Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall 2011: SFF seeks RFS

San Francisco Family seeks Right Fit School. Interested in a serious relationship. Looking for long-term commitment.

About us We are traditional in structure, less so in outlook. We are a native San Francisco mom, a from-all-over-the-place dad, a four-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old son. We live, happily wedged into a flat with a long-suffering cat named Puget, in the NorthWestern part of the city, an area we broadly define as within the lines drawn by Noriega and Webster.

The parental units, Seattle and Portland, both work most of the time in Silicon Valley. We love the city, and resist repeating Seattle’s family history of exiting San Francisco in childhood for school. But we also have lots of relatives in the ‘burbs, and are bummed by how commuting drains our time and energy. We like to have lots of options, and rarely think there is one right way. We don’t need to be among a group that always agrees, as long as we’re in surroundings where people are interested in finding solutions.

Tacoma, our daughter, has bright, wide eyes that can turn from warm to shy as quickly as the fog moves in. Her default is friendly, empathetic, caring, and gentle. She loves to read books, draw pictures, play with small groups of friends, sing and dance, or sit quietly creating a project that brings her latest ideas to life. When her little brother Williamette nabs the plant sprayer and pursues Puget down the hall, Tacoma is first on hand with a towel and comfort. But when dropped into new situations, or when another child gets aggressive with her, she is sometimes at a loss. If she feels threatened, she tends to retreat into the background.

About you For public, private, or parochial alike, Portland sums up his wish list as “a school where Tacoma is safe, where she is challenged, where she is loved, and where she is encouraged to expand her mind.” You can wear any stripe of “P” you like, but please be:

  • Academically solid, but not a slave to the numbers. We think that innovative approaches to learning don’t always equal a dazzling API.
  • Flexible in your learning approach. Some subjects might be taught by traditional teacher-directed learning. Others thrive with a project-based approach. Please embrace whatever works best for the task at hand.
  • A campus that is not only safe, but where kids feel safe and heard. (Given Tacoma’s hesitations in new or stressful situations, that last one is important.)
  • A school that is warm, loving and encouraging. I originally had questions about the “love” part, but after the comments to my post from last week, I left it in.
  • Logistically sane. Given that we commute southbound many days, we can’t drive all over town for school first. For us, this knocks off the schools to the far northwest and northeast, and may remove more as we start touring and test-driving the school commute.
  • Within our budget. We can afford to donate to a public school’s PTA annual drives and wish list, and can handle most parochial tuitions. We will not be able to swing the $20K-plus price tag for independent privates without financial aid.
  • A school where teachers are supported by the district, administration, and/or parents. I come from a family of public school teachers. I’ve heard the stories. ‘Nuff said.
  • A school with a community of active, involved parents. We don’t always have to agree, but if we don’t want to pitch in, why are we there?
It would also be nice if you have:

  • A foreign language component. This could be immersion, but doesn’t have to be. FLES or after-school classes are fine as well.
  • Green space, or at least plans for some. I know that in the city, we won’t get the rolling sports fields of the suburbs. But how about a garden? A tree? Something? Anything? (Yes, we’ll help with the digging and planting!)
  • Diversity before hegemony. We’d rather not be at a school where a single group dominates, regardless of what that group may be.
  • A touch of Waldorf gnome. We are not a Waldorf family. But there are certain Waldorf traditions, such as an emphasis on tactile learning over technology and giving kids quiet, distraction-free spaces to think, that feel right to us, especially for the early elementary years.
  • Substantial art, music, and science programs, either in school or after school.
  • Some of the engaging, innovative features of a San Francisco school, if we wind up deciding to ditch the commute and move south. How about some immersion? Cool art options? Project-based learning?

So RFS, wherever you are, give a shout. Send a text. Maybe we could meet for coffee? Or just get down to business and enroll at first sight? Sigh…somehow I didn’t think it would be that easy.

- SFF (aka Seattle's crew)

P.S. Thanks to my fellow 2011 K bloggers and the SF K Files community for helping us organize our thoughts on what we’re looking for. In case you are wondering about certain details, such as our assignment boundary school or where we work, we’re withholding those for now while we figure out the private school application process.

132 comments:

  1. Based on your descriptions, JOES Mandarin Immersion and Clarendon JPPB (and maybe even the Italian strand) come to mind. Both on your commute path with language and love. Good luck!

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  2. I think you are setting yourself up to move out of the city. My experience is SFUSD is not very accomodating to two parent working families with commute times. Lets assume you find the one school that might fit all of your criteria or even just fits in term of location and start time, you then have to get in.

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  3. I think McKinley might work

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  4. I think Fairmount Elementary Spanish Immersion may be a good fit for your needs. We have several parents who make the same commute-right off highway entrances 101S/280S, and have on-site before/aftercare (7:30-6pm) through GLO. (One block from Google bus stop if you are lucky enough to work there.) Exceptional Kinder staff. Diverse, yet integrated community of Spanish & English speakers.

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  5. Re: privates meeting many of your criteria and on the South side of town, consider The San Francisco School and Brandeis Hillel Day School. If you're willing to move within the city, you might also consider Live Oak and Children's Day, as you could easily hop on the freeway from these schools. Most others are on the North side or sort of in the middle of the city. All purport to offer scholarships, so worth checking out. Both The San Francisco School and Children's Day School have preschools, which means fewer spots (that said, I think it also means a lot fewer applicants, so not sure how that cuts).

    Re: publics - Your attendance area school is your best bet under the new guidelines. You could also consider city-wide schools or South side schools that have traditionally been less popular, but have been getting good buzz on this website, such as Glen Park and Sunnyside. Also Lakeshore has traditionally been a top school. None of these have languages or offer project-based learning, but may be good back-up possibilities. Finally, you should also check out San Francisco Community school, which is a small public school that actually does have project-based learning (I believe it is the only one in the city) and is on the South side. Could be just what you're looking for!

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  6. What if everyone who is posting these heartfelt descriptions of their dream schools just sent their kids to the school SFUSD assigned? It would be an interesting test to see how that would work out.

    A horde of middle-class kids with high-powered, involved parents would have been going into John Muir, William Cobb, Junipero Serra and Sheridan for some years now if that had happened. How would that have changed those schools by now?

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  7. No one really wants to be the sacrificial lamb. We will not be sheep for your interesting test, or the district's interesting test. The children come first.

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  8. 10:20:
    Yeah, our neighbors tried that and their child got mercilessly bullied and beat up. Her overworked teacher spent more time disciplining kids and making sure they got their basic needs met than she did teaching.
    It takes more than a little work at some of the "less desirable schools" to make big changes. Nice idea, though.

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  9. 10:32 -

    That is exactly the reason we are not going to try our neighborhood school. We want it to be good, we really do, but the experience you describe is the same experience many local families have had who have pulled their kids out. I'm not going to subject my sweet, gentle kid to that.

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  10. Seattle, welcome to the Magic Kingdom. Your willingness to promote the never-ending parade of fictional and anonymous SF Kfiles characters is a perilous path to pursue in world where honesty and integrity matter. It is a kind of mental masturbation that enjoins others in the growing avoidance of personal responsibility for personal opinions. Anonymity is the bane of integrity reducing the value of opinions to zero. Hence we have desperate people pining for advice from fantasms who offer to soothe the hurt created by the SAS, in this case. What we need to is real solid facts, not ships and sails and sealing wax.


    IMHO, what matters most is that individuals exert their freedoms to in order to strive to become the most informed participants in the great experiment of democracy. In the information age, anonymity is the virus that eats at the body politic. Fantasy and fact are one. For all I know, Seattle, you are churning out these posts in character for your own amusement.

    This circle jerk that is the SF Kfiles is a club that will be defended. Anonymity, which is the product of fear, is the new vice of the digital age. It has become more important in this era to defend the right to be no one than to defend the right to be someone.

    What exactly are you and others are afraid of? That you will be singled out by the district? Rhetorically speaking, who are you really?

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  11. Where was someone merciliessly bullied and beat up? Which school? In which grade? What was done about it?

    If you are going to make statements like that you should be more specific about it. It's not helpful to make a blanket statement about the "merciless bullying" that goes on at "less desirable" schools as if it is a systematic problem at SE schools.

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  12. Logistically sane. Logistically sane. Logistically sane.

    If both of you are commuting to SV, I can't emphasize enough how "logistically sane" needs to be the first three items on your list.

    You're either going to want a school your kid can walk to then hire someone to pick up your kid after school, or you're going to want a school on the southern border of SF that has before- and/or after-school care that you KNOW you can get into (the last part is important).

    Assuming you're commuting down 280, I'd seriously look at Sloat (solid school just off 19th Ave. with attractive extracurriculars), Lakeshore (just off Sunset Blvd., has good Chinese language program), or Jose Ortega (nice small school).

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  13. SF Friends School has everything you want, if you can get the financial aid.

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  14. Hey 10;54,

    -It's not helpful to make a blanket statement about the "merciless bullying" that goes on at "less desirable" schools as if it is a systematic problem at SE schools.-

    Interesting observation after the remarks by Don about the pitfalls of anonymity. You both have a point.

    I'm just going with the anonymous flow. Maybe it is time to adopt a persona.

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  15. Has anyone looked at the self-corrections, tortured comments, and back-and-forth about how the new assignment system will work for K on rachel norton's blog? Oh. My. God. Thank God I'm done with K and only looking for middle now. This is beyond appalling. It is really almost criminal.

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  16. Don

    if you don't like the blog go somewhere else.

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  17. Love that Don is not anonymous in his postings. I see his name and I can just skip all those comments (which are generally off topic).

