I got a very irate email from an otherwise very nice-sounding Bernal Heights mom and statistician who, based on the anecdotal evidence of the people she knows, is sure that including siblings in the “80 percent got one of their choices” figure is massively misleading (she suggests that 70% of non-siblings went unassigned). Well, there is a sibling effect, but yet again I must point out that it is not as huge as people think, and nowhere near enough to cause 70% of non-siblings to be shut out of their choices entirely.
I’m focusing this discussion on Kindergarten because most of the anger I’m hearing is from parents of incoming Kindergarteners who went 0/7 (there are 935 of them, to be exact, and most of them are posting over on the SFKFiles blog). Here are the stats:
- The district received 4,694 total applications for Kindergarten. Of those, 1,228 (26%) were younger siblings of students currently enrolled at the school listed first by the applicant (the sibling preference only kicks in if you list the older sibling’s school FIRST on your application, so therefore the sibling effect is most pronounced on first choice statistics). In other words, 3,466 first-time applicants applied for seats in Kindergarten. This is the new “base” number for all the percentages that appear below.
- In all, 2,930 applicants (siblings AND non-siblings) received their first choice. Because sibling preference only applies to first choices, all siblings were assigned to their first choices, leaving 1,702 first-time applicants who received their first choices. This represents 49% of all non-sibling applications (1702/3466 *100 = 49%).
- The percentage of first-time applicants receiving their second through seventh choices were (respectively, with rounding): 10%, 5%, 3%, 2%, 2% and 1%. Therefore, 73% of all non-sibling applicants received A choice.
- The remaining 27% of non-sibling applicants received no choices.