Arab Resource and Oranizing Center (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Arab Resource and Oranizing Center (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

SFUSD clarifies resolution to establish Arabic-language pathways amid community concerns

The San Francisco Unified School District has issued a letter clarifying its resolution to implement Arabic-language curriculum in schools after concerns surfaced in recent weeks with an Arabic community group named in the resolution.

The resolution, passed unanimously by the Board of Education in May, calls for the district to explore offering Arabic- and Vietnamese-language pathways programs for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Per the resolution, the SFUSD is also advised to work with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, among other community groups, to develop “culturally appropriate professional development opportunities” for teachers at certain schools.

But language used by AROC to allegedly “push a radical Anti-Israel and Anti-Zionist agenda in San Francisco,” according to a June 17 letter from the Jewish Community Relations Council to school district leaders, prompted local Jewish community leaders to urge the SFUSD to eliminate the group from the resolution.

On Wednesday, the district sent a letter signed by Superintendent Richard Carranza and six of the seven Board of Education commissioners to city leaders and community members, apologizing to those who may have taken offense by the resolution and explaining the district’s process for creating new curriculum.

“This statement clarifies the district’s position, and also clarifies the intent of this resolution,” Commissioner Sandra Fewer told the Examiner. “This resolution is first and foremost about serving the public school students of San Francisco.”

The letter notes that the SFUSD is not required to work with any specific organization when developing curriculum, and that no contracts have been awarded to any organization. The district also emphasized that it is not interested in engaging in geo-political discussions.

“In our passing of [the resolution], we name specific organizations because of their role in providing support and resources to SFUSD families as it relates to language development,” the letter states. “We apologize for giving any impression that we may have taken a political position or if anyone was offended.”

ldudnick@sfexaminer.comArab Resource and Organizing CenterBoard of EducationJewish Community Relations Councillanguage pathwaysRichard CarranzaSan Francisco Unified School District

Just Posted

Epic Cleantec uses soil mixed with treated wastewater solids to plants at the company’s demonstration garden in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Epic Cleantec)
This startup watches what SF flushes – and grows food with it

Epic Cleantec saves millions of gallons of water a year, and helps companies adhere to drought regulations

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Affordable housing has become the chief expense for most California students, such as those attending community college in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
California commits $500 million more to student housing

Called ‘a drop in the bucket,’ though $2 billion could be made available in future years

Most Read