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Mah, Baten Caswell in tight race for Santa Clara County school board seat

Original post made on Nov 4, 2020

The race for the Area 1 seat on the Santa Clara County school board is razor-thin, with incumbent Grace Mah leading challenger Melissa Baten Caswell by about 400 votes.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 3, 2020, 9:36 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by Charter industry revs up $ and PR
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm

Charter industry revs up $ and PR is a registered user.

I really hope we get Melissa Baten Caswell, the candidate who will do the most for our school districts, as indicated by her support from 27 out of 30 district school board members. I fear that the charter industry cash juggernaut may have won with its huge advertising budget during this time of socially distanced campaigning, reaching out even to the fringes of Breitbart for votes.

Posted by LongResident
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2020 at 7:14 pm

LongResident is a registered user.

I'll tell you what I find from the election results broken down by area. Melissa is only winning in Los Altos and Palo Alto, which are the places with the high family income. In all of Mountain View and all of MVWSD except a couple small areas and in Sunnyvale ESD, Grade Mah is way ahead. These are the places with the high low income kid residency, and the huge massive achievement gap. I don't think it was money that reached those low income families. I think this goes to show that the wealthy elite should do something to help the achievement gap instead of backing a wealthy elite candidate planning to form a social club of school board members from the trustee area. That's neither here nor there, that communication facilitation.

Posted by Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2020 at 7:22 am

Observer is a registered user.

I hope Grace Mah wins. She is a positive source and fair-minded. She raised a lot of money for a good reason, to remain competitive. The Caswell campaign started the arms race with a huge amount of money from anti-charter groups. So, it’s not surprising that pro-charter groups would feel threaten and contribute to Grace’s campaign. It’s too bad so much money went into the race, instead of going into helping the kids, such as securing more funding, like with prop 15.

Additionally, I found the Caswell campaign’s negative tactics distasteful. They complained about one of Grace’s ads that featured Ro Khanna who provided a quote praising the work that Grace did to help Ro’s educational initiative. In my mind their complaint denigrated the work Grace and Ro did. I wish instead we could see more of that kind of positive collaboration. I’m glad Ro has won his race. I hope Grace will win hers too.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 9, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Long Resident: my sentiments exactly. When I also viewed the Registrar of Voters precinct map - when after zoomed in, makes the patterns you describe very clear.
Web Link

Why did wealth-suppoted local school district Trustees so oppose Mah (Mercury News letter from MVLA Trustee Fiona Walter)? Ma was open to the less wealthy who wanted their kids to 'have a public school choice'. (not a public money voucher for private school). Mah voted numerous times to give SELECTED charter school organizations their guaranteed right to Try a STARTUP! And Grace Mah did occasionally VOTE AGAINST existing charters or new inadequately prepared charter organizations.

I think myself that, for instance Trustee Fiona Walker did diddly-squat for most of the low income/Hispanic kids in the elementary district in which she served for 8 years. MVWSD ended her 8 years: within the 20 worst districts in a thousands-of-districts Stanford national study on White-Hispanic Academic Achievement Gap (2009-13 Star testing when nationally normed).

I agree with MVWSD Ellen Wheeler - who has for a decade worked with County Trustee Ma on PK, Kinder for economically disadvantaged kids! Give those kids a Fair and Equal start into 1st grade (First Five). Wheeler was the Treasurer for Mah's campaign - I hope they pull off this reelection!

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Ah, UPDATE. Melissa Baten Caswell is behind 3,751 votes, with the last week's counts going substantially against her, only about 8,000 votes left to count, and 'she's not yet conceding'? Oh well - at least there will be no need for 'a transition team' and a national security briefing!

Grace Mah - please Keep On KEEPING ON!

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