Public education is our gateway to knowledge and prosperity and the foundation for a thriving economy, society, and democracy. Yet, school districts across the United States such as San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) face the challenge of gaps in achievement between students who are rich and poor, black and white. As our nation grapples with how to best address the challenge facing our public schools in the 21st century, we must leverage new resources that can bring improvements in education to scale. The partnership between Stanford University and San Francisco Unified School District presents an opportunity to unite research, practice, and policy as a means for advancing all students’ success.
For many years, Stanford University professors conducted research in San Francisco on a very individualized basis, forging relationships on their own with district officials and school leaders when needed. More recently, the number of Stanford researchers working in San Francisco has grown to almost 30 different projects. To leverage this work, the Silver Giving Foundation united the interests of Dean Deborah Stipek at Stanford University’s School of Education and Carlos Garcia, Superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District. Phil Halperin, President of Silver Giving, helped Stanford and SFUSD forge a powerhouse partnership and accelerate its benefits by providing a full time Partnership Director who collaborates with Dean Stipek and Superintendent Garcia.