Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rachel Norton: Recap: Assignment committee recommends delay

This excerpt from Board of Education member Rachel Norton's blog recaps last nights BOE meeting:
As expected, at tonight’s meeting of the Student Assignment committee, the Superintendent formally requested that the Board delay implementation of the middle school portion of the new student assignment system for one year. Committee members accepted the recommendation and fowarded it to the full Board for a vote on Sept. 28.

Specifically, Deputy Superintendent Richard Carranza explained that after considering feedback about unclear reform initiatives, special education pathways and building capacity in our middle school language immersion programs, the district had concluded that the one year delay was the best way to ensure instructional quality going forward. A number of initiatives, including the redesign of special education, the implementation of the Lau Plan for serving English Learners, and the School Improvement Grants just rceived from the state, are in their infancy at the current time, and the district concluded it was better to roll out all of these improvements more fully before implementing feeder patterns.

Fifth graders seeking a middle school placement for the 2011-12 school year would instead go through a temporary process with no initial assignment; families would submit an application with a list of choices by Feb. 18, 2011. The system would place younger siblings first, then students in CTIP1 areas, and then all other students by general lottery (no diversity index, and no attendance area preferences). Students would be placed in their highest available choice, or offered placement at the closest middle school with space if none of their choices were available.

Read the full story


  1. Is anyone getting the picture yet as to just how deep and wide the incompetence is on our Board and Administration. We should pray for a state takeover.

  2. I attended the meeting last night. One guy explained how easy it would be to game CTIP addresses. People clapped and cheered when he was done.

    I have copied a sentence from the article by Ms. Norton which reads "the student assignment committee will continue to meet through this year and we will stay on top of this issue."

    Am I suppose to be assured by that? Considering how badly they messed up the feeder plan and with all the same actors going forward, the only thing I can rely on is the healing provided by time itself.

  3. Since CTIP1 is basically a proxy for low-income African American or Hispanic, it would be pretty easy (albeit racial profiling) for the SFUSD to follow up on all supposed CTIP1 kids who don't fall into those categories.

  4. With the Board overseeing the District it is a case of the blind leading the blind.

  5. There needs to be severe penalties for CTIP1 fraud including large fines to help cover the cost of investigations. Make a few well publicized examples of egregious cases and the expected fraud may be deterred if not extinguished.

  6. new MS parent (not Presidio)September 14, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Given all the concerns I feel it was the right decision to delay implementation of the MS feeder idea, possibly forever IMO. In the old SAS, if you didn't put Presidio MS as your #1 choice, you almost always got your 1st choice; if you put Presidio 1st, you did have a significant chance of going 0/7 (since preference order was a tie-breaker). The system was workable as long as parents either selected a school other than Presidio as #1 or had a private/parochial back-up.

  7. The district does not have the authority to levy fines. Hello - it is a school district, not a court. They would have to civilly sue each alleged offender at great cost to recover expenses. And they would have to prove that each of these supposed offenders was in fact guilty, which is not so easy. How can the district prove that someone who rented a small space in CTIP1 was only scamming? Are they going to bring the neighbors in as witnesses?

    Think about it.

    Is this how you want money for education to be spent?

    It is best to have a system that is not so easy to game in the first place.

  8. Don, were you at the meeting last night and did you speak?

  9. Oh, poor Don, losing your sleep over not having the 100% chance to get into Presidio?

  10. Given the wide disparity in scores between the top schools and the bottom schools, address fraud will be a terrible, perhaps insurmountable, problem for San Francisco. Maybe we cannot administer a neighborhood school system in SF. We shall see. It could be ugly.

    If there is too much address fraud, we might have to retreat back to citywide schools.

    Or we could retreat to zones. Divide the city into six or so zones. You can live anywhere you want and you will have priority at the two zones that you pick. Southeast students can pick a local zone and a faraway zone. Westside students can pick two westside zones. There is no cheating because you are free to pick any two zones that you want.

    Are zones that much different from citywide? I'm not sure. But then, we are not all that sure with how the new SAS is going to work either.

    I hope the new system will not be an address fraud disaster. But if it is, it can be replaced.

  11. We put Presidio as our first choice and got it. What I want is a system where you can honestly put down what you want, and not worry that by asking for a specific school as #1 that you'll go 0/7. Is this possible to do?
    It isn't the school board that needs to be banished, it is the darned folks at the SFUSD. What a bizarre turn of events. I am sure lots of people are feeling rather distrustful of the district today. I do hope that the Board can take steps to assist the district in restablishing trust, at least with all the soon-to-be middle school families, and those waiting in the wings.

  12. I don't think it is true that everyone got one of their choices last year except those who put Presidio first. I know one family last year that did not put down Presidio and in fact put upandcoming schools like Lick on their choice list that got Denman in Round I. So fifth grade families, brace yourself: it is going to be a bumpy ride through the waitpool lists for many of you!

