In San Francisco, Turmoil Over Reopening Schools Turns a City Against Itself: The San Francisco school board has infuriated parents and the mayor. Now it has descended into chaos over accusations of racism.
Adding to the district’s woes, it is facing a steep budget deficit and now risks losing even more funding as enrollment declines. Data from the district shows a roughly 10 percent drop in the number of students submitting applications for kindergarten for 2021-22.
As early as last summer, it was clear that the board had no appetite for reopening schools. When the superintendent, Vincent Matthews, proposed using grant money to hire a consultant to help devise a reopening plan, the board voted against it, in part because the consultant had connections to charter schools.
So schools remained closed all fall, even while San Francisco enjoyed some of the lowest virus rates in the country. But the board proceeded with a plan to rename 44 schools whose names were deemed to be associated with slavery, genocide or other injustices. . . .
Asian-American students and parents who called into the meeting fulminated against Ms. Collins and other members of the board, their voices cracking with emotion.
“This board is becoming a case study for performative, shallow activism and hypocrisy,” said one caller who identified himself as a student in the district.
Like I said, what they have instead of competence. But how bad is it? Bad enough to inspire a lucid moment in Larry Tribe:
But Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and an alumnus of the San Francisco public school system, said the board had used “cultural distractions” as a way of covering up its inability to get schools reopened.
“It’s clear,” he said, “that the internecine conflict among relatively privileged liberals sometimes leaves behind people that they genuinely believe they are concerned about.”