We asked readers “If the state put you in charge of San Diego Unified School District, how would you fix things?”

Make Sure Kids Actually Learn Before They Move On, By Mark Lewis

Make social promotion illegal. Require that students achieve proficiency before being passed on to the next grade level. This would ensure that resources are realigned to achieve competency in the lower performing schools. The current situation is a travesty.

Mark Lewis lives in San Diego.

Back to Basics, By Richard Tanner

The school board should look in the mirror. They need to reduce superintendents and board/district staff. Each item in their budget should be viewed from the perspective “Does this teach children in the classroom?” If the answer is no, then reduce it to the bare minimum or delete it. It would be interesting to see the travel budget for the board and the district. They do not need to be traveling, attending conferences, etc. They need to be in the absolute business of teaching children and that is done in the classroom not their ivory towers.

If all school decisions are local, then deal with the local problem. They have wasted money, raised taxes, and floated bond issues with very poor educational results. They are not necessary to teach children. Teachers teach and the local principal runs the local school.

Just think that at one time we were teaching in one- or two-room schoolhouses. Now they are more interested in the big stuff and have lost sight of the children and the quality of education.

The school day should run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the teachers should teach 8 to 3. Get out of the social business and get back to the basic education.

Richard Tanner lives in Serra Mesa.

Focus On Helping Kids, By David Lynn

Move to a performance based system for teachers, destroy the layers of unhelpful administrative bureaucracy, and overhaul the curriculum to ensure it’s relevant to children and their communities. Basically, focus on helping kids and businesses actually value our local education.

David Lynn lives in Hillcrest.

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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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