Good morning. We have offered the Morning Report in its current form for now 10 weeks or so. What do you think?

We’re going to tweak its formatting this morning a bit and embrace the bullet point. Same great engaging prose, of course, but in a bulleted format similar to what we’re moving toward in the other morning features appearing on the site (The Hall’s “Agenda” and Emily Alpert‘s daily rundown of education news in “Bright and Early” in the Schooled blog).

The bullets are meant to help your morning eyes deal with the idea that there’s so many interesting things to read and discuss.

So let’s get into the day’s news:

  • We start this morning in South County where Montgomery High School is at a crossroads. The school — which by all appearances is not a place that should be having such problems — nonetheless has the worst student performance of any other school in the area.

    Sweetwater school district is acting fast to avoid a state takeover and a new energetic principle is aggravating anxious teachers and shaking things up at a frenzied pace.

    “We’re not stupid,” said Christian Rodriguez, a senior at the school. “But I think what they say is true. We’re not there, academically.”

    We’ve been following Sweetwater’s unique challenges and efforts for a while. You can catch up by reading this profile of the district’s superintendent Jesus Gandara and some of the follow ups including this profile of an innovative approach teaching literature and rhetoric to young students.

  • Staying in South County, there’s the story of Lincoln Acres. Ever heard of this unincorporated area of the county? It has the smallest library in San Diego County. It is teeming with livestock and loose regulations. It’s only elected governing body is a local fire district, which has little more responsibility than rubber-stamping an annual contract with a city to send fire trucks if needed.

    Sounds like a rural enclave deep in the desert or mountains, no? Actually it’s a neighborhood completely surrounded by National City and defiantly uninterested in becoming part of the town.

  • There has been lots of talk about this Q&A with departing San Diego schools chief Terry Grier. His leaving has caused quite a fallout, leading to a mobilization of the business community. (Well, “mobilization” might be a little much. They put up a newspaper ad and expressed some thoughts.) This business community effort provoked a response from a member of the school board.

    All of it signals a level of introspection that one commenter, reader Cal says Grier couldn’t have achieved with any other action:

    “Among a myriad of other considerations, it occurs to me that Grier may have concluded that he could make a bigger difference by leaving than by staying. Look at the attention, focus and genuine introspection that have occurred in the days since the Houston announcement.”

    So are we supposed to thank Grier for this?

  • Like any asset, your home’s market value is determined by how many other similar homes are for sale — supply and demand, right? Rich Toscano is continuing in his graph-intensive effort to find out just how many homes will come on the market. After all, every indicator seems to demonstrate that there are thousands of foreclosures out there that ostensibly should become homes for sale on the market.

    But they haven’t yet. “What’s still unclear is when — or even if — the bulk of this inventory will come out of the shadows,” Toscano writes.

  • Elsewhere, Newspapers and Technology — a journal about the newspaper industry — has a story up today about the Union-Tribune ending its status as the “the last major metro in the United States to put its pages together by hand.”

    Yes, while everyone else puts the daily newspaper together digitally, the U-T has been using a costly process of “hand-crafting” the paper, as one editor calls it. It says something about the new owners’ commitment to the paper that they would invest to bring its internal processes up to date in this climate.

Have a great week.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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