Vote Ann Hsu for San Francisco School Board
is an entrepreneur and professional with 25 years experience in hi-tech and consumer industries.
She co-founded and led a dotcom for 13 years, then a yogurt company. She is now a full-time family caregiver.
Ann came from China to the US 40+ years ago and has lived in the Bay Area for 30+ years. Her kids go to public schools, and she is President of Galileo HS PTSA.
She was Chair of SFUSD's Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee until appointed to BOE.
Ann has a BS & MS in engineering and an MBA.
Why should voters elect you to the SF Board of Education?
I have children who attend SFUSD and can therefore empathize with fellow SFUSD parents.
I have extensive professional knowledge and experience, including financial knowledge, to help turn around an SFUSD in financial crisis.
I have the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit to quickly and objectively examine any situation, take-in as much information as available and make decisions quickly, and I am willing to make changes as new information becomes available.
How do you propose to address the learning loss and mental health issues affecting our kids?
I am not an expert in psychology or working with kids beyond being a parent.
However, I will examine the available studies, be open to ideas, and would like to explore and partner with other government agencies and nonprofit organizations who already provide these types of services.
How do you propose to address the budget deficit affecting our school district?
A business addresses a budget deficit by either finding more revenue or cutting spending.
It seems that in public school financing everyone always seeks more revenue without looking at cutting spending, until they are being forced to as in SFUSD’s case.
I think we should stop asking for more money from federal, state or city governments or philanthropic entities until we have made sure that the money we already get is spent efficiently and effectively! That means taking a look structurally at our spending.
It is not rocket science to reference other school districts around the state or the country and learn from their successes and failures in terms of structuring number of teachers to students, central office to school sites staff, etc. while achieving good student outcomes.
We need to examine all options and their impact to students, families, teachers and other stakeholders and make some common sense albeit hard decisions. I have done this with my own companies in the past.
How do you propose to correct the educational equity gap in our school district?
I believe the right way to reduce the achievement gap is to bring up the bottom rather than pull down the top.
Having only spent three months on the BOE learning about all the various issues facing our school district, my rudimentary understanding of the educational equity gap is that students from certain focal populations need a lot more family and community support in order to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them.
If that is the main root cause, then we should step up our efforts in building community schools. If there are other root causes, then we should address them accordingly.
I do not profess to know all the root causes of this complex issue but am willing to learn and innovate new ideas for our school district.
How would you address the Lowell High School admissions issue?
The merit-based admissions policy at Lowell needs to be reinstated ASAP to serve high school students who are academically inclined.
In addition, SFUSD needs to recognize that not all students are academically inclined, and many students have other talents and interests.
Therefore, SFUSD needs to serve all students with appropriate curriculum and programs that prepare them for life after high school, whether it's going to college, joining the workforce, joining the military, or any number of other options.
Tell us about a time when you had to overcome obstacles & build a coalition to get things done
One example is working on the Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee.
As the Chairperson, I had to first request and examine three years' worth of financial data that no one had examined, understand all of it and the context surrounding it, and work with the other 6 committee members as well as the SFUSD Chief Facility Officer and her staff to agree on a set of recommendations and guidelines that increase transparency to the public going forward.
Another example is putting together a team of volunteers as the Chinese/API Voter Outreach Taskforce that within two months registered voters and got out the vote for the recall school board election.
I had no experience running this type of grassroots political campaign, and we had no money. But I leveraged the knowledge and experience of the team and found the money to accomplish our task.