2008 State of the City Education Webisode


so 2008 was an incredibly
important year for education in san francisco.
As many people know, we established a framework of
support for our public schools that we think is a model for
others, and it is called a partnership for achievement.
It was a memorandum of understanding between the city
and county of san francisco and the independent school district.
Rather than try to take over a school board, as some mayors are
doing, and I do not necessarily criticize that.
To me, it is just a solution in search of a problem.
we decided to have a framework of understanding of areas where
we thought we could become more collaborative, more supportive.
We have a $6.50 billion bureaucracy.
The school district has a much more modest bureaucracy, but we
thought if we organize in a way that could actually begin to
close the line or remove the line between the city and county
of sampras’ s, and the school
district, recognizing that we are not policy-makers, but we
can support these kids before school, even during school,
after school, and certainly during the summer months, then
we could make a big difference in achievement, and you can see
some of the areas where we of the supporting our school
district, and these additional areas, which I will amplify hear
in this segment of our 2008 state of the city.
One of the things that I am particularly proud of in
severance cisco is that we do not look at the case 312 system
as the k through 12 system. – one of the things I to be
prada in san francisco is that we do not look at k through 12
system. To me, it is anathema about what
is going on around us, not just internally as to making sure we
have kids graduating from our schools that can get jobs with
in the school and county of san francisco but even within the
state of california, where this country.
In order to compete, we need to focus on getting our kids
prepared, in kindergarten, and then making sure they can get
into the real world by focusing on our k through 12 education
system and moving it to a k through 16 education focus, so
that is it, through 26 16 as
opposed to 312. Preschool.
– as opposed through 12. San francisco is the first city
in california to initiate universal preschool.
We started in a number of years ago.
We initiated in just four zip codes in our city, and now we
have universal preschool that we have rolled out to all of the
zip codes in our city, and we believe early 2010, not too far
from now, we will have fully implemented preschool, for all
of those that look to stores or needed, but we did already in
2008 does your wallet out into every zip code in the city and
county of san francisco. – but we did already in 2008
roll it out. In order to achieve any real
results as relates to the achievement gap, particularly
for the african-american and latino students, we have got to
prepare our kids for kindergarten.
We had a company come in and do a steady, a survey of preschool
programs even child care programs with the composite up
and down the state of california.
no one scored particularly well outside of our own city, and as
you can see, a san francisco was identified as a bright spot.
That does not surprise many of us, because we have investing a
lot in our preschool system. You can see in 2005, 2006, $3.50
million invested, in the last year $11.25 million, 11 million
$250,000 into our preschool system, so every year, which are
wrapping it up. Again, I think a model for the
rest of the state, arguably for the country.
I do not know there are many cities, if any – I know that
denver has one, but I do not think many are as robust and as
comprehensive as the city and county of san francisco.
Again, not k through 12, but pre-k through 16.
There is something else we have to a dance that called san
francisco promise. Every sixth grader in our public
schools should be guaranteed an four-year college education.
Again, pre-k to 16. How you guaranteed a four-year
education? How do you do that?
And where did you send all of those kids?
california state university system.
We actually asked them to allow san francisco to become a pilot
city through sand francisco state university to engage in a
partnership, a partnership we have engaged in with the public
schools, but with our state university system, and to build
capacity and opportunity for all of our sixth graders and to make
sure that they have college preparatory courses to make sure
that they are acquainted with the opportunities that exist
outside not just graduation day as a senior in our public
schools, and we developed in a way to amplify that, parent
workshops, tours, and training programs that we believe can
become a model for the state of california.
This is a really an exciting program, and it is a program
that as it was initiated this year already allowed us to do
something we never thought we could do before, and that is –
it May not seem like a lot, but it is significant.
We did on the psat, we allowed all of the students to access
free psat support, and, again, these are just the kinds of
things we can do to amplify the opportunities outside of justice
the year of high school. Again, things that we think can
resonate outside and things we believe are a model to the rest
of the country. Another area we are focused is
not just preschool and after you graduate from high school, but,
again, it – the lives of our kids during school, and one of
the areas where we are so frustrated, we have this thing
called no child left behind, which has left behind tens of
billions of dollars in funding, but one of the areas where we do
not have adequate funding is arts education.
In san francisco, we decided to come together and are finding
something called propositionh, which was passed years ago.
– proposition h. We’
re actually finding comprehensive arts education,
dance, music, theater. Now, we have 72 elementary
schools that have on site coordinators for arts education,
24 in the middle high schools, and some of our county timidity
schools. Again, we put more money because
of prop 8 into a musical equipment and the like.
