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City is growing, public school attendance is dropping

Original post made on May 26, 2015

Mountain View schools are facing a strange predicament. The local economy is humming along, people are moving into the city and dozens of new housing developments are either approved or in the works. All the ingredients are there for enrollment growth for the Mountain View Whisman School District.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 9:52 AM

Comments (74)

24 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

"it's time to start working on improving the academic programs at the schools as well as the public's perception of schools traditionally seen as low-performing."

Perception? Seriously? The only way to draw more kids into the schools is to make them actually perform much better so they're competitive with the private schools. Before someone says this is impossible, read about New York City's SUCCESS Academy, a series of charter schools which are making public school kids excel academically. We need something like that here. Schools in Mountain View aren't great, nor are they terrible, just middle of the road. I really do hope they improve before my kids reach school age, since with the housing costs here, there's no way I can afford private school.


25 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

Really, you want Mountain View schools to be like Success Academy, where teachers are instructed to rip up students' papers when they don't score high enough.

Web Link

If Mountain View schools became Success Academies, I would opt my kids out.


40 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on May 26, 2015 at 11:03 am

Darrah's comment, and the above poster's reaction to it, points out that what we really need here are innovative schools and choices about programs.

I want something other than business-as-usual education for my kids and I would choose PACT if there was space. Not because I don't like the social-economics of my neighborhood school but because I don't like the educational approach of the standard Common Core curriculum, emphasis on test scores, etc.
I would enthusiastically embrace schools that are STEM focused, dual-language focused, arts focused, or progressive ed like PACT. If some parents like the Success Academy approach for their kids, let's have a school for them. We clearly want more *choices* here in MVWSD so let's not forget about that as we talk about "marketing" our schools. Maybe what we need to do is change them in more fundamental ways.


40 people like this
Posted by Bubb Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 26, 2015 at 11:24 am

The problem with Mountain View schools is absolutely a problem of perception and not reality. The reality is that Mountain View schools outperform Los Altos and Palo Alto schools with similar demographics. Bubb (API 919) significantly outperforms Barron Park (API 870), a school from the hallowed Palo Alto school district that shares almost the exact same demographic breakdown. Huff outscores both Almond and Santa Rita, Los Altos schools with similar demographics. The rest of the Mountain View elementary schools cannot be compared to the predominantly white/Asian schools of Los Altos and Palo Alto. But the point remains, when demographics are similar, Mountain View schools are better than Palo Alto and Los Altos.

I have seen this firsthand in my child's progress as she moved from an LASD elementary to Bubb. Her academic skills have advanced far better than while at LASD and she now can socialize with kids from a broader socio-economic spectrum. The instruction is far superior at Bubb...LASD schools are only "better" because their student body is composed almost exclusively of white/Asian kids whose parents have Stanford/Berkeley/Ivy educations, parents who have saturated their kids with enrichment programs since conception and will chain their kids to the local Kumon office the moment their test scores slip.

It is up to Mountain View's administration to change their brand and get the word out that kids from affluent backgrounds will get a good elementary education while also meet kids from diverse backgrounds. Hopefully a Measure G facelift of these elementary schools will go a long way to change the branding of Mountain View schools, insuring that the perception of these schools will fit the reality of strong academic performance when compared to neighboring schools with similar demographic.


14 people like this
Posted by Former LASD parent in MV
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

@Bubb Parent -- I'm not sure it's necessary to denigrate LASD to make a strong case that MVW is a fantastic school district. My kids had an excellent experience within LASD and were well prepared for their coursework at Los Altos High School. MVW has shown strong improvement in overall API scores over the last several years, and as you pointed out, compares very favorably to LASD in many respects. I'm not sure what is driving the higher percentage of private school attendance in MVW, but agree that the district could do a much better job in "branding" itself as an excellent option to private schools.


8 people like this
Posted by @Bubb Parent
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 26, 2015 at 1:44 pm

It sounds like you're saying that the schools are great but the problem is the kids that attend the schools. Is that right?


8 people like this
Posted by Waste of Money here
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm

I think the schools are great and the kids are great, so what are we talking about?

People who are always looking for some theoretical "Best" that they can bank on when it comes to schools are wasting their efforts. In MV and Los Altos, we are blessed with first rate programs and the kids coming out of Bubb and Loyola eventually share college dorm rooms with the kids from St Simon's and Pinewood.

In some districts, I would consider private schools, but here, the value/payback is non-existent, that is, unless the main reason for going private is religion.


25 people like this
Posted by Bubb Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm

@ Former LASD Parent.

I did not mean to denigrate LASD schools, obviously they are fantastic. But I feel strongly that Bubb is just as fantastic and that the MV instruction style was far better for my child. From my experience, LASD was all about catering to a child's strengths while making learning fun with an endless litany of outside stimulation from external programs...it was not nearly as effective as Bubb in teaching children self-discipline and the need to work on and overcome their weaknesses. My tone may have been a bit biting toward LASD, but it was meant more to be a corrective for the palpable inferiority complex that you often hear in MV parents who fret about all the advantages enjoyed by Palo Alto and Los Altos students. My main point is that when MV schools service a similar cross section of the population, our school district does a fantastic job, even against two of the most coveted public districts in the state.


@ Bailey Park

The "problem" is not the kids attending the schools, on the contrary, if you read my post, you'd see that I actually feel a diversity of socio-economic backgrounds is an advantage of sending your kids to an MV school...even if it "weighs down" test scores. The unavoidable truth is that many kids in MV schools are disadvantaged before even starting kindergarten due to language barriers and financial pressures. It is no poor reflection on them that they should score lower on tests than children who have exponentially more educational and developmental resources at their disposal...inequality in test scores is to be expected given the inequality conditions into which these kids were born. My point was that we must judge a school's teaching competence by how far they are able to take each student from his or her respective starting point. You can't just look at a crude API score alone, but rather you need to weigh that score against the advantages and disadvantages of the entire student body. We shouldn't say Bubb is a worse school than the LASD elementary schools because it scored a 9 out of 10 rather than the 10 out of 10 scored by schools whose population is 95% affluent. Instead we should be applauding Bubb for scoring far better than a Palo Alto school that has similar demographic numbers. You can only confuse the disadvantaged kids who attend MV schools as "the problem" if you believe the job of our schools is to mold test-takers rather than well-rounded human beings who will be citizens of a diverse nation. Sadly, I fear many who live in MV and choose not to send their kids to public schools do see lower-income students as a problem, even when the statistics show that the scores of students from more privileged backgrounds do not seem to suffer when attending these culturally diverse MV schools.


