October 31, 2018
Because of your tremendous support, our campaign has ignited conversations that political insiders advised me to steer clear of - eliminating the lottery system, bringing back 8th grade algebra, and other issues they described as the "third rail" of School Board politics. All our school kids deserve better and I won't settle for less.
Many of you have joined me on our journey to every corner of this city. In neighborhoods, MUNI stops and BART stations, from Gilman Playground near Candlestick to the outer Richmond; from Chinatown to the Irish Cultural Center; from Lowell High to Laurel Village - and for that I am extremely grateful.
In this final week, I need your help one more time. In order to get out our message, I need you to donate today. Time is of the essence and now is our last call to get our message out to the most voters possible. Please donate $50, $100, $250, or $500 today so we can make sure our voices are heard and that we have an independent voice on the Board of Education.
If you have already donated the maximum, please recruit a family member or friend and forward this email to people in your contact list. If you are able increase your investment in our educational future with another donation, it's easy to do so at JohnForSF.com/donate.
In addition to donating you can help us this weekend at either (or both) of our days of action!
Details for our Election Night Celebration will be coming soon!
Enough is Enough! San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is failing our children, our city, and our future. Major change is needed
October 12, 2018
School Board candidate John Trasviña issued the following statement today:
The San Francisco Unified School District is failing our children, our city and our future. On Tuesday night, the School District disclosed that only 62% of graduating 8th graders are deemed by the District to be “high school ready”. Yet, at the same meeting, the Board and Superintendent rejected offers to help prepare middle school students for academic success and instead voted to give one middle school its own separate admissions path to Lowell High School.
Pending before the Board was a proposal intended to increase the number of African American students entering Lowell. This is a goal we all share. As President of the Lowell Alumni Association, I established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee three years ago. We have worked with the school on programs connecting current students with alumni of color and reaching out to prospective students and their parents so they will feel welcomed and supported. By contrast, the Board’s action exempts one middle school’s students from the requirement for a principal’s academic recommendation for admission to Lowell. Exempting this one school comes at the expense of students at other schools, many of whom come from diverse backgrounds, must demonstrate the ability to overcome hardship or have other extenuating circumstances. Notably, the approved plan lacks any help to better prepare students for Lowell or to support them once admitted.
This is the latest in a series of actions that poorly serve our students. The Board of Education has previously eliminated 8th grade Algebra for any student because not all students do well in it. As a result, students are forced into private instruction or doubling up in later semesters in order to be on a path to higher level mathematics and be competitive for college admissions. The substitute course recommended by the District is widely considered inadequate preparation for the University of California system and Calculus sections at Lowell has decreased. Instead of denying Algebra for all 8th grade students, we need better math education in the earlier years so more students are prepared for it.
The Board of Education also instituted the highly unpopular and complicated Enrollment Lottery. Intended to increase diversity, it has only helped make our schools less diverse, been a primary factor in young parents leaving District schools and been equally frustrating to families who have no alternative but to stay in the District. Belatedly, only now is the School Board considering ending the lottery.
When only 62% of middle school students are considered ready for high school and District data show no progress in closing the gaps through higher academic attainment, we need a School Board and Superintendent that work with parents, alumni, and all other stakeholders in public education instead of pitting them against each other. Shamefully, at Tuesday’s meeting, the Superintendent compared Lowell alumni representatives -- almost all of whom are minorities -- to 1950s Southern segregationists. With its unsatisfactory track record of educating our children, the School District can not afford to reject the help and pleas of San Franciscans who want to achieve these important goals for all our city.
I am committed to serving families, children, teachers, and anybody invested in the prosperity of our district. My campaign will never be about shutting out those who are willing to come to the table.
After our successful kickoff last Saturday we are hosting our second day of action in my childhood neighborhood! I hope you will join us this Saturday, October 13 at 10 am. Please RSVP Day of Action.