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Live Tweet Recap: Board of Education Meeting November 10, 2015

posted Nov 11, 2015, 5:12 PM by Miranda Martin   [ updated Nov 12, 2015, 12:21 PM by Robin Dutton-Cookston ]
Superintendent Report
  • Google Impact Challenge award given to Lawton Elementary School for robotics
  • Black Student Union leaders from Mission and O'Connell traveled to Sacramento for Black Minds Matter conference
  • School closed for Veterans Day November 11
Student Delegate Report
  • Safety patrol crossing guard program kicked of at ER Taylor
  • Student Advisory Council health committee provided Halloween goodie bags to students residing at a shelter
Parent Advisory Council Report (PAC)
  • Parent Advisory Council is leading community conversations for Our Children, Our Families Council 
  • Will make recommendations to the Board of Education: reaching out to communities that don't usually attend meetings
  • Convening monthly LCAP task force; working to broaden parent voice and include new voices
  • Working to create a more systematic method of LCAP engagement and make it a year-long process
  • PAC Coordinator will attend California Collaborative on District Reform meeting this week
Public Comment on Consent Items
Note: public comment was given with respect to this particular item on the consent calendar:
Approval of the San Francisco Unified School District ("District") to Enter Into a Partnership Agreement with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to Develop a District Teacher Preparation Program through the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Program, a U.S. Department of Education Grant Funded Initiative 
  • United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) comment on SEED grant for teacher prep: put on the record that UESF will be a full participant in the design and implementation of the program
  • Comment: want to have a full voice at the table in new SFUSD teacher pipeline program - keep current teacher evaluation
Consent Calendar
The Board approved items on the consent calendar with the exception of the item on the SEED program which was removed by commissioner Wynns for discussion as a first read later in the agenda

