Monday, May 23, 2011

Middle School Student Assignment Update

SFUSD will present proposed changes to the Student Assignment policy at the May 24 BOE meeting. The revised policy document is attached to the BOE meeting agenda (click here for PDF). The Student Assignment policy starts on page 77 of the PDF (stamped page 52 in the lower right corner) and ends on page 97 of the PDF (stamped page 77 in the lower right corner).

On the first page of the Introduction, under the header of “Complex Challenges," the policy states, “To reverse the trend of racial isolation and the concentration of underserved students in the same school through student assignment alone, the BOE would need to assign students to schools they have not historically requested and to schools far from where they live. For example, some students living on the west side of the city and in the north of the city would need to be assigned to schools on the east side of the city and the southeast side of the city, and vice versa.

Here are a few of the highlights in the revised middle school assignment policy.

Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year, elementary–to-middle school feeder patterns will operate as a tiebreaking factor in the choice process. The tie breakers are as follows:

  1. Younger sibling;
  2. Middle school feeder (unchanged from Feb. 1, 2011);
  3. CTIP1;
  4. All other students.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, fifth graders will receive an initial assignment to their feeder middle school and will have subsequent opportunities to participate in the choice process. The tie breakers after the feeder assignment are as follows:

  1. Initial assignment to attend feeder school but prefer another program at that same school (for example, assigned to GE strand, but qualify for Immersion strand)
  2. Younger sibling;
  3. CTIP1;
  4. All other students.

The following tiebreaker (known as the "density tiebreaker") was DELETED from all K-5, city-wide, and middle school assignment algorithms: “Students who live in attendance areas that do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate all the students.

In terms of the timeframe for implementation, the revised policy states, “Any revisions to this student assignment policy requiring Board approval will be approved at least three 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 August.”

The meeting begins at 6:00 PM at 555 Franklin.


  1. No comments 30+ minutes after posting probably means people are as stunned as I am....

    I wish I could buy private and parocial school stocks because I bet there will be a flood of MS applicants from now on...

  2. Again, ctip2 SE families not happy with their feeder MS are sol.

  3. how does ranking feeder above ctip1 lead to more equity and less racial isolation??

  4. "how does ranking feeder above ctip1 lead to more equity and less racial isolation??"

    It will force students together from different parts of the city. If you give the students CTIP1 a choice, a lot will attend the school that is closer to their homes (as what happened for the 2011 elementry school SAS.)

  5. I emailed all the BOE members and SFUSD staff to tell them they were violating the timeline terms of the March 2010 policy. So what do they do? They change the timeline at the very same meeting at which time they intend to violate that timeline. Is this responsible management?

    They failed to act within the deadlines of their own making (6 mo. prior to Nov. 13) so they change the timeline of the policy and act as if this is OK. This is very deceptive and irresponsible management. Why is it they need me to tell them they are violating their own terms? Why aren't the elected and/or paid leaders able to act in accordance with their own policy? This is absolutely failed leadership .

    In the meantime the timeline is now 3 months shorter and if further changes are made that may affect one's decision-making about enrollment in public or private school, that's just too bad. We need to vote out four members at the next election. This Board is getting to be a joke.

  6. Wow, so it looks like Alamo kids will automatically get into Presidio? That's great.

    The reason they need feeder to be above CTIP 1 is that many Glenn Park, Mission and Bernal parents were planning to appeal and try not to go to Denman, Everett, VV, etc. The truth is, there are a lot of upper and middle class people in those areas and we need to send one good school to each middle school, such as Lakeshore going to Denman. If they opt out, then you will get less diversity. Likewise if the kids at Rosa Parks can, they'll try not to go to Presidio because it's too far, but those are the black kids. So if they let them opt out, Presidio will be all Asian and white, no blacks or Latinos. They need to force the Parks kids to go there to diversify. Dr. Martin Luther King wanted integrated schools before he was shot and we must keep that in mind. Plus the kids at Parks need to learn good habits from the kids at Alamo and Lafayette and the goal is to convince kids who aren't studying enough to study more.

  7. I agree with Don. No incumbents next time. Vote for all new people for the board.

  8. Does the board really think that people with current first graders and younger at the schools feeding into currently failing schools are going to stick with this system? I have a hard time understanding their lack of concern for an exodus. Do they really think an exodus won't happen from those schools? Maybe they don't, but it's hard to understand why someone with any opportunity for an exit wouldn't take it given those assignments. Rachel can you please weigh in?

    And this is not coming from someone who lives in the southeast side of town.

  9. The way I see it, some folks will be unhappy and will complain - loudly, but at the end of the day they will go to their assigned schools and put in the work and it will improve more schools. It's hard to imagine as a k-3 parent, but the closer we get (next year) to middle school the less scary it becomes and the the more confidence I have in the actual teachers and school-site staff. Not sure about the district, but on the ground the potential is there - yes, even at Everett.

  10. Witness the outrage.Horror of horrors. Attending a school near your elementary. The world is coming to an end. Three days late.

  11. Does the board really think that people with current first graders and younger at the schools feeding into currently failing schools are going to stick with this system?

    It's time for Frisco liberals to show some courage. If you won't diversify your own schools, who will? You want to diversification. Well then, stop your belly aching and put up or shut up.

  12. Who on God's green earth lives in this city and calls it Frisco?

  13. 7:43pm

    Are you planning or have you sent your kid(s) to a failing school? A school where the majority students get no school support from family and exhibit anti-social behavior? If you did, why did you do that? Did it work out for your kid(s) and family?

  14. Jack Kerouac channeling the student assignment debate

  15. All of the sudden these poor oppressed families are the enemy now that you have to mingle with them.

    Ya just can't make schools better by kicking the can down the road. It is time to roll up your sleeves or are you turning Republican on us?

    Please don't tell me all that talk of equity was just satire.

  16. That sounds to me like another way of saying there goes the neighborhood.

  17. No, the poor and oppressed families shouldn't have to go to a failing school either. The objection to failing schools is that they are failing, not that they have kids in them who are poor, or oppressed. It's based on what the school produces in terms of results. If it's failing, it's about not wanting to send your child into a school that doesn't work. And that applies to poor families too. Why the hell would they want to send their kids to a failing school? The poor and oppressed don't necessarily live next door to the failing school.

  18. Someone was talking about the predicting power of demographics. If schools fail due to staffing, reconstitution would have solve the problem long ago. been there. Done that.No, it's up to you to make a difference. Stepping up or out?

  19. Parents can only do so much at the middle school level. At this point, kids have baked in a lot of their study habits and there is enormous peer pressure. It's not like a bunch of SAHMs can go in and turn a massive middle school with 1400 kids around like they do at small elementary schools at the K level. And who are these people with tons of time to devote to "fixing" schools anyway? my husband and I both work full time to afford living here.

