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World San Francisco School Board Commissioner Calls Merit-Based Education 'Racist,' Sparking Debate

21:31  04 february  2021
21:31  04 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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During a San Francisco Board of Education public meeting on October 13, 2020, Collins said, "When we talk about merit , meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing those are racist systems .… You can't talk about social justice, and then say you want to have a selective school that keeps certain kids out from the neighborhoods that you think are dangerous." Sophie Bearman of San Francisco 's online publication Here/Say Media posted a clip of Collins' October statements on Twitter this week.

Since the San Francisco school board 's bizarre priorities have become a national controversy, it's easy to forget that the underlying issue is the education of public school children. Are the public employees tasked with administering this education competent and trustworthy? At the heart of these debates is the question of what constitutes fair admissions criteria. On Oct. 13, 2020, Commissioner Alison Collins said that merit is racist and the "antithesis of fair." (3/7) pic.twitter.com/GrQHDo9pqA.

The merit-based admissions policy at one of the country's top public high schools—San Francisco's Lowell High School—has been called unfair and unjust in a controversial new resolution to end its selective process. A particularly sharp critique of the school's current policy came from Board of Education Commissioner Alison Collins, who called it "racist."

a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background: A resolution for an elite San Francisco high school will change its admissions policy. One school board member called the policy 'racist.' © Getty A resolution for an elite San Francisco high school will change its admissions policy. One school board member called the policy 'racist.'

In an interview with the local online publication Here/Say Media, Collins said, "When we talk about merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing...those are racist systems.… You can't talk about social justice, and then say you want to have a selective school that keeps certain kids out from the neighborhoods that you think are dangerous."

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in before “ I dun care “- you should because tomollow anyone from singapore visit USA for higher education they may find they can’t get a seat coz they not black. Did your current president get into office based on merit , or race?

During a San Francisco Board of Education public meeting on October 13, 2020, Collins said, "When we talk about merit , meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing those are racist systems .… You can't talk about social justice, and then say you want to have a selective school that keeps certain kids out from the neighborhoods that you think are dangerous." Sophie Bearman of San Francisco 's online publication Here/Say Media posted a clip of Collins' October statements on Twitter this week.

Not everyone agrees with Collins' assessment. Local news affiliate ABC7 quoted Richard Shapiro, a Lowell physics teacher, as saying the current system rewards "the hardest working kids in terms of academics."

Currently, there are two criteria for students to get into Lowell: an excellent grade point average and a high score on an admissions test. The only other high school in San Francisco that also has admissions requirements is the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, while the rest of the city's public high schools use a random lottery system.

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School board member Jenny Lam called for Collins to resign from the board . “I’m shocked, dismayed, personally hurt by the remarks about Asian American students, parents and teachers,” Lam said, adding the board makes decisions that affect tens of thousands of people and it’s critical to have leaders representing all Diane Yap, a San Francisco native and 2002 Lowell graduate, said her discovery of the tweets was distressing, given Collins’ use of a racial epithet and reinforcement of a stereotype that Asian Americans aren’t politically active enough. “I don’t think this sort of rhetoric is acceptable from

Her tweets have since sparked outrage, with many San Franciscans expressing disbelief. "My elderly Asian parents and grandparents as well as the AAPI community are NOT 'house n-words,'" wrote one user. Collins had previously drawn scrutiny for being a strong proponent of Lowell High School dropping its merit - based admissions process, calling merit - based admissions " racist " since the school was majority Asian American and did not enroll as many African American and Latino students relative to their population in the city. @saitou @J.R.

The resolution, entitled "In Response to Ongoing, Pervasive Systemic Racism at Lowell High School," was authored by Collins, Board President Gabriela Lopez, Commissioner Matt Alexander, and Student Delegates Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza. It was introduced to the board on Tuesday and is up for vote on February 9.

When Here/Say Media's Sophie Bearman posted the interview with Collins on Twitter, the comments that followed showed how deeply divisive the issue is for are residents. One person questioned if Collins realized that in other nations "standardized tests and meritocracy are standard and key component[s] to progress." Others felt the issue was being unnecessarily politicized, while at least one commenter pointed out standardized testing has been called racist before.

The San Francisco Chronicle noted the board appeared to support the resolution. However, board member Jenny Lam said she felt the issue was being rushed and their attention should remain on how and when to safely reopen local schools still shuttered due to the pandemic.

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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — San Francisco ’s Lowell High School is one of few public schools in the country where admission is merit based , similar to how universities select students, but that could soon change. The San Francisco Unified School District’s commission will soon vote on whether or not to change the selection process to a lottery. Commissioners blamed the pandemic, saying they can’t rank the student applicants because the district did not give out grades for the spring semester — the students received either pass or no pass, no grade point averages were issued.

Lowell consistently ranks as one of the country's best public high schools, but it has been the criticized before for its lack of diversity with critics pointing out African Americans make up only 2 percent of the student body. Adding to the school's race issues were the use of anti-Black and anti-Semitic slurs on a school messaging platform during an anti-racism lesson last month.

The resolution about Lowell comes after the recent divisive vote by the city's school board to rename public schools named after Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, and William McKinley. The move was said to be for social justice, though opponents felt it went too far since Lincoln abolished slavery and the latter two were Union officers before serving as presidents.

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