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A couple days ago we celebrated the 6 year anniversary of the birth of District Deeds.

Today is the 6 year anniversary of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Superintendent Cindy Marten commanding her senior staff to “read” District Deeds.

Since that instruction by Marten 6 years ago, District Deeds has provided 557 posts for Marten’s senior staff, and ALL SDUSD Stakeholders to read.

Thank you Cindy Marten for your endorsement that has helped produced hundreds of thousands of District Deeds views worldwide!

This week on Sunday Reads we have decided to honor Marten’s fantastic endorsement by providing 6 District Deeds posts (one for each year of our existence) related to Marten that captures the essence of her incompetence and corruption.

The most important realization when reading these posts is that virtually ALL the incompetence, corruption and dysfunction by Marten, Tricky Dick Barrera and their senior leadership/trustee cronies has actually gotten WORSE!

Editor note: The posts highlighted below contain only a portion of the content of the original posts.  Please click on the red title of each post to read the full content.  Also, some of the links in the body of the posts provided, especially in the older posts, have been deleted or changed by the SDUSD leadership. Our apologies!




Greatest Hit #1

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lincoln and SCPA…The “Smoking Gun”?

Quote from Post:

After prompting by Lincoln High School stakeholders who have experienced the pain of the SDUSD removing a Principal who they felt was a vital part of providing quality education and HOPE to their children and students, this blogger decided to investigate the parallels between the two Principal removals and came up with some startling parallels and results based on actual quotes and facts…not emotional or accusatory rhetoric.

Cindy Marten Interview VOSD June 2, 2013

“I’m tired of the polarized rhetoric that pits teachers against administration…” (referring to Lincoln High School)

317 Students, Teachers, Parents, Community Members sign a petition with positive comments to SUPPORT Keeping Principal Lizzaraga at SCPA
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/keep-mitzi-lizarraga-as-scpa-principal, and present it to Superintendent Marten and the San Diego Unified School Board BEFORE the Closed session meeting at 2:00 on 6/24/14 and the decision is made secretly in the closed session to re-assign and remove Principal Lizarraga from SCPA.

So since Ms. Marten is “tired of Teachers against administration” (at Lincoln) AND apparently also tired of Teachers FOR Administration (at SCPA) based on her removal of both highly qualified principals, what IS SDUSD Superintendent Marten and the Board of Education ACTUALLY tired of?

Both Principals:
– Are/were strong Site/Campus leaders
– Are women of color
– Have/had a clear vision of what would be successful in each of their schools
– Were producing measurable positive results
– Have teaching, educational and professional credentials that far exceed that of Superintendent Marten and ALL Board Members.
– Are/were in the same sub-district
– Reportedly had frequent conflicts with a specific Board Member who operationally interfered via direct action and intimidation into operational issues forbidden by the SDUSD Board Bylaws (http://www.sandi.net/domain/442) Governance Culture GC7, 1c, 2a, 2b


Cindy Marten Interview VOSD June 2, 2013
“We looked at Fortune 500 companies, the ones that are considered best places to work and everyone wants to work at Google, why can’t public school be the best place to work and what does it mean to create it?”

Quote around 1 year later on June 29, 2014 from a highly placed San Diego Unified School District Administrator:

“Everyone is scared to death!!! I’m keeping my head down and my mouth shut.”

This blogger searched far and wide and could not find that type of “fearful” quote from a former or current Google employee. By a large degree of blog, email and verbal responses from SDUSD employees who are afraid to come from the shadows, it is obvious that the “culture” at SDUSD is light years from that of Google. Ironically, I can vouch from first hand experience and numerous comments from site stakeholders that the “culture” at SCPA was remarkably open and collaborative with Principal Lizarraga at the helm.

Again, Ms. Marten in 6/2/13 interview: “I don’t use the word turnaround.”

