SF State to give high school students college credit
March 1, 2010 9:56 AM
The San Francisco Board of Education unanimously voted in favor of implementing ethnic studies curriculum in public high schools on Feb. 23.
The resolution was approved as a pilot program for one year and 250 high school students will be able to receive six units of college credit from SF State for their participation. Students will take classes in their high schools as part of the regular curriculum.
SF State's ethnic studies department collaborated closely with the San Francisco Unified School District, according to dean of ethnic studies Kenneth Monteiro.
SF State's contribution to the program is valued at more than $450,000. The University, however, will not be giving any money to the school district. The figure, instead, comes from the equivalent value of units that high school students will receive, advisement from the college of ethnic studies and support from students in the department.
Both SF State and the school district face severe budget cuts, and while the school district will be spending more money to implement the program, the University will not be bearing any of the costs.
"I didn't realize the value either," Monteiro said. "They took the value of everything that went into the project and gave it a dollar value. We're doing something that we do anyway, and that's teaching."
Monteiro said that SF State will not be paying any money toward the implementation of the program. Instead, the dollar amount related to the University's contributions is based on the value of the work that university faculty and students will be doing as a part of their regular work.
The school district's cost to implement the program is $222,000, despite news that the district is facing a $113 million budget shortfall.
Even before the final vote took place, it was evident that passage was likely because every board member expressed strong support for the pilot program.
"This is just a catalyst," Commissioner Kim-Shree Maufas said. "I'm just grateful that we are beginning that catalyst."
Maufas co-sponsored the resolution with Board President Jane Kim and Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer. The resolution cites the 40th Anniversary of the creation of the ethnic studies program at SF State and the importance of students learning about their culture.
Superintendent Carlos Garcia voiced his support for the program, but had a sober assessment of the financial situation the school district faces.
"Yes we're supporting this, but we're cutting some," Garcia said. "We're just beginning this long road of devastation. Keep in mind there's a lot of peoples' lives who are going to be affected."
The mood was not dampened by Garcia's allusion to the budget woes, however, as the resolution's supporters --teachers, students and board members alike-- voiced strong support and said that they hoped this program will spread to other school districts.
"This is really difficult because from a fiscal standpoint, we need to be responsible, but from an academic standpoint we need to be responsible as well," Vice President Hydra Mendoza said during the board's discussion, but added, "I think ethnic studies is very responsible."
Loud applause erupted from the audience when the final vote was tallied and chants of "Si se puede," could be heard throughout the room. Public comment, all of which was in support of the program, lasted more than an hour before the board voted on the resolution.
"Three years ago, there was a storm on the horizon," said high school teacher Kyle Beckham during public comment. "We are not going to let our students drown, we are not going to cut them loose." Beckham, 29, teaches 10th through 12th grade at Downtown High school.
Board President Jane Kim told a story before closing the board's comment and commencing the vote.
"I was actually the first person to enroll as an Asian American studies major," Kim said. "I attribute where I am today because of 16 years ago."
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University