Friday, March 16, 2012

Good Luck All!

Just wanted to say good luck to everyone still reading this blog. I know the blog pretty much died thanks to a few crazy commenters. Today and tomorrow there will be a lot of joy and a lot of disappointment. Let's hope we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel and keep on keeping on!

Please post in the comments your results if you're willing to share.

218 comments:

  1. After years of reading SF K Files it is hard to believe this moment has arrived. And a bit sad to see the blog limping along on life support. That said, certainly appreciate the thread. We Are a Southeast family that has decided to go private, now need to decide between CDS, Alta Vista and Adda Clevenger for our energetic, sensitive and somewhat distractible boy.

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  2. Those are great choices to have. I am wondering when people will hear from SFUSD. I am very curious as to how the system will work this year. I hope everyone lands where they are happy!

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  3. hey all soon to be 6th graders and families: fingers crossed you all get the schools you chose!

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  4. I guess everyone who doesn't agree with you is crazy? Where have I heard that one before?

    Your school analysis lacks depth and is childish at best. But you are entitled to give it and no doubt many beginning parents on the blog will be misled by your banal insights on school parking, classroom cleanliness and other worthless nuggets of kindergarten search wisdom.

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  5. Hi Don K. I challenge you to start a new blog that addresses those issues you see lacking here!
    I would love to start a discussion with folks about
    equitable access to broad curriculumn - including science and history, project based learning, and the arts.
    But the SFKfiles are a great place for new parents right?

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  6. Don, please stay off this thread unless you have something to say about your SFUSD or private school letter.

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  7. It has been said that democracy is a participatory sport. Love them or hate them, Don and Floyd are participating in the game.

    And if I disagree with them, my job is to participate in the marketplace of ideas with my own ideas. Can I say that I have done that?

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  8. If the trolls won't go away, here's a new FaceBook page to talk about San Francisco schools:

    Schools In San Francisco

    https://www.facebook.com/#!/SchoolsInSanFrancisco

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  9. That was a contructive comment about Facebook.

    Bald insults that others are trolls are not constructive. That type of censoring is McCarthyite.

    You could have made a constructive complaint about sticking to the topic. And leave out the insults.

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  10. "But the SFKfiles are a great place for new parents right?"

    In a word, no. If what you want to do is skip doing your own research, you can rely on Lola's impressionism for making your decision or you can stand in front before and after school for a couple of days and ask parents about their views as end users. That way you will find out far more useful information about what kind of experience your child will have than what the walkthroughs will provide, (not that you shouldn't do them, too, just to take a look around.) But going inside will tell you little about what you really need to know unless you are house hunting. No school is going to tell you about the problems it is having. Schools are putting on appearances for the tours and understandably so. But don't be fooled. For example, some of the best teachers have some of the messiest classrooms around.

    Compile a list of question for parents. Here are a couple questions I might ask if I had to do a school search:

    1. How do the K teachers vary in their teaching style?

    2. What kinds of techniques are employed to reach out to different kinds of learners?


    So on and so forth.

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  11. Dear Don,

    I have read your comments for years. I agree with many of your positions and feel you are often unfairly castigated. Dedicated people like you will ultimately be forces for positive change for the SFUSD. Our options with the new SAS are not good, especially for our oldest son, and we our fortunate to have other options. Please keep up the fight, but don't reflexively attack as (a) you don't know the particulars of our situation or others, and (b) it is ultimately counterproductive to your goals, which I largely support. In the meantime, how about taking a break for a week?

    Sincerely,

    one of your fans

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  12. Hi! I am a new member as I just found your blog. We applied to both SFUSD public and SF private schools for kindergarten. Received the private letters yesterday and we were disappointed not to get accepted into any of the (6) private schools. Waitlisted at Town, Presidio Hill and Marin Country Day. Declined at Cathedral (their letter was so curt!), Stuart Hall and SF Day.

    Question to all: is the waitlist just a polite no? I called (2) of the admissions directors and they told me to call them next Tuesday? Hmmmm.

    Hoping the SFUSD results are better as that would be our premiere choice. Thanks and looking forward to following this blog.

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  13. So defensive poor Don. Obviously my "crazy" comment was taken to heart by the exact people it was directed to. Ha. I'm sure I misled thousands.

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  14. I always liked this blog as a source of support and community, regardless of differing opinions. Most of us visitors did masses of our own research but came here to share and learn as well. Very sorry to see it die. I just came here to comment that if anyone gets Daniel Webster GE program, but didn't choose it, please come and check it out. The teachers are great and my kid has had a wonderful first year of school.

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  15. We just got our letter. We got our #2 choice Dianne Feinstein. (We have Inclusion in our IEP.) Wishing good luck to everyone.

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  16. SFUSD FAIL. 3rd Grader:Glen Park, Kindergartner:Leonard Flynn. None of these were on our list (15 schools!) and they've even managed to split the kids. Sigh. No thanks. Catholic school it is.

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  17. Our letter just arrived - Lafayette! Our 3rd choice after both Clarendon programs, which we figured we wouldn't get in to, so basically it feels like we got our 1st choice. We're very happy. Good vibes to everyone else still waiting.

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  18. The blog is not dead. The heavy activity is when assignments are made, or when school assignment policies are active at the Board. That is only natural. And when the issue of the moment (my assignment) has passed, the long term issues and the more general issues get discussed. The discussion is not either/or. Each in its own time. Long live SF K Files!

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  19. Bellsey, please don't take a public school spot if you are on the waitlist. It isn't a polite no. I've seen families not get into public schools they want, then someone who does get in leaves when they are let into private, and now the person who didn't get in, if it's after 10 days, will not get in. They'll leave Kindergartens of 22 at 20 now, not bring them to 22, so if you aren't serious about it, please don't take a spot if you will drop out.

    Personally I don't believe in private schools. I think it is the main cause of why Brown v. Topeka, 58 years ago, has not led to much integration at all. It's an opt out but only for those in a position of privelege, so in a way it's a way to segregate children by class, avoid the difficult task of fixing public education for all, and evade Brown v. Topeka. It wasn't supposed to be easy, integration requires some sacrifice on the part of the privelged, and when you see LLOve describe it as an individual decision, we should all step back and see how this decision not only affects our kids, but other kids who don't have those options, who have, because of said decisions, been created unequal.

    The idea of equality of opportunity is a mockery if those whose kids would have huge advantages in public schools, two parents, tutors, afterschool, summer learning, then exacerbate the inequality by creating a caste system. San Francisco actually has a lower amount of black-white scholastic integration (and I say San Francisco meaning the Bay Area, not just SF) than Mississippi.

    We listen to Martin Luther King's great speach each January, then many of us make a mockery of it with class segregated private schools. The idea is, it's unacceptable for a child who is white to goto Cobb, but it is perfectly acceptable for many nonwhite kids to go there.

    But obviously, you disagree, you believe in the private school system, but if you do, please don't apply for public. You really hurt people who do believe in public schools if they don't get a spot because you take it for 3 weeks, then opt out. I know at Alamo this year, they left the kindergartens under-enrolled because people did this. One family got in, then moved 3 weeks later, and the spot was never filled. Other families lived a block away, were dedicated to public schools, and were sent 5 miles from home. You really do hurt innocent people if you take a spot you don't intend to keep. Just homeschool for a month and then take the private school spot when it comes available if you believe in the public/private apartheid San Francisco currently thrives on.

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  20. We got assigned to our first choice: Sunnyside. No tie-breakers. Obviously very happy.

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  21. We got Grattan - Does anyone know if you are able to tour/visit schools next week. I want to make an informed decision. We visited months ago and I wouldn't mind getting one more look before signing on the dotted line. I'm guessing its not an option but thought I'd ask.

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  22. We got our first choice, Sunnyside! Good luck to everyone else.

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  23. Has anyone pointed out how dropping transitional K -- and the smaller lottery pool -- will translate into more cheers and fewer tears after this year's first mailing of enrollment letters? Just wondering. . .

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  24. We got Grattan, which which was out first choice.

    Cori- you mentioned that your student has inclusion in his IEP. Mine son does too. Our letter said that the program he is in is general education which doesn't sound correct to me since he is in special education/inclusion. What did your letter say in regard to the program? Thanks!

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  25. We got Sanchez our #1 choice.
    I'm hoping that others who were assigned but didn't list it will give it a tour. We were very impressed with the Principal and the teachers that we met.

    Lola happy you got your choice Sunnyside. I have friends with a K and a 1st grader there. They are very happy.

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  26. @zingirl - Under "Program" our letter said "Assignment includes services identified by the Individualized Education Plan." I hope that helps. Good luck!

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  27. for an IEP student inclusion is general education as opposed to a special day class. We are just finishing 6 years at Grattan and it is a welcoming community for all students. I can't think of a school population more accepting and understanding.

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  28. Congratulations on the good news. Those are great schools! I think that more people seem happy this year than last.

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  29. @Cori - Thanks. I wonder if it is incorrect since there was a problem with the IEP software program when my son's pre-k teacher tried to change him to inclusion. I guess i have some calling to do on Monday.

    @Stan Goldberg - I am very excited to get Grattan. It was our first choice but we had no tie-breakers so I am really surprised we got it.

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  30. SFUSD FAILS TWINS AGAIN
    Twins separated into two different schools again this year. One in the Richmond, Argonne (year round) and the other in the Mission, Flynn (school year), which was not even one of our 14 choices. One is year round the other is school year. These could be more different.
    Why doesn't the school district check the placement letters before they send them out. We listed the schools the same and check the box that we wanted them in the same school.

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  31. We live in the clarendon attendence area (walking distance), and got assigned to muir. Our list was wide ranging, contained a few less popular schools and no immersion. This sucks.

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  32. Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School, located in San Francisco, California, serves grades K-5 in the San Francisco Unified School District. Based on its state test results, it has received a GreatSchools Rating of 2 out of 10.

    IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET A 1 OUT OF 10 ?

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  33. Our neighbor school is also Clarendon Which we didn't expect to get BUT to get none of our 16 that is "16" choices.

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  34. 5:42
    The new SAS is suppose to be adjustable. However, the parents who have suffered from the Clarendon Area being too big or suffering from the problem of having locals shut out by CTIP1, sibling, and preK tiebreakers would not benefit from any future changes. So they put their efforts elsewhere. Meanwhile the problem continues, unsolved. The needed adjustments do not take place.

    (We did see a first time ever vote on neighborhood schools during the last election with Prop H. That was a rare event.)

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  35. For those of you who didn't get the results you wanted in Round 1, I was in your shoes a year ago and my hearts go out to you.

    We were in a bad place this time last year, but what we didn't realize was just how much movement occurs in Round 2.

    We went from going O-fer in Round 1 to getting our original second choice, Spanish immersion, in Round 2.

    I'm not defending the system. I think it sucks. And not every story has a happy ending in this process, but there is hope. Don't panic. Hang in there. It is not over.

