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Voter guide: Big challenges await Mountain View Whisman school board

Original post made on Oct 19, 2018

There's never a dull moment in the Mountain View Whisman School District, and four candidates are seeking to lead the busy agency through turbulent times.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 19, 2018, 12:00 PM

Comments (7)

9 people like this
Posted by Stegen Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Voters - please remember that Trustee Ellen Wheeler was President of the MVWSD Board, and met with the Superintendent weekly to 'set the agenda', during the time the administration proposed and presented Teach To One:Math to the rest of the Board, the time that no contract was prepared, the time that the district 'accepted un-contracted services', and the time that the first four (4) months of "rollout" stumbled badly.

Will you, the Voters, hold her accountable for her LEADING ROLE in that "fiasco" (quote: MV Voice characterization).

11 people like this
Posted by Ken
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Ken is a registered user.

I will pass on Wheeler-Dealer this time. The other 3 seem impressive. Thanks to all candidates for volunteering.

8 people like this
Posted by Mel
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 20, 2018 at 5:04 am

This I do agree with Wheeler on "If children have high quality preschool, for multiple years, with parent engagement and parent involvement, then the achievement gap starting at kindergarten is very small."

The gap can be narrowed from a young age but it can’t stop at pre-school. It needs to continue. Equal educational opportunities for low-income & ELL students must continue beyond pre-school or a gap will exist. You can’t wait until 5th grade either. Dumb idea. They already have to pick classes for middle school in 5th grade that will have an affect on their college entrance (Math).

What the district & existing candidates have done is failed to know their ELL audience. 50% of ELL (Spanish speaking) students in Santa Clara County will not graduate high school. Check the stats for yourself. Students begin to drop out in the 6th grade.

Is it just because they didn’t have opportunities? If you are going to achieve long term gains, spend time MVWSD with the very people you are trying to help to know how to help. It’s pretty simple you are trying to change a dynamic without truly knowing your audience. Kim Thompson was an asset in this area and you removed her. The district made a huge mistake with removing her and not utilizing her strengths in areas the district is very weak in.

It’s not what you think but what you know.

Like this comment
Posted by Special K
a resident of another community
on Oct 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm

As indicated in the table, below, the All Student average for SAT Critical Reading hasn't changed materially in recent decades— true as well for average scores of groups classified by race/ethnicity--except for Asian-Americans. How? Quien sabe.

SAT Critical Reading average selected years
1987 '97 2001 '06 '11 2015
507 505 506 503 497 495 All students
524 526 529 527 528 529 White
457 451 451 454 451 448 Mex-Am
436 454 457 459 452 456 Puerto R
464 466 460 458 451 449 Oth Hisp
479 496 501 510 517 525 Asian/Pac
471 475 481 487 484 481 Amer Ind
428 434 433 434 428 431 Black
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.
(2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (NCES 2012-001), Chapter 2. SAT
mean scores of college-bound seniors, by race/ethnicity: Selected years,
1986-87 through 2010–11 (Note. 2015 data source: Web Link...

Local experience generally mirrors national experience. Given the effort, time and money expended during the same period, it seems reasonable to conclude that we shouldn't expect marked change in average performance in this critically important ability for any subgroup in the foreseeable future.

Hope springs eternal. But what if the achievement gap is here to stay?

Afterthought: At least the averages involved haven't declined; so we must be doing something right!

7 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 6:02 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!

8 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 6:14 am

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.

2 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:45 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

As a target of Ellen Wheeler's political ire - I would disagree with @Elaine that she "doesn't know the meaning of 'respect' ". Although she will often 'mother meetings' by her sage advice on how the meeting ought to be conducted, and what everyone 'ought to know', she generally does this in a calm manner! She does respect - but she just much more respects the political power of inertia in re-electing incumbents.

I think she shows this by expecting to get paid to NOT attend Bd. meetings (Blakely and Gutierrez joined in voting for a waiver to the Not Attend - No Stipend Rule.) This has happened in previous years with Ellen. Ellen is the only Trustee who claims that privilege! Ellen respects many people's presence, and attends many school related meetings. But - she somehow seems to think that her other political meetings are 'doing for you' (the public) and need to be reported in detail, in every Minutes of the Board! That is just self aggrandizing nonsense.

In Cupertino - when a multi-decade trustee political friend of Ellen's (Ms. Lacey) started to consider herself irrreplaceable - the electorate turned her out, and eventually the new Cupertino Board majority turned out the Superintendent that many considered abusive.

[BTW I consider Rudolph a 'work in progress' - if he remains under the influence of Wheeler - I do not consider it will end well. If Rudolph gets newer - younger - more current-thinking "oversight" selected by the Electorate - who knows?]

you want an 'old school' Board, with any dissent muzzled by 'The Majority', VOTE for Ellen! :-)

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