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


Fooled Me Once, Fooled Me Twice – A Teacher’s Story

Quote from Article:

In 1988, I attended a structured phonics class held by Project Read out of Minnesota. (https://www.projectread.com/ ) Their curriculum is sequential and systematic in its approach to teaching the sounds and morphemes. After the week-long class I felt confident for the first time in 12 years that I had an approach to teaching reading. This training changed my professional career. After using the approach, I could see the difference. Kids were learning to read; not just memorizing words. They were also learning how to spell by sounds, not by memory. They could own their reading and felt good about themselves.


So why am I telling you all of this? After 41 years in education, the schools of higher education have not caught on or caught up to the science. The departments of education and departments of science are working in silos. Schools of education are not integrating this now 20-plus year old information into the curriculum. In 1976 we didn’t know better. In 2019 we should know better.

I speak from a relatively recent experience. In 2016, I completed 9 courses to receive my state’s certification as a reading specialist. As a reading specialist, we are called upon to work with children to be the diagnostician and interventionist for them. However in all of my 9 classes, the word dyslexia was mentioned once, on one page, in one book. Students that had difficulty with reading were referred to as struggling readers. The coursework focused on Reading Recovery methods and treatment. There was no talk of brain research and how that could be used to diagnose and treat the student that was struggling or dyslexic.


So here we are. There is evidenced based research that shows how the brain learns to read. We know the use of deep phonological awareness of blending, segmenting, deletion and insertion in the treatment of students with characteristics of dyslexia and related conditions is critical for their success. So why is it not being taught or applied during training? Why is this information not crossing over from the schools of science to the schools of education?


We are working hard, harder than every before, but it seems like it is never enough and there are always a few kids you just can’t seem to reach. Unfortunately, many of us, if not most of us, were given outdated pedagogy. Our training is lacking in the most fundamental knowledge, the science of reading.

This is my story of how the schools of higher education failed me and how they continue to fail others. I should not have been fooled back then or fooled now. If you want to know more about the science of reading and how it can be a game changer for you and your students, take time to look at the following resources.


District Deeds Synopsis:

A fascinating guest post by a highly skilled teacher on the Everyone Reads TE blog!

As a Parent it was eye-opening to realize that, despite easy internest access to the most advanced learning strategies, the vast majority of School Districts still rely on “outdated pedagogy” and lacking “most fundamental knowledge, the science of reading”.

We were shocked at the statement in the article that said: “However in all of my 9 classes, the word dyslexia was mentioned once, on one page, in one book.”

So we decided to go to the San Diego Unified School District website and seach for the word “dyslexia” to see the information provided to Stakeholders, including Parents, Principals and Teachers under incompetent Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten.

Here are the search results:

Shockingly no reference to Dyslexia in the main SDUSD website…so we dug deeper.

We proceeded to the SDUSD “Employee Portal” and seached for “dyslexia professional development“:

…and got one hit..the “Forms and Links Index”.

Searching that idex we found 1 item that referred to Dyslexia…the California Dyslexia Guidelines .   

Nothing regarding SDUSD Professional Development for dyslexia and reading.

Knowing the incoherent and incomplete Professional Devekopment strategies under ESS Cindy Marten (who has not spent even one day as a Principal in a Middle School or High School), it was no surprise to discover that the San Diego Unified School District is most likely “not integrating this now 20-plus year old information into the curriculum” since they don’t even refer to Dyslexia for Professional Development outside of a State Wide handbook.

What else would we expect from educationally and leadership incompetent ESS Marten?

Families Are the ‘Sleeping Giant’ That Will Redefine Education

Quote from Article:

It’s no surprise that I work in education. It’s in my blood. My grandmother Alberta, a proud Chicana, lived in the projects in downtown Denver and was in a gang. She dropped out of school, got pregnant with my dad and went on welfare. She realized the only way to end this cycle of poverty and violence was through education. So, as a single mom of three, while my grandfather was incarcerated in prison, she crossed the street from the projects to Auraria campus, got her GED, bachelors, and masters and became a social worker for Denver Public Schools for 25 years. 


My first job out of college was as a third grade teacher in a low-income community in Los Angeles. It was a closed campus, meaning families were not allowed on site. They dropped their children off in the morning and picked them up in the afternoon. What happened in between was none of their business.

Soon I realized this is a common mindset among teachers, principals and superintendents across the country—that families don’t have a place in education. Time and time again, I’ve heard fellow educators say things like, “families don’t care,” “they’re too busy,” “they don’t value education.”

So, at worst, families are not included in their children’s education at all. At best, families are asked to do volunteer activities like chaperoning field trips or organizing bake sales—neither of which have anything to do with actual education or academic achievement.


And then I realized—families are a sleeping giant. Once they’re awakened to the inequity that exists in our school system, there is nothing they won’t do to ensure that their children receive the excellent education they deserve, and the education system will never be the same.

And we, as educators, must make it a top priority to engage them. The only question is how.


With back to school season in full swing, it’s the perfect time for educators and families to become true partners. That means:

  • Families are seen as decision-makers and have seats at decision-making tables.
  • We trust families to surface the complex challenges they’re facing and create their own solutions.
  • Educators are co-creating learning experiences with families to improve academic achievement, and trusting families’ expertise and guidance.

If we do not support low-income families and families of color to lead the movement for educational equity, we’ll be having these same conversations in the next 10 or 20 years. Students of color will continue to graduate at levels far below their White peers until the system is changed. Our fates are intertwined—if our education system is failing students of color, then it’s failing all of us.

Families are ready to lead. It’s time to awaken the sleeping giant!

