Charter school advocates accuse district of 'scare tactics'

MV Whisman staff is dissuading parents from charter school, says CCSA

Representatives from the California Charter School Association (CCSA) are urging Mountain View Whisman School District officials to stop making what they allege are misleading statements "targeting or bullying" families interested in enrolling in a new Mountain View charter school.

Bullis Mountain View recently submitted a petition seeking to open a charter school within Mountain View Whisman's boundaries, and is actively fielding inquiries from families interested in enrolling. Janine Ramirez, speaking on behalf of CCSA, told trustees at the Nov. 1 school board meeting that they've gotten questions and concerns from parents worried that they could "lose" their child's spot in their local neighborhood school if they show interest in switching to the charter school -- something she claims is illegal.

"I don't know if that's a targeted attempt to dissuade families from signing the petition or if it's just an attempt to instill fear, but I think we need to put our families and our students first," Ramirez said. "As trustees elected by the community, I think you have an obligation to support the families and to make sure that we are in compliance with the law."

Among the list of demands, Ramirez asked the board to put together a "neutral fact sheet" for parents that purposefully avoids "scare tactics," along with hiring a different legal firm to handle charter school-related matters -- arguing the current firm has a reputation for having an anti-charter bias. She urged the district to review the comments made at recent district-sponsored meetings about what happens if parents signal intent to enroll children in the charter school.

The concerns revolve around the district's attempts to plan ahead, in terms of staffing and classrooms, for the 2019-20 school year. A whole lot was already up in the air, with the new Jose Antonio Vargas school opening and redrawn boundaries taking effect. Now district officials are contending with an exodus of about 168 children out of district-run schools and into Bullis Mountain View. Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph said the district has a responsibility to house charter school students that reside within the district, leaving the district with two options: either double count the student or adjust down the classroom space at the neighborhood schools.

"Just as we do with choice schools, if a parent registers with Bullis we cannot hold space in their zoned neighborhood school," Rudolph said at the meeting. "If you choose this 'choice' program, you are going to forego your neighborhood school placement."

Despite the concerns raised by Ramirez, board member Tamara Wilson said this didn't appear to be a policy change for the school district. She said she recalls going to a Stevenson PACT information night for her incoming kindergarten student and being told she could lose her spot at Huff Elementary School.

"This isn't something new, this isn't like a threat tactic," she said. "But it did inform what I ended up deciding for my own child, and it was clearly stated."

The charter petition is asking to establish a 168-student school in the 2019-20 school year, and so far the district has received a notice of intent to enroll in Bullis from 144 families totaling 171 students. Rudolph said the district started plotting where each of those kids live last week in order to gauge where enrollment will drop, intending to pare back facilities and staff commensurate with the enrollment drop. Rudolph told the Voice after the meeting that, while imprecise and not reflective of who will actually attend the charter school, it's the best the district can do.

"Until Bullis provides their enrollment timeline, we are left in a lurch for planning for our enrollment processes," he said in an email. "Once they communicate that, we can be more specific about how our charter transfer process would work."

Rudolph said he wants to make clear to parents that placement in schools has always been subject to enrollment projections, and that enrolling in a non-district school means they "probably will not be able to re-enter their MVWSD choice or impacted neighborhood school in the same school year."

In past years, the district has taken costly measures to make sure students living within the boundaries of packed schools -- particularly Bubb and Huff elementary schools -- are able to attend regardless of how cramped it is, including by adding portable classrooms. But that was considered a short-term measure until students could be shifted under the new attendance boundaries. The $300,000 cost to maintain the portables will start eating into the district's general fund if they are kept in commission after the 2019-20 school year.

Decisions to keep the portables and retain teachers can't be made on the fly, Rudolph said, which is why the district has been put in a bind by Bullis Mountain View's opening date amid the impending shuffle of students.

"If we would've known this two years ago, then we probably would've developed a different plan of action," he said.

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43 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

Here you go, MVWSD. Your first real taste of BCS. I sincerely wish you the best of luck because on X years you’ll be in the same spot Los Altos is in. BCS seems quick to bite with MVWSD already.

