Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who’s In, Who’s Out? Upcoming BOE Elections.

The San Francisco Board of Education (BOE) is composed of seven Commissioners who are elected to serve 4-year terms.  The BOE is subject to local, state, and federal laws, and it determines policy for all the public schools in the San Francisco Unified School District. 


Five fundamental areas of their basic governance responsibilities are as follows (taken from School Beat: School Board Elections Are Coming Soon, by Lisa Schiff‚ September 9‚ 2010):

  1. Setting the direction for the community’s schools,
  2. Establishing an effective and efficient structure for the school district,
  3. Providing support [to the superintendent and staff],
  4. Ensuring accountability to the public, and
  5. Acting as community leaders.

 

On November 2, 2010, San Francisco voters will elect three new members to the BOE.  There are eleven candidates, including two incumbents (alphabetically):

Bill Barnes

Margaret Brodkin

Tom Chan

Winifred Dajani

Natasha Hoehn

Omar Khalif

Kim-Shree Maufus (incumbent)

Hydra Mendoza (incumbent)

Emily Murase

Starchild

Jamie Rafaela Wolfe.

 

The SF K Files started a dialog about the upcoming BOE elections last month (see Listen to what the School Board candidates have to say..., September 13, 2010).  As the election date approaches, parents and community members need to get informed to insure appropriate representatives are elected.

 

What do you think about the incumbents?  Who has a history of vision, service, and accomplishments?  Who has compassion for Special Education students?  Who will serve us well?    In other words, who’s in, who’s out?


Donna

154 comments:

  1. Umm...Starchild?

    really?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The following information is from the Bay Area Reporter Oct. 7, 2010 (http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=5012)

    Gay, Bi Candidates Run for SF School Board

    Two incumbents and nine candidates, including a gay supervisor aide and a bisexual sex worker, are competing for three seats on the San Francisco Board of Education this fall.

    Due to Kim's opting not to run for re-election to the board, elections officials extended the filing deadline for the race until 5 p.m. last Wednesday, August 11 after the B.A.R.'s deadline. Both Kim-Shree Maufas and Hydra Mendoza are seeking re-election to the board.

    Among the newcomers hoping to land a seat on the school board are Bill Barnes, who had initially sought the open District 10 supervisor seat, and perennial candidate Starchild , who had planned to once again seek the District 8 supervisor seat.

    Barnes, a gay black man who is HIV-positive, is a legislative aide to District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier . He previously worked for state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) in Sacramento.

    At one time he was former Mayor Willie Brown 's AIDS czar and served on the city's youth commission. He also briefly penned the B.A.R.'s political column.

    He switched races after it became clear that BART board member Lynette Sweet had already lined up strong support within the LGBT community for her D10 race. She had won the endorsement of Dufty, who is termed out of his D8 seat, and this week won the backing of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club.

    In looking at his other options for public office, Barnes said he was struck by the lack of LGBT representation on the school board.

    "One of the things we need is votes on the Board of Education," said Barnes, who has lined up backing from Dufty and his current boss for his race. "I think it is a better fit for me. I am really excited about it."

    Starchild, a libertarian who works as a male escort, told the B.A.R. that he came up two votes short in the number of signatures required to be listed on the ballot for the D8 supervisor race. Rather than appeal the elections department decision that the signatures were not valid, Starchild opted to once again seek a school board seat.

    He ran for the oversight body in 2004 and said his platform this fall will focus on empowering students, teachers, and parents over school bureaucrats. His ideas include raising teacher pay, placing students in their first-choice schools and allowing non-citizens to vote in school board elections.

    "As a former student, I have years of experience working in government schools! But when it comes to the SFUSD, I'm a political outsider with no vested interests. If you want real reform, make me your first-choice vote for school board," wrote Starchild in an e-mailed response to questions.

    Among the other candidates are longtime youth advocate Margaret Brodkin, who was pushed out last year as Mayor Gavin Newsom's director of the city's Department of Children, Youth and Their Families; and Emily Murase, the executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. Education activists Natasha Hoehn and Winifred Dajani also filed to run, as did Tom Chan , Omar Khalif and Jamie Rafaela Wolfe.

    Brodkin and Murase, along with Mendoza, picked up backing this week from the Alice Club. The more progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has yet to endorse in the school board race.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The following information is from the Bay Area Reporter -- Oct. 7, 2010 -- by Matthew S. Bajko

    Gay, Bi Candidates Run for SF School Board

    Two incumbents and nine candidates, including a gay supervisor aide and a bisexual sex worker, are competing for three seats on the San Francisco Board of Education this fall.

    Due to Kim's opting not to run for re-election to the board, elections officials extended the filing deadline for the race until 5 p.m. last Wednesday, August 11 after the B.A.R.'s deadline. Both Kim-Shree Maufas and Hydra Mendoza are seeking re-election to the board.

    Among the newcomers hoping to land a seat on the school board are Bill Barnes, who had initially sought the open District 10 supervisor seat, and perennial candidate Starchild , who had planned to once again seek the District 8 supervisor seat.

    Barnes, a gay black man who is HIV-positive, is a legislative aide to District 2 Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier . He previously worked for state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) in Sacramento.

    At one time he was former Mayor Willie Brown 's AIDS czar and served on the city's youth commission. He also briefly penned the B.A.R.'s political column.

    He switched races after it became clear that BART board member Lynette Sweet had already lined up strong support within the LGBT community for her D10 race. She had won the endorsement of Dufty, who is termed out of his D8 seat, and this week won the backing of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club.

    In looking at his other options for public office, Barnes said he was struck by the lack of LGBT representation on the school board.

    "One of the things we need is votes on the Board of Education," said Barnes, who has lined up backing from Dufty and his current boss for his race. "I think it is a better fit for me. I am really excited about it."

    Starchild, a libertarian who works as a male escort, told the B.A.R. that he came up two votes short in the number of signatures required to be listed on the ballot for the D8 supervisor race. Rather than appeal the elections department decision that the signatures were not valid, Starchild opted to once again seek a school board seat.

    He ran for the oversight body in 2004 and said his platform this fall will focus on empowering students, teachers, and parents over school bureaucrats. His ideas include raising teacher pay, placing students in their first-choice schools and allowing non-citizens to vote in school board elections.

    "As a former student, I have years of experience working in government schools! But when it comes to the SFUSD, I'm a political outsider with no vested interests. If you want real reform, make me your first-choice vote for school board," wrote Starchild in an e-mailed response to questions.

    Among the other candidates are longtime youth advocate Margaret Brodkin, who was pushed out last year as Mayor Gavin Newsom's director of the city's Department of Children, Youth and Their Families; and Emily Murase, the executive director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women. Education activists Natasha Hoehn and Winifred Dajani also filed to run, as did Tom Chan , Omar Khalif and Jamie Rafaela Wolfe.

    Brodkin and Murase, along with Mendoza, picked up backing this week from the Alice Club. The more progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has yet to endorse in the school board race.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Will any of them oppose feeder patterns? Will any of them support citywide choice for middle schools? For elementary schools?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kim-Shree Maufas -- so far she's only formally nailed for using her school board credit card for a few thousand dollars' of personal items, but word is that her improper abuse of public resources goes well beyond that. It's all trivial, but it adds up to a whole lot of unethical behavior and abuse of the public trust.

    Hydra Mendoza -- she cares for one thing: her personal ambition. Whatever it takes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. And Kim (and Mar and Sanchez before) weren't on the BOE as a stepping stone for higher office? Most candidates are in it for personal ambition.

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks in advance...October 7, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    Would someone please summarize the salient points from Sr Dad's interviews with the candidates?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kimshree: no ethics

    Mendoza: no energy, doesn't do anything

    Murase: not very intelligent

    Brodkin: very qualified for the job

    Kahliff: integrity, but a loose cannon

    Starchild, and the others: forget about them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you want to get a sense of what the incumbent candidates are all about, try watching a school board meeting on sfgov tv. You can watch these live if you have cable tv, or you can watch the archived tapes of the meetings here
    http://tinyurl.com/6r7gas

    Seriously, watch a meeting and then decide if Kim Shree Maufas is someone you think should have a say in your child's education, or if she is even sane.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @8:24

    or of she is even AT the meeting.
    Is there a list online that shows attendance at meetings? Maufas and Mendoza seem to miss lots of the meetings.
    I agree, though, watch a few meetings and then you'll decide never to vote for Maufas.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Natasha Hoehn is a great candidate. Unfortunately she doesn't have endorsements that are likely to be on the clip out slates and most people in SF don't have anything to do with SFUSD so just vote a slate candidate. Parents should be urging endorsements to really consider how they give those endorsements and what it means.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Natasha didn't even know we had an enrollment fair, she may be a nice person but seems clueless.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Emily Murase is plenty intelligent. And competent. She is a current parent (at Rosa Parks) who is not in this race to leapfrog to higher office.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Murase is a Lowell graduate, so I imagine she is not unintelligent.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I tried to assess attendance records by looking at the BOE meeting minutes posted on SFUSD web site. NOTHING is posted after **Feb. 23, 2010**

    I would be fired if I maintained my records like this. We should not re-elect ANY incumbents, as they obviously are not concerned about public communication. They should be hounding the web master and Mr. Garcia to keep this current.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hope Emily Murase gets elected.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maufas' daughter took items, superintendent says
    (from SFGATE.com, March 29, 2010)

    The 22-year-old daughter of a San Francisco school board member stole a district laptop and $250 from another school board member and a district staff member while her mother attended board meetings in the same building, district officials confirmed Friday.

