How Much Longer Will Hard Work and Merit Be Valued in Education?

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San Francisco is pretty much the cesspool of America. Some might argue it’s Portland, or some other left-wing city, but I still say it is San Francisco. The label is particularly appropriate because San Francisco has a huge problem of being covered in human waste. I’ve never been there myself. There may have been a time when going to San Francisco was a bucket list item, but now you couldn’t pay me to go there. It’s really sad how what was once a world-class city has since become too gross and too dangerous to visit, but that’s what happens after years of radical left-wing government.

Heck, it’s hard to imagine even wanting to go near the state of California again. It almost seems like you have to be gay or transgender to be allowed in. There’s a good chance if you weren’t going in, you will be when you leave.

But, I digress.

San Francisco is a bastion of radical leftism, and proves repeatedly how left-wing policies are bad, if not dangerous. The latest example is how they took one of the top-performing public schools on the west coast, and wrecked it. San Francisco’s Lowell High School once had academic-based admissions. It was the only school in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) with an academic-based admissions system based on grades and test scores.

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But, you know, radical leftists think grades and tests are racist, and the school replaced their academic-based admissions with a lottery system. The results have been catastrophic for the once prestigious school. Only 24.4 percent of its 620 first-year students admitted under the lottery system received at least one D or F, compared to 7.9 the year before, and 7.7 the year prior to that.

The school’s outgoing principal, Joe Ryan Dominguez, blamed “many variables,” including remote learning due to COVID. “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,” Dominguez told The San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”

Dominguez’s excuse doesn’t add up because the first-year students weren’t the only ones impacted by remote learning, but they were the only grade level to have such a high frequency of failing grades.

He nevertheless said the quiet part out loud about San Francisco’s progressive outlook on education. His big concern was not to shame kids or teachers for the kids’ poor performance. In this case, it likely wasn’t the teachers’ fault, but rather the apparent desire of the woke Board of Education deciding that admission to the prestigious school shouldn’t be limited to just the students who value their education enough to do the hard work to earn the right to go to the school.

According to The Epoch Times, “Lowell has been a target by racial justice activists for years because of its smaller percentages of black students. Progressive groups, notably the San Francisco and California NAACP, advocated for the end of academics-based admission as a solution to the ‘exclusion and ongoing toxic racist abuse that students of color, and specifically black students, have experienced at Lowell High School since the school’s creation.’”

The local Board of Education isn’t giving up on the lottery system yet. I doubt they ever will. But, the issue here is bigger than the one school.

Liberal organizations have been targeting grade- and merit-based admissions for a long time now, and it seems likely that it will continue under the guise of racial justice, and potentially gain steam outside of liberal bastions like San Francisco.

Let’s hope not.

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