36 people like this
Posted by Historical Bullis Tactics
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2018 at 11:43 am

This is what they do. Cry cry cry the victim card. We saw it all play out in Los Altos
Bully is more like it, or Bul-S.

44 people like this
Posted by BDBD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm

BDBD is a registered user.

This isn't a scare tactic - it really is the way MVWSD works. If you say you're interested somewhere other than your neighborhood school, you lose priority for your neighborhood school.

If the school you tried to choose was full, you might still end up at your local school, but only by luck instead of through neighborhood preference.

I wish they would change this policy, but in the meantime explaining it clearly shouldn't bother BCS.

57 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 8, 2018 at 2:02 pm

The competitive (zero-sum) view that complicates Los Altos-Bullis is the exact viewpoint MVWSD needs to steer away from. All children are different, most do great in a well-run neighborhood school, yet some need specialized environments.

And then there are schools like Bullis, that have tapped into the unmet demand for a specific kind of schooling that local public schools have been slow to adapt to. It's incorrect to dismiss Bullis as a luxury for the rich, while it does take on nonessential trappings of a "private school," Bullis core pedagogy is not costly, and both LASD and MVWSD would benefit from examining why parents seek a progressive education.

I hope some new board members like Conley will help shift the conversation away from competition, and rather, move towards viewing it all as a joint victory to get each MV child matched with the setting that is best for that child.

If MVWSD had that view, we would not have closed down the homeschool program, and MVWSD would not approach its current specialized programs with passive-aggressive policies, and it would not be seeing Bullis as a hostile take over.

For every dollar MVWSD spends on lawyers fighting Bullis, it could spend on PD time sending faculty to Bullis to examine what would they like to adopt in neighborhood schools.

11 people like this
Posted by Facts
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm

This is only an issue with the charter petition. In years after that,
the charter school doesn't even need to tell MVWSD which students will be
enrolling. So using the signature on the charter petition is unfair
because the charter can take kids whose parents didn't sign the petition, and quite
likely will!

In the end, using this as a predictor of enrollment left at remaining
schools is highly inaccurate!!!!

10 people like this
Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Doug Pearson is a registered user.

I have not been in the MVWSD since 1979, and I moved from Mountain View to Los Altos 3 months ago, so I have followed LASD's fight with Bullis with interest from the beginning.

Please don't let MVWSD and Bullis get into the mode of treating MVWSD student numbers as though Bullis student numbers do not exist. The MVSWD must house the Bullis classrooms. This is the key, I think, to my point that both MVWSD and Bullis must accommodate the combined student population.

Any effort to make housing decisions based on only one class of students is doomed.

If the combined MVWSD and Bullis student population in 2018-2019 will be greater, the same, or less than the MVWSD population in 2017-2018, the required combined number of classrooms will likely have to be greater, the same, or less accordingly.

It is pointless to try to provide more or fewer classrooms than needed. Keep in mind the number of MVWSD students per classroom and the number of Bullis students per classroom; those are the numbers that count. Fewer students per classroom may be appropriate for some grades, and more students per classroom may be appropriate for other grades, but I suspect that, for a given grade, the number of MVWSD students per classroom and the number of Bullis students per classroom should be about the same.

MVWSD's planning must be organized around finding a subset of classrooms that satisfies Bullis' needs. It may be easier to find all those classrooms on one campus, or on more than one campus. Whatever, it will be necessary for Bullis classrooms and MVWSD classrooms to share the same campus. Importantly, that means they will share the same outdoor spaces.

This sharing requirement is the necessary point of agreement between MVWSD and Bullis, and should be the focus of discussions.

40 people like this
Posted by Dear Janine Ramirez and the CCSA
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Dear Janine Ramirez. It is not a scare tactic but district policy and if you would have asked someone in the district prior to trying to spin it for your own benefit, you would have been shown exactly what the language says. It is NOT a scare tactic related to Bullis. When I registered my first child in the MVWSD several years ago the policy was spelled out on paper very clearly.

When you register a student in the MVWSD, if you select a school that's not your neighborhood school the information states that if you don't get your 'choice' school you will be placed in your neighborhood school if there's space, and if not, you will be placed in a different school in the district. As Bullis will be a 'choice' program it's only fair that the rules be the same as they are if you chose PACT, Mistral or a school that you're not zoned for.

