Monday, March 26, 2012

Bullis Charter School Controversy


I am not one to avoid controversy.  Controversy is fun, especially when you get the British to try to pronounce it. 

"ConTROversy," they say, and I laugh.  Oh, those silly Atlantic islanders!

But I digress.  My son attends Bullis Charter School.  The school is controversial to the point where it takes up every waking hour of several nutballs.  It's controversial for a number of reasons, one of which is illustrated in the picture above.  Can you see what the problem is?

Did you catch it?
  • It's not that the entire school is built from temporary shelters, while the other schools in the district are permanent buildings.
  • It's not that the school is on six acres of land when (for the number of students) it should be on  at least ten.
  • It's not that the people next to the flagpole have no heads, although that is a problem.
No, the real controversy is over the flags.  Bullis has four (count 'em, four!) flags when all the other schools in the district only can afford one or two.  Of course, parents at Bullis see them as an absolute necessity.
That's a whole lot of flags.  No wonder you're all jealous.
The flags are:
  • The American flag, so you know we're all fans of America.
  • The California State flag, in case you get lost on your way to Oregon.
  • The California Distinguished School flag, so you know we're distinguished.
  • The Western something or other flag that... I really don't know what it's for.
Of course, many have argued that we should take down two of our flags.  I say that's nonsense; our children deserve more!  Here is my plan for our new flagpole.
I call this the "Fringe Pole."
My plan is to add three more flags to our flagpole.  The flags are:
  • BCS logo flag, so you know what school this is, in case you get lost on the way to another school.
  • Our school principal flag, so you can wave when she walks by.
  • A dragon, because dragons are cool.
With this new set of flags, I expect all the conTROversy will end.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just curious. You seem to be very fond of your school.

What if a private corporation wanted to close it, as BCS is threatening to do to OUR school? What would your reaction to that be?

I'll leave you to ponder that, but it might just turn you into a "nutball" too.

Matthew Kagle said...

Bullis has been under attack since it was opened so, I do think I know how you feel. I'm sorry that you feel Bullis is trying to take over your school (which school, btw?), but I don't see it like that.

I see it as Bullis trying to secure equal facilities and fair treatment. I haven't seen one person at Bullis say "We're going to take the school for our own." Sure, people wistfully talk about the Gardner Bullis site from time to time, but nobody really thinks we'll get it. I don't think anyone cares where the school ends up as long as it's big enough so we don't have to overschedule rooms, squish into classrooms, have kids eat outside next to a busy road, and the campus is in one place.

As for what my reaction would be, I hope it wouldn't be to spread disinformation (like those sites I linked to), sneeringly label the other side as "billionaires" (which nobody at Bullis is), and get so worked up I have to have a restraining order placed against me (as the owner of one of the sites has). I hope I'd remain open and honest.

Elly said...

You need a taller flagpole...

Anonymous said...

http://www.losaltosonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42746&Itemid=109

In the above-linked story, your school's chairman calls for the closure of four different schools. BCS's last facilities offer explicitly called for the Gardner campus to be surrendered to BCS.

The county board was just sent over 140 letters from parents of LASD schools calling for BCS to be reigned in. Are those parents all "nutballs" too?

Please do at least SOME background before you write things like this.

Also, lies: 1) the founding family of your school and some of the students absolutely ARE billionaires; 2) I have no idea where you got the story (from Wanny maybe?) about a "restraining order" for anybody in our community but it is absolutely false.

Again, please read the facts. Please get your head out of the sand.

By the way, here's a few more "nutball" websites to add to your collection:

http://bullisCharterSchoolThoughts.blogspot.com/

http://kpao.org/

http://lasdvoices.blogspot.com/

Yes, everybody in Los Altos and Hills are "nutballs" except for 400 sets of rich parents who attend BCS. Convenient way of looking at things, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I believe you may have missed the point to this Blog. Humor often comes at the expense of at least one group of people and, in this case, that group would be the large anti-Bullis contingent. Clearly, we love our school. It does a lot for our kid and we feel lucky to be there. It has been difficult for us to have such EXTREMELY ANGER pointed at something we love.

There are NO BILLIONAIRES at Bullis. We looked it up! There are millionaires - even multi-millionaires! But, seriously, anyone who has a house in Los Altos might be considered a millionaire or else extremely over extended. How else could you live there? So we are fighting millionaire against multi-millionaire. Seriously? I don't deeply care about your money or the money of the parents in my kid's classes, or even Wanny's money. I honestly just don't give a crap and neither should you. It's like a big game of who has the bigger penis. It is ridiculous.