  13. new MS parent (not Presidio)September 14, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    This year there will not be no diversity index and no busing from CTIP1 areas to MSs in CTIP2 areas. My guess is it will be easier to get your top MS choice (assuming it's not Presidio MS) this year than in past years

  14. Up until the late 1990's families in certain zip codes got preference for any school they wanted (94110, 94124, etc.) While there was some fraud, I don't think it was rampant. In the mid-90's a family hired a private investigator and got a few families kicked out of Rooftop for fraud (opening up a space for their child!) A few cases like that definitely discourage others from trying the same thing -- way too humiliating for the kid, and what kind of message are you sending to them?

  15. I believe SFUSD is cracking down on residency fraud. A few kids from my school (Dianne Feinstein) were kicked out. I am not sure if SFUSD has hired any private investigator to do the work.

  16. 12:17 pm -- your are ASSUMING with no information that the number of applicants benefitting under the old system is not as large as the number of kids benefitting under the new CTIP 1 designation. No one has given us any information to make us feel comfortable that it is going to be easier this year. No one!

  17. 1:58, you are right; there are unknowns and to a large extent this new system will have to be experienced. Just like the lottery was for those of us who went through the early, mid or late iterations of that system. Or those who worked the OER system. So we make our educated guesses and do our best. It's a hazard of changing systems to something that almost certainly will be a happier outcome for most people living near schools they like.

    Here's the thing: it's going to work out for most of us. But here is no perfect world, or system, especially in a diverse urban district. And even the suburbs are having assignment problems (like in Novato this year). I don't mean to be flip, but we all have to deal with this.

  18. Carolyn,

    I watched most of the meeting on the webcast.

    11:09, why I bother to answer you I don't know but...my older son lucked out and already got into Presidio by sheer chance. My other son is in special education and I don't know at this time if Presidio is a good fit for him. Nor do I know whether I'll have any options to choose the right school until the Sped audit is finished and the results are incorporated into the sped plan for MS placement, if indeed there is any plan. He is not going to do well in very large classes.

    So SFUSD higher ups are going to crack down on residency fraud in San Francisco while illegal alien adolescent drug dealers get sanctuary and the pick of the school crop? These are the same people at SFUSD whose policy is to avoid removing children that repeatedly disrupt the classroom environment. Got to laugh...

  19. Can someone post the link to the SFUSD's maps of the CTIP 1 zones? I have been looking online at the site for a while now and cannot for the life of me find it.

  20. http://sfusd.ggnet.net/files/low-test-scores.pdf

    It's in the www.sfusd.edu/enroll website, under "learn more" and click on link to see the areas with lowest test scores (which is how CTIP1 is derived).

    You can zoom in to see the streets.

    Note that the Ad Hoc Committee made a few changes last night to this map--not to the CTIP areas, but to school attendance areas. It's all reported in Rachel Norton's blog (www.rachelnorton.com).

  21. You have to love the recent assumptions made about Don on this thread and others. (Projecting is a better word for it.) Someone assumed that Don had his panties in a wad because his kid might not get into Presidio now that they've rescinded the MS feeder plan. (Wrong. His kid already goes to Presidio and had to play the lottery like everyone else.) And someone else (or possibly the same Don-loather) assumed that Don owns a big house in the Richmond and only wants to protect his real estate value with a neighborhood schools model, but in fact Don lives in a rent controlled apartment. Don, I think you have an interesting POV. I'm sorry so many people take cheap shots at you. You're a little bit of a nay sayer, but at least you're not sipping the same old Kool-Aid as most of the folks on this blog. Here here.

  22. Stay on this blog long enough and you will understand why people take (cheap) shot at him.

  23. I am more than a bit of a naysayer. But that is what has happened as a result of my struggles with SFUSD and the complete lack of any integrity or accountability downtown. Last night was a perfect example - no one stepped forward to claim responsibility. Orla should step down in shame. The Superintendent should have heads rolling for this screw up. And his should go first. I'm sure they'll all get raises. And the new Superintendent Zone Executive Directors will get assistants for their assistants.

    What can you expect from people that have all the principals sign documents declaring their compliance with Ed Code, knowing full well it is all lies. These "public servants" were caught red handed with their pants down and they haven't even the decency to retract the fraudulent documents. This is because SFUSD is in a realm beyond law.

    My excuse is battle fatigue. But it is my choice. I did succeed in getting them to rewrite the entire Balanced Scorecard. Unfortunately, the public has shown little understanding of the importance to parents of the school planning process. No one cares about that with the MS feeder debacle. This is a bigger than the El Toyonaise (sp) Taco Stand debacle.

    Now why might Rachel Norton and other District cognoscenti want to write in anonymously on this blog? Why might they want to color me in an unfavorable light?

  24. I took a look at the ctip1 zones. . . And I'm not convinced that the number of folks from those areas will be small. I had it in my head that ctip 1 was limited to the public housing projects and a few blocks surrounding them. Well, that's not what the map looks like. It takes in the entire mission, bay view, plus large swathes of Hayes valley, chunks of duboce park, and the corridor along divisidero. Kind of shocking to me. I can name half a dozen Tony condo developments that now come with guaranteed first placement at the school of your choice. But apart from that it wouldn't surprise me that we are talking about upwards of 700 to 900 kids coming out of those areas in any given year.

