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MVLA teachers condemn trustee comments about minority students

Original post made on Apr 20, 2018

A board member for the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District suggested Monday night that encouraging more minority students to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes would reduce academic rigor and attract students who are not "serious" about doing well in school.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 20, 2018, 1:25 PM

Comments (45)

20 people like this
Posted by MV HS Parent
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 20, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Yep, I can see where this is all heading, and it ain't good for no one.

Maybe MVWSD Board Member Jose Gutierrez can step in and counter Dave and tell us all how we are all racists and support segregation.


49 people like this
Posted by MVLA Teacher
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm

I have had numerous interactions with Mr. Dave. Every other board member I have worked with over the past 15 years has wanted to make the district better for ALL kids. Mr. Dave seems to hold that some kids are worth more time and resources than others. A number of teachers (and even some administrators) have shared that they believe that Mr. Dave does not hold equity as a prioritized value. I think the board made a mistake appointing him to the board (he did not initially win his seat via an election).


17 people like this
Posted by Christine
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 20, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Diversity makes ALL students stronger and more able to succeed in the world. The district has worked long and hard to give every student the tools to succeed. There’s more to go, but we have come a long way. Mr Dave’s attitude sounds antiquated and in need of further education and understanding. He needs some intensive training in diversity and inclusion, and how that can make an educational community thrive.


15 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

It's a little challenging to find the policies and process for removing School Board members from their seat but even with my "poor study habits" I found the bylaws and I'm narrowing in the required next steps.

Web Link

You can't walk back those comments Sanjay Dave just like you can't hide your prejudices.


14 people like this
Posted by lan
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Now that is blatant racism Mr. Dave. Please leave the district. Our kids do not need you, nor will they benefit by having you as board member. Just leave.


16 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 20, 2018 at 4:05 pm

It's ironic that someone with the name "Sanjay Dave" (a Hindu name) would make a comment about minority students if he's a minority himself (I don't know, I never met the guy).

Just based on my personal experiences with my circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, I'd hazard a guess that the dominant minorities in AP classes are Asian (including from India) and male, with a smattering of Latino, black, and/or female students. So was Mr Dave referring to Latinos and blacks, specifically?


17 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 20, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Clearly this man is not qualified for that position. If he doesn't resign immediately, he should be fired. This is not a point of view you can just apologize about to make it go away.


7 people like this
Posted by @Alex M
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 4:17 pm

@Alex M
If you read the article, it was not Dave, but "science departments at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools" in their presentation "made it a top priority to get more minority students to enroll in AP science classes".
Honestly, I think the race, gender or income should not be a factor in enrollment to AP classes, and the top priority for the science department should be teaching kids and preparing them to college.


32 people like this
Posted by Former Latina AP student
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 20, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Wow- here we are in 2018 and some still think that some minorities (lets be real, this means Latino and Black kids in our district) do not belong in AP classes. Why? Will they be taking up the precious room that your kid (who may also be a minority as someone else pointed out) will need in order to get to their top tier college. Who says AP classes are not necessary for higher education?
The fact is that AP classes are open to any and all who think they need a challenge. I was one of those kids who saw no one else of Latino background when I was in HS in the 80’s. I was pushed into those classes by my Black advisor who said you WILL take those classes, and you WILL go to college. Guess what, I did-with a 4.0 GPA and scholarships to any school I wanted to go to from Hawaii to Alaska (wanted to study Marina Biology).
Why would you say that these classes and higher edcuation should only be reserved for some? We’re in very dangerous territory here if this mindset continues in this district.


7 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 4:54 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

The poor MVLA school board doesn't seem to be too bright or qualified, so any input by an intelligent, competent trustee should be considered carefully. I'm not commenting on the merit, or lack thereof, of potential AP students. I'm "merely" commenting that the school board really doesn't seem to me to have the collective intelligence and intellect to form such policy.