    Mostly I find the participants' comments (including all the anonymous folks) are very helpful.

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  18. I have been saying loudly and clearly (in my own name) that this SAS is appalling to the usual counter criticisms. I'm glad some people are beginning to take notice of how utterly incompetent are the authors of this plan.

    And don't forget while they spent untold millions on putting it together at a time when class were being stripped to the bone, Mr. Garcia, with the approval of the lay-down-and-play-dead Board, added 2 new associate superintendents and 7 new executive directors for each zone. And none of these EDs are from SF and each therefore has a learning curve to come up to speed. If that learning curve is anywhere as difficult as understanding the arcane and nontransparent SAS, they will undoubtedly need a lot of very expensive professional development. No problem.

    We spent millions on the BSC professional development and what did we get for that? Bozos that had no idea how to implement their own highly touted plan. Now they are redoing the whole thing at further cost to our children. We need to dump Garcia now before we go into receivership. But I diverge from the important fantasy at hand...

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  19. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but based on your list, you might consider Adda Clevenger. It's $20K per year but a financial aid program has been launched. It's a very short hop to the 280 Southbound from the location at 23rd and Fair Oaks. You can drop off as early as 7:30 and pick up as late as 6:15.

    With different subject teachers starting in K, your kids will get to experience many different teaching approaches. The faculty have a great deal of freedom to decide what to teach and what materials and approaches they will use. In the past they have done no standardized testing (though there is now talk of phasing some in) so nobody would say they're slaves to numbers. Most of the students nonetheless do quite well on their SSATs and go to competitive high schools like Lowell, Lick-Wilmerding and University. The school is open-enrollment so kids are not cherry-picked based on the school's evaluation of their academic potential.

    It's a theater school as well as an academic school. There is a ton of music, dance, acting, visual art and creative expression built into the regular school day to satisfy your inner Waldorf gnome without any of the pseudo-religious stuff that can accompany Waldorf or Waldorf-inspired schools. (Again, it's open-enrollment. Kids don't audition to get in. The school takes whoever comes and works with what they've got.) Very little in the way of technology. Lots of PE and gymnastics. Foreign language is available after school for an extra charge. Some good hands-on science starting in kindergarten.

    The kids get lots of love and lots of support to behave with kindness in their social interactions. Bullying and violence are not tolerated. Efforts are made to work with problem children, but those who cannot meet behavior expectations must leave.

    It's one of the most racially diverse private schools in its price range in SF. With such a new financial aid program, there's not, however, a lot of economic diversity.

    You won't find a garden due to constraints imposed by the landlord. Historically the approach to parent volunteering has been limited to helping out at the three musicals the school puts on every year. Otherwise, it's been pretty much, "You pay US to educate your kids. We'll do that, and you go off and do what YOU'RE good at," which many working families love. Even without a culture of parents hanging around school doing volunteer work, the community is friendly and close-knit from the musicals and school birthday parties.

    Some things to be aware of: Days are long and physically active. A child who tires easily may not do well. Kids are pushed hard to excel in performance and in academics. It would not work for physically or learning-disabled children. If you're interested in team sports, forget it. It's all about musical theater here and there is little time for after-school sports. The controversial founding headmistress has retired from that role, though she's still teaching. It's really NOT for everyone, nor does it try to be, but our kid is absolutely crazy about it, and we've been delighted with it.

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  20. That is the way it is supposed to work. You avoid advise from those that you don't trust. But only an idiot takes advice from an anonymous person.

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  21. Anonymous workers of the world unite!

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  22. An astute Hollywood producer could use SF Kfiles' SAS discussion and the desperation it evokes as a pilot for The Desperate Housewives of San Francisco.

    The SF Gate bloggers, who Rachel Norton has referred to as Troglodytes, (hey Rachel, they voted for you before becoming aware of your true progressive credentials), would make for a more intelligent show.But that's why Hollywood is likely to go with Kfiles. As any good liberal knows, the average American is a blithering idiot.

    Pop Quiz #1

    What does CSR have to do with middle school class?

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  23. What is the topic? Seattle's fantasy? This blog is quickly becoming irrelevant.

    Don, the answer is nothing. CSR has nothing to do with middle school. I read your post on that thread.

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  24. Don,

    I suggest you write under a pseudonym. That way people will have to read your posts. Screw honesty and moral rectitude.

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  25. A frequent SF Gate commenter I want to know when and where Commissioner Norton referred to me as a troglodyte? Can you you provide that nugget for me so I can be sure not to vote for her again?

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  26. Mr. Krause: You're a fine one to talk about "fictional and anonymous" characters on this blog. After all, it was you who got busted multiple times for posting under multiple aliases...all, of course, which agree with everything you say.

    I'm pretty sure you're doing the same thing on the SF K Files. You have a lot of well-researched and informed things to say. However, you're the last person who should be piping off about fictional characters.

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  27. Oct. 12, 2009

    From her blog:

    The troglodytes in the SF Gate’s comments section are already having a field day with a resolution coming up on tomorrow night’s agenda. Specifically, it’s the resolution authored by Commissioners Kim, Maufas and Fewer, titled “In Support of a Comprehensive School Climate, Restorative Justice and Alternatives to Suspensions/Expulsions,” first introduced in June.

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  28. Mr. Krause writes: "Oh ya, according to whom?"

    Don't play dumb. You know very well you were busted several times posting to the sfschools Yahoo Group under multiple aliases in addition to under your own name. You were banned from the group because of it.

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  29. Are you planning to move? Unless you live in CTIP1 or near a popular school, you have almost no chance of choosing your school. You can only get out of your neighborhood school if another student wants into it.

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  30. Don,

    I am mostly curious how you have so much time available to dominate these threads?

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  31. Your biggest issue is going to be finding schools with before/after care of high quality, and which is a straight shot getting to 280 from the NW.

    Given your commute, schools in the SE/SW of the city may work better than a local school: it'll give you an extra 1/2 hour to get to the school. JOES Mandarin has been mentioned. Sloat is a good option as well.

    AFY might work, and is citywide, and has before/aftercare from 7 am - 6 pm, but is a long shot in any event, and piles on the homework in the later grades.

    On the parochials, St. Finn Barr in Glen Park has 1 hour/day in Spanish. Absolutely no green space though, so only asphalt gnomes.

    A move to the SW or SE (OMI, Glen Park, Bernal) would cut your commute and open up more immersion options.

    For the privates, Lycee Francais is on 19th.

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  32. "A horde of middle-class kids with high-powered, involved parents would have been going into John Muir, William Cobb, Junipero Serra"

    Looks like it happened this year with Junipero Serra, where parents got assigned it and had the same 'Jeez, this isn't so bad' epiphany that folks assigned Sunnyside had two years ago.

    Bernal parents were lobbying to have JS's attendance area include the south side of Bernal.

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  33. Seattle, you have options many in San Francisco do not have. You and your husband both work in Silicon Valley. You have relatives in the suburbs. You can move, because cutting out the commute makes sense. There are good schools out there. San Francisco does not have a monopoly on good schools.

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  34. Yawn.

    I see the same old stuff being rehashed over and over.

    good suggestions on this blog, but reading SFF's requirements: Nice outdoor playground, Waldorf, etc, etc., SFF really ought to be prepared to move or entertain parochial.

    There are schools in SF that meet these requirements, but the publics that do are going to be out of your price range.

    You might get lucky with Mandarin Immersion. It's a vague posibility, especially if you prostrate yourself as an SFgate or SF K Files poster child.

    Maybe, Junipero Serra, but as you're not in that attendance area, you'll probably not qualify.

    Your probably going to be shocked as middle school reality sets in.

    There's parochial. Some good choices there, especially if it includes a middle school option.

    Finally, there's private, but with your dual income silicon valley status, you probably won't qualify for financial aid. Private schools are struggling to support all the families that have lost their jobs.

    You sound dreamy and detached, like SF school virgins. Really, you should be living in Palo Alto or Marin.

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  35. Oy vey, I am bored by Seattle's rambling, would-be literary posts and it's only October. Or maybe I'm just sick of the kindy application process and everyone's whining (because I did that so much myself last year). Time to move on (said to self)!

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  36. i'm confused as to why people will even tour schools other than immersion. don't you list your neighborhood school first now? and do a separate lottery if you want immersion?

    all this "we want... we want..." well, they are public schools and are essentially all the same. immersion is a bit different or you might want a k-8. other than that? i don't get this new set of touring parents coming back to blog.

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  37. No, you do not necessarily list your neighborhood school first. No, you do not do a separate lottery for immersion if you are interested in immersion.

    List all the schools that you are interested in in the order that you want to go to those schools. Put your neighborhood school first if that is the school you want to go to most of all. Do not list your local school if you have no interest in going there. List the immersion programs and the schools all on one list, in the order of your priority. The goal is to be user friendly.

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  38. "all this "we want... we want..." well, they are public schools and are essentially all the same. immersion is a bit different or you might want a k-8. other than that? i don't get this new set of touring parents coming back to blog"

    Have you actually stepped foot in any public schools? The public elementary schools range from groovy/crunchy to rigid academic with tons of test prep. They're all over the map in environment and philosophy even if they work off the same core curriculum. Some will work hard with sensitive or difficult kids, others will work hard to make the family so miserable they leave for another school. I wouldn't put down anything you haven't toured, you might get it and hate it!

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  39. Meee-OW, people! We are sounding surly and it's only October.

    The new bloggers do sound a little wishful and ingenue, but then once, so did we. I think they are all pretty good so far, given that. Every year, a new crop of SF school virgins rolls around looking hopeful, and then has to deal with reality.

