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


‘Find Your Passion’ Is Awful Advice

Quote from Article:

Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, remembers asking an undergraduate seminar recently, “How many of you are waiting to find your passion?”

“Almost all of them raised their hand and got dreamy looks in their eyes,” she told me. They talked about it “like a tidal wave would sweep over them,” he said. Sploosh. Huzzah! It’s accounting!

Would they have unlimited motivation for their passion? They nodded solemnly.

“I hate to burst your balloon,” she said, “but it doesn’t usually happen that way.”

What Dweck asked her students is a common refrain in American society. The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance.

But according to Dweck and others, that advice is steering people wrong.

“What are the consequences of that?” asked Paul O’Keefe, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale—NUS College. “That means that if you do something that feels like work, it means you don’t love it.” He gave me the example of a student who jumps from lab to lab, trying to find one whose research topic feels like her passion. “It’s this idea that if I’m not completely overwhelmed by emotion when I walk into a lab, then it won’t be my passion or my interest.”


That’s why he and two co-authors—Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford—recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue. They’re developed.

In a paper that is forthcoming in Psychological Science, the authors delineate the difference between the two mind-sets. One is a “fixed theory of interests”—the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered—and the other is a “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time.

District Deeds Synopsis:

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) likes to throw the word “passion” around a lot when spreading eduspeak propaganda in their descriptions on the district website, at schools and even out of the mouth of Cindy Marten.

Based on this article it appears that “passions” should not be a “fixed theory” of interests but a “growth theory”.

The SDUSD website describes the IB “learning experience” as demonstrating individual passion:

“The quality of the learning experience, final product and personal reflection demonstrate individual determination and passion and the ability to plan and carry out the process of design and creativity at a level that far exceeds local and state standards.”

The question is: Does the learning experience quality really demonstrate “passion” or simply mastery that exceeds local and state standards?

The Vapa description in the district website insists that access and equity demands the program be provided to students with a “strong passion”:

“VAPA Focus Schools will be strategically located to ensure access and equity for all SDUSD students who identify as having a strong passion and commitment to the arts.”

District Deeds wonders…

How does one pre-k VAPA student identify a “strong passion” and another pre-k student identify less than “strong passion”?

Also, based on test scores in the poorest SDUSD schools, it appears the district under Marten’s leadership neglects access and equity to many students for basic education…but is willing to “strategically” locate VAPA school based on VAPA “passion”.

SDUSD Schools even market themselves using the “passion” propaganda:

District Deeds wonders…

Is a student, who has a burning desire to perform in a particular art form but does not have either the requisite ability or “political” school connections to perform in any school events, really living their “passion!” or living their “nightmare!”?

Even Marten in her 2017 “State of the District” propaganda speech trumpeted the “p” word.  Among numerous other lies she said:

“And, we have meaningful local control. We have heard clearly what our local families have told us they value and want the most — academic rigor, the arts, technology, sports and fitness, and civics education. These are in all our schools, because that is how we help children find their passion so they become self-guided, self-directed learners.”

District Deeds has proven that Marten and her Board of Education cronies may have “heard clearly what our local families have told us they value and want the most” but typically their actions have done the exact OPPOSITE!

From ignoring polls and opinions from the Calendar Committee a couple of years ago to more recently ignoring all the election reform suggestions from a SDUSD Board of Education appointed committee and hundreds of Stakeholders, we don’t believe Marten and her cronies have any interest or inclination to “help children find their passion”. 

According to the article it is a false promise built on a faulty theory.

Marten and the Board are much more interested in gratuitously satisfying their own passion for absolute power with ZERO oversight.

Now THAT is a passion!

With Man Up, A New Memphis Teacher Prep Program Is Training, Mentoring Men of Color

Quote from Article:

Patrick Washington has teaching in his blood.  

Soon after, Adkins taught other former slaves to do the same. He did so just years after anti-literacy laws, which forbade the education of slaves, were abolished. And he did so, Washington believes, because he imagined a better life for his children and grandchildren.

“He saw me,” Washington, a Memphis-based teacher and school administrator, said.

