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Thursday, March 15, 2012

CARLOS GARCIA THE SAN FRANCISCO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT TO RETIRE.

I was at City Hall today and after the drab Budget Committee meetings - went to the now better cafeteria in the basement - to relish a sandwich and a drink that would go with it.


As luck would have it; I met some astute people who revealed to me that Mr. Carlos Garcia declared his intention to retire from the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). This is really a very sad loss to San Francisco.


Most people in San Francisco like the man. Over the years, I have got to know Mr. Garcia - though I have not sat with him at the table to negotiate. I have heard him speak - and he has heard me make my case.


The man has a heart and he has a heart to make things better for those children in the poorer communities - and that fact in itself won him the support of many decent parents, more children, and even more those that appreciate sound education for our children - the teachers and the many other personnel that work for the SFUSD operations.


The present SF Board of Education will be in limbo, most of them will wish Mr. Garcia was there.


Mr. Carlos Garcia was a sounding board - he had the ability to listen to the restless, some shallow Board Members - especially those that have been there for a long time - gathering fungi.


Time to open the windows and clear the cobwebs, the ugly stuff that clogs the mind - not good especially in the field of education - where with lack of movement, doldrums and no progress - no good stuff never happens and stagnation becomes a norm.


Mr. Garcia will have his second in charge take over - that is what the little bird says. The others in limbo - feel that is the better way - not to upset a good thing going - whatever that means. Different strokes for different folks.


I saw Hydra Mendonza too at the Cafeteria - I said, I saw her - that is all.


Hydra like the rest of her Board Members are confused, bewildered, confounded, and perplexed at the many issues that they try to confound and find themselves confounded. Go figure!


That is the case with folks who are not educated on issues, dance to the tune of the piper, and are constantly listening to politicians; who tongue in cheek are always saying stuff, because they too are not educated on issues and do not have the better interests of the community.


Politicians love to prey on anything that benefits them; now and then you will find one good politician - I really think to today's world you have to go to another - planet.


As I said and will say again; not in today's world - to be sincere half the politicians and more at City Hall are not all together there.


Once they enter City Hall where many former SFU School Board members try to make their home as Supervisors - which in itself is a very bad idea - little progress is made - talking in circles and wanting most things to happen by osmosis.


The Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF) was there today at the Budget meeting - trying to put their best foot forward.


Finally the DCYF has some statistics that gives us advocates - a better picture of the demographics of our communities, the true state of affairs - the caliber of our students and being able to further fine tune the curricula linked to the education of our children.


The education imparted for years, the inferior substitution by the latest modes - the many aspects that Mr. Carlos Garcia was trying to wrestle - while trying his best to serve our fair City and County of San Francisco and bring long term change.


In the Bayview Hunters Point, and District 10 in general; the need for addressing our children and youth and their many needs and aspirations - is greater.


Of course Malia Cohen was there and she had to pipe in and did in a shallow way. " So now that we have the stats what are we going to do about it " not the exact words but something to the affect - says the Supervisor of District 10 - who has done nothing except grin and talk utter nonsense when she opens her mouth - all the time she has been in City Hall as the Supervisor and the many years she pandered in Room 200.


Maria Siu who heads DCYF is trying to make some sense - it is difficult with less funding and more needs. The good news was that the Controller of this City and County of San Francisco was hinting - that our City's economy was improving. Yes improving. I saw people who were asleep perk up - we are longing for this good news.


The tax returns on Real Estate show one and half time more - giving a boost to our City's Treasury and help all those that need funding and more building up morale.


This means there will be more money for our children and youth and those up to the age of 24. This means good news for the SFUCD because funding helps all children and our City has so many - needs.


This includes the many poorer children that attend the SFUSD - after school programs, and so on and so forth.


Mr. Carlos Garcia is leaving us;  knowing him - he will keep in touch - more with his assistant who followed him from his previous job - intact now in the cockpit today; in charge here in San Francisco of the SFUSD - leading well at the helm of affairs.


With thousands of children leaving San Francisco. Thousands of decent families - the SFUSD is in deep trouble.


The SF Unified Board of Education - at least the present crop - are there but not there all together.


You have to hear them - when the speak in circles - complete with shedding tears and trying to impress the TV Cameras how much they love our City, our Children, but have nothing what so ever positive to contribute to our children's education - worth the salt.


The Unions dealing with the teachers are upset - but, they cannot be too upset with Mr. Garcia - he gave them a lot - and they bullied him a lot.


Now Mr. Garcia has given the UNION a little over 485 pink slips to ponder over - that they wear them or tear over them.


The Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin Lee met with the top echelon from SFUSD - the Mayor wants some equity - he does not want to fully endorse past policies bailing the SFUSD with rainy day funds.


Gaining nothing but just a nod of approval. Money is tight and this era demands some little equity when equity is shared - so goes the present thinking.


" How about you give me something" says the Mayor of San Francisco - " I mean the City " - " a building or two - then may be I will let some green flow your way ".


This did not bode well with Tom Ammiano who is now in Sacramento but does not want anyone messing with his legislation; when he was Supervisor at City Hall and some how got the City of San Francisco creating the Rainy Day Fund - which has nothing directly to do as far as funding is concerned with the SFUSD which is State of California - liability.


Tom being the Queen he is - managed to get the drones and others to sign on to his famous "rainy day fund" that has now become a ritual of sorts - bailing our teachers - giving them that shot in the arm - that lasts about a year.


Come this time every single year for the last ten years for sure - pink slips are given. The City and County of San Francisco - doles the cash - from the rainy day box - everyone smiles and then it is business as usual.


It must have been very stressful for Mr. Garcia but he - calm as he is - has the ability to walk close by with his friends - and have what is wants an enchilada - some carne assada - even some, something - and laugh the matter away. Guess when there is so much of a mess - you have to find your niche and go with the flow - keeping your sanity.


Mr. Carlos Garcia you are a good man and thank you for your service. You have kept the SF Board of Education together. Most of the children in San Francisco attending the Public Schools know you in person - that says a lot. Many of them tell me that they like you - that says a lot.


There is only so much any good man can do - with your departure - there will be one less good, educated man and sound leader.


Let the rest figure out what they want to do. They say you can take the horse and may I add a burro to the edge of the water - to make the burro drink, force it to taste what is good for it - is next to impossible.


Farewell, the god speed - you will have better opportunities and we wish you well.


You did well, more then well with Malcolm X at Hunterview that at one time was destined to be doomed.


I wish more could be done for El Dorado in District 10 - time will tell.


I got involved with this sordid issue linked to Malcolm X school and you turned it around in record time. Now, it remains to be seen - how long.


Not too many good Superintendents come our way - you were one of the better ones - could be the best in recent years.


We, San Franciscans will miss you and the children most of all. Thank you for all your sacrifice, love, and the good stuff you shared and cared for - for the good of those that need it most - our children, youth, and those that are dear to them; the parents, personnel and the many teachers.


Adios Amigo!