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It has been a whirlwind week in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).  The big news was the horrible error in judgement by the new Biden administration to nominate incompetent corrupt Superintendent Cindy Marten for the position of United States Deputy  Secretary of Education.  We are unsure what, if any, research the new Biden administration has done on the deeply flawed Marten and if they are aware of the irrevocable educational damage she has done to ALL SDUSD Students and Families since she was illegally appointed Superintendent in 2013.  From our perspective as a registered Independent, it appears that the craven desire for political power in the Democratic Party by many individuals has superseded the responsibility of our local and federal government to successfully educate millions of Students, especially Students of color.

This Sunday Reads features an article from the San Diego Union Tribune that outlines the concerns of SDUSD Stakeholders over the nomination of Marten for the Federal position.  In our Sunday Reads Synopsis and Commentary we expose the political influence of the Local, State and Federal politicians to nominate grossly inexperienced, incompetent and corrupt Cindy Marten.

We have selected the full article for our readers today so that the author of the Union Tribune article is allowed a full context of their story but District Deeds strongly urges our readers to click on the title (in red) and read the full article for themselves in the San Diego Union Tribune.


Critics say San Diego Superintendent Nominated for National Post has Mixed Record on Equity

JAN. 23, 2021

The recent announcement that San Diego Superintendent Cindy Marten was tapped to become the next deputy U.S. education secretary drew widespread praise among policymakers and educators, who say Marten has championed the cause for school equity.

But some local parents, community members and the NAACP San Diego are criticizing the choice, saying Marten did not reduce racial disparities in schools for Black and Latino children and that her failure to reopen schools for 98 percent of San Diego Unified students is setting students behind.

The nomination of the former teacher and principal at Central Elementary in City Heights drew praise from Secretary of State Shirley Weber, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, the San Diego Unified school board, the San Diego teachers union, the national Council of Great City Schools, Mayor Todd Gloria, former mayor Kevin Faulconer and District Attorney Summer Stephan, among others.

“Cindy Marten will be a great voice for our students and educators,” Weber tweeted. “Thank you for your equity work, spanning 31 years in education, including 17 years in the classroom.”

“Congratulations to (Marten), who has dedicated her career to improving the lives of students, inspiring countless educators, and championing equity,” Thurmond tweeted. “A great day for California and our nation, and I am proud to call you a colleague and friend.”

“This is a great pick by @JoeBiden,” tweeted Mayor Todd Gloria. “Since her time as Central Elementary’s principal I’ve seen (Marten’s) passion for educating students. I’m excited that San Diego will be at the table in the new administration.”

But some local parents and community members who have long had complaints with San Diego Unified criticized the nomination and challenged the idea that Marten has succeeded in making schools equitable.

One of the criticisms is that Marten has kept students out of school for the past 10 months of the pandemic.

Parents say distance learning has exacerbated inequities because it often leaves much of the teaching and supervision of children to parents, hurting families that have essential workers or are otherwise not able to help children learn at home.

Many students also lack a suitable home environment for learning, and some students, particularly many students with disabilities, can’t learn effectively online or through Zoom.

“If one of Biden’s focuses is to reopen schools, how can Cindy Marten be a role model?” said Tamara Hurley, a parent whose children graduated from the district.

San Diego Unified officials have repeatedly said the district is taking a “science-based approach” to reopening, consulting with UC San Diego experts and staying closed because community rates of COVID-19 have been high in some areas of the district.

Several parents have supported the school closures, saying they’d rather their children stay home than risk getting exposed to COVID-19 at school.

Many large districts, including Los Angeles, also remain closed. Marten was among a group of California superintendents who called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide more supports for schools to reopen, including more COVID-19 testing and funding.

San Diego Unified has offered limited, in-person support sessions to students on an appointment basis. But that has been a disappointment because it is serving a small number of students — currently about 1,100, or 1 percent of the district’s students — San Diego Unified school board members have said.

Others say that even before the pandemic, Marten had failed to provide equity for all students, particularly for Black students.

NAACP San Diego has called on Biden to rescind Marten’s nomination because the district suspends and expels Black students at disproportionately high rates — a disparity that is widespread among schools nationwide.

“Dr. Marten in the past year has attempted to correct harm by having anti-Racist trainings that included changing policies on grading. While this is commendable, it does not erase the fact that SDUSD has a history of harming Black children,” NAACP San Diego said in a statement.

Disparities by race

In the 2018-2019 school year, Black students in San Diego Unified were suspended more than three times as often as White students, and they made up 18 percent of students suspended despite making up 8 percent of the student body.

