Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Proposed Middle School Feeder Patterns - Update from BOE Meeting

Here is the list that was provided last night at the BOE meeting:

Aptos: Carver, Feinstein, Starr King, Ortega, Sloat
Denman: Lakeshore, Longfellow, Miraloma, Sheridan, Sunnyside
Everett: Chavez, Fairmont, Marshall, McKinley, Milk, Sanchez
Francisco: CEC, Chin, Garfield, Parker, Tenderloin, Yick Wo
Giannini: Drew, Grattan, Jefferson, Key, Stevenson, Sunset
Hoover: Monroe, Moscone, Serra, Ulloa, West Portal
ISA: Bryant, Webster
King: Hillcrest, Malcolm X, Taylor
Lick: Alvarado, Flynn, Glen Park, Harte, MEC, Muir
Marina: Lau, Montessori, Redding, Sherman, Spring Valley
Presidio: Alamo, Argonne, Clarendon, Lafayette, Parks
Roosevelt: CIS/DeAvila, Cobb, McCoppin, New Traditions, Peabody, Sutro
Vis Valley: CEC, Cleveland, El Dorado, Gaudalupe, Longfellow, Vis Valley ES

- Donna

375 comments:

  1. This seems like a strange list. Since I'm being lazy and not going to listen to the podcast, can anyone comment on why in the world they would feed Clarendon into Presidio? Presidio seems to be very heavy on strong schools and Clarendon isn't anywhere near Presidio.
    Also, I'm not familiar with where Hoover is, but a school that has Ulloa and Moscone- schools that couldn't be farther from each other- feeding into it also seems crazy.
    Maybe I'm missing something...

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  2. The Superintendent says that there is money for a 7th period in all middle schools. Immersion students have nothing to complain about, if this is true.

    There is not money, however, for much busing. Spending money on busing, in other words, is like rearranging the lawn chairs on the deck of the Titanic. It is not solving the problem of a sinking ship.

    It is a little surprising, however, that we had the money for a 7th period. If the school district keeps crying Wolf! that it is broke and then comes up with money for administrators or a 7th middle school period, I'm going to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. Certainly the unions are not going to give concessions. And I don't blame them.

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  3. Emily-re Presidio: It does seem odd that Clarendon will feed into there but I think it's an attempt to keep the JBBP (Parks) programs together after elementary. As far as it having strong schools feed into it the prior middle school feeder it had all the Richmond schools feed into and Cobb (5 rating).

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  4. Many Clarendon families traditionally went to Presidio, so I am sure that there are still many Clarendon families who are happy with this news. Also, proposal is good for JPPB, which was already pointed out.

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  5. Schools that will stop being popular, now:

    McKinley,
    Milk,
    Lakeshore and
    Miraloma.

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  6. How many people are going to change their Kindergarten application, based upon this?

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  7. Serra going to Hoover is silly because GP goes to Lick. Seems it should be the other way around transport wise. what is going on here? This is important for choosing our neighborhood school - I do not want to drive out over Portola in the mornings.

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  8. I strongly disagree with the idea that Milk and Mckinly will lose popularily b/c of feeding into Everett. I toured Everett this year and there is a lot of good things going on there. The school has tons of potential and the mix of schools in the feeder list supports a solid social and academic program. Go see it before you dismiss it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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  9. I agree with 9:55 - There is no reason to dismiss McKinley or Milk because of this new assignment. Also Fairmount, Marshall, Chavez, and Sanchez have dedicated and growing pta's - a strong group of schools.
    I give the board credit - the new assignments seem pretty balanced to me.

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  10. I personally think the neighborhood schools-only bus has been hijacked by the diversity police! Ditch this plan NOW and keep the lottery system that the district is using this year (preference for siblings and CTIP 1; all else pure luck)!!!!

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  11. Everett is going to be a GREAT middle school based on this feeder list. I would argue even better than Lick, if Everett establishes a strong GATE track.

    Everett is a beautiful building in a great location. There is also new energy at Everett.

    GATE is a dealbreaker for myself and many parents. If Everett gets a strong GATE program going, I would choose Everett even without the feeder tracks (GATE + proximity)

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  12. Who is going to be the principal at the new Buena Vista??

    Are the upper grades (4-5) at BV still going to have 30-32 students per class? This was a dealbreaker when we toured. Marshall has 17-19 students per class in upper grades. Other immersion schools like Alvarado have closer to 25.

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  13. scrap the feeder planFebruary 2, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Seems like only Presidio (and parents of kids at ESs feeding into it) will be the main beneficiary of this new SAS. Why is Presidio the only MS spared from an influx of low-income kids from low-performing ESs? I guess if Rachel can't put her kid on the fast-track from Argonne to Presidio this year, she can at least make Presidio (where her daughter will undoubtedly be placed nonetheless) as strong as possible (to the detriment of the other MSs). Aptos (which will now lose the Lakeshore and Miraloma kids who traditionally have selected Aptos) will be a big loser in the proposed SAS.

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  14. This is from the Everett website. Can anyone comment on the strength of honors program at Everett?

    "We offer honors classes that serve the needs of gifted and other high ability students. Honors classes are offered at the seventh and eighth grade level, and all eighth graders are required to take algebra"

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  15. all 8th graders at all SFUSD are required to take algebra. why are they saying they have $ to fund an extra period? how? how are they going to get GATE/Honors and music programs up at each school? why not spend the next five years doing this and then use the feeder plan - grandfather in all the people in elementary now who selected a school with no idea at all this would happen. gives them time to ramp up and families time to plan.

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  16. The list is an attempt to appease the politically powerful in the city.

    Carlos want's to push his bi-cultural, bi-lingual program forward. He needs political buy-in to do it. After all, that 7th period is going to cost at least $6 million per year and come at the expense of other programs like GATE and AP classes.

    Rachel admits in her latest post that specifics for GATE/Honors funding are missing:

    http://rachelnorton.com/2011/02/02/recap-quality-middle-schools-and-transportation-cuts/

    Given the fact that there is no legal mandate for bilingual and bicultural spending, and the fact that GATE/Honors programs are drastically inadequate at most San Francisco Middle schools, the proposal for increased bilingual spending is a misappropriation of taxpayer funds.

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  17. 10:40
    stop using this blog to trash Rachel, --or at least have the decency to leave her children out of your arguments. Sickening.

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  18. GATE at Everett???

    Everett STAR test results:

    ENGLISH
    86% of 6th graders below proficient
    80% of 7th graders below proficient
    82% of 8th graders below proficient

    MATH
    81% of 6th graders below proficient
    96% 7th graders below proficient

    ALGEBRA
    67% of 7th graders below proficient
    87% of 8th graders below proficient

    HISTORY
    76% of 8th graders below proficient

    SCIENCE
    74% of 8th graders below proficient

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  19. Hmm, I guess it does make sense try and keep the JBBP programs together, but that's quite a haul for any parents that now will get Clarendon because it's in their neighborhood.

    I think if this plan does pass it will end up changing before our kids (going into K in the fall) will be in middle school so I wouldn't pay much attention to it for those making lists now.

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  20. 11:05 AM:

    I believe it is appropriate to point out that Rachel and other school board leaders have access to the best schools and programs in the city.

    Where is the voice for parents that have had to leave the city or fork out for private school because their kids were assigned to crumbling and gang ridden school?

    Where is the voice for soft spoken linguistic communities (Hebrew, Armenian, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Hindi, Swahili, etc.) that do not benefit from the very select group of language programs that the SFUSD chooses to finance?

    There's no voice for them.

    Meanwhile, Rachel, Carlos and others on the board continue to approve funding increases that benefit special interest groups at a time when many families continue to lose their homes, their jobs and their lives.

    The fact that Rachel's kids attend very select Presidio and not Everett is fair game as far as I am concerned.

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  21. Did anyone read Commissioner Norton's blog on dysfunction boards? evidently she thinks the amount of angry discourse is the key gauge of a board's effectiveness. Adopting a woefully incomplete and flawed school assignment system is far worse. Getting along with your fellow members might make for a more restful night's sleep, though I tend to consider drafting effective policy as a means for greater overall job satisfaction.

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  22. 11:21 is that disgruntled weird ex- principal who has a vendetta against Rachel. There's 6 other people on the BOE, ya know.

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  23. and 11:21 AND 11:31.

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  24. Is it? I thought it was the usual troll.

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  25. Yeah, I read it.

    I'm disappointed with Rachel. I voted for her because she said she would advocate for better teaching on things like science.

    Her efforts on special ed have been good. However, that fact that she will not speak out directly against increased funding for language immersion at a time when we are in dire financial straights really makes me wonder as to the sincerity of her election promises.

    Language immersion is a great thing, but it should not take priority over GATE/Honors programming.

    I'd say that is dysfunctional. And I really don't care what is going on in Atlanta!

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  26. I will say there was an vast amount of concern for the Japanese language program which is pretty tiny, isn’t it? Please correct me if I am wrong. The concern about Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish programs does make sense.

    I would love to see Arabic. I would be great if we developed citizens in this country who could actually speak the language and understand something about that culture.

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  27. "disgruntled weird ex- principal"

    no, that's not me.

    I'm just one of the screwed over in the masses in San Francisco.

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  28. 11:21 wrote: "I believe it is appropriate to point out that Rachel and other school board leaders have access to the best schools and programs in the city."

    You are really confused, aren't you?

    EVERYONE has had access to the best schools and programs in the city.

    Rachel will have already filled in her application for her middle school child, this does not apply to her, the feeder plan may start NEXT year.

    You are groping for ways to be venomous. Now you are blaming BOE members for people losing their homes? Are you on drugs?

    The CTIP zones will help level the playing field.

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  29. 11:38 AM: I thought you were the usual troll. How many times have you been asked to stop bringing up Don? Innumerable times. But you refuse. You are more interested in who's talking than in what's being said. You are far worse than Don.

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  30. I don't think you can judge what the schools will be like by what they have been like in the past. It's a totally new ball game for most schools with the feeder system. Miraloma, Sunnyside and Lakeshore are all strong schools and combined they've got a large critical mass of students. I don't know much about the other two schools or Denman as a facility, but it doesn't seem unworkable to me. Certainly not without further investigation.

    I also agree that families entering K should not be basing any decisions on what might happen at middle school. It's a long way off and things will look very different by then.

    Overall I think the map looks good. It was obviously designed around language pathways and the rest of us just got filled in the empty slots, but it sort of worked out fine.

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  31. Everett will be a different school, after all those schools feed into it. We must have faith!

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  32. "Language immersion is a great thing, but it should not take priority over GATE/Honors programming."

    I couldn't agree more. I am an immersion parent and I care far more about GATE than immersion.

    We are sending our child to school to learn - creative and challenging academics are our #11 priority.

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  33. meant to say #1 priority

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  34. Everett will be a great school I believe. I need to get the tax ID for the PTA so I can start donating money...

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  35. Yes, there is a sizeable and erudite Arabic community in the Bay Area. However, few of them live in San Francisco, primarily due to our draconian school enrollment process.

