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on Jul 18, 2014
Martha McClatchie is the consummate Bullis Charter School political activist warrior. She helped organize anti-LASD rallies in the past, and her organization, "Educacy" was behind mysterious pro-BCS mailers a year ago.
With a five year facilities agreement in place, LASD has nothing to do with Bullis Charter School, which is administered by the County of Santa Clara. Why, then, would BCS want to place one of their own on the LASD board?
If we truly want the war between BCS and our school district to be over, the last thing we need is to continue the controversy into the next four years by bringing such divisiveness and emotional baggage to our school board. The LASD school board should include members ready to dive into the arcane details of running a school district, not constantly bringing up the past.
With the war ending, Bullis Charter School should leave our school district alone, and old warriors like Martha McClatchie should hang up their boots.
It appears likely that Joan J Strong has his or her facts wrong. A school board member is required to live in the school district. The board controls spending of money collected from all residents in the district. In the case of LASD, a lot of the districts function is to operate school grounds as neighborhood parks. They place quite an emphasis on that. Doug Smith even used that as a reason why they had to short Bullis Charter on space at Blach. They couldn't add even a 10 foot wide strip of grass to the meager allocation of space for portable classrooms because it might interfered with neighborhood use of the adjacent field. Not school use, but neighborhood use.
Joan J Strong is a fake individual, and is likely a union-paid PR person trying to combat charter schools. The turth is that the 2000 or so residents of LASD who have or have had children attending Bullis Charter are entitled to participate in school governance. It is absurd to claim otherwise. In the case of such broad-based community participation in the charter school this becomes even more obvious. Innovations begun at BCS have permeated the LASD program over the last 5 years or so. Nevertheless, there is an ongoing flow of demand for slots in the charter school. Who better to understand the differences than a charter parent? Joan J Strong is just plain wrong.
Not only that, but Martha M. has had kids attending LASD for years. She has been a parent leader at Oak Avenue school and she invested a lot in improving LASD schools ALREADY. You don't lose that credit when you place one kid for his individual needs in a different alternate program. The fact that the school board is always disrespecting that program is MORE reason why someone with experience in both types of schools should join the board.
Who cares if she runs? That's what living in a democratic republic is all about. If the BCS crowd wants to send someone into LASD to attack it from within, go for it! BCS lost the war already, so there's no reason they will be any more successful with this latest tactic.
Obviously BCS parents are free to vote for whomever they please. Many BCS parents I talk to want peace as well. It's not a given they will all vote for a continuation of the war using Martha McClatchie. Many of them chose a school, not a political cause.
Just a normal parent here - no axe to grind - but I can't let these statements about Martha McClatchie stand. Martha is a serious person who has a long history of community involvement. I do not know her well, but I have witnessed her involvement in LASD committees (where we met) as well as within the BCS community. I also know she was one of the major forces behind the summer enrichment camp that was made available at no cost to students from Mountain View Whisman last summer. Talk to her yourself and decide. Please don't be swayed by proudly anonymous internet muckrakers.
I have no doubt that Ms. McClatchie has worked hard on behalf of her community, or that she is a "serious" person. She's also been a serious BCS zealot with a direct hand in organizing anti-LASD protests. She's also been the treasurer of the BCS Foundation which funded massive amounts of litigation against our local district over the years, and has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive PR firms to launch aggressive and deceptive marketing and PR campaigns attacking one of the top districts in the state. No matter what her prior good works were, Ms McClatchie has not place on the Board of Trustees and won't be getting my vote. Nor should she get the vote of anyone who values our local public schools.
I think elected bodies function best when there is a diversity of opinion, but then again i'm not a fascist.
This is amazing. The apparently irrespressible urge to bicker, find fault, and project other people's motives in anything remotely connected to Bullis Charter School surfaces again in the very first comment here by Joan J. Strong.
Here I thought we vast majority of readers, who have no stake in the often petty dispute, might finally -- finally! -- be spared yet more of this childishness, after the long-term Bullis-LASD pact was announced. Silly me.
(I'm not claiming that people who post that stuff don't sincerely believe in it. That they do, indeed, is a large part of the problem.)
To Not a Parent:
Joan J Strong has NO interest in peace. Despite claiming that he doesn't post on MV Voice because he finds it too childish, here he is with the first comment, and an aggressive nasty one at that. Does that sound like peace to you?
JJS' life is so miserable that if there is a fight to be picked, he will pick it.
Joan. Hey Joan: the war is over. You and your lies are SO yesterday.
"She's also been a serious BCS zealot with a direct hand in organizing anti-LASD protests. She's also been the treasurer of the BCS Foundation which funded massive amounts of litigation against our local district over the years, and has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on expensive PR firms to launch aggressive and deceptive marketing and PR campaigns attacking one of the top districts in the state."
Wow! No amount of public good dead can counter those actions. I would like to believe that Martha's good work in LASD PTAs and committees would serve her well on the school board, but if the above is true how can she be trusted? Treasurer of the BCS Foundation means she had a direct hand in approving of the funding of Millions of dollars in BCS instigated litigation against LASD. Money that would have better been spent on BCS kids and facilities? Wasn't it the BCS Foundation that has paid for all of the BCS litigation?
@4Diversity: "I think elected bodies function best when there is a diversity of opinion, but then again i'm not a fascist."