How many cities do not have access to this?
san francisco is not a city that is going to leave behind support
for things outside of mathematics and science, as
critically important as they are.
Not everyone will be enlivened by mathematics and science, but
we can create opportunities for people to be fully express it.
We can create the conditions where people live their lives in
a much more meaningful way by participating artistically and
building that’ s up steam, which
is so important to a framework of them building a life that we
won all of our young people to build, – building self-esteem,
which is so important. The other thing I referenced in
the health care section in the state of the city that I want to
amplify here is putting doctors and nurses back into the
schools, as well. Again, think back.
How many doctors and nurses are in our public schools today?
When I was a young person, I remember that there was a doctor
and nurse, but how many have doctors and nurses today?
Not many. In san francisco, we said enough
is enough, and we are funding putting doctors and nurses back
in, and we are calling them wellness centers, and we have 15
now in high schools, and we are about to do five more in our
middle schools, and this is about adolescent mental health
needs, critical to focus on adolescent mental-health issues,
a lot of stress, particularly in certain sections of our city,
where there is crime and violence, a lot of posttraumatic
stress, a lot of issues associated with a lack of self-
esteem and a lot of pressures that young people go through to
have that connection, this is also important.
These also act as critical resources as well, and they
connect for larger referrals, connecting the entire health
care delivery system of the city, a way of developing
support for our public schools, so it is not just public schools
in isolation as silos, where all of the money comes from the
state, a little from the feds, and then a dollar or two from
the government – we do not believe that is the best
approach. Until the federal government
gets its act together, and until our state gets its at together,
san francisco has stepped up, and we are bearing wilfred.
– and until our state gets its act together.
San francisco has stepped up, and we are bearing fruit.
Gibbs health prevention, health care, mental, physical.
– health prevention, health care.
Supporting the energy levels of our kids to focus more intently
on their schoolwork, but before and after school, to make sure
that they are prepared for the opportunities that exist and
develop in terms of engaging in the broader community.
We focused on getting them to eat better, so we have these 25
salad bars in our schools. this is a phenomenal success
story. It is something that I hope is
in every one of our public schools.
It is a pilot program that was just initiated, and it is
something part of our green initiative and our health
initiative in our city, and when I talk more about our
environmental sector, I want to talk more about the green
initiatives that tie into these systems, again, environmental
health as well as physical and mental health, a big part of our
solutions, and I talked as well about shape up, san francisco,
in that section, and we are very proud of our physical fitness
that we have advanced by partnering whitby school
district to engage in more physical activity during the
school hours. – we have engaged with the
school district it If we are going to do preschool for all, why not do after school
for all? People say, wait a second.
preschool is difficult. If you’
re going to do it, that would be remarkable.
After school is much more complex and difficult.
Well, if we hear another professional talking about the
importance of the hours between 3:00 and 7:00 P.M. And keeping
our kids engaged, etc., we have all heard of that.
What are we doing about it? i am proud that we have an
initiative, a real initiative, for after-school programs for
all of our kids universally by 2010, and I want to say that we
are on pace to meet that goal in 2010.
This is a remarkable effort and initiative to partner the good
works of the entire team over there with others who have
committed themselves to this effort, a lot of advisory
committees, again, and board of supervisors that is enlightened
on this, and a city that says we can do more, and we can do
better, and we are raising the bar, not just for preschool, not
just for four-year college, and not just for well as
opportunities, but also after school opportunities.
Again, we think, a model for the nation.
Another area where we need to do more and do better is supporting
our teachers. We all pay lip service to
supporting our teachers, but we need to do more than lip
service. We need to support them by
giving them more money at recognizing, I support and
recognizing their work and commitment and contribution, by
supporting them, as well. I could not be more proud of
this. We have established a program
that you would have thought would have been done years and
years ago, and that is a teacher of the month award, just simple
recognition. We will talk about money in a
second, but this was not about money.
This was just about saying thank you to our teachers.
There is no one more important when a child steps in a
classroom, nothing and no one more important to academic
achievement. It does not matter how good you
are. it does not matter how rich or
parents are. It does not matter the color of
your skin. What matters more than anything
else is your teacher, so we have to recognize that we are not
supporting them enough. One of the things we started
recently as this teacher of the month award, and we have
recognized 17 outstanding teachers, and we have an awards
ceremony, and it is and that standing thing.
– that is an outstanding day. We do give them some money, and
we have done massages, and I want to thin
ank michael milken, and the milliken family.
they did this at an elementary school, many receives $25,000 in
bonuses. Talk about recognition.
