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School Diversity

Youths Step Up to Question School Board Candidates

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 3 2018 - 6:45am

In a first for this year's election season, students took the reins to organize a forum for school board candidates. They asked the questions and ran the show.

Deja Vu: Proposal Aims to Change Student Placement to Desegregate Schools

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 21 2018 - 12:58pm

Racial segregation in San Francisco public schools is back in the news, with a proposal to change how the district places students into elementary school. This move comes three years after the Public Press reported on how the system was resegregating city schools.

Charters vs. District: The Battle for San Francisco Public Schools

Rob Waters, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 20 2018 - 1:42pm

The conflict between two city schools — and activists on both sides of the issue — reflects a growing battle playing out in San Francisco and across the state.

School Board Stalls on Effort to Address Racial Isolation

Tanya Dzekon, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 12 2015 - 2:02pm

All the members of San Francisco’s Board of Education agree that the city’s public schools should be more racially, ethnically and economically diverse, but they have not been able to settle on the first steps to take.

On KALW, Callers Criticize School District for Student Placements

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 1 2015 - 7:48am

Last week on KALW’s “Your Call” morning show, the topic was our most recent special report about increasing segregation in San Francisco’s public schools.

As Courts Flip-Flopped on School Integration, Diversity Has Remained Elusive

Sanne Bergh and Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 5 2015 - 4:26pm

By 2005, when a federal judge lifted the most recent desegregation orders, San Francisco Unified School District had been trying for more than three decades to make its schools more racially and socioeconomically diverse, starting in 1971 with forced busing. San Francisco schools no longer exhibit the level of racial isolation they once did, but they are now resegregating, as are many others across the country. In 2013–2014, in more than one-quarter of city schools, 60 percent of the students were of one race. That is a far cry from 1966, when more than one-third of the schools had student populations with 80 percent or more belonging to a single racial group. (In 2014, just three schools were segregated to that degree.)

As Parents Get More Choice, S.F. Schools Resegregate

Jeremy Adam Smith, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 2 2015 - 8:40am

Each January, parents across San Francisco rank their preferences for public schools. By June, most get their children into their first choices, and almost three-quarters get one of their choices. A majority of families may be satisfied with the outcome, but the student assignment system is failing to meet its No. 1 goal, which the San Francisco Unified School District has struggled to achieve since the 1960s: classroom diversity. Since 2010, the year before the current policy went into effect, the number of San Francisco’s 115 public schools dominated by one race has climbed significantly.

San Francisco Schools’ Changing Demographics

Paul Lorgerie and Jeremy Adam Smith, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 2 2015 - 8:39am

Over five decades, San Francisco saw a demographic transformation in its public school system. In 1969, white and black students together were the majority, as in most of the rest of the United States. Since then, San Francisco public school enrollment has fallen by 39 percent, and almost all the missing faces are white or black. But the two groups have not disappeared in the same way.

Isolated Schools Clustered by Test Scores, Family Income

Jeffrey Thorsby, Emily Dugdale and Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 2 2015 - 8:39am

If one looks at the San Francisco Unified School District as a whole, a clear pattern emerges: Schools with the highest level of achievement tend to have the lowest levels of family poverty. And schools that are identified as “racially isolated” are visibly clustered by both income and achievement. This plot shows the base Academic Performance Index for each school in the district for which data are available, as well as the percentage of students poor enough to qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, which are used as a proxy for measuring poverty.

Ranking Schools by Diversity

Jeffrey Thorsby, Emily Dugdale and Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Feb 2 2015 - 8:38am

Schools across San Francisco show markedly different levels of racial and ethnic diversity. Increasingly over the last five years, schools are dominated by one racial group. With mathematical tools, it is possible to measure which schools are the most and least diverse. We chose to rank schools using a formula that economists use to tell whether an industry is dominated by monopoly ownership, the Herfindahl-Hirschman index, also known to ecologists as the Simpson diversity index. The idea is the same: Sum up the squares of all the fractions of your sample. The higher the number, the lower the diversity.

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