Leadership Should Reflect the People They Are Serving
I strongly believe that the leadership of any organization should reflect the people it serves. We haven’t elected a teacher to the Board of Education since 2004. As a credentialed educator, I think it is imperative that there is educator voice at every level of influence. There is no Asian-American male candidate or current Board Commissioner. There are no gay Commissioners. My parents are both immigrants, and struggled to find the balance of work and family. My single mother now raises my younger high school sibling in government-subsidized housing. My background is similar to that of many of the families our school district serves, yet I don’t see these experiences or identities reflected in our leadership. I believe the Board can only be more informed and more effective with a diversity in experience and perspective.
Context is Critical
San Francisco Unified School District has a strong vision of equity and excellence, but a strong vision alone is not what is going to get all our students to be successful. Our Board lacks context of what it is like to be on the ground in schools. As elected leaders, our Board makes extremely important decisions that impact everyday teaching and learning in San Francisco. I want to ensure that the Board is as proximal to our work as possible so that they aren’t making decisions that are solely politically motivated, lacking in the knowledge needed for true progress, or looking at data around school and student success without any context to hold themselves and the District accountable.
Children’s Needs Come First
The conversation and strategy in SFUSD should always be about student success. When it comes to providing the best possible education for our students, we must set aside politics and ideologies to ensure our work stays student-centered. It is not, and should never be, about the adults in the boardroom and how they feel that day. Our students and schools should not be used as a means to an end, or to push political agendas forward. Schools are not a launching pad for political office. Our students deserve better. If we truly want to raise educator’s profiles and elevate the teaching profession, we must elect leaders who not only care deeply about the work of SFUSD, but seek and demand results. I believe an informed Board of Education is only achieved when educators who have taught and worked in schools have a seat at the table.