Happy May Day to all of our Readers!

Today, May 1, 2022 is celebrated internationally as May Day.  In the United States it is celebrated in three different ways.

According to Wikipedia there are three versions of May Day:

  • The traditional, international May Day   “…is an ancient festival marking the first day of summer, and a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.” and “May Day celebrations were common at women’s colleges and academic institutions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a tradition that continues at Bryn Mawr College and Brenau University to this day.”In Minneapolis, the May Day Parade and Festival is presented annually by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre on the first Sunday in May, and draws around 50,000 people to Powderhorn Park. On 1 May itself, local Morris Dance sides converge on an overlook of the Mississippi River at dawn, and then spend the remainder of the day dancing around the metro area.
  • A second version of Mayday was created in 1889 when “May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the socialists and communists of the Second International, as well as anarchists, labor activists, and leftists in general around the world, to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and the struggle for an eight-hour working day. International Workers’ Day is also called “May Day”, but it is a different celebration from the traditional May Day.

This week in Sunday Reads we identify the impact of unions, specifically the SDEA leadership, in the dysfunctional San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and what that means to all other SDUSD Stakeholders and christen a fourth NEW May Day version…the 2022 SDUSD Election Miracle May Day – #no50votes!!!

We have featured the complete EducationNext article today in Sunday Reads with our synopsis.  The article provides some exceptional charts for your review.  We strongly urge our readers to review the charts and click on the title and other links (in red) to read the full article and backup material for yourselves.

Democrats Have Lost Public Confidence in Education but Republicans Havent Gained It

One in five voters don’t trust either party

By Frederick Hess

Going back a half century or more, Democrats have generally enjoyed a substantial lead on education. The party’s broad support for more education spending, outspoken embrace of public education, and close ties to teachers unions and the education establishment have usually added up to a hefty advantage, one that became more significant in recent decades as education assumed a more visible, national profile.

Today, though, Democratic stances on education may be playing differently. Fierce debates over school closures, school masking policies, critical race theory, gender policy, and student-loan forgiveness appear to be producing headwinds for Democrats on an issue they’ve long owned. Polling by Morning Consult found that the Democratic lead on education shrank to seven points in November 2021 from 20 points in January 2021. The Washington Post–ABC News poll put the Democratic lead on education at just three points in the fall of 2021. And a recent Wall Street Journal poll found that lead had declined to just five points in March 2022 from nine points in November 2021.

There’s also anecdotal evidence that Democrats are facing challenges on education. In uber-progressive San Francisco, over 70 percent of voters supported a recall effort that ousted three school-board members who were seen as unduly focused on social justice and insufficiently concerned with managing the budget and reopening schools. Likewise, the Virginia gubernatorial contest in fall 2021 was ultimately—fairly or not—treated by many pundits as something of a referendum on current fights in education. In that contest, of course, Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin defeated former Governor Terry McAuliffe in a state that President Joe Biden won by double digits in 2020.

Ruy Teixeira, political scientist at the Center for American Progress and coauthor of The Emerging Democratic Majority, argues that Democrats are facing a “common sense problem” whereby they are “losing the plot relative to the median voter.” Regarding education, Teixeira has suggested that too many influential voices on the left have grown uncomfortable with broadly supported notions of merit, high standards, and personal responsibility. For example, he notes that even in deep-blue Massachusetts, voters—including Black voters—overwhelmingly believe that racial achievement gaps “are not due just to racism” and that “standards of high achievement should be maintained for people of all races.”

All of this raises timely questions: How does the public feel about Democrats and Republicans when it comes to education? Has the Democratic Party actually lost voter confidence on education in recent years? And, if so, has the Republican Party been able to capitalize on this change?

The Data

To answer these questions, we can turn to the polling. From 2003 to 2022, New Models and Winning the Issues used the Winston Group to phone poll 1,000 registered voters on the following question 78 different times: “Which party do you have more confidence in to handle the issue of education, the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?” Respondents were able to select from one of three response options: “Republican,” “Democrat,” or “Don’t Know/Refused.” (These response options could differ slightly, but these differences are minor. For example, “Democrat” was sometimes replaced with “Democratic” or “Democratic Party.” More significantly, through the end of 2015, the third response option was “Don’t Know/Refuse”; after 2015, the third response option was simply “Don’t Know.” Interestingly, the third response option became more popular after 2015.) While the question was not asked every single year, the extended time horizon, consistent wording, and consistent polling method offer an exceptional opportunity to track the trend of relative confidence in Republicans and Democrats on education over the long term.

Figure 1 shows the overall results of these polls. For those years when the question was polled many times, only the average results of the poll in that year were graphed.

Figure 1. Voter Confidence on Education, 2003–22

Source: New Models Poll 2003-2015; Winning the Issues National Poll 2017-2022

Figure 1 paints a pretty clear picture. During every one of the past 20 years, the Democratic Party led the GOP in voter confidence on education. For the whole of that period, the average Democratic lead was 15 points (51–36). All averages, unless otherwise noted, are the yearly averages, not averages of all the polls weighted equally. Between 2003 and 2019, confidence in the Democratic Party on education never dipped below 47 percent, and only in 2014 did the Democratic lead fall into the single digits.