Ms Ramirez, you and the CCSA owe everyone an apology for using this in your argument AND for stating it was illegal. It is actually you, Bullis and in this case, the CCSA, using scare tactics to make people mad at the district.

Sincerely, a MVWSD parent

3 people like this
Posted by Rose Filicetti
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Rose Filicetti is a registered user.

Has the BMV Charter been approved, yet, by MVWSD? If approved, any MOU could spell out enrollment practices. (I am no longer a MV resident.)

16 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Why do these Charter schools exist in the first place? This is no longer preschool in where you get to choose any private schooling/daycare establishments before you join into the local school system. Are our schools not satisfy some of the higher standards of some of these ultra-competitive families?

I would agree that if you choose any other means other than your preferred school, then you lose out and your forego your eligibility. That's how life works. You make a choice and then live up to that choice in spite of the ramifications that follow. You can't simply say to the bus driver, "I want you to save that seat on the bus for me" but not actually pay to have it reserved. Those are the mindset of child play.

32 people like this
Posted by Rudolph lies
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 8, 2018 at 4:16 pm

Mr. Rudolph is talking out of two sides of his mouth. A Prop 39 form is NOT a registration form. Parents can only “register” their child into the charter school after a lottery has happened, which can only happen after the charter is actually approved. Go figure.

Why is this idiot plotting addresses frim Prop 39 forms? Those addresses will have no correlation to who actually registers for the school. Registering at a choice school is not the same as signing a charter petition or a Prop 39 form! What a waste of District staff time and money. He must have learned how to run a District and how to estimate student enrollment from Trump University. No wonder MVWSD is struggling!

Instead of following the law using the date the charter petition was actually submitted, he came up with his own rules and copied delaying tactics used by the most anti-charter districts in this country - even LASD didn’t play these games. So now the decision meeting has to happen on Dec 30. Bullis Mountain View can’t share any enrollment data until the charter is actually approved and an enrollment lottery happens. This is amateur hour. Mountain View students deserve better. Trustees, please find a competent Superintendent. Don’t make the same mistakes as Los Altos!

19 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Teachers' unions all over the country are fighting charter schools because they might cost teachers' jobs and also will reduce funding for existing "traditional public schools". Is that what's going on here??? A State-sanctioned monopoly fighting to keep its stranglehold on public education jobs, salaries, benefits, and pensions??? Does this also have to do with charter schools attracting superior students from public schools that care more about inferior students than superior students?

33 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 5:51 pm

The chickens have come home to roost for the MVWSD Board led by the incompetence of Ellen Wheeler, Jose Gutierrez and Laura Blakley. Parents in the community aren't going to put up with the sort of strong arms tactics these politicos are playing. Bullis is coming to town because they have been unable to fix student achievement all the while blaming half the district's principal's for their folly. Ellen Wheeler should not have run for reelection, Jose Gutierrez needs to stop going to those massage parlors and start thinking of creative ways to facilitate Bullis and Laura Blakley really needs to get a voice and lead. They can all start by getting rid of Ayinde and his carpet bag administrators friends brought in from North Carolina.

18 people like this
Posted by Dear Elaine
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Dear Elaine. Do you even have kids attending MVWSD schools now or in the future? You seem very out of touch on this topic compared to what I hear from parents in the district right now. Your argument on Bullis coming to MV to fix student achievement is a great sound bite to get everyone up in arms, but it isn't accurate as a stand-alone statement.

Why are people in Los Altos and Mtn View, like you, Elaine, making this a BCS vs local school district fight?? The majority of parents who have students enrolled in these two districts oppose BCS, their self-serving tactics and their bully behavior. However people like you know you'll ignite more fury if you make it about the school boards and superintendents.

I actually appreciate the district leaders being willing to ask questions, push back and slow things down as needed.

31 people like this
Posted by Elaine is Right
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

No, you’re wrong. The majority of families are not happy with MV District. The Superintendent is duplicitous and this regime of trustees are cowering yes men (and women). As a current MV parent, I am *thrilled* Bullis is here offering a lifeboat on this sinking ship. I will be signing up as will pretty much every family on our street!

