August 3, 2022 Newsletter

Weekly updates from SF Parents

School & Board News

 

Special Board Meeting on Commissioner Hsu’s remarks about Black and brown students.

SF Parents is committed to holding decision-makers accountable and advocating for equitable outcomes for all students. We were deeply troubled by Board of Education Commissioner Ann Hsu’s use of a hurtful stereotype about Black and Latinx families in her answer to SF Parent Action, our sister organization’s, endorsement questionnaire. SF Parent Coalition condemns all forms of racism, and we hold just inclusion—the elevation of voices of systemically marginalized groups—as one of our foundational values. We are proud of the work we’ve done to build a diverse and inclusive community of parents from across San Francisco, and we are always striving to improve.

 

We’ve been meeting with our core parent leaders, especially Black and Latino families in our network, to listen and understand how the remarks affected them. To date, none of our parent leaders have called for Ann Hsu to resign, though they have expressed real harm and loss of trust. Healing will take time, and we are continuing to meet and discuss this with our families. At SF Parents we were disappointed by last night’s special School Board meeting where President Lam and fellow commissioners attempted to hold a civil meeting to discuss the admonishment of Commissioner Hsu following her remarks. We want our community to have honest, real, and productive conversations about this issue, while making space for the people most affected. At SF Parent Coalition, we are continuing to check in with each other, offer support for one another during this challenging time, and hope that the politics and hope we can resume the work that needs to be done to get our schools on track for truly equitable and excellent education for all San Francisco students.

 

Please reach out to me (Tomio) with your thoughts and comments. Email me at tomio@sfparents.org

 

School Board gets focused on student performance–could it be?! 

Parents were already ooh-ing and aahh-ing after President Lam and the recently recomposed School Board began focusing on better, more effective governance starting at the end of the 2021-22 school year. The latest wow moment is their focus on… yes… student outcomes! Despite our excitement about this new, important focus, we’re also a bit troubled by the data and the story it tells about the long, long road ahead.

 

Above: Select data from Student Outcomes Report 2022 developed by SFUSD for Board and Superintendent consideration during student outcomes planning work.

 

Last week Board of Education President Jenny Lam and Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne released SFUSD Vision, Values, Goals, and Guardrails which outlines the topics from a workshop earlier in the month where BOE commissioners and Supt. Wayne discussed governance practices to improve student outcomes. Details are not expected until late October, however, they are beginning to field input from the community—which is where you come in! We are always stronger together, so please reply to us HERE and tell us what you think should be included in SFUSD’s student outcome goals. We will summarize parent feedback in an open letter to the BOE and Supt. Wayne early this fall.

 

SF Parents meeting with new Superintendent Dr. Wayne.

At the beginning of July we sent an open letter to Dr. Matt Wayne, sharing all of your expectations (thank you for submitting!), and welcoming him in his new role. A few weeks later we had our first meeting with Dr. Wayne, where we discussed our SF Parents Priorities Platform and heard from him about his priorities for the district. We’re excited to report how motivated and ambitious Dr. Wayne is about improving curriculum and instruction at SFUSD, and that he shares in our vision for improved student outcomes and governance practices. We’re looking forward to this developing relationship with Dr. Wayne, and hope to organize a meeting so that all of you can speak with him directly via a town hall. What questions do you have for Dr. Wayne and what topics would you like to discuss with him? Reply here and let us know so we can prepare an agenda and get the ball rolling. 

 

SFUSD’s transition to greater instructional coherence around literacy.  This summer we had another meeting with SFUSD’s Dept of Curriculum and Instruction to hear how they are doing with the literacy instruction improvement plans, to share parent feedback, and to gather information that helps prepare our advocacy for the year ahead. One of the things we keep hearing about through the outside literacy audit completed by TNTP for our district is about “instructional coherence.” What does that even mean, anyway? We were curious, too. Check out this report from TNTP on the importance of instructional coherence. And, stay tuned for action items related to literacy advocacy from us, very soon. 

City Report

 

SF Parents Strengthens Student Success Fund Charter Amendment.  Tuesday, July 26th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Student Success Fund Charter Amendment as a ballot initiative. This means it will be appearing on your ballot for this November’s election, and if it’s approved by voters it will bring $70 million to our students with greatest needs. Input from SF Parents’ members like you helped to strengthen this legislation and help get it passed. Over the last two months we sought feedback and shared a list of your questions and concerns with co-author Supervisor Hillary Ronen. Sup. Ronen took our concerns seriously, and the amendment’s final version included a greater student-centered focus and provisions for improved accountability, ultimately making the amendment more equitable for our students, more aligned and coherent with the district’s vision for our schools, and focused on evidence-based programming. This is a HUGE win for parent advocacy in San Francisco! Thank you to all the parents who weighed in. We’ve heard from district and city officials alike how important your role was in shaping and improving the amendment. 💪

 

Other Happenings

  • Food and nutrition at SFUSD! An unaffiliated parent-led group, SFUSD Food Boosters, encourages families to fill out their survey to help them gain insight into kids’ food & nutrition experiences at SFUSD. Kids can’t learn when they’re not getting good nutrition!
    • Visit bit.ly/3OTtAns to share your feedback on school meals with them.
  • Our sister organization, SF Parent Action, is preparing for this year’s coming Board of Education election. Have you subscribed to the SF Parent Action newsletter? Sign up now to learn about upcoming opportunities and make sure your voice is heard in this year’s election. Are you ready to become a volunteer? SF Parent Action has volunteering opportunities for every schedule!
 

SF Parent Coalition centers the needs of children and youth in San Francisco public schools by bringing together a diverse network of parents and caregivers to advocate for a thriving, equitable school system.

 

Our sister organization, SF Parent Action, advocates for policies and elected officials who put the needs of San Francisco’s public school students first. Don’t miss out on important updates on that work and what you need to know!

🚨 Volunteer with or sign up for our SF Parent Action newsletter here 🚨

 

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