Tuesday’s meeting on student assignment will be big

Heads up to everyone who’s been keeping an eye on the Board’s effort to redesign student assignment: the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday evening (posted agenda is here) will represent a major step forward. First, the Parent Advisory Council and Parents for Public Schools will present findings from the community conversations they’ve been conducting since November. Then, the staff will present a preliminary recommendation for a new system to the Board, and ask for feedback on the proposal.

The first reading of the proposed new policy will occur at the Feb. 9 Board meeting (generally first readings of new proposals come up late in the evening, with a total of five minutes allowed for comment from any members of the public. In other words, that meeting won’t be the best time to come and share your views!).

At first reading, the proposal will be forwarded to several Board committees, and after those committee hearings are completed it will come back to the full Board for a second reading and final vote — most likely on March 9.

So Tuesday evening’s Committee of the Whole will be everyone’s first opportunity to hear the policy recommendation developed through all the work of the past year. The meeting will be held at 555 Franklin St., starting at 6 p.m. These meetings are generally televised on Channels 26 or 78 and streamed online at SFGov-TV.

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4 responses to “Tuesday’s meeting on student assignment will be big

  1. Dear Bernal Dad,

    If if we had zones for the 11 most popular elementary schools and single school attendance areas for all the rest, I would think twice about lying about my address. I might live in the Richmond, pick Alamo as my first choice, be unsure that I would win the lottery into Alamo, be willing to go to several of the other schools in the Washington Attendance Area, and not claim that I live in the Mission. Lying could hurt as well as help. I just might not lie.

  2. “We are likely to get a recommendation for single school attendace areas, with a strong academic diversity policy.”

    In terms of socioeconomic diversity, this (Option 6) was inferior to Option 3 according to the simulations done by the Stanford researchers, and was about the same in terms of efficiency (matching families with schools of their choice).

    It’s hard for me to see how picking an option which was inferior for low-SES families but equivalent in terms of efficiency is going to withstand a potential lawsuit.

    “It will pay to lie about where you live.”

    It will pay to lie about where you live under even a pure neighborhood-assignment system you advocate, Leslie.

  3. This brings up an interesting question. If the preferred choice is neighborhood with an additional consideration for diversity, then how are the neighborhood boundaries to be drawn? Will this be something that is discussed with the public as well, should the Board and the District ultimately choose such a model? For the past decade the part of the Haight I live in, there hasn’t been a neighborhood school as distinguished by the school district – not on the elementary or high school level.

  4. We are likely to get a recommendation for single school attendace areas, with a strong academic diversity policy. To get into the school of your choice, it will benefit you to live very close to that school, or in an area identified by the school district as a low achieving area. It will pay to lie about where you live.

    I do not have confidence that the school district can police the address fraud issue. Any system that relies on address and is unable to police for address fraud is a broken system from the start. The sytstem would be unfair, and the unfairness would be our own creation.

    As you, Commissioner Norton, have pointed out, there are about 11 elementary schools where the demand far exceeds the supply. At a minimum, admission into these schools should not operate with single schiool attendence areas until there is public confidence that the school
    district can police for address fraud.

    For these 11 elementary schools, I favor zones the size of high school attendance areas. Open up admission to the broader neighborhood so that address fraud would be less of an issue.

    Thus, have zones for some schools and single school areas for other schools. One size does not fit all.