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Is that you Superintendent?

Is that you Superintendent?

In Part 3: The Riddle, the Mystery, the Enigma, the Motive, the final installment of Rotten to the Common Core – The HUGE Marten Cover-Up, District Deeds will unravel the intentional and unintentional confusion created by the incompetent  and poorly credentialed San Diego Unified Elementary School Superintendent Cindy Marten.  We will show how she has been forced because of her large school district inexperience and personal egomania to cover up her mismanagement in rolling out major educational initiatives while serving her School Board Masters and their special career and financial interests.   

To refresh your memory…

In Part 1 – Marten, Ravitch and Duncan, OH MY! (http://wp.me/p4LD0L-ge) of this 3 part series, District Deeds identified the odd trio of Elementary School Superintendent Marten, Anti Duncan, Anti Common Core Activist Diane Ravitch and Education Secretary Arne Duncan…the leader of the Federal Government enforcement of the Common Core.

In Part 2 – Counterfeit Ruby Slippers (http://wp.me/p4LD0L-hf) of this 3 part series, District Deeds outlined the inconsistencies between the adulation of Marten by Common Core Hater Ravitch, the adulation of Common Core Champion Duncan by Marten and the lies by omission by NOT MENTIONING COMMON CORE EVEN ONCE in The State of the District Speech 2014 (SOTD 2014) BY Marten that made it virtually impossible for any Stakeholder to determine exactly HOW ANY of the current initiatives – Vision 2020, the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the 12 Indicators of a Quality Neighborhood School. – tied in ANY WAY to the Common Core State Standards rollout.


As previously mentioned in Part 2, to begin the unraveling, District Deeds reviewed news articles, interviews and the SOTD 2014  speeches by both Monarch Marten and Trustee Beiser.  The following facts were identified:

  • “Of the $22.5 million we received from the state for implementing Common Core – we are using nearly two-thirds – more than $16 million – for professional development.” (Beiser)
  • In the 12 page SOTD 2014 document SOTD Marten mentioned Teacher or Teachers NINETEEN TIMES
  • In the 12 page SOTD 2014 document SOTD Marten DID NOT MENTION COMMON CORE EVEN ONCE!
  • “As superintendent, Marten said she is proud Duncan has seen that “we have given our teachers time to really understand Common Core with professional development.” (Marten)

To recap, more than $16 million was spent on professional development to benefit Teachers in a program Marten refused to actually name in her 12 page speech.

District Deeds decided to find out why.

Our first stop was the SDEA website where we did a search for “Common Core”.

“We  exercised our professional and contractual rights to consult on curricular changes with the Common Core State Standards to ensure we had a voice in how the new CCSS money was spent, fighting for educators to have the time and resources needed to learn and implement the new standards.”

“… teachers may choose to attend Common Core based grade level/subject area professional development led by the District as part of their collaborative Professional Learning Community (PLC). Attendance is strictly voluntary

  • We found a posting on the same page with a PDF attached called SDEA Common Core PLC FAQ that provides the following two faq’s:

 Question 2: “Can my Principal require me to attend or not allow me to attend the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) Professional Development being provided during my PLC?

SDEA Answer: “No.  SDEA Members can decide whether they want to attend the Professional Development.”

Question 4:  We are having a hard time getting subs to cover our PLC’s and member absences.  What should we do?

SDEA Answer: If you know in advance (the day before) that there are not enough subs for you PLC, cancel the PLC and reschedule for another day.  If there is a problem the morning of the PLC or PD the member with no substitute should not attend the PLC.

To recap using the SDEA info:

  • More than $16 million was spent on professional development to benefit Teachers in a program Marten refused to actually name (Common Core) in her 12 page speech.
  • Common Core Professional Development “Attendance is strictly voluntary”
  • The Principal cannot require the Teacher to attend ANY Common Core Professional Development
  • There is a “getting subs” issue and PLC for Common Core can be cancelled at the last minute if subs don’t show up or are not available.

EUREKA!  Now we know why Diane Ravitch stIll loves Marten, why the President of the SDEA was willing to be in a Photo Op event with Arne Duncan and why Marten didn’t mention the Common Core in her SOTD 2014 Speech.

All of the so-called “Professional Development” used by Marten is just ANOTHER ONE OF HER MANY LIES to SDUSD Stakeholders!

