California - San Francisco Unified School District, computer glitch, report cards late for middle schools : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Steve Symanovich, San Francisco Business Times [California]

Editor's Notebook

Middle-school students put to a test

Hundreds of San Francisco middle-school students deserve an "A" for patience -- though it nearly ran out.

A recent computer glitch at the San Francisco Unified School District hung up their report cards for about three weeks.

Under certain circumstances, this might have been cause for celebration. But for most of the Francisco Middle School eighth-graders who visited the San Francisco Business Times on Groundhog Shadow Day 2000 (a Junior Achievement program where students "shadow" working people to gain insight into careers) grade limbo was not heaven-sent.

The students need the report cards to apply to high schools.

The school district's new computer system -- which has a habit of bungling Internet access, daily attendance and class schedules -- also irked parents. They burned up the phone lines wanting to know about their children's futures.

"Can you imagine a private business running this efficiently?" said Jack Jung, a counselor and student adviser at Francisco who accompanied the nine young visitors.

Good question -- and excellent fodder for a pop quiz. We asked students how they felt about the problem and how businesses might help. Here are some out-takes from their answers, which also offer a peek inside their minds:

Roxana Contreras: "It's a delay on life that hinders your future. Employers, it's time to step in. If the students don't have education, you don't get new employees."

Joy: "My grades mean a lot to me, but a late report card doesn't matter. I want to be a pro volleyball player -- coed or just girls."

Huyen Luu: "I know I'm doing well, so I don't need a report card to tell me. If people count only on grades, forget them. They're missing a special person with great creativity. The grades only count for the work you do, never what you can do, which is special. I rest my case."

Glenn: "A late report card stops our education. Our counselor can't turn them in and we can't go to a private school or a good school that everyone is applying to."

Jacquenine Nhok: "I'm glad the computer broke, so my friends won't see my grades. I want to be a softball player, just like my friends, or a volleyball player, because it comes easy."

Simon Kwong: "Business people can help by using their technology and helping the school district. The education is bad because the district doesn't have enough money to supply the educational stuff. Business people should donate."

Alexandria Manggana: "We need to know our grades. It really does hinder your opportunity."

Karisma Parker: "I really hate the fact that I'm not able to know what I received on my report card. Some of the best schools require it."

Haris Obic: "We need someone's help to solve our problem. Can you help? Ask yourself. Maybe you can."

Steve Symanovich can be reached at

Note: The district solved the computer problem, and all students should have their report cards this week.

-- Lee Maloney (, March 20, 2000

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