San Francisco’s Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday night — discussing a controversial change to the admission policy at the highly sought after Lowell High School.
Tuesday night’s online board meeting got rowdy as a newly proposed lottery system received impassioned support and criticism.
Lowell’s current admissions policy is quite unique in the district. It takes into account GPA across four different subjects from 7th and 8th grade. Plus, you guessed it, a standardized test. However, during the pandemic San Francisco public schools adopted a credit/no credit grading system. Making Lowell’s current system impossible to enact in the coming year.
So, district officials proposed Lowell temporarily adopt the same admission standards as other San Francisco Public High Schools. Giving priority to areas of the city with historically low test scores and assigning all other spots to a random lottery.
Opponents decried the loss of a merit based system that rewarded academically high achieving middle schoolers. While supporters see the change as a step in the right direction to begin addressing Lowell’s lack of diversity.
GPA based admissions have been in place at Lowell since 1966. Though the policy has had numerous legal challenges surrounding racial discrmination over its 50 plus years.
Opinions from parents and alumni spilled over the hour set aside for public comment, as participants unmuted themselves to interrupt proceedings.
The final vote is set to take place on October 20th, at what will be sure to be another impassioned if not chaotic, Board of Education meeting.