    Francesca Maufas, the daughter of board member Kim-Shree Maufas, took the laptop and $90 cash from a third-floor office of a senior staff member during the school board's March 9 meeting at district headquarters, officials said. A surveillance camera captured the 22-year-old in the hallway and entering the office, said Superintendent Carlos Garcia.

    The younger Maufas also acknowledged taking at least $160 from board member Jill Wynns' purse, which had been placed under a desk in the board's office during a late February committee meeting.

    No police report was filed. Garcia said the district declined to contact police regarding the laptop theft because the computer never left the building and was returned in 24 hours.

    "Had the computer been taken off grounds, I might have viewed it differently," he said.

    Francesca Maufas "was very up front about it. If that hadn't happened, we would have immediately called in police," Garcia added.

    He left the decision to file a report with police over the stolen money to the two victims, who so far have declined.

    The money had yet to be returned.

    "I think it's an unfortunate incident," Wynns said. "The superintendent told me that the district would not file a report and that I could if I wanted to, but that he was trying to work out some arrangement for restitution and to satisfy all our concerns about protecting the district and all employees."

    Wynns said she was waiting for an update on that arrangement before making a final decision on police involvement.

    Francesca Maufas could not be reached for comment.

    In an arrangement Garcia worked out with Maufas and her daughter, the 22-year-old would be required to volunteer in San Francisco Peer Court, a nonpunitive alternative for youth offenders, often referred to as restorative justice. It's unclear what the younger Maufas' role would be.

    In addition, she is expected to pay back the money, write a letter of apology and enter the school district building only accompanied by her mother.

    Garcia acknowledged that Maufas' daughter is being treated in a nonpunitive manner because he knows her. Had the thefts been committed by a staff member's son or daughter, instead of an elected official's child, he would have handled the case the same way, he said.

    Had it been a stranger, "maybe it would have been handled differently," Garcia added.

    Board member Rachel Norton called it a "sad situation," but said she had questions about the district's decision to leave law enforcement out of it.

    "I have concerns about the way this was handled because there are some political overtones to this," she said. "But I think it was the superintendent's call, and he made it."

    Kim-Shree Maufas is a candidate on the June ballot for the Democratic County Central Committee District 13.

    Her first term on the school board ends this year. She has not indicated whether she plans to seek re-election in November.

    She was out of town late last week attending a restorative justice conference - an idea she has strongly supported within the district.

    "As the mother of the daughter that I love, I am supporting her with the assistance that she needs," Maufas said in an e-mail to The Chronicle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just sent this email to Carlos and Jill.

    Subject: BOE Minutes and Attendance Records for BOE Members

    Dear Mr. Garcia and Ms. Wynns,

    With BOE elections upon us, I went to the SFUSD website to assess the contributions and attendance records for the incumbents. The web page is out of date, with no minutes available after Feb. 23, 2010. Also, there is no information regarding each Commissioner’s attendance records.

    Can you post all the BOE meeting minutes on the website (Feb 23. to present), as well as the yearly attendance records for every Commissioner during their terms, so that the public can assess the incumbents and make an informed decision in the upcoming election?

    Thank you,
    SFUSD parent, grades 3 and 5.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Natasha Hoehn seems very well-intentioned, but she is unqualified for the job -- she has no experience involving SFUSD schools at all.

    Emily Murase IS intelligent. Some people fear that she'll be a marshmallow, too nice to stand up to wrongdoers or intimidation.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 12:29, many of the current BOE had no experience with SFUSD and honestly there is a lot about SFUSD that is dysfunctional and it may be better for someone not already in it. I like Natasha, Margaret Brodkin and Emily Murase. Hydra Mendoza has done nothing, sorry I voted for her before. Kim-Shree - scary.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nothing worse than nice marshmallows on the BOE, we need someone who is not afraid to do the right things, even if it upsets the Unions and the Administrators.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Check it out

    www.sfparentpac.com

    The Parent PAC - An SF political action committee for Parents!

    San Francisco parents are politically active like never before. We have an opportunity RIGHT NOW to influence policy and politics in San Francisco. The
    Parent PAC's Mission Statement reads as follows:

    We are San Francisco parents. We advocate for:

    * a high quality public education for all children in every neighborhood;
    * enriching after-school, out-of-school and summer opportunities that support
    working families' needs; and
    * healthy, safe and vibrant communities city-wide.
    We will support candidates and policies that will work to make these goals a reality.

    On Wednesday, Sept 15, The Parent PAC took its first steps to fulfill its mission statement by endorsing three outstanding candidates for the three open
    seats on the Board of Education:

    1. Margaret Brodkin
    2. Hydra Mendoza
    3. Emily Murase

    Read more at the website, join, contribute

    ReplyDelete
  23. Emily Murase holds an AB in modern Japanese history from Bryn Mawr College, a master's from the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, and a PhD in communication from Stanford.

    The above quote is from her website. Those schools are all top notch and very highly respected. I have personally known Emily since she was a Senior at Lowell and know her to not only be intelligent but also strong willed and able to do the right thing. She may come across as sweet and "marshmellowly" but I personally would not want to be on the wrong side of her convictions.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm voting for Margaret Brodkin and she may be the ONLY candidate I vote for.

    Hydra has been a huge disappointment but will probably get re-elected anyway, so she doesn't need my help.

    Natasha works for Phil Halperin (local rich guy whose kids are too good to attend public school) at Silver Giving, and he already has a board presence in Hydra, who works closely with him on SF School Alliance matters; why should he have two votes on the school board?

    Emily Murase - I want to like this woman because she seems so, well, nice, but that's the problem. Being on the school board is not a job where niceness counts for much. When it comes to letting the state or federal government know that parents in SF are pissed off about the underfunding of our schools and school programs, I don't want someone "nice" doing the talking. Contract negotiations, holding district administrators accountable, setting policy - none of these are areas where "niceness" is an advantage.

    Kim Shree - not even worth discussing. The woman is not fit to hold public office.

    No one else even has a chance.

    ReplyDelete
  25. 3:06
    What are her convictions?
    I have read every word of her website and I swear I have no idea where she stands on any issue.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Regarding Emily Murase, here are some of her positions on issues:

    http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2010/09/13/endorsement-interviews-emily-murase

    ReplyDelete
  27. There is no "there" there.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Isn't Brodkin head of A New Day for Learning and isn't that institution's agenda the same as the whole duncan pro-public school reform (or nihilism) and pro-charter school?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Brodkin is the one candidate interested in bettering the lot of SpEd kids (or not trying to hold down spiraling SpEd costs, depending on your perspective).

    ReplyDelete
  30. 8:51 it is total B.S. to say that New Day for Learning is the same as the administration's agenda. NDL is a Community Schools initiative, which seeks to bring community investment and supports into struggling schools to duplicate the enrichments that middle class kids get.
    If anyone is aligned with the Race to the Top and other misguided ed policies of the Obama administration, it is Hydra Mendoza, who has aligned herself time and again with Education secretary Arne Duncan.

    ReplyDelete
  31. No, Brodkin is definitely not a fan of Arne Duncan and the whole No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top privatize/charterize frenzy.

    New Day for Learning's Community Schools vision is a whole different thing. And it's applauded by teachers' unions, by the way. The AFT magazine did a big article last year praising the Community Schools vision and its partnerships with nonprofits, and the same magazine repeats that praise in its current issue.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 8:51 here. thank you for the clarification on New Day for Learning.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rachel Norton endorsed Margaret Brodkin, Hydra Mendoza and Emily Murase:

    http://rachelnorton.com/2010/09/19/brodkin-mendoza-and-murase-for-board-of-education/

    ReplyDelete
  34. One of the persons commenting in this forum asked,

    "Will any of them oppose feeder patterns? Will any of them support citywide choice for middle schools? For elementary schools?"

    In my case, the answer is yes to all of the above. I support maximizing choice within the district by letting each student (or his/her parents, in the case of elementary school students) attend his or her first choice school.

    Under the current system, students and parents make their school requests each year via a complicated and non-transparent school assignment system. I want to see the data from these requests made public, in a readily understandable format, showing how many first-choice, second-choice, third-choice, etc., requests each individual school received.

