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Contested race ahead for Mountain View Whisman

Original post made on Aug 16, 2018

Voters in the Mountain View Whisman School District will get to choose between four candidates for two seats on the school board this November.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 16, 2018, 11:30 AM

Comments (33)

Posted by No more bozos
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 16, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Easy: anyone but Wheeler and Coladonato. The MVWSD board has done such an abysmal job that I'd vote for a shoe over any incumbent.


Posted by @No more bozos
a resident of Slater
on Aug 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Good choice. Sounds like a shoe in.


Posted by MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Definitely not Wheeler. Coladonato makes an effort, at least.


Posted by JW
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm

Can’t wait to vote! Wheeler and Caldonado won’t have check marks on my ballot.


Posted by Words matter
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 16, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Mr. Colodonato declines to comment for this article, but everyone please remember that during the 2014 election he was completely open about 2 things-he considers the school board position to be a stepping stone to further roles in politics and he is heavily in favor of charter schools and private school voucher programs. The last time he spoke candidly on the matter, he was against neighborhood public schools.


Posted by Words matter
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm

It appears as though Mr. Coladonato’s (my apologies for the previous misspelling) previous remarks against public schools and his history with the California Libertarian party are no longer available online, though you can still find references to his previous positions in older MV Voice articles. I would appreciate if Mr. Coladonato would address the evolution of his views on public schools.


Posted by Voter
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 16, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Wheeler has been a board member way to long. I review board meeting and she constantly droughts herself and wastes a lot of time. Anyone but Wheeler.


Posted by current views matter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2018 at 10:40 am

I believe a number of political leaders opinions have evolved over time (at least if they are still alive - Thomas Jefferson, main writer of the Declaration of Independence, died with his slave-wealth intact for his estate!)

I have heard nothing from Coladonado about supporting public vouchers for private schools. He and many others do support public charter school options for free-choice within the publicly controlled sphere. I do myself.

"The last time he spoke candidly on the mater, he was against neighborhood public schools." What the $#@? I do not know what la la land @Words matter from Weaverly Park is from. Oh - That la la land, which did have it's own neighborhood public school (rich areas get Their school reopened, while poor areas then get Their neighborhood school closed). Mr Coladonado, as a community organizer, worked tirelessly, as Slater Neighborhood Association leader, to get a neighborhood public school for his neighbors.

BTW - Mr. Coladonado, once he was elected to the MVWSD Board, also seemed to tie down convincing Trustee Wheeler to reverse her votes of 2004-5, and provide the critical 3rd vote to reopen a public neighborhood school in the Whisman-Slater neighborhood associations area.

For an elected official like Coladonado - VOTES MATTER, I think, much much more than just "Words."


Posted by Elementary school parent
a resident of Willowgate
on Aug 17, 2018 at 10:49 am

Conley sounds like a breath of fresh air: "Conley said her goal as a trustee would be to make sure the district keeps track of its primary goal to educate children."

Thank you! The current school board seems to focus only on new building new facilities then re-drawing boundaries and eliminating grandfather/transfer policies to force families into failing schools without plans to improve them. Parents want a good education for their kids--the fact that choice programs are so highly sought after despite being located in the poorest facilities shows that the school board has their priorities backwards. Take a hint and look at programs that parents want and focus on that and improving failing schools.


Posted by current views matter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Conley also seems to have actual long-term multi-year full-time employment as a classroom teacher. None of the current school board members have that experience. Chris Chiang had excellent classroom teacher experience. Although Wheeler again mentions, "With my background, skills, and experience as a former teacher ..." she fails to mention that that experience was more than 16 years ago and seems to have only been as a substitute teacher at Bubb and Graham in MV.

Coney's perspectives in her interviews, statements and debates will be very interesting to hear!


Posted by MV Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm

Devon Conley used to teach in the MVWSD. She is an amazing teacher, and now parent. I am thrilled to see her running. She will definitely get my vote.

