5 Takeaways from the Next District Leader Survey

As the search for San Francisco Unified’s next superintendent is underway, the firm hired to help find the next school leader surveyed nearly 2,000 people across the city to get feedback on the district and what they are waiting for their next leader.

The search is urgent, with current superintendent Vince Matthews due to retire in June.

The survey asked families, students, teachers, administrators, staff, and community members to describe what works, what doesn’t, and what their priorities are.

Here are some key takeaways from the survey report by Hazard, Young, Attea Associates:

1: The good

There is a great deal of pride in the district’s commitment to social justice and diversity, as well as the belief that strong staffing at the school level is “the single most important success factor in student learning, graduation rates and a culture of caring and support. in many SFUSD schools.

Respondents also cited the benefit of wellness centers and community schools, where students have access to a range of resources, including mental health. They also recognized that the district offers a range of educational choices, including bilingual and ethnic studies.

2: The Bad

The general opinion, according to the survey, was that the district “needed significant improvement”.

Students are not at the center of conversations, according to the recruitment firm’s survey.

“Many, if not most, of the comments about ‘challenges and problems’ made by all stakeholder groups have focused on working conditions, political interactions and interpersonal aspects of adult interactions, rather than customer satisfaction. student needs,” according to the report. . “The health of adult relationships seems to consume an extraordinary amount of working energy within the system.”

The lack of consistent and effective communication was also a major source of frustration for staff and parents.

The survey also found that all racial groups expressed concern for their needs, despite the school board passing resolutions that create isolated efforts to support various racial and ethnic groups, which “actually contributes to a greater division among communities of color,” according to the report. “The approach may unintentionally reinforce the idea that improvement efforts are a zero-sum game, where providing increased services and resources to one group takes away from other groups.”

Respondents also expressed frustration with declining staff morale and the budget shortfall.

3: The school board

The survey revealed that many respondents are “deeply concerned” about the behavior and direction of the current school board.

According to the report.

Others have noted that board members participate in the public humiliation and criticism of employees, which is “very demoralizing and counterproductive.”

“Many voters have also recognized that a very strained relationship between the city and the school district is not in the best interests of students.” The city unsuccessfully sued the district for reopening schools during the pandemic.

4: The Next Superintendent

Survey participants suggested characteristics they would like to see in the next superintendent, with a few areas highlighted.

The next school leader should focus on student learning, ensuring that all aspects of the organization are aligned with this goal.

He or she must also be committed to social justice, be an effective communicator while expanding and rebuilding district and community relationships.

Whoever is chosen must also be an “engaged manager” who will challenge current practices, address budget issues and create a culture that can attract and retain quality staff.

5: The survey

In addition to the open-ended survey questions, the research firm also surveyed the community, asking respondents to rank district performance in 19 categories.

In only one case, that technology was integrated into the classroom, did the majority of respondents agree or strongly agree that it was true.

Only 14% of respondents agreed that the district is moving in the right direction, while 10% think the district is financially responsible and 19% think the facilities are well maintained.

The school board reviewed the search firm’s report on Tuesday and will review applications for the position in the coming months, with a selection to be made by the end of June.

Matthews announced his retirement nearly a year ago, saying he would leave by the summer of 2021, a decision he later put off for a year after the school board agreed to act to more professional way.

Jill Tucker is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @jilltucker

About Norman Griggs

Check Also

Illinois 13th Congressional District Abortion Candidates

Illinois 13th congressional district candidates Nikki Budzinski (D) and Regan Deering (R). Provided Candidates for …