, , , ,

Another week, another disastrous San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) educational outcome for students and families.

The SDUSD incompetent leadership that continues its ridiculous attempt to roll out a “Phase 1” of reopening without enough Teachers, has provided a Phase One – Four propaganda powerpoint to the local press with no actual reopening details or commitments and in our Sunday Reads article of the week, corrupt Board of Education Trustee Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera is weakly recommended by the Union Tribune Editorial Board for re-election because, despite harming thousands of Students by failing miserably to carry out his duties, is able to “disagree without being disagreeable”.  Apparently lying and total lack of transparency and accountability are only disagreeable to the generations of SDUSD Students and Families he has betrayed since 2008.

It is clear that the total leadership incompetence, inexperience and corruption of Superintendent Marten, Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera and Trustee Whitehurst Payne continues.

As mentioned, this Sunday Reads highlights an article from the San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Board providing the choices for the 3 SDUSD Board of Education Trustee positions and Measure C with the most SDUSD relevant excerpts from that article highlighted We urge our readers to click on the title and read the full article for themselves.


Endorsement: We Recommend Richard Barrera, Crystal Trull and LaWana Richmond for San Diego School Board


Like many closed-campus school districts during this pandemic, San Diego Unified is at a crossroads. In-person learning is vital for student and economic growth, but it needs to be balanced against staff and student health concerns. The district needs leaders who will reopen responsibly, attack inequities and embrace technology — and leaders who will also disrupt the status quo that hurts the reputation of and student outcomes at the state’s second-largest school district. Easier said than done, of course.


Enrollment was plummeting even before the coronavirus pandemic forced every campus to close in mid-March. From a peak of 142,000 students in 2000, enrollment dropped to 125,000 five years ago and barely crested 100,000 in September.


But an achievement gap that threatens to leave children of color and children from poor families behind may now grow because of the difficulties associated with distance learning.

These same leaders took six weeks to pivot to online education and resume classes following the pandemic shutdown despite a month of bad news suggesting that was what they should have been prepared to do. Going back further, these leaders have also devalued public input by delaying public comment to the end of board meetings, stiff-armed transparency by withholding public records, including documents dealing with teacher misconduct, and misused or poorly tracked state funding meant specifically to help English-language learners, foster children and those from poor families. Moreover, the district’s claims about high graduation rates are undercut by evidence that the district pushed struggling students to transfer or take online classes with few safeguards to minimize cheating.


For years, San Diego school board elections in five subdistricts have largely been won by candidates with teachers union support. Because of election rules allowing general election voters to have a say in all subdistricts — not just the one they live in — teachers union money and mail is often determinative. That may eventually change if voters approve Measure C, a November ballot measure forcing district-only elections, but for now the reality in San Diego Unified is that a special interest has disproportionate influence over decisions.


This year, the union is backing three candidates — incumbents Richard Barrera and Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, and Sabrina Bazzo, who was recruited by outgoing school board member John Lee Evans.

Of the three, The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board recommends only one: Barrera, who has been elected to three terms and never had an opponent until now, is the most qualified candidate. A former labor official and the parent of two sons who went to San Diego schools, Barrera knows district issues as well as anyone. On education reform, where Barrera disagrees with our board’s long-standing support, he cogently and collegially presented another view. He disagreed without being disagreeable, almost a lost art in politics these days, and facilitated a deeper discussion.


In Subdistrict D, which covers the south-central part of the city, Barrera’s challenger is Miramar College and Point Loma Nazarene University professor and school counselor Camille Harris, who advanced to the runoff election as a write-in candidate. In interviews and Q&As, the knowledge gap between the two was too broad to downplay. Harris faulted the district’s handling of distance learning, but didn’t seem aware of what the district had done.


In the other two races, though, it’s the outsider who deserves a seat on the board for four years.

In Subdistrict A, which includes Clairemont, Mira Mesa and University City, Bazzo, a health educator, is campaigning against educator and nonprofit consultant Crystal Trull. Both are parents who have volunteered in their PTAs and on community boards. But Trull’s nonprofit background and data-driven approach (and her dissatisfaction about not finding public data on the district’s website) give her an edge over Bazzo.

In interviews with The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board and in an email Q&A, Bazzo supported the status quo, giving the district a B grade for its pandemic response, repeating the teachers union talking point that charter schools — not mushrooming pension costs — are the major threat to school finances and seeming to be unaware of how much California is an outlier in failing to pursue basic education reforms. By contrast, in her interviews and Q&A, Trull gave the district a C- for how it handled the shift to online learning, spoke of her disappointment at the lack of major progress in reducing the achievement gap among Latino and Black students, questioned the effectiveness of quality assurance efforts and wondered about the lack of emphasis on a best practices approach in classroom teaching.


