Posts Tagged ‘SFUSD’

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SF Parent PAC November 2016 School Board Endorsements

August 28, 2016

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We are happy to announce the San Francisco Parent PAC’s endorsements for school board and community college board for the November 2016 election.

Board of Education:
Matt Haney
Trevor McNeil
Rachel Norton
Jill Wynns

Community College Board:
Amy Bacharach
Rafael Mandelman
Alex Randolph

Board of Education
The SF Parent PAC does in-depth interviews and vetting to determine who the strongest school board candidates are each election cycle. This year we had an outstanding pool of candidates to choose from. We also decided to try something new in our research process. Instead of having candidates complete our regular dissertation – er – questionnaire, we recorded videos of them answering several questions. We will be posting these videos on Facebook, our new YouTube channel, and our website over the coming weeks. These will be posted for all candidates who interviewed with us, which we hope you find helpful in getting to know where they all stand on critical issues facing our district.

Although we don’t agree with any of the incumbents all of the time (see our post last week regarding the teacher shortage), we felt they have each demonstrated a willingness to listen, consider various points of view, and work hard. We feel confident that on last week’s issue, and on others, that they are the more than capable of identifying solutions to the challenges our students and school communities face, and being held accountable to the communities they serve. Matt Haney has been particularly good at incorporating the long underrepresented student voice in district decisions, leading efforts such as Safe and Supportive Schools. Rachel Norton has been an excellent communicator with parents through her regular blog, as well as a great advocate for students with special needs. Jill Wynns has a stellar record as an advocate at the state level for district needs and understands education finance better than almost anyone we know.

Trevor McNeil is a teacher – a voice we desperately need to see represented on the school board. He has some fresh ideas around teacher retention, and as a new parent and SF resident, is especially invested in making sure the district is a place he’ll feel confident sending his own daughter. You may remember his name; he ran two years ago and came very close to winning. Since then he has stayed engaged and aware of the issues.

The common threads throughout all our interviews this year, and issues we’d like these candidates to consider and do something to address are:

  • Include parents in the search for a new Superintendent in an authentic way. No window dressing here. We want to see the search committee finds ways to have parents weigh in on the qualities our next leader should have in order to effectively communicate with and partner with families, and help our children be successful.
  • Attract and retain middle class families in SFUSD. Economically diverse schools help all students. When we show all families that we care about their child’s success and that there is a place for them to thrive, everybody wins.
  • Academic excellence. This phrase isn’t heard often enough around here. Every child has the potential for greatness, and the supports and expectations should be set for all children to reach it. One thing we say often is, the one thing no parent wants is for the school district to be what stands between their child and success – no matter what success looks like for that child, be it trade school, an engineering degree, or a job right out of high school.

Community College Board
San Francisco has heard more about community college over the past four years than we heard for decades before that! The institution has been through a lot recently with regards to accreditation and financial issues, and the current board has done an outstanding job tackling these issues and working to strengthen the college’s ability to support current and future students. Amy Bacharach, Rafael Mandelman, and Alex Randolph have been part of the board during this challenging time and we need each of them to continue doing the good work for the next four years.

We respectfully ask you to consider voting for each of these candidates on November 8!

 

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38 Teachers Needed

August 16, 2016

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Welcome back to school!  I hope the first day of school was a good one for your children and family.

As most students were settling into their freshly decorated classrooms yesterday, getting to know their fellow classmates and new teacher, students in almost 40 SFUSD classrooms were greeted by a temporary instructor. Unfortunately, the school district is scrambling to find long-term substitutes or permanent replacements for these students. But until that happens, these students will be in a state of limbo — not knowing what adult will be leading their class day to day.

The teacher shortage is nothing new, in fact, as the Chronicle reported yesterday, there are half as many people in teacher credentialing programs now versus in 2008. Our teacher supply is at a 12-year low. And the actions of the Board of Education in May did not help matters. Our school board decided to take another look at where we get our teachers and became focused on the district’s contract with Teach for America (TFA), which they decided not to renew for the 2016-2017 school year. TFA has been providing young, enthusiastic (and inexperienced) teachers predominantly to schools that serve underserved communities — and would have provided about 15 teachers this year. The Board of Education chose not to renew this contract — without having a full compliment of full-time teachers confirmed to be ready for the first day of school. This was a short sighted decision by the Board of Education that has negatively impacted hundreds of students.