I worked with Greg Coladonato on a few committees before he was elected. He is truly one of the biggest jerks I've ever had the displeasure of working with. He seeks a political career in any way possible. He misrepresents his political party (he ran as a democrat but was heavily involved in libertarian and conservative causes). He's a classic self-aggrandizer, who loves talking about his ivy league education. I could go on and on but I already think this is enough to get me censored by the board moderators.


Posted by Retire Wheeler!
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 17, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Wheeler has not done anything to deserve re-election. I have heard the only reason she stays on the board is so she remains eligible to buy health insurance under the district plan.


Posted by My vote
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Another "no" for Wheeler. She has been incredibly rude to me twice when I've spoken to her privately after board meetings to ask questions (I promise I was not being nasty to her at all.) I gave her the benefit of the doubt and voted for her last time but no more.


Posted by parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm

I'd like to see term limits and some way to ensure representation from different geographic regions within Mountain View. Not all but many of our elected officials (city council, school board) reside in the southern parts of town.

I'll vote for anyone who promises to not blindly follow agree with whoever the superintendent is. We have a very, very long history of MVWSD trustees who are either too uninformed, too easily misled, or too polite to say no to proposals such as firing two of the best principals this district has ever had.

I greatly admire MVLA trustee Joe Mitchner. He's truly a good guy who does what's best for the students and the schools. He could easily be re-elected but that's pretty classy of him to step down and give someone else a chance to serve. Wish that Ellen Wheeler had the same mindset, give someone else a turn.


Posted by Landels parent
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Anyone but Wheeler and Colodonato. What a disgrace to the district you both are. And take Ayinde with you!


Posted by Involved parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 17, 2018 at 11:07 pm

Please not Wheeler. Anyone but Wheeler. Please!!! I have done my homework on the district and board inner workings. I have met with Wheeler on several occasions.
My conclusion: Can a person be any more self important, unopen to new perspectives, and truly random and disoriented in expressing her thoughts about education than Trustee Wheeler? I truly disliked her each time I met with her. It felt like she believed she was patronizing me and doing me a tremendous favor by spending her precious few minutes talking to me. Please let's give Devon Conley a chance. Do right by us Devon!!! You have my vote

Regarding Greg, I know he is controversial, but I would keep him. He is the smartest person on the board. He asks good questions and is our best shot at holding the district accountable. Just my thoughts.

P.s. please can be this be the year Wheeler isn't elected again? Let's get it right this time Mountain View!! 16 years is enough


Posted by Voter
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 18, 2018 at 10:34 am

Another concern about Ms. Wheeler I’ve never meet anyone like her that talks says absolutely nothing. Vote her out.


Posted by Full Reporting
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 18, 2018 at 11:47 am

I noticed that Steve Nelson, a frequent commenter on this page, is running for the High School district board. The Voice editor and reporters do not like him but he did a great job trying to get the board to challenge the district administration. Unfortunately, the current board led by Wheeler blocked him from getting any changes from the school district bureaucrats. So another vote to retire Wheeler and also a vote for Nelson on the high school board.


Posted by @ Full Reporting
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 18, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Steve Nelson was a total disaster on the MVWSD board. I voted for him thinking he would provide some needed oversight. Instead, he was a self-serving obstructionist and was so out of control the district had to pay a severance to Supt Goldman. You can find many videos of his crazy behavior on the board.

Yes, he does sometimes offer interesting perspectives, but his interpersonal skills are completely lacking. PLEASE do not vote him onto the high school board!

Agree completely that Wheeler needs to go.


Posted by LookingForward
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 18, 2018 at 2:22 pm

So glad that we'll finally have someone who is informed about best educational practices running for a board position.

I can't wait to learn more about Conley's educational policy research and publications! We need people with knowledge, judgment, and experience--not just a loose set of feelings and ideas. An educational policy expert will add a needed layer of depth to our board.


Posted by An Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2018 at 9:50 pm

An Interested Observer is a registered user.