Just this last week in san francisco.
It is that same spirit, and it is a spirit that I think we can,
again, elevate and continued to contribute to I simply just
thinking folks – thanking folks, and there are a lot of
teachers to be thankful for and who should be complimented, as
there are principals who are doing extraordinary work.
I do every single week, and i visit them, sometimes two,
sometimes three schools a week. You can always tell how good a
school is performing by the art on the walls and by the first
observation right when you meet the principal and have engaged
an enthusiastic that principle is.
They treat the condition and the environment that allows teachers
to prosper as well, and we initiated a similar program for
our principles, and that is a program again that does not cost
money but that needs to be done. – a similar program for opera
it’ s a palace – for our
principals. Let’
s talk about the context of money beyond these recognitions,
but substantively, every single day, not just those who are
performing at the highest of the high levels, but everyone else
who is struggling to perform at the high levels or struggling to
make ends meet tuesday in san francisco to teach or to justify
their commute in sentences the – or struggling to make ends
meet to stay in san francisco. There was proposition a, an
opportunity not only to support our teachers, again,
financially, but to support them through ongoing education, and
incorporates a new accountability strategy, as
well, which is a trade-off. We can do more by offering more
cash and by demanding a little more in return, and this was
negotiated with the teachers’ union and negotiated with the
school board and the city, and carlos garcia is doing a great
job. It is because of the support of
philanthropists, like warren, that this initiative passed as
overwhelmingly as it did. Here is what it did.
It is $28.50 million a year for teachers raises, professional
development, an ec technology innovation is a part of it, and
the opportunity – and you see technology innovation is a part
of it, and there is a significant base salary
increase. Again, how many of us have heard
about these cuts, teachers not be able to be paid enough?
In this economic climate, we are paying our teachers $5,000 more
just as a base line, but we also added these other provisions
that if you support our needs in supporting a focus on hard to
staff schools, and you are a teacher, and you want to go
there, which will give you another $2,000.
You have got a subject matter that no one is teaching to, we
will give you another thousand, and another 2500 for a master
teacher. – we will give you another
$2,000. That is a 22% pay increase for
some teachers in this city. We just approved this.
The voters in just approved this.
I am very thankful to san franciscans to support our
teachers in a meaningful and substantial way.
This act is leading the way, and I compliment you for helping
bridge the city’ s interests in
this, as well as the school districtd.
Ufty and the supervisors – as the school district.
commissioner dufty and others, we appreciate it.
And we have a tax to fund this new initiative.
One of the other initiatives that we are funding through our
partnership for achievement is the spirit spaces for youth.
We are looking at opportunities to build capacity.
You know, you have got a school day that begins and ends at a
certain time, and during the summer months, is basically
locked down, but these are community assets, and we want to
share the space and the school district with the citizens of
san francisco and vice versa, sure public spaces outside the
school district with the school district itself.
– share public spaces outside the school district with the
school district itself. We are taking school
playgrounds that are locked up after school and keeping them
open. We have 12 of them now.
Our supervisor has led the way in this opportunity to increase
capacity of our playgrounds. We think that we can do more
with this in the future. I cannot tell I have been in
elected office for, the, 12 years, almost 13.
It took about that long. I have been in elected office
for, I think, 12 years, almost 13.
we had one community say absolutely not, that school is
locked down after school. We do not trust the school
outside the school to take care of the playground, but in most
cases, it has really worked, and we think it is a model.
I will talk a lot about another topic in another section.
we are actually at malcolm x academy, creating opportunities
for parents to get more support so they become better parents,
and they get financial literacy training.
They get support for their an academic needs and to help them
raise their children, as well, and that is another way of using
the schools in the evening hours as anchors to the community, and
that could not be more examples than by this new grant, and in
providence, rhode island, and san francisco,
we got hundreds of thousands of dollars in this grant, but
looking at the city schools as community hubs and building on
some of these principles that I have an example by taking it to
a whole other level, this is something that is a preview.
– that I have examples – exampled.
This is something I am very proud of in terms of exercising
the grants, again leading the way and marking what the school
district to build on that capacity.
We’ re also doing the same with
our greeting exercises, and I will talk more about this in our
environmental section. – with our greening exercises.
we have a new director of the environment and public schools,
just doing a great job over there be a they are doing a lot
more environmental field trips. – doing just a great job over
there. There are doing a lot more
environmental field trips, composting, assemblies.
– they are doing a lot more. i will talk more about that.
All of this, again, making our kids more attuned to the world
around them, literally, not just figuratively, at something I am
very proud of has made a big impact in this last year.