Diversity of opinion, yes. But unity of purpose is just as important. Ms. Mcclatchie has spent years either actively participating in, or aiding and abetting attempts to undermine and destabilize LASD.
Not the kind of diversity we need.
As a taxpayer you can look at this more objectively if you don't have a stake in bells and whistles at the local schools. These people mouthing off against charter schools are all a bunch of people who want a private school on the public dime. That's not what charter schools are really about, not even in this case of a community with the huge family incomes found in LASD. This current school board and their most recent predecessors have gone off the deep end in spending. I'd like to see someone on the board who gets no benefit from LASD hiring more teachers and administrators than they need. This past year they signed off on paying all the teachers 5% bonuses in the form of paid overtime. In the end, who pays for this?
To my mind, having a stellar charter school show just what can be done without extra spending is a plus to everyone. LASD has copied a lot of the programs started by BCS, since they truly don't require much in the way of extra funding. They don't really discuss their finances openly and a lot of questionable spending still takes place. This image people have that schools are underfunded is true in the general case when you have low income non-English speakers with poor home support. This is not at all the case in LASD, which has half that contingent compared to Cupertino and Palo Alto and 1/10 as much as Mountain View Whisman. Shame shame shame on LASD for burning all that wasteful money when there are kids in other areas who could use more funding for their education. LASD compares itself to smaller districts and Unified districts with high school and says it's poorly funded. The truth is that for its size of district it is funded #1 in the state. It raises and spends more per student than any other similar sized district. Quite a difference from the poor story they put forward when they try to pass yet another parcel tax increase.
This LASD district is disgusting. They have way more money and way more land for schools and way fewer middle income and low income kids. So they gripe to the Mountain View city council that heavens no, they can't possibly stand to have more kids added living in the San Antonio area. Give me a break. Of all the places in Mountain View that can AFFORD to add school children, the LASD territory is the best 20% of the city where growth should be occurring.
Nice inflammatory rhetoric @Private Schools -- Nobody, nobody is saying they "can't stand to have more kids living in the San Antonio area". They're only saying that the city of MV should partner with LASD to help create a campus in the NEC area since the city council approved the growth plans. Seems 100% reasonable to me -- though your comment is totally off topic of this article and this thread of postings.
To any voters even remotely concerned about the alleged issues raised by @David #2 above, I would urge you to do a little homework of your own. You will find that virtually every point raised is a lie or a gross distortion of the facts.
Bullis charter is all about diverting public funds to create a private school that is much cheaper for families that could afford it anyway. Any posting above that is BCS-supportive comes from one of several sore losers who fail to understand that the law is NOT on their side. They cannot massively disrupt top schools simply to benefit themselves.
Yeah, everybody knows LASD does its fair share to educate non-rich kids. Why they have nearly as many poor kids as does Mountain View. Just look at Castro School. It's virtually indistinguishable in the composition of its students compared to Santa Rita school. 2 peas in a pod. It's all about Bullis. The LASD residents created Bullis because they wanted a school that didn't look like Castro. Santa Rits was too close to Castro school. That's the Strong family's story and we're sticking to it. Just check out the facts for yourselves. Those snobs at Santa Rita are all bent out of shape because they have 6 poor kids attending their school and they want Bullis to take 1 of them.
LASD does everything required by law and more to educate the disadvantaged students within the district. BCS on the other hand, has been called out by its own chartering authority for failing to meet its obligations in this area. Jack's comments are patently false, but I expect much more of the same as the election draws near.
Personally, I am disgusted by my own school in how it treats the disabled. We looked at private schooling alternatives and none come close to the bargain we get at BCS. I would prefer transferring back to a LASD school, but my husband enjoys the networking with the weathly and powerful, so here we stay.
Personally I am disgusted by my school district and how it treats the disabled as children who are burdens rather than children to be celebrated. I am disgusted by the way district officials get all googly-eyed at the billionaire parents who enable an elitist school district to break their own rules about applying all donations equally across campuses. I prefer to try to get into BCS with our normal dual-career, hard-working neighbors but my wife wants to hobnob with the rich and famous parents in LASD. So here we stay.
Remember, a vote for Martha McClatchie is a vote to keep the above claptrap going for another four years...
I am not a member of Martha's campaign staff but I have worked with her before and I really think that she would do an excellent job. I am confused why some here do not want anyone on the LASD Board of Trustees that doesn't walk in lock step with the current members.
Martha has been working to unite LASD and to end the strife. I haven't seem anyone on the LASD side trying to do that. She is extremely qualified and would make an excellent Trustee. Here is a list of her accomplishments that I found on her Facebook page:
Member of League of Women Voters Los Altos-Mountain View Area
Los Altos Girl Scout Leader, active and current Service Unit 608 New Leader Advisor
Los Altos Kiwanis Club Director
Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation, current Treasurer and Board Member
Oak Elementary School PTA Treasurer and Financial Secretary (2007-2010)
Oak Elementary PTA Outstanding Service Award recipient
Los Altos Education Foundation (LAEF) contributor since 2007
Los Altos Leadership Education Advancement Program alum (2012)
Participant in LASD Educational Blueprint and BCS Long Term Strategy Sessions, 2011
Host of series of LASD/BCS parent meetings in 2011 focused on community harmony
AARP Tax Aide site councilor, Menlo Park (active since 2002)
Reading Partners Volunteer at Castro School Mountain View (since 2010)
Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents (PAMP) Club Membership Chair, Database Chair and VP Membership Operations (2004-2006)
Senior Director of Finance, Clarent Corporation
Audit Manager, General Electric Capital Corporation, Commercial Finance
Ernst & Young, audit division
Certified Public Accountant
BS, Business Administration from Boston University and member of Claflin Society
Who is Martha McClatchie?
