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San Francisco Education Effort Made Schools 'More Segregated'

San Francisco Education Effort Made Schools 'More Segregated'
The Golden Gate Bridge is awash in warm light from the setting sun in San Francisco, California. (John Gress/Corbis via Getty)

By    |   Thursday, 25 April 2019 05:14 PM

San Francisco’s once highly touted school enrollment plan, known in the city as “the lottery,” has had the opposite of its intended effect to desegregate classrooms, The New York Times reports.

“Our current system is broken,” said Stevon Cook, president of the district Board of Education. “We’ve inadvertently made the schools more segregated.”

Last year, the board passed a resolution to restructure the lottery process, which replaced the traditional school zones almost 20 years ago. Families submit applications for kindergarten, ranking their school choices. A computer algorithm then assigns schools, with children from neighborhoods where students have scored last on state tests being given the first shot at their top-choice schools. Address-based priority is also included for one school, but test-score priorty takes precedence. 

Despite this, schools in the district, one of the most diverse in the nation, were more racially segregated in 2015 than they had been in 1990, while neighborhoods in the city became more integrated.

The Times notes that reasons for the segregation vary, but one is the lack of transportation for many students. Of the 54,000 students in the district, less than 4,000 ride a bus to school, and the busing program was reduced in 2010 because of the recession.

“The board is unified in going through this process and looking carefully at what we’re doing and what other districts are doing,” board member Matt Haney told the San Francisco Chronicle in December, 2018, just after the board voted. “I think we can come up with a better system.”

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San Francisco's once-touted school enrollment plan, known in the city as "the lottery," has had the opposite of its intended effect to desegregate classrooms, The New York Times reports.
san francisco, schools, segregation, report
253
2019-14-25
Thursday, 25 April 2019 05:14 PM
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