What’s in a name? Maybe deception.

These people calling themselves “LASD Parents for Great Schools” donated more than $21,000 in one week to support pro-BCS candidates Martha McClatchie and John Swan.

I haven’t done a deep-dive on the list, but at a glance I see there’s a lot of overlap between this donor list and current and former BCS Foundation board and BCS School board members.

Recall that Martha McClatchie is a former LASD parent whose children now attend BCS. Martha volunteered for the BCS Foundation in 2012, completing and signing its 2012 IRS Form 990 as Principal Officer and Treasurer.

Around these parts, the biggest political & social schism in the past decade was the secession of a largely Los Altos Hills group of parents from Los Altos School District who went on to create the Santa Clara County-chartered Bullis Charter School.

John Swan was a founding member of that breakaway group, and like Martha McClatchie recently, chose to be a BCS Parent rather than an LASD Parent.

From the moment BCS Parents decided to form their charter there has been a stark dividing line across our community. In the early years, it had a distinctly “Hills versus Flats” odor, pitting Los Altos Hills against Los Altos. Remember when “Hills folk” like John Swan accused Los Altos of “milking” Los Altos Hills of tax money? Oh yeah, Foothill Expressway became our little local Mason-Dixon line.

The decade-long conflict has been generically known as “BCS vs LASD”…

  • In the press
  • In the courts
  • In the schools
  • On the street

…and there’s never been much confusion about which “side” you’re on.

Until now.

Let’s be clear: calling yourself an LASD Parent when you don’t have a child enrolled in a district school is more than misleading, it’s flat out dishonest.

The people running this campaign are deceiving voters and they know it. Their defense will be, “We’re LASD Parents because we live within LASD boundaries.” Well, here are a few great examples of other people who are also not “LASD Parents”:

  • Pretty much anyone living outside LASD boundaries
  • In-district parents of former LASD students (including me)
  • In-district parents of current MVLA high school students
  • In-district parents of current private school students (Ex: Pinewood, St. Francis)
  • In-district parents of children who never attended any school in our community

And by the same token:

  • In-district parents of children who attend Bullis Charter School (including Martha)

Q:  What could make a group of BCS parents call themselves “LASD parents”?

A:  Politics.

In an effort to garner political advantage for the pro-BCS candidates for LASD Board of Trustees, the pro-BCS camp has worked very hard to make them appear neutral and even pro-LASD. Creating a phony pro-LASD committee to endorse pro-BCS candidates is about as deceitful as we’ve seen. As I’ve said before, we knew this election was coming, but we didn’t imagine it would get so crazy. Charter backers will stop at nothing, apparently, to get a pro-BCS candidate elected to the LASD board.

Even falsely describing Martha McClatchie in a mailer as a “mother of three LASD students.” Make no mistake: Martha’s children attend BCS.

Here’s why such blatant deception is necessary.

Due largely to its relentless legal and public relations assault against LASD, the BCS “brand” has grown so toxic over the years that a pro-BCS candidate (or ballot measure) has a slim chance of succeeding.

  • In 2012, Amanda Aaronson ran for LASD Trustee as a stealthy ‘unbiased’ candidate until news got out that she was a BCS parent.
  • This “LASD Parents” group describes Martha McClatchie as a “mother of three LASD students” knowing that Martha’s family left LASD and now attends BCS.
  • At least two public opinion polls taken in the past couple years on voters’ appetite for an LASD school facilities bond showed shocking erosion of support if BCS stands to gain from its passage.

The mailing address for “LASD Parents for Great Schools” printed on the McClatchie and Swan mailers is 26625 St. Francis Road, Los Altos, CA 94022. What’s strange about that address is… I don’t find it in Google Maps. But I do find that address located in Los Altos HILLS, which shares the 94022 postal zip code. I kinda wonder if the missing “Hills” was an oversight… or intentional.

This St Francis Road address in Los Altos Hills appears to be the home of David Spector, former BCS Foundation leader and member of the BCS legal team, a resident of the Palo Alto Unified School District, not a resident of LASD at all.

Being forthright about BCS affiliation hasn’t paid off politically in previous elections and current poll data suggests that it’s still a big liability. And so it appears there may be a few deceptions at work here:

  1. These really are BCS parents, not “LASD Parents” as their name indicates
  2. The organization is really based “in the hills,” not “in the flats”
  3. The leader of this “LASD” group doesn’t even live within LASD boundaries

On a related note, this group’s ‘slate’ mailer that includes Tamara Logan’s photo insinuates that they are in league with Logan. This is untrue, since Logan endorses Vladimir Ivanovic and Sangeeth Peruri for LASD Trustee.

DO NOT allow yourself or your neighbors to be misled. Spread the word.

Tell your friends and neighbors that the mailers supporting Martha McClatchie and John Swan sent by this group calling itself “LASD Parents for Great Schools” are funded by the BCS community under the leadership of non-LASD resident David Spector.

3 thoughts on “What’s in a name? Maybe deception.

  1. Pingback: No N(ame) on No on N campaign | L'École Publique

  2. This is crazy. How can something like this happen in our wonderful city and school district? Bully Charter School is the thorn of LASD and the city.

  3. Pingback: Are Pharmaceutical Ads more ethical than Political Endorsements? | L'École Publique

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