Putting Students First

Ken is President of the Palo Alto Unified School District board. He's running for re-election in 2018.


I’d like the chance to earn your vote for my re-election to the Board of Education. I joined the board four years ago with the goals of

  • Improving well-being for our students;
  • Better meeting the needs of historically underserved students and students receiving special education services;
  • Ensuring that the district complies with federal and state civil rights law, so that all students receive an education free of harassment and discrimination; and
  • A more effective, data-driven school board.

We have made progress on each of these goals in the last four years, though there is still work to be done.

There are also new challenges, most importantly the district’s financial situation. We are facing budget deficits in the future despite strong property tax revenues AND years of budget cuts -- the result in part of a 3-year compensation contract that I thought was unnecessary and too expensive, and that I voted against. Since then, I have consistently advocated for budget cuts away from classrooms and students. I have also tried to lead the Board as president towards a more effective budgeting process.

My record includes:

  • Ensuring that the district made improvements to reduce stress, including:
    • Improved counseling services for our high school students;
    • Implementing teacher-led advisory at Gunn;
    • Eliminating early-morning academic classes at both high schools;
    • Designing and beginning implementation of a district-wide social-emotional learning curriculum.
    • Opening and expanding wellness centers and providing effective mental health services for students;
  • Supporting the adoption of full-day kindergarten across the district;
  • Supporting the addition of a full-time equity coordinator to ensure progress on closing the achievement gap and to provide support for historically under-represented minority students;
  • Leading the successful effort to improve civil rights for students in our district and prevent sexual harassment of female students in our high schools, including:
    • Reaching a resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights;
    • Ensuring the district made strong progress on transparency and compliance in dealing with complaints of sexual harassment and assault at Paly and Gunn;
    • Holding administrators accountable for legal compliance with civil rights laws.
  • Pressing for a consistent focus on fiscal responsibility;
  • Improving Board functioning and meetings, including handling disagreements and hard decisions with civility and clarity, and making real progress in developing more effective processes for budgeting and setting district goals; and
  • Helping to bring the city and district together in joint process to plan long-delayed improvements at Cubberley.

There is still much work to be done, however, including:

  • Real implementation of the district’s homework policy. According to Challenge Success data, half of our high school students are spending more than 3 hours a night on homework, and our high school students are averaging only 7 hours of sleep per night, much less than the 9 hours that sleep research recommends. Reducing academic stress, helping our students get enough sleep, and enabling them to enjoy healthy activities after school are simple but critical positive steps that we need to take.
  • Closing the achievement gap
  • Improving management systems at the district level
  • Empowering the district’s teachers and administrators towards more innovation -- which is currently too difficult at a district in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Contact Ken

Ken would love to hear from you! You can email him at kdauber@pausd.org or give him a call at 650-906-4340.

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Contact: kenneth.dauber@gmail.com or 650-906-4340

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