8 people like this
Posted by High achieving
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Parents of the district who have high achieving kids want an alternative because there is not enough room at Huff, Bubb, Stevenson or Mistral.
Landels is getting better but also more crowded.
The rest of the schools are too overwhelmed with high needs low income population to fulfill the needs of high achieving students.
Yet, if BCS wants to focus on low income students here... what will they be? Another Rocketship?
I say the needs of low income students are already well met by the local schools. It’s the high achievement ones who need more opportunities.

6 people like this
Posted by Dear Elaine is Right
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Dear Elaine is Right. You're confusing arguments and statements. I said the majority of parents of students in LASD and MVWSD are not in favor of Bullis' bully tactics and their self-serving behavior. If the majority of families were pro-BCS none of us would be on these boards discussing the topic.

Elaine stated, "Bullis is coming to town because they have been unable to fix student achievement." That's not why BCS is really coming to MV. It's PC and sounds good though.

13 people like this
Posted by Widening Achievement Gap
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 8, 2018 at 7:59 pm

5 minutes of perusing CAASP website shows the needs of low- income students in this district are not being met. The achievement gap has only widened under Rudolph’s watch. You know what the District is planning to fix this? Absolutely nothing! Time for a shake up people.

2 people like this
Posted by High achieving
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Maybe the achievement gap has widened because the number of low achieving kids has increased in the district, all the while high achieving kids are moving to Los Altos and Palo Alto schools?
Because the schools with so many high needs kids are not doing it for the high achieving ones?

16 people like this
Posted by neighbor against neighbor
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 8, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Thanks a lot BCS - now when Mountain View needs to be coming together to solve the challenges facing our students and schools, you've now managed to within months put neighbor against neighbor. Los Altos was right to warn us about you.

24 people like this
Posted by LongTimeResident
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 8, 2018 at 10:48 pm

MVWSD does not want to give anyone choice. I want choice.

18 people like this
Posted by High achieving
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2018 at 8:33 am

The district needs to recognize that they cannot keep the kids from highly educated families if they only concentrate on closing the achievement gap.
There are two very distinct populations in the city and the district needs to think about what is needed to retain the students who need enrichment rather than remedial services.
Not offering people any choice and confining them to low performing neighborhood schools is not going to cut it.

25 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 9, 2018 at 8:41 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I have to join my former colleague on the MVWSD Board, Christopher Chiang. It is up to the MVWSD Board, to 'set the direction' of the MVWSD administration. Mediation and negotiation - Please NOT LITIGATION!

I am rather disappointed to hear directly from Superintendent Rudolph, that he is going to continue using a lawyer, hated apparently by the charter school community, to personally advise him and look over his public communications. I privately recommended that he seek a MEDIATOR OF IMPECCABLE COMMUNITY STANDING, like Laura Macias or Mike Kasperzak in particular.

Superintendent Rudolph - like the Administration of the LASD, is following the MAJORITY of the Governing Board. President Blakely and Trustee Wheeler have made it very clear, in public meeting comments, that they both fully support Rudolph and his legal counsel. "Delay" is the word of these two lawyer-trustees.

The slate is now set Mr. Chiang, for a blowout legal fight, and a following legal/court waste of money. (IMO)

Devon Conley, (since Coladonado has been sidelined by Blakely and Wheeler), Wilson and Gutierrez have THE POWER - as a voting and "giving direction" MAJORITY, to set the situation, and Rudolph, right.

Were are the gonads in the leadership? Will "THE LAWYERS" win this one also? The million dollar question.

5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 9, 2018 at 9:01 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Is it ROCKETSHIP? A very interesting comment. Anyone who looked for a bit into Conley's educational background will quickly learn that her post MVWSD teaching experience was in a Public Charter School, and that that school was in the ROCKETSHIP system.

