Monday, October 21, 2013

More thanks to Mayor Waldeck

I continue to be impressed with his level-headedness, and his ability to listen to, and actually 'hear', both sides of the story. I can see that his years of program management experience are being put to good use.  In regards to the specifics of last night's meeting, it started with a proposal from Doug (LASD) - would BCS be willing to waive their attendance preferences for folks from the hills?  The rationale for his request was:
- if, we are trying to appeal to the broader los altos community, who would be paying for the additional parcel tax
- because, Bullis Purrissma (the LASD elementary school that was closed for renovation 10+ years ago, a closure that caused the rationale for the creation of the charter school - if you doubt this at all, listen to Francis La Poll for a few minutes, and you won't) has been reopened for many years, so the kids in the hills do have a local LASD school again
- then, by waiving the preference, it would show that BCS is actually trying to appeal to the broader community more than it is trying to cherry pick the easiest students

This seemingly innocuous suggestion devolved into into a disappointing meeting including such gems as:
- Francis saying that BCS actually does a "better job" with special needs kids, because they mainstream all of them (I honestly don't know whether this comment is just intended to be misleading, or just ignorant, but if anyone doesn't think that BCS is even creaming the special needs children by taking those who can excel while "discouraging"  those who require more help and score lower on tests, then that person is just not paying attention)
- Doug quoted numbers from BCS' chartering agency that said that LASD has 12.9% ELL (English Language Learners) while BCS has 1.8%. Hmm, this doesn't seem to be a representative slice?!?  Again, I'm not sure if the BCS representatives were trying to be misleading, but they kept quoting that they have a larger number of ELL in their latest kinder (I think that the number was 16 or 20 - I wonder how many are Hispanic, and how many are children of PHD students at Stanford?!?) as if this number was "larger " than 12.9, an incongruous statement of comparing a raw number with a percentage. 
The consistency with which BCS representatives make misleading statements, either intentionally or ignorantly, is staggering.

Abbott and Costello would be proud...

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