A few bits from the commentary and opinion we’ve been reading:

• Jim Kydd, publisher of the Rancho Santa Fe News, fights with Anthony Allegretti, publisher of the Rancho Santa Fe Review, over the price of advertising. Besides calling Allegretti a bully, Kydd says,

My only reason for writing this editorial is to expose Allegretti as a mean-spirited scoundrel of a businessman and to warn current and prospective advertisers of his tactics.

There’s a news story about it, too, from Kydd’s paper.

I didn’t find anything written on the matter by Allegretti or his people, but the Ah-Ha! Rancho Santa Fe News blog run by Dan Weisman describes the situation as “the two biggest pigs in local faux journalism in a catfight to the death.”

• A report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA that says Southern California schools have grown more segregated for black and Latino students brought out fatalism (“arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic”) and pet plans, like those of Jim Wilson, who managed career technical education programs in San Diego schools for decades.

Segregation results in poor minority kids going to not-so-great schools in their own neighborhoods. Basically, Wilson recommends making a poor school’s curriculum better — more job-oriented — rather than sending students to better schools outside their neighborhoods. His solution, “career academies,” can “engage kids … regardless of the location of the school,” he says. He writes about the academies at length in his book, Disposable Youth: Education or Incarceration.

Career academies, when fully implemented, offer real-world context in which technology is essential. Students are taught that careers today require training in these various technologies and are used with relevance to academic work.

A lot of comments are about the value of magnet schools (which are similar to career academies, in that they focus education into particular domains), such as this remark from Rick Johnson:

My argument against the magnet approach is that the reach is too small. Most kids want to be a part of something bigger and exceptional and not stuck in a tiny school that no one knows about. What we have now is a bunch of under the radar charters and magnets. It feels like we are just hiding problems.

There are several thoughtful responses to Emily Alpert’s request to hear from parents who send their kids to schools outside their neighborhoods, including Bruce McGirr’s supposition, “I predict that integration will be way down on the list of reasons parents leave their neighborhood schools.”

As John Middleton mentions in the comments, yesterday Bob Herbert wrote in The New York Times about equalizing schools through forcing economic and social student mixing:

The current obsession with firing teachers, attacking unions and creating ever more charter schools has done very little to improve the academic outcomes of poor black and Latino students. Nothing has brought about gains on the scale that is needed.

If you really want to improve the education of poor children, you have to get them away from learning environments that are smothered by poverty.

• In EncinitasPatch, Fletcher Fields tries to draw attention to the lack of attention paid by Encinitas City Council to an “Environmental Action Plan,” which was recently shelved. The plan would have established environmental goals for the city in matters related to energy, waste, water, transportation, and more. One of the City Council members didn’t support the plan because it was “so thorough.”

• I’m keeping an eye on Motions Online, the official student newspaper of the University of San Diego School of Law. Recent items introduced me to the term “tertium quid” (an indeterminate thing or person), a profile of senior judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit David R. Thomson, who recently passed away, and two perspectives “on the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision holding that the Mount Soledad Cross is unconstitutional as it stands.”

• The Union-Tribune editorial board says the Chula Vista City Council should put the demolition process of the South Bay Power Plant into overdrive. From our inestimable Will Carless, the backstory.

Items quoted here may be lightly edited for spelling, grammar, or style (such as using proper capitalization, removing extra exclamation marks, or fixing obvious typos). Send comments you’d like to have included here to Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org: grant@voiceofsandiego.org or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.

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