  25. 11:14--why do you assume all those ctip1 families will be "coming out" of those areas? Some will, some won't. Moscone is a very popular school in the Mission with an API of 843. Other families won't be up for transporting their kids out either by car or bus. Others will want the cultural security of the local school.

  26. And Don doesn't need to worry. I would seriously doubt any CTIP1 kid would travel across the city via multiple MUNI transfers just to snag a spot at Alamo from one of the neighborhood kids.

  27. Don already has his kids at Alamo or beyond. Children in the projects of the Western Addition can travel to Alamo on the 38 in ten minutes. But every year only a few families choose to do so.

  28. 11:24 pm -- I'm not talking about the impact of CTIP 1 on elementaries, I'm more interested in the impact on middle schools. In the middle school lottery for next year, there are no preferences other than CTIP 1 (sibling is a small factor) and being non-District, as has been pointed out here before. And while some CTIP 1 families will go to Mann, Denman and Everett, my guess is you are going to see a huge migration of CTIP 1 kids into Hoover, Lick and Aptos. These schools are quite easy to get to from the CTIP 1 areas. Assume half the 700 to 900 kids go to one of these three, and you've got grades filling up pretty fast. And since the District will give priority to non-District families over District families in the lottery, as has been pointed out here, that could mean that non-CTIP 1 families in SFUSD now may be frozen out of Hoover and Aptos at least until the non-District families (finally) tell the district they are not going public. So for those of you who looking for sixth grade for next year, be ready to settle into the wait pools for those schoools. Savvy risk-averse non-CTIP 1 parents may want to put Giannini, Presidio and Roosevelt first, rather than one of these, to improve their chances of getting into a good middle school in Round I.

  29. God, I hope that the CTIP1 kids take advantage of the preference. I would love to see things mixed up a bit.

  30. 9:43 am -- Are you suggesting that Hoover, Aptos and Lick are not diverse now? If you are, you are terribly wrong. Look at the statistics before you make comments without support.

  31. I think that many of the high API schools have very little people of color, particularly African Americans. You only listed two high rate middle schools, and one middle school that is in the 700 range and no elementary schools. Those may or may not be more diverse than the others (with some schools diversity due to the SI strand - but I believe the GE is not so diverse).

  32. RE: Middle school SAS

    Mr. Garcia's Strategic Plan, "Beyond the Talk... Taking Action To Educate Every Child Now" and the Balanced Scorecard comprises three primary initiatives.

    1. The Performance Management Initiative

    2. The Equity-Centered Professional Learning initiative

    3. The 21st Century Curriculum Initiative

    This is now the third year of the plan. How many people in the community know anything about these 3 initiatives? At the District's request the 104 schools didn't even bother to put together a BSC last year. . So much for the Balanced Scorecard and the partnership with the community.

    Page six of the Strategic Plan says, "... we are relying on our whole community to stay involved, bring in assets to, and take leadership for, the work described in this plan."

    That's rich because it was only the outage of the community that got the District to realize how pitifully ill-conceived was its middle school policy. More than half of all middle school children would be deprived of an appropriate instructional pathway under this plan.

    What happened to this very expensive Balanced Scorecard management tool that was suppose to align goals with practices? How could this SAS go so wrong?

    Mr. Garcia came into the district with the Balanced Scorecard in hand. He spent millions in professional development and on implementation of a management system that was designed to align goals with practices. Here we have the single largest central office project in years and what happens? They forget to provide an instructional pathway for more than half the students moving to 6th grade. So much for this costly management tool.

    The voters of San Francisco got what they voted for when they put the current commissioners into office. But the children deserve better. Speaking of kicking people out of the district, why don't we kick out those responsible for this? And who might that be? From what I saw on the webcast no one is taking responsibility.

    RE: Address Fraud

    It's ironic that SFUSD thinks it can take the moral high ground on the address fraud issue when it own officials engage in and promote fraud on a massive scale by signing false Ed Code assurances - assurances that claim that the community participates in school planning as required by law when in fact its been locked out of that process - a fact that flies in the face of the promises made to parents and children in the Strategic Plan, "Beyond the Talk..." What a title!

  33. Well said.

    And what about the media? Where is the coverage? Is there a concerted attempt to lower the profile of the mess that is the result of this delay? Surely this must be news.

  34. wouldn't the address fraud issue be moot if you had to combine being in a CTIP 1 area with something else like income? being on public assistance? that is something that is much more difficult to have fraud with I would think and it would stop the benefit being given to those from middle class families living there.

  35. 10:12 most people in SFUSD are people of color. For African Americans, there are about the same numbers of kids per school in that ethnic group 46-71, except King which has 108. It's more what percentage they make up of the total school population.

