Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hot topic: Address fraud re-assignments

This from a reader:
Of the 80 students that were kicked out due to address fraud, I've heard that included assigned kindergarten spots (younger siblings of current students). Does anyone know if those spots have already been re-assigned? The article came out May 27 (but it seems like the parents were notified earlier). I'm wondering if those spots have already been taken, or is there a possibility that there will be movement in June 30 round based on the release of the fraud spaces.

17 comments:

  1. I hope they don't stop looking for these people.

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  2. How did the bust them? Are they out of district people?

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  3. I heard an unconfirmed rumor that a family from my school got kicked out for address fraud. Whether by SFUSD request or by own choice (maybe they didn't want to risk it anymore or maybe they couldn't handle the drive), the student is not coming back to the school. The family had an incoming K sibling. I don't know if that space has already been given to another family.

    I also heard yet another family who decided to give up their public school assignment for private (just recently). I think they just got off their private school waitlist.

    There is hope.

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  4. The report from KGO (I believe) stated it was due to the tip line they had posted on sfusd website. Anonymous callers could call in suspected violators and SFUSD would investigate them.

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  5. If you read the articles on address fraud closely, SFUSD gave families a period of time in which to move into the city and the articles said a number of families did just that. I doubt these numbers are large enough to have any appreciable impact -- perhaps one or two slots here and there, but nothing that's going to change the situation appreciably. Although I guess we can always wish!

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  6. 9:55, what SFUSD schools are these?

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  7. I agree that that the address fraud issue is not going to make huge movement in the waitpool (maybe one here and there)...but if you are one of the 0/7, it could mean having a stress-free summer if you get your school on June 30.

    I don't think the district found out about the fraud because of the tipline. I think they set up the tipline once they discovered how prevalent the fraud was. I don't think there was a tipline prior to the article (but I may be mistaken). I'm also curious how the district found so many fraudulant addresses...but maybe it's best that they don't reveal too much (or else the cheaters will find a way to cover their tracks).

    I applaud the district's move to neighborhood schools next year...but between all the exceptions for alternative schools, immersion programs, and address fraud issues, I think next year's assignments process will be horrific (until they can work out all the kinks).

    I personally wish they would simplify the process and fire all everyone at EPC. With all the budget problems, it sickens me that my tax paying dollars are paying their salary (instead of being used in the classroom).

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  8. June 22, 2010 9:24 AM

    I'll second you.

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  9. The TV report said several of the fraud cases were from Sherman Elementary School.

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  10. I'm confused about how the fraudulent address people were able to get spots at Sherman. Yes, there is some preference for neighborhood at Sherman, but it's a very popular school. So, did the people committing address fraud first lie on the application about living in SF and then get really lucky in the lottery? Seems like pretty slim chances . . .

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  11. epothesAddress Fraud: Some out of district parents have their mail sent to a relative's address. They try the SF lottery system. If they get Sherman (or whatever school they want), then they send their kids there. If they get an undesireable school, they send their kids to their own district.

    I've also heard about parents who legitimately started out in SF, but for whatever reason move out of the city. The kids love the school so much, they just stay at the school and commute.

    Regardless, I hope those spaces open up for June 30.

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  12. I would think that if you are willing to lie about your home address, you are also probably willing to lie about speaking another language at home and/or about your child not attending a preschool. Both would have improved your odds at a school like Sherman in the past – specifically before they closed the language loophole. Just a theory.

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  13. You can't get rid of everyone at EPC as long as SFUSD has complex student assignment systems. If everyone automatically went to their neighborhood school most of EPC would be unnecessary. But lotteries and choice are labor intensive. It is unfortunate that so many resources. from EPC personnel to the massive R and D costs associated with the new SAS, will never see the classroom.

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  14. I am glad that the City is taking action, as many people living in the City don't get the school they want.

    I know of two families (both single child) at our school who used to live in the City, (and whose grandparents still live in the City), but whom really live just south of the City. I can't understand how they so casually commit fraud, but it appears they have a sense of connection to the City because of their own history. The parents grew up here. Once you're in the system, you don't have to reprove residency until you reenter the lottery for middle school.

    Also, the report focused on Lowell High School. The incentive for fraudulently entering there is obvious. Again, I suspect it's families with ties to the City who have a "safe" address they can claim (e.g. a relative or close friend).

    On the flip side of it, I would never call the tip line on the families I know. I've come to know of the fraud through my child's friendships with their children, and my own acquaintance to them. I don't condone it, and I am surprised by the looseness in the system, but I couldn't be the person to trigger an upheaval in their lives.

    I think the City could easily address this by requiring annual proof of residency, but of course that would require a lot more paperwork, etc. Maybe they could require each family to sign a declaration under penalty of perjury. Sometimes something like that is enough to get people to do the right thing.

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  15. Why are you talking about people doing the right thing when you yourself are not doing the right thing by turning them in. You are just as guilty as they are for protecting them. You don't want to cause upheaval in the cheaters lives, but you are just fine with the upheaval in legitimate SF families that can't get a seat in a decent school? You should be ashamed of yourself. Who cares if these families used to live in the city. They are breaking the law and you are aiding and abetting them!

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  16. To June 29, 1:14pm

    I don't believe the previous poster is just as guilty for "protecting" the cheaters. It's not like they are allowing them to use their SF address and forwarding them their mail.

    Just place yourself in this person's shoes for a minute. If this SF residency requirement applied to preschools, and you found out one of your child's friends/classmates didn't live in the city, would you immediately call the whistle blowing hotline to turn them in?

    Do you always do "the right thing"? In school, if you found out a friend cheated on her homework assignment, did you turn her in to the teacher? If you didn't, are you just as guilty as her for protecting the cheater? If you found out a friend lied on her resume, would you call her employer?

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  17. I can't believe these are even questions. I went to college with an honor code, and part of the honor code was alerting the student judicial board to cheating, the idea being that cheaters hurt the student body as a whole and that yes, you were responsible for the whole community and not just yourself. Go take an ethics class.

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