    And give them time...by May, they'll sound jaded like the rest of us.

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  40. "Don't play dumb. You know very well you were busted several times posting to the sfschools Yahoo Group under multiple aliases in addition to under your own name."

    I'll definitely take responsibility for writing in under my own name. And though you accuse me of that, you are unwilling to do the same as an anonymous poster. What does it take to be so dishonest?

    Re: SF Schools , Caroline Grannan and myself have maintained an email correspondence which includes hundreds of back and forth discussions even though she was the recipient of the offending post for which I was blamed. Don't believe everything you read.

    Why don't you just shut that

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  41. 9:30 -- I wish every incoming parent read what you just posted, how true. Big question now is whether families are going to tolerate such massive differences with neighborhood schools approach. Some folks out in the sunset are going to be regretting their push for neighborhood schools when their crunchy-granola sensitive kid ends up in their neighborhood test-driven academic pressure cooker!

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  42. Mr Krause, you were caught red-handed posting under multiple identities. I'm not complaining about anonymous posters. Not everybody feels like registering with every system...especially when registration is not mandated and one's identity is not relevant on a blog.

    However, there's a big difference between a person posting anonymously and one person posting under multiple names (and/or anonymous entries) pretending to be different people. You were caught doing this on sfschools...more than once. That is dishonest.

    I suspect you are doing something similar on this blog as well. Conversations and clucks of support between Don Krause and multiple anonymous users are more than likely all (or mostly all) posts made by Don Krause (just like you did on sfschools).

    Here there's no source posting IP provided to the reader, so it's impossible to prove. (however, that info is available to the site admin) I see the same pattern I saw on sfschools. You or one of your many alter egos makes a post...and then minutes later you or one of your socket puppets responds in support using the same writing style, having the same opinions, and displaying the same knowledge of select school-related issues.

    I couldn't care less that you're probably sock puppeting here, but seeing you complain about fictitious characters compelled me to remind you that you're the King of Online Fictitious Characters.

    If you really must know who I am, I'll give you a big clue: I'm the professional network/email server admin who provided all the email forensic evidence proving you were posting behind multiple sock puppets.

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  43. I think this writer can string together a nice sentence, but I wish she and other kindergarten people on this site knew more. Most of us who read it are already in school, and so all this stuff is old news. Have you seen the questions in the Community section? "How do I tour? What's an assignment system?" Aggghhh...get a clue!

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  44. Seattle, tell us something we don't know.

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  45. Wow.

    Yes, wanting more green space for your kids, or art and music, is definitely dreamy and detached. Only kids in Marin or Palo Alto want or deserve those things. Here in the city, we make our kids break rocks for extracurriculars and then eat the gravel. Sharpens their teeth.

    At our school, Starr King, we have a greening committee with big plans. So do lots of other schools. We are also planning to overhaul our auditorium so that it's a better performance space for art and music.

    If you are new to the system, please know that not all of us are so negative as some of the people you'll find on this blog.

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  46. I ate piece of a carrot from our school's garden yesterday. It tasted pretty darn good.

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  47. If you want a carrot go to the store and buy one. Raising your kids to be farmers is not going to cut it in the digital age.

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  48. There are many negative things going on in education right now. If you do not want our schools turned into to churning factories you better start getting political, focusing less on gardens and remodeling projects and more on demanding that our Board stop wasting its money on Mr. Garcia's childish and failed schemes. While they blow millions of your hard earned dollars on more downtown bureaucrats who don't give a rat's ass for your kids, you are sidetracked from the real issues with all this chat about trivialities. If you don't wake up soon you're going to find that no schools meet the needs of your children. The adults that make the decisions are meeting their own needs at the expense of your children.

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  49. 10:38 AM:

    That's a dumb comment.

    Having a veggie garden might inspire an interest in biotechnology, for instance. And the biotech industry seems to be doing better than the computer industry, which is being wholesale outsourced to Asia.

    That aside, in my experience, most kids are not that intested in the whole garden thing. They want to play in the sand, run, jump and play on the monkey bars.

    Some schools do have OK playgrounds and play structures.

    But play structures are not what ails the SFUSD as much as failing middle schools.

    I spend at least an hour per night with my daughter doing homework, music, science projects, art, reading to her, etc. That's what middle class parents do.

    Many kids in the city come home every night to no homework, TV, and sometimes an unstable homelife. That starts to show up by middle school. Kids can see the widening gap and they start to act out. No school system can fill that gap.

    And that is why these discussions about gardens and Waldorf go nowhere.

    SFF, go to Everett or Denman middle school and have a good look. Have a look at the bleak rooms with but a few "diversity" and anger management posters. That's what you're going to be dealing with in six or seven years.

    Go ahead. Look at the middle school test scores for Denman or Everett or Creative Arts Charter School. Not the API scores, but the CST scores. The real scores.

    No window dressing or promises of playground greenings will hide the grim reality of the majority of our San Francisco public middle schools.

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  50. 11:17, how are the CST scores more real? This is an honest question. Some of these high-API schools have less-than-stellar CST scores. I'm just trying to understand the disconnect.

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  51. 11:23 AM:

    The CST score indicates the percentage of kids in the class that were "proficient" on a test that measures knowledge of the California curriculum.

    The API, on the other hand, is a measure of whether a school is improving or not. It is not a direct measure of the percentage of kids who are proficient against a standard. It the school was a poor performer, but improved, it will have a good API score.

    If you're interested in whether your child is mastering the curriculum, you want to know the CST score.

    If you want to know if your school or class has improved since last year, you can look at the API. Alternatively, you can look at the CST for the last several years.

    IMHO, I feel that the API simply allows school administrations to massage their data so that parents and the public are not shocked by how poorly schools are doing.

    Even this blog is guilty of using the API to paint a too rosy picture.

    It is the CST, not the API, that tells you how well schools are conveying the information that kids will need to know excell in college.

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  52. 11:49, thanks for the explanation, that is very helpful.

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  53. Thanks to all of you who've posted suggestions on logistics, schools, test scores, and points to consider. Your comments will factor into our K tour plans. One person's recommendation to check out a middle school is also a good one, and I'll take you up on it.

    To those of you who find that this year's K crowd and I sound new to process of selecting elementary schools, it's because, well, we are. Everyone I know who is looking for a school is in some stage of catch-up mode.

    And as for Mr. Krause, I agree with the poster who said that he knows some good stuff. But what's of value is often lost inside the belligerent, condescending roar. I could answer his rhetorical questions rhetorically, but since he thinks I'm making all this up anyway, I'll sign off by saying that I have to run, because the fairy chimes are ringing, which means that it's time to feed my unicorn.

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  54. Seattle,

    While you're feeding the unicorns, I had a look at CST scores for some middle schools: Aptos, Lick, Everett and Denman.

    Then, just out of curiosity, I also looked at CST scores for Palo Alto and at Castano K-8 in East Palo Alto.

    The scores for Lick, Everett and Denman are unmentionable.

    The scores for Aptos, supposedly a "good" middle school, are similar to the middle school scores for Castano Middle School in East Palo Alto . . . Something to think about the next time you head down the 101 and pass by supposedly infamous East Palo Alto . . . how much you paid for your SE San Francisco house vs. the quality of education available.

    And of course, happy Palo Alto, the land of address verification, has stellar test scores all round.

    Melissa Griffith had a funn article in the Examiner yesterday about how Eric Mar and company might was to fix a few pot holes (and maybe a few schools) before he heads off to save the universe.

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  55. Why do people in SF think Palo Alto is the answer? Its real estate price is literally beyond reach for the majority of us. Even during the days when both my sister and her husband--who were both high- paying attorneys--were taking home approx. 300K/year, they still could not afford Palo Alto, except a "shack" (I'm quoting her) in the outskirt of Palo Alto.

    ReplyDelete
  56. 1:35 PM:

    I'm not saying that Palo Alto is the "answer."

    But many people who moved to Noe, Bernal and Potrero could afford to live in Palo Alto, and not in a shack.

    Most of them (the ones I know anyway) moved here with the best of intentions. They value a multi ethic cosmopolitan city lifestyle. Most went to public school.

    However, looking down the road, I doubt that any of these open minded SE (Castrok, Bernal, Noe, Mission, Potrero, Excelsior) parents will be sending their kids to Denman or Everett Middle school.

    And once you start paying for two private school tuitions, those expensive home prices in Palo Alto or Marin don't look so bad. Frankly, its cheaper and more multi-ethnic that a lot of parts of San Francisco.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hey Sleepless in Seattle SSF Seeking RSF,

    It is unfortunate that more people are not more angry about the robbery of the education and future of our children. Sorry if my anger and rough edges are abrasive to your liberal sensibilities. I have a hard seed in the center, not marshmellow filling. I am tired of these cute deliberations about white versus wheat when the leaders are looting the store. SF has more pedestrian deaths because people are not training to look at cars and they assume at risk of death or great bodily injury that the traffic is going to yield to them. We are not looking and Mr. Garcia is stealing from your children. You are aiding and abetting hius administration with these fictional cutsy posts. File it under "nonsense" right after mandated joyful learning.

    My rant, exasperation and even anger are appropriate. You don't don't express it because you either choose not to inform yourself about what goes on at 555 Franklin where the decisions are made or you simply don't want to undergo the rigors and trials of conflict.

    I am angry. But you are immaterial. No need to worry though. You aren't real.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "The API, on the other hand, is a measure of whether a school is improving or not."

    No, the *change* in API is a measure of whether the school is improving or not.

