The Coleman Update • May 27, 2015  

A weekly update on issues, policies and actions affecting children, youth and families in San Francisco.



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Coleman is hiring a Lead Organizer and a Deputy Director! Please spread the word about these exciting opportunities to join the Coleman team. Click here to download the job announcements. 


Volunteer this Saturday to help build momentum in our communities to change Prop 13! 

What: Volunteer to support Prop 13 Voter Education  

When: Saturday, May 30, 10-2pm

Where: Filipino Community Center, 4681 Mission Street @ Persia

In 1978, Prop 13 froze property tax levels which had an immediate and devastating impact on funding for California public education and other services.  While a benefit to homeowners, the real giveaway was to big corporate landlords who, since passage of Prop 13, have gotten out of paying their fair share in property taxes!

The Make It Fair campaign is working on building support for "commercial property tax reform", which would still protect homeowners, but would make sure that big companies are contributing to our schools and other important services.  Commercial property tax reform would bring in $9 billion to the state of California and $690 million to San Francisco!

On Saturday May 30th, Coleman staff and members (as part of SF Rising and CA Calls) will be hitting the streets, talking to voters and building support for this important issue.  Will you join us? To RSVP for the 30th and/or to get on a list to be informed about future volunteer opportunities, email Chelsea

p.s. If you haven't already, sign Sign the Make it Fair campaign petition today!  To add your organization's name to the list of endorsees, visit the campaign website. For more information about the Make It Fair campaign in San Francisco, contact SF Rising Coordinator Mario Yedidia.


BOE passes African American Student Achievement Resolution

Last night the Board of Education unanimously passed a Resolution “In Support of the Achievement and Success of All African American Students in the San Francisco Unified School District” sponsored by Commissioners Shamann Walton, Matt Haney, and Emily Murase. The adoption of this resolution is an important step in assuring our African American students, educators, and families get the prioritized attention and resources they deserve in order to thrive in this city. 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 100The Resolution lays out the various challenges that African American students face in SFUSD and the ways the district has fallen short in meeting the needs of African American students and closing the racial achievement gap. It also reemphasizes the district’s commitment to improving outcomes and expanding opportunities for African American students. It states that “African American achievement and African American student access to high quality academic opportunities and socioemotional supports will serve as key guiding criteria in all decisions the Board of Education makes involving allocation of physical, financial, and human capital.” It also commits to and details a number of new tools, resources, and structures to support African American student achievement, including new accountability and transparency mechanisms, monitoring protocols, professional development trainings, program and curricula development/expansion, and a reexamination of the school assignment process, among other reforms.

Coleman staff met with SFUSD Special Assistant for African American Achievement and Leadership Landon Dickey to inform development of the Resolution and were pleased to see several of our recommendations incorporated, including a commitment to increased African American teacher recruitment and additional authority for the African American Community Council to hold the district accountable to its commitments. Click here to read the full Resolution.

Coleman is grateful to Commissioners Walton, Murase, and Haney for making the urgent needs of our struggling African American students a top priority for the SFUSD and for all of the members of the Board of Education for voting to pass the Resolution.


Parent Advisory Council presents LCAP findings to SF BOE

Also at last night’s meeting, the Parent Advisory Council presented highlights from Our Schools Our Voices: Mapping the Way to Success, a report on findings and considerations from community conversations about the SFUSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).  

Coleman is a member of the Parent Advisory Council and, for more than a year now, we have been carrying out LCAP educational workshops for parents and helping to coordinate community conversations and forums to engage parents and other community members to inform the development of the SFUSD LCAP. We are also represented on the SFUSD LCAP taskforce, the group that created the educational presentation used to solicit feedback at the community conversations.

Through all of these community conversations, the Parent Advisory Council identified several goals and measures to be strengthened or incorporated into SFUSD’s revised LCAP for 2015-16. These include:

1. Include a specific goal for improving the rate of reclassification as “Fluent English Proficient” for English Learners whose primary language is Spanish.

2. Include goals and measures for youth in foster care.

3. Strengthen goals for further reducing suspensions of African American and Latino students.

4. Include goals related to measuring and reducing out-of-class referrals and in-house suspensions (overall and for African American and Latino students).

5. Add goals and measures for achievement and progress among elementary and middle school students, including those that highlight social-emotional skills development.

6. Include goals and measures related to implementing the district’s Family Engagement Plan and Family Engagement standards.

