This week, the San Francisco Examiner published my quarterly address as School Board President. Read about how during my two terms, student achievement has increased, truancy is on the decline, and there is a new spirit of collaboration at the SFUSD. I am running to bring this style of leadership and record of results to the Board of Supervisors.
It has been an honor serving as your President and Board of Education member for the past eight years. I feel both sadness as well as a great deal of pride in everything we have accomplished together as I bid you farewell to serve our City’s communities in other capacities.
We have come a long way over the past eight years. I first arrived to a fractious environment that was putting adult arguments before student learning. We ended that. Our community came together around a new leader, Superintendent Carlos Garcia, and a collective vision for success was achieved, our “Beyond the Talk” strategic plan. San Francisco, I am proud to say that SFUSD has moved beyond the talk, and we are walking the walk.
San Francisco is now the top urban school district in all of California. Every year for the past five years, we have seen student test scores rise, the achievement gap narrow, and fewer students disengaging and dropping out. Our public education system is keeping families in our city, as enrollment has increased and we have formal policies to welcome and engage parents in their children’s education. Our students are learning more foreign languages at earlier ages, and we are preparing them for careers in our 21st Century economy.
We have made some difficult fiscal decisions to protect our classrooms from state budget cuts. We have all made sacrifices, including cutting board expenses, to put learning first. And those decisions have paid off. Businessman Henry Ford had it right when he said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” We would not be experiencing this success without everyone in our SFUSD community working hard and dedicating ourselves to moving forward in the right direction.
I want to thank my colleagues on the Board of Education, the district’s staff and educators, our families, and our students for the opportunity to serve alongside you and move SFUSD forward. I know that your hard work will continue our positive progress. Although I will be departing from the Board of Education at the end of this year, I will forever be working to serve our children and families.
Click here to read the entire SFUSD School Times. My column is on page 11!