Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | The words “gerrymander”, “self-serving” and “false dichotomy” come to mind after review of the proposed split of the unified elementary / high school district of San Diego. The divisive proponents make a power play to gather “coastal” high schools; but ignore the educational goal that they touted to support magnet schools and student busing. The greater good of our city’s students can be abandoned if they can grab the best resources. The proponents want to keep all the frosting and leave the crust behind. Why not three or four new districts instead of just the haves and have-nots? I do agree that it is time to re-think the experiment that joined elementary and high school education.

A better approach would be to reunify the high school district with the community college district. The neighborhood elementary schools would continue to be unified under a single citywide elementary district. The high schools would join the community colleges in a seamless system of secondary education focused on higher education, careers and personal accomplishment.

Every parent wants a quality neighborhood-based education for their child. After a strong foundation is laid at the elementary school, parents seek the options and opportunities for the high school student. Reunification would maximize options and opportunities. Vocational students could receive career training and advanced students could graduate sooner, with college credits in hand.

Let’s not throw the babies out with the dirty politics bath water. It’s time for a change and a new beginning.

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