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Teacher enters school board race

Original post made on Jul 27, 2012

Christopher Chiang, a teacher with an passion for progressive educational methods, is the sixth person to confirm plans to run for one of three seats on the Mountain View Whisman School District board.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 27, 2012, 10:48 AM

Comments (7)

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Posted by Los Altos Teacher
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jul 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

"He said he would advocate for programs that would give financial incentives to teachers who pursue the administrative track."

Before that, he should advocate for financial incentives for teachers to grow professionally as teachers (i.e., funding for Masters Degrees, Summer Institutes, National Board Certification, foreign travel, sabbaticals for research, etc) rather than settling for the district-led institutional dribble that passes as professional development now (i.e., EDI or CI etc)!

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

"There's real things we can do to fix our schools" Things like teaching grammar, perhaps.

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I diaagree with Los Altos Teacher because professionals constantly learn on their own and pay for their own masters. This is part of the problem with our education system, everyone wants something for nothing and for someone else to pay.

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Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I want to encourage anyone to contact me with their ideas and thoughts. Likewise, I encourage you to visit my campaign website: to get a complete view of why I'm running.

I appreciate both what the Los Altos Teacher and Paul are saying. Having taught in New York City where they require teachers to have a masters, I agree with Paul that paying for/or rewarding completion of a masters in itself has little impact on the classroom.

Yet, the Los Altos Teacher hits on the most important problem in American education. Unlike leading school systems like Finland and Singapore, we spend very little time and resources developing our teachers and principals. We have little with regard to leadership tracks for our best. Few professions would neglect their talented workers the way schools typically do.

I look forward to learning from everyone.
Phone: (650) 242-5182
Fax: (650) 963-9844

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Posted by Reality
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

While it's wonderful and commendable to enthusiatically have these ideas, part of really understanding the "job" is knowing what one can actually deliver. It would be a shame for someone to be elected on a tantalizing, but infeasible platform.

Most are probably in agreement that learning for the standardized test isn't the optimal way we'd like things to be. And yet, we still have to deal with those darned tests. The public forms its opinion on the relative merit of schools based on annual API scores. School were doomed to "program improvement" if their scores weren't high enough. Colleges still base admission to a great degree on SATs. They still give credit for APs.

In some ways, Chiang may have had it right the first time. While small change is possible at the local level (even more so in a private school like Sacred Heart), Substantive change needs to start at a higher level. Without a changed scorecard, parents and the community will continue to demand performance against the measures that are tracked.

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

@Steve - At the first teacher-parents meeting at a new school, a teacher asked "Are you doing good?" Maybe she was inquiring about my relationship with the comely Miss Goode?

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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 31, 2012 at 7:35 am

Mr. Chaing is the second teacher pulling nomination papers. (My credential is in science and math at the secondary level). Real classroom responsibility is an asset for understanding schools. glad to see more 'ground level' experience in the race.
"The job" of Trustee is complex. There are some things mentioned that the MVW District already does well (like parent survey). The MVEF also does this in the supplementary funding surveys that it does with contributors. @ Reality has a good summary of the balance between standardization (comparison reality checks) and less tangible, less easy to measure ideals like creativity. There is an interesting study of MVWSD educators views toward compensation that was done a few years ago by a group of Stanford students as a senior project. This seemed to show that they also were less impressed by 'advanced degree' as an indicator of 'quality teachers'.
I'm to be out of town so unfortunately will have to miss an Aug 9 meeting!

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