The Future of Public Education: PPS-SF Annual General Meeting

What is the future of education? What impact do national policies have on our local schools? What do San Francisco families need to know?

Join Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco (PPS-SF) on Wednesday, April 26, from 6pm to 7:30pm in the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Main Library as we focus on “The Future of Public Education” at our Annual General Meeting.

We have seen many changes in public education over the past year. A shift in national leadership, insufficient educational funding, and a teacher shortage in San Francisco have left many families with more questions than answers. PPS-SF partners with some of today’s most innovative thought leaders to address these timely issues head on.

NOTE: Delaine Eastin, originally scheduled to appear, has had to cancel due to unexpected gubernatorial campaign obligations. While we are sorry to lose her, we are pleased to welcome Carol Kocivar of Ed100 as an addition to our panel. 


  • Dr. Arun Ramanthan, CEO of Pivot Learning Partners
  • Samantha Dobbins Tran, Senior Managing Director of Education Policy at Children Now
  • Shamann Walton, President of the SFUSD Board of Education
  • Carol Kocivar, Editorial Contributor, ED100; Former President CAPTA

Guests will also have the opportunity to meet the new PPS-SF executive director, Teresa Arriaga, who joins the organization on April 25, 2017.

The Annual General Meeting is free to attend, but pre-registration is highly recommended.

Please leave your questions for the speakers in the comments, and we will do our best to incorporate them into the program.

Pre-register via Eventbrite. 

More about our speakers:

Dr. Arun Ramanathan leads Pivot Learning Partners, the largest nonprofit provider of technical assistance in the areas of leadership development, teaching and learning, and education finance to school districts in California. Dr. Ramanathan previously served as the executive director of the Education Trust-West, the leading education policy, research, and advocacy organization focused on closing achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income students and students of color in California. He also served as chief student services officer in the San Diego Unified School District. Dr. Ramanathan is an immigrant to the United States and an English learner. He received his BA from Dartmouth College, MEd in elementary and special education from Boston College and earned a doctorate in administration, policy and social planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Samantha Dobbins Tran helps oversee Children Now’s education policy agenda, including managing the organization’s comprehensive policy, advocacy, and communications campaigns on school finance and accountability. She is also a strategic advisor on Children Now’s foster youth, early learning, and health policy work. Prior to joining Children Now, Ms. Tran was a senior research and policy consultant at the California School Boards Association (CSBA) where she tracked and provided guidance on state and federal policy issues. She represented CSBA in meetings with the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education, California First 5 Commission, and other state bodies. Ms. Tran completed her BA in communications at the University of San Francisco and her MA in education policy at Stanford University.

Shamann Walton is the current president of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education and a native San Franciscan. Upon graduating cum laude from Morris Brown College with a BA in political science, he came back to his roots and began teaching and working at the Boys & Girls Club. He taught for the Solano County Office of Education before becoming the director of the Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco's Potrero Hill Family Resource Center (PHFRC). After serving as the director for the PHFRC he became a program officer for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF). While with DCYF, Shamann completed his master’s of public administration at San Francisco State University. He is now the executive director of Young Community Developers, Inc., a workforce development agency located in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point community.


Carol Kocivar Carol Kocivar has  served as President of the California State PTA and has advocated for adequate school funding, small class sizes, arts for all children, special education funding, physical education and counselors, civics education, and the defeat of vouchers. She helped write Proposition 38, a California ballot initiative in 2012 to provide additional funding and a full curriculum for all children in all California public schools, and Proposition H in San Francisco, which provides additional school funding that supports the arts, physical education, librarians, pre-school and other education services. She wrote the PTA Arts Resolution supporting quality arts education for all students and helped create SMARTS: Bring Back the Arts Campaign for the PTA. She has worked as a journalist, and attorney and ombudsperson for special education, bringing arts and Special Olympic programs into schools to serve children with special needs. She hosts "Looking at Education” on KALW radio 91.7 FM in San Francisco and is a writer for, a web resource to create informed parent leaders. 

More about the new PPS-SF executive director, Teresa Arriaga:

PPS-SF Announces New Executive Director