it into their own hands, and sending their kids to private schools or homeschooling or sending them to special classes on the weekends (or a combination). Public education in PA is in a death spiral.

8 people like this
Posted by gap watcher
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

PAUSD would be well-served if it read this article before tonight's board meeting:

"Is California’s investment in needy students paying off? Few signs yet that achievement gap is closing" --- “The state has spent tens of billions of dollars trying to lift poor kids and not one penny evaluating whether any of it is working,” said Bruce Fuller, an education policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley. 'That’s outrageous. We’re heading into year five. It’s time to discern what’s effective and where we’re just wasting money.'” -- Web Link

To PAUSD's credit, its investment in narrowing the achievement gap has been considerable. As it struggles with a 2-year $7 million budget deficit, it has managed to increase spending by over $3 million annually to help close the gap including paying for things like full-day kindergarten; K-5 breakfasts; more counselors, more reading specialists, more Special Education teachers, more Special Education aides, more behavior specialists, more general support staff including Mr. Wheeler, and parent liaisons for minority students.

Mr. Wheeler's report shares that the gap persists. That is just where you start your analysis.

Before the Board of Trustees decides on next steps, Mr. Wheeler should add to his report an appendix listing all that PAUSD's done K-12 in the last 5 years to close the gap, the cost of each, and include the local data measuring each initiative's effectiveness.

2 people like this
Posted by Liv
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 19, 2017 at 8:55 am

I wonder about students who are in the middle and may not get the support they need because
they dont qualify for an IEP - some say unelss you are low income or have ADHD, or can afford to go outside the system and pay for testing, ity is almost impossible to get support because the student doesnt fit the profile. It's also who you know - many adminsitrators play favorites and will support their friends much quicker than the unknown family.
Will this plan address?

In addition- that gap can't be filled unless the home life aligns, model behavior is critical. As a community what can we do to help in this area?

2 people like this
Posted by White male Palo Altan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 19, 2017 at 9:35 am

Race is the issue. "Achievement Gap" places the onus on the children; the reality is that it is an "Expectation Gap" and adults, who bear the primary responsibility for educating children in our community (and in society at large) simply have lower expectations for black and brown children, than for white or Asian children. Expect low, get low; expect high, get high. We need to work on taking full responsibility for what we believe and how we act on those beliefs, consciously or unconsciously, if we are really going to effect change in the world.

8 people like this
Posted by BeenThere
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

The solution can be summarized by the google motto: Don't Be Evil.

We need an ombudsman who doesn't answer to the district, but to parents and students, and who works for the city. Office should be at Cubberly, not near Churchill.

Also, read the writings of people like MITs von Hippel. The idea that change comes top down is refuted by research- people who experience problems have both the knowledge and impetus to solve them. Necessity is the mother of invention. But here, parents and students go Through The Looking Glass when they approach anyone to solve problems. We become enemy number one.

The district cannot solve any of its problems until it changes the relationship between staff and those they ostensibly serve. We cannot expect the superintendent to do everything. Systems and rules that allow every family to solve problems as they come up are essential. If we can't make instant course corrections, doing the right thing by everyone in every situation (because the district stops treating anyone with a problem to solve as the enemy), then expect to hear "iceberg dead ahead!" again and again when it's much too late to do something.

Threats of lawsuits have been exaggerated by CYA admins for their own purposes, ironically hurting students and making us vulnerable to suits. But for every suit, there are far more damaged families who didn't sue. As we found from research on medical malpractice, if you want to inoculate yourself from suits, do the right thing, and if you mess up, make it right, don't cover up. Because eventually, the s$&&t piles up high enough to hit the fan. This is a school district. I don,t want leaders with fancy degrees, I want smart problem solving people with an unerring sense of honesty and service.

I think as we hire s super, it's time to fire everyone in the district office and only rehire them if they can compete for their own job, including demonstrating they never engaged in any of the pernicious culture behavior.

