Freshmen received more Ds and Fs at SF’s elite Lowell High after switch to admissions lottery
Teachers at San Francisco’s Lowell High School gave freshman students significantly more D and F grades this past fall, the first semester after the school board eliminated the merit-based admissions it had relied on for decades, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Those grades are likely to become part of a fervid debate over Lowell that touches on race, equity and achievement. The grades raise questions about how students — and the school’s teachers and administrators — are adapting to the changes, the newspaper reported Wednesday.
It is not yet clear how much the change in admissions policy factored into the rise in D’s and F’s among Lowell’s ninth-graders, compared with other possible factors such as the pandemic, the newspaper reported.
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, according to internal San Francisco Unified School District figures obtained by The Chronicle.
The jump coincided with the first year that Lowell admitted its freshman class based primarily on a lottery — as almost all other city high schools do — instead of test scores and grades.