Thursday, August 19, 2010

Draft of new SFUSD attendance areas online


http://sfusd.ggnet.net/resources/changes.php

http://sfusd.ggnet.net/files/elementary-attendance-areas.pdf

58 comments:

  1. Okay... so I'm new to this (my kid starts preschool in a few weeks) but thinking ahead. On the map we are assigned to Alamo. Which sounds great. But how much of a chance do we really have of sending our kid there? Also, do public schools look at the race of the child? My daughter is AA, and not sure if it will make any difference for us....

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  2. Alamo is a great school and it's big, so you'll probably have a good chance of getting in as a neighborhood applicant. Race is not a factor.

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  3. the new placement process is still not finalized...so nothing is concrete and in writing yet until it's voted on and approved...but supposedly one big shift for 2011 is more emphasis on where you live physically. That said, there will probably be other factors involved...but again, living in the neighborhood will give you a leg up vs. someone outside the neighborhood. Stay tuned (here or www.sfusd.edu)

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  4. just what I feared - we live 1/2 a block from an up and coming school, but we are not assigned there.

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  5. Which school, if you don't mind stating it?

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  6. 10:36
    Everyone inside the Alamo area has an excellent chance of getting into Alamo. Because it is so far away from the CTIP areas, probably few CTIP1 students will apply to Alamo. But if a lot of CTIP1 students do apply to Alamo and bunp you out, the district is suppose to find your an alternative that is still close by, as much as possible. So research other options too, as there are no guarantees.

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  7. 11:13 - what school? I don't see any school borders 1/2 block from any school. I was worried about this too, but I thought they did a good job of at least getting a two block radius around each school. 1/2 block is really close. Is the up and commer you are talking about a city wide school?

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  8. I was interested to see that the only change in CTIP1 boundaries from March until now was the addition of the triangular-shaped area east of Duboce Park. I am guessing this is because this same area is also in the Muir attendance area, and they are preventing some parents from screaming bloody murder! This way, they get to opt out to a citywide or other school. Anyway, that census tract was originally reported as borderline low test scores anyway. Not complaining about it--just think it's interesting.

    What is also interesting to me is that I'm already seeing people complain on some other lists about their placement in quite decent attendance areas--as in, "I got put in New Traditions and I wanted Clarendon, and I would have been better off with the old system."

    Well, this the tradeoff. More security (it is very likely that you'll get New Traditions because it is unlikely that CTIP1 will fill it and there is no CDC on site) in what is certainly a fine school--a far cry from the failing test scores of John Muir. The tradeoff is less "choice." But then, you wouldn't have really had a "choice" for Clarendon in the old system either, unless you were among the lucky 5% of middle class parents who applied and got in.

    We'll have to see how it plays out, but seeing this, I think the new system will be an improvement in terms of stress levels for most families, even while limiting choice somewhat. I predict fewer families in the 0/7 situation (or whatever we call it in the new system).

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  9. Does anyone know what the difference between the grey and black boxes means...what is a "citywide elementary" versus an "elementary school"? We live in the grid with Clarendon, Rooftop and Yu, so wondering which one would be considered our "neighborhood school" since some are grey and some black...

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  10. Rooftop and Yu are K-8. They are both city wide. Clarendon will be your neighborhood school

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  11. The grey schools are just an indication of where they are. They have nothing to do with the attendance area lines.

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  12. iSerious question. Not trying to stir the pot but do residents of the Presidio pay state property taxes, directly or indirectly? Or, other taxes that significantly fund public schools. I know they can pay a lot of rent to the Feds but it is curious that they have some nice school assignments if they aren't paying state/local property tax.

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  13. You can't own property in the Presidio so no, they are not paying any property taxes. They are all renters.

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  14. The issue is that Presidio appears to be Federal owned, and exempt from any state and city taxes.

