The Huttlinger Alliance Endorses David Cortright For County School Board

The group of about 1,000 residents endorsed the Los Altos challenger over Palo Alto incumbent Grace Mah, in a district was reconfigured to include Los Altos and Los Altos Hills for the first time.


The Huttlinger Alliance for Education has endorsed Los Altos resident David Cortright for the Area 1 seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Education.

The group of Los Altos School District parents and others who formed over the summer, said in its endorsement statement that Cortright's educational values aligned more closely with its own than that of incumbent Grace Mah's.

The group interviewed both candidates in person and extensively considered both candidates’ positions on the key elements of the Alliance’s mission, it said.

Cortright is a Los Altos resident who has no children, and the Alliance said it "gives him an important degree of objectivity that a parent with a vested interest in one program or another may not have."

Cortright had displayed his ability to be a quick study on the subject of public education, the Alliance noted. "Early education, social and emotional learning (such as the Yale RULER program) and parent involvement are all facets of public education he believes should be included in the conversation."  

It noted Mah's long commitment to public service, first to Palo Alto Unified School District, where she helped get a Mandarin immersion program started (exploring the idea of a Mandarin charter school as well). It also noted her work on the county board, working on the San Jose 2020 initiative, which is focused on eliminating the achievement gap, and served on the search committee for the new superintendent, Xavier De La Torre. In addition, it noted her work as an appointee to the Children’s Agenda Vision Council, and desire to ensure quality childcare, medical and dental care are available to all students.

"On the subject of charter schools, Mah’s positions are difficult for us to reconcile" however, the Alliance said. It called the large number of charter schools approved by the County Board of Education "a fundamentally overbroad application of the “choice” concept that has become the charter school movement’s raison d’etre."   

"We were also perplexed by Mah’s acknowledgement that the County Board has insufficient staff to supervises the charter schools it approves, but that such lack of staff does not impact her decisions whether to approve a county charter school over the objection of a local school district," the Alliance wrote.

"We believe Mah’s assertion that she has no choice under the law but to approve charters is overly legalistic."

The organization said it hoped that she will continue to engage in the dialogue on the many issues important to her constituents, and will continue working to improve the opportunity for the under-served and under-privileged students in our community, but it could not endorse her candidacy.

"In sum, we admire Cortright’s enthusiasm for diving into a challenging role and his willingness to listen and to learn," Huttlinger wrote. "We particularly value his close alignment with the Alliance’s education philosophy in favor of high-performing neighborhood public schools."

The full text can be seen as an attachment, above.

