One San Francisco high school ended merit-based admission and the results are illuminating

Each of us has strengths and weaknesses.

There’s no perfect system but until very recently in this country, the tried and true method producing the most equality of opportunity for all in education and employment was a merit-based system.

Now, one San Francisco high school has ended merit-based admission and the results are illuminating.

The San Francisco Board of Education abolished merit-based admissions in February 2021.

In its place, a lottery-based admission system was instituted the following autumn.

This has led to predictable results as Lowell High freshmen admitted through the lottery program received three times the amount of Ds and Fs than those of the previous two years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Of the 620 students in Lowell’s freshman class, 24.4% received at least one D or F grade during the fall semester, compared with 7.9% of first-year students in fall 2020 and 7.7% in fall 2019.

In total, the number of Lowell ninth-graders with a D or F grade tripled from 51 in fall 2020, the first full semester of remote learning, to 152 in 2021.

The rise means the figures for that class at Lowell were closer to the numbers at other high schools in the city.

Principal Joe Ryan Dominguez preferred to pin the number of failures on a wide variety of variables rather than the admissions process alone, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dominguez said, “Over a year of distance learning, half of our student body new to in-person instruction at the high school level and absences among students/staff for COVID all explain this dip in performance. It is important not to insinuate a cause on such a sensitive topic at the risk of shaming our students and teachers who have worked very hard in a difficult year.”

Of course, if that were true we’d expect to see similar dips in performance across multiple districts in multiple states.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one.

According to Lowell Alumni Association President Kate Lazarus, “The data shows that switching to a lottery admissions process was not in the ‘best interest of SFUSD students.’”

This change in admission policy does nothing but hold back capable students from reaching their full potential, and unfortunately is just one more example of the harmfulness of woke dogma in schools.

The Lowell Alumni Association is hopeful that school officials replace the lottery admission system at the beginning of the next application cycle.

Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.

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