Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hot topic: Last-minute wait pool decisions

An SF K Files readers asked me to post the following:
I wanted to see if you can start a thread about receiving notice from the SFUSD about an open space at your waitlist school (now six weeks into the school year). We just received notice this afternoon that our wait-list school has a space and are really really torn. Any comments?

65 comments:

  1. We got the call on Friday (at 4.30pm) about an opening at our waitlist school. We had the weekend to decide if we wanted the spot or not. It was a really difficult decision - my daughter loved her school and there were so many good things about it, but in the end we decided to move to our waitlist school. She started yesterday and loves it already. Now, we walk to school with two other little girls that live on our street instead of hopping in the car!

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  2. I'm looking at schools now and I have played out the SFUSD "lottery" process in my head many times and it always ends in getting the wait pool call well into the school year as you have experienced. Good for you for being willing to move despite being happy with your situation.

    I plan on "playing it safe" in R1 and then wait pooling a wildly popular language program. Since I will not be in a priority cohort, if I get drawn from the wait pool at all, I expect it will be after school starts.

    Has anyone this year received a last minute wait pool call for wildly oversubscribed schools that were not in the 0/7 or 0/15 cohort? I'm just wondering if that ever happens...


    And I also have to say good for SFUSD for continuing to plow through the wait pools... they're still trying to make people "happy" despite this byzantine system they operate. There's got to be a better way. I hope somehow the Board can figure it out.

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  3. My daughter's kindergarten class recently had someone leave and a new child started up one month in. It's Fairmount, which is Spanish Immersion. I imagine that would be a little tough to be at a GE school and come in on the middle of an immersion class.

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  4. hey - take the long view. we just started fairmount this year with an english speaker, after transferring from a "trophy" gen ed program. that's a WHOLE YEAR of equity lost...and you know what? week 1 was okay. week 2 a bit better...and by week 3/4, my daughter could no longer remember that she grieved for her old school a bit that first week. she said, "i feel like i've always been at fairmount." personally, i think the refashioning of the social network was even more significant than the language issue. and she has been able to maintain her friendships -- a couple of solid ones -- from the old school. i think it is good to take the long view in terms of what is best for your kids and your family -- especially considering the many years you will be involved with an elementary school and how good it is to stress less on a daily basis -- and also to know that most kids will adapt quite handily to it all.

    another thing: i was surprised how many months it took most of the kinders last year to form really solid relationships. that hasn't really happened yet, so no worries there.

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  5. That's all good news to hear. Several (like at least 7) kids came into our son's K class at Alvarado (General Ed). Dunno if they cleared the whole wait list, but as of now (10/7) there's actually still an open spot! Grab it if you can.

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  6. I SO hope that the school district will eventually post information about the wait pools. Not just how many children were placed off of them, but for each school how many were called - and how many were not called.

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  7. Heard last week that friends of ours waitpooled for Clarendon just got in. (I think for the JBBP program).

    Which means that in my social and preschool circle, only one person didn't get a public school they desired. (I knew only 3 that went 0/7, and two of them got in from the waitpool). Not too bad, really.

    Did Clarendon add an extra class this year?

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  8. I thought the wait pools were dissolved at the end of September. Are they still calling people?

    On another note, if they are increasing class size next year, maybe we'll get in to a "trophy" school for first grade?

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  10. My one of my child's classmates left for Lilienthal this week; he was at our school Monday and gone Tuesday. The kids were evidently very sad that he'd left the crayon melt picture he'd made Monday in his cubby. So yes, they're still calling people.

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  11. "And I also have to say good for SFUSD for continuing to plow through the wait pools... they're still trying to make people "happy" despite this byzantine system they operate. There's got to be a better way. I hope somehow the Board can figure it out."

    I'm really not confident that'lll be the case; not because SFUSD is dumb, but because of the bimodal distribution of how SFUSD's school do: you've got a lot of excellent and good schools, but a not insignificant fraction of pretty bad schools (say 15 out of 70 at the elementary level).

    Given you can't stuff all the kids into ~55 schools that are excellent or solid, a fraction of the kids are going to be allocated to the 15 low-scoring schools. At the moment, this is a semi-random process, so it's, well, fair.