L.A. Chung (Editor) October 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I have removed a comment from a poster that was potentially libelous and a violation of our Terms of use. http://losaltos.patch.com/terms I have suspended that user. Los Altos Patch takes libel extremely seriously, as should those who post.
comment1320 October 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
An interesting endorsment -- one presumes that the Huttlinger alliance is aware of David Cortright's postings (removed since he decided to run for office) that were profane, dishonest, and libelous? Is this really the kind of candidate that the Huttlinger Alliance supporters want associated with them? He is totally unsuitable tempermentally for public office. One concludes that the "leaders" of the Huttlinger want anyone who will work nonstop to destroy BCS no matter what the cost. I encourage Patch to write a story exposing Cortright's pre running for office writings. It will turn your stomach....
momlosaltos October 04, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Ok, I am a BCS parent. I am also a parent that respects my friends and neighbors with differing views on the BCS/LASD issue and truly believes this community needs to work together to ensure a strong public school system for all public school students. I also understand that the Huttlinger Alliance is a political organization dedicated to destroying choice and innovation via charter schools. However, to endorse an obviously ill suited candidate like David Cortright in pursuit of that goal, is a sad moment. In their endorsement, the Alliance states “ Cortright also clearly sees the importance of communication and consensus-building as political medicine needed to heal the various rifts that have characterized the current Board.” Sounds good but sadly either a) the Alliance has not done their homework or b) purposely is misleading the community. Here are a sample of Facebook postings by David Cortright: April 4: in a posting responding to the creation of a new Facebook forum dedicated to BCS bashing: “Whoo hoo! I’m in! Let the ad hominem attacks begin! …” For those of you not up to date with your Latin, here is the Wikipedia definition of ad hominem:
momlosaltos October 04, 2012 at 07:26 PM
An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or unrelated belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy,[2][3][4] more precisely an informal fallacy and an irrelevance.[5] April 9: in a posting directed at the Chairman of the Board of BCS…”go f*** yourself.” Are these really the characteristics of a person who we as a community, no matter what your beliefs on the LASD/BCS issue, want representing us? Is this someone who can actually work to resolve or even reduce the tension in the community? I think most of us would say no. It is a very sad moment for the Alliance.
momlosaltos October 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM
One clarification -- David Cortrigh in his post, spelled out the four letter word that starts with "f". I added the ***
momlosaltos October 04, 2012 at 10:12 PM
See what a Google search shows up for David Cortright’s blog, KPAO: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1. "Make your own porno" prostitution loophole - KPAO by Dave Cortright www.kpao.org/.../make-your-own-porno-prostitution-loophole.html The concept behind this family guy clip is brilliant. I'm surprised more people haven't set up a "make your own porno" prostitution businesses. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I was not able to see the video since it has been removed. I respect his right to say or do whatever he wants in his own personal life, but is this really the character we want in someone with authority over educating our children? What level of investigation did the Huttlinger Alliance do before endorsing candidates? Was it sufficient for a candidate to say simply “I want to eliminate BCS” to get their endorsement?. This puts into question the Huttlinger endorsements of Steve Taglio and Pablo Luther not to mention the credibility of the entire organization. BTW Bill Cooper of the LASD Board of Trustees endorsees Cortright. Seems like the LASD Board is willing to take anyone who shares their desire to shutdown BCS no matter what their character. Shame on them. Shame also on the Huttlinger Alliance Board: Elena Shea, Jennifer Carlstrom, Linda Baxley, Kelly Tosach, Joe Seither, Noah Meisel, Ann Wolff and Sheila McGovern
Joan J. Strong October 04, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Calling somebody else's statements libelous when you know they are not is... libelous... Patch, please remove this. "Comment1320" is a known pro-BCS commenter here who first appeared here directly after a certain BCS board member stopped posting here. So Ja... sorry, "Comment1320", feel free to swing away at Dave, me (who you thought was Dave for about six months) and every other member of the Los Altos community who does not share your vision of closing a neighborhood school--but don't make demonstrably false claims.
Joan J. Strong October 04, 2012 at 11:04 PM
"Ok, I am a BCS parent. I am also a parent that respects my friends and neighbors with differing views on the BCS/LASD issue and truly believes this community needs to work together to ensure a strong public school system for all public school students." Okay. "I also understand that the Huttlinger Alliance is a political organization dedicated to destroying choice and innovation via charter schools." Wow! That didn't take long, did it! I would invite everybody to take a look at the actual Facebook forum here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/347812728589673/ The "momlosaltos" poster is deceitfully and intentionally taking Mr. Cortright out of context. This give you a sample of how "respectful" BCS parents like the above are. Note: there are many *actual* honest BCS parents out there who wish to make serious changes to the BCS board. The above poster is not one of them.
Joan J. Strong October 05, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Many, yes, but most assume your words are yet another BCS smear, like so many others. Here is the clear testament to who I am: http://bullischarterschoolthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/04/theres-nothing-manufactured-about.html You've seen this before, "lasd taxpayer" and you know you are lying, but just to make sure others here don't get the wrong idea. ("lasd taxpayer" is another alias that mysteriously popped up concurrently with another prominent BCS collaborator disappearing from this forum).
comment1320 October 05, 2012 at 03:05 AM
To JJS: sorry to disappoint you but I'm not a BCS board member or in any official capacity at BCS.