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  36. So we got our #2 choice Miraloma and for disappointed...were in CTIP1, with an inclusion daughter with a lot of things to consider...Miraloma being our #1 until we saw sunset our 12th school visit...it just stood out as being "right" in so many ways!

    Does anyone have advice for wait list?? Do they let wait list people in first after the April 13th deadline...

    Thanks so much...Any advice would be great;)


    -Raymond

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  37. @JJ: The situation with having your twins split up sucks, but I encourage you to give Flynn a second look. It's not what it appears just based on the numbers. The principal is very impressive (he's a turnaround type of guy). He very bluntly pointed out that the API scores may seem low, but they vary a lot based on your demographic group (which is not exactly an ideal situation overall, but if you're worried about your child getting dragged down, that does not seem to be the case). The parents are very involved and are already raising more than $100K/year. The building is pleasant and on Precita Park. It was the surprise of my tours - it felt similar to Fairmount or Alvarado to me.

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  38. I applied for my two sons with 7 choices each, same choices for each of them. Both of them got crappy placement in schools very far apart and not part of the desired list.

    1) I want to know how the system could assign schools not part of the desired list for each of them without exposing discrimination.
    2) Both schools are so far apart that there is no way I could drop the kids off at the same time, both schools start at the same time.
    3) If there is no discrimination in placement, how can some schools have 50% of Chinese kids and other only 10%?

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  39. We went 0/8 in the lottery. Our neighborhood school was McKinley (our #4 choice), and we were assigned Cesar Chavez. Sigh. We will be entering round 2. Does anyone know if the ammended application for round 2 can be submitted by mail, or do we have to bring it to the EPC in person?
    THANKS!

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  40. Got our third choice and neighborhood school, Jefferson. still unsure about it.

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  41. Our neighborhood school, Lafayette, was our first choice, but my kid was assigned Cobb. Lafayette is 3 blocks away, and Cobb is over 40 blocks away. My friend who has no tie-breakers got Lafayette. Why???

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  42. We put our area school no. 1 and got ZERO of our 10 picks. Add that to SFUSD's "85%" stat. Zero. In true SF city style, we need to physically enroll at the assigned school and physically request round 2 in order to avoid driving two miles for a school that SFUSD has abandoned.

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    Replies
    1. What did you get? We got Argonne if you got anything good to trade.

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  43. Rie, they put you in Cobb because the supposedly "liberal" Pacific Heights crowd all goes private, belying that claim, so that's the only way they will have any diversity at Cobb. It sucks but that's how they think. I voted for Prop H and sympathize. I do think we should try to integrate the schools more, but the main way is to have fewer go private, create French and German immersion, and make sure anyone who gets into West Side Schools is black or Hispanic so the whites on the East go to their schools and diversify them, and pay for some busing.

    We got Alamo and Lowell, so we're happy, but I do sympathize. You shouldn't be forced to go more than a mile or at most 2 from home, ever, it's just stupid and makes SFUSD less diverse.

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  44. We also got 0 for 10 and assigned Junipero Serra. It sounds like there is good parent involvement but i worry about the demographics, being in the super minority in a school with 50% english learners. Will she be held back? Miraloma was #1 and our neighborhood school. We are going in for round 2.

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  45. Sorry for the frustration. This is San Francisco at its best: phony equality and "process" veneer distracts and strangles the actual substance of the issue.

    SFUSD's new PR campaign re "Nearly everyone got their choice" is juking the stats like the West Baltimore police. The public officials lauding a 30-year, failed social experiment do not (did not) send their kids to SFUSD's abandoned schools. Their stale and empty refrain - "it'll all work out" - ignores facts. Do parents need to spend a year on a musical chairs game for school?

    A better solution for failing schools is not dragging down "white" or flight families. Resources should be allocated away from schools treated like popular restaurants - Rooftop, Clarendon, Fong Eu, Lillienthal, et al. - and flooded into down schools to both help kids and attract broader interest.

    Current "it" schools will still be funded by parents in the semi-private way that foundations and PTAs have done all over the state. But we just might find that kids at lost schools actually improve AND start to attract families (i.e., all of us fools who spend a year moonlighting on the school assignment and private admission game).

    Don't accept the false B.S. choice of SF pols - people who never go through this and never send their kids to abandoned schools. Imposing bad choices on "white" families (or Asians or Latinos or Blacks or LGBT or anyone who cares about public school) will not have the desired indirect effect. Has it worked for SF's failed high schools? the tidal wave of middle school flight? No. Radical transformation of so-called "bad" schools (ESL heavy, etc.) at least gives them a fighting chance and, over time, bouys interest others.

    Put another way, if thousands of parents added up all the time and money spent on this exercise, they'd find that $$$ millions in volunteer time and wage-time could bet better allocated on actually improving the schools. Instead, we waste a staggering amount of time (and money) on the assignment process and matters that have absolutely nothing to do with what happens in class.

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  46. Next steps, after getting your placement letter: http://www.sfusd.edu/en/enroll-in-sfusd-schools/enroll-for-next-year/placement/march-placement-highlights.html

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  47. Thank you, Floyd! And congrats on your assignments. I'll go for the second round.

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  48. I too am frustrated that the diversity index is not being followed - race is clearly being incorporated (when you look at the SFUSD reports, clearly this is paramount in their minds).

    We did not get our attendence area school - one that I thought for sure we'd get (traditionally 0 CTIP requests due to location, no preschool feeder school etc). We did not get it. Last night had someone over to dinner who DID get it, despite living out of the zone - the difference is their family is Spanish speaking, and we're not. So they got the school based on that fact since according to the diversity index we should have been placed before her (don't blame them, they aren't happy about it either!). Hey, I love diversity too but I feel this race based system in completely antiquated - kids today don't give a hoot about race, and my neighborhood is completely mixed. The irony is the schools don't reflect the diversity.

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  49. Quote: "Our neighborhood school, Lafayette, was our first choice, but my kid was assigned Cobb. Lafayette is 3 blocks away, and Cobb is over 40 blocks away. My friend who has no tie-breakers got Lafayette. Why???" That seems weird and contradictory to the districts supposed tie breaker system. If I were you, I'd go to 555 Franklin and ask them directly, how this is possible. There'll be horrible lines, but it might be worth it.

    Also, to those of you upset about separate twins assignments: EPC usually just ignores twins and does the lottery separately in round 1 and then tries to put them together, citing sibling priority in round 2. So, unless you want to get into a "pie in the sky" kind of school such as AFY, you should be ok. See below for more information:

    http://rachelnorton.com/2011/03/26/the-skinny-on-multiples-and-school-assignment/

    That post is referring to the 2011 assignment, but I haven't heard of any changes about it.

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  50. I put down only 6 choices, (DiFi, W. Portal, Sloat, McKinley, Sunnyside, and J. Serra -- AA school)

    Frankly, I wasn't going to put Sunnyside since my big kid went there for 5th grade before this "new wave" at Sunnyside, and HATED it. I'm glad I did, but still torn about what to do.

    My biggest concern is that if we go through round 2 that there won't be any room in aftercare programs at W. Portal and Sloat (the 2 I'd put for round 2 -- we're going to rule out the 7:50 start schools)

    I know it's a good problem to have ... and that someone else will be THRILLED to get our Sunnyside slot. Will be visiting/talking to parents a bunch this week and the week after SFUSD break.

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  51. Many of the comments seem to suggest that some other tie breaker is in place, other than the advertised ones. I've understood it to be as follows:

    Sibling
    CDC feeder
    CTIP1
    AA
    Everyone else

    There is absolutely NO WAY a non-aa/non CTIP1 non sibling non-cdc feeder kid should get into a school with an AA if all the AA kids didn't get in.

    Any thoughts?

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  52. Hi Michelle,

    Yes, that is how I understood it too, but clearly that is not being followed - our friends and us being one of many examples. They are an "Everything Else". We are AA. They got in, and we did not.

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  53. @Michelle, if I understand correctly, the only way a non-attendance area applicant could get in over an attendance area applicant (if they are not a sibling, CTIP 1, or enrolled at the CDC preschool) is if the algorithm employs the "swap" to make everyone happier. I think how this works is that the algorithm looks for cases where two assignments could be changed and both families would be happier. For instance, an attendance area family at New Traditions has a New Traditions placement but wants Sunset higher and a Sunset attendance area family has a Sunset placement but wants New Traditions higher. In theory, other families are not affected because someone else already had the placement. In real life, this seems to benefit people who put a lot of citywide options (say, Alice Fong Yu or other immersion programs) on their list below a school that has an attendance area--if they are lucky in the lottery for the citywide option, the computer may be able trade it with a family that prefers that citywide option to their neighborhood school. It's very confusing so I'm not sure I have this right, but this is how I understand it. What's especially frustrating is how non-transparent it is.

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  54. Michele- I believe that after all the tiebreakers are done, they system goes by order of preference. F I put your AA up high on my list and you didn't put it at all. I'd get it. I think. In my eyes it's still a lottery. Ie crap shoot.

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  55. I'm surprised people believe that the system is really being followed. There's what the SFUSD says it does, and what really happens. It isn't putting people in via their official priority. I had as #1 our AA school. A friend of ours got it, despite the fact they are not AA, they are not CTIP, they are not preschool feeder. I still think, behind all their saying they follow the index, that they don't. I think they still try to do some placement based on race after all is said and done.

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  56. How to explain how a no priority person gets in over a person with at least one tie-breaker:

    1. Secret algorithim for diversity or the swap described by SunsetMomof2. No authorization for any such secret algorithim, as I understand school policy.

    2. Address fraud by the non-assignment area resident to get into your assignment area school.

    3. Software does not reliably implement approved policy.

    4. One or more of the above.

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  57. We live across the street from DiFi, our AA school. Were assigned Flynn across town in Bernal Heights. According to all research I've done there is no way we should not have gotten our AA.

    Based on last years info for the 88 openings at DiFi the results were (3 sib&AA) (36 sib & non-AA) (0 CTIP1) (25AA) (32 non-AA). Unless the requests were wildly different this year either SFUSD is lying or the algorithm didn't work.

    I am a documentary filmmaker and I am going to investigate and expose any nepotism, address fraud or anything else that I find with the intensity of a wounded badger.

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  59. "How to explain how a no priority person gets in over a person with at least one tie-breaker:]"

    5. (and in my experience the most likely one) Inability to enter data, callous incompetence, and no internal quality control. It would not be the first time. Last year a huge number of highly sought after native speakers in Mandarin and Cantonese immersion programs got initial rejections, because some moron coded them wrong when entering their forms' data, resulting in acceptance of far too many English-only speaking families. This was fixed awkwardly in subsequent rounds, e.g. through adding an extra, unplanned K class at CIS, just to get close to the native speaker/bilingual/English only ratio needed for successful immersion.

