There have been multiple times over the years that I’ve held the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) in low regard and in 2020, my attitude toward the Board of Education reached a new low. First and foremost, as the pandemic forced upheaval to our daily lives and parents worried like never before, SFUSD never proposed a realistic plan to get students back into schools. The students who log in for Zoom classes are not learning and a large percentage of students don’t even log in.
Instead of prioritizing school reopenings, as the people in the system have faced unprecedented pressures, the Board of Education notable actions have been renaming schools and changing Lowell High School’s charter. And so, it was with a welcomed, bemused shock when the news broke that San Francisco plans to sue its own school district for not being able to put a reopening plan together.
On Feb. 11, (City Attorney Dennis) Herrera plans to issue a preliminary injunction that would “compel the district” to have an “appropriate plan” for in-person instruction, he said in a press conference.
“The City has offered resources, logistical help and public health expertise,” he said in a statement, first shared with the Chronicle.
“Unfortunately, the leadership of the school district and the educators’ union can’t seem to get their act together. The Board of Education and the school district have had more than 10 months to roll out a concrete plan to get these kids back in school. So far they have earned an F. Having a plan to make a plan doesn’t cut it.”
My low regard of SFUSD stems from when I was a young parent applying and re-applying to get my child into a “good” school and extends to the reality that despite our system being luckier than most, it continues to perform poorly. I believe that there are teachers who care, but that acceptance of low results has set in on an institutional level. Where’s the accountability? Not at the Board of Education. While they focus on going down rabbit holes, large percentages of students are falling behind. Yes, of course, we want our children to learn a more balanced version of history, but that doesn’t mean foregoing actions that will help students now.
Image Credit: MChe Lee, https://unsplash.com/photos/PC91Jm1DlWA