, , , ,

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


Just Like Emancipation, Quality Schools Are Being Delayed and Denied to Black Students

Quote from Article:

“Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

While many Americans are waiting with baited breath for July 4, today Black people around the country celebrate Juneteenth, June 19, commemorating the ending of enslavement and the beginning of our emancipation. Here, in Philadelphia, Gov. Wolf is set to declare the day a holiday, joining at least 40 other states that have already done so.


Schools have an integral role to play in teaching about Juneteenth, the real start to an elusive American Independence Day. The ideals of independence weren’t captured on July 4, 1776, as a significant number of people who were forced to contribute to American prosperity weren’t considered. In many instances, Black contributions are still not considered when there are so many educators, along with the current administration, who believe that America was greater in a time when more people were excluded.


I have written before about the fact that Black history is American history. For teachers, most of whom are White, who fail to learn and teach Black history, they are doing a disservice to their students and committing an affront to history as a subject.

For educators to ignore and/or downplay the massive and pervasive betrayals Black people have suffered and persevered through at the hands and policies of America’s people and institutions is to continue those same oppressions. To ignore, deliberately or unintentionally, the contributions of Black people is promoting White supremacy.


Quality schools have been promised by politicians as a part of the democratic systems of this country—for some, but clearly, not for all. But, just like freedom it has been delayed and, thus, denied for Black children in this country.

Malcolm X said:  

If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t even begun to pull the knife out. They won’t even admit the knife is there.

Teachers, and the rest of America, need to admit the knife is still in the backs of Black America. Only then can we start the healing process. Learning about Juneteenth can be a portal to understanding this centuries-old knife better.

District Deeds Synopsis:

Many families in San Diego celebrated Juneteenth this past week.  The “Times of San Diego” posted an article titled “San Diego to Commemorate End of Slavery with Juneteenth Events” that provided details for Juneteenth celebrations.

Also this week, at the June 18th SDUSD Board of Education meeting (the day before Juneteenth), members of the Lincoln High School community protested the abrupt removal of the school site leadership without any community discussion…virtually an exact reproduction of the Malcolm X quote…ESS Marten, Tricky Dick Barrera and the rest of the SDUSD Board of Education including District E Trustee and Board President Sharon Whitehurst Payne “won’t even acknowledge that it is there”.

To prove our theory, we decided to check out the SDUSD website to see what references including curriculum, celebrations, press conferences honoring Junteenth and other content was provided to acknowledge the Juneteenth holiday that has been recognized as a state holiday since 2003.

Here is what we found:


“Literacy Specialist” ESS Marten and her “White Woman Mafia“, with all of their supposed educational curriculum credentials have completely ignored one of the most important, if not the most important, holodays commemorating Black independence!!!

ALL SDUSD Stakeholders MUST hold Marten and her cronies responsible for their ethnic ignorance and willful omission of parent and community voice in making decisions that directly and negatively impact ALL Students.

Ignorance of Juneteenth by Marten, who holds a “Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction” is WILLFUL ignorance and grounds for her immediate termination.

She is a disgrace to the legacy of her office and to the legacy of the thousands of SDUSD allumnus and employees that have fought for equity and education for ALL.

Do Teachers Work Long Hours?

Quote from Article:

When I write about teacher pay and teacher work I get a lot of feedback. In particular, I am inundated with two responses presented as arguments about whether teachers deserve higher pay.

  1. Many teachers work very long hours during the school year. (Supporting higher pay.)
  2. Many teachers don’t work very many hours at all. (Suggesting teachers are already overpaid.)

So, do the facts support both arguments? No.


Good academic research on the question appears in an article in Education Finance and Policy by Kristine L. West. For most practical purposes, teachers and nonteachers work about the same number of hours per week during the school year. West did find some differences. During the school year, her calculations show that teachers work 39.8 hours per week while nonteachers work 41.5 hours. During the summer, teachers do work noticeably fewer hours. West reports that teachers work 21.5 hours per week during the summer. (Perhaps think of this as more like a half-time job than like “summer vacation.”)