22 people like this
Posted by AA
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I completely agree with Jenny. We very much wanted to be a part of the MV school district. I have spent a lot of time volunteering for MVEF because I believe in public education and wanted to help raise money that would support all our kids. We strongly believed the PACT model would be best for our kids but after two years of trying to win the lottery there we have given up and with a heavy heart have accepted a spot at a progressive private school very similar to PACT.

Our neighborhood school is Theurkauf but our decision to not enroll there has nothing to do with demographics (my children are Hispanic and we speak Spanish at home). It has everything to do with the fact that Theurekauf offers a traditional program that teaches more to the test as reported to me by my neighbors who attend. We briefly looked at Monta Loma as they are starting to do some PBL teaching, but ultimately decided it wasn't enough for us. For us, the downside of private school is the lack of diversity and connection to our MV community and neighbors we love, but something had to give.

I have been asking the district to expand the PACT program or open a new school with a similar philosophy for several years now but they have no urgency in this area, and now they've lost one more family who happily would have spent many hours trying to help all our schools. Just because families have money to pay for private school, doesn't mean that's always their first preference, but the private schools seem more willing to offer different programs that parents value (note, this has nothing to do with API scores). If the public schools were willing to also offer popular programs they could easily pull people back into the system. Until then, they will likely continue to lose students and the private schools will gain.


13 people like this
Posted by Waste of Money here
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 26, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Why is is that some parents INSIST on trying to get some school labeled as "Best" or Better than..."
It's pure ego, plain and simple. A bad fit for one kid could be a great fit for another. The topic is laughable except for the validation hungry.


24 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 26, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Ok.. a few of you are touching on the real issue without wanting to actually step on the land mine.

"Demographics" is the key.

Private schools are better because they have better demographics.

First the parents actually care enough about their children's education to spend their hard earned money on it.

Second, the schools don't have to waste resources trying to teach kids who are unteachable. Those kids are all sitting in public schools!

There are kids that just aren't going to learn no matter how hard we try. Blame their parents, whatever.. something has made it so these kids don't care. This is why public schools will always work at a handicap compared to private schools.

Should I also bring up the fact that private school teachers aren't unionized? A teacher gets too many complaints and guess what.. they lose their job. Imagine that.


5 people like this
Posted by Not saying
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2015 at 2:45 pm

A fraction of parents choose private school because of concern over gifted education.

Now, as soon as I write that, I know that many people have already labeled me as a conceited parent who thinks her little darling is smarter than everyone else.

In other words, it is easier to attack the character of the parent than it is to help the child.

So we leave. You would, too.


24 people like this
Posted by Sillyness
a resident of Whisman Station
on May 26, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Is that seriously a question? It's due to younger single tech people, without families, working for Google living in Mountain View. Duh.


19 people like this
Posted by For progressive ed
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

We spent 2 years trying to get our oldest into PACT - the parent participation (and, relatedly, less diverse socio-economic groups) were drawbacks, but what drew us was the progressive education model - project based, hands on, learning-is-about-nurturing-curiosity - education. Unfortunately, PACT could enroll 3x as many kindergarteners as it does. The rest go where?

For us, to a progressive ed private school. I'd guess many of the non-standard silicon valley types are interested in experimental, progressive education models.

I was surprised that MVWSD never asked us - when they told us our child hadn't gotten into PACT - if we would be attending our neighborhood school. They just assumed we would. A quick survey of folks who enroll but do not attend would answer a lot of question about what kinds of school programs the city's families want.

I think the public schools could be even better, our neighborhoods even stronger, if they were able to attract more families.


14 people like this
Posted by MVWSD is great
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 26, 2015 at 3:22 pm

MVWSD has great teachers, great kids, great community (just like MV itself). Its greatness doesn't always show on test scores that measure affluence over diversity. MVWSD schools perform better than their economics would predict, and children excel at MVWSD just as they do at other "higher-test-score" districts, and are well-prepared for later years of schooling.

But still, some limitations of MVWSD:
* funding per kid is less than neighboring districts
* music, art, phys ed, science enrichment are provided by the foundation not the school district (and not at the levels most want)
* progressive ed spots are so limited as to be unattainable by most, despite incredible demand
* GATE program is now afterschool only. Children who are ahead of their 'age' level are not able to learn at their level, and they're not able to meet/mix with like-minded kids during the school day.


21 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 26, 2015 at 4:05 pm

True is a registered user.

So if attendance is dropping I guess they won't need as much money.

Great.

When can I expect to see my taxes reduced?


9 people like this
Posted by DoctorData
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm

DoctorData is a registered user.

@Sillyness either is trolling or didn't actually read the article, which clearly states that the number of *school-age children* (not just the number of adults) in district has gone up. So the vast hypothetical army of single-and-lovin-it Google employees doesn't explain the flat enrollment numbers.


8 people like this
Posted by Jeanie Light
a resident of Slater
on May 26, 2015 at 5:20 pm

When discussing public vs private school - there doesn't need to be an assumption that we are trying to attract all types of families to public school. Some families have something specific they are looking for and are able to find the best fit in a private school. But I don't buy the idea that public school is categorically worse than private school and that everyone who can afford to do so would choose private. Every family has their own values. I value diversity and I'm looking for a school with community pride, where individual thought is valued, and where there is support for different learning paces and styles. I don't see why that can't be a public school. My daughter isn't in school yet - so I don't know the reality of our public schools. I'm getting a few encouraging glimpses from the voices of parents on these threads, but prior to that I was making possibly false assumptions based on API and assisted lunch numbers.

