Opinion > Commentary

San Francisco’s new dress code removes causes of needless conflict


Matt Haney

Matt Haney

With all the challenges that we face in getting students to feel welcomed, comfortable and safe at school, why we would we set up new barriers that push some students away, particularly students of color? In a city known for our eclectic style and love for our sports teams, where residents struggle to stay here, why are we creating blanket bans and punishing students for clothing that many of us use regularly to express our identity and local pride?

These are some of the questions that the San Francisco Board of Education considered this week when we voted unanimously to update and modernize our student dress code policies by eliminating outdated aspects of our dress code and lifting a district-wide prohibition on hats and head coverings.

With the passage of the district’s new policy, students’ rights to wear a hat outdoors and for religious reasons will be protected, and school communities will have the opportunity to develop their own dress standards by taking into consideration the voices of students, parents and staff.

Teachers will no longer have to chase students around the hallways enforcing a hat ban simply because it is district policy, and we will ensure that students aren’t suspended or sent home for dress code violations.

Creating schools where students feel welcome and connected, where they can safely express their identity, is not a minor issue, particularly for our most vulnerable students.

Restrictions on hats and head coverings deserve special attention. There is a broad range of reasons that students may want to cover their heads, some religious, some cultural, some economic and some deeply personal.

A middle school student told me about how there are some days, such as when she had been unable to get her hair cut, that she would either skip school to avoid embarrassment or cover her head and risk punishment. A high school student recounted to me how he often felt that his school only noticed him when he did something wrong, and the first thing he’d hear from school staff when he walked in the doors was “Take your hat off.”

Despite the hat ban, hats are still common in many schools, often leading to consequences such as referrals, detentions, suspension, or incidents of “defiance” that take time away from both teachers and students. We should ask whether it is worth spending the precious time of teachers and school authorities on enforcing minor rules that may have no clear relationship to the school’s educational mission, while often keeping students out of class and pushing them further away.

Some see hat bans as related to teaching students professionalism and respect. Even if it is unfair, we live in a world where people who wear hats, particularly baseball hats, may be judged as threatening or unprofessional in some contexts. Others have brought up a perceived relationship between hats and gang activity.

These are questions that should be considered by school communities in deciding what works best for them. In schools with gang problems, administrators might want to keep hats of certain colors out. Teachers might also want to set specific rules for their classrooms. Still, we should reflect on the degree to which schools may be reinforcing societal double standards that treat young people, particularly young people of color, differently from others.

Lifting a ban on hats is not going to solve the deep challenges facing our public school system. On its own, this policy change won’t close the racial opportunity gap, or bring more funding to the schools. But what it can do is help teachers and students to focus on what matters most: fostering the respect, understanding, support and self-expression that all students need to be successful.

Matt Haney is a commissioner on the Board of Education in the San Francisco Unified School District. He is also a fellow and a lecturer at the Stanford Design School (d.school) and the former executive director of the UC Student Association.

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34 Responses to “San Francisco’s new dress code removes causes of needless conflict”

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  1. don on May 16, 2014 at 7:10 am05/16/2014 7:10 am

    • 000

    Floyd,Why do you keep making the same point? Your point of view has been noted…repeatedly.

    Replies

    • Floyd Thursby on May 16, 2014 at 11:28 am05/16/2014 11:28 am

      • 000

      Because Slammy made the claim that all groups are learning enhanced by being in school together equally and the point isn’t for one group to learn from another, and that’s ridiculous. That would get us out of all these problems, if groups who were struggling took note that there is a group that does much better by dedicating extensive time and effort, focusing more in class, etc. The whole point of integration in the beginning was that it would equalize opportunity and create a situation where poor students learned by being with good students. If you take a school like Denman or Visitacion Valley ES or MS, or MLK, or thousands of others in California, you have Asians thriving right next to equal or higher income white, Latino and African American children. Obviously if the latter 3 groups emulated the former, the State would improve, test scores would improve, our economy would improve, fewer people would be in poverty or in prison or homeless. And it wouldn’t cost a penny of taxpayer money, it’s simply a matter of effort. It’s the closest thing to a magic pill we’ve got and Slammy blew it off. That kind of thinking holds us back.I may have made the point before, but Slammy is new, and Slammy simply doesn’t get it.