    Most of these neglected linguistic communities have classes for their kids on the weekend, which they have to pay for out of pocket. (The best Arabic program is in Palo Alto on Sunday).

    It was never the intent of the Constitution (dare I bring it up) to teach in all these languages. People should be free to teach their kids whatever language they want, other than English, but it should not be at the expense of other learning (such as GATE and honors) or at the expense of other linguistic communities.

    Additionally, the fact that immersion programs exclude potential kindergarten applicants if they are not sufficiently language proficient in a select narrow set of languages is likely a violation of the Constitution.

    The Lau decision only makes provision to teach English. Nothing more.

    The Board is treading on legal thin ice and they know it.

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  36. #11 priority. Funny :)

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  37. No, I'm not on drugs. I get high on Yammy yogurt. There is no harm in observing board behavior through the lens of self-interest. This is common in public office. Stop being so squeamish.

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  38. Headlines from the new feeder plan

    Swat Team assigned to Aptos
    McKinley to Everett and "those people"
    Parks and the newest BoE member to Presido
    Hover on the poor performers list in 4 years
    Lick to breakout the gang colors
    Miraloma "rewarded"

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  39. Rosa Parks JBBP Parent here.

    I thought i read somewhere that a language pathway in middle school requires 66 students to make a master schedule work. Given this, it makes sense to combine RP and Clarendon programs, anticipating some attrition from these schools to middle school. There is an existing Japanese teacher at Presidio which I'm guessing is one reason that school was selected. Don't forget also, that both JBBP programs are city-wide: drawing from all neighborhoods so students who attend RP and Clarendon do not necessarily live within proximity to the campuses. Also, RP is a title 1/QEIA school: we have underperforming populations that would contribute to diversity at Presidio.

    World Languages Dept is currently working on developing a strong articulated curriculum for FLES programs, including Japanese, funded by two FLAP grants. Frankly the middle school Japanese at Hoover and Presidio seems thin, and certainly not aligned to accommodate RP kids level of Japanese proficiency in a robust way. I hope the FLAP grant outcomes provide the scaffolding that is needed at Presidio for a rigorous FLES Japanese program. Differentiation will be a key challenge given the spectrum that results from distinctions between Clarendon and RP programs, native speakers, and entering FLES students.

    Personally, I was hoping that we would get tracked to Roosevelt as in the previous feeder draft. I think Presidio is a great school for a certain kind of kid to thrive: not for all kids though. (I really don't get what all the fuss about Presidio is).

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  40. 12:16 PM

    Ha, ha.

    I'll print that and keep on on my fridge, just to see if your headlines pan out.

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  41. (I really don't get what all the fuss about Presidio is).

    Diversity agenda folks keep an eye on Presidio but they would never send their own kids there. I hear it's tough on kids who don't show high aptitude and even tougher on ones that do.

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  42. My takeaway is that the loser in here is Aptos. Aptos will now get two troubled schools feeding into it -- nearly 40% plus percent of its population. Aptos has been the great success story of public middle schools in this city, and now the Board is going to trash it? So for the person above who penned the headline "Miraloma rewarded," I would add "Miraloma and Aptos rewarded." And, by the way, for those who say Denman will become a great school, I know people who have been in San Francisco since Denman opened. DENMAN HAS NEVER BEEN A GOOD SCHOOL. NEVER, EVER, EVER, FROM DAY ONE OF ITS OPENING. So goodluck to the poor folks stuck with it now. For me, Albany is starting to look mighty good!

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  43. And this is all going to happen without school busses!

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  44. Not without. There will still be 25 school buses.

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  45. G.A.T.E. in SFUSD is a joke.
    You have to basically make up your own GATE program and do it at home, to make sure your kid is being challenged.

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  46. I hear Presidio has an awful principal, lots of bullying, and never goes beyond teaching to the test.

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  47. IMHO, the idea that Rachel is acting out of self-interest is not correct and is a cheap shot. I may not agree with her on various issues, but I am 100% convinced she is not deciding these issues on the basis of what is good for her own family. The arguments against her in this regard don't even make sense.

    Do have to agree funding immersion is going to come at the cost of other programs for the GE population. This is going to become a legal problem for the district if they implement 7 periods for obvious reasons.

    Where is the money coming from to pay for the hefty price tag to afford electives to immersion students at all middle schools?
    There is a lot of secrecy at SFUSD. The Board passed a "change of use" on $14,000,000 and did so without a public hearing as was required by law. What did they do with all that Tier III money? Many areas like gate and counseling have been cut with no input from those who are affected by these changes.

    Despite the tremendous budget pressures that are growing worse, not better, Carlos Garcia is now claiming the money is there for 7 periods? What happens if next year it isn't there? Do we raise class sizes to keep 7 periods? In other words, will the whole general education population pay to subsidize immersion? Remember, it was only 2 years ago that he raised K from 20 to 22 just to save a paltry one million.

    There is something very wrong with this picture.

    If Carlos garciaG

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  48. "G.A.T.E. in SFUSD is a joke.
    You have to basically make up your own GATE program and do it at home, to make sure your kid is being challenged."

    Is this the truth? Please do tell me now. I'd like to get the straight scoop. Do any middle schools have real gate programs/honors classes?

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  49. Totally not true at Presidio.

    It is true at elementary where there are no dedicated gate classes. That is the way it should be. It is too early to start tracking students in elementary school. Providing gate curriculum depends almost entirely on the individual efforts of the elementary teacher.

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  50. 1:12, there's a yahoo group of SFUSD parents of GATE students. It is mostly not active, buy you could check it out and ask your questions there.

    sf-gac-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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  51. don, what do you think of presidio?

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  52. (Alert, he's asking himself questions again)

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  53. Do people watch the webcast video?

    Garcia's point is that we are not going to be in recession forever. I agree with him. He would even want to implement 8 periods (4 90-minute period per day, rotate between day-1 and day-2).

    The board in general is committed to having language pathways. It is obvious that they think it is the key to differentiate SF's public education. The feeder plan and language pathways is a long term plan. So, don't use short-term argument (like this year's budget) against it.

    If you don't like languages programs, go to community meetings, voice your opinion. Run for BOE.

    However, give the district some credit. I disliked their "social engineering" in using language immersion to turn around schools. However, I have to admit that this tactic has worked very well at ES level.

    Not that long ago (10 years), most of SF's schools are crap. Forget about GATE or honor programs - you would be lucky to get an acceptable school. Now, it is good enough to have GATE and honor programs on the radar - that itself tells me that the district is doing something right.

    I am not blindly supporting the district. But they have way more credibility with me than some of the armchair education experts on this blog.

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  54. I thought De Avila Chinese Immersion wanted to go K-8 at their campus (v. feeding into a middle school)? Do families still have a strong desire for that? Or is the kabosh on that idea with strong support to feed into Roosevelt?

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  55. Wow, Presidio is so Shiny and White!

    This list leaves me with two questions:

    Is a K-8 a good option, even one that is struggling?

    and

    Would you consider GP given the weird feeder pattern for that school?

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  56. "Do people watch the webcast video?
    "

    Well, "Emily" who started the comments on this thread admits to being too "lazy" to watch the meetings (or listen to them) but wants us all to tell her what happened and what was said.

    How pathetic.

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  57. 1:12 - you will hear the term "differential teaching" thrown at you instead of GATE in schools where this is no boastful program. Is it enough? Probably - as they begin in 4th grade in SFUSD.

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  58. Yeah, I agree with you on Emily.

    People certainly have a lot of opinions - without the willingness to watch, listen and understand the issues.

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  59. 1:34. It is so true.

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  60. Whose issues? There are the issues as framed by the Board and there are the issues of those in which the Board takes no interest. As someone just pointed out, the Board takes an interest in immersion, strange then that they fouled up the language pathways as badly as they did with the MS SAS, especially with those specific issues of language pathways as part and parcel of the Lau Plan.

    I'm sure plenty of other people feel that immersion is fine as long as it does not impact services to the GE population. Unlike the underfunded special ed mandate, the bottom line is that immersion is not a legal requirement and as such there should be no encroachment. Immersion services should not be delivered on the backs of the majority of student in SFUSD.

    To answer about Presidio - my son seems to enjoy it. I think it is perhaps a little over the top on rigor. But I have nothing to compare it to.

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  61. A lot of the up-and-coming ES are getting the extra boost.

    Rosa Parks will become a desirable school. Many people already believe RP JBBP is better than Clarendon's. I have the feeling that RP JBBP will be on the same level as Clarendon in a couple of short years.

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  62. Yep, I admitted it, I'm not going to go watch the podcast of last night's meeting and wanted a recap. If it makes you feel better to call me pathetic, so be it.

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  63. Anon 12:49PM:

    Your argument than Denman will never be a good school--because it's been that way since the school opened--holds no sway with me. Ask anyone what Miraloma was like 10 years ago, and they'll tell you it was not a desirable school. Miraloma became a desirable school thanks to community and parental involvement. Sunnyside is now on that same trajectory. Every school that is feeding into Denman on this new pattern has a strong, committed PTA base and a solid number of dedicated, involved families. I have met many of them through my own PTA involvement. Ultimately, "involved" community bases will make the difference in any school throughout the City, and I believe that Denman, and the elementary schools that feed it, will have a very strong foundation to create a dynamic middle school.

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  64. 3:11 PM

    I agree completely

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  65. 3:11 PM

    I agree completely

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  66. Please mark your calendars to provide your feedback on the middle school feeder plan options at Aptos Middle School on Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30pm (more details to follow.)

    PPS and the Parent Advisory Council will be coming to gain feedback from current and future middle school families – particularly important for families in general education/non-immersion programs - to hear how this plan would affect them. Please pass it on!

    It may be wise to consider and weigh in on some of the following:

    - How will this new plan affect options for students to participate in music and visual arts (a large part of what has made Aptos a successful middle school, and is believed to be a reason why we are doing better than many schools in efforts to close the achievement gap and increasing high performing students.) Will current Aptos students now have the option to take Mandarin? Or will the growing Mandarin program displace general education students for the opportunity to be in a thriving music and arts program? What is the plan in place for getting and improving the quality of these programs at Denman and all other middle schools?

    - How will your student get to school and are there viable, safe and walkable and transportation routes to school? (For example - there is little or no direct public transit from Miraloma, Sunnyside or Lakeshore neighborhoods to Denman with the rerouting of the 36 bus –proximity as a priority for elementary school assignment seems thrown out the window for this middle school feeder plan. Presumably, kids assigned to these elementary schools in the future will have to walk through City College, over the 280 freeway, through a BART/MUNI transport hub to get to Denman.)

    - Why force a new and successful program (Mandarin) in an already successful school at full enrollment capacity (Aptos)? Why not use language program placement as an opportunity to increase enrollment in a school where there is plenty of room to grow (Denman)? Again, presumably families are already invested in the program so this would fuel the growth and opportunity at Denman. This option would also ensure no encroachment or displacement for general education students into the music and arts programs that have made Aptos a success.

    The language immersion parent community has been the most vocal group on the middle school feeder options to the district and Board of Education up until now. They have valid points and issues that, rightly, need to be addressed for students in these programs.

