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From the Desk of the Superintendent

05/30/17

Keep students learning during the summer

This is the first week of summer for our San Francisco public school students. But it doesn’t mean the learning stops. In fact, it’s crucial that children keep learning throughout the summer months. Because, if they don’t, they have a hard time getting back up to speed in the fall. In fact, most children even lose some of the skills they spent all year developing if they go a couple months without practicing them (this is called summer learning loss).... Read more

05/23/17

SFUSD grads ready to take on the world

As our nearly 3,000 graduating seniors hand in their term papers, pull on caps and gowns and accept their diplomas, I want to take a moment to share about a few of these remarkable young people. Tonight I will be handing them the Superintendent’s 21st Century Award, a scholarship that honors outstanding graduates who exemplify an aspect of our district’s Vision 2025 Graduate Profile. Let me tell you a little bit about them.... Read more

05/16/17

Difficult decisions part of annual budgeting process for S.F. schools

The school year is almost over, and just like many of our students, we have a big project due: our entire school district budget. By July 1 each year, all California public school districts have to submit their budgets to the state.... Read more

05/02/17

The will and the skill to improve SF schools

After several decades away, I am thrilled to be back in San Francisco and to officially begin serving as the superintendent of San Francisco’s public schools. I grew up in our schools, graduated from McAteer High, attended San Francisco State University and then became a teacher and even a principal in the city.... Read more

04/25/17

Super intentions: Reflections on nine months in SF public schools

As you may have heard, the San Francisco Board of Education has selected Dr. Vincent Matthews to be the next superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District. His first day on the job will be May 1. As this is my last column as interim superintendent, I wanted to share some of my favorite accomplishments in the school district from this past year.... Read more

04/18/17

Digital citizenship a priority in SF classrooms

In this day and age, to say that many children and young people seem obsessed with screens, devices and digital media is to state the obvious. But they are not just passive recipients of hashtags and images. Our students’ world is as much about creating media as it is about consuming it.... Read more

04/11/17

If you love learning, you’ll love teaching in San Francisco

Every day is different. No two students are alike. People become teachers to make a difference in children’s lives, because a well-educated child has more opportunities in life and contributes to the betterment of our entire community. But there’s more than a strong sense of purpose to attract teachers to work in San Francisco’s public schools.... Read more

04/04/17

SFUSD prepares students for college

In these days of breathless news cycles and attention-getting tweets, sometimes the quiet, steady work we do in our schools gets buried. Today I’m going to share with you some news that I’m very proud of: More of our students are graduating prepared for college and careers than ever before.... Read more

03/28/17

Speak up for sex and gender equality

For my last column of Women’s History Month, I want to address a topic that has been on my mind a lot this past year: male privilege. I’m no expert on this topic — I studied economics and public policy — but for many years I’ve been interested in how power, authority and expectations of behavior work differently for women and men. I also see how our educators, as they work with students, face numerous related questions every day.... Read more

03/14/17

Empowering female students central to SFUSD curriculum

By second grade, more than two thirds of male and female students who were part of a University of Washington study said that math is a “male activity.” Really? Why would 7-year-old students believe this?... Read more