    The same thing happened before, in 2008 (see http://thesfkfiles.blogspot.com/2008/07/flynnalvarado-update.html).

    Mistakes can happen to anybody, but to repeat similar, unnecessary mistakes again and again and again, without being fired for such utter incompetence in a heartbeat, shows a big, systematic problem.

    I bet you that some idiot (pardon my French, but this is truly enraging, even though it doesn't affect me and my family directly) entered the AA codes wrong, when they input the data.

    Those of you who were AA in a school that is not overbooked, listed it in 1st place, and did not get in, go to EPC Monday and raise hell, because it looks as if you are at the center of this year's mess-up.

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  61. we requested our AA school yick wo as our first choice. we got garfield.
    according to last year's stats, yick wo has 66 spots: 21 went to siblings, no CT1P1 requests, and 37 went to AA requests. that even left 8 spots for non AA requests. how did we not get it?
    we know of 5 other AA people who also did not get yick wo as their first choice.

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  62. Something seems to be awfully wrong with this year's lottery. We did not get our AA school (Grattan) not did we get any of the 10 schools listed on our application. I'm heartbroken and perplexed how people with no tie-breakers got into Grattan.

    Instead we got assigned to a school with a school rank of 1/10!

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  63. To those parents who did not get into Yick Wo in round 1, last year there was a lot of movement after the 3 day count. I know it is stressful, but keep going through the process.

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  64. I went through this last year and we got Glen Park our assignment school and last on our list of 10. We went into the second round with our same list of immersion schools and ended up with Starr King, our #4 choice.

    We are very happy there.

    Of our "support group" of parents who all had their kids in KMS together, all but one ended up in a good or great school. Some had to transfer as late as a week into the school year, but for all but one of the twelve of us, it worked out well.

    The one that is still not that happy got into Chavez, missed on all three rounds and went to Edison Spanish Immersion instead. He is not that happy there and will probably be moving at some time.

    This crowd overwhelmingly is affluent enough to afford private school if we wanted, but for almost all of us it would still be a significant expense. Mostly doctors, lawyers, software engineers and architects.

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  65. Completely deflated. didn't get any of our requestd schools, and instead got el dorado. i love san francisco, but sure feels like an unlivable city when you can't send your kid to a decent school

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  66. "Instead we got assigned to a school with a school rank of 1/10!"

    Which one? Creative Arts?

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  67. for over a year I have tried to have the code released that is used for student assignment. The school district has constantly resisted. The AA should be computer generated and while it is possible to have many mis-keys during entry it is not likely. The problem is more likely with the code or maybe everything is hand generated.

    Seems to me that it is time for some BoE intervention.

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  68. The 1/10 school rank we got assigned to is Rosa Parks in the middle of the Tenderloin. Creative Arts is a Charter School to which we also applied, but did not get into. Completely heartbroken.

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  69. I realize this is a total rookie comment but where does one find the data on placements last year? Specifically, if I wanted to find out who got placed in our attendence area school (AA vs non-AA, siblings, CTIP1), where would I find that.

    Thanks to all of you who have been diligently reporting on your journey through the system. We're gearing up for K in 2013 so I'm really appreciating all the information.

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  70. 8:07,
    Rosa Parks is in the Western Addition/Hayes Valley, not in the middle of the Tenderloin. The only schools in the Tenderloin are Tenderloin Community (which acknowledges that it is in the Tenderloin) and Redding (which likes to call itself Nob Hill/Russian Hill).

    If you live in the area, I would not say you got a bum assignment. If you live quite far away, then the long commute to a very low scoring school is evidence of a broken school assignment system.
    What was your assignment area ES?

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  71. 8:55 Sharon,

    What is your assignment area ES? I hope it is not Clarendon or Miraloma, assuming you have no tie-breakers.

    Consider renting in CTIP1 to get the golden ticket.

    Are you interested in Spanish or Chinese bilingual or Japanese bicultural?

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  72. 9:06,

    Our attendance area school is Grattan. We ranked 10 schools in the Sunset district and did not get any. Perhaps Rosa Parks is not technically in the Tenderloin, but it is 3 miles from where we live and the neighborhood is not where I want my child to attend school. Its in the bottom 10% percentile of the state and our state ranks 49th in the country. No thank you, SFUSD!

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  73. 9.17-
    Our AA school is Hillcrest. Not ideal but we're not moving. We're not interested in bi-lingual and have no tie-breakers. Truthfully, we're not aiming for The Best schools.

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  74. What were those 10 Sunset schools that you could not get into? There must have been some openings in the Outer Sunset (long commute).

    In the bad old days, you might have gotten something in the SE. Far too many very long commutes to low scoring schools (at least in Round One) in the bad old days.

    The new SAS is actually an improvement. a little one.

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  75. Sharon, you can get your neighborhood school as a local resident of Hillcrest. That is more than Clarendon and Miraloma residents can say about their area. And their houses and rentals cost a lot more.

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  76. Sharon,

    There's always a lot of movement for Creative Arts Charter. My son moved up 52 spots on the waitlist. He has a twin, who was many spots below him, and at that point we didn't have the courage to wait. But now (entering 3rd grade) I realize we could have. Good luck! Also, Rosa Parks is not really all that scary, and it's not at all in the Tenderloin. It's much closer to Japantown/Fillmore, where all sorts of exciting things are happening. Good luck!

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  77. 0 for 10. Clarendon is our AA school, so I already knew we had little chance of getting our AA school. But to not get ANY of 10 on our list?!!! We were offered Junipero Serra instead.

    So now I have to take my kid across town to attend one of the lowest-scoring (API of 1), least diverse schools in the district?

    Intrestingly, the new assignment system actually made Serra LESS diverse last year (went from 59% Latino to 78% Latino). One of the district's supposed goals is to have no school where a single ethnic group comprises more than 60% of the students. Last year, Serra had 60 offers extended. 42 (70%) of the offers went to Latinos. Ummmm, yeah....if you send 70% of your offers to the ethnic group that already makes up 59% of the students, there's a good chance the % of students from that ethnicity will rise, and make the school less diverse. Seems like the district doesn't practice what it preaches.

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  78. The system isn't random. Have you ever heard of someone on the board of supervisors, school board, or any connected person getting sent somewhere no one wants to go to? The issue is that in SF, many of the powerful liberal elites live in Bernal Heights, the Mission, and they get into top tier schools every time. Eric Mar lives in the Richmond and got Presidio, but others in the Richmond got Visitation Valley Middle School.

    If they truly have the system they state, no one would beat out an AA person if they weren't from CTIP 1 or a local low income pre-school or a sibling, and fact is most CTIP 1 people don't have cars or don't want to go to the West.

    This is so those with connections can go West.

    If they truly wanted diversity, they would say any white or Asians who are not very poor in the East and Central parts of the City are ineligible to replace anyone in the Attendance Area. Now we could say yes, someone in the Mission or Bayview can displace somoene in the Richmond wanting to go to Alamo, but they have to be a lower income African American, Latino or Native American. It actually defeats the whole purpose of the system if a middle class white or Asian from the Mission gets into Clarendon, Grattan, Alamo or any of the West Side schools because these people would diversify our schools by going to the schools in their neighborhood.

    To the person who says they are concerned with Muir, you have to understand, it sounds very individual, but the issue is that everyone like you will say that. Now everyone won't say that, we're in the minority, it isn't great, but everyone white and Asian and middle class will, so it ends up being a school which is exclusively for the children whose parents don't care, or who are too poor to do something about it. What will turn Muir around is integration of the local middle class and poor residents with the upper middle class, the rich, etc. If everyone with means politely shuns it, it will never recover. How can it?

    It isn't liberal for an upper middle class white or Asian family from Bernal Heights or Glen park to bump someone to go to Grattan, it's conservative, it further separates us. The reason 70% were to Latinos and probably the rest to AA and A, is because those with means probably all quietly shun the school and hope maybe the next person of means will go, but not them. It's been happening for years.

    As with many groups of liberals, the Pacific Heights, Haight, Green Party and other extreme liberals end up with Animal Farm results, all animals are created equal but some are more equal than others.

    This is smoke and mirrors. The real way to fix the achievement gap is to pay for tutoring, counsellors, psychiatrists, and family advisors to help the really poor families. It sounds expensive but would actually save money because they end up in prison or on assistance. We won't solve the problem by the green party in the Mission manipulating the system to go West and the extreme left Pacific Heights crowd going private to evade Brown v. Topeka, extremist so - called liberals like Michaela Alioto who is about as liberal as Mussolini on speed, give me a break, has her kids in Catholic School with only white Catholics and white non-catholics, almost no Latinos who are the majority of SF Catholics.

    We won't solve the problem until we make it a bigger priority than having 42% of the world's "defense" strategy which is really offense and 10 x the prison population as a % as the rest of the advanced world. And we'll never make education a real priority so long as the power brokers of the so-called far left like Herrera and Alioto go private.

    It's all a big joke. I guarantee you Jane Kim's kids won't go to Muir, or Duffty or anyone like that.

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  79. Has anyone NOT received their letter yet? We still have not heard where our daughter has been placed for Kindgergarten.

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  80. The letters were mailed on Friday, so the vagaries of the USPS indicate that some people won't get their letters until Monday. If it doesn't come today, I'd camp out at EPC if you can't get through on the phone.

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  81. Anyone heard about McCoppin? Got this one but really not happy...

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  82. New parents,

    Welcome to the crap shoot that is SFUSD!

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  83. update-we are the yick wo shutouts from above. we went to yick wo today hoping for an explanation, while there we met parents there to register their son who was accepted. they are not ct1p1 and have no sibling. they live outside of the attendance area!!!

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  84. I know many families who received miraloma, grattan, Alvarado and do not live in those attendance areas, and are not ctip1 nor do they have older siblings in the school. It seems like some data entry error happened this year.

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  85. Amazing. The lottery seems very capricious. SFUSD should explain how this happened and release the algorithms. It should be impossible to beat out anyone who puts their AA school as #1 if you are not low income, CTIP 1 or a sibling. If this is happening it proves they didn't follow their own rules, time for a Magna Carta moment. This is why Prop H should have passed. They lied saying it would cause mid-year switches when it would not have. It would have just given what people have everywhere else, you can move somewhere with certainty as to where your child will go to school. It's another thing driving the middle class out while not protecting diversity. I spoke with someone who tried ot start a French Immersion School in SF, like they did in NY, and the board showed no interest as it wouldn't create diversity. It would, a French school would be very diverse. This shows the corruption.

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  86. Floyd @11:34

    You say corruption. Is it really? How so? Seems more like incompetence and misguided policy. Corruption implies some sort of purposeful attempt to gain benefit. Please explain your allegation?

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  87. The way PPSSF explained the assignment of a plum school to a non-AA resident is as follows.

    Say Family A lives in the Miraloma AA. They put Miraloma second on their list and put, I don't know, Alvarado Spanish immersion first. (This is assuming that siblings + CTIP1 is not more than the total spots there.)

