Placement system to stay largely intact

Although a federally mandated program to desegregate San Francisco’s public schools officially ended in December, there will be no significant changes to the district’s controversial student-assignment system this school year or next, according to a proposed resolution that recommends only “minor modifications” for the 2007-08 school year.

The proposal, authored by Board of Education President Norman Yee and Vice President Sarah Lipson, notes that the school board does plan to present “proposals to modify the student-assignment system for the 2008-09 school year to the San Francisco community before December 2006.” It will be introduced at tonight’s school board meeting.

The proposal also lists several slight changes to the system that could be in place by January 2007, the first deadline for parents to submit applications for the 2007-08 school year.

The district’s current system attempts to balance parental choice with a goal of creating diverse schools by assigning students to popular schools based on a formula that includes such factors as the home language of the student and their socio-economic status. One change would eliminate the mother’s educational background from the factors considered.

Another change would give student assignment priority to district teachers who live in San Francisco if they wanted to have their child attend the school where they work.

beslinger@examiner.com

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