    Clearly some schools are much more in demand than others. Some of this disparity may be based on school locations, but I think most of it is due to perceived quality. This represents a loud message that students and parents are trying to send, which is not being heard.

    I believe the district should honor this message by expanding the popular schools to meet demand, and shutting down the unpopular schools.

    If a particular school has way more students wishing to attend it than it has the capacity to handle in a given year, students and parents should be notified of this, and given the opportunity to pick a different school rather than go to a school that will be overcrowded. Or they can stay with their first choice pick and be at a school that will have large class sizes and strained facilities, at least until the following year when the extra money given to the school as a result of its high enrollment can be used to hire more teachers, expand facilities, etc.

    The important thing is that either way it will be their choice. Bottom line is we need to make education more consumer-driven, more responsive to the needs and desires of education consumers (students and parents).

    -Starchild, 2010 candidate for SF School Board

    ReplyDelete
  35. Starchild - should the physical limitations of the facilites not be taken into play? Or is it ok to hold classes in the hallways or out in the garden ( as would happen if all that requested Rooftop would get in).

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anyone who sees students and parents as "consumers" of education and wants to shut down "unpopular" schools does not get my vote. That is naive and dangerous. Education is not a popularity contest or a marketing opportunity. While I support school choice, I cannot support it at the expense of schools that, for whatever reason, are not "popular" with the middle class -- places like Guadalupe, Junipero Serra, and Francis Scott Key have been doing just fine with their underserved populations, thank you very much. "Starchild" needs to go back to the Rainbow Gathering and let someone serious take this job.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "Anonymous" wrote,

    "'Starchild' needs to go back to the Rainbow Gathering and let someone serious take this job."

    Are you too much of a coward to publicly identify yourself when making such comments?

    And is this the kind of ad hominem attack you think is appropriate for political discourse?

    You're free to disagree with my ideas, but when candidates -- and other people -- can't discuss the issues civilly in a public forum without being subject to petty, pointless insults, everyone loses.

    ReplyDelete
  38. A commenter asks,

    "Starchild - should the physical limitations of the facilites not be taken into play? Or is it ok to hold classes in the hallways or out in the garden ( as would happen if all that requested Rooftop would get in)."

    Yes, of course the physical limitations of a facility will come into play at some point. There are fire codes and such things limiting the number of people you can legally have in a building.

    I actually think holding more classes outdoors is a fine idea, when weather permits -- fresh air is invigorating, and sunshine is good for people, after all. But obviously it's not practical year-round.

    In my proposed plan where each student gets to attend his or her first choice school, when a facility reaches the limits of its capacity due to being chosen by more students than it can accommodate, it would expand its facilities, or if this were impractical, branch out into facilities formerly belonging to other schools that were closed due to lack of demand. At that point, the personnel and resources of the successful school would be divided between the two campuses.

    Another part of my platform is to have a site council of teachers at each school who would generally be in charge of that school, including hiring. So the teachers moving from the successful school to the newly reopened campus would have the choice whether to hire back any of the laid-off personnel from the unpopular school that was closed.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  39. In other words, just change the name of John Muir and Bryant to Clarendon and problem solved!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Never thought I would be saying this but Starchild and 8:56 AM make valid points. Remember DeAvila? Closed in 2005.

    Reopened in 2009 as CIS at DeAvilla--widely popular, cannot keep up with demand, turning students away.

    So the corollary is to close Muir. During the interim, accommodate those students at Grattan, Rooftop, Clarendon, New Traditions, etc.

    Reopen Muir (which has a beautiful and conveniently located facility BTW) and rename it Clarendon Central. Voila! Won't be able to keep up with demand.

    Starchild--thank you for joining the forum and responding to platform issues.

    Hope the other BOE candidates join the forum too.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Starchild, would you leave the CTIP in place to see how it works, while opposing feeder plans and local school preferences? A pure citywide policy does not look like it is going to do anything about the achievement gap.

    ReplyDelete
  42. 10:01
    DeAvila reopened as a language immersion school. It didn't have immersion before it was closed. Is that what you are proposing for Muir? Close the school and reopen as language immersion and have enrollment open citywide?

    ReplyDelete
  43. I am not 10:01. Make Muir a citywide GE school without any attendance area. Why can't a number of GE schools, non-immersion and non-K8, be citywide? The new SAS is one big experiment anyway. Let's run a few variations from the start and see what works.

    ReplyDelete
  44. A commenter asks (Oct. 9),

    "Starchild, would you leave the CTIP in place to see how it works, while opposing feeder plans and local school preferences? A pure citywide policy does not look like it is going to do anything about the achievement gap."

    The short answer is no, I don't favor leaving in place a system in which people living in some parts of the city are privileged over those living in other parts of the city when seeking to get into the school of their choice. Please continue reading for a more detailed explanation.

    CTIP, for those may be wondering, stands for Census Tract Integration Preference. This is defined in a report by SF Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia (see http://www.ppssf.org/Issues/SAS/REVISED_Student_Assignment_Recommendations_modified_3-3-2010.pdf) as:

    "A preference in program or school assignment
    based on a demographic value that is assigned to each combined census tract. This preference is designed to facilitate attendance at the same schools by students who live in demographically different areas of the City. In the first year of implementation of the Student Assignment Policy, the CTIP value will be based on average K-12 California Standards Test (“CST”) scores of students who reside in the combined census tract. Following the first year of implementation, the Superintendent may recommend that the Board of Education use different demographic data to assign CTIP values to combined census tracts in order to better fulfill the goals of the Student Assignment Policy. Any recommended changes approved by the Board of Education would be incorporated into this Student Assignment Policy."


    I heard School Board incumbent Kim Shree-Maufas say at a recent candidate appearance that in designing the new school assignment system, the Board had listened to the criticisms of parents who wanted a simple and predictable system. Nothing about CTIP sounds simple or predictable to me!

    Any time a school fails to educate a student to his or her potential, this should be troubling to everyone. But people often seem to talk about the achievement gap among SFUSD students (i.e. students of African-American or Latino backgrounds doing less well academically on average than students of Caucasian or Asian backgrounds) as if it were a unique result of something being done wrong here in San Francisco.

    I see no reason whatsoever to assume that. The so-called achievement gap is a nationwide problem, perhaps even a worldwide problem. It has stubbornly resisted attempts to fix it by shuffling students around to various schools against their will. There is not even a consensus that it is caused by factors school districts can control (see e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achievement_gap_in_the_United_States).

    Therefore I think what we ought to do locally is focus on achieving perfect equality of opportunity, by letting each student attend his or her first-choice school, rather than chasing after the chimera of equal outcomes.

    If there were any evidence from other school districts that endless tinkering with complex school assignment formulae can produce racial parity in terms of test scores, graduation rates, success in college, future income, etc., maybe such social engineering would be worthwhile. But I haven't heard of technocratic fixes achieving such results. If you happen to come across any data to the contrary, please do bring them to my attention.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  45. CORRECTION - The Wikipedia link I included in my last post is incorrect. Here is the correct link -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achievement_gap.

    ReplyDelete
  46. @October 8th, 10:06- You have your facts wrong and are clearly confusing Natasha with another candidate.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hmm, it seems long URLs are being cut off when posting. Here's a working link to the school assignment report referenced in my message above -- http://tinyurl.com/Garcia-CTIP.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Starchild, you have my vote.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Starchild, I have two questions for you:

    1) given that you have a well-established history of running for a variety of different offices/positions over the years; what can you do to assure the electorate that your heart is in being on the BOE rather than holding any elected position?

    2) to you think your admitted profession (male prostitute) is a fitting example to set for the kids you aspire to be making policy for?

    ReplyDelete
  50. in the previous post, the "2) to" should be "2) do"

    ReplyDelete
  51. As someone who has followed starchild's political analysis in other contexts, I have always found them quite well thought out, non ideological and, quite frankly, refreshing. In our situation at sfusd, however, we face a member of the board who is, in my mind, clearly a threat to the system -- ms. Maufas. Incoherent and dangerous, it is imperative that she be voted off this board. Our best chance of doing this, in my view, is to coalesce around a replacement who has the real chance to win -- and that's Brodkin. So while I appreciate your comments, and really encourage you to continue to comment on and gain knowledge of sfusd, I'm unfortunately not going to vote for you.

    ReplyDelete
  52. 7:19 p.m. -- yes yes yes and yes! Starchild is refreshing in many ways (in 2006 he actually got more votes than the lone Republican running for BOE) but defeating ms. maufas is of paramount importance. please think when you are voting for the school board! for those of us in the system K-12, the person who gets elected really matters!

    ReplyDelete
  53. A commenter wants to know my answers to the following questions:

    "1) given that you have a well-established history of running for a variety of different offices/positions over the years; what can you do to assure the electorate that your heart is in being on the BOE rather than holding any elected position?

    2) do you think your admitted profession (male prostitute) is a fitting example to set for the kids you aspire to be making policy for?"