Public Comment on General Matters
  • Public comment on general matters is beginning now.  Math sequence will be a block. Other items first.
  • Comment from Special Education CAC Board Member: Special Ed staffing concern - 58 open positions in our district.  Must fill. Next CAC meeting @SupportforFams on Nov 19th.  Please come!
  • Comment on Creative Arts Charter School: ask to approve enrollment preference for students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. 
  • Director speaking in support of changing enrollment preferences
  • Director of Creative Arts Charter: our city is changing; our teachers can't afford to live in SF; also want to revise policy to allow kids of staff to be residents outside of SF since many teachers can't afford the city
More Public Comment: SB 277
  • Public comment: group opposed to SB 277 (vaccine law) is called SF FREE -- SF for real education equity
  • Two live viral vaccines on mandated schedule. Concerned about shedding and spreading.
More Public Comment: Math Sequencing
  • Moving onto general public comment for math sequence: 45 minutes total. 1 minute each!
  • Student comments are first for the math sequence section. 
  • Several comments in favor of SFUSD bringing back 8th Grade algebra.
  • Lots of clapping and signs that say "one size fits none"
  • Families should have a say, teenagers like choices, equity is about meeting needs of each student.
  • Want to take algebra in 8th grade-don't punish those who want to learn.
  • Speaking against math sequence moving algebra to 9th grade.
  • Is the new math sequence socially just?
  • Concern about heterogeneous classroom model. Teachers in impossible situations.
  • Choice is important in a teenagers life. Must meet needs of diverse students.
  • Proposal (from parents) -- personalized pathways allows students to choose their own classes. No tracking.
  • I am an immigrant. Want same opportunities for children to excel in school - those who can support kids with private programs will be fine - other kids should have the same
  • We lose an edge when competing against kids from outside SF. How are schools helping kids get ready for math?
  • Anti removal of GATE, honors and 8th grade algebra - see kids not accommodated to their level.
  • New math sequence is more equitable. All students deserve access.
  • There will never be a commonwealth unless there is wealth for all
  • Kids complain they are not learning anything at school.
  • Chinese and Asian Students have higher standards for college admission. Reducing AP classes will make students less competitive.
  • Math is a strength of many Chinese children - eliminating Algebra hurts.
  • We deserve a world class education. Students are like "caged birds."
  • Parent voices are important; listen beyond specific policy requests to hear through-lines; we need communication on vision, implementation timeline, more family engagement.
  • I am a product of gifted program and I don't believe in GATE.
  • "Doublespeak" is language that discriminates; hearing double talk about inclusion.  Against tracking.
  • I love math. And I'm happy with new math sequence. More project based learning please.
  • Using public infrastructure to educate a small number of students is not OK.
  • Please stand to show a position of concern about math sequence (Commissioner Haney request).
  • Another group stands in favor of the current sequence.
Response to Public Comment from Superintendent Carranza
  • Appreciates community engagement; been working for 3 years to communicate this change.
  • (Families hissing in audience) Ask to please respect this room like a classroom or be removed.
  • Our math sequence is better than others -- look at our SBAC scores.
  • In 1779 Jefferson proposed a 2-track system for the learned and the "rubbish."
  • There is (was) no honors curriculum. It's just faster. Same curriculum.
  • If you don't care about equity then leave the conversation. I read the blogs. I see what people said about black people.
  • Transition to Lau report. Supporters on both sides of the math sequence issue leave the room. 
Discussion of Other Educational Issues: Annual Lau Report for English Learners
  • Our Chinese Community Officer Jake arrives ready to learn about the Lau Report 
  • Lau report: SFUSD students out-scoring state average on SBAC
  • 1825 English Learner (EL) students reclassified last year. Many at the middle school level
  • Many reclassified EL students performed very well on the SBAC standardized test
  • Next steps: how to reach Spanish speaking ELs and support their learning: how to support newcomers and long term EL students
  • Greatest challenge for EL program is teacher recruitment and retention
  • Formative assessments are key teacher tools for EL students
  • Developed EL observation protocol with Stanford to gather data and find best practices
  • Family engagement is important: families must understand reclassification process
  • Translation of key materials is key - enrollment guide is now in 5 languages. IEP (Individualized Education Plan) template is too.
  • Board comments: Commissioner Walton - Are there plans to spread accelerated language learning opportunities?
  • Response: model programming after school and in summer to advance English proficiency
  • Board comment: Commissioner Fewer- Gap noted between ELs and English only students
  • Response: bilingual and reclassified EL students do better than English only on SBAC
  • Board comment; Commissioner Fewer - we were worried that we were pushing kids too fast to reclassify - but test scores seem to show they are doing well. Does the graduation rate report include students who graduated with a 5th year of instruction? Would like to see those stats.
  • Response: only 4 year graduation rate included
  • The news on EL graduation rates is going to keep getting better as we include students who were held back by the CASHEE high school graduation test
  • Board Comment: Commissioner Haney; Would be great to see SBAC scores by language and by pathway compared to the state average
  • Board Comment: Commissioner Fewer: Are students maintaining their native language?

Vote on Severed Consent Calendar Items (SEED program, severed by Commissioner Wynns, above)
  • SEED program (in house teacher prep) severed for discussion - now we discuss
  • Commissioner Wynns: worried that this program thinks we can take someone and make them a teacher in a short period of time
  • The New Teacher Project assumes that private organizations are better at credentialing teachers. The fed has set this up to give money to favored private organizations instead of directly to districts.
  • Like that this plan will allow us to give credentials - not happy with the plan (Wynns)
  • Want a way for the board to know about his kind of partnership proposal before it is put on the agenda
  • Will monitor progress of this at the Labor committee meeting: updates periodically
  • Commissioner Fewer: agree we should get the grant directly, but this is the system we are working with
  • Important that labor partners at the table and cooperate - also want to focus on teacher retention
  • Voted in favor 5-1
Reports from Committee Meetings and Announcements of Committee Meeting Dates
  • Report from Curriculum and Program Committee: discussed mission prep renewal -no recommendation. Update on Next Generation Science curriculum; Arts ed master plan
  • Report from Budget and Policy committee: Transportation resolution and info on Advanced Placement budget allocations - worth reading.
  • Next Budget committee meeting is December 2 at 6pm
  • Next curriculum meeting is November 30 - "It will be action packed."
  • Ad hoc Committee on Personnel and Labor November 19; Ad Hoc Committee on Student Assignment after the new year
  • Dr. Abram Jimenez, Chief of Schools, welcomed and thanked (defended his dissertation today!)
  • Congrats to SFSU ethnic studies college on 45th anniversary
  • Our Children, Our Families Council input meetings hosted in all districts: this determines how funds allocated - attend!
  • SFUSD students selected/participated in "students in nature" program in Minnesota