, , ,

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


For Black Children, Attending School Is an Act of Racial Justice

Quote from Article:

As a seemingly twisted way to ring in 2019, the Trump administration has sent a loud and clear message that it’s okay for educators and school leaders to keep Black children out of school buildings and exclude them from opportunities to learn. It may sound extreme, but that’s exactly what it means to rescind school discipline guidance that was put in place explicitly to ensure that Black children were not treated this way and discriminated against.

The current administration, however, wants us to believe that discrimination against Black children is a myth. It is not. It is the lived experience of too many, if not all Black children. In the 2015-16 school year, Black boys made up 8 percent of public school enrollment, but they were 25 percent of the boys suspended out of school. Black girls were 8 percent of enrollment but 14 percent of the girls suspended out of school. While Black children are overrepresented in practices that exclude or remove students from school, White children are underrepresented. Such data are clear evidence that racism and bias often drive exclusionary practices. To ignore this is to preserve the status quo.

If the numbers aren’t enough to show that discrimination exists in American classrooms, studies have shown that Black children do not misbehave more than their White peers, rather they are punished more. In fact, Black students are more likely than their White peers to receive a disciplinary action for a discretionary offense like talking back, violating a dress code, or being defiant. Black children are also more likely to be suspended out of school for their first offense. Clear, appropriate, and consistent consequences and educator training — as the guidance calls for — helps to eliminate the discrimination and bias that fuel the disproportionate punishment of Black children.


What many (including this administration) fail to realize is that there is a difference between discipline and punishment. Suspensions and expulsions don’t teach. They punish. And far too often, adults decide that Black children are not worthy of teaching and second chances. Excluding students from classrooms does not help them to correct the mistakes that children inevitably make. It also has negative long-term consequences. These negative outcomes include poor academic performance, lower levels of engagement, leaving school, and increased likelihood of involvement with the criminal justice system.


Rescinding the guidance is a reminder to those fighting for educational equity: For Black children, simply attending school is an act of protest, and learning and excelling while there is an act of racial justice. Every time a Black child is sent home for a minor offense, they are sent the message that they are unwanted or don’t belong. But Black children do belong, and they deserve to be safe, included, and to have access to a quality education. Despite the current administration’s actions, this is the message that advocates must make clear at the beginning of 2019 — and every year hereafter.

District Deeds Synopsis:

An excellent article that describes the way the current federal administration has undermined school discipline guidance from the Obama administration.

We completely agree with the author that “Black children, simply attending school is an act of protest, and learning and excelling while there is an act of racial justice.”

The treatment of black students and other students of color by incompetent Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten and her unanimous Democrat Board of Education led by “Tricky Dick” Barrera prove that racial injustice and discrimination is not only imposed by the Republican party.

A couple of years ago in a big public relations stunt, ESS Marten and her crony Board of Ed changed the district guidelines around suspensions.  There was lots of hoopla and they practically dislocated their shoulders patting themselves on the back.

Unfortunately under the incompetent management of ESS Marten, that’s where the oversight stopped.

Marten proceeded to eliminate many highly credentialed Principals and senior staff either by intimidation or by her completely inadequate and inexperienced leadership.  Struggling schools, especially south of the 8, got the worst of all worlds… inexperienced school site leadership that had inconsistent, minimal or no support from the depleted San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) central office led by inadequate, incompetent ESS Marten.

The “coup de grâce” was the $124 million budget disaster that stripped away ELST’s, Counselors. IT Techs and other key support personnel from the poorest schools.

The end result for this Democrat led SDUSD administration is essentially the same as the current Federal rescinding of the guidelines…REAL “learning and excelling” under ESS Marten is virtually impossible so there is no chance for “racial justice”.

In other words…ESS Marten incompetency IS racial injustice!

ESS Cindy, Tricky Dick Barrera and the rest of their cronies need to go.

I Gamified My Classroom and Students are Soaring

Quote from Article:

An average child today will have played 10,000 hours of video games before the age of 21. If playing games is part of our culture, even part of our identities, then it stands to reason that students can be highly motivated by game-based learning opportunities. So what if we make classrooms the game?

Gamification means using game-design principles such as cooperation, competition, character development, and point scoring in a non-gaming context. In the classroom, it can be as straightforward as transforming learning activities into games or a more subtle application of game-design principles to learning tasks.