    * * *

    In response to the first question, I'll freely admit that I have no more desire to be on the Board of Education than I do to hold any other political office.

    I've been to School Board meetings, and listened to them on the radio. For the most part, they are deathly boring, with commissioners cautiously playing their roles and saying what they think is politically expedient rather than saying what they really think.

    My main goal in running for this or any other office is to get more pro-freedom ideas into the public dialogue. If my main goal were to get elected, and I were less particular about doing what I perceive as the right thing, you would see me acting more like other career politicians. I certainly wouldn't give you straightforward, honest answers to such questions as you have asked me here, if I even bothered to reply at all -- there's really no political percentage in debating anonymous critics on the Internet!

    The reason I am giving you a real response is because I don't care that much whether I win or not. If by some fluke I do get elected, I will do my best to work hard and make the most of the opportunity to improve our city's government schools, but it would be more of a duty than a pleasure. I wouldn't expect to enjoy the day-to-day banality of it very much. I do promise that if elected I will serve out my term before seeking any other office.

    * * *

    In response to the second question -- oh boy, where to begin? First of all, you seem to be making the assumption that there is something wrong with providing sexual services for money, such that we shouldn't want any young person to aspire to doing this for a living when they are older.

    I completely reject that assumption. I love my work, am proud of what I do for a living, and I know that I make peoples' lives more enjoyable. For many clients, it can be a healing experience. For people who are elderly, disabled, etc., it can be a chance to connect with someone in a way they aren't ordinarily able to. I think a conscientious prostitute is a far better role model for young people than a statist career politician who makes a living off other peoples' tax dollars, violating the Constitution, wrecking the economy, and destroying civil liberties along the way!

    On a more practical level, I can assure you that few kids in San Francisco know who the School Board members are, far less anything about them! If you're worried about the possibility of your children looking up to a sexual figure in society as a role model, don't worry that someone like me might get on the School Board -- worry about what they're watching on television, what they're talking about with their friends, what they're doing online.

    Anyone who looks to politicians to be the ones to set examples of positive behavior for the next generation is dangerously naive. As a group, they give my profession a bad name! The people that kids look to most for positive examples are their parents. Part of my job on the School Board, as I see it, would be to empower those parents by helping make San Francisco schools, and the district as an organization, more responsive, transparent, and accountable to them.

    ReplyDelete
  54. A couple commenters are concerned about the possibility of Kim-Shree Maufas being reelected, writing,

    "As someone who has followed starchild's political analysis in other contexts, I have always found them quite well thought out, non ideological and, quite frankly, refreshing. In our situation at sfusd, however, we face a member of the board who is, in my mind, clearly a threat to the system -- ms. Maufas. Incoherent and dangerous, it is imperative that she be voted off this board. Our best chance of doing this, in my view, is to coalesce around a replacement who has the real chance to win -- and that's Brodkin. So while I appreciate your comments, and really encourage you to continue to comment on and gain knowledge of sfusd, I'm unfortunately not going to vote for you."

    and,

    "yes yes yes and yes! Starchild is refreshing in many ways (in 2006 he actually got more votes than the lone Republican running for BOE) but defeating ms. maufas is of paramount importance. please think when you are voting for the school board! for those of us in the system K-12, the person who gets elected really matters!"

    Thank you to you both (and to the other commenter who said I have his/her vote!) for your kind words. For the record, the last time I ran for School Board was 2004, not 2006 -- not that it matters greatly one way or the other.

    Personally, my impression of Margaret Brodkin is that she's made her reputation by beating the "for the children" drum for years, and this is why some people seem to think she's a natural for the job. Unfortunately, her ideas of what's best for children usually seem to involve bigger, more expensive government. I think she would vote to raise your taxes or fees in a heartbeat to pay for some program she thought was a good idea.

    Of course your voting decisions are up to you, but I would remind you that there are three open seats, which means you can vote for up to three candidates. If you want a particular incumbent off the board, that means that at least three other candidates must receive more votes than that person.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  55. I won't vote for Starchild because I disagree with his Darwinian, everyone-out-for-himself politics (what does "choice" mean if you can't get to your first-choice school, need aftercare, it's full, etc.)? I'll vote for Brodkin precisely because the School Board *ought to be* "for the children," and I do want my taxes raised if it will pay for a decent education for the kids of SF.


    But I do want to stand up for Starchild's right to run for office while working as a male escort. "For the children" is a dangerous drumbeat only when it suggests that how adults comport themselves sexually is some kind of threat to children. Unless the sex work involves children, leave it alone. Maufas is the example I want to avoid my children emulating, not Starchild.

    In other words, Starchild can babysit my kid anytime. I just don't want him making educational policy.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Consider this: Starchild got 23,340 votes in the 2004 election for Board of education, that is only 12,110 LESS votes than the 35,450 votes Maufas got in 2006, and she won a seat. Sobering, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Isn't Starchild getting sort of old to be a sex worker?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ugh. I don't want to think about that.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'd vote for Starchild before I'd vote for Kimshreik.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Thoughts about Omar Khalif? I like what he had to say on the SrDad interview (both this time and the last election) but I worry that his engaging personality is not letting me fully understand his underlying agenda for the school district.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I think the bottom line here is
    "How do we vote Kim-Shree out?"

    Can someone set up a poll?

    I'd like to see who the most popular candidates are. (I realize that somewhat informed sfkfilers will vote differently from the general pool of San Franciscans, but I'd like to know who among the candidates has a chance of beating Kim-Shree.)

    ReplyDelete
  62. My vote is narrowed down to three of the following four:

    Margaret Brodkin
    Natasha Hoehn
    Omar Khaliff
    Winifred Dajani

    I'm not sure what to make of Margaret. She looks great on paper and has her fans...but she came across as arrogantly entitled in her Sr. Dad interview.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm a teacher and I generally support UESF but I am disgusted that they endorsed Kim-Shree Maufas.

    Anyone who thinks the money she stole from SFUSD is insignificant should think again. Those personal expenses she ran up on a district credit card? How many pencils, markers, books, playground supplies, snacks for kids who come to school hungry-how many of those things could we have bought instead of Ms. Maufus' Starbucks and Crocs? I spent $3000 of my own money last year on my classroom and I resent that she used money meant for our students, my tax money, for her personal use.

    I will be voting for Margaret Brodkin. Three years ago she visited my classroom on a tour of SPED classrooms in SFUSD-I've never seen any of the other candidates in my school. She's smart, intelligent, and she's not participating in this race as a stepping stone to another political office or to make a point. She's running for school board because she she has spent her entire career advocating for children.

    I resent that someone would use the school board as a platform to make a political statement-the school board makes REAL decisions, decisions that affect our schools in a real way, every day. It's not a game and it's not for people to use for their own means to an end. Working in a special education classroom in SFUSD, in the midst of a budget crisis, feels like bailing water out of a sinking boat and we need someone who's been on the ground and knows what they're doing.

    I'm voting for Hydra Mendoza, Margaret Brodkin, and Emily Murase.

    ReplyDelete
  64. What have Hydra Mendoza and Emily Murase done to merit your vote?


    In Hydra's case, hasn't she missed half (or more) BOE meetings? What, if anything, does Hydra have to show for her past term on the BOE?

    ReplyDelete
  65. 12:11 here. Oops. Here's why I support Emily Murase and Hydra Mendoza.

    I've also met Emily Murase and asked her questions about why I should vote for her. As a special education teacher at one of SFUSD's lowest-performing schools, I have two big concerns-special education and equity of schools. She was educated about these issues and had thoughtful things to say. She has students in public schools and I think parents need parents on the school board to advocate for their needs.

    I support Hydra Mendoza because she has experience and I agreed with her decisions on the board thus far. I watch many of the board meetings on television and have attended a few-especially when the decision effect me, such as the report of the audit of special education, or discussions of reconstitution and SIG monies. I'm not so sure why there are questions about her attendance but I know she's been there every time I've been there and has good, intelligent things to say.

    Kim-Shree Maufas sometimes has good things to say too, but more often I don't really understand what she's saying. Natasha Hoehn appears to have no experience with SFUSD and I'm always wary when people refer back to the two years they spent as a teacher for Teach For America a decade ago as though they've dedicated their lives to working in low-income schools. Starchild is in this race to support a platform. I don't know much about the others.

    Lastly, and most importantly to me, Rachel Norton has endorsed these three candidates. Rachel Norton advocates tirelessly for students, especially special needs students. She's done more for special education than anyone else in the district and I trust her opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  66. If the candidate will oppose the feeder plan, that will be enough for me. They can support or oppose neighborhood schools for elementary school, but they have to support citywide choice for middle schools.

    Starchild has delivered.

