Recent posts

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.

Marten to President Obama: Let’s Do This

San Diego Unified is joining the president's initiative to boost outcomes for students of color. The pledge is largely symbolic, though: There’s no money being offered, and most of the changes the district is promising were things it was going to do anyway.

The ABCs of English-Learning Students

San Diego Unified's plan to shuffle support teachers into lead teaching roles could impact English learners most. And there's plenty of reason to care about that shift even if your child speaks perfect English.

4 Rose-Colored Schools Claims vs. Reality

School board trustee John Lee Evans took a shot at school board critics earlier this month. His objection follows a template of sorts the district has established: The facts aren’t necessarily false, but the message trumpets the good news while minimizing the struggles.

Meet the Man Who Strolled Onto the School Board

School board trustee Kevin Beiser encouraged "Dr. Mike" McQuary to run for the slot being vacated by Scott Barnett, thinking there would be a competitive runoff and a good conversation about district issues. In the end, there was no showdown. Just McQuary.

Why the School District Isn’t Afraid of 2016

If recent numbers are a guide, thousands of students could be at risk of failing to meet new graduation standards that kick in two years from now. But the district says the support system it's putting in place will fill in the gaps.