, , ,

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



Some Elementary Schools Are Getting Rid Of Homework — And Experts Say It’s OK

Quote from Article:

Second grade teacher Brandy Young gained national attention in 2016 when a note she wrote to her class parents was posted on social media.

“There will be no formally assigned homework this year… rather, I ask that you spend your evenings doing things that are proven to correlate with student success,” she wrote. “Eat dinner as a family, read together, play outside, and get your child to bed early.”

Two years later, Young is teaching second grade at a new school, A.G. Elder Elementary School in Joshua, Texas. She is still not assigning formal homework — though she has tweaked her policy a lot, she told TODAY Parents, since she wrote that note.

The no homework policy has worked great, she said, but it has been a learning process for her. Young found out that some of her students really do want homework, for one thing. She will also send work home with a child who needs more practice on a specific skill from time to time, but when she does, she communicates with the parent and sends an answer key to ensure the practice will be effective.


“I want my students to know that I care about them at every second,” she said. “I want parents to trust me and let me into their family. I want open communication lines between us so that I can better understand their children and help them succeed.”

For that to be possible, Young said, “Student work, regardless of when and where it’s done, should be meaningful, engaging, and relevant. No packets ever. Period.” Her second grade students approach learning enthusiastically as a result — even at a Title 1 school where nearly 70 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch prices.


However, Alfie Kohn, author of “The Homework Myth,” told TODAY Parents, “It is important to realize that no research has ever found any advantage to any kind of homework before kids are in high school — and newer studies are questioning whether it’s necessary even in high school.”

Kohn — who has written 14 books covering parenting and education and lectures on those topics at universities, parenting groups, and corporations — is a well-known critic of homework. He said that though some defend the concept of homework as having non-academic advantages like teaching kids responsibility, work habits, or independence, “To the best of my knowledge, not a shred of evidence supports those claims.”

What evidence does show, he said, is the disadvantages of homework, some of which parents are already familiar. “It causes frustration, unhappiness, and family conflict; it often makes children less excited about learning and leaves them with less time to pursue other interests and just enjoy their childhoods,” he observed.


He encouraged parents to speak up on behalf of their children. “If your child’s teacher never assigns homework, take a moment to thank them for doing what’s in your child’s best interest — and for acknowledging that families, not schools, ought to decide what happens during family time,” he added. “If your child is getting homework, organize a bunch of parents to meet with the teacher and administrators — not to ask, ‘Why so much?’ but, given that the research says it’s all pain and no gain, to ask, ‘Why is there any?'”

District Deeds Synopsis:

As a parent of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Students we experienced many of the struggles and misgivings described in the article to get our kids to complete homework.

Our kids were a perfect example of what Dr. Kohn described.

My kids both had to catch a bus to their school at 6 am and they didn’t arrive back home on the bus until 3:30 pm.  If they had after school activities. they didn’t arrive until 5:30 pm.

In other words they had been either in transit to and from school or actually in school for 11 ½ hours!  They then had to complete homework for up to two hours each night.

That is a 13 ½ hour work day!

In retrospect it is very clear why my kids struggled to complete homework and suffered because of it.  We wish we had known more about the actual value and risk of homework.

We believe this article exposes an important issue that ALL of our students suffer from and we should take Dr. Kohn’s advice:

 …organize a bunch of parents to meet with the teacher and administrators — not to ask, ‘Why so much?’ but, given that the research says it’s all pain and no gain, to ask, ‘Why is there any?’

Black Flight: A Public Charter School Movement

Quote from Article:

There is a movement occurring in this nation, an educational campaign that comprises of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, church leaders, and advocates. Their ultimate goal is school reform, changing America’s methodical approach to educating our nation’s next generation. Interestingly, African Americans are quickly becoming the leaders of this movement, flocking to free public charter schools across the country. But why are African Americans moving to free public charter schools and away from traditional public neighborhood schools?

Since Brown v Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that ruled unanimously that the segregation of black and white public school students was unconstitutional, white school administrators to all intent and purposes — fearful of the possibility of African-American teachers gaining control over majority white classrooms and seeking administrative roles — took immediate action after the federal court ruling. A seemingly superior and nationalistic white American approach would grow into a resolve for how to control its future “negro problem.”