Green schools, amplifying on the service learning and our Ot
diesel fleet, the school district has, 100% biodiesel.
We’ll be talking a lot about that in the transportation
section of the state of the city as well as the
environmental section. Solar, we’ve got 18
installations. I thank pacific gas & electric
for their installations on school.
We’ve got 30 school gardens and money coming from our bonds
that will fund even more school gardens.
The composting, which we’ll talk a lot more about.
Already 70 schools are doing composting of food waste.
We talk about the salad bars, what do they do with the
broccoli they didn’t eat? We compost it, an we have
through the environmental learning initiatives, they’ll
actually put the food into a food scrap bin and then it will
be composted. They’ll get the dirt back.
The nutrients coming from that composting, and then they’ll
plant in these school gardens the same food that they
actually are eating in those salad bars, again, creating a
connection, a cradle to grave connection to the earth that is
really important. I don’t want to get too
esoteric, but it’s fundamental to educating people and
entertaining them at the same time to the connection we have
with mother nature. Another area where we are
trying to do more and we’ve got to do better is truancy.
This one, a little bit more of a hard-headed focus.
The dropout rate in this country is a disgrace.
70% of high school students graduate.
It’s deplorable for african-american kids and
hispanic kids and in san francisco it’s no different.
We need to do better. We need to do more.
we’ve got good partnerships with community-based
organizations. One of them is this new center
for academic re-entry, the care program.
60 youth. It’s not enough, but it’s a
good start that have been served.
We’re seeing some progress. We’ve got school attendance
reviews that are happening with this new review board and
school coalition. I recently went out with my
friend patricia, my principal over at balboa high school.
I got so frustrated we started knocking on doors together to
try to get these kids to school.
We’ve got to do a better job at this.
And something for the new year, rest assured, we’re going to do
more. we’re going to do better on
true antsy and dropouts. If that means I have to get an
army of people to go in and knock on these doors and
support these parents, not just by incarcerating them, but by
supporting them. Most of these kids that are
dropping out, these are families in crisis by and
large. And having visited a lot of
these families, each and every story was remarkable.
I met one woman who was going back to iraq and the daughter
was terrified of her mother leaving again.
And we could talk about arresting that mother for the
kid not going to school, but that is not going to help much
in supporting that single mother with her daughter that’s
not showing up to school. We’ve got to support that
daughter with some of the emotional issues and the
challenging issues of having a mom going back to iraq for
another tour of duty. And that’s one of the reasons,
again, she’s just too scared to go to school and she’s just too
confused. She is in need of a lot of
support. That’s where the city can step
in. That’s just an example of where
we can do, I think, a better job supporting some of these
initiatives and doing better on the dropout rates.
Another area where I think we can do more and do better is
volunteerism. I think it should be a rite of
passage the I don’t think you should graduate public high
school without giving back. The thing I look forward to
most, and I don’t know what the speech is going to look like.
But when barack obama gives his inaugural speech I expect it to
resonate or rather the issue of volunteerism to resonate as a
big part of the speech. Contribution.
Giving back at time when we need people to be more engaged
and more involved in the life of their community and their
city and their state in this nation and the world we’re
trying to build. I think it should start in the
schools. So we have a program that we’re
trying to advance that does require every child that
graduates to have given back sometime in terms of
volunteerism. Programs like the rotc help in
doing that. And I am happy that the rotc
bill be passed. I disagree with the war, just
like many of you do. the vast majority of you do.
But this is a 90-year program that was making a difference in
kids’ lives. And I think that program
deserves the support it received by the voters, and we
can restore that program and restore that spirit of
contribution and community and volunteerism, building
discipline and self-esteem. we have another program called
experience corps that also deserves attention.
This is getting seniors to give back to their public schools
and get involved in mentoring and tutoring, and this is
something we want to expand. And then more partnerships, in
the most benign sense, where business leaders can come in
and mentor the kids, talk about what they’re doing in the real
world and how it can resonate in the lives of our children.
All told, our city investment in the public schools has
increased exponentially over the years.
Just $8.4 million a few years ago.
Now $46.6 million of city money that we’ve transferred over to
the public schools. That’s a full 150% increase.
This does not, however, include the rainy day fund money.
If the governor’s $2.5 billion goes into effect and we see
another $20 million of cuts locally in our public schools,
the rainy-day fund will be triggered, and that means that
our investment will actually grow to 677%, because we’ve
already set aside the money to go up to $65 million from the
$46.6 million, if indeed we have to utilize that rainy day
fund. So, again, this is a city that
walks its talk, a city that is investing well beyond its prop
h mandates, incidentally, into supporting our kids with these
programs as well as these dollar resources.
