Category archives for: Education Matters

A vote for decency on the county school board

Marsha Sutton

A lawyer once told me he would rather defend rapists and murderers than dive into the ugly world of education politics. Although joking (sort of), I take his point.

Having written about education for the last 18 years and suffered more than my share of abuse for the positions I have espoused, I vowed never again to enter into a debate about the merits of one candidate over another for school board seats.

Property tax bill error: what happened, what next

Marsha Sutton

Following last week’s column on the property tax bill error caused jointly by the San Dieguito Union High School District and the county of San Diego, left unsaid was how it happened and what’s in place moving forward to ensure it never happens again.

District shares blame in $7 million property tax bill error

Marsha Sutton

After hearing from staff how the district was not blameless in the property tax bill error discovered last October, the San Dieguito Union High School District’s Board of Trustees voted 4-1 at the May 1 board meeting to pay $80,000 to the county of San Diego for partial reimbursement of expenses associated with correcting the mistake.

Education Matters: Teacher training in Del Mar: In search of balance

Marsha Sutton

As a final follow-up to the recent series on professional development in the Del Mar Union School District, DMUSD superintendent Holly McClurg explained why some teachers are out of their classrooms for training more than others.

All DMUSD teachers spend two to five days a year, for three years, in Cognitively Guided Instruction staff development, she said, to prepare for Common Core State Standards which are being introduced this fall.

Education Matters: Teacher training vs. time in the classroom: How Del Mar walks the tightrope

Marsha Sutton

Part Three of a three-part series:
After all the hubbub about what some say is an excessive amount of teacher training in the Del Mar Union School District, I asked to sit in on a professional development session.

DMUSD superintendent Holly McClurg enthusiastically agreed and set me up with a session for the district’s kindergarten, first- and second-grade teachers on Feb. 10.

Education Matters: Teacher training vs. time in the classroom: How Del Mar walks the tightrope

Marsha Sutton

Part 2: Last week’s column discussed the Del Mar Union School District’s balancing act as it tries to provide professional development for its teachers without negatively impacting students and impeding learning in the classroom.

Tiffany Kinney and Gina Vargus, co-presidents of the Del Mar California Teachers Association, discussed the discomfort some teachers have with the training.

Teacher training vs. time in the classroom: How Del Mar walks the tightrope

Marsha Sutton

Three years ago, under then assistant superintendent Holly McClurg, the Del Mar Union School District adopted an intense regimen of professional development, mostly focused on a training program called Cognitively Guided Instruction.

Shortly thereafter, the criticism started, as parents and teachers began to register objections.

A conversation with the Del Mar and Solana Beach superintendents

Marsha Sutton

We met to talk about the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and initially they began by congratulating the San Dieguito Union High School District for taking the initiative to bring together all five of SDUHSD’s feeder elementary school districts for regular discussions about how to make the drastic kinds of changes CCSS is demanding and how to integrate everything into a seamless transition for students moving from elementary to middle and high schools.

Evolutionary revelations

Marsha Sutton

The Pew Research Center’s recent survey on evolution found that 60 percent of Americans accept the principle of evolution of the human species while 33 percent don’t. [The remaining respondents were undecided.]

The shift to Common Core and what’s troubling about it

Marsha Sutton

New awareness that students are graduating high school without the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and career has prompted the creation of a national undertaking called Common Core State Standards.

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