  36. Why does anyone have to worry about address fraud when the CTIP 1 areas encompass so many high end residential areas? For example, apart from the Mission, which is chock-a-block with million dollar condos in its CTIP 1 area, there is the Hayes Valley condo development, smack dab in the CTIP 1 zone. For those who don't want to buy, you might want to try Arterra, which is at 1 Polk Street and offers luxury rentals. They've got a special on right now. Rent yourself a place there for a six month lease and, voila, you have the elementary or middle school of your choice served up to you. Is this whacked or what?

  37. The CTIP mechanism is an imperfect way of grouping the target students, those African American and Hispanic students who have low scores.

    The school district said that they only wanted to look at addresses. That was going to be a big enough task. They did not want to get into anything else, such as income, race, or ethnic identity.

    It is totally legitimate, and not whacked, to play by the rules and rent in those new developments to get a magic ticket to the school of your choice.

    If you want to disallow this gaming of the system, then spell out what change you want and how you want to do it.

  38. 4:03 pm -- how about tighten up those CTIP 1 zones for starters? There's nothing to stop SFUSD from excluding certain addresses from the CTIP 1 zones or even certain categories of buildings from the CTIP 1 coverage. They could start by excluding any non-public housing buildings built after 1979 for starters. That's a pretty good indicator that poor people are not living in them! Private buildings built after 1979 are not under rent control and unlikely to be housing socioeconomically disadvantaged families. So I would propose the following: all addresses in the green zones in the attached map except for those buildings built after 1979.

  39. I wouldn't get too worked-up over CTIP1 anyway. Under no child left behind, a mission resident would get priority in transfering "out" of the underperforming neighborhood school, Bryant Elementary or Cesar Chavez.

    If SFUSD assigned residents into these neighborhood schools (assignment area), and provided no other alternatives, SFUSD would then need to provide a transfer to these same students. By using CTIP1, the district provides the choice on the front-end, instead of through the transfer process.

  40. It is easy to make an anonymous proposal. Will you send a letter to the Board with your name on it? Will you give public comment to the Board? Will you organize?

  41. 4:33

    What do you mean they get priority to transfer out? You can always leave. It is getting in that is the issue. NCLD says a PI student must be given an option to transfer to a non PI school. Federal law does not give them any special priority other than the option. It could be any non PI school.

  42. The students have to be low SES to get transfers, under NCLB.

  43. 6:55

    There is no requirement to be low SES for the Program Improvment choice transfer process.Please stick to the facts, Mam.

    Here is the law from the CDE website:

    Title I, Part A School Choice
    Students enrolled in Program Improvement (PI) schools have the option to transfer to schools in the LEA that are not PI, with paid transportation.

    Under No Child Left Behind, students who attend a Title I-funded school that is identified for program improvement, corrective action, or restructuring must be given the option of school choice. This provision allows all students attending such a Title I school the option to transfer to another public school, including a public charter school, that is within the LEA and that is not in program improvement or is not persistently dangerous.

    The option of school choice must be made available to all students the first year a school is identified for school improvement and all subsequent years thereafter, until the school has made adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years. Students who exercise their right to attend another school under this school choice provision must be given the option to continue to attend that school until they complete the highest grade of that school, even if the original school is no longer in program improvement, corrective action, or restructuring.

    Schools that are offering school choice because they have been identified for program improvement, corrective action, or restructuring must provide transportation to students who transfer to another school. If funds to provide school choice and/or transportation are limited, local education agencies (LEAs) may give first priority to students from low-income families who are the lowest-achieving students [Title I, section 1116(b)(E)(ii)] based on achievement levels as evaluated by objective educational measures.

  44. Aptos currently has over 300 Latino students (30% of the population of the school, the second largest after Chinese), so is already serving that population--more even than the smaller schools in the Mission across town. Lick is majority Latino, and I believe Hoover also has a significant Latino population. FWIW. A.P. and Presidio's Latino populations are much less in #'s and percentage.

  45. Aptos currently has over 300 Latino students (30% of the population of the school, the second largest after Chinese), so is already serving that population--more even than the smaller schools in the Mission across town. Lick is majority Latino, and I believe Hoover also has a significant Latino population. FWIW. A.P. and Presidio's Latino populations are much less in #'s and percentage.

  46. The SFUSD currently has buses that run from the Mission to both Aptos and Hoover, accounting for the successful integration of Latino students into these higher-performing MSs. Hopefully these buses will not be cut next year. No SFUSD buses currently go to either Giannini or Presidio, that predictably have much lower percentages of Hispanic students.

  47. fed up with the ctip1 whiningSeptember 15, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    CTIP1 areas tend not to be very child/family-friendly. Parents who have a choice (i.e. don't need to reside in public or Section 8 housing) typically prefer to live in CTIP2 areas.

  48. 9:38, I second your hope that the BoE will not cancel the Mission District buses to Aptos and Hoover. Those kids deserve a chance to attend the bigger schools across town and the opportunities they have such as honors classes and band. Many of them already take advantage of the buses--precisely because they are well-served in both programs/electives--and parents have figured this out. You can see it in the outcomes if you look at the CST scores--compare Everett and Mann sub-groups to the same sub-groups at Aptos and Hoover. If the goal is to serve at-risk Latino students, keep the buses and allow families a choice beyond local feeder schools.