    A neighborhood process would mean some neighborhoods in the SE of the city are going to find out that their default option isn't that great. And they're not going to get preference for the immersion programs in say, Starr King or Flynn or Webster or Revere: those will remain magnet programs and be citywide. I can't imagine Potero Hill parents being thrilled about their guaranteed option being Webster GE but no more chance of getting into Webster SI than anyone else. Plus the SE has less public and private school capacity than the north and west of the city.

    Yes, everyone slags off the lottery. But in a year's time, there's going to be a more frustration on this blog with whatever new system replaces it. And as well as the private-public spats, you're going to have neighborhood-vs-neighborhood spats.

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  12. (i know this will get me into trouble, but...)

    I didn't properly take our name off the waitpool. Yesterday I got the call from SFUSD regarding a 1st grade spot at Clarendon GE.

    We just declined the spot. (we love the SFS. I"ll review it for this blog in the next month or so.)

    If you know anyone interested in Clarendon GE--1st grade, they should be in front of Cinday at EPC right now.

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  13. 3:56
    I don't think it's a neighborhood assignment process vs. a city wide lottery process that is being decided. I believe it's a combo.

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  14. I find this a little confusing. We called EPC yesterday and were told "even if there are slots, there are no more intradistrict transfers." ?? And what does that mean for the school we are currently in that only has 19 kids in the class? I think that's good for the kids who are there, but does that mean the school gets less money because the district won't allow further transfers?

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  15. they are currently looking at two major options--

    * the "zebra" option that would divide the city into three zones and send kids all over the place within that zone. one problem is transportation costs of sending the kids "over the hill." city would have to provide this if requiring parents to send their kids across town. other problem is parents on the west side screaming bloody murder when informed they sending their kids to the SE for school.

    * more likely option is guaranteed assignment relatively close to home, but with an option to apply for citywide magnet schools or for leftover spaces at schools that have them (hah). problem there is that SE families get screwed because the 15 or so schools that don't get mentioned on this blog that are really bad are mostly located on the SE part of town. see critique of the person above.

    it's either screw the folks in the poorer neighborhods or force people to be bused across town.

    i for one prefer the admittedly crazy lottery. slowly we are improving schools all over the city, and parents get to state a preference, and it is at least FAIR. ten years ago it was more than 15 schools considered beyond acceptable--so the system (slowly) is working.

    i'm also extremely puzzled why they want to include the middle schools in any scheme. i will go crazy if i am stuck with my neighborhood middle school, which is one of the ones that sux--and i'm not a picky-picky parent either. i'll look at half-a-dozen others. middle school kids can travel more.

    can you tell i live on the SE side of the city :-).

    i hope the east side parents band together to attend the public hearings on this and kick and scream. it is the wrong, wrong, wrong direction.

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  16. Ahem!
    The topic here is last minute wait pool decisions.

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  17. SisterKortney, of course you're not in trouble, but you're now no longer the very last remaining parent I know or know of who was absolutely unable to get into the SFUSD school of your choice no matter how long you held out or how hard you tried.

    So does anyone still know any parents in that category?

    OK, I just can't resist ONE little point -- WHAT IF YOU NEED THAT MONEY FOR COLLEGE? Having some college savings -- the money we would have spent on private K-12 tuition had we gone that way -- was what enabled us to send our son to Oberlin (with financial aid/merit scholarship as well) instead of CSU. (No dis on CSU.) OK, sorry, I couldn't stop myself. Sorry!

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  18. Answering two questions...

    Cruella--First, inter district transfers is different from folks wanting in the public school district from outside (like a private school, for instance.) If your son's class has 19 kids, they get less money. Someone on the waitlist can walk into EPC and get that spot. Am I answering the question right?

    Caroline--I'm happy to tell you how we made our decision off this blog. You have my email...
    As far as college money goes, we are taking it one year at a time. We have only the one child, and for the time can manage the tuition. Once in a private school, they are generous with financial aid, should the need arise.

    If we need a public option in the upcoming years, we will re-visit the lottery.

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  19. Anon,

    why only those two options? and why would "zones" put kids across town?

    i'm a SE family that was assigned to one of the unmentioned schools. some of our parents (at SFS) volunteer at the school now. I think I'll do the same.

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  20. I know it's a good school, Kortney, and I'm really not questioning it on that basis. It's just that the money piece is so, so evident to me now as someone who might well have made the same decision some years ago, and now sees how much my child's life is benefited by the fact that we have those college savings.

