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RandySF

(61,784 posts)
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 04:16 AM Jul 2012

Beaten down by the SF Unified School District.

We gave it one more shot before moving our son to private school. Before finally pulling the trigger and withdrawing him from the District, we tried to get him into a public school whose administrators organized effective anti-bullying measures. But they are full and the district will not make room for one more student trying to get away from the kids who made his kindergarden year less than fun. We listened to nine months of promises from our principal that safety was her top priority and believed her because we did not want to believe we made a mistake choosing to send him to our neighborhood school (we have school choice in San Francisco). We listened to the PTA president who promised us he was pushing for change by recruiting good families. We listened to parents whose kids were apparently not experiencing the same problems (we finally learned that this year's group of kindergartners was difficult. One even threatened a teacher).

We listened to public school advocates who urged us to keep fighting. We listened to the Parent Voice office who told us they were on our side. We endured the placement counselor who refused to even give us her name. And in one last attempt to avoid the burden of private school, we placed his name in the waiting pool for the closest school that is not ruled by bullies. Today we learned he was not still not allowed in.

We give up. We know when we've been beaten. We know there are outstanding teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District. We know there are excellent principals, too. But if you are a parent that finds yourself in a difficult situation, you are on your own. Our son may be one of 58,000 kids in school throughout the city, but he is the only child we have. So we are going to have to use the well-worn cliche that we going to do what's best for him. But let no one ever say that we turned ur backs on what we believe. San Francisco Public Schools turned their backs on us.

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pnwmom

(109,069 posts)
1. RandySF, you are right not to sacrifice your child to the cause.
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 05:17 AM
Jul 2012

He's only going to be a little kid once, and it's bad enough that he's had to go through a kindergarten year like this. I'm glad you have the resources to give him another option, and I wish your whole family the best.

I know that you will continue to support the public schools, just as I do. But not to the point of allowing harm to our children that we could prevent.

RandySF

(61,784 posts)
7. We got lucky.
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 02:35 PM
Jul 2012

They met our son and liked him so much they granted a 2/3 scholarship. Otherwise, he would not be able to go.

 

nikto

(3,284 posts)
2. The Administration is probably obsessed with test scores and CYA over all other concerns
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 05:37 AM
Jul 2012

In too many districts, administrations do not support teachers in many disciplinary matters,
and actually empower bullying kids by dis-empowering teachers right in front of students.

These days, the bullies know teachers are weakened (i.e. lack support from administration & district, while lambasted in local media with sensationalist stories of teacher abuse against kids, etc). This was and is the strategy used in LA City Schools
to crush the teachers' Union and permanently lower teacher pay and benefits for the future.

In this process, teachers are often hung out to dry in disciplinary matters by their own administrations.

And, as you would expect, the nastier kids take full advantage.

In some schools, it's getting to be Lord Of The Flies in all but the
most highly academic classes.

I retired this year, so I am a survivor.

But I feel for those who have to suffer in the hell caused by
the NCLB/Test Score Obsession/Race to The Top/Privatization pressures and realities.

What is being done to US Public Education presently is a CRIME of
the highest order.

In time we will all see the destruction willfully brought on by
the whole Public School Privatization Movement.

lindysalsagal

(21,008 posts)
3. "But- Everyone knows those teachers are wasting your money! Stick it to the teachers!
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 07:29 AM
Jul 2012

Get your pitchforks sharpened! Light the torches! Those teachers are robbing us blind!!"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is exactly what the republican are counting on: America was always strong because our democracy demanded democratic schools.

What better way for the rich to protect what's theirs than to tear apart the schools and create a U.K. 2 class system? If daddy's rich, and can buy you a good education, you already have a leg up on the poor, and you're only 7 years old.

This is where the GOP wants us to go: "I got min, screw you!"

Our schools are the basis for our representative government. This is not a luxury or an election year topic. These are YOUR kids, and a good public school education is the greatest perk americans used to have.

http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/2012/03/san-francisco-attacks-tenure-to-save.html

RandySF

(61,784 posts)
5. In our case, the teacher did everything she could.
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 12:37 PM
Jul 2012

While there were some incidents in class, the worst of it always happened at recess. And the principal constantly dragged her feet. After that, the district bureaucracy tried to victimize us as well.

lindysalsagal

(21,008 posts)
6. I hope you know I was saying outloud what many taxpayers think, that education
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 12:54 PM
Jul 2012

is just too expensive.

