District Deeds thanks Ms. Francine Maxwell and the San Diego Branch of the NAACP for the following important Press Release titled “Reopening Schools: Phase One Failure”.
We urge all our readers to stand with the NAACP to “hold this school board accountable“ for the Phase 1 failure and the negative impact is has had for “the most vulnerable Students”.
November 15, 2020
Re: Reopening Schools: Phase One Failure
A recent article† published by the Union-Tribune describes San Diego Unified School District’s attempt to reopen schools. Phase One, which began four weeks ago, was meant to be a solution for our most vulnerable students. What the district failed to recognize is that by making Phase One voluntary for teachers, there was no incentive for students to attend. How do you expect students to want to attend school if their teachers may not even show up?
Board Members Whitehurst-Payne and Barrera agree that the number of students who attended school in Phase ONE was “disappointing.” If we believe their estimate, 3000 students attended school in Phase One. This is roughly 3% of the District’s student population!
The responsibility for NOT reopening schools falls solely on the School Board’s members. It was their acceptance of the Memorandum of Understanding with the San Diego Teachers Union that gave teachers the option of returning to campus or not. It is these Board members who should be held accountable for the failure to meaningfully reopen the schools.
Teachers are the epitome of essential workers! It is teachers who understand not only the educational needs of their students but their emotional needs as well. Who is looking after our most vulnerable students? Which students are being severely neglected in their homes, but we are not noticing because we do not see them in the classrooms? Which students are malnourished because the school where they were fed at least two meals a day is closed? Students with special needs are the most severely impacted; their education has been disrupted to a point where they may fall years behind in their learning.
To make matters even more disturbing, the District agreed to pay teachers their full salary for half the number of students. We are and should be grateful and appreciative of our grocery store workers, who come into contact with hundreds of people a day. They come to work so we can all survive, and even though they are union workers, they did not demand full salary for half of their workload. Yet the School Board thought it was “the right thing to do” to agree to this Memorandum of Understanding. The lack of learning and opening of schools falls on the current School Board members and their constant fear of the teachers’ union.
Now that San Diego has fallen into the purple tier of COVID-19, it behooves one to believe that after all the family gatherings over the holidays, schools will remain closed for the second semester. It is a good thing that the state of California commenced testing this year, because we will have proof of every single student who performs poorly by not being provided a level of instruction that would allow them to meet acceptable standards. We must use these results to hold this School Board accountable!
Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch
P.O. Box 152086 • San Diego, CA 92195-2086
Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit
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