Joan J. Strong October 05, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I guess that leaves Courtenay Corrigan or KJ Moore... who knows... The entire BCS "gang" suddenly stopped using their real names all at ones. Coincidence?
comment1320 October 05, 2012 at 04:05 AM
To JJS: Frankly I really don't care who you are but it does seem that you are employing the ad hominem strategy that David Cortright encourages of negating the truth by pointing out a negative characteristic or unrelated belief of the person supporting it. Does it really matter who the poster is? Seems the content and substance should be more important than the identity.
comment1320 October 05, 2012 at 04:21 AM
So instead of attacking me, momlosaltos and lasd taxpayer, let's focus the conversation on the profane postings of David Cortright and his fascination of writing about pornography on his blog and whether or not that negatively impacts his suitability to educate our children. And if you believe it does, what does that say about the judgement of the Huttlinger Alliance and their board members?
LASD Supporter October 05, 2012 at 05:06 AM
I've followed these discussions for quite some time. Mr Cortright has removed exactly one post that I know of...the one where he referenced Ken Moore's demand that LASD hand over a campus to BCS. Most LASD supporters were outraged by Moore's demands. It's obvious Ken Moore and the BCS board won't be happy until they rip the LASD community apart and leave a school full of students homeless. Now, which posts were libelous and dishonest?
Joan J. Strong October 05, 2012 at 07:25 AM
So postulating that you may one of several BCS insiders who used to post here is.. attacking you? Are you saying that you have a dim view of these people, and to imagine you might be one of them is an insult? Or perhaps you are just confused? I checked Dave's blog at KPAO.org. No porn. No "profane postings". Just boring school policy stuff. (So much for his web traffic ratings). I'm sure everybody can see for themselves without your editorial. Here you go: http://kpao.org/ Caution: the home page discusses issues with the approval of charter schools in Santa Clara Country, so it's "NSFW"--if you work at BCS...
comment1320 October 05, 2012 at 03:18 PM
A simple question: Is David Cortright really the better candidate to lead Santa Clara County through some very difficult issues on how to educate ALL the children in Santa Clara County to the wonderful levels enjoyed by both BCS and LASD? Is he a candidate who can build consensus? Listen with an open mind to everyone? Hard to answser that yes given his postings. Rather than continue to attach BCS, let's focus on the question that is relevant here.
comment1320 October 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM
To LASD Supporter: BCS continues to be ready to work with LASD on the terms outlined in the JOINTLY negotiated mediated agreement framework. Seems like it is LASD and the Huttlingers who are tearing this community apart.
LASD supporter October 05, 2012 at 08:57 PM
About that blog post, he referenced a FAMILY GUY video, a CARTOON. It was a tongue and cheek post. Put it in context and stop the smear campaign. It only serves to prove how fearful BCS is that they will be exposed for the sham that they are.
Rita October 07, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Dave Cortright is a strong advocate for protecting neighborhood schools. He believes charter schools MUST be accountable to the public as long as they are funded by our tax dollars. He defends the rights of special needs students and less privileged students and he wants to work on making social emotional learning part of the primary curriculum. In Dave Cortright's own words: "Last December the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved 20 new charter schools in a single night, more than doubling the number of charter schools under their purview and without adding any additional resources to manage and oversee these charter schools. It was my frustration that this activist board feels the need to take such drastic action without fully understanding the consequences to the local communities involved that led me to run for the school board." I can't reconcile how the SCCOE can approve 20 charters in one night when they have proven they can't manage the charter situation they created in Los Altos. We need Dave Cortright to step in and make the SCCOE and the charter schools they approve accountable to taxpayers. www.davecortright2012.com
Rita October 07, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Family Guy is a cartoon. It was a tongue-in-cheek post. Let's get back to focusing on the main issue Dave Cortright stands for--making charter schools accountable to the public.
Joan J. Strong October 09, 2012 at 07:10 AM
He wrote about a particular pornography law, not pornography. There was nothing ever there which was lurid or explicit. But you knew that already. Any more lies about David Cortright, or are you done?
momlosaltos October 09, 2012 at 08:58 PM
LASD supporter -- does your neighborhood own its school? Does anyone have a guarantee that they will attend a specific school? School property is owned by the state and is to be shared equally by all public school students in that particular district. You may not like that, understandably, but everyone needs to learn to share limited resources. The charter school students are every bit as entitled to the facilities as any other public school student.
momlosaltos October 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
If tongue in cheek, then why was the video deleted? I never said that he created pornography but that he really liked to write about it. He has deleted many things that were previously on his blog that many might find offensive. But let's talk about qualifications -- I would rather elect someone who has a solid background in the tough issues facing education for all the public school students in Santa Clara County. David Cortright has one issue -- charter schools. Keep in mind that his opponent, Grace Mah, is no friend of BCS -- she voted against the renewal of the charter. But she is qualified, he is not. As a BCS parent, him getting elected could be wonderful for us -- he is so extreme it will reflect poorly on everyone associated with him -- LASD BoT and the Huttlingers. But as personally satisfying as that would be, it would be bad for education for in Santa Clara county. We need elected officials who can help all students enjoy the excellent education we have at LASD and BCS. It is a tragedy that the Huttlingers put their selfish needs ahead of the needs of the broader and deserving community of Santa Clara County. There are many children in Santa Clara county whose families are struggling just to make ends meet -- these children deserve someone who has shown a longstanding interest in children and education.


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