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With only 6 more days until the San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) single 90 minute community outreach meeting scam to allow each SDUSD Stakeholder .00675 seconds to “interview” the 2 “Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera predetermined” Superintendent candidates highlighted in Sunday Reads January 30th, we found a highly relevant article related to how school districts need to build an “experienced educator” pipeline to prepare for them to “step into superintendent roles”.

Today’s Sunday Reads profiles an article from SmartBrief that explores the ways effective and ethical school districts can deploy “superintendent recruitment and retention”.  Obviously the SDUSD is not effective or ethical but at least this shows what SHOULD be done instead of a scam 90 minute meeting for over 200,000 SDUSD Stakeholders.

We have featured the complete SmartBrief article today in Sunday Reads with our synopsis and analysis and we strongly urge our readers to click on the title (in red) to read the full article for themselves.

Superintendent turnover is skyrocketing. What school districts can do now to retain experienced educators 


In districts across the country, the growing stack of resignation letters from talented educators is a warning sign for school communities everywhere. Many school superintendents — exhausted from the pandemic and feeling underappreciated — are leaving the field right alongside their staff. And because the industry as a whole has failed to address inequities in leadership development, finding the right fit for open positions will be difficult, leaving students underserved and underrepresented.

The good news is that it’s an eminently fixable problem. The changes we make today will open new pathways for experienced, passionate educators to step into superintendent roles and better support them as they navigate the challenges of leadership.

The signs of the times

This month, The Hechinger Report sounded the bell about an impending leadership crisis in K-12 education: A typical year sees a 14% vacancy in school superintendent jobs due to retirements and the usual comings and goings. In 2022, however, Hechinger predicts a 25% turnover in districts’ top seat nationwide. One in four public school students will return to the classroom next fall to find a new person leading their districts.

Similarly, a recent K-12 industry job fair sponsored by Gaggle saw some 1,500 job-seekers — and the overwhelming majority were giving their resumes to K-12 service and solution providers. These companies are growing by leaps and bounds as a result of the pandemic and seeking former educators to join their ranks.

Just as important as stopping this ongoing turnover is recognizing who’s not in superintendent positions to begin with.

In its 2020 “State of the Superintendency” analysis, the American Association of School Administrators found that only 24% of sitting superintendents are women, and only 8% are people of color. According to the last US census, approximately 51% of the school-age population are girls, and 50% of all students are children of color.

How to improve superintendent recruitment, retention

School communities can take several actions to recruit and retain skilled leaders from diverse backgrounds and support them in their roles.

Admit that we have a problem, and amplify the good work being done by women and people of color in the superintendency. We need to raise up the accomplishments of educational leaders who defy the national averages and exceed the average tenure for women and people of color in leadership positions. Sharing these success stories will change the traditional perception of a superintendent and inspire all districts to consider candidates based entirely on their merits. That includes those who may represent different demographics or have different backgrounds, cultural experiences and identities.

At the same time, we must look at the successes of schools where students of color see themselves reflected in their school leaders. Research shows that Black, Hispanic and Latino students have better academic outcomes, are better represented in gifted programs and experience a more supportive school culture when their districts are led by those who look like them.

Current superintendents and senior leaders should seek to mentor and coach those with leadership acumen. Sometimes the best potential future leaders are right under our noses. We cannot allow our biases and societal norms to dictate the demographic makeup of school leadership. It is incumbent upon those of us sitting in the superintendent seat to model for our teams the work of seeking out potential leaders, including those who might be hidden from view at first, and to support their professional growth. In one study, 91% of female superintendents surveyed said formal and informal mentoring relationships were advantageous in furthering their careers.

Make the role of superintendent more attractive. Invite future leaders to travel out of district to learn from colleagues and others. Create spaces where current and aspiring educational leaders can speak openly about equity issues and the business of leading school districts primarily through the lenses of women and people of color. These culturally responsive learning and networking environments for leaders should also include white male allies

Provide support when challenges arise. Superintendents are experiencing a level of politically charged backlash like never before due to everything from mask mandates to banning books to calls for teaching whitewashed versions of history.  Leaders of color, especially, bear the heaviest load. According to a report in The Boston Globe, Black superintendents say they aren’t given the benefit of the doubt in the face of crises, receive less support than their white peers, and experience harsher job performance reviews. White allies are needed to stand beside these talented leaders and support them in the face of unfair or biased criticism.

