San Diego Unified Board of Education, San Diego Unified School District, Universal Transitional Kindergarten, UTK
Happy Summer Vacation to all our readers in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and worldwide!
With the 2022/2023 SDUSD school year about to begin on August 29, 2022, we decided get a head start on the annual SDUSD propaganda marketing effort surrounding the first day of school.
To that end, we are featuring an article from the New York Post Editorial Board that exposes a tactic used by the New York City Department of Education to cover up decreasing enrollment in public schools.
We have provided the brief article in its entirety but strongly urge our readers to click on the article title (in red) to review the full article for themselves and their family.
City Department of Education is trying to hide the true drop in public-school enrollment
By Post Editorial Board – November 1, 2021
After weeks of stonewalling, the city’s Department of Education finally had to make public the 2021 school year enrollment figures but was still shifty.
With an Oct. 31 deadline to report the numbers to the state Education Department, the DOE announced a total of 938,000 students enrolled, compared with 955,000 last year.
But that includes pre-K toddlers — a category that’s growing, and so hides any larger K-12 decline.
Nor did the DOE provide a grade-by-grade breakdown to give the public a better understanding of what’s going on.
It did admit that charter-school enrollment rose 3.2 percent, from 139,000 to 143,000: These schools handle about 13 percent of the total public-school population of 1,081,000.
Last January, the DOE announced a 4 percent enrollment drop in its schools, about 43,000 students — bringing its pupil count to 960,000. But an internal report seen by The Post said the real total plummeted to 889,404 kids.
DOE’s student count was dropping before COVID: The 2017-2018 year saw a 1.4 percent dip, followed by a 1.5 percent drop in 2018-2019.
DISTRICT DEEDS SYNOPSIS AND ANALYSIS:
Ahhhh…“stonewalling”…a familiar phrase to ALL SDUSD Stakeholders!
Although this article from the New York Post is over a year old, it gave us some excellent clues as to how the SDUSD has been able to hide large drops in enrollment from SDUSD Stakeholders…and how they plan to do more of the same in the 2022/2023 school year.
Back on March 6, 2022 we posted “San Diego Unified Enrollment Lies Swallowed Again by Local Media…Here is the District Deeds 4 Step Antidote!!!” It is a scathing review of local media ineptness to nail down the truth about the ACTUAL SDUSD enrollment.
We offered local “journalists” 3 direct questions to ask the corrupt SDUSD Senior Leadership to clarify the ACTUAL SDUSD enrollment. Here are the 3 Investigative Journalist Questions we provided:
1. How were you able to manipulate the enrollment numbers to avoid exposure to major actual attendance decreases before covid and how can you attribute that loss to Charter Schools while your actual student performance in english and math has been tanking, especially for students of color? How much has Student enrollment and other key metrics been intentionally falsified at OTHER SDUSD schools by the SDUSD?
2. How can the SDUSD claim that there has been only 1% erosion per year of enrollment district wide over 10 years amounting to around 1,200 departing Students per year when there are 106 schools (out of 163 total) with less than 80% actual enrollment representing tens of thousands of student departures? How did you manipulate enrollment data to cover-up huge attendance decreases?
3. With proof of widespread departures from ALL grades at all SDUSD Schools, what independent documentation proves that “Much of San Diego Unified’s decrease showed up in the lowest grade levels”?
Not surprisingly, as far as we can tell from reviewing San Diego news outlets, virtually ZERO local “Investigative Journalists” have asked any of the 3 questions we provided.
Journalists are just one of the victims/collaborators of this enrollment coverup. It is very difficult for Journalists AND Stakeholders to understand the full method of SDUSD enrollment lies in the past
But the New York Post article gave us a huge hint as to how the corrupt SDUSD Senior Leadership will attempt to lie to us in the coming year:
“But that includes pre-K toddlers — a category that’s growing, and so hides any larger K-12 decline.“
We will start with the back story.
Here is the SDUSD Board of Education Trustee propaganda repeated by KPBS in April, 2021:
“Barrera said the most significant drop was in Kindergarten, which is optional for California students.”
The propaganda strategy was to deflect the negative implications of a rudderless, dysfunctional, poorly performing school district hemmoraging grades 1 through 12 Students by blaming it on the loss of Kindergarteners.
And the San Diego Media swallowed it hook, line and sinker!
But then the SDUSD came up with a strategy to fix both problems, Kindergarten and grades 1 – 12 enrollment, by another diversion. This is where the featured New York Post article about “includes pre-K toddlers” fits the SDUSD corrupt 2022/2023 enrollment cover up propaganda strategy:
FREE Daycare via Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) for 3 and 4 year olds! In other words, using the neediest families who can’t afford private sector day care to prop up the failing SDUSD.
According to a San Diego Channel 10 article :
“Starting in the fall, all San Diego Unified Elementary and K-8 schools will have a UTK classroom. Some campuses will have two to three classes.”
“Classes can have a max of up to 24 students”
SDUSD is adding 236 (average 2 per school) NEW classrooms with 2 Teachers each (472 NEW Teachers) which is equivalent to opening almost TWENTY NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS!
