News

School board election kicks off

Filing period begins for three LASD seats

Four people, including one incumbent, have signaled their intent to run for the three seats on the Los Altos School District board this November. The candidate filing period began this week, but some of the prospective candidates staked their campaigns as early as April.

Board members Doug Smith, Mark Goines and Tammy Logan all have terms that expire this year. Logan is the first of the three to announce her run for re-election, but none of the incumbents has announced plans to retire yet.

Hot-button issues in this year's election include the tentative five-year agreement between the district and Bullis Charter School, growing enrollment, and the ongoing effort by the district to draft a facilities bond measure for the November ballot. Potential candidates for the seats include charter school and LASD parents, and many of them have a background in finance.

Martha McClatchie

Announcing her run for a spot on the school board in April, Martha McClatchie was the first person to start campaigning. She has been a resident of Los Altos for seven years, and has three daughters who attend Bullis Charter School. Her eldest daughter, a sixth-grader, attended Oak Avenue Elementary before moving to Bullis.

The only BCS parent expressing interest in a board seat so far, McClatchie said she has a well-rounded perspective that can bring both charter school and district officials together to work out their differences. She said she communicates with parents across Los Altos to learn their priorities and concerns, and believes she is a "community candidate."

Since her eldest daughter started kindergarten seven years ago, McClatchie said, she has been going to LASD board meetings. As a public speaker at the meetings, she has emphasized the importance of communication between BCS and the district, she said.

McClatchie she said the recently drafted five-year tentative agreement has been just that -- an agreement where both sides finally sat down and worked out a compromise based on what they felt was important.

With 25 years of experience as a financial executive, McClatchie said she feels well-qualified for budget oversight and is comfortable handling a potential bond measure for school facilities. She has worked with PTAs, and is a board member and treasurer of Educacy, a nonprofit advocacy group that focuses on public education.

Tammy Logan

Tammy Logan is the current school district board president, and announced her intent to run for re-election earlier this month. She said that in her four and a half years of serving on the board, the district made progress in revolutionizing learning for all its students, and she wants to remain on the board to make sure that it keeps up the pace.

Logan said the district has been recognized on a national and international level during her time as a board member. Oak Avenue Elementary School won the National Blue Ribbon award in 2012 for students' high performance in reading and mathematics. The two middle schools, Blach and Egan, were also nominated this year for the award.

Along with Doug Smith, Logan was one of the two board members involved in drafting the five-year tentative agreement between the district and BCS, which is up for approval later this month. The agreement includes ending all litigation between the two parties and a concerted effort to pass a bond measure.

Logan was previously a member of the district's Citizens' Advisory Committee for Finance, which oversees school district expenditures and long-term financial issues. She said her experience on the committee and her time as a board member give her the experience and understanding that the district needs to keep moving forward.

Sangeeth Peruri

A relatively new face in the district, Sangeeth Peruri got involved with Los Altos School District in 2012 when he signed up to be chair of the annual auction at Covington Elementary School, prior to his son's starting school there.

To make things run smoothly, Peruri found and implemented a software system that streamlined the auction process, which helped to break previous fundraising records. He said other LASD schools, including Springer Elementary School, have picked up the software for their own auctions.

Peruri said he wants to focus on "curriculum advancement," and supports courses that have more adaptability based on student performance. He said that as someone who has dealt with learning disabilities, he believes overcoming academic hurdles is an important part of curriculum development. He was behind the pilot program at Covington called "Brainology," a blended learning program that teaches kids how their brains function, learn and remember.

Peruri said he also supports a small-school model that keeps enrollment at any given school below 500. He said as schools exceed that threshold, they start to lose their "community feel." Peruri said the school district must focus on the bond measure, and that there is a definite need for a new campus.

Peruri said he wanted to wait for a board member to retire before running rather than challenge an incumbent. With three seats up for grabs this year, he said, a current board member is likely to not run for re-election.

Peruri is a board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula and the Citizens' Advisory Committee for Finance.

Vladimir Ivanovic

Gardner Bullis parent Vladimir Ivanovic recently announced his intent to run for a board seat, but said in the back of his mind he's had a desire to run for a long time. Ivanovic has attended school board meetings for the last three and a half years, and said he's aware of the issues facing the school district and what the challenges are.

