SF Parents PAC questionnaire

I just received this questionnaire from a new group called the San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee. Please let me know if any of you have any thoughts on it, or suggested responses to any of the questions. I'm particularly interested in any knowledge or experience anyone here may have about some of the specifics mentioned in the questionnaire, namely:

-the SFUSD's "Strategic Plan"
-Special Education in the district, and how SFUSD handles high- and low-achieving students
-what policies or approaches are currently followed with regard to middle schools and their students
-the new student assignment system

  If you have any recommendations for me, please be sure to take the goals expressed in my ballot statement (see below) into consideration, as I obviously should avoid advocating anything that would contradict what will appear under my name in the voter handbook.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Board of Education Candidate Questionnaire 2010

San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee

We appreciate your time and thoroughness with these answers and will be posting them online for voters to educate themselves on your views and experience. Please return this questionnaire by September 1 to sfparentpac@gmail.com.

Candidate Information
Candidate Name:

Email Address:


Mailing Address:

Web Address:

For questions that indicate a written response, please answer in 100 words or less. If desired, you may choose two questions to answer at greater length.

Qualifications and Involvement
Why are you running for Board of Education and what sets you apart from other candidates?
What is your experience with SFUSD? (Have you been a student, parent, educator, and/or advocate?) Please explain.
Do you think SFUSD’s Strategic Plan and its implementation is on target? Why or why not?

Student Achievement
There is a wide range of student achievement and needs in our school district. How would you allocate resources to best serve all students? Provide an example of how current practices are working or not working.
How could SFUSD better serve its higher achieving students? What about its lowest achieving students?
Should the District goal be to get all students ready for college? Why or why not?
Do you think we are serving our Special Education students well? Why or why not?
What are the advantages and/or disadvantages to the school district to have charter schools? Should the School District consider increasing the number of charter schools?
How could SFUSD better serve its Middle School students?
Principals play a critical role in a school’s success. How can SFUSD attract, retain and develop the best school leaders?
What should we do to increase involvement of all parents in their child’s education?

Student Enrollment
SFUSD will begin implementing a redesigned student assignment system this fall after many months of hearing from experts and the community. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the new system?
What criteria will you use to judge if this system is meeting its stated objectives?
In the discussions regarding the new student assignment system, many people said the neighborhood versus choice wouldn’t matter if ALL schools were "quality". How do we get to a place where every school is a quality option for any family?
Should SFUSD have competitive entry schools, such as Lowell and School of the Arts? Why or why not?
What should the District be doing to keep all families in the City and in public schools?

Budget and Finance
California public schools have been facing severe funding cuts, resulting in $113M cuts for SFUSD over the next two years. How would you suggest SFUSD restructure and reform existing resources to serve our students more effectively? What do you think is the best approach to the budget process?
What ways would you suggest to increase revenue?
When we are able to fill back in the holes of the current cuts, what should our next funding priorities be?

Role of the Board
Who do you believe are the most important stakeholders to shape the direction of the school district? How would you engage those stakeholders to ensure they have a strong voice in the Board of Education decision-making process?
What is the role of a School Board member versus the Superintendent?
What role should the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors have in the school district, if any?
How do you plan to strengthen the partnership between the City and SFUSD?

What should the role of parents be in our school district?

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

The SF Parent PAC may contact you for an interview following its receipt of this questionnaire.

Dear Starchild;

Before answering any questions from the: San Francisco Parent Political Action
Committee I would contact them- and I do hope they did give you full contact
information like name address telephone and contact person and ask them who
they are who their members are how many how long in existence regularly
scheduled meetings where held and so on....

It does help to ask about their bona fides before answering their questions.
Afterall, turn about is fair play... And if you can only communicate with them
through their e-mail ... welll now...

As the quote goes from Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid: Who are those

Ron Getty


  Yes, they did give me their contact info. Here is the cover letter that accompanied the attachment I copied below:

Dear Starchild,

Congratulations on your candidacacy for the Board of Education and your willingness to serve the students of SFUSD.

A number of parents have recently formed a new group called "The San Francisco Parent Political Action Committee". We plan to put together a parent-backed slate for the Board of Education race this November. We have filed our paperwork and are beginning our work to decide who parents will endorse this fall. We hope you will take the time to fill out this questionnaire to aid in our decisions. We plan to post each candidate's answers online so all parents will have access to the information which will inform their vote.

Our Mission Statement is:
"We are San Francisco parents. We advocate for:
- a high quality public education for all children in every neighborhood;
- enriching after-school, out-of-school and summer opportunities that support working families' needs; and
- healthy, safe and vibrant communities city-wide.
We will support candidates and policies which will work to make these goals a reality."

Please return your completed questionnaire to sfparentpac@... by September 1, 2010. We may ask you for an interview after receiving the questionnaire. If you have any questions please let me know via email or phone 415/260-8572.

Good luck with your campaign.

Best regards,
Michelle Parker
Sherman Elementary parent of 3

  They didn't list a website, and I have no idea who their members are, if/where they meet, etc. If they are a fairly new group as they say, it's quite possible they haven't yet reached that level of organization. I don't mind answering their questions without knowing some of these things. It would be nice to know what their ideological biases are, if they know themselves, but making such an inquiry might seem impolite.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))