Will Trustees Wheeler and Blakely actually listen to her? Blakely has absolutely no credentialed teaching experience, Wheeler has very little over 16 years ago. Maybe the newest trustee had a bad experience at her public charter - and maybe she thinks it can be a viable OPTION for economically disadvantaged families. It is very clear, although Wheeler apparently does not "believe," that MVWSD has one of the nation's largest White-Hispanic Academic Achievement Gaps, and there has been No Measurable Progress on this for the last three years. (Voice reporting and the state academic testing database)

13 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 9, 2018 at 9:35 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I think "lies" is a bit strong and very much overstated. The Chief Administrative Officer of the MVWSD may be confused. Or misunderstand his legal counsel. [the counsel of course, has everything to gain by years of confusion and litigation on this issue] [sort of like some divorce lawyers] THE CHARTER SCHOOL FOR MOUNTAIN VIEW (BCS) DOES NOT EXIST. As former MVWSD Trustee asked - 'has it been chartered?' The answer is legal, and easy to understand, NO.

No one has been admitted to BMV. There is yet no legal Charter.

Misinformation(?) from the Superintendent, Chief Administrative Officer - I personally think, based on my extensive understanding of the capacities and classroom facilities I VOTED ON AS A MVWSD BOARD MEMBER, that Rudolph is misrepresenting the situation of free classroom capacity POTENTIALLY AVAILABLE at Castro, Mistral and Theuerkauf. The number of student permanent classrooms - vastly exceeds MVWSD current enrollment 2019 at these particular school sites. Unless the BOARD MAJORITY puts a damper on this type of official district communication, it is very easy to predict ALL LEGAL HELL will continue to break out. (the million dollar decision, play nice or legal fight)

google charter

(there will be about a 2 million dollar adjustment of resources from educating 120 or so MVWSD public students to BMV public school students in a new public charter) (if the County charters the BMV, the 2 million dollars will ALSO SHIFT out of MVWSD into BMV, assuming no other county students enroll in BMV)

23 people like this
Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 9, 2018 at 10:10 am

I am curious to know how many of those 144 families who have showed interest in Bullis MV are SED families...

43 people like this
Posted by Why Fight Bullis?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 9, 2018 at 11:06 am

Rudolph is fighting Bullis because:

1. If money moves from "his" budget to theirs, there is less available for him to steer to his buddies on consulting contracts. So sad for him since his hope is to steer money to them now, and then receive consulting money when he moves following in the steps of his mentor Peter Gorman. Note that MVWSD continues to pay PG.

2. If Bullis is successful in helping English Language Learners to succeed academically (and I expect they will be as they have a no nonsense common sense approach) it will make him and MVWSD look bad. Oh dear, can't have that!

The question is why does the Board allow him to do this? As others have pointed out, there is LOTS of available space in the newly renovated campuses of our under-achieving schools.

If the board thinks MVWSD is really doing so well, they can be confident few parents will choose Bullis. No reason for scare tactics! Let them open a school and see how they do.

9 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 10, 2018 at 11:31 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

Dear California Charter School Association (CCSA)and Janine Ramirez,

I can personally echo the facts as stated by the prior "MVWSD parent" who informed you that the MVWSD policy that so enraged you had NOTHING to do with Bullis. The policy has been in place as a standard policy since the very start of the MVWSD. The policy has a constructive purpose, NOT a scary one. The policy applies equally to any family requesting to attend any school they are not zoned for, especially Stevenson PACT and Mistral Dual-Immersion.

I recently found the original packet of information we were given 6 years ago when we applied to Stevenson and I clearly recall reading about this policy and the person at the MVWSD office explained it to us at the time.

This policy makes a huge difference in the ability to plan for the coming school year, without this policy, the district would be unable to come close to figuring out how many kids would be each of the neighborhood schools.

In fact, the district either needs the existing policy, or it would need to give up the policy to assure all kids who live in each boundary area would be assured a seat in their neighborhood school.

And let's put this policy in perspective, OK?
The only schools that have been impacted by this policy in the past were kids living in the Huff, Bubb or Landels zones and even then, the numbers of kids that ended up needing to be sent to some other school because they didn't get into their "choice school" is a very small number.

To put it simply, before you get all upset about something you don't understand about the MVWSD, go get the actual facts and put the issue in it's proper perspective. Ask questions and get clear explanations that include all the relevant information first.

