Cindy Marten, Lamont Jackson, San Diego Unified Board of Education, San Diego Unified School District, SDUSD Trustee Richard Barrera
This week the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) propaganda effort to appoint their predetermined Superintendent candidate with extremely minimal SDUSD Stakeholder review ran into a big snag.
On Thursday, January 7, 2022 the Editorial Board of the largest newspapaper in San Diego County, The San Diego Union Tribune (SDUTEB), expressed its strong displeasure of the SDUSD leadership making “a terrible decision that needs to be reversed”.
In strong support of the SDUTEB agreeing with what we have been posting since December 12, 2021, we have featured the complete SDUTEB “Opinion” today in Sunday Reads with our synopsis and analysis. In addition we strongly urge our readers to click on the title (in red) and read the full Editorial for themselves.
Opinion: Give the public more time with San Diego Unified School District superintendent finalists
The editorial board operates independently from the U-T newsroom but holds itself to similar ethical standards. We base our editorials and endorsements on reporting, interviews and rigorous debate, and strive for accuracy, fairness and civility in our section. Disagree? Let us know.
In 2013, when the San Diego Unified school board secretly appointed Central Elementary School Principal Cindy Marten as district superintendent just after her predecessor announced plans to step down, there was public outrage that trustees didn’t seek community input or have a formal search for candidates before choosing her in closed session. Marten resigned last year to serve as deputy secretary of education in the Biden administration. Since then, the search process for her replacement has been much more open. But the district still apparently wants as little community input as possible.
The two finalists — interim Superintendent Lamont Jackson, a longtime district official, and Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools, a K-12 district with 17,500 students in the Seattle area — were initially going to participate in three public forums this month. But they were canceled because of the Omicron surge in COVID-19 cases. Now the district plans to have just one 90-minute forum on Feb. 26 at Wilson Middle School.
This is a terrible decision that needs to be reversed. At least three forums of at least two hours each should be held. To address pandemic health risks, they can be remote meetings if necessary.
This is a crucial time for city schools because of the pandemic. Figuring out how to reverse the student learning loss caused by long periods without classroom instruction is a must, and San Diegans need to know how Jackson and Enfield propose to use incoming additional state funding — a result of California’s big budget surplus — to address the learning loss. So far, the big way the state has responded to remote learning leading to the number of D and F grades soaring is with a law weakening graduation standards — shades of the “social promotions” to higher grades that many schools used to hand out just for showing up to class.
If you think one 90-minute forum is inadequate to address these difficult issues, send an email to email@example.com asking for more. And CC us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
District Deeds Synopsis
Thank You SDUTEB!
Thank you for the courage to post the actual truth about a number of issues that other local news reporters, including yours at the San Diego Union Tribune (SDUT), have tippy-toed around and outright neglected to report due to SDUSD Propaganda Department intimidation.
Although we have been very critical of local news organizations and reporters for that neglect of investigatrive journalism, we have also stood behind some of the local reporting including the SDUTEB.
Back in the former Trustee Marne Foster scandal we actually HEADLINED the SDUTEB in multiple articles. For example:
May 28 2015:
NEWS FLASH! San Diego Union Tribune Editorial: Foster, Marten Have Explaining To Do
District Deeds Quote:
“accountability from both Foster and Superintendent Cindy Marten” – That is what an incisive Editorial by the San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board has called for after reviewing the San Diego County Grand Jury Report – San Diego Unified School District Trustee’s Overreach Abuse of Power Report – for Foster and Marten’s actions related to last June when “the (SCPA) principal was reassigned, two officials were removed from the school and another was disciplined”.
After we had been reporting this unlawful activity by Marten and Foster on District Deeds for the eleven previous months, the SDUTEB stood up for holding Foster accountable but eventually let Marten completely off the hook to do irreversable educational damage to thousands of SDUSD Students for over 6 more years.
Thursday, August 6, 2015:
NEWS FLASH!!! SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE EDITORIAL: “San Diego School Board President Shows Awful Judgment”- Compares SDUSD Trustee Marne Foster’s Actions to Sweetwater District Scandal!!!
District Deeds Quote:
The UT also calls out the other SDUSD Board Members and Superintendent by stating:
“Unfortunately, but predictably, Foster’s awful decision has prompted no blowback from her board colleagues (John Lee Evans, Richard Barrera, Kevin Beiser and Michael McQuary) or from Superintendent Cindy Marten. This abdication of responsible governance was foreshadowed by their previous tolerance of Foster’s grossly improper bullying of staff members at the School of Creative and Performing Arts over matters involving one of her sons.”
Although we framed the SDUTEB Editorial as a “blistering” at the time, in retrospect, this Editorial by the SDUTEB actually allowed equally corrupt former Supt. Cindy Marten off the hook by giving her the role of overseer instead of actually being an improper co-conspirator with Foster. Ultimately the equally guilty Marten was not indicted by her corrupt SDUSD Board of Education Trustee cronies, paid no penalty for her Foster related corruption, and was allowed to completely cover up her improper Foster involvement with the help of local news media until her departure.
