Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Local

City of San FranciscoCandidate for Board of Education

Photo of Michelle Parker

Michelle Parker

Nonprofit Grantwriter / Parent
65,740 votes (8.04%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Expand Universal Preschool. Provide all children in San Francisco access to two years of high-quality, publicly-funded preschool to help close the achievement gap and make sure children are school-ready.
  • Expand Career Technical Education (CTE). Make sure every SFUSD student can see themselves in a great future by expanding our high school Career Academies and providing opportunities for career exploration, internships, and apprenticeships.
  • Attract And Retain Great Teachers. Increase educator salaries, improve housing affordability, provide relevant professional learning, and proactively recruit more teachers of color, bilingual teachers, and special education teachers.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Non-profit grantwriter and parent
Associate Director, Foundation and Government Support, KQED (2015–current)

Education

Westminster Choir College Bachelor of Music, piano pedagogy and voice (1997)

Biography

Michelle Parker is a single mom of three children who have been in San Francisco’s public schools since kindergarten and has been committed and passionate about making a difference for all kids in SFUSD for more than 13 years. She is the most prepared candidate to be on the school board because 1) she understands and has experience with education policy and finance and the district and state level, 2) she has led a public oversight body, making sure SFUSD spent taxpayer funds according to voter intent, and 3) she has governance experience. Michelle served as President of the San Francisco PTA, as co-chair of the Quality Teachers and Education Act Oversight Committee, as co-founder of the San Francisco Parent PAC, on every SFUSD ballot measure steering committee for the past decade, on several different state-level education policy and advocacy committees, and much more. She also serves as Board President of a San Francisco arts education nonprofit.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I want every family in San Francisco to believe that their child can and will be successful in our public schools - that there is something that will challenge them, engage them, and prepare them for future success in college, career and civic life. I want everyone who doesn’t have kids yet, but who is considering it, to feel like they can afford to stay here because their future kids will receive an excellent, free public education. And I want people who choose not to have children to be proud of our public schools, to feel their tax dollars are used well, and that they are an important part of this community.

 

I want every student in our schools to feel safe, supported, cared for, and championed. I want learning to feel relevant and interesting. We must have an uncompromising vision for excellence, but also respond to students’ individual needs in a way that fosters optimal growth. Importantly, this means that education should not take a one-size-fits-all approach. This is also important for achieving equity and closing the opportunity gap.

 

My platform is centered on access and equity:

  • Expand Universal Preschool. Provide all children in San Francisco access to two years of high-quality, publicly-funded preschool to help close the opportunity gap and make sure children are school-ready. This early investment can also help increase high school graduation rates and impact salary later in life. I will take the lead on this project in partnership with the city.

  • Fix Our Student Enrollment System. Create a system that is easier to navigate, provides more predictability, strengthens communities, increases diversity, and allows students to attend an elementary school near their home through assignment clusters or zones, while still retaining some choice. SFUSD will also need to address barriers for why some families don’t choose our schools or schools near their home, and engage in long-term planning to make we have enough schools where our children live (primarily in the southeast part of SF).

  • Expand Career Technical Education (CTE). Make sure every SFUSD student can see themselves in a great future by expanding our high school Career Academies and working with partners in business, trades, City College, and San Francisco State to provide opportunities for career exploration, internships, and apprenticeships. Pathways that link learning with student interests and career preparation lead to higher graduation rates, increased college enrollments, and higher earning potential. CTE can also help us close the opportunity gap and reverse predictive homogeny in colleges, apprenticeships, and San Francisco workplaces.

  • Provide Equitable Access To Advanced Math. Offer acceleration opportunities in middle school, including Algebra, so students who are interested and ready can reach Calculus before graduation and be competitive to enter college STEM programs. This includes improving math instruction in the early grades and employing interventions that result in diversity in SFUSD advanced math and science courses.

  • Attract and Retain Great Teachers. Increase educator salaries beyond what Prop G and the recent contract established, build teacher housing and more affordable housing citywide, provide new teacher support and professional learning, and proactively recruit more teachers of color, bilingual teachers, and special education teachers.

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