The SF Parent PAC believes that our district leadership should have done everything in their power to make sure San Francisco’s public schools had permanent teachers in every classroom on the first day of school to greet our students and guide them through the rest of the year. If the Board of Education was not confident this could be accomplished, extending the TFA contract would have helped alleviate this problem.

We will be watching to see how this situation is handled by the district’s leadership, hoping that the resilience of our children carries them through the instability they may experience for a time until the right people are in front of their classrooms.

I wish you and your children a rich and engaging school year. You’ll hear from us again soon!

Michelle Parker, President

San Francisco Parent PAC

 

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Common Core Math Implementation Update

April 16, 2015

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The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (The Parent PAC) has been following the Common Core Math Implementation debate very closely over the past couple of months – listening to parents’ concerns and speaking with SFUSD leadership.

At Tuesday night’s (4/14) Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Carranza announced that class sizes in 8th grade math will be reduced to an average of 22-24 students, down from the current average of 32-34 students. He also announced that math coaches would be placed in every middle school to work with teachers. Superintendent Carranza stated that these two changes will help facilitate an effective implementation of the Common Core math curriculum. Furthermore, the Superintendent announced the following benchmarks to hold the District accountable for this implementation plan:

  • By June 2018, SFUSD will have reduced the number of students needing to retake Algebra 1, Geometry, or Algebra 2 by 50% from numbers recorded for June 2013.  This goal will be true for the entire population of SFUSD students as well as each ethnicity with statistically significant numbers. And;

  • By June 2018, SFUSD will increase the number of students taking and passing 4th year math courses (post Algebra 2 courses) with a C or better by 10%. And;

  • By June 2018, SFUSD will increase the number of Latino and African American students who take and pass Advanced Placement math courses by 20%.

We believe these changes represent steps in the right direction and would like to specifically thank Commissioner Rachel Norton for advocating for smaller class sizes, math coaches, and accountability. We would also like to thank Commissioner Norton for embracing an open dialogue with Parent PAC leadership during this process.

While we applaud class size reduction, onsite coaches and accountability, we remain uneasy that over 500 8th grade students are prepared for acceleration in Math and that the District has chosen to  primarily use differentiation to meet these students’ academic needs. We are hopeful the District has made the right decision. Accordingly, we will be following the implementation closely

The Parent PAC would like to acknowledge all of the parents throughout San Francisco who have taken the time to share their opinions with SFUSD – parents like Lafayette Elementary’s Annette Hurst. Parent advocates got the attention of Supervisors Katy Tang and Scott Wiener who penned a joint letter to Superintendent Carranza asking him to continue to engage parents in discussions regarding the implementation of these new standards. You can read the letter from the Supervisors here. We appreciate the Supervisors’ support of parent advocacy.

Finally, throughout this discussion, the Parent PAC has reminded the District that parents are educational partners and should always be treated respectfully. At times, it did not feel that the District lived up to this expectation. However, District leadership has assured us that they do view parents as partners and are willing to work with the Parent PAC and other parent groups to better engage parents going forward. The Parent PAC plans to offer some ideas on how parent engagement can be improved, in the near future.

Sincerely,

The Steering Committee

SF Parent PAC

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Afterschool For All Resolution Passes Board of Education 7-0

April 11, 2014

The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (Parent PAC) is pleased to announce that Commissioner Jill Wynns’ Resolution guaranteeing a space for all families who desire one, in a high quality afterschool program at their child’s school site, passed unanimously at the Board of Education on Tuesday April, 8th 2014. (A copy of Commissioner Wynns’ Resolution is here: AFA Resolution)

Some of the changes called for in the Resolution (i.e. an online centralized payment system and a sliding payment scale) will begin to be implemented in school year ’14-’15.  Furthermore, according to SFUSD staff, capacity for afterschool programs should also increase during the next school year.  Full implementation of Afterschool for All is targeted for the’15-’16 school year.