8 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

I would agree with many of the assessments of Mr. Dave. I did not vote for him when I had the chance. because of some (suspicious to me, a progressive) attitudes he seemed to have, talking after a candidate's forum. Hispanics are not a favored class, economic unfortunates are not a favored class (Catholics are not ,,,,, Blacks are not ... Creoles are not ,,, Protestents are not ... Quebeckers are not ,,,).

I'm sorry - but Mr. Dave seems to - perhaps - represent that type of thinking, imported from South Asia, toward some of the 'undesirables' that some sectors of that society see toward downtrodden classes. It's happening in Miramar, against Muslims. It's happening in India, by the Hindi National party. It's certainly happened in California, against Native Americans, Californios, Chinese and Latin American immigrants and African-Americans (California - at least some small progress) [though, see the commentary today from national commentator Leon Pitts Jr. on racism, "What happened in Starbucks isn't really about Starbucks')

Wealth SEGREGATION - based on economics, seated in long standing cultural racism. I can't see that Mr. Dave is free of that "thought hell hole".

Which is why ELECTION CAMPAIGNS (not walk-on-"candidates") are the best way for local democracies to run things. Mr. Dave WILL BE UP FOR RE-ELECTION. Remember this.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

BTW, Sarah Hawthorne is a stand-up woman! Yeah for a socially conscious science educator! Yeah for the values of the majority of Mountain View residents. Women heroes, even of the save-a-jet-plane-load type (SouthWest pilot) often do not get the public praise they deserve.

Go Girl! Sammy Jo (pilot), teacher Sarah.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Tammie Jo the pilot. opps! (see, I was wondering for days who the female pilot was - and it has not made FRONT PAGE like "Sully")


20 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2018 at 9:31 pm

So how are they going to ensure more minority students take AP classes? Tell us the methods, prove Mr. Dave wrong! I think first there needs to be a careful study of why they don't enroll...


28 people like this
Posted by Former Latina AP Student
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 21, 2018 at 6:34 am

To Elephant in the Room- you ask how are we going to ensure more Latino and Black kids take AP classes? How about changing the mindset that they aren’t capable of doing the work? How about being more inclusive, which means making them feel comfortable and welcome in places where they may feel left out or not wanted? How about having teachers and advisors who challenge them rather than keeping them in the lowest track?
In all the years I’ve worked and mentored Latino kids in education, I have found that they are just as capable and yes, dare I say it, smart as any other kid in the classroom. In fact they are smarter because they have to deal with obstacles to learning that other kids don’t have. For the most part they don’t have access to paid tutoring or special classes to prepare for this exam or that. Still, they can do the work and with encouragement, they shine.
We don’t live in a caste system here (although we have enough problems with our own racism), public schools are not just available for the middle class and rich. In fact, if you have a problem with your kid not being challenged and you can afford a private school, then it’s your option to put your kid in private school. Let’s not go down the hole that this despicable trustee is going because a good, challenging education has benefits for everyone...not just the middle clas and rich.
That’s a start, anyway.


5 people like this
Posted by luiz
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 21, 2018 at 7:06 am

100% racism!!


Locally speaking forced let me say again forced diversity for the sake of diversity when a student may not be ready for AP is ignorant. Majority or minority is irrelevant the right kids need to be in the classes not kids struggling to make Bs in normal classes.

As long as the young man or women is capable and their previous scores PROVE IT they should get a shot at AP regardless of gender or color.

Forcing it to meet a diversity standard would be something altogether different.


27 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Apr 21, 2018 at 7:17 am

There's many proven ways to get more minority enrollment in STEM, and all are essentially the same methods as recruiting more young women into STEM (or AP):
1) recruiting more minority teachers in STEM (or AP)
2) sponsoring more minority student STEM clubs
3) most importantly, supporting STEM in the pre-HS years, academic identity is more malleable in middle school than high school

Trustee Dave or anyone who holds views that minority outreach isn't worth it should start dismantling those views by reading about Carl Hayden High School and their undocumented Latino high schoolers who beat MIT at the underwater robotics competition, article: Web Link or watch their teacher, Faridodin Lajvardi's TED Talk: Web Link This topic is also featured at the Tech Museum's inspiring Dream Big IMAX documentary.

