FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2020
Contact: Bayard Fong, CADC Vice-President, (415) 672-9015
San Francisco, CA
Chinese American Democratic Club (CADC)
PARENTS CONTINUE M-W-F “AFTER SCHOOL” RALLIES AT
SFUSD HEADQUARTERS TO SAVE LOWELL
One week ago, parents, students, teachers, and concerned San Franciscans united to rally at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Headquarters to ‘Save Lowell’ as a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School of academic excellence and to urge SFUSD to create more schools like Lowell. Calls and e-mails to the Board of Education and the Superintendent to reconsider the sudden change in academic admissions to a lottery (a system that the School Board voted in 2018 to phase out) for less disruptive alternatives have been ignored.
This week, members of the Board of Education reported threats. CADC and Save Lowell participants denounce any threats of violence to the Board members or any elected official and condemn the use of any hateful or racist comments. CADC and Save Lowell participants continue to rally to open a dialogue that was denied to stakeholders by SFUSD and the Board.
No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a challenge in implementing the Lowell admission process that considers grades from 7th and 8th grades and SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) test results. But, COVID-19 does not justify abandoning academic admissions altogether. Alternatives such as a combination prior available grades and a personal statement would be far less disruptive to parents and students considering Lowell as a choice.
The School Board gave notice of the proposed policy change on Friday, October 9, on the SFUSD Website for a first “discussion” on Tuesday, October 13 and a vote on Tuesday, October 20. Most School Board members demonstrated that they had no idea of the current Lowell admissions policy but yet were ready to replace it with a lottery because of personal ideologies. That is not in the best interests of our children.
The current Lowell academic admissions policy reserves 30 percent of the seats to students who have overcome adversity and show promise and students from underrepresented high schools. A lottery system would ignore this diversity component.
Though the lottery system was initially presented as a temporary one-year plan, Board members have already advanced the system as a permanent replacement to academic admissions.
Our focus is on saving Lowell and ensuring that all students have access to quality education across the district (more Lowells). We believe all students, given the necessary academic and social support, can excel at the highest levels. SFUSD and the Board of Education must do their job and well serve every student beginning at
the K – 5 level, rather than artificially discussing placement at the high school level. Students must be presented with challenging curriculum and be academically and socially prepared to join a 21st century
CADC representatives, together with other concerned individuals, will continue to rally three times a week. We encourage SFUSD and the Board of Education to have a dialogue with stakeholders.
We will be at:
San Francisco Unified School District
Board of Education Headquarters
555 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Mondays • Wednesdays • Fridays
3:15 PM – 4 PM