Another area that deserves some attention in terms of public
education is the investment the public’s made.
You look at these facility bonds.
$295 million in 2003. The prop h, which I just
referenced, prop a in 2005. city college, which is another
one of our partners as it relates to building capacity
and partnerships to allow our kids to look beyond just 212.
And then the big one, which was a $450 million school bond and
i referenced earlier the $28.5 million, which was the partial
tax, another prop a, all the education bonds, education set
asides are a’s on the ballot, appropriately so and we’ve gun
getting straight a’s in this city.
The voters have been getting it right each and every time and I
want to congratulate the voters of san francisco for stepping
up and supporting these school bonds and these initiatives for
our public schools. What has it all meant?
Well, what it’s meant is that we’re the top-performing urban
school district in the state of california.
Number one in the state of california seven years in a row
with improved test scores. You can see where our schools
are compared, in terms of our test scores, compared to
everybody else. here all the other counties in
the state of california, there’s the state average.
We’re ahead in math and english language, arts, again,
compliments to the superintendent garcia, men do
zarks the liaison, committees to the city of san francisco
and to the board of supervisors and the elected officials for
stepping up and stepping in. These numbers are examples of
the commitment and the success of these partnerships.
The bar’s low. Urban school district.
But we are raising it in contrast to others in san
diego, oakland, fresno, L.A. No one’s doing better.
We can do more, but I’m very proud of those efforts.
Final two points. We want to do more in science
and math. So one of the things we are
looking forward to is investing in a new k-8 small school.
When 3,600 housing units are developed in mission bay area,
we now have the opportunity to receive, pursuant to that
development agreement, a site for a few school in mission
bay. Basically a new neighborhood
being conceived for a new school.
We want this school to be a science and technology school,
focus, again, k-8. One of the things we want to
add to the school is create a science center so that high
school students can also access this school and teachers can
access the school site for professional development.
Again, anchored in the heart of mission bay, where some of the
most innovative companies in the world are operating, where
our stem cell research center is operating, where the campus
site exists. What an ideal space to lead the
nation with an innovative 28 program.
I mention – k-8 program. I mentioned this in my speech,
and I want to say there’s a lot of progress being made and in
2009 I hope we initiate the progress in a formal way not
just between the school districts and the city, but
institutions of higher learning who can also take advantage of
this, the state university system, the U.C. System.
We have a framework to do something extraordinary and
that’s something we look forward to advancing.
We have not walked away from this.
We’re absolutely committed. and, again, 2009 I think is
when we’ll get most of that done.
So, again, we want to continue our efforts in advocacy to lead
by example. We want to continue with the
new speaker of the house and the new President To advocate
for federal resources and investments that could pay
great dividends and that could be models, that could be scaled
in other cities. again, we love to be the first
out front. We talked about S.F. Promise.
We’re going to continue to advocate for more federal
resources to advance that program.
We’ve got a new child nutrition act that’s being reauthorized.
We want to focus on our wellness strategies and our
health care strategies and prevention strategies and we
want to make sure we get that one right.
We also have some legislation that we are supporting at the
state level about data and dropouts and truancy to make
sure everyone gets the same measurements and we’re all on
the same page. And we want to focus on this
educational round table where the mayor of fresno and others
have been working to get more support between the governor’s
office, superintendents and mayors up and down the state.
And we’ve got a new initiative on truancy that we’re advancing
at the state with this education round table.
And finally, the reduced and free lunch program.
Look, we’re a high-cost place to live, and we need to get
more support for our free and reduced lunch program.
Hawaii and alaska have some benefits that a lot of states
and cities don’t receive. We think san francisco should
be considered for those same benefits, and that’s another
area that we’ll be focusing on. All told the state of education
in san francisco can be better, but we’re doing very well.
Top performing urban school district in the state, a
partnership that we believe is an envy for the rest of the
nation, pre-k to 16. We think this city is moving in
the right direction. We appreciate the public’s
patience in terms of getting the school district where it
needs to negotiation but I’m feeling very good about the
state of the district in contrast to where we were even
just a year or two years ago.

1 thought on “2008 State of the City Education Webisode”

  1. Vote NO on all school bond measures.

    Vote YES for English speaking schools. Eliminate bilingual education.

    Vote YES for the voucher system.

    Require that all public school teachers and administrators send their own kids to public schools.

    Require all public school teachers to pass Math 101.

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