Press Release: SFUSD Approves New Admission Policy for Lowell High School

SF Board of Education to Conduct Equity Audit Approves New Admissions Policy for Lowell High School
San Francisco (February 10, 2021) – The San Francisco Board of Education voted 5-2 for an equity audit led by community leaders and to use the regular admissions process for SFUSD comprehensive high schools for future admissions to Lowell High School.  

The resolution, “In Response to Ongoing, Pervasive Systemic Racism at Lowell High School,” was authored by Board President Gabriela Lopez, Vice President Alison M. Collins, Commissioner Matt Alexander and Student Delegates Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza.  

The resolution calls on the SF Board of Education to initiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process with the Education and Civil Rights Initiative (CRI) of the University of Kentucky College of Education, Lexington KY, in collaboration with the SF NAACP, California NAACP and National NAACP to facilitate the creation of a Community Coalition to define and oversee an equity audit and resulting action plan to “address the exclusion and ongoing toxic racist abuse that students of color, and specifically Black students, have experienced at Lowell High School since the school’s creation.”

The Community Coalition will be comprised of the SFUSD Black Student Union leaders, SFUSD African American Parent Advisory Council, the SF Alliance of Black School Educators, and other alumni, anti-racist educators, students, and community leaders. 

Per the resolution, students applying to Lowell will use the application form used for SFUSD’s comprehensive high schools indefinitely. For many years the SFUSD has used grade point average and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores from a student’s 7th grade and the first semester of 8th grade as factors in determining admission offers to Lowell High School.

“We must recognize the need for a culture shift in our schools and address racism,” said Board President Gabriela Lopez. “This resolution comes after years of advocacy from students and community members. Led and supported by our students, it reflects our collaboration with numerous outside partners and creates a community coalition, including an external mechanism for accountability,”

Categories: SFUSD

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1 reply »

  1. “including an external mechanism for accountability,”

    David Lockmiller
    December 11, 2020 at 5:42 am
    My Letter to the Editor, at the beginning of the second paragraph, reads:

    “Herein anticipated actions by the elected School Board members would constitute a clear violation of the Brown Act by committing $10 million of public funds without an adequate public hearing on the basis for such expenditures. The apparent Board plan utilizes a so-called “blue-ribbon” panel to determine by consensus the adequate basis for renaming several schools in San Francisco as a result of individual panel members’ detailed historical research into dozens of historical figures previously so honored.”

    SFUSD School Names Advisory Committee
    Minutes – 1/30/2020

    • Brown Act orientation – Under The Brown Act, a meeting is defined as any occasion in which a majority of the voting members of the board come together at the same time and location to “hear, discuss, deliberate or take action on any matter that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.”

    Laura Dudnick, the public relations manager for the school district, said in an email:

    “The panel has gone through a process to set standards for why the name of a school would be changed, to research to the best of their ability the backgrounds of the individuals or places that are namesakes for a school, and analyzed those under the panel’s established guiding principles. From this process, the panel generated 42 schools covering 44 campuses that it intends to recommend to the board.”

    My Letter to the Editor, at the end of the second paragraph, reads:

    I believe that the full Board will simply approve, with little or no discussion, the “blue-ribbon” panel’s carefully researched recommendations for individual school name changes, and then commit by a vote of the elected San Francisco School Board members to appropriate the expenditure of $10 million of public funds, and thereby, unjustly and unfairly dishonor the character and reputation of men such as President Abraham Lincoln and President George Washington by renaming San Francisco public schools named in their honor.

    Mr. Quentin Kopp in his commentary piece in the November issue of the Richmond Review made the following statement regarding the San Francisco School Board process for consideration of renaming several public schools in San Francisco for just cause:

    “Appalling is the word best descriptive of the Board of Education which, confronting a multi-million dollar deficit and virus impediments to classroom instruction, plans to change the names of 44 San Francisco public schools . . . . The estimated renaming cost is $10 million.”

    I agree with Mr. Kopp’s assessment of the situation.


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