7 days later: “Forty-two schools in San Diego have already or soon will get a new principal.” (6/9/13)

By this bloggers count, on 6/29/14, there are already around 15 schools that are losing their Principals in 2014/2015…that is close to 1/3 of the SDUSD schools that have a new Principal within 1 school year of the Marten hire. Again, Ms. Marten’s rhetoric reigns supreme…if it walks like turnaround (whatever that secretly means to the Superintendent and Board), and it looks like a turnaround, and bloviates like a turnaround…this blogger believes it is a turnaround.

The question is: A turnaround to what?

Stonger Principals vs. Weaker Principals?
Transparency in decisionmaking vs. Secrecy?
Engaged, inspired administration and teachers vs Intimidated administration and teachers?
True stakeholder engagement vs. Collaboration with stakeholders AFTER irrevocable decisions are made?


The unfortunate thing is, although we are all waiting and hoping for a straightforward SDUSD Superintendent and School Board answer…based on their track record…will we be able to believe it?


Greatest Hit #2

Friday, April 24, 2015

THE SDUSD – MARTEN “PURGE” HAS BEGUN! – Say Goodbye to Your Highly Qualified Principals and Vice Principals Before they Disappear! #survivethesdusd

Quote from Post:

On June 26th, 2014 District Deeds began this blog with a post called Waiting for Super…er…The San Diego Unified School Board to Reassign Principal Lizarraga to SCPA.  Thousands of SCPA and SDUSD Stakeholders were kept completely in the dark as to what was going to happen with our highly credentialed, respected and nationally renowned Principal.

In the months following that post we proceeded to expose and memorialize the lies, deception, cover-ups and hidden selection process that eliminated all stakeholder input that was in opposition to the predetermined Marten and Crony inner circle candidate for ALL Principal and Vice principal positions.

The District Deeds posts most relevant to the Marten suspension of all ethical hiring practices for Principals last year include:

NONE of the tactics, strategies, community outcry/involvement, personal appeals, emails petitions or requests moved the intransigent, insecure Marten and Board of Education to adjust their staffing position.  The fake selection process imposed by Marten is a moral and personal affront to EVERY SDUSD Stakeholder…and Marten is in the process of DOING IT AGAIN…in an even MORE DEMEANING AND DISRESPECTFUL way to the Principals and Vice principals that have guided our children so effectively all year!!!


Greatest Hit #3

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Legal Cost of San Diego Unified Supt. Cindy Marten Blunders and Cover-Ups: Almost $14 MILLION…and Counting!

Quote from Post:

The hiring of SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten and her continued legacy of poor management and blundering oversight has been a Legal Expense JACKPOT for certain SDUSD Employees and Legal Service Contractors and a Legal Expense DISASTER for all San Diego Unified Stakeholders and Taxpayers.

How MUCH of a Financial Disaster?

Almost $14 MILLION…and Counting!!!

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the SDUSD currently has a $117 MILLION* DOLLAR DEFICIT for the 2017/2018 school year.

That budget does NOT cover the unanticipated lawsuits and court actions (like the disgraced Trustee Marne Foster coverup) brought on by the poor management of the incompetent SDUSD Supt. Cindy Marten.

We do NOT know is how much the many NEW blunders by Marten will increase the SDUSD budget deficit.

But we DID create a trend analysis and look at the growth of the legal costs since the appointment of the poorly credentialed Marten.

The following anonymous letter from one of our readers prompted our investigation:

ln San Diego Unified, the Board of Education, the superintendent, and the Legal Services Department all operate the same way . . . in the shadows, hidden from public scrutiny.

On February 26, 2013, after an unscheduled closed session meeting, the Board selected Cindy Marten to be the superintendent without any hint of a viable, transparent selection process.

Similarly, on May 28,2013, Andra Donovan was promoted to the district’s General Counsel-again, WITH NO SELECTION PROCESS OF ANY KIND.

We already know what we are getting with the appointment of Superintendent Cindy Marten . . . an inexperienced puppet to do certain Board members’ bidding . . .

But we haven’t yet analyzed the consequences of General Counsel Andra Donovan’s reckless appointment. . . Let’s see:

We would not even know that the district had six attorneys on the payroll if we had to rely on the SDUSD Legal Services web pages! The webpages are completely vague and useless-Andra Donovan’s name isn’t even on it.

