Thursday, September 10, 2009

Let's help this family out with some suggestions

I received this email from a family moving to San Francisco from the UK. She'd like to receive some tips on best neighborhoods for families as well as suggestions for schools.
I'm moving with my family (husband, two girls aged 7 and 5) from the UK to San Francisco in late October. We will be needing to find a home and a school for the girls and I've been looking at the various elementary schools available. Since we're arriving mid-year I assume that I need to find out which schools have openings for one in Grade 2 (she was 7 in August) and the other in Kindergarten (she'll be 5 in October). Do I approach the schools direct or do I go through the school board? I'm keen to find out about the schools first as it will heavily influence where we choose to live, though I do realize they probably can't guarantee anything until we have an address. Any advice gratefully received!

83 comments:

  1. Forget trying to pick a place to live based on nearby schools - the "diversity" lottery pretty much negates that strategy, while ironically reducing diversity by driving many who can afford it to private education or out of the city.

    SFUSD needs to take a very hard look at the *outcomes* of the assignment process - like so many things it has good intentions in theory but unfortunate results in practice.

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  2. Maybe she should read "Schools Gone Wild" in San Francisco Magazine and move to Vancouver, BC, Toronto, or Boston, where the public schools and health care system are still excellent.

    Or move to San Francisco, pull two professional incomes, and send the kids to private. Pay 1.5 million on a home in Noe or a 700K on a house in Bernal, cash. Yeah!!!

    If she doesn't meet one of the "special criteria" on the SFUSD enrollement, and she has a kid applying to K this year, her kids won't get into even a mediocre school. The California funding crises is just going to get worse.

    If she is middle class, don't do it. Don't move here! There are much better places to raise a family and enjoy city life.

    For starters, Vancouver, BC, Toronto, or Boston.

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  3. After you settle down on an address, go immediately down to the EPC and ask for the list of schools that have any seats open. I suggest have a "top 10 wishlist" and ask if any on the list have availability. Since you are from out of town, they might/will try to give you district/neighborhood preference. Be very NICE, patient, but persistent. I hear that it is easier to get the school of your choice if you are not yet registered in the system and are from out of town.

    There are a lot of good schools out there. It really depends on what your family's need and wants are.
    Good Luck!

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  4. Lots of nice neighborhoods for kids (depending on your budget of course...) but there are probably more good public schools to pick from on the mid-to-southern side of town. You might consider grabbing a 2nd grade spot at a good school (EPC and PPSF can give you some options based on where you live and what language programs, ...etc. you might be interested in) and hold your kindergartner back a year or send her to private kinder for just that year. Kindergarten spots tend to be much harder to get in the fall at popular schools and the next year your younger child will be at the top of the kinder or 1st grade list with sibling preference.

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  5. Lots of nice neighborhoods for kids (depending on your budget of course...) but there are probably more good public schools to pick from on the mid-to-southern side of town. You might consider grabbing a 2nd grade spot at a good school (EPC and PPSF can give you some options based on where you live and what language programs, ...etc. you might be interested in) and hold your kindergartner back a year or send her to private kinder for just that year. Kindergarten spots tend to be much harder to get in the fall at popular schools and the next year your younger child will be at the top of the kinder or 1st grade list with sibling preference.

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  6. I know there are kindergarten openings at Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program. We are finishing up our 3rd week and are very impressed thus far. Central location, beautiful well maintained building, lots of funded greening plans in the works, a warm community, great diversity... The Japanese program is very strong - 1 hour a day taught by a native speaker. My child has no previous exposure to Japanese and I can't believe how much they have already learned. I really think this is a GREAT alternative to the immersion programs which are so hard to get into now.

    Looking for a kindergarten was hellish and this is not where I would have guessed we would have ended up but I am hopeful that we will end up being very happy there.

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  7. First, a repeat: Don't pick a neighborhood based on the idea that it has a good public school. San Francisco Unified School District has a lottery system and nobody is entitled to attend a school in their neighborhood.

    Second, go to www.sfusd.edu. That will provide contact information for the Educational Placement Center. They can tell you which public schools have space available in the grades you need. If you are coming in from outside the district, you have priority for available spaces.

    Then, on the same web site, look at the School Information for public schools that have space. There are reports for each school called SARCs. They break down student performance on state-administered standardized tests by gender, ethnicity, home language and poverty. Look at the scores for children in your kids' demographic, not just the overall scores.

    Also look at program type. San Francisco's public elementary schools offer two types of foreign language programs, though not every one of the schools offers foreign languages. The "bilingual education" programs are aimed at teaching English to kids who don't speak it at home. The "immersion" programs are aimed at giving English speakers fluency in a target language (typically Spanish, Cantonese or Mandarin) and target language speakers fluency in English. "General education" programs conduct all instruction in English. There are also a couple Japanese "language acquisition" programs called "Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Programs" or "JBBP." JBBP programs don't aim for fluency but English-speaking kids do spend a reasonable amount of time each day learning to read, write and speak Japanese.

    Visit the schools you are considering. Some high performing schools are very nice, others can be somewhat regimented or in neighborhoods where you would not be comfortable. Rosa Parks JBBP is a nice program with great families, but it's right in the middle of a housing project (I believe what you would call "Council Housing" in the UK). I was OK with it, but my husband said "absolutely not."

    If you cannot find a public school you can live with, consider an open-enrollment private school, at least for this school year. If you are here because your employer assigned you here or you are on a diplomatic posting, they may help with private school fees. Most open-enrollment private schools are affiliated with religious orders and of those, most are Catholic. The degree of religious indoctrination varies from school to school. Religiously-affiliated open-enrollment private school fees are usually around $8,000 per year per child. Of the two secular open-enrollment privates I'm aware of, one (Hillwood Academic Day School) costs around $7,000 per year and the other (Adda Clevenger) is around $20,000 per year. The more expensive one has a year-round program with an 8-hour school day and a dual academic and performing arts curriculum, and a number of UK and European families attend.

    There is a raging debate about whether people who choose private school are harming public schools. The issues are complicated and this is no place to have that debate. You are coming from another country and trying to find a school for your kids mid-year. Right now, you have to take care of your kids. You can get into the philosophical issues later.

    If you are not required to live in San Francisco and really want a public school and can't get a space in a San Francisco you like, consider one of the suburbs with good public schools. In the suburbs, the school you live near is the school your kids attend.

