CCSF teachers recruit students from BART/Muni stations

City College instructors work Powell Street station seeking new students.
Joe Fitzgerald

Walking through the Powell BART and Muni station, commuters are used to hearing the cries of a melange of musicians, crazies, and those with something to sell. Today and tomorrow though, commuters will hear something entirely different, as teachers cry “Enroll at City College! Enroll now!” through transit stations across San Francisco.

Teachers and faculty from the equally bedeviled and beloved school, City College of San Francisco, are out in force with flyers and laptops trying to shore up an enrollment deficit of 3,000 students. Today they’re at the Powell, Montgomery, and Embarcadero stations, handing out flyers and enrolling potential students on their laptops. Tomorrow, they’ll be at Civic Center, Mission, and Balboa street Muni and Bart stations doing the same.

The lack of student enrollment would deprive the school of $6.5 million dollars in state funding, which the school has responded to by cutting faculty and administrative salaries by 8.8 percent, and electing not to rehire, essentially letting go, 30-40 part time teachers, 18 part time counselors, and 30 clerical staff.

It's no wonder these teachers are out on foot, enrolling as many folks as they can -- and they say they’ve met with some success.

“I’ve been surprised how receptive people have been,” said Lizzie Brock, a basic skills English teacher at the college. Brock was on her feet handing out flyers for four hours, despite being about six months pregnant with her second child. “It’s a labor of love,” she said.

Though Brock only recently became a tenured teacher at the college, having taught there full-time for six years, she can’t afford to live in San Francisco on her salary from CCSF. She lives in Pacifica, commuting to the city to teach her classes.

Thomas Blair, a foreign language department head at CCSF who also teaches French, organized the two days of outreach. An older gentleman with snowy, neatly combed hair, and a kindly manner, he’s the last person you’d expect to sound the trumpets and gather 90 or so teachers to hit the pavement.

His passion for the college lies in these simple facts: he’s taught there for more than 30 years, and as a department head, he has a responsibility to all of the foreign language teachers at the college, and the thousands of students who open themselves to learning how to communicate with the world.

“I brought the table on the K with me all the way from Ocean Avenue,” Blair said. He thinks he has a pretty good chance of signing up new students from commuters, because those in the 30-55-year-old crowd are often the ones taking new languages at City College, he said. “The office workers are a very good segment for us now,” he said.

Guillermo Romero, a blueprint reading instructor at CCSF, was also there handing out flyers. Streams of people flew past Romero, but he was undeterred. Romero is confident that his classes will meet enrollment, simply because of his philosophy in teaching his class, he said.

Disfrutando euseñando, disfrutando aprendieindo,” Romero said. If you enjoy teaching, they’ll enjoy learning -- and hopefully be back for more.


Wow - 15 miles. Must be rough. The equivalent of commuting from Long Island to Manhattan.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 09, 2013 @ 8:17 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 7:01 am

on BART bemoan the lack of public policy jobs sure sucks though.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

well then since Harvard and Stanford take 100% of people who apply and both are very inexpensive to go to, everyone in the community needs are met.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 2:28 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

This is the first time that CCSF didn't mail out printed schedules, which had to have a negative impact on enrollment. Makes one wonder how serious the administration is about staying in business, let alone increasing enrollment. The college is lucky to have such dedicated instructors.

Posted by San Franciscan on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

City College is a real asset to the city, lets say that right off.

Mailing out the schedules I though would be daunting for someone who might want to take some classes and see how it all worked out. My old roommate would always look it over and be more confused when he was done.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

What a corrupt cess pool of progessive management.

Start over.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

If you cannot do better than CCSF, become a janitor.

Posted by guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

They help prepare students for four-year schools who may lack the skills to succeed immediately in a university environment - which is important because it costs less at the community college level to educate someone, for both the student and the state. They also provide the skilled trades with a steady supply of new workers - which we desperately need in this country.

CCSF may have problems but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

The ahem, SF liberals have done their best to do away with shop classes because they think they channel kids towards real jobs.

Tech school John O'Connell was torn down and moved to 19th and Folsom free of any shop classes until 2010 thanks to our visionary overlords.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

and not by focusing on our most inadequate aspects.

