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


How to Make Homework Meaningful for Students

Quote from Article:

Too often, I find myself asking the same two questions of my kids when they come home from school. The first—how was your day? The second—how much homework do you have?

I grew up doing homework…and lots of it. Looking back, some of it seemed designed by teachers to provide necessary practice with a new skill learned that day. On occasion, it served as an extension of something we covered during class.

Other times, however, homework felt like cruel, unusual, and unnecessary punishment.

Recently, more teachers and school districts are rethinking the type and amount of homework assigned. 

District Deeds Synopsis:

As a Parent of children who had more than 3 dozen San Diego Unified School District Teachers (SDUSD) in their elementary, middle school and high school years, we can vouch for the confusing variety of homework assignments that ranged from “cruel, unusual, and unnecessary punishment” to no homework at all in a few classes.

This article provided some good data showing that “all homework is not created equal” and also some tools that SDUSD Teachers, Parents and Students can use to make homework accomplish what it is supposed to do…improve the learning and retention of our students.

An article well worth reading

I’m Sick of Seeing Black Women Silenced in School Leadership

Quote from Article:

“Aggressive,” “strong-willed,” “passionate.”

Those words have been falsely labeled as simple descriptors. In actuality, they are evidence of the continued sexism and racism that plagues our society. Women in leadership have always faced adversity and are still seen as second-rate citizens in our country. We see this play out on a national level, but we also see this through daily interactions with those of privilege.

Naively and ignorantly, I believed that we as women shared the same experience. It wasn’t until I was under the leadership of an incredible Black female leader that I realized I was horribly wrong.

During my three years as a middle school English teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to work under the tutelage of a phenomenal Black female principal. She embodied the vision of not only equality but equity for our scholars, and she specifically combated the school-to-prison-pipeline narrative through our restorative justice program.

She worked tirelessly and fiercely on behalf of her students. Yet, through several interactions and conversations I observed, she was unfairly labeled.  


District Deeds Synopsis:

This article was a painful article to read because it reminded us of what the SDUSD has gone through in the Marten era.

It is painful to realize how little the current leadership under Supt. Cindy Marten values Black female leaders at school sites and the District office.

District Deeds has been fortunate to learn from some excellent Black female leaders at School Sites.  Ms. Mitzi Lizarraga and Dr. Esther Omogbehin are two that immediately come to mind.  They are also two that suffered and left the SDUSD to avoid the incompetence of current Supt. Cindy Marten.

The students at their former schools, with much less experienced leadership, are now continuing to suffer because of it.

And don’t get us started with the Central Office District leadership (called the “White Women Mafia” by many SDUSD Stakeholders) totally ignoring any semblance of diversity.

There are currently many highly skilled and devoted SDUSD Black female educators and admnistrators who could and would break the Marten White Woman Mafia ceiling under any of the previous 3 Superintendents in the last 12 years…but not under the current regime.

A sad and unfortunate situation, not only for those Black female leaders being passed over, but for ALL our SDUSD students, our families and our Stakeholders who are missing out on their educational leadership.

Sad. unfortunate and unfair.

Some Districts Excelling in Stakeholder Engagement Efforts

Quote from Article:

(Calif.) Meaningful stakeholder engagement has proven a difficult process for many districts, but a recent report from the Policy Analysis for California Education highlights three districts that should serve as a positive example of how to actively include families and community members in school decision-making.


“As the LCFF was formulated and rolled out, it was not always clear what was meant by meaningful engagement,” authors of the report wrote. “Districts we examined appear to be learning from their experience and experimenting with new approaches to meaningful engagement–they viewed engagement as central to their overall improvement strategy rather than separate from it.”

The report highlighted three districts: Palmdale Elementary School District in Los Angeles County, Anaheim Union High School District, and San Mateo-Foster City School District. Researchers examined each district’s LCAP, its strategic plan, its budget, and its outcome data. Additionally, authors of the report conducted two- to three- day site visits to each district to interview district officials, principals, union representatives, school board members and community members.

Here is the report:


District Deeds Synopsis:

It was no surprise to District Deeds that the SDUSD was NOT one of the three districts named for superior Stakeholder engagement.  We are only surprised that study did not award a “Worst Collaboration” Trophy to the SDUSD (to add to their Booby Prize collection) for being the worst in California at Stakeholder engagement.

In Palmdale: “Officials have increased transparency around school and district activities, even going so far as to train school and district leaders on how to share positive and negative data, and to publicly acknowledge when they have no answers or have made mistakes.”

“Increased transparency” and “Superintendent Cindy Marten” are mutually exclusive terms in the SDUSD.

“publicly acknowledge when they have no answers or have made mistakes.”?!?

WOW…it is virtually impossible to find during the Marten regime when the SDUSD has volunteered to “publicly acknowledge” they have “no answers or have made mistakes”.

All we really get from SDUSD leadership is LOTS of propaganda with no admission of her numerous blunders, lies or guilt despite proof of their misdeeds including Grand Jury rulings. a Trustee collaborator conviction/resignation and a $124 million budget mismanagement disaster as evidence.

The SDUSD is in a constant condition where her incompetent actions SCREAM louder than her propaganda words.

For transparency, SDUSD is MUCH farther away from Palmdale than 172 miles!

To give her credit, Marten is VERY GOOD at deleting emails…NO ONE in Palmdale can match her at that!

In Anaheim Union:  “district officials have sought to build parents’ understanding of the standards and related instructional shifts in their home languages with the help of family and community engagement specialists and support from California State University, Fullerton. According to the report, hundreds of parents now show up to LCAP planning meetings with an ability to understand the data and meaningfully partner with each other and with district leaders and school personnel to set district priorities.”

This year San Diego Unified did away with LCAP planning meetings and decided to provide 1 poorly attended LCAP “workshop in June, 2017 and a web based survey for a one week period in only a fraction of the languages spoken by families in the SDUSD, the majority of which may not have computer/internet access or skills.

Classic SDUSD/Marten/Trustee avoidance of “Stakeholder Engagement”.

In San Mateo-Foster City:  “researchers pointed to the district’s resource allocation strategy which aims to balance school priorities and needs with district-set priorities”

Principals in the SDUSD are given a Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) template that mirrors the District LCAP items and are forced to shoehorn their school “priorities” into that mold…about as UNbalanced and “top down” as possible.

As for resource allocation we have one phrase that says it all: “$124 million budget mismanagement deficit”.

Yup…that’s DEFINITELY the Marten and crony Trustee version of LCAP “Stakeholder Engagement”!

They get our vote for the Booby Prize!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“Real, sustainable community change requires the initiative and engagement of community members. ” -helene d. gayle

Have a great week!!!



  • 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!

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FIRE San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten Immediately!

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