    However, it is imperative that general education families (the vast majority) are also heard on the impact of the middle school feeder plan.

    Mark your calendars: Aptos Middle School, March 8th at 6:30 to provide your input.

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  67. Money for an extra period is GOOD. I guess it will come too late for my son- an Aptos 7th grader? The school day (at both ES and MS) is an hour too short (in my opinion)… and then in MS, there are “early release days” every week (at Aptos, the kids leave an hour early on Tuesday… unless the week is short, like this one)… not to mention the “furlough” days. My daughter is in MI at Jose Ortega, and the school day ends at 1:50. (Should be 2:50- again, in my opinion- but not enough funding…)

    I’m (personally) disappointed that the current proposal is for Miraloma to feed into Denman instead of Aptos. My daughter was so excited by the original proposal, since it meant she could walk to Aptos with her good friend from next door, a Miraloma student, whose older sister (now in 8th grade) started there (when she didn’t get into Lakeshore (or our “neighborhood” school, Commodore Sloat) back when Miraloma was much less popular.

    However, I'm happy Starr King is feeding into Aptos in order to join the two MI programs (at JOES and SK) in middle school. In the original proposal, SK was going to feed into Horace Mann, but now HM will be Buena Vista K-8 (SI)…. and I think there was also the issue of starting up two rather small (at least in the beginning) Mandarin programs at two different middle schools, as opposed to combining resources.

    I don’t think this proposal would have a negative impact on Aptos, but could change the “personality” of the school. The MI parents have been very involved and active at their respective schools, raising money and procuring grants to help ALL students, and I know they are committed to making the MI presence at Aptos a positive experience for the entire school. (About 2/3 of SK students will be MI.) I admire all they have accomplished at SK and Ortega, and say that as someone who cannot take any credit , since my daughter just transferred to JOES this year- 3rd grade- after attending a private MI school.

    When I say it could change the personality of the school, I mean that it seems schools get these reputations (which aren’t entirely accurate and can become stereotypes), like that AP is more of an academic “grind” and that free spirited (quirky?) kids might do better at Aptos…. and that is not unrelated to perceptions of “traditional” Chinese family academic expectations vs. other styles of child rearing, in the case of AP vs. Aptos. It is hard to predict how reality (and perception) might change with the new feeder patterns… but again, different does not have to mean worse.

    The MI parents also bring a huge commitment to equity for the GE programs at their respective schools… not that that doesn’t exist at Aptos already, but I think these parents are likely to stay quite involved in school matters (as they help start this new program), while most families become much less involved once a kid hits MS. (Often at the kid’s insistence, of course!)

    Also, if the Miraloma and Lakeshore kids go to Denman, it will become a different school, like Balboa HS- with an API higher than Lincoln’s now, if I am remembering correctly? Our neighbors (with the 8th grader who started at Miraloma back in the day) are now really HOPING she gets into Balboa because it’s their first choice. So… I could see the Miraloma-Denman- Balboa route becoming pretty popular, especially since Denman is right by Balboa. Also, I believe Longfellow and Sheridan had higher APIs than Lakeshore last year… not sure about Sunnyside, but it has been seen as “on the rise”… so once this proposal is fully implemented (if it is), I would think Denman would look pretty desirable to many families.

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  68. 12:49 pm to 3:11 pm -- Please give me one example -- and frankly it doesn't have to be in SF because there certainly isn't one here in recent memory -- of where parents were forced to go into a particular school through a feeder system, and forcing them to do so made those schools successful? Miraloma and Sunnyside became successful because parents CHOSE to go into those schools and turn them around. Aptos turned around because parents CHOSE to go into that school and turn it around. Furthermore, I get it that parents wanted "neighborhood" schools for five year olds. I get that. But I have heard NO CLAMOR for neighborhood-based middle schools. None whatsoever. Why can't the District give this year's system a chance to operate (CTIP 1 preference; lottery for everyone else), and see if it works BEFORE coercing families into going to certain schools? Why is this stuff about language pathways -- which affects fewer than a third of kids going to middle school -- becoming the tail that is wagging the literal dog.

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  69. Hi, M --
    I just wanted to say that I'm glad to see you posting here again. I always appreciate your thoughtful posts.

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  70. It looks like the BOE is trying to equalize things a bit, by putting lower- and higher-performing schools on the same MS feeder track. What else could explain schools literally all over the map feeding into Hoover??? But if that was the goal, they really messed up putting Bryant and Daniel Webster together.

    The Potrero Hill community has been working for years to bring up DW - saving the school from closure 4 years ago, getting a Spanish immersion program to attract more people - and are finally showing improvement (the API scores jumped about 100 points last year, and should jump even more next year once the influx of SI kids get included in the testing). Putting DW together with Bryant (another underperforming school) will not serve the apparent goal of the feeder system, nor will it serve either school.

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  71. Just about everyone in San Francisco supports diverse schools, that is as long as they don't have to be forced to go to one. Now you'll be living the dream.

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  72. I agree - DW lost. They might as well make DW K-8 at the ISA campus. That would probably be a much better proposition for the community.

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  73. The feeder pattern is a form on non-continuous attendance areas for middle schools. A real non-contiguous attendance area would have invited endless arguments over where to move the lines.

    The feeder pattern, in this light, is more about mixing up the ethnic diversity of the student body more than the virtues of virtural K-8. As I recall the argument, we see a correlation with an overconcentration of African American, Hispanic, and Samoan students with an achievement gap in those groups of students. Does the feeder pattern break up those over-concentrations?

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  74. In the next election vote for out the four commissioners up for reelection. Not one has shown the slightest leadership.

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  75. 4:44, perhaps one day you will learn how to compose a coherent sentence; but I doubt it.

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  76. Aptos is the most diverse middle school in SFUSD with no majority of race, enthnicity or languages spoken at home (and this happened through student/parent choice and quality programming - not forced feeder patterns.

    It isn't broken as far as diversifying the school is concerned.

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  77. all the comments "if miraloma and lakeshore kids to go denman" - IF is not when - with the open choice they are NOT going to denman now and that's not likely to change next year - this proposal has social engineering stamped all over it and makes no sense when they're pulling all the transportation at the same time - it's not clear to me what problem they're trying to solve.

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  78. While I have criticisms of the feeder policy, I think it's important to realize that nothing has been set in stone and there are plenty of chances to weigh in - whatever your opinion.

    So for the person that says "throw the bums out" with regard to the four seats on next year's BOE election, there has been no final vote or decision. Be sure and let them know how you feel via email, BOE meetings or at the upcoming input sessions sponsored by PPS and the PAC.

    Immersion parent input got them to this point, more is required so take action if you have an opinion!

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  79. 4:51 PM: With an attitude like that I hope to dear God you aren't a teacher. Having a bad day, I hope?

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  80. If this was the first draft, most people would think it is a reasonable draft.

    However, it is the second draft, so people have some reference to compare to. It is no longer about whether the plan makes sense, but about whether school x gets better deal or worse than last one.

    Nobody complained about MI in Aptos with previous draft. Now Aptos and Denman are more even with a mix of good, up-and-coming, and struggling feeder schools, and both will do just fine IMOP. why are people complaining?

    Because Aptos was getting all the good schools in previous draft(Denman was getting all the bad ones), that's why.

    Btw, if you take a look at the student address location of Aptos, you will see most of the students are from the southern neighborhood. I would see both Aptos and Denman will get more middle class families from north of 280 with the new proposal. That will only improve those two schools.

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  81. Now we have the insufferable accuser Miss M going after Emily for not attending the meeting and just for asking for any update. Did M go? There couldn't have been more than ten people in the Board room. What value is the blog if you can't ask a simple question without being attacked?

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  82. Only ten people can listen to the podcast (or watch the webcast)?

    That's the first time I heard that.

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  83. M -
    Thanks for weighing in.

    I agree, a 7th period for MS would be GREAT! But filled with what at some schools? Lick, for example, has 7 periods, but as many parents attest, no real enrichment for that 7th period (it’s the extra class some teacher have to do something for which they have no training, or often, interest.) What assurance that SFUSD can really roll all this out right now (not to mention – do they REALLY have the $7 million in the bank for this?)

    The overriding issue for Aptos and Denman should be about the impact and goals of program placement within SFUSD - not what type of involved parent comes to these schools. As a founding member of the Miraloma PTA many years ago, I’m very familiar with the transformative abilities of parents and staff to change perceptions of schools. I have no doubt Denman will be a popular school in the near future (I even considered it when looking), just as happened with Aptos in the time before my kids were there. But there is an opportunity to keep a good thing in place and grow a new one – rather than create confusion with two unknowns.

    Admittedly, I’m looking at this from the perspective of a parent of a student for whom Aptos orchestra, music theory and jazz band have been a transformative experience. We chose the school because of this opportunity. With the placement of MI at Aptos – a completely full and at capacity school - there will be fewer places for these kids in the future at Aptos (and, really, where is the plan to grow music and arts programs in middle school- ALL middle schools? ) As I understand the current plan if launched next year, students could be in immersion, or the other electives – not both. As much as it pains me, moving MI to Aptos displaces band, orchestra and arts opportunities for middle school students in SFUSD.

    If the overriding goal is to get the two MI programs in one place, put it in a place where it will not interrupt current success and will, instead, create a whole new opportunity in SFUSD with room to grow. Denman is a perfect location with plenty of room to grow.

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  84. 5:24 said:

    Nobody complained about MI in Aptos with previous draft. Now Aptos and Denman are more even with a mix of good, up-and-coming, and struggling feeder schools, and both will do just fine IMOP. why are people complaining?

    -----

    Well, actually what Aptos parents even KNEW about it when it was launched? And the staff did weigh in on it - heavily.

    Miraloma and Sunnyside families weren't being asked to traps across a college, freeway and busy intersection to get to school before.

    And, for those of us in the know, we were told it was all just a draft.

    I very much disagree that this is all in the works and that the community has been involved - there has been virtually no outreach to general education families on this.

    So now is the time to do so and adjust as necessary. Nothing is set in stone (nor should it be.)

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  85. 5:54, ignore him. He thinks every negative comment (besides all his negative comments) are from the same person; they aren't.

    Keep in mind that on the sfschools yahoo group he pretended to be several different people, (it was extremely weird) and has way too much time on his hands and nothing else to do, apparently. No one would agree with him, or respond to his lengthy writings, so he invented people to chat to.

    The tone could have been better, in the response to Emily,but I agree that people should listen to the podcasts, watch the meetings online, or read the close captioning transcripts if they want to be informed or if they really care what is going on.

    Emily's statement "maybe I am missing something" is true, if she had watched the meeting or listened to it, she would not "miss it" and would know why they are sending Clarendon students to Presidio instead of to Roosevelt.

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  86. 6:01

    GE parents had the same information as immersion parents.

    The freeway is a good point. However, are you saying that SF should be segmented by freeway and major streets? There has to be a compromise somewhere.

