We are failing our African American, Latino and Pacific Islander children. Here in San Francisco the districts that have the most African American students, along with Latinos and Pacific Islanders and performing well below state standards.
In the SFUSD 87% of black students performed below the state standard in math. This is not new news but it certainly needs some new blood and attention. The goal is to fix educational inequities and target resources to students most in need.
I also believe the achievement gap is not about poverty alone - there's more to it than that. Keep in mind the gap is also wide between non-low income African American families and non-low income White and Asian families.
Today more than ever there is an urgent need to provide support for the social and emotional needs in our children’s lives. The key is to do this outside the “academic” classroom setting. We need to set up wellness rooms , quiet spaces for our kids to have the opportunity to be still to meditate to self regulate.
- Mindful awareness exercises help children develop concentration and self-awareness.
- Meditation can help students be less stressed and more compassionate
Many educators are introducing meditation into the classroom as a means of improving kids’ attention and emotional regulation.
Studies have shown that mindfulness education programs improved students’ self-control, attentiveness and respect for other classmates, enhanced the school climate, and improved teachers’ moods.
Raising the teachers wages
We have quality teachers here in San Francisco - but if we can’t pay them a proper living wage we will lose them. They can't afford to live in the city. After a long day at work they are forced to babysit, be a nanny or drive for Uber of Lyft to make ends meet. Many are paycheck to paycheck. I understand there are many people who have worked on this and there has been improvement with raises. But we can do more, we can do better. Prop G is a good start, but in the end the teachers are underpaid and we are losing them at an alarming rate. At the end of 2016, one yr ago, almost 11 percent of the teaching force, approximately 368 teachers, announced they would leave the district come at the end of the school year. The largest sum in more than a decade and nearly double the amount from five years ago
In San Francisco, a new public school teacher with a credential and a bachelor’s degree makes between $50,200 and $55,400, depending on the number of academic units he or she has earned. The highest salary offered by the district is $87,700, after 26 years in the classroom. I do understand that small class sizes has contributed to more teachers and therefore less money to go around. But come on, this has to be a priority - it can't be one or the other.
Our IEp's and 504 Families
These families are not feeling supported as much as they have in the past. They feel as if they have to fight tooth and nail for every opportunity for their child. There are para issues, minutes allocated per student issues and I believe now that they are lowering the number of minutes a child may need so they don't have to assign a para. Instead they can assign an "adult" meaning another parent or the PE teacher. I want to learn more from these families and be their voice on the board.
Other important issues
- Tech teachers for each school and develop computer labs
- Bring back JROTC, Home Economics, Auto Shop, Wood Shop. Not every child will be able to excel in STEM or end up behind a desk with a computer. Practical application are needed for our young people.
- Support for all kids from different socio economic backgrounds, learning needs and expanded special education services.
- Fix educational inequities and target resources to students most in need and those communities.
We have a responsibility to keep our kids safe in every way possible. To offer them an education that will help them grow and build year to year. To be productive, respectful, contributing members of society.
Fired Up About Our Future