    Family B does not live in the Miraloma AA but puts Miraloma first and Alvarado Spanish immersion second.

    In the lotteries, Family A gets Miraloma (thanks to their AA advantage) and Family B gets Alvarado SI (just pure winning the lottery). The computer will then switch those two so that they each get their higher choice without disadvantaging anyone else.

    Perhaps someone from PPSSF can comment as to whether I represented that correctly and if it seems to be what is going on in the examples mentioned.

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  88. No. We are DiFi AA. First on our list. Assigned Flynn. Try again.

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  89. I really don't know, but I do know that I was told there were 10,000 votes to count and we were up, then as they announed those counted, we were up by more, then after the number was down to zero, they said that they had found another 3000 votes and then we lost by 115, later corrected to 153, 49.96%, on Prop H. Magically enough votes showed up the last day for us to narrowly lose. Seems bizarre. Now I'm hearing that people who put their AA school #1 are getting bopped by people who aren't CTIP 1, aren't low income pre-school, and aren't siblings. That too seems bizarre and inexplicable. I also notice Eric Mar gets into Presidio, but others don't. I have never heard anyone with connections say they didn't get their pick.

    I can't prove anything, it just seems bizarre and inexplicable. You are right that if you are in an AA area, you should put that #1 as then it's a sure thing and you risk it if you put Rooftop or Alvarado #1 on a whim. But I don't think that is what happened here. None of us will ever know. We're just pawns.

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  90. Kate, will you please stop Floyd from trying to take over every discussion on this blog?

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  91. @celeste,

    that is the way I understood her explication as well. I have asked the district to confirm that it is the case.

    That swap action would disadvantage any AA parent if a non-AA child was admitted. The spots in the lottery are not owned by the holder. They lottery offers can not be sold, traded or swapped. If this is true it would invalidate the lottery as this was not what the board of ed voted for. This may be an explanation for the wild sounding results

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  92. Well, k (the DiFi mom), with the swaps you can not get your AA school and a non-AA does. Here's how:

    1) Assume that DiFi is over capacity when just counting incoming siblings and AA. (I imagine DiFi is like this.)

    2) Now the lottery is done, and all the sibs and all-but-one AA get in (and you're the unlucky one that didn't get in).

    3) Now one of the AA who got DiFi actually put DiFi second and put Rooftop 1st. Plus someone non in the DiFi AA put DiFi 3rd and put Rooftop 4th. This child get Rooftop.

    4) The "swap" part of the lottery is run, and the non-DiFi-AA family who got Rooftop but preferred DiFi, and the DiFi-AA family who got DiFi, but preferred Rooftop have their spots swapped.

    This is how it's supposed to work, and it explains how you didn't get your AA school and a non-AA family did. It's part of what the Board of Ed voted in, too. I understand that it's frustrating, and I wish that the district was more transparent about it. I'd like to know how many swaps there were district-wide and per-school.

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  93. Not sure how everyone faired today with their complaints at 555 Franklin and there were a lot of unhappy parents. However, the district was able to solve our twin assignment problem quickly. If you haven't gone down to the district office, bring your original application and they will go over it with you. It opened at 8:00 today. We got there at 8:45 and we waited 2 hours.

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  94. Thank you 1:16 Celeste for that explanation. And to PPSSF.

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  95. From reading your reply I assume you are admitting you've made unfounded allegations. Correct?

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  96. Let's Make A Deal!

    Sign up for every immersion and K-8 program out there, even if you have no intention of going there. You might win in the lottery with one of them and that lottery win will let you make a deal in the computer "swap" to give you one of your high priority choices of AA schools, even one you are not a resident of.

    The cat is out of the bag. Everyone, go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Put down the schools in the order that you want to go there. Then always add on all the rest of the lottery schools just to try to get into a computer swap.

    Swapping for seats!

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  97. I live in the Miraloma attendance area and put it #1. Doesn't that mean no one, without a tie-breaker, should get a spot there over me? It sounds like people are saying that this exact thing has happened. Maybe I am misunderstanding something.

    I put down ten schools and got nothing.

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  98. Albert, I said that the swap in the computer was not authorized by Board policy as I understood assignment policy. This is a limited statement and not an allegation of misconduct. Whenever I throw in the caveat of as I understand school policy, I am also saying that I could be wrong and that I can be corrected about how school policy works and how the computer makes swaps. I appreciate the clarification of how this very complicated SAS works. It is an education all by itself.

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  99. Striker, you struck out. You would have gotten more swings with the bat if you had added on every lottery admission school out there. If you had won the lottery with even just one of them, the computer would have swapped that lottery pick for one of your high priority choices.

    Is this what the computer swap means?

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  100. That's the problem. It is too complicated. This leads to confusion, misunderstanding and mistrust.

    The new assignment process should be scrapped for something more sensible. It's a failure by its lack of accountability. If the system is open and fair, why is EPC so unwilling to share the algorhythm with the public?

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  101. Overall (K-12), 80% of applicants (11,139) received one of their choices, compared to 78% last year (11,233)

    * 84% of kindergarten applicants (4,051) compared to 81% last year (4,000)
    * 85% of 6th grade applicants (2,774) compared to 86% last year (2,708)
    * 86% of 9th grade applicants (3,601) compared to 86% last year (3,622)



    Overall (K-12), 60% of applicants (8,395) received their first choice, compared to 58% last year (8,290)

    * 56% of kindergarten applicants (2,668) compared to 57% last year (2,816)
    * 70% of 6th grade applicants (2,269) compared to 72% last year (2,254)
    * 73% of 9th grade applicants (3040) compared to 63% last year (2,684)



    Overall (K-12), 20% of applicants (2,780) did not receive one of their choices, compared to 22% last year (3,114)

    * 16% of kindergarten applicants (748) compared to 19% last year (931)
    * 15% of 6th grade applicants (478) compared to 14% last year (423)
    * 14% of 9th grade applicants (587) compared to 14% last year (587)

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  102. @ Ralph

    Where are you getting this information? Can you post a link?

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  103. from PPS SF where you can find the SFUSD press release

    I think the information provided does not go far enough

    Middle Schools
    It has little meaning how many applied to a Middle School it is important how many applied from a feeder school. The sibling number needs to be broken down into two categories those from a Middle School feeder and those from a non-feeder school. The data should also show which children were admitted by categories.

    Elementary Schools
    I as a parent would like to see how many attendance area children applied and then a separate breakdown for each preference categories and the same for acceptances.

    At a point when parents receive this expanded data, we can evaluate what has happened this assignment season

    stan

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  104. I don't see the report. Can you post a link please?

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  105. It's on the SFUSD website:

    http://www.sfusd.edu/en/news/current-news/2012-news-archive/03/sf-families-receive-school-assignment-offers.html

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  106. The data is from SFUSD, and therefore must be taken with a grain of salt. The "people who got their first choice" numbers contain siblings.

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  107. http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/news-and-calendars/files/archives/3%2019%2012%20SF%20Families%20Receiving%20Public%20School%20Assignment%20Offers.pdf

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  108. or you can search for the press release on the SFUSD website by searching for 3 19 12

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  109. for those of you who received an offer for Rosa Parks you should know that a Board of Education member sent her child there for 5 years. Do you think she would do this if she thought the school wasn't good? No way.

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  110. Just to clear things up, my son is finishing K at Rosa Parks in the Japanese Bilingual/ Bicultural Program (JBBP). Last year, I was exactly where some of you are now- 0/12 in the first round, living 1 block from Claire Lilienthal. Our AA school is Cobb, and we got assigned Rosa Parks, Gen Ed. My husband and I did not want to move so we opened our minds and looked "outside the box". We went to the K welcome breakfast at Rosa Parks and met some amazing people from the JBBP. Two families from my son's preschool also recommended the JBBP at Rosa Parks so we reapplied and got accepted in Round 2. Believe me, I was super hesitant to send my child to school in the Western Addition, and it's a 2 mile drive from the Marina. I can honestly say now, we are so lucky to have been a part of Rosa Parks this year and could not be happier. The school is amazing, teachers super dedicated, outstanding enrichment programs and teachers, and a principal who has done wonders for the school. My point is, don't generalize based on a "1/10" ranking. You and your child will be really missing out on an amazing education. What my child has learned and done this year in the JBBP has far exceeded what my friend's children are doing elsewhere and more importantly our own expectations. For those who didn't get what they were hoping for in Round 1, consider looking at the Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Program for Round 2.

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  111. "2) Now the lottery is done, and all the sibs and all-but-one AA get in (and you're the unlucky one that didn't get in)."

    Still, this explanation does not make sense for the people who put their AA school first, didn't get it and found out that no tie breaker folks got in instead (regardless of where in their list the latter put the school, the 1st slot AA people should have gotten first dibs, and they obviously didn't). The swap explanation would only apply to people who put their AA school into the second spot of their lists or lower (and applying to AA schools with extreme demands such as Miraloma or Clarendon). Something smells rotten here. Looks to me as if the responsible people at EPC are either vicious liars or incompetent morons. Their pick...

    As to Rosa Parks. I know a (middle class) family with two kids there, who passionately loves their school. Though their Great Schools score is only 4 out of 10, there are a large number of enthusiastic parent comments about the school (though I of course don't know who of them is actually talking about the Japanese bilingual bicultural program rather than their GE strand):

    http://www.greatschools.org/california/san-francisco/6420-Rosa-Parks-Elementary-School/

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  112. We didn't tour West Portal Elem, but found out our son got into the Gen Ed program there for kindergarten. We were set on sending him to Marin Prep, but now want to do our research before making the final decision. Anyone have any feedback on either school?

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  113. The bilingual/bicultural strand of Rosa Parks--is that admission by citywide lottery with no preference about where people live, while the GE strand has the assignment area? That is, you have to choose the bilingual strand. You can get assigned to the GE strand as a nearby ES with room when you do not get any of your choices. Am I correct that the person who got assigned to Rosa Parks is talking about the GE strand, and is hesitant to take that assignment. The Board of Ed member, I think it was now Supe. Eric Mar, went to the GE strand or the Japanese strand? It makes a difference.

    If someone lived near Grattan, but got assigned to Rosa Parks GE, is that so long a commute that we should call that a failure of the new SAS? I think transportation has to be considered. If the district provided transportation, maybe distance would not be as great an issue. There are a lot of empty seats in the outer sunset. Let's help parents get to those schools with some transportation.

    Is Rosa Parks GE too far from Grattan? Maybe so, since the district is not helping with transportation. You cannot expect the lower grades to take Muni.

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  114. I'm the one who has Grattan as the AA school and got Rosa Parks instead (not on my list). I did get into the JBBP program.

    To clarify Rosa Parks has a school rank of 1 out of 10 and not 4. It is 3 miles from my home and both my husband and I commute 1+ hours South (completely different direction) and have a younger child in a preschool. There is just no way we can make this work.

