In San Diego, schools can be forced to take teachers they didn’t choose. It used to be that way in New York City too, until education officials launched a massive overhaul a few years ago.

Now, principals can hire whomever they want. Does it work? Our education reporter traveled east to find out. Emily Alpert’s reports on what she discovered in the final installment of our three-part series about the problems plaguing San Diego’s teacher placement system.

Alpert visited a high school in the Staten Island borough that used to be known as a campus to avoid — yet teachers vied for spots there, sometimes for the wrong reasons.

The system changed. Things are improving at the high school, and its principal believes the fixes made a big difference.

But problems did arise and they reveal how complicated any attempt at reform could be.

In other news:

  • We have a revealing story about the priorities of the San Diego school district, which has decided a downtown “schoobrary” is more important than repairs to campuses like Clairemont High, where disabled students have trouble accessing the stadium.

    The stadium has been stuck with disability-access problems for a while, but the district promised to fix them by next year with money from a bond measure.

    Now, that promise is history. The fixes may not come until 2015, and parents are miffed.

  • One more thing: This is a classic case of The Picture Tells the Story. Click the link to see a photo of the tortuous ramp that kids in wheelchairs have to use to get to the stadium’s bleachers — if it’s not blocked by other kids. And if they can make it over a gravel track.
  • In brief: The man accused of running a Ponzi scheme targeting local Somalis has been indicted, and the feds say he secured asylum by falsely saying he’s a Somali. November housing numbers are in; we analyze what they mean.
  • In commentary, Scott Lewis considers the options offered by the public face of the Chargers: The city could let the team keep playing at the existing Mission Valley stadium or build a new stadium downtown. Both are equally pricey prospects, the team contends.
  • Lewis thinks there’s another perspective: No Chargers, no football stadium. He’s not advocating the idea — Lewis loves him some football — but says you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist.
  • Our photographer has been looking for everyday people to shoot for our Photo of the Day feature, and he found one in a local wind-chime maker. Our photo soundtrack is, yes, a song about wind chimes, by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
  • We posted several more stories Tuesday, but we don’t have enough room to summarize them all here. Please drop by the site and take a look.


  • CityBeat is cranking up its crusade against the U-T and its investigative-news partner over what the alternative weekly says is an inaccurate story about local sex offenders. “The basis of the entire story was a fallacy,” CityBeat argues in a scathing editorial, and one of its editors is taking her case to the people who run both the U-T and the Watchdog Institute, which stands by its story.
  • County voters will consider a ballot measure to impose term limits on the board of supervisors. A labor-backed effort garnered enough signatures. (NCT)
  • “A disputed San Diego pension benefit that went to union presidents has been struck down by a Superior Court judge,” the U-T reports.
  • Finally, we noticed that a certain household furniture item keeps showing up in city budget discussions.

    That’s gotta be one strong table.


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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