PALO ALTO, California, January 3, 2010 – An audience of approximately 100 educators, parents and others listened intently as a panel of experts organized by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation recently discussed how best to address problems in our schools in light of the conclusions drawn in the new documentary film “Waiting for Superman, ” which is about the nation’s education system.
Among the points discussed by the panel were the value of holding back third graders who cannot read, and the importance of setting up teachers to succeed so that their students can succeed. Additionally, making student achievement a factor in teacher and principal compensation, such as giving bonuses to teachers when their students pass advanced placement tests, was suggested. The notion that public schools tend to perpetuate poverty and that a migration towards higher-performing charter schools where teachers are better paid may be the answer were also discussed. The Almanac published an article about the forum.
Panelists were attorney Ash Pirayou, a partner in the Palo Alto office of law firm Rutan & Tucker, LLP; John Danner, co-founder and CEO, Rocketship Education; Jim Lianides, superintendent, Sequoia High School District; Diane Tavenner, founder and CEO, Summit Public Schools; Dean Vogel, vice president, California Teacher’s Association; and Dr. Charles Weis, superintendent of schools, Santa Clara County. Rutan sponsored the discussion that was held at the UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley.
“I was pleased to have our firm sponsor the panel and believe that having an open dialogue is a positive way to confront the issues we face as a community and as a nation so that we can make strides towards improving the way we teach our young people,” said Pirayou.
“We thank Rutan & Tucker, LLP for sponsoring the forum, which is another example of our commitment to our community,” said the organization’s President & CEO Muhammed Chaudhry.
Pirayou currently serves as pro bono counsel for the Foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (S.T.E.M.) Program. He is a member of the firm’s Municipal and Government Agency and Land Use and Natural Resources Departments, where he has practiced since 2008. Pirayou has helped launch the firm’s Government Relations and Political law Practice Group, a team of highly qualified attorneys who are experts in government and regulatory law, land use and environmental law, and litigation. The attorneys provide practical, real world advice and solutions to the many complex public policy, legal, political, and regulatory issues facing today’s corporations, government agencies, associations, nonprofits and individuals.
About Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Rutan & Tucker is California’s largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, California with offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto. Primary practice areas include corporate and securities law, business and real estate litigation, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, government and regulatory law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.