To the parents at our public schools: does your school have a promotional video talking about the community and what families love about the school? What other information really would tell the story of the value and success of the schools since many have said the API numbers aren't relevant?


3 people like this
Posted by Sillyness Advocate
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm

I think Sillyness is correct. The powers that be obviously don't really know how many children are in the district. As you can see they are estimating the children enrolled in the alternatives. I don't know how they come up with their numbers, but I'm pretty sure it comes from an estimate of available housing vs. typical percentage of families with children. For example 2.5 children per home. MV is not typical anymore. There is a higher percentage people now who live here the either have lots of money with children who attend alternative schooling, while there are who are childless or can't afford to live here with children.


7 people like this
Posted by @Otto Maddux
a resident of Bailey Park
on May 26, 2015 at 5:54 pm

"First the parents actually care enough about their children's education to spend their hard earned money on it."

Yes, similar to parents who pinch every single penny to buy into HUGELY expensive neighborhoods serving the best public schools in the area.
Tuition or home prices, parents are paying and many are willing to sacrifice every single penny just to have a home in a good district for the sake of their kid's education.

In your own words these people don't are enough about their kid's education to spend their money on it, but I bet you simply didn't think things through all the way. Do that next time and you'll see how much better it works out.



12 people like this
Posted by My View
a resident of North Whisman
on May 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Parents in the Valley (elsewhere, too, I presume) want the best for their kids. And they are blessed with having a tremendous amount of choice, both public and private schools. So they choose. You cannot blame them (or me).


7 people like this
Posted by MV-parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2015 at 10:17 am

I just noticed that it is the elementary school parents mostly in this discussion? Do you know what happens in high school when the teenagers think it's no longer cool for you to hang around at school as a volunteer? The same kid who believed it was cool in elementary school as you supported PACT. Do you know that the social media is making it easier for high school students at Mountain View High, Los Altos High, and St. Francis High to be "friends" and influence each other? Once your sweet darlings find it easier to get drugs among their friends across the schools, it will be late to realize that there is no more difference between private and public school in Mountain View. That's about good citizenship, is that right? Now, let's talk of academics - undoubtedly private schools outperform public schools. It must be noted that children with additional support e.g. a garage for a leisure activity related to sciences with their fathers will do better than those with no room for a desk at home because housing is becoming expensive in Mountain View.


5 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 27, 2015 at 10:43 am

Since the State only funds about 75% of our per student K-8 budget, growing the district student body actually reduces funds available per student. Although is would provide better attendance balance for a W/S school, what would be the other advantages be to encouraging students currently in private school? In an earlier life (before I was OLD), I spent 25 years on High School athletic fields as a game official. Based on that, I agree with MV-Parent above. Being around the kids of richer parents does not mean the kid of parents who scrap to send their kid to private school will be a better student, or a better kid, or turn into a better citizen. The stupid tricks of rich kids are just more expensive to correct.


7 people like this
Posted by Different MV-parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2015 at 11:07 am

Wow MV-parent. I'm sorry your experiences with your kids and their friends was so difficult. Yes, I'm aware of all the doom and gloom you discussed, but in reality, it's not the way things are generally happening. Anecdotally yes, but in general, the kids are just fine. Proper parenting obviously affects kid's behaviors.

My public school kid shares his Cal Poly dorm room with a private school kid and my kid helped him get through his Trig class last semester. There's an anecdote for ya.


3 people like this
Posted by Different MV-parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2015 at 11:11 am

Oh, I also must add that the VAST majority of my son's Cal Poly SLO dorm mates come from public schools around the state.


4 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

That's great news! It means we don't have to spend more on schools or worry about where to open other schools. It means that some of the growth related infrastructure concerns disappear. In fact, we should encourage this trend. Hopefully, we can encourage more people who can afford it to enroll their kids in private schools.


4 people like this
Posted by Reopen Slater representative
a resident of North Whisman
on May 27, 2015 at 3:40 pm

The demographic data are incorrect. There are 594 Kindergarten students entering MVWSD in 2015-2016. There were 554 Kindergarten students last year. That equals 40 new Kindergarten students this year, which is almost 2 full classes.

Data in links below

Web Link

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Early in this thread, there were three, I think, highly political and pro-MV school posts by a "Bubb Parent". Based upon my reading of her comments, her pro-school and pro-teacher bias tell us that she feels threatened by open debate of the real merit of public schools and their staffs. My guess re "Bubb Parent"? She is not a Bubb parent. She either is either an overpaid, over-pensioned and useless school administrator or an overpaid, overpensioned and marginally useful el ed teacher --- probably from Bubb School. It's time to hire truly qualified teachers and create a truly superior public school education for our brightest students. The rest of the students really don't matter in the future of MV and the USA.


11 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 27, 2015 at 4:37 pm

I'm not sure why the rest of the students don't matter, and by the way, exactly what makes a "truly qualified teacher" and how do you measure it? I'll agree that there are some of what you note in public schools generally. After 20 years of dealing with our district, I'm betting we have more than our share of dedicated, qualified, and "truly qualified" teachers and leaders. In fact, some choose to move on, because we can't pay enough to keep up with "Life in Silicon Valley" If we can't keep what we have, how do you propose to identify, hire, and retain only the "truly qualified"??


6 people like this
Posted by @Old Steve
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm

It's nice of you to try and engage OldMV in an intelligent discussion. Do note, though, that OldMV's posts, here and elsewhere, do not allow for an intelligent discussion.

I think the poor soul needs to get out more.


14 people like this
Posted by New Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 27, 2015 at 8:42 pm

For the 149 parents who wanted their kids to attend PACT, it's time to come together to do something.

Imagine we simply signed a petition for expending the PACT school, our request will no longer be denied.

Anyone interested?


3 people like this
Posted by AA
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 27, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I'd be happy to sign a petition. I will say though, I've talked with two people in the district office as well as both of our recent superintendents and it doesn't seem to make much difference. But maybe if we all got together it might help. How to proceed?


6 people like this
Posted by New Parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 28, 2015 at 9:37 am

The overwhelmed demand for choice program (aka: Dual Immersion & PACT ) for the past few years indicated that there are no shortage of parents who wanted positive change (expending the good programs) for the MV school district.

