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It’s out with those old, fill-in-the-bubble California Standards Tests, and in with the new Common Core.

Those are the new standardized tests for students that put a premium on critical thinking skills above rote memorization. But there are a lot of questions still swirling about how the new test will work – even among students and teachers.

We enlisted Paula Cordiero, dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, to make sense of it all. In a Q-and-A, she tells Mario Koran what needs to change among “the pedagogy of teachers,” why she thinks the new system beats No Child Left Behind and why she hates school bells.

Maximum Understanding on the Minimum Wage

Democratic leaders up and down the spectrum have been making a push to boost the minimum wage. Doing so was a key piece of the vision interim mayor Todd Gloria’s laid out in his State of the City address.

But what’s the difference between that vision, the statewide minimum wage increase, and the one President Obama wants to raise? And how does the so-called “living wage” factor in?

Randy Dotinga has some answers for you in a new reader’s guide.

The Campaign Rulebook

San Diego politics has basically become a well-timed geyser, regularly erupting in scandal.

This time around, the scandal involves supposedly illegal donations to several local political candidates. But the rules that govern who can donate to whom can get murky quickly. So we brought in Stacey Fulhorst, executive director of the city’s ethics commission, to help explain em on this week’s edition of VOSD Radio.

One thing she revealed: The explanation given by Bonnie Dumanis as to why she had nothing to do with illegal donations made to her mayoral campaign doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

Dumanis: Voters Still Trust Me

Bonnie Dumanis seems nonplussed by how the continuing scandal that’s swirled awfully closely to her could impact her own re-election bid.

She’s not accused of any wrongdoing, but she has admitted to meeting with those involved, and she even keeps referring to Ernesto Encinas, one of the men at the heart of the accusations as “Ernie.” We dissected her ties to the scandal here.

She tells the U-T: “The average voter knows who I am, trusts me and will look at my record.”

The U-T does a good job pointing out the peculiar position Dumanis has been thrust into: “As a prosecutor who has made government corruption a top priority — she created a public integrity unit in 2007 — Dumanis finds herself in a potentially uncomfortable position having to defend her own integrity.”

Quick News Hits

• City planning decisions don’t just determine how tall buildings in your neighborhood can be, or where bus routes will go. They can also make big impacts on your health – a fact that was driven home in this U-T piece on the link between planning and neighborhood health.

The New York Times picked six individual homes for sale throughout the country to explain the current state of the housing market. One, a three-bedroom in San Diego, reveals the extraordinarily tough market here: “Its last sale price was still 38 percent below its peak.”

• A federal indictment unsealed offers a close look at the inner workings of prison gangs in San Diego and North County. (U-T San Diego)

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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