  20. Just think about some kids besides your own. Your kids have an advantage over those poor kids even in the same school and you should feel happy about that. Even in the same school, your kids have a huge advantage. But that's not enough of an advantage, parents who buy tutors and help wiht homework and push studying weekends, it has to be total social segregation and private schools or trophy publics.
    Look, I agree poor kids need to study more, but how will it change if we run from the problem. Don't turn Republican and do white flight or white private, stay a progressive and help your kid be more understanding and the poor have a better example.
    Think of how you'd feel if your spouse died. You'd have a challenge, but imagine then that people considered your child's school beneath them, and avoided it, yet due to your income it wasn't beneath your kid. Think about it from both sides, not just one, you sound like a Republican bigot who thinks the upper middle class should make soup for the poor twice a year but avoid them socially like the plague. Show them love by your actions and the poor will rise to the occasion.

  21. Originally I seem to recall that at the time you applied for MS, you had a spot at your feeder school, and you could shop around. Now it appears that it is accept this or try your luck, and if you don't get the school you want, maybe there will be a space for you at your feeder MS. But if not, then well, you'll be assigned to the closest school with openings. Is my recollection correct, and am I reading the new proposal correctly?

  22. The only way this plan would be palatable to parents who took a chance on an up-and-coming ES would be if ctip1 and ES API of 0-2 came BEFORE feeder schools.

  23. This is strange, I thought CTIP1 would come before feeder and they'd then give feeder school kids the choice to stay closer to home. I had predicted not many kids form Parks would choose to go to Presidio. This is a good thing, because it will make some bad middle schools much better and diversify Presidio and Hoover and Giannini, to a degree. If you just give an option to Parks kids to go, the rich kids will take it and the poor will say no thanks. Often minorities don't all want to go the school that is best for them. I've known kids to get into Lowell and choose Balboa, get into UCLA and choose SF State, etc. So to get Parks into Presidio to diversify, you need to force every single kid to go to Presidio, no exceptions.

  24. Palo Alto. Do it.

  25. The BOE must have no interest in retaining the middle class families of Noe, Glen Park, and Bernal. I guess they don't want them to stick with the system. Lick could have been a viable option but I don't see how an already marginal school will improve by flooding it with students who are at the edge of proficiency.

  26. 'you need to force every single kid to go to Presidio, no exceptions'

    You have no clue about education law. Everyone is entitled to be able to choose from available seats at some point early in the year. You cannot force a student to go to a given school. Read up before you make such outlandish statements.

  27. "I bet there will be a flood of MS applicants from now on..."

    The lottery losers always have left the public middle schools to some degree. That will continue, but number is likely to go down as families see there assignments and efforts become part of a collective or like-minded individuals. Some will rise to the challenge.

  28. Pardon my typographical errors.

  29. I've read through the document quickly and it doesn't appear to actually list the feeder schools and the middle schools they feed to. Is there language in there saying that they'll either say who feeds where later, or that they're using the last plan on the table? I'm trying to figure out where they've put Starr King and Jose Ortega's Mandarin immersion program, as we need a home come 2012.

  30. I'm still opposed to this system, as I would prefer choice, but I can understand why the District had to move CTIP 1down below the feeder preference. The numbers from this year's system showed that, if they didn't, CTIP 1 students would crowd feeder students out of Lick (47% of students were CTIP 1), Aptos (24% were CTIP 1), and Roosevelt (22%). Simply put, CTIP 1 preferences have filled up a lot more of non-CTIP 1 area schools than the district anticipated. So this redesign is to make sure that, if a school is your feeder middle, you really will get into it.

  31. Our feeder MS in two years is Everett.. Everett is the lowest performing middle school in SF. What would happen if it was made a magnet MS for the arts and Everett students got priority for SOTA admissions? Everett would turn around over night that's what. If our three lowest performing middle schools were each devoted to a specific subject area, science, languages etc. and the system were left to choice I think you'd see huge improvements in short time. Sadly the lack of creative thinking on the part of the SFUSD and SFBOE is frustrating and disappointing.

  32. It says feeder patterns unchanged as of Feb 1, 2011.

    The document is an amended resolution from March 9. 2010. They don't list the feeder patterns which are subject to change. It is the assignment system which would be the same even with annually changed feeder patterns. Even though I support the more neighborhood based approach as proposed, I still think it is a miscarriage of justice to fail to adhere to the timeline and then change that timeline retroactively. If the changes had cost me in terms of time or money in applying for schools I would seriously consider holding the district liable for any damages, and I'm not the litigious type. But that is a low down dirty trick and the commissioners deserve scorn for operating their Board in such a fashion.

    It looks like the effort by Wynns to put CTIP first is going to be reversed to the administration's original proposal, more or less, though it is always a good idea to reserve judgment until after the actual vote.

    My take on why they are doing this is as follows: Garcia is focused on closing the achievement gap. He's demonstrated through his budgeting policies that he will stop at nothing to do what he thinks is necessary to narrow that gap. As it applies to the assignment system, he's turning the screws on many in the middle class who can little afford to sell a home now, pay higher rent elsewhere in the the City or pay for private school. He's hoping that this demographic will march off in lock step to his version of parent-driven school turnaround if they see themselves as part of a collective and can plunge into low performing schools in large cohorts.

    Many of those affected should consider that there is a bright side. There are some tremendous resources made available over the next two years at both SIG recipients Mann (Buena Vista) and Everett and to a lesser extent other low performing middle schools like Vis Valley and Denman.

    From a policy perspective it makes sense to bring academic diversity to some of these schools which suffered under the exodus that was choice.

  33. Make the three lowest performance MS's dedicated immersion schools. One for Chinese and two for Spanish (wait, they already did that to Mann). Feed the GE kids to the other schools. Problem solved.

  34. Pg 96 of the pdf document shows the feeders. As a K parent this year, I don't see any real losers with the feeders. Even if a middle school is low performing now, it won't be in 3-4 years with top performing elementaries feeding into it. The Hoover feeders are odd. Monroe, Moscone, Serra and West Portal. Most of the others makes some sense, but this one seems really random.

  35. Feeders are intended to be largely geographical with exceptions to accommodate language pathways. There's no perfect geographical assemblage without a district redesign from the bottom up.

  36. Winners and Losers...
    Gianni (Drew, Grattan, Jefferson, Key Stevenson, Sunset)all high API schools except Drew
    Denman (Lakeshore, Longfellow, Miraloma, Sheridan, Sunnyside)most schools with API over 800

    Lick (Alvarado, Flynn, Glen Park, Harte, MEC, Muir)- all low API schools except Alvarado. A high rate of students from similar SES.
    ISA (Bryant, Webster)- two low API schools feeding from similar SES

    The rest a mixed bag...

  37. 10:14
    " As a K parent this year, I don't see any real losers with the feeders."

    I do:( DW is our assignment area school. We go K 2012. I don't think many parents will choose DW now that it feeds into ISA (apparently for both Middle AND High School). The parents at Bryant might feel this way too.

  38. If they swapped Milk (to Lick instead of Everett) and Muir (to Everett instead of Lick) it would seem a tad more balanced for those schools. Plus weird that Muir would travel across the entire Everett zone to get to Lick and Milk is right next to the Lick zone.

  39. voter with a good memoryMay 24, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    The BOE needs to pass the MS SAS this year as next year 4/7 (Yee, Fewer, Norton, Wynns) are up for reelection, and they're counting on the electorate to have short memories.

  40. I'm sad that Aptos would go from the most diverse school to losing almost all of our Latino community who are coming here by choice.