Again, the district is operating in the shadows. We have to use Transparent California to know who even works in the district’s Legal Services Office.

District Deeds took the advice of our reader and accessed Transparent California to pull the San Diego Unified legal staffing costs…here are the results from 2015 ALONE:



We created a chart that included the IN HOUSE Legal Staffing Expenses since Marten and Donovan were appointed:


As you can see, the IN HOUSE Legal Expenses is $4,625,410 with a HUGE 35% INCREASE over the 3 year period.  

This expense DOES NOT cover all the additional SDUSD staff support provided by other departments involved with defending Marten’s management blunders in court like the Green Elementary Investigator lawsuit.

The anonymous letter from our reader also included a chart of expenses for outsourced legal services approved by the SDUSD Board of Education since 2013.  We then compiled the following chart of outsourced legal expenses:



Greatest Hit #4

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

NEWS FLASH!!! – Supt. Cindy Marten “Green Elementary” Deposition (ENCLOSED): “It depends” Whether Sexual Activity Between Kindergartners is a “Serious Incident”!!!

Quote from Post:

Here is the FULL SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten Deposition: marten-depo-gurrieri

There are many questionable  (and “I can’t remember”) answers by Marten throughout the deposition that District Deeds will soon be analyzing, but this “It depends” statement by Marten absolutely disqualifies her as Superintendent.

What could it possibly “depend on” that would make Student sexual abuse between Kindergartners NOT a serious incident?!?

District Deeds cannot think of ANY condition that would NOT make extreme sexual contact between Kindergarten student a “serious incident”.

Can you?

Superintendent Marten obviously was willing to sacrifice any shred of integrity she may have,  including acknowledging the seriousness of Student sexual abuse, to try and not lose a lawsuit.

How can ANY SDUSD Stakeholder accept a Superintendent who does not completely recognize and understand one of the most extreme Student sexual abuse incidents as “serious” and is fully committed to acknowledging and preventing it?

Bottom line:

Our children are NOT SAFE with Cindy Marten as Superintendent…she needs to resign.


Greatest Hit #5

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Anatomy of a Failed Superintendent – Part 1 – Credentials Anyone?

Cindy Marten is in the top position in the second largest school district in California.

Lots of pressure…lots of complex issues…lots of moving parts.

Precisely the reason that only someone fully armed with ALL the credentials, experience, education, Integrity, aptitude and ability  listed in the job description should be placed in that role.

Marten seems to be a decent human being and by some accounts, brilliant in many ways.  According to her biography on the SDUSD website, her positions prior to assuming the Superintendent role in 25 years as an educator include:

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!

Here is the Central Budget:  Central Elementary Budget 2011-2012

The first line under “Education and Experience” in the “Superintendent of Public Education” job description says:

“Experience which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities equivalent to at least 5 years experience in senior management of a large and complex organization such as a large, culturally diverse urban school district.”  

Here is the full description:  SuptofPublicEducation

It is obvious that her credentials do not qualify as “equivalent to at least 5 years experience in senior management of a large and complex organization such as a large, culturally diverse urban school district.”

There are many of the 1/3 of the SDUSD principals that Marten “re-assigned” in the last 13 months that have credentials that put hers to shame…including the Principals at SCPA (https://districtdeeds.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/attention-superintendent-cindy-marten-board-members-beiser-barnett-barrera-evans-foster-principal-credentials-required-at-scpa/) and Lincoln.

How in the world do those credentials qualify Marten for the SDUSD Superintendent position over 13,559 Employees including 6,500 Teachers, 112 Departments and 132,000 Students*? *source: http://www.sandi.net/page/21) and a budget of $1.2 BILLION!