Resident of Los Altos since 2007
Financial Executive with more than 25 years direct management experience
Passionate Community Volunteer
Married to Iain, with three daughters in grades 3nd, 4rd and 7th, attended Oak Elementary School from 2004-2012 currently attending Bullis Charter School
"Martha has been working to unite LASD and to end the strife."
Can you give one, single, solitary, concrete example of this?
Lawsuits don't count.
Everybody should ask themselves one question about Martha: why.
Why would she want to preside over a school district she has fought tooth and nail, and which she abandoned several years ago? (And why did she abandon it? Has anybody dared ask that?)
Why would she want to be elected to an office whose existence her chosen ideology opposes in principle?
The other candidates are clearly ready to dive into the hard work of managing a school district. Martha looks forward to grinding her already razor-sharp axe...
Wow, I didn't know about Martha being an auditor. Her skills on the LASD board are sorely needed. Their district administration has so many finance tricks that skirt the law. Tammy Logan claims they spent $120 Million on the last bond when the voters only authorized $94 Million. What a crock. Sure, a tiny fraction of that extra spending was legal. But she admits they did it by refinancing. Well, the thing with refinancing bonds is, a district isn't allowed to borrow more than the then-current balance, no way no how. LASD refinanced in 2006 and the principle borrowed then was $100 Million. The original bond should have been PAID DOWN at that point from $94 Million. That's one way they squeezed more out of the bond.
But it gets worse. They put $10 Million in bond prepayment costs on their operating cash. Yes, they spend down the districts reserve in reality but used accounting tricks to belie that fact. That's why they have no choice but to have a huge reserve even now, because they are carrying that amount forward over the life of the bond. They illegally take the funds to pay it off out of the tax payments coming from district residents, but they didn't count that original $10 Million as part of the amount financed. Then they also used CAB bonds for part of the refinancing, another way to squeeze extra out of the bond authorization.
But that wasn't enough. They wanted more so they put basically a mortgage on the site they own in Los Altos Hills which is already leased to a private school.
All these tricks are just a way to waste the district's operating income on capital expenditures. Then they cry poor and bring out a new parcel tax. It's totally obscure and highly unethical.
@Parent for Peace: "Martha has been working to unite LASD and to end the strife." How exactly are organizing anti-LASD protests and disbursing BCS Foundation funds for lawsuits and anti-LASD marketing and PR campaigns working to unite the community?
We definitely need different points of view on the Board. For example, I'd like to see a more aggressive, programmatic approach to continued curriculum enhancements for one. But what we don't need, is someone who has actively fought to tear down our local public schools and to undermine local democracy and control.
Ms. McClatchie IS extremely qualified -- for a role on the BCS board.
Continuing previous post: If Ms. McClatchie sincerely wants to help end the conflict and unite the community, the best position for her to affect that would be to join the BCS board and affect change from that side.
Los Altos School District has many challenges moving forward. The skill of the board members has not been very good at dealing with change. This is an understatement. They really don't seem to understand how their own schools work. Doug Smith even admitted he doesn't know how the city of Los Altos operates recreation programs.
We need on the board more skill and more variety of background at community organizations. The board has rejected its own demographer projections and instead talks of much larger populations. Even the demographer shows there is a big shift in residencies so that more kids live north of El Camino in Mountain View. There are already 600 kids living there and none of them are served by a nearby school. The district claims it has neighborhood schools but that's one very small neighborhood with zero evidence of that. The board has a history of kicking the can down the road. They don't vet many viewpoints before adopting some decision.
It would really help to have at least ONE member on the board with some creativity and financial acumen...... I don't care if it is Martha M. or someone else, but I certainly would not vote for any of the bozo incumbents.
I would rather vote for someone like David Roode to be on the LASD board as opposed to Martha McClatchie given her position as Treasurer on the Bullis-Purissima Elementary School Foundation. She had signature and approving authority to spend the BCS foundation money to fund an advertising agency that spread propaganda attack ads against our schools ($300k per year to one person) and using the BCS foundation funds to finance the lawsuits against our school district (over $1,000,000 per year). No matter what other redeeming qualities she has, the fact that her position on the BCS foundation has influenced so much of the generated strife cannot be forgiven.
That will always be part of her background and influence her decisions if on the LASD board. Diversity is good, but not this extreme.
Yeah, like in Corporate Governance, the Treasurer is like God. The Treasurer of the United States can hike taxes and change spending plans. If you get on the good side of the Treasurer of the U.S. your funding problems are SOLVED. Just the ROUNDING extras can add up to enough to arm a small country. The Contra Affair was unfairly blamed on Reagan. The real mastermind was the U.S. Treasurer.
This is a good thread. School board election -> Iran Contra. Can't wait to see where this ends up in a couple more days.
Maybe we should move on to Tammy Logan and Watergate
I would like to know where Martha McClatchie stands on the bond issue. She's got my vote if she comes out against it!
We should go to the Santa Clara County Board of Education and ask their esteemed leaders who they think should be on the LASD board. Perhaps if they don't like either the candidate slate or the elected winners, they will "beat" that person into submission.