In the past few years, however, there has been a noticeable shift. Confidence in the Democratic Party in 2022 has fallen below 45 percent, its lowest point in the past 20 years. This decline is more easily seen in Figure 2, which uses the same data as Figure 1 but plots how each party performed in a given year relative to the year in which it posted its best performance. Figure 2 shows that confidence in the Democratic Party on education in 2021 and 2022 had fallen to more than 15 points below its 2009 peak. It also highlights that the five best years for Democrats on education between 2003 and 2022 all came before 2014, while the five worst years have all come since.

Figure 2. Yearly Party Performance on Education Relative to Best Party Performance

Source: New Models Poll 2003-2015; Winning the Issues National Poll 2017-2022

The Democratic Party’s lead on the Republican Party on the issue of education has also diminished since 2003. Figure 3, which maps the size of the Democratic lead on education, illustrates this trend. As noted, between 2003 and 2022, the GOP trailed Democrats by an average of 15 percentage points among registered voters. That lead dipped into single digits just once between 2003 and 2019, in 2014 (at the height of the Common Core backlash). During the past two years, however—as debates over school closures, school masking, critical race theory, and gender policy have come to the fore—the Democratic lead has fallen into the single digits once again.

Figure 3. The Democratic Party Lead over the GOP on Education

Source: New Models Poll 2003-2015; Winning the Issues National Poll 2017-2022

Taken as a whole, the data suggest that Democrats are struggling more on education than at any other time in the past two decades. Crucially, however, that has not yet translated into substantial gains by the Republican Party. Confidence in the Republican Party on education hovered between 32 and 40 percent in all but two years between 2003 and 2019, and it has remained firmly planted in that same range even in 2021 and 2022. Indeed, neither 2021 nor 2022 ranks in the top five years for the GOP on education—despite the waning public confidence in Democrats on this issue.

In short, Democrats are bleeding on the issue of education, and Republicans are making only modest gains. Meanwhile, there’s been a substantial jump since 2017 in the number of voters who say they don’t know which party they trust on education. After hovering between 10 and 15 percent between 2003 and 2015, the share of voters responding “Don’t Know” has jumped closer to 20 percent in recent years.


There’s less confidence in Democrats on education than there has been at any time in two decades, with support now sitting at about 45 percent—down from a Barack Obama–era peak of 61 percent. Democrats have been losing voters’ confidence for a half decade, and that decline has become noticeably steeper over the past two years.

That said, while Republicans have bounced back from exceptional lows in 2017 and 2019, they’ve not so far made gains commensurate with the Democratic losses. Even as confidence in the Democratic Party on education has fallen to 45 percent, the GOP has not been able to break the 40 percent mark.

Meanwhile, a substantial share of voters (nearly one in five) currently trust neither party when it comes to education. The percentage of voters rejecting both parties has jumped in recent years, after remaining fairly consistent between 2003 and 2015.

What does this all mean?

It seems clear that Democrats are losing the confidence of some number of swing voters but that those voters don’t yet trust the Republicans on education. For Democrats, this suggests a chance to win back these voters’ confidence if the party can identify and is willing to address its problems.

For Republicans, it suggests an enormous opportunity. If the GOP could win over the voters whom Democrats have pushed away, it could draw even on education—or even turn a perennial weakness into a strength.

There’s also the question of how permanent any shifts will be. To the extent that they’re driven by heated culture clashes, the closest analog to the current situation may be the Common Core fights of the Obama years. Those fights yielded big Republican gains on education, but those gains dissipated as the Common Core faded from prominence. It’s an open question if shifts driven by frustration with school closures or critical race theory will prove longer-lasting.

Frederick Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and an executive editor of Education Next.

This report is also available at AEI.org.

District Deeds Analysis:


Living in San Diego over the last 35 years and following political develooments over that period, it is no “news flash” that the populace leans left with the Democratic Party

Here is some evidence.

According to Wikipedia, in the last 15 years, San Diego County Democrats have held a sizable edge:


Again, from Wikipedia, in the City of San Diego, the edge is even more pronounced:

The city of San Diego itself is more Democratic than the county’s average and has voted for Democrats Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Clinton respectively, in the last seven presidential elections. With a few exceptions, areas close to the Mexican border tend to be more Democratic, while North County tends to be more Republican.

District Deeds is part of the sizable 28.4% “No Party Preference”.  We vote for qualified candidates from all political persuasions.  We switched from Democrat to No Party Preference at least 20 years ago.

According to the featured article from EducationNext that dominance could be changing even in deep Blue San Diego:

There’s less confidence in Democrats on education than there has been at any time in two decades, with support now sitting at about 45 percent—down from a Barack Obama–era peak of 61 percent. Democrats have been losing voters’ confidence for a half decade, and that decline has become noticeably steeper over the past two years.

So what, despite national trends and the total corruption and dysfunction of the SDUSD leadership since 2013 supporting the reasons for that trend nationally, is preventing the emergence of at least one non-democratic party candidate to be elected as a SDUSD Trustee?

