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.

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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