Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bay Guardian Editorial: School board race shouldn't be personal

This from the Bay Guardian:
There are plenty of issues to talk about in the San Francisco School Board race. The new student assignment process marks a dramatic shift in the way parents and kids get to choose schools. The district's decision to pursue federal Race to the Top money was a mistake. There are too many charter schools, and not enough money for basic programs. The district has made great strides in closing the achievement gap, but there's more to do. Many school facilities still need upgrades, meaning — potentially — more bond acts. The austerity budget has meant teacher layoffs. Overall, the district is in better shape than it was five years ago, but the goal of quality education for all kids is still a long way off.

This is what candidates and interest groups ought to be talking about. Instead, it seems as if the entire race is about one candidate: Margaret Brodkin.

Brodkin, the former director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and former head of the Mayor's Office of Children, Youth, and Families is by all accounts among the most experienced people ever to run for the office. She's also strong-willed, forceful, and sometimes difficult. That's what's made her such a successful advocate. Over the past 30 years, she's been involved in almost every progressive cause involving children and youth in the city, from the creation of the Children's Fund to the battle against privatization in the public schools.

You think she'd at least be considered a serious candidate and that elected officials and political groups would give her the respect she deserves as someone who has devoted her life to activism on behalf of children.

Read more

86 comments:

  1. Margaret Brodkin has done more for the children of San Francisco than any other candidate.

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  2. Thank you Bruce!

    I'll bet Hydra Mendoza and Sandra Fewer are wishing that they didn't try to smear Margaret Brodkin to Bruce at the Bay Guardian now, huh?

    I wonder if the Bay Guardian will endorse Mendoza this time, after this?

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  3. Just to illustrate how mixed up some of these progressives on Sf Kfiles are - I pointed out on one thread how RTTT was a sell out by SFUSD and the Board. People then commented that I should stop blasting the Board and Rachel. Then the bastion of progressive thought in SF, the Bay Guardian, says the same thing. No comment.

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  4. Did you watch this week's Board of Education meeting? They were discussing the assignment process, and Sandra Fewer asked one of her usual stupid questions, and the presenter told Fewer that the information was in the binder given to the Commissioners a week before. Sandra Fewer giggled and laughed as she said that she hadn't had a chance to look at the binder of data. So someone hands her the binder, and she's flipping through it, giggling, and saying "Wow. Now that I've got the binder right here --
    this data is just fascinating! Some of it is depressing, but it doesn't lie. It's real. Thank you for doing this!" (more giggling)
    The Board of Education is in charge of oversight, and it makes me ill to see the lack of seriousness some Commissioners have about the job they are supposed to be doing. We have to suffer through two more years of Sandra Fewer's giggling.
    Margaret Brodkin will study everything in those binders, and she will respect the gravity of her position and be a Commissioner the children deserve.

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  5. Ya, but Sandra Fewer as a hard line progressive has her seat in the bag. She'll get the endorsements next time she runs so what does she care?

    I totally support Margaret Brodkin. A person of her caliber is a threat to those on the Board. But I disagree with her position to let non citizens vote for BOE. However, as bad as that is, given her overall record, I would let that go and try to convince her otherwise.

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  6. It isn't going to happen anyway, non citizens cannot vote, and any silly local measure to make that happen will be nixed by the higher courts.

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  7. Of course. Because as some people don't understand, the constitution only gives voting rights to citizens 18 years of age.

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  8. They understand. They just don't care to uphold the Constitution. It is secondary to the progressive agenda of San Francisco hard line socialists.

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  9. No doubt Margaret B has been an advocate for families and children - but that was her job! I think she is a pretty abrasive person and wonder what her motivation for running is - why now?

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  10. What is any candidate's motivation for running for school board at any given time? That's a stupid question.

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  11. I don't think Margaret Brodkin is abrasive, she's always been friendly to me, even when we've disagreed about things.

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  12. Isn't she basically opposed to immersion education, as something that only helped white, middle class, people? Or have I confused her with someone else. I totally could have, this is a faint memory.

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  13. I can understand why Hydra is worried: she's up for reelection after voting for the unpopular SAS and is competing with Brodkin for the same middle-class voters. My question is why have the PPS folks taken on Hydra, who would seem to be one of them?