We also need to consider how issues of work-life balance can affect leaders’ work and advancement. It would be prudent to look to the private sector and borrow strategies that can help ensure that colleagues feel valued and, more important, that their families and their before- and after-work interests and responsibilities are valued by their place of work.

Students are now able to learn anywhere, anytime with a device and internet connection. We are pushing boundaries beyond the seat-time model of measuring student work and progress — and we can do the same for the adults who power our schools. There are many complexities to this, and being present and in-person with students will always need to be a priority. However, we also have an opportunity to enable staff to work nontraditional hours, when feasible, to achieve a more meaningful work-life balance.

If we work together as a community of leaders to recruit and develop the next generation of leaders, and if we specifically put our minds to undoing the gender and racial discrepancy between our educational leaders and our students, we can turn the fallout from the pandemic and the impending leadership vacuum into a major win for every child in our school systems.


Doug Roberts is the CEO of the Institute for Education Innovation. He connects leaders in school districts with edtech companies to drive change in education and is the creator of the inaugural Supes Choice Awards, which recognizes innovative edtech solutions.

Luvelle Brown, the superintendent of the Ithaca City School District in New York, is an experienced educator who has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, school CIO, and superintendent. He has received awards such as New York State Superintendent of the Year in 2017 and AASA’s Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award. He also is an adjunct faculty member at SUNY Cortland and St. John Fisher College in New York.

Brown and the Institute for Education Innovation will be co-hosting the Cultivating Leaders for Equity and Inclusion Workshop in Ithaca, N.Y., on July 22-24, 2023. All aspiring educational leaders are invited to apply to attend. 

District Deeds Synopsis:

Only 6 more days until the Tricky Dick SDUSD Superintendent Scam occurs with the stark realization that this corrupt Superintendent appointment process has been an “inside job” from the very start 8 years ago with the illegal appointment of former Supt. Cindy Marten.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary provides the following definition:

The District Deeds characterization of the SDUSD “inside job” is as follows:

“Everyone knows who illegally appoints SDUSD Superintendents, and the SDUSD Stakeholders know it is an inside job of the corrupt SDUSD leadership led by Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera.”

Everyone also knows that the corruption of Students by using them as propganda props is a byproduct of this SDUSD educational disaster.

Check out this SDUSD YouTube propaganda video using Students to promote the corrupt selection process:

Here is the YouTube link.  We embedded the Video on District Deeds above so the SDUSD couldn’t delete it and cover up their irresponsible actions.

We commented:

“What a horrible way to victimize Students as props for the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Superintendent Selection scam! The SDUSD senior leadership under corrupt Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera have no shame. Read more about this widespread SDUSD corruption at https://districtdeeds.blog/”

We are proud of the Students in the video for trying to be a key part of the SDUSD Supoerintendent process.  They trying to be responsible citizens.  But we are extremely disappointed and condemn the SDUSD for allowing the Propaganda Department to use them in this totally unethical way.

Despite this sense of foreboding of the “check the community involvement box” bogus Superintendent Screening meeting in 6 days, we were excited to find today’s article from EdSource describing the ethical and functional way to create a Superintendent successor pipeline.  To that end, we will dissect the 4 key sugggestions in the article and their relevance to the current SDUSD Superintendent selection process.

First of all we need to set the ground rules for this analysis.

To help, here is final section of the article that provides a link to a workshop by one of the authors:

Luvelle Brown, the superintendent of the Ithaca City School District in New York, is an experienced educator who has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, school CIO, and superintendent. He has received awards such as New York State Superintendent of the Year in 2017 and AASA’s Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award. He also is an adjunct faculty member at SUNY Cortland and St. John Fisher College in New York.

The criteria to attend is that “you are passionate about ensuring equity in education and diversifying the make-up of education leaders”.

