Monday, September 13, 2010

Listen to what the School Board candidates have to say...

San Francisco dad Stan Goldberg has taken the time to talk with many of the candidates for SFUSD's Board of Education and posted the audio interviews online. This is a great opportunity to actually hear what the candidates hope to do for our district. Listen: http://srdad.com/SrDad/SFBoE/SFBoE.html.

20 comments:

  1. short attention spanSeptember 13, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Would someone please summarize their stands on the major issues for those of us who lack the time to slog through all the podcasts? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have a normal attention span but I still couldn't listen to this many hours of school board chatter. I wish Stan would list the points that any candidate made which were unique, or intriguing, or radical. They all want more accountability, they all want more transparancy, they all want to close the achievement gap, blah blah blah. Does anyone have any specific ideas for how to get the job done, or anything new to say that everyone else is not already saying?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stan needs to learn that a good interviewer listens more than he talks. He just goes on and on and on and rarely lets the candidates get a word in edgewise.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've listened to a few of Stan's podcasts. Each time he talks slower a n d s l o w e r.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I appreciate these iterviews - at least it is from a concerned parent's point of view - the Bay Guardian also have them - and even though a parent is asking the questions - the paper's editorial policy tends to get in the way IMHO

    ReplyDelete
  6. This guy is donating long hours to inform parents about what all the candidates are like, we should thank him!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do talk a lot but ask direct uncomfortable questions. My interview with Margaret was 20% me and 80% Margaret. Others less candidate and more me. They all don't want more transparency. Some don't trust the public. Some don't protect children first and one calls special ed "Not my issue". Indeed and we elected her. Sometimes hearing the way the answers are given convoy more then just reading the words.

    my main issue points were
    How do we evaluate teachers?
    Do we access children developmentally, emotionally and learning issues before or at the time they enter kindergarten?
    should the budget spreadsheet be available online.
    should we ban non-disclosure clauses in Special Education cases except at the request of the parent?
    Should we bring special education legal in house?
    Are there plans for the Superintendent and the cabinet take the same cuts in pay as the teachers as was promised?
    Do you feel we should switch to a system where every child learns at their own pace?
    It was reported that we received a million dollar refund from NUA where did that money go?
    Do you support building "Hospitality High" that was placed in the districts 10 year plan?

    I will try to make a cliff notes version of 8 long hours of candidate interviews but I feel there is benefit from hearing from the candidates directly.

    stan

    ReplyDelete
  8. 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!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Did Kimshree Maufas miss at least half of the Board of Education meetings last year? She is the least hard-working member of the BOE.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think that was Jane Kim who missed a lot of BOE meetings due to being in law school. Now that she graduated she's running for D6 supe as a "civil rights attorney."

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think they both missed a lot of meetings. Is there an online source to check their attendance?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Stan- can you post attendance record for the existing school board members. I would be interested in this information too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Another commenter wrote, regarding the School Board candidates,

    "They all want more accountability, they all want more transparancy, they all want to close the achievement gap, blah blah blah. Does anyone have any specific ideas for how to get the job done, or anything new to say that everyone else is not already saying?"

    I hear you! As a candidate for School Board, I have been struggling to come up with proposals, and ways of talking about the issues, that will make it clear that I'm not just another enabler of the status quo.

    Because it is indeed easy to toss out words like "transparency" and "accountability", and talk about wanting to close the achievement gap, but I believe these things will *not* happen without *major* changes!

    Perhaps the biggest change I am advocating, which I think has the potential to be more transformative than anything being proposed by any of the other candidates, is to turn the educational hierarchy in the schools upside-down.

    Let me explain what I mean by this. First of all, virtually everyone acknowledges that teachers have the most difficult and important jobs in education. So my question is, why are they typically paid less than administrators? And why are they taking orders in the system, instead of giving them?

    I propose to raise teacher salaries to make them the highest-paid district employees. I absolutely oppose any new taxes or fees -- instead, I would cut administrator salaries in order to pay for it. Many non-teaching personnel in the school district are taking home six-figure salaries. According to SF Budget Blog, only 45% of money in the district is going to the classroom, compared with a 62% statewide average. Even 62% is low, if you ask me. I want to see that figure raised significantly.

    I also propose to put teachers in charge of each school, to the maximum allowed by state law. Have a teacher council at each school that effectively runs the school, with each teacher who wants to be involved in such decision-making given a seat on it (inevitably a few teachers will prefer to simply put all their energies into the classroom, and that's a good thing). Each teacher council would hire a principal, who would have roughly the relationship to them that the district Superintendent currently has to the School Board. The principal, who would be paid less than the teachers, would be in charge of non-teaching aspects of running the school on a day-to-day basis, but he or she would be accountable to and directed by them, not the other way around.

    The goal would be to maximize teacher control over curriculum, hiring, school programs, and so on, so that the whole school structure would be based around serving their needs and making sure they have the tools and resources to do their jobs most effectively in the classroom.

