Informal Poll Results: SFUSD Transfer Mechanism

PPS-SF conducted an informal poll to gather early feedback on community reaction to the possibility of SFUSD removing the "transfer mechanism" from the school enrollment process.

At the Board of Education ad hoc committee meeting on student assignment on May 15, 2017 , the possibility of removing this piece of the process was suggested as a change for future years. The transfer mechanism is commonly known as the "trading up" part of the enrollment process.

NOTE: No decisions have been made at this time by SFUSD. PPS-SF has NOT taken a position in regard to this possible change in policy. 

Learn more about the pros and cons of the suggestion in this previous blog post: What We Have Learned About SFUSD Student Assignment This Year. 

The poll has since been closed and here are the results:

transfer poll results.png

"Do you think that SFUSD should remove the transfer process from the school assignment system?"

96 people responded.

69 (71.9%) - No

19 (19.8%) - Yes 

8 (8.3%) - Not sure

Here are a few quotes from both sides of the issue.

In favor of keeping the transfer mechanism

"Keeping the transfer process maximizes school choice and should help ensure more students get a preferred school. Without it - if you don't have any other tie breaker, your chance of ending up in a school across town is so much greater."

"The lottery is maximally stressful (we went through 5 rounds). In theory the transfer process should help students get into their top choice school. Taking that away seems like it will discourage more families who support public education to leave the city."

"Until the system mitigates diversity and school choice issues, the transfer process should remain intact."

"It hurts nobody and allows a family to receive, in many cases, a closer or shorter commute. We were likely swapped from an unwalkable school that's extremely popular to a walkable school that was moderately popular. It also encourages families to open their minds to more options."

In favor of removing the transfer mechanism

"I'm persuaded that the swap turns the lottery into a de facto choice system, and that the choice system we currently have in place is harming the district's attempts to foster diversity."

"Yes! I am so excited to see this proposal. I have done a good amount of research on the lottery system and was thrilled when my oldest child got in to our local school (Grattan) for Kindergarten in Round 1 this year. But at a welcome event at the school, I met a (very nice!) woman who lives outside the attendance area and seemed a little bewildered, but happy, that her child got into Grattan in Round 1. Given the number of attendance area families who did not get in, I believe this family must have benefitted from the swap. Great for them just does not seem equitable that a family outside the attendance area would get in before local families. The swap seems to optimize *within* a round of the lottery, but only does so by breaking the stated lottery hierarchy."

Not sure

"Honestly, I don't know what to think about this type of model. Can you clarify the pros and cons? Will this actually help families who listed their AA, but didn't get it (or any option higher)? What would happen in rounds 3-5 under that model? Would appreciate more details!"

If you did not have a chance to share your perspective on the suggested change, please feel free to comment or to email with "Transfer" in the subject line. 

PPS-SF has shared this feedback with SFUSD, and will continue to share out information with the public as we have details. For the most up-to-date news about SFUSD policy, be sure to follow our #BoardWatch program on Twitter @ppssf as we live-tweet important Board of Education meetings.