Verde Editorial: Dauber and Caswell for School Board

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Editor’s Note: The following editorial reflects the views and opinions of the staffers of Verde Magazine. These views do not necessarily reflect the views of The Paly Voice.

In the past four years Palo Alto students and parents have been confronted with a variety of contentious issues, from the debate over Gunn and Paly’s counseling system to the controversy over school board transparency. As the school board election approaches, candidates incumbent Melissa Baten Caswell and challenger Ken Dauber stand out to the Verde staff as especially qualified to direct our district in facing these challenges and the ones to come.

We commend Dauber for his commitment to promoting student wellbeing and the concrete actions he has taken to achieve his goals. He has, for instance, advocated for a PAUSD homework committee, worked actively to establish time limits for homework, founded parent group We Can Do Better Palo Alto! and pushed for the alignment of graduation requirements with California’s a-g requirements.

Dauber also believes in making sure that “best practices” are implemented across the district, including the implementation of Schoology. We agree with Dauber’s philosophy that board decisions should to be driven by data from quantifiable research conducted by the district, an approach that we believe will most accurately and efficiently determine what “best practices” are.

We applaud Dauber for his commitment to board transparency and accountability, as evidenced by his pledge to make all his communications with other board members public and to push for clearer board decisions.

Caswell contributes a unique business expertise to the board, which she used to bring in pro bono help from a consulting firm in 2008 to develop the PAUSD strategic plan. Our decreasing budget makes Caswell’s good financial sense especially valuable. In addition, Verde agrees with Caswell’s focus on teacher development. Since good money management can only take us so far, we need to work to adapt to bigger classes and the other realities of a smaller budget.

We are confident that Dauber and Caswell possess the passion, skill, and practicality necessary to effectively govern our district.