Karen Hardy: It Was Wrong of My Opponent to Criticize Wilcox High School and Math Scores

By Karen Hardy

Part of the pledge candidates made in order to have the city pay half of the cost of their ballot statement was no negative campaigning. Either my opponent did not sign this or his word of honor is meaningless. I have refrained from personal comments and tried to steer the conversation to issues, facts, and past actions. I was hurt that my opponent chose to denigrate Wilcox High School and its students when it is the highest achieving High School in the school district and Wilcox’s average score on the state math test is 10 percent higher than the state average.

I have been part of the math department at Wilcox High School for 12 years and we are always trying different ways to help our students in their understanding of math concepts. Two math teachers are paid to stay after school four times a week to tutor ANYONE who will walk through their open door. I personally have tutored students for many hours after school without pay. I have known my opponent for years and NOT ONCE has he even asked me about the students at Wilcox and their math scores. Saying you care and doing something are two entirely different things.

In 2010 I started the computer science courses at Wilcox which through my efforts have spread to Santa Clara High School and are starting in the middle schools now. The evidence is beginning to mount that the study of computer science helps students’ understanding of math concepts. So what the community can do is volunteer to help with the computer science activities in the schools.

One such activity is a Family Night Hour of Code for ANYONE at three schools in December from 6:30-8 PM. Wednesday, December 5th at Cabrillo Middle School, Thursday, December 6th at Don Callejon K-8 School and Monday, December 10th at George Mayne Elementary.

We can stand around and wring our hands and say we care or we can roll up our sleeves and help out. Which is it?

Editor’s Note: Karen Hardy is a candidate for City Council District 3. She is running against Sam Kumar. We were the first to publicly criticize Kumar for his comments about Wilcox High School and math scores in a council debate. We called it a “cheapshot.” 

 Recently, Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill in an op-ed on this site and Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe in the comment section also criticized Kumar for his comments.






  1. Ms Hardy you are a well respected teacher in our district, you have won awards, you would make a fine council person. It shocks us that two city counselors cannot see what they have done by endorsing this person who has little to offer our city except a stomach ache. Perhaps it’s time for those councilors to apologize to you for putting their name to a candidate who has lived in our city part time and educates their children in another city / county !! We hope you win come Tuesday.

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