      • Slammy on May 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm05/16/2014 8:00 pm

        • 000

        Floyd, you and I have very different views. Many of your statements are racist. Schools should bring out the best in all of our children by increasing their access to opportunity and success and challenging them to share their individual talents and skills with the world. I believe this goal is best served in a diverse environment where kids are safe, secure, and respected. I do not believe it ever serves education of individual children to get into a “my stereotype is better than your stereotype” debate.

        Different people have different values. Personally, I value learning and developing caring independence over conformity. I don’t care what kids wear. I encourage young people to enjoy the brief time in life in which they don’t have to dress for work because the only job young kids should have is learning.

        • FloydThursby on May 17, 2014 at 2:27 am05/17/2014 2:27 am

          • 000

          Slammy, I agree kids should focus on learning, but in the real world, we have many kids who watch TV and play games 40+ hours a week and study under 6. To me, any parent who allows this is negligent. Sure, it is a stereotype. Sure some Asians study little, and some of all races study a lot, but those who study long hours do best in life. The book ‘Triple Package’ demonstrates this, Nigerians, Cubans, Persians, Lebanese, as well as Asians and many others. It doesn’t lead to conformity to study long hours, it generally leads to more freedom and diverse points of view, independence, whereas few hours studied generally leads to conformity to a mediocre status quo, working a minimum wage job at Walmart or McDonald’s. I respect the rebellious artist but 19 out of 20 kids who are lazy in school don’t go there. It’s just not a reality. Any responsible parent gets their kids reading and working hard in school. The point is, if you come from a culture of people treating school not as a wonderful opportunity paid for by taxpayers which most of the world would feel very lucky to have, but instead as an oppression to rebel against, you have to rebel against your parents and imitate the kids who treat it as a great opportunity.

          Our poor whites, blacks, and Latinos don’t value the amazing opportunity education provides them. It takes immigrants to realize what an amazing thing it is that through hard work a child of minimum wage workers can go to UC Berkeley and start a company. It takes an open mind not to just blindly watch stupid TV and play games but really take advantage of the amazing opportunities which exist. It is a failure that some ethnicities study more than others, a failure of imagination, of appreciation. It shouldn’t happen. Every child should be taught to believe in his or herself and strive to be all they can be. So much human talent is wasted.

  2. Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 10:16 pm05/15/2014 10:16 pm

    • 000

    Slammy, it is clear that some ethnicities are better and more responsible parents than others. If one ethnic group is studying 3-4 times as much and getting into UCs at 3-4 times the rate, it’s not just a cultural difference to study less and stay poor, it’s a bad way to live that you have to change. It doesn’t enhance anyone to watch 40 hours a week of TV and study 5 and it enhances everyone to study 15-25 hours a week and send 33.5% of your ethnicity to UCs. This is just common sense. It’s not neutral. It’s one way. Teachers need to encourage this.

    Replies

    • Slammy on May 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm05/16/2014 8:03 pm

      • 000

      Ethnicities don’t study. People study.

      • Floyd Thursby on May 18, 2014 at 12:29 am05/18/2014 12:29 am

        • 000

        Ideally, but unfortunately many people don’t. If everyone did, we wouldn’t have these problems. Many are in a school where others study and get ahead, and they don’t, but they blame the school. This state of affairs is illogical and untenable. Ethnicities are worth noting merely because they illustrate the possible, what could be, in a way which is impossible just by looking at individuals. It shows how a different philosophical life outlook can work wonders and what we could do if we could convince some kids to be open minded enough to not blindly follow what their parents did but study based on who has a plan that works in terms of improving one’s life.

        IN terms of technology, machine processes, medicines, business strategy and organization, sports strategy, and so many other things, we see failed methods become obsolete. No one encourages basketball players to never shoot a jump shot, boxers to have equal left right balance or baseball pitchers to throw only fastballs. No one encourages using only rotary phones. So why can’t we throw failed parenting techniques, like letting kids study 6 hours and watch TV 40, into the same dustbin of history? Raising children is surely more important than phone use or sports strategies.