    "It is the CST, not the API, that tells you how well schools are conveying the information that kids will need to know excell in college."

    No, the API is a *summary statistic* of how the kids are doing. CSTs are meaningless without context.

    At 8th grade, 70% of English-fluent kids in SFUSD are proficient in Eng.lang. arts. So 20% are failing. Awful, eh? But 23% of kids in San Mateo/Foster City are below proficiency. 36% of Pacifica are below proficiency. *22% of English-fluent eight-graders at Woodside Elementary* are below proficiency.

    SFUSD even beats Woodside Elementary in the eighth grade Algebra I CST tests.

    [If you haven't been to Woodside, it's where the VCs go who can't stand the gritty urban hell of Atherton.]

    The idea that using API is burying the horrors of SFUSD education and that CST scores show the reality just ain't borne out. What it does show is that a naive alarmist approach to CST scores without context or reasonable comparisions, is misleading.
    The district actually does fairly well against comparisons with even the wealthy suburbs when you compare comparable demographics.

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  59. "The scores for Aptos, supposedly a "good" middle school ...."

    And how do the test scores at Aptos compare to Palo Alto when you control for demographics? Example, how are the CST and API scores for white kids at Aptos? Asian kids? For kids whose parents have a college or graduate education? (These markers describe Palo Alto, yes?). Why look, in these categories, Aptos's test scores are stellar too.

    You can't really compare the quality of two schools and label one "good" and the other "bad" unless you are comparing apples to apples.

    ReplyDelete
  60. 2:27 and 3:14:

    You're comments reflect the divide between parents and school administrators.

    Parents have to look out for their kids. Sure, they will consider a school with some rough edges. But they're not going to compromise their kids education.

    If a school has CST scores below %60, it's a no go as far as I'm concerned. I'm not putting my child in a class where 40% of the class is failing.

    I've had some friends that have tried this and invariably the teacher spends all their time with the struggling kids.

    So, like it or not, you an talk about demographics and API's all you want, but parents who can afford it will not put their child in an impaired, often dysfunctional and even dangerous learning environment.

    It is telling that East Palo Alto has CST scores that are comparable to supposedly good San Francisco Aptos Middle School.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Mr. Krause writes "...But you are immaterial. No need to worry though. You aren't real."


    Says the man who has a proven track record of posting under multiple aliases and insists they are different people.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Be nice to incoming Kindergarten parents! For a year or more everyone has been telling them "No need to even start learning about the process because it will change so much by the time you get there." So now they're there, it's changed and is very different than the one parents of currently enrolled kids went through, and of course they need to get up to speed. Sheesh. Give folks a break. Anyway, what they're facing is very different from what those of us who enrolled in the past ten years or so faced, so we'll be learning from them.

    ReplyDelete
  63. 5:32, actually I'm 3:14 and I'm a parent -- not a school administrator.

    First of all, by your own numbers, Aptos makes the grade, as aggregate CST scores are 60% and above proficient with lots of 70% in there too.*** Pretty amazing with a school as diverse as Aptos, with over 50% free/reduced lunch, significant ELL, and more Latino kids than Mann and Everett combined.

    But beyond that, here is where you are wrong about the school experience at Aptos. You are making a huge assumption about the classroom experience based on lump-sum test scores at a very diverse school.

    In terms of classroom experience day to day, at Aptos there is something of a divide between the so-called honors classes and the so-called GE classes. If you looked at the CST scores of the honors classes, they would look more like those Palo Alto. The scores for the GE classes would look more like those of East Palo Alto.

    You talk about the importance of what goes on in the classroom, and time spent by the teachers dealing with struggling kids. I can tell you that in the honors classes at Aptos, which are the majority of classes now, kids are well-behaved in class and on task. With the CST scores to prove it. And by the way, there are some phenomenal teachers at Aptos.

    Now, tracking brings other issues. Not only the achievement gap issues, as GE kids trend poorer and browner than the honors track kids. There are also, believe it or not, families who have one kid who is Lowell-bound and another who for various reasons, despite coming from a focused, middle class family, is not going to make it in an honors class (and would suffer in many a high-pressure suburban classroom too).

    I chose Aptos (over James Lick), honestly, because of the honors track, which is most appropriate for my kid. And in some sense that makes me no different from the parent who flees to private school or the wealthy burbs. Yet as a member of the community I feel a sense of responsibility to the kids who are not in those classes. And one thing is that we do get to know those kids too, through electives and activities. We'll be having a sleepover this weekend with a kid who comes from poverty and is in the GE classes. So that is a difference from Palo Alto, where SES diversity is lacking due to the gated-community effect of housing costs.

    The reality is that there are many contradictary values in play. We haven't figured out yet how to deal completely well with diversity. My point is that it is possible to get a good public education in this city, that it doesn't require running away completely. Nor do I advocate sacrificing your child to some diversity altar and putting him/her in a crazy classroom. There is middle ground. There is nuance. There are compromises. Sometimes on this blog you see so much all-or-nothing rhetoric. Lots of us are seeing our kids do well in public. And that is not to discount the challenges of an urban district, either (though I'd bet good money it's a way better district than many of CA's rural districts, by far, in terms of teachers, program offerings, and much else).

    Can we please acknowledge the grey areas, the competing values, and possibility that one person's experience is not another's? That Aptos can be a good choice for many a middle class kid, and many others too, and may also still have issues to work on, particularly in serving its diverse population (just as East Palo Alto must)? Nuance....real life.

    I'm glad to say our new principal seems to care a lot about the GE and special needs kids, and is focused on raising expectations and achievement for all the kids. He's a no-nonsense leadership guy (other than reading out a very funny announcement on the PA every morning about "this day in history").

    ***The exception is Algebra, at 48%, but that is because they *just* moved everyone into Algebra last year and tested on it instead of pre-Algebra. We hope this will shift upward.

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  64. Non-economically disadvantaged kids at Aptos score in the high zone in terms of proficiency. And white and Asian kids there score above 900 on the API. Scores track demographics.

    What is more interesting is that their disadvantaged kids, even the Latino and AA kids, where there is an achievement gap definitely, do score higher than at some of the non-diverse schools on the east side of town. Proficiency levels still too low, but not as low as the schools where 90% of the kids are poor, Black, Latino.

    It is the outliers that you want to look at with scores. Otherwise it is just the Affluent Parent Index. And break them down into sub-groups for sure.

    Diverse schools like Aptos can be very good experiences, as there is enough critical mass to support the high achievers and to support the low achievers--if there is good leadership to make it happen. The new principal is good.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "First of all, by your own numbers, Aptos makes the grade, as aggregate CST scores are 60% and above proficient with lots of 70% in there too."


    2010 Aptos 8th Grade Algebra I CST Score:

    48%.


    2010 Lilienthal 8th Grade Algebra I CST Score:

    75%.


    2010 Costano K-8 (East Palo Alto), 8th Grade Algebra I CST Score:

    50%


    2010 Denman Middle School, 8th Grade Algebra I CST Score:

    29%

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  66. Banned and proud of itOctober 6, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    "Says the man who has a proven track record of posting under multiple aliases and insists they are different people."

    Only a low life coward of the worst kind would make such a charge anonymously. Hello? It is YOU that is posting anonymously and hiding from view, not me.

    FYI, I was banned from SF Schools for supposedly making a "head up your ass" comment ( big deal), although no one on the blog ever saw it with the exception of a couple of people, including Caroline who had no problem carrying on an extensive email relationship with me afterwards, even though I was singled out for blame. In the meantime on the very same day the moderator had told the poster of the comments to go fuck himself or something like that. What a bunch of pathetic fools.

    I already explained that this mix up was the result of my neighbor using my unsecured wireless router. But the fact is that I was not banned for using different names as you have said. I was banned for making a "head up your ass' comment.

    As long as I am being blamed for it I might as well tell this anonymous, gutless, scum-sucking bottom feeding subhuman that s/he should focus on something new for a change. She's like one of those characters in "Mean Girls" who just enjoys fucking with people for the ghoulish pleasure.

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  67. And while I'm at it I might as well tell everyone that the public schools lost 3 billion more today. Half of that will negated by accounting tricks, but that is still millions less for SFUSD this year and next. So while we are having this ridiculous mud wrestling match and deliberating the merits of gardening, the rulers are steal your childrens' futures.

    Will Mr. Garcia reconsider adding millions to the central office budget with yet another one of his pathetic reorganizations? Hell no.

    Sloat Gardening Center has good prices on manure.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thank you so much for taking the time to post. Folks, those of you who are sick of reading posts from the perspective of someone going through the process for the first time should check the name of this blog. It's not called "experienced parents with older children files.". That said, I think the posting makes me a bit sympathetic for the public schools- in an era of budget cuts, pink slips- sf parents are asking for the moon. My priorities are three-fold 1) my child is safe at school, 2) my child has an experienced teacher with excellent classroom management skills, 3) the school has a track record of academic excellence or is improving. Of course things like immersion, gardens, etc are great. But at the end of the day, for me, the daughter of a 1st grade teacher, it's the staff and their ability to manage students and bolster student enthusiasm that matters. not the frills that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  69. "Says the man who has a proven track record of posting under multiple aliases and insists they are different people."

    Only a complete subhuman would post this falsehood and do so anonymously. How is it you are any better than that which you accuse me of?

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  70. Oy veh. Why does Don wreck every single thread? I've never seen anyone so determined to ruin a blog. He claims he hates it, yet posts constantly. Clearly he's like those
    plants in 60s activist groups who just went to foment misery and drive the group toward breaking up. Let's not fall for it.