Martha is a marvel. From the minute that she arrived at BCS she started working on healing the rift with the LASD community. She is the best qualified candidate to be a Trustee. She wants what most people in Los Altos want, excellent schools, that serve all LASD students.
Martha has also done quite a bit a work reaching out to families with kids who are on Free and Reduced Lunch and English Language Learners. Last summer she worked with several other BCS parents to run a STEM camp for these kids.
She has also a huge supporter of having a strong Visual and Performing Arts Programs in Schools. An area where LASD clearly lags behind BCS. She really could be a great Trustee.
@BCS Parent wrote: "Martha is a marvel. From the minute that she arrived at BCS she started working on healing the rift with the LASD community."
Please tell us what specific, tangible actions Ms. McClatchie took to start "healing the rift within the LASD community." Has she pushed the BCS board to drop litigation and to refrain from negative marketing campaigns against LASD? Has she advocated for increased attendance at BCS of disadvantaged students (not just summer STEM camp)? Has she tried to de-escalate situations like last year's FUA dispute, or poured gas on the fire with staged protests and madly tweeting PR consultants?
I have no doubt that BCS families value the contributions she has made to their school, but without clear, demonstrable steps to "heal the rift" it's just more hollow campaign slogans. Be specific please.
First of all dropping litigation is not a test. The litigation was necessary. BCS kids were and still are being discriminated against. If it were up to me I would continue to fight because I believe the LASD board is a bunch of cowboys that have taken the law into their own hands and should be held accountable for their actions. But I get why they are doing it - LASD is truly crazy and is willing to spend public tax dollars that should be going into classrooms on litigation. I bet if you actually had a solution live turning over Covington or GB to BCS the entire rest of the district except the parents at the affected school would be very happy with it. In fact more happy than they are going to be with BCS with sizable campuses at both Egan and Blach. That makes it certain that LASD won't be moving sixth grade to the middle school anytime soon, something that many LASD parents would like to see happen.
Unfortunately, the core of BCS is rotten. They promulgate lies as revenge for a good decision by LASD to close an under-subscribed school.
The rest is just greed by BCS to take public funds for use in a private school. A complete bastardization of the charter school law. Shame on them!
Definitely do NOT vote for any of the Bullis crowd.
"I bet if you actually had a solution live turning over Covington or GB to BCS the entire rest of the district except the parents at the affected school would be very happy with it."
Trudy, believe it or not, most people don't think like you do. Most value their community over their own expedient needs. Most are willing to see the big picture, and act on principle. Most have heard--and understood--the parable by Martin Niemöller (google it).
About three years ago, all of the school PTAs in LASD issued a joint statement which made it clear that closing ANY thriving neighborhood public school for the benefit of BCS was unacceptable.
We stick together as a community for the benefit of all, and for the long run. That's the spirit of neighborhood schools. Charter schools are the opposite. For them, it's everybody for themselves, for the moment.
So don't imagine that everybody thinks like you do. Lucky for you, they don't.
Unfortunately, the core of LASD is rotten. They promulgate lies as revenge to try and eliminate BCS.
The rest is just greed by LASD to use public facilities to benefit those property owners close to each school site. A complete disregard for State law (Prop 39). Shame on them!
Definitely do NOT vote for any of the Incumbents.
Wow, Mr Rashke. Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel!
Bikes2work: "Unfortunately, the core of LASD is rotten. They promulgate lies as revenge to try and eliminate BCS.
The rest is just greed by LASD to use public facilities to benefit those property owners close to each school site. A complete disregard for State law (Prop 39). Shame on them!
Definitely do NOT vote for any of the Incumbents."
Trudy, believe it or not, most people don't think like Joan. Most people don't lob a continued assault on others while remaining crouched in the dark, claiming to herald "community spirit."
Anyone like Joan who chooses to be isolated, anonymous and angry at his neighbors, for this many years, knows nothing about community.
So don't imagine that everyone thinks like Joan. Lucky for us, they don't.
@Community Concerned: "Anyone like Joan who chooses to be isolated, anonymous and angry at his neighbors, for this many years, knows nothing about community."
Says the anonymous poster. Hypocrisy or cluelessness?
Joan needs to find a few a new hobby. Perhaps she can defend the IRS.
Joan Strong has committed publicly on both FB and LATC forums to retire that persona and leave this debate if the proposed 5 year deal between BCS and LASD is signed. I hope may of us can move on to something more pleasant and constructive if that happens. I'll certainly be interested to see how David Roode responds to a peace accord. I'd love to see him make a similar commitment to stand down, but I'm sure he'll continue to find a way (or many ways) to continue to agitate against LASD no matter what...
[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
What nonsense from you again Joan. Of course David Roode "will be here after the agreement" -- he's a real person. Unlike you, Joan. Hysterical, that you call him a "nutcase troll." Pot calling the kettle black.
God bless Mr. Roode. Never a name caller, never foul-mouthed like you Joan, and with courage to use his real name.
Your attacks of him reek of jealousy.
I still don't understand how people do that--criticize me for being anonymous using anonymous (and disposable) aliases.
I couldn't engage in such cognitive dissonance if I tried.
The ability to lie to one's self like this shows you the sort of mentality behind the BCS hard-cores. They've been lying about so many things for so many years that I think they've simply lost the ability to think clearly.
