Recent posts

Students Are Bailing on Castle Park High

Students are fleeing the South Bay school in droves. Experts say the school-choice program that kick-started the exodus helps disenfranchised communities, but it also provokes a chicken-egg dilemma: How can suffering schools improve if students keep jumping ship?

The Scott Barnett Exit Interview

The firebrand of the school board says he's relieved to fade out of the public eye. An outspoken voice for accountability and reining in spending, Barnett says, "I give myself an A for effort, and a D+ for success."

Beware the Graduation Requirement End-Arounds

San Diego Unified wants to move heaven and earth to get its students on track to graduate under strict new course requirements. But some of the moves the district is making could open the door to subtly watering down the standards and creating end-arounds to ensure they're met.

Cindy Marten’s Return from Oz

Last year’s State of the District address was gauzy and idealistic, complete with on-screen rainbows, colorful balloons and copious references to "The Wizard of Oz." But after spending a year in the trenches, Superintendent Cindy Marten's came with a speech that was far more stripped down and unplugged.

3 Things Teach for America Is Doing Right in San Diego

Now in its second school year in San Diego, Teach for America has expanded from 19 to 41 teachers – and it's already putting to work some of the strategies for recruiting rookie teachers that San Diego Unified is now recommending for itself.

‘This Is a Systemic Failure’

San Diego Unified will be engaged in a kind of short-term triage for the next year and a half to help the many students who aren't on track to meet strict new graduation requirements. Simultaneously, it will need to rebuild the system.

Public Schools Are Getting More Private Money Than Ever

A new study found that the number of parent and community-led private fundraising groups is snowballing. In California, private fundraising has become a way for parents to raise money for their kids' schools and compensate for inadequacies in state funding.

Breaking Down Beiser’s Absences

Training and conferences only account for a quarter of San Diego Unified school board president Kevin Beiser’s time out of the classroom. The rest are sick and personal days. That likely doesn't violate any rules, but it does highlight a problem with the system itself.

A Relentless Campaigner – for Better or Worse

School board president Kevin Beiser has racked up an absurd amount of campaign funds, and a wide, diverse group of supporters who praise his responsiveness. But there's evidence his tireless campaigning bumps up against his classroom duties.