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Poll shows support for MV Whisman bond

Original post made on Apr 29, 2010

It would seem like a bad time to ask anyone for money, but a new survey of likely voters shows a strong level of support for a school construction bond measure in the Mountain View Whisman School District.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 29, 2010, 3:25 PM

Comments (17)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm

If the district paid me $10K or so like they paid Bregman and their other consultants, I'd tell them what they wanted to hear also.

We received one of these calls, and it was classic push polling. "Would you support a bond if you knew the roofs were falling apart?" Um, no, because they just put new 30-year roofs on 10 years ago!

This district should direct their time, effort, and energies at EDUCATING STUDENTS instead of spending several $100Ks of general funds to renovate facilities that were renovated less than 10 years ago.

A "Master Facilities Plan" on the heels of the facilities bond in 1998 sounds like a scheme to pad Maurice Ghysel's resume, right up there with "Continuous Improvement."

Please do not confuse this with the HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT'S Measure A which is needed to expand facilities for the 900 additional students that are currently in elementary school and would cause overcrowding when they get to high school.

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Posted by Tired of Paying
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

"The need to remove asbestos and lead, and to bring school buildings up to current seismic safety codes, also resonated with the people surveyed, Bregman said."

What?? What the heck did we just pay for in renovating the schools? I agree with the above comment from "resident of Waverly Park". Spending money directly on educating the students would be a really nice change in this district. The cut backs in budgets all too often affect the students and their education.

You want to improve buildings again? Then cut back on money wasters like GOAL at Graham. Taking kids on "fun days" such as bowling, etc. is not good use of money. There are other more reasonable awards for GPAs (and why are we rewarding 2.0 GPAs like they are 4.0?) Besides, the district is constantly telling us that they haven't enough hours/days to teach the kids. Why are they taking them on a day long field trip to play then? Use that money along with other money wasters to improve buildings.

MVWSD -stop figuring out how to tax us more for additional building improvements and use the money you already have wisely.
When is Ghysels leaving anyway?

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Posted by localmom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Ellen Wheeler is right--any energy to support a local tax should go towards a parcel tax. There just WAS a bond which improved EVERY SINGLE elementary and middle school in MV less than 10 years ago. In fact, for our local school, it was just 6.5 years ago. What are these guys thinking?? Meanwhile money for teachers, books, and day-to-day educational expenses is getting slashed by the state. This is not a good use of the public's good will. I would vote no.

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Posted by MVG
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm

enough already MVWSD are a bunch of blood sucking money grabbers.

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Posted by MW
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2010 at 9:46 am

I also was glad to hear Ellen Wheeler speak out -- we need $ for the quality of the education itself, not the buildings. I would be MUCH more in favor of a parcel tax. From everything I've heard, that's what we need NOW, not construction!

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Posted by MV Taxpayer
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

This is just spin put out by the MVWSD under the failed direction of Ghysels. Hire a consultant firm that will give you the answer you want to hear and then release it to the press to give the impression to the reader that it everyone else is reportedly for it, then so should you be. It's a tactic as old as the hills.

VOTE NO on all tax increases and bond measures and against all incumbents in the next election!

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Posted by MW
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm

In defense of Ghysels -- I spoke with him while the survey was going on, and he did seem honestly interested in getting good data.

That said, given all the surrent circumstances, I do still think any $ we can afford should go toward the quality of the education (e.g., parcel tax) rather than construction (bond).

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Posted by John the Man
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Maurice is good at making anyone who hears him believe the lies he spouts. He's very slick.

He's one of the most duplicitous, deceitful people I have ever run into in my professional life. I would never again even shake his hand, I wouldn't want his slime getting on me again.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 2, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Several parents who are active in the district have told the school board (in person and by email) that this is a bad idea. This happened at a board meeting about a year ago.

Two MVEF board members, a PTA president, a member of the Budget Task Force....the very people that the district depends on to make phone calls, walk precincts, deliver yard signs, and make any ballot measure pass....all spoke strongly against pursuing a "master facilities plan" at this time, in this economy.

The board listened and nodded politely, then voted unanimously to proceed with the facilities project.

Problem is, the district can't say "we need more classroom space" because to do so would be to admit that they were wrong in ignoring the demographic projections and signing an extended lease to give Slater School to Google.