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  15. Thank goodness we are in on the old system and I hope they honor the sibling thing because I will not sent my kid to the "neighborhood" school. I don't care if the Principal themselves came to my home to beg me Ugh!

    No, I won't say because I will get bashed by some goodie two shoes that will claim it is a great school even though more than half the kids are underprivileged and very possibly have horrible family issues.

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  16. Fair enough 3:53 PM. I'd still like to know the zipcode or region of the school, if you're willing. I'd bet it's in the southeast, but maybe I'm wrong.

    In any case, siblings get "automatic" priority. I don't know what would happen if there were too many sibs one year though. (Some kind of twins epidemic at Rooftop or something.)

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  17. 3:53, if you look at the comments recently, I think you will see they are pretty balanced. People are pushing JSerra and Sheridan, but not Muir and Bryant. And if you look at test scores and other factors too, there are valid reasons for arguing one over the other.

    You'll get sibling preference. It would be an extremely unlikely scenario in which sibs filled up a whole class. We've had sib preference for years and it hasn't happened. The usual rate is somewhere between 20-30%.

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  18. I love some of the boundaries. Like how the kids living on Seal Rock will go to Lafayette. Less funny is where the kids living in Golden Gate park will go.

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  19. Also, how a child living in the eastern part of Lake Merced goes to Ulloa, but someone in the west or southern parts ... does what exactly? Weird that they delineated those two lakes, but no other.

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  20. We were expecting to get Alvarado, which would have been a short walk, but have ended up with Harvey Milk, which is twice as far away. Disappointing, but not the end of the world.

    It would have been nice if the schools were located in the center of the attendance area to maximize the number of kids that could actually walk to school. Alvarado is literally 1 block away from the attendance area boundary. A child living 15 blocks to the south of Alvarado is within the attendance area, but another living 1 block north or east is not.

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  21. Considering all the factors they had to take into account, they did a good job. These boundaries are not unreasonable or gerrymandered. Given the location of Harvey Milk and McKinley, and the fact that Fairmount is all-immersion, they had to make Alvarado's area head south. It makes sense too in terms of what is commonsensically "Noe" as opposed to "Castro" (it is quickly the Castro heading down the hill from 21st--formerly known as Eureka Valley of course).

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  22. 5:13, the Alvarado area jumped out at me on the map as one of the few that had a a boundary so close to the school. I see why they had to go south but it stinks you got the shaft on it.

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  23. Any thoughts on what this means for "up and coming" Sunnyside? Seems like it has been benefiting from an influx of kids with really involved parents -- the majority of whom probably aren't in the Sunnyside attendance area (which didn't change much in the redesign of boundaries) but got assigned there after going 0/7 and decided to make a go of it. Over time, this has created good momentum for the school and increased its popularity as one people actively choose. Granted, a big part of the "turnaround" was due to the new (and now departed) principal and structural changes she enacted (like changes to the teaching staff). But looking at the attendance area only, I'm not very optimistic that it will sustain the momentum... I hope I'm wrong, since Sunnyside is our neighborhood school, and we have two little kids, but we're feeling a little disheartened. Would appreciate any thoughts from this group since we're pretty new to the whole SF elem school craziness.

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  24. 10:38, in the Sunnyside area--

    One factor in your favor is the feeder pattern to Aptos, which will continue to make it attractive, perhaps to families for example in other nearby districts that don't feed to Aptos. Aptos is already a rising middle school, and popular, but the feeder pattern from Sloat, Miraloma, Lakeshore, Feinstein et al will push this trend.

    The Aptos assignment makes a lot of sense given the bus service up Monterey and train service up Ocean. Very easy access.

    Sunnyside may also be a default school if Miraloma gets oversubbed. Hard to know now if that will happen.

    Finally. Are you so sure the neighborhood itself will be a drag? I know of several middle families who bought there for a combination of price and convenience to commute. Maybe not high-end professional Noe or Laurel Hill types, but college-educated people. Also strong working class families. Many Chinese famiilies, for example, who put a premium on education and good value. If the school continues to improve, families will move there knowing about the school and its feeder pattern.