I discussed this in an interesting blog posting a while back:
I still would like an answer how Martha's role as the BCS Foundation Treasurer in approving yearly $300,000 contracts for a negative PR campaign and more than $1 Million per year of parent donated money to go toward starting lawsuits makes her a needed member of the LASD board? How does that out weigh any good she has done?
Do any of the candidates support providing school buses to these kids in San Antonio area houses who are sent to Los Altos schools up to 3 miles away from home? They go to 4 different schools. This is really absurd. In this day and age, the extra private car trips should be avoided! Please! Wake up!
Buses are a great idea and worth the expense. Many districts use them to reduce traffic around schools as well as to transport to students that live further away. All LASD schools have a majority of their students arriving by car, making school areas accident areas. Each bus takes at least 40 cars off the road.
LASD runs it's campuses for the nearby residents. Maybe they will be willing to do this if they consider that buses will have a big benefit for the Next-door to the Schools Club by reducing traffic near their homes.
[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
De-certify and dis-band the charter school to re-consolidate the district. That will save a lot of space that is wasted by having all the extra administrators duplicating LASD work.
How can we get this done?
Joan Strong: On a related note, do you have any numbers to show the legal costs incurred by LASD to fight off the BCS onslaught?
[Post removed due to disrespectful comment/personal attack]
@Show me -
Here is a story from this very paper about a camp for local underprivileged kids that Martha founded. Check it out.
Stuff like this is exactly what LASD and BCS need to do. Work together to educate all of the kids in our community. Martha would be a fantastic member of the LASD Board of Trustees
Martha's was the BCS Foundation Treasurer responsible for approving yearly $300,000 contracts for a negative PR campaign and more than $1 Million per year of parent donated money to go toward starting lawsuits. Helping underprivileged kids at a camp does not outweigh the dirty politics and bitter community divide she has been a part of.
Oh no you mean she signed a check that was voted for by a larger group? Wow that is just a really bad black mark.
Keep trying it is all really entertaining. Of course BCS hired a PR form. Mr. Smith was out in force throwing anything at the wall trying to get things to stick, sort of similar to what you are trying, with out much success, to do right now.
See here's the thing it is not just a few people that live near the schools that vote for the school board, it is the entire community. A community that appreciates the work Martha has done. Mr. Smith and Ms Logan not so much.
How is your local park doing? Tammy and Doug want to use it for a school - must keep all the schools at 400 kids. too bad if you like your park
Tomorrow - 8/4/14 is the deadline to file. I hope that the incumbents will not run, it will be difficult to pass the bond if people think that Mr. Smith, Mr. Goines, or Ms. Logan will be in charge of spending the bond funds. They have been so terrible at making tough decisions, they don't want to lead, they just want to do their own pet projects, most of which involve Bullis Charter School in some way shape or form. For the good of community it is time to step down.
Give the community a chance to heal. BCS board members retired, please do the same.
Vladimir Ivanovic just posted a message on one of the social media forums. The message contains a letter that he wrote to the Town Crier which is an impassioned defense of Joan J Strong, thanking her for her efforts fighting Bullis Charter School.
Mr. Ivanovic is entitled to his opinion, indeed I am not surprised by his glowing endorsement. However, anyone who is huge Joan J Strong fan does not belong on the LASD Board of Trustees. It really shows poor judgement on his part.
If we are ever going to heal as a community we need to move past all of this. Vladimir doesn't seem to get that.
Anyone who brings up charter revocation gets my vote.
@ Made up
Here's to hoping that you don't vote or maybe move? Either one works for me. We need LASD for peace and harmony not nasty haters of educational freedom.
I have never liked the postings of Ms. Strong. I hope someone runs that supports the interest of the taxpayers. We pay so much to the schools and end up with fighting.
Most of the anti-LASD postings are from one person--and we all know who that is.
BCS failed to achieve their primary objective: get a unified campus. They were failing in court and on the road to de-certification. That's why they surrendered and signed the five-year cease-fire. Since they can't really litigate, they will assault LASD in other ways. Let's keep the board clean and not elect the Bullis Bullies.
Or maybe BCS wanted two campuses? Why wonder? Maybe BCS was tired of all the fighting and because they are spending their own money, rather that the tax payers, were tired of waiting for the LASD board to make tough decisions because it is their job to provide facilities to ALL the public school children that reside in the Los Altos School District. That is why we need a new board. Hopefully one that will spend bond money wisely, if the bond bases. We need to have clear thinking, rational adults running the show. The current board is largely made of individuals that are trying to score one against BCS.
The board has spent years fighting off BCS assaults on the high performing schools in the district. Now that the court has told them enough is enough, they will try other tactics. Ultimately, they will lose...
Here's an idea. Let's change the priority system to put the lowest scoring students on top for a preference to go to Bullis. If the charter school is so great, these schools should still be beating LASD schools by the fraction of a percentage point they are so proud of. Of course, if the scores drop, then that will show that any difference is due to "creaming"--recruiting preference to higher performing students.
Bring them on. BCS will do a better job. The proof is already there. Check out the scores for the BCS Special Education Students.
As a side note - Seems like you are continuing the current LASD BOT operations. i.e. - lets get BCS to take the kids that we don't want, got to top out those test scores.….
The comment above which addresses "Mr. Rashke" was not by this David R. There are several people on here who try to impersonate other people. The idiot who says most of the comments are from one person is wrong. I can see why people want to be anonymous but it is pointless to make posts guessing who someone is.