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  21. Hi Kortney,

    I have no idea why those are the options they are considering, other than knowing that there are many contradictory desires and contraints in the mix. I'm only going off what was reported on Rachel Norton's blog, the SFUSD website, Lisa Schiff's Beyond Chron column, and various public input meetings in the last year. I've read all the materials and I'm having trouble parsing how these options would be either feasible or better, especially for those of us on the SE side of town.

    The zebra option is proposed as a big stripey set of zones within which kids would be assigned for diversity purposes based on factors that are taken block by block. The conundrum is that our neighborhoods are segregated enough that you either move kids around a lot or accept silo schools with high numbers of disadvantaged children. And then you have the political factor of how many poor & black kids the white and asian families will tolerate with their (our) little darlings. Harsh perhaps, but also true, I think.

    By the way, if you volunteer at Malcom X or some other SES-challenged school, and as a private school parent, then I will applaud you. It distresses me the most to see families drop out of advocating and caring for the system when their kids are in private school. If every family made a monetary or time or advocacy commitment no matter where they could afford to send their children, it would make a difference. So, thanks.

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  22. Right, right. Thanks, Anon.

    Caroline. Maybe we'll win the lottery? :)

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  23. My guess is that a child who has the wonderful opportunity to begin her educational journey starting at The San Francisco School, and being blessed with parents willing to make the sacrifices to send her there, will likely have more options than CSU or Oberlin when she reaches college. Smart call on that one, sisterkortney!

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  24. Hmm, most people don't view Oberlin as a fallback safety school, 6:10, though admittedly I'm biased as an Oberlin parent.

    My point was just that not having the college savings, which would have been the case if we had spent it all on tuition, would have narrowed my children's college options considerably.

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  25. thank you for the only compliment i've gotten on this blog for our private school choice. :)

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  26. You hit the ultimate lottery. No one gets their kid in SFS unless they've been in the preschool. We'd move our kids there of we could. Maybe it's time to move on from this blog and enjoy what you have. 99% of the people who read this blog would trade places if they could. I would.

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  27. I wouldn't. I love my kid's current school, and yeah fwiw it's public. I toured SFS when we went through the process, so I've seen it; it's really nice. My kid's school offers other things and a quite decent education. Which means I get to put away money for college and retirement and work 80% time so I have more time for family. I'm especially glad and grateful for that as I can see how quickly the kid years are passing....I am lucky, because not everyone can afford this even with public school.

    I don't begrudge Kortney or 12:59 their opinion on that matter, but I know others who could afford SFS or other privates who have not chosen it. Pretty sure 99% is not an accurate assessment. Nor is it 99% the other way. This blog would die if there were that much unanimity on this issue.

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  28. I don't know anyone who could afford private who didn't choose it.

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  29. 8:44, I know a bunch. Are you in a private school? If so, you probably wouldn't know too many people who didn't choose private, because that's your world, right :-). It's a fallacy to generalize from the particular to the general. Maybe especially from one's group of friends.

    We're in a public school, so we tend to know people who, you know, chose public. Some didn't have much choice, but others did. There are people there from every income class, including those who could afford private without strain. Several of them did apply to private school and got in, but got the public school they wanted. A few even never considered private school for various reasons. I have a friend whose child chose public high school over Lick Wilmerding. Another who looked at SFS for middle school and thought the number of kids and the programming would be too limiting and chose to stay in public middle. Kate, owner of this blog, chose Jose Ortega Mandarin over a financial aid offer from MCDS. In fact, I would even say that for most of my friends, if they got into an immersion program, the decision was a no-brainer.

    But then, that is just my circle of friends....

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  30. 12:59

    don't believe that many want private, but I appreciate what you're saying. if you follow the blog, you'll see that i'm not involved, except for this recent couple of posts, because i let a public waitpool spot go this week.

    i think the school choice is a mixed bag. we have a high percentage of folks who get financial aid in our school, so affording it isn't the only term.

    FYI 1st grade is a good place to get into SFS because they keep Kindergarten in the preschool program. Most families move from SFS into public school in 1st grade (so i've heard.)

    best of luck, all.

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  31. San Francisco School is great, though the financial aid families we've known there have complained that their packages seemed to be less and less generous over the years, as if the school knew they were unlikely to leave. They felt squeezed.

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  32. Kim - Can you tell us more about Fairmount? When I toured last year it seemed they were looking for a new principal. Have they found a perm principal and and any insight? Thanks!