    While I appreciate that there are some positive and unique aspects of the school, the 1/10 rank is disturbing and location simply does not work for my family.

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  115. Stan Goldberg

    Aren't you the senior dad? You don't have any kids going into kindergarten, do you?

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  116. @Curious Mom -- Can I have your spot?
    Just kidding...
    BUT please do not register unless you're sure you're going to turn down Marin Prep. If you register, and then decide not to go, the district won't release your child's spot until you miss the first 3 days of school, which just adds to chaos for everyone else.

    As you can tell from my note, I think it's a solid school. It may or may not be for your family, either pedagogically or location wise, but it's a good program (and my middle schooler who currently takes MUNI to Hoover is hoping her little brother will get a slot at WP so she can get a ride in the morning!)

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  117. Is Rosa Parks all Japanese bicultural/bilingual? That is, it is not divided into a GE strand and a language immersion strand (citywide lottery). Since you got assogned into Parks JBBP, it sounds like Japanese bicultural does not admit like the Spanish or Chinese immersion programs.

    There are open seats in outer sunset schools. That would not be the worst of the worst assignments--which we use to have for Round One in the bad old days.

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  118. @Charlie -- where is your source for open seats in outer sunset schools? I'd like to see where those slots are...

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  119. "To clarify Rosa Parks has a school rank of 1 out of 10 and not 4."

    Please give your source. The greatschools link that I provide in my previous post lists this school as "4 out of 10." I'd be curious as to where you got your information. I'm not trying to be belligerent or confrontational here, just wondering.

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  120. Also, here is a further breakdown of said "4 out of 10" rating.

    http://www.greatschools.org/school/rating.page?id=6420&state=CA

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  121. Before you call a school "disturbing" please have a closer look and be sensitive to those of us who are enjoying an excellent FREE education there. I'm curious as to what year you're quoting the 1/10 rank. Rosa Parks's API scores have risen markedly (30%?) in the past 3 years with the new principal and this year looks to be >800.

    The Rosa Parks Gen Ed and JBBP are separate admissions and application spots. The JBBP admission is subject to the same criteria as the Gen Ed and the rest of the non- "city-wide" schools. It is not considered a "city-wide" program and AA students would have priority.

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  122. West Portal is a great school and feeds into Hoover, another top school which feeds into Lowell if you do well, the top public high school in the northern half of the state and better than most privates and statistically equal even to the elite privates like Lick W, Urban, Drew, etc. You'd be throwing your money away to go to Marin Prep.

    Ralph, you make some good points. Good to see you back to stating a point of view. I don't disagree. Let freedom reign and debate remain a part of our culture.

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  123. we now know of 2 non aa non ct1p1 and non sibling kids who got a spot at yick wo while over 6 of the aa kids did not get a spot. i'm sure there are more who got in but we just don't know about them yet. we went to epc and shem gave some explanation of the swap to us. seems like the swap is an excuse when random things happen. i see no mention of the swap on sfusd's website. are they tracking these things? how many swaps happen each year? how many at each school?
    why is there no formal documented mention of the swap on their website? how can they brush people off with this mysterious "it's the swap" explanation?

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  124. I apologize if I offended anyone with my comment on Rosa Parks. I think its great that there are people that are happy to go there and like the program. The school is just not right for me and my family and I have a right to express my disappointment and concerns.

    The score I was referring to (1/10) is the API statewide rank:
    http://www.greatschools.org/modperl/achievement/ca/6420#from..HeaderLink

    Rosa Parks ia ranked in the bottom 10% percentile of the state (and our state is 49th in the country).

    I did not call the school disturbing, I found the low test scores disturbing if that helps any :)

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  125. shtarky: for whatever it is worth when we applied and entered Grattan years ago it was ranked 3, if I remember correctly.

    While we were there the SFUSD almost merged Grattan and New Traditions because neither were fully subscribed.

    Test scores are a tricky thing because of all the variables involved.

    Smaller schools have a smaller pool taking the test so a couple kids not doing well affects the score. If there are 60 kids taking the test vs 25 it makes a difference.

    Also cohort matters not just in numbers but how they perform as a group. So for example one year the 2nd grade class has a total of 25 kids and the next year it is at full capacity, say 60 kids. That affects the year to year 2nd grade score at the same school.

    And some years you have more children in the pack who have more learning difficulties than the years before and the years previous.

    There were many well meaning people who were aghast I sent my son to Grattan but I knew it was right for him and he thrived there.

    All this said, nobody but you know what is best for your child and your family. I wish you the best of luck whatever choice you make.

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  126. When you say "how can they brush people off with the it's a swap explanation" the answer is that's what they do. It is San Francisco Unified School District's Central Office culture. It's how they cover up their incompetence. And they have no one to answer to because the losers go silent when they leave or go private and the winners laud the system that rewarded them.

    In the next comment the parent apologizes for simply stating the obvious about Rosa Parks and citing test score information put out for the exact purpose the parent used it for.

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  127. Open seats in the outer sunset? Historically, those schools were easy to get into because of the inconvenience of the long commute. Fewer people want those long commutes=better chance for you in the lottery. Therefore, include them in your "Plan B" in case "Plan A" dces not work out, and if you can provide your own transportation.

    Thank you for that clarification of how Rosa Parks admits to GE and to JBBP. Japanese bicultural is not a citywide lottery. It will observe the local preference and the assignment area for Rosa Parks.

    Concerning California's low ranking in the nationwide scores, I recall that half of the public school students taking the standardized science exams here in California were Hispanic. Our public school population does not look like the rest of the nation's. Apples and oranges.

    The useful information would be: are our students learning? And for that, test them at the start of the school year and retest them at the end of the school year with the standardized multiple choice exams. Then copy what Vermont does and use essay exams for reading and writing skills.

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  128. Thank you, shtarky, for providing that link. I personally find the overall "GreatSchools rating" and the community score on that site more meaningful than the API score comparison that you cited. The testimonies show that there is a lot of enthusiasm and, most likely, parent involvement, which has been show in independent studies to be a huge factor in school success. Be mindful that API scores conflates a number of different student populations (e.g. english learners, special ed) and probably tells you much more about demographics than teaching quality. I figure that whoever will get your spot in the end will have a wonderful experience at Rosa Parks.

    P.S.: Rosa Parks elementary school also feeds into Presidio middle school, one of the most sought after middle schools in SF.

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  129. We are going into 6th grade. We received our #1 choice - Roosevelt. We liked it's "smaller" size (compared to, say, Presidio). We are happy! PS: Roosevelt is also our feeder middle school.

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  130. @SF_Mommy said "(regardless of where in their list the latter put the school, the 1st slot AA people should have gotten first dibs, and they obviously didn't) The swap explanation would only apply to people who put their AA school into the second spot of their lists or lower (and applying to AA schools with extreme demands such as Miraloma or Clarendon)."

    This just isn't true. There is no special weight given to families in the AA who put their AA school first. It seems like it should, I think, but it just doesn't. If the incoming K class had enough siblings and AA applicants, not every AA could fit, and someone will lose the lottery. The later swap would have weird-looking results, with non-AA getting in while AA don't.

    Two things for sure:
    1) the district needs to be more transparent about swaps (how many, to and from which schools)
    2) the new tactic for parents in the know is to put high-demand schools at the bottom of your list. That'll give you more "tickets" in the lottery, and someone will swap your Clarendon for their West Portal.

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  131. Well, supposedly listing the AA school below the #1 spot on one's list was not meant to make a difference. But if there is an "automatic computer swap" (yeah, right, blame the computer...), that tries to maximize people's getting their highest choices by swapping those that got lower ones in the lottery, then that piece of information was simply untrue. However, either way this "overeager, switch-happy computer" snafu should ONLY affect people whose AA was listed #2 or lower. According to some posts in this thread, several people who are AA for Yick Wo and listed it got booted by people w/o tie breakers. According to all information given to us by EPC in their brochures, workshops, website, that should not have happened. I voted "no" on the neighborhood measure last election, because I trusted the city to get things done right this time and now feel duped.

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  132. SFUSD press release perpetuates the myth of choice: what kind of a school district congratulates itself for pairing sibs? Why is this cause for celebration?

    Oddities are trickling in. Child at our preschool was assigned to an unlisted school, parents never heard of it. We had the school on our list and were rejected.

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  133. Question before PPSSF tutorial: as a family who received zero matches to ten requests, do we have any priotity in Rd. 2 over families who got one of their listed choices in Rd. 1?

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  134. Anybody know somebody at the Chronicle, Examiner, or other local press or TV? Maybe it's time to shed some light on this, and EPC is obviously not willing to talk to us "common people."

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  135. SF Mommy,

    I applaud you for wanting to shed some light on SFUSD. But it isn't so easy. You'll find out. Investigative journalism is dead in San Francisco.

    The only thing that will make a difference is a changing of guard on the Board or, unfortunately, a major game-changing lawsuit. That has been the history of SFUSD.

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  136. SF_Mommy said 'this "overeager, switch-happy computer" snafu should ONLY affect people whose AA was listed #2 or lower'.

    This is just not true. Listing the AA school lower than #1 doesn't make a difference. Just because a family lists their AA school #1 doesn't mean that they'll get it. The "swap" only affects families who got a non-#1 school in the initial phase. No one "got booted" from Yick Wo. They got unlucky, and weren't assigned any school on their list. The non-AA families who got swapped in had gotten lucky with some other school and were able to have their assignments swapped.

    If the swap didn't exist, the families who didn't get Yick Wo would still not have gotten it. But there would be families who got it but would have preferred something else.

    It is counter-intuitive, but a family who puts a school at #1 doesn't have more of a chance to get that school than a family who puts it #9.

    If the district were more transparent, we would all know how many families swapped into and out of Yick Wo, and external people could do a kind of "audit" on how many non-AA families were in a school. Now, if the number of non-AA kindergartners were higher than the number of swaps for that school and grade, there would be a significant problem.

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  137. Oh my god. U r some silly people. Why do u do this to yourselves?

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  138. I do want to add that we went thru the lottery 3 years ago and we got our first choice: peabody. We were smart. It was a good school. We moved to the east bay for the housing and the weather. We didnt drive ourselves crazy getting all hot and heavy over the trophy schools. The schools my kids now go to r better by a large margin. We didnt realize how hard our life was in sf until we left for the suburbs. We thought we had it all in sf but now we know we were delusional just as u all r. Our wish for all of u is to chill the f out and choose a more sensible life for yourselves and your kids. Our neighborhood is full of kids that all go to school together and can walk to each other and gather in the streets to ride bikes in the sunshine of the summer and trick or treat amongst fall foliage. Not everyone here is white. People here r progressive. There r a lot of sf transplants here. parents commute easily to and from sf. U dont know what you r doing. Sf is great for a lot of things but it is not the only place in the world. I do still follow this blog after 4 years because it is funny to read all of these posts. The same comments r written year after year.