  49. There are many goals. One unavoidable goal is to balance the budget. High school buses got cut this year. Next year, it could be the middle school buses, such as the buses from the Mission to Aptos and Hoover. If you want to save those buses, who are you going to lay off? Not an easy problem to solve.

  50. There is a lot of misunderstanding of how education finance works and how the CDE controls it.

    Transportation with SPED excepted was made flexible and cut dramatically in an attempt to avoid canceling prop 98. The thinking in Sac is with districts no longer under consent decrees the flexible ed dollars can either go to education or transportation. This becomes at the discretion of the district rather than mandated as before the 2009 SBX 3_4 legislation.

    As Rachel pointed out, SFUSD spends 4 to 5 times what the national average is for busing. Reducing the cost by eliminating routes is possible. Renegotiating contracts and salaries is much more difficult.

    Then the SIG grants changed the landscape. Why move kids to higher performing schools when they are going to pour money into the SIG schools?

    If SFUSD wants to buck the statewide trend of cutting transportation they can divert funding from the classroom to do it. Is that wise?

    There is no free lunch except free and reduced lunch and who knows how long that will last under the circumstances. I would not be surprised if next year it remains free, with everyone else paying $4. But I diverge.

  51. I should have pointed out that the transportation flexibility does not include special education.

  52. "Moscone is a very popular school in the Mission with an API of 843."

    I love Moscone, but it's small (3 classes, two bilingual ELLs), so there ain't a lot of GE capacity there.

    However, put me down as Really Fricking Tired of West side parents moaning about CTIP1 preferences.

    You are eight miles away from BV/HP, six miles away from the Mission. Kids from CTIP1 are going to go to SF Community, Alvarado, Fairmount, Taylor, Buena Vista, Flynn, Revere, Serra, Sunnyside, or even Miraloma before they go to Alamo.

    What's more, if you get displaced from Alamo, poor you, you might have to go to Peabody! Wheras someone displaced from Flynn or Moscone or Taylor may get plonked into Chavez or Bryant. One situation is mildly disappointing, the other is "how much to move to Albany?" situation.

    So can West side parents kindly STFU about CTIP1? Your fears of the low-SES hordes flowing over Twin Peaks like a tsunami are sufficiently outlandish for you to be eligible to run for Senate in Nevada or Delaware.

  53. "There needs to be severe penalties for CTIP1 fraud including large fines to help cover the cost of investigations."

    I don't think you need fines, just let the kids get settled, and then yank 'em out of their favored school and let them know they're bottom rung on the waitlists. That'll teach them.

  54. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job.

    When the westside parent complains about possibly getting displaced, please show him the same consideration you give yourself about getting displaced out of Flynn/Moscone/Taylor. You are both being displaced out of the neighborhood school that you want.

  55. 1:57 I heart you.

    2:10, you make no sense. 1:57's point wasn't about neighborhood schools. It was about the inequality of schools in the west vs. the east. Displaced west side CTIP2 parents are more likely get "spilled" into a decent school. Displaced east side CTIP2 parents are more likely to get "spilled" into a very low-performing school, not to mention competing with the whole city for immersion slots.

  56. It is not meaningful to me to argue about who is the bigger victim. It is meaningful to me to ask what you need to make you feel that your only option is to move to Albany. So, what do you need?

  57. chaCorrection: What do you need to make you DON'T feel that your only option is to move to Albany.

  58. "I don't think you need fines, just let the kids get settled, and then yank 'em out of their favored school and let them know they're bottom rung on the waitlists. That'll teach them."

    At 1:59 PM, I totally agree. On top of that, fines or more severe penalty should be imposed on residency fraud offender.

  59. You have to prove residency fraud. It is very hard to do. This will cost the district money. Prosecution is expensive. You have to have a judgment against a person to make them pay. Stop and think about it. Some of these fraud solutions are childish and amount down to little more than nonsense.

  60. If you have a neighborhood preference, then you will have an incentive to lie and residency fraud problems to deal with. Even in that classic TV show, 90210, one of the major characters used her grandmother's address to get into Beverly Hills High School. False addresses. Very American mainstream. We will have our hands full.

  61. I find this comment very funny coming from a liberally oriented child-centered equity driven groupthink blog.

    "...just let the kids get settled, and then yank 'em out of their favored school and let them know they're bottom rung on the waitlists. That'll teach them."

    I thought the children were in school to learn math and English and history and that sort of stuff. Boy are they going to be surprised when they learn that lesson! "It's not my fault, Mommy."

    But it doesn't matter if "those kids" are uprooted because "those kids" are the children of the rich who are just gaming the system without a preference or a choice system that favored the favored.

  62. "But it doesn't matter if "those kids" are uprooted because "those kids" are the children of the rich who are just gaming the system without a preference or a choice system that favored the favored."

    Don loves him the dishonest and the cheaters. Kindred spirits.

