It all adds up, school officials say: Give teachers more freedom to collaborate, and they’ll improve education.

This is part of the San Diego district’s reform plan, which was touted yesterday. The idea is encourage teachers to find new ways to do things themselves instead of bringing in outside consultants to shake things up.

The new system represents a major shift from previous ways of doing things in the district, and not all the details are available yet.

Meanwhile, the district got a black eye of sorts yesterday: a well-publicized report from a right-of-center think tank gave it a “D” in education reform. District officials called the grade unwarranted.

In other news:

• High school exit exam scores are up a bit countywide over last year.

• As we told you, San Diego has fewer police officers per capita than most of the nation’s major cities and half of California’s largest cities. Now we’ve posted more data about exactly how San Diego stacks up. San Diego is 14th out of the nation’s 15 largest cities when it comes to the number of cops per capita (16 per 10,000 residents, compared to a high of 47 in Philadelphia and Chicago). But San Diego also has the third lowest violent crime per capita rate.

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• Yesterday’s Morning Report referred imprecisely to Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s request for an analysis of firefighter staffing. Among other things, he wants to know how often fire stations are understaffed, not why they are (it’s because of budget cuts).

Also: the event that spawned modern-day Balboa Park was the Panama-California Exposition, not the Panama-Pacific Exposition, which was held in San Francisco the same year. Why the panorama of Panama expositions in 1915? Because the Panama Canal officially opened a year before.


• Chelsea’s Law, which overhauls how the state deals with certain kinds of sex offenders, passed the state Senate unanimously yesterday and now goes to the governor, who says he’ll sign it. It’s named after Chelsea King, one of two teen girls murdered in North County by a registered sex offender. (SF Chronicle)

• The Coast Guard says a mid-air crash over the ocean that killed nine in October was caused by a “tragic confluence of events, missed opportunities and procedure/policy issues.” A Marine report on the crash, between a Coast Guard search plane and a Marine helicopter, is expected today. (U-T)

• Stephen L. Weber, the 67-year-old president of San Diego State University, announced yesterday that he will retire at the end this school year, in 2011. He’s been in charge at the university since 1996. (LAT)

• The new City Hall project has been shelved, at least for the time being. (KPBS)

• The locally based Rubio’s restaurant chain, Pesky Combos and all, has been acquired and will go private. (U-T)

• The man who runs OB Rag does so from his home in Lemon Grove, not Ocean Beach. This, says a local community board, is a problem: The U-T says the group is refusing to allow the man to run for the Ocean Beach Town Council’s board of directors, and he is not happy about it.

The U-T, by the way, refers to residents of the town as “OBceans” in this story. I thought they were “Obecians,” but I’m told they’re actually “OBecians.” Discuss amongst yourselves.

• Finally, our editor went to Minneapolis recently and decided to go for a bike ride. He came back inspired by the city’s handy, inexpensive and unmanned rent-a-bike program, which he thinks might work here too.

Check his post to learn more about the bike rentals for Minneapolitans and their visitors. In the future, we hope to write more about things that make us think “Man, I wish San Diego had that” and get input from you about whether they’d work in these parts.

On to the big question: Did he visit the Mary Tyler Moore statue in downtown Minneapolis and get a photo of himself throwing his hat in the air? Maybe that’s just something only I would do (and, by the way, did).


Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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