Something else worth exploring is non-AP hands on college level courses, see Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy from Santa Barbara at this year's Maker Faire or this video about their teacher, Amir Abo-Shaeer and the lack of hands on STEM: Web Link Many local private schools have created non-AP honors courses, and there's research that shows such courses have more broad enrollment.


7 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 7:49 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Yes Chris! I'd disagree with @Former Latina AP Student. (first of all, like Mr. Pitts, I don't think you can probably ever step out of your skin :) Mr. Dave is not necessarily a "despicable trustee" or a despicable person. He now has on obvious public display - despicable racially/class influenced educational expectations.

If I could just rudely insult him out of office! I'd try. It won't work. Sending him to reeducation, as suggested by @Christine? Ah, the Board majority would have to vote on that, or strip him of any committee/laison/Bd.officer assignments (been there/done that myself!)

But Mr. Dave can rehabilitate HIS SELF! Let the Mountain View community start to see him report, at Bd meetings, that he is personally VOLUNTEERING HIS PRECIOUS TIME to Crittenden, Castro, and Theurkauf [ the lowest economic feeder schools to the MVLA High school district. ] Or maybe the AVID program, or Alta Vista High!

Out in Waverly Park - particularly at Huff Elementary, it is way too easy for parents to become isolated from the realities of life, 'on the other side of the tracks'.

Mr. Dave can rehabilitate himself - by his humble public service, directly to the poor families and their students. He will learn alot!

(Chris and Christina - it's rehabilitative justice)


10 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2018 at 10:35 am

@former Latina AP student
I am NOT saying that schools DON'T need to attract/retain Latino and Black students to AP classes. I was just wondering about the methods. If it's selectively lowering enrollment criteria, it's one thing. If it's encouraging students to apply even if their peer group does not; it it's providing information/access to students whose parents may not be very knowledgeable about the school system - it's another thing.
The district or the schools need to be clear on a) what are the obstacles for enrollment of minority students b)ways of eliminating these obstacles (encouragement, tutoring, peer help, etc). Mr. Dave just said what many, many parents are unfortunately thinking. It is the school's and district's job to address their fears.


10 people like this
Posted by MVHS Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 10:58 am

I'm all for encouraging and helping minority students in AP classes. However, the article and some of the comments seem to suggest the achievement gap has been closed, with statements like this:

"Former Associate Superintendent Brigitte Sarraf told the Voice that reaching parity in AP classes -- meaning the percentage of Latino and other underrepresented minority students in AP classes matched the rest of the school -- was a proud achievement for the district, particularly given that AP test results remained equally strong."

These statements seem at odds with results from the state scores (CAASPP):
-- In 2016, only 23% of Hispanic / Latino students at MVHS met or exceeded the state standards for Math (this was down from 31% in 2015). 85% of Asian students and 76% of Whites met / exceeded the standards.
-- Similar results for English. 40% of Hispanic / Latino students met / exceeded standards, while 88% of Asians and 85% of Whites met or exceeded standards.

With this 40%+ gap in achievement on the basic high school standards, I think it is a fair question to ask whether parity in attendance of AP classes is a reasonable goal. Should the focus not be on bringing the Hispanic / Latino students up to high school standards before encouraging college-level AP classes? What is the explanation for the disparity between claims of parity while the CAASPP scores still show this huge gap?

I'm open to hearing the explanations for these goals and disparity of scores, but I think it is unfair to criticize Sanjay Dave for asking questions about this strategy. His concern about the AP preparedness of Hispanic / Latino students seems based on measurable results in the CAASPP, not a sign of racism.

The author of this article should be ashamed for not doing some basic research on the facts rather than just repeating opinions and accusations. It took me 5 minutes to find the disparity in CAASPP standards achievement.


