A Dream Deferred:

How San Francisco schools leave behind the most vulnerable students
San Francisco School Report

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San Francisco has long stood as a place of progressive ideals – a place that not only welcomes everyone, especially the vulnerable, but supports its people and nurtures their individual gifts.

There have always been tensions between this vision and reality.

But rarely has that tension been deeper than today — and nowhere is that clearer than in the city’s schools. San Francisco isn’t the only city where life is hard for working-class and poor people, but it stands out.

The simple, disturbing fact is this:

Among similar districts across California, San Francisco ranks near the bottom in learning outcomes for low-income African American and Latino children.

Three Contradictions

San Francisco’s educational challenges take the form of three contradictions, which this report explores.

Good Ideals, Bad Outcomes


San Francisco cares about vulnerable students, but isn’t delivering a good education for them.

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Choice Without Opportunity


The choice system aims to increase access, but there aren’t enough schools delivering for the most underserved students.

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Great Jobs, Out of Reach


This city has lots of great jobs, but they’re out of reach for many students who grew up here.

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Together, these three realities amount to an indictment of how the district serves its most vulnerable children — and a powerful case for change. Let’s join together to do better for our kids.

San Francisco Unified School District has large gaps in student learning

Percent proficient in English and math, 2016-17

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Juana Laura Chavero

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