education | KALW


Philosophy Talk: The Examined Year – 2020

Dec 25, 2020

Because the un-examined year is not worth reviewing. 

Andrew Garcia

The San Francisco Unified School District Board, Tuesday night, approved a new school assignment process for elementary schools.

KALW‘s podcast tbh — made by, for, and about teenagers — just wrapped up its second season. It’s the result of our journalists/teachers’ work with more than 100 SFUSD high school students and seven teens from around the Bay Area who took part in our summer high school podcasting institute.


Two San Francisco school board members were the target of online harassment after the board’s closely watched decision to change Lowell High School’s admissions system to a lottery.


Disturbing images were posted to Facebook and Twitter showing Gabriela López and Alison Collins, both women of color, with swastikas photoshopped onto their foreheads and a red X across their faces. In a video, you can see bloodstained white gloves holding the images while they burn. 

albertogp123 / CREATIVE COMMONS

The San Francisco Board of Education, Tuesday, unanimously voted to change the way students will be accepted to Lowell High School next year. The school will temporarily adopt the same largely lottery based system used by the majority of San Francisco public high schools


San Francisco’s Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday night — discussing a controversial change to the admission policy at the highly sought after Lowell High School. 

Tuesday night’s online board meeting got rowdy as a newly proposed lottery system received impassioned support and criticism.    

This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.

Right now in Oakland, you have to be 18 years old to vote in a school board election. Measure QQ would give the City Council the power to allow 16 and 17 year-olds to vote in them. To be clear, they don’t have to allow it, but they could. 


Many young people of color are faced with racism everyday, whether it’s blatant and in your face, or subtler microaggressions. One example was in the news three years ago, when a group of students at Albany High School created a racist instagram account attacking fellow Black students with racial slurs and depicted them as gorillas and hanging from nooses. The incident shook the school and the city.

"Back to School" by Flickr user wtipton / used under CC BY / resized and cropped


A state audit released yesterday found that the University of California school system has been admitting wealthy students as favors to donors and well-connected families.


Wikimedia Commons

This week hair salons and pools were allowed to reopen in San Francisco. Some schools hope they’ll be next.

photo provided by Jenee Darden

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill mandating that all Cal State University freshmen entering the 2020-2021 academic year must take an ethnic studies course. KALW’s Jenee Darden shares how majoring in ethnic studies shaped her life.

Jeff Troth / Flickr Creative Commons


This is a 2-minute summary of what’s on the ballot. Click here to listen to them all.  

Measure J is a $288 parcel tax designed to raise funds for teacher salaries and school improvements. It would apply to all taxable real estate in the city though there is an exemption for seniors over 65. The Controller’s Office says the measure could generate almost $50 million a year. 

Phil Roeder


Schools across the Bay Area are back in session — both virtually and in-person. But some are still feeling the effects of COVID-19 on the last school year. Research shows that 2008 graduates are still experiencing impacts of the Great Recession. So what can 2020 graduates expect? 

Amanda Levin

San Francisco students have been back to school for nearly a month now, and a lot has changed for students — and for teachers. Amanda Levin is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District at Leadership High School, and she’s been teaching for nearly three decades. As part of our ongoing series The Essentials, we’re bringing you overlooked stories of essential workers: people who are still being called to work while most of us are sheltered in place.

Precious Green

Today is the first day of the new school year for thousands of K-12 students around the Bay. All classes are online-only. But, there is a push to get kids back into real classrooms.

Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group

  On this edition of Your Call, we’re discussing how college graduates are coping as they enter one of the bleakest job markets in history. The average college student owes $29,000 in debt and now they're facing soaring unemployment. How are they coping?

Lee Romney / KALW

Kids around the Bay Area are going back to school. So today, we’re re-airing this story from our series, "Learning While Black: The Fight For Equity In San Francisco Schools." And, it just won an award from the Public Media Journalists Association.

African American students across the country are much more likely than any other student group to be placed in special education, and that’s true at San Francisco Unified too. The district’s troubled history has plenty to teach us about what is and isn’t working for black students with special needs today.

United States Air Force


Students are heading back to school and colleges are considering safety in the middle of the pandemic. So, on Friday, the president of the UC system released an executive order requiring all students and staff to get flu vaccines this fall. 

Flickr, woodleywonderworks,

A charter school won its lawsuit against the Hayward Unified School District over classroom space amid the pandemic. / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

On Monday, the California Department of Public Health released details for how elementary schools could re-open for in-person instruction.


On Sunday, a group of Pac-12 football players threatened to opt-out of the season unless their concerns about competing during the COVID-19 pandemic along with other racial and economic issues in college sports are addressed.

Liz Hafalia / SF Chronicle

On this edition of Your Call, we'll find out how families and educators are preparing for another semester of remote learning. Here in California, as cases continue to rise, 90 percent of K-12 schools will operate remotely.


On July 17, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the majority of schools in California will have to revert to distance learning as coronavirus case numbers rise. How have schools prepared over the summer for more online learning? What can families expect and will the state's most vulnerable children fall further behind? 

DOD Photo / Public Domain


The next academic year is only a month away for many Bay Area school districts.

The California Department of Education has directed local districts to develop their own models for resuming school. However, there is little agreement about how to do it.

thejaan / Flickr

San Francisco Public health officials released guidelines this week on how to safely reopen San Francisco’s schools, considering both the public health effects of the virus as well as students’ learning and well-being.

Jenee Darden

"Hamilton" has found new fans now that it’s streaming on Disney+. Before the pandemic, high school students attended a special matinee of the musical. They performed their own work on stage and told stories of some people left out of history books.

Sarah Lai Stirland

Santa Clara County officials on Tuesday issued some requirements and recommendations for reopening schools.

The county did not commit to a firm date for opening K-12 school campuses.

But in a guidance document, the public health department said that schools should prioritize in-person instruction along with strict safety protocols.

How Are Educators Using This Moment To Teach The True History Of The US?

Jul 1, 2020
Photo by Chloe Collyer

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll speak with educators about how they teach subjects not taught or taught inaccurately today’s US history books. With Black Lives Matter actions happening across the country and the removal of statues depicting racist history, how do teachers plan to use this moment to educate students about the true history of this country?

Sarah Lai Stirland

The Oakland City Council voted on a new budget Tuesday with minimal cuts to the Oakland Police Department budget amidst protests for defunding the OPD.