Superintendents don’t stick around for long.

2014 analysis by EdSource, a nonprofit advocating for public school improvement, found that two-thirds of superintendents at California’s largest public school districts served three years or less.

Increasingly, though, it’s up to these newbie superintendents to persuade more students and their families to stick around at traditional schools, and resist the urge to transfer to one of the growing number of charter schools in the state.

On this week’s podcast, Luis Ibarra, superintendent of Escondido Union School District, joined host Scott Lewis to talk about competition between traditional and charter schools. The Escondido Union School District serves about 17,000 students, down from previous years. Ibarra is in his second year as superintendent.

“We’re starting to look at, ‘What are we doing systemically throughout our district to make [traditional schools] more appealing, reach our students more and make education innovative and creative for our students?’” Ibarra said.

The district recently created a task force to find out why parents are taking students from traditional schools and enrolling them in charter schools.

Lewis and co-host Laura Kohn also discuss an interview with Louis Freedberg, executive director at EdSource, about the huge turnover rate of superintendents and whether those changes impact students’ quality of education.

Got thoughts, opinions or experiences with this? Call 619-354-1085 and leave your name, neighborhood and story so we can play the voicemail on future episodes.

Number of the Week

11: The number of San Diego County school districts that will have new superintendents in the 2016-2017 school year.

What’s Working

Superintendents Kevin Holt of the San Marcos Unified School District and Francisco Escobedo of the Chula Vista Elementary School District are long-serving superintendents in the county. Holt began in 2008, Escobedo in 2010.

Subscribe to Good Schools for All on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Download it here.

Rachel Evans is a reporter for Voice of San Diego. She can be reached at

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