As we await the new 2021/2022 San Diego Unified School District school year on August 22, 2021 we noticed that there are a number of common themes/issues being faced by school districts around the nation.
This week in Sunday Reads we highlight a couple issues that are very familiar to SDUSD Stakeholders…enrollment and the change of grading standards.
The articles featured today describe how those issues are being addressed in another west coast, Democrat majority state and how close the SDUSD is to duplicate the same strategies in their uniquely corrupt way, under a veil of propaganda.
We have selected the most relevant portions of the articles provided in this post and a large number of links so District Deeds strongly urges our readers to click on the titles and links (in red) and read the full articles and information for themselves to reach their own conclusions.
Enrollment numbers at Oregon public schools have tumbled to their lowest point in over a decade, as the coronavirus pandemic forced students out of classrooms and into at-home learning.
The Oregon Department of Education’s latest Fall Membership Report, released Thursday, shows an enrollment total of 560,917 students across the state, a 3.7% decline from the 2019-2020 academic year.
This school year’s total is the lowest since at least 2009-2010, according to data on the department’s website. Enrollment had been increasing incrementally for most of the last decade, and the last time it declined was in the 2012-2013 school year.
State education officials say the pandemic is to blame, forcing schools to shut down for the year as students shifted to the department’s at-home Comprehensive Distance Learning model. More than a quarter of the decline came from kindergarten enrollment, the department said, with more than 6,000 fewer kindergarten students than the previous school year.
“The Oregon Department of Education is committed to returning our students to in-person instruction as soon as this can be done safely,” officials said in an announcement Thursday. “We anticipate enrollment will rebound once students resume in-person learning.”
Oregon funds schools mostly on a per-student basis, so districts that lost students may worry about losing state money. They will be largely insulated from losses this school year, however, as Oregon funds districts on the previous or current enrollment, whichever is more favorable for the district.
It was not immediately clear the extent to which the drop reflected a switch to homeschooling, an increase in private school enrollment or students dropping out of education altogether.
Brown, a Democrat, did not hold a public signing or issue a press release regarding the passing of Senate Bill 744 on July 14, and the measure, which was approved by lawmakers in June, was not added into the state’s legislative database until more than two weeks later on July 29, an unusually quiet approach to enacting legislation, according to the Oregonian.
Secretary of the Senate Lori Brocker’s office is responsible for updating the legislative database, and a staffer tasked with dealing with the governor’s office was experiencing medical issues during the 15-day time frame it took the database to be updated with the recently signed law, Brocker said.
“SB 744 gives us an opportunity to review our graduation requirements and make sure our assessments can truly assess all students’ learning,” Charles Boyle, a spokesman for the governor, said in an email to the Washington Examiner. “In the meantime, it gives Oregon students and the education community a chance to regroup after a year and a half of disruption caused by the pandemic.”
The bill, which suspends the proficiency requirements for students for three years, has attracted controversy for at least temporarily suspending academic standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Backers argued the existing proficiency levels for math and reading presented an unfair challenge for students who do not test well, and Boyle said the new standards for graduation would aid Oregon’s “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”
The requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency in essential subjects on a freshman to sophomore skill level in order to graduate was terminated at the start of the pandemic as part of Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives order in March 2020.
Democrats largely backed the executive order and argued in favor of SB 744’s proposed expansion, saying the existing educational proficiency standards were flawed.
“The testing that we’ve been doing in the past doesn’t tell us what we want to know,” Democratic Sen. Lew Frederick told a local ABC affiliate in June. “We have been relying on tests that have been, frankly, very flawed and relying too much on them so that we aren’t really helping the students or the teachers or the community.”
Supporters of the measure said the state needed to pause the academic requirements, which had been in place since 2009, so lawmakers could reevaluate which standards should be updated, and recommendations for new graduation standards are due to the Legislature and Oregon Board of Education by September 2022, the Oregonian added in its report.
Republicans criticized the proposal for lowering academic standards.
“I worry that by adopting this bill, we’re giving up on our kids,” House Republican Leader Christine Drazan said on June 14.
Still, the measure received some bipartisan support, with state Rep. Gordon Smith, a Republican, voting in favor of passage. The state House passed the bill 38-18 on June 14, and the state Senate voted 16-13 in favor of the measure on June 16.
While some lawmakers argued against standardized testing for skill evaluation, the state of Oregon does not list any particular test as a requirement for earning a diploma, with the Department of Education saying only that “students will need to successfully complete the credit requirements, demonstrate proficiency in the Essential Skills, and meet the personalized learning requirements.”
“Senate Bill 744 does not remove Oregon’s graduation requirements, and it certainly does not remove any requirements that Oregon students learn essential skills,” Boyle said, adding it is “misleading” to conflate the subjects of standardized testing with graduation requirements.
