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




Quote from Article:

Academic rigor challenges students to deeply and creatively master skills and content. Here are 12 ways to make that happen in your classroom. 


EXPAND VOCABULARY – “Expect them to use academic and domain-specific vocabulary. If they use words like ‘something,’ ‘you know,’ ‘that,’ or ‘like,’ prod them to come up with specifics. Like what? No I don’t know.” (Source: Jacqui Murray)


INTRODUCE MESSY INQUIRY – Life isn’t as unambiguous as a bubble sheet. Have students generate questions, then answer them.

District Deeds Synopsis:

We were so excited about this graphic that we, for the first time, have actually included the WHOLE article in District Deeds Sunday Reads!  We are sure this may seem rudimentary to many of our highly skilled educators, but as a Parent and Community Member we hope these examples of “rigor” are used in all San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) schools.

Here is the link for more educational graphics for teachers and all individuals interested in education from the Todd’s Brain Blog.

Reducing chronic absenteeism under the Every Student Succeeds Act

Quote from Article:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA; 2015) requires states to broaden school accountability beyond achievement on standardized tests and high school graduation rates. In this Hamilton Project strategy paper, we articulate a framework for states as they oversee implementation of statewide accountability plans under ESSA and describe how states differ in their approaches. We review the literature and present novel analyses of the factors at the school and student levels that relate to chronic absenteeism. Our analysis shows that health problems and socioeconomic status predict poor attendance, and that chronic absenteeism among students and schools is strongly persistent over time. We describe evidence-based strategies for schools as they work to reduce rates of chronic absence among students.

and the framework of the study:

1. What gets measured gets done. Accountability regimes
direct a school to improve on measures to which stakes are
attached. To broaden the scope of school improvement efforts,
one could expand the domains that are measured—as long
as these new domains can be measured with consistency and

2. The goal must be within reach. Accountability goals are
most effective at changing the behavior of schools when they
can improve after making reasonable changes to their policies
and practices. Goals that are out of reach might not induce
desired behavior changes. This can occur at the school level,
when a school stops pursuing unreachable goals completely,
or at the individual level, when a school does not invest in
students unlikely to clear a distinct measurement hurdle.

3. Beware: goalposts can be moved. Indicators that can be
changed over time—by moving the passing threshold, altering
how the outcomes are measured, or introducing or replacing
measures—obscure true gains and losses.

4. When a measure becomes a target, it sometimes ceases to
be a good measure. When stakes are attached to a measure,
schools can use strategies to raise their performance in ways
that do not necessarily align with the broader goal. Teaching
narrowly to the test is one example of this phenomenon. The
best accountability measures are minimally susceptible to
such gaming.

5. Prevent, track, and adapt to minimize gaming. Incentives
to game the system are inherent to accountability policies.
To stay ahead and make real progress on an accountability
metric, regulators should engage in active oversight.

6. Aim for real change in implementation. To institute a
novel policy, implementers must make the effort to prevent the
policy’s incorporation into standing or superficial practice. To
direct attention to new policies and practices, implementers
should maintain visibility, monitoring, and awareness among
all stakeholders.

Study: Reducing Chronic Absenteeism Under the Every Student Succeeds Act 

District Deeds Synopsis:

Very interesting study that really digs into both the causes for Chronic Absenteeism and also offers some suggestions for solutions.  We really appreciated the “real world” analysis of this report perspective of the report, especially addressing “gaming” of the chronic absenteeism metric.

Only a 36 page study…well worth reading!

In the News: Most Americans Support Teachers’ Right To Strike

Quote from Article:

A new NPR/Ipsos poll finds that just 1 in 4 Americans believe teachers in this country are paid fairly and 3 in 4 Americans believe that teachers have the right to strike.

The 2017 EdNext Poll found that the public’s views on teacher pay sometimes changed when respondents were given accurate information about what teachers are currently paid.  When asked whether teacher salaries should be raised, no fewer than 61% of Americans are in favor. But when told what teachers currently earn, the level of support drops to 36%

District Deeds Synopsis:

Teacher strikes have been a major news item lately in many states.  This very brief article provides some interesting polling data regarding the public perception of Teacher pay.

The SDUSD recently avoided a strike by the SDUSD Teachers Union, the San Diego Education Association (SDEA).  As usual, the SDEA completely crushed the weak efforts of Supt. Cindy Marten and her crony Board of Education 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 who have ALL been elected and re-elected with SDEA financial backing and endorsements.

Good for the SDEA!!!  They found the weakness of the current SDUSD Trustees (campaign contributions and endorsements) and exploited it to successfully negotiate a  great contract for its members.

Unfortunately the rest of the SDUSD Stakeholders – Students, Parents, other SDUSD Employees, Unions, and Taxpayers got the shaft by the weak and virtually nonexistent Superintendent and Trustee SDEA Contract negotiation.

Because of the weak negotiations by “our” representatives, school sites will be even more unsafe,  classrooms will be filthier, and technology with be in a permanent state of disrepair.

By comparison, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) TURNED DOWN a 20% raise and threatened that they would walk out if the State neglected to include funding for items like updated textbooks, basic supplies, and technology”.

But good for the SDEA…they “won”.

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.”  – Jane Addams


Have a great week!!!



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