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


America Lets Too Much Young Talent Go to Waste

Failing to identify and help poor and minority students isn’t just unfair. It also hurts growth.

Quote from Article:

I know a man from Texas who grew up poor, living in a trailer park. No one in his family had ever been to college. Then, in high school, he met a girl (whom he would eventually marry) from a much more educated family; she helped open his eyes to greater possibilities. He started studying hard for standardized tests, and discovered that he was actually really good at them. Now, he’s about to graduate from a prestigious law school.

That man is my brother-in-law.

This tale illustrates something larger: The U.S. is filled with talented people, too many of whom are hidden, overlooked, left behind and waiting to be discovered.


These are just anecdotes, but the data tell a similar story. In 2005, Florida’s Broward County began administering a test to all second graders to identify gifted and talented students. The number of black and Hispanic students in those classes both promptly tripled, and those minority students performed very well in the gifted programs. When the testing regimen was ended in 2010 due to budget cuts, the racial disparities re-emerged. Broward’s episode suggests that American institutions are bad at identifying talent, especially among minority students.

Broward’s experience is far from unique. Looking at 11 states that started requiring (and paying for) high school students to take the ACT or SAT tests since 2001, economist Joshua Hyman found that large numbers of poor students scored as college-ready who otherwise would not even have taken the tests. This hidden talent increased the pool of college-ready poor students by 50 percent. Other papers found that mandatory testing increased college enrollment rates among disadvantaged students.

This research shows that there is lots of talent that the traditional U.S. education system fails to discover. It also demonstrates that universal standardized testing is one way to find and encourage that talent. For many years, opponents have railed against standardized testing, claiming that tests are biased against poor and minority students. But whether that’s true or not, testing seems much less biased than the education system itself.


The U.S.’s failure to identify and nurture talented poor and minority students is undoubtedly hurting the country’s productivity, but it’s also deeply unfair. The U.S. scores relatively low compared to European countries in measures of relative mobility — the chance that someone who grows up in the lower-income percentiles will make it into the top group. Combined with the data on college completion, this naturally raises the concern that the U.S. education and employment systems are turning the country into a hereditary caste society.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article confirmed what we have believed for a long time.  The willful ignorance of Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten to minimize the importance of standardized testing along with the gutting of the, once nationally renowned, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has had a directly negative and horrible impact on poor and minority students.

The path to higher education by the GATE and other standardized testing for motivated poor and minority students to be recognized for their intelligence has been essentially shut down for reasons concerning the SDUSD business of education.

So why does the SDUSD leadership want to avoid standardized testing?

The incompetent, pathetic ESS Marten and her crony Board of Education dominated by Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera have been opposed to standardized and GATE testing because the results of the tests expose the poor education students are actually receiving…and that are driving SDUSD families to Charter Schools. Back in the days when SDUSD schools were scored on a 1 – 10 scale, there was no place for the incompetent Marten, Board of Ed and inexperienced Principals to hide.

Since then, Marten has avoided termination by eliminating standardized testing every chance she gets and  artificially pumping up Grad rates through unproctored online credit recovery.

The termination avoidance of Marten and Tricky Dick has allowed her to mismanage the SDUSD $1.3 billion dollar budget forcing cuts causing the complete dismantling of the GATE program in many of the schools with the poorest families and families of color.

We ask our readers…

Are Marten and Barrera racists for allowing her to keep her job after eliminating standardized and GATE testing opportunities that allow poor and minority students to be identified for advanced classes and to achieve and succeed?

We believe that despite the hundreds of times Marten and Tricky Dick Barrera spout the fake mantra “it’s all about the kids”, their actions, to maintain their dictatorial power and grow their income first over needs of the poorest of students and students of color, speak louder than their words.

You be the judge.

‘Signing Day’ Recognizes High School Seniors Starting Jobs, Not College

Quote from Article:

The familiar high school rituals take place every spring. Athletes sign letters of intent to play for college programs as their coaches beam with pride, the photographs splashed across social media. Other high school seniors wave college acceptance letters as their names are announced at school assemblies.

But one school system in Virginia wanted to celebrate a different life-changing moment for the seniors who were starting careers right after graduation. In Henrico County, public school administrators held a ceremony in late March called “Career and Technical Letter-of-Intent Signing Day.”

