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


Hey Kanye, I’m an English Teacher But I’ve Got a History Lesson for You

Quote from Article:

Welcome to my class, Kanye.

Before you arrived, I read this quote from you telling me that learning is important to you and that you are good at absorbing information.

“I was never really good at anything except for the ability to learn.”

Therefore, I’m excited to have you here.

Recently, your comments that slavery is a “choice” were met with cheers, disappointment and outrage from people all across the country. You seem to view the pushback you received as an attack on your right to free thought.

In actuality, there have been many defenses of your right to free thought. What we all would like you to know is that, yes, free thought is a right, but the dissemination of those thoughts from a platform as elevated as yours should be handled with great responsibility.

So, while you are here in my class, I would like you to take some notes. This will only serve as a start in your learning process, but perhaps may allow you to understand some of the challenges you’ve received to your claims.

You said that people who would remain enslaved for hundreds of years were, in essence, choosing that fate. Please understand that there is a reason that it is called the institution of slavery. Families were separated to discourage escape. And I have no words to describe the centuries of murder and violence that were used as control tactics.

District Deeds Synopsis:

An exceptional article that addresses free speech, free thought, celebrity, learning and history in one stroke.  Please don’t miss clicking on the link to the National Museum of African American History and Culture for a deeply enriching educational experience.

A MUST read!

Is the High School Graduation Rate Really Going Up?

Quote from Article:

It was only 10 years ago that the country adopted a standard for measuring its high school graduation rate. The US Department of Education under Secretary Margaret Spellings added a regulation to the No Child Left Behind accountability structure that states needed to report the ‘adjusted cohort graduation rate’ of their high schools.

The reported rate has been going up. This seems like a positive trend and good news, but, maybe not. Recent reports suggest some states and districts have counted students as graduates who should not have been counted. A nagging question is how much of this behavior is happening. Graduating from high school is an important education milestone, but we would like graduates to meet standards for graduation and not simply leave the system with a piece of paper and deficient skills.


In the first school year after the regulation was in force, 2010-2011, the country learned that 79 percent of its high school students graduated on time.[2] Since then, the rate has been rising, and is now 83 percent. That 17 percent of students do not graduate on time still is worrisome, but the trend seems encouraging, and some of those students graduate in five or six years.

Still, social scientists know that when it comes to numbers and accountability, Campbell’s Law needs to be kept in mind: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”[3]Campbell’s Law is cited regularly in discussions of achievement-test scores, but high schools are accountable for their on-time graduation rate, so the law would apply to it.


Creating second chances is sensible as long as students learn what they were supposed to have learned to pass the course they failed. But the programs have a long history of questions about whether students actually learn material or are just going through motions so that the school can say the student has passed and now can graduate. A series of pieces prepared by students at the Columbia School of Journalism described frauds and abuses in credit-recovery programs and documented a history of concerns raised about the programs in states and districts around the country.[12] In Los Angeles, which reported that 16,000 students took at least one credit recovery course in the 2016-2017 school year, a student described raising his biology grade from an F to a C in one week.[13]

District Deeds Synopsis:

After all the posts we have made regarding the fake San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) graduation rate, this article encompasses some new “tricks” that we did not even look into.

The “Campbell’s Law” explained in this article definitely provides all the motive and premeditation needed for the tricks, justifications and excuses used by Supt. Cindy Marten and her crony Board of Trustees to cover up their fake Grad Rates.

The article also provides a wide range of Grad Rate gamesmanship by other U.S. school districts.  One item discussed in the article is Credit Recovery…a trick that Marten jammed through the school district that allowed students to “pass” multiple classes in a few weeks that they had flunked over multiple semesters with a classroom teacher.

The SDUSD examples of Credit Recovery “fraud” have been WORSE than the example used of “a student described raising his biology grade from an F to a C in one week.”

Finally please review the 17 footnotes that provides a large quantity of reference material and other articles regarding the fake Grad rate issue…its like getting 18 articles in one!

Well worth reading all 18 to see how many of the tricks were used to improperly pump up fake Grad Rates by the current incompetent SDUSD leadership.

Studying to the HILT: Why Learning Should Look More Like Exercise

Quote from Article:

HIIT is based on evidence showing that short, high-effort, workout sessions can produce calorie-burning value equivalent to longer, moderately challenging, exercise routines. It seems brief episodes of pushing oneself to the limit — even if one is unable to perform flawlessly and experiences significant struggle — is more efficient for burning calories than lengthy and mildly strenuous exercise.

As it turns out, current research on memory and learning suggests a similar approach may also be ideal for training the mind.

Short bursts of high mental difficulty — effort likely to produce frequent errors and engender significant cognitive strain — is a very effective way to learn, particularly for low-complexity knowledge components (e.g., facts, categories, concepts, relationships, definitions, etc.) (see, Koedinger et al., 2012). Much like HIIT workouts for the body, the goal is to engender high levels of mental effort during study. Just as repeated reps with a light dumbbell lead to minimal muscular benefits, easy retrievals of information lead to minimal learning (Bjork, 2011). And the more effort involved in trying to recall information from memory, the more etched the information becomes in our minds (Pyc & Rawson, 2009). Yet evidence suggests students typically believe the opposite, thinking if information is easily and quickly retrieved then it is deeply learned (Benjamin et al., 1998).

Unfortunately, most adaptive studying tools fail to incorporate these research insights in their design. Adaptive studying products often encourage suboptimal practice insofar as they:

  • Erroneously focus on a student’s current performance as indicative of long-term learning gains
  • Sequence the rehearsal of study content in a misguided effort to forestall student forgetting/errors
  • Focus primarily on question difficulty/accuracy rather than retrieval difficulty in recommending study questions
  • Ignore the highly contextual and cue-dependent nature of human memory

District Deeds Synopsis:

A fascinating article that questions the theory that 100% on a learning exercise is an accurate educational measurement and may not be the most effective for optimal learning and retention.  We were somewhat sceptical of the concept when we began reading the article but, by the time we finished, we wanted to look through all the footnotes and references to investigate the concept even more for ourselves.

We would love to have our readers leave comments on their perspective of HILT!!!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – ― Colin Powell

Have a great week!!!



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