You can find the CAASPP scores here:
Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by avocadocar
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 21, 2018 at 11:11 am

Students in school should speak English, period, end of report. AP classes must not be altered because of their lack of understanding.

I had an acquaintance who worked in maintenance at my apt complex. His son was 8 when we met. He is 15 now. The dad speaks English fairly well, but the son is clueless. He said he wants the son to know Spanish and that is all they speak at home. Said the boy could learn English in school. I begged him to go for a walk with the boy for 10 min every day and speak only English. Offered to set up a scholarship. The dad was highly insulted and stopped speaking to me. Oh well ....


9 people like this
Posted by Kevin Forestieri
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Apr 21, 2018 at 11:14 am

Kevin Forestieri is a registered user.

@MVHS Parent

I think you're confusing CASSPP performance with AP participation rates and AP test scores. I've written about the achievement gap on state-standardized tests here

Web Link

and here

Web Link

and here

Web Link

and here

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Former Latina AP Studernt
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 21, 2018 at 11:46 am

Steve Nelson- I disagree with you because racist = despicable in my book, which you would not know as a privileged white man. And, yes, please school me as a Latina immigrant on not “stepping out of my skin” as if I don’t get reminded of that every.single.day.
If English Language Learners were not removed from class every 15 minutes (it seems) for some language enrichment-they would be up to par with their peers. When I came to this country there were no ELL’s or special programs for language learners, and guess what- I learned English pretty quick. We also didn’t track kids back then. Tracking kids starts almost in elementary school when you have the ELL’s leaving classrooms and missing out on very important instruction. So, it starts very early and the cycle is hard to break throughout an ELL’s schooling.
I will probably get lambasted for this view because much time and money has been spent on studying language learners but I think the only impact on YEARS of studies and programs has done more disservice than good-just look at the continued disparities in the achievement gap. But don’t take it from me, someone who started school without English and who did very well without any extra pull outs for Language. You can go look at the studies for other minorities and the achievement gap.
I happen to believe that kids who are challenged will rise up if given the chance. If you keep those kids tracked at performing at the basic level-that’s where they’ll stay. Unfortunately, it’s ok for some to keep the status quo.


7 people like this
Posted by MVHS Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 12:40 pm

@Kevin Forestieri

I'm not confusing CAASPP with AP scores, they are both part of our understanding of the achievement gap. Your reporting in this article suggests that there is parity in AP scores, but fails to mention the significant lack of parity in CAASPP scores. The CAASPP scores suggest to me that Hispanic / Latino students would be less well prepared for AP courses -- that seemed to be Sanjay Dave's concern -- are the kids prepared to perform well in the AP classes?

Without that context, the article seems to suggest Sanjay Dave is simply speaking with racist preconceptions.

Have you done any analysis of the claimed parity in AP scores? I can't find publicly available MVLA AP scores. It would be useful to ask the MVLA administration if there is a correlation between how kids perform on the AP and how they perform in the CAASPP? In other words, can AP performance be predicted by CAASPP scores?


6 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 2:19 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Former Latina AP Student. Latina Former AP Student - is all I was trying to convey. There was an interesting TV talk show on the #metoo topic. (The View) The commentary ran to; was it ever possible for a perpetuator to have a way of redeeming themselves, and what that word would mean and look like. Certainly NOT Returning to Power in the same way. And NOT, "I'm sorry you may have misunderstood the intent."

I don't know if you can catch it, but the comments on Mel Gibson's despicable anti-semetic rant were interesting.

I don't think anyone on the MVLA Board, or the Superintendent, actually understands / gut level / the issues of the Economically Disadvantaged. I'm just hoping my former mentor-teacher, the newest (only?) Latina administrator can work some miracle in MVLA's District Office. She was great in AVID mentor at the HS level.

Miami Herald / Leon Pitts Jr. / Ap 17, 2018
Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Kevin Forestieri
Mountain View Voice Staff Writer
on Apr 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Kevin Forestieri is a registered user.

