Parent choice is making San Francisco schools more segregated, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
One third of the city’s public schools are “racially isolated,” which means 60+ percent of students are of the same racial or ethnic group.
Overall, 41 percent of the city’s public school students are Asian-American, 27 percent are Latino, 13 percent are white, 10 percent black and the rest “other.” About 30 percent of the city’s young people attend private or parochial schools.
Here’s a non-surprise:
Diversity and integration are rarely cited as top factors in choosing a public school. Instead, district surveys of parents show the safety of a school’s neighborhood, the quality of its staff and its reputation are paramount.
Clarendon, the high-achieving school in the story is about one third Asian, one third white and the rest Latino, black and mixed. It offers a Japanese bilingual program for some students; the rest learn Italian.
At the low-achieving school, Cleveland, 82 percent of students come from low-income and working-class Latino families. Parents choose the school because it’s close to home. It offers a Spanish bilingual program.
Cleveland receives $360,000 more than Clarendon from the state each year — $1,000 per student — because its students are so poor and so many of them don’t speak English. The idea is to direct more resources to the neediest schools, but Clarendon more than offsets that through avid parent fundraising and donations from the Japanese and Italian consulates.
(Cleveland Principal March)Sanchez uses the extra state money for basic support, including separate Spanish and English literacy coaches, a technology teacher, tablet computers and laptops.
After being trained by a nonprofit to be an activist, mother Ana Hodgson is “done with public schools,” reports the Chronicle. She got her son into a summer program for low-income achievers that helped him get a scholarship at a private middle school.