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


Want a Winning High School? You’ll Need a Winning School Board.

Quote from Article:

Today, XQ is releasing a pair of first-of-their-kind tools designed to help more people become school board members like Vargas. Currently, more than 95,000 public school board members hold sway over more than $600 billion in funds to educate more than 50 million public students in grades K-12. 

A new guide, “That’s A School Board Thing,” offers a variety of entry points to the world of school boards, from the very basics of how to run for office to how sitting board members can better advocate for high school transformation. A handy School Board Lookup Tool helps people learn more about the school board in their own community: when it meets, whether it is elected or appointed, who the members are and sample questions they can ask their local school board.

“School boards are charged with creating the conditions for neighborhoods to thrive and with enabling schools and educators to fuel the hopes and dreams of every student and family,” said Russlynn Ali, co-founder and CEO of XQ. “School board members are the rightful guardians of every community’s future. To fulfill that sacred obligation, they need to hear your voice.”

The tools make it easy for anyone—especially busy parents—to quickly understand the work of school boards, how their local board operates and inspire them to get involved.


XQ’s new tools are designed to demystify school boards by getting important information and data in the hands of the community to help them make their voices heard. And even for those already knowledgeable or active with their local boards, these tools will help them lead high school transformation in their communities so students graduate truly prepared for college, career and life.“We believe education is a civil right, and public education is America’s most vital institution.School board members have the responsibility to ensure that students have the ability to obtain the best education possible,” said Tom Gentzel, executive director of the National School Boards Association.

District Deeds Synopsis:

THe resources provided through the links above provide invaluable information for ALL Stakeholders in the dysfunctional San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).  The  That’s A School Board Thing” tool explains the purpose of the initiative:

Schools should be at the center of community revitalization, and decisions about schools are made by local school board members. But do you even know what school boards do? Do you know who your local school board members are? Do you know what they are responsible for?

Far too often, the answer to these questions is, “No.” If that’s your answer, you are not alone. We are here with you—to help you see the power and possibility of school boards.

This four-part guide will empower you to:

  • Educate yourself about local schools and how they are doing
  • Attend school board meetings, ask questions, and speak up for change
  • Vote in school board elections for candidates who share your concerns
  • Maybe even serve as a school board member yourself

District Deeds especially likes the 4th bullet as an option for our readers who are willing to serve as a Trustee.

This information is also especially important for SDUSD voters since, with the Trustee Kevin Beiser allegations, there could be four 2020 OPEN SDUSD School Board Trustee positions in the 2020 election:

We are excited about the opportunity for San Diego voters to oust four members of the incompetent SDUSD Trustees who have appointed and enabled the equally incompetent Elementary School Superintendent Cindy Marten.

2020 is the chance for ALL Stakeholders – Parents, Teachers, School District Employees, Volunteers and Voters to throw out the Trustees and Superintendent that have created a toxic and educationally bankrupt learning/work  environment  that harms all SDUSD Students, Families, Teachers and Employees.

District Deeds hopes that this resource will help inspire all highly qualified individuals to run as SDUSD School Board candidates in the 2020 Election.  Please pass this link on to all your contacts: San Diego Unified School District Profile

2020 is the best chance for all abused SDUSD Stakeholders to throw out FIVE of their abusers: Trustees Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera, Kevin “Abuse Allegations” Beiser, John “You Can’t Handle the Truth” Evans, and Sharon “Flying By The Seat of Our Pants” Payne and Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten.

NOW is the time for ALL SDUSD Stakeholders to FIGHT BACK!!!

What a Culturally Responsive Classroom Looks Like

Quote from Article:

The U.S. is a melting pot of different races, religions, cultures, etc., and your classroom will undoubtedly reflect this diversity. To reach all of your students, you will have to become a culturally responsive teacher whose pedagogy and classroom management is reflective of our multicultural nation. For an example of how you can become a culturally responsive teacher, read the case study below entitled “Samantha: Lessons on Religious Diversity.” Afterward, reflect on the questions below, using your thoughts to shape your own practice.

  1. Describe how Samantha accommodated the discussion of Susan’s religious beliefs and adjusted her lesson plan to include a discussion of other people’s beliefs.
  2. How has this time of encouraging the students to share their religious traditions with the class affected the class as a whole?
  3. Consider the problems that might arise from an inclusion of diverse religions in class.
  4. What other ways might Samantha work religion and religious discussion into her class in the future while keeping in mind separation between church and state dictates?
  5. What behavior is Samantha modeling for her class, and what effect is that likely to have in the future for these students?


Samantha teaches a sixth-grade class. It is nearing the Christmas holidays, and the class is winding down. On the morning of December 22, Susan comes in with a new iPod and a great new cell phone. Matthew pipes up and says that Christmas must have come early to Susan’s house. The class laughs at his remark, but then Susan says, “We don’t celebrate Christmas at our house.”

Samantha is intrigued by this, especially because the class has been studying different cultures and religions over the fall term.

“What do you celebrate, Susan?”