The Washington Examiner contacted the Department of Education but did not immediately receive a response.
District Deeds Synopsis and Analysis
With the new school year approaching, when we read these two articles regarding the exploits of Oregon in addressing loss of enrollment with a major change to how student grades are produced it reminded us of a very similar reaction in the SDUSD.
In February 2021, “Oregon public school enrollment tumbles”
In September, 2020, the San Diego Union Tribune (SDUT) posted an article titled “San Diego Unified enrollment drops amid pandemic, especially among kindergarteners”
In October, 2020, the SDUSD ran a propaganda campaign using an anti-racist theme to all local main stream news media that gobbled it up as a new testament gospel for SDUSD education.
At that time, as far as we can determine, none of the local media tied the drop in enrollment to the new testament gospel of “standards based learning” for SDUSD education.
It became obvious to District Deeds (through our Whistleblower Inside Unified) that that “new” grading strategy was just another SDUSD attempt to use propaganda dog and pony shows to get elected or appointed and to distract away from the abject failure of ALL SDUSD leadership to maintain enrollment and to competently educate our children, especially children of poverty and/or color, before and during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
That failure to educate was the same reason thousands of families decided to look to other education resources outside the SDUSD for their kids…like charter schools and home schooling…that created the SDUSD enrollment deficits.
Enrollment deficits have been grossly understated through SDUSD propaganda department lies. For instance, at Lincoln High School, enrollment estimates have varied from a high of over 1,500 Students to a low of under 500 students depending on who you are listening to in the SDUSD.
The truth is, lowering public school standards is not going to improve their enrollment. It is going to decrease enrollment at the local public school and increase enrollment at charters…which is why a successful district charter school like Gompers is being attacked by Barrera, the SDUSD and his Union cronies. and why thousands of families are fleeing the SDUSD.
So what has happened since the SDUSD made the big grading strategy propaganda announcement in October, 2020?
Here are a few of the developments going into the new 2021/2022 school year:
“CSU indicates that its campuses will have a considerable increase in the number of students who will need additional support services for English and math, due to the lack of graded high school coursework, ACT/SAT exam results and CAASPP assessment in 2020, and this bill could be a factor that contributes to that need for increased support services,” the analysis stated.
No ACT/SAT testing required to get into colleges
“California State University students are failing or withdrawing at high rates from many courses — including chemistry, calculus, English and U.S. history — prompting renewed efforts for systemwide reform.”
District Deeds Translation:
The failure of the SDUSD to have a disaster recovery plan has now manifested itself into a full blown educational disaster into college and beyond that has cascaded down to the Student level. Ten historical missteps taken by the incompetent SDUSD leadership that lead us to this point are clearly evident:
- Have no education disaster recovery plan
- Milk the state and federal government for as much money as possible without a plan to spend it equitably and ethically.
- Do a horrible job of engaging ALL students during the pandemic while refusing to provide SDUSD Stakeholders any and all transparency or truthful reports of student attendance, enrollment or performance.
- Count on political cronies (the same cronies that supported the nomination of incompetent former Superintendent Cindy Marten) to eliminate all SDUSD accountability and measurements of student instructional failure including ACT/SAT, CAASP and other measurements of student progress.
- Create a summer school scam where 3 week classes unrelated to subject matter are given full semester credit and summer camp activities are called “summer school” for propaganda purposes.
- Graduate Students with serious educational deficiencies and that don’t meet UC standards.
- Allow those unprepared SDUSD Students to be admitted to colleges unprepared and unable to pass remedial Math and English classes or an ACT/SAT test.
- Allow those unprepared SDUSD Students to flunk out of college after incurring billions of dollars of tuition debt and wasting billions of government education dollars (i.e. FAFSA).
- Allow those unprepared SDUSD Students to attempt to enter the work force unable to read, write or perform basic math functions and spend many years to clear up their student debt and bad credit while hoping for a government bailout.
- Continue to give annual remunerations to themselves and their cronies for their educational crimes and political favors.
We have ZERO confidence that any of the smoke and mirrors behind new SDUSD grading practices will materially improve the education of Students or will reverse the smart decision by parents to find educational resources for their kids outside of the SDUSD that will
In other words…
No matter what propaganda campaign, it’s business as usual in the SDUSD under the corrupt Board of Education and unprepared, puppet, interim Superintendent…and sinking enrollment every single day.
Leaving SDUSD Schools!
What a great way to pay back Barrera and his corrupt organization for the educational damage and disaster they have created out of inhumane personal avarice and greed.
Now for our “Quote of the Week or ALL SDUSD Stakeholder “thinking human beings”:
“Someplace between apathy and anarchy is the stance of the thinking human being. He does embrace a cause, he does take a position, and can’t allow it to become business as usual. Humanity is our business.” – Rod Serling
- 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.