August 31, 2015
NEWS FLASH: San Diego Union Tribune Editorial: Blame Marne Foster’s Enablers, Too
District Deeds Quote:
The San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Board, in an editorial titled “Blame Marne Foster’s Enablers, Too” , call the SDUSD run by incompetent Supt. Cindy Marten a “government management disaster”.
District Deeds commented on the Editorial…here is our posting:
“Thank you San Diego UT Editorial Board! I have been blogging about the total mismanagement of the SDUSD by the Cindy Marten administration since the removal of Principal Lizzaraga last year at SCPA.
I would say that Marten is not merely an “enabler”…she is a co-conspirator since Foster CANNOT do anything operationally without her direct assistance and approval. Lamont Jackson directly reports to Cindy Marten.
And in the actual SDUTEB Editorial referred to:
When her son broke rules and was assessed the standard penalty of being denied the right to go to the prom, Lizarraga said she had a meeting with district administrator Lamont Jackson – who informed her that Foster’s son was indeed going to the prom, and that she wouldn’t be returning as principal in the 2014-15 school year.
The interesting issue with this quote is that we AND the SDUTEB refer to then Area Supt., now Superintendent Finalist, Lamont Jackson as one of the enablers/co-conspirators that helped Foster violate “SDUSD Board Bylaws (http://www.sandi.net/domain/442) Governance Culture GC7, 1c, 2a, 2b.”
We archived that link to the board bylaws that has since been deleted by the SDUSD as part of their cover-up and a big reason that we NOW memorialize ALL SDUSD website links in a permanent archive to this day.
Here is the SDUSD deleted Governance Policies Manual, pg 40 GC7, 1c, 2a, 2b from May 15 2014
Again, although we laud the SDUTEB for their effort, we call them out for characterizing Marten and Jackson as enablers rather than co-conspirators…a major difference that allowed Marten to continue as an incompetent and corrupt Superintendent and get a promotion to the Dept. of Education and for Jackson to become one of the finalists to replace her.
As a reader you may wonder why we are digging into these previous District Deeds Posts. Although it does not seem like it, we ARE very thankful for the SDUTEB speaking out about the current SDUSD Superintendent Selection scam and the SDUSD scams they have exposed in the past.
The BIG problem we have is a matter of degree.
It was great that the SDUTEB was willing to dive into the Marne Foster disaster and that they were willing to expose in main stream media the roles of Marten and Jackson. The BIG problem that we have is that they stopped at Foster and let Marten and Jackson completely off the hook. It could be that they relied on their compromised and intimidated reporters to follow up and that their Reporters were just to intimidated or too incompetent to do it.
We are having the same problem with the featured editorial today. It went part of the way, not ALL the way, to expose the SDUSD crony selection process.
The SDUTEB should be praised for reminding their readers in the first sentence that:
“In 2013, when the San Diego Unified school board secretly appointed Central Elementary School Principal Cindy Marten as district superintendent just after her predecessor announced plans to step down, there was public outrage that trustees didn’t seek community input or have a formal search for candidates before choosing her in closed session.”
We ask the SDUTEB and the SDUSD what has actually changed in the selection process except the selection in 2014 was PRIVATELY secretive and this one is PUBLICLY secretive.
How do ANY SDUSD Stakeholders know that the best finalists were chosen?
Simply three, 2 hour rigged meetings with zero transparency of ALL candidate applicants and what criteria was used to narrow the selection to these 2 weak finalists is just enabling Tricky Dick Barrera to slam the selection door shut after the best ethical candidates have been improperly eliminated.
So to make it very simple and direct for the SDUSD Leadership, the SDUTEB and ALL SDUSD Stakeholders, here are items that MUST be investigated and published before any public selection meetings occur for the SDUSD Superintendent position and that we would expect that the SDUTEB will support with both their editorials and their reporters:
The SDUSD MUST:
- Provide a complete list of ALL SDUSD Superintendent applicants. If the names cannot legally be released, the credentials of each with employer names redacted must be released.
- Provide the specific experience of all candidates that were interviewed.
- Provide the detailed qualification criteria list for the position. This is not the job description, this is an SDUSD generated soft skills/hard skills/experience required capability list.
- Explain why the SDUSD leadership lied about having 3 qualified finalists and, after eliminating the bylaw compromised Jackson, ended up with one candidate with Superintendent experience over 17,000 Students.
As a final message to the SDUTEB:
DON’T GIVE UP NOW!
We look forward to you supporting full SDUSD honesty and transparency in the items listed above and FULL followup to hold the SDUSD accountable in an open selection process that includes ALL SDUSD Stakeholders!
As a final message to all SDUSD Stakeholders and District Deeds Readers:
The SDUTEB made the following request:
If you think one 90-minute forum is inadequate to address these difficult issues, send an email to email@example.com asking for more. And CC us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also CC or BCC us to the address below with the comments you send to the UT. With your permission we will post the best comments (with email redacted) in a future District Deeds post.
Here is our email:
“To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.” – Thomas Jefferson
“We have to uphold a free press and freedom of speech – because, in the end, lies and misinformation are no match for the truth.” — Barack Obama
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