I hope after all this settlement has gone on, and LASD has gotten it's desired CAP on BCS enrollment (which is against the charter laws and really shouldn't be introduced through a backdoor facilities agreeement), that LASD will stop dissuading its students from participating in BCS. This has a disproportionate effect on the disadvantaged high needs students. Board members have been quoted as saying they recommend against low achieving students going to BCS. That kind of crap should stop.
@"David R", Mr Roode, get some perspective and step into the community by being a participant in our schools. You repeatedly trivialize our kids education to the lowest dollar without even the faintest clue how education works. You don't participate in any community efforts about education and refuse to engage the LASD board (have you ever been to the BCS board?).
School starts soon. Will you come volunteer at our schools and our PTAs and finally see what the community wants out of our schools and why they work so well? Will you offer your name to any of the many LASD committees to ensure a successful bond and citizen oversight (you have had many such opportunities which you have wasted)? Otherwise, continue being ignored.
So I guess no one is entitled to an opinion unless they are part of part of LASD "in" crowd? Maybe only Hutts members should get vote for school board, they are a bunch of self serving lawyers, so they should know what's best, right? Thankfully we haven't crossed the line to authoritarian rule. Here's to hoping that Lords Tammy, Mark and Doug Step down from their thrones this fall. They have failed. LASD kids getting good test scores is nothing remarkable - they, for the most part, come from homes with highly educated parents. The fact that there are somein our community who have blinders on is very sad. Luckily its not too many. Most people are wising up. We have some very poor trustees that are incapable of making any decision. Time for a new group.
That last message wasn't from this David R but I second the intent. If elected officials are going to spend extra money, they need to answer to everyone.
BCS is ten times better than any LASD school. I have the evidence, but I will not share it until all of the current board members step down.
I wouldn't worry too much. Lords Tammy, Doug and Mark don't have much of a shot at it, even if they do run.
@good grief, No, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But ignorant and out of touch views are just that. David Roode has never tried to work with either LASD or BCS board to get an inside perspective beyond that of reading headlines. Mr Roode has never attended or conversed with any LASD or BCS committee or parent group. Instead he slings blatantly false self conflicting accusations left and right against the LASD board and how our schools operate. That's why I encourage him to not only attend and sign up for board committees but to also volunteer with our PTAs. Otherwise someone like David that is self isolated from our community will only continue to put out naive statements.
@Dan (and David Roode), don't be so sure that the incumbent Trustees "don't have much of a shot". Sure, there have been some mis-steps over the years, but this Board did successfully beat back the threat posed by BCS and there have been several successful enhancements to the LASD curriculum during their tenure. The lawsuits are over and the risk of closing down an existing school and handing it over to the charter is dead as well. I'd say that's a pretty good outcome.
Both sides made concessions in the 5 year deal. BCS finally backed off the demand for a single, dedicated campus and accepted a de-facto enrollment cap. LASD essentially agreed to not fight the BCS growth plans, accept a gradual phase out of the LAH preference, and give up on hard targets for disadvantaged students. In exchange, both sides gain stability and security, and can turn the focus more fully to serving their respective students. On balance, I think these trustees have done a good job serving the community and have handled the baseless attacks and personal criticism from trolls and BCS sycophants with remarkable restraint. I'll assess the full slate of candidates before deciding who to vote for, but the incumbents certainly deserve strong consideration.
@ Garbage Man
Getting dizzy reading your post...
Are you a BOT or just impersonating one?
@Vince -- WTF are you talking about?
@ Garbage Man
Dizzy is the key word.... what makes someone dizzy?
Good one! I need an air sickness bag after that last response.
@ Dan Dan
Vince nailed it. You are either a BOt, a wanna be bot, or an LASD BOT…………………Sycophant. In any event if you want to get elected or re-elected, ( its a long shot but who knows?) you need to work on your SPIN skills.
Bullis Charter essentially decided to split into 2 separate school sites in order to work around LASD's efforts to kill them. The first year LASD gave them 3 portable classrooms all by themselves clear across town. Of course that offer had no effect. Following that, LASD followed up with a much more reasonable offer where there were enough classes to start a 2nd school site over at Blach.
But now with this plan for 900 students and 2 reasonable size sites, and a firm committment, Bullis is free to operate a 400 student grade 1 or 2 through 8 site at Blach and a 500 student grades K-4 site at Egan. That's a plan to operate 2 self contained schools which are both sub 500 students.
You people who argue that Bullis has been insisting on 1 single site and that this will cause problems are missing the point. Bullis AGREED to accept a single site to house 900+ kids *IF* it was adequate. What really is coming is that Bullis will make plans to expand to 1000 or so, and Bullis will neeed 2 working sites from LASD. They will have demonstrated that this works with the Blach/Egan split. They need to expand services to cover more of the district to meet the goals of including more low income kids, and this is one way to do it.
LASD has under 500 students on average at its elementary schools. Bullis equial to TWO of them. With their K-8 model they are more like a K-6 school than they are like a 7-8 school. QED Bullis needs two sites, and this was caused by LASD's brilliant trustees in all their feuding.
What about the rumors that Bullis has a strategic plan to expand to 5 schools. Wow, then Bullis would be 1/2 of LASD with the other half at the other schools. No doubt they would be just as diverse as the LASD schools, and they'd even have all the special ed kids, and those few ELL and low income kids as a fraction same as found in LASD.
What will be the harm then?