Posted by Anon on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

It's something a lot more people need to learn to do. These days most people can't even pound a damn nail into the wall. We needed more tradesmen and women in this city, state and country. Badly. We all can't just open doors for one another for employment.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

They're all on Army Street available for 10 bucks an hour, and none of them went to CCSF nor took a dime of taxpayer money.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

I would guess all of them dudes have been through general free of insurance.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

Skilled electricians, plumbers, HVAC installers, construction project managers, welders etc... do. Licensed electricians are not standing around on Valenica street asking $10 an hour.

Your observation is incorrect.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

so i'm not sure where you are getting your info from.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

A tradesperson can make 40 or 50 and hour. I studies major getting straight A's can get a part time job for 12$.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

$10 to $12 an hour with no pesky workers comp or social security.

In fact, if you hire a contractor for $50 an hour he will sub-contract the work to his Mexican cousin for 10 bucks an hour and pocket the difference.

Never pay more than $100 a day for contractors.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:27 pm
Posted by Eddie on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

Really? Please cite that statute, Eddie.

Posted by anon on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

Prevailing wage doesn't apply to anything not funded by the government. Still - union goons are known to invade job sites, especially downtown, where non-union workers are being employed.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

And not what some union would like it to be worth. Value is determined by the consumer and not by the provider.

Posted by anon on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

you have a poor understanding of the laws of supply and demand.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 7:49 am

except by noting what someone else is willing to pay for your service?

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 8:18 am

traditional economic theory, prices and wages are set where the supply and demand curves meet; consumers and producers, employers and employees jointly set prices and wages.

I don't base my worth on my wage--life is too short for that.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 8:34 am

wage is set by those who hire you, either as a boss or as a customer.

You don't jointly set your wage. Your boss does that on his own. The only option you have is to quit the job if you don't think you're being paid enough.

The value of a product or services is equal to what someone else is willing to pay for it. It's the golden rule - he who has the gold makes the rules.

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 8:46 am

... by whatever rules society chooses to impose.

If society chooses to employ rational considerations such as equity and fairness, such as how much a person needs to live, then that is what the labor will be worth.

If society chooses to impose no rules at all (that's called capitalism), then labor is worth whatever the bosses say it is.

Just don't tell me there's one "correct" way to value labor, and everything else is wrong. By your philosophy, if the "free" (really not free at all) market decides that the exact SAME labor is worth less when performed by a woman or a black person, then that's just hunky dory with you. But that's clearly irrational, because it's the exact same labor.

So society imposes rules, because the market knows no reason and no compassion.

The market is the law of the jungle. That's one way of deciding worth, but by no means the only way.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 8:42 am

like "fairness" and "need" then how is an employer supposed to know or emasure that? Should you get a pay raise if your wife has a new baby? According to you, yes, because your "need" has gone up.

But most Americans would argue that's irrelevant. You get paid for the value of your work, and your expenses are your problem, not theirs.

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 8:52 am

No system is perfect, but better to try to infuse the determination of worth with some reason and human comapssion, than have no rules whatsoever.

Under your ideology, it's perfectly A-OK to let employers decide that minorities and women can get paid less, if the "free market" determines that their labor is worth less.

That's not A-OK by me. I guess we just have to agree to disagree. We just have different philosophies on determining worth.

Just don't try to tell me that your way must be the only correct way, by the circular logic that your way employs no human reason or compassion at all, therefore it must be better.

"Better" is the a system that produces better living conditions for the great majority. And that sure ain't unregulated markets.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 9:20 am

I was arguing to pay them what they are individually worth to me regardless of race and gender, and dependent only on perceived value.

How much money they think they need is irrelevant.

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 10:50 am

If that's what the market decides.

You believe people are worth exactly what the "market" decides, no more, no less. Anything else is a warrantless intervention into the market.

You personally could care less if women and minorities are paid less; you just say that *if* the market decides to pay them less, then that's what they're worth -less. Of course, without government intervention into the market, that's exactly what happens.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 11:06 am

1) An employer hires a white male and a black woman. The white male has more qualifications and experience, so he is paid more. That's not discriminating by race or gender - it's discriminating against lower performance on the job.

2) An employer hires a white man and a black woman with identical skills and ability, and then pays the white man more for no reason other than race and gender.