    ReplyDelete
  67. People, people....is the assignment system the ONLY thing you care about? Imagine your child is assigned to your dream school, then what? You no longer care about whether the school board supports or cuts art or music or sports or honors classes? It no longer matters to you how the inadequate public funds for education are allocated? Class size doesn't matter to you, nor how teachers are assigned to schools? The hot lunch can continue to be frozen crap, the schools might not have enough textbooks for everyone, but you are JUST FINE with ALL of it because you got your first choice school? REALLY???
    Sheesh!

    ReplyDelete
  68. There has to be litmus test issues, or else all you get is hot air.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I support candidates who are committed to neighborhood schools K-12 and the feeder program.

    The next step is to have neighborhood preference for high schools as well.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Ugh.

    File this under the category of "You Can't Have Everything". But if this election boils down to stopping another term for Maufus, then you have to choose the candidates with the best chance of finishing 1-2-3 and that seems like Brodkin, Murase & Mendoza.

    Brodkin is flat out smart and tough-minded. (I've learned that Jill Wynns may have been on the Board forever, a bit centrist for me, but she's very well-informed. I would anticipate Brodkin to be similar.) Murase is well-educated, not Maufus but also may not be very practical. Mendoza is pretty weak tea, electable and not Maufus. In Mendoza's case it's just not realistic to think about getting rid of both Maufus and Mendoza.

    The only realistic alternative to this approach would to assume that Brodkin has enough support sewn up to be a lock-in. Then you choose 2-3-4 and maybe add Barnes or Hoehn. But for me that would be tempting fate.

    You might prefer choosing the three most qualified candidates with views compatible to your own, but another four years of Kim-Shree is too unpleasant to contemplate.

    ReplyDelete
  71. 8:46 I couldn't agree with you more. The Brodkin-Mendoza-Murase vote is the best chance of stopping Maufas.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I tried to assess attendance records by looking at the BOE meeting minutes posted on SFUSD web site. NOTHING is posted after **Feb. 23, 2010**

    Actually, those notes are from 2009. The District has not been making meeting notes available since that date.

    I'm interested in why many people seem to support Hydra Mendoza's re-election. She may have children in a STAR school, but to my mind far too many of her votes have supported the status quo in SFUSD.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Oops. The BoE minutes have been updated, although only through April 2010. There's also a gap between September 2009 and January 2010.

    ReplyDelete
  74. A commenter (Oct. 11, 730am) writes,

    "I won't vote for Starchild because I disagree with his Darwinian, everyone-out-for-himself politics (what does "choice" mean if you can't get to your first-choice school, need aftercare, it's full, etc.)?

    Yes, I admit the gym is my second home (you probably don't have to deal with anonymous people telling you you're too old to practice your profession! e.g. the comment @825am), but that doesn't mean I'm for Darwinian survival of the fittest!

    I would submit to you that most San Francisco political figures have far more Darwinian philosophies than I do. Another name for Darwinism is "The law of the jungle", aka "might makes right." In a democracy, "might" translates into marshaling the most votes and thereby controlling government and having the legal power to force people to do things.

    Most politicians believe it's okay for government to commit aggression and steal from people to pay for various programs if a majority of voters, or the representatives they elect, approve of the aggression. But I disagree, because I reject the notion that might makes right. I am not a social Darwinist.

    The difference between myself and a sincere leftist with integrity and a heart is not in our commitment to social justice or how compassionate we are, but only in how we believe in going about making the world a better place.

    As a libertarian, I want to see a world at peace, where no one goes hungry, homeless, jobless, or without adequate medical care except by choice.

    But I believe the most effective and practical way to bring about this brighter future is by using voluntary cooperation, not government aggression. That's what libertarianism is really about. Live and let live.

    From my point of view, my neighbor may be acting greedy and selfish. I may think he has much more than he needs. I may feel he isn't doing his "fair share" to help the poor and disadvantaged. But who am I to sic the law on him and force him to change his behavior unless he has actually violated the life, liberty, or property of someone else?

    Jesus said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," and although I'm not a Christian, I think that's a pretty good maxim. Modern society attempts to dodge the challenge by having government agents do the stone-throwing on our behalf. But that only creates a monster.

    Here's a link to an 8-minute animated video that does a pretty good job of describing the Non-Aggression Principle: http://www.isil.org/resources/introduction.swf

    By the way, I do appreciate you speaking out against anti-prostitute bigotry, and standing up for the equal right of people like myself to run for School Board. Thank you for that.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    P.S. - I almost forgot your question "what does "choice" mean if you can't get to your first-choice school, need aftercare, it's full, etc." My aim is to create choice in as many areas of life as possible, so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. I want students to have lots of different choices about how to get to school, lots of different choices of where to go after school, etc. But restricting peoples' choice of schools does nothing to improve choice in these other areas.

    ReplyDelete
  75. To the person who wrote (October 11 @253pm) "There has to be litmus test issues, or else all you get is hot air" -- astute observation!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Starchild said: ..."By the way, I do appreciate you speaking out against anti-prostitute bigotry, and standing up for the equal right of people like myself to run for School Board."


    So the fact that prostitution is illegal in SF and everywhere else in California is of no consequence to you and shouldn't be for the electorate either?

    You obviously don't agree with the law and willfully disregard it. Are there any other laws you will disregard if elected?

    Also, given that your stated occupation is a prostitute I can't imagine your tax contribution to society is much of anything. You wish to make policy and handle budgetary decisions for schools to which you contribute next no tax monies. A reverse world of representation without taxation.

    ReplyDelete
  77. 9:40
    You seem to have a litmus test issue about Starchild. No prostitutes. Fine. That is your privilege.
    It is my prilege to say that anyone who can tap into the gay vote is a serious candidate, that Starchild is good on some of the key issues I care about, and that I can give him one of my three votes.

    ReplyDelete
  78. 9:40
    You seem to have a litmus test issue about Starchild. No prostitutes. Fine. That is your privilege.
    It is my prilege to say that anyone who can tap into the gay vote is a serious candidate, that Starchild is good on some of the key issues I care about, and that I can give him one of my three votes.

    ReplyDelete
  79. P.P.S. to the person afraid that my politics are Darwinian, everyone-for-himself -- you wrote "I do want my taxes raised if it will pay for a decent education for the kids of SF."

    I don't mind if you want to raise your own taxes either. I think everyone should be free to voluntarily donate as much money to government as they wish. I just don't want you raising other people's taxes -- especially because taxes and fees have been going up for decades, and I don't see that kids are getting any better educated.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  80. Starchild said
    "..taxes and fees have been going up for decades, and I don't see that kids are getting any better educated."

    Do you "see" that the number of students who are more expensive than average to educate, i.e., those who are from families with limited or no command of the English language, those who live in poverty, those who require special education services, has also been going up for decades?

    ReplyDelete
  81. I'm voting for Emily Murase, Omar Khalif and Margaret Brodkin. Between the three of them they cover all the bases. Hydra has been a huge disappointment and will probably leave to follow Gavin if he takes her with him.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Will Murase, Khalif, or Brodkin oppose the feeder patterns? If none of them will disagree with the Superintendent, what's the difference in supporting them over someone else?

    ReplyDelete
  83. A person writing @12:22pm today notes my comment that taxes and fees have been going up for decades while the quality of education (delivered by government schools) has not been improving, and asks,

    "Do you 'see' that the number of students who are more expensive than average to educate, i.e., those who are from families with limited or no command of the English language, those who live in poverty, those who require special education services, has also been going up for decades?"

    Unquestionably there are more students in U.S. schools who do not speak English than there were at one time. And unquestionably more students are being classified as having "special ed" needs than in the past. (Whether this means the number of students significantly below their peers in unaided learning ability has increased significantly, or whether students simply are more likely to be put into this category today is not immediately clear).

    Yet I also see that the following page from the federal Department of Education contains graphs showing that (1) the U.S. government spends more per pupil on education than a host of other relatively wealthy countries, and (2) federal spending on disadvantaged and special education students has skyrocketed:

    http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/edlite-chart.html

    Do you have statistics showing that increases in non-English speaking students, poor students, and students who absolutely require specialized education, in government schools in the U.S., have outpaced increases in education spending by government bodies in this country? Or similar statistics specific to San Francisco, if you prefer? If you do have such data, I would be very interested in seeing them.

    -Starchild, candidate for School Board

    ReplyDelete
  84. "Do you have statistics showing that increases in non-English speaking students, poor students, and students who absolutely require specialized education, in government schools in the U.S., have outpaced increases in education spending by government bodies in this country? Or similar statistics specific to San Francisco, if you prefer? If you do have such data, I would be very interested in seeing them."

    Starchild, it is a well documented fact that services and funding for those with special needs has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. Are you suggesting that is not the case?

    ReplyDelete
  85. @7:44 feeder patterns are not the only issue for me.

