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Diploma Mill Scam

di·plo·ma mill (noun) – an institution or organization that grants large numbers of educational degrees based on inadequate or inferior education and assessment of the recipients.

It was August , 2015.

The San Diego Unified School District was crumbling around Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Martens’ lies to the San Diego Grand Jury were being exposed and eventually recanted by the SDUSD through Trustee “re-training”.

Martens’ co-conspirator, Trustee Marne Foster, was under intense scrutiny by local and national media for her improper fundraising, a forged $250,000 claim and her improper interventions at SCPA incriminating Marten.  Marten eventually betrayed Foster leading to Fosters’ resignation.

The launch of Common Core in the SDUSD under the inadequate oversight of Marten had been a disaster with no established Common Core Curriculum or even adequate textbooks producing HORRIBLE California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores for all SDUSD Students, especially African-American, Hispanic and Economically Disadvantaged Students.  Here is a quote from a San Diego Union Tribune story by Maureen Magee titled New School Test Results: Not So Good”

Among English learners in San Diego Unified, 20 percent met or exceeded English language arts standards, and 17 percent accomplished the state goals in math. Little more than a third, or 34 percent of black students met or exceeded English language arts standards, and 21 percent of met or exceeded the standards for math. Among Hispanics, 35 percent met or exceeded the English language standards, and 24 percent reached that level in math. San Diego Union Tribune – 9/9/15

Martens’ response:

“It’s important for our families to know that this is just one measure out of dozens we use to assess student performance.”  Cindy Marten-San Diego Union Tribune – 9/9/15 

Here is the CAASPP Report that shows the miserable results.

This was just another Cindy Marten Lie.  Eight months later in a Union Tribune article, again by UT reporter Maureen Magee titled “More Leeway On Standardized Testing”, proved her lie:

“Students come to school to learn, not to take tests,” Marten said. “Testing takes up valuable time that could be used to teach and learn.”

Beginning in the fall, San Diego Unified will stop collecting data from schools on two tests — a diagnostic reading assessment that helps teachers gauge a student’s literacy level, and interim tests administered in advance of state standardized exams to determine readiness.  Cindy Marten – San Diego Union Tribune 

Those “dozens of assessments” were eliminated by Marten. What a PERFECT way to cover up her poor performance and victimize the most neediest of communities.  District Deeds had called out Marten and the Board of Education for their similar “Opt Out” fraudulent actions in April and May of 2015 in both “San Diego Unified Elementary Superintendent Marten and Board of Education “Opt Out” of Accountability” and “Education Articles In The News: Civil Rights Groups: “We Oppose Anti-Testing Efforts”

The SDUSD Common Core disaster was dramatically worsened by the “Brain Drain” of highly experienced and credentialed Central Office and Site Principals and Administrators and the disruption of proven graduation and credit recovery strategies beyond the experience of “Rookie” Marten.

Then Marten learned of the next impending disaster.  Internal SDUSD estimates predicted graduation rates for the 2015/16 class were to DROP to historically low levels…as low as SIXTY TWO PERCENT (62%) compared to 88%  the previous school year.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune article titled “New Study Predicts Drop In Graduation Rates“, the UCSD Graduation Study  by researchers at UC San Diego verified the estimate:

The report notes that for the class of 2014, graduation rates for Hispanic and African-American students were 85 percent and 87 percent.

As of August last year, as they were about to enter their senior year, only 62 percent of Hispanic students and 66 percent of African-Americans were on track to graduate on time. Meanwhile, graduation rates for white students were predicted to drop from 95 percent to 85 percent. San Diego Union Tribune 3/17/16

And Marten…totally inexperienced and overwhelmed with her simple day-to-day duties, never saw it coming and panicked.  Marten quickly realized that a 62% Graduation Rate on top of all her other blunders from the previous 2 years would get her fired.

Marten also realized that she could not blame the miserable Graduation Rate on her predecessors.  The 2015/2016 Class were just beginning the 2nd semester of their Freshman year…essentially Martens’ FIRST graduation class…a class for which Marten is COMPLETELY responsible.

Marten was desperate.

When the SDEA controlled Board of Education illegally appointed her with NO qualification in February 2013, the Superintendent position was seriously DUMBED DOWN compared to her predecessors.  The Board of Education strategy was that the end…appointing an ill prepared Superintendent they could manipulate (a la Marne Foster) justified the means (violating the Brown act with no community input).

Well devised credit recovery strategies of supporting struggling students early…as early as their Sophomore year…were minimized and the Marten “Eduspeak” of “authentic conversations” in the blurry 2020 Vision were substituted and supported by the corrupt SDUSD Board of Education.

So Marten decided her SAVE HER OWN SKIN at the educational expense of the Graduating Class of 2015/16 and decided to follow the SDUSD Board of Education example.

Supt. Cindy Marten DUMBED DOWN the previously valid educational pedagogy and created a San Diego Unified School District Diploma Mill!

So to summarize…

An inept Superintendent Marten + HORRIBLE CAASPP results + a DISASTROUS Common Core rollout with no curriculum or Common Core textbooks + an independent estimate of a 62% GRADUATION RATE + ELIMINATING ALL INDEPENDENT State standardized Literacy and Readiness Tests =

An improvement to 92% graduation Rate!


Given the EXTENSIVE SDUSD Supt. Marten and Board of Education history of lies and coverups, District Deeds SMELLED SOMETHING ROTTEN ON NORMAL STREET…so we INVESTIGATED!

Through confidential conversations with our contacts in the ranks of SDUSD Teachers, Principals, Administrators, Parents and Students, District Deeds has been able to identify key strategies that allowed Marten to improperly create her job saving 2015/2016 SDUSD Diploma Mill SCAM while betraying ALL SDUSD Stakeholders…Parents. Teachers, Administrators, Community Members and ESPECIALLY the neediest of STUDENTS.

Over the coming months, District Deeds will illustrate each of the potentially unethical and operationally inadequate strategies we uncovered that Marten and her Senior Staff implemented and the Board of Education may or may not have approved to artificially pump up 2015/2016 Graduation Rates

Stay Tuned!


If your family has been injured by the San Diego Unified School District, go to the District Deeds Complaint Forms page to find instructions to fight for your Civil Rights!


Please Click the Link Below and sign the Petition Today and READ the COMMENTS to Support the REMOVAL of Marten by SDUSD Stakeholders!


FIRE San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten Immediately!

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