Endorsements 2010 & 2011

The San Francisco Parent PAC will NOT be endorsing candidates in the 2011 elections. Instead we are driving the conversation in the mayor, sheriff and district attorney races to be centered around what is best for families.

The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee has taken a position on two November 2011 Ballot Measures.

Yes on A:

This bond measure, third in a series of three, will provide funds for much-needed safety upgrades and modernization projects for the 53 remaining schools who have not yet received these repairs in one of the two previous bond measures. One of the things we really like about the SFUSD’s bond program is that each time the projects have been completed on time and on budget. Passing this bond measure is critical to making it possible for the District to do seismic retrofitting, replace outdated electrical systems, update fire alarms and sprinkler systems, improve access for disabled students, improve technology infrastructure, and expand the green schoolyard program, among other things.

No on H:

While the Parent PAC appreciates the sentiment of the measure, and agrees that many parents are in favor of neighborhood schools, the group is not supporting Prop H for the following reasons:

  • The language in the measure is vague, makes broad assumptions and does not define “neighborhood school”. From a very practical standpoint, if the District moves to a purely neighborhood based system (including opt-outs for application to City-Wide programs) without allowing for parents to opt out to other neighborhood schools (as the current system allows for), there won’t be enough classroom spaces available in areas of the city with the highest concentration of children, primarily the southeast section where currently very few schools exist.
  • It is important to hold school board members accountable for the work they have promised to do, including a focus on creating quality schools across all neighborhoods. We agree with the ballot measure’s statement that families should have the opportunity to attend a quality neighborhood school, but the language of Prop H implies that simply changing the assignment system will improve the quality of the schools. Research shows that, among other things, investing in strong support of teachers and administrators, including professional development, along with a effectively implemented parent engagement plan, are critical pieces of student achievement and quality schools. A neighborhood assignment system cannot change it alone.
  • The SFUSD and its community partners have recently completed a multi-year process to create a new enrollment system. The resulting policy prioritizes neighborhood much higher than in past years. Time should be given for the system to be tested and problems identified, before changes are proposed or implemented.

Endorsement Process 2010

On August 16, all 11 qualified candidates for three seats on the San Francisco Board of Education were emailed a questionnaire; they were asked to complete and return it via email by Sept. 1.

Six candidates returned questionnaires (see below), each of which was mailed to members of the steering committee to review. Candidates who returned questionnaires were invited to an interview held on Sept. 15 — each candidate was given 10 minutes for a short presentation and Q & A with steering committee members.  After interviews, steering committee members conducted an endorsement process and vote, resulting in our three endorsements. (Only named steering committee members are allowed vote for endorsements; steering committee members who were not present at candidate interviews were allowed to have their votes recorded in absentia).

Here are all questionnaires received by the steering committee:

Margaret Brodkin **
Winifred Dajani
Natasha Hoehn
Hydra Mendoza **
Emily Murase **
Jamie Rafaela Wolfe

**Endorsed by San Francisco Parent PAC

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