    I say, stay in touch with the school and see what happens! Will you be applying this year, or in the future? You can maybe benefit from the learnings of this pioneer class.

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  25. We live in the Presidio and rent, but we rented in the RIchmond District when we lived there. So we've never payed property taxes, but we pay everything else. The Presidio is in San Francisco even though it's federal land. The Trust is just another landowner in California as far as I can tell.

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  26. I live in Sunnyside. We're onto High School now but back in the day all the neighborhood families avoided Sunnyside and went to Lakeshore or Miraloma (which had empty K places even after the start of the school year). I think that the catchment area will benefit Sunnyside and it will jump up even a bit more.

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  27. I don't understand why the area that feeds to El Dorado, which is a really badly performing school is CTIP 2 and not 1?

    Can anyone explain that?

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  28. Apparently the kids who have lived in the area have not been in the lowest quintile for academic performance. They may not be the same exact group as those who attend El Dorado. I don't know what the overlap is. I think some El Dorado kids are from the Bayview though.

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  29. Not according to the map, it is Vis Valley kids. Yes, they are low performing, very low and the population there is so mired in families that are in the dire need of any sort of public service. A teacher from El Dorado admitted that the school population was indeed made of families that are on the low social/economic sphere.

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  30. 11:25--which map? Current kids who attend? Or future attendance area kids?

    I believe the current El Dorado population is a mix of Visitacion Valley, Bayview, Sunnydale. Sunnydale and Bayview are both CTIP1 areas. Visitacion Valley, whose kids attend El Dorado, Visitacion Valley School, and also travel outside the neighborhood to schools such as Taylor and other, is not CTIP1. The designation is based on scores over several years for the whole area.

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  31. I am writing about the map that is attached to this post that shows the area that will be attending El Dorado.

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  32. "I am writing about the map that is attached to this post that shows the area that will be attending El Dorado."

    That's not necessarily the exact current population of the school. The original question was, why is that attendance area not CTIP1. The answer is, the kids who live in that area (who may or may not attend El Dorado) were not the in lowest quintile of academic performance over the last few years. That is how CTIP was derived.

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  33. Goodness,

    Maybe that means that the scores there will improve. I still wouldn't send my kid there.

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  34. The below is a link to a survey the district has put out to gather feedback, you might want to complete:

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VC7TQGX

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  35. Unfortunately I happen to live in an area where the attendance school is definitely out of question for us ( location, test scores, etc). So am I reading it correct that because we have no older siblings currently enrolled and I am looking into school further away from my home, my chances are pretty slim of getting in where I want to go? We would be pretty much the 6th choice for a school. It's not like we could move in 6 mos just so we have a desirable home address...

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  36. 7:03, you will have a better chance getting into a city-wide school than a school that is designated as an attendance area school. At least at a city-wide school you will not be at the back of the line.

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  37. darn...my picks are all non city-wide schools...:((((

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  38. I'm not saying that test scores are not worth considering, but they aren't everything. You should at least visit and take a look at how the classrooms are run and how strong the principals and teachers are before deciding you definitely won't go there. Read or talk to current parents about it. People share lots of info about their schools on this blog.

    Lots of things influence test scores. It is not necessarily an indication of how good the teachers are or how well your child will do.

    But yes, the new system is definitely bad for people who don't like their neighborhood school or the middle school it will feed into for whatever reason.

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  39. 10:12, of course I agree and yes you are right, test scores are not all, but without naming schools the ones near us are really not good options for us for many reasons. I also cannot commute for hours every day to go to the other end of the city so that leaves me with relatively few options nearby our house. That's all I was trying to emphasize. I will not consider schools too far just for logistic reasons. Fingers crossed...