It is really concerning to me when I read of people making comments to the effect - we want trustees who will not just follow what the superintendent wants, etc., etc. The most important job the Board has is to hire the superintendent. It would stand to reason that they would then support the person they hired..obviously he/she reflects the consensus of the Board as to what is needed and/or what they want to see in the schools. It is not and SHOULD NOT BE a contentious relationship. Their job is to work together for the benefit of the whole district and all students. Unfortunately, an ego driven Board member, like the one no longer on the Board, can create a very adversarial relationship and be destructive. Ellen Wheeler is not such a person although she was the one Board member who would take on that negative, destructive, rude person. Ellen has been a strong advocate for all students throughout her tenure on the Board and approaches all situations with a critical eye ... using her knowledge and analytical skills to form her opinions. She is probably the most informed trustee on school issues, budget constraints and curriculum development. She has the history of the district over the last 15 years and this is invaluable when making decisions. It's disturbing to see so many undeserved negative comments being posted about her .. I ask you to just think about the sources of those comments!!


Posted by Voter
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 20, 2018 at 3:26 pm

@ observer
You write “ Think about the sources of those comments “
we are the parents, staff, teachers who think and witness Wheeler for years. Do you really think your observations are more valid then the majority?
Be real.....


Posted by MV Parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 20, 2018 at 4:42 pm

@ observer

I have attended countless board meetings over the past six years and have watched many more online.

I have seen no evidence of Wheeler being "the most informed trustee on school issues, budget constraints and curriculum development". To the contrary, I have found that she comes to meetings unprepared and rarely says anything useful or consequential.


Posted by Curious
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 20, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Ms.Wheeler usually defense herself here on The Vouce. Willing to meet for coffee and listen. What say you this time Ms. Wheeler?


Posted by Ellen Wheeler
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 20, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Ellen Wheeler is a registered user.

@curious - Sure, I'm happy to meet for coffee and to listen. Just email me at [email protected] (I know the other trustees are also happy to meet for coffee and to listen. Use the same convention of 1st initial, last name... to write to them individually, or send to [email protected] to get to all of us at the same time.)


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Curious: Ellen Wheeler is a stand up woman/trustee!

I think however that she will absolutely not agree to meet with more than one person at a time - or on any 'specific topic' that a small group may want to discuss in any type "meeting". That is just her style - which she insists must apply to all other school board members.


Posted by An Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Aug 21, 2018 at 11:20 pm

An Interested Observer is a registered user.

@Voter - I do think my observations are as valid as yours and I stand by my comment.


Posted by Ellen
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:15 am

I'll never vote another cent to schools until renters have stabilization. First things first!


Posted by Curious
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 22, 2018 at 8:38 am

@ Ms. Wheeler
My post was a comment not a request to meet for coffee. You prove many of our point. You mishandle information.
I


Posted by RichT
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2018 at 11:49 am

RichT is a registered user.

First Curious post with all English use errors intact:
"Curious
a resident of Bailey Park
Ms.Wheeler usually defense herself here on The Vouce. Willing to meet for coffee and listen. What say you this time Ms. Wheeler?"

Second Curious post:
"Curious
a resident of St. Francis Acres
@ Ms. Wheeler
My post was a comment not a request to meet for coffee. You prove many of our point. You mishandle information."

First what is "curious" is that Curious seems to not know which neighborhood they live in.
Second, Curious is criticizing Ms. Wheeler for how she handles information and yet the Curious poster seems to have quite a bit of difficulty with basic English. Curious should not complain that someone did not understand what Curious was thinking when all we have is what Curious actually wrote to interpret.

As a native English speaker, I also read that first post as meaning Curious was asking for Wheeler to make contact and offer Curious a sit down meeting on the issues.

As for Wheeler's ability to understand information and handle it properly, if you have specific cases, please present them. That would be a valid and useful example to discuss.