Ivanovic said LASD is a great district that others seek to emulate, and that it's important to continue on that path. To do that, he said, the district needs to focus on a stable, long-term financial plan. As current chairman of the Citizens' Advisory Committee for Finance, Ivanovic said his role is to do just that; the committee reviews district finances, growing enrollment and demographic projections for the next five years.

Ivanovic said the five-year tentative agreement between Bullis Charter School and LASD is a "cease-fire," and said both sides dropping all litigation will free up millions of dollars to go back into education. He said the district still needs to deal with the charter school's encroachment on the Blach and Egan campuses, and there isn't a long-term solution to that yet.

Ivanovic said there's a hole in the district's facilities plan because there is no neighborhood school in the San Antonio Area. He said part of solving that problem is to build a relationship with the city of Mountain View, including the City Council.

Comments

Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2014 at 11:32 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

Martha McClatchie is the consummate Bullis Charter School political activist warrior. She helped organize anti-LASD rallies in the past, and her organization, "Educacy" was behind mysterious pro-BCS mailers a year ago.

With a five year facilities agreement in place, LASD has nothing to do with Bullis Charter School, which is administered by the County of Santa Clara. Why, then, would BCS want to place one of their own on the LASD board?

If we truly want the war between BCS and our school district to be over, the last thing we need is to continue the controversy into the next four years by bringing such divisiveness and emotional baggage to our school board. The LASD school board should include members ready to dive into the arcane details of running a school district, not constantly bringing up the past.

With the war ending, Bullis Charter School should leave our school district alone, and old warriors like Martha McClatchie should hang up their boots.


Posted by Jack K Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

It appears likely that Joan J Strong has his or her facts wrong. A school board member is required to live in the school district. The board controls spending of money collected from all residents in the district. In the case of LASD, a lot of the districts function is to operate school grounds as neighborhood parks. They place quite an emphasis on that. Doug Smith even used that as a reason why they had to short Bullis Charter on space at Blach. They couldn't add even a 10 foot wide strip of grass to the meager allocation of space for portable classrooms because it might interfered with neighborhood use of the adjacent field. Not school use, but neighborhood use.

Joan J Strong is a fake individual, and is likely a union-paid PR person trying to combat charter schools. The turth is that the 2000 or so residents of LASD who have or have had children attending Bullis Charter are entitled to participate in school governance. It is absurd to claim otherwise. In the case of such broad-based community participation in the charter school this becomes even more obvious. Innovations begun at BCS have permeated the LASD program over the last 5 years or so. Nevertheless, there is an ongoing flow of demand for slots in the charter school. Who better to understand the differences than a charter parent? Joan J Strong is just plain wrong.

Not only that, but Martha M. has had kids attending LASD for years. She has been a parent leader at Oak Avenue school and she invested a lot in improving LASD schools ALREADY. You don't lose that credit when you place one kid for his individual needs in a different alternate program. The fact that the school board is always disrespecting that program is MORE reason why someone with experience in both types of schools should join the board.


Posted by Democracy, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Who cares if she runs? That's what living in a democratic republic is all about. If the BCS crowd wants to send someone into LASD to attack it from within, go for it! BCS lost the war already, so there's no reason they will be any more successful with this latest tactic.


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

Obviously BCS parents are free to vote for whomever they please. Many BCS parents I talk to want peace as well. It's not a given they will all vote for a continuation of the war using Martha McClatchie. Many of them chose a school, not a political cause.


Posted by Mom, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Just a normal parent here - no axe to grind - but I can't let these statements about Martha McClatchie stand. Martha is a serious person who has a long history of community involvement. I do not know her well, but I have witnessed her involvement in LASD committees (where we met) as well as within the BCS community. I also know she was one of the major forces behind the summer enrichment camp that was made available at no cost to students from Mountain View Whisman last summer. Talk to her yourself and decide. Please don't be swayed by proudly anonymous internet muckrakers.


Posted by No to Martha, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 18, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I have no doubt that Ms. McClatchie has worked hard on behalf of her community, or that she is a "serious" person. She's also been a serious BCS zealot with a direct hand in organizing anti-LASD protests. She's also been the treasurer of the BCS Foundation which funded massive amounts of litigation against our local district over the years, and has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive PR firms to launch aggressive and deceptive marketing and PR campaigns attacking one of the top districts in the state. No matter what her prior good works were, Ms McClatchie has not place on the Board of Trustees and won't be getting my vote. Nor should she get the vote of anyone who values our local public schools.


Posted by 4 diversity, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2014 at 6:09 am

I think elected bodies function best when there is a diversity of opinion, but then again i'm not a fascist.


