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Superintendent urged charter school to slow down

Original post made on Oct 18, 2018

Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph's request that Bullis Charter School to put the brakes on plans to open a new campus in the Mountain View Whisman School District went unanswered.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 18, 2018, 9:46 AM

Comments (37)

25 people like this
Posted by Good luck
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:59 am

I completely agree with Dr. Rudolph. More research is needed and a place to House BCS will not be easy to find. We need to find options that won’t affect the district in a MAJOR financial way. Will they demand a school that we currently lease out for large sums of money that support our district? Where can we find a school to give Bullis by August?! These are huge decisions and deserve at least 1.5 years, as the superintendent pointed out The school has petitioned MVWSD and of it is denied, it will petition the county and win. And MVWSD will be on the hook financially.


2 people like this
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 18, 2018 at 10:25 am

SRB is a registered user.

@Mountain View Voice - Is the charter application accessible online somewhere for the community?


2 people like this
Posted by @SRB
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 10:56 am

Charter Application Link from other Voice article:
Web Link


24 people like this
Posted by Give Bullis a Chance!
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2018 at 11:11 am

Waiting for implementation of the new boundaries is just a smokescreen. Rudolph just wants to delay, delay, delay.

Certainly MVWSD has failed English language lerners. Give Bullis a chance!


33 people like this
Posted by Give Bullis a Chance!
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2018 at 11:15 am

[typo in text above corrected below]

Waiting for implementation of the new boundaries is just a smokescreen. Rudolph just wants to delay, delay, delay.

Certainly MVWSD has failed English language learners. Give Bullis a chance!


29 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 11:23 am

@Give Bullis a Chance!

Really?! And why might he want a delay? District-wide changes going into play next year? Gosh, that sounds unreasonable. Nevermind the California Charter School Association's suggestion that applications be put forth in the spring to allow collaborative planning to occur.

The way the laws are, Rudolph can't stop it happening but he can make it more palatable for the Mountain View community Bullis is disrupting, knowingly, at a difficult time.

Give me a break. The urgency is on Bullis to take advantage, not to collaborate. This is consistent behavior for them. Way to build a rep.


36 people like this
Posted by What about the students?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2018 at 11:38 am

Bullis officials have been meeting with MVWSD officials, including Dr. Rudolph, for the last year. The petition is not a surprise. The only people who would suffer from a one year delay are the socio-economically disadvantaged students who could benefit from this school choice.


52 people like this
Posted by Time is No Friend
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Bullis officials, please do not give Mountain View Whisman school district more time. The staff are incompetent paper pushers, and they will spend the year trying to figure out road blocks to improving education for our students. We needed a program like Bullis years ago - thank you for finally making it happen. Please do not delay. Our kids need this program!


74 people like this
Posted by 2 peas in a pod
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Oh my goodness, I don’t know which is more incompetent: Bullis or MVWSD. I’m watching with my popcorn, my kids at neither school(s).


6 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

It seems that SPACE IS NOT a PROBLEM. Three sites have already been identified that NEXT YEAR will have classrooms empty for 25% or more students. With the neighborhood elementary size standardized to around 450 students (18 classrooms) this means that each of these three sites has 1/4 of 18 -or, using math- 18/4 or a minimum of 4 to 5 classrooms unused for student classrooms.

Charter schools and their founders know how to deal with space problems. It is part of their handbag of skills. With 4 or 5 permanent classrooms, in any of the three schools, Bullis in Mountain View will be well on their way to opening.

Superintendents do NOT MAKE PUBLIC POLICY. Administrators follow the public policy directives of a majority of the Governing Board. This issue is not Rudolph's decision to make. period


78 people like this
Posted by Hit the road MVWSD board
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm

The fact that Dr. Rudolph is against it makes it even more obvious in my mind that Bullis coming to MV is a good thing.


17 people like this
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm

@Really - why would you want to delay adding the new school until after the boundaries have been redrawn? Pulling 168 kids out of (primarily two schools) will just create a new need for rebalancing. It makes more sense to do it all at the same time otherwise kids might have to move twice.

As for Ayinde's questioning of Bullis track record on low income kids, how much worse can it get? We already know that MVWSD is failing these kids miserably. Give somebody else a chance. If you care about the kids more than the politics that is.


5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Hit the road MVWSD board ? I went through hiring interviews and background checks on Rudolph as part of my responsibilities as a member of the MVWSD Board (2012-16). His background includes time being an administrator in a charter school environment. At the time of his hiring, he did not express any particular bad feelings or disappointment in how Public charter schools can operate. I do not think he has animus to the California Charter School law or system, or to BCS and the petitioners for Bullis in Mountain View.

If the current Board could have moved faster on Stevenson's enrollment criteria - to include priority for Economically Disadvantaged - who knows if BCS could have been diverted. But with MVWSD's record as an extremely high (White - Hispanic) Academic Achievement GAP district, (2009-13) .... ?

