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April 21, 2019



Thanks, @Mom. I missed that bit of news, but now see it at the SacBee. While we are talking about the schools and BSD in particular, here is another bit of news from the DJ:

Maggie MacIsaac, superintendent of the Burlingame Elementary School District, lauded the collaborative effort leading to her school system moving out of the mandated support, known as differentiated assistance, for addressing chronic absenteeism.

“In Burlingame we believe all students have potential and knowing students’ names, faces and stories help us remove the barriers that get in their way,” she said in an email. “I am proud of the admin team, teachers and students in Burlingame for getting out of [differentiated assistance] in one year because we looked at systems and structures that would help us support students and families to be at their best.”


I did not know we were on "differentiated assistance" this past year.


The public should be shocked by such a law... but the underlying elements of the suspensions and their economic impact are the reasons for the new law.

Most in Burlingame would not realize that these "arbitrary" and damaging policies are in our own backyard.

"Willful Defiance" is arbitrary depending upon the individual in the superior position. "My classroom my rules" is the phrase used by many teachers.

But what if these "rules" were arbitrary, discriminatory, or simply a preference over common sense or logic?

What about favoritism towards a specific group or gender and avarice towards others:

This bias was presented at BHS.
According to Data presented about BHS
"Discipline is a HUGE Issue"
"Predominately Female Staff v. Male Behavioral Issues"

Male Suspension
BHS 5:1

"Females are not discipline issues."

Summary- BHS suspended (past tense) males at a 5:1 ratio to females and at a rate about the rest of the SMUHSD. In addition, the suspensions were linked by the administration to a gender based issue. "Male Behavioral Issue." (see attached)

“Ending willful defiance suspensions will keep kids in school where they belong and where teachers and counselors can help them thrive,”

"Under the legislation, school authorities could still remove disruptive kids from class, but would be encouraged to use alternative disciplinary practices, such as restorative justice or positive behavior support. Students could still be suspended for more serious actions, such as physical violence, theft or use of drugs." LA Times

"In 2017 and 2018, African American student suspensions represented 17% of total suspensions across the state, even though African American students made up less than 6% of total students in the state, according to California Department of Education data."


Louis Brandeis -PA Schools have a Public Record Portal

The Palo Alto Unified School District has a dedicated portal where it publishes ALL Public Record requests as well as the documents requested.

This level of transparency by a public agency allows the public to review the "authentic documents" and monitor the behavior of its leaders and employees as well as have first hand knowledge of how the public's tax dollars are spent.

If the local governments and school district were to adopt a policy of a Public Record Portal, the discussions of finance, policy, and employee behavior could easily be examined by the public.

“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”


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