03/22/11 - posted by Woody LaBounty
For the elementary school level, I think lots of parents look at the standardized test scores, and the highest scores are west side schools generally. Not a surprise, because the socioeconomic levels are higher in the Richmond and Sunset than in Chinatown or Hunters Point or the Mission, where you have a lot of recent immigrants with language and other issues. The other big factor is the booming interest in language immersion programs. There are lots of Asian-American families in the city now and the first chinese and japanese language immersion programs were in the Sunset, West Portal, etc. Recently SFUSD is spreading them to other neighborhoods.

As for High Schools, it's more mixed. Lowell is highly sought-after for parents with good college in their heads (Lowell has a good rep and lots of Advanced Placement classes). Lincoln has gotten a very good reputation the last 5-10 years and has a continuance of some of the language immersion programs. Balboa is definitely on the rise, as lots of higher-achieving students who couldn't get into Lowell and Lincoln were assigned there and now have made it a very attractive option.
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