HUGE difference.

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 11:24 am

We can both agree that someone with more experience deserves more (or maybe not, because you probably oppose paying teachers more based on experience, but that's another story).

Anyway, where I differ from market fundamentalists is the case where people get less for the SAME amount of work. That happens. That is a fact in economies where the government does not intervene in the market to impose fairness (there's that dirty word again). It DID happen. Women and minorities were (sometimes still are) paid less for the SAME work, with the SAME experience.

For the sake of THIS argument, it does not even matter whether this does or does not happen. Let me spell it out slowly and clearly. It is your STATED position that the value of labor is determined SOLELY by the market. THEREFORE IT FOLLOWS: A market fundamentalist like yourself would say that EVEN if it were true that people were paid less solely based on gender and skin color, the government should not intervene to impose fairness. *IF* as you say, only the market decides what labor is worth, THEN IT FOLLOWS, that *IF* the market decides that the labor of a black man is worth less than the labor of a white man, then it's worth less.

I simply disagree. I think the government has a role to impose fair pay.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

not paying into workers comp, paying below minimum wage are all crimes.

Exploiting labor apparently is your highest calling.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

your comment mean? I have no idea, but I think you mean that only the "smartest" people deserve education.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

I would have probably done better to have gone to community college after high school than to the flagship state university where the various temptations of Austin in 1980/81 were much more attractive than classes. It ended up taking me a decade of work and school to hew the BA from the cliff face.

I doubt that the economics of education would allow for that today. But then again, the need for a BA in software is not necessary. The freedom to divert myself in the liberal arts is another benefit of educational economics that no longer exist.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

and a gift for grant writing.

There is a girl I see every five or so years that I know from Portland who complains that her chosen field of going to school makes her broke in her late forties.

I see the TV guy from Slackers all the time in the Mission.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

While Slacker was being filmed, the summer after I finally graduated, I was working my ass off in the chem lab to achieve escape velocity to make it out here. Fortunately, working in tech, I was able to get established here while living a relatively slacker lifestyle and pay off my student loans of a quaint $15K 10 years later.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

and a five year union apprenticeship. In many ways, the apprenticeship was more difficult than college.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

But if your contributions here are anything to go by then whatever you spent for your "education" was too much by three quarters.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

you also accuse me of insincerity. I bet you're a lonely fellow or you just play one on the internet.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

PhD in astrophysics might be harder to get than, say, a plumbing diploma.

Feel me?

Posted by anon on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

than school work, like working a physically demanding and dangerous full time or more job often under difficult bosses in addition to the class requirements, with attendence standards that are more strict than most colleges. Miss two unexcused and you're out. Universities are way more forgiving than that.

I never claimed to have a PhD anyways. There's a lot more to "unskilled" labor than you know or will admit.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

is working under an overbearing twit as their manager while remaining productive.

Middle management will often pick such an over-weening nitwit to supervise "the unskilled" based on a lack of understanding and general disdain for such workers -- and the straw bosses will take such jobs for basically *no* extra money -- just the shear joy of being pricks.

Of course there are *many* skills that so called "unskilled laborers" have. That's just one.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

Sure sounds like it and no surprise that you might have a "problem with authority".

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 7:37 am

How do you know that it was 3/4 and not 2/3 or 4/5?

Posted by marcos on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:16 pm
Posted by anon on Jan. 10, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

exploits undocumented workers on his remodeling projects? Do you think if one of his "casual" workers got hurt on the job, that worker would get the health care he needs and is entitled to under workers comp? Or would the employer just drop him back off on Cesar Chavez, knowing that the worker's immigration status and vulnerability would deter him from asserting his legal rights?

Do you think that employer cheats on his taxes as well? He sure is quick to stereotype blacks and "hispanics" as criminals.

Posted by Eddie on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 7:58 am

have been very satisfied with their efforts. I would assume that any woorker in a dangerous field would take out the necessary insurance and certification. When you hire a plumber, do you ask to see proof that he's paying his workers' comp dues? What health insurance he is carrying? I doubt it.

It's not his opinion that blacks and hispanics have higher crime rates. The crime statistics say that, which is why many leaders of the black and hispanic community are concerned about the stats.

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 8:22 am