Great idea! 90 % of LASD parents prefer the charter program - if it is at every school great! Or had in some other charter schools. Maybe we could confine LASD to just one campus there mascot could be THE HUTTS
@ Dan Dan
Oh no there were a few grammatical errors iand misspellings in my last post. Don't get your panties in a bunch over it.
This "Bot" is done responding to mindless trolls...
Jabba the Hutts as a school mascot? Did I spell that right? I like it. It's got pizzaz. Which candidate will spearhead that?
But, we digress. The issue is that all the candidates are always the same. They get anointed by being put on the CACF which is a do-little group that the board ignores. Sangeeth Peruri was added in March. And that qualifies him to run for LASD Board? The guy just moved into the district a year or so ago. Has he had *ANY* experience with other U.S. public schools? He's got a 2nd grader. How much can he have learned about the American education system in that time? What makes him a good steward of the public trust? Has he contributed any insightful analysis to the CACF? He's raised some funds for the PTA at Covington. Wonderful. Over the course of 1.5 years. The last I heard was he wants to limit school size to 500. How does he think we'd pay for running things that way? What happens to the extra 10 kids at Almond this year beyond that? What about the 70 extra kids from Santa Rita? The 20 from Springer? And that's just this year at the beginning. There were others who moved in mid-year. Has he got a plan on how to handle that with his limits in place? Is he seriously going to divert a family who live near Oak over to Gardner because of some limit? This kind of position just seems like a poorly thought out way to try to adopt the trite stereotype of the support of the establishment for 'small schools' in LASD.
I think we need some real expertise rather than filthy rich people who are looking for a way to get into politics. Pay some dues first. Work on LASD volunteer activities for at least 3 years before you run to join the board of trustees....
I wonder who the final candidates are? Guess we will find out soon.
I hope the incumbents are not running. I know that Ms. Logan has declared but I am hoping that she will reconsider. I don't think the bond has a chance with her or Mr. Smith in the election. There are too many community members that fear that they will try and take over Hillview.
Heard a rumor that joanie is one of the candidates.
It would nice to see LASD strive to bring some diversity to their board. I mean, it's all white/Caucasians and also, fairly older (>50yo avg). At least the BCS board has some diversity (Asian - Sang Yoo, African American - Joe Hurd, younger women - Jennifer Carolan) as part of seeing some of the old guard turn over. LASD should follow suit and get some new blood in - young, diverse, more open minded - that doesn't just naturally kowtow to "special interests."
The (still?) unelected BCS board operates quite differently from the elected LASD board. Its diversity means nothing, if you consider that KM had dictated BCS for so many many years. Most of the BCS members didn't really have much to say about the important things. This is not the first time a BCS parent attemps to get elected to the LASD board. A few years back, another BCS parent had tried and failed easily.
The BCS board needs people who dare to make major changes of BCS, for the benefit of all of the local school community. It would more reasonable for Martha to be on that board, if she has the will of doing so, despite of her history of somewhat facilitating the conflicts between BCS and LASD.
Is anyone else tired of the one dimensional LASD board? What we need is good people for the job. Martha is a hard working community volunteer who has the right stuff. I am planning on voting for Martha because we need a board that puts kids and education first. We need more members that embrace having two different types of public schools and see the tremendous value in it. Our schools are good, let;s make them great. I am so done with the squabbling.
I think the idea of new blood on the board might be good. But there is no way I'm EVER voting for someone who actively worked to undermine our schools through lawsuits, bogus staged demonstrations, paid anti-LASD PR campaigns, etc. None of Martha's other considerable good works make up for the last few years as a hard core warrior for BCS against LASD. Actions speak far louder than words, and her claims of being a unifying force ring totally hollow.
The events that you refer to are exactly why we need Martha on the LASD Board. We need someone that will think of children first. The LASD BOT's locked BCS teachers out of their classrooms and would have locked children out as well. It was all part of their stick it to BCS policy. They were trying to anything and everything to get rid of school choice in our district. The BOTs actions were done purely for politics It had nothing to do with preserving quality LASD programs. In fact their punitive actions against BCS were clearly discrimination against BCS students. They are lucky that BCS parents didn't individually sue them. We don't need egotistical warlords like Ms. Logan on the LASD board.
If Martha has the will, she should try to help to make major changes of BCS. BCS needs a lot of more changes to earn the trust of the general LASD community. The wounds need to be healed, but not to be widened.
A couple of years ago, something like this was tried. (An active BCS parent was trying to be elected to the board.)
BCS has new board members. Didn't you hear. The BCS Board has no really power over students in LASD schools, unless you count offering an alternative program to the residents of the Los Altos School District an evil act in need of reform. Luckily most people in our community are aware of the interesting an valuable alternative that BCS is offering.
LASD is the board that has the power to tax us. If the bond passes, and that is a big if, we need some fiscally responsible candidates in office. Martha will be a great auditor. Indeed she is in direct contrast to Ms. Logan who seems most interested in taking Hillview from the citizens of Los Altos and spending money on 20 million dollar solar systems. Both these projects are unneeded and are fiscally irresponsible. They have have nothing to do with solving creating a school for students in the growing north end.
"The BCS board needs people who dare to make major changes of BCS, for the benefit of all of the local school community." Can Martha really do that, considering her history?
"The BCS Board has no really power over students in LASD schools"
Should such a board have when it is not elected by the LASD community?
Lets some it up shall we?