The suspension rate for Black students that year was unchanged from 2013, when Marten took the helm.

“Someone at the level of deputy superintendent has to have a long track record of success within education for all students, for providing equity for all students,” said Katrina Hamilton, education chair for NAACP San Diego. “And while we have folks who are saying that (Martin) has 31 years of equity, where is that track record?”

Racial disparities are evident in other aspects of San Diego Unified schools, including the national test scores that President Joe Biden’s team cited as one reason for choosing Marten.

In 2019 San Diego Unified was one of two large, urban districts nationwide to outperform the average on national test scores for math and reading for fourth- and eighth-graders.

Despite that record, achievement gaps for Black and Hispanic students compared to White students remained largely unchanged from 2013, the year Marten became superintendent, according to NAEP, the Nation’s Report Card.

State tests score data also tell an inconsistent story about performance.

State data show the district had raised the performance of all students — including Black, Hispanic and White students — between 2015 and 2019.

But while achievement gaps between Black or Hispanic students and White students shrank slightly, they still exceeded 30 percentage points for both English language arts and math.

About 62 percent of Black students and 57 percent of Hispanic students did not meet state standards for English language arts in 2019, while 72 percent of Black students and 68 percent of Hispanic students did not meet standards for math in 2019.

In graduation rates, there is a 10-percentage-point gap between Black and Hispanic students, who had rates of 84 percent, and White, Asian and multiracial students, who had rates of 94 percent or greater.

The district’s overall graduation rate is 89 percent.

Some local leaders dispute the criticisms about Marten, saying they unfairly disregard the progress she has made in the district.

“She has worked hard to bring about positive change when it comes to equity,” said Frank Jordan, a past president of the San Diego NAACP and California NAACP.

“It’s very easy to complain, but what have you done to create that dialogue and open doors yourself,” he said. Marten “has tried, she has honestly tried. You cannot snap your fingers and create change. To create positive change, it takes work.”

Equity reforms

A report by the Learning Policy Institute, an organization led by the state school board president that helped amplify San Diego Unified’s reputation as a well-performing district, found that San Diego Unified was one of multiple California districts where Black, Latino and White students performed better academically than predicted — given the socioeconomic status of families in the district.

The report noted that percentages of all student racial groups and low-income and non-low-income students reaching proficiency on state tests rose between 2015 to 2017. About 57 percent of San Diego Unified students are low-income.

San Diego Unified’s Black and Latino students also graduated at higher rates than Black and Latino students in California as a whole.

Under Marten’s leadership, San Diego Unified has implemented several racial equity reforms, including changing the way students are graded to be less punitive, requiring restorative discipline, launching efforts to increase staff diversity and studying the role of school police.

San Diego Unified Board Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, who represents southeastern San Diego, recently said the district is moving in the right direction.

“I don’t think anybody existing is perfect, and that goes for me, you, superintendent and the rest of us,” Whitehurst-Payne said. “But the question is, are we on a continuum to improve? We at least have discovered a path and we’re following that path.”

Marten will stay with the district until she is confirmed by the Senate, which school board officials expect to happen next month.

The board has appointed Area Superintendent Lamont Jackson as interim superintendent and will decide in coming weeks how it will find a permanent successor for Marten.


It is still a shock that totally inexperienced and unqualified Cindy Marten has been nominated to be Deputy Secretary of Education.

Marten is much more qualified to be the actual SECRETARY of the Secretary of Education although we are not sure she can even do that.  We need her co-workers to verify that she can perform the role she is most qualified for including:

  • answering calls, taking messages and handling correspondence.
  • maintaining diaries and arranging appointments.
  • typing, preparing and collating reports.
  • filing.
  • organizing and servicing meetings (producing agendas and taking minutes)
  • managing databases.
  • prioritizing workloads.

Of course she will need to take a typing test.

This article is a fairly complete, albeit homogeneous, summary of the Marten nomination by Ms. Taketa.  Unfortunately she is apparently constrained by her editors to present a semi-balanced description of the Marten nomination ignoring Marten’s gross dereliction of duty as Superintendent.

The following segment of the article says it all:

The nomination of the former teacher and principal at Central Elementary in City Heights drew praise from Secretary of State Shirley Weber, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, the San Diego Unified school board, the San Diego teachers union, the national Council of Great City Schools, Mayor Todd Gloria, former mayor Kevin Faulconer and District Attorney Summer Stephan, among others.

This portion was followed up with various statements of praise by these political allies/hacks who, by doing so, turned their backs on the truth and on millions of the neediest students NATIONWIDE. who will have their education seriously damaged for decades to come if Marten is successfully appointed.


