Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Forum discusses Common Core standards


Kirst

The president of the California State Board of Education discussed “State Policy to Implement Common Core Standards in Education: It Changes Almost Everything” in a Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation Oct. 1.

Michael W. Kirst, Ph.D., explained why the state Department of Education decided to implement Common Core State Standards (CCSS), national educational standards that focus on deeper learning in the areas of mathematics and language arts and aim to better prepare K-12 students for post-secondary education and/or the workplace.

The goals of CCSS are to teach students how to solve concrete problems and apply core concepts to real-world tasks, transfer knowledge and skills to new situations, read and understand increasingly complex texts, communicate ideas and collaboratively solve problems, communicate effectively in multiple media across content areas and engage in research.

According to Kirst, California adopted CCSS because it standardizes education for K-12 students who move to other states and for graduates who attend colleges or seek employment in areas where educational systems vary from California’s. The program has been adopted by 45 states since 2010.

California serves more than 6 million students, including 1.6 million English language learners, Kirst said, encompassing 1,000 school districts and employing 300,000 teachers. Statistics report that of the 62 percent of California high school graduates who attend community colleges, 54 percent require remedial math and English classes, and 70 percent fail to graduate.

“These numbers pointed out the disjuncture between K-12 learning and higher education,” Kirst said.

Part of the problem is the evaluation process itself, Kirst noted, adding that current achievement tests are multiple choice and don’t present teachers a clear idea of what students are learning. New statewide testing will be implemented electronically, with software that either increases or decreases the complexity of questions, revealing students’ understanding of current curriculum.

Complex, informational texts that emphasize analysis, reflection and research skills will replace the previous textbooks, Kirst said. In mathematics, for example, students will learn to apply critical-thinking skills to model problems. Words such as “understand,” “describe,” “justify,” “prove,” “assess,” “analyze” and “compare,” should prepare students for real-world challenges, he added.

The Morning Forum of Los Altos is a members-only lecture series that meets at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit morningforum.org.

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