DO WE REALLY CARE ABOUT OUR STUDENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO?
Some years ago when over 100,000 San Francisco school students attended Public School most of us took the student population for granted. All over San Francisco many serious issues were thrown at the students and no one really took a step back to understand the scars of the times and the damage being done to Public Schools in San Francisco.
Today we have about 56,000 students attending our Public School in San Francisco and more families with children do not want to remain in San Francisco. It is the sign of the times and no one again is paying attention to the cries of families that find the City that purports to know how - how difficult it is to make ends meet for a family with children.
The Asian population has increased and the African American population is decreasing in San Francisco. Once the Public School implemented the mandated laws and bused our school children all over the City. Today our children are bused and others take MUNI but things have changed and public transportation and other factors put our children in Public Schools in harms way.
No parent will nurture any child so that when the children go to school they are not comfortable about the Public School and if they feel about adverse impacts especially Safety- the parents will do anything including getting out of the City and moving anywhere where the family can be safe and have a good education. It is happening again and again every single day.
I have attended the critical meetings at many public schools, focused groups, talking to advocates, talking to the youth, spending hours with parents, listening to teachers, delving into school history and talking to the Elders. I have kept an open mind and have had lots of patience and what I see is not very encouraging. Our students that attend Public School today are worse off then many were some years ago. The San Francisco Unified School District has failed and allowed petty politics to foster divisiveness and wasted funds. Then to add insult to injury we have chosen to cast aside local leaders in the Educational Field and put our faith in outsiders that have raped the San Francisco Unified School District Fiscal Cash Box.
Our students have NOT been given the opportunity NOT ONCE to state in detail what is the real plight that makes life difficult for them to be educated and contribute to this world as good citizens. Every one is talking over them, below them, around them, at them but no one is allowing them to say their peace.
In this contemporary world we fully understand that there is lots of information everywhere. This is not the problem. The problem is the ability to find teachers and teach our children to discern and choose the best information. It is this best information that is prime education. More so now when students have access to the internet and cyber space invites adults as well as youth to gain information some important and most mundane.
I keep listening to politicians that jump on the band wagon years after the issues have not been addressed. This happens because most politicians are NOT educated on issues. There is not one Board of Supervisors who has studied Educational Psychology or mastered the principles that govern the formation of quality curricula. Some have been teachers but that means something but not important enough to participate in a meaningful way in this critical debate.
Jesuit Institutions pride on quality education. I was fortunate to learn the best from the best and use the concepts of quality educational principles to evaluate teachers and youth all over the world. From time to time I go to Public Schools and what I see leaves much to be desired. I am fortunate to visit Private Schools and Charter Schools in San Francisco and I see hope there because the model followed offers the best amenities and there is much caring and love from the better educated and paid teachers. In all this talk NOT once has there been a suggestion for some Private Schools to come to the rescue of Public Schools. There must always be some reaching out from those that are fortunate to the less fortunate. From those that have resources to those that lack resources. We see again and again on the Sports Field - some Public Schools cannot afford to field a football team. Less support the team and the expenses that go with football extravaganza. These issues can be applied to music classes, dance classes, and other curricula that many private institutions and schools take for granted.
Some of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Policy Makers do not want to study the unique circumstance in the Southeast Sector more District 10 in San Francisco. We cannot expect anything from an inept Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. She may criticize the SFUSD for brain storming sessions but she herself has less of a brain and no solution to any genuine issue or problem affecting our schools.
Then we have Mayor Gavin Newsom he jumps off and on the band wagon - recently he has learned to talk from both sides of his mouth. He really did not go to school in San Francisco - Marin County and Palo Alto may have given him opportunities when he was poor but Mayor Gavin Newsom is all about SPIN and will not offer any concrete solution to our children and Public Schools in San Francisco.
He backs Arlene Ackerman and will not stand in her way to get over a quarter million dollars to pack her stuff and leave San Francisco. So much for some one that brags that she loves children more money. I say she loves green and should be ashamed of herself.
For many parents there has been no stability and the welfare of their children a nightmare. Many times parents will call me to see if I can help find a slot and place their children near to home in a Public School. It has not been easy. Families that have a father and mother are inclined to take a deeper interest in their children - at work they cannot feel at ease if they are concerned their children are in harms way. In San Francisco many parents have got heart attacks and died because of woes related to their dear children. Our politicians many that are gay and single pretend that they want to save our children but they are really not educated on issues that demand understanding certain time tested educational models, that do not exists in San Francisco Public Schools, under conditions that fail to maintain a conducive environment to progressive education.
Our youth in our Public School can and will help themselves but they should be given an opportunity. California is the fifth largest economy in the world so really it is not really that we do not have the money. We do have the best brains in California and closer to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. We want to call ourselves the Information Center of the world and are noted for it all over the world. Why is it that we cannot inform our children with quality information and more provide them with the best education?