In Subdistrict E, which includes the southeast corner of San Diego Unified, there is a similar dynamic, though not as stark. In one of her interviews and a Q&A, Whitehurst-Payne, the incumbent, lauded the district’s response to the pandemic and generally praised its record on academics. The fact Whitehurst-Payne was the only board member to vote against renewing the superintendent’s contract in 2019 because of years of problems at Lincoln High School stands out for its independence. And she also makes sharp points about the need for a constant focus on special education.

But her opponent, UC San Diego business development manager LaWana Richmond, offers a cohesive critique of a district that doesn’t do enough to help students whose English and math achievements aren’t up to grade level. She called the district’s transition to online learning “sluggish and lackluster.” And in her interviews  and Q&A, she faulted a system that too often tolerated mediocrity. “[T]here’s zero tolerance for kids who engage in behavior that’s considered unacceptable,” she said. “But there seems to be a lot of tolerance for adults who engage in unacceptable behavior.”


It’s not easy to say Whitehurst-Payne should lose her seat. But in this era of distance learning, Richmond has a better grasp of technology and seems better suited to meet the challenge of the moment — and to be an innovator in the years ahead.

We recommend votes for Richard Barrera, Crystal Trull and LaWana Richmond for school board — and for Measure C, to make certain this is the last time San Diego voters have a say in choosing trustees in communities where they don’t live.


We congratulate the the San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Board (SDUTEB) for the thoughtful and concise recommendations for the SDUSD Board of Education Trustee candidates.

There is a paragraph in the article that strikes to the heart of our position on the Trustee Candidates:

“These same leaders took six weeks to pivot to online education and resume classes following the pandemic shutdown despite a month of bad news suggesting that was what they should have been prepared to do. Going back further, these leaders have also devalued public input by delaying public comment to the end of board meetings, stiff-armed transparency by withholding public records, including documents dealing with teacher misconduct, and misused or poorly tracked state funding meant specifically to help English-language learners, foster children and those from poor families. Moreover, the district’s claims about high graduation rates are undercut by evidence that the district pushed struggling students to transfer or  take online classes with few safeguards to minimize cheating.”

We have exposed the items listed above in numerous posts over the last seven years.  From this paragraph and our posts it is clear that ALL of the current SDUSD Trustees are guilty of gross operational incompetence and budget mismanagement including keeping the equally incompetent and corrupt Superintendent Cindy Marten in her position during the same period.

As thorough as the UT Editorial Board was on the historical Trustee offenses and betrayals to SDUSD Students over the last seven years, there are a few more to add,  In fact the most recent, and some of their worst offenses, have happened SINCE the six weeksto pivot to online education and resume classes”.

The total lack of disaster recovery planning PRIOR to the pandemic and subsequent failures since the six week delay at the end of last school year (2019/20) and continuing this school year (2020/21) include the following District Deeds list of Trustee and Superintendent educational offenses:

  • ZERO SDUSD Standards Based Grading Plan Transparency, Accountability and Community Collaboration
  • ZERO SDUSD 2020/21 Reopening Plan Transparency and Community Collaboration
  • ZERO Operational Budget Transparency used to hide TOTAL Operational Budget Mismanagement.
  • ZERO Transparency of SDUSD performance BEFORE and DURING the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • ZERO Accountability for SDUSD LACK of performance since BEFORE and DURING the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • Phase 1 Educational Supports denied to tens of thousands of the most disadvantaged Students
  • OPTIONAL Boot Camp Professional Development for Teachers – FAIL.
  • Individualized “disadvantaged Student” supports with NO Equity Rules, Standards or Tracking.
  • Every Cluster, School, Principal, Teacher and Student for themselves “custom” school site  “strategy” by incompetent Supt. Marten creating gross inequities  from classroom to classroom.
  • Only 3 hours per day vs 5 hours per day of live teaching.
  • Only 3 periods per day vs 5 periods per day of live teaching.
  • No Teacher Evaluations.
  • No Smarter Balanced tests in Math and English language arts.
  • No California Science Test
  • No Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)
  • Minimal California (ELPAC) for English learners
  • Minimal California School Dashboard

We now have another two items to add to the list:

  • Dysfunctional Standards Based Grading
  • Disorganized Four Phase School Reopening Scam/Plan

The SDUSD leadership disasters keep coming!

We posted the above list in Sunday Reads last week while debunking the ridiculous Marten version of Standards Based Grading (SBG) during the Pandemic.

This week in an open letter to the SDUSD, Francine Maxwell, President of the NAACP San Diego Chapter, further exposed the SDUSD SBG initiative for what it is:

“This initiative is just another way for this district to use their “smoke and mirrors” marketing ploys to tell parents how much they care for all students. This is NOT going to help any of our students to do better in school. By switching gears in the  middle of the year pertaining to grades, they have just added another level of dysfunction to an already  challenging school year.”