I'm not trying to defend anyone, I'm just saying that if anyone has a complaint, make it clear and specific and better yet, give a specific example that others can find in the record either in Board minutes or in the video recordings of the Board meetings.

Let's raise the level of debate and issues and criticism here, OK?

Random bashing of anyone does nothing to influence voters, it only serves to make the complainer look irrational and petty and devoid of any valid objections. Such posts usually helps the person being bashed by getting them sympathy for being so unfairly attacked.

I think we could do much better in our discussions, don't you?


Posted by RichT
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2018 at 11:56 am

RichT is a registered user.

@Ellen
a resident of Castro City

"I'll never vote another cent to schools until renters have stabilization. First things first!"

Ellen of Castro City, I think if you ASK the FAMILIES of your neighborhood, they would tell you they strongly want more school funding for the MVWSD and they would not want to tie a school district issue to a city level issue, since nobody on the school board has any authority to influence the decisions of the city counsel.

Why punish the children of our city because they city government is not doing something you want?

Why blame the school district for something the district cannot do anything about?


Posted by RichT
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

RichT is a registered user.

@Elementary school parent
a resident of Willowgate

As one of the people who worked on these new boundaries, I understand why a resident of Willowgate would be upset with our Board for your specific disappointment in the outcome of the new boundaries. All I can say is we worked really hard for years to do the best we could and this outcome was the best we could do.

Not to defend the board members, but...

Can you at least accept that there was an absolute need for the board to deal with these issues in a timely manner?
I don't think it's fair to complain that the Board was overly focused on these issues when delays were so extremely expensive.

"Conley sounds like a breath of fresh air:"

I have met with her and I agree with you. I think her resume is excellent and I think she would make a fine Board member.

"The current school board seems to focus only on new building new facilities"

Since the voters in 2012 chose to give MVWSD $198 million for this purpose and there is a huge cost for any delays and a time limit on spending the money, I think it's entirely proper for the Board to have focused on this money and getting it properly spent.

My complaint would be that the Board wasted 3 years and millions of dollars due to infighting and pitting neighborhoods against each other in a pointless war over how to spend the money and what to do with all our school facilities.

It took our district 3 years to finally come to the "win-win-win" outcome we were all begging for from the very start. It didn't need to take that long to get to where we got.

"then re-drawing boundaries"

Again, the voters in 2012 voted to spend money to open a new school in the Whisman/Slater area and doing that required redrawing boundaries. Once the Board made the decision to build a new school, new boundaries were mandatory, not a waste of time.

Again, my complaint was that the district fumbled this process and it took a few years to get it done.

"and eliminating grandfather/transfer policies"

This was essential, once the Whisman/Slater new school was going to be built, the district had to realign enrollment. Decades of liberal transfer policies had created a total mess that not only helped nobody, but was also costly.

"to force families into failing schools without plans to improve them."

I totally disagree with both parts of this assertion.
I do not believe any of our schools is a "failing" school.

All our schools get equally qualified teachers and administrators and an equal base of resources. The schools which have a high percentage of kids who need additional support are getting additional support and the district is indeed working on developing even more additional support systems for these kids.

Nobody is objecting to giving these kids the support they need to achieve more and to enable them to fully gain the benefits of our excellent schools.

"...the fact that choice programs are so highly sought after despite being located in the poorest facilities..."

As for PACT having been in the worst facilities in the district since 2009, that was never an issue beyond the fact that it physically limited how many kids could be enrolled in Stevenson. A problem that has been solved with the newly built facilities. Good facilities don't make good schools, but really bad facilities can hurt educational opportunity.

"...and focus on that and improving failing schools."

Again, all our school are great schools, it's just that we have large numbers of kids that need additional support to enable them to fully benefit from our great schools.


Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 22, 2018 at 12:53 pm

Weird is a registered user.

RichT,

If all of our schools are great schools, why did you pull your kids out of your neighborhood school, Theuerkauf? No way that could have had anything to do with you not wanting your little angels at a school with too many kids "that need additional support"...


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