Kim-Shree Maufas School Board questionnaire

Kim-Shree Maufas School Board questionnaire

Postby Jeff_W on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:38 pm

Candidate Questionnaire for

San Francisco Board of Education

Name: Kim-Shree Maufas

1) Why are you running for The Board of Education in the City and County of San Francisco?


I am running for Re-Election to the Board of Education because I want to 1) Continue embedding the Social Justice policies I've help to created, 2) Support empowering strong school sites by creating Master Principal Initiative and 3) directly addressing the remediation coursework that our students need at the Community and College/University level, which I believe can be accomplished by creating life-long learners with thorough reading preparation for all subject matter beginning at our Childcare Development Centers through High School.

2) What is your background in Public Education?

My background in public education started as a Los Angeles Unified School District teaching assistant on special assignment at Hollygrove Childrens Home Society/Orphanage (for mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused children-ages: 0-17yrs) from 1986-1998; in San Francisco, I was one of the first Co-Hort Members of the Parent Liaison Paraprofessional created to support/foster school site-parent relationships located at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School in 2002; I was also the PTSA President at Thurgood Marshall from 2002-2003; a Inaugural Member of the Parent Advisory Council from 2003-2005; then in 2006, I ran for the SFUSD Board of Education (successfully).


3) If elected to this position, what are your top three priorities for improving public education in the City and County of San Francisco?

I want to 1) Continue embedding the Social Justice policies I've help to created, 2) Support empowering strong school sites by creating Master Principal Initiative and 3) directly addressing the remediation coursework that our students need at the Community and College/University level, which I believe can be accomplished by creating life-long learners with thorough reading preparation for all subject matter beginning at our Childcare Development Centers through High School.

4) What is your strategy for reducing, or completely closing the learning gap between students of different ethnicities and income levels?

I believe through the newest SFUSD initiatives that I have co-authored, e.g. the Restorative Justice Initiative is going to become a reality for bringing fairness to all children & staff with careful implementation that doesn’t burden stakeholders but respects them, by strongly supporting Ethnic Studies for SFUSD High Schoolers which has been brought forward in partnership with SF State University (as well as ensuring that it’s funded) – additionally it was just authorized by UC as a “G” elective requirement, by passing a multi-year balanced Budgets that cuts far from classrooms and site staff focusing on saving jobs, by redesigning the Student Assignment System to restore diversity, and backing a comprehensive implementation plan to make "A-G" Course requirements viable for all of our graduates to be UC/CSU eligible. These are the things that make school interesting and foster a desire to learn more because all of our students will have access. I also earnestly matching our students with mentors and co-horts of students that work closely with teacher-leaders so that as they grow and learn, they can also find guidance and support systems more easily. These are the policies and programs that will close the achievement/opportunity gap and the economic gap that exists here in San Francisco.

5) Do you believe Teacher and Principal Retention is important for student achievement? If so, what will you do to increase the retention of Teachers and Principals in the San Francisco Unified School District, should you be elected to the San Francisco Board of Education?

Yes, I know that consistency of solid teachers and principals at our sites reassure our students, families, and other site-staff that they will have an opportunity to grown together into a cohesive community that can gain trust, understand each other’s nuances, methods of practice. I truly believe in our Proposition A that supports Teacher Recruitment and Retention, which supports newer teachers so that they don’t become burnt out in first 2 years in the profession by providing a mentoring “Master Teacher” to help them adjust to the rigors of teaching in an urban setting, with children that have life challenges (regardless of race or socio-economic status). Due to the economic crisis being experienced by the SFUSD and the State of California, this program as negotiated with our Union partners has been temporarily suspended but is still being cultivated. If elected, I’d like to bring forward a mentoring for Principals like a “Master Principal” Program to support newer principals and the sharing of ideas/practices that work successfully at school sites and also encourage Principals to share ideas that haven’t worked for their school sites. I believe these programs supports and respects well-seasoned Teachers & Principals and helps retains newer Teachers & Principals.