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  40. 7:03 and 7:36,

    I am in the same boat. I live in CTIP2 area but am assigned one of the worst schools in the district. And the way I read the new SAS, we are at the bottom of the lottery system for BOTH citywide schools and for other neighborhood schools! People who live in good schools districts but which are over subscribed get a priority over us for both city-wide schools and neighborhood schools. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, because this seems very unfair. Seems like everyone in CTIP 2 areas should be in the same pool when it comes to the lottery for schools outside of your neighborhood.

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  41. Almost all CTIP2 folks are in the same boat as you for the Rootfops and immersion programs. The exception is for CTIP2s in attendance areas that have too many local students, as you point out.

    I wonder how many of those there really will be though. West Portal, Clarendon and Grattan maybe. What other attendance area elementaries are likely to be at capacity for just locals? (For K only. I can see a case where upper grades have few spots for folks who move into the area.)

    I think people's perception is that there are a lot of local people "just like them," but when it comes to numbers, could Grattan (for example) really fill 66 kindergarten spots every year with its local families? Every year? I don't really think that's likely. It's like the handful of parents who live near Lilienthal who thought it would fill with locals until Rachel looked it up. But that should probably be part of the transparency: Using last year's demand data, would any elementary school be overcrowded with attendance area kids? Which ones? At what percentage?

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  42. 2:27 PM - You are making a good point in terms of finding out the data on the capacity. Maybe something to ask on the questionaire. If indeed good schools could be over subscribed and then those families would have priotiy over the other CTIP2s, the folks assigned to the less than desired schools are double screwed. I think that the school district should make that data available during this period of public review.

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  43. Could someone clarify what CTIP2 stands for?( Sorry I'm new to the US kindergarten system)

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  44. ok so I think I am basically screwed here. I hate the attendance area school and would rather home school my kids...We live in just an OK neighborhood but not bad enough with low test scores for me to jump to 3rd choice for a spot. We have no older siblings in the system and I have been playing my ass off for a small non SFUSD preschool to enrich my children's lives. All of this makes me 6th choice for schools around my neighborhood ( none of which happen to be city-wide area schools). Seems unfair a bit.

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  45. CTIP1=census tract in which the kids who reside there have test scores in the bottom 25%
    CTIP1=census tract in which the kids who reside there have test scores in the top 75%

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  46. CTIP means Census Tract Integration Preference. The school district is trying to get racial integration through academic integration. CTIP 1 are those geographic census tracts where the students scored in the bottom 20% on state standardized exams. CTIP 2 are the rest of the city.

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  47. 2:27, this is 1:14,

    The simple solution is this: people who live in an over-populated school district should be in the same lottery preference pool as everyone else if they want to get into a school that is NOT their neighborhood school (assuming they do not have CTIP 1 preference or the other preferences, etc.). If you live in a neighborhood that is overpopulated, then compete with all your neighbors (which is far better for you than competing with everyone from your socio-economic slice of diversity from everywhere in the City for your neighborhood school under the current system). But if you don't win that "mini" lottery with your neighbors, then join the rest of us in CTIP 2 districts all over the city who did not get (or don't want) our neighborhood schools in the general lottery. That way there is no need for transparency about the numbers in the way you describe. The rules make sense on their face and are much fairer.

    Furthermore, the proposed rules don't even require that you select your neighborhood school to get the "over populated" preference. That means that someone who is CTIP 2 and lives in the Alamo school district and DOESN'T choose Alamo, would have a preference over someone who is CTIP 2 and lives in the John Muir school district for both city-wide schools and programs as well as other neighborhood schools (i.e. Sherman). This is patently unfair on it's face. What could the justification for this possibly be - favoring CTIP 2 families in good school districts over CTIP 2 families in bad school districts even for schools that are not in their assigned neighborhood, and even if you did not choose your neighborhood school!

