February 2020 Issue - News

NEWS

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AP CHINESE TEACHER’S RESIGNATION IMPACTS STUDENTS CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN THE COURSE

By: Yuqing Qiu and Andrea Zhang

 

Paul Liu teaches AP Chinese Language and Culture class after controversial teacher Fan Fang resigns.

Photo By: Andrea Zhang

 

Fan Fang, Lincoln’s AP Chinese Language and Culture  for Native Speakers, Chinese Biology, and Health/College and Career teacher, suddenly stopped coming to school at the beginning of October. Despite his absence, he continued to post classwork on Google Classroom for all of his classes, grade finished work through Google Classroom, and post grades on Synergy.

Three weeks after his absence, Emma Lee, Lincoln’s Chinese 3, 3 Honors, and AP Chinese as a Second Language teacher became the temporary teacher of his AP Chinese class since she is an AP-approved teacher. On the other hand, his Chinese Biology, and Health/College and Career classes had a multitude of substitute teachers until the end of the second grading period. Lee declined interviews about her taking over Fang’s classes, as did Lincoln’s World Language department chair, along with the AP coordinators.

In the third grading period of 2019, Fang officially resigned from his position, and Paul Liu took over all of his classes.

On August 19th, 2019,  Congnan Lu, a junior who had Fang’s AP Chinese class in sophomore year and his Chinese Biology class her freshman year, filled out the “Office of Family Voice Concern Form” which detailed her complaint about Fang to SFUSD. Even though she already passed Fang’s classes with  perfect grades and was unlikely to have his class again, she decided to file a complaint.

Lu says, “My personality makes me really want to report him when I was in his class, so I started to collect evidence and prepare the complaint.”

In her complaint, she wrote, “As a male teacher, he uses offensive jokes to demonstrate and explain his teaching content, such as telling female students that they should get married to aged and wealthy men as young as possible so they do not have to work for their own future; beautiful female soldiers deserved to be shot because that encourages the male enemy, [and he included a photo] with a pic of female ‘soldiers’ wearing only a bra and underwear. He also ‘joked’ that all girls should strive for a ‘perfect body’ which attracts men’s attention.”

This evidence was confirmed with 20 pictures of the reading assignments in addition to evidence from Fang’s prior students.

On the form, Lu also complained about Fang’s extra credit opportunity. “He told all of his students that they can get ‘magic cards’—cards with a certain amount of extra credit—if they purchase from his club [during Spring and Fall Fest].”

Lu also mentioned (outside of her formal complaint), that last year he offered other strange extra credit opportunities such as french kissing in class, which she claims, “ I simply didn’t think about it [when I wrote the complaint], I was reminded during the investigation so I told the superintendent when she asked if there’s something else.” Several other students also confirmed it; though some students thought he was just kidding.

Lu says, “I didn’t mean to let him resign, I just wish he can stop doing those from now on.

In addition, she states, “I wasn't that aware it’s going to be difficult to find a replacement teacher with proper training equipped to teach a native AP Chinese class, but I’m not regretting because he deserved it, and I’m pretty sure students in his AP Chinese class are native speakers so they’ll pass the AP Chinese exam without his teaching.”   

A senior who took Fang’s AP Chinese class in their junior year states,“I felt happy for Mr.Fang’s current students because they don’t need to suffer from his bias anymore.”

Zuen Zhang, a senior who took Fang’s AP Chinese class his junior year, says Fang taught him a lot of valuable information.

“I think he is very nice. His class is fun, you know.” Zhang states, “He sometimes makes jokes, and they are funny, but I guess some students take it personally.”

A junior who is currently enrolled in Fang’s classes recalls that, despite feeling uncomfortable in Fang’s classes due to the strange extra credit opportunities and anecdotes, the curriculum he taught was useful, especially in biology.

The student adds, “After Mr. Fang resigned, I cannot get any knowledge from substitutes in Biology, so I must learn everything by myself, and it also influenced my grade. In addition, it’s also a bit annoying that multiple substitutes and teachers have different teaching methods and different grading policies.”

A sophomore currently taking AP Chinese Language and Culture states, “I think the switch was more likely most of the entire class, including me, were having a hard time understanding his classwork and homework.”

“It was bad for me to have different teachers for many months, but changing teachers [from Fang to Liu]is good,” the student explains.

The new AP Chinese Language and Culture, Biology, and Health/College and Career teacher, Liu, used to be an AP Chinese teacher and has taught AP Chinese for many years. However, it is unknown whether he taught Biology or Health/College and Career prior to coming to Lincoln. Liu declined to be interviewed. 

