How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

Isaac Chotiner:

Last month, San Francisco’s Board of Education voted, 6–1, to change the names of forty-four schools, including schools named after Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. A committee formed by the board in 2018, in the wake of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, had determined that any figures who “engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human beings; or who oppressed women, inhibiting societal progress; or whose actions led to genocide; or who otherwise significantly diminished the opportunities of those amongst us to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” should no longer have schools named after them and had recommended which names should be changed. Washington’s name was struck because he held slaves, Lincoln’s because of his policies toward Native Americans. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s name will be removed from a school, owing to the decision, when she was San Francisco’s mayor, in the nineteen-eighties, to replace a Confederate flag that was part of a Civic Center display and had been taken down by a protester. (A spokesperson for Feinstein said that the city’s parks department replaced the flag “on its own accord.” She later had it replaced with a Union flag.) Some of the committee’s recommendations have received more criticismthan others: Paul Revere Elementary School will be renamed because of his role in the Penobscot Expedition of 1779, an assault on a British fort that the committee claimed, incorrectly, was intended to colonize the Penobscot people.

On Tuesday, I spoke with Gabriela López, the head of the San Francisco Board of Education, about the decision. López, thirty, is a teacher who was elected to the school board in 2018 and chosen as president by her colleagues. In the last several years, San Francisco schools have repeatedly landed in the national news. In October, the school board halted the selective-admissions process at Lowell High School, which is known for its academic strength and has markedly low numbers of Black and Latino students. On Wednesday, the city of San Francisco sued the school board and the district, claiming that they lack a plan to reopen schools. (The superintendent said at a news conference that the school board and the district “absolutely have a comprehensive plan” for reopening.) In my conversation with López, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed the controversies around reopening and renaming, including questions about how the committee made its judgments and how to view the legacies of complex historical figures.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.