A Roadmap to COVID Recovery for SFUSD

As you may have heard, the Board of Education recently approved a roughly $3 million request to purchase portable air cleaners in an effort to address classroom air quality. This is especially important in that it demonstrates what happens when we all get aligned and work together to address a problem facing our schools.

This is also an excellent continuation of my advocacy since last year for a focus on indoor air quality and other safety measures. …

With anti-Asian bias on the rise in our communities, and the hate crimes committed in Georgia this week, it is especially important that we uplift and center Asian American communities. All Americans deserve to feel safe.

I am horrified by the hate crimes rising across the Bay Area. And I am pleased San Francisco officials have increased security and support in predominantly Asian American neighborhoods. As a Black woman, a mother, an educator and a fierce advocate of equity in our schools I utilize my social media platforms to speak out on race and racism. …

[This resolution was ultimately adopted by the Board. Learn more about the equity audit and read the adopted resolution on the SFUSD website.]

This is a historic moment in San Francisco, inspired by so many who have worked tirelessly to achieve racial justice in San Francisco schools.

On Tuesday, February 2nd, President Gabriela Lopez, Commissioner Matt Alexander and I presented a resolution for First Reading to respond to Black Student Union (BSU) leaders’ call to action after staff failed to respond appropriately to ongoing racism at Lowell High School. (SF’s “elite” public high school).

For decades, students have reported ongoing…

On the same day our nation was inaugurating its first Black female Vice President, students at Lowell High School in San Francisco witnessed extreme hate speech, pornography, and references to the Biden presidency directed at Black and Jewish students. Student leaders took immediate action and organized an email campaign to city officials (Be advised, the link contains screenshots of the incident which contain graphic and triggering images and language.) The response prompted school staff and alumni seeking to preserve Lowell’s reputation to immediately move into damage control.

This is an Instagram post from Student Delegate Shavonne Hines-Foster about how the school administration handled the incident.

During last Tuesday’s Board of Education Meeting on January 26, 2021, students, families…

You may have heard, people are talking about renaming schools in SF! This important work has been held by a committee of dedicated volunteers and hasn’t been a topic for discussion by the Board. But, when the issue started getting more media coverage, I began hearing a lot of misinformation flying around. Thus, I decided to “go to the source” to have a conversation directly with the folks involved.

Join me as I talk with one of the authors of this important resolution, Board President, Mark Sanchez. …

[This post was written last fall and now contains outdated information. In February of 2021, changes to the selective enrollment policy were made permanent by the Board. Per the “In Response to Ongoing, Pervasive Systemic Racism at Lowell High School” Resolution, students applying to Lowell will use the application form used for SFUSD’s comprehensive high schools indefinitely.

The resolution also calls on the SF Board of Education to initiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process with the Education and Civil Rights Initiative (CRI) of the University of Kentucky College of Education, Lexington KY, in collaboration with the SF NAACP, California…

Applying what we’ve learned in support of students and families

by Commissioners Gabriela Lopez and Alison Collins

Given these scary, uncertain times, families are looking to our schools to create spaces for community and collective support. As educators and commissioners, we recognize the reasonable anxiety parents feel regarding distance learning. We deeply understand parents’ concerns. And, it is increasingly obvious the need for transparent, reliable structures for our families. We appreciate the space needed for our community — teachers, parents, principals, and administrators, all of us — to contribute input and best prepare our students and families for student learning this fall. …

Things are moving at a rapid pace. Every day we see rays of hope and shadows of despair.

This year alone, there have been at least 5 lynchings of people of color across the country, 2 of which occurred in California cities, Victorville and Palmdale.

Despite all this, several days ago, in the early morning hours, the Columbus statue in front of Coit Tower came down. A symbol of white supremacy in our city since 1957, it came down. Just like that.

The day before it was Aunt Jemima. Gone!

This weekend, the statues of Junipero Serra and Francis Scott…

As COVID-19, otherwise known as Novel Coronavirus, begins to spread, so is misinformation about the disease. Folks are reporting increased Anti-Asian bias. As of this morning, I saw that the hashtag #KungFlu is trending. (This is after some folks began calling it the Wuhan Virus… funny how there are no Italian names for it.) That said, there is no denying that our kids will come in contact with these harmful messages.

Now, more than ever, it is important to share up-to-date factual information about the virus to protect the many vulnerable populations, namely the elderly and immunocompromised folks, who live…

Racist Tropes Reinforce Racism, They Don’t Improve Public Schools

On Valentine’s Day this year, the San Francisco Chronicle published a column written by Heather Knight regarding Aptos Middle School (‘Lord of the Flies’). It was hardly a love letter.

Portraying a school in chaos run by savage children— the article title seemed more interested in being clickbait than it was in addressing real issues. Just check out the trailer of the 1963 adaptation of the book to see what I mean:

Superintendent Matthews immediately flagged problems with the framing of the article and penned a response. …

Alison M Collins

mom of twins. education nerd. public school warrior. reformed cat-lady. amateur urbanist. social justice addict. BLERD. & most recently Board of Ed Commissioner

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