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  8. Try Yick Wo in North Beach/Russian Hill. High test scores, great atmosphere, tons of Euro families, esp British. I can count four English families right off the top of my head. I think there might be slots for your kids, if not this year, next year. It's a gem, and because of its location in a dense tres-San Francisco neighborhood, it doesn't get the buzz that other neighborhood top schools get. Our kids love it!!

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  9. 10:01 is totally wrong, and jaded. Sure some families end up like that, but we are an upper middle class family (whatever that means, anymore) and our public school is great. Stick with the process, and there is a 90% chance you will end up in a great public school and be happy. Not 100%, but 90% is alright.

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  10. There's not much public school "process" left for this academic year, and the original poster is moving here with kids at the end of next month. There's no reason not to put everything on the table for 2010-2011. Since the public school enrollment system will be changing, follow closely the information that comes up on sfusd.edu (the school district web site) and www.ppssf.org (the Parents for Public Schools web site--they are an advocacy group).

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  11. Rosa Parks is not, in fact, "in the middle of a housing project". It's right by a church, a Safeway, condos, etc. I pick up my kid every day and there is nothing scary in sight. It's a great building on a quiet block but close to the (perfectly respectable) activity on Webster, and practically across the street from Japan Town restaurants and stores. There are tons of parents and kids milling about before and after school.

    12:07 Don't let your family's prejudices spoil it for others who would be perfectly happy there.

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  12. The suburbs around here are having a big crisis in terms of space/capacity, so don't think going suburban will mean less headaches or a guaranteed neighborhood school.

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  13. Since neighborhood schools isn't a reality, and you want to live in SF--maybe you should look at how much money you can afford on a home. If you can buy something on the Westside of town- do it. The schools are better and there MIGHT be some change coming in the near future for neighborhood schools. There are some good 5-8 grade schools there and something you should consider for the future.

    You don't want to buy a home now only to find out in the near future that SFUSD has changed the system for neighborhood schools and YOU HATE the middle school closest to your home. If you can afford it, it's something you should really think about!

    Look at www.SFUSD.edu website and look at the schools location map. From there, find an real estate agent and talk to them about the different neighborhoods around SF.

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  14. Hello everyone. Thanks for all your comments in answer to my question. You have all given me much food for thought - keep those ideas/opinions coming!

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  15. When JBBP had to merge with another school, Rosa Parks was chosen because of its location. I think being so close to Japan Town is a big advantage. After I pick up my daughter from school we go to Japan Town and we feel much more connected with the community. It is a great spot in town!!

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  16. If I were in your shoes, I'd contact parents for public schools, instead of this board for starters! I would try to contact the educational placement office (aka the EPC) and try to get a read on which schools have space for your incoming 2nd grader. The incoming kinder one I might hold out a year depending on what's available because you can enter her into the lottery for next year and then get sibling preference for your 2nd grader if you don't like what's available. I'd also look for a short term lease just in case all that's left is the truly awful schools (and there are some - most SFUSD schools I think are decent though even if they aren't popular). There are some fantastic public schools in close-Ish burbs and if you aren't wedded to buying or living in the City, the rents on nice houses in great districts are pretty reasonable compared to city living. Orinda, Piedmont, Burlingame, hell I even have a friend renting a sweet place in Hillsborough for $3500 a month (4 bedrooms, pool - it's fantastically 70s but totally liveable).

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  17. I would agree that Rosa Parks is a wonderful school and I would not worry about that neighborhood anymore than I would worry about neighborhoods such as Bernal or the Excelsior.

    The teachers seem very invested.

    Classes are small.

    Unfortunately, the test scores are poor. That is just more heavy lifting for the teachers and parents who want their children to succeed academically.

    In general, science teaching in California is poor, and it is likely that in a school with low test scores, where the focus will be on reading and arithmetic, no one will even get to science.

    If you don't believe me, you can look at the following document from the National Academy of Sciences:

    "Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs for Science Education for K-8: Building a Village for California:

    http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12739&page=1

    I'll quote directly from the introduction:

    "The storm that threatens the economic prospects of California - and the rest of the United States - is clearly visible, said Jacqueline Dorrance, executive director of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation:"

    "California has ranked near the bottom of all states in the percentage of fourth graders at or above proficiency in science."

    "According to a national poll conducted by the Bayer Corporation (1995), 68 percent of parents and 64 percent of elementary school teachers do not consider themselves to be scientifically literate."

    "In international tests conducted as part of the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment(PISA), US 15-year-olds ranked 25th out of 30 countries in mathematics and 21st in science(OECD, 2007.)"

    I am not singling Rosa Parks out. There are many very expensive private schools that are not doing a very good job of teaching math and science either.

    I'll also refer to the recent examiner article on the exit exam:
    "http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/San-Francisco-trails-state-in-sophomores-passing-high-school-exit-exam-56727302.html"

    We are not teaching our kids to compete in the world economy. No one is going to care if a kid speaks Japanese, Mandarin or Cantonese if he or she can't do Algebra.

    A previous poster called me jaded. (I posted earlier suggesting that the prospective person who is considering a move here think again.) I would argue that I am not jaded, but well appraised of the facts. Realistic.

    Bottom line is that San Francisco is overpriced, especially for families seeking a good education for their children. Unless one has a compelling professional reason to be here, other cities may be far more affordable with just as many perks.

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  18. I posted at 12:07 and I SAID Rosa Parks JBBP was a nice program with great parents and I was OK with it, but my husband was not, due to the location. I visited the school several times. There is a housing project. I've had my tires slashed driving through that neighborhood in broad daylight. Sorry if you think I'm "prejudiced" because I was willing to send our kid to the school but the location was not OK with my husband. The point was that people should themselves feel comfortable with their school's neighborhood. I used Rosa Parks only as an example of a school where someone might NOT feel comfortable with the neighborhood, as my husband does not.

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  19. I believe the assignment policy changes are not supposed to change much at the middle/high school levels. It certainly would be a travesty if they limited the ability to choose from among a variety of different schools and programs at the upper grades, given how many fewer options there are per neighborhood compared to elementary. Some kids have special areas of focus like language immersion, or music. Plus, under the current system more upper level schools have become "acceptable" to middle class parents--James Lick, Aptos, Roosevelt at the middle school level, for example.

    Back on topic, to Eliane: The advice to talk with PPS-SF is very good. I know it has helped others in your situation of moving to town after school is underway. Also talk with EPC at the district offices. There may very well be openings in some usually tight schools for your second-grader--things change. Once your second-grader is in place, you can work on getting your younger one in on sibling preference. Might be a two-step, but it's a good likelihood.