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  87. Wow, such single-minded obsession with GATE programs! For those of you with younger children, please keep in mind: inconceivable as it might be to you, your child might NOT qualify as GATE. Yes, you went to Harvard or wherever, but even so: it's possible your child won't turn out to be quite the certifiable genius you assume him / her to be. If not, you might be better off in a school WITHOUT a GATE program, where higher-level thinking activities are an option for all students, rather than reserved for a select few set off in their own segregated classroom.

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  88. Don: Don't get angry. It isn't worth it. Stick with the subject and let her rant all she wants.

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  89. If she knows something about special education maybe she'll explain how students with IEP's are going to get assigned. I heard that changed after an audit last year of the district's practices. Give her a chance to add something positive to our discussion.

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  90. I completely disagree with the assertion that no one at aptos was complaining about the system the last time. I and others have been arguing to Rachel and to this blog endless times against a feeder system and in favor of choice. And I was doing that at a time when, and you are right, aptos would have done pretty well, but the folks at McKinley were up in arms. Well, looks like that school got their problem fixed, and we got screwed. Aptos is now going to have fully 50plus% of it's incoming non-MI population from failing elementaries. It is going to go back to being the aptos of 1999.

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  91. What a minute, 7:39. Anti-feeder forces first complained they were sideswiped by a plan that was never even floated a year ago when they had the six options. Now you're telling us you were speaking out against a feeder system before the feeder system was ever discussed? The anti-feeder contingent needs to keep its story straight.

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  92. 6:55 - It is possible that my child might be GATE identified. It is also possible that my child will have learning disabilities.

    If my child has learning disabilities the district has the responsibility to provide an appropriate education. I don't see the same level of commitment or offerings for GATE students that need more challenge.

    This discussion shouldn't pit language instruction against GATE either. The issue is the feeder plan itself.

    The feeder plan removes the middle schools' incentive to create and cultivate unique offerings and "compete" for families. This competition is how Aptos became what it is. James Lick, not right for everyone, but found excited and motivated families through its unique offerings.

    Why not have a fourth alternative - a "sister school" or "sibling school" dynamic based on the feeder school outline. Where the MS's partner with the ES's to attract families and cultivate community. I believe choice should be maintained.

    Let's face it. Given the rise in SP immersion programs in the SE, the SP immersion community is going to have to look beyond Lick. I see a school like Everett emerging organically - great building, great location, new staff, room to grow. Additionally, I'd like to believe that there would be a hard core GE options emerging in the SE as well, to fill demand for good programs in the neighborhood.

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  93. 7:53,
    The elementary school attendance area maps and the middle school feeder pattern proposal came out around Spring 2010, if memory serves me right. There was no discussion of middle school feeders before this time, and that is the sideswipe. There have been protests ever since that date, which means almost a year of protesting the feeders. The is no inconsistency on the part of anti-feeders.

    The six options, I believe, were the topic of community discussions and predates the Spring 2010 unveiling of the maps. There is no proposal of middle school feeders in the six options. I believe this timeline is accurate.

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  94. Why is Glen Park slated to feed into Lick? Did they screw up and mean Fairmount instead?

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  95. There were so few people at the BOE meeting last night, it sure doesn't look as though there is any organized "anti-feeder" group.

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  96. I think Clarendon going to Presidio has been done to mollify Clarendon parents - hoping that the families won't go private. It is totally bizarre that Clarendon should feed to Presidio.

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  97. I am curious. Do GE parents prefer the immersion kids to have their dedicated immersion middle school?

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  98. The Board adopts these policies and then no sooner breaks them. It says in the SAS:

    "Any revisions to this student assignment policy requiring Board approval will be approved at
    least six months before SFUSD begins accepting applications for any given year. For example, if SFUSD begins accepting applications in November, any revisions to this student assignment policy would have to
    be approved by April."

    But Rachel said this about the timeline in her last blog post reprinted here:

    "The current plan is for a full proposal to be unveiled at the Feb. 1 Committee of the Whole meeting, and then to embark on an extensive community engagement effort in February and March. The Board is scheduled to vote on a final middle school enrollment proposal for 2012-13 and beyond sometime in May."

    Unless they start taking applications later they will already be past the six months if they begin Nov.1

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  99. This is what Rachel said this morning on "the school boards" forum.

    "Staff and the board’s clear preference was for the third option, which would make feeder patterns more voluntary. There was some discussion over the proposed order of tiebreakers, since tonight’s proposal prioritized feeder patterns over younger siblings — most Board member’s disagreed and thought younger siblings should still be the top preference, followed by feeder-pattern preference, then CTIP, then attendance area."

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  100. 9:19,
    There is no such thing as a dedicated immersion middle school. There are only middle schools with the programs and middle schools without the language programs. With citywide choice, an elementary school immersion student could choose to continue immersion programs in middle school by choosing that middle school, wherever that middle school was located. With feeders, the immersion student goes to the same middle school as the GE side of the elementary school, and it is pure luck if the assigned MS has the language programs.

    Immersion students, we are told, will find language opportunities at their assigned MS, with the implementation of a 7th period at all middle schools. A single dedicated immersion middle school was never on the table.

    Some fear that immersion programs will come at the expense of GATE programs, that immersion issues is the tail wagging the dog of MS assignment. First and foremost, it seems to me, feeders are being implemented to reduce overconcentrations of African American, Hispanic, and Samoan students at any given school. The strict procedures of the feeder patterns did cause a mismatch with immersion students and the availability of language programs at middle schools. This collateral damage will be fixed with the 7th period.

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  101. How can they offer all the immersion languages at every middle school?

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  102. Can someone explain why immersion is necessary or desirable at the MS level? It was my understanding that by 5th grade, classes would be conducted 50% in English and 50% in Spanish/Mandarin/Cantonese, etc as the students would then be fluent in both languages.

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  103. It isn't necessary. These self-serving whiners wanted immersion to escape underperforming schools. They won't stop until they bankrupt the whole district. You had your six years now shut the hell up.

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  104. Hey now, 11:11. Immersion is the only reason most SE schools have any families attending who can truly advocate for those schools and ALL the kids in them, not just the immersion kids. We bring in resources the schools and the system wouldn't otherwise have. Without us and without immersion this district would have continued hemorrhaging students and thus, money, just like it did before immersion started to completely transform the SE school landscape into something remotely respectable.

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  105. Immersion is not the culprit, it's the savior. And it's going to result in a 7th period of electives for ALL students, not just immersion students. Be grateful.

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  106. Immersion for all would be good. Most Americans speak one language and many more kids will go to SF schools if they have that. Presidio got screwed if Rosa Parks stays the same but I understand it's improving and within 5 years could be a good school. That area use to be low education but a lot of college grads are moving there now and some are true liberals who believe in public schools, as opposed to phony/limousine liberals who believe in private schools and/or white flight such as your typical Marina, Pacific Heights, North Beach or St. Francis Woods "liberal". This will be good overall. Fewer kids will be on buses and all schools will thus get better. Hoover got screwed. It won't compete anymore with Giannini or Presidio. Roosevelt may get to that level now, as may Marina.

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  107. "I thought De Avila Chinese Immersion wanted to go K-8 at their campus (v. feeding into a middle school)? Do families still have a strong desire for that? Or is the kabosh on that idea with strong support to feed into Roosevelt?"

    CIS K-parent here. Lots of the families at CIS would love to go K-8. However, the city has conducted an assessment of that possibility and decided that our building capacity is not suited for that (no gym, no locker rooms, too expensive to remodel to accommodate science labs, too small overall). The only alternative option would be finding a satellite location for the school's middle school level.

    "I am curious. Do GE parents prefer the immersion kids to have their dedicated immersion middle school?"

    I would love that. However, neither a dedicated MS for Chinese nor one for Spanish would have the level of ethnic diversity this city is trying to create and maintain. Also, GE programs in mixed schools do profit from the passionate engagement of immersion parents, so mixing things up does make sense. I still feel it's a win-win.

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  108. We need to stop worrying so much about ethnic diversity and start worrying about biodiversity:

    "Census 2010 exposes grave threats to American's quality of life"

    http://www.capsweb.org/content.php?id=1064&menu_id=8

    Additionally, the current immersion policy in the city is unethical and unsustainable. It requires hiring native speaker teachers in many subjects. It is likely that most of the newly hired teachers in San Francisco have been hired on this basis. This penalizes hiring of teachers who are excellent but aren't fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese or Spanish. Is this the direction we want to follow?

    If we weren't gobbling up so many resources for these exclusive immersion programs, we might have funding for an across the board language program. And don't fool yourself that they aren't exclusive. Parents are beating the door down to get access to these programs, yet are blocked.

    Jerry Brown is telling us that we're on the verge of fiscal collapse. Carlos is telling us that our current fiscal situation is a minor blip to be ignored. Spend, spend, spend is his mantra.

    Our state is overbuilt, our parks and green spaces crumbling and dirty, our schools among the poorest performing in the nation, and our roads and hospitals jammed past capacity.

    Yet Carlos is proposing further spending on a luxury program like immersion, which benefits a narrow constituency, when we don't have a penny to spend on so much else.

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  109. Why do people keep arguing that we are wasting money on immersion schools? I don't see any data that the spending on these students is any higher a GE student.

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  110. 7:30 <--- (troll)

    Take your offensive, xenophobic, Ethno-Nationalism OFF THIS BLOG.

    I'll bet your the sort of person who chases pregnant Hispanic women down the street, yelling at them: “What’s that in your belly? Another person I’m going to have to pay for? Another Mexican on welfare?”

    Go away. It's repugnant.

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  111. This proposed 7th period has to offer GE kids the opportunity to finally take a language. It should be offered to then already in schools where there are immersion tracks. All kids should be exposed to a language or two by the time the graduate HS in SF. We need to compete.

    I wish the district would take more seriously the children who were unable to get into the immersion programs because I definitely feel the burn with a child in a GE program at an immersion school. Our focus turns into entirely different things than immersion children, and things like GATE and music become very important in middle school.

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  112. Dear 8:29:

    Perhaps, if you can stop your mud slinging, you might want to have a look at this video:

    Population: 5 lessons learned 15 years after Cairo:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSjJxZ58juU

    I'm truly sorry if you are not aware of the connection between excessive population growth, political instability, human suffering, global warming and environmental devastation.

    Your comments are tragically misinformed.

    Carlos is proposing additional spending, at least $6 million, on programs that will not improve the academic calibre of our schools and that are exclusive of the majority of San Francisco families.

    It's excessive, inappropriate and reprehensible at this protracted time of dire economic uncertainty.

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  113. Note to Immersion Parents:

    Get off your high horse idea that IM parents, and no one else, are concerned with ALL kids. You are clueless and uninformed if that is what you believe.

    I think immersion programs are valuable and would love to see them available for every child. Don't further isolate fellow public school parents who, too, are concerned about their schools (ALL public schools.) We need everyone

    Love,
    A GE parent

    * Please share data that shows how SFUSD immersion programs are serving ELL kids. No not other people's studies of other programs. OUR own program here in SFUSD that it longitudinal and includes all ELL kids that dropped out.

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  114. Until SFUSD can manage to do better than the mediocre job they do now of teaching children to read and write, "extras" should be set aside.

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  115. 8:30-

    Exactly (regarding GE parents focus who either didn't get, or opted out of language programs.)