@MVHS Parent

While the state's standardized tests and AP exams are both important indicators of student performance, they are very different tests. It's entirely possible that the district has reached parity in AP enrollment/performance at the same time that SBAC test scores have lagged among Latino students. We're not even talking about the same group of students here.

Happy to dig up some more detailed info on AP performance and address some of your concerns, but not in a hostile conversation over Town Square. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]


38 people like this
Posted by Cleave Frink
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Cleave Frink is a registered user.

Wow. Such an interesting and intense conversation. As a black man, I'm always intrigued when people of other races get together to try and figure out how help people from my ethnic group do better. When I was in high school, I would have been content taking lower rated classes because I was a bit lazy as a student. Unfortunately, I played elite tennis as a kid and all the other kids on my high school team were taking higher level classes. So, it was this peer pressure that got me to take higher level classes, even though both my parents had higher level educations. Turns out that I loved it.

Look folks, sometimes the reason black kids from lower socio-economic backgrounds don't take higher level classes and AP courses is because we don't have others in our families who took those courses. We don't have family members who went to Stanford or Berkeley. We don't always have parents in the PTA or who are actively involved in our schools...they're busy working and paying the bills. We don't always have family members who attended expensive private colleges or parents who have jobs at the executive level of publicly traded companies.

Often, our families are working class, and our parents haven't gone to college, or only one generation of our family went to college. Often kids, such as myself, play sports and are focused on playing that sport in college and view taking such higher level classes as a GPA risk that could negatively affect recruitment. But you guys don't have these answers because you're not really asking these questions. You're looking around in these classes and the student body, you see white kids, you see Indian kids, you see Asian kids and only one or two black kids and see a problem.

That's fine. I applaud the interest in getting a more diverse group of kids to participate. I think what most people object to is installing kids who aren't prepared for AP level classes, in AP level classes only to watch them fail, slow down the rest of the class and accidentally damage their chances of getting into the colleges of their choice. And to be fair, not all black kids are athletes and many of those kids still don't take higher level classes, and again, it's because they don't always have the support at home to take these challenges. How can we help them?

My suggestion is to target a group of students who can be prepared to take these classes. Chat with their parents. Get them early, say in 8th grade, and prepare them for this course work in advance. Then, magically, you'll have a group of black students taking AP classes when they reach this level. All this supposition is ridiculous and pointless. Get your hands dirty and get to work already and stop pontificating about how cool it is to help the disadvantaged. Many of us are not as disadvantaged as you might think, many of us are just distracted by other life challenges.

As for Mr. Dave's comments, I'll say this. I mentioned earlier that I am a black man. And I happen to know Mr. Dave personally. I ran a campaign with him, recently. I spent time at his home, met his family. I worked my ass off at a difficult time in my life for the sake of my community along side Mr. Dave. He worked hard with me, he supported me and my family, he became a friend of my family and I care deeply for him as a person and I am thankful to him for his work in our community. Mr. Dave's comments may have been unfortunate. They are not a sign of any hidden racism or any despicable nature within. He is a wonderful person who seems to have made a mistake, a mistake he has apparently acknowledged. One of the truly despicable things about this area is that somehow, people aren't allowed to make mistakes. People aren't allowed to miscommunicate, or have a bad idea about a process.

None of you are perfect. Any of you who claim you've never made a public statement at work or elsewhere in your lives that was faulty or inappropriate, or just plain wrong is ludicrous. It happens. Mr. Dave has apologized for his comments and I believe his body of work in this community outweighs this one mistake. If any of you have evidence of a pattern of behavior from Mr. Dave, then let's talk. But you don't. You just don't.

So, let's just get off the high horses, and focus on the problem at hand, which is supposed to be figuring out how to get lower socio-economically challenged kids in AP classes so that they can be eligible to attend some of these fantastic schools we have around here and elsewhere in the country, thus rising the tide for all boats.

Cleave Frink
Co-Chair, Measure B
MVWSD Task Force Member
Mountain View Parent
Human that regularly makes mistakes


6 people like this
Posted by None of you IS perfect
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2018 at 3:54 pm

None of you IS perfect is a registered user.