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  33. I could afford private. I chose it. I disliked it. I ended up in public, not thinking I would like it. AND I LOVED IT. Please count me amongst the MANY families I know who can afford private, and go to public because it's right for them.

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  34. Can afford public, preferred not to pay THAT much for two kids close in age so that I don't work full time, we can take vacations and save for other things in life. I believe my kids will benefit more from private high school or college of their choice than spending roughly $24,000 a year on kindergarten. We chose public, a hard to get into school, and are surrounded by other families who can afford private but chose not to go that route, or didn't get in.

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  35. oops, can afford PRIVATE. sorry.

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  36. "I don't think it's a neighborhood assignment process vs. a city wide lottery process that is being decided. I believe it's a combo."

    Which was what we had before with the OER: neighbourhood school, neighbourhood assignment, lottery for the alternative schools, and you could only get your kid into another school neighbourhood's school if they had open spaces. Guess what? People hated that system too.

    So, under the lottery the schools improved so that instead of only 15 school being considered acceptable, now we have only 15 schools considered unacceptable.

    I don't think this is a coincidence, but think the lottery altered the district and parents choices and attitudes to make it happen.

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  37. "I didn't properly take our name off the waitpool. Yesterday I got the call from SFUSD regarding a 1st grade spot at Clarendon GE.

    We just declined the spot. (we love the SFS. I"ll review it for this blog in the next month or so.)"

    Cortney, it's your life, but this decision makes no sense to me. Your kid would thrive at Clarendon just the same as they would at SFS, and you'd have >$200,000 (remember, there's the opportunity cost of investing) at the end if you took that money and invested it instead. That'd be a nice trust fund for your kid.

    Christ, you could even pay for a tutor if you were afraid of them falling behind. Or drag that cheque for $20,000 tuition through SF Art Institute or SF Conservatory of Music and get some of the nations best budding artists and musicians to teach your kid.

    It's your decision, and you're happy with it. But God, it would not be mine.

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  38. To the poster at 9:10 am: You comment has such a disdainful and judgmental air. What works for one family may not work for another. Why on Earth wouldn't you be congratulating sisterkortney on the fact that she is finally be done with the process of finding the right school for her child?

    I do not shop at Costco, but I have many friends and family who do; yet I don't say dismissive, hurtful, negative things to or about them just because their choices are different than mine.

    As I posted yesterday on a different thread, it is a fact that 32% of children in San Francisco attend private (independent or parochial) schools. Our city has the highest percentage of private school attendees of any metropolitan area in the US. There is a tradition here of private school being a viable option, and sometimes a preference, for a large percentage of families. When you condemn that choice, know that you're talking about a third of San Francisco children.

    I have spent considerable time at The San Francisco School and Clarendon. They are both wonderful schools. Most families in our city would truly enjoy having their children attend either of these schools. Would that all schools in our city were like The San Francisco School and Clarendon so that all children, poor and rich, of every culture and race, could be served equally.

    Congratulations, Kortney, on finding a school to call home for your family. Your daughter will be educated in a loving and respectful environment. The curriculum and culture of The San Francisco School is saturated with equity, social justice, inquiry based science, learning in nature, a stellar art program, and the most phenomenal music program in the entire city, not to mention the fact that the school is committed to diversity within the student, family, and faculty populations. Your school gives back to the nearby community and the city of San Francisco, including the nearby public schools, in many ways. Don't ever feel the need to apologize the fact that your daughter attends school there.

    Full disclosure: I am not an educator or parent at either of the aforementioned schools.

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  39. "You comment has such a disdainful and judgmental air. What works for one family may not work for another. Why on Earth wouldn't you be congratulating sisterkortney on the fact that she is finally be done with the process of finding the right school for her child?"

    You're late to the game here. Sisterkortney was posting here six months ago pining for a place in Sunnyside ES. If she would have been happy at Sunnyside, why would she not have been more than happy at Clarendon? She has no guarantee if tuition becomes a strain, that she'll get as good a public option as Clarendon next time.

    [Interestingly, as sisterkorney was in a low-priority cohort (I think she didn't get her application in time for Round 1), it means that the waitpool for Clarendon first grade must be near-empty.]

    "As I posted yesterday on a different thread, it is a fact that 32% of children in San Francisco attend private (independent or parochial) schools."

    The fact that a lot of people do X does not make it wise, nor does something that's wise for person Y wise for person Z. There are a lot of folks in SF who can easily afford the cost of a private: fair enough for them. I didn't get the idea from following these threads over the past year for sistercortney was one of those for whom tuition wouldn't be a struggle and sacrifice and fewer options down the road.

