Written by Jamie Parsons
Unions in San Francisco have been a large part of San Francisco’s history. As far back as 1899, Unions have played a role in getting San Francisco not only on the map as a commercial hub but as a workers paradise. However, recently Unions have been driving San Francisco into the ground. With sky-high housing costs and a near socialist city government, Unions have proven to be one of the worst parts of living in San Francisco. Now they are ruining public schools in the city with ridiculous requests and failing policies. Half of what San Francisco teacher’s unions ask for no longer benefit teachers nor students, leaving many feeling as if the United Educators of San Francisco don’t care about schools.
Last year, 70% of white students in San Francisco were recorded to be proficient in math, whereas only 12% of black students were. In efforts to dismiss the racial disparity in schools, the school board decided to focus on changing the names of the schools, instead of focusing on how to decrease the achievement gap. According to California Political Review, “ On January 26, the school board decided to rename 44 public schools because their namesakes were presumably more evil than Satan.”
Aware of the problem occurring in schools, the San Francisco school district and teachers union make an effort to try to fix other “issues” that cross their paths. In March, it came to light that the vice president of the San Francisco school district, Allison Collins, had made rude comments towards Asian-Americans, accusing them of using white supremacy thinking to get ahead. The school board then removed her as vice president and stripped her of committee assignments; this had no effect on her salary. On May 9th, the teachers union struck a deal with the school district to open up schools to high school seniors on May 14th. According to California Political Review, “The sole reason for the move, which applied to just eight of the city’s 18 high schools, was to qualify the school district for a $12 million state grant that required at least a partial reopening of high schools by May 15.”
Even though the San Francisco School District and the San Francisco teachers union haven’t focused on the achievement gap in schools, they have tried to tackle problems in relation to schools. The United Educators of San Francisco on the other hand, are focused on a polar opposite issue. On May 19th, the United Educators of San Francisco passed a resolution expressing support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel. The Union said in a brief statement that they believe Isreal practices apartheid and has committed war crimes.