"None" means not even one.


15 people like this
Posted by MV AP Teacher
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm

If you haven't listened to the audio, I suggest going to the board audio of the board meeting and hearing his comments for yourself. Then maybe you'll figure out why many of us are calling for his resignation. (2:34 of the audio)

Dave's comment, which he went on to explain for several minutes, indicates that he is not familiar with the Board of Trustees' own goals. Those goals he was questioning came from the board down to departments.

On top of that, he made the correlation between students of color and a decrease in rigor - that is not the case!

Finally, when you go listen to that audio file of the board meeting, go to about 1 hour and 10(ish) minutes. He begins wondering why parents of our EL students don't attend meetings in the evening. A very eloquent MV parent shot him down very quickly.


11 people like this
Posted by Former Latina AP Student
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 21, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Cleave Frink-yes, I agree that we need to get these kids into AP classes. Maybe you can ask your friend what he plans to do to get more Latinos (who make up almost 1/2 of the student body) into AP classes if he is serious about his statement that he doesn’t think less of any students in the district.

In the report it stated that the Latino kids in the AP classes aren’t failing which is a concern many seem to have. I for one will keep encouraging and supporting Latino kids who want the extra challenge and whose parents may not be aware or able to advocate for their kids.


6 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2018 at 7:02 pm

I happen to cross paths with many minority students and I know for a fact that most teachers are really looking out for bright kids who don't have the necessary supports at home. But they cannot do it all. they cannot do home visits and ensure kids read 20 minutes a day. They can't make the parents take their kids to the library on the weekends, let alone a museum (even though there are ways to get free passes).


9 people like this
Posted by Cleave Frink
a resident of Willowgate
on Apr 21, 2018 at 9:33 pm

Cleave Frink is a registered user.

@Former Latina AP Student,

One thing I know about my friend is that after making a mistake, he’ll get to work setting it right. Maybe you should make your suggestions to him (and not here) and the both of you can get something done that can help everyone in our community get better.

The mistake has been made. What I’ll be looking for is what happens next. Because this is what makes a good man, what makes a good leader, what makes a great member of our community. Lots of people prefer to throw away folks who make mistakes and I’m just not built this way. I’m ok with people making a mistake or two, picking themselves up and getting back on track. Most of us do this on the daily. So, I’ve got some


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:18 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

"What happens next"? (Dave's move) Or a more proactive: 'What can happen next?'

The California Voting Rights Act can be applied to this district!

It would force district election (zones), giving "protected class" voters and residents a proportional voice, and a chance of an Hispanic MVLA Trustee. Joaquin Avila has passed away, but his work on ensuring minority group voting right, for which he earned a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1996), should NOT BE IGNORED!

Hispanic and other voters in North of El Camino can drastically change the pattern of "wealthy Trustees walk on" that characterizes MVLA 'elections'. At.large.elections have given away all the Trustee positions, over this century, to those living South of El Camino (I checked with a Public Records Act request).

This fall, I publicly asked for the MVLA Board to begin the process of district elections. I warned them that they were in legal jeopardy of a civil rights lawsuit. The have sat on their collective duffs (not surprised).

So, if you are a member of "a protected class" ("Latina", Latino) you need to use the civil rights tools that Avila and MALDEF has left you (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund). But YOU need to do this initiation. I'm a privileged white man (the Old Gringo). I cannot file (no "legal standing"!)

Attorney Kevin Shenkman, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project

This is a sure bet. The MVLA district will bear the full legal costs /both sides/ if they resist (and inevitably loose). So, I will be more than glad to put up $40,000 of my own money (where my mouth is), if needed, to get this started. But the process is usually a 'relatively' quick slam-dunk!