    By the way, a school district with" too many" students is really just a proxy for a "good" school district. All the data point out that a large percentage of people who live in the CTIP 1 neighborhoods do not submit applications on time. So by definition, the school districts with mostly CTIP 1 areas will be under-populated under this definition - which defines over-populated schools by the number of applications submitted in that school district on time, not how many people in that school district actually select that neighborhood school. This means no preference in the lottery for CTIP 2 families in that same school district which is dominated by CTIP 1 families, while people who live in CTIP 2 school districts will presumably have a lot of people submit applications, and therefore become "over-populated" and have a preference. As I said, you get the preference regardless of whether you actually pick your neighborhood school - which seems particularly unfair to me.

    So this policy favors CTIP 2 residents in good school districts over CTIP 2 families in poor school districts even for schools that are not in that familiy's neighborhood. In other words the preference not only extends to the "neighborhood school", but to all schools in SFUSD relative to other CTIP 2 families. I really would like to know what the possible justification for that might be because I can't think of any. Not only is this unfair, but it is easy to fix - all CTIP 2 families should be in the same preference pool when it comes to schools that are not their assigned neighborhood school.

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  48. 2:27, this is 1:14,

    The simple solution is this: people who live in an over-populated school district should be in the same lottery preference pool as everyone else if they want to get into a school that is NOT their neighborhood school (assuming they do not have CTIP 1 preference or the other preferences, etc.). If you live in a neighborhood that is overpopulated, then compete with all your neighbors (which is far better for you than competing with everyone from your socio-economic slice of diversity from everywhere in the City for your neighborhood school under the current system). But if you don't win that "mini" lottery with your neighbors, then join the rest of us in CTIP 2 districts all over the city who did not get (or don't want) our neighborhood schools in the general lottery. That way there is no need for transparency about the numbers in the way you describe. The rules make sense on their face and are much fairer.

    Furthermore, the proposed rules don't even require that you select your neighborhood school to get the "over populated" preference. That means that someone who is CTIP 2 and lives in the Alamo school district and DOESN'T choose Alamo, would have a preference over someone who is CTIP 2 and lives in the John Muir school district for both city-wide schools and programs as well as other neighborhood schools (i.e. Sherman). This is patently unfair on it's face. What could the justification for this possibly be - favoring CTIP 2 families in good school districts over CTIP 2 families in bad school districts even for schools that are not in their assigned neighborhood, and even if you did not choose your neighborhood school. (to be continued...)

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  49. Continued.

    By the way, a school district with" too many" students is really just a proxy for a "good" school district. All the data point out that a large percentage of people who live in the CTIP 1 neighborhoods do not submit applications on time. So by definition, the school districts with mostly CTIP 1 areas will be under-populated under this definition - which defines over-populated schools by the number of applications submitted in that school district on time, not how many people in that school district actually select that neighborhood school. This means no preference in the lottery for CTIP 2 families in that same school district which is dominated by CTIP 1 families, while people who live in CTIP 2 school districts will presumably have a lot of people submit applications, and therefore become "over-populated" and have a preference. As I said, you get the preference regardless of whether you actually pick your neighborhood school - which seems particularly unfair to me.

    So this policy favors CTIP 2 residents in good school districts over CTIP 2 families in poor school districts even for schools that are not in that familiy's neighborhood. In other words the preference not only extends to the "neighborhood school", but to all schools in SFUSD relative to other CTIP 2 families. I really would like to know what the possible justification for that might be because I can't think of any. Not only is this unfair, but it is easy to fix - all CTIP 2 families should be in the same preference pool when it comes to schools that are not their assigned neighborhood school.

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  50. I apologize for posting my remarks twice. Technical problems...

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  51. Just to clarify--CTIP1 is census tracts comprising the bottom quintile, or 20% of academic achievement per test scores, in the city. Not the bottom 25% as someone said. CTIP1 is mainly the Tenderloin, Treasure Island, Western Addition, Inner Mission, Bayview/Hunters Point, Sunnydale. Think where the housing projects are in the city, and deep poverty and that's where it is.