    This is going to be a little bit tough for you because you will need to have an address first, before you can accept actual spots. The idea of renting for a year is a good one--don't lock in. You also might consider centrally located schools like Rosa Parks or Harvey Milk or Glen Park (central is a wide term here but these are all more central than the Sunset...problem with moving to the westside is that those schools tend to be jammed--and then you are stuck with a huge commute). Remember when you are looking at test scores to check how kids in *your* demographic are doing. Some very good schools have lower scores than others because they are serving some more challenged kids. School websites should have information about afterschool care, if you need that--or come back here and ask if you can't find specific info.

    Good luck! And don't believe the horror stories. Keep an open mind and feel free to test specific ideas here. Or PPS would be happy to give you parent contacts at most schools for more info.

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  20. A suggestion for you would be to contact one of the directors at some of the well known pre schools in the area. They would have the most up to date information and I'm sure would be happy to help.

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  21. "I posted at 12:07 and I SAID Rosa Parks JBBP was a nice program with great parents and I was OK with it, but my husband was not, due to the location."

    You said it's in the middle of a housing project. Your description is misleading and inaccurate.

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  22. "The incoming kinder one I might hold out a year depending on what's available because you can enter her into the lottery for next year and then gt sibling preference for your 2nd grader if you don't like what's available."

    I don't think you can get sibling preference for an older child at a younger child's school, only the other way around.

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  23. 12:07 - Sorry your feathers were ruffled by Rosa Parks Parent. However, the tone in your original post was also off-putting to me as someone who has chosen to send my child there. Many of us take great pride in our schools and work hard to promote them. Perpeptuating misconceptions - like that Rosa Parks is right in the middle of a housing project (just not true!) - on powerful forums such as this can do so much damage. Please everyone, take it all with a grain of salt and make sure to visit schools yourself with an open mind!

    Sorry, Eliane, for taking time up on your thread. I am the poster who originally mentioned it as a school with openings but now I wish I had kept my mouth shut.

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  24. Rosa Parks is a nice school with great parental involvement. It is connected to both African American and Japanese culture in the immediate neighborhood and is itself a truly diverse school. The greening project is great.

    I would encourage us scaredy-rabbit middle class parents (note I include myself) to consider schools outside our zones and look a little deeper. Many kids like ours--and mine--have thrived and been stretched in good ways those in zones. Not bad preparation for life. And we are kidding ourselves if we think we are guaranteeing safety and comfort for our children within our own zone....a school that looks like a zone of safety can be a place that is seething with cliques and bullying. There are many, many nice families at a school like Rosa Parks, and they come in all class/racial groups. Combine that with parental and neighborhood activism, extra federal dollars, grant money, and committed teachers, and you have a winning school.

    No, not every diverse school with many poorer students is like this. Nor is every fancy private school, or popular public, a perfect solution. It's all about the community that is there, the teachers, the parents, the principal, the wider community, and a sense of energy. Good schools exist with all mixes of kids. Although I might argue that there is a special energy to a school that is really diverse (in class/race terms) that has it going on, and that is something that no private school in SF can offer, and Rosa Parks does offer this. No one has to jump on this bandwagon, but those who reject it because of nearby projects are missing out on a great thing.

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  25. I recommend considering what an earlier poster said and look for a spot for your 2nd grader. Grattan is in Cole Valley and I believe it may have a spot open for 2nd grade. I imagine K is full, but I recommend you check it out and perhaps something will open up during the year for your younger child or you might be able to find a preschool/transitional K for her this year and next year apply for 1st grade and she'd have sibling preference. Good luck.

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  26. Hey! I live in Western Addition, where Rosa Parks is located. Yes, Western Addition has housing projects; Yes, Western Addition has a vibrant arts and music scene; Yes, some would even say the area is being gentrified. It's an area in transition with a lot of different people in different circumstances. And you can get your tires slashed or your windows bashed in anywhere. But as someone who has lived very near Rosa Parks for 10 years - during a period of real change -- I must stand up to defend the area. In my book, it's exciting, and my kids don't even go there.

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  27. I think it is possible to get into a public school in San Francisco that you will be happy with, but like other said, don't base the neighborhood on what school you want to get into.

    I think that a better option to avoide some of the stress would be to move just outside San Francisco; Marin County, Belmont, Palo Alto to name a few. Not sure that is an option for you, but it is a little easier to get into the nearby schools if you are looking for a neighborhood school where most of the kids live in the same area.

    If it is San Francisco, you need to send in the application after your move and wait for a placement at a school. I think it is easier for your older one than for your younger one but I know of families who moved here mid year and got in to a public school that they are happy with!

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  28. Increasingly the burbs are having problems with overcrowding and neighborhood placements, so if you take that route then plan carefully.

    I actually think you can get a good mid-year placement in SF for your 2nd grader (and then pull up the K-er through sibling preference) if you are willing to consider not just one, but maybe a dozen or so schools. EPC can tell you what is available, PPS can provide access to contacts at the school, and you can test out reactions here.

    One thing, test scores don't tell the whole story. A school can have high test scores but be chaotic (running on its favorable demographics, and that is true for some of the suburban schools too), or be regimented. A school can have middling test scores but be really fantastic, because it is dealing with a transitional or challenged population. Helps to ask around.

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  29. There are openings at all grades at Rosa Parks. We invite you to visit. Classes are small, the faculty is committed, and the parent community is amazing, very energetic and very community-minded. We have a wonderful new principal who on top of things and a very active listener to students, parents, faculty. It is a very diverse student body (diverse in race/ethnicity as well as income) that includes three strands: General Education, Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program, and Special Education. Test scores are rising each year.
    We hope you will come for a visit!

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  30. Someone mentioned this, but without more info. Parents for Public Schools is the best resource for information and support, www.ppssf.org

    You do go through the school district, not directly through the schools, but PPS can guide you through the process.

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  31. Following up on 10:39--Rosa Parks is within easy access to a number of neighborhoods from working class to middle class to quite upper class.

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  32. Given San Francisco's messed up - to put it kindly - "lottery" assignment system, I'd seriously look at the suburbs rather than San Francisco. As someone who loves San Francisco and has lived here for a very long time it pains me to say this but it is the truth. Avoid the process if you can.

