High Schools: Locally, many of our public schools are not preparing our students. At CCSF and SFSU I’ve worked with hundreds of students who were passed through our public San Francisco High Schools — without ever having learned about negative numbers, how to add 1/2 and 1/3, how to write 3 sentences in a row, nor to think critically about the news or dissect nice-sounding slogans. Automatically promoting students to the next grade and through graduation is a disservice to young minds. Never asking students to meet standards or set goals – instead leaves them without accomplishments and life skills.
Education belongs in the hands of the people, in local communities, and at the state level.
Charter Schools: Let’s give parents the choices they need for their children. Hooray to the California Board of Education for overturning the San Francisco Board of Education’s ill-advised rejection of a new KIPP elementary school in Bayview-Hunters Point. Charter schools, even with 30% less funding than public schools, produce equal or better results, according to Stanford University. The Doublespeak party’s chant of ”Equal Opportunity” is directed at any offerings “different” from our current mediocre public school offerings.
Pre-Schools: While good intentions are laudable, results are what count. The most successful preschool experiment, with positive long term results, happened 55 years ago: The Perry Preschool Project offered 2 1/2 hours of preschool a day, for 2-5 years, to economically disadvantaged preschool children ages 0 to 5 whose mothers did not work, but who received a 1 1/2-hour weekly visit from their child’s teacher and attended a monthly meeting with teachers and other parents. Today’s preschools are populated by children whose mothers do work. and who are not offered a weekly teacher visit at home. If the magic ingredients for long-lasting results are services, attention, and education for parents, then that is where our money should be directed. In 2012 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that the positive impact of Head Start’s Pre-Kindergarten program had vanished by 3rd grade.