Given West’s findings, I’ve believed for some time that the answer to the two arguments above should be both. Average work hours may not be much different but some teachers put in exceptionally long hours, while others really shirk. I was wrong; the answer is neither. Teachers are no more likely to work long hours than those in other occupations and also aren’t more likely to give work short shrift.


When it comes to average work during the school year, we found the same substantive answer as West. We found teachers work an average of 42.2 hours a week as compared to nonteachers working 43.2 hours.

We also found an interesting (but not substantively terribly important) switch when you control for gender. Women teachers work (a little) more than women nonteachers and men teachers work (a little) less than men nonteachers.


The data gives a clear conclusion: While there are some teachers who put in way above the expected number of hours and while there are also some teachers who shirk, that’s equally true for other workers. No difference—no distinction.


Given that we have an answer to the original question, let me tell you why to an economist the question isn’t all that interesting. Asking about the number of hours a job requires, or necessary degrees, or other sorts of qualifications and abilities of employees is interesting but not dispositive. Some jobs are especially rewarding (say, working with kids); and some jobs are especially stressful (say, working with kids). The bottom line on deciding on compensation is whether you’re paying enough to get a sufficiently large supply of sufficiently good employees. In other words, if you think we have more great teachers than we need you should be okay with lower compensation rates. Contrariwise, if you think we need more great teachers than we have on board then you should want to raise salaries. That’s how a market system works—you get what you pay for.

District Deeds Synopsis:

A very interesting article that addresses the perception of Teacher workload.

We have been lucky enough to see first hand the Teacher overachievers in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).  We have also seen some Teachers that shirk their responsibilities. We have seen the very same in many organizations in over 30 years of business and consulting,  It is only common sense that a cross section of Teachers would have similar work characterisitics as other professionals with similar educations.

What the article doesn’t address is the requirement of the employer to instill a clear vision and mission that ALL members of the organization at ALL levels are expected to follow.

Unfortunately for all SDUSD Teachers…and all SDUSD Stakeholders…it is only the folks in the SDUSD that actually do the work are expected to follow the SDUSD Mission and Vision.

District Deeds has proven over the last five years that Elementary School Superintendent Cindy Marten, her crony senior staff and her crony Board of Education led by Tricky Dick Barrera are all “above the law”.  Marten, Barrera and their cronies have only worked hard at maintaining power though preventing transparency, avoiding accountability and using the SDUSD legal and propaganda resources to crush Stakeholder opposition.

And like all large dysfunctional organization, the victims of multiple SDUSD senior leadership financial blunders, operational disasters and personnel abuses are the SDUSD Stakeholders…especially the hardest working Teachers and their Students.

Is it any wonder that thousands of Teachers, Administrators, Staff and Students are fleeing the dysfunctional SDUSD every year?

Send your thanks to ESS Marten and Tricky Dick!

“Most of What You Believe about Poverty is Wrong”

Quote from Article:

I’m a fan and faithful listener of EconTalk, a podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. A few weeks ago, I was stopped in my tracks by his interview with Mauricio “Lim” Miller, an Oakland, California-based social services pioneer and MacArthur “Genius” fellowship recipient, an honor he earned as the founder of the non-profit Family Independence Initiative (FII). I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Others may be familiar with Lim Miller’s backstory and career; I was not. The son of a Mexican immigrant mother who worked multiple jobs to get her son into and through UC Berkeley where he studied to be an engineer, Miller ended up working in social services, ultimately running an organization called Asian Neighborhood Design, which focused on tenant rights, job training, and youth development, including a program in the Bay area that trained gang members to work in construction. His work was successful enough to draw the attention of then-President Bill Clinton, who invited Miller to the State of the Union address twenty years ago.