For Washington, 43, teaching is “the best profession on this side of heaven,” and it’s all he ever wanted to do. But he wishes more men of color saw the promise of a career in education. That’s why he’s partnering with Relay Graduate School of Education and Blue Mountain College on a new Memphis-based teacher preparation program called Man Up.

The goal: Train more men of color from various walks of life to become teachers in Memphis, and provide them with mentorship along the way.

According to a 2016 study by the U.S. Department of Education, black males make up just two percent of the teaching workforce nationwide. Statewide, that number is nearly the same, and in Shelby County Schools, men of color make up about 9.5 percent of teachers.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article describes a great program that we wish was available locally.  One part of the article that caught our interest was the description of the “five different tracks to help men of color obtain teaching licenses. ”

One “track” focused on high school:

The High School Lane: This track would identify high school juniors and seniors with an interest in becoming teachers. It will pair them with non-profit organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, with the goal of helping them develop mentoring skills. They would also attend monthly seminars, similar to introductory education courses, and they would get hands-on practice in the classroom. After enrolling in a partnering college or university, students would move up to the Undergraduate Lane and graduate with up to six years of classroom experience.

It would be great for the SDUSD to implement a similar program but according to an article in Voice and Viewpoint the district under Marten has a total lack of accountability:

It is unconscionable that Superintendent Marten has repeatedly declined to meet with AASSC and the broader community to publicly discuss the effects of district efforts. AASSC has yet to receive any data, updates or information regarding strategies, plans or goals enacted by the district leadership to address the persistent underachievement of African American and African students in SDUSD.

Unfortunately the SDUSD will never change its approach regarding equity for students of color until Marten is removed from leadership of the district.

A Nationwide Look at Teacher Perceptions of Feedback and Evaluation Systems

Findings from the American Teacher Panel

Quote from Article:

In recent years, state and local education leaders across the United States have revised their teacher evaluation policies and practices in an effort to enhance the quality of evaluation measures and improve instructional practices. These teacher evaluations are often based on multiple measures of performance, including classroom observations, indicators of teachers’ contributions to their students’ performance on standardized tests, and stakeholder surveys that measure parent and/or student beliefs about teacher practices.

We currently know little about how teachers have responded to these systems outside of a small number of districts where research on teacher evaluation has been conducted. To address this issue, this research used a nationally representative survey of educators to examine teacher perceptions about the feedback they receive and the teacher evaluation systems at their schools. Analysis provides a broad picture of the different types of feedback that teachers reported receiving during the 2015–2016 school year and whether teachers found it helpful in improving their instructional practices. The research also focuses on teacher perceptions of the data sources that informed their most recent evaluation, the perceived helpfulness and fairness of evaluation systems, and the resources that teachers reported receiving to support their participation in these systems. Most teachers reported receiving useful feedback, although majorities perceived feedback from fellow teachers and from coaches or mentors more positively than feedback from formal observations or from school leaders. Teachers in higher-poverty schools reported receiving more-frequent feedback from peers, school leaders, and coaches and mentors than teachers in lower-poverty schools.

Rand Report: A Nationwide Look at Teacher Perceptions of Feedback and Evaluation Systems

District Deeds Synopsis:

This Report offered many interesting insights to the types and methods of feedback that Teachers receive and what they consider positive and useful.

We are sure that all SDUSD Teachers and Site Administrators are familiar with most of what is contained in the report but, as a parent and community member, we learned a lot about Teacher Feedback and Evaluation systems and what Teachers feel work the best.

Here a couple of findings that caught our eye:

  • Teachers thought it was more helpful to receive feedback from other teachers than Principals or other school leaders
  • Teachers at high-poverty schools receive feedback from school leaders, coaches, mentors, and peers more frequently than their peers at more affluent schools.

The report has many other findings and a good number of easy to read charts and graphs.  It is a surprisingly quick 24 page read.  Well worth reviewing!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame; Each to his passion; what’s in a name? – Vanity of Vanities – Helen Hunt Jackson



  • 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!

Please Click the Link Below and sign the Petition Today and READ the COMMENTS to Support the REMOVAL of Marten by SDUSD Stakeholders!

FIRE San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten Immediately!

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