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  71. "Sloat Gardening Center has good prices on manure."

    Wow. Don, thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I like Don's POV. The triteness of the Kfiles stands in stark contrast to Don's bread and butter analysis of SFUSD, the Board, and Stste and Federal policies. If some people want him silenced it is only to avoid the displeasure of appearing silly.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Anonymous said...

    "I like Don's POV. The triteness of the Kfiles stands in stark contrast to Don's bread and butter analysis of SFUSD, the Board, and Stste and Federal policies. If some people want him silenced it is only to avoid the displeasure of appearing silly."

    Whatever you say Don.

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  74. Clearly he's like those
    plants in 60s activist groups who just went to foment misery and drive the group toward breaking up.

    Can someone explain what this means?

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  75. Anyone who agrees with Don must be Don?

    Is it Don who is making the blog revolve around him or is it others who wish to create this impression?

    Reviewing this thread I can't help but chuckle a little. Don drops the news of billions more and not a peep from the concerned parents on this blog. But get the chance to pile on Don and they are on-the-job. Now I know what Don meant by his comparison to Desperate Housewives.

    I don't agree with everything he says, but at least his interests seem to be in students and education. That's what really matters.

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  76. Anonymous said...

    "Anyone who agrees with Don must be Don?"

    No, but given his history...one can never be certain.

    "Is it Don who is making the blog revolve around him or is it others who wish to create this impression?"

    Keep in mind that he has a proven history of doing just that on the sfschools list. That's something to consider when you read posts of admiration, support, and agreement with what he might write within minutes of him writing it. Of course, I agree with most of what he has to say about things SFUSD...and I'm not him.

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  77. I said it before and I'll say it again, I was not banned from SF Schools for posting with aliases. Nor did I post with aliases. The posts came from a neighbor who used my unsecured router to create his own scenarios as a practical joke.

    The reason given for being banned was for making a crude comment . I made no crude comment although I will say that the moderator made a very crude one on the very same day. But I would like to make one now. However, I will not give the sickos out their the vicarious pleasure they seek.

    The only reason this story continues is because one person out there (and she knows who she is) has some kind of weird fixation on me. If you want to know what loonyness defined is read her old blog.

    And if Caroline (not the person I just referred to) was so upset by the crude comment that was made and if she believed I made it, why did she continue a lengthy email correspondence with me afterwards, a correspondence that included dozens of discussions and hundreds of emails? There is something wrong with the picture. But people will almost always go along with the lowest common denominator.

    Even if the story as told were true, what would this criticism say coming from those who hide anonymously on a daily basis on this blog? You have no right to accuse anyone of having an alias when you yourself haven't the self-respect to post in name. Shockingly bad behavior.

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  78. "You're comments reflect the divide between parents and school administrators."

    2:27 here, and I'm a parent, not some SFUSD plant.

    The district for East Palo Alto has a 40% proficiency level for CST Algebra I at Grade 8 for English-proficient kids.
    SFUSD has 61%. As pointed out above, Woodside Elementary has a 60% proficiency level for CST Algebra. There are stronger districts (like San Bruno), but also much weaker ones (e.g. most of Daly City, Brisbane).

    Is there more data you want to cherrypick?

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  79. Mr Krause writes: "Only a complete subhuman would post this falsehood and do so anonymously."

    It isn't a falsehood. It is why you were banned from the sfschools group. You were caught red-handed posting under multiple identities: shinodon, donovanr77, robin_neary51 (and probably others).

    If you need a reminder, I can easily post links publicly here to all the message threads where proof was provided that you had multiple sock puppets.

    How do I know this? I'm the one who collected the email forensic details and provided the proof. That should clear up any concerns you might have about my identity given that I choose not to register on this blog.


    I imagine you're doing something similar on this blog. I don't really care. But seeing you, of all people, complaining about fictitious characters was too much to let slide by.

    Why not just stick with posting under only one identity? You have a lot of informed viewpoints about things SFUSD which are worth reading. Its rather hypocritical to complain about posters you feel are not real...when you have been guilty in spades of that very same sort of deception.

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  80. I explained in full twice in the last 12 hours but both comments were removed. However the same person that keeps making the charge over and over again does have a history of making false charges and doing so anonymously. She wears her anonymity like a badge of honor.

    If Caroline Grannan,(not the person referenced above) was so displeased with an SF Schools comment for which I was accused of making, why did she carry on an extensive email correspondence with me for months afterwards and still communicate with me to this day?

    If you anonymous SF Kfiles posters are so concerned with truth and honesty I can post personal emails from Rachel Norton in which she outright refuses to hand over documents that are public records.

    These are just ad hominem attacks designed to thwart nonliberal views. It was the same on SF Schools forum. If the moderator there was so concerned about the cleanliness of commentary he would not have a "shut the fuck up" comment himself the same day he accused me.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Mr Krause writes: "Only a complete subhuman would post this falsehood and do so anonymously."

    It isn't a falsehood. It is why you were banned from the sfschools group. You were caught red-handed posting under multiple identities: shinodon, donovanr77, robin_neary51 (and probably others).

    If you need a reminder, I can easily post links publicly here to all the message threads where proof was provided that you had multiple sock puppets.

    How do I know this? I'm the one who collected the email forensic details and provided the proof. That should clear up any concerns you might have about my identity given that I choose not to register on this blog.


    I imagine you're doing something similar on this blog. I don't really care. But seeing you, of all people, complaining about fictitious characters was too much to let slide by.

    Why not just stick with posting under only one identity? You have a lot of informed viewpoints about things SFUSD which are worth reading. Its rather hypocritical to complain about posters you feel are not real...when you have been guilty in spades of that very same sort of deception.

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  82. Mr Krause writes: "Only a complete subhuman would post this falsehood and do so anonymously."

    It isn't a falsehood. It is why you were banned from the sfschools group. You were caught red-handed posting under multiple identities: shinodon, donovanr77, robin_neary51 (and probably others).

    If you need a reminder, I can easily post links publicly here to all the message threads where proof was provided that you had multiple sock puppets.

    How do I know this? I'm the one who collected the email forensic details and provided the proof. That should clear up any concerns you might have about my identity given that I choose not to register on this blog.


    I imagine you're doing something similar on this blog. I don't really care. But seeing you, of all people, complaining about fictitious characters was too much to let slide by.

    Why not just stick with posting under only one identity? You have a lot of informed viewpoints about things SFUSD which are worth reading. Its rather hypocritical to complain about posters you feel are not real...when you have been guilty in spades of that very same sort of deception.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "SFUSD has 61%."

    Yes, the SFUSD may have an CST Algebra I proficiency level, but east side middle schools scores are in the 30% range. (below East Palo Alto.)

    Seattle lives in the SE. Many prospective K-8 parents live in the SE.

    For these parents, it's important to point out that the quality of SE middle schools is below that of East Palo Alto.

    With the streaming that is likely to be implemented next year, SE parents will be facing schools with math standards that are at or below the standards of East Palo Alto middle schools.

    I'm sure that Beth Weise and other Mandarin immersion parents are pressuring hard for a separate Mandarin immersion middle school. Wouldn't want to have to deal with the reality that the rest of SE parents have to face for there kids, now would you?

    ReplyDelete
  84. It's not all that important, but Seattle says she lives in the northwest (west of Webster and north of Noriega, as she outlines it). She chose the name of Seattle (NW), not Atlanta (SE).

    It is important that parents will lose citywide choice of schools when feeder patterns are approved. Are you southeast parents happy about that?

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  85. 11:34 What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  86. Another SE parent here:

    I'm not unhappy about losing citywide choice for the SE.

    I just wish that the middle schools here in the SE were better.

    Given the fact that Lick sits in the middle of Noe, where you can't even think about a single family home purchase for less than a million, you'd expect that the test scores would be better. But as we know, the assignment system of the last ten years has flushed all the Noe locals into private and parochial schools.

    I love living in the South East of San Francisco. I love the sun. I love that I can find parking. I love that it is easy to get South.
    I love Noe, Valencia and the Mission District.

    But it irks me no end to see Mandarin immersion types such as Beth Weise ramble on about the glories of open border policies and then watch her shelter her children in a Mandarin immersion program.

    Virtually all of the most vocal advocates for close-the-achievement-gap and open-the-borders, aka David Campos, do not have their kids in SE middle schools.

    So, in short, I don't want citywide choice. What I want is for the city to fix SE schools. I want the city to adhere to federal law regarding illegal immigrants and I want the SFUSD to check city residence and income status as rigorously as Palo Alto does.

    Then maybe we could have a sustainable and supportable population of "high needs" kids in SE schools, with the possibility of helping them, and still maintain an acceptable academic standard in SE schools.

    Without that, it's all smoke, mirrors and bubble gum.

    I find the obfuscation, hypocrisy and self servingness of the Mandarin immersion crown to be particularly galling.

    ReplyDelete
  87. 12:39, you make some very good points. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I meant "Mandarin immersion crowd" (not "crown").

    ReplyDelete
  89. 12:39: YOU ROCK! well said.

    ReplyDelete
  90. All you fed up southeast parents, what are you going to do about it? Complaining on this blog isn't going to change a thing.

    ReplyDelete
  91. "But as we know, the assignment system of the last ten years has flushed all the Noe locals into private and parochial schools."

    I'm sorry, but that's just a load of bollocks. Ten years ago Noe parents were avoiding Alvarado.
    Five years ago they were avoiding Lick.

    It was an Alvarado parent who founded PPSSF 'cos she realized her neighbors were seriously disconnected on how good their local school was.