The thing is, we got 2 wars for no financial investment, so we think education will be cheap. You're finding out who pays when education comes on the cheap: THe children.

The principal is beholden to the board of ed, and they have to get re-elected, and people think it should be cheap. If you follow that link you'll see the entire system is a mess: Tenure and seniority are in a whirlwind with school cuts tearing the schools apart.

When schools are in that much trouble, one kid complaining of bullying just doesn't seem to matter much: They don't know who's going to be teaching in a month.

When you de-stabilize schools with financial hardships, children fall through the cracks. If parents really want us to care for their kids as parents would, you have to keep the schools on an even keel, and maintain continuity. Make small changes very carefully, and plan for the needs of the children involved.

Instead, schools are getting the floors pulled out from under them, and kids are going to pay the price, while the taxpayers congratulate themselves for winning a political tax battle.

Kids are expensive in every way. There's no changing that.

Your private school will be able to expel anyone who bullies your child: That's something the public schools can't do. I hope it works out for you and your child.

pnwmom

(109,069 posts)
9. This doesn't mean the poster will stop supporting public schools.
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 02:52 PM
Jul 2012

He's just not going to sacrifice a real live 6 year old child on the altar of his ideals. He's already had to watch this boy go through a year of bullying, with no end in sight. In finding a way out for his son, he's being the best father he can.

Everyone should have parents like this.

mbperrin

(7,672 posts)
4. A placement counselor who wouldn't give her name?
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 10:04 AM
Jul 2012

Says it all right there.

Whoever that is needs to be fired on the spot. Ridiculous, as is all the rest of it, because bullying is simply not that difficult to stop if there is a coordinated effort between teachers and administrators.

What a shame that SF is apparently filled with gutless wonders for admins.

Reader Rabbit

(2,625 posts)
10. This makes me very sad.
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 07:06 PM
Jul 2012

As a teacher, I've had several experiences with administrators who won't take steps to curb bullying—often in spite of yearly anti-bullying campaigns! For the life of me, I cannot understand what they're thinking or what their motivations are. We even had one assistant principal who tried to write up a teacher for documenting the chronic bullying one of her SPED kids was going through. It was obscene.

One year we had a fantastic principal who expelled a chronic bully. His parents went straight to the district office and complained, and they overrode the principal and plopped the kid right back down at our school. The parents of one of his primary victims then hired a lawyer and threatened to sue the school district. All-of-a-sudden, district administrators were fine with the bully being expelled. Go figure!

RobertAustin

(23 posts)
11. A New Way to Fix Education
Fri Jul 27, 2012, 07:25 PM
Jul 2012

I don't blame RandySF for pulling his son out -- but I hope he, and everyone, will still help save public education for everyone else. The key missing from previous reform efforts, and why they have not worked, was an incorrect focus. The real problem is bullying -- and not just of students, but also of teachers, by overpaid, abusive, administrators.

We have a solution -- a nationwide one -- the C.A.P. Proposal. "C.A.P." stands for "Cut Administrators' Pay." We're petitioning Congress. Please join us.

To find the petition, which explains itself, simply google "education reform petition Congress cut administrators' pay" -- or follow this link: I don't blame RandySF for pulling his son out -- but I hope he, and everyone, will still help save public education for everyone else. The key missing from previous reform efforts, and why they have not worked, was an incorrect focus. The real problem is bullying -- and not just of students, but also of teachers, by overpaid, abusive, administrators.

We have a solution -- a nationwide one -- the C.A.P. Proposal. "C.A.P." stands for "Cut Administrators' Pay." We're petitioning Congress. Please join us.

To find the petition on change.org, which explains itself, simply google "education reform petition Congress cut administrators' pay" -- or follow this link: http://www.change.org/petitions/the-c-a-p-education-reform-proposal-save-america-s-schools-by-cutting-administrators-pay-with-federal-legislation

If you agree this is a good idea, please sign the this petition, and then spread the word to everyone you know. We can FIX this mess!

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