I was following the LASD voices for a long time until both sides had representatives that were using their passionate feelings against each other in a way I did not feel was constructive. HOWEVER, there is a thread there about David Cortwright (sp?) and his restraining order which I thought interesting and shared. I felt it interesting information because he is so passionate in his anti-Bullis stance - even, one might say, a little alarmingly so. So you can look that one up. It is on the LASD Voices Page on Facebook.

Sincerely,

I-Love-Funny-Guys (even when they aren't funny!)

Anonymous said...

Telling us we don't exist (or that we are all David Cortright) or that we're a bunch of nutballs, or spreading obvious falsehoods (such as pretending your school's leadership has NOT called for the closure of one of our schools when they absolutely, repeatedly HAVE) is NOT a way to prevent "extreme anger". Quite the opposite, actually.

Try it sometime in your car: cut somebody off in traffic and then meet them after a stop while they are still fuming and say, "no, you cut ME off". Let us know how that turns out.

I would be satisfied if you said--as some BCS parents have said--that you do NOT agree with your school's leadership's mission to close thriving local neighborhood public schools and will support an outcome that doesn't involve this. Tell us you'd support a school bond for a new campus (we routinely hear the opposite from your most prominent supporters). Read the blog posting titled, "Post War BCS" on the BullisCharterSchoolThoughts blog--it paints a way to end this war peacefully.

And no, I don't care about money either, but did you know that out of 4500 set of parents in LASD, only 40 of them give at the $5000+ level to LAEF? The average parent at BCS (by definition) gives at this level. Clearly this where the richest people are. That's normally NOT a problem (you're rich, great!) but it takes on a different meaning when said organization starts feigning hardships at the expense of the less advantaged.

And yes, you're right, most *children* don't have full title to their parent's $billions. You got me there: there are no billionaires *attending* BCS. Let's just say some of them have Intel Inside [bong-bong-bong-bing!]...

Cheers.

Matthew Kagle said...

Our school board has never called for a closure. We have been asked what sites we would prefer and have responded. Every year we are required to list a preferred site. It's just the paperwork. On the article you post, he lists taking over another school on the same level as a new site. We don't care where we go.

We didn't cut anyone off on the road. We won a lawsuit that says we (and other charters) deserve equal treatment. From there, the LASD community decided to panic instead of calmly seeking a fair solution.

Also, saying that higher donations mean richer people is faulty logic and absurd. In any case, we live in the richest area of one of the countries in the world. Millionaires whining about being disenfranchised poor is insulting.

And I have read all the sites you listed. I have been active on the boards on Facebook and elsewhere. Saying I have my head in the sand is like me saying you don't troll on other people's sites. It's just the opposite of the truth.

Anonymous said...

I assume by "fair solution" you mean, "close a school", right? You haven't offered up anything else, nor has your school's leadership. If you think you deserve a school, tell us which one you think should be closed like BP was years ago.

If you want to build a new one, get behind that and say so. The founding family of BCS (who as we know don't own a huge chunk of Intel and are not billionaires) could certainly make this happen if they wanted to. If the BCS Board really thinks as you say they do, they sure are communicating this poorly. You'd wonder why they'd threaten an entire town like this if they really didn't mean it...

Anyhow, if I'm trolling, well, you're the moderator... Clearly there's only two of us in the world (and maybe three more like myself in the world who will go to the 3rd page of Google search results) who will ever read this :-)...

Matthew Kagle said...

No, I never meant "close a school. I meant "a site that is reasonably equivalent to what the other schools have."

In the article you post, BCS lists a new site as an option. That doesn't count?

And the LASD board has only suggested putting two grades in one room off site, which would wreak havoc on the integrated curriculum. It simply won't work for us. Yes, BCS should propose more options, but LASD has all the control; they should be proposing something reasonable.

I want my page to be a place of open communication. I'm only deleting spam and personal attacks. The head in the sand comment was close, but I'm going to let it go.

Wait, I made it to the third page? I'm moving up!

Anonymous said...

That counts for me, as long as that's what you saw in it. I'll take that as an endorsement of a forthcoming school campus bond. Make sure you vote in November.

I sure wish your Board would take the other options off the table and just work together for a win/win. The founders of BCS of all people should know how people react to the idea of their school closing...

Matthew Kagle said...

I always vote for new taxes. I don't understand why anyone would vote against schools, but there are a lot of people who do.

I think both school boards could do a lot better jobs of working together. I realize, especially in this economy, there isn't a heck of a lot of options.

Matthew Kagle said...

I always vote for new taxes. I don't understand why anyone would vote against schools, but there are a lot of people who do.

I think both school boards could do a lot better jobs of working together. I realize, especially in this economy, there isn't a heck of a lot of options.