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The woman tasked with getting – and keeping – San Diego Unified students on track to graduate under strict new requirements has a pretty frank assessment of how the district is doing so far: “This is a systemic failure,” she told Mario Koran.

Cheryl Hibbeln, a high school resources officer at the district, also spelled out some major failings: Some students are made to retake algebra even if they’ve passed before, the district offers math classes that don’t count toward the requirements and foreign language classes aren’t available for some students until their junior year.

Koran discussed the developing story on KPBS’s Roundtable.

• Here are more details on the district’s ominous report on how students are faring on so-called A-G requirements, and what school board candidates Kevin Beiser and Amy Redding had to say about it when they met for a lone debate earlier this week.

Lobbyists Would Prefer You Think of Them as Activists

Most people think lobbyist is a dirty word – one that suggests secret payoffs and devious power-jockeying.

But Kevin Gordon, who counts the San Diego County Office of Education among his clients, tells Brian Joseph in this week’s Sacramento Report that it’s a lot more innocent – and mundane – than that. He says most lobbyists have built up years of policy expertise, and that lawmakers often count on them to explain all sides of an issue.

So does he use the L-word to describe himself? “We always tend to use the term advocate. People like an advocate for public schools.”

When Doctors Do Harm

Just before voters weigh in on Prop. 46, which would require hospitals to administer drug and alcohol tests on doctors, and require doctors to consult a database before prescribing to a new patient, NBC 7 has dropped an investigation into San Diego doctors accused of abusing drugs themselves or wrongfully doling out drugs to patients.

NBC 7 “reviewed every petition for discipline, decision and settlement filed by the Medical Board against San Diego County doctors since January 2011.”

What they found: “more than one-third of the 111 local doctors targeted by the Board were accused of — or admitted to — abusing powerful narcotics or other controlled substances, including alcohol, or over-prescribing dangerous drugs for their patients.”

What We Learned This Week

• The city’s new Climate Action Plan envisions far more San Diegans walking, biking and taking transit to work.

• The City Council is considering giving the city more power over Civic San Diego, but held off on doing so this week.

• San Diego has far fewer manufacturing jobs than it used to.

• The city’s ambulance contract is still up in the air.

• Density provokes lots of feelings.


Quick News Hits

• KPBS has a rundown of the last, contentious debate between Scott Peters and Carl DeMaio.

• The U-T has a rundown of the major differences between Chris Cate and Carol Kim, the candidates for City Council District 6.

• A Marine who has been in a Mexican jail for several months has been ordered released. (NBC 7)

• Here’s a room-by-room list of how you can save more water in your home, and outside. (U-T)

• Friday afternoon, Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s communications team announced their boss was … retooling city communications. The new city Communication Department will be run by Amelia Brazell, a former head of marketing for the San Diego Zoo.

• Here’s what a 500-pound pumpkin falling 11 stories looks like.

Quote of the Week

“The district should have been aware of this the minute that (school board members voted for it). Because there were parent leaders going before the board telling them they needed to monitor this.”

San Diego school board candidate Amy Redding speaking about the panic over graduation requirements not being met by more than 40 percent of students at the sole debate between her and incumbent Kevin Beiser.

Sara Libby

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

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