How can Marten say she is fully implementing the Common Core when the Professional Development is completely voluntary, with no possible enforcement of Teacher participation or PLC initiatives by the school site Principal, and at risk of not being carried out at the point of the weakest link…the availability of a substitute teacher?

We are sure that a large majority of Teachers WANT to get better and learn to implement Common Core but they are human.

  • What if something else in their lives is more important to do instead of Professional Development?
  • What if they do not believe the Common Core is better and do not want to change their proven methods of teaching?
  • How many classrooms full of students are having their learning be totally disrupted by the irregular substitute teacher schedule and random PD’s and PLC’s?

If ALL teachers have the freedom to participate or not in the CCSS professional Development (obviously some will decide to opt out) AND the PLC/PD is dependent upon its weakest educational link…the part time substitute teacher, every claim Marten has made regarding Professional Development during implementation is a “HALF TRUTH”…in other words, A LIE.

And ALL the SDUSD Students pay with a poorer education.


As strongly negotiated by their effective Union, Common Core is a “Voluntary” training program for the TEACHERS!  Why would Ravitch complain about a “voluntary” implementation?


Voluntary programs are up to the members to participate in or not…plus they get a $16 million+ bonus funded by Common Core ON TOP of wages for their membership.   Why would the SDEA protest against a raise?



By hiding  the definition of what Common Core really represents from the County, State and Federal  Government and SDUSD Stakeholders within the morass of Vision 2020, the LCAP, the 12 Indicators of a Quality Neighborhood School, Marten has successfully buried the Common Core…so where can Duncan object?

Monarch Marten, by NOT tying all of the initiatives together in her SOTD 2014 speech, prevents EVERYONE from understanding how they fit together…thereby eliminating any concept of what goals the rookie Marten can be held to.

San Diego Unified already has a State of California reputation for doing the same thing with the LCAP. 

According to a report on Cloaking Inequity (http://cloakinginequity.com/2014/04/14/d-c-are-you-listening-a-new-local-community-based-approach-for-accountability/?blogsub=confirmed#blog_subscription-2) by  Debra Watkins, Founder and President of the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE):

One college professor in San Diego called the implementation (of LCAP) a “hot mess” there and summarily blamed parents for not knowing what best to advocate for while letting the district off the hook for not helping them effectively engage in the process”.

The SDUSD LCAP Propaganda worked…and it is the SAME script being used for the Common Core!  Provide a “foggy” Vision 2020 with no clearly defined connection to LCAP and Common Core, claim the parents are ignorant of the issues and then eliminate them for being ignorant voters!

So now we have arrived at the Marten Motive:

If the Common Core IS NOT clearly tied to the other ongoing initiatives and is communicated by Monarch Marten through the endless use of indecipherable edubabble buzzwords like “authentic Learning”, “appreciative lens”, “data dialogues” and “community based reform movement” (that is accentuated by repeatedly preventing any real inclusion of a large share of the Stakeholder community) there is and will be no proof that Common Core didn’t work…or that it did…or even that any part of it even existed…so how CAN Parents or Community Members participate…or object…or hold Marten and the Board accountable?

And how long has Marten given herself to complete these indecipherable initiatives?

According to a recent article called “Cindy Martens Return From OZ” in the Voice of San Diego (http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/12/02/cindy-martens-return-from-oz/}


WOW…that is a long time for Marten to remain totally unaccountable and incompetent!

How can we stop it?

The simple answer for the where, why and how is to fully unravel the Marten Version of the Common Core.  

Unless we create and publish a deep ongoing study of the actual current implementation and efficacy of the Marten Version of the Common Core in the SDUSD and make it as loud and public and far-reaching as possible,  none of these questions can be satisfied to the benefit of the over 100.000 SDUSD Students.

District Deeds, with your help, will attempt to do this over the coming months. 

To paraphrase Winston Churchill:

“We cannot forecast to you the impact of Common Core under Marten.  It is a 2020 Vision riddle, wrapped in an LCAP mystery, inside the enigma of Martens incompetence and ego, but perhaps there is a key.  That key is the Board of Education Political and Career Interest.“

We MUST come together to show ALL the hidden gaps and blunders being made so that the students really DO have the best education possible.

It is time we make Marten grow up or get out…to throw away all the fortune cookie messages…and the Superman T Shirt from her chair and the counterfeit ruby slippers and make her stop lying to all of us…both by act and by omission.

It is time to stop the biggest SDUSD cover up in the last 15 years. 

It is time to make Marten FULLY accountable…for the sake of ALL our students.