    At Lick MS, GE parents have complained that the terrific "bonus" of the 7th period has in reality been abysmal. Teachers using it to do their 'other" work, etc. Inquiries into using that time to provide language (with all those Spanish speaking teachers right there!) have been resisted there - by activist parents and staff as it isn't "the model" (whatever that is.)

    Why not use Lick as a pilot for offering language in the middle grades? Really, we GE parents would flock to that.

    It's my understanding that the MI proposal at Aptos, too, would NOT provide a language option for GE students there. Instead, they want to create a school within a school.

    I wish SFUSD would pilot this idea with Lick to see if it could be rolled out district wide. I don't necessarily want a 7th period if it's just to accomodate band and orchestra, for example, for Mandarin Immersion program kids, and not vice versa for GE kids.

    If language access is truly what SFUSD (and immersion families active in the issue) are concerned about, they would be wise to find creative ways to include language for ALL students.

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  116. I feel that language immersion should be private;however, if it is needed to help us compete in the 21st century(especially Mandarin),it should be added to the core curriculum for ALL public school students.

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  117. how much language is required for high School graduation?

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  118. How can they provide immersion at all the middle schools? That is a surprise to me too. The school district is not so broke after all. The money issue seems a matter of priorities. Busing expenses only for special ed and CTIP. Nobody else. Transportation budget reduced.

    Highest priority: change the mix of students at the middle school level by going from choice to feeders. Save some money on transportation at the same time. Then spend that money, and more, on a 7th period to fix the immersion problem we just caused by going to feeder patterns. Bonus: everyone gets the 7th period, not just immersion students. If the money holds out. A big if.

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  119. "GE programs in mixed schools do profit from the passionate engagement of immersion parents"

    Can we please get past this idea that immersion parents are more engaged or passionate that GE parents? (Note: the Lick MS PTA president and many, most? , of the passionately engaged parents are from a GE program - Miraloma)

    Yes, immersion parents banded together throughout the district to address issues with their program (some would say this is "self interest" - I would call it advocacy)

    But note that the dramatic changes in enrollment trends for elementary and parent activism happend in equal measure to GE programs all over the city - Sherman, Miraloma, Grattan, Sunnyside, Sutro just a few - now Glen Park, Junipero Serra.

    Maybe you didn't mean to, but your implication is that someone immersion parents provide more engagement or activism in middle school - as a GE middle school parent (in a GE program school) it is my experience that immersion parents contribute at a similar rate as GE parents (certainly not any more. )

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  120. Mandarin is not needed to help us compete in the 21st century.

    China has enough difficulty employing its own people. It would be very unlikely for China to be employing American engineers. (Except as Fake American Business Men.)

    They're not interested in employing Americans. Americans are not sufficiently complient with their 12 hour a day, 7 day a week, environmental regulations be damned business ethic.

    Apart from the occasional MBA type trying to get their widgets manufactured (by exploited labor), there's really no need to speak Mandarin. And if you really have to, I'm sure the Chinese will accomodate you in English to get access (to the exploited labor).

    Should we really be financing this with our hard earned buck?

    What we need to compete in the 21st century are Gate and honors programs.

    It that so hard to see?

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  121. So, would GE parents support dedicated immersion middle schools? For example, one for Chinese (Cantonese/Mandarin) and two for Spanish?

    And then, have the immersion parents pay a tuition to cover the "additional cost" for language classes? (For example, making Language Art in Foreign Language as an after-school class)

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  122. Let's get back to "basics", shall we?

    This is so dismal, it makes me want to cry:

    SFUSD 2010 STAR Test results:

    ENGLISH
    42% of 9th graders below proficient
    49% of 10th graders below proficient
    51% of 11th graders below proficient


    ALGEBRA 1
    72% of 9th graders below proficient
    90% of 10th graders below proficient
    94% of 11th graders below proficient

    GEOMETRY
    35% of 9th graders below proficient
    67% of 10th graders below proficient
    91% of 11th graders below proficient

    WORLD HISTORY
    34% of 9th graders below proficient
    59% of 10th graders below proficient
    87% of 11th graders below proficient

    CST Biology
    46% of 9th graders below proficient
    63% of 10th graders below proficient
    44% of 11th graders below proficient

    CST EARTH SCIENCE
    78% of 9th graders below proficient
    75% of 10th graders below proficient
    57% of 11th graders below proficient

    CST Physics
    63% of 9th graders below proficient
    44% of 10th graders below proficient
    54% of 11th graders below proficient

    CST Integrated/Coordinated Science 1
    86% of 9th graders below proficient
    96% of 10th graders below proficient
    39% of 11th graders below proficient

    CST Integrated/Coordinated Science 2
    91% of 9th graders below proficient
    100% of 10th graders below proficient
    100% of 11th graders below proficient

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  123. With that kind of result, forget GATE/honor tracks. Use the 7th period to teach basic reading/writing/math/science instead.

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  124. Educational fads come and go, but we are doing a great disservice to the children of this city if we continue to allow those sort of test results to be overlooked and ignore by the administration.

    Test scores are not everything, but this is beyond abysmal.

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  125. Yes, 9:57, we need both:

    Good math/science/reading/writing/social studies

    +

    GATE and Honors.

    We're a far,far cry from both of these. I look at the test scores too. They're shocking.

    In the face of this, it's just incredible that they're going to but their buck behand language immersion.

    Shocking.

    We really all should go to the next board meeting.

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  126. 10:03

    Language immersion is NOT the reason the test result is so poor.

    What we know is that language immersion contributed a lot to the improvement in ES. Don't deny that.

    The district wants to duplicate the pattern in MS. That's why they want a certain % of every school to have dual-language program. I know most immersion parents would love to have dedicated immersion MS.

    That's why I asked - would you prefer the immersion kids to have their own dedicated schools and separated from GE kids, and have their parents to pay for the extra?

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  127. 9:50, the scores, in general, are discouraging. Is everyone doing poorly, or is there an achievement gap for African American, Hispanic, and Samoan students, in particular. If the numbers say that that is where the problem is, then our proposed solutions should be aimed with those demographic groups in mind.

    If the numbers say that eveyone, not just African Americans, Hispanics, and Samoans are doing poorly, then we will be looking at different solutions. Don't you agree?

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  128. "Language immersion is NOT the reason the test result is so poor."

    No one is saying that language immersion is the reason test scores are poor.

    One reason that test scores are poor is because of the lack of teaching of the core curriculum.

    However, funding immersion, and not the teaching of the core curriculum in GE programs certainly will further worsen test scores.

    We cannot afford to teach the core curriculum in three (or is it seven languages? or whatever number the Board is secretly plotting).

    It's time for us to come to and see how our education dollars are being frittered away on Carlos' pet projects.

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  129. 10:15

    Let's say that's the case. Would you (and other GE parents) want the immersion kids to have their dedicated immersion schools, and pay for the language-related extras out of pocket?

    Please advocate that to the board if you want to see that.

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  130. 10:12 AM:

    To answer your question in brief, everyone except Asians and Latinos, have lower test scores than they did 15 years ago.

    Latinos are doing slightly better, but not much.

    Whites are doing more poorly.

    Asians are doing better.

    Black are doing very poorly. However, we now have a student body that is comprised of only 8% blacks. Most middle class blacks, the ones that would have had the better test scores, have left the city.

    (That's according to the Board achievement gap report that came out several years ago.)

    It's noteworthy that none of the much lauded immersion programs serve the specific interests of Blacks or African Americans.

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  131. 9:46

    That's it Darth. Let it all out. I feeel your hate. Come in to the dark side.

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  132. 10:20 AM:

    I'm not in favor of an extra fee system within the public school.

    Parents are free to fund language programs for thier kids outside of school. There are many cultures in the city that do this. I don't see why Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin families should be the exception.

    The Board should be focused on teaching a superb GE core academic program in English, something they currently fail to do.

    Students should have the choice to choose a language and music elective. The FLES model might also work, so long as it doesn't require special hiring of language proficient native speaker teachers.

    There should be no language requirement to get into these FLES schools. They should be open to all.

    We're not helping kids who don't speak English at home by allowing them to continue without English fluency into high school.

    The language of business, higher learning and employment is English and, for many obvious reasons, will continue to be English.

    We're hobbling these kids and ourselves by not facing that reality.

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  133. 10:20 wrote "Would you (and other GE parents) want the immersion kids to have their dedicated immersion schools, and pay for the language-related extras out of pocket?"

    That is called "private school."

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  134. I have said for years that Carlos Garcia spends irresponsibly. He funneled 3 million into national Urban Alliance nonsense then said we had to raise k class size to save 1 million. The little game they always play is to say that they cannot supplant by law. They have 50 million in tier III and they will rob whatever programs to feed their priorities and they do it in violation of law without holding public hearings.

    I am all for immersion as long as it is not a drain on other resources. If it is as immersion supporters say it is, that it doesn't cost any more ( I don't follow this issue and I really don't know the truth), more power to immersion programs. But I'm not so sure.

    My question is this: Carlos Garcia says we have the money for it. The implication is that immersion therefore has an additional cost, contrary to what immersion parents are saying. And where is this money that the Supe says he has? If it is coming out of the general fund, we are going to be subsidizing immersion at the expense of other things.

    Counselors have been cut, gate has been cut and a host of other programs. But we can afford language programs? They will encroach further on the budget and the GE population will suffer as a result.

    It isn't a simple matter of adding a 7th period which will be good for everyone, as I commenter said. Programs have to be paid for. And those with the highest priority are favored to the detriment of others.

    Sorry for losing my temper earlier. That happened after I read the newest accusation against me - that I'm a drunkard. I didn't even know.

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  135. "The Board should be focused on teaching a superb GE core academic program in English, something they currently fail to do."

    This is exactly why immersion programs are so popular in SF. Most immersion parents I know say they wanted immersion because public school otherwise would not be challenging enough for their kids.

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  136. The mission of the San Francisco Unified School District is to provide each student with an equal opportunity to succeed by promoting intellectual growth, creativity, self-discipline, cultural and linguistic sensitivity, democratic responsibility, economic competence, and physical and mental health so that each student can achieve his or her maximum potential.

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  137. Since we’ve moved on to test scores, is there any definitive study that shows how our own SFUSD immersion programs are helping to close the achievement gap? I’ve seen plenty of research touted about how these programs are able, when done well, can do this – but these have all been European studies or places outside of SFUSD (I can’t recall ever seeing anything even for California for these programs.)

    The one study tossed around within the last 5 years showed that Buena Vista 8th grade Spanish speakers that started and stayed in the program were doing better than the average Spanish speaker in other programs. Problem with this was, those 8th graders were only the ones that stayed in the program (at the time, a dwindling number) and didn’t show that the overwhelming majority had dropped out long before. You can see what is wrong with the research (not unlike Charters who claim they graduate a higher percentage of college bound kids, but don’t show how many kids dropped out before they graduated – often kids they “counseled out” (more on that story another time.)

