The GrowSF Report: Is 8th grade algebra coming back?
PLUS: Civic Joy Fund aims to bring joy to San Francisco
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of May 8, 2023:
- Is 8th grade algebra coming back?
- Civic Joy Fund aims to bring joy to San Francisco
- An update from Mayor Breed on Housing for All
- Parklets at 9th and Irving will remain in place
- Why aren’t people riding Bart? They don’t feel safe
- School district parent group accused of anti-Chinese bias
Is 8th grade algebra coming back?
A decade ago, the district removed Algebra I from middle school, in the hope that slowing down the transition to advanced math would help more kids succeed.
It didn't work.
A recent Stanford study shows that the change did not improve outcomes, and kids who wanted to take calculus in high school were left trying to cram 5 years of advanced math into just 4 years.
After parents filed suit to bring back algebra, the SF Chronicle reports that the superintendent is open to bringing algebra back to 8th grade in just over a year.
Now, that's not a firm commitment -- it's the school board (not the superintendent) who has the power to bring 8th grade algebra back.
They will be discussing K-8 math at its May 23 meeting, and if we keep the pressure on, we just might have 8th grade algebra a little over a year from now. If you haven’t already, make sure to sign the SF Guardians/GrowSF petition to bring algebra back.
Civic Joy Fund aims to bring joy to San Francisco
Prognostications about the (eventual) fall of San Francisco are nothing new; people have been predicting the city’s demise for almost as long as the city has been standing. The reason those predictions continue to fail are because of the efforts of civic leaders like Manny Yekutiel, Daniel Lurie, and countless others like them that tirelessly work to make the city a better place.
Case in point: Yekutiel and Lurie’s new Civic Joy Fund, which will deploy $2M to fund arts and volunteer-focused projects aimed at bringing some color and joy to the city. We’d love to see similar creativity and ambition from our elected and city leaders in addressing the fundamental problems we face as well, but we’ll take every win we can get.
An update from Mayor Breed on Housing for All
SF Mayor London Breed understands that the lack of housing, at all price points, is a significant limitation that is impacting San Francisco and its residents from future success.
Her Housing for All plan was a recognition of these issues, and put forth solutions for (some of) the problems we face that prevent us from building housing. Mayor Breed has shared some of the progress the city has made over the last 90 days. There is still much work to do, but we are heartened by the progress, and committed to helping her achieve these goals.
Parklets at 9th and Irving will remain in place
Parklets were a (potentially literally) lifesaver during the pandemic, allowing people the opportunity to socialize and frequent their favorite small businesses in a safe manner.
Last month news came out that the parklets at 9th Avenue and Irving, put in place by Fresca restaurant and also used by Art’s Cafe, would be removed in order to accommodate a loading zone. Luckily, Supervisor Melgar intervened and the parklets will not be removed.
We hope the city will adopt simpler, more flexible rules for allowing parklets to stay up throughout the city, so that supervisorial intervention is not needed to keep these popular structures up.
Why aren’t people riding Bart? They don’t feel safe
The results of a 1,000 person survey conducted by the Bay Area Council confirmed what any one of us know from riding BART: it is, unfortunately, a dirty and scary experience, and one that most people engage in with some trepidation.
The survey found that only 17% of respondants said they feel safe on the trains, and only 16% described the trains as clean. Safety and cleanliness, not increased remote-work patterns, are what has driven down BART ridership. An astounding 79% of riders on BART said they would feel more comfortable if a uniformed officer was present.
To increase ridership on BART, we need to focus on basics: safety and cleanliness. Only then can we save this critical system.
School district parent group accused of anti-Chinese bias
At last Tuesday's Board of Education board meeting, Board President Kevine Boggess confoundingly agendized a vote on an illegal and racially discriminatory slate of new parents for the important Parents Advisory Council. The school district's own counsel had serious reservations with the selection process and considered such to be illegal due to potential Education Code and Brown Act violations.
How bad was this selection process? Former district-funded PAC Coordinator denied an applicant because, "we received more applicants from our Chinese community than could be accommodated." There were 10 open seats and not even that many applicants. Smells like a racial quota written in an email.
Thankfully GrowSF endorsed board Commissioner Lainie Motamedi put forth a motion to table such a slate and instead actioned Superintendent Matt Wayne to ask the California Department of Education for advice as to best practices to work with parent councils. Six commissioners signed on.
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