    ReplyDelete
  86. E. Rat said...
    I'm interested in why many people seem to support Hydra Mendoza's re-election. She may have children in a STAR school, but to my mind far too many of her votes have supported the status quo in SFUSD.
    --------

    I have to agree. I purposefully did NOT vote or endorse her the last round because it is a complete conflict of interest for her to be the Education Advisor to the Mayor AND a BOE member. Her "status quo" is whatever the Mayor wants. And too often, that has included taking money from SFUSD needs to fund Newsom's dopey pet projects (many of which, mark my words, will not be around once he's gone.)

    I'm torn as I'm supporting Brodkin and Murase hands down - and Maufas is damaging to SFUSD (plus, she took money for personal uses until she was caught.)Natasha Hoehn knows too little of what's on the ground in schools, despite a lot of 555 Franklin buddies (which IMHO could be a liability.)

    I may have to hold my nose and vote Hydra, although I do wish we'd see more real leadership from her. As a parent, she's done nothing to help improve information, transparency or access to parents for their students.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Sorry, but I don't think prostitutes are roles models.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Don Krause asks,

    "Starchild, it is a well documented fact that services and funding for those with special needs has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. Are you suggesting that is not the case?"

    No, no, that is precisely what *I* was getting at! Perhaps my prose was less lucid than it could have been, but I was trying to express my skepticism of the notion that the number of special needs students in the United States has been increasing faster than the funding available for their education.

    ReplyDelete
  89. The voter's conundrum:
    If you really only support one or two candidates, should you vote for three?

    There are two ways to approach this. If you believe the most important thing is to elect your one or two favorites, then voting only for those candidates may work better; otherwise, you may find that the third 'hold-your-nose-and-vote' candidate edges out one of your preferred choices.

    On the other hand, if it is equally important to keep someone like Kim Shree Maufas out of office, then it makes sense to vote for three candidates, even if voting for that third choice is sick-making. That way, you are doing what you can to ensure that even if you don't love all your candidates, at least you have supported people who are not Kim Shree.

    ReplyDelete
  90. 10:36
    It is ok if feeder patterns is not your issue, but can you identify any issue on which your candidates disagree with the Superintendent, or with the majority of the Board?
    If your candidates are just going to go along with how everything seems to be going, what makes your candidates so much better than any of the other candidates? If those three are not going to change things, then any three candidates who are not going to do anything will do just as well. There are plenty of other candidates who also will never disagree with the Superintendent.

    ReplyDelete
  91. "It is ok if feeder patterns is not your issue, but can you identify any issue on which your candidates disagree with the Superintendent, or with the majority of the Board?"

    If they agree on feeder patterns, that's a big plus for me and probably the majority of the electorate.

    ReplyDelete
  92. SF high school students voted for Starchild, Tom Chan and Hydra Mendoza for Board of Education.
    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/news/pdf/10%2013%2010%20SF%20High%20School%20Students%20Vote%20for%20a%20Republican,%20Narrowly%20Approve%20Marijuana.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  93. Let us not forget that it was the progressive, union-dominated liberal establishment that put Maufas into office in the first place. Now some those voices which so dominate this blog have seen what a disaster she is to the interests of students and good government, the same people are now getting religion, so to speak, even though the far left extremists STILL endorse her. She must have promised them the world for that endorsement.

    The problem with this election is there isn't any real political choice. The whole lot are leftists that will not take a stand to put student interests before the career driven interests of Board members, administrative employees and unions.

    The union and the district may appear to be at loggerheads at times, but mostly they just scratch each others backs.

    ReplyDelete
  94. 10:18
    The question remains, Why those three and not another three who also will go along with whatever the Superintendent proposes?
    If your litmus test is to support three who will also support the Superintendent, almost everyone has passed your litmus test.
    Your litmus test has just been Pass/Fail, and has not explained why those three get a grade of "Excellent." Why are they excellent?

    ReplyDelete
  95. "If your litmus test is to support three who will also support the Superintendent, almost everyone has passed your litmus test."

    Can you please tell us where you purchased the crystal ball which allows you to know who an non-incumbent candidate will support?

    ReplyDelete
  96. Name one signficant issue where your candidate disagrees with the status quo.
    I do not know the positions taken by the candidates. I have no crystal ball. But if your candidate is not complaining about something-anything-then what is he running for, other than to hold the office for himself? So please tell us what change in the status quo your candidates want to make, other than the list names of the Board of Ed.

    ReplyDelete
  97. "Name one signficant issue where your candidate disagrees with the status quo.
    I do not know the positions taken by the candidates. I have no crystal ball. But if your candidate is not complaining about something-anything-then what is he running for, other than to hold the office for himself? So please tell us what change in the status quo your candidates want to make, other than the list names of the Board of Ed."

    I see, so you ask the reader to disprove your claim rather than you having to back it up?

    Its flawed logic to conclude that just because you, who admit not knowing candidates' positions, aren't personally aware of them complaining about anything related to the status quo; that this means they are superintendent puppets.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Are you supporting your three candidates because you believe they will support the Superintendent 100%, while you have your doubts about the other candidates? If so, I can appreciate your position and that you have explained why these three candidates are excellent while the other candidates are less than excellent. Am I wrong that you believe your three candidates will support the Superintendent 100%?

    ReplyDelete
  99. "Are you supporting your three candidates because you believe they will support the Superintendent 100%"

    No, I support them because their positions on issues I care most about are more inline with what I want to see happening within the BOE.

    "Am I wrong that you believe your three candidates will support the Superintendent 100%?"

    You're not only wrong; you have absolutely nothing with which to base that belief on.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I was only asking. You have corrected me.
    You support those candidates because they are in agreement with your issues and the direction you want for the schools.
    Those issues and those directions for the schools are what, precisely? I'm only asking.

    ReplyDelete
  101. "Those issues and those directions for the schools are what, precisely? I'm only asking."

    Support for: neighborhood schools; the feeder system; canceling or drastically reducing the use of outside consultants and attorneys; and the belief that educating our kids should be the #1 priority...not so-called "social justice" as our superintendent and most of the current BOE believe.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Thank you for your answer.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Does anyone remember who these "three candidates" are?

    ReplyDelete
  104. We have to get Kim S-M OUT! She is totally after more -tried to run for another office in the primaries. She is an awful hateful person. Watch any BOE meeting on line and you will see. She is a thief and a liar. We should all spread the word!

    ReplyDelete
  105. It was not important who the three candidates were. It was only important that the reasons for giving them your support was explained. I must respect your right to have your own opinions. I can insist that you explain your opinion.
    (The three were Murase, Khaliff, and Brodkin. All non-incumbents, but that is my observation, not the explanation given.)

    ReplyDelete
  106. "Emily Murase, Omar Khalif and Margaret Brodkin"

    Yes, me too.

    Omar is a breath fresh air. I really have to vote for him and I also am very disappointed with Hydra (and Newsom).

    ReplyDelete
  107. Why would anyone want candidates who support Garcia and the rest of his administration? What have they done for SFUSD? Maybe a supporter can list the accomplishments here on SF Kfiles.

    Education needs some reform of one kind or another if we are going to impact the achievement gap. The incremental successes in this regard are no reason to throw a party. As Jill Tucker said - at this rate it will only take 184 years to close the gap.

    Are schools any different now than 3 years ago when he took over? It was his decision to raise class sizes in 2009-2010 for a paltry 1 million savings and less than a year later SFUSD had a two-year 113 million deficit which was closed with a smaller percentage class size increase. Poor decision-making notwithstanding, the Board finds that worth a contract extension and a raise.

    Any candidate with an iota of independence would be a breath of fresh air.

    ReplyDelete
  108. "Any candidate with an iota of independence would be a breath of fresh air."

    So who would that be?

    I wish there were three competent, independent candidates.

    I think Khalif fits that bill. With four daughters at various stages in the education system, he knows K-12 bottom to top. He also knows the Bayview from the inside.

    Brodkin and Murase may not have a different viewpoint, but they are competent. They do seem to care about the kids.

    We have to get Maufas out, so I'm willing to vote for mainstream candidates, even if it means voting for the status quo.

    Don, you didn't get your name on the ticket. I would have voted for you as our school budget killer attack dog. Alas, you're name is not on the ballot.

    So it's Brodkin, Murase and Khalif for me.

    ReplyDelete
  109. "In my case, the answer is yes to all of the above. I support maximizing choice within the district by letting each student (or his/her parents, in the case of elementary school students) attend his or her first choice school."

    Lessee, that'd be - 14 Kindergarten classes at Clarendon?
    10 at AFY?

    Eminently doable, yes?

    At least have the decency to make it clear you're a joke candidate.

    ReplyDelete
  110. It all becomes a matter of voting for who you think can beat KimShree, instead of voting for who you really want to vote for. So you vote for the top contenders who are most likely to be her biggest competitors. I don't really want to vote for Murase or Mendoza, but I will, because they could get more votes than Kimshree.
    Brodkin is the only person running whom I think would be a great Commissioner.

    ReplyDelete
  111. "Thoughts about Omar Khalif?"