  63. "When the westside parent complains about possibly getting displaced, please show him the same consideration you give yourself about getting displaced out of Flynn/Moscone/Taylor. You are both being displaced out of the neighborhood school that you want."

    You're entirely miscontrusing me. I'm an Eastside parent. I want *frickin' choice*, at the expense of certainty. I want meaningful choice to send my kid to any school in the city. I also think it would be an immense frickin' injustice for parents near Harte or Chavez or Bryant to be forced to take their local school.

    I think CTIP1 was an inspired idea by Orla to mitigate the inequity that a more local system with less choice created.

    What annoys me is Westside parents, who got almost all they wanted out of the new system (less choice, more local), pouting like toddlers because having got 90% of what they wanted, and deluding themselves that they're going to carry the burden of providing the choice to CTIP1 areas, when a moment's sense, a map, and a modicum of knowing where CTIP1 areas currently send their kids to would disabuse you of this idea.

    The new system is massive win for the Westside. Try and be fucking grateful for it, instead of pouting that the BoE found a way to do neighborhood schools without completely fucking the Mission and BV/HP over.

  64. I don't support committing address fraud. I just don't believe children should suffer as a result of poor parental judgment. Many here have no problem with taking their pound of flesh off the student rather than the parent. A system should be in place that does not encourage fraud as does the CTIP concept. This is little different from the zip code method that was abandoned after two years.

    Regarding neighborhood schools below are some recommendations by SFUSD to the Civil Grand Jury's Student assignment inquiry. I guess SFUSD changed its mind since it had to answer for its failed Diversity Index.

    -During the Grand Jury’s inquiry the recurring theme from parents, teachers,
    principals, leaders of support groups and school officials alike was the need to
    create good schools system wide. This would provide the equity that all
    students deserve and these leaders seek. The Jury heard that student diversity
    is desirable, but not as important as quality schools for all, whatever the
    setting. With a new Superintendent and two new Board of Education
    members to be elected in the fall joining three recently elected members, now
    is the time to refocus on creating quality schools throughout the District.

    - As an interim step, the SFUSD should abandon the existing School Selection
    process and Diversity Index effective with the 2009-2010 school year and
    replace it with a lottery based system without additional qualifiers except for
    sibling preference and children of staff, and medical and hardship waivers as
    found in the current system.
    SFUSD Using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology that the District
    already possesses, draw attendance zones with a priority on creating student
    diversity and proximity to home in each zone. Children who live in the
    attendance zone would receive priority enrollment at their Attendance
    Area/Neighborhood Elementary School.
    Reduce busing by creating attendance zone preferences for neighborhood
    children. Parents should be able to apply by lottery to a school anywhere in
    the City, but those choosing not to send their children to the neighborhood
    school would be responsible for arranging their child’s transportation (Special
    Education students excepted).

  65. 3:26 asks, in earnest I presume:

    "What do you need to make you DON'T feel that your only option is to move to Albany."

    I need choice, like 12:44. Full city choice, with bus routes to back it up. Equitable access to all schools. Frankly, I was fine with the old system -- it was much more fair. They could have been much more transparent with it, there were winners and losers, and their outreach to low-SES families sucked, but it was not weighted against an entire side of the city.

    It is not about MY plans, anyway. I personally will do fine, as I am not ruling out private or leaving the city. It is about the west side of the city power-playing at the expense of the east side. It *is* about victims, and the victims are those stuck with poor GE programs, and/or scrapping for immersion slots against the entire city while the northwest-siders keep the good GE programs for themselves, and then being bunched up into clusters of low-performing elementary schools feeding into low-performing middle schools. They are mostly poor and brown (CTIP1 isn't going to help people en masse; by design it can't), or they are recent arrivals to the city who bought where they could. It's an effing caste system. The fact that I personally could immigrate, as it were, does not mitigate the unfairness of it. It's systemically unfair. And the west-siders whining about CTIP 1 or CDC kids taking over their schools are nauseating to listen to.

  66. Instead of directing your frustration at how westside parents are behaving, or whinning, could you direct your issues to what the school district could do for you, to keep you in SFUSD?

    You say you want citywide choice. That is what we have had for many years, but we can no longer afford the transportation costs, nor the risk to students of long MUNI rides. Some type of neighborhood system will address those financial and security issues.

    I don't pretend the neighborhood plan addresses the racial isolation issue. We have CTIP.

    How can parents of Hearte/Chavez/Bryant be given more choice? Maybe we need a Mission/BV/HP CTIP2 subarea with at least a ticket out.
    But then, maybe the school district wants you to stay and try to turnaround the schools. For some, it will be, No Thanks!

  67. Let the east side parents go wherever they want and the west side can go private. The district can give them each a $5K voucher if they provide a room in their house for the underprivileged.

  68. "Don loves him the dishonest and the cheaters. Kindred spirits."

    -Whatever that means. but I'm sure it is not meant to be good.

