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The San Francisco School Board is completely out of control

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Its members need to be recalled and replaced.

These pointy-headed apparatchiks are foisting their way-out political correctness upon the schools, students and parents they’re supposed to represent, and reaction against them is mounting.

First, the board earlier this week announced they were doing away with the competitive entrance requirements for San Francisco’s top high school, Lowell. For decades, only students with the best scores and other achievements were allowed to go to Lowell. This kind of competitive, academically-excellent high school is found in many other cities. New York, for example, has The Bronx High School of Science, where only the top students are admitted (I was). And San Francisco has Lowell. Or used to. Now, amidst charges of racism, the School Board has announced that admission to Lowell will be on a random lottery basis. This has predictably outraged parents whose kids have devoted themselves for years to getting the scores required for admission to Lowell. Many of these kids are of Asian descent. Going to Lowell was a touchstone of their entire lives, but now, the School Board is giving them the finger.

Then yesterday the Board hit a new low in stupid behavior. They’re demanding that 44 public schools change their names because those names “are associated with slavery” or other forms of “oppression.” The schools include Washington, Lincoln (??!!?), Roosevelt, Jefferson, Francis Scott Key (of “Star-Spangled Banner” fame), Lowell (supposedly James R. Lowell was a racist), Robert Louis Stevenson (??!!?), John Muir (of the famous Yellowstone photographs) and even—most bizarre of all—Dianne Feinstein, our Senator and the former mayor of San Francisco, who 30 years ago is said to have restored a vandalized Confederate flag flying at City Hall. The School Board, apparently, has concluded Feinstein is an arch-segregationist.

Asians in particular—a huge political force in San Francisco—are galvanizing against the Lowell plan, as well they should. Ending the competitive admissions process there is a slap in the face to them; they ought to resist it with all their combined might. And while the news about the 44 schools to be renamed just hit the press and there hasn’t been much time for parents and others to organize their resistance, that is sure to come. Some people have pointed out that, even if there is a rational conversation tucked away inside of the School Board’s kneejerk reaction, the time to have that conversation is not now, during a pandemic, when students (especially minorities) are struggling with distance learning. The School Board mandated the 44 principals to come up with alternative names by Dec. 18, even as those same principals are confronted with some of the worst crises of their careers and have no time to waste on such trivial irrelevancies. In a town as politically fractious as San Francisco, any “alternative name” is going to be opposed by multiple groups and endlessly debated, leading to shouting matches and lawsuits, and principals are going to be distracted from their real job: educating kids.

You have to wonder where these School Board members are coming from. What planet do they live on? How do they determine their priorities? The schools need funding, skilled teachers, plans for dealing with COVID and leadership. They don’t need a pointless reshuffling of their names, not at this time, or probably ever. George Washington? Abraham frigging Lincoln? Dianne Feinstein? My lord, the School Board has lost its collective mind!

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    What is the School Board trying to do? Turn all liberals against them as well as all conservatives? And as you note, picking new names will be a mess. I guess they’ll have to come up with some people who are not household names. Maybe one of those schools could be renamed “Steve Heimoff High School.” Although that might be controversial; the association with Demon Alcohol, and an anti-Trump blog.

  2. Ha ha, well, I hope no one will have to come up with new names, because the School Board will be shamed into rescinding this stupid new rule.

  3. Actually, Thomas Edison is the most bizarre. apparently, he was unkind to animals. But if there was ever a time to imbibe the demon alcohol, it seems like its now so I am on “Board” with Steve Heimoff

  4. A most excellent comment, Drew! Cheers!

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