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  14. Hydra hasn't been one of the PPS folks for years. She has systematically turned her back on everyone who supported her four years ago, ignoring their issues, failing to return their phone calls and e-mails, dismissing their concerns with a lot of blather about how, as the Mayor's Education Empress, she has to represent all points of view, blah blah blah. She has been unable to separate her Education Empress role from her BOE Commissioner role, often putting what is best for the Mayor's office ahead of what is best for San Francisco's public school children. Where was she when the city was trying to cheat kids out of their rightful Prop H dollars? Not on the side of the students; she sided with the city.

    I don't know a single person who supported her 4 years ago who is not deeply disappointed in her performance over the past 4 years, and many will not be voting for her again. This latest stunt of hers is just the icing on the cake of her mediocrity as a school board member.

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  15. 2:26, I agree, I don't know anyone who voted for her that is going to vote for her again.

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  16. I know the SAS is unpopular on this blog, but this is a small subset of the city and heavily skewed to middle class east side parents (those that are most unhappy with the SAS). Not sure that voting for the new SAS is going to hurt any board member that much.

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  17. What do you all think about the union supporting Maufas? I am frankly floored by that.

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  18. Why would you be floored? She's a not very bright person and a narcissist who is easy to manipulate.

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  19. The union endorsement was based on a vote at one early August meeting at which only about 25-30 members were present.

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  20. Maufas is totally a pawn of the union. You will never hear her asking for any kind of accountability for teachers and she will never vote to lay off anyone. In any situation where she has to choose between supporting students or parents, and supporting teachers, you can guess which she will choose. So, seniority will continue to rule, and low performing schools will continue to be staffed with the newest and least experienced teachers. Schools like El Dorado and Malcolm X will continue to flounder, and it will all be blamed on the racism of the middle class.

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  21. Yes 5:24, I agree. But state and federal level changes are driving ed policy and the BOE will be hard pressed to resist seniority changes as time goes on. This is top down management and BOE members are low on the food chain.

    One mitigating factor to the above scenario is Obama's decreasing popularity. He may have to cave into union demands to shore up his base after the wipeout in November.

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  22. 11:09
    Sandy Fewer is not up for election this year, Mendoza is.
    (See, nobody pays attention to the BOE race, do they?)

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  23. Seems like you are all making this race personal, ironically. The Bay Guardian hates Gavin. Hydra is one of "his" people, so therefore you all must hate her. Margaret used to be one of "his" people til he fired her. Now she is a consultant pulling down serious dollars from the SFUSD. Wow, sounds like alot of the same old, same old.

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  24. I am not a citizen, but a legal resident who has children in public school. I could have sent them to private but did not, I spend 20+ hours a week volunteering at our school and donate many $'s to our PTA. I also pay a considerable amount in federal and state taxes. Why is it considered silly to allow me to vote on the make up of the school board?

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  25. Margaret Brodkin's job is funded by a private foundation, not SFUSD.

    Also, the Bay Guardian has been very supportive of Sandra Fewer.

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  26. The Bay Guardian endorsed both Fewe and Mendoza last time, didn't they? They also have been a big defender of Maufas, unfortunately.

    I thought it was pretty amazing that they wrote this - plus they made it clear they weren't necessarily going to endorse Brodkin (although I hope they do.)

    Hydra Mendoza has been a disappointment to me as well. Despite the many opportunities she has had to bring others along (like helping to bring more parent voice to the administration, 'bringing up' more parents, or simply helping to reach out to parents) she never did any of that - only worked for herself and for Gavin Newsom. I remember well when Newsom was going after Proposition H funds, Margaret Brodkin was in opposition, and Hydra Mendoza helped to get her fired.

    Margaret is not of of 'his' people - she is her own woman and has worked on behalf of children for 30 years and we are ALL beneficiaries of that.

    She helped write and get through the children's fund that is the basis for almost all afterschool program funding in San Francisco (more than SFUSD) - she was integral to getting Prop H passed. Then she transformed the Dept of Children Youth and Families. When she was fired (with a little help from Hydra Mendoza) she could have just run off with her tail between her legs, but instead she took on a new role in helping to get the New Day for Learning Grant and now is helping to implement it in 7 SFUSD schools.

