“Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything, to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open.” – Pauline Kael
This quote is dedicated to the thousands of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Stakeholders, Students, Parents, Teachers, Principals, Staff and Taxpayers that will contribute to and benefit from the official “reopening” of in person learning for all Students in all schools tomorrow, Monday, April 12, 2021.
This quote also epitomizes the corrupt, self-serving grift of Superintendent Cindy Marten, Trustee Richard “Tricky Dick’ Barrera and the rest of their incompetent puppet Trustees.
Let’s quickly recap the past 13 months…
There are groups of SDUSD Stakeholders that wanted to reopen all schools to all Students right after Spring break twelve months ago and other Stakeholders who STILL do not want schools to reopen. But, as the current SDUSD plan of hybrid in-person/remote learning shows, the learning options for ALL Students was not, is not, and never has been an “all or nothing” proposition for SDUSD Students or Employees.
As we exposed over a year ago in Sunday Reads March 29, 2020, incompetent Superintendent Cindy Marten had developed no coherent SDUSD disaster recovery plan during her seven years as CEO of a $1.4 billion organization. The corrupt Board of Education led by politically compromised Tricky Dick Barrera failed their oversight duties during that seven years by not demanding a coherent disaster recovery plan from Marten.
Given that gross negligence and incompetence by Marten, Barrera, and the rest of senior “leadership” to plan for a disaster, the next viable reactive option for an organization as large as the SDUSD with virtually unlimited resources would be to IMMEDIATELY develop and deploy a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in 5 months, from April 2020 though August 2020. The DRP would need to accommodate all students at all schools and reopen in September 2021 for full in-person, remote and hybrid learning options.
But that never happened.
Instead, a shadow of that professionally devised plan is being rolled out 12 months later, tomorrow, April 12, 2021. A plan that is devoid of any “best practices” analysis, any equity assessments and is being deployed at each Principal’s individual whim and ability level erratically, inequitably and inconsistently at every SDUSD Elementary, Middle and High School at the same time.
In other words, a massive educational disaster waiting to happen, like usual from Marten and Barrera.
In the past 12 months there was NO “Will” in the corrupt Marten and Barrera to “reopen in September 2021 for full in-person, remote and hybrid learning options.”
There was a “Will” for Barrera to find a way to get himself and his puppet Trustee nominees elected with the full backing of the SDEA Teachers Union.
There was a “Will” for Marten to get herself promoted with a new Biden administration who pandered to teachers unions for votes just like Barrera.
There was a “Will” for both of them to pay back their political backers.
With virtually zero operational skill capacity between them, there was a “Will” to confuse, delay and subvert any type of in person reopening efforts that could turn into a health disaster due to their incompetence.
There was a “Will” to do nothing to re-open schools for in person learning.
The fact is that in September, 2020, there were both Teachers and Students willing to go back to in person learning.
Instead Marten and Barrera squandered 5 months, from March through August 2020, to prevent that and instead used it as a vehicle for double time pay to their SDEA political backers…half the work for the the same salary plus side tutoring business cash for almost all the 2020/2021 school year.
And other SDUSD Stakeholders got 12 months of nothing but substandard education including:
- 3 hours per day vs 5 hours per day of live teaching.
- 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
- Phase 1 Educational Supports denied to tens of thousands most disadvantaged Students
- OPTIONAL Boot Camp Professional Development for Teachers
- Individualized “disadvantaged Student” supports with no Equity Rules, Standards or Tracking
What Stakeholders got were lies, excuses and begging for more money via a self-promoting propaganda 2020 State of the District Address by Marten with a letter to Biden as a Curriculum Vitae to hire her in his administration.
A perfect example of this “nothing” for SDUSD Stakeholders, written after the State of the District, was the ridiculous Phase 1 failure described by the NAACP San Diego Branch.
The huge financial gain brought by Coronavirus relief of over $702 million (per VOSD) was icing on the cake for the corrupt Marten/Barrera grift and, to them, far outweighed the educational needs of SDUSD Students and Families.
So it worked.
Here we are, a year later, with Marten on the cusp of a Senate confirmation as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education and Barrera reelected with SDEA dollars pontificating on disgraceful media slave SDSU KPBS about about how the SDUSD is “also ready for surprises next week” and Students falling farther and farther behind.
That proves how far a strong “will” can get you…and the damage a lack of “will” can do.
District Deeds has a message for all SDUSD Stakeholders.
For the $1.4 billion SDUSD, there never has been and never will be any surprises for the core need and function of physical public school locations…in person learning!
There are NO VALID EXCUSES for failure to provide this core function.
The intentional decision by the Marten/Barrera gang to take 12 months (that should have taken 5) to provide an option of full in person learning to every Student in every school via a flawed, erratic plan is a complete dereliction of duty and they have done irrevocable damage to the education of thousands of Students.
They should all be fired.
But that will not happen.
Marten will get her promotion.
Barrera and his remaining SDUSD gang will continue to exploit their positions for personal gain.
All Students and honest employees will continue to suffer…
Unless we find our “Will” to fight back and make things right for our Students.
Unless we stand together and find a way to “Pry” the equity door open.
Unless we stick our foot in that door to “Keep” it open.
As it stands today, given all the facts above, many of our fellow Stakeholders have learned 5 hard lessons over the last 12 months:
- Just re-opening schools to in person learning is not enough for our Students.
- The current SDUSD leadership and many staff are either corrupt, incompetent or both.
- The current SDUSD leadership and many staff cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
- We cannot depend on the SDUSD leadership and many staff to provide a better education for our students.
- Change cannot happen without ALL of us continuing to work together to keep the SDUSD offenders honest, transparent and accountable!
Let’s do this!
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