Things Gone and Things Still Here (jette) wrote,
Things Gone and Things Still Here

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"What is it, my duty now?"

Feinstein not part of ballot measure
She knew nothing about effort to end S.F. desegregation

Heather Knight, Chronicle Staff Writer

....A survey of the most recent results of the state's Academic Performance Index, which is based on the results of standardized tests, show the lowest- performing schools tend to be clustered in the poorest neighborhoods.

On the API, schools are ranked twice on a scale of 1-10, measuring how they compare to other schools around the state and how they compare to schools with similar demographics. This year, 16 schools in San Francisco got the worst possible score: a 1 in both categories.

Five are in Bayview-Hunters Point, four are in the Mission, and two each are in the Excelsior and Western Addition. The remaining schools are in Bernal Heights, Pacific Heights and on Treasure Island. (The Pacific Heights school, Newcomer High, serves new immigrants.)

To Rev. Carolyn Habersham of the Allen Chapel AME Church in the Bayview, it's not fair to populate the five schools with the lowest rankings in her neighborhood with only children from nearby.

"You're saying they ought not have the opportunity to go across town to a school that offers more they can get in their own neighborhood," she said. "In other words, if you live in that neighborhood, you don't have the same right to a good education that my children do. There's nothing right about that."

But to Yana Rathman, who lives near high-performing Washington High, there's nothing right about her son, Daniel, 13, being assigned to Mission High, a bottom-ranked school miles away. The divorced mom hopes Daniel gets enough financial aid to attend a private school; if not, she may move out of San Francisco.

"I would like him to be in a school with kids from other cultures -- I'm absolutely for that," she said. "I just don't see how, by sending him into a school that's a lot worse on the other side of the city, I'm helping anybody. What is it, my duty now?"

Story Here.

Now, why in the hell should the schools in the "poorer" areas (which, with the light rail about to go through BVHP, is fast becoming gentrifed with folks a lot richer than me) be worse at all? Don't the kids in the Mission and Bayview deserve to go to good schools without commuting? Why is it any more fair for them to have to spend two hours on the muni than my neighbor's kid?

I hate, hate, hate, hate, the School Board in San Francisco. They are constantly making political, not practical decisions. And they LOVE to pit the politically correct "poor" against the politically expedient "middle class" when it comes to divvying up the resources of the city. I've seen it time and time again. *

The school issue is only symptomatic of the real problem here. The town that has been my home longer than any other place, the town where I spent all of my working life, most of it in social services, the town where I did volunteer work, not just in my children's schools, but in homeless shelters and AIDS programs, the town that I have fiercely loved and defended, is saying to me, "we don't want you, avenues dweller. You need to go now. Maybe if you lived somewhere cool like Hayes Valley and didn't have any kids, we'd let you stay."

It's okay, I am used to it by now. In a geographic sense, I have never fit in anywhwere, ever. But that is another story for another day.

*The politicos here set up families on our side of town as "cardboard enemies." We don't have all this money to "just go to private school" like they say we do. The rents in the Mission and the rents in the avenues are totally comparable. And we have as many families on AFDC in the Richmond as there are in the Bayview.
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