    (Continued in following comment)

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  14. Another commenter wrote, regarding the School Board candidates,

    "They all want more accountability, they all want more transparancy, they all want to close the achievement gap, blah blah blah. Does anyone have any specific ideas for how to get the job done, or anything new to say that everyone else is not already saying?"

    I hear you! As a candidate for School Board, I have been struggling to come up with proposals, and ways of talking about the issues, that will make it clear that I'm not just another enabler of the status quo.

    Because it is indeed easy to toss out words like "transparency" and "accountability", and talk about wanting to close the achievement gap, but I believe these things will *not* happen without *major* changes!

    Perhaps the biggest change I am advocating, which I think has the potential to be more transformative than anything being proposed by any of the other candidates, is to turn the educational hierarchy in the schools upside-down.

    Let me explain what I mean by this. First of all, virtually everyone acknowledges that teachers have the most difficult and important jobs in education. So my question is, why are they typically paid less than administrators? And why are they taking orders in the system, instead of giving them?

    I propose to raise teacher salaries to make them the highest-paid district employees. I absolutely oppose any new taxes or fees -- instead, I would cut administrator salaries in order to pay for it. Many non-teaching personnel in the school district are taking home six-figure salaries. According to SF Budget Blog, only 45% of money in the district is going to the classroom, compared with a 62% statewide average. Even 62% is low, if you ask me. I want to see that figure raised significantly.

    I also propose to put teachers in charge of each school, to the maximum allowed by state law. Have a teacher council at each school that effectively runs the school, with each teacher who wants to be involved in such decision-making given a seat on it (inevitably a few teachers will prefer to simply put all their energies into the classroom, and that's a good thing). Each teacher council would hire a principal, who would have roughly the relationship to them that the district Superintendent currently has to the School Board. The principal, who would be paid less than the teachers, would be in charge of non-teaching aspects of running the school on a day-to-day basis, but he or she would be accountable to and directed by them, not the other way around.

    The goal would be to maximize teacher control over curriculum, hiring, school programs, and so on, so that the whole school structure would be based around serving their needs and making sure they have the tools and resources to do their jobs most effectively in the classroom.

    (Continued in following comment)

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  15. Another commenter wrote, regarding the School Board candidates,

    "They all want more accountability, they all want more transparancy, they all want to close the achievement gap, blah blah blah. Does anyone have any specific ideas for how to get the job done, or anything new to say that everyone else is not already saying?"

    I hear you! As a candidate for School Board, I have been struggling to come up with proposals, and ways of talking about the issues, that will make it clear that I'm not just another enabler of the status quo.

    Because it is indeed easy to toss out words like "transparency" and "accountability", and talk about wanting to close the achievement gap, but I believe these things will *not* happen without *major* changes!

    Perhaps the biggest change I am advocating, which I think has the potential to be more transformative than anything being proposed by any of the other candidates, is to turn the educational hierarchy in the schools upside-down.

    Let me explain what I mean by this. First of all, virtually everyone acknowledges that teachers have the most difficult and important jobs in education. So my question is, why are they typically paid less than administrators? And why are they taking orders in the system, instead of giving them?

    I propose to raise teacher salaries to make them the highest-paid district employees. I absolutely oppose any new taxes or fees -- instead, I would cut administrator salaries in order to pay for it. Many non-teaching personnel in the school district are taking home six-figure salaries. According to SF Budget Blog, only 45% of money in the district is going to the classroom, compared with a 62% statewide average. Even 62% is low, if you ask me. I want to see that figure raised significantly.

    I also propose to put teachers in charge of each school, to the maximum allowed by state law. Have a teacher council at each school that effectively runs the school, with each teacher who wants to be involved in such decision-making given a seat on it (inevitably a few teachers will prefer to simply put all their energies into the classroom, and that's a good thing).

    Each teacher council would hire a principal, who would have roughly the relationship to them that the district Superintendent currently has to the School Board. The principal, who would be paid less than the teachers, would be in charge of non-teaching aspects of running the school on a day-to-day basis, but he or she would be accountable to and directed by them, not the other way around.

    (Continued in following comment)

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  16. Another commenter wrote, regarding the School Board candidates,

    "They all want more accountability, they all want more transparancy, they all want to close the achievement gap, blah blah blah. Does anyone have any specific ideas for how to get the job done, or anything new to say that everyone else is not already saying?"

    I hear you! As a candidate for School Board, I have been struggling to come up with proposals, and ways of talking about the issues, that will make it clear that I'm not just another enabler of the status quo.

    Because it is indeed easy to toss out words like "transparency" and "accountability", and talk about wanting to close the achievement gap, but I believe these things will not happen without major changes!