To give some context on this HUGE disparity between her credentials and the experience requirements to be successful, the following is a chart I call “The Marten Leap” that show how many times larger the Superintendent positiion is than ANY experience she has had in the past:

Central Elementary SDUSD Times Larger
Students                         800                      132,000 165
Budget  $5,000,000  $1,200,000,000 240
Staff 25  13,559 542

Another way to look at it is the following comparison:

Using the LOWEST ratio above, the Student population disparity of 165 times larger, promoting Marten from Central Elementary Principal with 800 students to SDUSD Superintendent with 132,000 students is equivalent to…

Promoting the President of San Diego City College with 15,558 students to the Chancellor of the California State University System which includes 23 campuses (including San Diego State, CSU Northridge, San Jose State, etc) and  446,530 students…AND THEN MULTIPLYING THAT STUDENT POPULATION 5 1/2 TIMES TO  2,475,000 STUDENTS!  (source: http://www.calstate.edu/as/stat_reports/2013-2014/f13_01.htm).  The sad thing is that the President of City College would actually be better prepared than Marten in the corresponding role because she at least would have administrative experience over multiple non-education related departments (Facilities, IT, Custodial, Contractors, etc) and complete budget oversight WHICH MARTEN DID NOT WHEN ASSUMING HER NEW ROLE. 


Greatest Hit #6

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

SDUSD Supt. Cindy”Re-Org” Marten Falls Flat On Her F.A.C.E. – District Deeds NEW SDUSD Org Chart Enclosed!

Quote from Post:

San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Superintendent Cindy Marten has fallen flat on her F.A.C.E…again!

Remniscent of the saying “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”, inept Superintendent Cindy Marten will be announcing in tonight’s Board of Education meeting a new organization chart that will, among other things, basically gut her Family and Community Engagement Department (F.A.C.E.).

It seems as though Marten is reorganizing every month or so…a common characteristic of an individual that has no idea how to manage.

The F.A.C.E. department had its share of detractors as we posted F.A.C.E. the budget cuts Cindy Marten!!! by Sally Smith on District Deeds telling Marten to close the department:

“The office cranked out photographs of smiling parents, shiny brochures, banners of all kinds advertising F.A.C.E.  Flashy but no reports, or proof, of its effectiveness.

The first  place to start for budget cuts is the F.A.C.E. office.”

On another side, one of our readers commented on the article saying:

“For poor families like mine, our hope lies in well-funded programs like FACE to effectively reach out and ensure that each advisory committee reflects our district’s diverse families.

Let’s give the FACE department the time and freedom (and adequate funds as the law states) to reach out in innovative ways to the families who are limited English-speaking, who may be in transition or who may have just arrived to our great Country.”

Both Sally Smith and our reader are correct.

District Deeds believes that the opposing views of dedicated SDUSD Stakeholders and the demise of FACE is really just another clear illustration of the mismanagement dysfunction of the incompetent Cindy Marten regime.

Obviously Marten and her appointed inner circle senior manager cronies have no clue on how to manage well…or even adequately well…in an area that desperately needs support in the SDUSD.

What a shame that the families that are in the most need of well managed F.A.C.E. support will not be served next year.

What a shame that the highly skilled dedicated staff who tried to help those families over the last few years were totally mismanaged by their department manager and district management to the point of job extinction

What a shame that the FACE Department has devolved into a rudderless, costly, self aggrandizing Cindy Marten blunder.

What a shame that her Trustee Cronies Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera, Kevin “Dismissal with Prejudice” Beiser, John “You Can’t Handle the Truth” Evans, Michael “Foggy Bottom” McQuary and Sharon “Flying By The Seat of Our Pants” Payne allowed Marten to waste millions of dollars and thousands of employee hours through her mismanagement.


Those are our choices for the 6 “Greatest Hits” to “read” as demanded by corrupt, incompetent SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten.  It was extremely difficult to choose only 6…there were many, many more that qualified.

We encourage our readers to use the “comment” feature on this blog and provide us some of your favorite District Deeds posts regarding Cindy Marten and other SDUSD subjects.  We will share your responses in a future post on District Deeds.

Now for our Quote of the Week:

Attorney:  “In your opinion, is an incident between two boys – two kindergarten boys in the school bathroom where one of them forces oral copulation on another a serious incident?”

SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten: “It depends.” 


ESS Marten Sandimic Motto:  

Hardly Work, Act Blind, Lie Big, Make Excuses




  • 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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