    I don't see how this feeder deals with the reality on the ground - the schools are all different and parents aren't choosing a one size fits all.

    SFUSD is taking the lazy route - making families do the heavy lifing of addressing school change instead of doing their jobs.

    It isn't parents changing things at Middle Schools - it's principals and staff. Why isn't this reality the focus of SFUSD efforts?

  41. "SFUSD is taking the lazy route - making families do the heavy lifing of addressing school change instead of doing their jobs.

    It isn't parents changing things at Middle Schools - it's principals and staff. Why isn't this reality the focus of SFUSD efforts?"

    so true. and sad that the staff and principals are getting no respect for all their hard work. Parents can influence little at the middle school level and you aren't there for long.

    and 12:23, although one would think none of them would get re-elected, the BOE is elected mainly from endorsements so unless a strong parent group addresses the endorsing groups one at a time and explains what they should really be looking for in their BOE endorsement, most will get re-elected.

  42. Ask not what your school district can do for you, but what you can do for your school district.

    Carlos Garcia says it's all about joyful learning so don't get upset. Be happy.

    Let's all sing along...

    let me show you what its all about
    reading, writing, arithmatic
    all the branches on the learning tree
    your education ain't complete
    T T T Teachers gonna show you
    How to get an A
    (fading voice)
    OH ABC its easy as 123
    as simple as do ray me
    ABC, 123 baby you and me girl
    its easy, its like counting up to 3
    sing a simple melody

  43. 11:44 AM,

    I cannot believe that you list Denman as winner. Don't you know most of the opponents are feeding into Denman (they like Aptos more)?

  44. Carlos Garcia's Field of Dreams

    If you build it (the BOE)
    he will come (the middle class)

    If you help rebuild these schools we can raise money to paint New Deal era frescos in their hallowed hallways.

  45. Denman will be a winner. All the schools feeding have good API scores or are well on their way. Sheridan might not be popular among the white middle class but it is a solid school with strong academic performance. So is Longfellow.
    Denman looks like it will be a racially diverse and academically strong middle school
    In the end, it's the students elementary school experience and proficiency rates going into middle school which will define the middle school.
    A middle school full of students who were low performing in elementary school is not likely to become a high performing school unless the district makes a commitment to those students. It's doubtful that parents can make a dent in a large middle school environment; discipline issues become too complex and the achievement gap widens even more dramatically. At this point, there are no plans for the district to address basic proficiency or to help students that are struggling academically. The district's proposal is full of feel good jargon but there are no real proposal that address teaching students who are struggling academically. Too bad.

  46. RE: Winners and Losers...
    Agreed winners are:
    Gianni (Drew, Grattan, Jefferson, Key Stevenson, Sunset)all high API schools except Drew
    Denman (Lakeshore, Longfellow, Miraloma, Sheridan, Sunnyside)most schools with API over 800

    Don't agree Lick will be a Loser
    Lick (Alvarado, Flynn, Glen Park, Harte, MEC, Muir)- all low API schools except Alvarado. A high rate of students from similar SES.

    People love Alvarado, and Flynn's spanish program and Glen Park is only going to keep getting better. By the time this all goes down, Lick will be a mixed bag if not a winner.

    I agree Hoover has a strange group of schools feeding it. I bet Hoover people liked the first proposal that had Grattan, Clarendon, Jefferson and West Portal feeding it. Either way it's a solid school so should be fine.

  47. I don't think the EPC/BOE has any illusions that white, middle-class families will accept assignments to the low-performing MSs (Denman, Everett, ISA) into which some of their ESs are slated to feed. They are well aware of (and perhaps counting on) the likelihood that such families will go private or move to the 'burbs. The intent of the new SAS is to coerce high-performing, but low-income, Chinese kids from VV, BV/HP and the Mission to attend these low API MSs and thereby raise their test scores.

  48. "At this point, there are no plans for the district to address basic proficiency or to help students that are struggling academically."

    Hello? The district has launched a massive program to tackle the achievement gap in the 2 Superintendent Zones and has an extra $45,000,000 on top of tens of millions in TIIBG, QEIA and ESEA. Schools elsewhere are poor in part because SFUSD refuses to release from those zones even a fraction of the tens of millions of discretionary dollars the general use of which that has been standard practice all over the state.

    This is part and parcel of our Board and their administration's strategic plan. SFUSD wants to divert attention from this by claiming all the funding problems are due to California's budget crisis.

    Another part of the social justice agenda is the Quality middle school initiative. That initiative is demonstrated in SFUSD's middle school proposal discussed here. It is designed to stop the exodus of middle class families from neighborhood schools in the south and southeast. These are the policies of the people YOU put in power.

    Liberal minded people elected the far left commissioners on the Board. They installed a far left social justice agenda in the person of Garcia. Now he is implementing his agenda and the people who elected him are crying foul. Not in my backyard!

    On the other hand, you might just find out that with all the money that is bankrupting schools elsewhere, the Everett and Mann/Buena Vista may be able to provide an education to your child that will be the envy of other schools.

  49. How's that going to stop middle class flight? It will increase it.

  50. Garcia knows that the economy is squeezing the middle class. They cannot afford to sell their houses, rent at sky high prices or pay for privates. And private schools are full. He's turning the screws on the middle class to force parent-driven turnaround that, along with all the money allocated to certain schools, can make his dream of narrowing the achievement gap a reality.

    Are you buying?

  51. Still think that Lick will be a loser. Yes, Glen Park Elementary will come up over the next few years but I'm not convinced the middle class families of Noe/GP/Bernal who are not Spanish immersion won't splurge on private middle school for three years. From my perspective, Lick will be a tough sell as almost all students from MEC come from non-English speaking households and the API scores for Muir and Harte are extremely low. It's not a good grouping of schools for academic, racial, or SES diversity. I'm sure that the BOE is thinking that middle class people might go for this but I'm guessing most families with the means to go parochial or private at middles school will because it does not look like the GE program at Lick will be strong. Many of students coming into the school simply won't be proficient (given current test scores at these schools).

  52. "The district's proposal is full of feel good jargon but there are no real proposal that address teaching students who are struggling academically. Too bad."

    This proposal is about student assignment. But there are plans that address academic achievement.

  53. Maybe SFUSD will reverse its anti-honors anti-tracking stance and encourage families to attend Lick that way. If they lose those families the strategy fails.

  54. "Maybe SFUSD will reverse its anti-honors anti-tracking stance and encourage families to attend Lick that way."

    Come on. When was the last time SFUSD did ANYTHING that actually made sense.

    So if I was assigned Bryant or Webster for GE Kindergarten, should I be happy or worried with the idea of feeding into ISA?

  55. Still making Garcia the scapegoat huh Don? At least he has a job!

    You're still at Alamo and Presidio, so why are you sympathetic to our problems. I like the MS feeder system, and I'm from the SE part of town. We've built a nice community here at VV, and I'm glad to hear that we'll be moving on as a community! I'm sure it's not like the uppity type that you're used to though, but it works.

