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Congratulations stars

Congratulations to the passionate PARENTS, TEACHERS, COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND OTHER SDUSD STAKEHOLDERS who wrote emails and spoke at the Board of Education meeting last night, bringing to light the inconsistencies and autocratic nature of the Marten decision and reminding Board members of their staff request.  Kudos to the Parents also for explaining how real SDUSD LEADERSHIP COLLABORATION AND CONSULTATION with ALL STAKEHOLDERS IS a key component to their children’s success.

In addition to pushing the SDUSD School Start Date off one year, the BOE ALSO demanded that an EXTENSIVE AND VALID COMMUNITY DISCUSSION be completed over the next 90 days TO IMPLEMENT THE CHANGE IN 2016/2017 SCHOOL YEAR and that the Monday “last day of school” be eliminated.

Congratulations to members of the San Diego Board of Education, especially:

  • Trustee Evans who understood that there is a possibility that students can be “enriched and learn” as much from being with their loving families as they can in a sweltering classroom and began the discussion with an Amendment to push off the decision for 1 year…with the measure passing unanimously 5 – 0!
  • Trustee McQuary, in his first BOE meeting, supporting the need for further discussion with the communities including the informal Cluster Congress.
  • Trustee Beiser who remembered his request that the community was fully included and reminded Superintendent Marten how important REAL community collaboration and communication actually is.

District Deeds wants to give an “Honorable Mention” to Trustee Barrera, who, although was understandably quiet on the 8/31 School Start Date, still strongly questioned why Superintendent Marten DID NOT consider cost savings to offset the $3 million cost on the conversion of year around schools to the standard calendar while the SDUSD is in a huge budget crunch.

Unfortunately, as usual, all Trustee Foster had to offer was a rambling, unintelligible speech that had no discernible purpose with a reference to CIF and the fact that she is a parent for some reason…and her “go along” vote to make it unanimous.

A couple interesting points from the School Start Date discussion:

  • The SDEA President provided a justification for not polling ANY significant number of her Teacher union members on the August 31st start date. WOW!  Being a former union member myself, and having my father, brothers and sister-in-law in unions, I was very surprised at that position by the SDEA leadership.
  • The Administrators Union claimed that 77% of the Administrators voted in favor of the Marten 8/31 start date plan. District Deeds is SHOCKED that the percent was that low considering how voting contrary to the Marten Monarchy is equivalent to facing the guillotine.  A wrong opinion by a principal could land them in the land of broken dreams like it has over 100 other administrators who crossed Monarch Marten.

Finally…Monarch Marten

For all of Marten’s bloviating about “critical community conversations” and seeing through “an appreciative lens to see what is working” in her State of the District speech, she was exposed for doing everything we claimed in our first article “SDUSD School Calendar Change – Marten Manipulation and Lies in Action!” here:   http://wp.me/p4LD0L-fN

In addition, Trustee Barrera’s effort to identify the major hole in the Year Around to Traditional Calendar plan formulated by Marten was DEVASTATING TO HER CREDIBILITY AS A SUPERINTENDENT..

When confronted by Barrera and other Trustees Marten muttered something about it being a big task and seemed overwhelmed by the School Calendar Conversion initiative…basically because she was.

Here is the hole in her logic:

Marten and her “team” took a cluster by cluster approach for the conversion with military family impact being a factor.  On its face, not a bad plan…and seemingly reasonable.

The problem is that it is one-dimensional.

Cost savings are a major factor and Marten missed it COMPLETELY!

What if, after identifying cost savings, the district could BREAK EVEN in year 1 IF they picked a different combination of schools WITH THE MAXIMUM SAVINGS as the pilot to test the concept and EXACTLY measure the costs? 

Potentially a $3 million fix for free this year!

For example, three years ago the Transportation Tiger Team, filled with community volunteers (including myself), identified the 17% year around busing schedule (http://www.sandi.net/cms/lib/CA01001235/Centricity/Domain/452/Transportation/041611_TransporationTeamSummary.pdf) and anecdotally recommended looking at converting year around schedules to traditional for cost savings since maintenance could be cut by 2 months!

The analysis is not very difficult…but apparently beyond Marten’s current capabilities

It is good to see that this NEW Board of Education is willing to look closer at ill-advised decisions by this rookie Superintendent Marten…and hopefully double-check her efforts to FULLY include SDUSD Stakeholders.