In coordination with Commissioner Wynns, Supervisors Farrell and Kim have introduced complementary legislation at the Board of Supervisors. Furthermore, the Supervisors plan on holding a hearing on the need for high quality Afterschool For All programming at an upcoming joint BOS/BOE Joint Select Committee. The Parent PAC will keep you posted on the date and time of that hearing.

In July, 2013, The Parent PAC stated that guaranteed, site based, high quality Afterschool For All programming was our top policy priority.  We would like to express our gratitude to Commission Wynns for her leadership on this issue, as well as thank Supervisors Farrell and Kim for their stalwart support of the policy.  The Parent PAC would also like to recognize Maria Su and Sandra Naughton from the Department of Children Youth and Their Families as well as The Expanded Learning Collaborative for their years of work on this issue.

The Parent PAC cannot do this work alone.  Please consider contributing to the Parent PAC so we can continue to make a San Francisco a city where families can thrive!  You can contribute here.

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Support For The Soda Tax Continues to Grow–Senator Leno, Assemblymember Ammiano, and Supervisor Chiu Endorse The Soda Tax

January 30, 2014
The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (Parent PAC) applauds Senator Mark LenoAssemblymember Tom Ammiano, and President of the Board of Supervisors David Chiu for their endorsement of “The Soda Tax” legislation being sponsored by Supervisors Wiener, Mar, Cohen, and Avalos.  In additions Supervisor Chiu has added his name as the 5th co-sponsor of the legislation.
The legislation calls for a $.02 per ounce tax on all beverages with 25 or more calories per 12 ounces and added caloric sweeteners, including sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks.  The tax does not apply to diet sodas, 100% fruit and vegetable juices, or milk.
The Soda Tax is expected to raise $31 million annually in revenue.  This new revenue will be allocated to San Francisco’s public schools, Rec and Parks, Dept of Public Health and SF Public Utilities Commission to expand and improve programs focused on nutrition, physical education, and access to healthy foods.
The Parent PAC endorsed The Soda Tax on December 11, 2013.  The San Francisco Board of Education endorsed the measure on January 14, 2014.
Please consider supporting the Parent PAC so we can continue to advocate on behalf of San Francisco’s Children!  https://sfparentpac.com/by-credit-card/
Please find President of the Board of Supervisor’s Press Release announcing his support for The Soda Tax below
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 30, 2014

Contact: Nicole Derse, Campaign Spokesperson

nicole@50p1.com

Cell: 415-652-4979

Assembly Candidate David Chiu Announces

Early Support for Soda Tax Measure

SAN FRANCISCO (January 30, 2014):  Today, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu announced his early support for the soda tax measure that will appear on the local November ballot.  He will join his colleagues as a co-sponsor for the measure.

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will join a diverse coalition of supporters at the campaign kickoff this Saturday, February 1st at 10:00 am at the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA at 1601 Lane Street in San Francisco.

“Childhood obesity is seriously impacting our communities, and we must do something about it,” said Chiu.  “This ballot measure will provide critical resources for health education and recreation opportunities for children across San Francisco.”

Supervisor Chiu is proud to join Supervisors Scott Wiener, Eric Mar, Malia Cohen, the San Francisco Board of Education, parents, health professionals, and community advocates in support for this measure.

The David Chiu for Assembly campaign continues to grow each week.  For more information on his campaign and on President Chiu’s record, please visit www.votedavidchiu.com.