Another consequence is what happened between the two American political parties during the ‘60s. For the most part and to all appearances, African Americans encountered a losing situation with both parties. Paradoxically, African Americans have supported the democratic party while the Party continues to rely on powerful teacher unions for campaign funding. Notably, teacher unions continue to be anti-public charter schools, and so without engaging in community-based conversations about the continuous achievement gap that exists between black and white children, black children and the African American cohort become less competitive. 

Not enough conversations are being had, regarding how to solve the racial achievement gap problem. For the most part, white scholars have continued to drive this conversation without inviting more black educators, black researches, and black school administrators,  who are on the ground, to the decision-making table. American educators are just beginning to understand that black educators and black school administrators should have had the opportunity to sit at the decision making table at the beginning of school integration. But yet we say again and again, “the wheels of justice turn slowly.”

District Deeds Synopsis:

There are lots of phony reasons for the decreasing SDUSD enrollment given by SDUSD Board Trustee Richard Tricky Dick” Barrera. and his hand picked, illegitimate  White Woman Mafia Elementary School Superintendent Cindy Marten.

The REAL reason there is a huge exodus away from the SDUSD is clearly illustrated in this article.

There is no attempt to support diversity in either leadership or staff by the incompetent Barrera, Marten and their cronies.

Especially negatively impacted by this Barrera/Marten administrative equity disaster are families of color…and they are leaving the SDUSD for charter school alternatives.

Barrera and Marten should be ashamed.

BARR – A Little-Known Program Has Lifted 9th Grade Performance In Virtually Every Type Of School

Quote from Article:

There’s a school improvement model that has gotten consistent results in large schools, small schools, high-performing ones, low-performing ones, those with large achievement gaps, diverse schools, homogenous ones, and schools that are rural, urban and suburban. An impressive track record of hard evidence has made it the only program to earn three levels of competitive grant funding from the federal government since 2010.

But you’ve probably never heard of it.

The Building Assets, Reducing Risks program, known as BARR, was started by a Minneapolis school counselor in 1999, and remained in relative obscurity for a decade. Since 2010, its creator, Angela Jerabek, has sought research support to test the BARR program in other schools. The BARR mantra – “Same Students. Same Teachers. Better Results.” – has led Jerabek to aggressively seek out schools in different regions, with different demographics, to test her theory. So far, it holds up.


At large, diverse Hemet High School in urban southern California, this program helped close the achievement gap between ninth-grade Latino students and their peers within two years. 


No matter where a school starts, the BARR model seems to make it better, and it does so without hiring all new teachers, transforming the school curriculum, or spending a lot of money – though it does require a strong commitment in time.

BARR targets students during a make-or-break year: ninth grade. The UChicago Consortium on School Research has found that students who earn at least five credits in ninth grade (enough to go on to 10th grade) and get no more than a one-semester failing grade in a core course are 3.5 times more likely to graduate on time.


BARR does it by prioritizing strong relationships and a focus on student strengths. It forces teachers to track student progress closely and creates a structure for stepping in at the first sign something might be wrong.

“Our system is to catch those coughs before they become pneumonia,” said Justin Barbeau, technical assistance director at the BARR Center and a former social studies teacher at St. Louis Park High School. “It’s really about giving kids the things they need.”

BARR has eight broad strategies, and on their own, they sound like plain old, good schooling: focus on the whole student; prioritize social and emotional learning; provide professional development for teachers, counselors and administrators; create teams of students; give teachers time to talk about the students on their respective teams; engage families; engage administrators; and meet to discuss the highest-risk students.

District Deeds Synopsis:

We really enjoyed reading this article.

It provided numerous examples of how schools and districts with a REAL vision and a strong plan can accomplish amazing things with the neediest Students.  The article stresses and intervention strategy with focus and commitment and “giving kids the things they need.

Very inspiring!

And unfortunately, completely OPPOSITE of the phony SDUSD Vision 2020 propaganda  that promises the moon and gives SDUSD Students the shaft.

District Deeds believes we need to apply the BARR principals to the SDUSD Senior Leadership…

Building Assets: Implement a documented hiring diversity project in the SDUSD that includes “more black educators, black researches, and black school administrators”

Reducing Risks: Fire Cindy Marten and her “White Woman Mafia” senior staff and vote out of office all the current Board of Education members

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell

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!

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!

  • You want to be sure you don’t miss an issue of District Deeds, click the “follow” button below and you will get an email automatically when an article is published on District Deeds.
  • If you prefer social media, click on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and follow District Deeds!!!