    She is - hands down- the most qualified candidate that has run for the BOE in over a dozen years.

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  27. 9:10

    I don't think it's silly. You should be able to vote.

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  28. To "Don" at 9:10,

    Do you think anyone is buying this identity theft of yours? I said at 11:09 that I do not favor allowing noncitizens to vote. For you to come out and say the opposite in order to create confusion is really a pointless exercise and just plain bonehead. And especially after I said I would supported a dedicated child advocate like Brodkin despite her support for such voting largesse, is

    To answer the lady who is a legal resident and wants to vote - I will say this-

    Proposals to allow noncitizens to vote did not distinguish between legal residents and illegal residents. At least that is the way it was broached at the BOE to my recollection.

    But whether they would or not distinguish as such doesn't matter. It goes without saying that in most of the country the public understands that the right to vote is fundamental to democracy. It comprises the basis of a government of and for the people. To hand voting rights over to noncitizens is a diminution of the sovereignty of the nation.

    The right to vote isn't a matter of having paid taxes. When the federal government was formed citizens paid no federal taxes.

    A person takes an oath to become an American and makes a commitment to the nation. As a citizen he (or she) may be asked to serve, for example. In an era and a place where citizenship is not respected many in SF seem to buy into the idea that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Love of country is largely gone here in SF.

    But I don't fell that way. And I certainly wouldn't perpetuate such cynicism to my cubscout pack any more than I would espouse blind loyalty the government.

    I hope that someone like yourself - someone who cares deeply about the schools - earns citizenship and exercises your right to vote.
    That is self-evident.

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  29. Since I am the targeted on this blog I will post only after signing in.

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  30. Now - back to the topic at hand...

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  31. Anonymous said...
    Isn't she basically opposed to immersion education, as something that only helped white, middle class, people? Or have I confused her with someone else. I totally could have, this is a faint memory.

    September 1, 2010 1:27 PM
    --------------------

    I think you may be confusing her with Sandra Fewer who used to be with Coleman. She hates LI programs.

    Margaret actually is a strong proponent of the need for the middle class to join the public schools. While I don't think I've ever heard her say anything specifically about language immersion (and I know her pretty well), I know she has not expressed anything against it (why WOULD she?)

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  32. My question is why have the PPS folks taken on Hydra, who would seem to be one of them?
    ---------------

    PPS doesn't (and can't) take on candidates as a 502c3. But Hydra basically dropped PPS and has done little or nothing to promote or support the organization since she left to work for Gavin.

    The connection there was dropped long ago.

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  33. The SF Green Party endorsed Kim-Shree Maufas. Morons.

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  34. Can someone please explain to me why the Mayor needs an education adviser? If he wants advice from Hydra Mendoza, why can't he just invite her, in her capacity as a school board member, to meet and share her wisdom with him? Or for that matter, he could invite the whole school board, and the Superintendent, into his office on a weekly or biweekly basis to talk with him about school matters, and it wouldn't have to cost the city a cent.

    How much does an education adviser get paid anyway? At a time when the city is facing such tough budget choices, maybe it is time to reconsider whether scarce dollars are best spent paying for that which could be had for free.

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  35. It's the government gravy train. Why does the federal government need a department of education for that matter? It isn't the proper role of the feds to dictate a national education policy under the Constitution. RTTT and other ill-conceived programs are the result. Give the states their block grants and get out of the way.

    As for Mendoza, if Newsom wants to be kept informed about education issues, local state and federal, why would he pick someone with limited knowledge like her? She has never shown herself to be a go-to policy person at Board meetings.

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  36. The idea that the federal government would set up a competition among states for the dissemination of education funding is disturbing in itself.

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  37. Sandra Fewer. Thanks right. Sorry for the confusion.

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  38. With all the emphasis on achievement in fundamentals, there is sure to be some push back on LI if there is no payoff on the data/test score results.

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  39. Maufas? Seriously? We need to work hard to get that nightmare OFF the BOE. She's arrogant, unfair and her behavior is nothing less than criminal. I will do any volunteer work needed to defeat her.