“We celebrate the Winter Solstice,” Susan replied.

Many students in the class know about the Winter Solstice from a scientific point of view, and Samantha had done a lesson on it with the class the day before, but as a religious celebration it was an entirely new thing. They seemed eager to learn about it, so Susan told them the tradition in her family.

“We are Wiccan in our house, which means that we live our lives based on the rhythms of nature. At the Winter Solstice, we celebrate on the evening of the Solstice with a big family dinner, and then we have a ritual to honor the birth of the Sun King as he comes into the world again. It is the longest night of the year, and the next morning we watch the sun rise.”


The next day the class holds a small ritual of the sort that Susan participates in at home. Samantha is surprised to find that many of the children went home and had discussions about religion with their families. They have all come back with new stories and viewpoints, and this begins a lively discussion about Hanukkah, the Jewish tradition, and Sam brings in a menorah to show the class.

Two students in the class, Eric and Madison, don’t celebrate anything during the holidays, and they explain about their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The final days leading up to the Christmas holidays are filled with spontaneous discussions and readings on the various traditions of that time of year. The students bond more deeply with each other and with Samantha.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article is the first of a number of Cast Studies the author has provided ” to help pre-service teachers get a glimpse into the problems and issues that they will encounter in the field. These case studies will also give them a chance to reflect on how they can use each scenario to inform their own practice.”

District Deeds believes that ALL SDUSD Stakeholders can gain an excellent perspective on the hard work it takes for a Teacher to create and maintain a positive school/classroom environment.

The additional challenge that our dedicated SDUSD Teachers have is a total lack of support from the SDUSD senior leadership.

From a toxic, vindictive work environment to the deterioration of computer/technical support to elimination of key support personnel like English Learner Support Teachers, our highly skilled Teachers and Central Office/School Site Staff have been betrayed by horrible Central Office “leadership”.

Hopefully these case studies can give Teachers and Parents alike some ideas about how to recognize issues and provide support for all students in all classrooms.

Well worth reading!

Dallas Schools are Winning Back Students with New Focus on Innovation

Quote from Article:

Over the last 15 years, Dallas Independent School District has lost 35,000 students to new charter and private schools in the city. The plan to get them back, led by Deputy Chief of Transformation and Innovation Angie Gaylord, is to redesign all 230 schools in the district with new academic focuses.

Many schools are getting new buildings and principals, while others are narrowing in their curriculums on skills that reflect growing demands in the workplace. For some schools this means a new focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.


Gaylord oversees Dallas ISD’s school transformation and innovation initiative, which began three years ago as an attempt to stymie the exodus of public school students. Gaylord, formerly the district’s executive director of professional and digital development, saw how students and teachers weren’t being intellectually challenged or asked to think creatively in the traditional classroom model — eight rows of seats, eight hours of mostly-silent lecture.

Even while implementing device initiatives meant to usher in personalized learning, he said teachers weren’t empowered.

“You can roll in devices, but if the adults don’t change what they’re doing in the classroom or within their training then it’s hard for them to change their pedagogy,” she said.

That’s why Gaylord decided to try something more ambitious than simply redesigning a classroom. Under her direction, Dallas ISD has set out to either “transform” or “innovate” every public school in the city. An “innovation” school also has a new academic focus. A “transformation” school means a brand new building, principal and academic focus. 

District Deeds Synopsis:

As the article notes, the Superintendent profiled was “formerly the district’s executive director of professional and digital development.”

Amazing what a fully credentialed Superintendent with previous School District Administration experience can do!

The SDUSD hasn’t had such a leader since Superintendent Bill Kowba left in 2014.

Before Mr. Kowba (2010 – 2013), a SDUSD CFO through multiple administrations, there was:

Mr. Terry Grier (2008 – 2009) – Decades of admin experience and two time NATIONAL Superintendent of the Year.

Mr. Carl Cohn (2005 – 2007) – Long Beach Superintendent, California State Board of Education Trustee, Broad Prize winner for “Excellence in Urban Education”

We now have:

Cindy Marten – 2014 to Present – her experience as we described in Anatomy of a Failed Superintendent – Part 1 – Credentials Anyone?

Poway Unified School District approximately 15 years:

  • Elementary School Teacher
  • School-wide Literary Specialist

San Diego Unified School District – approximately 10 years:

  • Elementary School Teacher – 3 years
  • K-5 Elementary Principal – 4 years

Essentially Marten has spent only 4 years out of her 25 year career managing a group older than 10 year old students...and that was only managing approximately 25 teachers and staff, 800 Students, with a budget of $5 million!

Is it any wonder that the SDUSD is losing THOUSANDS of students every year and is currently a toxic disaster for our Students, Teachers and School Site/Central Office Staff…and LIGHT YEARS away from the leadership and innovations in the  Dallas Independent School District?

No amount of multi-million dollar SDUSD propaganda campaigns can cover up the dropping enrollment facts of the failed leadership of ESS Marten.

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
― 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!

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