Has SDUSD Stakeholder trust eroded enough to make that miracle happen?

A good first step was the “District Only” election change made in the 2020 election.  No longer can well funded special interest groups overwhelm individual candidates citywide.

But HUGE problems for that 2022 election miracle to occur still remain.

The well funded special interest groups cab STILL overwhelm individual candidates in each SDUSD District separately and the current structure of legal campaign contributions allow it.

The first problem is that SDUSD Board of Education (BOE) Trustee elections are designated as “nonpartisan”.  Here is the definition of “nonpartisan” from Webster’s Dictionary:

Despite the fact that the SDUSD BOE election is supposedly “nonpartisan”, each of the current SDUSD BOE members are aligned with the Democratic Party and get cash and endorsements from Democrat aligned special interest groups like the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) Political Action Committee (PAC).

The theory of the Webster “nonpartisan” definition is denied in SDUSD/SDEA practice.  The current SDUSD BOE Trustees are obviously NOT “free from party affilation”

An article from the San Diego Union Tribune (SDUT) from the November, 2020 elections titled “San Diego Unified School Board Candidates Backed by Unions Prevail” emphasizes that fact..

That article says:

The leading school board candidates — incumbents Richard Barrera and Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, as well as health educator and former parent volunteer Sabrina Bazzo — were all endorsed by the San Diego teachers union. All five members of the current school board were endorsed by the union when they ran.

ALL the elected candidates were Democrats…and

The amounts of money raised by the six candidates were not huge — ranging from $15,669 raised by Barrera to $0 reported by Harris, as of Oct. 17 — but the teachers union poured significant amounts into supporting candidates it endorsed.

The San Diego Education Association spent more than $364,000 on campaign costs, such as mailers and online advertising, for all three candidates this year, including the primary elections, according to campaign spending filings as of Oct. 17.

BOE Trustee Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera exposes the true depth of his corruption this way in the same SDUT article:

Meanwhile Barrera said he thinks the teachers union endorsement holds significant weight in elections because voters trust teachers, and they want to know who teachers are backing.

In other words, SDUSD Parents (voters) who are forced to trust teachers with their precious children for 8 hours a day can be easily exploited by partisan union backing of his candidacy.  Apparently he thinks Parents are too stupid to realize they are being conned by both him and the self serving SDEA leadership.

The SDEA has conveniently dovetailed the nonpartisan tag to their advantage and exposed the second huge problem…how the nonpartisan tag is exploited “through election laws and SDEA Bylaws”.

The teachers union explains it this way on its “FAQ: Political Action Committee” page:

In other words, by the SDUSD BOE being designated “nonpartisan” in name only, the SDEA, a public sector union, can pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaigns of Democratic Trustee candidates that will in return, after elected, provide the SDEA with an unending flow of billons of dollars of salary, raises and benefits approved by those same Trustees they endorsed.

But on that same page, this is what they tell their members:

We are not an audit organization and we have no idea how the SDEA manages to turn “only has a few thousand dollars per election to support pro-educator candidates and policies” into “The San Diego Education Association spent more than $364,000 on campaign costs”.

We are sure there is some other loophole that we have not yet found that allows the SDEA to legally justify it.

We are sure that everything they have done is completely legal.

But we ask our readers…

What does that $364,000 to elect an unqualified, biased, crony candidate mean to a SDUSD family in abject poverty that the SDUSD has educationally failed?

We believe it means unethical betrayal and corruption.

We believe that with the electoral control of SDUSD BOE elections through special interest money, it has turned the SDUSD into a tyranny of the minority.

Does $364,000 = “a few thousand dollars” to you?

Do overwhelming 5-0 partisan votes mean any semblance of democracy to you?

What do YOU believe?

It obviously means money to the SDEA which is reportedly asking for an 8% raise to partially help fund the “ten cents per month” political contributions to their newly endorsed SDUSD BOE candidates.

May Day is just another payday for the SDEA and SDUSD leadership to celebrate monetizing the Parents’ trust of Teachers.

May Day is just another payday for the SDEA and SDUSD leadership to celebrate monetizing the ruthless financial exploitation of ALL SDUSD Students.

But OUR fight has just begun.

It means a fourth version of May Day..

The SDUSD 2022 Election Miracle May Day version!

We must make this the FIRST May Day for ALL SDUSD Stakeholders, Democrat. Republican and No Party Preference alike, to COMMIT to VOTING AGAINST SDUSD BOE Candidates endorsed by a SDUSD BOE Trustee and/or the SDEA or any other special interest group.

We must make this the FIRST May Day to either fully enforce nonpartisan SDUSD BOE elextions by disallowing campaign contributions by special interest groups or to just make it partisan to close the campaign finance loophole.

Help make the 2022 SDUSD BOE election miracle happen.

Our Students’ education and future depends on it.


Now for our quote of the week dedicated to SDUSD Stakeholders who will keep the faith and refuse to be exploited by the monetization of trust by the SDUSD/SDEA leadership by voting AGAINST any candidate with a SDUSD BOE Trustee or SDEA endorsement.

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.  – Voltaire


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