Dear SFUSD School Board President Sánchez, VP Lopez, Commissioners, Student Delegates, Superintendent Matthews and the School District,
The Chinese American Democratic Club opposes the District’s lottery proposal for Lowell High School admissions for the coming year.
The CADC was founded in 1958 was formed when the Chinese “red scare” resulted in unfounded investigations into San Francisco Chinese community organizations with an intent towards mass deportation
A review of Chinese American history reveals an unrelenting efforts for over 150 years of discrimination and attacks that has been centered in San Francisco. This proposal echoes the refrain first shouted in 1870’s by Dennis Kearney, “The Chinese Must Go!”. Currently, instances of racial attacks during the pandemic reveals that this atmosphere of bigotry continues.
The history of the Chinese community and education has been one of struggle and oppression. Only through appeals to the highest court has the Chinese been able to secure their due to access their equitable right to a decent education from first earning the right to San Francisco school in the 1800’s to establishing bilingual education. At Lowell, about 15 years ago, although being the largest population group, we were subjected to rigid enrollment ceilings that have forced Chinese applicant group to earn near perfect grades to enroll compared to other groups who can score lower grades. Again, the Chinese community had to mount legal challenges to this District who possess virtually unlimited resources to mount a defense.
If underrepresented groups feel that they are unfairly treated because they are handicapped by social economic pressures or other hardships compared to affluent households let us formulate creative approaches so that the “pipeline” of promising students can be expanded. Diversity is an important element to the educational experience that should be increased. Merit has not been a hindrance to enrollment in students of color but a spur to work harder. Although a review of Lowell’s students who are economically disadvantaged shows a school average of 36%., a review of the major groups of color show very high enrollment from this category - 47% of Asian students at Lowell are economically disadvantaged. 50% of African Americans and 66% of Hispanics fall into this category. This large group of economically disadvantaged students have worked hard to gain this critical path to social mobility.
Academic excellence has been a Lowell tradition for 165 years. Its existence has put tens of thousands of students on the path of social mobility. Please don’t rip it all down, let’s work to make it better.
Victor Seeto, Issues’ Co-Chair
Bayard Fong, 1st Vice President
Josephine Zhao, President
Chinese American Democratic Club
SFUSD Email addresses:
Mark Sanchez, President, 2020
Alison M. Collins
Gabriela Lopez, Vice President, 2020
Shavonne Hines-Foster, Student Delegate, Lowell High School - 2020-2021
Kathya Correa Almanza, Student Delegate, June Jordan High School - 2020-2021
Dr. Vincent Matthews, Superintendent
Esther V. Casco, Executive Assistant to the Board