Updated February 15th, 2021
We are disappointed with the Board of Education's decision to permanently abandon the merit and equity admission processes at Lowell High School. This decision will have the very negative consequence of undermining Lowell’s current standing as the only nationally recognized academic high school of excellence in SFUSD. For years, Lowell has served thousands of immigrant, low-income, and under-represented students and opened up opportunities that would not have otherwise existed for these hard-working students.
This Board’s disregard for community input is a huge disappointment, yet again.
Families for San Francisco worked with SFUSD parents to review SFUSD student surveys regarding student satisfaction. Our analysis included a presentation of the demographic breakdown of all SFUSD high schools, and found that most SFUSD high schools are highly imbalanced based on racial/ethnic demographic categories, with many schools far more imbalanced than Lowell.
We also found that SFUSD has pervasive student satisfaction issues across sites regardless of admissions policy. NONE of SFUSD’s existing admission policies appear to address the root causes of racial isolation or racism itself. However, the commissioners decided to ignore factual information and rushed into a decision while acknowledging their proposal might not meet their end goals.
We have deep concerns about the Board of Education’s public process and commitment to fair and open community input. Again, the Board has chosen to avoid difficult conversations and instead make arbitrary and emotionally-charged decisions without adequate public input and without focus on facts or equity for all students.
We urge the Board of Education to reconsider their decision to end merit and equity based admissions for Lowell. Instead, the Board should create a public process to identify ways to meet the needs of each and every student and to address student satisfaction and experience at all sites.
我们对三藩市教育委员会决定永久放弃洛威尔高中(Lowell High School)的择优录取制度感到失望。 同时，我们也非常担心这一决定将带来的非常负面的后果，即这将破坏洛威尔高中作为目前三藩市联合校区（SFUSD）唯一一所全国认可的优异学术高中的地位。 多年来，洛威尔高中已为成千上万的移民、低收入和未被充分代表的生提供了服务，并为这些勤奋的学生提供了其他如果没有洛威尔高中就不可能有的机会。
Families for San Francisco 与三藩市联合校区的家长们一起审阅了三藩市联合校区学生的满意度调查。 我们的分析中包含了一份所有三藩市联合校区高中人口分布展示，并发现大多数三藩市联合校区的高中都存在着基于种族/族裔人口类别的高度失衡，许多学校的失衡远超过洛威尔高中。
Our previous petition
We are concerned with the proposal to put Lowell High School into the lottery system for this year.
We understand Lowell is facing challenges in implementing the normal admission process for applying 8th graders due to issues affecting second semester grades for 7th grade and first semester of 8th grade, as well as the lack of SBAC test results. However, we are surprised with the proposal to do away with a merit-based admission process altogether.
San Francisco families caught off guard by the proposal for a 100% lottery admission at Lowell would like to know the district has exhausted all options to maintain the academic legacy at Lowell High School. Parents, students, and alumni are worried that the transition will become permanent and remove one of the two remaining academic and merit-based public high schools in the city.
Lowell High School is one of the gems of public education. We urge SFUSD to proceed carefully before making any change. We propose three principles for guidance:
(A) SFUSD should clearly explain all the options they have explored to preserve the quality of Lowell High School for all students and families.
(B) Families and parents should have a voice in the decision-making process.
(C) The district should strive to find the best solution to overcome the challenges caused by Covid-19 while preserving Lowell’s merit-based admissions system
The admission deadline for Lowell is two months away, which means there’s still time for the district to find the best solution moving forward. Let’s use this opportunity to innovate so that we can best serve all students.
About Families for San Francisco
We will continue to amplify the voices of San Francisco families. We are asking all candidates for the Board of Education and Board of Supervisors to immediately clarify their perspectives on this issue.
Families for San Francisco will take their responses into considerations when we review our endorsements accordingly.