    The idea that parents fled the publics 'cos of the lottery system ain't historically accurate. If you look at the number and size of the parochial schools, they've shrank in the past 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Post anything you like. I already explained that the reason why the posts were linked to the same router was due to the fact that I was sharing that router with a neighbor-friend who was following the discussion and thought he would pipe under pseudonyms like most others. Whether anyone wants to accept that as fact is their decision not mine. If you are so hell bent on full disclosure why do you hide behind a false identity yourself? When you sign your name does it spell "anonymous"?

    You are the one wasting everyone's time with this old story that has NO RELEVANCE to all the potentially important issues that could be discussed here.

    I will continue to bash those that are afraid to exercise their 1st Amendment rights and you can keep accusing me.

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  93. "The idea that parents fled the publics 'cos of the lottery system ain't historically accurate. If you look at the number and size of the parochial schools, they've shrank in the past 30 years."

    The number of children attending school in San Francisco has shrunk considerably in the last thirty years. A better statistic would be a relative number of public versus private.

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  94. Use of the word "ain't" does not strengthen the case for public schools.

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  95. If there were any city-wide SAS advocates running for BOE, we could rally behind them. However, as far as I can see, all of the current crop of BOE candidates are advocating for "neighborhood schools" and/or voted for them while on the BOE (Maufus, Mendoza), which may well reflect the fact that West-side residents are overrepresented among likely voters.

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  96. 3:00,
    then you need to push the issue yourselves. Collect signatures for a ballot initiative to make school assignment the way you want it. Prove that on a citywide basis, that is what most people want as well.

    The Students First group gathered signatures for neighborhood schools. Organize yourselves for school choice.

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  97. fed up SE parent said...

    "If there were any city-wide SAS advocates running for BOE, we could rally behind them. However, as far as I can see, all of the current crop of BOE candidates are advocating for "neighborhood schools" and/or voted for them while on the BOE (Maufus, Mendoza), which may well reflect the fact that West-side residents are overrepresented among likely voters."

    This operates on the false premise that only west-side residents want neighborhood schools and/or no west-side residents want school choice to be the law of the land.

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  98. "The number of children attending school in San Francisco has shrunk considerably in the last thirty years. A better statistic would be a relative number of public versus private."

    As there's been increases in the applications at the K-level in the past three years, including a 10% jump in 2008, the idea the old lottery was driving parents away is a hard hypothesis to justify.

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  99. "I already explained that the reason why the posts were linked to the same router was due to the fact that I was sharing that router with a neighbor-friend who was following the discussion and thought he would pipe under pseudonyms like most others"

    The really awful thing Don, is not that you think that might convince us, but that you've actually convinced yourself.

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  100. 7:47pm Oct 6, who keeps saying Aptos scores are equivalent to East Palo Alto's:

    Your evidence for this is the ONE low score (48% proficiency) on the Algebra I test. You conveniently ignore the many scores in the 60-70% proficiency range across all three grade levels--scores you yourself said would be acceptable to you. The previous poster had explained the Algebra I results--it was administered to a class that was the first to take Algebra I across the board, even in the GE classes. They had not had the expectations/preparation for this class compared to the current 6th and 7th graders in GE who are now on the track for Algebra I in the 8th grade.

    [Additional info: The tip-top Aptos math students are actually now being given an honors-plus class that leads to Algebra I in 7th and high school geometry in 8th--this is in addition to the regular honors track and the new Algebra track in GE].

    The idea is that with higher expectations and a concerted effort by the teachers with support from the school, math scores can be raised across the board--higher for kids of all levels, whether GATE or GE or special ed. But the program is just beginning. That is why the 48% last year....in contrast to the other scores of 60-70% across the board at Aptos, where scores have climbed in recent years.

    7:47, is wrong, or at least lazy, to cherry-pick that one score to make your point--and it ignores the context that the school is seeking to improve the education of non-honors-identified kids. Which is a GOOD thing. Even if scores lag for a couple of years. If you care about improving education, why not try to improve schools here in SF, rather than insist that everyone should move to Palo Alto (as if we could, as if they wouldn't face the same issues if we all moved en masse).

    No, you, 7:47, with your need to prove your point, did not take that explanation about Algebra I changes into account. Nor did you consider all the scores--just the one that "proved" that Aptos is an unnacceptable school for good middle class families, which is a load of bunk. High-SES kids do very, very, very well at Aptos.

    Aptos is also a good--and improving--school for low-SES kids, by the way. It is not perfect by any means. The scores and the demographics evident in the tracking are demonstrations of the race and income achievement gaps. But kids at risk are doing better, generally, at Aptos than they are in more segregated schools across town. And there are efforts underway to address the gaps, by focusing on special education inclusion (kids of color are often mis-labeled and warehoused in SPED) and on improving the GE track.

    Sorry for the long post, but these "facts" 7:47 put forth just have to be refuted, because they are being used to support a big lie.

    Middle class families: definitely check out Aptos.

    Everyone: support changes such as those being made at Aptos to improve education for all our kids, including for special ed and low-SES kids.

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  101. "But it irks me no end to see Mandarin immersion types such as Beth Weise ramble on about the glories of open border policies and then watch her shelter her children in a Mandarin immersion program."

    Beth sends her kids to Starr King. Starr King was routed to Horace Mann in the proposed feeder system.

    I think she doesn't need a lecture from you about the virtues of citywide versus feeder for MS assignment.

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  102. I don't know that I've ever rambled on "about the glories of open border policies."
    Did I? I don't recall having done so. I'm not even sure what that means.
    We are sheltered in the Mandarin immersion program. I'm fully aware of that. Though many families (mine included) weren't so sure of it back in 2007 when we started there and folks on tours kept asking us about how many gun battles there were in the projects next to the school (none that I've ever been aware of, was my answer.)
    My only plea for any parent is to go visit a school before they talk smack about it. Once you've seen it with your own eyes, you're welcome to do so. I've certainly dissed many a school in my time. but I try really hard to only do so about ones I've set foot in.

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  103. "The really awful thing Don, is not that you think that might convince us, but that you've actually convinced yourself."

    You are a fucking moron.

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  104. I agree with everything Don Krause has ever said or done.

    Truly,

    Donovanr77

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  105. guys, come on, chill out. it's just a blog.

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  106. 12:39 -

    your post makes me sick.

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  107. Don and Katy, please take your bickering off this list. Thank you.

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  108. 9:51 and 12:39:

    Your bitterness is clouding your judgment. You are saying things about people that aren't even true. If you are going to personally criticize or assign beliefs to an individual or group, it would be good if you've actually ever talked to them about it instead of theorizing what you think they believe.

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  109. 8:36 PM:

    Take some gravol.

    I'm not Don or Katy, but I did write the post at 12:39 yesterday.
    (Annoying SE parent who writes about the truth.)

    3:57 PM: No doubt, families will be scrambling to get into Aptos this year. I'm sorry if I pointed out that half of the Grade 8 class flunked Algebra I this year.

    Aptos is doing many things right. It is great that they have a good SES program.

    My point in putting up Algebra CST scores is not to trash schools. However, if you have any professional aspirations for your children, or anyone else's children, they are going to have to excell in Algebra.

    Unfortunately, after the middle school assignment system is tabled next year, Aptos, mediocre as it is, will probably not be an option for SE families.

    Beth Weise:
    Contrary to your suggestion about people making comments without visiting schools, I have visited many elementary and middle schools in the South East of the city.

    And yes, Beth, I did catch you once shunning Paul Revere School as being too challenged to consider for your children.

    I'm sure those kids in the projects that you parade forward at every opportunity have at the top of their list that they want to take Mandarin Immersion classes.

    Lobbying hard for that Mandarin Immersion middle school? No doubt, Kim-Shree Maufas will happily sign off on that.

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  110. Aptos is doing many things right. It is great that they have a good SES program.

    My point in putting up Algebra CST scores is not to trash schools. However, if you have any professional aspirations for your children, or anyone else's children, they are going to have to excell in Algebra.

    Unfortunately, after the middle school assignment system is tabled next year, Aptos, mediocre as it is, will probably not be an option for SE families.


    I have no problem with you posting the CST score. It is real. I just disagree with how you used it as a cudgel, without trying to understand it.

    Total agreement that children need to excel in algebra to succeed. It is a marker for future success, including high school graduation. That is why Aptos is pushing all kids to reach for algebra, rather than tracking some kids (low-income Latino and AA kids, mainly) out of it.

    The results for the kids who just started this program, without strong preparation--in actual teaching and in expectations--in 6th and 7th grades was predictably not good. They brought down the scores of the other half of the school. If you look at previous years' scores, you'll see that the kids who took the Algebra I CST in the past at Aptos scored well into the 70%s. That same demographic--largely white, Asian, and/or high-SES, scored very well last year too. The average score went way down because the GE kids were in the mix.

    The point is that the school has embarked on a program to raise achievement in math for all the kids. With new expectations in place, which have been transmitted through the teaching staff as well, the hope is that achievement will rise in the 6th and 7th grade pre-Alg classes and eventually manifest in the 8th grade scores as well.

    Meanwhile, the honors classes continue to teach Algebra I as well, and the highest math achievers are being offered an even higher-level class with Alg I in 7th and high school geometry in 8th. So if your child is high-achieving in math, he/she will have access to that class, which rivals anything offered in Palo Alto, while the school is also trying to address the needs of low-achieving kids whose demographics are similar to East Palo Alto's.