Posted by Not a Bullis or LASD parent, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

This is amazing. The apparently irrespressible urge to bicker, find fault, and project other people's motives in anything remotely connected to Bullis Charter School surfaces again in the very first comment here by Joan J. Strong.

Here I thought we vast majority of readers, who have no stake in the often petty dispute, might finally -- finally! -- be spared yet more of this childishness, after the long-term Bullis-LASD pact was announced. Silly me.

(I'm not claiming that people who post that stuff don't sincerely believe in it. That they do, indeed, is a large part of the problem.)


Posted by Reply, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2014 at 8:54 am

To Not a Parent:

Joan J Strong has NO interest in peace. Despite claiming that he doesn't post on MV Voice because he finds it too childish, here he is with the first comment, and an aggressive nasty one at that. Does that sound like peace to you?

JJS' life is so miserable that if there is a fight to be picked, he will pick it.

Joan. Hey Joan: the war is over. You and your lies are SO yesterday.


Posted by David, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2014 at 9:51 am

"She's also been a serious BCS zealot with a direct hand in organizing anti-LASD protests. She's also been the treasurer of the BCS Foundation which funded massive amounts of litigation against our local district over the years, and has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive PR firms to launch aggressive and deceptive marketing and PR campaigns attacking one of the top districts in the state."

Wow! No amount of public good dead can counter those actions. I would like to believe that Martha's good work in LASD PTAs and committees would serve her well on the school board, but if the above is true how can she be trusted? Treasurer of the BCS Foundation means she had a direct hand in approving of the funding of Millions of dollars in BCS instigated litigation against LASD. Money that would have better been spent on BCS kids and facilities? Wasn't it the BCS Foundation that has paid for all of the BCS litigation?


Posted by Diversity?, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

@4Diversity: "I think elected bodies function best when there is a diversity of opinion, but then again i'm not a fascist."

Diversity of opinion, yes. But unity of purpose is just as important. Ms. Mcclatchie has spent years either actively participating in, or aiding and abetting attempts to undermine and destabilize LASD.

Not the kind of diversity we need.


Posted by David #2, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm

As a taxpayer you can look at this more objectively if you don't have a stake in bells and whistles at the local schools. These people mouthing off against charter schools are all a bunch of people who want a private school on the public dime. That's not what charter schools are really about, not even in this case of a community with the huge family incomes found in LASD. This current school board and their most recent predecessors have gone off the deep end in spending. I'd like to see someone on the board who gets no benefit from LASD hiring more teachers and administrators than they need. This past year they signed off on paying all the teachers 5% bonuses in the form of paid overtime. In the end, who pays for this?

To my mind, having a stellar charter school show just what can be done without extra spending is a plus to everyone. LASD has copied a lot of the programs started by BCS, since they truly don't require much in the way of extra funding. They don't really discuss their finances openly and a lot of questionable spending still takes place. This image people have that schools are underfunded is true in the general case when you have low income non-English speakers with poor home support. This is not at all the case in LASD, which has half that contingent compared to Cupertino and Palo Alto and 1/10 as much as Mountain View Whisman. Shame shame shame on LASD for burning all that wasteful money when there are kids in other areas who could use more funding for their education. LASD compares itself to smaller districts and Unified districts with high school and says it's poorly funded. The truth is that for its size of district it is funded #1 in the state. It raises and spends more per student than any other similar sized district. Quite a difference from the poor story they put forward when they try to pass yet another parcel tax increase.


Posted by Private Schools, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

This LASD district is disgusting. They have way more money and way more land for schools and way fewer middle income and low income kids. So they gripe to the Mountain View city council that heavens no, they can't possibly stand to have more kids added living in the San Antonio area. Give me a break. Of all the places in Mountain View that can AFFORD to add school children, the LASD territory is the best 20% of the city where growth should be occurring.


Posted by Give me a break, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Nice inflammatory rhetoric @Private Schools -- Nobody, nobody is saying they "can't stand to have more kids living in the San Antonio area". They're only saying that the city of MV should partner with LASD to help create a campus in the NEC area since the city council approved the growth plans. Seems 100% reasonable to me -- though your comment is totally off topic of this article and this thread of postings.


Posted by Do your homework, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 19, 2014 at 3:59 pm

To any voters even remotely concerned about the alleged issues raised by @David #2 above, I would urge you to do a little homework of your own. You will find that virtually every point raised is a lie or a gross distortion of the facts.


