Sometimes it’s not just the splashy, controversial things we do to move education forward. More often it’s the slower, determined everyday work that make historic changes for our students.
One of those quiet moments was Tuesday, September 10, 2019. That evening, with one resolution, the San Francisco Board of Education moved Equity Studies from a small, optional 9th grade class to every student, every day, pre-K through 12.
Last Tuesday, the SF Board of Education unanimously approved the Equity Studies Resolution that I co-authored with Commissioners Jenny Lam and Mark Sanchez.
We’ve been working on this for a long time, and this is huge for us.
SFUSD will. not only expand on current ethnic studies curriculum offered as an option in ninth grade — it will now be infused into all content areas pre-K through 12th grade in SFUSD.
These classes are based on Dr. Patrick Carmanjian’s humanizing framework of 1) Self (love and) knowledge, 2) Solidarity, and 3) Self-determination
This is historic. We will now reorganize how the SFUSD approaches instruction and will make it easier to mplement many of our previous equity-focused resolutions. By doing this, we will. ensure all students, no matter their background, see themselves and their communities as valued and visible in SFUSD curriculum.
Highlights of the Resolution:
- Mandatory implicit bias training for site and central office staff,
- Tools to evaluate textbooks and class reading lists to ensure students have access to books by diverse authors, and
- A new SFUSD Calendar (with resources) to ensure all schools celebrate culture and community, including black history month celebrations, Cesar Chavez holiday, inclusive schools week, Indigenous Peoples Day, etc.
Our resolution also creates a community task force facilitated by the SF Human Rights Commission, which will be composed of parent and student leaders, educators, labor leaders and community advocates representing Asian, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, Samoan Pacific Islander, and Indigenous communities.
This Taskforce will make recommendations to ourBoard, More importantly, it will partner with SFUSD site-based educators and community partners to ensure San Francisco’s rich cultural heritage and diverse communities are represented.
We are keeping our promise to students to improve the teaching and learning at SFUSD!