District Deeds Synopsis:

The Author of this article founded an organization called “RISE Colorado to focus on family engagement full-time”.  The organization has created a model to support “families as leaders and change agents for educational equity”.

It is refreshing to find a non-profit that emphasizes empowering families as change agents.  And the fact that families are a sleeping giant when it comes to forcing improvements is absolutely true…and it scares the incompetent, corrupt, SDUSD Superintendent Marten and Board of Education Trustees to even think about a unified family empowerment group.

The San Diego area has many non-profits and for profit organizations that claim to support education for the neediest familes.  Virtually none of the major San Diego non-profits follow the RISE model of family power unification.

Most are well meaning…some are self serving…all seem to require access to families via the SDUSD propaganda machine.

Three good indicators that the non-profit is “sanctioned” by the SDUSD and is requrired to pay homage to the corrupt SDUSD leadership in some way shape or form are the following:

  1. Meetings are held on a SDUSD school site or other district facility.
  2. Reference letters from the SDUSD and/or SDUSD employees are used to acquire grant money or other funding.
  3. Initiatives are communicated to the SDUSD for review or approval.

The minute that one of these 3 indicators are deployed by the non-profit, that organization is indebted to the corrupt SDUSD leadership for a return favor at the expense of the families that they supposedly support.

The favor might be a positive comment about the corrupt ESS Marten or Tricky Dick Barrera.

The favor might be creating bylaws that ban parents from speaking out about SDUSD family abuses in the meetings…up to and including barring “angry” parents from attending.

The favor might be creating a fake “community celebration” that is essentially a propaganda event with multiple photo ops with the corrupt SDUSD senior leadership.

These favors are a disgrace and damage ALL SDUSD Families.

For a San Diego non-profit to be COMPLETELY independent of the $1.3 billion SDUSD cash register it takes dedicated management, a great strategic plan, a financial resource that allows families to lead independently and ethical courage to resist the payoffs and partisan influennce of ALL the corrrupt allies of ESS Marten, the flunky allies of Tricky Dick Barrera and the rest of the Board of Education empty suits.

Time to get a “RISE San Diego”!!!

What Are the Factors That Affect Learning At Your School?

Attendance Works Study: Using Chronic Absence Data to Improve Conditions for Learning Brief

Quote from Article:

Chronic absence, which is typically defined as a student missing 10 percent or more of school for any reason, signifies that a student is missing so much school that they are academically at risk. In addition, the four school conditions for learning include physical and emotional health and safety; sense of belonging, connectedness, and support; academic challenge and engagement; and social and emotional competence for students and adults.


A new Hamilton Project data interactive, “Chronic Absence: School and Community Factors,” examines the factors that affect learning at local elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States. The interactive provides a range of information for every school in the nation, including:

• Student Chronic Absence (2015-16): the share of students at a school who missed more than 15 days;
• Exclusionary Discipline/Week (2015-16): the frequency of in- and out-of-school suspensions;
• English and Math Proficient (2016-17; 2017-18): the share of students who were proficient in English/Language Arts or Math by state-determined standards;
• Student:Teacher Ratio (2015-16): the ratio of students to full-time equivalent classroom teachers;
• Student:Support Staff Ratio (2015-16): the ratio of students to nurses, psychologists, social workers, and counselors; and,
• Teacher Attendance (2015-16): the share of full-time equivalent classroom teachers who were absent more than 10 days.


Four Positive Conditions for Learning:


How they fit together with chronic absenteeism:

District Deeds Synopsis:

This article and study emphasizes the interdependency between Chronic Absenteeism and four other factors that directly impact the educational success of students.  The “range of information: on the interactive map (that does not include the western United States) highlight six items that are being horribly addressed in the SDUSD.

The core problem for ALL SDUSD Stakeholders is that the only items of the six being addressed are those that benefit special interests…not the students.

For example:

Student Chronic Absence: Senior SDUSD Leadership is only concerned about absences because the SDUSD makes money from the Fed and State for every day a Student attends school….not really concerned for the loss of education for that student.  If they were concerned about the best possible Student education they would be strongly supporting the expansion of neighborhood charter schools inareas that have failing SDUSD schools.  In fact, if the SDUSD could get paid for Students to NOT attend school, the SDUSD leadership would support it because it would give them more money to spend on raises for themselves and their crones.  Cha Ching!!!

Student:Teacher Ratio:  What a wonderful way to get the endorsement of the SDEA!!!  If the SDEA told them to INCREASE the Student:Teacher Ratio to 50-1, this corrupt SDUSD Board of Education would do it to get elected!

Student:Support Staff Ratio:  This is perfect proof that the SDUSD Board of Education and ESS Marten are bought and sold.  They did not hesitate to indiscriminately cut hundreds of Custodians, Bus Drivers, IT Techs, Food Service, Special Ed Support, school site Finance Support  and others to make up for the $124 budget deficit while protecting their Teachers Union voters.  As we have said numerous times before…it is not the fault of the SDEA that our elected representatives can Superintendent can be bought and sold for campaign endorsements and contributions.

It is too bad that the SDUSD is not included on the interactive chart.

On the other hand, with no forensic audit of the SDUSD there is a great chance that all the numbers provided would be fake anyway.

Welcome to the dysfunctional, corrupt world of the SDUSD!!!

Now for our Quote of the Week:

“Patterns will keep repeating until you recognize them and take action towards changing them. What are the patterns of your life? Are they helping or hindering you? Address those patterns which are holding you back. If you want a different outcome, you need to change what you are doing.”
― Akiroq Brost

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!

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FIRE San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten Immediately!

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