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What happens when an ordinary person confronts California’s second-largest school district with a gripe? Think of the following as a case study.

Worried grandma LaRu DeKock e-mailed me, the San Diego Unified school board and Superintendent Terry Grier today to complain about a crowded history class that her granddaughter, a 7th grader at Standley Middle School, has to endure. DeKock wrote that the teachers are great, but there are 40 kids in a “small, windowless classroom” that barely accommodated 25 parents during the school open house:

It is a question of district spending priorities. Think how many classes could have been balanced with, just for starters, all the $ you paid to the Aspen Institute for those three days of special meetings at Liberty Station … (Reporter’s note: The Aspen meetings were to craft new governance policies.) Come on now.  Let’s do something for the students. Like maybe a humane classroom.

I can certainly imagine seventh grade world history classes of 40 in Kabul, or Bagdad, or many other third world cities, but not in San Diego!

She signed her e-mail “Concerned Granma.” Clearly not a granma to mess with. I wrote back DeKock to ask if the board members or superintendent had responded to her complaint. Grier had already fired off a quick response to DeKock from his iPhone: “We’ll look into your concerns.”

And we’ll look into whether they get looked into. Check back for periodic updates on Granmagate to come.

EMILY ALPERT

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