Hi I’m Karen Fleshman & I’m running for one of three seats on the San Francisco Board of Education.

A GenX white woman named Karen Fleshman wearing a green shirt, in front of a green lawn, with sunshine in her hair.

Appreciate your support!!! You can hear why I’m running in this video.

Main points:

SFUSD strengths: My children are receiving an outstanding public education in SFUSD due to diversity, restorative practices, excellent brave teachers, school staff, and principals. I love all young people and want all young people in San Francisco to develop to their fullest potential. I am heartened by the improvement in graduation rates, especially for Black students and students with disabilities, the new student assignment policy designed to desegregate the schools, the new Superintendent.

SFUSD concerns: Enrollment is declining and budgets are shrinking and we have to make hard decisions. Segregated schools, uneven funding, and the long history of inequitable outcomes by race and ethnicity, students walking out to protest sexual harassment and sexual assault and schools’ nonresponsiveness, students fighting in school, teachers protesting because they are not being paid, and principals and teachers resigning. I am also angry about the recall and the unfairness of Lowell’s admission policies, and I am an incoming Lowell parent.

Experience: Prior to founding my workplace workshop facilitation company, Racy Conversations, in 2014, with a mission to inspire the antiracist generation, I worked in youth workforce development for a decade, including as a founding team member of Year Up New York. I worked for the City of New York Department of Youth and Community Development for ten years, including two years as a Director of Internal Review and Assistant General Counsel, served as staff to the NYC Youth Council, and cofounded Ladders for Leaders, a summer internship program for young people in corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies. I am an attorney by training and admitted to practice in NY. I moved to San Francisco in 2012 and through my past work for youth-serving nonprofits, I have visited nearly every public school in San Francisco.

Priorities:

Listen to the people who are closest to the problem, and are therefore closest to the solution, and bring their voices and ideas into decision-making. They are often least likely to be the loudest voices or to come to the Board of Education meetings.

Implement restorative practices in all schools K-12. To have clear behavior expectations and a process for healing when people cause harm, centering on the harmed person, the person who caused the harm and an upstander.

Ensure equality of opportunity in all high schools. To draw on the tremendous resources of San Francisco to connect every young person to internships, apprenticeships, mentors, and/or college access.

Address systemic racism, desegregate schools, address funding disparities and achieve equitable outcomes across all racial and ethnic groups of students. Role model how to be a multiracial democracy.

Thank you for listening & please let me know your ideas on what SFUSD is doing well and what needs to improve, and if you would like to get involved in our campaign would truly appreciate it!

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