236 classrooms X 24 Students = 5,664 TOTAL new Students
(Editor Note: 236 classes divided by 12 K-5 classrooms each equals 19.6 schools)
This is not even counting the “Part-Day Early Learning Program at 17 school sites and an Extended-Day Early Learning Program at Central Elementary for 3 and 4-year old children for qualifying families.”
And what is the performance expectation required by law for these 236 NEW classrooms filled with the most vulnerable, youngest children?
Absolutely NOTHING except this platitude by a SDUSD employee:
“We’ve seen the data and the observation”…”We said we need to expand this across the district now to all of our 4-year- olds, in all of our communities, so that we all have the same experience.”
Was that UTK “data and the observation” was provided to the local news media?
We cannot find it in ANY local news article regarding this subject.
Was a detailed project plan with UTK milestones and accountabilities for this half-baked UTK plan provided to the Media or the public?
We cannot find it in ANY local news article regarding this subject.
But WE HAVE seen the data and the observation of performance of the SDUSD and it is an ugly sight:
9th graders unable to perform math and english at a 6th grade level.
And now we are to expect that this UTK to 3 and 4 year olds scam with no plan or accountabilities is going to fix what SDUSD K – 8 classrooms have not been able to fix in 9 years.
“So that we all have the same experience”
What “WE”? There is nothing close to the “same experience” currently in K-12 schools north and south of the 8 freeway. Now, out of the goodness in their heart the SDUSD wants their form of educational cancer to spread to 3 and 4 year olds?!?
How about fixing the current massive SDUSD education disaster in K-12 before you infect our babies!
But this enrollment scam gets worse.
Another SDUSD Employee says: “So we try to do as many hands-on learning as possible. It’s what UTK is all about.”
More SDUSD edu-speak: “Hands on learning“.
Doesn’t EVERY preschool engage in “hands on learning” since a 3 year old cannot generally read and write at a high communicative level at that age? All that is left is their hands!
Can anyone believe, even the biggest SDUSD sychophant, that the SDUSD can and will be held accountable for ANY educational advances (or lack thereof) in a quantified or qualified manner for these thousands of young, vulnerable, 3 and 4 year old students through something called “hands on learning”…in other words drawing pictures and playing with toy trucks and legos…while NOT being able to advance Students currently in K – 12?
And this: “It’s what UTK is all about.”
All about WHAT?!?
Milking more money from the State and Federal government to do absolutely nothing?
Starting a new educational initiative when the SDUSD can’t even provide the basics of Engish and Math to thousands of CURRENT Students?
Here are the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK)“straight from the UTK page on the SDUSD website
NOT ONE SINGLE FAQ ABOUT SDUSD UTK CONTENT OR ACCOUNTABILITY!
Obviously NOT an important FAQ to the corrupt and dysfunctional SDUSD.
And apparently, even with 3 and 4 year olds, Honesty, Accountability and Transparency is nowhere to be found.
What CAN be found from the corrupt SDUSD UTK scam is that they are counting on 4 things:
- The desperation of the poorest families to remedy their day care problem.
- Local media sychophants to ignore the hard questions about actual performance obligations by the SDUSD in UTK and instead offer scheduled photo-ops and video of cute 3 and 4 year olds in classrooms playing with legos.
- The confused combining of over 5,000 UTK students into the enrollment numbers to cover up the continued massive enrollment erosion by more affluent familes that can afford to move their kids to a non-SDUSD school.
- The 472 new UTK Teachers and their familes to vote for them for SDUSD School Board in the next election.
Will the local San Diego Media turn their backs on a great photo or video op showing smiling little kids in UTK and instead show how this is just a big scam with tough questions?
Probably not..they have rent to pay and mouths to feed in their own families.
We understand and don’t hold a grudge about it. To be shallow in the quest for eyeballs is part of their job.
The fear of banishment from access to SDUSD Leadership interviews and School Sites is strong and to keep their job it is much easier for a local “Journalist Jake” to:
Our San Diego Journalist “Jakes” (SDJJ) covering the SDUSD have a pretty good gig. The SDUSD Quality Assurance/Media contacts pump out double digit “Ready for Print” propaganda notices every month for the local SDJJ’s to gobble up and regurgitate in whatever personal style they desire.
Perfect for ALL the adults involved…an educational DISASTER for SDUSD Families.
All we can ask is for them to TRY to be better. To be BRAVE journalists we can ALL be proud of.
Just ask for the FULL curriculum and performance standards for UTK.
Just ask for the FULL definitions of “What UTK is all about”.
Just hold SDUSD UTK to full Honesty, Transparency and Accountability.
And just ask for what the New York Post was denied:
Just ask for “a grade-by-grade breakdown” of enrollment tied to actual Average Daily Attendance for every grade at every school for the last 3 years.
Please ask them on behalf of our 3 and 4 year olds.
Now for our “quote of the week dedicated to Local Media:
“Journalism is not for journalists. It’s for citizens, and we should have citizens in our minds at every point of what we do” – Shirish Kulkarni
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