    He was very neighborhood school orientated, which, umm, seemed contradictory given he sends his kids to KIPP charter schools.
    He was in the Students First! group that Don was promoting before Don fell out with that group.

    His presence on the ballot will siphon votes from K-S M though.

    I'd go Murase-Brodkin-Mendoza. I don't have the same anti-Mendoza reaction as others here. She's not a sharp as Wynnes, but still an asset to the BoE.

    ReplyDelete
  112. I can't vote for Mendoza. It is Mendoza who is partly responsible for carving the SE schools into mostly dysfunctional Spanish immersion programs.

    She's a total political animal and a Gavin suckup. I can't stand her.

    I'm voting for Khalif. Fine with me that he's advocating for neighborhood schools. Most families in the SE only have access to their neighborhood school or worse anyway.

    So Khalif's neighborhood school position is at least honest.

    Mendoza's fake choice, inaccessible Spanish immersion schools thing is truly reprehensible.

    Mendoza's also been behind the completely unworkable SOMA biotech school program. Whatever happened to that? Somehow, it was supposed to accommodate SOMA and Bayview families. I smelt a political rat as soon as I saw that proposal.

    Mendoza should follow Gavin to Sacto and hopefully stay there.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Whichever ticket you choose - Brodkin, Mendoza, Murase, or Brodkin, Khalif, Murase - the important thing is don't vote for KSM, and make sure to spread the word to everyone you know that they should not vote for her either. That woman is bad news!

    ReplyDelete
  114. To 12:15 PM. Bad suggestion.  If you split votes between Mendoza and Khalif for the third seat, then it is quite possible that neither will win.  By diluting the votes in this fashion, you lower the hurdle for Kim-Shrew, and she could possibly win a seat.   We need a strong ticket with three acceptable candidates to get the majority vote across the board.  Don't dilute the vote by suggesting that 4 candidates are OK.  Strategy is important if your goal is to displace an incumbent.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Khalif-Murase-Brodkin are the strongest ticket.

    If Murase, Brodkin and Norton really had it together, they'd dump Mendoza and create a new ticket with Khalif.

    Telling people that they *have* to vote for Mendoza ain't gonna work, no matter how bad Maufas may be.

    In fact, I put Maufas and Mendoza in the same boat. They're both political animals who have failed middle class SF families. At least Maufas is in-your-face about her anti middle class stance. Mendoza has been a lot more stealthy about it.

    Brodkin and Murase's association with Mendoza is pure gamemanship. I'm not falling for it.

    I'll vote for them, but not Mendoza.

    Go Khalif!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Don Krause vs. Starchild, in the Octagon, 3 rounds, no hair pulling or groin kicks, everything else is fair game. Winner gets to park in the "Logorrheic Blogger of the Week" parking space at the B of Ed!

    We could set it up as a fundraiser for the schools! Who's in with me to set this up

    ReplyDelete
  117. Uhh. No go.

    Starchild's not in the game. He blew it with me when he said that the BOE would bore him.

    Don did not put himself in the ring, so that's out.

    Anyway, Khalif would beat Starchild hands down, in just about every aspect of life. (Including bed.) It's one thing to get it on with an endless array of different gigs, but quite another to be in love with the same women, year after year, and manage to raise four children.

    Starchild, I've enjoyed your comments, but raising and educating children is sometimes thankless, boring and difficult.

    I'm sure you are a wonderful person, but I need to vote for BOE members who can advocate for frazzled parents and their children, not the leather crowd on Folsom Street.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Holy Cow, Omar Khalif is my man!

    http://srdad.com/SrDad/SFBR/Entries/2010/9/15_Omar_Khalif-_Candidate_for_School_Board.html

    ReplyDelete
  119. Oh, Mendoza is just ambitious -- OK, really, really, REALLY ambitious. But Maufas is both crooked and insane. It's not fair to lump them together.

    ReplyDelete
  120. 8:14:

    OK. We don't need to compare Maufas and Mendoza.

    In any case, after listening to the Senior Dad interview with Khalif, I'm completely sold on the guy.

    Finally, someone who can speak for Southeast middle class families!

    Really, he's the brightest, most thoughtful BOE candidate I have heard in years.

    So it's Khalif, Brodkin and Murase for me.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Personally I don't care if a BOE member is ambitious (unless this correlates with a short stay on the BOE) or has a daughter with issues. The only thing that matters to me is how the person votes on matters before the BOE. And I'm not convinced Mendoza and Maufas differ significantly in this respect.

    ReplyDelete
  122. 9:02, if Omar Khalif is really the brightest and most thoughtful candidate you have seen in years, you haven't been paying close attention. This is the third time he has run for school board.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Yes, well I used to think that those Democratic Party endorsements meant something. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that they would endorse a candidate like Maufas.

    So I supposed I've stopped putting any faith in those SF Bay Guardian endorsements, or Dem endorsements.

    To bad I didn't figure it out earlier.

    ReplyDelete
  124. "if Omar Khalif is really the brightest and most thoughtful candidate you have seen in years, you haven't been paying close attention. This is the third time he has run for school board."

    What does that have to do with whether or not he is bright, thoughtful and one of the better candidates? Just because he didn't get enough of the vote from the small percentage of registered voters who bother to even vote...doesn't mean he shouldn't have and shouldn't be elected to the position.

    Too many voters obviously don't even research candidates or vote based on political ideology rather than qualifications. That's how disaters like Hallinan, Kamala Harris, Maufus, Jane Kim...and yes, Hydra Mendoza, get into office in the first place.

    Many of these same people then say (even on this blog) "I won't vote for so-and-so again." Well why the heck did they vote for them in the first place? Anybody who bothered to research her and/or attend any of the BOE candidate forums should have known she was a poor choice for the job.

    The electorate of SF has gotten what they deserved. If one didn't vote or make an informed vote: shame on them, and they should shut the heck up.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Maufas:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/12/17/BAJA1B56QE.DTL

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/29/BAEJ1CLR4L.DTL

    This is the strangest twist, why would Maufas' daughter say she took the money, when she really didn't? Was she perhaps taking the blame for her mother?

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/12/BAEA1ESG58.DTL

    ReplyDelete
  126. "So I supposed I've stopped putting any faith in those SF Bay Guardian endorsements, or Dem endorsements."

    Why did you put your faith in them in the first place? Can't you think for yourself without having to be told who to vote for?

    ReplyDelete
  127. In defense of those who supported Hydra Mendoza the first time around, based on her record of accomplishments at the time fo the 2006 election, she was the perfect candidate for parents to support. Her work at PPS was known far and wide; she was always available to help parents navigate through the treacherous SFUSD systems; she was an outspoken advocate for parents and kids, even after she started working for the Mayor. It is only in the past 2 years or so that she has started to turn her back on those who elected her, and focus solely on doing what is best for Hydra. So while I voted for her 4 years ago with full confidence, I would not make that mistake again.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I've been planning to vote for
    Margaret Brodkin and
    Emily Murase

    -- have been having trouble with slot #3, as I don't want to vote for Hydra Mendoza -- am now thinking my #3 may be Omar Khalif.

    ReplyDelete
  129. I'm voting for Margaret Brodkin. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  130. New bumper sticker, for next year:
    Don't blame me, I voted for OMAR.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Most of us don't have hundreds of hours to invest at school board meetings. We have jobs and have to make a best guess at who will advocate for our schools.

    Perhaps we could ask the SF Bay Guardian and Democratic Club to do a better job of vetting candidates. If they would stop endorsing lunatics, we might have a more workable school policy. People trust these sources and it is only through experience with the schools that they realize that endorsements for candidates like Maufas are a jump off the cliff.

    In the last election, I voted for Rachel, based on her blog statement about science in the schools, very positive comments for school advocates, and an endorsement from this blog.

    There are some things I'm not thrilled about with Rachel, but no one can say she hasn't been a tireless advocate for our schools.

    Of the current slate of candidates, I'm sold on Omar Khalif based on his Senior Dad interview and his slate of experience as a school advocate. I invite anyone who is undecided about Omar to check out the Senior Dad interview.

    I'm still investigating Brodkin and Murase, but they do sound like strong candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  132. "Most of us don't have hundreds of hours to invest at school board meetings. We have jobs and have to make a best guess at who will advocate for our schools."

    It doesn't take hundreds of hours. Keeping up with current events in the media, attending 1-2 BOE candidate forums, and reading the candidates positions as stated on their sites is enough to make a fairly informed decision.

    If one is too busy to do that (even though they do have hours of time to kvetch online), then perhaps they shouldn't vote.

    Entrusting the DCC, some flier stuffed in your mail slot, or a newspaper to tell you who to vote for is foolhardy. They certainly don't have the right to gripe when the candidate they voted for based on some endorsement turns out to be a dud or just another political climber.