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  33. The lottery process is a whole different world if you're coming in from outside midyear, with two kids who need the same school. Just like any school district, SFUSD will have to find the spots where it can -- but everyone at popular, oversubscribed schools can attest that newcomers from outside the district land in their kids' classes. Families move or transfer their kids for whatever reason, even at the most popular schools. So it might well work out just fine right away. But I second the recommendations to call Parents for Public Schools -- don't try this at home! (Or by yourself, without their support.)

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  34. "I've had my tires slashed driving through that neighborhood in broad daylight."

    Wow. They slashed your tires WHILE you were DRIVING?

    That's talent, right there.

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  35. Q: If I have a child already enrolled in one of the schools that I request, will I be given a preference for my second child to be assigned to that school?

    A: Younger siblings can receive a priority to a school that his/her older sibling is currently attending and will attend in the 2009-10 school year if their parent/ guardian turns in the enrollment application by January 9, 2009 and lists the older sibling's school as a first choice. Older siblings do not receive priority placement at younger siblings' schools.

    It may be a little bit different with out-of-district transfers though - just based on my experience.

    And I can only speak to the kinder experience at Glen Park - so far, it's fantastic and I love our neighborhood.

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  36. 1:38, can you say more about your experience at Glen Park? It's a relative newcomer to the list of hidden gems or whatever the phrase is now, and as it is not yet hugely, wildly popular it is a great option for parents who may see nearby Miraloma, or Clarendon, or Alvarado, or Fairmount, as having bad odds to get in. I mean, it is a great location for commuters and it is in a great neighborhood. So can you say more about the school experience?

    Many thanks.

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  37. Me again. I've been taken aback by all the discussion you've been having and the fact that two people have bothered to get in touch with me directly through my blog - one pro, one anti - for which much thanks. The debate has challenged us to think about what we are doing and for whose benefit.

    Perhaps I should have been a bit clearer on where I'm coming from. We are moving to SF because my husband currently works remotely (from a barn in a valley in south-east Wales) for a start-up on the Peninsula. We are not being forced to move and we are not planning to come for more than 5 years, possibly only 3. We would like our older daughter to go to high school here in Wales. So what we're interested in is not a long term solution. One of the reasons we are thinking about the city and not the suburbs is that it offers more of a challenge, a change, a chance for the children to experience an entirely different lifestyle. This move for them isn't just about the school. Where we live now is thoroughly homogenous - you're an incomer if you're English. It's great, rural, parents come from all walks of life and my kids go to school with the butcher, baker and postman's kids but people don't travel much, don't experience the diversity of life that is on offer in somewhere like SF or London where we lived until two years ago.

    We have lived in inner-city London. My daughter's first school was very diverse (she was the only child with two white British parents in her class), had poor test results, lots of children with English as a second language, we were almost the only middle-class parents there - and it was great. Yes it had problems. Not enough room, no grass to play on, parents who were uninvolved. But the teachers were dynamic, the atmosphere was friendly, the children polite, lively and interested, and my daughter thrived.

    I'm saying all this to show I'm not naive about inner city public schools and it is worth saying that while our current school is lovely, I'm not sure I'd say it was substantially better than the first. It's a different experience.

    I shouldn't think anything I've said will change any opinions you already have. But it may help to explain why I haven't been entirely put off by the thought of public schools in SF despite what some of you say.

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  38. Find out what schools have openings at 555 Franklin Street in the civic center of S.F. Education Placement Center (EPC) is the appropriate room.

    Then log onto this website and ask folks about the school list. Chances are they are poorer schools (which is why they are not full.)

    Best of luck!
    In the Mission/Noe Valley neighborhood there is a great, European style private school that is affordable, and great for transitioning kids from other countries for at least a year. It goes up to 5th, and is small.
    Katherine Michiels School on Guerrero/25th Streets. They will have openings as a back up, and it's in a lovely neighborhood to live.

    Best of luck!

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  39. a white, 30's something dude with a cute wife and 2 young kids just got busted yesterday for having a major grow house in his garage. they live in a very nice sf neighborhood in a 2 million dollar house. another grow house was busted across the street a few moments later. there are nice, hard working poor people living in the projects who aren't committing crimes. you are a BLOODY FOOL for thinking housing projects=losers and criminals. suck it, idiot.

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  40. Jeez, my kid's fancy preschool is in the Western Addition, and my tires are entirely intact.

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  41. Come on, people! This poor woman is going to run screaming from San Francisco. What a bad first impression we are giving her... a bunch of snide, catty people. Not exactly a warm welcome. Nice.

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  42. Try Creative Arts Charter School ...

    it is fantastic

    http://www.creativeartscharter.org/

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  43. Re: Glen Park - my advice is that if you are at all intrigued by the school, come and tour. I saw happy, engaged, well-behaved kids. I saw dedicated teachers who were really engaged with the kids. I heard a principal talk about all the different ways the school supports the teachers, so that they can be really effective. She talked a lot about how they want to create and encourage the students to be joyful learners. I saw a beautiful building with a library with a librarian and a computer lab with a technology teacher.

    From our three weeks of kindergarten - my kid is thrilled to go to school every day. The principal and our teacher keep hammering home the message that there are a multitude of ways where parents can help. The parents of the kindergarten students seem pretty keen on building community and helping the school.

    So, that's my two cents. Come and check it out if you are interested.

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  44. What are these "special criteria" that are referred to, for assigning children to schools? We'll also be moving to San Francisco from out of town at mid-year.

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  45. "What are these "special criteria" that are referred to, for assigning children to schools? We'll also be moving to San Francisco from out of town at mid-year."

    Essentially, it's an attempt to make the intake of a school as socioeconomically diverse as possible. However, given that the lottery includes a choice component by parents, it's imperfect (if a school is favored or disfavored by one or more ethnic or socioeconomic groups, then there's only so much the diversity criteria can do).

    The four criteria are: academic performance (or whether the kid went to preschool for prospective kindergartners), is the family in extreem poverty, is the family in receipt of public assistance, and is the family's home/native language non-English.

    The variables used as diversity criteria are binary yes/no, so it's pretty crude, and the income threshold for the two economic variables is obviously low, so a nurse or car mechanic are going to be in the same not-poor category as an investment banker.

    The SF Unified School District was placed under a consent order back in the mists of time because of inequality in educational outcomes. Up until about 1999 (I think) SFUSD put a cap at 40% of the percentage from one ethnic group at any individual school.

    A coalition of Asian parents, rightly in my view, took the district to court over this racial cap; which the court struck down. So hence the use of theoretically race-neutral variables.