To estimate the number of family who may be able provide immediate support for the idea, we can use simple math to figure out the total.

200 X 6 = 1200

Where 200 is a ballpark figure of kids on the wait-list for the choice program; 6 is chosen because I think for families with kids still in the elementary school are more likely to support the idea, and there are 6 grades in elementary school (hope that make sense).

Action Items:
• Create the Petition Letter to superintendents and or someone who have big influence for change of the City school.
• Get Press involved to get the words out to connect all the MV parents would like to contribute. (It’s an effective option).
• Officially deliver the Letter
Whoever can represent us in changing the system will likely be benefited in the next election. It’s a win-win situation. I think we have a high chance for success if we focus on the benefits.
Or, we can stay quiet, and get ready to pay for 5-6 years private school tuition fee (or relocate), which take much more effort than contributing a signature.

What say you?


8 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

"That leaves about 2,100 "missing" students who are presumed to be either attending a private or charter school, or are being home-schooled"

Money. Lots of money. From Google, Facebook etc. Just look at the price of real estate in MV.


12 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm

> 200 X 6 = 1200
>
> Where 200 is a ballpark figure of kids on the wait-list for the choice
> program; 6 is chosen because I think for families with kids still in the
> elementary school are more likely to support the idea, and there are 6 grades
> in elementary school (hope that make sense).

I see you call yourself "New Parent", so you might not have too much experience in this area yet. You may be overestimating the desire to get into the PACT programs. Yes, there are 149 kids on the waiting list, but that does not translate the same number in each and every grade. Most of the time, once families begin attending their assigned schools and move beyond the "I heard this and that about the school" stage, they end up liking the environment and no longer wish to leave for some other program, losing friends (for both children and parents) and sense of stability in the process.

It's all about what you put into your school, honestly. Put in nothing, you get nothing. Put in lots of effort, get lots out of it.






11 people like this
Posted by Bubb Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm

@ OldMV

Well, I'm not an employee of Mountain View School District. I'm actually just one of the many NewMV folks who are paying exorbitant amounts of property taxes to help fund this district....those of us who are shouldering a much larger amount of the civic load than the Prop13-coddled old timers who gripe the most about unions and teacher pensions.

To be clear, I didn't come to attack MV residents who decide to go the private school route. I came to criticize the baseless notion that MV parents HAVE TO send their kids to private schools because of "underperforming" public schools. Many have come on here to voice their wish lists for more innovative, more personalized, more high tech programs...I share many of their desires for the district. Still, I have seen nothing proving that Mountain View schools are underperforming when compared to schools in neighboring districts with similar demographics. For all the innovative solutions supposedly being implemented by PAUSD and LASD, test scores suggest that those schools actually lag behind Mountain View when servicing a similar demographic.

There are many changes I'd like to see happen at Mountain View schools, but let's be honest. The quickest way to Improve the MV schools (at least through the crude measure of API scores) is to get educated parents to opt-in and send their kids to public schools and become engaged in forming the curriculum and driving change. Many folks choose private schools for religious, cultural or philosophical reasons. That's fine. But those who are sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to improve only exacerbate the problem...get your kids in the school, get involved with the administration and help us make all these innovative solutions happen.


6 people like this
Posted by @Bubb Parent
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Your property taxes support K-8 education as a varying 18%+ share of the total you pay. However, locally, in MVWSD, the funding doesn't come directly from your property taxes. They are in a situation where they get added funding from the state for each student added to their enrollment. What your taxes are doing is conributing that 18% share to all the K-8 education in the STATE, not just in Mountain View. This occurs despite the rising property taxes because the state has a new target for funding per student, and the propety taxes collected in MVWSD are no longer sufficient to meet that target.

If MVWSD added 1000 new student, it would get from the state approximately $8 Million additional dollars, and your taxes would not go up at all. The exact amount per student depends on just how "disadvantaged" the student is per the guidelines in the law. The state funding is set to continue to increase each year over the next 6 years.

Now if MVWSD chases away 1000 students instead of adding them, THEN they'd convert to getting more per student, and to using local property revenue which would exceed the state goal per student in funding.


5 people like this
Posted by @Bubb Parent
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2015 at 4:06 pm

To be clear, this year is the first year in quite a few that Mountain View has not been funded based on the largesse of 18% of the local property tax revenues. The increase in the state funding targets pushed Mountain View out of what was called "Basic Aid" status. Now with LCFF, things changed up. Many factors could switch things back, even though the amount provided under LCFF will go up constantly per student as it is fully phased in. For example, if Mountain View loses students, or loses in the proportion of "disadvantaged" (it has been about 50%, but it dropped this year), then the state funding mount might fall below the local share of property taxes, and we'd be back in a situation like the former Basic Aid.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2015 at 1:33 am

@Reopen Slater representative of North Whisman

What about the 2013-2014 numbers or before? One year improvement does not make a long-term trend.

"There are 594 Kindergarten students entering MVWSD in 2015-2016. There were 554 Kindergarten students last year. That equals 40 new Kindergarten students this year, which is almost 2 full classes."

Interesting, I wonder if the overall increase of 40 Kindergarten students for our district has anything to do with the fact that Stevenson was able to open up an additional 25 student Kinder class for this coming fall? For 2014-2015 Stevenson had seats for 365 kids, for 2015-2016 it's 390 total.


10 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on May 30, 2015 at 12:12 am

Cfrink is a registered user.

Lots of fascinating facts and fiction here.

There's 0 chance of the PACT school growing any time soon. They don't have the space and won't likely have the space until they get renovated some time over the next few years. They're busting at the seams already. I don't believe the school is necessarily opposed to growth. It just needs to be properly planned and implemented so it doesn't dilute the educational experience at the school. The same goes for any of the other schools. Growth needs planning.

There are about 3600 students attending MV public schools currently. There are estimates that there are about 2000 students in MV that attend private schools. I would suspect that many of these children attend religious schools (a family preference) others because they can (wealthy) still others because they're looking for alternative teaching philosophies (charters and others.)

