Great cities demand excellent public education systems. In spite of good intentions and well-orchestrated efforts in the past, we do not yet have a premier public education system that can provide a solid foundation for all of the children of this generation–let alone generations to come. We must insist on a vision for a whole new world of learning where innovation, community, family, leadership, and social justice are a seamless part of what great teaching and learning look like in San Francisco.
San Francisco Public Education Vision 2025 will explore the social, political, technological and economic forces likely to shape San Francisco over the next decade. We will examine the types of jobs most likely to dominate the Bay Area landscape ten years from now—most of which, if recent history is any indicator, we can scarcely yet imagine. We will use what we learn to identify the qualities, knowledge and skills that will be most valuable for the SFUSD graduate of the future. Then we will craft a vision and financial plan that define opportunities for investment partners, traditional and new, to help us make our vision for SFUSD graduates a reality. We will identify clear ways to align the use of public and private dollars to build and maintain the premier school system of the future, and will continue our commitment to building a culture that values accountability for results, reflection and improvement.
Along the way we’ll see how new technologies, globalization of knowledge, and learning models provide the opportunities to “see,” “feel,” and “do” education differently. Changes in accreditation, experiments with online courses and flipped classrooms, for example, have potentially enormous implications for educators. Some education forecasters describe teachers as “learning agents”, facilitating or coaching learning for students.
The bottom line is that there is little doubt that schooling in America will be transformed over the next decade, yet there is not yet a compelling or widely shared depiction of the future we want for San Francisco public school students. Today, under the leadership of Superintendent Richard Carranza, SFUSD is committed to developing this vivid and transformative vision of what we want for students and the adults who will educate, mentor and employ them in the San Francisco of 2025.
Critical and Interrelated Questions
How are current and future trends shaping the world into which SFUSD students will graduate over the next ten years?
San Francisco is the epicenter of innovation and creativity. We draw people from around the globe who want to live and work in a culturally diverse and rich community, but there have also never been more opportunities for our students to thrive in the emerging and future landscape of San Francisco. As educators and supporters of public education, how will we prepare all SFUSD students to participate fully in what San Francisco has to offer—both today and tomorrow?
What knowledge, skills, values, and experiences will the SFUSD graduate need to thrive in the San Francisco of tomorrow?
Understanding how the world is likely to change around us will help us define what a successful SFUSD graduate looks like a decade from today. We can then work backward to determine how best to build on the new common core standards and a national emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education (STEM)—among other resources—to equip our graduates for success. Meanwhile, as we move away from standardized tests to authentic assessments of student learning, we will have choices to make about the tools we create and use to accelerate student achievement. How will we choose wisely to ensure that we support learning and eradicate a pernicious opportunity gap based on demographics?
How will we transform what, how, when and with whom students learn to prepare them for the future?
SFUSD has recently made progress in transforming student outcomes in traditionally underserved schools. As we look for building blocks for the future both within and beyond SFUSD, how will we maintain the progress we have already made, focusing classrooms, schools and the central office around a strong instructional core for the benefit of all students?
What current and emerging innovations will help us personalize, deepen and/or accelerate learning that is relevant in the “real world”? Which of these innovations should SFUSD adopt, integrate and scale in the future?
In what new ways will families exercise agency over learners’ journeys from early childhood to postsecondary success? How will we listen to and understand their voices along the way?
What will it take to rally schools, families, businesses, the City, the District (and the community at large) around a shared vision? How will we then cooperate to give it life?
SFUSD and its constituents are already engaged in a range of important strategic initiatives. These include (among others): implementing a refreshed SFUSD strategic plan and implementing the New School Quality Improvement Framework (e.g. No Child Left Behind waiver). Meanwhile a stakeholder engagement process for PEEF and the Children’s Fund is aimed at better alignment of public dollars to support an agreed upon set of youth outcomes across the city.
A key purpose of San Francisco Public Education Vision 2025 is to increase coherence between these existing efforts by placing them in context of a longer-range vision for public education in San Francisco. Our goal is to clarify the requirements of a premier public school system in the future—one in which we have linked student learning with the imperatives of life in a global society. How will we ensure that the engagement of a Guiding Coalition, intentionally designed to connect SFUSD more deeply with the broader community, leads to the investment of political, social and financial capital required to make our new vision a reality for the youth of San Francisco?