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  46. I would argue that the advantage given to non English speakers as well as the San Francisco immersion programs are highly descriminatory.

    Swahili, Danish, Thai, Welsh, Greek, German, French, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Vietnamese? Where is my public school immersion program?

    For those of you who don't know, immersion programs require at least 50% native speakers. The vaste majority of immersion programs in the city are in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Spanish. So if your child is a native speaker in one of these languages, he or she has an automatic shoe into the program. I would like to know why these languages have preference. The asian community is smart enough to recognize descrimination when they see it. That is why they took the SFUSD to court over racial caps.

    Let's just call the SFUSD language policy what it is: whole sale descrimination against the speakers of languages other than Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese.

    Why exactly should I be punished in the lottery system for being a native English speaker?

    How about 90% Asian West Portal? There are a lot of Lexus and Mercedes picking up and dropping off there.

    And how about the addresses that are never checked. There seem to be an awful lot of students attending SFUSD schools that are using the address of a relative or business, when they are in fact residents outside SF. Surely it is not that difficult to check?

    Oh, the joys of being an San Francisco tax payer.

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  47. A word on Creative Arts Charter school.

    I toured there and was not impressed with what I saw. Students seem bored with the more technical subjects. The teachers seemed to have no idea how to convey technical materical in a meaningful and interesting way.

    Test scores seem to reflect this.

    Only 50% of students in grade two are proficient in math, compared to the state average of 63%. (2009)

    In grade 5, only 40% of students proficient in math, compared to the state average of 57%.

    In grade 8, only 43% of students are proficient in science compared to the state average of 56%. Grade 8 profiency is algebra is 12%, compare with a state average of 44%. Proficiency in history (grade 8) is 20% compared with a state average of 42%. Statistics are for 2009, from the California Department of Education.

    I have no idea why someone is saying this is a great school.

    Shame on them.

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  48. 1:18, many schools are labeled "great" here despite poor proficiency ratings. It may due to the fact that this blog mostly attracts parents of kindergardeners, and they may not be concerned (yet) about the poor academic performance of the second-graders.

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  49. If test scores of other kids are your only concern, then yes, maybe you won't like Creative Arts Charter School. My son is bright, scores advanced on his tests, and is getting a great education. Creative Arts serves many kids who don't fit well into the typical mold, who may not *test* well, but who are well served by the school. They don't teach to the test in a rote boring manner like other schools.
    You just sound like you have a grudge against the school, or you're probably that nutcase who always rants against charter schools.

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  50. 1:18 probably sends their kids to a school without any black or hispanic kids, like Alamo.

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  51. "kindergardeners"

    Are those small children who garden?

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  52. I know. It is amazing how many people on this blog can't spell it.

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  53. “For those of you who don't know, immersion programs require at least 50% native speakers. The vast majority of immersion programs in the city are in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Spanish. So if your child is a native speaker in one of these languages, he or she has an automatic shoe into the program. I would like to know why these languages have preference…

    Let's just call the SFUSD language policy what it is: whole sale discrimination against the speakers of languages other than Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese.

    Why exactly should I be punished in the lottery system for being a native English speaker?
"

    Alice Fong Yu (Cantonese immersion)
uses a different model than the other immersion programs, so only kids already proficient in English are admitted to the program. (Discrimination against non-English speakers?)

    For the other immersion programs (which include Korean, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin, not Japanese), non-target language speakers are still supposed to get half the seats, as you mentioned. (And in the case of Mandarin, non-target language speakers get almost all the seats, since the program has attracted few native Mandarin speakers thus far.) The Korean program came about as the result of a unique situation (as explained by Caroline) involving former Supt. Rojas… but it is not hard to see why Spanish and Cantonese have had “preference” as immersion languages, given that so many SFUSD students come from families that speak those two languages. Mandarin is a new immersion program for the district… after a huge effort spearheaded by parents who thought it might be a useful language to learn, since it is the official language of about a billion people. (And I think it is replacing Cantonese as the dominant Chinese language in the Bay Area, if not in San Francisco.)

    But, if you believe other languages would also be popular immersion choices, advocate for them (like the Mandarin immersion parents did)….and be prepared to do a lot of work to get them off the ground, since that is what it takes.

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  54. Some thoughts off the topic of an incoming family from out of the country:

    The consent decree was imposed not just because of inequality in educational OUTCOMES. It was the court's response to a lawsuit by the NAACP over disparities in the quality of schools and quantity of resources resources in schools that were segregated.

    The district has worked over the years to come up with remedies that had to be approved by the courts. So the ethnicity caps were one of those court-approved remedies. But they resulted in the obvious injustice that they meant Chinese students had to score higher than everyone else to get into Lowell, so that was the basis of the Ho lawsuit and decision that overturned the ethnicity caps.

    What process would you suggest for auditing addresses that wouldn't cost money that would have to come out of classrooms? In general in today's system, address doesn't make that much difference, except in the case of out-of-district families.

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  55. To 2:05:

    I do not have a grudge against Charter schools. This is the first time I have ever posted anything about any Charter school.
    I also do not resort to calling people "nut cases" for questioning poor academic standards.

    I don't have any kind of agenda, except excellence in education. I believe that we owe it to EVERY child to teach them well.

    I am a K mom and I believe that the majority of mothers on this site are looking out for the education of their children well beyond kindergarten.

    If you must know, my daughter plays weekly with a child who's father is from the Yucatan, in Mexico. I lived in Ghana as a child for a number of years and attended an all Ghana academic school. I don't think I ever met a Ghanaian who wasn't very serious about their academic subjects, if the resources were made available to them.

    I don't want to target a particular school, but I think we need to think very seriously about the academic standards we are setting for our children.

    Our jobs are sailing out the door to countries with high academic standards such as Eastern Europe, India, Asia, Europe, Canada and the Middle East. Even Ghana. If we want to have the standard of living that we have enjoyed up to this point, we had better get serious about education.

    I don't buy it that there are kids that don't test well. Sure, there are kids with true learning disabilities, but most Charter schools do not have resources to assist kids with learning disabilities.

    I am not big on testing, actually. But these are bare bones tests. There is really something wrong when only 20% of a school's grade eight students are proficient in history. Failing to prepare kids in basis algebra is saddling them with a lifetime disability.

    If you don't think so, ask yourself how it was that so many people couldn't do a basic calculation to estimate how much their monthly mortgage payments would go up when their interest rate doubled from 6% to 12%.

