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Here are with some interesting articles we received and discovered this past week…


The Innovation Infatuation

Quote from Article:

Each cycle of reinvention fancies that it’s the “disruptive innovation” (in Clayton Christensen’s term) that will squeeze out the old model and replace it with something different, something more efficient, effective, and appealing. In the end, however, the net effect seems more like “tinkering” with the old model. The schools just aren’t all that different. Yes, they have whiteboards and tablets. They have different furniture, lighting, heating, and (sometimes) cooling. They have smaller classes and more ancillary staff. Many have added pre-K and afterschool programs. But fundamentally different? I think not.

Occurring in rough parallel have been all manner of external policy changes—standards, accountability, choice, teacher evaluation, funding shifts, categorical programs, etc.—that may have advanced, retarded, or simply ignored the innovators. Some were coordinated, such as the federal “e-rate” program intended to get schools online and thus make modern communications and IT tools functional within their walls. Mostly, though, I’m struck by how few fundamentals have been altered by a century of reinventing and innovating with the model itself. The school day and year aren’t much different in many places, in most of which the educational sequence is still divided into twelve grades. The essential “technology” of instruction is still a solo teacher in a four-walled classroom with fifteen to thirty kids. The curricular core remains quite similar to what it was when I—and my parents—went to school. And school governance, administration, and professional preparation still resemble the arrangements devised by progressive-era reformers and “cult of efficiency” managers.

District Deeds Synopsis:

Any San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Stakeholder who has read the current SDUSD LCAP or the i21 Interactive Classroom knows that millions of dollars are being gambled on educational “innovations”described in this article,  Supt. Cindy Marten and Trustees Richard Barrera, Kevin Beiser, John Evans, Mike McQuary and Sharon Whitehurst Payne have made hundreds of promises of improved student learning based on that investment.

But what happens when, like we described in “1 IT Tech for 2,300 Classrooms – MILLIONS of Prop Z/S IT Investment Dollars at Risk Through Severe Layoffs in San Diego Unified Technology Support!!!”, the millions of dollars of “innovations” are out of service due to IT layoffs/cutbacks from the gross financial mismanagement by the Superintendent and Trustees?

As the article describes, Students will be taught like they have always have been taught – by a “a solo teacher in a four-walled classroom with fifteen to thirty kids.”

And when that happens, as it is by technically unsupported i21 classroom by i21 classroom right now, the hundreds of promises of improved student learning through technology upgrades made by the Superintendent and Trustees will be exposed as what those false promises really are…pure propaganda.

I’ve Been a Principal for 15 Years, Here’s 12 Things I’ve Learned Along the Way

Quote from Article:

This marks my 15th year as a principal. I have learned directly from my coaches, mentors and colleagues.

Many of the lessons I have learned and continue to learn, are no different than any leadership advice that I have read in countless articles and books about leadership: Be curious. Be humble. Read. Read some more. Use data to decide what’s the best course of action. Listen. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Set a high bar of expectations and be flexible in your approach.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article was our favorite of the week.

Unfortunately many of the suggestions make by this experienced Principal has gotten highly skilled, highly credentialed, SDUSD Principals fired by Elementary School Superintendent Cindy Marten.

For example, #5: Do your job (protect and promote what’s in the best interests of your studentsand don’t be afraid to get fired.

We know of many former Principals either fired or intimidated out of their SDUSD Principal position by Marten for protecting the best interests of students…especially those former Principals with much better educational credentials than Marten.

Or #7:  Don’t blink. Be fearless.

This also will get a SDUSD Principal fired by Marten,

Remember, Marten is a bully that rules the SDUSD through intimidation and retaliation to any Principal that can expose her total management incompetence.

That is why she has been forced to launch the secret Superintendent “666 Institute” to fill future Principal positions internally…no qualified principals from other school districts will come to the SDUSD to work for the disaterously incompetent Marten!!!

We have a feeling that the Principal who wrote this article would not last 1 year, let alone 15 years,  under Marten…what do YOU think?

Schools Face Challenge Bringing Homeless Children Out of the Shadows

Quote from Article:

Schools are required by state and federal law to count their homeless students annually and report the figures to the state. Districts may have a financial incentive to accurately count homeless students under the state’s Local Control Funding Formula since homeless is one of the high-needs categories that entitle districts to extra funding in their per-student base grant. But, students can be counted only once and homeless students often fall into other categories as well, such as low-income, English learner or foster child.

Most schools count their homeless students by issuing a housing questionnaire at the beginning of the school year, asking if students live in single-family residences, with another family due to economic hardship, or in a shelter, a motel, car, campsite or in foster care.

But fear and shame discourage thousands of students or their parents from filling out the form accurately. And thousands of homeless teenagers who have dropped out of school altogether never see the questionnaire to begin with.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article is a part of an overall series titled “California’s Homeless Students: Undercounted, Underfunded And Growing

This particular section emphasized how many homeless students just slip through the cracks of the educational system for many different reasons and how they are most likely to drop out of school altogether.

Given the inability of current SDUSD senior leadership to recognize MAJOR shortfall in supporting the OBVIOUS needs of English Language Learners, Special Ed, GATE and other Student groups, it is doubtful that they are completely supporting, or even fully identifying, Homeless SDUSD students.

We strongly recommend this series of articles to our readers…it is well worth it!

Now for the Quote of the Week:

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

-Mother Teresa

Have a Great Week!



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