Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wanted: guest bloggers

Visitor comments are the heart and soul of The SF K Files. The strong opinions, heartfelt outbursts, and even the snarky attacks bring the site alive. Many of the comments are incredibly intelligent, emotional, honest, funny, sweet. I'd like to highlight some of the voices on the site. I'm inviting visitors to submit posts and I will feature them as guest bloggers.

I'm looking for well-written essays of about 450 words that tell a tale, reveal a personal reflection, or offer an informed perspective on a specific issue. Posts should be about education or San Francisco schools—uniforms, immersion, homeschooling, SFUSD enrollment process, all topics welcome. I'm open to strong opinions, but I expect featured guest bloggers to be thoughtful and sensitive to everyone's feelings. I see these as being similar to the personal commentaries on NPR.

You can submit your guest blog posts to thesfkfiles@gmail.com. Please include Guest Blogger in the subject line.

23 comments:

  1. I think this is cool. It allows the site to feature other voices. I'm in!

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  2. Is the point so that Kate can sell advertising to finance her MCDS education? If so, I'm not.

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  3. First topic: Has being a bitter parent ever helped one's child get into a good school?

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  4. Topic: middle-class parents who were able to send their kids to high-class private schools with help from the grandparents. What were the pros and cons? (Perhaps Kate can start this discussion.

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  5. Wow. You folks really need to get a grip. Are you this bitter and vile in real life? How on Earth do you call yourselves Good Parents, if so? Green really becomes none of you. Stop being more childish than your 4-year-olds.

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  6. Don't worry Kate. I think it's a great idea and I might even submit something myself about my child's K experience thus far.

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  7. Seriously, what is wrong with you people? Why do you keep reading and posting such obnoxious comments? Just stop reading this blog if you are so mad and feel so betrayed. Get a grip!

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  8. Kate is irrelevant at this point. I come for the interesting discussion in the comments section. So, this is a good idea.

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  9. relax - I think some of the comments are funny. Rule #1, you start a blog, you must have a thick skin.

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  10. btw - Just because Kate started the blog, it doesn't mean it has to be a Kate lovefest.

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  11. OK - a Kim Green lovefest maybe but not a Kate lovefest

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  12. While lovefests are optional, respect shouldn't be. There are plenty of ways to disagree with someone without being rude.

    Kate never promised anyone on this blog that she'd send Alice to public school - all along, she said that MCDS was her "dream." But that didn't mean she didn't really like some of the publics, too. If some of her readers put her on a pedestal, that's not her fault. She has broken no promises.

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  13. I don't feel betrayed by Kate, but SFUSD.

    Kate clearly stated that she was looking at both public and private.

    However, I bought into the lottery process and SFUSD's ridiculous stats that something like 82% of the applicants get one of their seven choices. I took time off from work to tour schools, naively believing that I actually had a choice, and then raced to a few more schools last week. Within my group of friends it was closer to 50% who got one of their seven. The private schools in San Francisco couldn't ask for better advertising than the SFUSD school selection process.

    I believe the blog serves a larger group than just people who are upset that Kate went private. The blog will continue to be relevant for issues related to schools, both public and private.

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  14. I hear you 12:52.
    This was actually my SECOND year going through the process. I still have no sick time b/c of the amount of time I took of LAST YEAR to look at public (and private) schools. It really is a twisted and unfair process. I applied for my neighborhood school TWICE (last year for K, this year for 1st) and didn't get it either time. Luckily we did overall really well this year, whereas last year was pretty difficult and disappointing. It really feels so horrible to invest so much time and effort over a process you have SO little control over.

    And I must admit I agree some of the comments are funny - but I am really surprised by some of the deep bitterness.

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  15. Takes lots of mood altering drugs, meditation and saintly demeanor not to become bitter about ones choice to send their child to public school when these schools are routinely trashed by the press and people in social situations who have never even visited the schools they have become experts on.

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  16. My mortgage broker, a kidless guy who nevertheless deals with families and young couples all over the city on daily basis, was floored when I corrected his blithe offhand remark to the effect that of course the public schools are really terrible in San Francisco. I had to explain about my kids going to public school and how happy we are, and how the schools have improved in the last 10 years. He told me later I was the first person who had ever told him that. I asked how many of his other sources of information, aka hearsay, actually had kids at that moment in the public schools, and he couldn't remember, but figured not too many, come to think of it.

    I now routinely try to "interrupt" this thinking when I hear it (nicely, and from my own experience). I also write emails to reporters at the Chron and other news outlets when they make similar offhand remarks.

    Don't know about bitter, but I do find it amazing how much the conventional wisdom deviates from our experience and that of our friends.

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  17. It astounds me that folks in the real estate business (which I seem to have heard is having a hard time right now) don't take the trouble to acquaint themselves better but instead go on vague hearsay. Could they be any more self-defeating?

    I've been urging PPS for years to try and do a project outreaching directly to real estate professionals, but obviously they are stretched pretty thin (if only there were some funding for this project -- hello, Ed Fund?).

    The Chronicle's actual education reporters (Jill Tucker and Nanette Asimov) are well informed, but it's the passing swipes from their ignorant colleagues that do damage. I remember being ticked at one passing reference to "San Francisco's failing public schools" in a story about something else entirely, without attribution, backup or anything, by a reporter who has never covered education -- and then finding out that he was the president of the St. Ignatius Alumni Association. Just one example.

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  18. I guess the lesson here is that if you don't have kids (or school-age ones for that matter), lots of times, schools are just not on your radar.
    It just goes to show how we are all so vulnerable to a herd thinking mentality. It's really important to continue to spread the word the the schools in SF have improved greatly in the last few years.
    It's a domino effect: The more of a positive message we can convey, the more families are willing to give public schools a try, the more the schools will improve....

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  19. After hearing the news of a head on collision and 10 car pile up on the Golden Gate Bridge this week, I wonder if MCDS is a good choice for any child in the City? I could not imagine hearing that news when my child was commuting everyday across the bridge. My brother-in-laws was in Oakland on the day of the '89 quake. We waited one day for him to get home safely, never knowing where he was. I would never want a bridge between me and my child.

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  20. Okay. Actually I'll be one to chime in and say that any parent who makes her daughter commute an hour or more each way to a school--that's about 10 hours per week for the kid and 20 hours for the adult doing two round trips--can't possibly have the best interests of her kid at heart. It sounds CRUEL to me.

    It's like those fools who live in Fairfield or Martinez or wherever who spend an extra 15 hours in their cars each week commuting, in order to be a home owner, when in fact, their lives would be richer living in the city, staying renters, or settling for a smaller home, and spending that time and money in a more useful, less stressful way. Like leaving their house and going to a park, a cultural event, something! It's what the rest of the world does.

    You can accomplish a lot in 10 or 15 hours. As a parent, as human, as a student.

    Kate should move to Marin if she wants MCDS. But if she does move to Marin, the public schools there are phenomenal. And she wouldn't have any excuses for not sending her kid to a public.

    I'm just saying.

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  21. Yeah, we hear you. Do you really need to say it in 4 different parts of this blog?!? geeez.....

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  22. SF parents now realize That there are more than five or six good public elementary schools in San Francisco. They have expanded their reach and committing major resources and time to many more schools. I would like a discussion on whether (or how much) this trend has now extended to middle schools and high schools.

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