Steven Nelson, retired MVWSD Trustee, 30 yr. MV resident, 3rd generation Californian


[check out Menlo Park city council "district elections" civil rights process. There are now dozens of such in-process and completed actions. School districts, in violation, have no effective recourse OTHER THAN to capitulate]

San Diego Union general background "In 2016, 21 cities in the state held district elections for the first time.
Web Link

[Modesto SD] Web Link
[Dublin USD] Web Link


lawyer Avila passes [March 16], American Bar Association Journal Web Link

Avila in Wikipedia Web Link)


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 22, 2018 at 9:25 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

here is the Contact information I should have included for SVREP.org where:

Attorney Kevin Shenkman is handling many cases of "cease and desist" legal letters, and litigation in the very few cases where that has been required against school districts

Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by @MV HS parent
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 22, 2018 at 3:39 pm

You are right, Mr. Gutierrez does not know that he is working to the detriment of the students he thinks he is trying to protect. I hope he figures it out. He has already ruined a lot.


12 people like this
Posted by Hoping for the best
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 23, 2018 at 9:26 am

I understand that people from time to time have things come out of their mouths wrong, especially at a late night meeting after a full day of work when one is tired. I myself have made this mistake, so I hope to keep an open mind here and not "throw the first stone".

However, these comments do trouble me. My own experience goes very much against what Mr. Dave has implied. I was once a bright kid who was behind in school simply because the poor public school I attended had no resources to adequately teach any of the kids in their care. But I was bright, determined and incredibly hard working and I was lucky enough to have adults in my life who recognized that and encouraged me to keep moving forward. I was very behind, but able to catch up after 1 year of solid work and late nights studying at a better school. Please do not discount children simply for being behind. Education and growth is not linear. With enough motivation a child can make great progress.

On the other hand, my Mexican husband has always been very bright, hard working, and his family was able to support him and provide him with a great education and now he's a highly respected engineer at Google.

My children (who are half Mexican and half white) will be entering your high school district in only a few short years. How will teachers, staff, and administrators view them? Will they see their beautiful brown skin and think they are not capable of much? Will they hear their dad works at Google and that will somehow save them from these stereotypes?

My hope for people in general, but especially educators is that they are able to see individual kids for who they are - their talents, their motivations, their goals in life, and their challenges in an effort to offer the right support. I do hope Mr. Dave's comments are not shared by others in the district, or himself. I appreciate not pushing everyone to take AP classes if they don't want to, but I hope we are making those decisions based on the child's motivations and personality and future goals, not simply their race.


4 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Teachers do not make assumptions (or maybe they do but they are mostly open minded). If they see a bright child they always try to support the student. The problem is that most of the support comes (or does not come) from family.
I am not trying to say the families do not WANT to provide support; sometimes they can't. But what I am getting at is that the role of the school is limited.
@hoping for the best, I am sure your children will be fine. Because I am sure they have the support at home every child should ideally have.


8 people like this
Posted by Nice
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm

I'm enjoying these conversations where "Elephant in the room" does a great job of roleplaying their name as the embodiment of the underlying racism that lies within our society that people don't want to talk about. Oh, wait, that's not what they're trying to do?


4 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2018 at 7:49 pm

@Nice
Yes, I am well aware of the way many people think (which may be perceived as racism, or maybe it IS racism). But, what happens if we don't address those, ahem, concerns? We stay superficial, and the real conversations happen only anonymously or between good friends.
Look, the phrase "let's ensure there are more minority students in AP classes" is meaningless. First, who are minority students? Indian-American, Latino, Black? How do we define which kids we want to attract? Saying "socio-economically disadvantaged" carries more meaning. The next question is: why are certain kids underrepresented in AP classes? There was already a hypothesis above: since test scores for certain groups of students are lower, it means they will be underrepresented in AP classes. I am sorry, I don't believe that AP exams are "very different" from CAASP tests. They might be different on the outside but they both test for general knowledge.
Now, once we know the reasons, whatever they are, what can we do to address the obstacles? Maybe there needs to be a campaign recruiting underrepresented students into AP classes. Or maybe we need something else entirely.
I am pretty sure NO ONE would object reaching a well-defined goal by well-defined means. This, in my mind, is the first step in helping certain higher SES parents understanding lower SES families' needs and lives in general.