    CTIP2 is of course everyone else.

    CTIP1 residents get a higher-priority pick in the lottery. Higher in elementary and high school, though a little lower priority in middle school compared to feeder school kids.

    The whole policy can be read at www.sfusd.edu/enroll.

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  52. 9:46/9:47

    You make excellent points. I long ago said, when the SAS was first being proposed, that the parents who will be the most shafted are those in CTIP2 neighborhoods assigned to dicey schools. Case in point, there is a strange zone in the Mission near Guerrero and 24th that has neighborhood priority for Cesar Chavez (designated failing school) that is CTIP2.

    The reason the district gave extra-special preference to the possibly crowded-out families in the popular areas is because they were squawking about crowd-out from CTIP1 families. In fact, they are still squawking.

    But in terms of fairness, your argument still makes sense.

    I'm sorry.

    Hopefully there won't be much crowd-out. And you will have a reasonable shot at a citywide program or a moderately but not wildly popular neighborhood school, without all the competition from those who will now get easy access to Alamo, Jefferson, etc. I would suggest looking at Glen Park as one that could build up a nice neighborhood following and will feed into Aptos--but may not give you lots of competition from crowded-out families.

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  53. To repeat my post from a different thread:

    I think people need to complain about this system NOW. It is not yet set in stone. Write your opinions and go to the community meetings. One does not need to wait till the election to take some action.

    (and please - no suggestions that I move - I live on the west side and have been assigned to a premium school under this plan - my comment is not about me, but about the ultimate unfairness of the system)

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  54. Unfortunately, the School Board and the Board of Education only seem to want to pander to the families on the West side and very poor families. They are only too happy when middle class families get stuck into one of the worst of the worst. They are hoping that the family will stay because they have no other options and will bring diversity to a undesirable school and bring up the demographics and test scores. What they are really doing is forcing middle class families, with bad options, into cheating or leaving.

    Really would you send your kid to a school where 80% are from families that are unstable? Where the teachers struggle to get the kids to learn just the basics due to a horrible home life or not even understanding the language. I certainly don't.

    So what do families do when they are assigned to these schools? Lie, cheat or move. Because really, we are NOT sending our kids to a school like that. Not now. Not ever!!

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  55. 10:57 I agree. I am def. stuck in the middle. Live in SE but not in CTIP1 area. Attendance school is despicable and ALL nearby schools are NON city-wide...
    We are middle-class but educated with kids that want to thrive and excel...Do I want the best education for my child? YES. Do I want to commute for hours? NO. I am just hoping there will be enough of us to voice how we are falling through the cracks here.

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  56. "Really would you send your kid to a school where 80% are from families that are unstable? Where the teachers struggle to get the kids to learn just the basics due to a horrible home life or not even understanding the language. I certainly don't."

    I send my kid to a school where 75% of the kids qualify for the free or reduced price lunch (one marker of poverty). But I'd say by and large, more than 75% of the kids in my daughter's class come from stable two parent homes. Most speak English fairly well, even if they speak another language at home. It wasn't a struggle for our kindergarten teacher to advance my kid more than a few grade levels in a year. It's been a safe, intellectually challenging experience for her. I wouldn't want to send her anywhere else. If you took a tour, you'd see happy, joyful learners, much like you'd see on your tour of Clarendon.

    Now, I have inside information from a friend of mine who is a social worker who worked at a school that is mentioned around here as the worst possible assignment spot. They have a similar demographic, but according to her - it is a school where most of the kids come from unstable homes. She said she was usually working with anywhere between 50-75% of the school for abuse, PTSD, neglect, etc. So - that's a school I wouldn't send my kid too, but the numbers don't always tell the story.

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  57. @August 24 3:27 PM-

    We must be neighbors as our family is in the same boat. I think there are many families in Bernal, Potrero and SOMA in the same situation. Not sure what we'll do when it's time for middle school.

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