In other words, the exact opposite criteria of the corrupt SDUSD leadership for at least the last eight years according to an open letter to the SDUSD by the San Diego branch of the NAACP:

Given that corrupt, but correct, SDUSD baseline, we will proceed with our analysis:

Suggestion #1:  Admit that we have a problem, and amplify the good work being done by women and people of color in the superintendency.

Suggestion #1 District Deeds Analysis:

This is a great suggestion from EdSource but totally undoable in the current SDUSD for 2 reasons – ZERO Honestly and Accontability:

  1. The SDUSD NEVER admits they have a problem or that they are wrong in any way.  They say employees, or parents or students have problems and have made mistakes but they never question their own total lack of skillfull and equitable oversight.  For example, if there is a $124 million budget deficit, it is a “structural deficit”, not gross budget mismanagement by both elected and appointed senior SDUSD leadership.
  2. Although they amplify work (not actually good) “being done by women and people of color in the superintendency.”, the “work” itself is a fraud.  Recent Supt. Cindy Marten (a woman) and current interim Supt. Lamont Jackson (a person of color) have been continuously praised for performance achieved by fake graduation rates and cherry picked AP/CAASP achievement data.

Based on the continuing erratic and undecipherable educational response to the Covid Pandemic (that the SDUSD has never admitted to) the future for improvenment in this category is bleak.

Suggestion #2:  Current superintendents and senior leaders should seek to mentor and coach those with leadership acumen.

Suggestion #2 District Deeds Analysis:

Another great suggestion.

San Diego Unified BRAIN DRAIN!

Unfortunately, due the purging of any and all ethical and/or highly skilled educational leadership personnel and the Brain Drain of senior leadership that fled immediately following the Marten illegal appointment, the SDUSD Stakeholders cupboard of highly skilled educators is empty resulting in Middle School experienced Interim Supt. Lamont Jackson actually being a finalist from the corrupted and diseased superintendent successor pipeline.

Suggestion #3:  Make the role of superintendent more attractive.

Suggestion #3 District Deeds Analysis:

This is NOT a problem with the SDUSD and is actually one of its strongest points.

The SDUSD Superintedent is well paid…Marten made over $300,000 including benefits.  She also wielded absolute power over her domain.

However there is a catch.

In order to become SDUSD Superintendent you must “sell your soul” to Trustee Tricky Dick Barrera.  Absolutely NOTHING is off the table, and when commanded you must obey absolutely with lies and cover-ups of gross financial, operational and human resource mismanagement  no matter the harm it does to students, employees, familes or taxpayers.

This embedded “sell your soul” requirement also applies to employees aspiring to advancement in the SDUSD and poisons the superintendent successor pipeline.

Suggestion #4:  Provide support when challenges arise.

Suggestion #4 District Deeds Analysis:

Support is not an issue in the SDUSD…with one HUGE condition.

As we said in Suggestion 3, as long as you “sell your soul” to Tricky Dick Barrera, you will have $1.4 billion of support from the SDUSD including unlimited legal representation and a propagabda machine to defend your illegal, unlawful and unethical acts.  You have absolute power and backing from the super majority Democrats at the school board, city council, state legislature, federal house and senate, department of education and presidency.  If you sell your soul to Tricky Dick, as a parent, an employee, as a student, you cannot be touched.

You will be given plum job assignments.

You will be appointed to fake “official SDUSD” committees.

You will have the SDUSD dependent and complicit local media interview you as a local “source” and see yourself on TV and in the newspaper.

You will get proclamations (like former Trustee Marne Foster).

You will be named a finalist for Superintendent.

Sounds GREAT right?

But the BIG questions are, after you sell your soul to Barrera…

Can you look at yourself in the mirror?

Can you be a role model for children?

Can you live with yourself and your corrupted legacy?

And, if so, the BIG question from Barrera…

How cheap can you be bought?

Can you be Dorian Gray?

Now for our quote of the week dedicated to the malignant, unethical disease spread within the SDUSD leadership by Trustee Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera:

You think you’re bold? You think you know sin? You’re still learning the language, I wrote the bloody book. – Dorian Gray  


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