    Rachel was and remains worthy of our vote. Boots and Omar were as well, but they didn't have the backing of the SF political machine or Green Party (like Jane Kim with zero experience and an obvious political climber did).

    The best most qualified people rarely win in SF elections. Rachel is an exception.

    ReplyDelete
  133. "In defense of those who supported Hydra Mendoza the first time around, based on her record of accomplishments at the time fo the 2006 election, she was the perfect candidate for parents to support."

    She didn't come across as the perfect candidate at the forums or on her positions. She came across as somebody who felt she was entitled to the position, a political climber, and in bed with the mayor.

    I didn't vote for her and won't vote for her again. Omar and Boots got my vote then. Omar will get my vote this time as well. Boots would have been a great asset, but she simply could not defeat the "progressive" machine. The electorate got what it deserved.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Just watch 10 minutes of a BOE meeting online or on television, that would be enough to convince you to not vote for Kimshree this time, or Sandy Fewer next time.

    ReplyDelete
  135. "Just watch 10 minutes of a BOE meeting online or on television, that would be enough to convince you to not vote for Kimshree this time, or Sandy Fewer next time"

    The big question is what were people thinking of when they voted for these two incompetents the first time around.

    ReplyDelete
  136. 5:05, presumably many of the young and hip (with no info about or interest in the SFUSD) simply voted the SF Guardian's "Clean slate." Undoubtedly this will be the case again. If undocumented immigrants who cannot vote in the US will soon be able to vote in BOE elections if they have kids in the SFUSD, it seems fair that SF residents who have no links to the SFUSD simultaneously be banned from voting for BOE candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  137. "Who is Boots?"

    Boots Whitmer. She's very smart, very in tune with what is and isn't working in the SFUSD, and was well equipped at making or advocating for the changes most SFUSD parents want. However, being a Republican (running for a non-partisan position)...she was the devil as far as the SF progressive machine (most of who do not even have kids in SFUSD schools) was concerned.


    Instead we got idiot criminals like Maufus, mean spirited incompetents like Fewer, and unqualified Green Party political climbers like Jane Kim.

    After years of seeing some of the least capable candidates winning thanks to DCC and progressive rag recommendations and sizable chunk of the electorate which can't think for itself; I had lost hope. How else does a guy like Hallinan, who never prosecuted a case in his life when DA...twice over an experienced and successful prosecutor (Fazio). The same way people Maufus, Fewer, and the other dolts on the BOE who care more about progressive politics and "social justice" than they do about running the schools like the majority of parents want them to.

    Rachel Norton was the first good selection we've had in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  138. 9:33 PM

    Thanks for the information. I appreciate your informative post. I guess Ms. Whitmer is not running this time round.

    I'm a little hopeful that people are now onto the DCC and are looking for other sources by which to make their political decisions.

    It's not a fait accompli, but people are starting to catch on.

    BTW, have you noticed all the new pavement in District 8? As soon as you cross Valencia, and out of Noe Valley land, you're in pothole city again. I can't figure out what is going on, except for the impending election. I guess Campos is spending his pothole money on something else.

    Seriously, this is the most vote driven city I have ever seen.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Without the support of the unions or other deep pockets, Boots was limited in the amount of attention she could draw to her campaign, unless she was willing to bankrupt her family to spend in the high five figures, which is about what it costs for a newcomer to fund a successful independent BOE run. Candidates like Kim-Shree Maufas who get the union endorsements can count on almost unlimited assistance, financial and human, with their campaigns. In 2008, the union which represents school custodians, cafeteria workers, and secretaries (SEIU) had volunteers at every BART and major MUNI station on election day handing out material and urging people to support a latecomer to the race, far left progressive Bobbi Lopez. As a result, Lopez did very well on election day and might have won a seat, but she had entered the race too late to get much in the way of absentee ballots, so she ended up losing. But SEIU demonstrated that if you have their support, you can be a nobody from nowhere with no buzz and no discernable platform and still sweep the vote on election day. Watch for Kim-Shree to try to do the same. She won't have to spend a dime of her own money, but she has vast resources she can tap into. Candidates who don't have the UESF or SEIU endorsement are at a severe disadvantage.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Anybody but Maufas
    is spelled:
    Mendoza, Margaret, and Murase.

    Incumbents always have an advantage. It is extremely unlikely that both Maufas and Mendoza, both incumbents, will lose. I'd rather Maufas lose.

    Margaret Brodkin is a strong candidate, a long time past director of Children's Advocate.

    Unite behind Murase for the third selection. Please. We will need evey vote to edge out Maufas.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I refuse to support Emily Murase just because she is better than Kim-Shree. ANYBODY would be better than someone who thinks she can use the school district credit card to buy herself shoes and coffee and trips to Disneyland.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Margaret Brodkin for School Board CampaignOctober 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    This response to the UESF endorsements is from BOE candidate Margaret Brodkin.

    " Many supporters have asked me why my campaign for School Board was not endorsed by the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF).

    I deeply respect and support teachers. As a Board of Education Commissioner I will fight not only for students, but also the dedicated teachers, school counselors, social workers, instructional aides, nurses, and administrators who have dedicated their lives to helping children learn. I will advocate for better compensation, improved working conditions, and an increased voice for educators when it comes to shaping education policy. I will oppose the anti-teacher culture that blames teachers for the failings of our education system, and stand up against the teacher bashing that continues to threaten the future of the teaching profession.

    As a pro-teacher candidate, I had hoped the UESF endorsement process would have been more representative of this diverse union as a whole. The UESF represents more than 6,000 San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) employees, but at the August 3, 2010 member endorsement recommendation meeting only 28 of those 6,000 members cast their endorsement vote. While I certainly wish there had been more member involvement in the UESF process, I will always welcome the support of educators in San Francisco."

    ReplyDelete
  143. What about Prop D--allowing parents of SFUSD students to vote in BOE elections irrespective of whether they have the right to vote in other elections? This seems like a flawed proposition (difficult to enforce SFUSD parenthood, $100K cost) but PPS and all the BOE members are on record as in favor of the proposition. My guess is they can see which way the wind is blowing and want to curry favor with all these potential new voters.

    ReplyDelete
  144. For those that are "pro teacher", why not vote for one or both of the teachers running, Jamie Wolfe and Winifred Dajani? And Jamie is LGBT, that would be nice to have on the Board. They may be longshots, but they are teachers.

    ReplyDelete
  145. TONIGHT! Tuesday, October 19th there is a Board of Education Candidates Forum at KQED. For more information visit

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=153458001343592&notif_t=event_wall#wall_posts

    ReplyDelete
  146. For what it's worth, the Chronicle has endorsed Brodkin, Mendoza and Hoehn: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/19/EDKV1FUP5L.DTL

    ReplyDelete
  147. Proof is in the pudding. Margaret Brodkin was in full support of Arlene Ackerman and her draconian teach to the test regime. When it counted, Brodkin, like her arrogant pal Jill Wynns ,supported San Francisco's version of NCLB. When teachers stood up for their students and their profession and finally drove Ackerman out of town, Brodkin was nowhere to be found. In fact, she moved over to City Hall to the dismay of city employees as she contracted out recreation jobs to lower payed and less qualified recreational workers. Teachers and school workers deserve board members who will work with them and not go to war with them. Let's not return to the acrimony of the Ackerman-Wynns years.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Proof is in the pudding. Margaret Brodkin was in full support of Arlene Ackerman and her draconian teach to the test regime. When it counted, Brodkin, like her arrogant pal Jill Wynns ,supported San Francisco's version of NCLB. When teachers stood up for their students and their profession and finally drove Ackerman out of town, Brodkin was nowhere to be found. In fact, she moved over to City Hall to the dismay of city employees as she contracted out job after job to low payed and less qualified recreational workers. Teachers and school workers deserve board members who will work with them and not go to war with them.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Brodkin has the major support of every teacher I have spoken with.
    Less than 30 top union honchos in a room downtown picked whom to endorse, teachers I know all really want Brodkin on the board, to finally get the oversight SFUSD needs.
    The Chronicle AND the Bay Guardian endorsed Brodkin, that shows that she crosses all political lines and would represent everybody, more importantly, the students.

    ReplyDelete
  150. I am so damn sick of hearing about what teachers and school workers need. Those people have their unions to look out for their needs. Who do our kids have? The school board, that's who. We need people on the board who speak for the rights of students, and no one has worked longer or harder to improve things for kids in San Francisco than Margaret Brodkin. She has my vote for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  151. The kids need Board Commissioners who do actual oversight, not ones who go to hip-hop conventions or stay for days and days in the Hard Rock Hotel.

    I don't want a person who is chummy with everybody, I want a person who is breathing down their necks.

    ReplyDelete
  152. It's a pretty safe bet that if a candidate has been endorsed by the UESF (teachers union) or the SEIU (other school workers) then they will NOT have students' best interests at heart. They have been bought and paid for with their loyalty to the union.

    ReplyDelete