SDUSD families are very familiar with the SDUSD  “smoke and mirrors” marketing ploys”.  

AFTER the letter from Ms. Maxwell, the incompetent Marten and Trustees came up with another pending disaster…the “SDUSD Four Phase School Reopening” scam apparently building on the failure of Phase One with 3 more reopening disaster phases!

Phase One, launched a few weeks ago has been a complete disaster because the SDUSD leadership geniuses led by Supt. Marten neglected to include Teacher staffing or community collaboration in the plan!

That is NOT a misprint!

According to a Voice of San Diego article, Some Schools Have No Teachers Willing to Return for ‘Phase One’ Reopening!

An SDUSD reopening phase with no Teachers!?!

Only in the dysfunctional SDUSD with Marten, Barrera and Payne “leading” the charge!

In an SDUT article titled “San Diego Unified Gives Details But Not a Date for Phase Two Reopening, Hybrid Learning” by Reporter Kristen Taketa, the SDUSD has 3 MORE phases left to mismanage.

Remember the NAACP’s Maxwell description…“smoke and mirrors” marketing ploys”?

Here is how Reporter Taketa describes Phase Two:

“San Diego Unified’s elementary students will return to in-person learning for half days while middle and high school students will return for two days a week during the next phase of the district reopening schools — but there is still no start date, the district announced Thursday.”

And here is how Phases Three and Four will be deployed:

“Throughout Phases Three and Four, middle and high school students will continue having four hours daily of in-person learning and two hours daily of flex time.”

How about Teachers?  Obviously they didn’t get the memo for Phase One, how about Phases Two, Three and Four?

Taketa quotes SDEA (Teachers Union) President Kisha Borden on this Four Phase “Plan”:

Kisha Borden, president of the San Diego Unified teachers union, said the union learned of the district’s reopening plan details on Thursday of last week.  “They’re pretty broad plans, and we really haven’t had a chance to go over them,” Borden said.  “I don’t want folks to see it as a fully fleshed out plan because it’s a rough draft; it’s preliminary.”

The Teachers obviously haven’t gotten the memo on Phases Two, Three and Four either!  At least Marten, Barrera and Payne are consistent…consistently incompetent!

But wait!  We have District Spokesperson Andrew “Body Wash Up On Shore” Sharp to reassure us and Ms. Taketa:

“What we’ve said from the start is we’re not gonna focus on any of the outside factors; we’re gonna focus on the science,” said district spokesman Andrew Sharp.

Does “Body Wash Up On Shore” Sharp mean outside factors” like Teachers?

Does “Body Wash Up On Shore” Sharp mean “outside factors” like community collaboration with the NAACP, the Lincoln Cluster and other community members and groups?

By the way…what IS the science behind a “Body Wash Up On Shore” by Sharp, Marten, Barrera and Payne?  Is that an inside or outside “factor”?  Could District personnel or others who disagree or have weak or no union representation be included in that body count?

Given the Sharp response to reporters in the past, we have only one suggestion for Ms. Taketa:

To ALL SDUSD Stakeholders, the SDUSD Four Phase Reopening Plan mirrors how Ms. Maxwell described the SBG:

Smoke and Mirrors” and just “another level of dysfunction”.

Getting back to the upcoming election…

It is clear that ALL Students, Teachers, Administrators, Staff, Parents, Community Members and Taxpayers are victims of the continuing dysfunction, mismanagement, incompetence and  corruption of the current Board of Education and their appointed incompetent and corrupt Superintendent.

The long list of ethical, moral, financial and operational blunders and violations clearly show that neither Barrera or Payne are ethically, morally or operationally capable to serve SDUSD Stakeholders and, in fact, need to be prevented from doing even more damage to ALL Students.

Contrary to the SDUTEB, it is actually VERY easy to “to say Whitehurst-Payne should lose her seat”.  Ask the families in subdistrict E, the ones that are STILL looking for the $400,000 she allowed to disappear, and all the others she has betrayed for the last 4 years.  A token vote against Marten does not erase that betrayal.

Contrary to the SDUTEB, being friendly while damaging the poorest families in subdistrict D does not qualify Tricky Dick Barrera to continually betray the children in his community and must be voted out!

In agreement with the SDUTEB assessment of candidate Bazzo, she is not a good choice to replace Evans.  SDUSD Students don’t need another Empty Suit Evans clone.

And a resounding YES on Measure C is critical to begin the process to clean up the current SDUSD corruption and dishonesty.

Now for the quote of the week:

“He (Sharp) joked that if McGlone were not careful, we should not be surprised to find her body wash up on shore.” — Voice of San Diego








  • 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!!!