    You know, M., people are sick and tired of the politics of defamation. If you had something to say you would say it. Instead you try to defame me. Do you think this is going to make you look better? Ever since I started posting on my Google account, instead of pretending to me, you have resorted to your old ways.

    This has not had any affect on my golf game. And while I do not suffer fools gladly, if you want to make an utter fool of yourself you are free to do it. But don't pretend that you are anonymous. Most everyone knows who you are and what you're up to

  69. I think its an equity issue that there are not more golf courses in the SE. I'm tired of getting my shoes wet in the fog. Let's plow over some of those neighborhoods. If you build it they will come. I guess the same principle could apply to schools too. Nah!

  70. "You know, M., people are sick and tired of the politics of defamation." Don, please explain what that rant of yours after the Sept 13th meeting was if it was not defamation. Calling out people by name and making insulting personal degrading remarks about all of them. What a hypocrite.

  71. Two thoughts on this discussion:

    1) the old system of choice wasn't so much. i mean you could 'choose' what to put on your form but most people didn't get any of those schools. you were still assigned something. so i think it is a mistake to romanticize the old system of choice. it did a disservice to a lot of kids east and west side.

    2) won't the schools on the east side improve when the middle class families that live there start sending their kids to school locally. i mean, why are the west side schools so good, b/c poor people don't go there? b/c east side families are commuting over? well if those families start going to school closer to home, won't those schools improve? just a thought.

    and relax, i live in the middle of the city, not technically east or west and i've got a preschooler, so not in this game yet.

  72. Public officials are supposed to be called out. In in the case of SFUSD ridicule is well deserved. After all, look what they did to you.

    As far as making fun of people, turn on Comedy Central, Conan, Leno. It is all part of the political game. So keep it up.

  73. I would look back at the archives of this very blog from March and look at how well the choice system was perceived to be working by incoming kindergarten parents. Phrases like "betrayed, screwed, and moving to the suburbs," were some of the more common. Now that we're moving to a new system there is a tendency to idealize the old. But while choice was great, when you got yours, a large number of families did not get any of their choices. And the environmental impact of everyone driving their kids all over the city cannot be ignored. For those who want buses, what educational services do you want to cut to provide those buses. It's one or the other.

    The new system is not perfect, and will have its problems but let's not forgot the choice system has had significant problems as well.

  74. "Won't the schools on the east side improve when the middle class families that live there start sending their kids to school locally."

    The problem is that middle-class eastside families won't send their kids to those schools. People who aren't happy with their school choice under any system won't enroll their chldren at schools they consider unacceptable.

    The people who are unhappy under this system will be different from the people who were unhappy under the old system, but there will still be unhappy people. The district can't force anyone to enroll at any school--thus the consistent percentage who go private or move.

    The number of schools that are now considered acceptable is huge compared to the list only ten years ago. Arguably, the old system of choice helped to create this perception. I hope we can continue this trend with the new system, but I'm not optimistic.

  75. 11:34 : "The number of schools that are now considered acceptable is huge compared to the list only ten years ago. Arguably, the old system of choice helped to create this perception. I hope we can continue this trend with the new system, but I'm not optimistic."

    This is a big risk of the incoming system. The beginning of the problems for San Francisco public schools was in the '70s with forced bussing. People left the city or the public schools for private and parochial. I hope that the improvements under the choice system can sustain certain schools under the "near-neighborhood" system. Alvarado and Miraloma have made the jump and will likely be supported under the new program. A school like Serra might, but also might be a little late to the improvement party.

    Time will tell.

  76. This is one of SFUSD's answer to the Civil Grand Jury:

    " Using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology that the District
    already possesses, draw attendance zones with a priority on creating student
    diversity and proximity to home in each zone. Children who live in the
    attendance zone would receive priority enrollment at their Attendance
    Area/Neighborhood Elementary School."

    But instead, the average neighborhood resident is 4th priority in the Elementary SAS. So SFUSD has gone back on its own answers to the judicial inquiry. It is not surprising. That's what they do.

    It comes down to this - if SFUSD had been thinking in terms of programming, pathways and student needs instead of their single-minded obsession with diversity they would not have overlooked the issues that made the middle school SAS problematic to a degree that it had to be canceled.

    This is not a delay. It is a cancellation because the future SAS is going to be very different. It has to be. There is no way they can implement all the programs that are needed at every school by next year's start of the application process.

    This matter goes beyond winners and losers. This MS policy did not possess the necessary programming continuity to make it a viable assignment system. Why is there no discussion of how this could have happened and how is responsible? We now are going to spend millions more on further development. That is money out of your child's classroom. I don't see the Superintendent proposing cutbacks to pay for it. These mistakes don't come free. But there is zero accountability. no one to come forward and say the buck stops here.

  77. Who is in favor of just cancelling the whole middle school feeder system, leaving us with just citywide middle schools and the CTIP1 preferences?

  78. One big difference between now and the 1970's is this -- the internet. It's amazing how it can bring groups of people together to spread information, brainstorm, etc. I know school listservs have had a tremendous impact in building community in local schools, particularly with so many parents working and unable to participate in playground chat. It will be interesting to see how all the new enrollment system plays out in the internet age.

