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Editorial: Wheeler and Conley for Mountain View Whisman school board

Original post made on Oct 19, 2018

It's a transformative time for the Mountain View Whisman School District, and voters may be asking themselves whether it's best to stay the course with the two incumbents, or react to recent missteps by supporting two challengers with fresh perspectives.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2018, 1:54 PM

Comments (9)

2 people like this
Posted by geiserob
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 6:56 pm

geiserob is a registered user.

It always amazes me, these days, that political campaigns and some newspaper endorsements are distributed/published AFTER voting has begun. While past experience has made me a bit skeptical of MV Voice endorsements, I still value alternative viewpoints in my decision-making at election time. This article is published a bit late for my liking.

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Posted by @geiserob
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I agree. they still haven't revealed their council endorsements, though its pretty obvious who they will endorse. Has anyone read who the chamber endorsed?

13 people like this
Posted by badgolfer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 7:49 pm

badgolfer is a registered user.

No incumbent is worthy of your vote.

26 people like this
Posted by so tired of MVWSD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2018 at 11:14 am

Wheeler is seeking her 5th term. She has been on the Board for almost 2 decades and has presided over horrible, ill-conceived and incompetent decisions that has cost the district millions. It's time for new blood and new ideas. Anyone but Wheeler.

1 person likes this
Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Polomom is a registered user.

@@geiserob: Chamber chose to not endorse anybody this year.

18 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 10:47 am

The Voice's endorsement of Ellen Wheeler as "the incumbent choice" is problematic. Since both Coladonato and Wheeler have Board experience, we should look at what they've done and not just the number of years in office. Wheeler was the Board President during some of the major issues, and we can contrast what Ellen Wheeler has been doing with what Greg Coladonato has been doing.

For example, various emails from Board members Laura Blakely and Tamara Wilson to parents in March claimed that there was an "independent evaluator" from outside the District who reviewed the removals of the principals to ensure a fair process. Ellen Wheeler also picked up on this and encouraged it in an email to Laura Blakely and Superintendent Rudolf.

On April 5, I asked the Board about the "independent evaluator". It turns out, there was no such person. It also appears that neither Gutierrez nor Coladonato knew anything about this:

Trustee Gutierrez: "I have a question. Are we able to disclose who the independent evaluator was?"
Superintendent Rudolf: "There was no independent evaluator"
Trustee Gutierrez: "OK. John, did you hear that?"
Trustee Coladonato: "Why does the public think there was one?"
(Web Link)

Ellen Wheeler, Laura Blakely, and Tamara Wilson sat at the table and said nothing. They were the ones who promoted the idea!

Maybe this was all a miscommunication during a very rushed and high-stress time; everybody would understand that, if they just came out and said it. I'd appreciate Board members who would own up to mistakes. But, none of this was ever really resolved, just swept under the rug as we try to move forward. But if you want to figure out which incumbents are trying to solve problems and communicate with the community and which are, at best, remaining silent, it's not hard, if you pay attention.

7 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Please compare the article on the front page to the conclusion drawn in the editorial; they don't match:

"While she and fellow incumbent Greg Coladonato stood by the board's decision to remove four principals from their jobs last spring, she has acknowledged the district should have done more to communicate with parents."

BOTH of them said that -- and it's more than obvious. It's not fair to Coladonato to imply Wheeler is doing more to advocate for communication. This is based on the Voice's own reporting and the candidates' own words.

15 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 22, 2018 at 7:36 am

Current school board members blame everyone but themselves. Getting rid of Wheeler is a great start to turning the district around. Then go after Gutierrez and Blakley, two of the worst board presidents in recent history who have each presided over absolute chaos and double-speak while showing a complete disregard of parent concerns. New board members will then need to clean out the rot at the district office. Don't worry about Superintendent Rudolph, he'll be moving on anyway. Focus on his cronies and on the deadwood: Ghysels, Bauer etc. Until all this happens the achievement gap will never be solved. Never. New thinking and new approaches from the top is what is needed now!

And one more thing. Wheeler (who doesn't know the meaning of the word "respect") and Coladonato and the rest of the board have really been coy regarding how the principal shake up and turnover last year was justified only to find Superintendent Rudolph replace them with his former colleagues and friends from North Carolina while the district has been shelling out expensive contracts to his former boss Peter Gorman for "leadership training". How do such corrupt practices actually address the achievement gap? It's all just smoke and mirrors with these current board members.

9 people like this
Posted by Dump Wheeler
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 6, 2018 at 10:33 am

You state that "Her institutional knowledge is an important asset", but that is only true if she knows what to do with it. Despite that "knowledge" she allowed Teach To One to proceed despite the fact that its implementation was in direct contradiction to District Policies. (A "pilot" involving all of 6th grade???)

As the Board president at the time and a new superintendent with no prior job experience as a superintendent, she bears primary responsibility for allowing this to happen.

To this day, instead of accepting responsibility she blames parents for mis-understanding the program!

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