Posted by BullisIsBully, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Bullis charter is all about diverting public funds to create a private school that is much cheaper for families that could afford it anyway. Any posting above that is BCS-supportive comes from one of several sore losers who fail to understand that the law is NOT on their side. They cannot massively disrupt top schools simply to benefit themselves.


Posted by Jack K Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Yeah, everybody knows LASD does its fair share to educate non-rich kids. Why they have nearly as many poor kids as does Mountain View. Just look at Castro School. It's virtually indistinguishable in the composition of its students compared to Santa Rita school. 2 peas in a pod. It's all about Bullis. The LASD residents created Bullis because they wanted a school that didn't look like Castro. Santa Rits was too close to Castro school. That's the Strong family's story and we're sticking to it. Just check out the facts for yourselves. Those snobs at Santa Rita are all bent out of shape because they have 6 poor kids attending their school and they want Bullis to take 1 of them.


Posted by Jack Jack Attack..., a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

LASD does everything required by law and more to educate the disadvantaged students within the district. BCS on the other hand, has been called out by its own chartering authority for failing to meet its obligations in this area. Jack's comments are patently false, but I expect much more of the same as the election draws near.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Personally, I am disgusted by my own school in how it treats the disabled. We looked at private schooling alternatives and none come close to the bargain we get at BCS. I would prefer transferring back to a LASD school, but my husband enjoys the networking with the weathly and powerful, so here we stay.


Posted by LASD parent, a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Personally I am disgusted by my school district and how it treats the disabled as children who are burdens rather than children to be celebrated. I am disgusted by the way district officials get all googly-eyed at the billionaire parents who enable an elitist school district to break their own rules about applying all donations equally across campuses. I prefer to try to get into BCS with our normal dual-career, hard-working neighbors but my wife wants to hobnob with the rich and famous parents in LASD. So here we stay.


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:08 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

Remember, a vote for Martha McClatchie is a vote to keep the above claptrap going for another four years...


Posted by Parent for Peace and Great Schools, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I am not a member of Martha's campaign staff but I have worked with her before and I really think that she would do an excellent job. I am confused why some here do not want anyone on the LASD Board of Trustees that doesn't walk in lock step with the current members.

Martha has been working to unite LASD and to end the strife. I haven't seem anyone on the LASD side trying to do that. She is extremely qualified and would make an excellent Trustee. Here is a list of her accomplishments that I found on her Facebook page:

Member of League of Women Voters Los Altos-Mountain View Area
Los Altos Girl Scout Leader, active and current Service Unit 608 New Leader Advisor
Los Altos Kiwanis Club Director
Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation, current Treasurer and Board Member
Oak Elementary School PTA Treasurer and Financial Secretary (2007-2010)
Oak Elementary PTA Outstanding Service Award recipient
Los Altos Education Foundation (LAEF) contributor since 2007
Los Altos Leadership Education Advancement Program alum (2012)
Participant in LASD Educational Blueprint and BCS Long Term Strategy Sessions, 2011
Host of series of LASD/BCS parent meetings in 2011 focused on community harmony
AARP Tax Aide site councilor, Menlo Park (active since 2002)
Reading Partners Volunteer at Castro School Mountain View (since 2010)
Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents (PAMP) Club Membership Chair, Database Chair and VP Membership Operations (2004-2006)
Professional Experience:

Senior Director of Finance, Clarent Corporation
Audit Manager, General Electric Capital Corporation, Commercial Finance
Ernst & Young, audit division
Certified Public Accountant
BS, Business Administration from Boston University and member of Claflin Society
Who is Martha McClatchie?

Resident of Los Altos since 2007
Financial Executive with more than 25 years direct management experience
Passionate Community Volunteer
Married to Iain, with three daughters in grades 3nd, 4rd and 7th, attended Oak Elementary School from 2004-2012 currently attending Bullis Charter School


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

"Martha has been working to unite LASD and to end the strife."

Can you give one, single, solitary, concrete example of this?

Lawsuits don't count.

Everybody should ask themselves one question about Martha: why.

Why would she want to preside over a school district she has fought tooth and nail, and which she abandoned several years ago? (And why did she abandon it? Has anybody dared ask that?)

Why would she want to be elected to an office whose existence her chosen ideology opposes in principle?

The other candidates are clearly ready to dive into the hard work of managing a school district. Martha looks forward to grinding her already razor-sharp axe...


