An elite high school in San Francisco is witnessing a record number of failing grades in its 2021-2022 academic year, after the school dropped its merit-based admissions system in favor of a random “lottery” system.
According to ADN America, Lowell High School saw 24.4 percent of its 620 freshman students receive either a D or an F in the first semester of the year. The percentage of similar grades in the Fall 2020 semester was one-third of that amount, at just 7.9 percent; in Fall 2019, it was slightly lower at 7.7 percent. The new percentage of 24.4 percent is on par with most other schools in the city, which had already abolished merit-based admissions.
The school’s previous system for admitting new students, based on grades and test scores, was decried as “racist” by radical left-wing activists due to more White and Asian students being accepted than black and Hispanic students. As such, the school ultimately replaced the merit-based process with a chance-based lottery.
But the outgoing principal of Lowell High, Joe Dominguez, refused to acknowledge that the lottery played a key role in the rise of failures, claiming that “there are way too many variables that contributed” to the decline in grades.
“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 said in an email statement to the press. “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 had announced his resignation in April, claiming his departure was due to a lack of “well organized systems, fiscal responsibility, and sound instructional practices as the path towards equity.”