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  40. Responding to the question about how much Hydra Mendoza is paid as the Mayor Newsom's education adviser, the answer is $122,408 in 2009. This is according to a database compiled by SFGate which you can find here
    http://tinyurl.com/26keuqu

    And here’s an interesting bit of trivia: the job Newsom is running for, Lt. Governor, only pays $8,082 more per year ($130,490) than what his education advisor is paid. I found the current Lt. Governor salary here
    http://tinyurl.com/32qn8ae

    That does seem to raise the legitimate question, Why is San Francisco paying the equivalent of a Lt. Governor's salary to someone who should be willing to advise the Mayor on education for free?

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  41. - especially considering that the Mayor has little if anything to do with SFUSD. If there was a major effort to link city services with education services and the operations and logistics required an administrator to get the job done- then there would be a reason to have an ed advisor. But as it is, this seems to be just another example of governmental waste.

    But to be fair, perhaps Rachel could ask Hydra to make the case for her job here on this blog. What is the likelihood of that happening?

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  42. actually there are linkages between DCYF and Dept of Social Services with the SFUSD. This was happening before Margaret Brodkin or Hydra Mendoza got on the City's dime. How much to Margaret make when she was at DCYF, and how much does she make now from the "private" foundation? They are all cut from the same cloth as far as I am concerned.

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  43. I don't know how to look up past salaries such as Brodkin's at DCYF, but in that position, she administered funding for a huge number of children's and youth programs, probably including some that all of our kids have used. For those of us with kids in high school, that includes their Wellness Centers; it includes many after-school programs; and also the funding that got SFUSD cafeteria salad bars going.

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  44. At DCYF, Margaret was solely responsible for an annual budget of $100 million, an amount which is equal to about 1/3 of the SFUSD unrestricted general fund. No other candidate has Margaret’s vast experience in managing a budget of this size, and she did an exemplary job not only when the city was flush with money, but also through some tough financial times.

    What’s more, she is fanatical about transparency; she knows the right questions to ask, and when to ask them, to make sure that every dollar allocated for our children’s education is spent in the way that most benefits the students and their education.

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  45. Can we replace Carlos Garcia with Margaret Brodkin?

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  46. The wellness centers are funded by DPH. Margaret Brodkin's budget folks did a good job of minding the budget - and one of them left to go work in the Mayor's Budget office. Margaret didn't do this singlehandedly, just like Meg Whitman didn't do what she claims to have done singlehandedly. They are people, not gods.

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  47. Our principal says the Wellness Center is funded by DCYF. Nobody does anything large-scale singlehanded, but some people have ideas and make them happen.

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  48. Haven't yet confirmed who currently funds the Wellness Centers, but here's a 2005 commentary on Brodkin from Human Rights Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association, calling her a "human rights hero":

    Human Rights Heroes: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

    By Wilson Adam Schooley

    Fittingly, the four heroes we celebrate in this issue of Human Rights are women: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse. ...
    Because of that vulnerability, children’s issues present a challenge that is both unique and, at the same time, connected with almost every crisis in the world today. In Iraq, malnutrition among children has nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion. In the recent tsunami disaster, many of the dead were children and countless more children were orphaned, with effects rippling across the region, including the need to protect displaced children from labor and sex traffickers. In Africa, perhaps the biggest killers of children are bacterial infections preventable by simple vaccinations. Here in California, a penal system that incarcerates delinquent youth has been revealed as a draconian nightmare that must be dismantled and reformed.

    We are therefore fortunate to have heroes like Brodkin, Kamin, Spinak, and Woodhouse, who have devoted their hearts and their life’s work to children—and whose passion and perseverance give us hope for our children’s future.

    Margaret Brodkin

    Late in 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of the new executive director of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, one of the few city departments in the country dedicated exclusively to young people. Appropriately, his choice was Margaret Brodkin, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, among San Francisco’s most respected and influential organizations, which has long made children one of the city’s highest priorities. As Newsom said at the time: “Margaret has been a pioneer in developing the theory and practice of local child advocacy. Under her leadership, Coleman Advocates’ work is known nationally, and is being replicated in communities throughout the country.”

