Get a taste of this week’s discussion in our comments about the new schools chief, U-T TV, the mayor’s powers and the tourism industry.

Steve Thomson on “‘Excellence for Every Child in Every School’“:

We, employees of San Diego Unified School District do not need lower wages but higher wages. As it is many of us live paycheck to paycheck now because our economy has bottomed out and the cost of living has gone up faster than our wages. For me, personally, my family income has dropped by $1,000 per month as the cost of living has risen better than 10 percent; each month it gets harder and harder to meet the bills, eat and keep gas in our cars so we can get to work. When it all comes down to brass tacks, it is the quality of the employee that will improve the education of students and not the toys, technology or books in the classroom. Quality education was around long before school districts started to go high tech. Our children get enough technology in their lives outside the classroom, they really do not need it in school. In my experience with technology at my school, it is more abused and destroyed (keys pulled off of keyboards, screens etched) than used to improve education. The other down side is that our students are failing at handwritten work. If they can’t type it out through Office with spell check, they cannot write it clearly.

Emma Talpidae on “‘Excellence for Every Child in Every School’“:

Cindy Marten states that data is neutral, that it’s not right or wrong. She and the school board must have taken the same statistics class … and failed! I seriously doubt Arne Duncan would agree with Marten’s statement.

Marten has done a remarkable job transforming Central Elementary, but so have many other principals at schools with similar demographics. The board has hyped the outstanding test scores at Central under Marten’s leadership. Really? Has anyone in the media actually looked at that data and compared it to data at other schools with similar demographics? Come on, objective reporters, do your homework and stop drinking the board-prepared Kool-Aid!

If every principal had the carte blanche support of Price Charities and other philanthropic organizations, they too could do remarkable things at their school. If every principal had the local, state, and federal political connections Marten has, they would have a level playing field and be able to transform their school into a model learning environment.

Greg Levin on “I Watched U-T TV So You Don’t Have to“:

I think I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that this, in my opinion, is simply U-T San Diego mirroring the culture of a large segment of San Diegans. There is a reason this crap sells and people like Chris Cantore and Roger Hedgecock are public fixtures; I don’t doubt that they will eventually find their market without changing much. It may just come at the expense of the core brand and real news, but oh well.

I love your willingness to take a strong stance on women’s issues and this was a thought-provoking piece, which made it good. That said, it was a bit of screed (like this comment), and while I stuck up for you on the last one (the election piece), I sort of agree with the commentary above. I think you went a bit far with the “white” “male” associations and while they correlate, I think you lose the high ground when you go there.

Erik Bruvold on “Mayoral Bottleneck Keeps Slowing Down Council Committee“:

Well not PRECISELY. The charter explicitly says the City Council can ask any employee of the city to come before it (and one would presume this extends to the committee) to answer questions. So while Mayor Bob Filner is completely within the charter to not bring matters before the committee before he signs off or wants to, there is nothing that precludes the committee for asking someone from the city to come before it to talk about breweries.

Bob Nelson, Unified Port of San Diego board commissioner, on ” Middle-Class Tourism Jobs: Fact Check“:

During 2009-2010 I chaired the city of San Diego Citizens Revenue Review and Economic Competitiveness Commission, a bipartisan panel of economists, academics, business people, an executive from a major technology research foundation and of a major community services organization. In our final report we included the following analysis of metro San Diego data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. “One major sector, tourism, is dominated by lower level wages, with only four percent classified in the higher income bracket, while 71 percent are in the lowest bracket. There are meaningful differences within the hospitality work force. Food preparation workers and servers do better than the state average or among peers in many other markets. However, maids and housekeepers are paid less than both the statewide average and major competitor markets in the state.” Further, the data does not include tips received by food and beverage servers, which plays a major role in their total income. It’s not politics, it’s arithmetic. Just ask your local bartender.

Comments have been lightly edited for typos, spelling and style.

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Dagny Salas is the web editor at Voice of San Diego. You can contact her directly at or 619.550.5669.

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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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