    How does this approach make Aptos "mediocre"? High-SES kids have phenomenal scores. Low-SES kids are being addressed (long way to go, but in process). By your lights, the only approach is to wall yourself in with high achievers, and call that excellence, but that doesn't address the need to raise everyone's achievement. You say you speak "truth," but it's more like "truthiness" if you just throw the numbers around without context.

    Re southeast SF access to Aptos--there I agree with you. I hate the feeder pattern idea and hope that whatever they come up with does not exclude Aptos from the southeast. Lots of Latino families (300+, more than in Mann + Everett) are already there, and it would be a shame to stop them from picking it.

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  111. 11:10 AM:

    Again, my point in putting up the Algebra numbers wasn't to "dis" Aptos.

    Thanks for the additional information about programming at Aptos. It sounds great.

    My point, in my posts from yesterday, it that many schools in San Francisco are *not* Aptos. They don't have *any* honors programs. And there general programs are worthy of a third world country.

    We can't carry on with current policies (the ones I mentioned yesterday) and expect to uphold an academic curriculum. Schools on the east side carry the brunt of these policies.

    But, just to keep up appearances, let's pretend that we have a good school system. It'll look good for Kim, Kim-Shree, David, Hydra and all the other upwardly mobile Dems.

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  112. You do realize that we did have a citywide SAS for many years up to last year? There was so much griping about it and not enough opposition when the neighborhood schools people lobbied to change it that it was changed to what it is now. I liked the citywide system better. I thought it was more fair for more people. This back and forth debate has been going on forever.

    But your insults, half truths, rantings and unsupported statements are not helping things in SE schools.

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  113. I am just flabbergasted that someone would attack BW on this blog. (And...for what exactly? No, wait, forget I asked.) I've met her only a few times, but I know she has done so much for Starr King, the Mandarin Immersion program, and prospective SFUSD familes. On top of all that, she has been consistently gracious and helpful on this blog, as well as on various Yahoo groups.

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  114. ^^^ and anonymous attacks, at that. If you are going to call someone out (especially a non-elected parent volunteer), have the guts to put your name on it.

    unfortunately, there is a tone that comes through many of that person's posts that seems like misdirected rage. some facts are correct, some points are on target, and then there are the endless complaints about immigrants, the un-nuanced broadsides against "mediocre" schools with no understanding of the diversity or programs underlying them, and .... the strangely personal attacks against Beth.

    On top of which, I believe this person is in a relatively privileged situation with a kid in private school, so the personal sense of rage seems way outsized for the circumstances.

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  115. 1:31 and 2:10,
    Thank you. I generally don't mind hearing points of view that I don't agree with but these posts are way out of line.

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  116. Goodness, perhaps you have the wrong Beth Weise. I certainly don't recall ever having entertained Paul Revere as a school, good or bad. We were pretty set on Mandarin immersion.
    And I don't believe I've ever paraded anyone forward.
    You seem to bear me some personal animosity that I don't quite understand. Again, perhaps there's another Beth out there you're thinking of? If I knew your name, I might have a better understanding of your anger, but as I don't, I can't really address it.

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  117. Back to your original question.

    I think most schools have the things on your first list. Some of it might be subjective, but of all the schools (public, private and parochial) I visited they all had these things. I think to not have these things would make a school kind of dysfunctional. These are basic requirements. And from your secondary list, the art, music and science I think is generally offered in most schools too. There may be varying degrees of it, but in general from what I saw most offer art or music or both once a week and science is a standard curriculum.

    So I would concentrate on what works logistically and what you have a realistic chance of getting into and look for the items on your secondary list from there.

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  118. Writing from the SE side here. Not having choice at the middle school level is, quite simply, untenable. While we may go public for elementary, we are not going public for middle if the feeder system holds. This is independent of the question of WHICH middle school we are assigned to (right now it's Mann, but I can think of many that would be a terrible choice for different reasons). Middle school is where kids fall off the achievement grid, largely due to the peer group they choose, and you are lucky if your kid is a band geek or an actor, or invested in any activity that keeps him/her focused and provides a social life you consider safe. At middle school more than any other moment, you and your kid need to be able to find a school that feels right.

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  119. Just a note that 8:02 AM is 10:35 from yesterday.

    8:02AM:

    I'm not convinced that having citywide choice will improve the options for SE families.

    As the baby boomlet hits middle school, there will simply be too many families trying to opt out of SE middle schools to make it work.

    So either way, feeder system, or current "choice" system, I don't think the chances of SE families finding a good public middle school are very good.

    It's true that kids struggle to avoid gang behavior in our poorer SE middle schools. Even not-at-risk kids mostly end up in trouble. I've seen it happen. Peer pressure in middle school is immense.

    SE parents really need to be thinking ahead. It's tempting to focus on the kindergarten teacher, but what we really need to be doing is thinking about middle school.

    Beth, I'm going to get off your case. I know what I heard you say. Granted, it was a few years ago. Suffice it to say that Mandarin Immersion does nothing to help the most struggling demographic groups in the SE.

    The board needs to demonstrate to SE parents that it has a viable plan to improve SE middle schools that goes beyond assignment systems.

    Not bitter, but concerned, 10:35am from yesterday.

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  120. Re improving middle schools, beyond assignment. I'm a current middle school parent and I hate the feeder idea. But you all should know that there is more focus on improving middle schools right now than I have ever seen before in SFUSD.

    I know Don hates the various new administrative districts created by Supt. Garcia, but on the ground we have seen much more in the way of support and resources and responsiveness from the district through this system, which links middle schools geographically. There is a focus on improving special education, and on raising expectations (for example, expecting all 8th graders to take algebra as noted above in the Aptos discussion) and providing teachers with resources to do that.

    The jury is still out as to whether or not this pays off for our at-risk kids. That is the group I would be worried about, because the middle class+ kids do fine. I suppose a few middle class kids fall off the grid at this age, honestly, I haven't seen it in my kids or their many friends. They actually seem more polite and friendly and grown-up than I remember me and my friends being at the same age. They pull back from parents, yes. They are sometimes moody and sometimes obnoxious. But overall, not in gangs, not heading for juvie. Right now the 8th graders are focused on high schools and I see them taking that search seriously.

    But the at-risk kids, who are not primed for success, they do need extra support. For the first time, I am seeing that happen. I think prospective parents may not be aware of that though, since all the focus on this blog and generally is on the assignment system and not what is happening in the classroom.

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  121. "I suppose a few middle class kids fall off the grid at this age, honestly, I haven't seen it in my kids or their many friends."

    What middle school are you at? Is there a critical mass of at-risk kids there? Do your kids' friends go to schools with a critical mass of at-risk kids?

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  122. "I suppose a few middle class kids fall off the grid at this age, honestly, I haven't seen it in my kids or their many friends."

    What middle school are you at? Is there a critical mass of at-risk kids there? Do your kids' friends go to schools with a critical mass of at-risk kids?

    Aptos. So, yes. My kid is good friends (as in, sleep over at our house) with a couple of kids who can easily be classified as "at-risk" in a number of ways. From neighborhoods people here might avoid. They are nice kids. We have some funny conversations across cultural gaps, but that's been fine. My kid has not appeared to suffer any adverse effects from these associations in terms of either school work or behavior. In my presence at least, these friends are super-polite, usually offer to help with the dishes (I wave them off), and we have great conversations in the car and over dinner. I love these kids. I think the mixing has been good on all sides--eyes opened in all directions.

    I tend to think the ideal is that there is not a critical mass of poverty and risk factors. Aptos is highly diverse but is not overwhelmed by high levels of poverty.

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  123. Aptos Middle School has 54% free or reduced lunch kids and 19% English Language Learners.

    With this demographic, Aptos is still struggling to prepare its students for high school Algebra.

    The demographic in south east middle schools is much more challenged than that of Aptos. You can verify that yourself on the greatschools website.

    So again, I don't see how your Aptos experience applies to SE middle schools. Moreover, Aptos won't be available to SE families once the feeder system is implemented.

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  124. 8:30pm, Aptos parent again here.

    I'm well aware of the demographics of Aptos and how they compare to the SE middle schools.

    Interestingly, the 54% free/reduced lunch number at Aptos is just about exactly the same as the district as a whole, and the demographics of Aptos are a close mirror of the district as a whole--with the exception that Aptos has a higher percentage of Latino students (30% instead of 23%) and slightly fewer white and Asian percentages. So Aptos is in fact quite diverse--more diverse in economic numbers and racial/ethnic diversity than Presidio, A.P Giannini, Claire Lilienthal, Alice Fong Yu; and also more diverse than Martin Luther King, Horace Mann, or Everett.

    The 19% ELL number is a bit misleading as many more of our families are ELL/immigrant; by middle school, their kids may have tested out of ELL but many of the issues remain.

    My point was that *diverse* schools are a good idea in a diverse district because they 1) avoid the concentrations of poverty and other factors that are overwhelming our SE schools; and 2) don't, in my experience, have to have adverse effects on the higher-achieving students.

    Thus, I hate the feeder pattern that seems to concentrate higher- and lower-achieving kids into respective walled communities. I would like to see more opportunity to create diversity. Aptos looks like the district as a whole. More schools could also look like Aptos in terms of diversity. This could also be a good thing for academic achievement. That is how the experience at Aptos applies to the SE schools. We don't have to have segregation.

    Finally I'm not sure I would say that Aptos is "struggling" to prepare students for 8th grade algebra and beyond. I would say that honors kids are already on that track. The school is in a process of setting and meeting similar standards for GE kids. In a couple of years we'll have more of a benchmark for that.

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  125. "My point was that *diverse* schools are a good idea"

    Yes, diverse schools are a good idea, especially when a modicum of academic teaching can be upheld.