    Brodkin is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent much of her life advocating on behalf of children. In 1991, she was the moving force behind the Children’s Amendment, the first local children’s budget initiative in the nation. This voter initiative brought together a diverse new coalition and created a Children’s Fund that brought in $170 million dollars during its first ten years. The amendment was hailed as a “fiscal bill of rights for children,” capturing national attention for what the Washington Post characterized as a “daring assault on the political establishment.” For the past decade, much of Ms. Brodkin’s work has focused on increasing civic engagement in public policy making for youth, such as through the vocal, forceful youth advocacy organization, Youth Making a Change.

    Due largely to Coleman Advocates’ work, San Francisco leads the nation in its child care policies, providing local wage subsidies for all child care workers, funding local facilities, subsidizing and enhancing child care centers, and spearheading the national opposition to the commercialization of schools. Brodkin is an articulate and passionate advocate for social justice for children, and we can expect in her new role that she will lead the way in enhancing the lives of children and youth through innovative partnerships with parents and youth, community organizations, schools, and the private sector.

    http://www.abanet.org/irr/hr/winter05/hrheroes.html

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  49. Haven't yet confirmed who currently funds the Wellness Centers, but here's a 2005 commentary on Brodkin from Human Rights Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association, calling her a "human rights hero":

    Human Rights Heroes: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

    By Wilson Adam Schooley

    Fittingly, the four heroes we celebrate in this issue of Human Rights are women: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse. ...
    Because of that vulnerability, children’s issues present a challenge that is both unique and, at the same time, connected with almost every crisis in the world today. In Iraq, malnutrition among children has nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion. In the recent tsunami disaster, many of the dead were children and countless more children were orphaned, with effects rippling across the region, including the need to protect displaced children from labor and sex traffickers. In Africa, perhaps the biggest killers of children are bacterial infections preventable by simple vaccinations. Here in California, a penal system that incarcerates delinquent youth has been revealed as a draconian nightmare that must be dismantled and reformed.

    We are therefore fortunate to have heroes like Brodkin, Kamin, Spinak, and Woodhouse, who have devoted their hearts and their life’s work to children—and whose passion and perseverance give us hope for our children’s future.

    Margaret Brodkin

    Late in 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of the new executive director of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, one of the few city departments in the country dedicated exclusively to young people. Appropriately, his choice was Margaret Brodkin, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, among San Francisco’s most respected and influential organizations, which has long made children one of the city’s highest priorities. As Newsom said at the time: “Margaret has been a pioneer in developing the theory and practice of local child advocacy. Under her leadership, Coleman Advocates’ work is known nationally, and is being replicated in communities throughout the country.”

    Brodkin is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent much of her life advocating on behalf of children. In 1991, she was the moving force behind the Children’s Amendment, the first local children’s budget initiative in the nation. This voter initiative brought together a diverse new coalition and created a Children’s Fund that brought in $170 million dollars during its first ten years. The amendment was hailed as a “fiscal bill of rights for children,” capturing national attention for what the Washington Post characterized as a “daring assault on the political establishment.” For the past decade, much of Ms. Brodkin’s work has focused on increasing civic engagement in public policy making for youth, such as through the vocal, forceful youth advocacy organization, Youth Making a Change.

    Due largely to Coleman Advocates’ work, San Francisco leads the nation in its child care policies, providing local wage subsidies for all child care workers, funding local facilities, subsidizing and enhancing child care centers, and spearheading the national opposition to the commercialization of schools. Brodkin is an articulate and passionate advocate for social justice for children, and we can expect in her new role that she will lead the way in enhancing the lives of children and youth through innovative partnerships with parents and youth, community organizations, schools, and the private sector.

    http://www.abanet.org/irr/hr/winter05/hrheroes.html

    ReplyDelete
  50. Haven't yet confirmed who currently funds the Wellness Centers, but here's a 2005 commentary on Brodkin from Human Rights Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association, calling her a "human rights hero":

    Human Rights Heroes: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

    By Wilson Adam Schooley

    Fittingly, the four heroes we celebrate in this issue of Human Rights are women: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse. ...
    Because of that vulnerability, children’s issues present a challenge that is both unique and, at the same time, connected with almost every crisis in the world today. In Iraq, malnutrition among children has nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion. In the recent tsunami disaster, many of the dead were children and countless more children were orphaned, with effects rippling across the region, including the need to protect displaced children from labor and sex traffickers. In Africa, perhaps the biggest killers of children are bacterial infections preventable by simple vaccinations. Here in California, a penal system that incarcerates delinquent youth has been revealed as a draconian nightmare that must be dismantled and reformed.