As a classroom teacher, I gamified my classroom because I needed an engaging way to deliver the online lessons I created for students during reading and math workshop. I was able to turn my online lessons into an adventure with a storyline, obstacles, and learning challenges. I had read research about the benefits of gamification, but I was still surprised to see such a remarkable transformation in my classroom. In just a few months I saw amazing benefits!


One of the most amazing shifts I noticed was my students’ response to failure. Rather than feeling defeated when failing at a task in our game, my students have returned to the task with renewed determination, rising to the challenge with a positive attitude. In the past, a poor grade usually resulted in the negative feelings associated with failure. Within our game environment, however, students see mistakes as an opportunity to try again and do better. They are more willing to listen to and apply the feedback I give them because they are determined to master skills and level up.


Playing with my students broke down social barriers that usually take a significant amount of time to overcome. I have been able to build trust with my students quickly, and that has allowed me to challenge my students in new ways. Building a positive community within a competitive gaming situation is critical. Friendly competition is great, but what’s even better is a collective community that is genuinely interested in the learning of everyone involved. One way that we build our community is through collaborative battles within our game. When the class is counting on every student to work hard and be prepared, students are motivated to invest in their peers.

District Deeds Synopsis:

What a great example of a teacher helping students learn using the tools that reach the students the best.  We especially like the “students’ response to failure” being a motivator.

Being such a huge school district we were sure that there must be some gamifying initiative in the SDUSD.  After all, the author is a fourth grade teacher in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne County Indiana (MSD of Wayne County)…a tiny school district with only 16,000 students….7 1/2 times SMALLER than the SDUSD.

So we did a search on ‘gamify”…


No results!

So then we tried “gamification”

Again, no results!

So apparently, just like San Diego is far from being considered “Silicon Valley South”, the SDUSD under ESS Marten is far from being in the same “gamifying league” as tiny MSD of Wayne Township.

Apparently ESS Marten is also not in the same class as the MSD of Wayne Township Superintendent…Dr. Jeff Butts…

Dr. Jeff Butts, superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township in Indianapolis, is one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year award.

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) released the names of the finalists for the prestigious award Monday, December 17. The organization will name the National Superintendent of the Year at its National Conference on Education February 14.

 Dr. Butts will travel to Washington, D.C. for final interviews in the competition in January. He and the other finalists will also be part of a news conference at the National Press Club. The three other finalists are superintendents in school districts in Texas, Georgia, and Idaho.

The only awards ESS Marten has received are the phony performance evaluations by her crony Board of Education for the past 4 years.

We can only hope we will soon be looking for a REAL qualified superintendent like Dr. Butts in the near future!

Defining Personalized Learning and Blended Learning: Is There a Difference?

Quote from Article:

Recently, more than a few education headlines have focused on the concerns surrounding the shaky meaning of personalized learning, oftentimes highlighting the anxieties posed by critics that personalized means the use of technology at the expense of student’s social-emotional development or that personalization is the agenda of Silicon Valley titans.

To understand the nuances of personalized learning—and why it’s not solely tech-centered, though technology may be a critical lever for scale—it’s important to define what personalized learning is…and if it’s different from blended learning, it’s often interchangeably applied concept.


In the current education conversation, personalized learning is a pedagogical philosophy, tending to refer to a host of efforts and models that tailor learning and development to the individual student, based on beliefs about what outcomes we want students to reach and how to best help them get there. Herein, I think, lies a large part of the confusion: the field alternately refers to personalized learning as a collection of modalities and a collection of desired outcomes.


Blended learning, in other words, is a modality in much the same way a textbook, lecture, or project constitutes a modality. It does not refer to a particular philosophy or pedagogy. Blended learning has both online and offline components. These components of a blended model can be as diverse as the number of students in a given class or as uniform as an utterly traditional classroom.


Blended learning is an instructional modality that describes integrating technology to deliver some content. Full stop. It’s not more or less than that, and it doesn’t connote a specific set of goals or philosophies.

Personalized learning, on the other hand, is broader and, at least today, connotes philosophical and pedagogical points of view. It’s not just about the mere presence of technology in an instructional model. 

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article really helped us understand personalized and blended learning.  We have heard those terms thrown around at SDUSD Board Meetings, Propaganda Events and school sites.

We hope that this article will also help our readers sort out this terminology and thereby help them advocate effectively for their students and schools.

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.” – Raph Koster

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!!!