  56. PART 2

    At the May 9 BOE meeting, PAC and PPS put forth a proposal to SFUSD to open a quality middle school in Bayview/Hunters Point as quickly as possible.  Their proposal was the result of their outreach activities in the Bayview district.  An eloquent woman spoke in favor of this proposal.  She said that the children in Bayview are afraid of going to middle schools on the other side of town and, truthfully, who can blame them, given the racial imbalance at those schools (the imbalance will not be fixed by busing a handful of African American students over there).  In closing, she quite enthusiastically invited parents to enroll their children in a middle school in the Bayview.

    How about busing students from the following elementary schools from the west side of the city into the new quality middle school in Bayview/Hunters Point?

    * Alamo: 35% free/reduced lunch, 0.7% African American (4 students), 46% Chinese;
    * Argonne: 42% free/reduced lunch, 3% African American (12 students), 43% Chinese;
    * Feinstein: 23% free/reduced lunch, 4.2% African American (16 students), 31% Chinese;
    * Jefferson: 42% free/reduced lunch, 1.3% African American (6 students), 54% Chinese;
    * Key: 57% free/reduced lunch, 1.4% African American (7 students), 59% Chinese;
    * Stevenson: 55% free/reduced lunch, 3% African American (13 students), 65% Chinese;  
    * Sunset: 34% free/reduced lunch, 1.4% African American (5 students), 42% Chinese;
    * Sutro: 70% free/reduced lunch, 1.6% African American (4 students), 67% Chinese.      
    The current version of the K-8 feeder pattern is unfair and racially divisive, and I will be extremely disappointed if the BOE accepts it.  The current feeder map undermines all the good things that K-8 feeder patterns can accomplish by putting the burden of diversifying our schools on the backs of poor African American and Latino children.  All racial groups in the City should be impacted equally.  Let’s see a map where “some students living on the west side of the city and in the north of the city are assigned to schools on the east side of the city and the southeast side of the city,” just like the SFUSD stated in their proposal.  Until that time, the BOE should reject the K-8 feeder plan.

  57. I cannot get PART 1 to upload. Will try again. Sorry, will be out of sequence.

  58. PART 1a (read PARTS 1a and 1b before PART 2)

    The concept of K-8 feeder schools is OK, as long as it is established in a fair and meaningful way. 
    Has anyone look closely at the K-8 feeder pattern map?  (  Take a step back and just look at the colors for a moment.  The middle school attendance areas are represented as solid, uninterrupted blocks of color on the northern and western sides of the City.  For the most part, these feeder schools are contiguous, creating virtual neighborhood middle schools.  Now look at the patchwork quilt of colors in the Bayview and in the southern parts of the City—what a cacophony of color!  These children are being forced to take buses (on their own dime) to distant schools in the name of diversity and social justice (it’s not all about language pathways!).  This feeder map completely contradicts the SFUSD proposal (Complex Challenges), “…some students living on the west side of the city and in the north of the city would need to be assigned to schools on the east side of the city and the southeast side of the city, and vice versa.”  When I look at the map, all I see is the “vice versa” part of the proposal!  With the exception of Ulloa going to Hoover and Lakeshore going to Denman, every single busing route goes east-to-west or south-to-north.  There is no “vice versa.”
    According to a handout that was provided by SFUSD at the May 9 BOE meeting, 14 elementary schools have non-contiguous feeders. Eleven of these schools are in the Bayview or the southern parts of the City.  These children will have some of the longest MUNI commutes in the City.  Here are some examples (I will provide the full list when I find my stack of handouts):

    * Drew: 7.8 miles, 60 minutes, 1 transfer (79% free/reduced lunch, 77% African American);
    * Starr King: 5.8 miles, 47 minutes, 2 transfers (59% free/reduced lunch, 22% African American) ;
    * Carver: 5.7 miles, 38 minutes, no transfers (86% free/reduced lunch, 68% African American);
    * Harte: 4.3 miles, 47 minutes, 2 transfers (90% free/reduced lunch, 51% African American);
    * Malcolm X: (93% free/reduced lunch, 51% African American).

    Many of the students at these elementary schools are struggling academically, yet they will be losing upwards of 2 hours a day commuting.  Forget the buses.  These children need time to study!  These students need a quality middle school in their own neighborhood, just like the students in the western and northern parts of the City.

  59. PART 1b

    Pinch me.  It feels like the 60’s.  Most of the forced movement in the current K-8 feeder proposal is busing the extremely poor African American and Latino children across the city.  If it is all about increasing diversity and decreasing racial isolation, then why isn’t the District busing white and Chinese students from the western and northern sides of the City in the other direction?  That would shake up the demographics!   Let the African American and Latino students stay in their neighborhoods and bring the diversity to them for a change instead of trying to sprinkle them all over the District.  

  60. "I'm guessing most families with the means to go parochial or private at middles school will because it does not look like the GE program at Lick will be strong."

    As a middle class family at Glen Park - it doesn't look good for our current fourth graders in the GE program. Lick seems like a great school but it also seems pretty focused on Spanish Immersion. For my kid (we have several years to let this system work itself out), as it stands, we will NOT be going to Lick. I would be willing to accept the school if it kept it's small class sizes like it has now and offered some sort of programming for honors (and I'm really only talking about math and english). But as is (ballooning class sizes and no honors programming), no thank you.

    Middle school charter anyone?

  61. Ack. Sorry for the errant apostrophe. I hate that! Its not it's!

  62. The current K-8 map is the handiwork of the Devil (some may know him as Senor Garcia).

    Look at the southern half of the city. Hoover is a celestial nightmare (sitting in the center of a constellation of distant schools). Aptos is surrounded by the look-but-don’t-touch “ring of blue fire” (all the schools that want to go there, but can't). Denman is completely outside the attendance area of the elementary schools that are being forced into it (how crazy is that!).

    Alas, students feeding into Denman do not consider themselves “Winners.” Denman does not have GATE/Honors, orchestra, band, chorus, drama, or visual arts programs…all the things that the students who attend Lakeshore, Longfellow, Miraloma, Sheridan, and Sunnyside would receive if they attended Aptos. Instead, these schools surround Aptos in a “ring of blue fire” (perhaps these schools are the "untouchables" in our culture). The Principal at Denman won’t permit GATE/Honors classes, and the District hasn’t presented plans or a budget to enrich the arts. It is NOT a Quality Middle School. So there you have it, Losers with a capital L.

    Congrats to the families at Vis. Valley MS—you escaped under the radar into a neighborhood middle school that you love. That’s what I call a Winner!

  63. Why you are attacking my employment status instead of the real culprit I don't know.

    The person you referred to as "employed" is driving your discontent. This is one time where I agree with him. In fact if you want to blame me and Students First, that would have some logic. After all, given the Board's ballot argument against neighborhood schools, one could easily imagine that they are hedging their bets by upgrading the neighborhood priority. But isn't that kind of hypocritical? They see the polls. They know the writing on the wall regardless of whether you can figure it out.

  64. To 9:48 AM who wrote: "Make the three lowest performance MS's dedicated immersion schools. One for Chinese and two for Spanish (wait, they already did that to Mann). Feed the GE kids to the other schools. Problem solved."

    I love it! If you run for the BOE in next election, you get my vote!

  65. The current K-8 map is the handiwork of the Devil (some may know him as Senor Garcia).

    Aye carumba! If this isn't the pot calling the kettle black. Frisco liberals in full retreat and cannibalizing themselves.

