What We Learned This Week

What We Learned This Week

File photo by Sam Hodgson

Bob Filner poses with longshoremen, a group of people he may need to get to know better.

 

San Diego Schools Are Missing the Revolution: The cursory system for evaluating teachers that’s used by San Diego Unified had been commonplace around the country until recently. But now, big city mayors and superintendents have been revolutionizing that system, in part by using advanced data analysis. The San Diego Unified School District isn’t interested in that movement, Will Carless explains in a piece that we also published in San Diego Magazine.

The new methods are quite controversial: A local parents group argues that teachers actually crave evaluation, while the teachers union says that’s true and concedes things need to change, but it doesn’t like the new way things are headed either.

Transparency Rules! We called off the dogs Friday in our public-records battle with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith after striking a compromise. We’d been battling with him now for weeks in the hopes of getting more information public about the $1 billion tax increase hoteliers are deciding on in private. Liam Dillon’s story explains clearly what this whole tax increase is about, why we wanted the info and why Goldsmith and Co. deserve a tip of the cap.

After taking umbrage with being called a “barnyard animal” (he got Goat of the Week last week on VOSD Radio), Goldsmith should be exulted to hear that Saturday he will be elevated to Hero of the Week status.

What People in the Neighborhoods Really Want from City Hall: The concerns of the residents in northerly City Council District 7 are diverse. In Tierrasanta, they’re worried about fire. In Grantville, they’re worried about becoming the next Mission Valley. And in Linda Vista, they’re just worried about being heard and having decent streets and sidewalks.

Will Carless spent the week in District 7 finding out what matters to people. Next week he’ll have guides to the candidates, and Rob Davis will be in District 5, which covers the city’s northern, inland neighborhoods. Get in touch with him to let him know what we should cover.

I spent last week in District 9 getting to know the issues and putting together guides to candidates Marti Emerald and Mateo Camarillo.

Bob Filner Doesn’t Know the Port: Bob Filner’s built his mayoral campaign around his ideas for the port. Next up: building his ideas for the port around the facts. Investigative Newsource ran his port statements through the fact check wringer and the result wasn’t pretty for the campaign’s only big-name Dem. Our Liam Dillon points out that this isn’t anything new for Filner. My guest host on VOSD Radio this week Sam Ollinger from Bike San Diego revealed an interesting detail about Filner and also offered one of our end-of-show awards. You can catch the podcast of the show, which runs Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on AM 600 and FM 95.7 KOGO. And we’ll post it on our site Monday.

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Quick Hits:

• UC San Diego struck an agreement with the U.S. departments of justice and education on Friday to overhaul how it deals with complaints of racial problems. The agreement comes two years after the school dealt with a rash of racial tensions. (NBC 7 San Diego)

That prompted us to look at why black students are so scarce at the school. The reasons: a bad rep in the black community and an acceptance formula that could disadvantage black students.

• It’s looking like San Diego will be the first place to name a street after Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California. As a San Francisco supervisor, he was assassinated in the 1970s. (U-T San Diego)

• The Graphic of the Week shows off San Diego’s rollercoaster ride with bank robberies. They dropped big-time in 2009, returned to normal levels in 2010, and they dropped again last year.

What You’re Saying and Reading

• It’s been a good week for discussion on the site. The Top 5 reader comments this week are all strong and touch on some big issues: evaluating teachers, pining for the days of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, questioning the mayor’s legacy and holding mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio’s feet to the fire.

• Every week engagement maven Dagny Salas puts together a list of must-reads for the weekend. This week, she’s got pieces on food stamps, newspaper barons and Filner’s port flubs.

Know of something we should all be reading? Drop her a line at dagny.salas@voiceofsandiego.org.

Number of the Week

1.6

— The percentage of black students at UC San Diego in 2010, when racial tensions came to a head.

Quote of the Week

“Your so-called investigative reporter is missing the forest for the trees.”

— Congressman Bob Filner, on KBPS’ “Evening Edition,” defending his port statements.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526. Follow me on Twitter: @AndrewDonohue.

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Andrew Donohue

Andrew Donohue
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