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SFUSD Superintendent Is Passionate About Black Student Success. He Lived It.

This is part of an ongoing series “Learning while black: The fight for equity in San Francisco schools.”

San Francisco Unified Superintendent takes our reporter on a tour of his hometown — to explain why he’s so passionate about boosting the academic success of black students here.

"Our mission as a district is that every day for each and every student we will provide quality instruction and equitable support ... So when I think about that each and every, that's really where the 'Little Vincent' comes into play for me. I think about what people did for me."

Vincent Matthews has been superintendent of SFUSD for over two years now. His biggest initiative is called “PITCH” and it’s all about boosting academic outcomes for low-income kids of color. Especially African American students. Because as a group they post the lowest math and reading scores. Matthews knows what it’s like to be young and black in public schools here. He’s from San Francisco.

In this interview, Matthews drives us around his town to talk about his goals, his passions — and his past. He chose four stops: his childhood home in the Haight Ashbury, his nearby elementary school, his high school near Twin Peaks, and the Bayview school where he launched his teaching career.

Click the audio player above to listen and go along for the ride.