    It is my understanding that the BOE spends very little time analyzing data for any/all of our schools (unlike what is happening on the ground at schools with principals, staff and SSCs in my experience.) I wonder: How ARE we doing with ELL kids in immersion programs? Is there any SFUSD data that shows we really have it down for these kids?

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  138. We compare the scores of US students to results in other industrialized countries and freak out. What we forget is that in the US, everyone is more or less on the same college prep HS curriculum, whether or not they are suited to it by aptitude or interest. Higher-scoring countries have already weeded out non-academic types prior to secondary school, so of course their test scores are going to be higher. A Harvard study was released today (it's on yahoo news) saying, surprise surprise, college is not for everyone. The same study says that 1/3 of the jobs in the US are not going to require a college degree. Imagine how much better the test scores would look if the US moved the 1/3 of the students who are least academically inclined out of a hard-core college prep curriculum.

    I'm not saying it's the only answer or that schools have no work to do; only that the international score comparison freak-out is to a material extent comparing apples to oranges.

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  139. Why does this post of mine keep disappearing?

    I'll try one more time.

    It is easy to lookup demographic information on the CDE website:

    http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2010/SearchPanel.asp
    SFUSD 2010 STAR Test results:

    ENGLISH
    42% of 9th graders below proficient (80% of African America students score below proficient)
    49% of 10th graders below proficient (83% of African America students score below proficient)
    51% of 11th graders below proficient (82% of African America students score below proficient)

    ALGEBRA 1
    72% of 9th graders below proficient (94% of African America students score below proficient)
    90% of 10th graders below proficient (96% of African America students score below proficient)
    94% of 11th graders below proficient(100% of African America students score below proficient)

    GEOMETRY
    35% of 9th graders below proficient (85% of African America students score below proficient)
    67% of 10th graders below proficient (88% of African America students score below proficient)
    91% of 11th graders below proficient (99% of African America students score below proficient)

    WORLD HISTORY
    34% of 9th graders below proficient (89% of African America students score below proficient)
    59% of 10th graders below proficient (94% of African America students score below proficient)

    87% of 11th graders below proficient (100% of African America students score below proficient)


    CST Biology
    46% of 9th graders below proficient (87% of African America students score below proficient)
    63% of 10th graders below proficient(88% of African America students score below proficient)
    44% of 11th graders below proficient (84% of African America students score below proficient)


    CST EARTH SCIENCE
    78% of 9th graders below proficient (91% of African America students score below proficient)
    75% of 10th graders below proficient (92% of African America students score below proficient)
    57% of 11th graders below proficient (81% of African America students score below proficient)


    CST Physics
    63% of 9th graders below proficient (85% of African America students score below proficient)
    44% of 10th graders below proficient (94% of African America students score below proficient)
    54% of 11th graders below proficient (80% of African America students score below proficient)

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  140. Before we add a 7th period, how about we reduce the number of kids per class below 37? That's how many kids are in my daughters 6th grade core classes at Aptos.

    It would have helped to add one student per class to K-3 so that at middle school we could reduce class size by 3-4.

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  141. 10:37,

    First, hiring foreign-language proficient teachers do not cost more than English-only teachers. Immersion costs more with library, computer labs etc. However, those are mostly supported by PTA.

    Second, I think we are in agreement that kids should have the freedom to choose electives. Actually, many immersion kids will choose to be in GE track in MS.

    Third, I think we all agree that longer school days are better for the kids - there are many studies to link the test scores with # of school days and length of the school day.

    Fourth, the district's proposal is that there should be a 7th period for everyone, not just immersion kids. The GE kids are free to choose an elective.

    So far so good.

    I think people's main concern is the money.

    Having gone through a couple of recessions, I have to say that I agree with Garcia - we are not going to be in recession forever. (I also believed that we are not going to be in the boom forever before the recession hits)

    I would rather the district to have plans to use the money in academics (7th period, whether language or electives) than un-prepared. We all know how the money will be wasted if there is no plan.

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  142. 10:48 –
    Take a look at the Atlantic Monthly article from December:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/your-child-left-behind/8310/

    It shows that even when you weed out the lower non-college track performers, the US is still not doing great. They did the apples to apples (the highest U.S. to highest internationally) and we did not look good.

    I’ve been a longtime public school advocate and often reassured myself that my own kids would be OK while working towards helping improve the schools for all. This data really shook my resolve – and the more information I get (and more experience I have moving through public middle school) , the more concerned I become.

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  143. 10:52: I think people's main concern is the money.

    Yes, we won't be in a recession forever, but no one believes we are going back to the way it was. It's a new fiscal day in America, California and SF.

    So, it's naive and silly for Garcia to say this to make us all feel better. Find the money NOW with a viable plan that shows it can be sustained in the long run before we embark on this.

    I wish this plan would be successfully piloted somewhere - like Lick MS for starters. They HAVE the money, but don't provide Spanish to GE students, have little to no enrichment for 7th period, and zero band/orchestra/arts for their electives.

    If it can't happen there, now (and with the QEIA resources for 5 of the 7 years) why would we think it can be scaled up districtwide?

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  144. If the test scores for whites and Blacks have gone down over the last 15 years, while the test scores for Asians and Latinos have not gone down, what is going on?

    Shouldn't we define the problem before we throw out a solution?

    It is good to hear that scores for Latinos have not worsened, but there is still an achievment gap for Latinos compared to nonHispanic whites. There still work to do.

    The scores of nonHispanic whites has gone down. Any explanation? Is it a big drop or just part of how test scores wiggle up and down?

    The scores of Blacks has gone down. Would you attribute that to a decrease in the African American population in SF as the middle class gets squeezed out of SF?

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  145. I'll say it again. Where is the money coming from? Always follow the money. Doesn't anyone find it incredibly strange that we suddenly have money that we didn't have before? The budget problems are growing worse, not better. The only other real change to the budget besides it's reduction in size are the monies made flexible -monies that had to be spent for certain programs which are now unrestricted. Ask where will the money come from. It is your money. You have a right to know. And if Mr. Garcia says we can suddenly afford it when he's been cutting programs because he has said we can't afford them- well it is curious.

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  146. I work closely in a nonprofit with City of SF employees. I have yet to meet an African American that is a CCSF employee that sends their kids to SFUSD. Either they moved out of SF, or send their kids to parochial and private schools.

    Additionally, research shows the declining AA population in SF has been attributed to families leaving the city - for affordable housing, better schools and (according to the City Survey) also to escape violence.

    Just in my time of paying attention to this the population has dropped from 15% to 8% AA as the population of SF.

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  147. 11:04

    Actually, a lot of the immersion programs won't enter MS until two to three years later, so this "testing period" will happen.

    Take a look at this slide:
    http://portal.sfusd.edu/apps/aud_parents/K-8FeederPatterns.pdf

    Page 8 has the timeline.

    So it seems to be an implementation issue - to have a testbed, which has the resources RIGHT NOW, to see how it works out.

    Everything you said is valid, and if you watched the webcast, all those issues were discussed at the BOE meeting. So, please go to community meetings and voice your concern.

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  148. 10:48 AM:

    Most countries that far well on the OECD PISA (see link below) generally have very high rates of high school graduation.

    I believe that in Japan they do separate their kids into academic and vocational streams, but I can tell you from personal experience that Canada and most European countries do not.

    In Canada, highschool graduation is the norm. Kids may opt to take more shop classes over what we would call AP classes, but other than that, there's no streaming.

    Most kids, even those that are vocationally bound, take grade 10 algebra and trigonometry, French, social studies, history, literature, chemistry, physics and/or biology. There's more specialization in grade 11 and 12.

    The result is that those in the trades are politically conversant and technically adept.

    France and Germany are similar, as are many American schools in the Northeast.

    We in California could do much better. There's no need for the current abyssmal state of education in California. It's a manufactured consequence of our own decisions.

    http://www.pisa.oecd.org/pages/0,2987,en_32252351_32235731_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

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  149. Don,

    Never mind the nasty things people invent.

    It's a symptom of their own inability to engage on the facts.

    We can't thank you enough for your time and information.

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  150. Troll at 12 o'clock

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  151. 11:14:

    "Just in my time of paying attention to this the population has dropped from 15% to 8% AA as the population of SF."

    I'm not going to use the AA population as a political football, but it's very noteworthy that fully half the AA population of San Francisco have left the city in the last ten to fifteen years.

    No one seems to notice. We still parade "diversity" around like its a sacred cow.

    I'm not sure that immersion will create a more "diverse" city. It includes and excludes along linguistic instead of racial lines.

    I'd also agree with another post that questions the city's statement that immersion improves test scores. I don't think that there's any objective evidence for that.

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  152. 11:14 here.

    Yes, that's the time period I've been paying attention (15 years.)

    It's a sad loss. However, I WOULD like to emphasize that there is still great diversity in our city and in SFUSD. More South Asians, Pacific Islanders, Russians, Eastern Europeans during this time. Asian, too, with the changes in Hong Kong during this time. I would count the increase in LGBT families as an increase in diversity as well.

    We have to get past the idea that "diversity" only means black/ white in SF,CA or the US

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  153. 11:14 here again,
    That said (to play devils advocate against myself) I realize that the reason we focus on the black/white issue is because if the great disparity in academic outcomes when comparing these two groups (as well as with the Latino demographic.)

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  154. 11:42 AM:

    Yeah, I don't think that there is a simple definition of diversity either.

    But as you may have gathered, the immersion programs do diminish diversity.

    For instance, apart from the Rusian community, the Eastern European community is not at all served by the current school enrollment process or the language immersion programs.

    Most have ended up sending their kids private, if they can affort it.

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  155. sorry, afford it.

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  156. I think the idea that we have to prioritize African Americans over others is ridiculous. Whites and Asians do better, if they're leaving, so what? They didn't respond well to the tremendous spending and opportunities created by huge spending in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Studies show they watched 40 hours plus a week of TV, didn't study half as much as their Asian and Whtie counterparts, had a generally negative attitude towards school and in nearly 90% of cases, the father couldn't do the right thing and marry and live with the mother to raise children. However poor you are, Obama said, you can turn off the TV, study and stay with a woman you had a kid with. Sorry, slavery is no excuse. You gotta study hard. Some blacks do; most don't. So now the City is improving and getting better jobs and most can't afford it. That's what happens, you don't get to live in a great City forever if you don't have a great work ethic and a value that when you make a woman pregnant, you marry her and prioritize children over adult values. These are the values that have enabled Asians to pass blacks quickly and decisively. Many Asian couples hate each other, but they suffer through it and prioritize the children. Many white and Asian kids study hard while being treated as squares by the black kids, not admired and emulated. They often hate school but have the character to do more. All this liberal Kumbaya stuff makes me sick. If blacks in this City had followed Obama and Bill Cosby's ideas 30 years ago, they'd be 20% of the City now, but they're down to 6. Change or be driven out. No significant effort was made to study the way Asians do. Sorry if you think this is racist, but it's true. It isn't genetic, it's work ethic. At my son's middle school, many of the Black and Latin kids there not only get bad grades, but are proud of it, feel no pressure to study harder or get tutors, just take pride in being ghetto, I've actually heard them boast about it. I was raised in the ghetto and take pride I got out of it. My Chinese mother would have looked at me as a complete failure if I were still there. So stop blaming others; blame yourself or lie in the bed you made. You can't study 10 hours a week and watch TV 40 and expect to be able to afford to stay in a City in which others are studying 40 and watching TV 10. If you do, you drag down the rest of us. This City is better than 30 years ago by far.

