Close the Gap

Parents and educators at a town hall hosted by the Close the Gap coalition.

The Close the Gap Coalition is a broad-based education advocacy group dedicated to ending the opportunity gap in San Francisco public schools. Founded in 2013, the coalition is committed to addressing the causes, effects and solutions to the achievement and opportunity gaps in SFUSD public schools.

The group was founded in 2013 to address issues of inequality and achievement in our schools, especially for low-income students of color, English Language Learners, and students with IEPs.

Participating organizations include:

  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
  • Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth
  • Jobs with Justice San Francisco
  • United Educators of San Francisco

Mission Statement

We have established the achievement and opportunity gap as the issue unifying us as a collective body of labor, community organizations and education advocates, and we are committed to together addressing the cause, effect and solutions.

Four Major Principles

  1. Public education is a public good and a human right
  2. Public education is central to democracy
  3. Schools are community institutions vital to the health of our neighborhoods
  4. Public education cannot be divorced from larger social and economic inequalities

 Priority Work

The Close the Gap Coalition has decided to focus our work on three key priority areas:

  1. Ensuring that SFUSD develops meaningful parent and family engagement opportunities that encourage leadership and partnership, bring parents and guardians into schools, and are grounded in a full service model. This priority is rooted in our shared belief that parents and guardians should be students’ strongest allies and that family engagement is essential to student success.
  2. Providing more personalized help in schools – specifically offering an adequate level of staffing of teachers, nurses, counselors and paraprofessionals who have ongoing access to capacity building and professional development opportunities. This also involves using more comprehensive forms of student achievement data beyond the conventional standardized testing in order to more effectively link students to individualized supports and services.
  3. Ensuring full and reliable resources for our students and their needs. This includes not only advocating for additional resources, but wisely spending those resources – including more staff and support, smaller classes, more services, and better pay for educators.

Want To Get Involved?

For more information about the Close the Gap coalition, contact UESF Executive Vice-President Susan Solomon at ssolomon@uesf.org.