Additionally, school administrators and counselors refused to comment on this story, as it involves personal issues.

 

HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT “SUPER TUESDAY”

By: Ella Fino

Feb 5, 2008–Hermosa Beach City Hall–soon-to-be full voting booths at the California Primary Election 

Photo courtesy of flickr


 

Primary season is approaching. Many of you may be wondering, ‘What is a primary election?’ To put it simply, a primary election is an election used to select candidates to run for public office. Voting will occur over the course of four months and will be divided based on state. California’s Primaries will be held on March 3, 2020–also known as “Super Tuesday,” when the majority of states hold their primary elections–and many new voters will emerge on election day; many of whom are Lincoln upperclassmen.

Before “Super Tuesday” is here, you should be aware of certain details: the policies on the ballot itself, the policies for “no party preference” voters, your polling place–to name a few.

The main event of the primary elections is the nomination of presidential candidates, but other issues will be raised on the California primary ballot as well. Some of these issues include the current state Legislature makeup, school construction funding, and the state’s congressional delegation.

Another thing to note is that California’s Democratic, Libertarian, and American Independent parties will allow “no party preference” voters to cast ballots in their “open” primary elections. The Republican, Green, and Peace and Freedom parties are only allowing registered Republicans to participate in their “closed” primaries. If you are not affiliated with a political party (no party preference) or choose not to reveal your political party preference (decline to state), you can request a crossover ballot from your county election office or contact the Secretary of State’s free voter hotline to speak to your county’s office of elections official. If you wish to change your party preference, you must re-register. According to the Los Angeles Times, the deadline to register online is February 18. Be aware that all CA registered voters have the option to vote by mail–the deadline to apply for a vote by mail ballot is Feb. 25.

To find out where your local polling place is, you can enter your state and address into Vote.org’s ‘Polling Place Locator.’ This will direct you to a polling place located in a convenient area for you, based on the address you provide. On election day, polling places will be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., for at least eight hours.

Along with millions of other U.S. citizens, senior Jackson Laymon will be able vote on election day. Eighteen-year-old Laymon will be exercising his right to vote in the 2020 Primaries.

Laymon advises, “Pre register to vote, educate..[yourself]...on political topics...Try to be active in one’s community.”

Happy voting!

 

2020 SENIORS ANTICIPATE A NEW GRADUATION LOCATION

By: Michaela Mesler

Bill Graham: The traditional venue for graduating seniors.


 

After four strenuous and pivotal years of attending Abraham Lincoln High, the senior class impatiently anticipates their end goal: graduation. Emotions run high as the class of 2020 prepares for their momentous date, which includes focusing on passing classes, meeting graduation requirements, and for this year's seniors, finding a location to graduate.

Rumors and misinformation have circulated through Lincoln’s lively hallways, but students know little about what is actually happening behind the scenes to resolve this complication.

At the December senior advisory meeting, Lincoln principal Shari Balisi announced that her “2020 vision class” might not be graduating at the traditional and legendary Bill Graham. For students who actually attend those meetings, it generated a mix of reactions. Upset or indifferent, many students had questions as to why Bill Graham might be off the table and what would be done to find alternatives.

According to Balisi, this was the first year Lincoln administrators were not in charge of securing the graduation location. Instead, Lowell’s assistant principal took the lead to reserve a venue for Lowell, Galileo, and Lincoln. However, Bill Graham was not selected in time due to previous events scheduled for late May that conflict with the seniors’ June 2 graduation date

Despite this inconvenience, Lincoln admin wants to wait before announcing a definite venue for graduation.

Balisi says, “Everything's changing...I don’t like the feeling of saying one thing and then going ‘okay nevermind it’s this way now.’ The contract to me solidifies it because that's where we put the money down and the assistant superintendent signs off on the contract… I haven't seen the contract yet, so that's why I'm kind of wary.”

Students have also been involved in the search for alternative locations, including those in ASB, like senior and Core Public Relations Officer, Caitlyn Luu.

Luu is part of the student council meetings that discuss student activities like prom, fundraisers, and of course, graduation.

Luu says, “[A new location] might not go over well with our senior class, especially since Lowell students are not happy with [the change] either...Lincoln students are more outspoken...however one suggestion brought up in our ASB meeting was to have it at the Chase Center instead of Bill Graham.”   

Unfortunately, money is always going to be a key factor when it comes to deciding where students graduate, so a place like Chase Center might not be possible, despite seniors enthusiasm for the venue. However, one of the administration’s  highest priorities when securing a spot is making sure that there is enough space for students to invite guests without a cap or limit.