We also identified several actions, services and supports related to achieving current LCAP goals and measures, to be articulated in the revised LCAP for 2015-2016:

1. How centrally-allocated resources, including staff positions, are being increased to support teachers and students - in particular student populations prioritized by LCFF funding and SFUSD strategic initiatives.

2. How these supports are being allocated, coordinated and prioritized to serve high-needs students – including those with needs for mental health services, suffering from trauma, receiving Special Education services and/or with behavioral challenges.

3. Strategies being implemented to increase English language proficiency among Spanish speaking English Learners, in particular, to close the gap in their reclassification as Fluent English Proficient.

4. Strategies being implemented to increase kindergarten readiness for children in SFUSD PreK programs.

5. Specific activities to engage and support families, including at least three family-centered workshops to be provided at school sites each year.

Click here to read the PAC’s full report on findings and considerations from community conversations about the SFUSD LCAP.


New SFUSD Language Pathways + new SOTA restrictions to expand access for SF-based students. 

Two other noteworthy education equity policies passed by the Board of Education last night include the "Creating Arabic and Vietnamese World Language Pathways in SFUSD" Resolution sponsored by Commissioners Fewer, Haney, and Walton and the In support of Access, Diversity and Equity in the Arts at Asawa School of the Arts and Throughout SFUSD” Resolution sponsored by Commissioners Norton and Haney.

The Language pathways Resolution, reflecting growing numbers of Arabic- and Vietnamese-speaking students in the district, will pave the way for the district to create Arabic and Vietnamese World Language Pathways, adding the languages to the list of nearly a dozen others already taught in classrooms through multilingual programs. World-language pathways are designed for students to develop competency in a second language in addition to becoming fully proficient in English. The target language is taught from 30 to 60 minutes a day, three to five days a week in elementary, middle and high schools.

Data highlighted in the resolution indicates Vietnamese and Arabic families often face prejudice or anxiety in school. A 2006 study conducted by the Vietnamese Youth Development Center revealed that Vietnamese youth and families identified school as the second most common source of stress. Additionally, a 2012 survey by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center indicated that 71 percent of students said they spent "no time" that year learning about Arab people, history or culture.  The resolution calls for the district to consider placing the new language pathways at schools with the highest concentration of Arabic and Vietnamese speakers while not encouraging segregation within schools.

The Asawa School of the Arts Resolution will make it harder for out-of-town students to attend the premier arts school and will expand opportunities for SF students to attend.   The highly competitive Asawa School is predominantly white and Asian, with a much lower percentage of English learners and low-income students than other schools across the district. It currently has a student body with nearly 14% out-of-towners – 84 slots that will now be available for SF kids. The Resolution also emphasizes the need to offer more music and art opportunities in SFUSD elementary and middle schools.   


Tell Your Senator to End Solitary Confinement of Youth

Earlier this year, Senator Mark Leno introduced SB 124 to prevent and limit the use of solitary confinement in state and county juvenile lock-ups across California.  The bill is slowly making it’s way through the Senate and will be voted on any day. The Ella Baker Center, along with the Youth Justice Coalition and the Children’s Defense Fund California have created a petition to demonstrate community support for this legislation. Please take a few minutes to email your Senator and let them know that you support SB 124 and an end to youth solitary confinement! Click here to sign the petition.  


 In the news:

Black women’s lives matter, too, say the women behind the iconic hashtag, Washington Post 5/19/15

Landmark lawsuit filed in California to make trauma-informed practices mandatory for all public schools, Social Justice Solutions 5/19/15

#SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality against Black Women, a report by the African American Policy Forum 5/20/15

Under Banner of 'Black Women and Girls Matter,' Wave of Protests to Sweep Country, Common Dreams 5/20/15

Campos: Limited land in the Mission – save it for affordable or luxury?, SF Examiner 5/20/15

SF announces nearly $700M for public schools, children’s programs, SF Examiner 5/21/15

Social Services: Listen to People who have experienced Poverty, 5/22/15

Report Urges more Attention to English Learners in LCAP's, Edsource 5/25/15

In this issue: 


Volunteer to help build momentum to change Prop 13. 

BOE passes Af Am student Achievement Resolution

PAC LCAP Report to BOE

Language Pathways Resolution + SOTA Resolution

Tell Your Senator to End Solitary Confinement for Youth

Sat 5/30: Forum on Law Enforcement Bias

6/2: Help Save the Mission

In the News

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Coleman Parent leaders at the Coleman Community Center getting an update about Lau Plan implementation from SFUSD staff.


  Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth  

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