I'd agree with MVWSD candidates Coladonado and Petterson, this may be good for Hispanics/Economically Disadvantaged. (they were very direct in their answer to the Charter School Question in the candidates forum)


26 people like this
Posted by Now the nightmare coming to MVWSD
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:03 pm

I saw how Bullis disrupted the Los Altos community.
Now it is coming to MVWSD. MVers, be prepared for the upcoming dramas!


134 people like this
Posted by Los Altan
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2018 at 4:20 pm

I am an LASD resident and I can tell you firsthand how Bullis has disrupted our community. I've had front row tickets for the last 10+ years and my kids attended both BCS and LASD schools so I feel I have directly relevant experience.

BCS has raised the bar for educational excellence in our community - full stop. Any way you slice and dice it, having a charter school in your backyard makes your neighborhood school compete for students. THIS is a good thing. LASD scores have gone up, they've had to hire more staff and they've had to bring more project based curriculum into their programming. Our superintendent has had a weapon against the teachers' union on why they must work harder and longer for our students. The only people who don't like this are people threatened by school closures because parents are leaving less attractive programs. Lazy District staff and teachers union propaganda has also done a good job miseducating the less informed parents, spreading FUD against the charter. More enlightened parents understand how competition for public resources helps ALL students!


10 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm

@Steve Nelson
Why are you blaming only the current school board? The achievement gap was wide while you were on it. The difficulties Stevenson has had reaching out to SED and EL families extends back to include your entire tenure on the board. You own some of that mess.


18 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 18, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Whether or not slowdown, should school boundaries planning be reopened to account for the inevitable reality of a 100>300 student Bullis? Not necessarily a rejection of currently approved boundaries plans, but to begin immediate work on a revised plan done in direct planning with Bullis, whose arrival is a foregone conclusion.

Bullis has been planning their MV school for some time, before even boundaries had been finished.
I know first hand that Bullis has been ready to talk with the district last year, but a last-minute 20-member non-agendized meeting (with 2 board members) is not publically transparent and late to the table.

LASD and Bullis both have faults in their relationship, and I hope both Bullis and MVWSD will start their relationship, not at arms length, but in close partnership, seeking a win-win for all children.

In the end, getting children a great education, especially socio-economically disadvantaged children, it's a common vision.


14 people like this
Posted by Rudolph failed
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:11 pm

This should be a clear indication to the board that Rudolph isn't doing his job. He knew about the desire for a charter school for months now and should have been thinking of options to support it.


20 people like this
Posted by BCS - the majority of us in MV don't want you
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm

I posted this to the other MV Voice article on BCS, but the comments are appropriate here too.

I've read everything I could find in the MV and LA papers about BCS coming to Mountain View, and my takeaway is the BCS is a bully, who gets to play by rules the rest of us can't play by, and who looks out for personal interest over greater good. To hell with the wake their coming to MV leaves for the neighborhood schools as long as BCS gets what they want.

I know a) BCS doesn't care, and b) they're clueless about the differences in the LA and MV school communities, but for those of you who are a parent at a MVWSD elementary school I want you to think about what it will mean for your school when BCS opens. One school will eventually lose its campus and its students will be re-zoned, but even bigger than that, there's an elephant in the room, and the ramifications will hit every school hard year after year, and its our MVWSD kids who will pay the price.

And for those saying, "Oh, but BCS wants to help socio-economically disadvantaged students." Get real. Within it's first few years BCS Mtn View's demographic will look just like BCS Los Altos - high income, college educated parents, donating the max amounts suggested by the school each year.

Lastly, for those making this a Dr Rudolph vs BCS fight, it's not. I'm a parent in the MVWSD and not one parent I've spoken with wants BCS in Mtn View. This has nothing to do with Dr. Rudolph and kudos to him for actually standing up to the bullies from BCS and looking out for our students best interests.

Argh! I'm so mad at the LASD for closing Bullis in '03 and creating this monster.


9 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm

Bullis is run by millionaires and billionaires from Los Altos Hills. They could buy every school in Mountain View a hundred times over. If they want to open a school in Mountain View then they can easily find their own facilities. Why make Mountain View kids suffer? What's the real agenda?


8 people like this
Posted by Silly Comments
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:15 pm

I don't see why there is a problem. If the district puts the new charter school on a site, they will tend to draw students from that site's local area. So it's a self-filling school. If that doesn't happen, then the district has an excuse to swap sites for the next year. The charter isn't asking for any new construction or special facilities. If they had asked back in the Spring, the district would still not have been able to predict any better. So what's the problem asking now?


9 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2018 at 12:54 am

No axe to grind with either side.

