Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There's a flaw in my poll!

A frequent visitor to The K Files pointed out a huge flaw in the way I worded the question for my poll. I appreciate her careful reading.

My question says, "Should San Francisco change the lottery enrollment process so children can to to neighborhood schools?" Yes, children CAN go to their neighborhood schools—it's just that they're not guaranteed their neighborhood schools. I will reintroduce the poll with new wording—though you all have to vote again because I can't make the change without losing the votes.

And please, I welcome anyone to point out mistakes on this blog. I'm doing a lot of the writing late at night after going to work all day and caring for my children in the evening. By the time I get to writing, my mind is tired. Plus, I'm definitely not an expert on the school situation in San Francisco. I'm just trying to create a space where we can all learn from each other and I'm hoping to introduce topics that will get people thinking. Thanks everyone for reading this blog!


  1. I don't know if this is the case or not with SF Public Schools, but why can't we keep the ability to choose schools but add a neighborhood proximity element to the enrollment. For example, if I live near my first choice school, make that a point in my favor rather than a mute point. I think that this would make a lot of sense.

  2. Surprisingly, the system does give priority to kids who live in the attendance area, to a certain point. However, the advantage is dependent on the difference between your child's diversity index and the base index for the incoming class and the popularity of your neighborhood school. For a school that has more applicants than spaces, the diversity index kicks in. The diversity index first gives spots to siblings and then calculates a base diversity index for the siblings who have been assigned spots. Next the index divides the remaining applicants into two pools, those who live in and those who live out of the attendance area. The index then assigns spots to applicants who live within the attendance area and have a diversity index that is most different from the base index (the index for the siblings assigned to the school). After each spot is assigned, the base index is recalculated and the process is repeated until the base index matches the diversity index of the remaining applicants who live in the attendance area. At this point the index then starts assigning spots to applicants who live outside of the attendance area with the most different diversity index from the re-calculated base index. Check out to make sure that I got the process correct. So, living in the attendance area for a school helps out only if your child's diversity rating is different from the siblings of the students who currently attend the school.