I think we have great schools. I believe we could be doing more to improve our schools and embrace new teaching methods or other philosophies. I think the future is bright. But the thing I think would serve our schools best is if some of the folks who spend all day commenting here, would show up in meetings and serve on the committees that help to shape our schools and make these decisions, rather than pot shooting here after the work has been done. We need the rich wealth of creative ideas and minds helping to shape our schools. Improving our schools doesn't just help our children. I think it increases the profile of our neighborhoods and communities not to mention our property values. So, c'mon, folks. Let's get to work. There's plenty to be done!


9 people like this
Posted by Rick R.
a resident of Gemello
on May 30, 2015 at 8:12 am

It's all about marketing. They need to sell the image of good schools just as much as having good schools.


6 people like this
Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2015 at 2:26 pm

A number of children in Mountain View are assigned schools in side the LASd. Another number attend private schools throughout the area.

A number of children could be counted in growth numbers but the parents move away before childrdn hit school age. Rents and other events might cause families to relocate.

You will have a number of people who chose not to have children at this point in time. We aren't ever going to see the amount of children that were produced from 46 to 64.


13 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Thanks Cleave, for walking the walk besides talking the talk. For those who don't know, or don't remember, Mr. Frink and his family are new to this community, I think about a year out of Florida. I have seen him jump-right-in and try to 'put a perspective' on things. Not a spin, just a reasonably distant perspective. He has been complimentary when he felt good (public educational) service was given, and reasonably stand-offish and critical when it seemed cow-pie-politics was geing played.

I'm sure his kid's principal and staff appreciate the local school support he must give, beside his community wide study and work.

Steven Nelson is a Trustee of the MVWSD, these are his own opinions


3 people like this
Posted by MV Public Schools Count
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Cfrink is way low on the MV Public School student number being 3600. He's obviously leaving out high school, and just referring to K-8. But even so, MVWSD has over 5000 total students 99.9% from MV. Yes, Garrett is right that 20% of the City of MV is assigned to LASD for K-8 school, so that's another !~1000 students there too.

I think the MVWSD demographer was referring to an estimate of the number of eligible students living within the MVWSD portion of Mountain View. They calculate that at a total of 7000 students, of which only 5000 are currently enrolled. They wouldn't have counted those living with the LASD portions of MV.


6 people like this
Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on May 30, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

Thank you Steve Nelson. And yes, I believe the number we used (3600ish) only includes k-5 students and does not include Middle School or High School students if I recall correctly. I do agree that branding is a key issue and one I think can be easily solved. I also believe that the district and the Board has very strong hiring habits. The administrators running each of our schools (even the choice schools) are incredibly capable. We are very blessed in that manner. Now, we just need to continue supporting these administrators with the tools they need to create the learning environments for which we're striving. I love our chances. I think the public is engaged, the district is ready and the Board wants to get this done. I am proud and privileged to participate and I know so many others who are also participating and engaged.

Cleave Frink
Willowgate


14 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:50 pm

So now we have to have a special meeting next week so that this week the W/S folks can again present all their old reasons to re-open to the MVWSD Board. The agenda packet indicates some preference for private school over going to Theuerkauf after boundaries are adjusted. If those folks won't attend the new W/S school, what is the point of opening one. If a neighborhood school is so important, we ought to be able to find 400 students whose families are ready, willing, and able to commit. If not, we are going to use funds intended for ALL the students (both bond and operating) to improve one area of town. Only Community Funded (basic aid) districts get to keep their property taxes, we are not one, and if enrollment goes up we are less likely to be one. From my perspective, whatever good will W/S had asking these questions again ten years later is gone for sure now. Sign up the students, or find on-going money. Do not lower our investment in ALL our students. We have the figures on who in our district attends a neighborhood school. Many don't, for many reasons. Those reasons won't be different for a new W/S school. DESTINED TO FAIL!!


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 1, 2015 at 10:30 pm

@Old Steve of Rex Manor

"So now we have to have a special meeting next week so that this week the W/S folks can again present all their old reasons to re-open to the MVWSD Board."

The June 4th agenda [ THIS Thursday night by about 8:25 ] I just read says the Whisman/Slater advocates will get another opportunity for their presentation this week and the June 11th meeting ad perhaps June 18th meeting will be about making some decisions. I don't know when this change to the agenda was made or even when it was requested.

Personally, I have always held that as long as all of our existing schools can stay where they are and continue to operate, then I see no problem with Slater getting a school, EXCEPT that the Board wont allow it by the restrictions they have set.

While there are certain benefits of a 3-strand school, why MUST all schools be identical? Why can't the Board allow some schools to be smaller and still considered viable?


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 1, 2015 at 11:02 pm

Rick R. of Gemello

"It's all about marketing. They need to sell the image of good schools just as much as having good schools."

Public perception does indeed drive the decision of Kinder-age parents. This not only includes the public perception of the schools, but also of the school district itself and how it operates.

The old (basically meaningless) API score system hurt our district very badly over decades and the damage wont soon be repaired without serious and effective efforts across our entire district.

The behavior of the district this century and resulting lack of stability is not exactly helping the public perception of our school district either. Parents who fear that the district may close or otherwise disrupt a whole school, wont be so willing to take that risk on our K-5 schools.

Private schools pay a premium and seek seriously long-term leases for serious money just so that they can offer perspective parents the assurance of stability. Our district should learn this lesson.

We need to market our schools as individual schools each with their own strengths and exciting programs. We need to spread the word to families sooner. By the time the kids reach the edge of K-age, it's too late, the majority of families are in a rush to decide and will not take the time to do full in-depth research. If we could get parents to begin looking at our public schools a year sooner, then old assumptions and word-of-mouth biases may be over-come. Parents with more time to do the research will come to better decisions. I would hope...

We need to have a task force to study and work on ways of making all our schools educationally attractive to K-age families. Old public perceptions can be changed, but we have to actually try.


10 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jun 2, 2015 at 1:05 am

The big problem is that the PACT school has violated the law by mandating parents to donate hundreds of hours of their time. With residents barely able to make ends meet, adding this massive burden is unacceptable. This is a public school and as such ought not to charge tuition, even if it is a non-cash donation of services.

Here is an excerpt from the PACT website:

"What kind of participation is required in Stevenson PACT?

The following are the parent commitments for the current year, and these are subject to change as the school’s needs change year over year:
Work in the classroom two hours per week, per child
One classroom "job" (coordinator, calendar, pet care, etc.)
Chaperone or support two offsite learning excursions (field trips) per year, per child
Serve on one committee (Publicity, Arts Focus, etc.)
Work in support of the school (library, yard duty, etc.)
Attend a 10-hour course on aiding in the classroom (new parents only)
Submit updated TB test result per district requirement"

Of course charging tuition via cash or services would cause a filtering of students and create an exclusivity. I'm sure these parents LOVE being separated from the less affluent in the district! Besides being downright illegal, doesn't this put into perspective the great injustice against the Whisman neighborhood?

Closing the illegally ran PACT school would easily allow the tax paying Whisman neighborhood to re-open their school. How quickly can we get this accomplished?


3 people like this
Posted by People
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Public schools have become the money pit of California, not to mention all the pensions and high salaries and bloating that Govt has become. The best course of action is home schooling or private schools. The dumbing down of America is starting in the public schools, just look at the article on wanting less homework.

To the new folks in the neighborhood, why did you move here and make peoples rent go up? Oh poor baby has to pay big property taxes, did you not think of that when you brought the place? I was paying big property taxes when i first brought here, but one needs to live within there means.


3 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:56 pm

cul·prit
noun
a person who is responsible for a crime or other misdeed.


8 people like this
Posted by Culprit
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jun 3, 2015 at 6:46 am

How can PACT require parent hours and still receive full taxpayer funding? Isn't that illegal?


8 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

As a MVWSD Trustee - let me assure you that "the Board" seems to never have required 3 strand schools. Ever. This is a guidance that came entirely from the staff (District Office). I guess this is why the BATF and DFC are stuck to the "450 to 600 student" one-size fits all school size. These two administrative groups - where told to use that range of numbers, by the staff running the meetings.

- In the MVWSD Program Standards (for SFIP for Jan 2010) "the optimum size" was 350-400. At no time in the last 5 years, have I been able to find a documented case where the staff's current 450-600 enrollment # was adopted by the Board. May exist - who can document that?

- this is Mr. Nelson's private opinion


3 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Folks, There is no specific money attached to class size anymore. 18 classrooms, K-5 three strand: At 20 students = 360 total. At 30 students = 540 total. Add in a couple of T-K classrooms (not programmed in 2010) and it is not hard to approach 600. For those new to these debates there was much consternation back in the day over equity issues arising out of widely varying school size. Since all of the sites could handle 18 classrooms, that was the starting standard school. If some are big and others are small, wouldn't our next argument be over who gets which one, and why?


11 people like this
Posted by Patrick Neschleba
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Parents and teachers have been coming forward to talk about the importance of 3-strand schools at the MVWSD Board meetings, especially in diverse schools (I'm one of them!). It allows for 3 levels of differentiated instruction on certain subjects, and better collaboration amongst the teaching staff, which leads to better outcomes (case in point being Monta Loma, which won the California Distinguished School Award - the State Senator presenting the award even took care to mention this teaching approach!). As a parent with two kids in the schools right now, I see this approach working well for our kids. The implication that we're thinking it because District Staff said so is flat-out wrong, and insulting to the intelligence of the parents and teachers who have been coming forward.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Patrick, I'm only stating that the Board has not adopted this as a standard, not insulting you personally. The Board, through it's formal process of Agenda item selection, has asked that the Administration bring this "minimum 3 strand" (3 classrooms per grade) issue up for Board Agenda discussion. I think we would like to see substantial research data. Why have small 2 strand schools like early Huff and Stevenson succeded? Can some schools stay < 3 strands?
Old Steve, Old Data. If the Teachrs Union does not agree - we will not be allowed to have >24 student K-3rd without loosing substantial state money. I hear both the Huff and Monta Loma parents complaining about that, which agrees with education economics research on Economic Disadvantage student performance in K-3rd.

best, SN is a Trustee of the MVWSD, his 1 of 5 opinion


6 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm

@Mr. Nelson,

Math provided was not intended as data, just example. Probably not good to base school size on state funding, otherwise we would have two storied everything for the shortlived CSR program. Since Palo Alto sold off campuses thirty years ago, I have never wanted to base bond funded construction on the latest political funding fad. Since Bubb and Huff work fine now at almost 600 students, what is wrong with that as an upper bound? I have no objection to schools less than 350 students, if they can be managed by a half-time principal, administered by a half-time secretary, and kept clean by a half-time custodian. Oh yeah, and only heat and light the rooms housing students. All of these "overhead costs" are more efficient when serving more than 450 students.


11 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

Whisman/Slater Neighborhood folks, School finance is hard and complicated. I'm afraid your presentation last night had enough holes to impact overall credibility. There is no guarantee that resident students not yet enrolled will ever enroll, so let us deal with what is.

18 classrooms per neighborhood school at 25 students average each = 450.

Let's allow the two choice programs to remain smaller = 325 students

Even if Slater STEM is choice (not neighborhood) we only have 250 students available from the current 3600 K-5. We can all argue about projections, but you left some things out: increasing pension costs, ending of state temporary taxes, ending of parcel tax. As to the last one, as a rational person who attends a good number of meetings, unlike the once-a-year types among you, I was insulted by Mr. Nelson's threats about votes and opposition to renewing the parcel tax. Your champion acts like a four year old! I do hope you are proud of the trust you have placed in him.


23 people like this
Posted by dollarbin
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 5, 2015 at 10:46 am

dollarbin is a registered user.

My daughter just completed Kindergarten at Monta Loma and I couldn't be happier with our experience. She had a great teacher, great classmates and I think she made excellent academic progress. Last year when we were looking at school options for our child, we went to several open houses and we were impressed with all of the schools that we visited. We ended up choosing to register at Monta Loma based upon lots of factors and we've been very happy with that decision ever since.