Posted by Logan J Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Wow, I didn't know about Martha being an auditor. Her skills on the LASD board are sorely needed. Their district administration has so many finance tricks that skirt the law. Tammy Logan claims they spent $120 Million on the last bond when the voters only authorized $94 Million. What a crock. Sure, a tiny fraction of that extra spending was legal. But she admits they did it by refinancing. Well, the thing with refinancing bonds is, a district isn't allowed to borrow more than the then-current balance, no way no how. LASD refinanced in 2006 and the principle borrowed then was $100 Million. The original bond should have been PAID DOWN at that point from $94 Million. That's one way they squeezed more out of the bond.

But it gets worse. They put $10 Million in bond prepayment costs on their operating cash. Yes, they spend down the districts reserve in reality but used accounting tricks to belie that fact. That's why they have no choice but to have a huge reserve even now, because they are carrying that amount forward over the life of the bond. They illegally take the funds to pay it off out of the tax payments coming from district residents, but they didn't count that original $10 Million as part of the amount financed. Then they also used CAB bonds for part of the refinancing, another way to squeeze extra out of the bond authorization.

But that wasn't enough. They wanted more so they put basically a mortgage on the site they own in Los Altos Hills which is already leased to a private school.

All these tricks are just a way to waste the district's operating income on capital expenditures. Then they cry poor and bring out a new parcel tax. It's totally obscure and highly unethical.


Posted by No to Martha, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

@Parent for Peace: "Martha has been working to unite LASD and to end the strife." How exactly are organizing anti-LASD protests and disbursing BCS Foundation funds for lawsuits and anti-LASD marketing and PR campaigns working to unite the community?

We definitely need different points of view on the Board. For example, I'd like to see a more aggressive, programmatic approach to continued curriculum enhancements for one. But what we don't need, is someone who has actively fought to tear down our local public schools and to undermine local democracy and control.

Ms. McClatchie IS extremely qualified -- for a role on the BCS board.


Posted by No to Martha, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Continuing previous post: If Ms. McClatchie sincerely wants to help end the conflict and unite the community, the best position for her to affect that would be to join the BCS board and affect change from that side.


Posted by Settlement, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Los Altos School District has many challenges moving forward. The skill of the board members has not been very good at dealing with change. This is an understatement. They really don't seem to understand how their own schools work. Doug Smith even admitted he doesn't know how the city of Los Altos operates recreation programs.

We need on the board more skill and more variety of background at community organizations. The board has rejected its own demographer projections and instead talks of much larger populations. Even the demographer shows there is a big shift in residencies so that more kids live north of El Camino in Mountain View. There are already 600 kids living there and none of them are served by a nearby school. The district claims it has neighborhood schools but that's one very small neighborhood with zero evidence of that. The board has a history of kicking the can down the road. They don't vet many viewpoints before adopting some decision.

It would really help to have at least ONE member on the board with some creativity and financial acumen...... I don't care if it is Martha M. or someone else, but I certainly would not vote for any of the bozo incumbents.


Posted by Roode4LASD?, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I would rather vote for someone like David Roode to be on the LASD board as opposed to Martha McClatchie given her position as Treasurer on the Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation. She had signature and approving authority to spend the BCS foundation money to fund an advertising agency that spread propaganda attack ads against our schools ($300k per year to one person) and using the BCS foundation funds to finance the lawsuits against our school district (over $1,000,000 per year). No matter what other redeeming qualities she has, the fact that her position on the BCS foundation has influenced so much of the generated strife cannot be forgiven.

That will always be part of her background and influence her decisions if on the LASD board. Diversity is good, but not this extreme.


Posted by Treasure, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:09 am

Yeah, like in Corporate Governance, the Treasurer is like God. The Treasurer of the United States can hike taxes and change spending plans. If you get on the good side of the Treasurer of the U.S. your funding problems are SOLVED. Just the ROUNDING extras can add up to enough to arm a small country. The Contra Affair was unfairly blamed on Reagan. The real mastermind was the U.S. Treasurer.


Posted by Dylan Carlson, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 22, 2014 at 1:37 am

This is a good thread. School board election -> Iran Contra. Can't wait to see where this ends up in a couple more days.


Posted by Parent , a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

Maybe we should move on to Tammy Logan and Watergate


Posted by LASD Parent, a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm

I would like to know where Martha McClatchie stands on the bond issue. She's got my vote if she comes out against it!