    We are therefore fortunate to have heroes like Brodkin, Kamin, Spinak, and Woodhouse, who have devoted their hearts and their life’s work to children—and whose passion and perseverance give us hope for our children’s future.

    Margaret Brodkin

    Late in 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of the new executive director of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, one of the few city departments in the country dedicated exclusively to young people. Appropriately, his choice was Margaret Brodkin, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, among San Francisco’s most respected and influential organizations, which has long made children one of the city’s highest priorities. As Newsom said at the time: “Margaret has been a pioneer in developing the theory and practice of local child advocacy. Under her leadership, Coleman Advocates’ work is known nationally, and is being replicated in communities throughout the country.”

    Brodkin is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent much of her life advocating on behalf of children. In 1991, she was the moving force behind the Children’s Amendment, the first local children’s budget initiative in the nation. This voter initiative brought together a diverse new coalition and created a Children’s Fund that brought in $170 million dollars during its first ten years. The amendment was hailed as a “fiscal bill of rights for children,” capturing national attention for what the Washington Post characterized as a “daring assault on the political establishment.” For the past decade, much of Ms. Brodkin’s work has focused on increasing civic engagement in public policy making for youth, such as through the vocal, forceful youth advocacy organization, Youth Making a Change.

    Due largely to Coleman Advocates’ work, San Francisco leads the nation in its child care policies, providing local wage subsidies for all child care workers, funding local facilities, subsidizing and enhancing child care centers, and spearheading the national opposition to the commercialization of schools. Brodkin is an articulate and passionate advocate for social justice for children, and we can expect in her new role that she will lead the way in enhancing the lives of children and youth through innovative partnerships with parents and youth, community organizations, schools, and the private sector.

    http://www.abanet.org/irr/hr/winter05/hrheroes.html

    ReplyDelete
  51. Haven't yet confirmed who currently funds the Wellness Centers, but here's a 2005 commentary on Brodkin from Human Rights Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association, calling her a "human rights hero":

    Human Rights Heroes: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse

    By Wilson Adam Schooley

    Fittingly, the four heroes we celebrate in this issue of Human Rights are women: Margaret Brodkin, Carol Kamin, Jane Spinak, and Barbara Bennett Woodhouse. ...
    We are ... fortunate to have heroes like Brodkin, Kamin, Spinak, and Woodhouse, who have devoted their hearts and their life’s work to children—and whose passion and perseverance give us hope for our children’s future.

    Margaret Brodkin

    Late in 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of the new executive director of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, one of the few city departments in the country dedicated exclusively to young people. Appropriately, his choice was Margaret Brodkin, executive director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, among San Francisco’s most respected and influential organizations, which has long made children one of the city’s highest priorities. As Newsom said at the time: “Margaret has been a pioneer in developing the theory and practice of local child advocacy. Under her leadership, Coleman Advocates’ work is known nationally, and is being replicated in communities throughout the country.”

    Brodkin is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent much of her life advocating on behalf of children. In 1991, she was the moving force behind the Children’s Amendment, the first local children’s budget initiative in the nation. This voter initiative brought together a diverse new coalition and created a Children’s Fund that brought in $170 million dollars during its first ten years. The amendment was hailed as a “fiscal bill of rights for children,” capturing national attention for what the Washington Post characterized as a “daring assault on the political establishment.” For the past decade, much of Ms. Brodkin’s work has focused on increasing civic engagement in public policy making for youth, such as through the vocal, forceful youth advocacy organization, Youth Making a Change.