    My post wasn't an ideological objection to privates: it's that it's just not a good choice for many as a consumers, in the same way seeing a friend buying a new Mercedes knowing they'll really struggle with the car payments, when an Accord (that she's being offered for free) would do the same job more than adequately, would disturb me.

    There's far too much emotion as peer-pressure bound up with this process and not enough hard-nosed cost-benefit assessment, in my view. To continue the analogy, there's Mercedes & BMWs on the dealers lot (independents), Volvos and Subarus for a quarter of the price (the parochials), and a lottery for Accords, Civics, Chevys and a few Yugos (the publics).

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  40. I agree with you 10:19 that the previous comment was in the mean zone and unnecessarily so.

    That said, I recognize people's individual choices and of course SFS is a lovely school whose people have good values. But I don't see how such loveliness will ever be available for all kids, rich and poor, if so many people, especially those with resources, opt out of the public system. On an individual level it's hard to express this, but on a larger scale, abandoning the public system will have--is having--terrible consequences. This has to be said because most people see this as only a personal decision, but in fact we do not live on little islands.

    Secondly, and I have never said this before, I think some people are just a little annoyed with Kortney because she posted a lot over the course of two years about how she wanted a public school, although she had definite and stringent characteristics in terms of location and start time. Then, twice over this time, she was basically offered schools that matched her criteria (first Flynn and then Clarendon) and she turned them down. Yes, late in the process. Not a Round 1 hit. But after seeing her get good offers TWICE and turn them down, well, started to seem like her flirtation with public schools was a lot of teasing but no follow-through.

    Those of us without the means for private didn't go on about start time; we took options that pretty much worked for us that we could get, and waitpooled to see if we could get the one we wanted. If we got that one, we usually took it. We didn't agonize over it too much, partly because we didn't have a lot of options to be angsty about.

    I don't know, I have generally appreciated Kortney's comments, which have been positive toward others and brave to use her name/identity like that. But I think this is why she gets more grief than others who are far more obnoxious than she.

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  41. "I agree with you 10:19 that the previous comment was in the mean zone and unnecessarily so."

    It wasn't meant as mean, just exasperation. My apologies.

    Maybe my opinion of sistercourney's judgement is biased downward, because she missed the R1 deadline and thus endured several months of angst.

    But I can't understand how after posting comment after comment longing for Sunnyside, she turns down Clarendon while crossing her fingers that she'll continue to be able to afford SFS in subsequent years. It's her decision, and godspeed to her and her kid (and may her income grow to where SFS tuition is no hardship), but it baffles me.

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  42. "But I don't see how such loveliness will ever be available for all kids, rich and poor, if so many people, especially those with resources, opt out of the public system. "

    It is not the fault of San Francisco parents that the public school system is not thriving. It is the fault of the policy makers, of George Bush, of No Child Left Behind, and of California State government. We need funding and appropriate policy injected into SFUSD. Any problems or failures in our school system cannot be chalked up to private school parents.

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  43. "It is not the fault of San Francisco parents that the public school system is not thriving."

    Opinions would differ on the 'not thriving' part. If SFUSD ain't thriving, neither are Mountain View, Sunnyside, Alameda, or San Mateo, which are ranked equivalent to SFUSD.

    On the blame for the poor state of California education, I blame Howard Jarvis, myself, rather than anyone at the federal level. I think actually No Child Left Behind, flawed as it is, increased transparency and helped improvements.

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  44. I think the situation in SF is a little more complex than that, 11:37.

    Unlike many urban school districts, many--the majority--of SF schools are thriving. The public/private choice would be a lot less debatable in a school district that didn't have so many gems and so many fine options. Granted that if most of them were like the bottom 10-15 or so, it would be much easier to weigh that choice. Some people go all the way through the process and are never offered anything but one of those particular schools. I do understand why they would find another option. That's not the case for most people, however (including Kortney, as it happens but not trying to focus on her).

    Of course the decline in commitment to our public schools is a matter of public policy. But this relates directly to the sense of investment we all have in each other and in all our children. Not saying there are not many individual exceptions, but overall the level of support for public schools drops when a larger percentage of families go to private--especially when this group includes more voters and people with voice and influence. The schools also lose funding dollars for each child.

    It's about supporting and participating in the commons. Public schools are a backbone of the commons and part of what have made our country great. We will suffer in the long run if we don't do this. It's about weighing commmon good with one's own good. Frankly, I have NEVER seen or heard a good answer to this argument....I've heard other arguments, some good, some specious, about individual choices and reasons why, and I accept those. But I have never seen an argument that meets this one head on.

    This is one reason why parents of our generation have worked so hard to reclaim the SF public schools in the wake of boomer abandonment of the 80s following the consent decree. We want to live in a place that we can be proud of, that provides a good education for all our kids and helps to build solid economy for our future. And we've had good success, with more "better" schools on offer, and increasing enrollment in the last five years.

    But it's important to keep saying this--because between two good choices, hopefully some parents will opt for the commons--I know many who have made this consideration. Not saying that anyone should make a bad choice, or that you shouldn't seek backup given the uncertainty of the process. I encourage that! But ultimately, bad choices are not what's on offer for most people, if you see the process through, and hopefully, care for the commons will be one consideration in the mix.

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  45. 11:27 and 11:19:

    Sisterkortney baffles and annoys me too. If you've been following her saga for the last 2 years, she also had a spot at KMS, raved about it, pulled her child out because she was hoping for private and then proceeded to talk up the school again.

    Odd.

    I guess when you don't have the option of even considering private, the choices become easier.

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  46. Oops, I meant hoping for public. At that time she was hoping to get a spot at Flynn GE, I believe.

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  47. in response to anonymous posting on october 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm who wanted to know more about fairmount these days...well, there is a permanent principal, mary lou cranna, and she seems great to us so far. she was the interim principal last year after ana lunardi left unexpectedly. she is not fluent in spanish, and my understanding is that that may have prompted some discussion, but it's a real mark of her strength as a leader that the community was so behind her anyway (it's becoming an all-spanish immersion school). she seems to be getting the job done.

    i really like fairmount so far. the staff is very warm. it's not a small school per se, but after clarendon, it certainly feels like one to us. our teacher is excellent. she has certainly proven herself capable of differentiated instruction as she handles a classroom that includes about 2/3 english speakers, 1/3 spanish (this includes some true balanced bilinguals; the imbalance is due to last year's data entry debacle), a special needs child in full inclusion with an aide, and our kid, who had zero spanish going into first grade just 7 weeks ago but is now starting to learn like a champ (full credit to miss laura!). and i've been VERY impressed with the first grade and kinder level cooperation and how the teachers all work together. i've also been impressed with their openness to ways to enrich the curriculum, and their willingness to go the extra mile. for instance: the other day, ms. laura did a sort of "speed writing/drawing" storytelling exercise she had observed in a teacher training session. 'cause she felt like it, and the school's theme this year is creative writing.

    of course, there are challenges from underfunding and addressing the needs of different populations, but overall i am now quite convinced that the big PTA budgets do not translate to better teaching/academics, and, perhaps more interestingly, into MUCH better enrichment, either. they do buy a lot of needed supplies, though. and some enrichment sessions that afford teachers time for professional development. that is very important. fairmount seems to focus very hard to working toward meeting their goals in spite of the obstacles.

    anyway, i realize this is off-topic, but i did want to answer the question.

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  48. Thank you Kim - It was my question and I really appreciate your response.

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  49. For all the Sister Kortney bashers, you don't have all your facts straight. It was ANOTHER woman who got her form in late and was hoping for Sunnyside. (It was the woman whose child was assigned to Sheridan and eventually opted for a private school in Daly City, not SFS.) I really appreciate that Kortney has had the guts to share her story so publicly.

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  50. If you've been following her saga for the last 2 years, she also had a spot at KMS, raved about it, pulled her child out because she was hoping for private and then proceeded to talk up the school again."

    In fairness, KMS is tiny (greatschools says 34 students), so I can understand why it'd be lovely for kinder but you'd want to shift in 1st grade to a bigger school. Even though it goes K-5, it'd be a heck of a shock to go from there to, say, a public middle school.

    If you thought you'd be in the neighbourhood of a good public school when they change to Whatever The Heck The Allocation System Will Be Next Year, it might be a good strategy to park the kid in Kinder for a year if you went 0/7 in the lottery, and then try to get into your local public when presumably a more neighborhood based system is introduced.

    Anonymous said...
    "Oops, I meant hoping for public. At that time she was hoping to get a spot at Flynn GE, I believe."

    Ah. I mixed her up with a person looking to get into Sunnyside. I didn't think Flynn GE was that oversubscribed this year.

    Anyway, I've been harder on sistercortney than she deserves, but if she were a friend of mine, I'd find her exasperating.

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  51. Kim Green,

    Thanks for the account of how well the new principal is working out at Fairmount.

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  52. I'm with 6:10pm on this. How dare sisterkortney and her family make a decision that they deem best for their child and not go through with their original plan to join us in public school. And how dare they not make the same financial decisions we're making making even though our financial situations may be different. Obviously, what's best for our families must be best for her family.

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  53. "And how dare they not make the same financial decisions we're making making even though our financial situations may be different. Obviously, what's best for our families must be best for her family."

    Errr, calm down. She's already indicated that she's unsure how they're going to swing it financially in future years, and that they may have to return to the public system.

    But, she's got no guarantee that the next time she turns to the public system she'll get as good an option as Clarendon. I mean, we're talking about turning down a school with a Palo-Alto level 950 API here.

    She loves SFS, and I'm sure her kid does too.

    Me, I'm more adverse to risk and would want the sure option, rather than one where a pink slip in the family means possibly having to yank the kid out of school.

    I hope she can keep the kid at SFS, and that she leads a life as charmed and free of risk and financial anxiety as yours must be.

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  54. Personally, I'd be more concerned if she took advice from anonymous blog commenters. I wish her all the best.

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  55. I think the exasperation expressed here is not with SFS as a final decision, but with Kortney's constant dithering about trying so hard to get a public school, and then she'd get one that matched what she wanted, and she'd sort of blithely turn it down. I saw it happen with Flynn one year and Clarendon the next. And the whole time she'd be going on and on about wanting public, and then wham, you'd be hearing about Katherine Michaels or SFS. It seemed like a long tease....an awful lot of talking about something that wasn't a priority after all. She solicited lots of advice, and people took the time to respond, about how to get a public school that would work for her. Apparently she didn't really want it after all.

    Compare that to Kim Green's saga, where she was focused on getting a local immersion school, and she hung in there for two years and it made sense when she finally got Fairmount.

    If Kortney'd just said two years ago that she was really looking at both public and private, and ultimately leaning to private if she could get it (I do understand why she left KMS for SFS, as KMS is so small), then I think her saga wouldn't have seemed so....annoying. Or the outcome would have made sense based on what she had been saying all along. As it was, we had blog-reader whiplash.

    That said, she's always been bright and cheerful to others here, and again, I think she gets this negative attention because she is brave enough to post publicly, so some of this is surely unfair.

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  56. It's a bit like having someone posting looking to buy an inexpensive Accord or Corolla, fretting that they're going to find one in good condition and hoping its cheap enough to make the car payments.

    Then you see an ad an Craigslist for a used Lexus at a bargain price and low milage. You head over to their house with the good news and...there's a new Porsche sitting in the driveway.

    Wouldn't your reaction be "WTF?"

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  57. I'd say "good for her." But then again, I'm not stuck driving a '95 Saturn. ;)

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  58. The reason people find her annoying is that she's annoying. One of those people who 1) think that whatever is in her mind at the moment is interesting and 2) whatever they're into at the moment is great, until it isn't. Like someone in AA who was a boring drunk and you hope they get sober but when they do it's even more boring to hear them blather on about AA.

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  59. "The reason people find her annoying is that she's annoying. One of those people who 1) think that whatever is in her mind at the moment is interesting"

    As opposed to the rest of the commenters here, of course.

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  60. fairmount followers -
    ana lunardi is teaching at daniel webster first grade (i believe).

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  61. Um, all of these discussions are an interesting cocktail party, but I'm actually interested in the original question that was the purpose of the thread. Anyone?

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  62. Hey anon 9:10:
    I'm pretty sure (though not positive) that 7:52 was exaggerating being angry just to make a point.

    Um...what was this thread about again? ;)

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  63. Aren't the waitpools dissolved by now? If so, then if your kid is currently attending an SFUSD school, they are there for the rest of this academic year.

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  64. "Aren't the waitpools dissolved by now?"

    In theory, they were dissolved ten days after the start of the school year, but I still know of people getting a call at the end of September. But by now I'd expect they've been dissolved.

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  65. Hey! Thanx for this beautiful place of the Inet!!

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