San Francisco Voters Will Weigh in on the Math Wars Next Tuesday

For a decade now, San Francisco Unified students have been barred from taking Algebra I until the 9th grade, no matter how advanced or prepared they may be. The policy was adopted in part to foster greater racial equity, but is now widely considered to have been a failure. A Stanford University study found the policy did not improve equity, but that it did hold back students who were willing and able to pursue higher math courses.

In response to a public backlash from parents, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a measure for the March 5 ballot, formally calling on the school district to re-introduce Algebra in the 8th grade. The resolution was authored by Supervisor Joel Engardio.

Measure G is purely symbolic. The board of supervisors has no control over SFUSD curriculum. And the policy is already on its way out. This month, shortly after voters began receiving their mail-in ballots, the San Francisco Board of Education approved a plan to offer 8th grade Algebra in 2024-25.

Advocates of Measure G say political pressure is what convinced SFUSD to change course, and that the measure’s victory is needed to keep that pressure up. 

“Prop G gives voters a chance to show a mandate for 8th grade algebra, which can be pointed to all year as school board candidates run for their seats in November,” said Engardio.

“Prop G is necessary because parents deserve to be heard. Kids in San Francisco deserve the same algebra taught in nearly every Bay Area city — and the school board needs to know our families won’t settle for anything less.”









Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 09:07

School construction bonds faced some headwinds during the March 5 primary, with a passage rate of around 60% compared with the 73% seen in typical past primaries.