    Unfortunately, this is not the case in SE middle schools. Moreover, SE middle schools are *not* diverse.

    Also, the 54% free and reduced lunch number is less than the average for the city, which fluctuates at about 60%. It's also not carrying its fair share of ELL kids.

    So even Aptos is not carrying its fair share of poor kids. Instead, they're herded into failing SE middle schools.

    Even if you could somehow magically redistribute the populations of poor and ELL kids through the city, which can't be practically done, the numbers tell us that these integrated schools would have a demographic that is more challenged than Aptos.

    Many San Franciscans continue to cling to the notion that diversity is *always* good, They have their kids in a protected west side school like Aptos or Lilienthal, or in private school, or don't have kids.

    So *please* stop rambling on about Aptos. It's not relevant to the discussion about SE middle schools or the reality that SE parents are facing for their kids.

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  126. 8:28. Check your facts. You are doing the truthiness thing again.

    Weren't you just arguing that Aptos is an East Palo Alto-style ghetto gangland? And now you say it is a protected, privileged community? As this doesn't make any sense, what's your real beef here?

    Free/reduced lunch is in the mid-50s% for SFUSD. It's up with the recession, but not up to 60% as far as I know. (Please offer a cite if you know differently.)

    If all the schools were balanced according to the district's demographics, they would look a lot like Aptos. They would have a few more Asians and fewer Latinos, and more ELLs, but close. The GreatSchools stats are a year out of date, and Aptos has had a surge of Latino kids who have raised both the Latino% and the ELL%. The % of white and Asian kids has held steady, and AAs have dropped in favor of Latinos. The school's numbers overall have increased. But Aptos is certainly carrying a fair share of at-risk kids.

    You are really arguing that Aptos is a "protected west side school" like Claire Lilienthal or a private school? If it's not serving the an overwhelmingly poor group it must be rich?

    The stats tell you Aptos is in the middle. Eight years ago considered "ghetto" and an unacceptable school, it is now a diverse school. A.P., CL, Presidio, AFY not so much. MLK and Everett, not. Town and Brandeis and La Parouse, not.

    Well, actually I don't have stats on Town and Brandeis and La Parouse but I'm pretty sure they don't have more than half free/reduced lunch kids and close to 40% Latino and AA kids. Again, please offer a citation if I am wrong on this point.

    I agree it would be difficult to balance all our schools demographically. That's been the nut of all the debate around a student assignment system, no? But the proposed feeder school idea would move the district and Aptos away from diversity. Whereas the old lottery system did allow for Aptos to become the most diverse middle school in the city. A key piece has been accessibility to diverse SES families via school bus and public transport.

    I agree with you that the SE carries a heavier load than other neighborhoods. That is of course exactly why many SE parents are sending their kids to Aptos, including Latino families from Hillcrest and various Mission schools. So Aptos is, this year and next year (since choice with CTIP1 preference will rule the day) very relevant to SE families.

    It is also relevant to note that the new feeder patterns have not yet been drawn, and SE parents can fight for a chance to be fed into a school like Aptos--which, again, is fairly accessible to the SE by public transport. Or even better, to preserve the system of choice with CTIP to give SE parents a leg up.

    So what's your beef, again? It feels like you just want to whine about how screwed the SE parents are, including presumably yourself. Is that your excuse for sending your child to private school? I don't judge that choice, or any parents' individual choice. I just want you to stop dissing schools to make this big exaggerated truthy whine about how the system screwed you.

    The truth about our schools is much more mixed and nuanced. High-SES kids like yours and mine do have options and generally do well as long as their is a critical mass of academically inclined kids. Again: diversity is good. Yes, we continue to have a problem with an achievement gap that is concentrated in the SE.

    Why not focus on solutions? There is no magic pill, but there are ideas that work. The point of talking about Aptos is not to say that it is perfect, but to talk about those ideas:

    * create / allow for diverse schools. They can work, where high-poverty schools are often overwhelmed.

    * set high expectations for all kids.

    So, 8:28. *Please* stop your truthy ramblings. They are misleading and therefore not helpful to others. I'm sorry you got screwed, but that is not the whole story. And maybe leave off the attacks on Beth and on immigrants too.

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  127. "Weren't you just arguing that Aptos is an East Palo Alto-style ghetto gangland?"

    I made no value judgement regarding Aptos or East Palo Alto schools. I posted the 8th grade CST Algebra I scores for Aptos and an East Palo Alto School. That's it. They're about the same. That's interesting in that people could buy a house in East Palo Alto for about $300,000 and get the same quality of education that they get at Aptos middle school, where houses cost a lot more.

    "And now you say it is a protected, privileged community?"

    Aptos has honors programs. Most SE middle schools don't. Aptos has 19% ELL kids. SE middle schools have upwards of 40% ELL kids.

    "As this doesn't make any sense, what's your real beef here?"

    No beef. Just trying to point out to SE parents the realities of SE middle schools.

    "It is also relevant to note that the new feeder patterns have not yet been drawn, and SE parents can fight for a chance to be fed into a school like Aptos--which, again, is fairly accessible to the SE by public transport."

    Are you saying that the entire South East side of San Francisco fight to get into Aptos? How would that work?

    "Or even better, to preserve the system of choice with CTIP to give SE parents a leg up."

    A choice system can't deal with the overwhelming demographic of San Francisco schools. We've taken on too much and as a result, many children do not have access to even bare bones schooling.

    "So, 8:28. *Please* stop your truthy ramblings. They are misleading and therefore not helpful to others." I'm sorry you got screwed, but that is not the whole story." And maybe leave off the attacks on Beth and on immigrants too."

    I don't see that publishing raw CST scores, which indicate that our SE middle schools are failing in the most dramatic way possible, is unhelpful or "truthy rambling." People have a right to information about the quality of San Francisco schools.

    "I'm sorry you got screwed, but that is not the whole story."

    You don't know anything about me or my family's situation. As an SE resident, it saddens me that our public schools are of such poor quality.

    "And maybe leave off the attacks on Beth and on immigrants too."

    Mandarin immersion is primarily desireable to white and Asian families. It does little to serve more needy Latino and AA families. Beth is the primary force behind the Mandarin immersion program. And she did say to me several years ago that a school in our SE neighborhood, Paul Revere School, was "too challenged" to consider for her kids.

    I am not "attacking" immigrants. However, it is more than clear that we can't turn a blind eye to residency enforcement and have an unlimited sanctuary policy without it costing us dearly in public school quality. It's pure politics that we aren't open about that. And I'm not the only one saying that. It's an open secret in the Latino community that newcomers are placing a huge burden on schools.

    Thus, the various appeasement programs such as the fake "choice" system and Mandarin immersion. They buy votes while allowing us to turn a blind eye to the true cost of unlimited sanctuary and unverified residency.

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  128. 1:13pm

    SE Parents are looking for answers. They can't hang their hopes on a wing and a prayer that Everett will turn into Aptos.

    My point in putting up the middle school Algebra scores is to point out that there may be better middle school options outside San Francisco. For instance, a nice home in sunny East Palo Alto costs between $300,000 and $400,000 whereas, a home in San Francisco near Aptos costs more than $1,000,000.

    Schools are of about the same quality, yet taxes and home prices are much higher near Aptos Middle School. A bad deal by any stretch of the imagination.

    Homes are also very expensive in SE, while schools are of even poorer quality than near Ocean Avenue.

    So, of course, families continue to leave San Francisco in droves.

    BTW, that was you, not I, that referred to East Palo Alto as a ghetto gangland. My Vietnamese friends don't seem to mind living there.

    As to "create / allow for diverse schools" . . .

    How is that supposed to work? Aren't we moving toward a feeder system? Are we supposed to funnel the entire population of the SE into west side schools? Didn't we just decide that we couldn't afford the driving burden that that places on SF families? VERY retro, that idea.

    "High-poverty schools are often overwhelmed."

    And will continue to be overwhelmed due to the fact that the poor live in the SE, or drive in from east and south of the city to the SE.

    "Why not focus on solutions?"

    Yes, I'm focused on solutions. Moving, parochial and private school, especially if armed in advance with the truth about SE middle schools, are solutions.

    Another solution would be to vote Maufas out off the BOE.

    Rambling done.

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  129. I totally understand feeling disappointed and worried about being fed into a middle school in the SE - particularly if you kids are going in the next year or 2.

    But I don't don't think it's going to be possible for all middle class families being fed there to opt out. I'm sure some will, but gradually more and more middle class students are going to go and the demographics of SE middle schools are going to change over time.

    I understand that it is worrisome to be facing middle school in the SE in the next few years, but as some one else said, the district does seem to be concentrating a lot of attention and money there when it hasn't before. I think there is room for optimism for the future. They delayed implementing the feeder plan so they can work out programming for those schools.

    Someone keeps repeating that change can't and won't happen in the SE but I wouldn't bet on that. I'm not saying that it will be smooth and fast change, but it can happen and it has happened at some schools already.

    I live in the SE and we would most likely be fed to a very low performing middle school. I think there are lots of hurdles to get past before the school will be viewed as desirable by many. But I think we should be constructive and truthful about criticism. We don't need people tearing things down here any more than necessary.

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  130. 10:33
    I like your post. I wish I had the optimism and energy that you have.
    I'm grateful that parents like you are out there- it gives me some hope.

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  131. My child attends San Francisco Public Montessori and I think it fits many of your criteria. It is also in your general neck of the woods (Jackson/Webster). Check out the website for more info: http://www.sfpublicmontessori.org/

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