Honest Open Logical Debate (H.O.L.D.)
on math reform
1049 Metro Circle, Palo Alto, CA 94303

For Further Information, Contact:
Bill Evers, 415-323-4322


Tuomy Endorses Classroom Choice;
H.O.L.D. Endorses Him, also Feinstein, Maples

Palo Alto, Calif. -- The steering committee of H.O.L.D., the Palo Alto parents' math-basics group, announced that it has endorsed Kate Feinstein, Jim Maples, and John Tuomy for election to the board of education of the Palo Alto Unified School District. "The endorsement of Tuomy will surprise some," said steering committee member Bill Evers.

Tuomy's campaign thus far has stressed fiscal expertise and fiscal responsibility, not curricular issues, Evers pointed out. But Evers said, "Tuomy is clearly and unequivocally for classroom choice in the middle schools--precisely where it is most needed in Palo Alto." H.O.L.D. has been publicly calling since early April for choice in teaching methods in mathematics to accommodate those who are dissatisfied with the new-new math.

In response to a H.O.L.D. candidates' questionnaire that asked about increased laning and classrooms with alternative teaching methods, Tuomy responded that "it makes sense [for middle-school students] to have choices within the core curriculum." He pointed out that early adolescence is a time of change and that confining students to "a particular path" could prove inappropriate as they develop.

Joining Tuomy in calling for increased classroom choice were Feinstein and Maples. In her answer to the H.O.L.D. questionnaire, Feinstein supported laning and said she preferred either a stress on math basics or establishing choice in math instruction. Maples called for providing the increased laning that a district survey showed parents want. He also advocated the district offering the foreign language instruction and choice in math instruction that parents have asked for. In addition to curricular rigor and classroom choice, Feinstein and Maples have stressed fiscal responsibility and increased parental decision-making power in their campaigns.

In contrast to the three challengers (Feinstein, Maples, and Tuomy), incumbents Susie Richardson and Don Way defended the status quo. Evers said, "Richardson and Way are self-satisfied and do not have the will or the energy to change Palo Alto school dynamics for the better." In Way's response to the H.O.L.D. questionnaire, he said he is "pleased" by current middle-school offerings, which he knows about, he says, because he has a son in middle school. Richardson said she does "not support" increased laning in middle schools and is "open to discussing" options for middle-school classroom choice.

[Note: Complete text of H.O.L.D. questionnaire and responses available on request from Bill Evers 415-723-4148 or bill.evers@dehnbase.fidonet.org ]