More on School Assignment Plan …

by on August 30, 2010

To the Editor:

Kudos for putting it so bluntly. How can a progressive city like San Francisco even CONSIDER such a school assignment proposal. Shame on district people. Consider this when voting for open board seat!

Maria Aldaz
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Starr King Elementary School, smack on top of Potrero Hill, isn’t a basket case, as this article seems to suggest. And with close to 65% of our K – 3 classes in Mandarin immersion, neither are we predominantly low-income. In fact, we’ll soon lose our Title 1 funding because our demographics have changed so much. We’re an integrated school, exactly the kind the District’s working to create. I wish people would stop writing about our school as if it were toxic waste, and that somehow being forced to go to school with my kids and their friends is a fate worth than death. I’m starting to get annoyed by it. Come and visit if you need to be convinced, we’ll take you on a tour. But don’t presume without at least having been by to visit.

Beth Weise
mom to two decidedly non-troubled daughters happily learning at Starr King
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Hunter Cutting wrote: And the District is condemning families in the other immersion schools east of Mission Street (Flynn, Marshall, and Monroe) to the same fate, as those schools are also to be force-fed into middle schools with no immersion programs currently in place.

That is incorrect. Everett, the middle school currently assigned for Marshall, DOES have a Spanish Immersion program. It was started this year with a thoroughly comprehensive curriculum already planned through 7th grade by the current SIP teacher. Please check your facts before reporting anything.

Eos de Feminis
mom of an Everett 6th grader and Marshall 5th grader
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Sp please tell us, what is the “right” school assignment plan? I was born in San Francisco, my son was born in San Francisco, but is that where my son goes to school? Nope, he goes to school in Oakland. Why, you might ask? Mostly because we had no clue where he would go to school, and for sure it was not going to be anywhere near where we lived (basically the corner of Van Ness and Bay street.) We have friends who live in SF still and their daughter will be going to Galileo (at the corner of Van Ness and Bay Street) and they live in West Portal for crying out loud!

When I was a kid (my parents moved from SF to Fremont because dad followed the company he worked for), and as a kid I went to my neighborhood elementary school which was basically around the corner from the house we lived in at the time. The vast majority of the problems in SF schools don’t come from teachers, administrators or the BOE, they come from kids. Kids whose parents don’t teach them at a very early age that education is what makes the difference. They don’t teach them that teachers earn and deserve their respect EVERY DAY.

Are there some under performing teachers? Yes. Does their union wrongly protect them? Yes. Do those few represent the vast majority of the hard working and diligent teachers working for the SF School District? No! My goodness, how quick are we to blame the teachers and the education department for our children’s failure to learn when the vast majority of the problems can be found by just looking in the mirror.

If my kid has a problem in school, it will be reflected in both his general attitude at home and his grades. My wife and I ask our son every day how school went and we listen very carefully to the answers. If the answer(s) do not pass the smell test more inquiries are made and if required, those inquiries are made to his teacher and then to his Principal.

The time has come for us to lose the Dr. Spock routine, and start removing those kids who have not had the values of education and respect taught to them at home if they can’t get it in school. Public education is just that – public, so it must serve the vast majority of the public and those who disrupt and destroy that fragile environment must be removed. This is nothing new. We remove from society those that disrupt and or destroy the general well being of the populace and even they are kids and get more chances then adults the same treatment is long overdue.

When I was a kid, if you screwed up it was a trip to the Principals office and perhaps a well times meeting with his paddle. But you know what? When I was a kid, that didn’t scare me nearly as much as the phrase, “I am going to have to call your parents.” That phrase alone was enough to make me BEG to get a swat on the butt. Anything, just don’t call my parents. Seems there is something missing — but not in the schools, it is missing in the home.

Bill Sappington
Oakland, CA

To the Editor:

The sad fact is that any parent who can afford to remove her child from the SFUSD at the point the district fails to provide a quality school. That usually happens at the middle school level when the number of poorly performing schools overwhelms the number of decent ones. The civic minded parent refuses to sacrifice her children for the greater good. The result is that SFUSD loses the very population of higher-performing students and active parents it needs.

A well-intentioned commitment to diversity results in less diversity, not more. More important (to me, at least), the educational outcomes of all remaining students suffer from the diminished number of competent, middle-class and upper-class students. Look, the teachers in SFUSD are probably not any better or worse than those in Danville or Kentfield or Atherton. But the level of public education in the suburbs is higher and better than in the City’s schools. The only difference is the student body and their attentive, affluent, well-educated parents.

Let’s stop trying to social engineer perfection in matters of racial and economic diversity. Let’s deal with how real human beings behave and construct a school assignment system that reflects real outcomes, not hoped for ones.

Dana B.
San Francisco

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