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. Do you have any idea what you are talking about? First you say poor kids need a school in their neighborhood, like people in the west, and that AA and Latinos are losing 2 hours of study a day commuting. Then you suggest that western residents should also lose two hours a day and should go to the eastern side for school, as if it is perfectly find for these children to waste their time.

    It isn't OK for ANY children to be wasting time commuting. That's why everyone should go to their neighborhood school.

    Are you saying that Chinese kids who study longer on average have more time to waste?

  68. @4:03. Yes, the discrepancies between Middle Schools are mind-boggling - just take a look at the district's MS matrix chart. Nonetheless, in middle school the peer population probably has a greater impact on academic and social success than band. It sounds like Aptos has a lot going for it and it's too bad the district is disrupting a school that is working in favor of the unknown. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  69. not a fan of EPCMay 24, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Would there be a way for the BOE to come up with a MS SAS that allows the folks at EPC to "save face" but also (quietly) eliminates the MS feeder proposal? This is the only way this unfortunate policy plan will be dumped IMO.

  70. I agree with the 2:00 pm cynic.

    What are the numbers on the nonHispanic white population of public schoolkids through the grades? Is it high at kindergarten, lower at middle school, and even lower at high school? When we are trying to reduce the concentrations of AA and Hispanics at the MS level, then, the battle is lost trying to desegregate with nonHispanic white students. The Chinese population is the only ammo we have.

    And the feeder plan is saying: You live there. Now go to school there too--and bring up the average--and make me look good.

  71. Hi Don, I wrote the post about busing. I put the comment about busing students from the west side of the city to point out the significant equities in the District's K-8 feeder proposal. Elementary schools with high Chinese student populations are not being bused; elementary schools with high African American student populations are being bused.

    I agree with you that families want neighborhood schools. Families do not want busing. No 10-year child should be forced to travel several hours a day on Muni. The District should not rob them of their studying hours for some crazy experiment in social engineering that is supposed to improve middle school quality. Huh? But, and here's the but, the District needs to be fair and equitable in all decisions. If they are going to introduce K-8 feeders at all costs and against community outcry, then one student population cannot have full responsibility for "reversing the trend of racial isolation and the concentration of underserved students in the same school."

    Until the District is fair and equitable in the feeder patterns, until the students are not impacted with unreasonable distances, until all middle achools are quality by design, the BOE should reject the K-8 feeder proposal.

  72. Is anyone watching the BOE meeting Live Stream on SFGovTV? (

  73. 7:10,

    The diversity agenda has been a straw man. This is well understood in education circles nowadays. The court orders are over. Why if indeed the problem still exists? Because trying to diversify was a dead end. No plaintiff has a case to show that diversity is a tool of student achievement. Racial and socioeconomic diversification is not the mandate of a school or a school system. The highest courts have ruled that it is not the role of government to force integration on communities unless those communities were institutionally segregated by government policies of old.

    Have we forgotten what is the point of schooling? This chasing of racial diversity has been a wholesale failure that cost society dearly.

    This post consent decree conversation has been happening for some time around the country, but the far left in San Francisco has been avoiding it. It's over. When I go to See's Candies I like to get the creams, nuts and chews. When I take my children to school I just want one thing, a quality education.

    It is time to talk about student achievement and what we're going to do about that. This SAS and the Board's mishandling of it has been a disproportionate waste of precious district time, money and resources that could have been used for a better end.

    Create neighborhood schools and do the hard work. I'd rather not have my kids at Wash, but it's my neighborhood school and I will work to improve it.

  74. Really the only way to integrate our schools is to get whites to participate. 29% of Kindergarteners are white and 13% of high school seniors. Therefore, they need to find out what will get whites to stay and give it to them. Otherwise any benefit in integration will be wiped out by white flight to suburbs or private schools. Integration has never been shown to improve test scores. Kids aren't open to other ways, they blindly follow the morals and study patterns set by their parents and peers. They only study hard in charter schools with mandatory long hours, that's all that works. So have charters for the underperformers. You won't cut the achivement gap without long, gruelling hard work. The AA and L kids will have to sacrifice hundreds of hours they're currently enjoying being kids to make the gap disappear.

  75. Dude at 8:04,

    29% of the K applications are white. The K actual enrollment of whites is much lower. I forgot the exact number but it is, I think around 17%. The district percentage of whites is 11 across all grades.

    You cannot even begin to have a conversation if you keep putting out all this incorrect information. You're the one telling everyone to study. Well, do a little studying of your own.

  76. Perhaps the EPC and BOE are actually counting on "white fligh"t (and the associated loss of more vocal/less compliant families) as part of their MS SAS? I don't get the sense that the BOE is particularly interested in keeping this demographic in the district.

  77. 4:30 PM. While Denman it is true that does not have honors, due to the personal philosophy of the principal, it does have band and orchestra, and a fairly vibrant amount of arts activities. The lack of honors was really the biggest downside.

  78. EPC has nothing to do with policy making. They don't need to save face.

  79. I am getting deja vu...the plan of bussing children way across town is futile, disruptive and doesn't work!

    anyone remember forced bussing in Boston? look it up. I thought we are supposed to learn from past mistakes not replicate them.

    this BOE has to go now!!!!!!!

    we are not pawns that for the sake of some social experiment, when are we SF going to stand up for our rights and stop being walked on.

    We need to improve our neighborhood schools for everyone and stop making things so complicated all in the name of racial diversity. This is hurting our children not helping them.

  80. Glen Park doesn't have a bi-lingual Spanish strand. It should go to Denman or Aptos. Junipero Serra should or Fairmount should go to Lick. If Lick is going to support Spanish Immersion, then it should feed schools which have a bi-lingual Spanish component.

  81. 8:12... what's the point of saying which school should go where? Tell it to the Man. It does no good to tell us and at this point it looks like it's too late in any case.

    10:45 is right. We have to vote out the BOE. They are the worst.

  82. "Glen Park doesn't have a bi-lingual Spanish strand. It should go to Denman or Aptos."

    We have a Spanish bilingual strand that ends in 3rd grade. We usually wind up with 10-12 kids in the program by then. It's hasn't been fully enrolled for a long time, but we have a program.

    Historically our kids have gone to Denman or Aptos, so I'm with you on that though for what it's worth.

  83. The MS feeder pattern does not complement the current Elementary School SAS which is a mix of neighborhood AA, citywide programs, and choice.
    The MS process should be the same. Some schools or programs within schools should be citywide lottery with some placement determined by geographic location. For instance Lick could become a Spanish Immersion, citywide school. Hoover could have a citywide Cantonese Immersion track and GE track for attendance area. Denman could have a citywide enhanced math track and a GE track for attendance area. Aptos could have a citywide honors track and a GE AA track.

    In addition, we need schools dedicated to preparing students who are not proficient in two or more subjects for high school. We need to recognize these students and give them the academic support they need so they can graduate from high school and be literate in math and English. It is morally irresponsible to not recognize students who need help and simply shuffle them through the system. I'm sure there is a lot of research on how to help students become proficient and graduate from high school. SFUSD needs to target these students, maybe in specially designed middle schools, and help them a positive transition into high school. These schools might need more social service, longer hours, classes on conflict resolution, etc. I'm sure if SFUSD looked at the research they could develop a school that would help struggling students become high school ready during the middle school years.

