lowell high school merit admission drops
© Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
Lowell High School principal Andrew Ishibashi (right) walks across Eucalyptus Drive along with some students and staff to make a statement to the media
The school board later reversed the controversial policy

San Francisco's prestigious Lowell High School was noticeably absent from a recent top 100 ranking of high schools nationwide in data from the first year since the institution adopted a short-lived lottery system for admissions.

School information and college readiness website Niche awarded slots in its annual list to institutions based on various criteria, including academics, diversity, parent and student surveys, assessments of educators and more.

"The Best Public High Schools ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users," the website reads.

Though the district's school board voted against extending the controversial lottery-based system after three progressive board members were recalled in February, Superintendent Dr. Vincent Mathews initially urged the policy to continue for the 2022-2023 school year.

The board's attempt to make the lottery policy permanent was struck down in court last November after a judge argued the school board failed to follow state law in the process.

"We recognize that in light of the recent court decision, families are anxious to know what the admissions process will be for applying to Lowell for the 2022-23 school year," Matthews said, according to a November statement from the school district.

"It would be logistically impossible to establish and implement any selective admissions criteria prior to the application deadline of Feb. 4 so I am recommending we maintain our current admissions practice for Lowell for the upcoming school year," he added.

Supporters of the lottery initiative claimed it made the school more diverse and streamlined the admissions process in light of pandemic-related remote learning challenges.

"It is not just for one ethnic group. It's for all students who choose to make Lowell their home," Virginia Marshall, president of the San Francisco Alliance of Black Educators, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lowell High School ranked 143 on Niche's list for the 2023 school year.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the San Francisco Unified School District for comment.
Taylor Penley is a production assistant with Fox News.

Fox News' Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.