5 people like this
Posted by russ
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2018 at 12:55 pm

He could have asked the questions - how do students who opt in perform compared to those who would be traditionaly selected? and is there evidence to support that having opt in students lowers the general rigor of intellectual pursuit?

legitimate to ask these questions, engender a debate and a better approach than stating something so debatable so firmly

and he may have run into the american belief of equal opportunity for all and or into the collective guilt of some that we owe affirmative action to those we have and continue to surpress - african americans, native americans, latinos etc


3 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2018 at 12:16 pm

He needs to resign.


7 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 25, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Dave's comments were wrong. Full stop.

Our systems, however, are also not set up too well, and they lead to this disparity starting when kids are very young. Here's an example.

Fun fact- as of this fall (fall 2017) kids who completed 8th grade math in 8th grade were NOT allowed into biology in 9th grade at the high schools. They were instead sent to environmental science. From there, I suppose they generally are tracked away from higher level science classes let alone APs.

When was the decision made about a child's math path in middle school? By whom? 6th or 7th grade math placement- process unclear. So, kids who didn't get into the "higher" math path to finish algebra 1 in middle school or the "highest" math path to finish geometry in middle school were effectively removed from higher level science classes in high school at the age of 11 or 12. Their parents probably had no idea of this consequence when they saw a 7th grader assigned to 7.0 math instead of 7.1 or 7.2.

As of next year, MVWSD will be using a math system that assumes that all kids WILL finish algebra by the end of 8th grade (rather than considering that an accelerated track.) This action should, I hope, lead to having more kids and a more diverse group of kids entering the high schools in the more serious science track.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 25, 2018 at 9:55 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Really @Sarah? That is so sad a commentary on the effect of Math Tracking in middle schools. (Slow TRACK usually for the Hispanics/ Economically Disadvantaged). But - the Middle School math tracking is only discouraged in Ed Code, while in high schools it is ILLEGAL under the Ed Code without strict accountability.

Mr. Dave, as a candidate in 2014, made it very clear to 'those who asked' that he was a supper-supporter of MVWSD's High Speed Math Track. Now - will Trustee Dave explain to us all, what the number of AP courses his kid(s) at MVLA are taking / have taken?

BTY, I just checked and Environmental Science at Mountain View High School (code 052075) is a "d" lab science for UC (like Biology) / and at LAHS (code 051510) it is also a UC Laboratory Science ("d") class.

Web Link MVHS
Web Link LAHS


3 people like this
Posted by None can take either a singular or plural verb
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 26, 2018 at 11:40 pm

None can take either a singular or plural verb.

A common misconception is that none is always singular because it is short for no one. However, it is just as likely to mean not any, implying a plural.

Singular usage

When none is followed by a mass noun (a noun that cannot be counted or made plural) it takes a singular verb.

None of the wine was drunk. (wine = mass noun)

Singular or plural usage

When none means no one or not any, use whichever verb makes more sense.

None of the printers are working.
None of the printers is working.

None of you are guilty.
None of you is guilty.


10 people like this
Posted by Lynn C. Waelde, Ph.D.
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 3, 2018 at 8:58 am

Sanjay Dave Should Resign

The Voice reported that Sanjay Dave, A MVLA High School District Trustee, stated that AP science classes are for the "most serious students" and expressed the belief that they would have to be "adapted" and standards would need to be lowered in order to include more minority students. Decades of research shows that ethnoracial minority students have unequal access to educational resources; Mr. Dave's views represent the institutional racism that perpetuates these barriers to education access. Mr. Dave's comments are also inconsistent with the district's policy about the education of ethnoracial minority students. Mr. Dave should immediately resign from the Board. His views do not represent mere poor phrasing, they represent views that serve to perpetuate education inequity that sets up students up for a lifetime of disadvantage.


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