CA schools named after eugenics advocates to get new names

CA schools named after eugenics advocates to get new names
David Starr Jordan (Image via Wikipedia)

Two Palo Alto middle schools named after leading advocates of eugenics will be renamed by the 2018-19 school year, school board members unanimously decided Friday.

Trustees voted 5-0 to rename Jordan Middle School, which is named after David Starr Jordan, and Terman Middle School, which is named after Lewis Terman.

Trustees asked school district officials to return this spring with a recommendation on the process of renaming the schools.

The board initially considered a recommendation to form an advisory committee that will suggest three new names by Jan. 1. Trustees ultimately decided it was best to have school staff determine if such a timeline is feasible before proceeding.

Board members agreed, however, that the district’s schools must incorporate a unit about California and Palo Alto’s role in the history and impact of the eugenics movement into the history curriculum of secondary schools by next school year.

The board also decided that the cost of renaming the two schools, estimated to be up to $60,000, will be paid out of bond funds whenever possible. Funding for curriculum cannot be paid with bond money.

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