6) Special Education in public schools is essential for students with disabilities to achieve academically. However, most often the program is underfunded, or there is an unwillingness to make the reasonable accommodations needed for the students with disabilities to succeed. What plans do you have to mitigate this inequity in San Francisco’s public schools should you be elected to the San Francisco Board of Education?

This is one of SFUSD’s weakest areas, serving our students with disabilities so that they can learn and thrive academically, in a consistent fashion. Since my tenure on the Board, we have had a transition of 4 Executive level staff because we want the best for our children with special needs, so if re-elected I plan on supporting our newest Special Education Executive Director and new addition to the Legal Department (just began this past month) in reviewing our poor past practices for our Special Ed students and their families so that we can begin to close the large gaps in providing consistent basic service obligations that we have not been able to do for decades in a cohesive manner. An economic downturn is no excuse to how poorly SFUSD has done in this area as it was poorly run when the economy was particularly great in San Francisco. And the depth of the issues within our Special Education Department aren’t truly known or understood because the will to make change isn’t present on the Board but I believe that time of transition is occurring now.



7) The San Francisco Unified School District in recent years has developed policy to ensure a safe environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender students in San Francisco’s public schools. Can you summarize your understanding of these policy objectives?

What are your plans regarding this policy should you be elected to the San Francisco Board of Education?

My plans if re-elected are to support the policy as I believe it is necessary to affect the changes in the school district that we desire. To summarize the policy’s objectives: that the Superintendent of schools a the request of the Board create a sub-committee of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) and that the committee sit on the SFUSD Safe School Task Force and report annually to the SFUSD/City & County of SF Select Committee. Also that the Board of Ed, with Community support offer LGBT sensitivity trainings through the Student Support Services Department every year via professional development and that LGBT services providers working with SFUSD school sites are incorporated into each school sites Balanced Scorecard Reports and School Safety Plans; via our office of Parent Relations – develop a comprehensive packet that prepares parents of LGBT discussion topics and school-wide support of LGBT students through a zero-tolerance policy of hate-speech and violence/harassment of any kind toward LGBTQQ students and further that all incidents are tracked and reported as based on AB 537 (passed in ) and finally that SFUSD fund a .5 FTE staff person, website, and curriculum that may provide up to 5 relevant G elective graduation requirements which would be acceptable to UC/CSU.


8) What role if any, do you believe Charter Schools play in the public educational system of the United States?

I, vehemently, do not support the creation of charter schools as attempts to privatize public education. I do not support vouchers or any other proposals to privatize public education. I strongly support our small schools initiative and the breaking up of large comprehensive schools in to smaller academies within a school. I have worked very hard to increase my understanding of various small schools programs from all over the country and their respective philosophies. I am, also, aware of the efforts of conservative forces to undercut public education with such programs as vouchers, for-profit charters, No child left behind and high stakes testing. I believe that SF has had some very successful charters that have affectively served kids who had either dropped out, were not receiving and/or denied the school services that they needed to be successful in school (such as Gateway or KIPP Schools). I also know how the district in the past has forced school communities down the “charter” path because of the unwillingness to listen to the needs of that school’s community to offer the kind of education opportunities the parents had wanted for their children. I understand that educators and other school workers within current district charters have little or no employee protections. I believe this should be changed and I will work to make that happen. All school workers in all places receiving public funds should have the benefit of union representation. I think this is an important model to set here in SF. Charters schools are public schools; they receive public funds, public buildings and our public school children. Their workers should be treated with respect and have the benefits and protection of a union. And our children deserve to be in schools that have people working with them who have some job security and good working conditions.

9) What is your position regarding the privatization of public education?

Please refer to previous answer for question #8 and know that I’m not in favor of it. Additionally, I strongly caution against any small incremental steps that move towards it using vouchers, stipends, etc.

10) Do you favor the use of Project Labor Agreements in the San Francisco Unified School District?

Yes
Jeff_W
 
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