This was supposed to be the last year of the lottery system as we know it (thankfully!!!). However, the same week that this year's Round One letters went out, the following note appeared on SFUSD's assignment redesign website:
“SFUSD hoped to have a new policy in place in time to prepare for the 2010-2011 enrollment process but, given the complex nature of this policy decision, it is unlikely that it will be possible to meet the necessary deadlines for a new district wide system in time for next fall’s enrollment cycle. The Board is eager to make this decision and is moving ahead as quickly as possible.”
Here are some interesting facts, for those who haven't been following this. San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) currently uses a Diversity Index/Choice assignment system. Under this system:
-almost half of all families receive none of their 7 choices in Round One and are therefore assigned to a school they didn't choose.
-the school district spends $5.3 million/year on busing (excluding special education)
-the school district's current assignment process costs over $2 million per year to implement
-this situation is getting worse - this year there were 400 additional K applications.
Consider the quote in the Civil Grand Jury report on elementary school assignment in San Francisco: “ The SFUSD's school choice process and its Diversity Index are unnecessarily complex and confusing, time consuming, alienating to the families the District purports to serve and, most damning, fail to deliver a diversified school population.”
Before you decide to flee the city or start saving for private school, also consider that SFUSD is one of the best large urban school districts in California and one of the best school districts in the Bay Area (considering scores and access to special programs).
Many parents want to stay in San Francisco and support the public school system but are fearful of the enrollment process (and if you’re not fearful, you should be!) and want some predictability. The good news is that families might not have to go through the agony of the Diversity Index/Choice system! SFUSD is in the process of redesigning the enrollment process (good news) but they are dragging their feet (bad news). If families speak up we can we can push the school district to move forward.
Here's what families can do:
The most important thing families can do is come to a public meeting this Thursday with the school district and SF Board of Supervisors. Here are the details: Thursday, April 2 at 3:30pm, City Hall Board Room
This is the best way for us to tell SFUSD that the current system is unacceptable and we want it changed! While this may be inconvenient, it's a lot less of a hassle than driving 25 minutes to/from school every day. This may be our only opportunity so it is crucial that families of SF get out and let SFUSD know that it's time to change the system.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Hot topic: Assignment process redesign
An SF K Files visitor asked me to post the following: