Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hot topic: New student assignment system

This from a reader:

I'm interested in a topic that starts a discussion about the new student assignment system in SFUSD. How will it yield different results than the old system?

171 comments:

  1. Will the district have a lottery to decide which kids get their local assignment and which get the next closest school in the event that there are not enough seats? I didn't see this explained anywhere. It seems to be the same problem as any other school that is oversubscribed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm curious about whether, having read this blog and Rachel Norton's on the matter, I actually get it. My understanding is that the default placement will be the child's nearest *attendance area* school with spaces, but that boundaries for these have not yet been redrawn. So it's possible that school 2 blocks away will not be your attendance area school.

    If your attendance area school is oversubscribed, you'll be placed in the second-nearest one, and so on. If you don't like your placement, you enter a city-wide lottery with as many unranked choices as you want, with priorities being first siblings, then kids going to their attendance area low-income Child Development Center who want their attendance area, then kids from CTIP 1 areas, and on down. Is that right?

    But I agree with 10:53, I don't see how they can do the attendance area placements without a lottery, since for some schools there will be far fewer seats than neighborhood kids wanting in. And it sounds like they'll spill over into less desirable schools and onward to the lottery for Round 2, which seems like much the same of what we have.

    The major change seems to be substituting CTIP areas for individual families' socioeconomic status. If you are not poor but happen to live within a CTIP 1 boundary (and are those changing too?), you luck out.

    All corrections welcome. I don't think the new system is any less confusing than the old.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, oops, that post of mine should have been in the other "hot topic" on assignments. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the idea is the school will redraw the neighborhood boundaries so that the neighborhood school can accomodate all the kids in that area. SFUSD has detailed info for how many kids live where. I can't wait to see these maps. PPS said they would be out in Sept/Oct. Seems to me they are going to be drawn pretty crazy. I am not assuming the school 2.5 blocks from us will be our neighborhood school. They could draw the boundary any way they want. And change it in any year. I still think it will be better than what we have now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Unless the attendance area school boundaries are gerry-rigged, the main effect of this new assignment system will most likely be a significant increase in school segregation (with a secondary one of increasing property values around Clarendon, Alamo, etc). The CTIP1 priority is unlikely to have a significant impact unless there's major outreach to the public housing communities RE: the importance of applying in time for R1.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "the main effect of this new assignment system will most likely be a significant increase in school segregation"

    Actually, given the Board opted to give CTIP1 preference over neighborhood families, not as much compared to the current system. IIRC the Stanford academics who were advising pro-bono to the district modeled this out, and there wasn't a lot of difference between the option the BoE went with and retaining a city-wide lottery system similar to the current one.

    Unfortunately, choice doesn't mitigate segregation, as there's some self-segregation, as different schools are more popular in different ethnic groups: Clarendon, Miraloma, Grattan are the most popular amongst whites; AFY, West Portal are the most popular amongst Asians; Alvarado the most popular amongst Hispanics; etc.

    I like the lottery system, but given the strong desire to have a more neighborhood-based system and more certainty in the process (and to cut travel distances to allow bus service reductions), the BoE seems to have done a decent job of picking a system that gives more certainly but doesn't screw over the poorest neighborhoods at the same time.

    "(with a secondary one of increasing property values around Clarendon, Alamo, etc)."

    Yup, Forest Knolls looks like it'll do nicely, if Clarendon switches to being a neighborhood school. West Portal real estate will probably also get a bump, depending on the middle school assignment issues though.

    "The CTIP1 priority is unlikely to have a significant impact unless there's major outreach to the public housing communities RE: the importance of applying in time for R1."

    Currently, 30% of BV/HP families with kids in SFUSD K-5 schools send their kids out of the neighborhood, so I'd say that the CTIP1 would have a big impact on families in that neighborhood. For the Mission, I think it'll be a smaller impact, as about 60% of kids in SFUSD K-5 schools there attend schools in-neighborhood.

    Neighborhoods that will see a big change are Bernal and Glen Park, amongst others, as a very high percentage of families there send there kids to out-of-neighborhood schools.

    (CTIP1 looks as though it will be mostly BV/HP + the Mission, with bits and pieces from other neighborhoods)

    ReplyDelete
  7. 12:46,

    Any thoughts on Visitation Valley. That is not an up and coming neighborhood like Glen Park or Bernal. There are families there, like mine, that wouldn't send their child to the local public school for anything. I'd rather homeschool or send to a private if I was forced to send my child to El Dorado which is the local school for my area. Even Visitation Valley is a better school, though not one I would be willing to send my child to either.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 4:06, I'm guessing 95% of the people on this blog have never heard of Vis Valley and if they've heard of it, they've never been there. I think families in your situation will put in for the 'all city draw schools.' Hopefully the demand for these will be lessened some by people who get a neighborhood school they like. Good luck to you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. the new enrollment system is the same as the old one with CTIP replacing the previous diversity questions/diversity point system. If you live in CTIP you get "diversity" and a better shot at a school outside your neighborhood.

    Everyone will submit a list of schools

    ReplyDelete
  10. Which old system?

    The old system of 40 and 45 percent caps on ethnic enrollment instituted by the original desegregation plan provided some racial integration and, to implement racial integration, extra money from Sacramento for busing. This old system was followed by the modified Consent Decree after the Brian Ho case that eliminated the use of race in favor of a diversity index. Integration was less successful, but we still had extra money from Sacramento for school districts operating under court ordered desegregation.

    The most recent old system dates from expiration of the Consent Decree, the end of extra funds from Sacramento, the school district paying for its own busing expenses, and a continued voluntary use of nonracial diversity factors in school assignment. Resegregaton continued.

    Now we have the new system. We don't yet know what the maps look like. We don't know what the transportation budget will be.

    It would make sense, however, that the move away from city wide schools to attendance area schools is not about getting more intergation. Instead, it is about providing a school that kids can get to should there be a minimal amount of transportation funds. The new system is about not having money for yellow school buses. The old system was about having money from Sacramento for yellow school buses, and even spending funds on buses without extra funds from Sacramento.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If kids at Program Improvement schools actually used the Title One choice they are entitled to by law, the District would be required to bus them to another placement. But SFUSD does what it can to prevent that prerogative from being used. In the past they offered their own choice and African Americans from BVHP will tell you that the district tries hard to get families to choose to leave, just not under T1. Now its CTIP and take the money and run. Then there is the issue of the gentrification of BVHP and the purposeful bleeding of certain "unsightly and undesirable" schools. Think property values. And you thought it was about student achievement?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don,

    I don't think a many BV or HP parents want to bus their children. I think if they did, there would be lots of those children at West Portal or other schools. As one can see, schools like El Dorado and Macolm X have vast numbers of AA children. They live in the neighborhood. The families that are desperately trying to stay out of those schools are the middle class non AA families. Families that bought house that were affordable but not in good school districts. One can see this in the racial make up of Visitation Valley which, if my memory serves me, is about half AA and half Asian. BV and HP are less racially mixed.

    I know I wouldn't send my kid to a school in either area. It contains too much violence and the student body is too rife with social issues to make me feel comfortable that the school staff is not spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with social issues verses teaching. I know because I've been there. I went to a socially disadvantage school in the city. It was a jungle. Kids could barely read and write. The teachers did their best but it was like sticking a finger in a dike.
    All kids don't necessarily want to learn, especially if the message from home or friends is that school is a waste of time. Those kids just make it harder for the kids that do want to learn.
    Sure teachers, like the one from El Dorado that wrote in to this blog, want you to think that they would send their children to that school but I don't think they would if they weren't there or if they had a choice of sending their kid to Roof Top or another hot school. I know I wouldn't.

    Kids that come from such social and economical disadvantaged homes could really go to any school in the city they wanted to attend. Many don't because their parents don't want them too. The schools are too far and too hard to get to. The neighborhood schools are much easier and familiar.
    I want to know how the district makes it hard for families in BV or HP to send their kids to school. Because as far as I can see, the school system has bent over backwards to make better schools available for disadvantage families to send their children to attend schools in better ares where the better schools are located. I remember when I was bused to my terrible school, I had to take MUNI and it was just as bad then as it was now. It may even have been worst; because as a kid, MUNI wouldn't listen to complaints from children and there really wasn't a complaint line like there is now. Not that MUNI listens or even responds to complaints but that is another story and probably another blog.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As a parent within eye sight of Rooftop, it makes me very sad to hear the the school is fighting neighborhood designation. People have no idea how unfair and elitist this is for the parents renting in an area that would force them to drive across a busy Market St. down into Noe and spend all that time...Hey Rooftop, call it straight- you are abusing the ALT. tag and further hurting the SFUSD system.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What do you mean? Rooftop is K-8, so it won't be neighborhood school. I have no problem with that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. and Rooftop shouldn't be a "neighborhood" school - everyone should have the same chance to get in as it really does have a unique arts curriculum.

    ReplyDelete
  16. the real estate values will also probably go up around up and coming schools like mckinley, jefferson, peabody - without busing more neighborhood spots and the schools are bound to improve b/c more parents will have time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. And hey, the real estate values in CTIP 1 tracts might go up too, which is actually kind of funny.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes, I have been wondering about that. I live a block away from blocks & blocks of public housing. Would that make my family better poised to receive entry to a highly desired school? Will living by the projects help us during admission?

    ReplyDelete
  19. To the person who lives next to "blocks and blocks of public housing". If I understand it correctly, the only thing that will give you preference is if you live in the CTIP1 zone, which you may or may not. Not all public housing is in these zones (but a lot of it is)

    Here's the best CTIP map I could find:
    http://wangtime.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ctip-overlay.jpg
    Only the dark green zone gets a preference.

    ReplyDelete
  20. One of the biggest changes in the new assignment system, which I'm surprised that no one has mentioned yet, is that is designed to both maximize choice (it should, according to the Stanford researchers, have a higher percentage of families getting their first choices), and also take strategizing out of a family's choice process. In years past, it really mattered which school you put down first on your list. Starting next year, you will be able to list ANY NUMBER of choices (seriously), and it won't matter at all how you rank them.

    This was a high priority of the researchers and district staff (they called it "impossible to game the system", but I think of it more as "impossible to be driven crazy by the thought that you might have chosen the wrong strategy in putting together your list"). Your list can accurately reflect your true choices and this will still not jeopardize your chance of getting a safer school farther down on your list.

    To me this is the biggest, and most positive, change of all.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm the living by the projects lady again here. Thanks, Abby. That's a new piece of info. You can really list as many choices as you want? Like 10-15? That does seem a little better. Though, living nearby three under-performing schools in the urban core, I was OK w/lottery, too.

    I am in a light green zone, so second to lowest scoring tract. Is it only the dark green tracts that get preference? Wondering if my light green designation will confer any advantage...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Abby can you explain how the new system maximizes choice? It seems like it will work well for people in CTIP1 and for people who want their attendance area school, but how does it help the rest of us?

    I see the point about going crazy over your list ranking strategy - but aside from that - what's the benefit for those of us who aren't CTIP or attendance area preferenced? Just curious if there is a silver lining in this I'm missing.

    To the person by the projects - light green doesn't get you any preference.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm sorry 8:57. There should be no special schools. Allowing your children to walk to school is the right thing, ask any parent which is the priority. (Some people have one car, and really have a tough economic decision.) Fancy private public schools are a type of class warfare. End the Clarendon, Rooftop, Lillyinpale practices.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks, 6:49. I have to agree w/you. The new one seems to only benefit one tract and those lucky enough to live close to a high-performing school.

    It seems, then, that the strategy and lottery benefited a wider swath of the population. Bummer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. 6:49 and 7:26,

    Even with the current system, most people prefer neighborhood school. That's clearly shown by the data.

    True, SOME parents would feel less choice than before. With any kind of change, there are always winners and losers. I believe it will be a better system as a whole though.

    More importantly, with enough like minded neighborhood parents, it will be easier to have critical mess to turn around a school. I suspect it will happen so the neighborhood schools for Noe Valley and Bernel Heights area.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm not sure how it maximizes choice, but the simulations they ran showed that a higher percentage of families would receive something on their list under the new system than under this years' system. Interestingly, most of the different systems the staff ran simulations on both increased diversity and increased the number of families getting something on their list, which just goes to show how much the current assignment system was not working.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Middle class people prefer neighborhood choice, only if they are near a popular school.

    We live in Cole Valley adn remember when parents in the 'hood avoided Grattan, McKinley, and DeAvila the way they now avoid John Muir.

    Funny how those same parents were willing to drive clear across town to privates.

    I LOVE the fact that you can put down as many choices as you want in the new system.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's funny how Grattan and McKinley were turned around with help from neighborhood parents who were assigned there.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The best thing about the new system is that there's no cohort advantage to going 0/7. If you put down 1 or 10 schools, if you get none of them, you're in the same cohort. So no need to "fill up the 5-6-7 slots" with trophies just to make sure to be 0/7 instead of 0/6. I bet that the number of requests for Rooftop and Lilienthal go down a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
  30. 2:14 - but no one putting the trophies as their 4th choice etc ever gets it do they? it may mean fewer requests in overall numbers but I assume they will still have the same "real" demand?

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Even with the current system, most people prefer neighborhood school. That's clearly shown by the data."

    63% in K-5 send their kids out-of-neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Even with the current system, most people prefer neighborhood school. That's clearly shown by the data."

    "63% in K-5 send their kids out-of-neighborhood"

    What you want is not what you get.

    ReplyDelete
  33. April 15 11:08pm

    I never said this - I want to know how the district makes it hard for families in BV or HP to send their kids to school.

    I said - the district tries hard to get families to choose to leave

    SFUSD discourages parents from going to the local school in an effort to promote diversity. This is what J. Kim refers to as outreach as she expressed it at the SAS vote -how to encourage more to use their preference, or as it relates to the current system, how to get more low SES families to opt for higher achieving schools.

    There isn't anything wrong with families opting out of their neighborhood schools, particularly if they aren't successful, but this engineered flight has led to institutional neglect of the students at those neighborhood schools that have not opted to leave and suffer the consequences of abandonment. It has not been the district policy to raise up all schools. The policy has been to raise some at the expense of others.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "Even with the current system, most people prefer neighborhood school. That's clearly shown by the data."

    "63% in K-5 send their kids out-of-neighborhood"

    Yes, parents send them out of neighborhood b/c they have to! They can't get in the neighborhood school! I'm so pissed that next year I will have to drive right by the perfectly good K-5 three blocks from my house to take my son to a different perfectly good K-5 15 minutes away. It's stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  35. ""63% in K-5 send their kids out-of-neighborhood"

    Yes, parents send them out of neighborhood b/c they have to!"

    Let's see if some estimates from the data match this assertion.

    60-65% of parents get their first choice. At s minimum, that means ~40% of parents are putting a first choice down that is *not* their neighborhood school (and get it).

    Further, 11 trophy schools make up ~50% of the first choices at Kinder level. As only (roughly) 9% of families would have a trophy school being the one closest to them (probably less, as none of the trophies are near the lots-of-kids neighborhoods in the SE), then about 40%% are putting a trophy school another choosing their closest school. Only about 15-18% of applicants get into the trophies, so roughly 20-25% of applicants are putting a trophy school down that's not their closest school, and don't get that first choice.

    So, combining the estimate of 40% (get their first choice which was not their neighborhood school), and 20% (list a trophy school first that's not their closest school, but don't get it), that's make at least 60% of applicants are putting a first choice down that is *not* their closest school.

    So the majority of families are *not* listing their closest school first.

    ReplyDelete
  36. 8:31

    "Even with the current system, most people prefer neighborhood school. That's clearly shown by the data."

    9:12 here again:
    What data are you using to show this? I see exactly the opposite.

    Also, a correction to my above estimates: instead of 50% of parents choosing a trophy first, it's about 42-45%. Point still stands though - most parents choose schools as their first choice that are *not* their neighborhood school.

    ReplyDelete
  37. "As a parent within eye sight of Rooftop, it makes me very sad to hear the the school is fighting neighborhood designation."

    As a parent who's in the SE and not within eyesight of a good GE program, I'm happy Rooftop and CL are fighting against interests that want to reduce choice to the rest of the city.

    ReplyDelete
  38. "As a parent within eye sight of Rooftop, it makes me very sad to hear the the school is fighting neighborhood designation."

    If you're so close to Rooftop, your neighborhood school is going to be one of Clarendon, Alvarado GE, or Harvey Milk. Two superlative, and one very solid schools.

    You'll pardon us if we don't share your sense of pain and loss.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Don,

    I disagree with your 8:22 statement. Most of the parents in the neglected schools are from the neighborhood. Look at El Dorado with kids in Visitation Valley or Malcolm X with kids from Hunters Point. The problem is that most families, that are not from those areas, would never send their kid into that area for school. Can you imagine a kid, who's family lives in Diamond Heights or West Portal, sending their darling child to El Dorado or Malcolm X? Not going to ever happen. I live in Visitation Valley and I would never send my kid to the local El Dorado school. It has terrible test scores and the children attending, by the admission of one of their teachers, come from such disadvantage homes that it makes any sane parent run screaming from that school as a viable choice. Really, who wants their kid in a school where many of the student body have family issues such as having one or more parents incarcerated or having seen extreme family violence or being transient to some extent due to lack of funds. No, these people would flee the city or go directly to private. I think most parents, if they are honest, and don't live in deplorable situations, would agree that these types of schools are not viable options.

    Most of these schools, that are neglected, are neglected themselves by the parents of the student body. The schools that do well have parents that care about education and have the time and the money to improve the school. However, areas BV or HP, like Bernal Heights, must be gentrified for many years with new families before the local schools will profit from the gentrification. This will mean that more families, that have the time and money, to improve the schools will attend these local schools. Areas like Hunters Point or Bay View either will take many years to get to this point or may never depending on the demographics of the families that live in that area.

    So I don't believe that the school district are making it hard for families in BV or HP to attend neighborhood schools. In fact, I think the only children at these schools are from that area because other families, that live in more affluent areas would never dream of sending their children to one of the schools in BV or HP.

    All families, raise you hand, if you want to send your kid to one of the worst schools in the city. A school where the test scores are abysmal, where many of the children come from some of the most disadvantaged families in the city, where violence is a daily occurrence, where they locked down two of the schools last week due to gun fire. No? Thought not.

    ReplyDelete
  40. 1. If neighborhood makes no different on school preference, then we should have 1.5% kids going to neighborhood schools (since there are 70 ES in the city)
    2. Most kids couldn't get into their neighborhood school with the old system. However, most kids go to a school with reasonable short travel distance (1 mile?).
    3. Another factor is school starting time. If your neighborhood school starts at 7:30 but you simply cannot make it that early, you will look for another close-by school which fits your time. That will continue to be a problem with the new system.
    4. Even when parents apply for trophy schools, the location is still a major factor. Compare the demographics of Lawton and Claredon is enough to show that.

    ReplyDelete
  41. " If neighborhood makes no different on school preference, then we should have 1.5% kids going to neighborhood schools (since there are 70 ES in the city)"

    "Neighborhood makes no difference" being untrue is not the same as "most parent's first choice is their closest school".

    Also, some neighborhoods have more than one school (there's about 30-35 neighborhoods in the SFUSD data). So a kid could be being sent to a school in their neighborhood, but it not be their attendance area school in the new system.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Simitian introduces Kindergarten readiness bill

    Would you be able to start a thread on this? Both my kids are fall birthdays. If I send my child to k this year (that was the plan), the bill might pass, and my younger may have to wait another year. This would mean that my kids would be 4 years apart in school instead of 3. I'd like to understand the liklihood of this passing

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Even when parents apply for trophy schools, the location is still a major factor."

    Lillienthal gets more first choices than Rooftop, despite Rooftop being more central.

    Besides, again, "location being important" is not the same as "getting your closest school is best".

    The new system severely restricts choice in favor of getting a default option of your attendance area school. I've shown that it's highly probably most parents don't list their attendance area school as their first choice.

    ReplyDelete
  44. 9:36 and 9:39, I totally agree. Rooftop neighbor - please leave a sliver of hope for those of us who don't live near a desirable school now have virtually no chance of getting in anywhere that's not designated city-wide.

    I truly don't understand all this hype about neighborhood schools. SF is only 7x7 miles people! Not wanting to travel from Ocean Beach to HP, or Lake Merced to North Beach, okay that makes sense...but really...is it that important to have the CLOSEST SCHOOL? No matter where you live in SF, there's likely to be plenty of schools that are reasonably close and convenient, even if not the closest.

    I grew up in SF and had a school on the corner of my block which I never attended. I went to various schools that were anywhere from a mile away to clear across town on MUNI. Big deal. All the kids did it. This is city life people.

    ReplyDelete
  45. What does it mean that Rooftop and CL are "fighting" neighborhood designation? Is there any chance they won't be designated city-wide?

    ReplyDelete
  46. "In years past, it really mattered which school you put down first on your list."

    It actually wasn't supposed to matter what order you put schools in, and up until two years ago the conventional wisdom was "rank them in the order you like them". Then last year Vicki Symonds of PPSSF found out that that order-of-preference was used as a tiebreaker. Hence recent stress over ranking strategy.

    "It seems, then, that the strategy and lottery benefited a wider swath of the population. Bummer."

    Yup, but you got shafted by the neighborhood school advocates (i.e. those living close to the good schools and who don't want you to take the slot they want for their little darling), and the squeeze on the budget resulting in the desire to save $$$ from buses.

    ReplyDelete
  47. "What does it mean that Rooftop and CL are "fighting" neighborhood designation? Is there any chance they won't be designated city-wide?"

    Marina parents have been trying to get CL designated a neighborhood school. As there's less than a hundred kids in the Marina who go to SFUSD schools, the BoE told them no. However, there was some point to the Marina parents petition: their attendance area school would be Cobb, which would be both a fair distance and, well, a school with low test scores.

    I think CL staff also wanted to retain the alternative school designation.

    Evidently there's something similar happening with Rooftop with neighbors trying to raise the barricades against the rest of us. Although with less justification than the Marina, given that Alvarado GE, Clarendon and Harvey Milk would be their attendance area schools.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Everyone knows that I am involved with the Students First's measure to have a neighborhood schools policy. I am not trying to push it here, unless explaining it is the same as pushing it. It is on-topic because it addresses many of the issues discussed on this thread.

    First off, there are three major differences between a neighborhood school SAS and SFUSD's new SAS.

    1. True NSs, by definition, do not give preferences to others outside the neighborhood until all neighborhood kids have been seated.

    2. There are not enough spaces for all neighborhood kids to go to some neighborhood schools and the district knows it. That's why SFUSD does not guarantee a neighborhood kid a seat. If it wanted NS it would commit itself to that end and provide a guarantee after a phase-in period. They have made no such commitment.

    3. The lack of transparency and stability on boundaries and school designations leave the entire new SAS in a state of perpetual flux that is decreasing rather than increasing predictability. None of this will affect property values as long as the Superintendent can simply pull a switch.

    The real elephants in the room are the low performing schools that must become the focus of the district. The answer to the overused and somewhat misleading term "achievement gap" is not a system that tries to spread out low performers. That is a statistition's, not an educator's answer.

    It is all about running schools that promote success and insist upon quality effort from all sides. There are many institutional barracades that keep schools running as usual, without true reform. When you go into a school you can see right away whether that is a serious institution of learning or not, regardless of the level of instruction.

    I'm not saying teachers will surmount the obstacles set before them by poverty, but unless urban school district adopt reform models that make schools a place of learning rather than a holding cell, the kids that move through them will never get a real shot at an education of value.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Re: SFUSD saving $$$ on buses with neighborhood schools. What exactly is the deal with that? I was unaware that was a component of the new SAS.

    So the CTIP kids will have a preference to go to any school but no way to get there? Is that right?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Sorry if this question is old news, but I'm wondering if there was any organized effort opposed to neighborhood schools. Since we're not entering K for another year or two I'm not in the loop.

    Are there any board of education members who opposed it? Are there any upcoming candidates who do? Is there any hope for change?

    ReplyDelete
  51. It isn't yet clear how much busing SFUSD will provide. The lack of state funding for busing is being used as a rationale for not providing it. It is a decent rationale, as it were. But if SFUSD were truly commited to its CTIP plan, than transportation would be a necessity, as you imply. How many will take advantage of the preference otherwise? Diversity based busing cost about 5 million last year and I think it is around 4 million this year, with the figure dropping more next year. 15 million goes to SPED busing. While costs can change, SPED is untouchable.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Can you clarify your question? Do you believe the new SAS is a neighborhood schools policy? (I agree its a move in that direction, as opposed to a true policy.) And remember, to the extent that the new SAS affects choice dynamics, choice is still a side by side SAS.

    All the commissioners voted Aye for the new policy. But they watered down the somewhat stronger neighborhood policy that the administration proposed. If you don't like neighborhood schools that was positive and vice-versa.

    ReplyDelete
  53. "Re: SFUSD saving $$$ on buses with neighborhood schools. What exactly is the deal with that? I was unaware that was a component of the new SAS."

    At the end of the SAS redesign process, there were two options left - Options 3 and 6 (or Options A and B). One was a primarily a lottery/choice system (using the CTIP concept in place of the old diversity index) with a moderate neighborhood preference (but stronger than the old system), and a neighborhood system with a strong neighborhood preference and a much more limited choice system.

    The lottery/choice (Option 3) performed better in the Stanford U. simulations (not by much, but better) in terms of efficiency (getting folks what they wanted) and diversity than the neighborhood option (Option 6) that the BoE opted for. However, keeping strong choice/lottery systems versus a strong neighborhood preference meant more uncertainty for families, but less choice, but also more $$$ for transportation. My read is the necessity to save more money on transportation is what pushed Option 3 out of contention in favor of Option 6, even though Option 6 was slightly inferior to Option 3 in simulations.

    There was going to be rationalization of the bus routes anyway - many are based on old forced-busing system patterns.


    "Sorry if this question is old news, but I'm wondering if there was any organized effort opposed to neighborhood schools."

    You're about a year too late. There were too many seeing the downside of the current system while not appreciating the downside of shifting to a neighborhood system.

    Options would be to lobby for more city-wide schools, and to prevent the K-8s being converted to neighborhood schools.

    "Is there any hope for change?"

    No. The redesign was too painful and protracted for the BoE to revisit it, unless there's a total continued clusterfuck.

    Which I don't see happening, because while there are losers in the new system, for what it does it is pretty well designed, and there's mechanisms to mitigate most but the adverse effects of a neighborhood system. (Which is why Don's not happy with it.)

    The new system is not as good as Option 3 would have been, but it's an improvement, for most of the city, on the current system.

    ReplyDelete
  54. when will they announce which middle schools various elementary schools will feed to in the new system?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Kim -- yes they will. Apparently also all us fifth grade parents will get a letter in the Fall saying our kid got accepted into that "neighborhood" middle school, which I think everyone thinks will be a good thing. (Then parents will have a chance to go into the lottery for something better, but still keep their neighborhood designation.) Unknowns now are: (1) whether some middle schools' gen ed programs (other than the few immersion programs) may be designated citywide; and 2) whether the middle school neighborhood zones will be contiguous or not. We'll get those details too in the Fall.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Is there a cap on the number of kids from CTIP1 that can attend a CTIP2 local school in order to maintain some balance?

    While it's probably unlikely that a school would be overrun by CTIP1 kids, I do wonder what could happen.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Starting Time Matters, TooApril 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    With busing being largely eliminated along with the "alternative school" designations and CTIP2 families mostly stuck with their neighborhood schools (which may or may not be a good thing depending on where one lives) will the start times of the neighborhood schools switch to a uniform time (to i.e. 8:40) so that starting time is less of a factor in school choice?

    ReplyDelete
  58. How can schools not become more segregated with this new assignment system if busing isn't provided for families in CTIP1 tracts? The mostly likely outcome I envision is that CTIP1 familes, who often lack alternative transportation, will end up sending their kids to their low-performing local CTIP1 schools while those in CTIP2 tracts will send theirs to their higher-performing neighborhood schools. Exactly how does this new system promote greater choice and equity?

    ReplyDelete
  59. Wondering at 6:44,

    I agree with you. The new system, if it does not provide busing, will do little to improve integration. The new system, without busing, will only help CTIP 1 area students get into CTIP 2 schools that are near them.

    If we begin with the assumption that we will not spend much $$$ on busing anymore, then the new system does at least help CTIP 1 students get into CTIP 2 schools that are already close to the CTIP 1 areas. That preferential treatment is not doing much, but it is more than not doing anything.

    OK, but why might we not be spending $$$ on buses to make the CTIP 1 preference more meaningful?
    Short answer: Budget deficit. If we spend $$$ on buses, we will need to lay off more people. Not going to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  60. 2:41,


    If I knew what this means:

    Which I don't see happening, because while there are losers in the new system, for what it does it is pretty well designed, and there's mechanisms to mitigate most but the adverse effects of a neighborhood system. (Which is why Don's not happy with it.)

    ...then I could tell you if I agree with your assessment of my happiness.


    I will say this - neighborhood schools are about quality schools for all. Obviously, if only some neighborhoods get the good schools then neighborhood schools benefit only those in the right neighborhoods. But if you want the district to stop spending it time and money on administering these complex systems and to use that money for education instead, we could focus our efforts on improvement instead of movement.

    BTW- CTIP is a scam. W/O busing few AA families will be able to use it. Its pure hypocracy on the part of the Board.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Don said:
    "BTW- CTIP is a scam. W/O busing few AA families will be able to use it. Its pure hypocracy on the part of the Board."
    I totally (and finally!) agree w/you, Don. w/o busing more of the low-income African American, Latino and Samoan families in CTIP1 areas will be segregated at nearby, largely low-performing, schools. The inclusion of the CTIP1 preference is in the new assignment system IMO so Garcia and the left-leaning BOE members can say they're doing something to promote greater equity, while actually reducing it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. If this new SAS were a neighborhood schools policy why is there a preference for CDC? If all neighborhood kids get in there would be no need for that. But the District knows that is not the case, so they are trying to provide preferences for lower SES students. With neighborhood schools there's no need for preferences. And we could begin the REAL work of making all schools equitable, like for example, getting rid of the benefit that schools with higher seniority teachers enjoy via the Weighted Student formula's average teacher salary.

    ReplyDelete
  63. "With busing being largely eliminated along with the "alternative school" designations"

    Half of the alternative schools are K-8 (AFY, Lawton, SF Community, Lilienthal, Rooftop) and would be citywide.

    (I guess Bessie Carmichael, being a K-8, would switch to being a citywide school, although that area of the city is *really* unserved for schools), as would Paul Revere.

    All of the immersion programs would remain citywide, also.

    Argonne, Clarendon, Lakeshore, New Traditions & Yick Wo would be switching to neighborhood schools, as they're K-5.

    Can anyone confirm this? It doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to convert Carmichael to a citywide school, and New Traditions, with its arts focus, would seem better to stay a citywide school.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Don, I'm confused. It seems to me that the work of making neighborhoods and school funding equal has to come before a neighborhood school system. Without poor neighborhoods getting equal city services and their inhabitants getting treated equally in things like mortgage loan policy, availability of decent stores, community centers, parks, etc., neighborhoods are going to be different, with wealthier people clustering where the good city services, valuable real estate, and amenities are, even if the schools are equitably funded. They will bring to *only* their neighborhood schools all the advantages of educated parents, resources for the PTA, volunteer time, etc. So all that will cluster in certain schools.

    And at the very least, to make the schools truly equal, it's going to take a centralized funding source, with all PTA funds directed to it and redistributed equally (or PTA funding disallowed), and volunteer parents sent all over the city. I truly cannot imagine this.

    Once those things are in place, then it's time to support neighborhood schools. But until then, I feel I must support opportunities for poor kids to get *out* of their neighborhoods for the school day.

    I agree about CTIP status -- seems to me it's a way of consolidating bus services (around CTIP 1 areas only, in the best scenario). But it leaves "land-poor" people, who may live in ungentrified properties in gentrified neighborhood and be unable to leave because their property taxes would skyrocket, with low preference. And it leaves wealthier people in a small handful of gentrified areas that border the projects and mixed-income areas, an unfair advantage.

    But with that said, I just cannot see how a pure neighborhood system could do anything but exacerbate inequality. Can you explain how?

    ReplyDelete
  65. "I will say this - neighborhood schools are about quality schools for all."

    No Don. That's an *aspiration*.

    In the meantime, while we wait for the magic sparkleponies that come along with neighborhood school assignment to make all the schools great, there's the issue of that there are schools that are failing in test scores. Willie Brown, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, Bret Harte, El Dorado, Bryant.

    Even partial immersion schools like Flynn, Revere, and Starr King have GE strands that perform low not only on absolute measures, but on similar schools metrics also.

    You're on the West side, and so are really detached from this issue, because you are nowhere frickin' near a failing school, and have convinced yourself that the reason e.g. BV/HP parents overwhelmingly send their kids out of the neighborhood is because there isn't enough space at Malcolm X, rather than it being that most of the parents there want to send their kids somewhere else: that's why Malcolm X is at half-capacity.

    How would you fell if you were next to Bryant and being told that nope, you have no choice, that's what you're gonna get?

    CTIP1 means that those who want a better school who are near failing schools can get one, even if it's just getting Moscone rather than Bryant, or Harvey Milk instead of Sanchez.

    Families in certain neighborhoods are getting the shaft under the new system: the Excelsior, Vis Valley & Potero for example, and to a lesser extent Bernal, Glen Park & Crocker-Amazon. They're getting severely reduced choice in return for preference to poor to at best middling GE programs. Schools with Greatschools ratings of 1-3. Your neighborhood, by contrast, the "black sheep" is McCoppin, with an Greatschools rating of 7.

    You want to add the Mission, Tenderloin and BV/HP of those getting the shaft under your proposed system, the neighborhood with families with the least resources.

    I'm sorry, it's inequitable and would be probably struck down in court.

    ReplyDelete
  66. 7:33,

    I think you are dead on. That is exactly the point I have been trying to make with Don but that he either ignores or just doesn't care to address. This new system really shafts some neighborhoods.

    I know that I will have to deal with it in several years when we get to Junior High School but we will see. I'll probably have to camp out at SFUSD because I won't send my kid to a crappy school filled with kids from disadvantaged families that use a school as a baby sitting warehouse.

    ReplyDelete
  67. " That is exactly the point I have been trying to make with Don but that he either ignores or just doesn't care to address."

    It's just his perspective is very narrow: the schools in his neighborhood are very good, and the complaint of parents there is probably why all the hassle and uncertainty with the lottery. And as the poorer areas are in the East of the city, he doesn't really understand the real disparity in SES and demographics across neighborhoods. He loves his neighborhood school, and think everyone else would love their school if it wasn't for the wascally BoE giving them options to go somewhere else.

    "This new system really shafts some neighborhoods."

    There are losers in this system, but it's not as bad as it could have been.

    It's maybe three-five years premature to shift to a neighborhood system: formerly unfashionable schools were being discovered through the lottery (e.g. Sunnyside two years ago, Junipero Serra this year), and magnet programs were being added to formerly unpopular schools. Right now, there are maybe 10-12 elementaries out of 70 that I'd say "no way would I send my kid there". I'd have liked to get that number down to 7-8 before going to a neighborhood system, time for schools like Webster and Serra, etc. to make more progress. As it is, I'm afraid the shift to a neighborhood system will result in more defections to the privates and parochials than it would have if we'd waited three more years.

    But given the constraints on the BoE and the vocal opposition to the choice/lottery system, the BoE did a decent enough job. But I don't want any further restriction on choice (e.g. by converting more alternative schools to neighborhood schools), or any erosion of the CTIP1 preference. (I'm not in a CTIP1 area, just to be clear).

    ReplyDelete
  68. Don - The Real OneApril 20, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Dear 7:33,

    "I'm sorry, it's inequitable and would be probably struck down in court."

    I don't think you've been keeping up with the Supreme Court decisions. Read Parents Involved versus Seattle PS. Why do you think Seattle just this year went back to neighborhood schools - a true neighborhood schools system? Because they knew it would be struck down? No. It's because they no it won't be struck down. No one is seriously even bothering to try.

    I'm not going to explain that decision to you. Look it up on WIKI. But if you're going to make statements that don't comport with reality it is your job to find out what's actually going on.

    What is laughable is the fact that it was Garcia who put forth a neighborhood schools policy in the first place. It wasn't as strong we we would have wished, but it was better than what we got. With a few exceptions no one derided him for floating that because the proposal was in keeping with the results of the community outreach - results that were overwhelmingly pro neighborhood schools, including in the south and east.

    But if Student First wants to have such a policy measure for the voters we are subjected to derision and ridicule.

    I have made a good faith effort to answer questions despite being ridiculed and defamed all the time by anonymous posters. So it is not become a worthwhile effort. But I will say this:

    I understand that just going to a neighborhood schools policy will not in itself create quality schools. But it will create the environment in which the district must focus on all schools and not allow some to wither as they are abandoned under comprehensive choice. Everyone, no matter their ilk, wants quality neighborhood schools. As long as SFUSD has policies that force out the high achieving families for the privates and the suburbs, they are perpetuating a migration that decreases SES diversity in the city. If they would spend their time and money on school reform, instead costly assignment systems, we might be able to prop up some of the failing schools.

    Now if you will excuse me I have to go back to agitating for change. Good-bye.

    ReplyDelete
  69. " Read Parents Involved versus Seattle PS."

    Supported previous decisions excluding race-based, not academic or socioeconomic factors in assignment. Sorry, it doesn't say what you think it does.

    "Why do you think Seattle just this year went back to neighborhood schools - a true neighborhood schools system? Because they knew it would be struck down?"

    You're putting a lot of faith in which way Justice Kennedy would swing on an issue on equity that would *not* be race-based, as CTIP1 is not, especially given the lower courts sided with Seattle.

    ReplyDelete
  70. To the person who posted "63% in K-5 send their kids out-of-neighborhood".

    Just wanted to point out that the data on how many people are choosing (or not) their neighbourhood school under the current system is skewed by the fact that some us cannot choose our neighborhood school. If you live in the North Panhandle, for example as we do, your attendance area school is Golden Gate Elementary. Which closed 3 years ago. There are other neighbourhoods with the same issue, as the attendance areas have not been updated in some time.

    So, you have whole areas sending their kids "out-of-neighborhood" because there is no neighborhood school open. Not necessarily that we are choosing to reject our neighborhood school.

    ReplyDelete
  71. "Just wanted to point out that the data on how many people are choosing (or not) their neighbourhood school under the current system is skewed by the fact that some us cannot choose our neighborhood school."

    The districts stats by neighborhood are more broad than the attendance areas. There's about 30 neighborhoods, according to the district's breakdown, and there's about 70 elementary schools. So if you're in Bernal and your attendance area school is Revere, but you send your kid to Flynn, that still counts as sending to a neighborhood school, even though its not your attendance area school.

    ReplyDelete
  72. No Don,

    Really pouring more money into bad neighborhood schools will not solve the problem. The problem isn't with the school or the teachers. It is with the student body and their parents. If you want better schools in a bad neighborhood, you won't get it by pouring more money into it unless you pour massive amounts that SFUSD doesn't have. You will have to make sure each kid is feed well, not the junk that is served and that each kid has a stable home environment. Really is that ever going to happen. There is no Utopia.

    No one can make bad parents be better parents. We can try but we will never succeed a hundred percent.

    The problem will be that more middle class families that can't afford private school will leave the city unless they can get into a better school. I live in the East part of the city. My kid would be assigned a undesirable school. Rather than send my kid to one of those schools, I'd go private. Luckily, I could afford it if I need to but I'd rather not. The parents that want neighborhood public schools all live in good neighborhoods or cheat.

    I know of kids that don't even live in the city using Grandparent's addresses to secure spots in hot S.F. schools. It is easy to have your name changed on a bill as long as the party that is living there is OK with it. All one has to do is make a phone call with the current bill.

    So families that can't afford a house in one of the better neighborhoods is stuck either trying to force the city to give them a better school or go private. Because sending a kid into one of the undesirable schools is NOT an option!

    Don,

    If you do live in an area with good neighborhood schools, I understand you wanting them. But don't be so myopic to not understand why someone wouldn't want to send their kid to the neighborhood school if that school is Malcolm X or El Dorado or some such school.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Maybe disingenuous would have been a better word than myopic.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Another issue is that San Francisco has created "destination schools" with immersion programs, K-8s, etc. Just as the most affluent foodies choose destination restaurants, the most informed, resourced parents disproportionately request destination schools or strands, which is why the destination schools and strands typically skew high SES even though the lottery is supposed to try to balance the high/low SES populations. I think the main change we'll see from the new system is that resourced families who happen to live (or pretend to live) in CTIP 1 tracts will make more use of the public schools, since assignment preference is now based on neighborhood rather than personal circumstances.

    While it's understandable that BVHP just as an example) families don't use all the space in their neighborhood public schools, where DO they go? Do they request the trophies in droves? If yes, why do those schools skew so much toward higher SES populations? Do they use church-affiliated schools? Charters?

    Agreed that without parent support, schools can only do so much. Neighborhood schools are great when the neighborhood is relatively resourced.

    ReplyDelete
  75. 11:04,

    I think that if parents care and have the means, they choose other schools in the city. I think the issue is partly, that the children that do attend the under performing schools, either have parents that can't ensure their transportation to a better school or just OK with what ever school they are assigned.

    Not all parent care what school their child attends. In fact, some parents don't even care if they child attends school.

    ReplyDelete
  76. So Don, yeah, while you are out there "agitating for change," let's make sure the change you want isn't just reactionary class consolidation by people living near good schools who want to keep them for themselves. You have not answered my question:

    I just cannot see how a pure neighborhood system [given the inequality of neighborhood socioeconomic bases] could do anything but exacerbate inequality. Can you explain how?

    Please explain. You see, otherwise, we on the SE side might mistake you for someone who cares about your own wealthy neighbors, but not about our kids.

    ReplyDelete
  77. ""destination schools" with immersion programs."

    Well, the immersion programs in the South East (Flynn, Revere, Webster, etc., even Alvarado if you go back far enough) were designed to draw in non-low-SES families into formerly unpopular schools. The fact those programs have a dropped their percentage of low-SES kids is those programs working *as intended*.

    ReplyDelete
  78. The system is putting more affluent kids into historically lower-performing schools, because their parents are resourced and can haul them around to the desirable programs. But the presence of those affluent kids does not necessarily do much for the poor kids. I beg forgiveness in advance for using white students as a proxy for more affluent kids.

    Here are some relative newcomers to the immersion pool:

    Alvarado 36.5% of low SES at or above proficient (43% low SES--near majority Latino); white kids 88.5% at or above proficient

    Buena Vista 33 % of low SES kids at or above proficient (56% low SES--majority Latino); white kids 88% at or above proficient

    Fairmount 27% low SES kids at or above proficient (60% low SES--majority Latino); white kids 82.5% at or above proficient

    Flynn: 20.5% of low SES kids at or above proficient (73% low SES--majority Latino); 73% white kids at or above proficient

    Ortega 52% of low SES at or above proficient (70% low SES-majority Asian); no reported data on white students

    Revere 23.5% of low SES kids at or above grade level (74% low SES, majority Latino); no data on white students

    Starr King 28.5% of low SES kids at or above grade level (67% low SES--balanced enrollment); no data on white students

    Webster 28.5% of low SES kids at or above proficient (90% low SES, barely under majority Latino); no data on white students

    Other city-wide schools:

    Argonne: low SES 66.5% at or above proficient (40% low SES, majority Asian); 74% of white students at or above proficient

    Clarendon: 68% of low SES at or above proficient (11%low SES, 1/3 white, 1/3 Asian); 93% of white students at or above proficient

    Lakeshore: 53% of low SES at or above proficient (50% low SES, 43% Asian significantly larger than other populations); 71.5% white at or above proficient

    Lawton: 78% of low SES at or above proficieint (43% low SES, majority Asian); 83% white at or above proficient

    Lilienthal: 64.5% of low SES at or above proficient (19% low SES, 1/3 white, 1/3 Asian); 86% white at or above proficient

    Rooftop: 58% of low SES at or above proficient (32% low SES, balanced enrollment); 85% white at or above proficient

    West Portal: 75% of low SES at or above proficient (39% low SES, majority Asian); 88% white at or above proficient.

    Alice Fong Yu: 85% of low SES at or above proficient (25% low SES, majority Asian); 100% white at or above proficient,

    These city-wide schools are the old warhorse trophies with either relatively few low-income students, high Asian populations, or both.

    Low SES kids have better statistical odds to reach proficiency at schools like Moscone, ER Taylor, Bessie Carmichael, Longfellow, Guadalupe, Glen Park, Monroe, Redding, Serra, Sheridan and Visitacion Valley than any of the schools (including Alvarado) that have recently established immersion strands and thereby had the dubious privilege of an influx of the white middle class.

    In fact, even some of the schools that most on this blog would consider "untouchables" do better by low SES kids than some of the immersion programs. Here are percentages of low SES students scoring at or above proficient on the most recent published SARCs: Bryant (29%) Carver (31%) Chavez (28%), Cleveland (35%), Cobb (43%), Drew (26%), El Dorado (31%), Bret Hart (27%), Hillcrest (35%), Malcolm X (39%), Marshall (39%), Muir (21%), Rosa Parks (28%), Sanchez (32.5%), and Tenderloin Community (46.5%). Even sad John Muir's low SES kids have higher test scores than those at Leonard Flynn.

    If you really want educational justice for low SES kids, it seems like the direct route would be to make good schools available to them where they live rather than encourage the middle class to take over their schools or offer them admission preferences at logistically nightmarish schools. The schools on the third list show it's possible.

    ReplyDelete
  79. For 10:54,

    If you truly believe that schools can't make a difference why insist on sending them across town to different schools? Can you explain the logic in that?

    ReplyDelete
  80. 3:28, thanks for the thorough and thoughtful post. I'm no statistician, but these numbers are compelling.

    ReplyDelete
  81. "While it's understandable that BVHP just as an example) families don't use all the space in their neighborhood public schools, where DO they go? Do they request the trophies in droves? If yes, why do those schools skew so much toward higher SES populations?"

    For K-5 kids attending public schools from BV/HP, white/asian/filipino/others go heavily for Excelsior schools (27%, double the percentage sending their kids to neighbourhood schools). there's smaller percentages f For African-American/Latino/Samoans in BV/HP in K-5 public schools, 36% go to schools in the neighborhood, then to Excelsior, Bernal, Mission, Castro (prob. Harvey Milk & McKinley).

    See
    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/Bayview%20resident%20students%20enrolled.pdf

    and http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/Enrollment%20patterns%20for%20each%20SF%20City%20Planning%20Neighborhood.pdf for the data.

    Haven't found similar data for private/parochials by neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Stats 3:28,

    Isn't that supporting Don's contention? No one is against having good schools in every neighborhood. I don't believe some of the very pessimistic portrayals of low SES achievement mobility. Why the negativity?

    ReplyDelete
  83. 3:28 PM:

    Thanks for the stats, but you made several errors in your analysis.

    Eyeballing, it looks like you averaged data for Grade 5, yes?

    For Webster, the SI program has only been running for two years. Revere's is only three years old (and so those kids would only be tested this coming year). Similarly for Jose Ortega, and Starr King's MI program is in it's fourth year, and so data for that program would available for Grade 2 last year. (Plus, you still have the GE, SB and special ed programs at Starr King).

    I don't know whether for Fairmont and Flynn whether the SI program has reached the 5th grade yet.

    Monroe is one-half SI but you excluded it from the immersion category: in Grade 5, the average proficiency for low-SES kids (averaging Science/Math/English) was 55%. Similarly for Marshall, which you counted as not being an immersion program, but which is a 100% immersion school.

    So, for at least four of the immersion programs the data you took is not applicable (as the immersion program hasn't reached Grade 5), plus you miscategorized two immersion programs which get fair results with low-SES kids, despite high %ages of ELLs and low-SES.

    Your data is intriguing, but I think you'd have to re-do the work (and check what year immersion was introduced to Flynn and Fairmont) before making your assertion with confidence about immersion programs.

    I think you'd have to also adjust for the percentage of ELLs. The immersion programs also get affected by intake of newcomers (wheras those used to go to the SB programs).
    "I beg forgiveness in advance for using white students as a proxy for more affluent kids."

    Usually there's data on non-socioeconomically disadvantaged kids as well as low-SES kids. You can find it on greatschools.net.

    "Low SES kids have better statistical odds to reach proficiency at schools like Moscone, ER Taylor, Bessie Carmichael, Longfellow, Guadalupe, Glen Park, Monroe, Redding, Serra, Sheridan and Visitacion Valley than any of the schools (including Alvarado) that have recently established immersion strands and thereby had the dubious privilege of an influx of the white middle class."

    IIRC, Moscone, Taylor, Monroe, and VV, and maybe Monroe have Cantonese bilingual strands, and so have higher numbers of low-SES Asian families, which tend to value education. Not to diminish what those schools do, but it's a different case than, say, the case of Webster with a high AA/Latino population.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Still waiting for Don to explain how, given the socioeconomic inequalities of neighborhoods, a pure neighborhood system isn't going to exacerbate inequality. He hasn't answered, uncharacteristically.

    3:28, I was compelled by your argument -- but my first thought was that the white kids in immersion programs are being tested in their first language, English, whereas the ELL kids are not. So of course there will be disparities.

    There is a real argument to be made for schools serving only low-income populations doing a great, perhaps even better, job with these populations than mixed-income schools -- schools like Serra and Glen Park intrigued me for that reason when I saw them. But with the reality that public funding is diminishing and private parental resources are filling in the gap, these schools are going to be starved much harder than schools with mixed- and high-income bases. There is a reason Eve Cheung was eager and welcoming to middle-class parents taking a real look at Serra. She needs their time, their connections, their funds: she's just really clear (from what I saw) about not abandoning the population that was there first. I'd like to believe it can be done.

    We can't abandon low-income kids to starved-out schools and then, when they do well anyway, claim that hey, it's OK if only *we* get to go to Lillienthal because look, they're better off with their crummy chain-link fences and cracked asphalt play yards! Separate but equal isn't equal.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I didn't know anything about this case until I read about it on this thread. The case has certain complexities that are not broached in this summary I pasted to follow. I looked up Seattle schools and learned that they have reinstituted neighborhood schools. I don't think this is just a coincidence.

    *Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 551 U.S. 701 (2007), decided together with Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, is a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that prohibited assigning students to public schools solely for the purpose of achieving racial integration and declined to recognize racial balancing as a compelling state interest.[1] In a 5-4 opinion delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, five justices held that the School Boards did not present any "compelling state interest" that would justify the assignment of school seats on the basis of race. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a concurrence that presented a more narrow interpretation, stating that schools may use "race conscious" means to achieve diversity in schools but that the schools at issue in this case did not use a sufficiently narrow tailoring of their plans to sustain their goals. Four justices dissented from the Court's conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
  86. 6:26
    Don's not going to answer you. Contrary to what he thinks, he does not know it all. He'll dazzle you with an irrelevant court case and bluff that you won't read it.

    "Agitating for change?" I don't think so. He's more than thrilled that he's in a good neighborhood on the west side, with a SAS that guarantees top elementary and middle schools for him. He's not going to Malcolm X or El Dorado anytime soon so he's not gonna care. His perspective is biased, obviously. His biggest worry is what to sign his kid up for-Shakespeare class or Golf!

    "Agitating for change?" You think he cares about your kids. Please. Ignore him. He's wasting your time AND mine, again!

    ReplyDelete
  87. 9:53, sounds like the case that resulted in our (now old) system of using SES not race. And a lot of people don't think Seattle's move was a good one.

    1:46, it's astonishing, isn't it? Don answers every single perceived slight to himself, cluttering up every thread, and then, when addressed directly, multiple times, refuses to answer the most basic question about the neighborhood school assignment system for which he's so gung-ho. And he's posted on other threads since, so we know he's out there. Occasionally he almost makes sense, but this time he has lost any credibility he has left, with me.

    Paging Don: HOW will the neighborhood school system supported by "(Wealthy) Students First" NOT exacerbate the inequalities that are already there between neighborhoods? Because if you can't answer that, Students First is just a front for affluent parents who want to keep poor kids out of the best schools.

    ReplyDelete
  88. My friends in Seattle are thrilled with the new system. They had a crazy bussing system before. Their kid would have been bussed far away, almost to the suburbs to a great school b/c they are in a poor neighborhood. Now they can walk to school. And they live in what a lot of people would call a crappy neighborhood but have great neighbors of all backgrounds and colors.

    ReplyDelete
  89. 7:22,

    It is not the neighborhood necessarily that makes a bad school. It is the amount of disadvantaged children in a school that is the issue. A recent study stated that if more than 40%, of the student body of a school, was disadvantaged, then the school would server no one well.

    There are some not great neighborhoods that have good to fair schools. The schools most people are talking about are the ones with 70% or more with disadvantaged student bodies that don't have a stable home life and don't have a family drive to do well in school.

    So one could go to a school in a not great neighborhood and still be OK.

    Another thing is that people here that live in areas where their kid will go to a good school don't care. They have gotten what they want. They got their nice neighborhood school. It is families like mine, that are in areas with awful choices, that have problems. I will not send my child to any of the SE schools. They are terrible and are not diverse. This is a very diverse city but there are huge enclaves of mono diversities in many neighborhoods. So that causes some schools to be more disadvantaged than others. If one goes to strictly neighborhood schools, this mono diversity will only perpetuate.

    Yes, some children in disadvantaged neighborhoods will be allowed to attend the hallowed halls of Roof Top or West Portal. But many parents can't find a way of getting their kids there. Also there are limited slots for non-neighborhood kids.

    So now, all the poor kids are stuck in their awful schools. All the kids that live in good neighborhoods will go to the neighborhood schools (i.e. wealth families) and all the middle class kids will leave the system, move, or find other ways of trying to beat the new assignment system or maybe resign themselves to under performing schools.

    So parents, like Don, rejoice. They don't care about other kids. They are just happy to send their little Jonnie or Jannie to their nice neighborhood school.

    ReplyDelete
  90. 3:28 - you must have averaged data because at Flynn, immersion is only through 4th grade for test results available. The fifth grade immersion is testing this year, but the more problematic issue is that there needs to be a statistically significant number of students tested for CDE to report publicly their results and for Flynn, although the immersion students were tested through fourth grade, only one grade has a statistically significant number of "white" students to be reported by ethnicity. There are white students in the other grades, but their scores are not reported by ethnicity.

    That said, although for achievement the influx of middle class families doesn't seem to have made a difference in test scores, that would be more attributable to the teachers. What the influx of middle class families often does is shine a light on issues since parents are more engaged and knowledgeable, as well as provide more opportunities for enrichment through additional programs for all students.

    ReplyDelete
  91. "My friends in Seattle are thrilled with the new system. They had a crazy bussing system before. Their kid would have been bussed far away, almost to the suburbs to a great school b/c they are in a poor neighborhood."

    Err, no, your friends in Seattle are mistaken.

    The system in Seattle was a choice system within geographic clusters, with a lottery when a school was oversubscribed, and "option schools" that were kinda like our alternative schools.

    What got struck down was the use of race as a tiebreaker factor in Seattle USD's lottery.

    http://www.seattleschools.org/area/newassign/current_assignplan.html

    ReplyDelete
  92. Cornell University
    Supreme Court Syllabus
    Parents Involved - Seattle PSD No.1

    Although remedying the effects of past intentional discrimination is a compelling interest under the strict scrutiny test, see Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U. S. 467 , that interest is not involved here because the Seattle schools were never segregated by law nor subject to court-ordered desegregation, and the desegregation decree to which the Jefferson County schools were previously subject has been dissolved. Moreover, these cases are not governed by Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 306 , in which the Court held that, for strict scrutiny purposes, a government interest in student body diversity “in the context of higher education” is compelling. That interest was not focused on race alone but encompassed “all factors that may contribute to student body diversity,” id., at 337, including, e.g., having “overcome personal adversity and family hardship,” id., at 338. Quoting Justice Powell’s articulation of diversity in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U. S. 265 , the Grutter Court noted that “ ‘it is not an interest in simple ethnic diversity, in which a specified percentage of the student body is in effect guaranteed to be members of selected ethnic groups,’ that can justify the use of race,” 539 U. S., at 324–325, but “ ‘a far broader array of qualifications and characteristics of which racial or ethnic origin is but a single though important element, ’ ” id., at 325. In the present cases, by contrast, race is not considered as part of a broader effort to achieve “exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints,” id., at 330; race, for some students, is determinative standing alone. The districts argue that other factors, such as student preferences, affect assignment decisions under their plans, but under each plan when race comes into play, it is decisive by itself. It is not simply one factor weighed with others in reaching a decision, as in Grutter; it is the factor. See Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 244 . Even as to race, the plans here employ only a limited notion of diversity, viewing race exclusively in white/nonwhite terms in Seattle and black/“other” terms in Jefferson County. The Grutter Court expressly limited its holding—defining a specific type of broad-based diversity and noting the unique context of higher education—but these limitations were largely disregarded by the lower courts in extending Grutter to the sort of classifications at issue here. Pp. 11–17.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Carlos Garcia proposed a neighborhood schools plan. The special assistant Ms. O'Keefe reported that communities spoke out strongly in favor of neighborhood schools and choice. Now Don wants neighborhood schools with choice too. The Board of Education watered down the proposal from the administration which it seems to me has left a lot of of questions to be answered. I can't list all those questions while on my break. It seems to me that Mr Garcia and Don are in the same side. So I don't *get* the what the hulabaloo is all about.

    ReplyDelete
  94. The new student assignment system will have this in common with the old system: the school district stays out of bankruptcy. Parental choice, desegregation, and student achievement are secondary to just having enough money to run the schools. That is our present financial situation.

    ReplyDelete
  95. 3:59,

    Have you ever gone to school with a large disadvantaged population? Do your kids go to a school with a large disadvantaged population? If not, then you need to see for yourself why people are so pessimistic and why they don't want their kids in such a school. Once you visit for a few days, you will see the issues or ask someone that lived through it. I lived through it and I know what it is like. Polly Anna doesn't exist. There is no Utopia.

    ReplyDelete
  96. A Brief History of the San Francisco Unified School District
    and the Consent Decree
    by Kathy Emery

    http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/SF/Brief_history_SF.htm

    1:24 What is your point? Are you saying largely underserved communities should be broken up to achieve diversity. What are you proposing? We need solutions. We know what the problems are. Can you offer anything?

    ReplyDelete
  97. I'm 3:28 on 4/20 and appreciate the various clarifying comments. I got my enrollment and proficiency data off the most recent SARCs on the SFUSD web site, usually around pages 3 and 12 or 13, and I averaged math and English scores only. I apologize I had forgotten that Marshall was immersion and Monroe had an immersion strand. I was aware that Webster was new but not aware some of the other immersion strands were so new. I have nothing against immersion programs. I'm just saying that bringing middle class kids to a school, via immersion or otherwise, is not necessarily a panacea for the low-SES kids in the school. Marshall does impressively well with 86% low-SES, 76% Latino and 66% ELL. Grattan and Miraloma, two recent white middle-class darlings, have 40-point gaps between white kids (who tend to be around 80% proficient) and low-SES kids (who tend to be around 40% proficient).

    I would still argue that there are two routes to real educational justice. The first is to get low-SES kids to go to trophy schools. That has not happened, in spite of the old lottery that provided enhanced and more bus service than we can expect in the future. I doubt we can expect the new lottery system to work any better.

    The other seems to be to bring better schools to the low SES kids in their own neighborhoods.

    Arguing that the middle class represents the only hope is really very sad, and honestly I think rather condescending. Of my "list 3 schools," where low-SES kids do fairly well, several defy the "Chinese Paradox" (I did not even look at schools in the NE and NW because of that paradox):
    Moscone: 55% Latino, 62% low SES at or above proficient
    Carmichael: 50% Filipino, 46% low SES at or above proficient
    Longfellow: 1/3 Asian, 1/3 Filipino, 1/3 Latino: 57% low SES at or above proficient
    Guadalupe: 44% Latino, 54% low SES at or above proficient
    Glen Park: 48% Latino, 50% low SES at or above proficient
    Monroe: 46% Latino, 50% low SES at or above proficient
    Serra: 64% Latino, 57% low SES at or above proficient
    Sheridan: 28% African-American, 28% Latino, 64% low SES at or above proficient
    Of these , Longfellow has the lowest percentage of low SES students at 66%.

    Of course the high number of troubled schools and the fact that many kids are still not proficient bothers me. But with numbers like these, I can see why SFUSD is the best-performing urban district in the state. It's clear we've got some very committed and talented teachers.

    I am not attempting to use this data to support "neighborhood first" arguments nor am I opposed to attempting to create greater socioeconomic diversity at individual campuses. However, realistically, it appears that few low-SES kids are able to take advantage of access afforded by the assignment system, whether because of family apathy, logistical difficulty, cultural discomfort, or other reasons. If we want the greatest numbers of low SES kids to have access to the kind of education that will open doors for them, we need to bring the schools to them. There are models for success!!

    ReplyDelete
  98. I am still confused about how the new system is going to give more choice for parents. It seems the more popular schools are going to be filled up with the people who live near them, or with people who live all the way cross town in the lowest performing census tract. The majority of people who live in the lowest performing census tract are not going to take advantage of their priority to go to the more popular schools because it is too far away or maybe they just won't care to do it.

    So then the popular schools will be filled up with the people who live there and anybody in a middle performing census tract will really be limited to their attendance area school. There will be no real choice or chance of getting lucky with the lottery to get into a really popular school like Clarendon or Miraloma or almost any school with high test scores on the west side of town. What choice will there be except their neighborhood school.

    The only people with choices will be people who live in a neighbor hood with a popular school or people who live in the lowest performing census tract.

    Is my interpretation correct or am I missing something?

    I am not really someone who cares so much about high test scores, and don't particularly want my child to go to Miraloma or Clarendon. But what is bothering me is it feels like there is no longer any choice with new system. Wasn't that one of the goals? You can put down all your choices, but when it comes down to it there won't be much hope of getting into any of the more desirable schools unless you live near them. So the only choice is if you happen to want to go to a school that other people don't like.

    And wasn't one of the goals more integration in the schools? I don't see how that will happen. Does anybody know? Maybe in the middle performing schools there will be more integration? I am just trying to figure it out.

    On top of feeling the school assignment system won't be as fair as the current system, I started feeling bummed out that the new system will have an impact on rental and home values that will further segregate things in this city.

    Can someone make me feel better about these things?

    Some people have posted that the new system benefits more people than lose. Am I missing something? How does that happen? Is it just that more people with kids live near a better performing school?

    ReplyDelete
  99. I'm not sure it will be all that different in practice--it sounds like mainly a semantics game. Under the old system, if you did not have a favorable diversity profile, your chance at getting a popular neighborhood school like Alamo was pretty lousy unless you lived there. Now, if you are low-income but live in a CTIP 2 tract, maybe on rent control or with relatives, you don't get a better shot at the most in-demand schools. If you are high-income but live in a CTIP 1 tract, you do get a better shot at the most in-demand schools. Most people who live in CTIP 2 tracts will probably feel like they have less choice. Most people who live in CTIP 1 tracts will probably feel like they have more choice. However, the ability of people in CTIP 1 tracts to exercise choice will still be in doubt, particularly if bus service is reduced. We still don't know how the neighborhood lines will be drawn, or whether current city-wide schools like Clarendon and Rooftop will remain city-wide.

    ReplyDelete
  100. "I am not really someone who cares so much about high test scores, and don't particularly want my child to go to Miraloma or Clarendon. But what is bothering me is it feels like there is no longer any choice with new system."

    There is still choice - there's the citywide schools, and whatever slots in the less-popular schools are free. So Clarendon, Miraloma, Grattan are going to be very long shots, but McKinley would be a possibility, or Milk, etc.

    But yes, it is reduced choice. But a much less uncertain one. So instead of getting apocryphal stories of people leaving the city because they hate the lottery, we'll get stories of people leaving the SE of the city for the Avenues or the 'burbs.

    However, you may see fewer families in the Avenues sending their kids private (as only ~50% of kids in the Richmond and Sunset send their kids to public schools). Which would mean more revenue for the district, overall.

    Also, the trophies that are neighborhood schools hopefully won't suck in as many educationally involved families, which will mean those families get a bit more evenly distributed among schools.

    ReplyDelete
  101. "Grattan and Miraloma, two recent white middle-class darlings, have 40-point gaps between white kids (who tend to be around 80% proficient) and low-SES kids (who tend to be around 40% proficient)."

    Rooftop is another school with a fair gap between the low-SES and high-SES students. (e.g. Claire Lilienthal has a much smaller achievement gap).

    I think there's something to what you're saying. I'm a big fan of Moscone and Carmichael (awesome principals and vice-principals). I liked Longfellow, but the lack of afterschool care for Kinders was a deal-killer.

    I'd add Taylor and McKinley (54% free/reduced lunch, 69% low-SES proficiency at Grade 5, 24% Hispanic, 19% African-american) as other schools doing a great job educating low-SES kids, and McKinley as an example where influx of middle-class parents hasn't hurt the school's provision to low-SES kids. [Admittedly, McKinley is getting so popular as to start to verge into trophy terrority.]

    The trouble is that I don't see a common element between the schools you list. Taylor and Moscone are very 3Rs orientated. Carmichael has its focus on Filipino culture, and is a K-8. Longfellow and Taylor are large, Moscone and Marshall are small. Monroe and Marshall have immersion, Moscone, Taylor and Carmichael have bilingual programs. And so on. I can't readily identify anything obvious that's a common thread amongst those schools.

    ReplyDelete
  102. "There is still choice - there's the citywide schools, and whatever slots in the less-popular schools are free. So Clarendon, Miraloma, Grattan are going to be very long shots, but McKinley would be a possibility, or Milk, etc."

    But wouldn't the schools like Milk and McKinley that have been gaining in popularity now be filled with those in the attendance area? So there is not going be much choice for people who live near a less desirable school to get into those up and coming schools if they don't live in the attendance area.

    Or do you think people who live in Mckinley's attendance area would give up their spot for a city wide school and leave spots open for others to get in?

    ReplyDelete
  103. "However, you may see fewer families in the Avenues sending their kids private (as only ~50% of kids in the Richmond and Sunset send their kids to public schools). Which would mean more revenue for the district, overall."

    But wouldn't it also mean more segregation within the city? And more disparity between the lower performing and higher performing schools?

    Or would the increased revenue in the district improve the schools in the entire district so things would balance out over time? Would that happen or is that too idealisitic?

    ReplyDelete
  104. "So instead of getting apocryphal stories of people leaving the city because they hate the lottery, we'll get stories of people leaving the SE of the city for the Avenues or the 'burbs."

    Sorry I meant to quote this paragraph in my previous posting below:

    But wouldn't it also mean more segregation within the city? And more disparity between the lower performing and higher performing schools?

    Or would the increased revenue in the district improve the schools in the entire district so things would balance out over time? Would that happen or is that too idealistic?

    ReplyDelete
  105. I'm sorry - but it irks me that people are trying to pass this off as a choice system. It's not. It severely limits choice to those of us not fortunate to live near a desirable neighborhood school nor in CTIP1. And that includes a lot of areas - not just SE.

    The winners of this system are people who live close to good neighborhood schools, and people who are CTIP1 *AND* take advantage of the lottery. So the CTIP1 preference is most likely going to be advantageous to those who are not low SES. Just like happened with the old system, a lot of low SES won't take advantage of the lottery, and now it will be even harder with reduced bussing services. How does this make sense?

    Oh yes, I know I can still choose a city-wide school, or even a neighborhood school. But my chances at the city-wide schools is going to be pretty much the same as the old system (i.e. slim to none), and now I have virtually NO CHANCE of getting into one of the neighborhood schools.

    And finally - someone please tell me - how on earth does this solve racial isolation? Isn't that whole reason a new assignment system was being undertaken? Since SF neighborhoods are largely racially isolated anyway, when you put the NS preference in the mix you're just exasperating the problem.

    I was going to try my luck under the old system, but am now seriously considering either moving out of SF, or hey - I can move to CTIP1 - that is if I can afford it. Apartments in CTIP1 run over $1000 more than my current rent. Nice.

    I did see one comment that made some sense. The increased revenue for the district via losing less students to privates. Is this what the new SAS is really all about?

    ReplyDelete
  106. "There is still choice - there's the citywide schools, and whatever slots in the less-popular schools are free. So Clarendon, Miraloma, Grattan are going to be very long shots, but McKinley would be a possibility, or Milk, etc."

    Would people who want to enter the the lottery for the city-wide schools have to give up their spot at their assigned attendance area school to do so? If not, that makes it even more unfair for people who don't like their assigned attendance area school.

    ReplyDelete
  107. 2:10,

    That is exactly what it is about. It is not about fairness or give all school kids a chance. It is ensuring that the more well to do enclaves have their choice in schools so they don't 1)Flee the city for the burbs or 2)Send their kids to private school.

    It will put more money in the system but I think much, if not most, of that money will go to the schools that will be more popular because they would have a larger student body and will need to ire teachers and other services. They certainly won't profit the schools that are at the bottom 10%.

    It will make property values in areas with good or excellent neighborhood schools go up and may decrease the property values of areas that have undesirable schools.

    So no, it is not about fairness or making the city less segregated in the school system. In fact, it will more likely make it much, much more segregated.

    ReplyDelete
  108. 2:13,

    As 1:14 noted McKinley is getting so popular that it is almost rivaling many trophy schools. It is near impossible to get into now without sibling preference.

    The population of McKinley is due to the test scores, great teachers, the very active PTA along with a very popular and active principal. So good luck getting in but it was difficult this year and will get even harder in the next I expect.

    ReplyDelete
  109. This is so depressing.

    I am trying to see something positive in all this for people who don't live near a good school.

    Could there be spillover from wealthier neighborhoods into less wealthy ones bringing more money and resources into those schools? And over time bringing improvement to all schools?

    ReplyDelete
  110. I don't know anything about Mckinley except it has been getting popular. I'm sure it is a great place. I just used it as an example as a school that wasn't popular in the past but gaining popularity in recent years.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Say someone gets assigned to Miraloma because it is their attendance area school but wants an immersion program, would they have to give up their spot at Miraloma and open it up for someone else who doesn't like their assigned attendance area school to have a chance at getting into the immersion program?

    ReplyDelete
  112. To 2:44, "would they have to give up their spot at Miraloma and open it up for someone else who doesn't like their assigned attendance area school to have a chance at getting into the immersion program?"

    I don't think it will work like that. Just because you're in Miraloma's attendence area doesn't mean you're guaranteed a spot. But it does mean you have preference to get a spot before anyone else does (except siblings and CTIP1).

    From my reading of the new SAS, it looks like you would have as good a chance as anyone else at the city-wide immersion, and would still retain your preference for your neighborhood school as well.

    Not sure what would happen if there's not enough spots for all neighborhood kids and and you list immersion first and your neighbor lists Miraloma first.

    ReplyDelete
  113. The spot at Miraloma would be given up in the lotto when the Miraloma attendance kid got an immersion spot. If Miraloma kid doesn't get his immersion spot, he stays at Miraloma. This is the predictability benefit of the new system. You will know where you have a spot going into the lotto. You can still try for trophy city -wide school but keep your neighborhood spot.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Property values near good schools won't see a bump b/c the district can redraw the attendance area lines at any time. Also, there are no guarantees. If 75 kids live in Miralomas attendance area and there are only 60 K spots, 15 kids will get assigned to the next closest school with space. Same as the lotto now. That will probably be Sheridan.

    ReplyDelete
  115. There are a lot of complaints about limited choice with the new system, but honestly there's not much choice now. I mean you can 'choose' to put whatever you want on your form, but you're probably not getting any of those choices. Unless you pick sort of middle of the road schools. You can only put the trophy schools if you have a private back up. Why not try for Rooftop, CL, etc, etc. if you know you've got a place at private. If you know you are going public, you have to fill your list with not too popular, not too high test score schools. And then you have to be happy you got a mediocre school b/c so many people you know went 0/7. With the new system, at least you will know what you are starting with, initial assignment to attendance area or somewhere close, and then you can try for city wide trophies just like the private school set b/c you'll have a back up too. But if you hate your neighborhhood school, then you can try for the less popular city wides. I really think w/the new system there will be less demand at the city wide schools b/c more people will be happy with their initial assignement to their attendance school.

    ReplyDelete
  116. 3:17 and 3:29 - I don't think that's accurate that you'll know going in that you'll have a spot at your attendance area school, and it's yours to take or leave it. Chances are good you'll get it, but I don't think it's guaranteed.

    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/epc/Stu%20Assign%20Bd%20Policy.pdf

    See the "method of allocating seats" midway down on page 6.

    What I want to know is what happens if 60 siblings and CTIP1 kids apply to Miraloma (or Clarendon, etc). Does that mean all the neighborhood kids are out of luck? It certainly seems to read that way.

    ReplyDelete
  117. It does seem that if you fall into category 5 you really don't know where you will end up because the next closest attendance area may already be full of attendance area kids.

    But Category 6 are kids who live in attendance areas where they don't like their assigned school and are trying to get into another and they have even lower priority to get into another neighborhood school.

    5. students who live in attendance areas that do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate all
    the students;
    6. all other students

    ReplyDelete
  118. I am beginning to understand why Don said this is NOT a neighborhood schools assignment system. At the elementary level the neighborhood children are fourth in line. If there are lots of siblings as there ususally are, and the CDC children take second priority and some CTIP1 rich or poor folk take third, what's left for the neighbors? What is the point in giving heighborhood CDC children a preference unless you don't think you can accomodate most or all of those that live nearby? That seems to be so that there is SES diversity which is good. But it speaks to the expectations of the policy makers. They don't believe that all the children who live within the zone will be accomodated. So they are creating within zone preferences. And what about those zone maps? I've heard somewhere on a thread that they may have non contiguous boundaries. This does not strike me like much of a neighborhood policy. So those of you who are against neighborhood schools shouldn't worry to much. This is a pyrrhic victory for those who don't want to drive across town.

    And check this out. Is there going to be a lottery when the school has more apps. than seats? And if you get to keep your seat AND apply for another school, WOW, the applications are going through the roof. That is going to make rolling cat eyes look easy when it comes to the lottery for immersion and K-8s.

    ReplyDelete
  119. No, it's not a real neighborhood system. But it is deeply unfair and crappy that most of the good schools/strands in the SE are immersion, open to the entire city, while many people in the SE are now virtually shut out of most of the trophies. So we compete with the rich for our local schools if they prefer immersion to, say, Muir, but we have very little access to their schools if we are CTIP 2.

    But I don't support neighborhood schools or this half-assed move toward them. I am proud to say I *never* supported this change. I think the lottery was fair -- clearly, too fair, as it drove the middle class bananas to know we had no advantage. Now, many do have an advantage by virtue of where they live. The rest of us can move to a higher-priced neighborhood (um, not!) or CTIP 1. This last possibility intrigues me. Maybe BVHP will be gentrified? Or will everyone rush to buy on those blocks that happen to be under the CTIP 1 line but middle class?

    ReplyDelete
  120. When racial isolation numbers continue or get worse, CTIP 1 can be dialed up to 40% from the present 20%. Then there will be more mixing of academic achievment. 40% was the Superintendent's original number for CTIP 1. That is no secret.

    The new SAS has a local school preference. This will help wean the district off of transportation expenses. By itself, reducing busing will not solve the defioit, but every dollar is needed to just keep the school doors open.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Agree with 6:46

    ReplyDelete
  122. I suppose 7:47's comment is a little reassuring for me.

    What bugs me most about this is that comparing the old system to the new system really only one group of people will be better off with the new system and it is off the backs of everyone else. And that is the group that was already better off in the old system. There already was neighborhood preference built into the old system.

    Sure in the new system maybe not everyone in a desirable attendance area will get into that school but they have a good chance while others have practically none.

    There doesn't seem to be any compromise or bright side for anyone not living near a desirable school.

    Most people who live in CTIP1 already had priority in the old system so it is a wash for them.

    ReplyDelete
  123. I can tell you that this change to the SAS will not affect property values except perhaps to lower them. No one is going to pay more for a house knowing that the boundary could change any time. This kind of uncertainty has a negative effect on markets. Does anyone truly believe that anyone will pay more money for a house when the school district is on record for making changes as required to achieve diversity goals? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    ReplyDelete
  124. "Does anyone truly believe that anyone will pay more money for a house when the school district is on record for making changes as required to achieve diversity goals? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN."

    Is their intent truly to achieve diversity? Or is that just what they say their intent is? Because if that was their intent they did not do a good job with this new system.

    I don't see how they thought it would achieve diversity. What is the reasoning even if flawed? Where will the diversity supposedly happen in this new system?

    ReplyDelete
  125. I read threads like this and I have come to belief we are barking up the wrong tree. All assignment systems are a zero sum game. If the dynamics of demand patterns remain unchanged, it doesn't take a mathematician to see that for every winner there will be a loser. The only way to remedy this mess is to develop more good schools. Period. That should be the focus of the district and the focus of parents who want to make a difference. Until that happens student assignment will resemble an ugly mob fighting over the same prized item in a bargain basement bin.

    Forget about endlessly mixing ingredients ad nauseum. You're not baking a cake. You can keep changing the amount of one group or another, but that will not do one thing to make students be better students. The assignment system is all about politics. That's what wrong with education. And like this thread shows no one can agree on any one system with its winners and losers. If all you aspire for is fairness you never get there. We need more good schools.

    ReplyDelete
  126. I can't recall where I read it but someone was saying that Bayview and Hunters Point will be more segregated with the new system. If no one chooses to use the CTIP preference the schools would reflect the 40/30/30 AA/Latino/Asian demographic of those neighborhoods. If they do use the preference it will be less diverse.

    ReplyDelete
  127. "The only way to remedy this mess is to develop more good schools. Period."

    10:19, I couldn't agree more. It galls me that the district will spend money developing and implementing this new system, but slice schools so far down to the bone. OK, so they save money by reducing bus service -- but nobodys's said how it stacks up to what they spent on the new system. And what is the point of saving $$ on a bus service that theoretically, at least, offers people access to more schools, while claiming that diversity will be increased with the new system? Can't get to a school = can't go there, for most of us.

    With that said, I do believe in diversity and a choice system. There is no reason rich kids ought to be one place and poor kids another. I'm not sure how to achieve that, but I think the old system stood a better chance, since it evaluated people by individual SES and not neighborhood, and since it made all the schools citywide.

    ReplyDelete
  128. 7:29

    I agree with 10:19 but cannot agree with you.

    EVERYTHING must be cut to the bones. If the bus service is not cut, then the cut must come from somewhere. That's a zero sum game.

    As 10:19, the #students and #spots is also a zero sum game. For every winner, there is a loser - for the time being.

    I, on the other hand, think some positive things will happen:

    1. Kids spend less commute time. For most kids, that's a good thing. The additional time can be spent on studying, sports, or other extra activities, or even on sleeping (one of the most important activities for a kid).

    2. Extra commute not only costs time, but money. A lot of parents drive the extra miles to take the kid to school. Some parents have to cut working hours to fit the school schedule. The savings/extra income can be put into the kid's education.

    3. It encourages parents involvement and establish a sense of community. It's easier for parents to volunteer, participate in PTA meetings, and participate in school events. That's an essential part in forming a sense of community.

    4. Yes, the middle-class families in non-CTIP1 areas lose out, at least initially. However, that's the group which was the driving force of turning around some of the schools (Grattan, Miraloma etc). As discussed many times on SFK files, it needs a critical mess - around 25 to 30 dedicated parents - to turn around a school. The new system will make it much easier to happen. With the old system, if you get assigned to a bad school, you have no idea who the other kids are. Most parents would send the kid to private school instead of taking the risk. With the new system, you will know that most of the kids are from the neighborhood, with similar family background as you. It is way more likely to get a group of like-minded parents to form an active PTA. I wouldn't be surprised if we see some turn-around stories in 2 to 3 years in some of the middle class (actually, sometimes high priced) neighborhoods which currently do not have acceptable schools.

    The drawbacks:

    1. Nobody else has covered it. The old system is flexible for the parents on the start/end time. Time is probably the second most important factor on schooling after location. With the new system, if the neighborhood school's time doesn't fit you, too bad. You have to either adjust your own schedule to fit the school time, or try a different school outside the neighborhood (with less chance to get it than with the old system)

    2. Diversity. The district says it would increase diversity, but our instinct says no.

    All things considered, I believe the new system will HELP to improve the whole district despite the complaints here.

    ReplyDelete
  129. By the way, I believe the start time issue will come up again in the near future.

    One solution is to have three neighborhood maps, so for each address, you will have three neighborhood schools - each one with a different start time.

    ReplyDelete
  130. "Wealthy Student First" !!! I love it. Thank you for clarifying this concept for me. I always found Don annoying, but couldn't put my finger on it. This slight, but very truthful, change in the name of his slogan makes everything perfectly crystal clear. Thank you for your insights and sense of humor!

    ReplyDelete
  131. It might make it clear in your own mind, but do you have any proof that Students First is a front for fat cats? Lots of people might support neighborhood schools, especially those in the southeast who feel jilted that they have to travel far to go to school. Everyone wuld like a quality neighborhood school near home. So while you might feel better to think the Students First movement is just a bunch of fat cats who want to raise real estate values, neighborhood schools has legs and that is why out superintendent proposed a neighborhood schools plan to the Board of Education. They watered it down and it was very strong to start.

    It may be that are right about Students First, but I would get the facts before I made the accusation. Many campaigns have already started so we should hear something more in the days and weeks ahead if this group is for real.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Does anyone know how this preference works: Students who live in attendance areas that do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate allthe students.

    Is this determined before the choice process in areas that are predicted to have less openings than neighborhood students or is it determined as part of the choice process when a student selects his neighborhood as one of his choices and doesn't get in because it is filled up with siblings, neighborhood students and CTIP students.

    ReplyDelete
  133. 4:11, the reason neighborhood schools advantage the already advantaged, and resegregate a city even further, has been exhaustively discussed on this blog. Why do you think the wealthy flee to places like Lafayette and Piedmont, where they will be assigned a well-funded neighborhood school? Who knows if Students First is filled with wealthy parents -- that's not the point. The point is that an argument for neighborhood schools is an argument for keeping the poorest residents of the city tied to the worst schools, and giving only the wealthy access to the best. This is doubly so in city where PTA funds fill in so many gaps. That's an argument requiring logic, not factoids.

    ReplyDelete
  134. First, let me start with something political incorrect...

    If we treat all people as equal, look at the whole school age population, what's the best way to improve the quality of education without adding resources?

    I would say segmentation is the best way.

    We all say "my kid is different". We all require teachers to treat each kid as unique individual. News, there are hundreds/thousands of kids in SF just like yours. A teacher has only so much time and energy. If a class is truly diversified, it often means a particular teacher's teaching style won't suit everyone.

    The teacher's job gets much easier if the classroom has kids with similar background. A school with kids from similar background can design its programs specifically for this group. Earlier this thread, someone already posted data that low SES kids do better ins some of the bad schools than in trophy schools. That's the reality.

    Kids from middle-class families have different needs from kids from low SES families.

    In essence, it is specialization in some extend. Just like we need specialized teachers for sped ed, teachers can specialized for each market segment.

    If we stick to the academic as the only purpose of education, that would be the best way to improve everyone's education without adding resources.

    Having said that, I do not believe academics is the only purpose of education.

    Whether the kid will have a successful career and life in the future depends a lot on understanding the society. Segmentation means limiting the kids in bubbles. A kid may get perfect academic scores, but if he doesn't understand the real world, he's not going to survive.

    That's the reason I prefer public schools instead of elite private schools. I believe in public education specifically for the diversity it offers.

    In addition, a pure neighborhood school program simply won't work in SF. Many schools are at their capacities. They cannot expand or shrink on demand. In this situation, lottery is a must if demand exceed supply.

    So I don't treat Don seriously. Whatever he thinks is unrealistic, so it is not worth much discussion, regardless of his true intention.

    ReplyDelete
  135. What is wrong with 7:52's argument?

    It is the unsubstantiated belief that students can only get a good education if they leave their own neighborhoods for others. This is a view that is couched in fake egalitarianism and steeped in oblique racism. The idea that some students of color only can learn when exposed to other more able students. In San Francisco, less that 10% of students are white and they're not the highest performing demographic. BayviewHP is 40% black, 30% Hispanic and 30 Asian.

    Everybody from all sides of the city wants to go to a good school close to home. If some schools are better than others why is that? You can argue whether its due to inequities at schools or that it is the result of students unprepared to meet the challenges of school or both. In the case of the second cause, it doesn't make much difference where that student goes to school if he's not ready willing and able to do the work. That idea is an example of the use of common sense. As for the first cause, the supplemental benefits that PTAs provide are far outstripped by the funds that come into schools through Title One and a whole bunch of other programs that all come under the umbrella of compensatory education.

    If some schools are in fact strapped with inequities that stimy the abilities of students, why not solve those inequities as a solution? Instead the school district says to fix the problems by sending students to more fortunate environs. This begs the question why is the district funding schools so inequitably in the first place if that is truly the case?

    Of course just having neighborhood schools is not a mechanism for fixing schools. What it does do is set the district on the course to confront the problem rather than always punting the ball.

    ReplyDelete
  136. bobblehead,

    are you talking about the newly adopted assignment system or another one proposed by the neighborhood schools people?

    ReplyDelete
  137. "It is the unsubstantiated belief that students can only get a good education if they leave their own neighborhoods for others. This is a view that is couched in fake egalitarianism and steeped in oblique racism. The idea that some students of color only can learn when exposed to other more able students."

    It is truly crappy to accuse people of racism by distorting their argument. I never said that students of color can ONLY get a good education outside their neighborhood, or need access to "more able" students (who in your argument seem to be white?). Certainly there are schools like El Dorado, Guadalupe, Serra, and Glen Park that seem to be doing a bang-up job with low-SES populations. Others, not so much. And given that the lowest-performing schools are in the poorest neighborhoods, and given that a school like Alvarado, which is now a trophy school, has a PTA that can raise $250,000 for field trips and enrichment and paraprofessionals for their kids, it is truly unfair--and, yes, racist--to tell children in the poorest neighborhoods that sorry, their school is just as good even if there are no pencils. If I am a single black mom in Bayview, and I want my kid at Clarendon because I think she's best off spending her days outside of the neighborhood, does that make me racist? I hardly think so. If I choose Malcolm X, that is a different thing than being told my kid has no access to anything else. Having grown up poor, I can assure you that poor parents of all races just want options, just want the door not to be already slammed in their kids' faces because of some stupid PC idea that people do better when they are with their own kind.

    I'm sick of the "make all the schools good" argument. I agree with it, but it takes years for any one school to go from terrible to good. Meanwhile, there are kids who need access to a decent kindergarten RIGHT NOW, as in next year. They don't have time for that great social experiment of locking people into bad schools and hoping that that motivates improvement. As long as the schools are not yet all good, choice should remain. When we have created equally funded, decently-funded schools with equally good teachers, equal resources, and equally-distributed PTA funds, then, yes, let's go to neighborhood schools. I'll be first in line.

    ReplyDelete
  138. 7:59,

    I so agree with you. I think the other person's comments were the racist ones. It has nothing to do with the "color" of the student body. It has to do with social/economic factors. A recent study has show that, if a school has more than 40% of their student body as disadvantaged, then the whole school suffers. So keeping with the whole neighborhood school idea is ensuring that disadvantaged kids stay in disadvantaged areas because now they have to go to school there too and be mired in a disadvantaged lifestyle. Thank you! That has helped. 8:53 has made the most racist statements I have ever read on this board. Their statement is tantamount to separate but equal with the Supreme Court knock down decades ago.

    So 8:53, you want us to go back to "colored" and "white" bathrooms too and ensure all "colored" people only sit in the back of the bus?!??!?!?

    I am so disgusted by 8:53's statements!

    ReplyDelete
  139. " a recent assessment of the huge body of research on the subject concludes that there is not a single example in the published literature of a comprehensive racial balance plan that has improved black achievement or that has reduced the black-white gap significantly. "

    "Racial composition, in itself, makes almost no difference. Whether AA students attended schools that were 10 percent or 70 pertcent black, the racial gap remained roughly the same..."

    "The racial composition of the school may matter, but the academic culture of the school matters more. Creating the right academic culture does not depend on the racial backgrounds of the students who attend it."

    Those who indirectly use Linda Darling-Hammond's research would be wise to consider that she brings a highly politicized view to her research as a member of the Obama campaign. This is not to say her research isn't valid. It is one take that is in contrast to the great body of research. School boards pick their experts on the basis of alignment.

    Quotes above are from "No Excuses -Closing the Racial gap in Learning" a. and S. Thernstrom

    ReplyDelete
  140. Chapter Nine: Racial Isolation

    "Throughout the Kansas City desegregation case, "no one stopped to ask, 'how are the kids doing/'". What a remarkable and sad statement. Two billion dollars spent to create more racially mixed schools, and, somehow, the question of student learning got lost. "Can't we at least looks at whether they can read?" Justice Stephan Breyer asked when one phase of the case was argued before the Supremem Court in 1995. No, answered the Missouri deputy attorney general John R. Murdoch. the academic achievement of the students was irrelevant.

    That had not been the view of the plaintiffs in Kansas Case ten years earlier when Judge Russell Clark ruled that "segregation has caused a system-wide reduction in student achievement." Clark's order would help raise test scores to national norms within four years, predicted Arthur Benson, the attorney who represented the black schoolchildren. That the average school in the system was only 25% white explained the racial gap, in other words. Recruit more whites and the problem of disproportionately low black achievement would disappear, the attorneys assumed.

    It was always a fantasy. We strongly prefer racially integrated classrooms ourselves, although we have never thought that denying parents access to neighborhood or other schools of choice was intelligent public policy. Nor have we believed that a black child must sit next to an Asian classmate in order to learn arithmetic. In the last chapter we argued that inadequate funding does not explain the racial gap and that pouring more money into schools with large enrollments of non-Asian minority studentswil not, in itself, accomplishany significant improvement. In this chapter we explore the relationship between "segration" (as it is commonly defined) and student performance.

    Thernstrom

    ReplyDelete
  141. "I did see one comment that made some sense. The increased revenue for the district via losing less students to privates. Is this what the new SAS is really all about?"

    No, it wasn't part of the design, but I suspect it'll be an effect of the new system. There's more private school capacity in the North and West of the city, and more kids there go private (40-50%).

    In the SE, it's about 15%. So even if you want to go private or parochial in the SE, there's less capacity there, and the income level is lower. So I expect the district will pick up more kids in the N and W picking their neighborhood school over a private, than it will lose from SE parents defecting from public to private.

    ReplyDelete
  142. I doubt that. After all the siblings, CDC students and CTIP1 preferences are accounted for, there will not be too much space left, particularly so at the coveted schools. I don't believe that the new SAS was intended to increase enrollment per se. It was a hodgepodge of competing community and political interests that resulted in a compromise.

    ReplyDelete
  143. "I'm sick of the "make all the schools good" argument. I agree with it, but it takes years for any one school to go from terrible to good. Meanwhile, there are kids who need access to a decent kindergarten RIGHT NOW, as in next year."

    Everyone agrees that some schools are great, others are terrible and there are many in between, although we may define those schools differently. No matter how you define them we always come back to the same basic problem; There are not enough good schools for the demand. There is no question we need to create more good schools. So how do you propose doing that if you don't create a critical mass of neigborhood parents who want to turn it around?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Let us not forget--we are in the bottom three states for per pupil spending. Why don't our schools (all of them) deserve a decent amount of funding? Time to work on changing that. All this energy spent on debating minor changes in the assignment system and wishing for a day when all schools are good could be going into work towards political change to increase funding for schools.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Adequate funding is necessary, but it is far from the answer to lowering the achievement gap.

    ReplyDelete
  146. "Everyone agrees that some schools are great, others are terrible and there are many in between,"

    Actually, if you look at the data, there's a lot of good schools (Similar schools API Rank 7-10: about 32), quite a few poor schools (similar schools API rank 1-2: 19) and a smaller number of schools in the middle (API rank 3-6: 15: data is from 2009). Raising the poorer schools up to middling level should be the focus.

    ReplyDelete
  147. " I don't believe that the new SAS was intended to increase enrollment per se."

    Look above: I'm not arguing that was it's intention, I'm saying that that will be its effect, based on what the patterns of demand and capacity for private schools are.

    ReplyDelete
  148. 12:54
    Can you re-group them with good as 8 to 10, bad as 1 to 3, and middle as 4 to 7? I think it will be more evenly distributed.

    ReplyDelete
  149. " It has nothing to do with the "color" of the student body. It has to do with social/economic factors. A recent study has show that, if a school has more than 40% of their student body as disadvantaged, then the whole school suffers."

    This statement that is so far out of line with long established research results on the subject of academic achievement and race that it makes any valuable discussion out of the question. Let me ask you this: Do you think that at 39% the whole student body does not suffer? You are taking research results and applying them incorrectly. Making public policy based upon a 40% racial composition tipping point is just an excuse to employ quotas. It is a bastardization of the relationship between academia and government.

    ReplyDelete
  150. "There is no question we need to create more good schools. So how do you propose doing that if you don't create a critical mass of neigborhood parents who want to turn it around?"

    I propose not privatizing the schools by depending on very unequally distributed parental money and volunteer time, that's what I propose. I can't believe we have fallen for this BS. Fund the schools adequately, lower the student-teacher ratio dramatically in the schools with the lowest-SES populations, give teachers more paid time for professional development, develop a meaningful and comprehensive teacher peer-review system, give incentives for teaching at troubled schools and keep good teachers on, create a wraparound system for schools in the poorest areas that includes a health and dental clinic, ESL classes for parents, etc.

    I'm sure there is more. But my point is that I cannot support neighborhood schools until they are truly equal, and until the state of California stops bleeding its students and their families dry for "tuition" in the form of PTA donations and volunteer time. Choice is a very imperfect solution as it exacerbates the inequalities between schools under California's weird "let the parents pay for public school" system, but it's more equitable than neighborhood schools right now.

    Choice until there's equality,*then* neighborhood schools.

    ReplyDelete
  151. "This statement that is so far out of line with long established research results on the subject of academic achievement and race"

    You're recycling "Bell Curve arguments from over a decade and a half ago, friend.

    "that it makes any valuable discussion out of the question. Let me ask you this: Do you think that at 39% the whole student body does not suffer? You are taking research results and applying them incorrectly. Making public policy based upon a 40% racial composition tipping point is just an excuse to employ quotas."

    They didn't say 'racial composition'. They said 'disadvantaged'. You need to work on reading comprehension and before lecturing others on the current state of research.

    ReplyDelete
  152. 10:09,

    "This statement that is so far out of line with long established research results on the subject of academic achievement and race that it makes any valuable discussion out of the question. Let me ask you this: Do you think that at 39% the whole student body does not suffer? You are taking research results and applying them incorrectly. Making public policy based upon a 40% racial composition tipping point is just an excuse to employ quotas. It is a bastardization of the relationship between academia and government."

    Why don't you READ the statement first!! I said plainly that it has NOTHING to do with color. It has to do with social/economic factors!! Hello!! READ things well first before you make inane comments!!!

    ReplyDelete
  153. "Can you re-group them with good as 8 to 10, bad as 1 to 3, and middle as 4 to 7? I think it will be more evenly distributed."

    I'm going to chunk the data a bit differently than you suggest, including a Rank of 7 with "good":

    API Absolute ranking:
    7-10: 53%
    4-7: 20%
    1-3: 27%

    API Similar schools ranking
    7-10: 52%
    4-7: 14%
    1-3: 34%

    You can see the middle is very much smaller than the top and the bottom.

    N=64, 2009 data.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Re: 7:34, "Choice until there's equality,*then* neighborhood schools."

    I agree completely. We can't have forced neighborhood schools when there's still huge inequity between them. And we need comprehensive programs that frankly go WAY BEYOND "turning around a school" to get there. There are big social problems that need to be addressed, that probably go beyond the scope of SFUSD.

    It bothers me how so many people on this blog keep referring to the "critical mass" that will happen as a result of forcing families into undesirable neighborhood schools.

    That's a big gamble - it may or may not happen. Families might flee out of the city, or go private. Or maybe a critical mass will happen, but it not make any difference. Even with the best efforts, there's no guarantee.

    Why is the onus to fix these schools being forced on some families, just because they are unlucky enough (or not wealthy enough) to live near a high performing school? SFUSD - do your job and start working on these problems with your administrator salaries! Don't expect parents to do everything and force this on us.

    ReplyDelete
  155. That's the point. SES is just a politically correct way of addressing the racial differences in academic performance. What the correct and still politically correct distinction should be is culture, culture, culture. But culture is so integrally enmeshed with race they are hard to separate.

    ReplyDelete
  156. 8:27,

    The nationwide neighborhood schools movement as we see here in San Fran and elsewhere has broad appeal across SES. This is why the superintendent and the commissioners went for a

    Branding anyone that wants neighborhood schools as uncaring and racist is a tired old refrain. The same people that think that 15 year old research is antique ought to spend time reading the classical literature. With a epidemic of illiteracy such thinking is commonplace.

    Since the Brown decision mostly one-way busing left schools shuttered or abused, but decades have passed and students of color continue to underperform. Now everyone except a hardcore element of race baiting self- styled utopian ideologues is waking up to the reality that busing and choice widened the divide between schools and between achievement. Some people refuse to learn the lessons of history.

    Bottom SES children are already subjected to the brutality of poverty and with choice type SASs the ones that don't know how to or care to work the choice system are left with the dregs. The Asian and whites flourish under choice as they work the system. Under the auspices of diversity, institutional neglect reigned when the prophecies of white judges failed to materialize as achievement gains.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Whoops - This is why the superintendent and the commissioners went for a.... adulterated type of neighborhood school student assignment system.

    ReplyDelete
  158. It is the same political mindset that clamored for diversity as the agent of change that now refuses to acknowledge the massive and prolonged achievement gap under that scheme staring itself in the collective face. Now the same people say that until equity is achieved no change should occur to the way we assign students. How can you get more equitable than having low SES students a guaranteed seat at the best schools? But did it materially change the achievement gap? The interschool achievement gap is just about as large as the intraschool gap. Lowering the achievement gap is not about the SAS.

    ReplyDelete
  159. This is 8:27 responding to 9:38 -

    "Branding anyone that wants neighborhood schools as uncaring and racist is a tired old refrain."

    Huh? I never said anything about NS school supporters being uncaring and racist. I truly am baffled how you extrapolated that from my comment.

    I simply raise the point that it's unfair to start a NS preference that clearly benefits those in higher SES neighborhoods and puts the onus on fixing on those that aren't fortunate enough to have a good NS (or wealthy enough to opt for private instead).

    I'd like to know how many NS supporters live near seriously troubled schools, as I do. Would YOU send your child to such a school? Do you know what those schools are like? I do. I grew up poor in SF, went to public schools and have experienced it firsthand.

    I agree that low SES students aren't getting the benefit of the current system - but they COULD BE. The answer is more education and outreach, and more overall services. Trying to force unwilling families into troubled schools to "fix" them is unfair. If you're going to do that, then everyone who's not low SES - including those who live near a good NS - should have the same responsibility to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  160. "The same people that think that 15 year old research is antique ought to spend time reading the classical literature."

    Classical literature? Personally, I've read Catullus in the original. Time well spent.

    I don't think "the Bell Curve" counts as "classical", given that Murray & Herrenstein didn't understand heredity (you can see they don't understand heredity is not a fixed variable if you read close enough: i.e. that as the variability of the environment changes heritability goes down), plus work on the effect of the interuterine environment for fraternal twins vs. identical means that the actual strong-sense heritability is considerably lower than when Murray and Herrenstein wrote their poorly-researched work.

    Make your point and cite whatever 'cacata carta' you say supports it.

    ReplyDelete
  161. The Student First group is promoting quality schools in every neighborhood, or some such thing, as I recall. I wonder if they have any specific ideas about quality or if they are only working the neighborhood side and using the word "quality" to appear to be interested in the low performing sector. I would support a neighborhood policy that was dialed up as schools improved.

    ReplyDelete
  162. The trouble with depending on an assignment system to deliver quality schools to low SES kids is that, statistically speaking, it requires people with the fewest resources living in the least resourced neighborhoods to make the most effort. You have to participate in the process, and then make a 6- to 9-year commitment to get yyour kid to a far-away school where the culture may be very uncomfortable for you. Many parents are not 100% comfortable with their kids "getting above them" and leaving them behind. No amount of education and outreach by PPSSF or SFUSD or anybody else is going to make these things any easier. The numbers don't lie: it's not happening, even though low-SES kids have had a leg up in the old version of the enrollment system for years. With a few exceptions noted elsewhere, the most successful schools are either predominantly non-low-SES or predominantly Chinese. So really, truly, to get educational justice you have to devote resources to communities where it's most lacking. As you can see from the achievement gaps at places like Alvarado and Miraloma, pulling the middle class into schools is not a magic "educational justice" bullet. This is going to be hard and expensive and take years.

    ReplyDelete
  163. "The trouble with depending on an assignment system to deliver quality schools to low SES kids is that, statistically speaking, it requires people with the fewest resources living in the least resourced neighborhoods to make the most effort."

    Well, partially. You can still set up magnet programs to mitigate the concentration of low-SES kids in particular school.

    But there's only so much you can do given the geographical socioeconomic and demographic differences in different neighborhoods.

    As noted above, for most of the immersion programs are too recent to see the effects they have at Grade 5.

    " I would support a neighborhood policy that was dialed up as schools improved."

    Well, as the stats I posted above show, there's a lot of good schools, but also a lot of weaker schools, and not that many in the middle. Possibly the CTIP1 idea can address this bimodal situation.

    ReplyDelete
  164. <>

    And how would neighborhood schools change this? The dregs would suddenly stop being the dregs? Let me be clear: I think choice is a sop to the real problem of poverty and unequal resources, particularly so when the schools are stripped of funding and parents are expected to fill in the gap. Choice = privatization. But reverting to neighborhood schools does not solve these problems because, as a commenter said so eloquently, it leaves those with the fewest resources having to put in the most effort to improve their schools. Neighborhood schools = de facto socioeconomic and racial segregation.

    When these two evils are all there is, I will take choice, because it offers a dedicated poor parent the chance to send her kid somewhere better (and I think this idea that poor parents don't want their kids to outdo them is BS, too). And it gives the middle class a chance at staying in the city. But higher taxes, a bigger proportion of CA's resources to schools, and a dedicated program of improvement for all schools? Bring it on.

    ReplyDelete
  165. There isn't going to be any new taxes that will save education any time soon. If every school were equitable there would remain an achievement gap as long as some families stress education more than others. That's why waiting for equity is a pipe dream. Even with it the problem continues.

    If California's legislature passed a tax increase and it was signed into law tomorrow, every penny raised would have to go to education before it could be used to balance any other portions of the budget as the law states. For that reason, no legislator will run the political risk and vote for new taxes if none of it can write down the debt.

    If you want to save education, you have to find another way. And you should. DC spends 20K for some of the worse results. It isn't that underfunding education is immaterial. It is that it will a only a minor effect.

    It is also untrue that schools have deeply inequitable resources. Look through the school budgets and tell me which schools get the most per pupil?

    ReplyDelete
  166. Oh, I'm sorry. I guess the inequality must be because some kids are innately inferior, or come from inferior families, not because some schools have $250K PTAs for enrichment and supplies, or because educating severely disadvantaged kids is a year-round, wraparound project given the poverty of educational and other resources at home. Silly me.

    We are in debt because stupid Arnold borrowed and borrowed, knowing that when payback time came, he could strip social services, including education, to nothing. If we raised taxes, it *should* go back to education.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Explain to me something about your idea of inequity without the sarcasm. Do you think that SFUSD takes the funding that comes into schools and distributes it to schools with the intention of robbing underperforming areas? In fact large amounts of Title One and compensatory education funding go to the low performing schools as a rule.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Equity in recent times has been defined as variation in achievement. The achievement gap is an equity issue or redefined as a civil rights issue. According to this new definition as long as some students of color underperform there will be inequity. According to some of those here equity issues should be resolved before any other changes are made to student assignment. But if they are resolved there would be no need for any reform.

    And if schools are expected to be wrap around social service agencies you are setting the bar so high that school districts, which are mandated to educate, not solve all of societies inequities between social classes, will never be able to succeed by that standard.

    ReplyDelete
  169. So what is it that makes a school like Moscone, over 80% low income and majority Latino (a traditionally low-performing group) succeed where other schools with similar populations fail? Why is what they are doing at Moscone difficult to duplicate at other low-income schools that are not majority Asian? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm trying to understand . . .

    ReplyDelete
  170. Of course the money should go back to education. You missed the point. The legislators will not pass any taxes any time soon simply because it is required to go back to repay education before it can go into the general fund. You are mistaking what is right and good for what is possible. Read Ed Source's most recent article about the education budget issues.

    ReplyDelete
  171. "So what is it that makes a school like Moscone, over 80% low income and majority Latino (a traditionally low-performing group) succeed where other schools with similar populations fail? Why is what they are doing at Moscone difficult to duplicate at other low-income schools that are not majority Asian? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm trying to understand"

    1. Moscone has 1/3 of its intake Cantonese Bilingual, 1/3 GE, 1/3 Spanish Bilingual. So it's even more impressive what they do, given there's three separate programs there.

    2. The principal was a former teacher at McKinley and a protege of Bonnie, the former principal at McKinley. So similar techniques are used at Moscone as at McKinley.

    ReplyDelete