    Perhaps the biggest change I am advocating, which I think has the potential to be more transformative than anything being proposed by any of the other candidates, is to turn the educational hierarchy in the schools upside-down.

    Let me explain what I mean by this. First of all, virtually everyone acknowledges that teachers have the most difficult and important jobs in education. So my questions are, why are they typically paid less than administrators? And why are they taking orders in the system, instead of giving them?

    I propose to raise teacher salaries to make them the highest-paid district employees. I absolutely oppose any new taxes or fees. Instead, I would cut administrator salaries in order to pay for this. Many non-teaching personnel in the school district are taking home six-figure salaries. According to SF Budget Blog, only 45% of money in the district is going to the classroom, compared with a 62% statewide average. Even 62% is low, if you ask me! I want to see that figure raised significantly.

    I also propose to put teachers in charge of each school, to the maximum allowed by state law. Have a teacher council at each school that effectively runs the school, with each teacher who wants to be involved in such decision-making given a seat on it (inevitably a few teachers will prefer to simply put all their energies into the classroom, and that's a good thing).

    Each teacher council would hire a principal, who would have roughly the relationship to them that the district Superintendent currently has to the School Board. The principal, who would be paid less than the teachers, would be in charge of non-teaching aspects of running the school on a day-to-day basis, but he or she would be accountable to and directed by them, not the other way around.

    (Continued in following comment)

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  17. Another commenter wrote, regarding the School Board candidates,

    "They all want more accountability, they all want more transparancy, they all want to close the achievement gap, blah blah blah. Does anyone have any specific ideas for how to get the job done, or anything new to say that everyone else is not already saying?"

    I hear you! As a candidate for School Board, I have been struggling to come up with proposals, and ways of talking about the issues, that will make it clear that I'm not just another enabler of the status quo.

    Because it is indeed easy to toss out words like "transparency" and "accountability", and talk about wanting to close the achievement gap, but I believe these things will not happen without major changes!

    Perhaps the biggest change I am advocating, which I think has the potential to be more transformative than anything being proposed by any of the other candidates, is to turn the educational hierarchy in the schools upside-down.

    Let me explain what I mean by this. First of all, virtually everyone acknowledges that teachers have the most difficult and important jobs in education. So my questions are, why are they typically paid less than administrators? And why are they taking orders in the system, instead of giving them?

    I propose to raise teacher salaries to make them the highest-paid district employees. I absolutely oppose any new taxes or fees. Instead, I would cut administrator salaries in order to pay for this. Many non-teaching personnel in the school district are taking home six-figure salaries. According to SF Budget Blog, only 45% of money in the district is going to the classroom, compared with a 62% statewide average. Even 62% is low, if you ask me! I want to see that figure raised significantly.


    (Continued in following comment)

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sorry about all the duplicate comments! My post didn't appear to be going through, and I kept trying to repost -- but evidently it was getting posted each time, even though I was getting an error message.

    Hopefully the webmaster can delete the duplicates, since I don't see a way to do so myself.

    ReplyDelete
  19. (Continued from previous comment)

    While being given much more power and authority than at present under my proposal, teachers in turn would be accountable to students and parents, who would be free to attend teacher council meetings and speak during public comment. With funding being tied strictly to enrollment, they would hold the power of the purse by virtue of being able to freely choose which school to attend.

    I further propose to require teachers to put their lesson plans online for review by students and parents. Also available online would be background information about each teacher, his or her teaching style, and reviews written by former students.

    Just as I favor maximizing choice over school selection, I also support giving each student the freedom to choose his or her own teachers and classes, to the maximum extent allowed by law. The teacher reviews and information on teaching styles and lesson plans would give students and parents the data needed to make informed decisions on which teachers and classes to sign up for.

    I believe empowering students in this manner would quickly tend to sort out who the good teachers are, and which teachers perhaps need more training or aren't cut out for the job. When lay-offs were needed (i.e. when not enough students chose to attend a particular school, and it had too many teachers), parents and students at that school could vote by secret ballot on which teachers to let go. In other words, base employment on merit, rather than seniority. Your children deserve no less.

    While teachers' unions might normally be expected to oppose merit-based employment, my hopee is that they would go along with this plan in consideration of the higher salaries and greater authority I propose to give them.

    I think I can safely say the ideas outlined above are very much in the interest of students and parents, and of good teachers as well. Overpaid administrators and less talented teachers, admittedly not quite so much!

    Your feedback is encouraged -- please feel free to email me at RealReform(at)earthlink(dot)net, or call me at (415) 625-FREE.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hmm, not sure what's going on with this site! I thought I just posted a note apologizing for the duplicate posts (I was getting an error message and though my post wasn't going through, but turns out it was) but now I don't see that post!

    Anyway, if a webmaster or site monitor can delete the first four posts of mine on this page, they are all duplicates. I would do it myself, but don't see any way to do so.

    Sorry again for the inconvenience.

    ReplyDelete