During the darkest period in California’s great recession, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) made a forward-looking decision to strengthen its very foundation. The district heeded decades of solid research on the benefits of preschool education and built a bridge between the formerly separate worlds of Pre-K and the primary grades of elementary school.
Its goal: to shrink a stubborn achievement gap by aligning and articulating teaching across the PreK-3rd grade span. In so doing, the school district is giving more children, especially in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, a better chance to succeed in school and in life.
This six-year transformation—with all its challenges, successes, and lessons learned—is chronicled in a new case study by New America, The Power of a Good Idea: How the San Francisco School District is Building a PreK-3rd Grade Bridge.
The Haas, Jr. Fund salutes SFUSD teachers and leaders for tackling this important work with its youngest students and its early successes.