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  56. I heard CACS is reorganizing its middle school and getting better teachers. Their math test scores for 8th grade are horrible, almost too horrible to be accurate. Somebody must have made a mistake.

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  57. I'm undoubtedly the "ranting" "nutcase" in question. I am a critic of charter schools as an education policy, but haven't directed any negative comments at Creative Arts Charter School specifically.

    I'm not hard-nosed about judging schools by their test scores myself.

    Just for the record, I don't really think it's valid, civil or reasonable to brand me a "nutcase" over my political opinions on an education policy issue, either.

    http://www.examiner.com/x-356-SF-Education-Examiner~y2009m4d18-Whats-not-to-like-about-charter-schools-Some-answers-to-that-question

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  58. I don't think it is civilized to trash all charter all the time.

    What if we wrote columns

    "what's-not-to-like-about-elitist-snotty-have-to-audition-to-get-into-but-we-are-supposed-to-be-public-quasi-art-schools-like-SOTA"
    ?

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  59. I heard the BOE is going to combine CACS and SOTA into one arts-based charter school.

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  60. I'm giving my legitimate opinion on an education policy issue, not "trashing" charter schools.

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  61. Sign...can we turn registration back on now?

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  62. I thought the point of this thread was to help out a family trying to navigate the SF school system, not trash a particular school.

    I know these discussions go off on tangents, but my feeling is that it starts to get childish and unhelpful, especially to an outsider.

    In that spirit, my advice to this family is to read up on different schools on greatschools.net which provides insider reviews as well as test scores, etc. At the same time, I'd also spend a weekend visiting and walking around SF to get a feel for different neighborhoods, parks etc. and choose a place to live that "feels right".

    Why don't we let this family come to their own conclusion about what they are looking for in a school without completely bashing a school because we personally didn't like it. I trust that this family will find a place that works for their child's needs and personal taste. I wish them luck!

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  63. I am 12:46.

    Thanks M, for your explanation of how immersion programs are started. Thanks for the history lesson on how we got to where we are with the immersion programs.
    That is helpful to know.

    To the blogger that asked the question:

    "What process would you suggest for auditing addresses that wouldn't cost money that would have to come out of classrooms? In general in today's system, address doesn't make that much difference, except in the case of out-of-district families."

    I think it is a sad statement that we actually have to choose between a minor expense of auditing addresses and the major expense of educating so many students who's parents pay no tax in San Francisco. The cost per year of educating one child is about $8000 and that is if they speak English. Presumably, the tax payer is stuck with that ticket for 13 years.

    What is the cost of auditing? $50 once every few years?

    You are right about address. "Out- of-district families" is a euphemism for families who do not live in San Francisco and do not pay any property tax in San Francisco. I personally know of several families who live in the East Bay in Richmond who send their kids to school in San Francisco on a faked up address.

    I believe that many schools know that families are not San Francisco residents. They do nothing about it.

    I don't buy it that the SFUSD can't do a better job of enforcing the SF resident requirement.

    I don't think that is unreasonable. Or is the San Francisco tax payer supposed to be ever giving and sacrificing of the education of one's own children so that every aspiring family in the Bay Area can sneak into the SFUSD?

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  64. I think they do residency audits at Lowell every year, not sure how comprehensive they are, perhaps just based on complaints?

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  65. Agreed that it's stupid and wrong that resources are so limited that we have to choose between auditing addresses and classroom needs, but that's the way it is.

    Putting more money into an effort to audit addresses would constitute taking money out of classrooms and moving it to "central office expenses," and parents scream when that happens -- understandably.

    But, important point here: While it's still not cool that students from out of district sneak into SFUSD schools, 9:01 is misunderstanding the way school funding works.

    The funding comes from the state and follows the student to the school, so the district would still get that chunk of state funding for the student -- whether the family is paying property taxes in SF is irrelevant. SF property owners pay taxes on their property regardless of whether they have kids in the schools, and the children of renters bring that chunk of state funding with them. Hope I'm making sense.

    So while I'm not saying it's not worth checking up on addresses, a non-San Franciscan sneaking in with a bogus address doesn't lead to the freeloading/loss of funds that 9:01 fears.

    Also, it IS interesting that given the disdain heaped upon San Francisco schools by the public and press for many years (at least in the recent past), and the image that everyone really wants to flee to the suburbs, the reality is that our schools are in demand with out-of-district students.
    I've heard rumors about a Pacifica real estate agent who for years has told families she's showing homes to that she can tell them how to get into Lakeshore, in SFUSD, in a part of the city convenient to Pacifica. And word was that when "Sunset District" parents were picketing demanding to get into Lincoln High a few years ago, a lot of them actually lived in Daly City.

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  66. Hi Eliane,

    I moved to SF when my son was entering first grade but after the spring lotteries had been run. The process that we went through was nothing like the kindergarten lottery madness.

    The EPC advised us to wait until we had our proofs of residency and then come to their office prepared with a list of schools that we would like to request. School was already out for the summer, so we were unable to tour the schools when we were making our wish list. Instead we read the parent reviews on greatschools.net as well as this website and looked at the schools' own websites to try to get a feel for parent involvement.

    We made a list of 33 schools we would be willing to try and went to the EPC. From looking at the waitpool spreadsheets published by the EPC, it seemed like 15 of those schools had no waitpool for first grade, so we were pretty sure we would get something on our list. The counselor started at the top of our list and checked the computer for openings at each school until they found a spot.

    We chose Mandarin Immersion at Jose Ortega, and it's a friendly, diverse school. I'm fairly sure there are openings in our second grade and kindergarten general education classes. If you'd like to check it out, call the office and ask for a tour.

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  67. HAHAHA, you folks are extremely funny. Do you actually read the topic header or do you just spout off on everything. "wah wah blah blah Charter this, this school is great, no this school is horrible, I take offense, no I take offense, SFUSD sucks, SFUSD is great, private schools are all snooty republicans, no they aren't, yes they are". This is some of my favorite reading of the day.

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  68. Poor Eliane is going to think our city has the rudest, snidest, meanest parents in the world. Don't worry, Eliane, they don't act like this in real life!

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  69. I like Noe, Mission, Bernal, Potrero. I think these are great neighborhoods with great weather and parks.

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  70. Dear 9:42:

    It is 9:01 from yesterday.

    Please excuse me if this is not the right forum for a discussion of how our state and San Francisco taxes are being spent on public schools. Perhaps we can open us a new thread, if that would be more appropriate.

