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


To Fix the Gaming of Graduation Requirements, We Need to Overhaul High Schools and Our Policies Governing Them

Quote from Article:

Our first mistake was to set sky-high goals around graduation rates, while allowing local officials great discretion in defining what it takes for students to earn a diploma. If this mistake sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same one we made when we set near-universal proficiency in reading and math as a national goal under No Child Left Behind, but let states define “proficiency” as they saw fit.

Both sides of this equation are off. As my colleague Brandon Wright pointed out recently, almost a third of students leaving eighth grade are achieving “below basic” in math and reading, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. For low-income students, it’s 40 percent, and for African American students it’s more than half. Roughly speaking, these students are entering ninth grade achieving at or below a sixth-grade level.

Getting almost all of these students to meet high school graduation standards within four years, as federal and state policies expect, is utterly unrealistic—unless the standard for graduation is set at a ridiculously low level, or winked at while being applied. And because most states no longer have graduation or end-of-course exams in place to act as a check—a worrying policy drift in its own right, and one that’s gotten far too little attention—local officials and educators can and do engage in the soft bigotry of low expectations.

District Deeds Synopsis:

Reading through this article made us flashback to the bloating of graduation rates by the San Diego Unified senior leadership including Supt. Cindy Marten.

The story also made us flashback to the time when Marten was calling herself a “9/11 warrior for education”…something we called her out for in “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely – The Marten Mindset“. 

Since those days, this self styled “warrior” obviously lost her way and fully embraced the Graduation Rate trap set by the NCLB.  By eliminating exit exams, grossly mismanaging the budget, and manipulating graduation rates, Marten basically has become a warrior FOR the legacy of NCLB.

Absolute power DOES corrupt absolutely!

Students Are Walking Out to Protest Gun Violence. What Should School Administrators Do?

Quote from Article:

In the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead, students are planning mass walkouts to protest gun violence and call for more gun-safety measures.

But across the country, the responses from school and district administrators have varied.

A 17-minute nationwide walkout is planned for March 14, and another protest is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, Colo., school shooting, which left 13 dead.

In the Needville Independent School district in Texas, the superintendent has said that the district will not allow students to protest during school hours and warned students that they will face a three-day suspension if they chose to do so.

While there were no threats of suspensions, Peoria, Ill., Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat wrote on the district’s website that teachers and students in Peoria, will not be participating in the upcoming walkouts and protests against gun violence.  There were other ways to show support for the victims of gun violence without disrupting school, she said.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This story hit very close to home.

This past week the SDUSD Board of Education did what they do best…make empty proclamations and resolutions about things over which they have no authority or control or authorization.

This past Tuesday “The San Diego Unified School Board passed a resolution Tuesday demanding state and federal lawmakers pass stricter gun laws and an assault weapons ban.”

Just more empty talk to pander to the SDUSD Stakeholders.

What a joke!

The SDUSD last year cut back on security and made campuses less safe through budget cuts and now makes an empty “demand” to pretend to support campus security.

Just more empty promises by empty headed SDUSD Trustees Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera, Kevin “Dismissal with Prejudice” Beiser, John “You Can’t Handle the Truth” Evans, Michael “Foggy Bottom” McQuary and Sharon “Flying By The Seat of Our Pants” Payne.

To top it all off, unlike the school districts in the article that actually made a decision on how to react to the school violence, “The SDUSD said it has been working closely with students at each of its schools to try and develop an alternative to a walkout.”

We wish there was a way all Stakeholders could “develop an alternative” to the totally incompetent. indecisive and ineffectual  SDUSD Leadership!!!

Forecast for California School Climates Remains Cloudy Without Good Data, Advocates Say

Quote from Article:

California has entered an era in which safe, welcoming and inclusive school environments are seen as key to unlocking better test scores, higher graduation rates, fewer suspensions and drops in chronic absenteeism.

But not nearly enough is being done to assess how, or if, efforts to improve school environments are actually working, say a chorus of researchers, youth advocates and state officials.

Suspension rates are the main indicator of school climate on the California School Dashboard, the state’s school accountability system. The dashboard also requires that districts conduct surveys on school climates every other year and publicly report the results to their school boards.

Currently, however, districts are only being asked to survey students and don’t have to state what, if anything, they’re doing in response to the results. This despite statutory language in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), approved by the state Legislature in 2013, stating that surveys be done of “pupils, parents and teachers on the sense of safety and school connectedness” in schools.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article clearly exposes the vague promises made by school district LCAP’s surrounding “school climate”.  Based on past LCAP’s and the current LCAP survey results, Marten and her cronies have done their best to pretend to support the virtually non-exisitent “restorative justice” initiative, changed the rules around suspensions to pretend incidents are decreasing, and implemented phony surveys…all hallmarks of creating the illusion of a positive school climate effort.

We suggest that ALL SDUSD Stakeholder read this article so they recognize the school climate smokescreens built into the individual school SPSA;s and district wide LCAP this year.


Now for our Quote of the Week:

“Courage is Fire and Bullying is Smoke” – Benjamin Disraeli

Have a great week!!!



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FIRE San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten Immediately!

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