Recent posts

Lincoln’s Steady Hand

He's been accused of being a sort-of revolutionary who's "indoctrinating students," but Kiki Ochoa, who teaches economics and government at Lincoln High, also provides a stable presence at the district's most volatile campus.

Disadvantaged Students Are Doing Better in Charter Schools

Charter schools in the state are performing better than they did a few years ago, and the same holds for San Diego charters, according to a new report. One notable finding: Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are doing better in charter schools than in traditional public schools.

Reminder: Teacher Tenure Isn’t Going Anywhere for a While

In a recent education town hall, congressional candidate Carl DeMaio talked about teacher tenure like it was a thing of the past. But the 'Vergara' ruling could be tied up in court for years. That might be a good thing: It gives communities time to hash out reforms.

All Eyes on Lincoln High

Some top school district brass was on hand for Lincoln High's first day of classes. In all the excitement, it’s almost possible to overlook the years of sputtering test scores and trench warfare between teachers and the administration that has made Lincoln a symbol of everything that's wrong with public schools in America. Almost.


New Teachers Bear the Burden of All Kinds of Public Policy Failures

San Diego Unified is right to consider low teacher experience a factor in lopsided suspension rates. But teachers aren't solely to blame — they often have to cope with the fallout from issues beyond their control, like a lack of affordable housing, unemployment and underserved neighborhoods.

A New Face and Old Battle Lines for Local Schools

Lindsay Burningham, the new president of the San Diego Education Association, is seen as more moderate and likely to compromise than some members of the union's more aggressive faction. But she's also holding strong to the kinds of teacher protections that have rankled reformers for years.

Wanna Fix Teacher Tenure? Look to Universities.

USD's Paula Cordeiro said teacher tenure is a valuable policy that should be protected. But she also said that for K-12 teachers, it’s a hurried decision that’s made in less than two years – before teachers have a chance to prove what they can do.

Behold the Power of an Educated Guess

UCSD's Ilan Samson created a calculator that requires users to make a close guess before revealing an answer. It helps reinforce new Common Core standards, and tries to reverse a fundamental flaw in how we teach math: The result is valued more than the process.

A New School of Thought on Discipline

San Diego Unified's new approach to school discipline amounts to an entire paradigm shift. But it's still not sure what to do with the catch-all "willful defiance" punishment that can ensnare kids for minor rule-breaking.

Superintendent Forced Into Contradiction on English-Learners

Superintendent Cindy Marten once supported Thrive Public School, a charter trying to get approved in San Diego Unified. Then she urged the state to reject it, citing an incomplete plan for handling English-learners. The district, however, doesn't seem like it's in a place to lecture anyone on what to do about students learning English.