If you want more of the same stuff vote for Tammy, Vlad… etc.
If you want a school board that is fiscally responsible and puts kids first --- vote for Martha.
Tammy Logan priority list
Slogans have no appeal to people in this well informed and highly educated area.
Ditch Smith, works for me.
If Martha wants to demonstrate her commitment to unifying the community, and to helping ensure a lasting peace between BCS and LASD, she'd be better served doing it from within the BCS organization. PROVE that commitment with actions, not empty campaign slogans that are inconsistent with years of active, anti-LASD behavior. She has no place on the LASD board of trustees.
The candidates are finalized a week ago. Only Logan will return.
Vladimir Ivanovic and Sangeeth Peruri will serve the LASD very well. The diversity is right there.
Um yeah sure that who I want in charge of tax payer dollars
and questionable background Sangeeth
Good luck with that.
Now that Mark Goines is going, who will be the curmudgeonly old guy? seems like Vlad, Sang, and Pablo are all kind of young. That doesn't seem like diversity to me. Just because they all 3 were born out of the country and attend elementary school in foreign countries, this does not make the board diverse.
Is Doug Smith staying on the board? Even if it isn't his cycle, he should be the bigger man and step down. You've already got Tammy soldiering on and the community doesn't need 2 hardliners in the Politboro. Vlad, Sangeeth, Pablo and Martha could be a better foundation for the future. While LASD may not want a "BCS perpetrator" in its midst, it would be well served to do so b/c 1) you want to keep your enemies close and 2) if Martha was there and not thinking for the whole community, you've got all the ammo you need for the future. After all, Martha would just be 1 vote and that isn't going to swing anything. Just look at our Supreme Court.
@Nothing to Worry About -- Both Smith and Goines have apparently decided not to seek re-election. Looks like you and the rest of the LASD haters got at least 2/3 of what you've been yammering for. But don't think there won't be major and well organized opposition to McClatchie and John Swan though. Until BCS is actually chartered by LASD instead of SCCOE, and until we've seen sustained peace and cooperation between the charter and the district, there is no place for a BCS parent on the LASD board of trustees.
LASD Haters? Who wouldn't hate the school board of LASD? What does Doug Smith think he was doing by going after Hilliew Community Center (first) and then the parks (second). That was just stupidity of the first degree. If there are really any LASD haters, then that action caused their number to grow. And for no need, and no purpose. It appears he did this as some sort of threat to BCS, but even that was not clear. And he actually sat there and told 2 Los Altos ity council members that they would face a hard time getting their bond passed in a year or so (from now) if they hadn't solved the LASD problem of need a new school site for the Mountain View San Antonio area. This shows a person who speaks of the top of his head and is not very politically skilled, which sums up the performance by Doug Smith on the school board. Both he and Tammy Smith both blame the Mountain View city council for not letting them know that over the past 20 years there has always been a population of at least 350 kids in the greater San Antonio area who attend Los Alto elementary schools. What turkeys.
The Los Altos school district sold off an elementary school near El Camino Real but on the Los ALtos side back in the 1970's. At the time, the Almond School attendance area expanded to encompass both sides of El Camino Real on up to areas around that school. The other side of San Antonio Road even noth of El Camino Real continued to attend Santa Rita School, which is also in Los Altos. At that point, LASD continued with the obligation to handle any ebbs and flows in the size of the school age population. It did not however have the land resource of a school near El Camino Real.
@Incompetence -- wow dude. you have some serious bitterness and resentment issues you need to work out. I'd strongly suggest getting professional help. The level of your hostility is so wildly disproportionate to any of the potential mis-steps the trustees may have made it shows either some major emotional instability, or that there is some other underlying reason for your issues. I have no clue what your problem *really* is, but I can tell you that the vast majority of LASD parents are extremely happy with the experience and education their kids are receiving. There are always opportunities for improvement by the district, but your views don't reflect anything more than an extreme corner case.
We are extremely lucky that the LASD parents are a small sub group, around thirty percent of the voters in LASD. I know its hard for some of the LASD faithful/Hutts/BOT sycophants to get a grasp around, as you are very isolated in your own small world - of let them eat cake . (doesn't everyone have a school right down the street?) Most people just don't think the way that you do, including a large portion of the actual LASD parents. We don't want the parks and Hillview taken over by the Los Altos School District. We don't want another bond project that wastes funds and accomplishes nothing. We don't want the fighting between BCS and LASD to continue so we won't be supporting Tammy or Vlad. They are part of the problem, not the solution.
If you surveyed LASD parents ( - the sycophants) you would find that most people are interested in a BCS type program - LASD has a long way to go to get there. Working with the BCS community, instead of trying to destroy them is the first step.
Just because there is incompetence overall in the school board does not justify hating LASD. That was point. Don't mistake those who see the LASD board members in recent actions for the bumbling fools that they are as being a sign that these same people "hate" LASD. My point was you can hate the board without hating the schools. Just because parents are getting what they want does not mean that the taxpayers are not seeing millions of dollars wasted by this 3 ring circus that calls itself a school board.
Want another example? This is a school board which throws up its hands at making any decisions and leaves the motivations for its requested $150 Million bond up for discussion. They're not quite sure what to do with it, but they just want more money. Let's appoint a grass roots committee of know nothings who have personal gains to consider. Let's try to get that group of 35 people to make a decision about the needs of some students for a school that doesn't exist yet. Yeah, right.
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