    In response to 9:42's statements regarding auditing families for the SF residency requirement:

    "Put more money into an effort to audit addresses would constitute taking money out of classrooms and moving it to "central office expenses," and parents scream when that happens -- understandably."

    When I went to school, the highschool guidance councellor figured out if a family was living in the school district or not. They were reasonable about it, but they did bring pressure to bear on the family to move within the district if it was found out that they had lied on their school application. If Lowell is checking residency, other schools can do it as well. They just don't want to.

    "But, important point here: While it's still not cool that students from out of district sneak into SFUSD schools, 9:01 is misunderstanding the way school funding works.

    "The funding comes from the state and follows the student to the school, so the district would still get that chunk of state funding for the student -- whether the family is paying property taxes in SF is irrelevant. SF property owners pay taxes on their property regardless of whether they have kids in the schools, and the children of renters bring that chunk of state funding with them. Hope I'm making sense.

    "So while I'm not saying it's not worth checking up on addresses, a non-San Franciscan sneaking in with a bogus address doesn't lead to the freeloading/loss of funds that 9:01 fears.

    "Also, it IS interesting that given the disdain heaped upon San Francisco schools by the public and press for many years (at least in the recent past), and the image that everyone really wants to flee to the suburbs, the reality is that our schools are in demand with out-of-district students.

    My response:

    9:42, you are right, San Francisco public schools are in demand with illegal immigrants, who not only often do not live in San Francisco and do not pay San Francisco property tax, either as a San Francisco renter or San Francisco homeowner, but also, more often than not, do not pay any state or federal tax.

    The children of illegal immigrants also usually need second language training. I am not sure what the cost of a language specialist is, but when I toured Paul Revere school, they had four language specialists for their K through five students.

    Meanwhile, long suffering African families in the Bayview, and other poor long time residents, who are native english speakers, and the children and grandchildren of long standing San Francisco tax payers, have to battle it out for the $8000? per head that the state provides. The funds spent on language specialists are a draw on funds that could be used to help with councelling and afterschool programs, etc.

    I believe that the San Francisco rainy day fund, used to keep the schools whole for the last two years, comes directly from San Francisco property taxes, not state funds. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Believe me, I want all our childrean to win, but it is time for us ALL to get into the boat and row. The time is nigh for us ALL to pay our taxes in proportion to our family income, just like in every other industrialized country.

    Throughout history, we have defined boundaries within which an economy exists and in which people pay taxes for services within that boundary. San Francisco schools are not adhering to that universal and historic norm and it is easy to see why SF tax payers are angry and tapped out.

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  71. It's 9:42 here. I wasn't referring to illegal immigrants but to non-San Franciscans illicitly using San Francisco addresses to enroll in SFUSD schools.

    Illegal immigrants may legally enroll in public school, the pragmatic rationale being that society pays the price in multiple ways if undocumented children are not being educated. So none of my comments were about illegal immigrants, nor do most of the pertain to illegal immigrants.

    The issue of paying our fair share of taxes is important, but it's not what I was referring to. My point is that kids who sneak into district schools by using false addresses do bring funding with them, so it's not a case of total freeloading -- not that I defend such sneakiness.

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  72. Hi 9:42,

    Yes, I know that you were not referring to illegal immigrants, but non-San Franciscans who use the SFUSD.

    It is I who, after carefully observing what is happening in our schools, would mildly suggest that a disproportionate number of students who sneak into the SFUSD as non-residents of San Francisco are, in fact, also illegal immigrants to this country or children of illegal immigrants.


    It is correct, if perhaps, politically incorrect, to use the word illegal, as there are many legal immigrants to this country who have gone through an arduous process to become residents. Legal immigrants are for the most part, highly skilled, able and willing to contribute to the tax base.

    If someone is "undocumented", then they have not gone through the legal process to live in this country.

    The reason that a disproportionate number of non-resident SF students are also illegal immigrants is that other school districts outside of San Francisco do not have a safe haven policy. They also do not have the Spanish immersion programs and organizations such as La Raza, who advocate on behalf of illegal immigrants.

    I am not going to get into the wrongness or rightness of this. I am just stating that having a high number of people who pay no city, state or federal tax, who then send there kids to San Francisco schools, is quickly drawing down the funds available in the SFUSD.

    Other California school districts, with high numbers of illegal immigrants, are also experiencing severe funding shortages for their schools.

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  73. 9:42 here, just re-emphasizing that I'm not willing to bash illegal immigrants, without whom I'm convinced the lives of the entire upper-middle-class would collapse.

    I don't have the financial savvy to grasp the impact on the tax situation. Illegal immigrants pay sales tax, and I understand that it is possible to buy property, in which case they pay property tax. Vehicle registration fees, gas taxes... They wouldn't pay state income tax, but there is no such thing as city income tax, so what city taxes would they not pay?

    I've also wondered about the issue of Social Security withholding. If someone is working under a false SS number, there's SS being withheld that's never drawn on (at least by the person using the number fraudulently), right? So I wonder what impact that has.

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  74. 11:56

    YOU LIE !!!!


    (oh, sorry, that's how you republicans would handle the disagreement)

    When people start blaming immigrants for the problems with our schools, it makes me sick. Mostly it makes me sick to think there are really people out there with that hateful mentality. I live in San Francisco to avoid those type of people.

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  75. Dear 5:05pm and 6:45am,

    I am the poster from yesterday and days previous, that raised concerns about our education tax base.

    As I am being accused of being a republican, I would like you to know that I am a lifelong democrat.

    I campaigned for prop A, to raise teacher's salaries, I have worked on various environmental causes throughout my life, I attended public school, as did my husband, and I have also worked on various women's issues throughout my life.
    I am currently working on a campaign to save our state parks. (By the way, we could save our state parks by increasing the vehicle licensing fee by $10.)

    I don't need to hire someone at a depressed wage, with no health care and social security to take care of my child or do my housework. I can wash my own floors and clean my own toilet.

    Most illegal immigrants do not pay into social security. They are not on the books. Their employer does not pay unemployment insurance, disability insurance, or health insurance for them. They pay no federal or state tax.
    The profits made on the split between their depressed wage and the wage that would have been paid to a legal worker are often realized by BIG AG (large agro business companies). We, the tax payer, pick up the tab when a worker is hurt on the job or has to go the emergency without health insurance.

    Frankly, I also think that many SF families exploit their nannies and house cleaners. Many are more than happy to get that back deck built at half price. Never mind that the illegal worker has none of the protections of a licensed contractor.