I encourage Mountain View parents to seriously consider sending their kids to MVWSD schools. Please be sure to make time to attend open houses because you will learn so much more about the schools than you can find in test scores, demographic statistics or Mountain View Voice comment threads, and I think you will discover that we have some amazing schools.


17 people like this
Posted by VC
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

@ Old Steve,

Thank you, to you and everyone else who took the time to listen to the presentation.

Hopefully this helps in clarifying the calculations:
Numbers were backed into based on assumption that there are 3600 students in the District.

For 2 choice programs: First assume 300 students per program. 300/2 strands/6 grades=25 students/class

For 7 remaining schools: First assume 3,000 students total. 3,000/7 = 428 students. 428 student/3 strands/6 grades = ~24 students per class

From what I understand, the district goal is to bring the class sizes down to 24, so these class sizes would be within range of what is realistic.

There are no holes, only facts which may or may not have been explained enough in detail during a presentation with a 10 minute time limit.

Huff and Stevenson both started small and then grew into the successful programs that they are today. As a rational person, seems it would make sense to you to start small and then grow.

Finally, I am extremely proud of any public official who has the principle to stand behind the things which he originally ran his election campaign on and believes in doing what is truly right, rather than caving in to political pressures.


9 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 6, 2015 at 12:49 am

@VC North Whisman

Sticking to one specific point I am curious about...

You wrote:
"Finally, I am extremely proud of any public official who has the principle to stand behind the things which he originally ran his election campaign on and believes in doing what is truly right, rather than caving in to political pressures."

So, let me make sure I correctly understand here.
A politician makes a very specific campaign promise on a highly complex issue with far-reaching consequences, BEFORE they become privy to all the detailed information they will only have access to AFTER they get elected and AFTER they spend months or years deeply immersed in the information and AFTER they spend months/years getting input from ALL effected parties, and fully understanding the full impact of keeping that promise, you STILL feel the politician should ALWAYS keep that campaign promise no matter what the undesirable consequences of doing so? And you would be proud of that politician for ignoring everything they have learned over many months or years and keeping the promise anyway?

Because a politicians campaign promise is the most important thing, right?
OK, I get it now, thanks, I never thought of it that way before.
Two wrongs always do make a right.


20 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

PACT parent,
Public documents are not (or at least should not) be information that only gov. staff or insiders are "privy to." There is a CA Public Records Act that I have extensively used ('cause it had to be 'pried out') to get MVWSD data in the past 3 years. You are misinformed on open goverment - if you think this open access has to happen AFTER someone is elected!

Strident petitions, from parent groups representing 1% of the electorate households - do not sway me from my basic efforts toward equality of all communities, and equity toward the poor. Because PACT uses up most the communication bandwidth, and packs staff appointed committees, does not mean they speak for, or run the wider community.
IMO
SN is one of the Trustees of the MVWSD, these are his own opinions


39 people like this
Posted by tax payer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

I don't understand where the Whisman/Slater people were during the last 6 months or so when the district made so many attempts at getting community members to join these task forces. If you didn't step up when you were asked to volunteered, you shouldn't be complaining now at the 11th hour.


4 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 8, 2015 at 10:10 am

@VC

>>There are no holes, only facts which may or may not have been explained enough in detail during a presentation with a 10 minute time limit.

Then I ask, if you knew it was only ten minutes, why spend any time on showing property tax increases as part of funding a new school? It has no bearing, as about 75% of what we spend on each student is funded through the state, in excess of local property taxes. The other 25% includes parcel tax, but has no relationship to new home sales. I appreciate your clarification of the student breakdowns. A new school would be a great idea. We elect a school board to serve as the fiduciary for the interests of ALL the students, and ALL the taxpayers. I believe those interests can be met with a new school when we have 4,000 students TK-5, and not before. Yes, we could do it now and hope. I'd rather somebody show me enrolled students whose parents have committed to make their child available to attend the new school when requested by the district.


5 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 8, 2015 at 11:20 pm

@tax payer of Waverly Park
You asked:
"I don't understand where the Whisman/Slater people were during the last 6 months or so when the district made so many attempts at getting community members to join these task forces. If you didn't step up when you were asked to volunteered, you shouldn't be complaining now at the 11th hour. "

A good question, but it's a very old political tactic I've seen used for decades by all levels of politicians. The same reason why we didn't hear any "bias" accusations until AFTER the BATF and DFC gave their recommendations.

The names of the people on the BATF and DFC were known before they began work and certainly any Whisman/Slater people could have looked at the list and see no names they recognized as being from their area. They could have easily asked who each of the members were at the start and THEN at the START could have made their concerns known and asked for a little more time to recruit W/S area volunteers.

Politically, when you believe that your goal cannot be supported by the facts and by an open process, what you do is sit quietly on the sidelines and do nothing until the outcome you expected took place and THEN start screaming accusations. THEN get up and pretend you didn't know anything was in process. THEN come up with the same old arguments and hail-mary-pass ideas to try and up-end the open process.

Just look at the comments here in the MV-Voice. The W/s people knew what was going on.

The Whisman/Slater advocates knew at least a year and a half ago this process had begun, they also knew it was swinging again into a full-court-press back before December even. If they felt they could get their preferred outcome through an open and fair process, they would have made SURE the Whisman/Slater community would have been fully informed AND fully involved.

But, politically, if they were involved in the process, if they had a voting participant or 3 on the BATF or DFC, then they could NOT get away with screaming about bias at the end.

ONLY by sitting things out and intentionally not getting involved until the process is over can they complain about it.

It's one of the standard tactics in the politicians bag of tricks.
If you've been around long enough and observed enough political warfare going on, you get to recognize these well-worn tricks of the political trade.

May I also remind everyone that at EVERY BATF meeting, Trustee Wheeler was present carefully observing things and other Trustees were present for almost every meeting. Some key meetings even had Nelson, Coladonato, Lambert and Chaing.

I have every confidence that if ANY of the Trustees present, or participating or observing had noticed ANY problems in the process or ANY bias, that they would have spoken up and taken the proper steps at that time. I cannot accept the idea that all those Trustees ignored improper actions or allowed any bias from effecting the process or outcome.