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  139. When choosing a school, finding a school that works for you and your family is paramount. This means different things to different families. It could be distance, it could be curriculum, it could be the program, it could be your level of involvement in the school, or more.

    One reason my family chose Rosa Parks over other alternatives in San Francisco is the close proximity to my wife’s work, even though the school is 5 miles--and 30 minutes during rush hour--from our home.

    Reading the posts above, I read some misinformation about the school that I’d like to correct:

    Rosa Parks has three programs: JBBP (Japanese Bilingual), GE, and Special Ed. Both JBBP and Special Ed are city-wide programs (for Special Ed, your child needs to qualify based upon his/her disability). Rosa Parks’ JBBP is a language program and like all language programs in the school district has no preference for neighborhood residents, aka these are city-wide programs. Rosa Parks GE Program is a neighborhood program so residency in Western Addition counts toward admissions.

    The “1 out of 10” state API rank is based upon Spring 2010 scores (see the title of the chart: 2010 API Statewide Rank)—not last year’s scores. The overall school 2010 API was 713. The API score for 2011 was 747. Ranks for Spring 2011 have not been published (expect new rankings when the school accountability score cards for 2011-12 are published).

    If you are focused on API scores, you can get a complete breakdown of Rosa Parks scores on the SFUSD website. Go to the Rosa Parks page and click on Balanced Score Card. It has a breakdown of scores by program as well as by grade, and demographics, and has comparisons from 2010 and 2011. As noted, Rosa Parks scores are on the rise. The biggest movement has been in the GE program. That said, the principal expects Spring 2012 scores (tests are taken in April) to be higher.

    Every school in SFUSD publishes a “Balance Scorecard” report. It’s a technical document that describes challenges and successes at the school and what programs and initiatives the school is undertaking to meet those challenges and further the successes.

    I hope you feel as I do that scores are only part of the story. My 2nd grade daughter has truly flourished at Rosa Parks. She’s a 2nd grader who’s reading at a 6-grade level. Is it the school, my wife’s and my efforts, friends she associates with (many who read at the same level), or some innate quality? Probably a dose of each.

    I hope you and your family can find a great school. If you’re curious to find out more about Rosa Parks, please join us for a school tour after Spring Break on Wed, April 11th. The tour will start at 7:50am on the main school yard. Please call the school at 415-749-3610 to sign up for the tour.

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  140. Zapster,

    All true, but new parents enter the K process and they don't know the story here in SF, so it is like deja-vu all over again. It is unfortunate watching it play out year after year, the winners, the losers, the joy and the tears. All the effort that goes into a system like this could be spent in so many more beneficial ways, but the Board has parents jumping through hoops for some idealistic notion. After all these years of this nonsense, SFUSD still has just as many terrible schools because, despite the conventional wisdom, the assignment system has very little to do with making schools better. They just want parents to believe it does.

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  141. @Jed -- nope. Everyone who goes into round 2 gets equal footing. Getting no schools on your list, or even your #1 choice has no effect on round 2.

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  143. Paul,

    You are referring to STAR, not API. STAR provides absolute scores by grade and student subgroups. API is another thing that is used primarily to determine Program Improvement status. It is based on STAR raw data, but several other modifying factors are through in and usually change year by year. There's typically a lot of confusion over these tests, the biggest one being that people wrongly use the API as a determinant of school quality.

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  144. I've had two kids in RP's JBBP program. The first is currently agonizing over Lowell vs. Gateway vs. private school offerings as she closes out her last year at James Lick Middle School. She's looking forward to spending a month attending middle school in Japan this summer (with a fellow JBBP student) that one of JBBP's Sensei is helping to arrange.

    My younger one is in the 4th grade and finishing up her nightly reading summary. Today, she brought home a bag of greens harvested from the ever expanding gardens at RP. No eggs from the chickens yet. She was disappointed a couple of months ago when she didn't make the final cut to compete in the annual Bay Area Japanese Speech Contest sponsored by the Consul General of Japan. But she got over it and was happy for her classmate who placed second in her category at the esteemed event.

    Instead of going on about RP, I'd like to share a blog post by one of our parents. I think it captures perfectly how I -- and so many other families at RP -- feel about the very special school that we've come to call home.

    http://humofthecity.com/2012/03/02/san-francisco-destinations-rosa-parks-elementary-school/

    Best wishes to all of you looking for public schools! My advice: forget about test scores -- its all about FIT. And there's something for everyone in this crazy city of ours!

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  145. @Floyd Thursby - I'm sorry but the system in SF makes families act selfishly. In the end, our child will only go to one school. Ironically, our child only got into one school. We do believe in the public school system, but "selfishly" had to create options in the private sector which didn't pan out. Good luck to all!

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  146. Oh, dear... I'm sorry to hear any confusion about Rosa Parks Elementary. As a parent of 1st and 2nd graders in the JBBP, I'd like to say a few things about it. (And I'm sorry so long, but please read through if you're considering Rosa Parks.)

    First of all, it's a gem of a school. Not perfect, but both the GE and JBBP tracks have SO much to offer: terrific partnerships with outside organizations (SF Ballet, Nagata Dance, Anthony Brown Asian American Jazz Orchestra, Academic Chess club to name just a FEW), a wonderful garden & nutrition program (including a chicken coop!), a science enrichment partnership with the UCSF School of Pharmacy, a full-time librarian & computer-lab teacher... All enriching the already incredibly vibrant exposure to both Japanese and African-American culture... with terrific, enthusiastic teachers, a great Principal, and a WONDERFUL parent community.

    As for the caliber of the education, I would not continue to send my kids there if I thought it was sub-par. In fact, my kids are flourishing... and my expectations for them are very high. If it makes a difference to know, we have parents who are graduates of Stanford, Yale, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, etc. etc., and who are Professors at UCSF, Academy Award winning sound engineers, published authors & illustrators, accomplished artists, physicians, attorneys, engineers, small-business-owners, etc. etc. Along with current Rosa Parks parent Emily Murase, the most recently elected member of the SF Board of Education, we have a group of families who care highly about the quality of their children's education. The school is definitely on the rise in terms of testing, etc., and the staff and parents at the school are tangibly bringing more and more to the school monthly.

    One does need to understand that the school is very diverse, ethnically and socio-economically, and to be comfortable with that. My kids read and write Hiragana, (working on Katakana), gobble down Japanese foods I'd never heard of, and raised $$ for Japan Relief after the tsunami, while dancing to African rhythms for Black History Month and feeling great pride to know that Rosa Parks herself visited this school.

    Rosa Parks is at the border of the Western Addition / Fillmore / Japantown. I would NOT let the neighborhood deter anyone interested from coming to check it out. In truth, it could not be better positioned with regards to celebrating the Japanese and African American communities, with a bridge over Geary to Japantown and the Fillmore / Yoshi's etc. across the street! The area is not refined, but it doesn't keep me from wanting my kids at RP.

    As for commuting to take your kids to school, clearly that's a major consideration. If you have to drive 20 minutes and then head back in the opposite direction again for work, I totally understand the hesitation to sign up for whatever school. You're going to have to do it EVERY DAY!! On that note, we live 6 blocks from West Portal school and drive 20 minutes to RP ourselves... BUT my husband works downtown so drops the kids on the way in. And for now, there is a school bus that brings them home to WP school after school, which is awesome. But even if / when that goes away, the 20 minute commute is totally doable for us.

    If anyone would like to come check Rosa Parks out, please come to our Friday parent Coffee Klatch to meet parents -- right after drop-off and the "Cha-Cha Slide" in the yard. ;) We'd love to meet you.

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  147. Know of at least two families that used a different family members address as their AA school and got into my AA school that I had 1st and did not get into. Instead we were assigned a school clear across town that is inaccessible to us by public transportation. Though my AA school is directly across the street from my front door.

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  148. Onethirtyonethirtysix, why would anyone choose Gateway over Lowell? Lowell only admits students with a 3.75 GPA, or at least a 3.00 if they are in the alternate bands but usually great grades. Gateway is pure lottery, as likely to admit a 2.00 as a 4.00 student. Lowell is the oldest high school West of the Mississippi with graduates including a Supreme Court Justice and last year's Pulitzer Prize Winner for Literature, just to name 2. Also, if you come from Lowell, you will get credit as being self-made, not having your parents do it for you, which you will get from private. Not only that, but Lowell beats all the private schools in average SAT Scores. Lowell also has better sports, drama, debate, music, arts, and a big open campus. It sends over half the kids to UCs and many to Ivy League, etc. I think it's crazy to look at any school as in Lowell's league. Gateway isn't as good as Lowell in any factor, requires a 7th class and private schools will cost you 100k or more for no better result. Think about it!

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  149. Hi DonK,

    The school district uses a lot of acronyms. The testing period and results are STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting). The tests are CST (California Standards Tests). Test results are aggregated into indexes called API (Academic Performance Index). You are correct that API's are not comparable year to year unless they've been restated.

    On the Rosa Parks Balance Score Card, tests results are broken down by API (not STAR categories: below basic, basic, proficient, advanced). This makes looking at the scores easer and comparable to other schools, the district as a whole, and the state.

    I agree with you about API’s not telling the complete story. Mark Twain said there are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. At Rosa Parks we have chickens, senseis, a garage band, dance performances, talent shows, dragon dollars, speech contests, weird science, geography night, … And the list goes on. All of these and more contribute to an enriching environment. I’m sure that Rosa Parks is not unique in the district in that many schools have wonderful teachers and offer great programs.

    Have you found your gem of a school yet? Happy hunting!

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  150. Folks, if you're interested in a language immersion, Reggio Emilia-inspired teaching approach and competitive curriculum (International Baccalaureate-Primary Years Program)-- take a look at the Italian International School! It is opening in Fall 2012, enrollment is limited to 15 students for K-1 class. Tuition is amazing for private school, 2 teachers and hot lunch included. Take a look before you make your final decisions!

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  151. The commute factor is a serious one, especially with public transit being S-L-O-W. When we were looking at middle schools for our now 6th grader it was a serious consideration. We're a 1 car family, and until pretty recently the car was not available for school drop off. Now I'm able to drive her to MUNI, "reducing" her commute to 35-40 minutes. On the way home it takes her around an hour, usually a little more.

    Again, I now have access to a car during the day, so I was able to take a broader look at schools for DS. I really feel for families who are assigned schools 2-3 buses away from home. It would be hard for anyone to spend 3 hours on buses each day, and be employed. Not to mention it's not a good way for little kids to spend their time.

    I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that suggesting that parents consider schools on the other end of town is not helpful.

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  152. I like your perspective.

    Regarding API, I'm not sure what categories you are looking at for API. API is STAR modified to bring some statistical, political and economic leveling to STAR. It really has little to do with evaluating within a school. It is just designed to determine whether the school as a whole is progressing within Program Improvement.

