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


Rockstar Dad: What I Learned About Vulnerability and What I am Teaching My Boys

Quote from Article:

Meet Luis. Luis is a painter, tattoo artist, masseuse, and a rock star dad to two young boys. Growing up Luis didn’t have a father figure around to show him how to grow up and “be a good man.”

“I grew up thinking men had to be strong, show no emotion, and figure things out for themselves. Today, I realize I was wrong,” explained Luis.


As Father’s Day approaches, I want to highlight and acknowledge the dads who are teaching their children how to show up different in this world. The dads who recognize they grew up misguided by thinking they needed to be tough and fight everyone who crosses their way. These dads are teaching their children, especially young boys, to be vulnerable by expressing their feelings and to stand up for themselves, in a respectful and compassionate manner. Today Luis shares with us three lessons he’s teaching his boys about vulnerability and how other fathers can do the same.


Lesson #1 “It’s Okay to Make Mistakes.”

According to Luis, “Perfectionism is a result of false security and confidence. No one is perfect and if we aim to achieve perfection, we will not take any risks.” Luis suggests reminding your children that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you will love them no matter the outcome.


Lesson #2 “Take Responsibility for Everything You Do”

“I’ve learned that being guarded doesn’t serve me and that when I come from responsibility, it is the only way I am able to be my true self,” said Luis. Drop the emotional armor and be honest. It does more good than harm.


Lesson #3 “It’s Okay to Cry”

Study after study shows that boys don’t differ in how angry, sad, how much crying they do compared to girls. The only difference is how people react to boys crying. Just like many new age thought leaders, Luis believes and suggests to let kids be kids regardless of their gender.  “If my child were to be crying at a grocery store, I would hug him and patiently wait for him to finish crying. Allow them to just be,” says Luis.

District Deeds Synopsis:

For Father’s Day we thought this article would be a good selection for our readers.

A very insightful father boys writes about his experiences growing up and how he is working to enable his two young sons to deal with their emotions and attitudes in a much healthier way than he was taught as a boy.

As a father of two sons, we have traveled a similar journey.  Helping our sons approach life in a heathier way will enable them to be much better fathers than ourselves…and much better husbands.

This is a good article for husbands, wives, sons and daughters to read…we highly recommend it!

Forgotten: D-Day’s Black Heroes Segregated in War and History

Quote from Article:

It was in 2009 when Linda Hervieux met a shy 89-year old veteran in Paris while covering the 65th anniversary of the infamous D-Day landing in Normandy. Little did she know that this chance meeting would have a significant impact on both their lives. Meeting William Dabney would launch her on a six year-long odyssey to know everything about him and his vital role in the liberation of France and Western Europe from Nazi Germany control.


There have been countless books and films documenting the heroic deeds and enormous sacrifices of the men and women who fought during WWII. For their heroics, they are best remembered as the “greatest generation” of our time. Corporal Dabney was clearly part of this immortalized group, but nowhere could Linda find any trace or resemblance of his story in the American history books.


This powerful, non-fiction book blends social and military history with personal storytelling to shed light on why these heroic men were segregated not only in life but also in history. It painfully and accurately documents the lives of 12 Black men before, during and after the war, and in these poignant biographies we learn not only how these dignified men evolved, but how society failed for so long to give them the respect and recognition they so deserved.

District Deeds Synopsis:

We don’t typically post book reviews on Sunday reads but with the 75th anniversary on June 6, 1019 we felt that this book, “Forgotten – The Untold Story of D Day’s Black Heroes” should be recommended for all our readers.

Having read many books regarding World War II and including D Day, it was clear after reading this article and portions of ther book on Goodreads (Link: Forgotten – The Untold Story of D Day’s Black Heroes ) that this was a part of history hidden and rarely discussed in our schools.

We encourage out Teacher readers to put this book on their reading lists and to discuss it in their classrooms and we encourage District Deeds readers to share this with their families and friends.

It is an important story of D Day that we should never forget.

Rising Graduation Rates Signal Risk of Sinking Standards

Quote from Article:

Start with two unlovable but immutable realities:

First, there’s really no constituency for higher standards and greater rigor in education. Valuable though those things are in the long run for both individuals and society, they’re painful in the short run. Everyone appears to benefit—and certainly to welcome—higher grades, more diplomas, more college going, more college degrees, and all the other accoutrements of “accomplishment,” whether it’s grounded in true achievement or is the result of grade inflation, easing off, smoke, and mirrors. It’s not just kids and families who see benefit. It’s also teachers who would far rather give A’s, philanthropists seeking payoff from their investments, advocacy organizations that can declare success, and elected officials who bask in the rewards conferred on them by grateful voters.

