Frank, have you heard the old news? We have the largest achievement gap of any big city district in the state. That's because along with some good schools, we also have some of the very worst. That why we had the dubious honor of being awarded the $45M school improvement grant 3 years ago. And we still have the largest achievement gap in the state. When it comes to education, money isn't the end all to be all. That's why EdMatch would be doing schools a favor if they gave in services rather than in cash.
"SFUSD already has regular audits - and they have been getting good reports for years."
All that tells you, John, is whether each line items adds up. The audits, provided by accountancy corporations, do not speak to the philosophy or efficacy behind the funding. For example, it doesn't say whether or not spending 2, 3 and even 4 times as much per pupil at some schools is a reasonable or even a constitutional distribution of education money. No one ever considers how much achievement return is worth for each dollar of investment. Of course it isn't easy to be so cut and dry about dollars vs. achievement, but my point is that there is ZERO correlation between them. It is a political decision being made to keep throwing money at the achievement gap irrespective of results. If you watch Richard Carranza giving a speech before district staff he spends almost an hour speaking about race relations and doesn't talk at all about student achievement. He cites a few racist tweets as the reason why we need to focus on diversity above all else. If you didn't know he was the Superintendent you would assume it was some kind of political satire. It was one of the dumbest displays of political correctness I've seen in years. And why is it dumb, exactly? Because, there is almost no correlation between diversity and achievement. Diversity is a good unto itself. But it is not the purpose of a school district. But how does this relate to EdMatch? It doesn't. I'm just responding to your inaccurate comment cited above.
If the school decides to use EDMatch money to buy a refrigerator is that OK? Money being fungible, they can redistribute EdMatch money so that it is doable within the confines of the spending requirements and use other money to buy the refrigerator where they wouldn't have otherwise. I think it would be better if EdMatch had a specific achievement-related mission. I've seen PTA spend thousands of dollars to update rooms only to have the whole thing demolished shortly afterwards for ADA upgrades. It is great to have more money at schools, but depending on the school and the parents, it isn't always a good thing to give them carte blanche with the money.
EdMatch shouldn't be faulted for any association with SF School Alliance, which did a great deal of good work. EdMatch should be credited for helping to raise a lot money to help our students. The problem lies with SFUSD. So much of the funding to schools has become discretionary after the Weighted Student Formula is allocated, especially now that much of the categorical money is just going to be given as a block grant under the new state funding scheme - the Local Control Funding Formula . So the district sees who has raised money and who hasn't and they just funnel state money to some schools to compensate for more private money raised at other schools. In other words, the more money a school raises, the less it gets from the district. Some people think that is just fine since it is in effect taking from the rich and giving to the poor. But the state already has provided extra for these schools. The problem is two fold. One, it isn't fair to starve out higher performing students and, two, there is no accountability for funding failing schools. Many just agree they should get more regardless of whether the extra does any good or not. But EdMatch cannot be held responsible for those issues. Let's not attack a good, well-meaning fundraising organization like EdMatch.
The San Francisco Examiner
Website powered by Foundation