  3. Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm05/15/2014 10:14 pm

    • 000

    Slammy, you’re right that busing would be a solution. The elephant in the room is that there are upper middle class whites and Asians and some others in every part of San Francisco, and those who go to the West Side via the lottery are almost never anything but. Therefore in a neighborhood like Bernal Heights, more whites go private than to a public school in the neighborhood. Private schools cause most segregation, not neighborhoods. Hany spoke out about it but hasn’t done anything to fix it. You need to say that if you are middle class and white or Asian and in a diverse neighborhood, you have no choice but to go to the neighborhood school. There are tricks in the algorithm those in the know can manipulate. When they go west, they know they aren’t adding to diversity and are reducing it. Those who have the time and money and inclination to go West are upper middle class. Poor Latinos and AFrican Americans in public housing, all on the East Side, not a coincidence, can’t afford to drive across town. There should be buses, agreed, but no one should be told they can only go to a school across town.

    Replies

    • Hcat on May 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm05/15/2014 10:37 pm

      • 000

      How are you going to make them not go to a private school? If anything we need to enlarge the opportunities to be privately educated to include nearly all.

      • Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm05/15/2014 11:19 pm

        • 000

        There’s no way to, but I don’t think you should be considered liberal, progressive or even Democrat if you have your kids in private school. Nothing is more conservative than the idea that children should be segregated during childhood by parental income which means largely by race and class, it is a caste-based model. If Brown v. Topeka is liberal, private schools, including some in SF under 4% black and Latino combined (Hamlin, Burke), are definitely anti-integration and conservative and pro-segregation. The public schools in SF would be far more integrated without the private schools taking nearly half of whites out of the public school system. If we had vouchers and they were required to take anyone for the base level, maybe you’d be right, we could have private schools without segregation. However, another conservative thing about private schools is they pass down the religion of the parents and indoctrinate children into a religion. There’s no way to make anyonedo anything, but I do find it comical San Francisco is considered so liberal when if you conider willingness of whites to send their kids to schools with substantial black and Latino populations (over 20%, under half the state rate,), Arizona, Mississippi and Texas are all more liberal than San Francisco. There’s talking liberal and walking liberal and the former is what SF is good at, not the latter.

  4. Slammy on May 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm05/15/2014 7:02 pm

    • 000

    I agree that the current assignment system does little to aid diversity in our schools. But neighborhood schools would not help diversity either. I believe that diversity is worth while. Diversity is not about students emulating one ideal. It’s about a learning community that enhances every member.

    The fastest ways to improve diversity are to provide transportation and increase language learning options for non-ELL kids.

    Replies

    • Don on May 16, 2014 at 10:56 am05/16/2014 10:56 am

      • 000

      I don’t know where you live in California, Slammy, but neighborhood schools in SF WOULD increase diversity because the neighborhoods are far more diverse than the schools within them. Lack of diversity in SFUSD schools has not been remedied by current and former diversity-inspired assignment systems. While SFUSD schools are as homogeneous as ever, during the last two decades the neighborhoods have become far more diverse. Yet SFUSD BOE politicians cling to the notion of neighborhood schools as promoting de facto segregation, which might be the case elsewhere., but here in SF due to local demographics the opposite is true.

      That said, we are getting far off topic. The reason why this came up is because the author of the article is on record for noting the failure of the assignment system to create diversity. But instead of tackling an issue of great importance that has San Francisco families frantically running in every direction morning and afternoon if they haven’t already left SF altogether, what we get are more immaterial and childish efforts by a Board of Education to has defined itself as unwilling to take on the real education issues of our times and instead focuses on feel-good issues. This lack of substance is what drives people like Floyd to react as he does. It would be nice if just one person on our Board asked why, after $45M in SIG expenditures and a pile of local money, a majority of participating schools are doing no better or worse than average?