Second, whenever high stakes get attached to any metric, finagling of that metric follows. Whether simple inflation, corner cutting, or outright cheating, you can be certain that people will seek to harvest the rewards that follow from upticks in that metric and avoid the penalties that might befall them if it stays flat or ticks downward. That’s hardly a new insight. Indeed, it was elegantly and disturbingly formulated in 1976 by the eminent social psychologist Donald Campbell, and is simply known as “Campbell’s law”: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”


With that backdrop, consider two new reports on graduation rates, one associated with high school, the other with college. The former, in my view, is so gung-ho about getting graduation rates up to 90 percent that it understates the risk that many of today’s diplomas may be pretty squishy, if not semi-fraudulent. The latter, to its authors’ credit, tiptoes into the perilous recognition that enrollment-and-revenue-hungry colleges may be making it easier to graduate.

High school first. The “Everyone Graduates Center” at Johns Hopkins is at least as much about advocacy as about research. For sixteen years, it has focused on boosting high school graduation rates and its annual Building a Grad Nation reports are boosterish, perhaps to a fault. The 2019 version, just issued, uses as primary indicators which states and groups of students have reached the 90 percent graduation rate and how rapidly are they progressing toward that target. The main message is that the country “continues to see steady, but slowing, growth in graduation rates” and quite a lot more needs to be done.


Kudos to the authors for taking on the important question of whether recent upticks in graduation rates may be due to slipping standards and diminished rigor—and their recommendations include strong support for deeper dives into worrisome practices like “credit recovery”—but the tool they created for gauging possible slippage—called the Secondary School State Improvement Index—practically guaranteed the conclusion that “the bulk of evidence supports a picture of improvements in both graduation rates and measures of secondary school achievement.”


The index has four elements, two of which are a state’s NAEP (reading and math) results in eighth grade, which purports to show how many kids are entering high school with a reasonable level of academic preparedness. Fair enough, but what does it say about how much they learn while in high school? Nada.


The third element is how many of a state’s high school graduates scored 3 or better on at least one Advanced Placement test. This one has merit—and numbers are definitely up—but it’s compromised by the fact that AP access varies widely by state, as well as within states, indeed within districts. In 2017, Maryland high schools took AP exams at the rate of 943 per thousand eleventh and twelfth graders, for example, while their counterparts in North Dakota took 222. Also of concern is that AP is oriented to high achievers while eased graduation standards are apt to have the greatest impact on low achievers.


The fourth element in this index is the state’s own “adjusted cohort graduation rate,” which is part of states’ ESSA accountability systems; it tracks the fraction of first time ninth graders to graduate within four years. Important to know, of course, but it’s circular to use it as a gauge of academic quality when the point of the gauge is to determine whether the graduation rate has been inflated by dumbing down the diploma itself!

In short, three of the four elements seem entirely inappropriate for this purpose, and the last one—AP qualifying scores—would be a lot better if we could be sure that all high school students in a state have access to that possibility and that rising performance levels on AP had something to do with the graduation standards affecting the kids who might otherwise drop out.

District Deeds Synopsis:

This two quotes from this article really hit home for all San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Stakeholders.

The first quote could be describing the current incompetent Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten and her equally incompetent Board of Education Trustee enablers lead by Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera.

…so gung-ho about getting graduation rates up to 90 percent that it understates the risk that many of today’s diplomas may be pretty squishy, if not semi-fraudulent.

District Deeds has exposed the SDUSD Fake Graduation Rates on many occasions including “REALLY RICHARD?!? Exposing Ridiculous SDUSD Trustee President Barrera Grad Rate Con Job!”

and “The San Diego Unified Supt. Cindy Marten 2015/16 DIPLOMA MILL SCAM – Marten Unethical Opportunism Exposed!!!

Both Marten and Barrera, the supposed leaders of the SDUSD used every trick in the book to pump up Grad Rates to make themselves appear to be successful.

The perfect example of the unethical actions of Marten, Barrera and their cronies is the second quote:

their recommendations include strong support for deeper dives into worrisome practices like “credit recovery

The article referred to in the Washington Post states: “Eighty-nine percent of high schools offer so-called credit-recovery courses students can take if they are in danger of failing to graduate on time, but the quality of these classes is highly uneven.”

For the SDUSD that statment can be amended to the following:

“ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of SDUSD high schools offer so-called credit-recovery courses students can take if they are in danger of failing to graduate on time, and the  quality of these classes in ALL SDUSD High School is COMPLETELY SUB PAR to actual classroom instruction.” – District Deeds

It is obvious that ESS Marten, Tricky Dick Barrera and their cronies are not about to improve educational rigor in the SDUSD if it lowers grad rates.  It is up to the rest of SDUSD Stakeholders that really care about Students to step up.

Principals, Teachers, Pareents and Community Members need to stand together and be brave enough to hold ESS Marten and Tricky Dick Barrera accountable for enforcing rigor in the classroom and adequate educational supports includeing one on one tutoring when needed…and to only provide online credit recovery that is equal to classroom teaching with robust protoring and other hands on methods to ensure rigor.

We all know that ESS Marten and Tricky Dick WILL NOT do it on their own…we must force them.

We must be strong together for the educational betterment of our kids!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that the way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.” – Jules Henry

Have a great week!!!



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