Changes Coming to San Francisco Students' School Choice

Anonymous's picture

Previously, the enrollment process of the San Francisco Unified School District required students and parents to enter a lottery system for middle school - just as they had done years earlier for elementary schools.

Approved by the Board of Education in March, there is a new enrollment process underway that more heavily accounts for where a student lives during the elementary school selection. Also, it mandates that all students in such primary schools have a guaranteed spot at the corresponding middle school; a more consistent alternative compared to the shuffle of schools and students that occurred under the previous guidelines. 

Still, there are many families aiming to revamp the assignment process in its entirety in order to encourage the district to solely assign children to neighborhood schools.

What are your thoughts, stories, experiences?
Want more details?
adpostal's picture


While I understand the convenience of having students go to school closer to their home, I believe that this could lead to some equity problems.  Different areas of San Francisco range in socioeconomic status.  If students went to schools closer to home, then it could lead to he problem where students in lower income students go to schools with fewer resources, and higher income students go to schools with more resources.  The lottery system seems to allow equal distribution of all types of students to all types of schools, ultimately helping to level the playing field and make sure all of San Francisco's children get off to a great start at life.

Phil Ting's picture

Diversiy and Fairness

As a long time civil rights advocate, I have long advocated for diversity and equity in the schools.  Yet after watching parents apply for schools under the old Diversity Index, I read that only 50% of first time families get one of their seven choices.  As I am visiting schools, you need to invest at least 10 to 12 hours to visit seven different schools.  That means, you have only a 1 in 2 chance of getting any of those schools and getting assigned a school you didnt choose or even visit.  This just doesn't fair and it has driven many families away from San Francisco.  Many of my friends left because they didn't even want to go through the system.  One friend moved last summer after his twins went 0 for 7 each or actually 0 for 14.  I applaud the Superintendent and the School Board's new system which take geography into account.  Hopefully, more people will be able to walk to school and invest in their school rather than spend an hour a day shuttling their kids from home to school.  Since this is the first year of the new system, we have no idea how this will work out.  I'll be applying by the Feb 18th deadline and hoping for the best!  Let's hope this new system has created more certainty and will encourage more families to stay in SF and check out our public schools.

d.m.w.'s picture

wow.   Thank you so much



Thank you so much for sharing your experience.



Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137