S.F.’s elite Lowell High School would permanently switch to lottery admission under fast-track proposal

Jill Tucker:

San Francisco’s elite academic public high school would no longer admit students based on top grades and test scores, and instead use a random lottery system for admission, if the school board approves a measure fast-tracked for a vote.

The controversial proposal will head to the school board during a special meeting Tuesday, with a final vote expected a week later. Four school board members — a majority — have already signed onto the effort, meaning it is likely to pass.

For decades Lowell High School — one of the top-performing public schools in the country — has been considered a point of pride for the district and the city, something of a private school experience at a public school price. But the school has come under fire in recent years for its lack of diversity and instances of racism as the country faces a racial reckoning with the past.

The proposal comes less than a week after the board voted Tuesday to rename 44 schools — including Lowell — after determining the names were associated with slavery, oppression, racism and colonization. That vote garnered national headlines and sparked a brutal division in the city over the timing, with many parents criticizing the move as a distraction from reopening schools after 10 months of distance learning.

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