Voters in San Francisco overwhelmingly recalled three board members because the board spent too much time on divisive equity issues and too little time on reopening schools, according to the account by Laura Meckler in the Washington Post.

The story subtitle is: “In a warning for the left, critics saw misplaced priorities, as the board focused on equity issues while schools remained closed”

Some voters were angry about the board’s failure to reopen schools. Asian-Americans were angry about the board’s decision to change the admissions procedure for Lowell High School to increase the number of Black and brown students. Others were frustrated by the lengthy deliberations about renaming schools where the name was associated to racism, not always accurately. More unrest was created by lengthy debates about whether to destroy or cover over a mural in Washington High School depicting George Washington as a slave owner and imperialist, which was considered “racist” by critics who did not realize it was a critical depiction. (The board ultimately voted to cover the mural, not destroy it.)

The recall was heavily funded by “reformers” like billionaire Arthur Rock, a major donor to TFA.

Meckler writes:

Voters in San Francisco opted overwhelmingly to recall three school board members from their positions Tuesday, fueled by dissatisfaction over what San Franciscans saw as the board’s focus on issues of social justice at the expense of reopening schools.

The recall election is the latest signal that mainstream voters, even in a liberal city like San Francisco, have grown frustrated with public schools during the pandemic. Education, particularly its struggles with coronavirus measures and racial justice, is expected to play a prominent role in elections across the country later this year. The results in San Francisco offer another warning sign for Democrats.

Preliminary results showed the vote to oust each of the school board members topping 70 percent. Those who lost their seats are school board president Gabriela López and members Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga.

The recall effort was initiated by a couple frustrated by the board’s failure to reopen schools last academic year. Even as other districts opened or developed hybrid in-person and remote systems, San Francisco remained remote for nearly all students, who returned this fall.

At the same time, the board engaged in a series of divisive moves aimed at racial equity that critics say were ill-advised, particularly for a period when schools were closed and academic and emotional damage to the city’s children was accruing.
It spent months deliberating about how to rename 44 schools after a committee found their namesakes had connections to slavery, oppression and racism, though many of the alleged ties were thin or, in some cases, historically questionable or inaccurate…

The leaders of the recall movement, Siva Raj and Autumn Looijen, appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio show in a segment about parents pushing back against schools, drawing criticism at home.

Months after the recall effort launched, the Virginia governor’s race showed the power of education as a political issue when Republican Glenn Youngkin won with a heavy emphasis on school closures and race.