No, it's just an old political tactic to wait until you lose, as expected, and as the facts demanded, then complain.


11 people like this
Posted by Corruption
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jun 9, 2015 at 12:13 am

It's clear that the very highly involved PACT parents have corrupted the process. The very basis of this program that MANDATES a high cost to parents is simply a grab for public funds to pay for a private school tuition. Unfortunately, the continuation of this illegal program is costing the Whisman neighborhood their school. Work the numbers! The money saved by closing PACT could easily get the job done.

The threat of the PACT parents pulling their kids out and educating them privately is a joke. Go ahead! My bet is that while some will go, most will not be willing to pay for it.


3 people like this
Posted by Kathy H
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Interesting graphic... Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2015 at 9:25 am

@corruption of North Bayshore

"It's clear that the very highly involved PACT parents..."

Nothing prevented the Whisman/Slater from getting involved in the BATF. Their advocates on the Board had plenty of time and full advance info to make all efforts to contact the W/S neighborhood associations to get them involved. The various schools across the district were given full info on the BATF and I know various schools did pass on the info to their families.

I also know that the BATF call for volunteers went out to the MV-Voice and that the district reached out to the well-known W/S advocates directly.

Then, once the BATF membership names were made public, ANY of the W/S advocates could have easily looked at the names to find familiar W/S advocates or to ask where each of the BATF members lived. If the W/S advocates WANTED to be involved as members of the BATF, they could have said so at the beginning and gotten on the BATF even after the names were announced.

The truth is that they did NOT want on the BATF so they could complain about the results they knew was coming due to the facts. By sitting-out the process, the W/S advocates get to scream "bias" or "corruption", but if the W/S advocates had chosen to get on the BATF, then they could not complain about the results they were a part of.

It's an old political tactic.
If you KNOW the facts don't support your desires and you know you're going to lose, then boycott the process, wait until the conclusion is reached THEN start screaming about bias.

"have corrupted the process."

Then choice of the W/S advocates to boycott the process is one form of corruption and that's what the W/S advocates did.

" The very basis of this program that MANDATES a high cost to parents"
READ the LINKS
Web Link
and
Web Link

Old political tactics are well-known to those of us old enough to have seen them used multiple times.


5 people like this
Posted by BATF
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I'll be honest with you, I saw the BATF info asking for volunteers but really did not understand what it was, what it was really established to do or its significance. Yes, I read everything online but again, I did not understand the impact the task force had on the schools and choice programs until late in the game. Maybe in the future, if the district needs volunteers for task forces or committees, they can set up info meetings at each school or send someone to PTA or ELAC meetings to explain what is needed, unless I missed that too! Maybe they could also require one or more representatives from each school, including elementary, middle and high schools before a committee can be formed, depending on how large the committee is. In the meantime, hoping for the best for all of us. ;o)


7 people like this
Posted by whisman residents knew about BATF
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Bob Weaver attended the first meeting and read his letter.
Once they understood that BATF was going to make a rational decision they stopped showing up.
Not an honest group.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2015 at 10:20 pm

@BATF of Rex Manor

Hi neighbor,

"I'll be honest with you, I saw the BATF info asking for volunteers but really did not understand what it was, what it was really established to do or its significance."

I'll also be honest with you, that was my experience as well. It was only after a couple meetings had taken place that one of our most aware parents realized the magnitude of the situation and sounded the alarm.

Makes me wonder when the first MV-Voice poster from the Whisman/Slater neighborhood chimed-in with a comment about the BATF.

At the very least Trustee Nelson knew what the BATF was going to be doing and the significance of the BATF for the Whisman/Slater area and had plenty of time to go rouse the W/S families into action in plenty of time to join the BATF.

Even assuming everybody on the inside and closely associated with the W/S area were not paying attention until the list of names got published, certainly they would have looked at the list of names and failing to recognize any well-known W/S advocates on the list, they should have made their concerns known at that time, or certainly by the first or second meeting.

While, it's possible the entire W/S neighborhood and their insiders were all somehow otherwise occupied, it seems highly suspicious that they all suddenly woke-up the moment the BATF and DFC finalized their recommendations.

"Maybe in the future, if the district needs volunteers for task forces or committees,"

Many organizations assume all other people will automatically and fully understand like the insiders do when they announce something. We had the same problem with the email about registration of our kids for the following school year. These critical emails were labeled so poorly that many people ignored them.

The people who write these critical announcement emails should write them with the thought in-mind that most people don't have the time to fully read and understand every email they get. They should make the subject line scream that this email is of vital interest to all of the families of the district.

"Maybe they could also require one or more representatives from each school,"

These task forces or committees require a huge investment of time and diligent effort, if we put too many restrictions on the membership, we may find it nearly impossible to get enough people to volunteer.

They don't get paid after all.


3 people like this
Posted by Troubled Water
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 11, 2015 at 12:27 pm

"most people don't have the time to fully read and understand every email they get."

But they do have the time to troll the mv voice message boards :)


9 people like this
Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2015 at 1:20 am

Anyone who attended the board meeting tonight can tell you exactly why parent are opting out of the district in droves. What an absolute mess, the board is completely dysfunctional. Steve Nelson is out of control. A recall effort needs to be started ASAP.


3 people like this
Posted by PACT parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 12, 2015 at 1:45 am

@MV Mama of Old Mountain View
You wrote:
"Anyone who attended the board meeting tonight can tell you exactly why parent are opting out of the district in droves. What an absolute mess, the board is completely dysfunctional."

That's just one of many reasons.

"Steve Nelson is out of control. A recall effort needs to be started ASAP."

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger interested in the job? If not...

Far be it from me to... but a recall is virtually impossible and Nelson has nothing to lose and everything to gain by a recall effort. Whether he wins or loses, he still wins and everyone else sill loses.

He either ends up the "great martyr" for the "just cause" or he end up claiming he now has a total mandate to continue behaving as he has.

Regardless of the outcome, the district will pay the costs and we still don't have a serious and motivated and likely to be elected candidate to replace him.

I understand the instinct, but we need to be mindful of the way the real-ish world of politics works.


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