      • Slammy on May 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm05/16/2014 7:29 pm

        • 000

        Don, I live in SF in the North West where our neighborhood elementary school places every kid that puts it as 1st choice and even started this year with empty spots despite being a great school with API in 900’s for several years and active PTA with budget consistently above $100k. What’s missing? Transportation! We aren’t on the way to many parents’ jobs. Choice without transportation is a lie. Although our school is less diverse than the district or many schools, it would be much less diverse if it was a strictly a neighborhood school. I am not a fan of the lottery/parent torture system, but I do not believe that neighborhood schools are the answer either.

        I also agree that there are bigger problems than dress code (e.g., I’m most concerned with the way SFUSD just limited math class options with almost no input from the community). Still, I have to applaud the BOE whenever they turn consensus into action. Consensus is hard to find, as demonstrated by the split vote on neighborhood schools.

        • Don on May 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm05/16/2014 10:55 pm

          • 000

          So, we’re neighbors. Sutro maybe or more likely McCoppin.

          • Slammy on May 17, 2014 at 6:09 am05/17/2014 6:09 am

            • 000

            Neither. But yes, we are neighbors. Why are you driving so far?

        • Don on May 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm05/17/2014 2:49 pm

          • 000

          Slammy, the neighborhood is disproportionately Chinese. The only way to make it representative of SFUSD as a whole is to bus out many students because many Chinese immigrants are also low-income. Are you trying to say only some races should be bussed?

          Your neighborhood may not be very diverse, but the neighborhoods where the low API schools reside are very diverse. BVHP is almost equally split between Asian, AA and L. Sam with the Mission, the Excelsior, etc.

          • Don on May 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm05/17/2014 8:57 pm

            • 000

            I meant to say despite that they are low income not because they are

            • Slammy on May 18, 2014 at 11:16 am05/18/2014 11:16 am

              • 000

              Don, I misunderstood your earlier comment. I thought you were a supporter of neighborhood only schools. That’s why I was curious why you would be traveling far when you live in an area with high performing schools. We didn’t seriously consider any schools outside of our neighborhood because of transportation. Muni is not a reasonable choice for elementary. If we had school buses, the lottery system might help diversity. Without transportation, too many families don’t really have a choice.

            • Don on May 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm05/18/2014 2:10 pm

              • 000

              Again I want to stress my criticism of this article has to do with SFUSD priorities. Doesn’t Haney have anything better to do? The pettiness of this initiative is really an insult to those who believe in substantive reform. It is clear to me that he won’t be the flag-bearer.

              Slammy, we had more busing before much of the funding was cut and/or flexed and before the USDE eased Title One school choice transportation requirements. Diversity wasn’t any better.

              To respond to your personal inquiry, we went to the local public elementary and middle schools before, but now one is in high school and we went charter for the other. As you know high school is pure lottery with the exception of two schools. I didn’t feel the local middle school would meet the needs of my son’s learning needs.

              Just to be clear I am for neighborhood schools, especially in a city like this where diversity is built into most neighborhoods with high public school participation. That doesn’t mean I am for a neighborhood-only SAS. I believe local residents should have a preference. You probably voted against the Prop H, much of which I authored. So we don’t agree on that and I do understand how complicated and difficult this issue is. But the choice system has damaged the district by creating great disparities between schools. `

  5. Frances O'Neill Zimmerman on May 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm05/15/2014 4:19 pm

    • 000

    Mr. Haney is a new name to me in the California public school skirmishes.
    He seems to be a symbol of what-goes-around-comes-around and the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same. While charter schools are multiplying like rabbits because of public dissatisfaction with regular public schools, Haney wants “restrictions on hats and head coverings” to get special attention in these regular schools where academic achievement is elusive, the kids are majority-minority with many English learners among them and poverty — sometimes new and sometimes generational –is a constant companion. Right. Hats.

    Recently there have been calls for “restorative justice” for miscreant secondary school students, wherein classroom teachers may be called upon to publicly apologize to their victims/tormentors (choose one based on your experience.) Different versions of this “reform” idea have been embraced by our solons in the State Legislature as evidence of their sensitivity to African-American students who disproportionately and perhaps unfairly have been suspended or expelled for “defiance.”

