From all the buzz on our Letters page about Granma-gate, I figured it was time for an update.

First, a quick recap: LaRu DeKock e-mailed the school board and superintendent last week to complain about her granddaughter’s crowded history class at Standley Middle School, and got a quick promise from Superintendent Terry Grier that he would look into it.

I’m following her complaint as a case study of how family concerns are answered in San Diego Unified, the second-largest school district in California. I couldn’t reach Standley Principal Heidi Lyon today to talk about the class, but DeKock said Lyon called her and “is trying.”

“I told her I didn’t expect miracles but I wanted the board to know someone is watching,” DeKock wrote me in an e-mail.

In the meantime two board members also wrote DeKock back. Mitz Lee thanked her for alerting them to the problem and said she was following up with staff. John de Beck wrote DeKock with a brief explanation, and took issue with her criticism of board spending on consultants to help craft board governance policies:

The site makes the decision about how to populate classes.  I think they would say that the cost for a new class is a lot more than they can afford.   Yet the situation exists in a bunch of schools and the total to reduce classes equitably across the district would far exceed any of the funding you think we should not have spent.

That’s exactly what DeKock is worried about: that the problem is bigger than Standley.

“I now believe it’s not just my granddaughter’s class,” she wrote. “I wonder how many academic classes are over 40 [students] in SDUSD.  Does anyone even know?  Or care. Why are other parents not fussing about this like ol’ granma?”

Stay tuned for more on Standley, class sizes and the persistent “fussing” of one “Granma.”


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