    The problem of students who do not have basic skills has a ripple effect through our education system and economy. This morning there was a report about students at community colleges. A high percentage do not have college level English skills. These students have a huge attrition rate and are not likely to get a college education. This hurts our economy and our society.

  84. @8:39 Thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize that Glen Park had that strain. I guess I was thinking of it more as a GE school as the majority of students seem to be GE.

  85. May 24, 2011 9:31 AM wrote: "...What would happen if it was made a magnet MS for the arts and Everett students got priority for SOTA admissions?"

    SOTA does not and should not be accepting students based on some sort of priority of where they went to middle school.

    You get into SOTA based on artistic merit. It should remain that way.

  86. 'SFUSD needs to target these students, maybe in specially designed middle schools, and help them a positive transition into high school.'

    Hi 9:08,

    Placing large cohorts of under performing students together in special schools is the opposite of what has been the historical practice in SFUSD.

  87. @9:32 - How does SFUSD help under-performing students? If you look at the data, the achievement gap radically increases over time so that by the time you look at high school test schools some schools have over 50% of students not proficient. That is completely unacceptable for those students, their future, and our society. Does anyone know what the district does to help these students?

  88. basically, it's b--l s--tMay 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    The new MS SAS is intended to funnel more Chinese kids into low API, historically predominantly AA and H schools to raise the overall test scores. It's not clear how the SFUSD intends to raise the scores of the H and AA students in these schools, though the much larger funding streams Don has mentioned may pay for i.e. more test prep. And, of course, by gutting GATE/honors, they can reduce the gap by lowering the performance of the stronger students.

  89. The big May 31st televised SFUSD meeting that has just been announced should NOT be about re-arranging the deck chairs on the veritable Titanic that is our public middle school system. It should be about trying to come up with innovative school-within-a-school, charter options, and other programs to arrest the precipitous in test scores that occurs in the middle school years. It is sad that, rather than a real brainstorming gathering where we can try to improve low SES student performance by any means possible, we are going through a charade that is only going to alienate the very families that have been responsible for 100% of the improvement that HAS happened at the public middle schools. This is so sad it really makes me cry!

  90. @ 9:13 I am very aware of the SOTA admission process and artistic merit is only one of several criteria used to evaluate and admit new students. Trust me SOTA would welcome qualified students coming from an arts focused middle school. These kids could not only easily pass their auditions but also arrive well prepared for the specific discipline of an arts focused education. Such a middle school would also help close the gap between those that can afford extracurricular arts enrichment and those that can not.

  91. 10:15,

    If my children don't do well on some test or assignment I look at three things. First, did the teacher do a good job of delivering the lesson? Second, did my child do his part in being attentive and following through with the school work and homework? And thirdly, did I do what I could to help?

    Too often we blame the district, the school or the teacher for not doing its part but fail to do our own part to oversee of children's efforts as well as our own. This is the essential problem with student improvement policies and programs in SFUSD. We lay ALL the blame at the feet of the District as if the student and family are nonparticipants in their own personal and intellectual growth.

    I know that there are many fundamental problems with schools, but there is a lot that is right with them,too. All efforts to improve schools, their programs and teachers should be practiced in coordination with parents and students doing their part. It is all too easy to lay the blame on someone else. The issue of personal responsibility is not a conservative or Republican concept. At least I sure hope it isn't for most people.

  92. May 25, 2011 10:57 AM wrote: "...Trust me SOTA would welcome qualified students coming from an arts focused middle school. These kids could not only easily pass their auditions but also arrive well prepared for the specific discipline of an arts focused education..."

    So such a child should be able to take a spot over a kid who auditions better?

  93. @11:40 : Which part of "qualified students", "pass their auditions" and "well prepared" did you miss or are you a troll ? I'm leaning towards troll.

  94. 12:21 wrote: "Which part of "qualified students", "pass their auditions" and "well prepared" did you miss..."

    Which part of where you wrote: "Everett students got priority for SOTA admissions?" did you miss?

    If you agree that audition merit is king, your usage of "priority" suggests that a student from your dream Everett arts magnate would get a spot even if they didn't do as well in the audition.

    After all, if they performed better in their audition...why would they need any priority?

  95. Rachel Norton published a short summary of last night's BOE meeting on her blog. Interested parents should view video (in archives) for specific details.

    SFUSD has published the agenda for May 31 BOE meeting, where they will discuss their K-8 feeder proposal. PAC/PPS are first on the agenda. There is a public comment period too. This is probably last opportunity to sway the BOE before they vote on proposal in June.

  96. To 12:52

    I think that the other poster is suggesting that the feeder middle school (Prioritizing schools like Everett and Denman) would be always the tie breaker in cases where many equally qualifying students were applying from a variety of schools. I think that this makes sense, is fair and equitable and would encourage diversity. Private schools applicants would be considered after qualified (emphasis on qualified) public students. I feel that the same should be true for Lowell.

  97. The Liberal point of view is that diversity of the student body is a legititmate consideration aside from any consideration of test scores. It is the justification for the affirmative action in the Bakke decision, in which voluntary consideration of race and ethnic identity was used in medical school admissions (caveat: no quotas.

    The school district says it is trying to improve test scores by reducing overconcentrations of African Americans and Hispanics.

    An entirely separate line of consideration is diversity for its own sake, for the educational experience of the student body aside from any hoped for closing of the achievment gap. I sign on on this second, liberal use of race in the SAS. Is it still permitted under State Prop 209? I will assume yes, until the school district staff says no.

  98. College admission criteria and K-12 enrollment criteria have little overlap in legal debate over racial equality for obvious reasons.

  99. If you want middle to upper class kids to travel across town to help diversify a school in a lower class neighborhood, you have to attract them there (aka a magnet school). This strategy has worked well in other places. (Raleigh, NC comes to mind.) But the program has to have merit.

    Does it close the achievement gap between sub groups? I don't know the answer to that. But it does help diversify a school without expecting only the kids from the SE side of town to travel in order to mix things up.

    It seems this is what MSs have been doing with the choice/chance system, and it has worked well at schools like Aptos.(Correct me if I'm wrong.) Maybe it could work at some of the "losers" in the new SAS.

  100. It isn't about attracting families to cross town to a magnet school. It's about keeping them from leaving their own neighborhoods to attend better schools.

  101. Yes, even better.

  102. No, it's about keeping typically higher-achieving (C, W) kids in their failing neighborhood schools to prop up the test scores of these schools by making it difficult or impossible for such kids to attend high API schools on the West side of town.

  103. meant Yes not No (in response to 5:13). But I agree that 4:56's suggested magnet strategy would be far more palatable (not to mention likely to work).

  104. But duh: that's why I suggested adding better programs to attract higher achieving kids. It's been done in other places, drawing (or keeping) kids who otherwise would not consider going there.

    My sister's kid went to such a school in Raleigh, NC, because of a strong IB program. She got an excellent education in a not to desirable neighborhood. For the record, it was a straight lottery.

