A “D” grade won’t necessarily keep a student from graduating from San Diego high schools, but it could prevent her from being eligible for the UC or Cal State university systems.

That’s because the colleges call for Cs or better in classes they require. And that’s not all: they mandate a number of classes that local high schools don’t, meaning many students graduate without the academic record they need for public higher education outside of community colleges.

But San Diego schools are trying to push more students to meet college standards in the face of some pretty worrisome statistics. And at least one is succeeding.

In other news:

  • School officials, teachers and parents gathered here Wednesday to tell state senators their thoughts about President Obama’s Race to the Top education stimulus funding plan, which will award money only to certain districts.

    You can read about the meeting and check out Emily Alpert‘s moment-by-moment coverage as it happened.

  • First, local airport board chairman Bob Watkins had trouble with his memory. Now it turns out his record-keeping isn’t too good either.

    As we discovered, Watkins failed to disclose property he owns near the airport. This matters because he airport board has land-use planning power in the area where the property sits.

    There are other possible omissions in his disclosure forms, too. That business he said he owned in 2007? It’s nowhere to be found.

  • Got a water waster in your sights? (Not me. That 45-minute shower was for medicinal purposes, I swear!) Then let us know through your iPhone or a website widget.

    Also: In local apartment complexes, rents are remaining steady (and at an average of $1,205 for a studio, steadily expensive), while vacancies are down a bit. And our one-man photo department is debuting a new weekday feature.

  • The National City office of ACORN, the community organizing group, has got some explaining to do.

    A videotaped sting operation by a couple of undercover conservative operatives revealed, as the U-T puts it, “an employee answering questions about getting young girls across the border.”

    A spokesman said the worker’s comments were taken out of context.

  • North County has had its share of major and not-so-major celebrity residents over the years, from the creators of the comic strips “Luann” and “Marmaduke” to actor Richard Dreyfuss and the man who played Mr. Wilson on TV’s “Dennis the Menace.”

    But not many have had the star power of Ike Turner, who died in 2007 at his home in San Marcos. Now, a giant legal fight has erupted over his estate — even though no one knows how much money is in it — pitting Turner’s children, an ex-wife (no, not Tina) and a lawyer against each other. The big mystery: Did he actually write a will? (NCT)

  • Finally, a handful of North County residents were shocked — shocked! — to discover people smoking pot during a reggae concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

    We’ve certainly never heard of such a thing either. But apparently there was indeed some ganja in the air during a recent performance by Ziggy Marley. “It was so obvious what was going on,” sniffed one speaker at a meeting of the fairground’s oversight board, Del Mar Village Voice reports.

    Another resident suggested the fairgrounds should stay away from reggae in the future to avoid attracting marijuana smokers.

    That’s easy enough. Hello, Polkafest 2010!

— RANDY DOTINGA

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