Under-performing: 9 San Francisco schools rank in bottom 5% statewide

A handful of San Francisco schools have been classified in the bottom five percent statewide, according to a recent report. 

San Francisco Unified School District said this latest report lines up with their own data and that they're already working to bring up scores at those nine schools.

The California Dashboard was released at the end of January to meet federal Every Student Succeeds Act standards.

In all, 27 San Francisco schools were identified as needing assistance to improve graduation rates, academic performance, chronic absenteeism and suspension rates.

The district said the schools highlighted in the report are the same schools their data tell them need assistance.

"The subgroups the ESSA or Dashboard calls out are the traditionally underserved subgroup," said SFUSD assistnant Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel.

"It's the African Americans, students with disabilities, English learners and you might know that those are subgroups that our board, our superintendent have called out as subgroups of focus."

The district said it is working on comprehensive strategies from retraining teachers to community engagement to improve nine schools including; Harte Elementary, Brown Middle School, Cobb Elementary, Lick Middle, Mission Education Center, Revere Elementary, Tenderloin Community, Visitation Valley Elementary and Middle Schools.

It's an idea the district said has worked at John Muir Elementary School.

Principal Shawn Mansager from Muir Elementary said the school is a work in progress. But, teachers are learning best practices with and from one another.

Children are being taught multiple ways of arriving at the right answer and the idea sink or swim for students is out the door.

"Often times what you'll see happen in class, from my own days of teaching, is a small group move ahead and we'll congratulate ourselves," said Mansager. "And, this group stays here. So, the job of having open conversation, Socratic type style of discussing their work you will start seeing the whole class understanding more."

The district said while this approach works at Muir they don't want to create a one-size-fits all solution.

"The context and conditions vary depending on site and location and so what we're really trying to do is engage in some continuous improvement and learn the places where things are working are impactful for the target populations," said Ford Morthel.

While acknowledging that some schools are struggling, the district also pointed out that some schools are thriving.

40 percent of the district’s schools are ranked high or very high on the Dashboard. The challenge is making sure every school reaches that level of success.