  105. Oops. Sorry, duh. I wrote before I saw your later post.

  106. Why bribe you with magnet programs when the district can just draft you to go to the school you do not want? Some will bolt for privates or out of town, but the school district is willing to take that chance. We have little confidence we can manufacture magnet programs at the MS level. To some extent, immersion has been successful, but it has been entirely at the ES level.

    Parents have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps at the ES level, somehow, at a McKinley, etc. If we keep them together, maybe they will repeat the success at the MS level. This is our grand plan. We have no idea if it will work, but we are trying something to improve SE MS's, rather than doing nothing (which is not an option).

    At the same time, others have pointed out that stategies for quality education at the MS level have not listed school assignment as a major factor. Someone mentioned that she attended a conference on this subject. We should be able to do more than taking a shot in the dark with this K-8 feeder pattern. Although we have started down this path of feeder patterns to improve MS, we cannot afford to ignore other strategies for improving MS. What were those good strategies covered at the conference?

  107. EPC self-aggrandizing forum in the SEMay 25, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    SF schools: Closing the achievement gap
    Thursday, June 2, 2011
    12:30 pm
    654 Mission Street,
    San Francisco, CA 94105-4015

    The achievement gap is the greatest civil rights issue facing the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). A new student assignment system honors choice, provides equitable access to the range of opportunities, and helps reverse the trends of racial isolation and concentrations of underserved students. Come hear from Orla O’Keeffe, special assistant to the superintendent, and Darlene Lim, executive director of the SFUSD Educational Placement Center, about how the new student assignment system works.

  108. Propping up the test scores with W & C students without actually increasing AA & L scores is not a good strategy for SFUSD. All that would do is lower the amount of federal and state dollars to the district if more school API averages meet proficiency. This is not in the best interests of SFUSD administration or students. They want more money not less. And it does nothing to lower the much publicized achievement gap which is based not on average school scores but on the ethnic subcategories.

    You just want your opportunity out. Why do it at our expense? If you don't want to go to the school in the community where you live, why not find a community you can live with? Why should my kids have to go to the school in your neighborhood when you won't send your own kids there? You want to spread the responsibility for your unlivable decisions to others. Move if where you live isn't good enough for you.

  109. A neigborhood school plan where I am stuck going to the schools in my area is a legitimate form of school assignment. But it is not the only legitimate form for SFUSD. This city is small enough that citywide choice is also a legitimate form of school assignment. No one has a right to his school across the street. We only have the right to elect a board, which in turn decides on our SAS.

    We have a brand new SAS. Certainly the lines for Clarendon and Miraloma need to shrink. Expand John Muir. Police carefully for address verification. I would also limit CTIP1 to public housing addresses.

  110. 9:47,

    Yes, we elect the Board, but for 25 years it was under a court order. The commissioners were not free to do as they wished. That consent decree only expired 3 years ago. Have you forgotten already?

  111. 9:47

    Do you live accross the street from a good school? I bet you don't. If you did you most definitely would not want to take a chance on the lottery sending you miles away to a failing school.

  112. 10:53 PM, do you live across the street from a failing school? I bet you don't. If you did, you most definitely would not want to be locked into a neighborhood system requiring you to go to that failing school.

  113. 6:35 AM: Then move. Don't expect people to happily give up spots in their neighborhood schools just because you don't like yours

  114. "Then move. Don't expect people to happily give up spots in their neighborhood schools just because you don't like yours"

    Why? Why should we have to move because you feel that the district owes you a slot in a nearby school?

  115. Residents should take pride in their neighborhoods, not see them as real estate opportunities. If they're speculators, why give their children some advantage? What ever happened to the community spirit at the original core of liberalism? Think globally,act locally and commute across town to school in your gas guzzler? Don't be a limousine liberal.

  116. " It should be about trying to come up with innovative school-within-a-school, charter options, and other programs to arrest the precipitous in test scores that occurs in the middle school years."

    I'm not seeing the clear blue water between the charters and the conventional publics in SFUSD. KIPP selects out students who might drag down their scores, and Edison and Creative Arts have had multiple internal problems.

    Charters appear to work in areas where there's no school choice and they can cream off the most academically motivated parents. We have school choice in SFUSD, so charters perform at or worse than par compared to the publics here.

  117. 10:11 to the parent of an academically successful 5th grader who is assigned to an underperforming middle school a spot at a better performing small charter MS may be that kids only non private decent educational option. The rest of it loses immediate relevance very quickly when it's your child's education at stake.

  118. 10:11,

    -Charters appear to work in areas where there's no school choice-

    Like San Francisco?

    Kipp should be commended not disparaged for their noble efforts. They encourage everyone in the community.But they have standards.

    That's a benefit of charters. They can hold students and families accountable.

  119. Does anyone know the plans for the old Buena Vista site? The Pre-K is staying behind, but what about the rest of the facility?

  120. 10:05 wrote: "Why should we have to move because you feel that the district owes you a slot in a nearby school?"

    You don't have to move. Go ahead and stay where you are and enjoy your neighborhood school.

    I like how so many trash on the Sunset for being boring, foggy, unhip, etc...but when it comes time to put their kids in a public school, they want to send their kids here displacing neighborhood kids who they expect to go to far away schools at their own expense.

    No thanks. If you like the schools on the west side then move here. Its not like the housing/rental prices in the Sunset are much different than Portero Hill and Bernal Heights. Oh, I forgot, you like your hipster neighborhoods as long as you don't have to have your kids go to school in them.

  121. 4:10

    So can you be at least honest enough to admit that while a neighborhood assignment system might solve your problems, that it would not solve the bigger issues with public schools in San Francisco? It seems like everyone really just wants whatever will work out best for their family but won't admit it. Maybe I am wrong.

  122. 4:10
    As my significant other says, "they choose weather over education." We sold our house in SE and are now renting in Inner Richmond. No brainer. And yes, we did receive schools we wanted.

  123. I have to agree with 4:10, we have all these schools out here in the Sunset but we are displaced.

    I got a school miles away and under-performing. Naively we moved out here thinking that the schools are good and we were all set.

    What a slap in the face. Now our house is worth less, can't sell w/o loosing $$$$ and struggling to pay prop tax....yes i do believe the district owes me a neighborhood school! WTF!!!!!

    I don't know anyone out here that actually got a school in this neighborhood...anyone here that can tell me they got their neighborhood school?

  124. 6:59: You pay property taxes to the city of SF, as do the homeowners in Bernal and Potrero. All are equally entitled to send their kids to higher-performing SF schools (as are low-income families who rent in Bernal, Potrero, Mission, Visitation Valley, and Bayview btw). Your high home payments simply entitle you to a shorter commute IF you're able to secure a spot in a high-performing Westside school for your child.

  125. I have no problem entering into the system as a "lottery" however it is not a lottery, it is a fixed system and unfortunately too many people are loosing it, not enough are gaining from it and it is causing more divisions and confusion.

    The district is spending too much time and money spinning their wheels on how to close the achievement gap and not enough creative thinking on how to do this.
    I think if you are poor, rich or in the middle, people want to have assurance of a quality school in their neighborhood.

    If people want to be exposed to different cultures and diversity then they should be able to do this as they wish and not be forced and coerced into traveling miles from their home.

