Friday, July 11, 2008 | Sometimes an extra layer of bureaucracy is good. This is the case with the small, school-within-a-school philosophy at Kearny, Crawford, and San Diego High.

At Kearny (I’m a Kearny parent and a member of the School of Science, Connections & Technology advisory committee, we’ve seen a resurgence of discipline, a regression of gang activity, and a dramatic increase in the number of kids going on to college and university after graduation. With strong leadership from Principal Vincent Morris, SCT teachers and students are focused on achieving the best education by following the school’s mission statement and core principles. These are posted on the wall in every SCT classroom, in case anyone should lose focus. Frankly, this is a better educational environment than I remember from Point Loma High thirty years prior.

And sometimes an extra layer of bureaucracy is not so good. Just look at SEDC.

The concept of having an executive director and a board of directors between the City Council and redevelopment on the ground has only led to further opportunities for cronyism and corruption. Can anyone doubt that a more open and honest approach would be to have the City Council and city staff directly oversee redevelopment activities in that part of San Diego? At least those making the decisions would be directly accountable to the public.

In the end, accountability is what it is all about. Small schools, such as Kearny’s SCT, make teachers and students more accountable. Situations like SEDC—and remember, the Redevelopment Agency as a whole is going to restructure based on this model—further remove redevelopment from accountability. History suggests it is best to support the small-school concept, and recent events reemphasize that it is best to not move forward with Redevelopment Agency restructuring.

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