Supt Rudolph misstates the CCSA guidelines (link below to read for yourself)

They suggest 1-1.5 years, more time needed if district plans needless opposition which just gets overturn by appeal process which takes time or if new charter school wants a year for planning. Since it is not the first rodeo for Bullis, the submission deadline should be fine.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2018 at 8:16 am

@Observer
So, read for myself.

I didn't find the word "needless" in the area you were referring to. On that same site describing Phase 2 start-up activities, quote: "Teams often find that it is ideal to submit in the spring 1.5 years before they intend to open."

Your info doesn't seem credible.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 10:33 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Water under the Bridge. The article's emphasis of past tense - "urged" - makes it very clear that this issue is now very much in-the-past.

Wheeler as the official LWV "Observer" never made a report to the Board on this activity to her fellow Board members (read the hundreds of lines of Trustee comments that Wheeler has added to the Minutes of the MVWSD over the last year!) Rudolph has unfortunately used informal (back room?) verbal communications to handle this large issue in the past.

I personally have no expectation of Wheeler changing her modus operandi - I hope Rudolph is young and flexible enough to start to realize OPEN AND PUBLIC (and written) is the best path for public policy. Keep and develop public policy within the publics' view.


Like this comment
Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 19, 2018 at 10:51 am

SRB is a registered user.

@Stephen Nelson - No dog in the Whisman School political fights, but the role of the LWV Observers is simply that: Observe and report. Maybe, the BCS board never discussed that topic publicly? If so, maybe, you could also help BCS -a public entity- realize that "OPEN AND PUBLIC (and written) is the best path for public policy" ?


16 people like this
Posted by Redraw the boundaries now
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 19, 2018 at 1:50 pm

I can see both sides of this argument -- I think our district could use some healthy competition but I don't think Bullis has any experience with low-income kids and it strikes me as hubris that they think they can teach us a thing or two about it.

But -- they are here and they aren't going away. I would suggest something kind of crazy, which is to redraw the boundaries and hand them over a school right now. It will save a huge amount of headache in the long run and maybe maximize the chances they can succeed with this population.


9 people like this
Posted by Look it up
a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2018 at 2:01 pm

@SRB
With only a few minutes of looking on the BCS website I found multiple instances of the topic of opening a new charter in Santa Clara County in the agendas and minutes of the BCS board. I randomly found a 9/11/17 agenda where the topic was discussed as well as one from a month or two ago. It's OPEN AND PUBLIC (and written).


1 person likes this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2018 at 6:38 pm

@Look it up
It's disingenuous to say that people outside of LASD should have known because the information was "OPEN AND PUBLIC" (from what would be a mostly irrelevant site to dig through just for the heck of it). Especially so when the vast majority in MV had no clear heads-up about BCS looking to launch a different version in MV, much less the simply mentioned "county".

Just because information is published (or findable) doesn't mean the MV audience had prescient reasons to actively monitor that closely for it and interpret what was there so specifically.

As to Wheeler... Questions remain.


2 people like this
Posted by Jose
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 22, 2018 at 7:46 am

Of course Superintendent Rudolph wants Bullis to slow down. If he can get that to happen, he will be long gone. He has no intention of settling down here.


3 people like this
Posted by Miney Corr
a resident of Slater
on Nov 16, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Miney Corr is a registered user.

This is the Trojan horse of the conservative billionaires attempt to privatize our public schools. Bullis doesn't care about low income or ESL kids. This is part of their plan to take over our public commons. Time to organize and fight this takeover before it gets too late and they bankrupt our school district.


7 people like this
Posted by Minnie Mouse
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 17, 2018 at 2:39 am

Liberal Democrats made the California charter school laws. Admirably in this state charter schools are entitled to share the legacy schools owned by the state but entrusted to local school districts. The charter schools are viewed as just another local education agency of the state. They only get a proportionate share of existing facilities to handle those switching to charter school, for use during school hours. The state community center act still applies to these charter school facilities. There's no "Public Commons" being taken over. In other states a lot of wasteful duplication of facilities occurs.

In other states you have abandoned school buildings while the students all move to charter schools. California is the best of the nation in regulating and providing the framework for charter schools to serve kids in the state. The Waltons have nothing to do with it. The beauty of the system is that all the public school facilities are owned by the state, even though the education is controlled by local school districts and local charter schools.


3 people like this
Posted by g8teach
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm

g8teach is a registered user.

After 35 years as a public school educator here in the Bay Area (now retired), and a 30 year resident in Mountain View, the idea of a charter school in either LASD or MVWSD is completely absurd. Charter Schools were created by the conservative movement (Just ask US Sect. of Education Betsy DeVos) to give parents choice supposedly in neighborhoods that have FAILING schools. What really took place is Wall Street saw multi-billion dollar budgets and wanted that pie for themselves. In our case, because one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in America was upset that their local school was being closed, they used the Charter School law to create Bullis-there was absolutely no failing school. Now it has become a burden to not only their community , but now they want access into our community as well. Make no mistake in this case what we have is a private school with public funding draining resources from the Los Altos School District and now they want to come into Mountain View Whisman. Asa tax-payer here in Mountain View I am vehemently opposed to any charter school concern in Mountain View.


