Putting Students First

I'm President of the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education. While all of the votes have not yet been counted, it appears that I was re-elected to a second term. Thanks to everyone for their support.

Endorsed by Both Local Papers

The Weekly called me a "force for positive change and a strong leader." The editorial said that I am leading "the strongest board in decades" and that "we are in a far better place than at any point in the last decade." The Weekly pointed to many areas of progress for students: in student stress and well-being, addressing the achievement gap, improving counseling in our schools, special education, homework, civil rights and Title IX, and data-driven decision making.

The Post called me "the voice of reason on the board" and wrote that "we think Dauber has put the district on the right track and has earned re-election."

A Record of Positive Change

Health and wellness. We built wellness centers at both high schools, giving students a welcoming place at school and access to strengthened mental health supports. Students in all of our schools, from elementary through high school, will benefit from an integrated social emotional learning curriculum.

Positive steps for high school students. Students at both high schools now have all of their school assignments in a single online tool, Schoology. Both high schools have adopted block schedules that reduce transitions and homework, decreasing stress and creating opportunities for focused learning. Gunn students are finally benefiting from teachers in an advisory role, after years of effort.

Full-day kindergarten for our young students and families. All of our students benefit from afternoons with their teachers and friends, particularly students who lack resources at home.

Fiscal responsibility and sound management. I have been an advocate for compensation that ensures that we can continue to recruit and retain excellent teachers, while being sustainable given district revenues. I led the process of selecting a new Superintendent with strong management skills. With my support, the district recently hired one of the best chief business officers in California. Strong financial controls and getting the maximum value for students from taxpayer dollars is a top priority for senior district management.

Ensuring students an education free of sexual harassment and discrimination. Before I joined the board, I was the strongest public voice for cleaning up the district's lack of compliance with state and federal civil rights laws, including making it a key issue in the 2014 school board election. Since I joined the board, the district has invested in compliance, including new staffing, personnel changes, and policies. Rather than circling the wagons in a defensive way, the district has been open and transparent in identifying issues and solutions. I'm proud of the proud of the progress we've made, even though there is still work to be done.

A more effective, more transparent school board. The Palo Alto Weekly praised the board’s progress as “a welcome step toward rebuilding public trust and confidence in the district.” I’ve been a strong advocate of accountability and transparency, starting at the top, and led the process of hiring a new superintendent.

Goals for the Future

Implementing 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. The progress to this point has been inadequate, even with positive steps like hiring an equity coordinator and implementing full-day kindergarten.

Improving special education. The district now has a team and a plan in place, and I will focus on ensuring sustained progress for our special education students and families.

Strong management and compliance. I'll continue to be a strong voice for prudent management of the resources entrusted to the district by taxpayers.

Unlocking innovation. A school district in the heart of Silicon Valley should be a center of educational innovation. I will continue to work to empower our professionals and lift up teachers who are working to improve educational outcomes for our students.

Contact Ken

Ken would love to hear from you! You can email him at [email protected] or give him a call at 650-906-4340.

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Contact: [email protected] or 650-906-4340

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