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  157. I'm a GE parent and would support the current program if, and only if:

    1. ALL schools got a funded 7th period.
    2. ALL schools provided access to language learning (some pathways immersion/bilingual, some GE kids would be getting language for the first time as one of two electives.
    and
    3. ALL schools had access to quality enrichment - especially band/orchestra/chorus/visual arts.

    This, it seems, could not possibly happen with $7 million, nor could it be implemented any time soon.

    What do others think?

    A GE middle school parent of two

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  158. 12:04 - yikes, hard to know where to start with that post.

    Glad you were fortunate to be born with a mother that had the wherewithal to guide you as you need.

    I work with kids that don't have that. Hard to blame them for their parents mistakes.

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  159. A real humanitarian. Creepy.

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  160. Watch out for building in spending. Making kindergarten all day was a mistake. If they'd left it half day, they'd have had more funds for fewer layoffs, school supplies, etc. How about this, save $100 million in a boom year, then have it to avoid layoffs when you need it. Don't cut taxes when the economy improves, save the money for when it falters. You put in a 7th period, in 5 years we'll hear about teachers not being able to afford school supplies, class size increases, layoffs, fired counselors. Aw man, just let the kids learn language on their own if they want. The existing programs are OK, but come on, no 7th period, it will lead to layoffs.

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  161. Don man that's some racist bullshit. Blame the victim why don't you.

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  162. Yes, it is hard to blame them for their parents' mistakes. There are plenty of good excuses for everything. That's not going to help you to get ahead.

    All the talk about the more able bringing up the less able is nonsense. There is far more evidence that poor performers drag down the rest. Ask any teacher what happens to quality instructional time when you have a few clowns ruining the classroom environment for everyone else.

    KIPP has shown that you can take a class of all low performing African-Americans and turn them around. They don't need to be sitting next to a white kid to learn. Knowledge is self-earned.

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  163. Please ignore the troll. The discussion was staying on topic and interesting, let's not get sidetracked but people who are deliberately trying to fan the flames.

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  164. 12:05 PM:

    You're rockin'.

    I agree.

    We need to write this up, form a group of concerned SF parents around this, and formally submit our concerns.

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  165. Whoever the person is who is attacking African Americans is certainly not Don, just some nut trying to stir up trouble.

    Who knows, maybe they don't want GE parents to organize.

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  166. Show me the money.

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  167. I have to agree with the assessment. You say you can't blame kids for their parents, except for the fact that most of these kids end up treating their kids the same way, their parents were the same people we said you couldn't blame for their parents. In fact their grandparents were decent parents. It's degenerated with the acceptance of divorce and most adults blithely ignoring the fact that a kid with a single mom has half the odds of attaining a degree, a third the odds of attaining a postgraduate degree, and triple the odds of going to prison, even when adjusted for income and race. You can blame any man for not staying with a woman and raising kids. He's saying getting laid and avoiding stress as an adult is justification for reducing his own children's future success.

    The point is, the lack of blame has caused generations of poverty. No one is at fault, anyone can do anything and the fault lies with society. KIPP isn't that good, it really isn't. Look at the test scores. Asians don't even speak English in the home and do better.

    I was a white kid in the schools 35 years ago and it's not like all the black kids felt that it was a good opportunity to go to a better school. I went to Hoover in the late '70s and often the black kids, far from appreciating the opportunity, would disrupt class, start fights, burn books, etc. Today I hear it's worse.

    I'd be all for integration if it cured this, but there are no standards demanded of these kids. If they get a 2.00 and boast about being hard and from the ghetto, white people feel guilty. Asians, on the other hand, really feel the heat when they act like that, they're embarassing their family, etc.

    If Obama could convince all black parents to marry and read Amy Chua's new book, poverty would be over for blacks within 30 years. If they had admired and followed Asian examples starting in 1981, it'd be a nonissue now.

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  168. Emily, the powers that be are real-estate interests. They don't want middle class families in SF. They set up Presidio as one good school because a few of them have to live here for PR reasons. Notice how they never focus on how to really improve achievement for all, getting all kids to study many hours. They actually discourage kids from studying more in most schools. They want to drive the middle class out of SF so we're a City of all yuppies like Manhattan and rental real estate doubles. It's a great City for kids still, but they want to change that to make money. They start at Kindergarten, if you're over the poverty line, they generally tell you you have to drive 5 miles both ways twice a day when you fear being fired for not being at the office long enough, so people move, which is their goal, to turn SF into Manhattan. The Neighborhood Schools Measure this year will be the last chance for SF to remain a viable City for the Middle Class Families.

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  169. In the original proposal, the Aptos feeder schools were Ortega, Feinstein, Sloat, Lakeshore, Miraloma, Sunnyside and Glen Park. Now, it’s just down to the first three, plus Carver and SK. In looking at the student numbers at each school for third grade last year (total numbers reported in each grade by CST for spring of 2010), the first proposal added up to a lot more students than the recent one. (I chose last year’s third graders since those would be the first kids participating in the feeder plan.)

    Both Plans:
    30- Ortega (This is before MI kicks in… and later another GE class is added for younger grades, but Cantonese bilingual was also dropped this year, so eventually there should be about 20 MI and 40 non-MI each year if all came to Aptos.)
    59- Sloat
    83- Feinstein

    First Plan:
    Add:
    43- Sunnyside
    61- Miraloma
    103- Lakeshore (higher than some grades)
    57- Glen Park

    Current Plan:
    Add:
    58 -Starr King (2/3 of SK students are MI)
    44 - Carver

    So, there are 264 third graders in the schools previously slated for Aptos, now slated for Denman. On the other hand, there are only 102 students proposed to “replace” them. In other words, there are 274 3rd graders for the 2nd plan vs. 436 for the first.

    In both plans, there will be an additional 30 (approx) Ortega kids eventually added. Do any of these other schools have “hidden” classes in the pipeline? Also, with Lakeshore, does that 103 number go up and down? (Like some years do they have 4 KG classes, then 5 the next?) Finally, I don’t know how many kids at each school might have a Special Ed ID that will “feed” them into a different school. (I’m including them in the numbers, in the hope they are feeding into the same schools as their schoolmates.)

    At any rate, doesn’t that seem like a rather large difference? If EVERY feeder school third grader went to Aptos, including the eventual additional Ortega 30, that would be 304 per grade for the recent plan and 466 for the first plan. I think Aptos is “at capacity”… with about 330 per grade?

    When I first looked at the original proposal numbers, I was assuming the District planners had info I didn’t have… like that lots of kids will go private for MS (unlike my own family which did the reverse)? Are they now leaving more spots open for free choice? Smaller class size? Were they just accepting that many of the original feeder school students wouldn't get a spot at Aptos? (Or am I missing something obvious?)

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  170. It's easy to see why all the language immersion programs in the city are dominated by Cantonese and Mandarin immersion programs.

    Could it have something to do with the fact that Cantonese and Mandarin speakers want to self segregate themselves and have found that these immersion programs are a legal way to do it?

    Amy Chua is a nut.

    That neurotic style of parenting does nothing but produce citizens who are so status conscience that they can't think for themselves. Their tendancy to copy and steal the work of others is great.

    Why don't you get out from behind quizzing your kids on the SAT and check out Miles Davis, Theolonius Monk or Paul Robeson?

    This kind of narrowness is exactly why we shouldn't cloister our kids in culturally insular immersion programs. Even most private school don't produce nuts like this.

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  171. 1:02

    I remember after the previous draft, seeing a post, calculating the capacity vs # of students. It showed the # of students for Aptos was way higher than the school capacity.

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  172. 12:57: Real estate interests are not driving Board of Education policies, are they? First I heard of that.

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  173. Come on Don, spare us the neighborhood schools, right wing conspiracy, racist bull. You sound like a cross between Strom Thurmond and Wavy Gravy. Glenn Beck and William Ayers. Ann Coulter and Joan Baez. Come on man, stay on subject.

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  174. Hi 1:05,

    I agree with your assessment of Amy Chua, although I wouldn't say she was a nut. Just wrongheaded about what makes for a good education. If what you want is a kind of organic whole person style alternative education, the public secondary schools are not for you. The elementary schools may be OK, but once you get to secondary it will be test test and more tests.

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  175. I think it's fair to say that in reality, it's a luxury or a privilege to get to stay in SF, whatever race or color you are. This is an expensive city. To live here, you have to work really hard to make a buck, or need to have money from somewhere else. It's all easier to pull off without kids, but when you have kids, you have to work. If you don't want to work that hard or can't, it's hard (for others) to accept your demand to be able to stay in the city without really working it. It just is harder and demands more to stay here.

    None of this is fair. But plenty of people - among them white and asian - that it's too hard to stay in the city. It isn't a comment or critique on/of them, or their race or culture(s), or even their particular job path(s). It's just reality. Some just accept this reality while other say they're being pushed out. You can't really argue about being pushed out unless you're really truly working to stay.

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  176. Amy Chua actually sacrificed lots of money and free time to help both her daughters excel at music, in additio to being Straight A students. She knows a lot about music. If you don't look at results, status, grades, SAT, anyone can be equal to anyone. People like you know your childraising methods are lazy and inferior so you love to judge by vauge things (my child is so happy) rather than measurable things (University, income, SAT Score). Amy Chua's kids are well-rounded, both are great at music. Read the book, you sound ignorant. Most white kids get average grades AND aren't as good at music as either of her kids. If you base it on something vague, we're all equal, but if you look at facts, Chinese and Jewish parents are clearly superior, as are some other nationalities. If you base it on some vague notion of happiness, I'm sure all the kids who watch TV 40 hours a week and have to move to Stockton are real happy. Studies have shown the higher your income, the higher your happiness, and on ethnic comparisons, Asians always come out the happiest. Being broke makes me sad. Traveling and having an expensive dinner and having money in reserve makes me happy. No one is happy with a 2.00 GPA and no musical or sports skills, it's depressing, people laugh at you, just waking up and going to school or work is humiliating because everyone knows you're a loser with a capital L. Amy Chua is an amazing parent. You should read the book before you talk. Bringing up music just makes you look ignorant.

    And all this stuff about a well-rounded education, is that what you think kids with average grades are getting? Ask the average adult who didn't go to a good college about arts and culture and history at age 30, it's not like the lower grades added to cultural depth, more likely the opposite. Go to Stockton and see all the kids who got mediocre grades and were driven out by the Asiasn with better grades, ask what arts they're involved in, when they last saw a play or opera, what they know about Jazz and classical music and when they last traveled, then ask upper class people in SF. I think you'll find Ivy League and UC students are actually better at art, general knowledge, travel and well-roundedness than JC Dropouts you proclaim to be happy. A study showed kids with a perfect SAT score are generally excellent at extracurricular activities and spend more time with friends than those with mediocre SAT Scores. The extra time isn't spent becoming well-rounded, deep and artistic. It's spent watching reality TV, playing video games, having sex, getting high and listening to death metal or violent, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-intellectual rap music which would be called conservative and oppressive were the same lyris sung by whites.

