In the News

Pitching Student-Centered Solutions

By Superintendent Matthews

What word comes to mind when you hear San Francisco public schools? If the word is innovative, then you’ve clearly been paying close attention to what’s happening in schools across the City.

Our school staff and students see problems as challenges and work together, using shared processes and tools, to come up with student-centered solutions.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend something we call “pitch night.” More than 100 staff from fifteen schools who went through a design challenge shared their pitches for how they would like to use grant funds to support their innovations.

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Beyond Data: Building Empathy in Adults Through Student Shadow Days

Data are increasingly at the core of efforts to improve instructional quality, but often the data available to school leaders and educators are limited to specific academic points. Many teachers report classroom data have become too overwhelming to be of much use and are often represented in granular, siloed ways that make it difficult for teachers to get a sense of how students are doing overall. And much of the data are divorced from the qualitative experience of learners every day.

In an effort to build empathy for the student experience — to see school through their eyes — some school and district leaders are shadowing students through a whole day, adding a new data point to the ever-growing pile. More…