Posted by Ask Anna, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 22, 2014 at 9:31 pm

We should go to the Santa Clara County Board of Education and ask their esteemed leaders who they think should be on the LASD board. Perhaps if they don't like either the candidate slate or the elected winners, they will "beat" that person into submission.


Posted by BCS Parent, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

Martha is a marvel. From the minute that she arrived at BCS she started working on healing the rift with the LASD community. She is the best qualified candidate to be a Trustee. She wants what most people in Los Altos want, excellent schools, that serve all LASD students.

Martha has also done quite a bit a work reaching out to families with kids who are on Free and Reduced Lunch and English Language Learners. Last summer she worked with several other BCS parents to run a STEM camp for these kids.

She has also a huge supporter of having a strong Visual and Performing Arts Programs in Schools. An area where LASD clearly lags behind BCS. She really could be a great Trustee.


Posted by Show me, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

@BCS Parent wrote: "Martha is a marvel. From the minute that she arrived at BCS she started working on healing the rift with the LASD community."

Please tell us what specific, tangible actions Ms. McClatchie took to start "healing the rift within the LASD community." Has she pushed the BCS board to drop litigation and to refrain from negative marketing campaigns against LASD? Has she advocated for increased attendance at BCS of disadvantaged students (not just summer STEM camp)? Has she tried to de-escalate situations like last year's FUA dispute, or poured gas on the fire with staged protests and madly tweeting PR consultants?

I have no doubt that BCS families value the contributions she has made to their school, but without clear, demonstrable steps to "heal the rift" it's just more hollow campaign slogans. Be specific please.


Posted by trudy, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

First of all dropping litigation is not a test. The litigation was necessary. BCS kids were and still are being discriminated against. If it were up to me I would continue to fight because I believe the LASD board is a bunch of cowboys that have taken the law into their own hands and should be held accountable for their actions. But I get why they are doing it - LASD is truly crazy and is willing to spend public tax dollars that should be going into classrooms on litigation. I bet if you actually had a solution live turning over Covington or GB to BCS the entire rest of the district except the parents at the affected school would be very happy with it. In fact more happy than they are going to be with BCS with sizable campuses at both Egan and Blach. That makes it certain that LASD won't be moving sixth grade to the middle school anytime soon, something that many LASD parents would like to see happen.


Posted by jason, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Unfortunately, the core of BCS is rotten. They promulgate lies as revenge for a good decision by LASD to close an under-subscribed school.

The rest is just greed by BCS to take public funds for use in a private school. A complete bastardization of the charter school law. Shame on them!

Definitely do NOT vote for any of the Bullis crowd.


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

@trudy writes:

"I bet if you actually had a solution live turning over Covington or GB to BCS the entire rest of the district except the parents at the affected school would be very happy with it."

Trudy, believe it or not, most people don't think like you do. Most value their community over their own expedient needs. Most are willing to see the big picture, and act on principle. Most have heard--and understood--the parable by Martin Niemöller (google it).

About three years ago, all of the school PTAs in LASD issued a joint statement which made it clear that closing ANY thriving neighborhood public school for the benefit of BCS was unacceptable.

We stick together as a community for the benefit of all, and for the long run. That's the spirit of neighborhood schools. Charter schools are the opposite. For them, it's everybody for themselves, for the moment.

So don't imagine that everybody thinks like you do. Lucky for you, they don't.


Posted by Bikes2work, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Bikes2work is a registered user.

Unfortunately, the core of LASD is rotten. They promulgate lies as revenge to try and eliminate BCS.

The rest is just greed by LASD to use public facilities to benefit those property owners close to each school site. A complete disregard for State law (Prop 39). Shame on them!

Definitely do NOT vote for any of the Incumbents.


Posted by DavidR, a resident of The Crossings
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

Wow, Mr Rashke. Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel!

Bikes2work: "Unfortunately, the core of LASD is rotten. They promulgate lies as revenge to try and eliminate BCS.
The rest is just greed by LASD to use public facilities to benefit those property owners close to each school site. A complete disregard for State law (Prop 39). Shame on them!
Definitely do NOT vote for any of the Incumbents."


Posted by Community concerned, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:18 am

Trudy, believe it or not, most people don't think like Joan. Most people don't lob a continued assault on others while remaining crouched in the dark, claiming to herald "community spirit."

Anyone like Joan who chooses to be isolated, anonymous and angry at his neighbors, for this many years, knows nothing about community.