    Now Haney’s talking about relaxing the hats-in-class rule. What about hoodies? Do they allow knowledge to be retained in the (covered) head or do they prevent information from penetrating? On or off? Up or down? A student who follows school rules and does not wear a hat into the school building, he — it’s almost always boys — would not be greeted with a “hats-off” message. Haney wants us to chill with unfriendly hat-messages and let the school’s culture finds its own level.

    What about teaching and learning? Do we know how to make those happen? Yes. Do we spend enough to allow those to flourish? No. Do we know that reasonable rules about orderliness and and discipline contribute to a peaceful and positive school learning environment? Yes. Do we support such conditions in every school every day? No. Is this small-minded and mean or racist? I don’t think so. Is it sad? Absolutely.

    Replies

    • Don on May 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm05/15/2014 9:26 pm

      • 000

      The point of my criticism is not whether the hat rule change is good or not. It’s that we have important work to do here in San Francisco if we don’t want to carry forever the mantle of California city with the largest achievement gap. The commissioners who have been elected to lead the way have gone astray into the political morass of social justice politics and forgotten the purpose of a local education agency. We have a district to run and the purpose of a school district is first and foremost student achievement – a little discussed side issue at 555 Franklin. Perhaps the magicians downtown believe they can pull a diploma out of a hat. And if we let them keep going, they will.

      You don’t solve SFUSD’s problem by wearing hats. Even Wiilie Brown couldn’t do a hat trick. The hat discussion is a metaphor for everything wrong with education politics – the misplaced humanism that places more emphasis on ensuring the rights of students than on assuring their responsibilities as students. We are coddling underperformers and providing excuses for failure. There’s nothing wrong with making students feel welcome, but does anyone believe that not being able to wear hats or other articles of clothing is important?

      Do the commissioners of this board of education ever wonder if their continued focus on their perceived notions of social justice may contribute to the gap instead of reducing it? When does student achievement ever get air time? Never! That commissioners make no salary isn’t much consolation considering the numbers of students in this district who likely never will either.

  6. Slammy on May 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm05/15/2014 3:00 pm

    • 000

    Is anyone opposed to this change? It makes sense, doesn’t hurt anyone, might help some kids, and aligns with state law. The naysayers here sound small minded and mean.

    Rearranging deck chairs? There’s nothing wrong with taking small positive steps. This simple change doesn’t detract from other important work to be done, unless you consider fighting for fighting sake important work. Sometimes sharing small victories is a way to strengthen relationships between folks with significant differences, and that can help with solving bigger issues.

    LCAP? I agree that community input and accountability are very important. If anything, giving schools authority over dress code is in the spirit of local control and community input. It’s one more way that parents, teachers, and staff can implement what works for their community of learners.

    And then, there is the racism. Several comments are disgraceful.

    Replies

    • Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm05/15/2014 5:10 pm

      • 000

      Slammy, it’s just disappointing because Haney said he wanted to guarantee famiies a school close to home and that has been driving many out of SF for years. Basically a ballot measure for neighborhood schools would have won in 2011, but it lost by 153 votes because the union told everyone it would mean kids switching in January, so anyone paying attention knows it would have passed without people thinking kids would switch in January, it hinged on a highly individualized and obscure detail.

      I also object to his claiming there is a racial opportunity gap. His district is saved by Asians working very hard, and he doesn’t even thank them or recognize their work ethic. What SF needs to do is get everyone to follow that ethic. We drive some out to integrate the schools, but they we don’t focus on making sure the integration leads to actual emulation of the behavior of the successful. Kids need to learn from each other. San Francisco has thousands of kids working hard and overcoming poverty but many who say I’m poor, woe is me, I have no time to study but I have 40 hours a week to watch TV, hang out, look cool and play video games. Haney has not addressed this at all.

