The San Diego school district gave consultant Jaime Hernandez a mission: Figure out why teachers are more likely to rule that black children and those learning English are disabled.

After performing some detective work, he came back with a verdict. The district, he says, is too quick to find fault with kids. “You’ve got to start ruling out disabilities because it’s easy to find one,” he says in this weekend’s Q&A feature. “It’s much harder to rule something out by looking at the whole child.”

Special ed “has traditionally been a life sentence,” he says. “You don’t see a lot of kids being exited out of special education.”

In other news:

  • Earlier this week, we looked at prostitution on El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego’s ground zero for streetwalkers. In a history flashback, we go back to a time when hundreds of hookers hawked their wares in brothels downtown.

    In that era, red-light districts were as much a part of the scenery of any decent-sized city as “horsedrawn carriages, bustles and large hats.”

    But the reform movement of the 1910s targeted prostitution across the country, and San Diego’s ladies of the evening felt the wrath of the do-gooders. Eventually, reformers (and automobiles) pushed them to the streets, where they remain today.

  • Also on our site today: A new report says San Diego schools don’t have a good way to evaluate whether programs have worked, but getting one will require more staffing. …

    The Federal Housing Administration may need a bailout, and numbers show FHA loans make of a significant number of local mortgages. …

    In the latest in our series of guest posts about the city’s budget deficit, we hand the reins over to readers. …

    And San Diego’s fire chief isn’t leaving quiet yet.

  • Elsewhere:

    A veterans advocate who apparently fooled many people into thinking he had Purple Heart metals was arrested Friday in San Diego on charges under the “Stolen Valor Act.” (LAT)

    The new horror movie “Paranormal Activity,” which takes place in San Diego, is getting great reviews, with critics saying it’s the next “Blair Witch Project.” The ultra-low-budget movie (it reportedly cost just $11,000) was filmed in writer-director Oren Pell’s home here, which the AP says is a “cookie-cutter dwelling, its layout and furnishings indistinguishable from just about any other readymade home constructed in the past 20 years,” its “ordinariness” making the film even more terrifying.

  • Finally: Alan McEachern, a senior vice president at Security Business Bank, was the first reader to correctly explain why there’s a Xenophon Street in Point Loma.

    As UCSD community planning director Milt Phegley points out, Bankers Hill (trees), Mission Beach (places) and Point Loma (writers) all have groups of streets with alphabetical names. When planners got to the letter X between Addison and Zola in Point Loma, they turned to ancient Greek philosopher Xenephon.

    The Coffee Collection (stories to read over a cup of Joe):

    It’s Alive!: A Seattle man says he paid his San Diego fix-it traffic ticket back in 1990. So why on earth did he just get a bill for $322?

    Barrio Logan’s Battle: As the Barrio Logan neighborhood assesses how it will look in the future, there have been bumps along the road in the attempts for a tenuous peace between activists and business leaders.

    Quote of the Week: “138 Are Arrested in Stingaree Raid/136 Promise to Leave City; Two Agree to Reform.” — 1912 San Diego newspaper headline about a downtown prostitute raid.


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