What a day!
The good news: California schools showed gains on the 2008 state testing, adding to a consistent record of improvement on the books since 1999. San Francisco did well too, improving as a district to an API score of 772 from 764 ayear earlier.
The bad news: Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice Tony Smith was hired by Oakland Unified School District to be Superintendent of the Oakland public schools. Of course this is a loss, since Dr. Smith was part of the heart and soul of the change happening in San Francisco. But we wish him well and the work here will continue even as he moves on to other challenges.
The good news: President Obama’s handpicked Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in San Francisco today meeting with students, teachers and district leaders to see first hand the change that is happening here in San Francisco, and gave what was described as an “inspiring” address to 700 community leaders at a lunch this afternoon.
The bad news: Earlier in the day, Secretary Duncan told mayors and urban Superintendents that California had “lost its way” on education reform. Hopefully that rather depressing statement means that we are on the short list to qualify for “Race to the Top” funds that the U.S. Department of Education will be awarding later this year.