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SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO SUPPORT SUGARY BEVERAGE TAX PROPOSED BY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

January 15, 2014

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January 14, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Supervisor Scott Wiener, (415) 554-6968scott.wiener@sfgov.org

Supervisor Eric Mar, (415) 554-7410peter.lauterborn@sfgov.org

Supervisor Malia Cohen, (415) 554-4566malia.cohen@sfgov.org

Supervisor John Avalos, (415) 554-6975john.avalos@sfgov.org

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO SUPPORT SUGARY BEVERAGE TAX PROPOSED BY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Proposal by San Francisco Supervisors Mar, Wiener, Cohen and Avalos will put a sugar-sweetened beverage tax on the ballot to fund nutrition, health, and physical activity programs

 

San Francisco, CA – Today the San Francisco Board of Education passed a resolution in support of the sugary beverage tax proposed by members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. This resolution – which was authored by Board of Education Commissioners Rachel Norton, Matt Haney, and Jill Wynns—gives the full endorsement of the San Francisco Unified School District to a two cent per ounce sugary beverage tax to be placed on the ballot as proposed by Supervisors Scott Wiener, Eric Mar, Malia Cohen and John Avalos.

“We are excited and proud to have the support of the San Francisco Board of Education,” the Supervisors said in a joint statement. “The Commissioners represent those most impacted by the consumption of sugary beverages—our children. By giving their endorsement to a tax on sugary beverages, the Board of Education joins a broad coalition of public health advocates, community leaders, parents, and San Francisco residents who recognize the negative health effects these beverages are having on our collective city health and the value of a tax on sugary beverages to lower consumption and fund programs to improve our health.”

“I’m thrilled to be able to put this important health policy issue on the school district’s radar,” said School Board Commissioner Rachel Norton. “Consumption of sugary beverages has been found to be very destructive to the health of children, and children who have serious health issues like diabetes or obesity are at an academic, social and physical disadvantage. The San Francisco Unified School District is charged with educating children and preparing them for successful, productive lives, and protecting their health is undoubtedly a part of that.”

The tax is estimated to generate up to $31 million annually and to significantly reduce consumption of sugary beverages. The Supervisors will be introducing a final, unified measure at the Board of Supervisors in the coming weeks. Proceeds of the tax will be legally dedicated to funding physical activity and nutrition programs in San Francisco public schools (e.g., school lunch, physical education, and after-school programs), active recreation programs in San Francisco parks, food access, outreach and chronic disease prevention programs in the Department of Public Health, and grants to community-based organizations providing health, nutrition, and physical activity programs.

Under the terms of the legislation, disadvantaged/low-income communities, including those most impacted by the diabetes and obesity epidemics, will be prioritized in funding decisions. The tax is proposed for the November 2014 election for consideration by the voters. Because the tax proceeds will be legally restricted to nutrition, health, and physical activity programs, it will require a 2/3 affirmative vote. The measure is structured to require that funding be in addition to current funding levels and not utilized as replacement funding for existing programs.

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December 11, 2013

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For Immediate Release

December 11, 2013

Contact:

Tajel Shah

415.987.7672

sfparentpac@gmail.com

SAN FRANCISCO PARENT POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE ENDORSES THE SUGARY BEVERAGE TAX PROPOSALS HEADED FOR NOVEMBER 2014 BALLOT

San Francisco — Parent group joins call for sugary beverage tax to reduce consumption and fund important programs to improve children’s access to physical activity and nutrition.

On Tuesday, December 10th, the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee (Parent PAC) voted to support sugary beverage tax proposals by Supervisor Scott Wiener and Supervisor Eric Mar and co-sponsored by Supervisors John Avalos and Malia Cohen. Their proposals would create a two-penny per ounce tax on sugary beverages, with the proceeds dedicated to nutrition, physical activity, and health programs in public schools and parks. Supervisors Wiener and Mar have introduced similar but separate legislative proposals and expect those to be merged into one piece of legislation for placement on the November 2014 ballot.

The tax is also supported by School Board President Rachel Norton and Commissioners Jill Wynns and Matt Haney.

“The Parent PAC supports this tax that will fund increased physical activity and healthy food access as well as reduce the consumption of sugary beverages that directly contribute to the diabetes and obesity epidemics impacting San Francisco’s children,” stated Parent PAC President Tajel Shah.

The Parent PAC is proud to join the grassroots effort that will be needed to pass this measure in the November 2014 election. In conjunction with the reauthorization of the Children’s Amendment and The Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF), the sugary beverage tax provides San Franciscans an historic opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the city’s children.

Learn more about the Parent PAC at sfparentpac.org

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