  79. not a gambler MS (not Presidio) parentSeptember 17, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    2:29, I'm with you. In the previous MS SAS, all MSs except Presidio had approximately the same # of first choice requests as spots, so almost all kids who listed a MS other than Presidio 1st got their first choice. OTOH, Presidio had ~3X as many applicants as spots, so ~2/3 of applicants who listed Presidio 1st didn't get it and, unless they listed an under-capacity MS as another one of their choices, were often 0/7 since preference order was a tie breaker. Hence, the feeder MS system is of great benefit to kids set to feed into Presidio (assuming its a good fit) but unnecessary for everyone else (and detrimental if they really wanted Presidio, which will no longer be even a 1/3 possibility).

  80. Do when can you play 9 holes with me? Let's talk this over in a sane environment.

  81. Issue for candidates for the Board of Education: Do you support feeder middle schools or citywide middle schools?

  82. "One big difference between now and the 1970's is this -- the internet. It's amazing how it can bring groups of people together to spread information, brainstorm, etc. "

    This is what passes for a neighborhood nowadays.

  83. I'm totally in favor of making middle totally choice. I am worried about the ctip1 issue, however. I see two problems with the ctip preference (1) undermining the reasons for the preference; and (2) undermining the perceived fairness of the system. This is no different than the foreign language preference under the old system. It was designed for fairness reasons but then rich Europeans figured it out and, voilĂ , it created a huge upswell of anger. And no I'm not a westside person worried about poor people coming in. I'm worried about the flipness with which constructive criticism is dealt with by sfusd. This is how the whole feeder fiasco started too. Put together a system and people will game it. But for Christ sake, when people point out valid suggestions (ie exclude non-public housing built after 1979), we hear things like, "don't worry, families don't like those ctip1 areas, so it is unlikely to cause serious problems.". And I'm sure sfusd under the o,d system didn't think rich european immigrants would move to public and take advantage of the system. Agan and again, they underestimate how good the education is at the trophy schools, and what people will do to get a guaranteed slot at one.

  84. Since the 0/7 problem was really just a problem about Presidio, at the middle school level, why bend the entire middle school assignment system out of shape to fix a smaller problem?

    Option 1. Leave everybody with citywide choice, just like before. And, if your live in the northwest corner of town, and you don't get your local middle school of Presidio, you should get preference to another middle school not too far away. You are not in danger of getting sent clear across town to the southeast quadrant of town, which is much too far away for 6th graders.

    Option 2. If you go with feeder patterns, at least open up ONE middle school as a citywide choice middle school. After all, we have citywide elementary schools and programs as well as neighborhood schools. There is still merit to citywide choice. My pick for the one citywide choice middle school: Presidio.

  85. This whole business of changing over to neighborhood schools to save on transportation costs is like using a sledgehammer to swat a fly. If we don't have money for bus services anymore, just stop providing bus services. Don't force people into middle school feeder patterns. That's overkill.

    The increased certainty of feeder patterns is only good for those who like their assignment. It remains bad for those who do not like their assignment. Don't impose feeder patterns. Let parents have citywide choice for middle schools, as they have for high schools.

  86. Does anyone know if under the new system for elementary assignments, a student is required to enroll in a new school if they move? Or do you get to stay through 5th grade based upon where you lived during the K enrollment process? Seems fraud would be more of a problem with the later rule since a family could briefly move to a CTIP 1 area and then move (back) to their original neighborhood after they got a choice assignment. Will address (both for neighborhood zones and CTIP 1 preference) be verified annually?

  87. 2:48, no students who are currently in a school will not have to enroll elsewhere if they move; this will not change with the new SAS. We know one family whose oldest got into West Portal's CI program when WP was their neighborhood school. Later, they moved to the Mission district, but the child still attended WP, as did her 2 younger siblings (who got sibling priority). Address is only checked when 1st enrolling in a school. Anything else would be too time-consuming for the SFUSD and potentially disruptive to the kids.

  88. If you move out of the school district, that is, out of San Francisco, you have always been allowed to finish the school year with your SF classmates.

    Last year, if you moved from neighborhood to neighborhood, it did not matter what your "neighborhood school" was because all schools were citywide schools. The only address info that mattered was that you were in SF, not where in SF you lived.

    The new assignment system will require new rules on changing addresses, because now it will matter where, exactly, in SF you live. I don't recall what was discussed about moving in and out of CTIP1. I would support the student being allowed to finish the school year. Of course, this will require checking on addresses every year.

  89. In real estate, it's location, location, location. The southeast parent knows his loction has schools in transition. Even if we have not had neighborhood schools since the days before integration, it is always a possibility, since those school districts not under an integration plan tend to have a neighborhood school method of school assignment.

    That day has come. First, with the expiration of court supervision of how we make school assignments. Second, with budget deficits. It is not an unfair surprise to the southeast residents that they may be assigned schools in the southeast. Those schools may be in transition, but everyone knew that.