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New Middle School Offers Fresh Hope In S.F.’s Bayview

For decades, San Francisco education officials watched as students poured out of the Bayview neighborhood every morning, leaving behind the poorer, more neglected and more crime-ridden southeast side of the city in search of better teachers, better classrooms, better schools.

On Monday, not only were dozens of students staying put in the Bayview on the first day of school, but the flow was at least partially reversed, with some families opting to commute into the neighborhood to attend Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School, the city’s first new school in 10 years. What had been something of a gamble appeared to be paying off.

Despite countless reform efforts and the infusion of millions of dollars to boost test scores and the reputation of Bayview schools, success never stuck. Parents and community members were frustrated. Schools across town, infused with parent donations and full enrollment, were the good ones. Bayview had what many believed were the bad ones.