But even as he sat in the Capitol with the First Lady, Rosa Parks, and other VIP guests, Miller was harboring secret doubts. “It was increasingly clear to me that my work wasn’t fundamentally changing things for the families I had been trying to help,” he writes in his 2017 book, The Alternative (which I ordered online even before the podcast had ended), “I also knew that my mother would never have utilized the services I offered.”

That’s quite an admission. But the social services sector’s primary accomplishment is to “make living in poverty tolerable,” argues Miller, a phrase he attributes to Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, who challenged him at about the same time he was having his dark night of the soul, to come up with an alternative approach to make poverty escapable


But my mother figured out how to get me out of poverty,” he told the Mayor. “I think every mother, father, or guardian will know the best way to get their families’ lives together.” Instead of paying staff and social workers, he suggested, let’s pay families to show us what they would do.

That impulse guided the formation of FII, which Miller says has proved that families like his “are not in this country for charity or to be criminals. People are not happy on welfare and don’t want to live in tolerable poverty.” FII also proves that when friends work together to improve their lives “their example becomes contagious” leading to faster and more effective social change than any program or policy can match. His approach rewards hard work and resourcefulness, and expands contributions to society. “This alternative incorporates aspect that will be attractive to people across the political spectrum, bringing us all together,” Miller says.


The subtitle of The Alternative is “most of what you believe about poverty is wrong,” and Miller spent time both in the book and on Roberts’s podcast unpacking census data that shows only about 3 percent of Americans, not 15 percent, remain mired in poverty. For most, poverty is episodic, with families cycling in and out based on lost jobs or other crises. Of course, people need assistance in a crisis, Miller argues, “but we need a totally different and separate approach if we want people to build full, independent lives.”


The first is “positive deviance,” uncommon but successful behaviors and strategies—“role models of what’s possible” in Miller’s description—that others in a community adopt and emulate.


You can see a version of this at work in high-performing New York City charter schools where West African families are visibly over-represented. Not long ago, I interviewed a pair of South Bronx mothers who described themselves and referred to each other as sisters, even though they were unrelated. One was from Senegal; the other from Burkina Faso. I was curious to know how their kids and so many of their friends and neighbors’ children had ended up in the same local charter school. “When we have this good thing, we watch out for each one,” explained one of the mothers. “We do it the African way.”


It’s less clear how to apply to education another of Miller’s big ideas: simply getting out of the way. The belief that we should avoid “deficit thinking” in working with low-income families is nearly a bromide, but Miller’s means it in the most literal way. On Roberts’s podcast and in his book, he describes firing staff members for giving advice and support to families. In his view, that’s evidence that they don’t truly trust families enough or have faith in their resourcefulness or ability to help each other. “As examples of mutuality have grown, what we have found is that every time my staff has stepped back,” he writes, “the families have stepped up and their solutions are much more relevant to their circumstance or culture than ours could ever be.”

District Deeds Synopsis:

A fascinating article that provides a unique insight into perceptions of how to deal with poverty are wrong.

The part of the article that we liked the best is the concept that the community can best identify the tools needed to assist them in overcoming poverty.  Unfortunately most of the outreach we have seen to impoverished communities is a top down distribution of goods and/or services that ignore community participation.

This strategy deployed by the SDUSD and its crony non-profit and for profit partners is essentially to deny and subvert “mutuality” because to do so would minimize their ability to attaing MILLIONS of dollars in financial grants, contributoons and other money making schemes to pay their 6 figure salaries.

We were inspired by the quote of the parents from Senegal and Burkino Faso whose children ended up in the same charter school:

When we have this good thing, we watch out for each one,” explained one of the mothers. “We do it the African way.

Is it any wonder that thousands of SDUSD Parents who have suffered under the incompetence of ESS Marten are making the same “community” decision to send their kids to Charter Schools?

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“Be transparent. Let’s build a community that allows hard questions and honest conversations so we can stir up transformation in one another.” ― Germany Kent

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!!!