Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SFUSD press release: Superintendent’s Statement Regarding California Being Selected as Finalist for Race to the Top Funding

July 27, 2010 (San Francisco) - "San Francisco is pleased to learn that California has been named a finalist in Phase 2 of the federal Race to the Top competition. As one of seven districts asked to lead the development of our state's application, we believe our proposal reflects the best approach to education reform and respects our teachers, honors our students and prepares our state for the future. The opportunity to work with our colleagues across the state allowed us to bring the best approaches together and create something greater than any one of our individual school districts. In San Francisco, it furthers the work we have begun in partnership with our teachers and administrators unions to recruit, retain and develop effective teachers and school leaders. We have laid out a plan that is ambitious for California yet achievable. If our state is selected, we look forward to being a part of a statewide reform network."


  1. This is totally confusing. Garcia has said he does not agree with the 4 turnaround models in RTTT. And I would not blame him for not agreeing. But now he's taking the bait for RTTT. A little over 100 bucks before expenses per student is what this "windfall" amounts down to. In the meantime, for a few pennies per day of bribe money they want to implement merit pay systems that will cost far more. RTTT is nothing but another underfunded mandate. And it is predicated on failed models like reconstitution, or in some cases, entirely unproven ones loke linking pay to performance. Keep in mind that those teachers that don't perform just end up at another school at best. UESF does not self monitor as they claim.

    While this RTTT curve ball is distracting to true reform, SFUSD's Balanced Scorecard has gone up in smoke. Not a single SSC in the entire district developed and recommended a school plan as required by law and now the district is scrambling and trying to quietly make major revisions to the BSC as a result of pressures from the CDE and the CPM.

    Having a real plan to deal with the massive shortages could do far more good than the lousy 50 bucks after expenses that RTTT would provide.

    Why did virtually every school in the district provide documentation (recommendations and assurances) that says they approved their school plans when the facts clearly show that isn't true? Because they do not want to admit that the strategic plan and its balanced scorecard is a failure. One of the biggest problems with our education system is corrupt governance. We need to get more parent driven governance to counter poor decisionmaking at the Board and administrative levels.

  2. The New York Times has an article on Garcia that was actually somewhat critical:


    They note that Garcia talks a lot about his disagreement with certain school reform models, then implements them anyway. I personally feel that Superintendent Garcia has a severe disconnect between his rhetoric and his actions and a real inability to accept any culpability (it's always the fault of the state, or the federal government, or something else, and entirely out of his hands).

    As a teacher in SFUSD it upsets me that effective teachers take responsibility for their students' progress despite the obstacles in their way but cannot expect the same courage from the district office.

  3. Garcia is a hypocrite and a liar. He’s every bit as much of a hierarchical bureaucrat as any superintendent SFUSD has had in 20 years! He simply says one thing- talks the talk- and then walks…in the opposite direction.
    He speaks of equity and social justice and being transparent. Then hires creeps like Truitt and Carranza who keep his desk clean, the heavy handed responses in play and his name out of the mud. He tells his cabinet that they should be gleefully ecstatic to come to work each day or they shouldn’t be there, and then conducts behind the scene meetings and a lack of transparency that put Assistant Superintendents and Administrators on edge. It's trickle down mean spiritedness.
    The reforms are not new; they are recycled band aids from 20 years ago. Urban Alliance? TESA? Reconstitution?
    It’s all Purple Haze as Jimmy would say. At least Jimmy had the honesty to admit that he was not thinking straight.

  4. I thought Race for the top and the turn around models were two completely different things...