5 people like this
Posted by Still hiring white
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 19, 2017 at 4:28 pm

PAUSD is still hiring white administrators. They could use a Latino as superintendent instead of a different white person each time. The interim superintendent is fine as an interim and she needs to return to HR. Bringing back Eric Goddard was a colossal mistake. He does not have the skills as a leader and that is what is needed at that level. What to do with him though? He probably won't accept a permanent principalship.

5 people like this
Posted by Maya
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 20, 2017 at 6:03 am

Please don't spend ANY money on Behaviorists. They are extremely ineffective, in PAUSD. A waste of time and money. And if you must, then find someone that can actually do the job.

3 people like this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 24, 2017 at 10:41 am

The comment by ‘Still Hiring White’, that PAUSD should be hiring a Latino administration is exactly the wrong thinking that so completly characterizes so much of politically correct, but inherently racist, discussion today. We should not be making any decisions based on skin color, national orign, etc. I’m sure that many serving in PAUSD today were, in part, selected over another candidate not because of skill or merit but to satisfy some minority demand or quota. That was and remains wrong. Hopefully, the new administrator will be selected on merit, not to satisfy token representation and not simply because someone senior in another district is in turn to be bumped up to a more lucrative retirement track.

1 person likes this
Posted by By George you have it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 24, 2017 at 10:52 am

It would be nice to hire a Latino, including Latinas but definitely not Latnix because that is still a nonsense term, because we absolutely do hire based on race. It is not an accident that we have hired all white superintendents in Palo Alto. It is by design. And they have not performed very well whatsoever, and let's not blame the parents again. And rest assured that the board will not hire a Latino, each of the five board members like most of PAUSD have woefully low professional expectations of Latinos in general. It is indeed why Eric Goddard was brought back, another white face, with less than stellar credentials and performance, mediocre if you will, so I agree with Still hiring white above. It is far more likely that an Asian superintendent is hired, and not because of some perceived merit, but because of the search firm's focus on finding the "right fit." Just wait and see.

2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

@By George - "hired white by design?" So you think the prior boards purposely chose less qualified white candidates over minority candidates? That's quite a claim, is there any basis for it? Of the current top 6 PAUSD staff members (Super, 2 Asst Supers, 2 CAOs, CBO), 3 are white, 2 black, 1 Asian; all are female. "Each of the five board members ... have woefully low professional expectations of Latinos in general" - again, any basis for that? The super hired an interim elementary principal you don't like, I get that; not sure how that shows anti-Latino bias on the board's part.

3 people like this
Posted by By George you have it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 25, 2017 at 11:44 am

Hmmm, let's see, Glenn, call me Max, McGee, white. Kevin Skelly, white. Mary Frances Callan, white. Together they represent 15 years of failure, sex scandals from the middle school teacher raping at least one student, to the ingrained rape culture that should have died five years ago when high schoolers--not we the adults--exposed it. Both Skelly and McGee hired administrators of color as a gimmick. In McGee's case, he actually hired and posted photos of the Latinos he hired after he published in his public memo to the board a photo of a Mexican drug lord with a machine gun with a machine gun outside our high school. These three white superintendents are the very antithesis of cultural competency. Hire a Latino superintendent. Better yet, elect a Latino to the board. However, it is far more likely that the Asian demographic, higher in educational achievement and income in Palo Alto, will see representation at the highest level in our district.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 25, 2017 at 7:02 pm

@By George, I'm not defending our prior supers, who had mixed reviews. To me it says more about the Board's weak judgment than ethnic bias. I thought maybe you had an actual basis for your claim.

If you want to elect a Latino to the school board that would be great. The election is next November. Amado Padilla is the last Latino board member I can recall. Frankly I would welcome any candidate with dedication and good judgment, I'm indifferent to their ethnicity.

5 people like this
Posted by By George you have it
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 26, 2017 at 10:02 am

Resident is not sure about "anti-Latino bias" but is apparently really sure that he "is indifferent to their ethnicity." Oh the joys of egocentrism.

2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 27, 2017 at 6:10 pm

@By George, I guess when you have no facts or arguments to support your bias accusations, name calling is a last recourse. Do you ever find that effective? Enjoy your holiday, I hope the new year brings you stronger arguments.

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