    • Don on May 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm05/15/2014 5:26 pm

      • 000

      I’m certainly not opposed to changing the rule about hats. Does it excites me to great heights? No. I’m not a hat man. I only wish SFUSD would do something about its record setting achievement gap instead of burning up its energy on small inconsequential victories. But don’t think the District is into it to comply with the law. This is just PR. If they were interested in “the Law” they would not have let schools burn up the LEP money unlawfully – that is, money for the very same targeted students that the S and C grant money, currently held in such high regard, is intended to target. No one cared about ELLs before. I wish SFUSD truly cared as much about them as they do about hats and hair cuts.

  7. James Wilson on May 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm05/15/2014 12:02 pm

    • 000

    Congratulations to San Francisco for conforming to state law. The prohibition of hats was outlawed in 2003 by Education Code Section 35183.5.

    EC SEC. 35183.5

    (a) (1) Each schoolsite shall allow for outdoor use during the schoolday, articles of sun-protective clothing, including, but not limited to, hats.

    (2) Each schoolsite may set a policy related to the type of sun-protective clothing, including, but not limited to, hats, that pupils will be allowed to use outdoors pursuant to paragraph (1). Specific clothing and hats determined by the school district or schoolsite to be gang-related or inappropriate apparel may be prohibited by the dress code policy.

    (b) (1) Each schoolsite shall allow pupils the use of sunscreen during the schoolday without a physician’s note or prescription.

    (2) Each schoolsite may set a policy related to the use of sunscreen by pupils during the schoolday.

    (3) For purposes of this subdivision, sunscreen is not an over-the-counter medication.

    (4) Nothing in this subdivision requires school personnel to assist pupils in applying sunscreen.
    (Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 266, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani on May 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm05/15/2014 4:47 pm

      • 000

      I don’t believe most of the issues revolve around what students wear outdoors, unless there is a gang affiliation problem. It is wearing hats indoors that create potential issues.

  8. William on May 15, 2014 at 11:56 am05/15/2014 11:56 am

    • 000

    Sounds like San Francisco is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…

  9. Stephen Work Montana on May 15, 2014 at 11:33 am05/15/2014 11:33 am

    • 000

    The new hat policy seems to also align itself with the law.
    California Education Code Section 35183.5. (a) (1) Each schoolsite shall allow for outdoor use during the schoolday, articles of sun-protective clothing, including, but not limited to, hats.

  10. Don on May 15, 2014 at 9:00 am05/15/2014 9:00 am

    • 000

    It was only a few months ago when newest board member and uber-liberal Matt Haney was quoted in the local press about the failure of the SFUSD assignment system to create diversity. What is he talking about now? Hats! And what did he do about an assignment system? Zip.

    The Commissioners on the SFUSD Board of Education take great pride in treating students with respect. Making sure they can express themselves is one of the guiding principles of this school district, as though what students wear to school were central to the purpose of public education along side with freedom to be willfully defiant – another top priority of the Commissioner. And they wonder why SFUSD has the lowest public school participation.

    Conveniently side-by-side on the Ed Source page is another story about San Bernardino where they actually talk about things related to student achievement instead how to accommodate Chuckles the Clown.

    Nowadays Matt Haney is taking cues from the Superintendent, Richard Carranza, who was against banning suspensions out of respect for staff before he was for banning suspensions and disrespecting staff. And they say teacher bashing by reformers is out of control!

    In the meantime, we get stories about students who are sad about their hair cuts while SFUSD has one of the worst records of engaging the community in its LCAP process and while billions in supplemental and concentration grant funding is allowed to flow to students who don’t qualify and not flow to students who do.

    Mr. Haney, if feeling welcome and connected is important to you why has your administration done next to nothing to solicit the input of the community in the accountability plan?

  11. Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 3:18 am05/15/2014 3:18 am

    • 000

    Matt, you cite the racial opportunity gap. Then why do Nigerians and Ghanans do better than whites? You ignore the fact that Asians study 13.8 hours a week vs. 5.6 for whites, and are nearly 4 times as likely to qualify for a UC. You create your own opportunity. In San Francisco, many have opportunities they don’t take advantage of. You go to a public library on Saturday on San Bruno Avenue or the Bayview or Fillmore, or Tenderloin, and you see mostly Asian kids. Kumon costs money, but everyone is so happy with the status quo they don’t try to get kids to study more as is needed. Kids at Lowell study 25+ hours a week and over 40% are economically disadvantaged and only 20% are white. I know a Lowell student who called Chavez and Bryant, 2 low performing schools, wanting to set it up for Lowell students to tutor kids one on one as a new club, disadvantaged 2d and 3d graders, and they didn’t even get a return call from the principals even with reminder calls, waiting for over a month.