So don't imagine that everyone thinks like Joan. Lucky for us, they don't.


Posted by Irony, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:04 am

@Community Concerned: "Anyone like Joan who chooses to be isolated, anonymous and angry at his neighbors, for this many years, knows nothing about community."

Says the anonymous poster. Hypocrisy or cluelessness?


Posted by MVer, a resident of Gemello
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:10 am

Joan needs to find a few a new hobby. Perhaps she can defend the IRS.


Posted by End of an era?, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:57 am

Joan Strong has committed publicly on both FB and LATC forums to retire that persona and leave this debate if the proposed 5 year deal between BCS and LASD is signed. I hope may of us can move on to something more pleasant and constructive if that happens. I'll certainly be interested to see how David Roode responds to a peace accord. I'd love to see him make a similar commitment to stand down, but I'm sure he'll continue to find a way (or many ways) to continue to agitate against LASD no matter what...


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:55 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

David Roode is a troll, not a normal human being. Unlike normal people on either side of this debate, his interest is arguments for their own sake. He contradicts himself whenever he finds it expedient, he uses many different aliases in the same conversation, he latches on to whatever political doctrine that "wins" the day's argument, only to support the opposite doctrine an a week's time, etc. etc.

The Internet is a wonderful, powerful mechanism to promote and better democracy--but it's not without its hurdles. Dealing with the occasional nutcase troll is one of those hurdles.

So no, David Roode will be here after the agreement, after BCS, etc. Insofar as there's an issue somebody cares about, he'll be there, taking the weakest and least logical side (more fun that way).

Also remember that the BCS community has now given him real MONEY to spit out ads in newspapers and the like, so his condition has been legitimized--so I wouldn't expect it to get better, no.


Posted by Jack K Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm

I love my wife but she's a bit neurotic. Please disregard her last post. She hurt her elbow bowling and she's in a foul mood. Even the cat is keeping clear of her.


Posted by Community , a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm

What nonsense from you again Joan. Of course David Roode "will be here after the agreement" -- he's a real person. Unlike you, Joan. Hysterical, that you call him a "nutcase troll." Pot calling the kettle black.

God bless Mr. Roode. Never a name caller, never foul-mouthed like you Joan, and with courage to use his real name.

Your attacks of him reek of jealousy.


Posted by Joan J. Strong, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2014 at 2:16 am

Joan J. Strong is a registered user.

I still don't understand how people do that--criticize me for being anonymous using anonymous (and disposable) aliases.

I couldn't engage in such cognitive dissonance if I tried.

The ability to lie to one's self like this shows you the sort of mentality behind the BCS hard-cores. They've been lying about so many things for so many years that I think they've simply lost the ability to think clearly.

I discussed this in an interesting blog posting a while back:

Web Link


Posted by David R, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I still would like an answer how Martha's role as the BCS Foundation Treasurer in approving yearly $300,000 contracts for a negative PR campaign and more than $1 Million per year of parent donated money to go toward starting lawsuits makes her a needed member of the LASD board? How does that out weigh any good she has done?


Posted by Donny D., a resident of another community
8 hours ago

Do any of the candidates support providing school buses to these kids in San Antonio area houses who are sent to Los Altos schools up to 3 miles away from home? They go to 4 different schools. This is really absurd. In this day and age, the extra private car trips should be avoided! Please! Wake up!


Posted by Buses, a resident of another community
3 hours ago

Buses are a great idea and worth the expense. Many districts use them to reduce traffic around schools as well as to transport to students that live further away. All LASD schools have a majority of their students arriving by car, making school areas accident areas. Each bus takes at least 40 cars off the road.

LASD runs it's campuses for the nearby residents. Maybe they will be willing to do this if they consider that buses will have a big benefit for the Next-door to the Schools Club by reducing traffic near their homes.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Waverly Park
4 minutes ago

@Buses -

You just don't understand - Tammy wants a monument to herself - about 20 million in solar panels is all she needs - can't do that and still pay for buses.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Scott’s Seafood Mountain View to close, reopen as new concept
By Elena Kadvany | 12 comments | 3,701 views

Who Says Kids Don’t Eat Vegetables?
By Laura Stec | 9 comments | 1,888 views

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 11 comments | 1,698 views

Richard Linklater's Masterpiece "Boyhood"
By Anita Felicelli | 5 comments | 1,294 views

Community Service Helps You, Too
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,143 views