    The biggest problem with STAR, API and CST in general is that the public cannot gain access to individual classroom results unless there is only one class per grade. One can imagine that this would be something the unions would vigorously oppose as it would put individual teachers firmly under the microscope.

    As my older child goes to Presidio for which RP is a feeder school, I'm curious to know if the school has a overall pedagogical approach to teaching to the wide variance of student preparedness at RP or what they do to tackle that issue which is the central problem facing school teachers in SF.

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  153. Something definitely seems wrong with this year's results based on these posts. Someone should look into. 1. this unpublicized "swap" 2. how well they controlled possible address fraud this year 3. some other possible major problem with their computer or input system. I know of one person who put an oversubscribed, non AA school second on her list and she had no prioritization and got that school. I was shocked. Call Jill Tucker at the Chronicle, or someone at The Bay Citizen (they do investigative work and sometimes their stories get picked up the by the regional NYT)

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  154. k said... (March 20, 2012 10:57 PM)
    "Know of at least two families that used a different family members address as their AA school and got into my AA school that I had 1st and did not get into."

    Open up the spots, report the fraud immediately!
    Report residency fraud!

    Call the Fraud hotline at 415.522.6783 or e-mail at AddressTipline@sfusd.edu

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  155. anyone who asked for aa first and did not get it should

    1.report this via email to all sfusd board members (get emails at: http://www.sfusd.edu/en/about-sfusd/board-of-education/overview-and-members.html , title your email "ATTENDANCE AREA MIXUP".

    2.call darlene lim director of epc at 415 241 6271. call her every day until she calls you back.

    3. start asking around in your neighborhood, who got what school, what was your list. make note of it.

    4. call amy crawford the school reporter at the sf examiner 415-359-2741 to notify her of your situation.

    5. notify by email the principal of your aa school of your situation. here is a link to all principal names ph#s and emails-
    http://portal.sfusd.edu/data/pdf/directory/List_of_Administrators.pdf

    what else can we do?

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  156. It's hard to know when there is fraud as some kids live with their grandparents and only see their parents on weekends. I know several families who sent their kids to live with their grandparents for a year because they didn't get into a school close to home, are single mothers and the commute (40th Avenue to Visitation Valley Middle School) was literally impossible as they had another kid close, no spouse and didn't feel safe having a daughter take 3 buses to the Bayview each way every day, so for safety and not getting fired, they had to send their child to live with their grandparents. The opposite happens a lot, a family near bad schools will let their kid stay with their grandparents. It isn't lying, in many Asian families the children are far closer to the grandparents than they are the parents and the older generation takes primary responsibility for childraising while the parents work and save. I bet it isn't always residency fraud when they say it is. Sometimes the kids only see their parents on weekends, and not even every weekend. I now a Chinese family like this.

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  157. Hi DonK,

    The API scores on Rosa Parks Balanced Score Card are given by class. So, you can see the differences from teacher to teacher. The teachers’ names are not listed. Again, API is an index—the idea being that students can be evaluated in side-by-side comparisons regardless of class, grade, or school. It’s debatable whether API achieves this goal. That said; I do feel that it’s useful for identifying areas that are working or need work.

    At Rosa Parks, one of the hallmarks of our teaching strategies is differentiated learning. The school district as a whole does this but I have first-hand experience watching it in action at Rosa Parks. Differentiated learning is teaching students at their level. If a student is advanced, the instruction should be advanced. If the student is basic, the instruction should be targeted for this level. Since student levels vary in a class, students are grouped by like skills. The teacher then rotates through the groups and gives the appropriate instruction.

    Reading is one subject where student skills can vary dramatically and grow quickly. It’s a challenge to keep the students on the edge of their ability. You don’t want the work to be too easy or too hard. The program we follow at Rosa Parks is Guided Reading. Guided Reading classifies books (using an alphabetical system) from A to Z, where A is the easiest and Z the hardest. The students know what level they are at. During group reading time, the teacher works with 3-4 students at the same level.

    When my daughter started 1st grade, she was in the second-to-lowest reading group. Her guided reading level was “E.” By the end of the year, she had progressed to “I.” Over the summer, my wife and I took her to the library and we checked out books at her level (they have books classified by Guided Reading too). Quite honestly, by the end of summer she was reading whatever she wanted since she really got into it. At the start of 2nd grade, she was evaluated to be reading at the end-of-3rd-grade level and was placed in 3rd grade during group reading time. Her latest evaluation has her reading at a 6-grade level.

    Is this story unique to Rosa Parks? Probably not. Back in 1st grade, when my wife and I consulted with my daughter’s teacher, she gave us strategies and techniques for helping my daughter not only become a better reader but also love reading. At that time, we took it one-day-at-a-time. In hindsight I now realize that we (teacher & parents working together) laid the groundwork for her later successes.

    This story repeats itself in 2nd grade too. When my daughter started 2nd grade, her teacher told my wife and I that our daughter didn’t have confidence doing addition and subtraction. She could do it, just not quickly and naturally enough—and this would become important for working with larger numbers. Again, we were given strategies and approaches to use.

    The key take away is that no school is a “magic bullet.” Whichever school you go to, you’ll find dedicated and professional teachers and staff who are aptly skilled at teaching children and working with parents. Regardless of where you go, you’ll need to stay on top of things, engage the teacher, and be involved. I don’t want to scare anyone, it’s not onerous. Spending an extra 10-15 minutes a few days a week is what we do in our household.

    I also want to point out that people not familiar with Rosa Parks tend to say one program is better than the other. That is simply hogwash. Both GE and JBBP programs have outstanding, professional, and highly trained teachers and staff. My daughter regularly has class with a GE teacher (first period every day) who is currently her favorite teacher. If our family was offered a slot in the GE program, would we take it? Absolutely! Knowing what I know now about Rosa Parks, I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

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  158. Unless the Grandparents are the childrens' legal guardians, using the grandparents' address to get into a desired school is FRAUD.

    Report them all.

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  159. Paul,

    Thanks for that explanation. RP sounds like an excellent learning environment for your daughter. That's great to hear.

    I am a little confused about your understanding of API. There are no API scores for individuals, only STAR scores. API is by definition an aggregate score for schools.

    On another note, I assume that RP is a Title One school. Parents of students who are not underprivileged should understand that with the Schoolwide T1 method all students get access to TI money and service by law. Conversely, underprivileged students and all students at schools that fall below the T1 threshold (60%?) get nothing. This is glaring misuse of funding that was intended to address underachievement within low SES groups. It is another way in which SFUSD's so-called equity agenda is anything but equitable.

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  160. xta said "anyone who asked for aa first and did not get it should ..."

    Um, why? There's nothing in the current system that guarantees Attendance Area residents will get their Attendance Area school.

    I understand not liking that part of the system, but it works as it's been designed (and advertised).

    The "swap" thing seems to have some weird effects too, and I think the District needs to be transparent about those. Now will they? Doubt it.

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  161. it is true there are no guarantees. but i have no way of knowing if the system is working. my opinion is that it is not. we have no way of knowing this unless we are given access to their data. are non tiebreaker kids getting in ahead of me because of the swap? or is it an error? how? last year every aa kid in yick wo got a spot. this year so far 7 aa did not and 2 non aa did. i feel this deserves an explanation. for that reason i encourage folks to ask the school board and darlene lim what is going on. i also feel "the swap" deserves an explanation, what is this thing, how does it work?
    if it does exist and does explain the non tiebreaker kids getting in then the swap is essentially another tiebreaker!

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  162. Wow. RP JBBP could not fill its seats as a citywide lottery program, unlike most immersion programs. With seats available, a Grattan area parent who was not even interested in a Japanese program got assigned to RP JBBP. Have I got that right?

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  163. Happy Parent of a "Guadalupano" here... we listed all the known suspects just in case: Clarendon, Feinstein, Miraloma... but ended up getting our Guadalupe which was our 4th choice (and somewhat of our area school). Happy with the outcome.

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  164. Frank: "I understand not liking that part of the system [the swap], but it works as it's been designed (and advertised)."

    1. How do we know how it works or how it was designed?

    2. Where was it advertised?

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  165. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  166. The main problem with the lottery swap, is though it appears harmless at first blush, it actually widens the gap between the winners and the losers.

    How many times does the swap occur? Are you able to trade multiple times inching closer and closer to first choice? Sounds awesome for the families that won the first round, but it SIGNIFICANTLY lowers the prospects for those that lost, because these less desirable spots will not end up in the lottery pool for Round 2.

    This swap also seems more amplified this year, which probably lowers our chances even more.

    And I agree with previous posters. This swap was not documented or posted anywhere in the SFUSD literature.

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  167. I spent some time looking for where the "swap" was advertised, and I agree that it was poorly advertised.

    Here's a link to the SFUSD Assignment Policy (it's a PDF).
    On page 6, it says the following:

    "Method of Allocating Seats
    The SFUSD will replace the diversity index lottery system with an assignment with transfers algorithm that uses school requests from families and the preferences outlined in this student assignment policy."

    However, it doesn't define what "assignment with transfers" means in this doc. I looked in the Enrollment Guide, and it's not in there either.

    I know that it's in the Stanford researchers' proposal, but that's not an official doc.

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  168. Hi Donk,

    In order for the API (and any indexing algorithm to work), you need to assign an index number to each student, otherwise you cannot create aggregated totals in the many ways that the district does. Students earn three API scores: English Arts, Mathematics, and Overall. So, it’s possible to then compare an individual to an aggregated average such as a grade, school, or demographic group. This is how the classroom-level indexes were created for us.

    For Title 1, should Title 1 money benefit students whose families do not fall below the poverty line? My personal opinion is: Yes. All students should be treated equitably within the school environment. Regardless of my opinion, Title 1 money does benefit the whole school by law. Title 1 funding is designed to “make-up” funding differences for lower socioeconomic areas of our country.

    What is Title 1? Title 1 is a Federal program which gives extra money to schools where the socioeconomic status of the school falls below a threshold. If 40% or more students are below the poverty line, then the school qualifies for Title 1. Here is an example of a family at the poverty line: a family of four whose household income is $29,000 or less. Qualification is determined by the percentage of families that apply and receive free lunches at the school. At Rosa Parks, 52% of the students receive free lunches—which mean we qualify for Title 1 funding. In fact, an additional 11% receive reduced lunches for free-and-reduced total of 63%.

    The free- and-reduced-lunch statistic of any school is a good indicator for gaging the socioeconomic status of the families that attend that school.

    At Rosa Parks, Title 1 enables us to hire extra staff as well as fund other initiatives (i.e. non-personnel funding). For example, we have a Learning Support Specialist, an Elementary Advisor, and Parent Liaison. These extra positions support the entire school. Getting back to the question, should these positions only support socioeconomic disadvantage students?

