Friday, February 29, 2008

Forum with Michael Krasny: budget cuts

This morning, KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny featured a piece on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed $4.8 billion in cuts to public schools. You can listen to it at www.kqed.org/programs/radio/forum. If you caught the show, please comment. Thanks!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What do you want to ask SFUSD superintendent Carlos Garcia?

Any hankering questions for SFUSD superintendent Carlos Garcia? On Friday, February 29, I'll be interviewing him. I'll post our conversation in the form of a Q&A on the site. I'm hoping you can offer up some questions. Thanks for the input.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Discussion topic: "dream" assignment process

A visitor to The SF K Files has offered up a topic for discussion: How do you think the SFUSD assignment process should work? What would your "dream" process be?

I definitely like the choice we have—even though getting to know all the schools is time consuming. I only wish my odds for getting my top-choice school were higher. And I wish we could receive our assignments sooner. This waiting is driving me nuts.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thank you Gavin Newsom

Last Friday, Mayor Gavin Newsom offered to help the SFUSD with $30.6 million from the city's rainy day fund, according to an article in Saturday's Chronicle. This is great news for a district facing a $40 million shortfall. (In January, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed massive education cuts throughout the state.) Newsom's proposal needs to be approved by the Board of Supervisors so please take the time to email your supervisor.

You can find additional information on education budget cuts on the Parents for Public Schools Web site.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It could be worse

The kids and I spent today with my parents who just returned from a trip to Southeast Asia. They travelled independently through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia but frequently hired guides to offer a local's perspective. In Cambodia, they spent a day with a young father who spoke near-perfect English. He talked about his country's history and the Khmer Rouge, low wages and poverty, and public education. He sends his six-year-old daughter to a public school. "I have to pay the teacher bribes just to get her to give my child attention," he told my parents. He said that he attended school to become an "official" tour guide and then took a test. How was he able to pass the test? By giving the officials a hefty bribe under the table. Yes, our San Francisco school system seems rife with little problems but it could be so much worse.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The waiting game

Is anyone tired of waiting for a school assignment? I know that it has only been a few weeks since we turned in our applications, but I'm ready.

I was talking to a girlfriend tonight about her summer plans. She hopes to move to her Mom's house with her kids so her husband can do some work on the house, "But I feel like we can't make any decisions until we know where we're going to school," she said.

Another friend of mine is renting a house and wants to move to a new rental, "But I want to wait to see where we get into school," she said. "So we can move close to it."

And then there's the money issue. I met a woman at the park who desperately needs a new car, "But we'll never be able to afford one if we go to private school, but who knows if we'll actually go to private school."

Any tips on how to deal with the waiting? I have nights when I can't sleep and I wish I could say that I sip herbal tea and relax myself with a few yoga poses but actually I end up cruising the Internet or watching The Wire until 2 a.m. Or I stuff junk food into my mouth. Or I waste water and take long hot showers. The waiting. It's a game that I don't play well.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Please take the time to vote in today's primary—and choose a candidate who will support our children and their education. Many of us are deciding between two trailblazing candidates, Obama and Hillary. After today, I feel like we can truly look our children in the eye and tell them that anything is possible.