    It all comes down to how much you study. Some of these clothes do represeent gangs. It’s also an adherence to a culture which places more value on short term goals (looking cool) than long term goals, grades, college, etc.

    It amazes me in San Francisco you have such a shining example of how to do well when poor and no one learns from it. Asians for the most part don’t obsess over clothing, turn off the TV, study long hours, and get out of poverty in a generatio0n while others wallow in it for generations. Lowell is living proof it can be done, the kids are from poorer families than Marin Day or SI or Urban, yet get far better SAT Scores. They beat rich private school kids.

    Replies

    • Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 3:22 am05/15/2014 3:22 am

      • 000

      SF’s Asian, black and Latino kids all do worse than their counterparts in Los Angeles, but SF is higher performing because of our Asian percentage. Only SF’s whites do better and they are only 13% of the district. Matt, you should read the book ‘Triple Package’. You don’t need self esteem, you need humility, you need to admit your culture has failed for generations and change it and follow a more successful culture such as Asian culture. We need all kids of all races in SF to forget about looking cool and spend 25 hours a week studying even if they’re poor, like the 41% of Lowell on free and reduced lunch. The whole point of making sure the schools are integrated is so that the struggling kids can benefit yes from PTA donations, but also from observing the habits of kids who thrive, but it takes some humility and focus to change your habits and emulate kids who are getting into Lowell and UCs from a starting point of poverty. Focus on clothes is not humility, it’s arrogance and adherence to a culture which has continually failed.

      • Floyd Thursby on May 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm05/15/2014 12:01 pm

        • 000

        I find it telling that Haney is outraged at the alleged “racial opportunity gap” but has remained silent about LIFO and the Vergara lawsuit. I call that ownage. Matt, most kids in Pacific Heights consider Cobb unthinkable, even though it is right in their neighborhood. You are for integration. If these wealthy and mostly white kids at Hamlin have a bad teacher, the teacher is met with and may be fired quickly. This is true for all private schools. Why do our disadvantaged public school students deserve any less? This is a big reason for the gap you remain silent on. When my son had a teacher taking days off for 3 reasons, missing 130 of 180 days, the union defended her and you remained silent. If my kids were in private school she’d have been gone or taken a 1-year leave of absence. You never have even spoken out on Berndt.

        For the racial opportunity gap to close, you need to end your silence on teacher quality and LIFO. This is the biggest thing we need to reform to provide equality. Not clothes, not money, but teaching. You haven’t supported Students Matter. If you are beholden to Kelly and Tray, kids will never be your #1 priority. They will always come in #1 to adult job security, but not the rich white kids in the private schools, they are #1. Speak out on this before it is too late. We have an opportunity here.

        • Celeste Phooey Condon on May 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm05/15/2014 12:23 pm

          • 000

          Haney supports teachers rights to the days off in our contract and the job protections we deserve. I wouldn’t have taken this job if I could be fired on a whim. It’s about poverty. Asians don’t care about the whole, they just care about the individual. I have kids who are shot at, abused, violated, humiliated. They don’t just want to get straight As and rich while their people are abused. Don wants all the money to go to the rich schools. Floyd wants everyone to act Asian. The Civil Rights movement wasn’t achieved by Asians, if not for black fighters Asians would still be second class citizens in ghettoes. Asians have sold out on social justice and just want a good job. We either all succeed or we all fail. There is no middle ground.

          • Manuel on May 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm05/15/2014 10:11 pm

            • 000

            Ms. Condon, how could the Asians have sold out if most of them weren’t around when those battles were fought? Aren’t most of them recent immigrants, say, within the last twenty years or so?

            Just sayin’…

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