    I’d like to answer the question using another example that’s less complicated than Title 1. Rosa Parks has applied for and received a grant from the San Francisco Food Bank to receive healthy snacks for the students. We’ve received this grant for the past three years (since I’ve only been with the school for three years, I can’t vouch for longer) largely because of the socioeconomic level of our students. Snacks are delivered and distributed to all children regardless of the socioeconomic status though. The student determines if he/she wants a snack. The school treats all students in such a socioeconomic agnostic manner.

    I believe that it’s important for an inclusive environment for students to be treated as equals in the eyes of fellow students even if society at large does not. I think that it would be non-productive to give healthy snacks to some students and not others. I’m not a lawyer or law maker, but I believe that the Title 1 law was designed with this in mind.

    This philosophy of inclusion has been extended to other parts of the school. For example, state law mandates that all non-native English speaking students get 30 minutes of English Development instruction every day. 25% of our students are non-native speakers. It isn’t practical for only 25% of the students to receive this special instruction, so all students receive it during the first period of the day. Students are grouped by status (native or non-native speakers) and language ability to receive the instruction. In my daughter’s group, there are GE and JBBP students and non-native speakers who have demonstrated proficiency for English.

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  169. Frank, thanks for posting the link to the policy. However, I don't see this passing reference to "transfers" as meaning that people who are assigned places under the tie-breakers can then be transferred in some way that disregards those tie-breakers. It would negate the whole tie-breaker system.
    It seems to me that "transfers" probably refers to the later text that says, "For non-transitional grades, the preferences will be modified...the first priority is for transfers as required by the No Child Left Behind Act..." (page 7). So I don't think this would apply to Kindergarten applicants.
    It is also ironic that this document states as one of three priorities of the policy "Provide transparency at every stage of the assignment process" (page 1). What's the point of having transparency in the tie-breaker assignment stage if there is a subsequent, completely opaque reassignment/transfer/swap stage?

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  170. @xta, you said: "last year every aa kid in yick wo got a spot". But how do we know this? Because the report from SFUSD on last year's process showed some number of siblings got offers, some number of AA kids got offers, and some number of other kids got offers. And so we have all been assuming the others that got offers did so because every AA kid got a slot. But the swap was part of the computerized process last year as well, so couldn't it be just that some number of others (perhaps all?) got their spot through a swap? Say 5 kids from outside the AA got offers last year. They all could have been winners of something else that they put lower on their list than Yick Wo who got swapped with Yick Wo AA kids who put that something else other than Yick Wo higher on their list. And there still could have been kids in the Yick Wo AA that didn't get a spot.

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  171. Paul,

    What I'm trying to tell you is that there is no such thing as an individual or student API. API scores are strictly schoolwide scores. You cannot compare a STAR score to a school API score. They are apples and oranges.

    As far as Title One goes, there are two methods of distributing T1 money, Schoolwide and Targeted Improvement. SFUSD chooses to use the Schoolwide method of allocation. This means that underprivileged students at schools that fall below the threshold get nothing and students who are not underprivileged at schools that fall within the threshold get the same benefit as those that are underprivileged. How can this be fair if the point of Title One is to provide compensatory education?

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  172. I've been thinking about why people are so upset about the swapping part of the algorithm. In theory, a family that doesn't get a spot in their attendance area isn't disadvantaged when a family from the same attendance area that did get a spot but prefers, say, a city-wide immersion is swapped with a family from outside the AA that won the city-wide immersion slot but prefers the school we're talking about. But I have two thoughts: one is that while the attendance area family without a spot is not disadvantaged in the first run, there's reason to believe they are less likely to get a spot in their attendance area school in the long run. Perhaps without the swap, the original family that won a spot in the local school (but preferred immersion) would be less likely to enroll in SFUSD at all, thus leaving another spot in the local school for a kid from the attendance area (in Round 2). By doing the swap, the computer by definition is making everyone happier, which is good for the first run, but maybe not good for that shut out family in real life. The second thought I had is that I hadn't quite realized until now that while the system now allows some preference for people who want to go to school in their neighborhood, it's clear this system is not prioritizing neighborhood schools. If it were, it would go through some system of allowing anyone in the attendance area who wanted a spot to get one before opening spots to other folks. I think perhaps the people who devised this system perhaps did not really take into account that there might be people who would prefer their child go to a neighborhood school, meaning both a critical mass of students from the surrounding neighborhood and also perhaps some reasonable expectation that you as a neighborhood resident would be first in line for spots at the school.

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  173. can I get peoples thoughts on sunset vs. Miraloma?? We have an inclusion daughter starting k, live in ctip1 got Miraloma, but really wanted sunset! We're going to sunset's tour tomorrow just to reaffirm to apply for round 2...

    Thanks in advance;)
    Raymond

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  174. If you list darn near every school and every citywide program in the district, you increase the chances of having something to swap with to get you into one of your real high priority choices. So even if the first cut did not give you one of your top choices, you still have a chance to get in via the computer swap.

    Therefore, a word to the wise: list almost all of them. Anybody disagree?

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  175. Does CTP1 address count in round two? Or is that only round one?

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  176. I have been talking to the parents at our private preschool and some are taking their assigned placement and some are not and will continue with private school. So I know that a few schools, Yo Wick, for one where a spot will open up. And, I also know one family is giving up her Sunset spot to keep her daughter out one more year.

    Everyone is talking about AA schools but the school next door to my house is a CW school. And another CW program is within walking distance. Our AA school is over a mile away, not walking distance and there are absolutely no buses to get there.

    So I hope all you get your AA schools and open up spots in the CW programs for us. If you want my Richmond District AA school spots you can have them if I can get spots in the CW programs close to my home.

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  177. Hi Donk,

    On Presidio’s Accountability Report Car, page 16, API’s are broken down at sub-school levels by demographic groups.

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  178. So the computer swap is mostly about giving you one of your "trophy school choices only" so that you will not defect to a private school?

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  180. Paul,

    API has demographic subgroups, but it is not broken down student or class. If you go to the Cal API website you will see API by district, school and demo subgroups. And that's it. Student information is confidential and if SFUSD is sharing individual STAR test results with the school at large they are violating privacy laws.

    The point is this - if you want to follow how students are doing year over year, you use STAR. The API index is only valuable as a tool to see the change from base to growth because the factors for API change every year.

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  181. People with the CTIP1 golden ticket would probably never be forced into a Round 2--maybe if they put only one or two schools on their list might they not get any of their choices.

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  182. Also, Paul, in regard to Title One, when underprivileged students get no access to T1 funding while privileged kids do get the funding, one has to wonder what is the purpose of Title One? Because if Title One is supposed to provide compensatory education for the poor, how can SFUSD use it to support the education for your kids when poor kids get nothing? It may be personally problematic to separate the haves and have- nots, but it is absolutely unethical to feed well fed students while underfed students are starved.

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  183. Don, we have Title I funding for the schools, rather than for the individual students, in the name of administrative efficiency. The school is the surrogate for the student. It is an imperfect match, but one that can be reasonably administered.

    If you think the match is too imperfect, take it up with the courts, or with your congressman.

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  184. Paul,

    Just so we don't keep disputing this factual point, here is the description of API from the CDE website:

    California Department of Education

    May 2011 4

    What is the API?

    The API is a single number, ranging from a low of 200 to a high of 1000, which reflects a school’s, an LEA’s, or a subgroup’s performance level, based on the results of statewide testing. Its purpose is to measure the academic performance and growth of schools.

    Charlie, an individual can't change Title One. I'm simply pointing out that providing T1 service to kids that don't need it and not to those that do is a unfortunate use of this funding.

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  185. And I say everyone gets a social security check. Even if they do not need it (as long as they did pay into the system and are paying income taxes on it). Don't bother checking income of everyone who gets a check. It will cost more than it is worth. And it is good to receive. Uncle Sam needs all the goodwill he can muster.

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  186. Someone said that it was not helpful to tell dissappointed parents to tour the outer sunset where the commute is long and the seats are more available.

    I agree that this will not work for many and is not helpful for many. But it might be helpful for some. And it is only one idea, not the only Plan B. What are your ideas for those going through this for the first time?

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  187. So a Board of Ed member has had her child at Rosa Parks for several years. I reserve the right to identify the school as a low performing school, as does the federal government as it doles out extra money to meet the needs of students.

    I have a two part test for unreasonable assignments. Very long commutes to very low scoring schools. (Don't add insult to injury.) Is RP too low? Is Grattan to RP too far? If any of the answers is NO, then the new SAS did not fail IMHO.

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  189. Anyone been to the EPC lately? How long is the wait? Are they open next week? Also, do I need to return the second-round form in person?

    thanks!

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  190. Charlie, I don't know how Social Security Insurance compares with Title One in your analogy, but I'll leave that to you. SFUSD can deliver money in a targeted fashion if it chose the TI versus the SW model.

    My point is that SFUSD via Title One is giving money to students that don't need it and not giving T1 money to those that do. So RP can improve its school wide scores, but if those improvements are not demographically across the board, by NCLB thinking it doesn't matter because the "school" improved at large.

    One poster "Unknown at 10:57" spoke about all the extra support positions and services that RP has, but it should be noted that much larger schools have none of these opportunities. What did the underprivileged and at-risk students at these schools without the aforementioned help do to deserve the disinterest of SFUSD in their academic achievement? They enrolled in a school that has an API above 800, despite their own much lower achievement.

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  191. Yes, Don, that is how the standardized test score game is played: the scorecard is on the schools, not the individual students. It is the schools, as a whole, that is to improve upon getting all its students at least barely proficient. No child left behind!

    (Or at least not attending my school anymore to put a black mark on my school for less that proficient test scores. Or at least not taking the test when tests are given--another way to juke the stats--which needs to be checked out re Revere, the last time out.)

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  192. If you look at the percentage of students who take the STAR test at Supe Zones schools it is very low, low 80's usually. If all the students at the schools actually took the tests the stats would be much worse than they already are. This info is readily available to see when you bring the school data up at the STAR site.Dept of Ed says a school must have a 95% participation rate, but that's just talk... ED isn't going to take away their money and that's the only carrot they have. But I think we have gone off topic as assignment led to Rosa Parks to Title One and so forth.

    As Donny Hathaway said, "Everything is everything".

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  193. We put down Lilienthal (directly behind our apartment and we don't have a car, so sue me for dreaming big) Peabody and Sutro and we got Cobb.

    Fortunately we also got Creative Arts! So we are going there and happy.

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  194. Assignment System Fraud?

    Http://srdad.com/SrDad/Media/20120322Assignment.mp4

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  195. It's not clear to me that there *ARE* any slots available in the outer sunset schools. The sas is supposed to assign kids who got none of their choices to "the school closest to them that has room." Since the parent who lives near DiFi was offered Flynn, it seems unlikely that there's room in the outer sunset schools. Distance from DiFi to Ulloa (for example) is about 1 mile. DiFi to Flynn? 4 miles plus.

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