In previous years where Bill Graham was not a secured venue, Lincoln’s graduation was held at The Masonic, but seats were limited to up to two guests, which is an inconvenience for many students at Lincoln.

Samantha Sherman, Associated Student Body coordinator states, “If we are considering a venue… we have to think about the people who are inhabiting it… ideally we find a place that accommodates more than four guests.”

What the conflict pertaining to graduation really highlights is the involvement and energy of students. The change in school spirit has been discussed amongst the student body increasingly and is a major concern for Lincoln high schoolers.

Former cheerleader Francy Wentker, says, “I don't want it to be like the Bell Game Rally. Everyone expected a lot of things, and then it was just really underwhelming, and no one cared, and a bunch of people left…[Graduation] is not all stuff we can control individually, like the energy of people because that affects everyone's day.”

One argument made is in order to be school spirited, students must be involved in their Lincoln community. One of the ways teachers and administrators try to provide information is through advisory meetings, which have become less and less attended, especially by seniors.

Martin Koulikov, voted “most spirited” in the ‘Senior Superlatives,’ says, “Maybe people would be more engaged if people went to [advisory meetings]...people are hearing the twisted words of someone who didn't even go. I guess the result of [where we graduate] will reflect the overall engagement of the school.”

Despite the change in location (which is still being decided), the attitude of the students will, at the end of the day, have the biggest impact on how graduation day will unfold.

Sherman says, “To be honest, the last part of your journey isn’t necessarily how you’ll define the overall high school experience… When you graduate high school, you’re not concerned with streamers, or balloons; this is a moment of completion….hype, excitement, morale comes from being together… aesthetics of where you graduate won’t be of importance.”

 

LINCOLN’S NEW COURSE SELECTION WILL SHAKE THINGS UP

By: Valentin Wanderkauven

Course selection will now take place on StudentVUE

Photo By: Valentin Wanderkauven

 

 

Lincoln is making a new change in how students pick their classes for the coming fall. Lincoln has decided to fully-automate the process and use a new computer program to set the schedules of both teachers and students. In previous years, Lincoln’s counselors had to manually input each and every student’s desired courses in order to make their schedules.

The automated class selection will work as a lottery. It will take into account the classes that students need credit in to fulfill their graduation requirements, and the computer’s algorithm will randomly assign students to the classes they need.

This also means that classes and their times may be rearranged in order to fit the needs of students.

Course selection starts in the middle of February and runs through March, and counselors will be coming in during class time to assist students with StudentVue course selection.

Once the computer assigns students to their classes, students have until May 15 to request a change in their schedules. Counselors will continue to monitor and adjust schedules as needed. The hope is that this change will provide easy access for students to manage their own schedules.

According to administration, another positive benefit of this new system is the continued implementation of Equal Opportunity Schools. An initiative that, according to Adrienne Smith—the Assistant Principal of Pupil Services—was put in place by the district to “see more students of color take advantage of AP classes.” 

Equal Opportunity Schools was implemented to motivate students who are AP-ready but, according to AP Literature and Composition teacher, Sara Falls, “...may lack the motivation to sign up for these classes.”

Falls went on to say that this program was “very effective in creating more opportunities for a variety of students.”

Longtime AP English Language and Composition teacher, Shamira Gratch, in regards to how teachers select their students, says, “..There needs to be a standardized process because the way it was before, every teacher kind of did it differently.”

This could provide more consistent opportunities for students to receive the classes that they really want while reducing the amount of work that teachers need to do.

Administrators and counselors warn that, because this is a new system, teachers and students should prepare for challenges. Gratch provided insight by stating that the district “warned about the possibility of glitches making selection difficult.”

Some students don’t like how this new change, specifically to the AP selection, could turn out. In particular, they voice concern about the randomization process.

Eleventh grader Connor Gaughan went as far as saying, “I think that a teacher would know their own course well enough to know if a student is right for their class.” 

Students and teachers are, generally, in disagreement on this issue. Regardless, the district will continue to move forward on implementing this, and only time will tell how this process will work out.”

 

JOIN WRITING FOR PUBLICATION TODAY!!!!!

Want to have your voice heard?  Want to impress colleges? Want to write for the “Lincoln Log”?  Join the Journalism program! Sign up for Writing for Publication and be part of the school newspaper.  This English class is looking for creative, motivated students who are excited to express themselves, publish their writing in the student-run “Lincoln Log,” and learn how a newspaper operates.  Other highlights of this course include a blog/zine project, field trip to create an original podcast, learning industry-standard software and photojournalism, and more. See Ms. Falls in room NB18 or email fallss@sfusd.edu for further details.

 

 

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