“This is a celebration of students who are entering the workforce or post-secondary training with a plan,” said Mac Beaton, director of Henrico Schools’ Department of Career and Technical Education, in a Facebook post. “They’ve chosen to maximize their high school opportunities for career training and industry certifications, with an eye on becoming successful and financially secure much earlier in life.”


Beaton said the idea for the recognition ceremony was rooted in a constant battle to show the importance of this kind of training.

“We’re always trying to figure out how to address the skills gap when the general mentality of parents is ‘I want my child to go to college,'” Beaton told Today Parents.

“One way to do this is to help them see the value of career and technical education,” he said. “When you start talking data that affects parents’ pocketbooks, that gets their attention.”


The event was a huge hit on social media, with fans praising the celebration.

“This is the best thing I’ve seen in years,” wrote Catherine DeAngelis. “It’s about time we celebrate the skilled workforce. We need to do that here, people need to see how important these students really are.”

Tricia Molloy agreed. “This is fabulous!! The world runs because of our tradesman and women. It’s wonderful to honor and celebrate those who join the trades.”

“College isn’t for everyone, so this is a wonderful way to support those who train vocationally for the workforce,” wrote Jean Mayo Campbell. “Maybe other districts will embrace this.”

District Deeds Synopsis:

The shortage of skilled technical workers, even with a 4.2% unemployment rate in California, shows that much more focus, support and celebration should be given to Students who achieve a career training and technical certification.  With the cost of college spiraling along with the ability of tech Students for lifelong learning in any field they choose might be the best financial and career decision possible.

We hope many SDUSD schools decide to celebrate these tech Students in ways similar to this article and honor them for their intelligent choice.

While Policymakers Demand Accountability from Charter Schools, They Need to Demand the Same for Traditional Schools

Quote from Article:

Attention!  Governor Newsom. When you say that publicly funded schools should be held accountable to the public, do you mean that the THOUSANDS of low performing traditional schools will also be reviewed for their role in draining the education system? Or are we just going to gloss over that inconvenient fact and let it go unaddressed for yet another generation?

This is not a difficult concept. Yes, all charter schools should be held accountable. One of the great features of a charter school is that ability to review it, evaluate its effectiveness, and not reauthorize it if it’s not making the grade. Unfortunately, that level of accountability does NOT exist for traditional public schools. As a result, our public education system is marred with hundreds of low performing schools that go on and on forever and in many cases receive millions of dollars in additional funding to help improve those schools. So by the logic that charter schools ‘take money” from the education system, we can also say that the millions being wasted on schools to improve that never do, siphons money from schools within their own system.


Stop blaming charter schools for the problems that existed long before the Charter School Act of 1992! Traditional public (neighborhood) schools have always tried to blame their failures on someone or something else. It’s time to face the truth. Charter schools were born of need, not greed. Let’s look at the negative impact that has been created by all failing schools, both charter and traditional.

District Deeds Synopsis:

Pathetic and administratively clueless ESS Marten, “Tricky Dick” Barrera, Kevin “Dismissal with Prejudice” Beiser, John “You Can’t Handle the Truth” Evans, Michael “Foggy Brain” McQuary and Sharon “Flying By The Seat of Our Pants” Payne all continue to rant about how Charter School are taking money away from the SDUSD.

Obviously the current incompetent, corrupt, and unethical SDUSD leadership refuse to admit that ALL the money they imply is being stolen by Charter Schools is money paid by the taxes of ALL the families who ESCAPED from the horrible education and dangerous bullying environment of the local SDUSD school Marten, Barrera et al. annually abuse through operational and budget mismanagement.

Unfortunately Newsom is keeping his campaign promise to his corporate Democratic backers at the expense of the poorest student and the teachers that help them in those charter and district schools.

We completely support the writers premise…ALL schools, district and charter should be held to be fully accountable AND transparent despite the corrupt SDUSD Superintendent and Board of Education doing everything in their power to prevent it!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“As educators and policy makers, it is important to demonstrate for parents the connection between high levels of student participation in assessment and system accountability – ensuring the success of every student.” – Kate Brown


Have a great week!!!



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