7 people like this
Posted by Minnie Mouse
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2018 at 5:47 pm

There's no corporate connection to Bullis. It's entirely a non profit operation with no big contracts that feed any business. It has brought a great improvement to LASD as LASD has copied its innovations in one form or another.

Our local area is populated by people who work for companies that practice disruption to past practices. It makes sense that there would be charter schools around here. They don't need outside funding in LASD because LASD residents are all so well off compared to the county average. It's inaccurate to characterize the Gardner Bullis school in LASD, a traditional public school, as being more of a wealthy neighborhood than the areas served by 3 others out of the 7 elementary schools operated by LASD. There are arguably 4 schools in LASD with markedly above average incomes. However the new Bullis school in Mountain View will be a charter with less means to support it. Given that the old Bullis spends almost as much per student as does LASD at each of its elementary schools, the old Bullis is no threat to teachers. But it is true that the proposal for the new Bullis in MV has plans to spend about 20% less per student than do the MVWSD traditional schools, while attempting to serve the same 1/3 disadvantaged kids as is the average in MVWSD.

I don't know how any teacher could look at MVWSD and say 1/3 disadvantaged kids means no charters needed there a priori. 1/3 disadvantaged with a big achievement cap is exactly the model for charters that you claim is the original intent. There are educational studies cited by LASD heavily which say disadvantaged kids can do better in a school where they are not in the majority. Also it's worth noting that while 1/3 is the MVWSD average, most schools are well below 1/3 or closer to 2/3 disadvantaged. A charter school might be a good way to create a school with a representative composition of disadvantaged students.


3 people like this
Posted by Minnie Mouse
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Look at what the new Bullis MV charter is proposing to do to address the achievement gap. So far as I know, only one of these idea is done in MVWSD at present, namely the preschool. Bullis MV will:

a) offer preschool to a certain age cohort to double the size of the population eligible for TK.

b) have a longer school day

c) have a longer school year

d) split summer vacation to occur in segments with smaller segments spaced in between sessions of school in times other than summer

e) offer inter session programs as optional supplements to the teaching

f) offer after school programs to help supplement opportunity for low SES students

g) blend in desirable programs to stimulate education by ALL students including the low SES students and achieve an interest across the spectrum of SES.


3 people like this
Posted by Teacher (in another school district)
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 18, 2018 at 7:26 pm

WOW! so may great ideas-where do they find highly qualified teachers to staff those positions? Because low SES kids do need highly qualified staff...what happens when they open the school and then don't follow up on their word? Do we need to wait 5 years to revoke the charter or can we do it at the end of year 1?
Bullis has no clue about working with low SES. They are not Rocketship, not KIPP. They too shall pass...


Like this comment
Posted by ST parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 27, 2018 at 6:55 pm

@Redraw the boundaries now

If you had a clue about all the time and hard work by dozens of volunteers over a 4 year period to come up with the new SAATF boundary lines we are about to enact for 2019-2020 school year, you wouldn't make such a suggestion.

"I can see both sides of this argument"

The only "side" that matters is what is best for the kids, not the district nor the individual schools and certainly not what's best for Bullis.

"I think our district could use some healthy competition"

MVWSD has had plenty of unhealthy competition in recent years, we are just about to get a fresh start as one whole district with 9 K-5 schools hopefully all working towards the same goals.

It took many years and a lot of creative effort to figure out how to get where we are about to get, this is not the time to rush and shoe-horn something totally unknown and unplanned for into the mix.

"but I don't think Bullis has any experience with low-income kids"

OK, but what if they just know how to teach kids in general?
OR even if they do have methods that will work well for low-income kids?
The issue is not if they COULD do a good job, even a better job, but the issue is how will it effect the kids if Bullis plays hardball and fastball to get going by 2019-2020?

"and it strikes me as hubris that they think they can teach us a thing or two about it."

Maybe they can, but if they run rough-shod over the people of this district, will they be able to accomplish what they say?

"But -- they are here and they aren't going away."

There I agree with you.

"I would suggest something kind of crazy, which is to redraw the boundaries"

Yep, that's crazy! It would also be counter-productive to what Bullis claims they intend to do.

"and hand them over a school right now."

If you had seen what has been going on in this district over the past 6 years, you would even suggest such a crazy idea, the back-lash would be nuclear.

"It will save a huge amount of headache in the long run and maybe maximize the chances they can succeed with this population. "

Just the opposite in fact.


Like this comment
Posted by Weird
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 27, 2018 at 7:32 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


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