Proposed School Boundaries Released

Phil Ting's picture

SFUSD went toward a more neighborhood/geographic based assignment for next years's class.  The Board passed the proposal earlier this year, but the proof is in the boundaries which was just released on Wednesday.  What do you think about the new school boundaries.  We live in a good area but it may not matter since we are looking to apply for a Mandarin immersion program.  The information was really hard to find, but here's the link

This will impact entering elementary and middle school students.  Even though we are moving toward a more geographic based assignment process, our schools are supposed to be more diverse.  Students will be commuting less and at least parents will know where there children are going to school.

I have one friend who has taken her child out of her assigned school so he can stay in the wait pool for the school they want.  If they don't get off the wait pool then it looks like he may miss the first week or more of school waiting to get off the wait pool.  This new system would hopefully stop this limbo from happening.

Phil Ting's picture

Keep More Families in SF Public Schools

How do we keep more families in SF Public Schools?

The SFUSD just changed the enrollment critieria, moving away from a lottery system to a geographic boundary system which is how most public schools are assigned across the country.  I have gotten a few comments which say you may like or dislike this system depending on which school you are assigned to.  This is completely true. 

However, you can move or change where you live, but you can do nothing to improve your chances in the choice/lottery system where only 1 out 2 new families gets any of their top 7 choices.  I have a friend who is keeping her child out of any school right now in hopes of getting off the wait list for another school.  She is doing this even though her child may miss the first week of school.

The old system was supposed to distribute families of different incomes and socio-economic statuses around the city so we would have more diverse schools.  According to school district analysis, this new system should improve diversity even though we have geographic boundaries.

When only 50% of families are getting any of their choices, the system is broken and needs to be fixed.  I applaud the Superintendent and the Board of Education for the guts to tackle this tough issue and try something better after years of debate.

Here's an interesting article on how many hours one family volunteers - 40 hours a week while juggling two jobs.

Phil Ting's picture

Low Income Families for Choice? All schools need to be improved

As an advocate, I fought to make sure SF schools had access to all families, but most low income families don't choose to bus across town.  They choose to stay in their neighborhoods or to send their kids to schools where they are comfortable.  For example, a woman who works at our daycare would have preference to send her son anywhere in the school.  They fit many of the current lottery/choice critieria.  I assumed they would do what other mid to high income families do which is look at test scores and reputation rank the logical seven choices - Rooftop, Clarendon, Alamo, Alice Fong Yu, etc.  But they didnt do that.  They are immigrants.  She works and relies on her parents to take her son to school.  She lives in SOMA but decided it would be easiest to send her child to Chinatown for school.  An "ok" school, but nothing which designers of the lottery had in mind.

The real problem is how we can make all schools better.  That's the problem.  The problem isn't assigned children by geography, but the fact that people got assigned schools where they dont want to send their children.  We need to make sure every school is SF is a school where we would like to send our kids.  Why should some families have to send their children to schools where we dont want to send our kids?

Phil Ting's picture

Tell SFUSD what you think about new school boundaries

SFUSD has an online survey where you can tell them what you think about the new school boundaries.

I just filled it out.  If this doesn't work, go to and go to Tell Us What You Think.

carolj's picture

Question... because I honestly don't know

From the looks of things, this lottery system is definitely not working. I know! I was a part of that 3 years ago when I was looking for my daughter. I gave up and decided on a small parochial school near our home. From reading the threads, I noticed that some of the challenges include but are not limited to location, language barriers, length of transportation (bus or personal vehicle), even care providers responsible for pick ups and drop offs. Has the city looked into redistributing the instructors the way they looked @ redistributing the student w/ this lottery system?  There are 7 coveted elementary schools as well as 7 alternates out of the 68 K-5 schools. The remaining 54 schools, I would imagine, also have a few of the same things those 14 schools have - great, caring and dedicated teachers! Why not distribute them accordingly to the other schools? Give all the students access to great educators in the hopes of turning them into the attentive and dedicated students we would like them to be? I know that there will be challenges and oppositions, but since they work for the city, should the choice of location for work and need be assigned by the city?  Meet the families halfway by giving them and hiring teachers who (still) care(s). Terminating principals for not having  successful schools and curriculums is one thing, providing them the support w/ the tools to succeed, starting w/ teachers, is quite another. Instead, terminate faculty and administrators who show no interest in student/education success. Grade them the way we grade our kids!  In the end, families still need to help out @ home to stress and supplement what is taught in the classrooms. If we can't bring kids access to the schools of their choice, then give them access to the teachers those schools have so they can have a chance @ a good education as well! PS: Good talking w/ you @ your forum! Good luck next year when your turn comes!

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