As a Stevenson parent over the past several years while we had to fight with everything we had just to avoid being closed down, I can fully sympathize and understand your "fight response", but by coming out swinging at the first little thing you don't understand, you are only hurting your own cause.

Get it?
I hope so. Fighting to save Stevenson cost years of effort by hundreds of people.

12 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 11, 2018 at 12:35 am

ST parent is a registered user.

@Widening Achievement Gap

"The achievement gap has only widened under Rudolph’s watch."

AND during the entire history of the MVWSD and before as well.
Rudolph has nothing to do with this decades-long-standing trend in Mountain View.

If anyone is to "blame" for the extreme "achievement gap" in the MVWSD it would be the high-tech industry employers bringing highly educated PARENTS into Mountain View for the past 50 years!

Highly educated parents have more time, money, knowledge and other resources to spend on their kids educations than the other huge group of Mountain View residents who don't have such resources. There are few families that fall in between these two groups, thus a "gap" rather than a continuum curve.

MVWSD is trying to educate the kids of 2 widely divergent groups of families:
Those where both parents have at least a 4-year university degree.
Those families who have little or no college or no high school education.

And "one size does not fit all" when it comes to educational methods.

"You know what the District is planning to fix this?"

While the "gap" cannot be "fixed", where there are two such divergent groups of families, there are indeed constructive things that can be done to help. The MVWSD can provide some types of resources that can help all kids rise towards their own individual best potentials.

"Absolutely nothing!"

No, not "nothing", the district has long ago begun it's efforts with such things as a summer free lunch program and continuing to expand pre-school.

The big-ticket-item is finding more effective/quicker methods to get "English-Language-Learners" up to "English Fluency". A tricky problem for kids who live in non-English-speaking households.

Pretty much every school district in the USA has a substantial "gap".
Reducing the gap is not simple, nor easy, nor quick.
It takes lots of work, leadership, time, study and money to make serious improvements, but if effective methods can be developed and proven to do more good than harm, then they should be implemented.

23 people like this
Posted by @ST parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 12, 2018 at 12:28 pm

@ST parent is a registered user.

You are ever the lapdog for the district!

Re: Losing neighborhood preference, it is all in the nuances.

It's one thing to say, if you apply for a choice school and don't get in, while we will do EVERYTHING we can there is a small chance you won't make it into your local school.

Quite another to say, if you dare apply to Bullis, you forfeit your slot for your local school and we will do NOTHING for you so YOU"D BETTER WATCH OUT what you do!

And then to go after people who signed the initial Bullis petition.

And to choose a rabid anti-charter-school law firm to provide advice. We can see where this is going and it means $millions in legal fees for no good reason.

22 people like this
Posted by @ST parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 12, 2018 at 12:33 pm

@ST parent is a registered user.

Re "closing the achievement gap":

Agree that this is a somewhat ridiculous proposition here in Silicon Valley, but it's one the District has decided to adopt.

How are they doing? MVWSD stinks at improving the performance of English language learners compared with other districts.

2 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

@@ST parent

"You are ever the lapdog for the district!"

You clearly have not read many of my posts if you think that.

I correct false information regardless of who writes it.
It's hardly my fault that on certain issues the people with the wrong information happen to be attacking the MVWSD.

It is of no surprise that the people who are NEW to the MVWSD would be the ones posting misinformation and showing their ignorance.

The MVWSD is also often on the wrong side of issues.

"Re: Losing neighborhood preference, it is all in the nuances."

It is indeed, in the way people who don't know what they are talking about choose to misinterpret a statement of a long-standing policy for a recent directed attack.

"It's one thing to say, if you apply for a choice school and don't get in, while we will do EVERYTHING we can there is a small chance you won't make it into your local school."

That is a confusion of the facts and past practice.

In the past, the district twisted itself into a pretzel to try and fit every kid into the school (except Stevenson of course) that was desired by the families. That created the nightmare we have today and what forced the district to do a reset with new boundaries.

"Quite another to say, if you dare apply to Bullis, you forfeit your slot for your local school and we will do NOTHING for you so YOU"D BETTER WATCH OUT what you do!"

That is an outright LIE, NOBODY was saying that at all!

If you have an actual point to be made, WHY do you feel the need to LIE?