  126. at 7:10
    yes you are right and I didn't think of it like that since I am feeling the squeeze I am focused on my dilema.

    yes, choice is the topic but what is it when we are not getting our choice?

    What are we supposed to do? I am supposed to feel good about sending my child to a low performing school, miles away from home or am I to scrape up my dimes to send my child to parochial?

    This system is a fiasco and it is only getting worse. I see no relief even if Mister Puppeteer Garcia thinks he is playing us like a game of chess with only one thing on his agenda.

  127. "All are equally entitled"

    In your dreams....

    The Board of Education decides what you are entitled to as far as goes student assignment. There is no legal right for you to go anywhere other than to a public school. There are some laws that provide for choice, but only as far as it is available in the context of each district's own policy. And some districts do allow district transfers though that option has decreased as fewer districts can afford it.

    Your ideals of how the world should be are not in line with the way it really is. According to your logic, since the majority of school revenue is generated by state taxes, anyone in California should be able to go to any school in California. I'm a resident of the Richmond but I'm entitled to go to Marin schools. LOL

  128. It's not about being in a hipster environment, it's about being in a more diverse environment with a lot more to offer, and cheaper. Including a better commute in and out of the city, better transportation, better life than just living inside a bubble of a few blocks like most of the richmond outer sun people live. THere is a reason the culture is like it is "out there."

    I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just different and it's definitely a bi-culture, MAYBE tri with the easter block countries included, out there.

    This comes at the price of course - liquefaction, lack of bedrock, lack of a quick trip downtown, out of the city, down the peninsula, that bright light in the sky that brings us warmth and happiness, decent south america foods...

    we are not ready to make the entire family life sacrifice for our children's lower level education and don't mind being a part of this process - mind you, child is in immersion. But when it comes to middle school which is before this program's inception, we can always hop the heck out of here - at the price of paying higher property taxes.

    We will enjoy what we have while we have it. We learned not to stress so much about the lower grades. Plenty of ways to make up for a lack of extras in mediocre schools, but we can afford it because we have lived here so long.

    If my child ruled my life, than yes, I would move to the most important school on my treasured list, and if I didn't get in, i'd move again and reapply, psychotically thinking that "it's the school" and not possibly my parenting that is wrong with my child's education.

    Or I'd try for immersion in 1st grade at a closer school than the one I was granted.

  129. "I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just different and it's definitely a bi-culture, MAYBE tri with the easter block countries included, out there."

    Well, "out here" at my kid's school, in his K class there are 11 languages spoken at home (including English for most of the kids), so it's not quite as culturally bland as you assume it is.

    Sounds like the only thing you envy about us is our middle schools!

  130. 8:58, currently many motivated SE kids are bused to Aptos and Hoover. Our SE kids help make some of your Westside MSs as strong as they are.

  131. To 8:39
    Rule #1 about hipsters, they do not identify themselves as hipsters.

  132. Some of you lowlanders may have forgotten that we here in the Richmond District can easily access a well known bridge, the beach, a rather large urban park and a national park.

    We enjoy other unhip traditional forms of entertainment,too, but we cannot talk about them. Our shadow society, working secretly under the Eye of Providence, is busy hatching its plan to retake the City and all the hard work necessitates some quiet reflection, uninterrupted by the drone of tourists.

  133. "If you like the schools on the west side then move here. Its not like the housing/rental prices in the Sunset are much different than Portero Hill and Bernal Heights."

    But if living in a particular neighborhood meant a guaranteed school assignment at some of the best schools in SF, housing/rental prices in the Sunset would eventually be much different than in Potrero Hill and Bernal Heights. So with a switch to a neighborhood system some of those that "lost" in the currently lottery would have ended up happier and many of those that "won" would have ended up losing. Most importantly the overall "quality" of public education in SF would not have changed.

  134. Don, I don't know you personally, but I'm glad we're neighbors.

  135. Today's Examiner reported on the Education Trust-West's California District Report Card, grading how well school districts were serving Latino, African American, and low-income students. San Francisco earns a B for the API scores of its low income students (using the definition of qualified for free or reduced lunch), compared to other districts.

    The bad news is that we earn a D for the performance of our students of color (defined in the report as Latino or African American). Worse, we earn an F for the achievement gap of black students and of Latino students.

    If I understand the report correctly, in the section on "comparison of subgroup data," there was no data available from the California Department of Education on API scores of more affluent students who do not qualify for free or reduced meals. There is no student-level longitudinal data in California.

    In other words, from the API we do not have the data to do the apples to apples comparison of high, middle, and low inome scores of one specific ethnic group against the general population or another ethnic group, also broken down into low, middle, and high income. We can not do the controlling for demographic factors that the Nation's Report Card did when it looked at an achievment gap for public schools compared to private schools (in which the gap in raw scores disappeared once the difference in socioeconmomic factors (income?) was taken into account).

    When the report says that the achievment gaps could only be measured between students of color and their white PEERS (emphasis added), do they mean a comparison of all Latinos and all Blacks against all whites or an apples to apples comparison of low inome Latinos against low income whites and of low income Blacks against low income whites? And how many low income whites are we talking about, in San Francisco?

    This report is upfront about the limitations of the data. When SFUSD says that we have an achievement gap for Latinos and African Americans, we need to study furher the student-level longitudinal data to do a proper apples to apples comparison that the Nation's Report Card did when it looked at the "achievement gap" for public schools. Yes, the raw scores were lower in the public schools, but that was because the population in the public schools were of lower income, in general. Correlation is not causation.

  136. 8:39, there is nothing psychotic about changing schools. Perhaps you have never had to live through the experience of your child telling you every morning that he/she hated school and didn't want to go anymore. I have, and it was horrible. We changed schools and now he is thrilled to go to school every morning. Nothing about my parenting changed.

    The party line on this blog seems to be that if you are white and middle-class, you child will be "fine" no matter where he or she goes to school. It isn't true. Don't buy it.

  137. 9:21 is Don sock-puppeting again! I'm his real neighbor, and believe me, he's a SFUSD hater. He'll say anything to stir the pot. Ignore him please.

  138. "9:21 is Don sock-puppeting again! I'm his real neighbor, and believe me, he's a SFUSD hater. He'll say anything to stir the pot."

    I certainly don't agree with everything Don posts, but maybe the pot needs to be stirred. Maybe he problem is that we haven't or afraid to stir the pot. Do you disagree? In your opinion is everything A-OK in SFUSDland?

  139. 9:21 poster here. Not a sock puppet (I detest that phrase) - just a mom who has a kid in K in the Richmond. I find Don's comments to be some of the most insightful ones on this blog. I don't understand the personal vendetta against him.

    He takes the time to dig a little deeper to better understand the issues facing our district and has the courage to post his honest opinion, with his name to back it. (Unlike most, including me.)

    I think he has the kids' best interest in mind, and just wants the district to handle things in a smarter, more transparent way.

    This blog benefits from his perspective and I'm glad the sheep who graze here get to chew on what he writes.

  140. Thanks a lot, 12:44.

    Welcome to Don's sockpuppet club. Everyone who has ever agreed with me is a member.

    I'm curious to know what you think about the thread I started on the forum side, "Is the Achievement Gap A Civil Rights Issue?"

    Please post it over there, though, if you want to pipe in.