    It is true that illegal immigrants pay sales tax, but you can imagine how quickly our economy would fall apart if all of us only paid sales tax.

    My original point was that a disproportionate number of parents who have their children in the SFUSD who are not residents of SF are also in the US illegally. There are also US citizens and residents who are not living in San Francisco who sneak their kids into the SFUSD. That also hurts SF schools. It is not a sustainable system. The rainy day fund is running out.

    While I am sorry for the situation of illegal immigrants, I am also sorry for all of the families I have seen leave the city because they could not get their kids into a good school.

    This is not the only problem with our schools, in any case.

    A dad who was interviewed on NPR in the Spring (Kate was also in the interview) said that the lottery, which discriminates against middle class families, is destroying the social fabric of our city.

    I think that is true.

    I hope things improve and I wish everyone the best in finding good education for their chilren.

    I'm done!

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  76. Your argument is bogus.

    SFUSD gets the same amount of funding for each kid who attends school here... their immigration status doesn't MATTER.

    Referring to people as "illegal immigrants" is entirely offensive.

    Please move to orange county, you'd be happier there.

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  77. Many national experts believe that our social security system would collapse if it were not for the undocumented immigrants paying into it. Remember, any undocumented immigrant who is working above the table (through someone else's or false documents) pays in, but they will never get to take money out.

    As far as SF schools, the person saying that most of the kids who are attending SF schools but live outside the district are undocumented points to nothing to support this assertion. Personally I would be very, very surprised if this were true.

    As far as discrimination against the middle class - the diversity index tries to create a balance of free school lunch/not free school lunch kids. Given that about half the District qualifies for free school lunch, this doesn't really discriminate against either group. And while it also does give some preference to very poor kids (foster children, homeless, maybe public housing - not sure about that), I for one would not complain about giving an extra boost to kids in those situations getting into schools of their choosing.

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  78. The sane way to address any of these issues is through comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million who are here, and who are not going back en masse, and whom we need in our economy. That and support for labor rights, including for farmworkers and guest workers if that is part of the deal, so that wages are not undercut. It doesn't really help to blame hard-working families or especially their kids, who are likely to be here as adults in 20 years, and it certainly won't help us to deny those children an education or health care!

    In the long run, robust support for immigrants builds our economy and keeps our workforce young and strong just as the baby boom hits old age. There are some elements out of whack now in terms of unfunded mandates at the local level, but the solution lies at the policy level, not in working people up about "illegals" or "aliens." There is a history of distraction tactics in this country (No Irish Need Apply, etc.) that keep us from focusing on the issues that should unite us--like rebuilding and re-regulating our economy to emphasize family-wage jobs over short-term corporate profits.

    Also, I understand the comment about legal status but it is dehumanizing to call *people* illegal. No ser humano es ilegal.

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  79. Thanks, 10:37, for your respectful and thoughtful comments.

    It is the original poster. Well, I said I was done, but I thought I would issue a little bit of a mea culpa.

    I did fact check your comment about social security and you are correct. A significant number of immigrants who entered the country illegally do pay into social security. Here is an interesting position paper on the subject:

    www.nclr.org/files/50720_file_FS_FiveFacts.pdf

    It is true that there is no such thing as an illegal person. However, there is a such a thing as a person who enters a country without gaining legal residency, temporary status or citizenship.

    I don't abide by the current immigration policy of the US, but I do think people should respect the law until it is changed.

    The very balanced position paper above states: "The economic incentives that drive employers to hire and take advantage of undocumented immigrants lower the floor on health, safety, and wage protections for all workers."

    And, no doubt, the floor on the quality of education available to their children and all our children, due to their low wages and small tax base, is also lowered.

    There are other factors at work that are contributing to the California budget crisis, such as the outsourcing of high wage jobs to other states and countries.
    But as the California education system declines, businesses can't hire people with the technological skills they need, and they continue to move elsewhere.

    I see that Kate put up a post about an article in the Chronicle about more California schools improving by state standards, but not by federal standards.

    "California schools are declining by federal [and international] standards."

    Hmmmm. Something to think about.

    Again, thanks for your thoughtful comments and I do hope that Obama manages to come up with a more honest and humane immigration policy.

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  80. " I am just stating that having a high number of people who pay no city, state or federal tax,"

    And of course those paying them in cash have no idea what's going on, of course.

    "who then send there kids to San Francisco schools, is quickly drawing down the funds available in the SFUSD. "

    Well, firstly, renters *do* pay city property taxes - the taxes affect the price to rent. Where do you think a landlord gets the money to ? What do you think would happen to rents if property taxes increased or decreased? They'd go up or down, right?

    Also, immigrants tend to be a net gain for the receiving country because immigrants have lower dependency ratios (those too old or young to work) than the general population.

    On social security: those using fake social security # are paying Social Security and Medicare taxes with no expectation of getting anything back for their money.

    Also, we did pay the social security taxes for our nanny, and an ungodly pain in the arse the paperwork was too. If the state and feds made the process of paying SS taxes easier, there'd be a lot more compliance.

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  81. "There are other factors at work that are contributing to the California budget crisis, such as the outsourcing of high wage jobs to other states and countries."

    No, the big factor in the California budget crisis is that we have a lopsided state and local tax system that taxes property too low, and relies on realized capital gains to fill the gap. As cap gains are strongly cyclical, we have an extremely procyclical revenue structure. So the economy goes in the shitter, so does the state deficit. Plus we have a section of anti-tax jihadis in the legislature for whom a funding crisis is a feature, not a bug. This is extremely bad policy.

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  82. 4:16, we already agreed that renters pay tax. The issue wasn't with renters, but with people who are not residents of San Francisco who send their children to SF schools. I don't think there is much of an argument that residency is rarely checked in the SFUSD.

    I am not sure than the low dependency ratio for immigrants holds when you look at some immigrant groups.

    http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/cacounts/CC_1107HJCC.pdf

    I think we already agreed about the social security. Please see my previous post at 12:18.

    And thanks for going on the books with your nanny. Yes, the paper work is ridiculous.

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  83. Not all SFUSD students who live outside the city are sneaking into San Francisco schools. There is a legitimate process for inter-district enrollment. I have known quite a few kids who live elsewhere and are attending SF schools quite openly. They get last choice of school placements after everyone who lives in the city is placed. The district receives ADA funding from the state for these kids, so it's a positive thing that seats that would otherwise be empty are filled with revenue-producing kids.

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