See, here is the problem, people drastically misinterpreting or outright LYING about what was said.

"And then to go after people who signed the initial Bullis petition."

HOW exactly is the district going after those people?

The district is PLANNING and estimating how many kids will be wanting to get into each school so they can know how many teachers will be required and how many rooms per school.

Knowing where the Bullis families will be coming from is vital to the planning effort.

"And to choose a rabid anti-charter-school law firm to provide advice."

OK, now you have something I am not informed about at all.
It's possible that law firm was chosen as a defensive move, OR simply because they have the most experience dealing with charter issues, I really don't know, thus I say I don't know, I don't jump to the worst possible assumption.

"We can see where this is going and it means $millions in legal fees for no good reason."

Exactly what I have asked the district to avoid.

13 people like this
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm

ST parent is a registered user.

@@ST parent and everyone else!!!!!!

OK, look people, that box called "Name:" is where you put your posting name or "handle", NOT where you put whom you are speaking to.

The box does NOT say "Name of the poster you are addressing:"

Nobody is saying you have to post your actual name, but...

PLEASE start using the Name: box correctly OK?

6 people like this
Posted by No to charters
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 12, 2018 at 5:58 pm

No to charters is a registered user.

To those interested in fighting charters and privatization tactics in MV please contact :

Web Link

They are a grassroots group that has been fighting a charter school in Marin County.

3 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2018 at 7:32 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

The last poster cites a charter school in Marin County and complains about it as being the equal of the one forming in Mountain View Whisman.


Ross Valley school district has 2% English Learner students and only 10% overall disadvantaged. MVWSD is 38% overall disadvantaged with a monstrous achievement gap. They've had this for years. Yes it is a difficult issue to address, but there should be more improvement by now. I think the point about the preoccupation with the kids of high SED families is to blame in MVWSD. For one thing they get extra funding for the low SED kids and they have spent that on district-wide programs that benefit all the students. Creating a charter school is a good idea in MVWSD to address the achievement gap. So there are no parallels to Ross Valley.

One interesting fact is that the funding for Ross Valley Elementary is lower than the funding for MVWSD. But both get more funding than the state requires. The result is that their charter schools both get less funding per student than do their regular students. It's about $8k per student to fund the charter school in Ross Valley versus $12k per student in their regular schools. In MVWSD the charter school gets $10k per student versus the district spending $13k on the students in its traditional schools.

The people in Ross Valley should recognize that the only reason the charter school takes away funding from its schools is because it assumes the cost of their education.

13 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2018 at 7:34 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

Regarding the district having procedures established which allegedly justify discriminating against those petitioning to form a charter school:

There is no doubt that the policies are existing, but they cannot be used to penalize those desiring to express interest in a charter school being formed. That's what's illegal.

13 people like this
Posted by Miney Corr
a resident of Slater
on Nov 12, 2018 at 7:37 pm

Miney Corr is a registered user.

Don't let CCSA bully your district. This strong arm wing of the Conservative Billionaires group to privatize public schools is only trying to take over your public commons so that the Walton's, Reed Hastings, Schwab Foundation billionaires can make a profit off the backs of your kids.

FIGHT this charter school and don't let them space grab classroom space with their fake "meaningful" interest BS forms that they get families to sign when the families don't even know what they are signing. If you ACTUALLY intend to go the charter school then sign the form. IF you are not really sure and trying to hold space for friends or yourself you are creating FRAUD by signing the intent to enroll form. Meaningful interest means that you are VERY sure you are going. Districts need to make sure that you are actually going to the charter and can't afford to hold space for you if you don't end up going. They need to plan and have every right to know if your intentions are actually "Meaningful".

14 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2018 at 9:26 pm

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

OK, now there's some misinformation again in the last post. California has outlawed profit making corporations from hold charters or from being service organizations that operate a charter on behalf of whoever received the charter.

There is NO profit to be made from Charter Schools in California. That's something found perhaps in other states, but not California.

Also, there is no element of fraud by anyone who signs a charter petitions. They are allowed to change their mind. More scare tactics.

21 people like this
Posted by Why Fight Bullis?
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 13, 2018 at 10:36 am

Why Fight Bullis? is a registered user.