So they need to phrase it as "we need a Master Facilities Plan" which sounds pretty impressive and will look pretty impressive on Maurice's resume.

They want to put second stories on all the elementary school campuses? Heck, even the high school doesn't have a 2-story building on campus! Although with 900 additional students headed their way, they may have to do so, which is why so many of us support Measure A. At least the high school district has the ability to look at the data and address the situation in an honest and straightforward manner.

Same for Los Altos. They just renovated their campuses, and are they talking about another renovation? No, the parents there want to increase the parcel tax so they can maintain the excellent educational programs that their children are receiving.

How MVWSD could even be contemplating facilities, while simultaneously talking about getting rid of Class Size Reduction and enlarging class sizes by another 5-10 just defies reason. How about doing what is best for the kids?

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Posted by no
a resident of Cuernavaca
on May 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm

The "continuous improvement" culture now operating in MVWSD marginalizes or ignores feedback from the few who speak up (regardless of the merits of their position). Unless parents and taxpayers in the community voice their dissent in a more systematic and consistent way, differing opinions will be ignored. Even if people can't show up to speak at board meetings, send an email to the board. Talk with other parents or neighbors and send an email from a concerned group.

BTW-how come the board minutes that are posted on the district website are so minimal? Other districts like Palo Alto have detailed minutes that actual provide a bit of detail about discussions and positions that individual board members have taken on particular issues. It seems like MVWSD could help its community stay informed by posting more detailed minutes of board meetings...

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Posted by Ted
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

The board is a fraud. Most are appointed or run uncontested. The MV public is to blame for not running for what should be competitive boards seats like in our neighboring cities where power-based parents compete for these positions. Enough said.

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Posted by John
a resident of Willowgate
on May 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

I just heard a rumor that there's been a decision to eliminate 11 teacher positions across MVWSD (meaning not renewing 11 existing teacher's contracts for next year). If true, I'm forced to agree with Wheeler -- this is ridiculous.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm


Both High Schools do already have at least some two story buildings. At Los Altos there is at least the math/science building. I am so tired of the Slater/Google business being part of all this dialogue. The district is ahead of the enrollment projections used when Slater was leased. This should be considered good news in general. Without the lease revenue from Slater, many more programs would have had to have been cut over the last several years. A facility master plan is a PLAN! After any bond election, we would still be looking at several years before any construction could start. The two districts (Mtn Vw and Whisman) had different bond programs before the merger, so you really have to look at each campus individually, and that is what the Master Plan has done. Forward looking organizations in a dynamic economy should always be modernizing facilities or planning to do so. It has been twelve years since the 1998 bonds, almost two generations of students! All of you complaining about school board actions need to get out and run.

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Posted by CC
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

If API score for the school district can be improved from 700s to 900s, that's money well spent. My gut feeling is that the school performance will stays low after spending the $200 million.

No matter how good looking a school is, if the performance is average, it still has a name for it ---- BAD SCHOOL!!!!! Yes, that is what all the people who I know call them. "BAD SCHOOLs!!!!" They move out of mountain view because of the relatively poorer school performance of the district.

I would question the fedelity of the survey. There is a big difference when the persons who answer the survey are renters vs. homeowners. Which neighborhood were surveied? I would also question the political motive of the those people who favor the bond idea. That's really a bad idea -- spending millions of tax payer money, and get stuck with the name of "BAD SCHOOL".

I would vote for set up an account to awarding $$$$$ to the school teachers who can transform the bad schools into good ones. Everyone will be benifited from a better performance school district. Lower crime rate, and city tax revenue would go up because the property tax increase as the district becoming more desirable for raising family. City don't have to borrow money to fix the school.

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Posted by parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Hmm, just 1 of 14 who posted here are in support of the bond, which leads me to question the validity of the survey results and the appropriateness of this headline.

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Posted by Dad
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm

And in another 10 years it will happen again. Poor planning.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2010 at 12:20 am

I don't live in Mtn View but attended Bubb, Graham and (Awalt) Mtn View H.S. from 69 to 83, I have seen the 50,s style at that time. I drove past those schools a few months ago I can say this MVWSD has some of the nicest looking schools. Planand follow the plan is a smart idea, the children ofV are lucky to have goodwell kept schools, bad schools and bad boards are found everywhere. My. Teachers while in school were good hard working and DEVOTED, I was not a good student. It is not the teachers fault.

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

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