    The idea bad students are more well-rounded than good students has been long since disproved. Amy Chua's kids are deep and well-rounded and I guarantee she's a better mother than you are.

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  177. 1:05

    The Cantonese and Mandarin immersion programs do not have more Chinese in them than other schools in the neighborhood.

    For example, AFY has 66% Asian, Lawton has 72%, Jefferson has 67%, Francis Scott Key has 73%, Sunset 59%, Stevenson at 74%.

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  178. That's true, San Francisco is for people who work hard and achieve, not whiny losers who expect a hand-out. In a few years when the projects start closing due to age and being rebuilt smaller, and Asians move in, SF will be one of the best Cities in the U.S. for average test scores. These whiny people you lionize drag down our test averages and make us look bad, but we still beat every other Big City of over 100,000. We do it because most parents are like Amy Chua. They take charge of their own destiny. It's called growing up. The quality of the average San Franciscan has been improving for 40 years.

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  179. Year One of feeders: 7th period for everyone and language programs for immersion students.

    Year Three of feeders: Budget crisis forces cutbacks. No more 7th period. No more language programs at every middle school. But we still have the feeder pattern.

    Boy, those introductory teaser rates look good on adjustable rate home mortgages. Also called bait and switch.

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  180. I can tell you from personal experience that what Amy Chua is suggesting will likely not lead to success in the halls of higher learning or in life.

    She is a law professor, by the way, at Yale, a school with a declining reputation (Law, not exactly at the pinnacle of academic achievement.)

    Americans need to get back to the business of being Americans: AKA the Gordon Moores, Alexander Graham Bells, Theolonius Monks, Daniel Inouyes, Richard Feynmans, Jonas Salks, Frederick Law Olmsteds and Eleanor Roosevelts that have a thousand times more to tell us about being a successful human being than Amy Chua ever will.

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  181. I don't have anything to do with any of the recent comments. If someone thinks they're racist, point your fingers elsewhere and stop scapegoating me. I'm sick and tired of it. It is indecent.

    I received a letter from SFUSD in the mail today from 555 Franklin. It was an explanation of how SFUSD's board authorized the new Balanced Scorecard Single Plan for Student Achievement on Jan 25 as a response to my uniform complaint on the subject. The new plan will center around responsibilities it has under education code 64001 to provide the necessary and legally required information in a school plan. It is necessary so that the public can follow how money is allocated for the benefit of student achievement.

    I realize few people follow or understand this issue. Nevertheless, if you did you would understand why it is important. Without proper reporting, the district and schools can do things it shouldn't. And it has.

    If Garcia is saying the money is there for a 7th period, what money is he talking about and what impact will it have on the budget overall?

    The discussion of immersion and its benefits is fine, but you cannot hope to fully understand the problem without full disclosure from the district about the source of this money. That is the principle behind why why I fought to make the BSC a transparent document.

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  182. 1:36PM

    Just for the entertainment value, I decided to take you up on your comments:

    Here's a few choice tidbits:

    "People like you know your childraising methods are lazy and inferior so you love to judge by vauge things . . ."

    Oh. Like attending tier one universites in engineering. Yeah, that's really vague.

    "if you look at facts, Chinese and Jewish parents are clearly superior, as are some other nationalities."

    If your so down on American culture and Americans in general, perhaps you shouldn't be here. Actually, early American culture was founded on a gestalt of Puritan, Presbyterian, Native American, French and African American values. All in all, I think we've done pretty well. Guess you missed out on those little chunks of history.

    "Being broke makes me sad. Traveling and having an expensive dinner and having money in reserve makes me happy."

    Oh, I'm sorry. What really engages me is the creative process, as well as engagement with other people. I guess we're different.

    " A study showed kids with a perfect SAT score are generally excellent at extracurricular activities and spend more time with friends than those with mediocre SAT Scores."

    Yes the zen of happiness related to SAT scores. Acutally, my husband, an MIT grad, tells me that MIT doesn't put much weight in the SAT. They don't consider it to be a very good determinant of academic success.

    "It's spent watching reality TV, playing video games, having sex, getting high and listening to death metal or violent, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-intellectual rap music which would be called conservative and oppressive were the same lyris sung by whites."

    Sex. Death metal. It's all over for the whites.

    1:36PM, I really hope you are not a representative of the kind of parents encountered at San Francisco Cantonese and Mandarin immersion programs.

    I really have to go. Have to work on a research proposal for a professor at Stanford. Best of luck with your zenophobia project.

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  183. Don,

    What kind of support do you need for this. I know you posted an email address earlier. Could you do that again.

    Thanks.

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  184. There was enough of that whacky b*tch publicizing her book, and her husband's books.

    Please, it's more annoying reading your Chua posts than the Dan-troll's (just STFU already you obsessive freak. Get over him!)

    I enjoy this blog because there are people advocating for my child's education on a level I am unable to - politically. It's not the only reason, of course, but this thread is specifically important because of the GE vs immersion issues.

    Now, someone mentioned earlier that SFUSD in not catering to ELL, but in fact there are plenty 4th graders, in immersion, unable to hold a conversation with an English speaking adult. Are you supposed to continue catering to this, or get that child on track with English at some point? Because the schools will continue to pass failing kids...no matter their 0% proficiencies. And into high school they go, with your children.

    How does a teacher even keep up with core curriculum? They obviously are not teaching it.

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  185. Again, where the DATA on ELL kids and their progress in immersion programs in SFUSD over the long haul?

    I fear it doesn't exist - yet we are,literally, banking on this program for ELL kids in these programs. I have no doubt it's awesome for native English speakers.

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  186. We would have had zero layoffs recently had we not put in guaranteed funding for new ideas for so long. Class size should have never gone down to 20, it should have stopped at 25 and the money should have been saved for the future. Kindergarten shouldn't have gone to a full day and they never should have agreed to pay for after school programs for all kids in middle school for no extra money. Parents should have to contribute for that. If poor they could volunteer 20 hours, if not $150 a month. Instead it was put in a program that led to layoffs.

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  187. What is the break down in an immersion class? 1/3 ELl, 1/3 English, 1/3 ethnic? Anyone know?

    If someone could help define dual immersion vs immersion it would be nice too. GE parent here

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  188. 2:25

    One way immersion requires all the kids to be English-proficient.

    Two way immersion ideally has 1/3 English speakers, 1/3 native speakers and 1/3 bilingual.

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  189. 2:24
    While I agree with some of your sentiment (implementing programs in the short term that can't be sustained in the long run) you are misinformed about where money comes from for after school programs.

    Those funds are not coming from SFUSD general education funds, but are funded through a combination of state grants, nonprofits (YMCAs, Beacons, etc.) and City of SF Dept of Children Youth and Families.

    I, too, agree that some families could help offset the cost of these programs - especially to help provide wider access to them (more spots) and better programming. But until recently, SFUSD resisted doing this for reasons that never made sense to me.

    Fortunately, the very people that resisted implementing a sliding scale fee program were also the very ones embezzling money from the program: Linda Lovelace and Trish Bascom. Hopefully, they will both rest peacefully in jail soon, if the DA can successfully prosecute them.

    But just to reiterate: these programs are from completely different funding sources and have not had an impact on teacher layoffs, class sizes, or anything else like that.

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  190. I meant: Fortunately the ones preventing exploring or moving to a sliding scale fee system to support after school programs, may end up in jail soon for embezzling funds and are now out of the picture.

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  191. I think the general point that Amy Chua makes is children are capable of a lot if held to high standards. People like to talk bad about kids with good grades, say they're shallow, to feel better. Let's face it, losers love to have a way to blow off anything measurable. Winners want to be measured. Asians are winners. Some are even Nguyners and winners. Asians achieve, don't complain. For every jazz star you get 1,000 kids who tried and didn't make a living because they didn't study, and for every NBA star you get 10,000 who are flat broke because they thought basketball was more important than studying hard. There are kids who don't even do their homework every day. These kids won't be well-rounded artists who do just fine and go to Stanford or a UC. They'll be underachieving people in poverty or mediocrity.

    Also, these stories about MIT not caring about the SAT are just nonsense. They look at other things, but the average kid admitted to MIT has an SAT Score in the top 1% of all Americans, over 2250 out of 2400, look it up. It's not the only thing they look at, but it's a third of it, a third being grades and a third being extracurricular activities.

    GPA isn't as good as SAT because some kids take easy classes. On an SAT class, you can't run, you can't hide, a 3.00 kid at a tough school who studies hard will outperform a 4.00 kid at a bad school who takes easy classes. It's a morally neutral empirical measure of human goodness. If you watch TV all the time, you'll get your fair punishment. If you read and look up words and study weekends, you'll get your reward, and colleges notice. All the Ivy League Schools accept kids in the top 2% of SAT levels almost exclusively. These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

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  192. Thanks. I would dare say that the one way are the most desirable and have the best results when it comes to these supposed facts that kids score higher and learn better in immersion programs.

    Are there that many dual vs. One ways in the city? I wasn't even aware until today.

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  193. Why is it that all the ivy league women I know are self-important, brag about their education, but fail when it comes to common sense?

    Why ANYONE would was to accrue that much debt is beyond me. Common sense mistake #1. ,

    science and medical aside.

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  194. 2:35

    AFY is one-way, but because they didn't test kids for English-proficiency if you put "English" as home language, they are getting more ELL kids during the last couple of years.

    All other Chinese programs (Cantonese or Mandarin) are two-way. Usually it is way easier to get in as native speakers than English speakers in those programs.

    I don't know about Spanish programs.

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  195. 2:32 PM

    I can assure you that you don't know what you are talking about. A high SAT alone will not get you into a great university. There are, by the way, many great universities outside the US that do not look at the SAT.

    Also, you're rambling on about Asians . . . blah, blah, blah is nonsense. Many cultures, including traditional Americans, excel in many fields without having neurotic parents like Amy Chua.

    My own experience with Chinese in the work place has been so negative that I avoid them. They have an over inflated sense of their ability, are insular (I'll avoid the use of the word racist) toward non Asians, falsely assume that they are alone in analytical ability, spend an excessive amount of time worrying about "face" and status, and have an unfortunate tendancy toward plagarism.

    The reason that white in the SFUSD are struggling is that they don't have the language card to play in order to self segregate. Nor do that want to self segragate to the extent that Asians want to.

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  196. By the way, this woman, Elizabeth Shin, burned herself to death.

    http://www.newyorkwrongfuldeathlawyerblog.com/2010/02/mit-the-suicide-of-elizabeth-s.html

    This is only the most exteme case of Asian students at MIT who collapse in their first or second year, often because they have been driven by their parents to succeed at all cost, and cannot see a life beyond the unachieveable standard of perfection that their parents have relentlessly driven them toward.

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  197. The very reason I choose immersion for my child is because I felt he needed more of a challenge than the GE curriculum. I don't think GATE and immersion are mutually exclusive.

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