I just have to LOL when I hear people state that Bullis has "for profit" motivations. That *might* be the case with some other charters, but it is clear that no money is going to be stolen from the community here.

On the other hand, it looks like the district is gearing up to spend huge amounts of taxpayer money (taken from funds that could be used for kids in the district) on legal fees trying to fight the Bullis team and make life more difficult for any district parents who express any interest or support in the charter.

And it's clear the district wastes huge amounts of money on consultants, just go through the budget and district documents to see how much money they spend. $60,000 yearly to Peter Gorman (Rudolph's former boss) is just the tip of the iceberg.

10 people like this
Posted by Miney Corr
a resident of Slater
on Nov 13, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Miney Corr is a registered user.

How to profit from your non-profit Charter School.

Web Link

We really don't need to turn our public commons into little separate businesses competing with each other and the "Non-Profit" charter school still makes a bundle. Shell game.

7 people like this
Posted by No to charters
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 13, 2018 at 7:13 pm

No to charters is a registered user.

Any parents or concerned community members who want to fight charters, please feel free to contact They have been fighting off a local charter in Marin. No need to start from scratch. Let’s learn from each other. Despite what pro charter commenters have said above, this is the same situation: CCSA is trying to get into CA school districts. They want to use Proo 39 as a weapon, making case law, and depleting our state resources. Say no to charters.

18 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 13, 2018 at 8:49 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

Will legal battles really stop Bullis? Will that approach get Bullis to collaborate with the district on enrollment numbers and dates, so that Bullis can at least sync as well as the district's current choice programs? Did that work for LASD?

If one views the priorities as children first, not to be confused with school sites or institutions first, then new possibilities open up.

Districts overly systemize schools, attempting to make uniform size schools despite different size neighborhoods and lots, and uniform curriculum, despite different types of teachers, and thereby uniform children, when they are anything but uniform.

Charter, choice, neighborhood, do whatever is best for children, and not institutional turf wars.

11 people like this
Posted by No to charters
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 14, 2018 at 8:42 am

No to charters is a registered user.

So many commenters on here are pro charter at all costs, but hide behind the “choice” and “can’t we mediate “ banner. No. When you manipulate laws, get fraudulent ITE forms and take resources from the commons you are hurting your community. IF you cared about all kids, you’d support your public school districts and strengthen them.

2 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:31 am

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

So much stupidity. For Prop 39, in the case of MVWSD, there is no issue with taking resources. Every kid who switches to the modest charter school frees room in a traditional school. MVWSD has prepaid for brand new classrooms such that it has 9 450 student-targeted elementary schools and 2 1100 student middle schools. It also has 3 over-capacity schools (the ones the new charter school has avoided requesting as a location, the ones that generally serve fewer of the low income kids). These 3 schools aren't really over capacity, they are just using older classrooms the district would like to tear down. So these schools average extra room for about 100 extra students each. They have been the 3 most popular schools under MVWSD's former policy of allowing students to freely pick their school. For bizarre reasons, MVWSD wants to stop letting students pick their school.

So there is room for 6250 students already constructed in the district, in these newly built classrooms and other facilities. Plus 300 extra in the classrooms the district wants to remove. Today there are only 5000 students.

So how can it be that big a deal to find room such that 200 or 400 students can switch to a new charter school? It was already going to be unlikely that the new students would neatly fit nearby into the 9 450 student schools as it was. The problem is the students live where they do, and then they get to go to some school, but not with 450 students naturally in each attendance area.

The charter school hasn't even request a particular school, just loosely indicated it wanted the low income areas.

1 person likes this
Posted by ResidentSince1982
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2018 at 12:36 am

ResidentSince1982 is a registered user.

Besides using some of the empty space created by recent construction, there is the funding for the students. If somehow the charter school doesn't enroll enough students, it has empty slots. It doesn't get funded for empty slots. There's no issue of unbelieving the ITE forms. There is no funding unless a student actually does enroll, while the school operates. The payment is even based on ADA so absences also detract from funding. If the charter school is wrong, then the money for the students stays with MVWSD. The ITE form has nothing to do with it.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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