    Due largely to Coleman Advocates’ work, San Francisco leads the nation in its child care policies, providing local wage subsidies for all child care workers, funding local facilities, subsidizing and enhancing child care centers, and spearheading the national opposition to the commercialization of schools. Brodkin is an articulate and passionate advocate for social justice for children, and we can expect in her new role that she will lead the way in enhancing the lives of children and youth through innovative partnerships with parents and youth, community organizations, schools, and the private sector.

    http://www.abanet.org/irr/hr/winter05/hrheroes.html

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  52. Yow. Sorry about the multiple posts. Blogger.com had the hiccups.

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  53. Regarding why Newsom needs an educational advisory on the City dime - I agree completely.

    The position was created back when SFUSD and City were not on speaking terms. Arlene Ackerman was Superintendent and Mayor Brown, if I recall,created the position at the end of his term. When Newsom was elected he chose Hydra (at Arlene Ackerman's suggestion - and I believe, also at Margaret Brodkin's recommendation at the time as well.)

    Since then, things have changed - less because of anything Hydra has done, and more that the climate has changed and Carlos Garcia is more accessible to the City.

    Who should be the Mayors Educational Adivosr? Carlos Garcia.

    I thought her holding her current post and being on the BOE was a conflict of interest from the start and I couldn't support her. (Interestinly, Margaret Brodkin, while she and HM had their personal rubs, told me at the time she would support HM because she would be a good BOE member. Amazing that SHE seems to be able to look at the position from a policy and macro perspective, and not see the BOE as a sorority rush.)

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  54. Is there an echo in here?

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  55. However, Hydra is a reliable moderate vote on a very split BOE who balances the likes of Fewer and Kim. Are there any other viable moderates besides Brodkin (who seems more liberal than Hydra) running for BOE?

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  56. Why do you characterize the BOE as very split? When Hydra Mendoza is the most moderate voice you can be sure the others must be far left of center and they are. Who else is moderate? If we were anywhere other than SF or Cambridge Mendoza would be considered very liberal.

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  57. About a year ago I went to an SBE meeting and happened by chance to meet then CA Secretary Of Education Glen Thomas. I asked him what the Secretary of Education does and he kind of laughed and said people ask him that question all the time.

    The reason why a governor wants a personal ed secretary is entirely political. The SPI is elected not appointed so the governor prefers a politically aligned person advising him or her on how to compete with that agency's policy. Arnold is on his 5th ed secretary.

    But SFGOV has no education policy and has little reason to need a highly paid consultant. I mean, Newsom won't even go to the BOS to confer with the elected city and county supervisors. But he needs an education advisor to advise on a nonexistent city education policy?

    I agree with whoever said that Superintendent Garcia or a lieutenant should make a trip over to City Hall from time to time. This just shows how politicians fail to cut the fat even when they are laying off rank and file.

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  58. I'm not sure Hydra's voting record is any different than Sandra Fewer's or Jane Kim's. The only vote I can think of where Hydra differed from the two of them was JROTC. Were there others?

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  59. She's almost as far left as they are based on voting record.

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  60. She never went to college, did she?

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  61. Emily Murase and Natasha Hoehn would be classified as moderates. Both would be excellent additions to the BOE - smart, knowledgeable, reasonable.

    I'm supporting Emily. She has been an active public school parent for many years and has worked hard on her campaign. She really wants to do this - not just use as some stepping stone to another office.

    My only criticism of her is that I wish she'd be a little MORE forceful in her ideas. But is is definitely smart and knowledgeable.

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  62. Omar Khalif is a moderate and a hell of a nice guy too!

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  63. Murase comes across as being very dim about most issues.

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  64. 3:30, can you fill us in a little more on Natasha Hoehn? I've never heard of her. I agree that Emily Murase sounds great (and voted for her last time, to no avail). IMO a big part of the problem is the young, hip voters who know nothing about the BOE and simply vote the Guardian's "clean slate."

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  65. The Wellness Center at Balboa High is funded by DPH. We learned this during an Open House event there last year. DCYF Funds only support programs for kids up to 17 years of age.

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  66. I still don't know the definitive answer about the funding of other Wellness Centers, but I do know that Bal's is an anomaly, a different setup from other high schools'. Bal's Wellness Center, which pre-dates all the others, serves the greater community, while the other high schools' are strictly for their students.

