Now is the Time to Recommit to
“College and Career for All” SFUSD students.
With increased funding coming in from the state, this will be the first time in 5 years that California school districts will be seeing a slight increase in per pupil spending. This presents an opportunity to re-invest in some crucial student supports and shift the dialogue inside SFUSD from a narrow one strictly focused on cuts and streamlining to one thinking more creatively about improving the quality of our schools.
In particular, Coleman members who led our 2009 campaign to win the “A-G for All” policy see this moment as a timely opportunity for the district to recommit to the principles and reinvest in the strategies intrinsic to the effective implementation of a policy designed to provide equal access to a college-and-career path for every student.
While many see “college and career” as simply a high school curriculum reform, Coleman members have a much more comprehensive view. From the beginning, we have understood the higher expectations inherent to the new curriculum as leverage to gain support for a range of complimentary school reforms and increased resources to the system’s highest-need students and schools. Coleman members developed our “Campaign for College and Career for All” with a 10-point campaign platform, and more than 40 policy demands and implementation benchmarks to hold SFUSD accountable to over several years.
It is Coleman’s analysis that genuine education equity reform is only possible by attending to the range of interrelated aspects of a school’s operations in a synchronized approach, including decision-making, resource allocation, curriculum, professional development, student/parent engagement, and student support services. Ultimately, increasing educational and career outcomes for Black and Latino youth and closing the school-to-prison pipeline will be the result of comprehensive and transformative school reform.
Many aspects of our implementation agenda got put on hold – along with many other SFUSD improvement initiatives – when the economic recession began to take its most dramatic toll on state and local education budgets. With a modest increase in both the local and state education budgets for the first time in years, now is the time to get back on track with comprehensive A-G implementation, so our struggling SFUSD students can get back on track to graduation, college, and career.
Two of our Youth Making a Change (YMAC) Leaders share why having access to the full curriculum of A-G courses – and related supports – is important to their dreams and their futures:
Jennifer Sanchez: Student at Downtown Continuation High School
“We need a better system for people from San Francisco to be connected to opportunities. I want the same opportunities as everyone else in order to be able to go to a university or college. At first I didn’t know about the A-G requirement, so students should begin being told about it before High School. If everyone knew about A-G, students would not fall off track and there would be no need for continuation schools.”
Goyette Williams: Recent Graduate of Burton High School
“My goal is to go to college and be successful in my own right so that I can come back and work in my community to give back. The A-G policy has helped me make sure that I am taking the right classes each semester to get there. If the school system makes sure that students are on track, we won’t need credit recovery opportunities in the first place. ”