Attention: This is a test, this is only a test. In fact, your score will mean nothing to you personally, although your school, district and nation will care a lot. So work hard, kids!

Is it any wonder that local schoolchildren create patterns out of the bubbles on their required standardized tests instead of taking them seriously?

One solution: make kids care. That’s the strategy that some East County high schools are embracing. Kids get to boost their grades if they improve their scores or reach top levels, and they aren’t punished if they don’t.

But critics wonder if the schools are bribing students and engaging in grade inflation. And there are a lot of exceptions. Advanced and honors students can’t take part, for example. As a result, some parents are miffed.

In other news:

  • City Attorney Jan Goldsmith told a crowd yesterday that bankruptcy isn’t a “magic potion” to cure San Diego’s ill’s and could cost the city $300 million in attorney fees. Goldsmith also talked got a chuckle from the crowd when he talked about raising revenues, considering who that crowd was. “I’m going to talk about revenue in front of the Taxpayers Association?” Goldsmith asked incredulously. “Yeah, revenue.”
  • We’re hearing from readers with ideas about how to measure creativity, critical thinking and other skills that might be overlooked by standardized tests. We get a couple suggestions that involve teacher grading, but that raises its own issues.
  • As you may have read yesterday, we’ve launched a new Fact Check feature on our site. Consider it a truth-o-meter for local politicians, city officials, journalists and anyone else who stands up in public and says something worth checking out.

    We’ve got two items today. One analyzes whether Mayor Jerry Sanders is on target when he says the Chargers could leave “virtually” whenever they want. The other checks on an official’s claim that environmentally sensitive hillsides at the border are actually being protected from erosion.

  • We’ve been on a roll when it comes to finding new ways to keep the public informed about important issues: our other new feature is San Diego Explained, produced in partnership with NBC 7/39. Our latest edition explains the local fuss over medical marijuana.

    Come on, try San Diego Explained just once. Everybody’s doing it! What could it hurt? You’ll like it! (This has been a test of the VOSD Emergency Peer Pressure System.)

  • As you know, we’re not ones to tout our accomplishments here at voiceofsandiego.org. (I’ll stand by while you snort in derision.) But hear me out: we’ve found a star photographer in senior reporter Rob Davis. Check out his Photos of the Day from La Jolla Cove.

    It’s a two-fer Thursday at the photo soundtrack, thanks to a reader who says the photos invoke 1960s songs by The Trashmen and The Byrds.

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T looks at hopes for dock access in the Liberty Station neighborhood, the plight of the homeless during the recent storms, and a controversial hefty raise for the head of SANDAG. Also: problems at the San Onofre nuclear plant are raising concerns and SDG&E has a new chief.
  • And the U-T warns of freaky and dangerous weather today, including water spouts, tornados, possibly the lowest barometric air pressure ever measured here and, yes, something called “graupel.” I’d say something amusing here if I wasn’t busy checking to see if I can fit under the bed. (Oof. Well, that would be a no.)
  • Finally, you may have heard the media hoopla over the arrest of a Jets fan at Sunday’s Chargers game.

    A supposed eyewitness tells the Deadspin sports blog that there was more to the story, including a woman in a wheelchair who smacked around the Jets fan and should have been hauled to the hoosegow her own self.

— RANDY DOTINGA

Dagny Salas

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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