Elizabeth Weise

What can parents and communities do to create socioeconomically integrated schools?

with 2 comments

For those who’ve been following the 8th grade algebra imbroglio, here’s new news as of Monday, Oct. 28th, 2016.

Supervisors Wiener and Tang Announce Deal with Mayor Ed Lee to Fund Algebra for Public School Students

Supervisors Wiener and Tang & Mayor Lee announce funding to pay for low-income students to complete Algebra 1 through private courses

San Francisco— Today Supervisors Scott Wiener and Katy Tang announced that, in partnership with Mayor Ed Lee, they have successfully secured funding to help low-income students access additional math instruction to earn their algebra 1 course credit. Eight grade algebra was eliminated from the San Francisco public school curriculum as part of the adoption of the Common Core curriculum.

Last month, Supervisors Wiener and Tang introduced a $70,000 budget supplemental to fund online algebra courses for low-income students. Mayor Ed Lee stepped in to identify existing funding as well as expand accredited course options to Algebra 1 or Geometry. By providing these options, students will have the opportunity to stay on an advanced math schedule while still sequencing math content in a way that honors the goals of the Common Core curriculum. Supervisors Wiener and Tang will work with the Mayor’s office, the Department of Children Youth and their Families, and the School District to help students choose from an approved online program, summer school option, or dual enrollment.

Please read more here.

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Written by Elizabeth Weise

October 27, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. After careful deliberation, I’ve decided to be a single issue voter this year on one issue in relevant races: restore 8th Grade Algebra 1. I will not vote for any candidate who voted for the current math placement policy and has failed and refused to fix it. I will vote only for BOE candidates who are clearly on record and committed to restore Algebra 1 to 8th Grade. Our kids are in middle school NOW and it will soon be too late (already is for some people). The reason I am voting on a single issue basis is because there are multiple spots open on the BOE. If I vote for multiple candidates for other reasons, especially incumbents or those with greater name recognition, it lessens the chances of getting the candidates I care most about elected. It waters down my vote on the issue I care about most. Even if we get one or two people elected, they can hold the rest of the Board accountable. And they will hold the staff far more accountable than has been the case to date.

    With that preface, here is what I have concluded so far about how I will vote. I will vote FOR IAN J. KALIN AND ROB GELLER FOR BOE. They have unequivcally taken a stand in favor of immediate restoration of Algebra 1 to middle school.

    I will vote AGAINST SANDRA FEWER FOR D1 SUPERVISOR. I will NOT VOTE for incumbents Matt Haney, Rachel Norton or Jill Wynns, or any of the other incumbents who approved this policy. While Norton and Wynns have other strengths, Wynns has confirmed she still agrees with the current policy and won’t do anything to fix it. Norton voted for it and failed to take a stand publicly to fix it despite widespread parent protests. All of the incumbents stood by while Superintendent Carranza shockingly disrespected parents by refusing to allow his staff to attend a meeting set up by Supervisor Scott Weiner–and canceled the meeting 10 minutes after it started. (I know, because I WAS THERE.) There is only one meaningful way to address this arrogant, high handed disregard for the will of the voters. Our votes are all we have to negotiate with at this point. So Norton is off my list unless she pledges to support restoring Algebra 1 to Middle School.

    There is one BOE candidate on the bubble for me: Trevor McNeil. He has said the current policy is unworkable. But he hasn’t committed to a solution and is talking about appointing Committees to study the issue. We all know how that goes–just look at the assignment system. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Our kids are burning–we are the STEM capital of the world and our public school system has put our students at a giant competitive disadvantage. No more study. Fix the problem. I’ve asked Mr. McNeil if he will follow Geller and Kalin to make a greater commitment to action. Stay tuned.

    Annette Hurst

    October 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    • Algebra is not a crime! AH is both correct and understating the problem. SFUSD is actively prejudiced against high-ability children. They refuse acceleration even for qualified, willing and capable students, including poor ones. They force the highest ability (gifted) children into private schools or out of the city altogether. We have found that SFUSD schools are in fact unsafe for high-ability middle schoolers. Not because of the students – who were perfectly reasonable and well behaved – but because of prejudiced principals and the BOE. SFUSD actually borders on anti-intellectualism. There are presently 6th graders in SFUSD middle schools right now who finished their entire year’s Math 6 curriculum in September and will just sit there and try to be nice the rest of the year. And if they get bored they get bad grades and a label. And if you ask a MS principal to allow your 6th grader into 7th or 8th grade math because that is the appropriate educational match the principal will tell you to get stuffed. SF

      Steve Ferrero

      October 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm


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