You have all become co-conspirators in the betrayal of your constituents, your city, your state, your nation and MILLIONS of Students whose education and future will be irreparably harmed for your political opportunism.

But it can be argued that the BIGGEST betrayal from that group is from Secretary of State Shirley Weber.

Weber has long been a strong advocate for equity, human rights and education for her 79th Assembly District Community for over 30 years.

Here is a portion of her biography from her website:

Her praise of Marten runs totally opposite of what the community has to say.  Here is a Facebook message from a strong community education advocate:


Here is another:

Instead of quoting REAL community leaders like Ms. Blake and Ms. Williamson, the writer decided to get a revered past President of the NAACP out of mothballs and ineffectual, Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera lackey Trustee Sharon “Fly by the seat of our pants” Whitehurst Payne for lukewarm praise.

So why would this crew of politically compromised supporters misrepresent the performance of an obviously flawed and educationally dangerous Cindy Marten?

Probably the same reason Marten betrayed her female colleagues and covered up the sexual approaches toward her by former San Diego democratic Mayor Bob Filner:

In short, Marten stayed silent and allowed other women to be sexually harassed and abused to prove her corrupt loyalty to the Democratic Party.  Her loyalty to herself over exposing sexual predators carried over as SDUSD Superintendent when, as we posted on May 12, 2016 in “Sexual Assault Lies and Cover Up Disqualify Cindy Marten as San Diego Unified Superintendent“, she hid a Federal Sexual Assault Investigation from ALL SDUSD Stakeholders

But the connection between Marten and the nomination to the Deputy Secretary of Education becomes even clearer when her connection to the Biden administration is exposed.

According to 600KOGO News Radio in an article from August 12, 2020:

In 2013 then-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) was accused by more than 30 women of sexual harassment and assault – including groping, forcible kissing, unwanted sexual advances, and assault. Local media even came up with the term “The Filner Headlock” to describe a pattern of Filner forcibly restraining a woman while kissing her and breathing into her ears from behind. 

Filner eventually resigned and pled guilty to numerous crimes including sexual battery and false imprisonment involving three women. 

Filner should have faced five years in prison, but the then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris granted him a plea deal requiring only three years of probation.

Filner had endorsed Harris in her race for Attorney General in 2010 and Harris returned the favor by supporting Filner in his race for Mayor in 2012.

So in 2011 Marten was sexually harassed by Filner and kept silent and shortly thereafter Vice President Harris, then California Attorney General, supported Filner for Mayor in 2012 and reduced his prison sentence.

While her female colleagues suffered sexual harassment and lost their jobs in 2011 and 2012, Marten herself was illegally promoted from being a mediocre, photo op hungry,  eternally self promoting Principal to the horrible, photo op hungry, eternally self promoting Superintendent position in early 2013.

So much for Law and Order in the City, State and ultimately Federal Biden Administration.

And now, despite her proven complete incompetence as Superintendent since she was illegally appointed in violation of the Brown Act in 2013 through the 2020/21 closure of SDUSD schools for over 10 months (in opposition to the Biden administration vow to open all schools) today, the corrupt loyalty of Marten to the Democratic Party has finally paid off.

Marten is now the United States Deputy Secretary of Education nominee.

But one question remains…

Why would locally revered Secretary of State Shirley Weber betray her community and support a federal nominee as flawed as Marten?

The answer is simple:


It may be that Dr. Weber is trading her ethics and reputation to boost the campaign of her daughter, Dr. Akilah Weber, for her vacated 79th District Assembly Seat

It appears that when Shirley Weber (the mother) was making the choice to either tell the truth about the Marten Educational disaster that will harm millions of Students of color or giving her beloved daughter a campaign boost, she chose her daughter.

We hope that this is not true, but we can find no other reason why it is not true, given Dr. Weber’s deep understanding of the SDUSD.

What a shame!

Now for our quote of the week…

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:26

EDITOR NOTE:  We have launched a new page on District Deeds titled “The United States Deputy Secretary of Education Nominee Cindy Marten EDU-Rap Sheet”  We will be posing the educational offenses of incompetent, corrupt Cindy Marten through the end of her nomination hearing in the United States Congress on the new page and via Facebook and Twitter.  The updates to District Deeds pages are not sent to followers of our blog automatically so you will have to check the page every day for our updates or watch for our notices on Facebook and Twitter.  We are sorry for this inconvenience but this was the best we could come up with outside of barraging you with blog posts every day.  Thank you for your patience!


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