District Deeds thanks Ms. Francine Maxwell and the NAACP San Diego Branch for the following important Press Release titled “The Performance of Lincoln Cluster”:

April 1, 2021
Re: The Performance of Lincoln Cluster

Lincoln High School is perhaps the ONLY school in San Diego Unified that runs on its own. This is apparent by the continually revolving door of administrators that the San Diego School Board and the Superintendent place at that site.  There is no other school that would allow this kind of upheaval every few years.

School Board Member Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne apparently has no issues providing her District E community with continually unstable leadership for students who deserve our very best.  She states, “We have not put together a comprehensive, coordinated picture for Lincoln High School because those students are indicative of other kids in the district who are not achieving.”   But there are no other schools that have had more attention paid to them, money given to them and visits by the Superintendent than Lincoln High School.  One can only surmise that Dr. Whitehurst-Payne fails to recognize that the students at Lincoln can and do succeed despite her lack of knowledge on how to make that happen.  Thanks to the teachers, coaches, parents and community members, Lincoln students are striving and gaining acceptance to many colleges— without any real leadership at the site.

The current Principal refers to her first year on the job as a “planning year.”  No wonder the site cannot move forward!  Anybody who knows how to run a school site will tell you that prior to being hired as a principal, you must have your “First 90-Day Plan” ready to implement on day 1.   This allows the students and teachers to know what is being expected of them from the start of the new school year.   What becomes of all the students during year one, while she is “planning?”  Given all the upheaval that has occurred over the past 14 years, is it any wonder that educational strides have not been achieved?   Teachers deserve a stable administration if they are to move the students forward and to learn innovative strategies to give their students every opportunity possible for success.

Board Member Dr. Whitehurst-Payne also suggests that Lincoln High School must be the District’s number one priority, but fails to discuss how to make that happen.   By selecting the current principal, Stephanie Brown, Dr. Whitehurst-Payne agreed to promote a principal who had the highest suspension rate for African American males in the district!   This is preposterous.  The actions taken by Dr. Whitehurst-Payne prove that she has once again failed miserably to enhance the environment and educational rigor at Lincoln.  This seems to be the game-plan of the current school board as well.   The accountability factor for every board member continues to erode as other sites face similar challenging situations with no resolution from the school board.  The one constant from the school board is that real transparency will continue to disintegrate with the same people sitting on the dais. Words without actions are just words.

Students will return to school after a year of so-called “online” schooling on April 12th.  Students at Lincoln High School will return to chaos and disregard for their learning.  Shame on you, Dr. Whitehurst-Payne.   Our students deserve much more than you “say” you are doing.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

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


We urge all our readers to stand with Ms. Maxwell and the NAACP San Diego Branch to make Trustee Sharon Whitehurst Payne and senior  site, cluster and district leadership to do more than just talk and actually take planned, transparent and accountable action for ALL Lincoln Cluster Students!


  • 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!
  • 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.