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  67. check out the DCYF link to see what is funded by the City Department.
    http://www.dcyf.org/GranteeListing.aspx

    Does Emily Murase still work for the Department on the Status of Women?

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  68. Oh yuck, another bureaucrat.

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  69. Kim-Shree Maufas is getting more and more endorsements.

    The interesting thing is that anyone who's paying close attention knows about her misuse of the district credit card, the mysterious thefts involving her daughter or maybe not her daughter, and the impending news soon to officially break about her personal use of campaign donations, personal and campaign use of the school board car and SFUSD-paid taxis, and more.

    So do we just assume that the officials and organizations endorsing her just don't care about ethics and honesty? Crookedness is just OK with them?

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  70. Assume that Kim Shree has promised them to always put their interests first. No matter how bad the budget situation becomes, she will never vote to lay anyone off.

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  71. It's not just the teachers' union, though -- other organizations and officials who don't necessarily have an agenda for her to advance. The stuff is going to hit the fan and they'll be spattered -- are they ready?

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  72. Some of those organizations are caving to pressure from the teachers union. The teachers really want to keep her on the board because she has promised to protect their interests. The UESF is a powerful organization and can provide a lot of support to those who support them. It makes sense that other organizations won't want to oppose them.

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  73. Unions are getting less and less powerful, and when they make such obviously bad endorsements, thinking nothing of children and only of their greedy interests, as UESF has done, (Kimshree? Oh Please.)
    people lose all respect for the union.

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  74. Omar Khalif is a leader of the Students First group and a neighborhood schools advocate. Anyone east of Divisidero should vote against him.

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  75. If you want to advise against voting for someone at least you could explain why rather than take a cheap shot. There are plenty of people "east" of Divis that might support a neighborhood system and some west that don't for that matter.

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  76. I love Omar. He's a radical.
    I think he wants what we all want for the kids, a great education, and to battle against entrenched bureaucracy. He's for neighborhood schools, and for making all school better. He cares about kids a whole lot more than Kimshreik and Medoza.

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  77. Omar is the kind of guy who meets you once and remembers your name forever after. He is that dad who is always at school to go with the students on their field trip, or head up the work crew on the school clean up day, or do some heavy lifting for a teacher in her classroom. He is not all about himself and is 100% about the kids.

    However, he has a reputation as kind of a loose cannon, which I think is why his campaigns have never gained much traction in the past. For those who believe it is important to have an African American parent on the school board, he would certainly be a better choice than Kim Shree. You won't see Omar charging up personal expenses on the district credit card or using the school board car as his personal vehicle while campaigning.

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  78. Yes, remember when she charged the CROCS to SFUSD?
    I wanted to show up at the next Board of Education meeting and throw Crocs at her.

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  79. Neither Kimshree nor Omar is the brightest bulb on the block, but both do mean well.

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  80. I think it's a little simplistic to be choosing to compare Kimshriek to Omar just because they're the same race. But in any case, Kimshriek is a crook and Omar isn't.

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  81. They both mean well - what on earth does that mean? We all mean well, don't we? That doesn't mean we are all qualified to be on the school board. Let's elect people who have proven they can get the job done and bring home the funding our schools need. Margaret Brodkin, for example.

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  82. The idea of having elected school board members was to have "ordinary" individuals from the community watch over the rights of the stakeholders and students in particular, not politicians who seek higher office and are beholden to special interests. That is not to say that having a background in education or with social service is a drawback. You have to look at the whole person.

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  83. So the DCCC (Democratic Central Committee) endorses:

    Maufas
    Mendoza
    and Murase

    for Board of Education?

    The voters of San Francisco voted against making Maufas a member of the DCCC, but the DCCC still endorses her for Board of Education?

    The DCCC has absolutely lost it.

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  84. What did you expect? The DCCC has always been about machine politics. These are the candidates that the teachers union wants to see elected. If you want school board members whose loyalty is to the students and their families, then vote against the machine.

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  85. Did you listen to Kim-Shree's interview on srdad.com?
    She takes credit for everything good that has happened in SFUSD. Apparently, it was all because of her!

    http://www.srdad.com/SrDad/SFBoE/SFBoE.html

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