Our Columns

  • Bernie’s youth battalion

    Bernie’s youth battalion

    What is it about a 74-year-old balding politician that has young voters so excited? A New York Times Iowa poll of Democratic voters entering the caucuses throughout the state showed that a staggering 84 percent of those 17 to 29 years old supported Senator Bernie Sanders, while Secretary Hillary...

  • Remembering Doug Perkins

    Remembering Doug Perkins

    When Doug Perkins died May 6, the local community – indeed, the entire San Diego region – lost a great champion for children and the underserved. Locally, many knew Perkins as a long-time trustee of the Del Mar Union School District. But there was so much more. Perkins was early to understand...

  • Moving on up: San Dieguito loses a top administrator

    Moving on up: San Dieguito loses a top administrator

    It hasn’t been for lack of material that there hasn’t been an Education Matters column in two months. Stacks of files on my desk sit six inches high and provide enough topics to write about to last one a week for a year. But when you move, life stops. When you sell a house, rent a house, and buy...

  • Budgeting for the San Dieguito raise

    Budgeting for the San Dieguito raise

    Budget ramifications of San Dieguito Union High School District’s new 2015-2018 teachers’ contract will impact the district’s taxpayers for years to come and deserve deeper analysis than the district is providing. According to the district’s pay scale before the just approved contract, a first-year...

  • Transparency is lost in the San Dieguito teachers’ contract

    Transparency is lost in the San Dieguito teachers’ contract

    As predicted, after San Dieguito Union High School District supt. Rick Schmitt postponed the vote for a week to give the public extra time to review the new teacher contract, his effort was undermined by the San Dieguito Faculty Association. Led by union president Bob Croft, the SDFA delayed its...

  • Lack of transparency on teacher contract vote

    Lack of transparency on teacher contract vote

    Points go to San Dieguito Union High School District superintendent Rick Schmitt for delaying the Board of Trustees’ vote on a new teacher contract, which was scheduled for last week. Highlights of the contract, in brief, include the following: •A 7-percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2015 •An...

  • Education Matters: High school testing, college acceptance, and middle school desperation

    Education Matters: High school testing, college acceptance, and middle school desperation

    Looking at local schools’ test scores, released last week, reminds me of a classic Steve Martin routine on how to be a millionaire. “First,” he says, “get a million dollars.” How to get top-notch test scores is to first start with smart kids. Then savvy school districts add foresight to see what’s...

  • Farmer D: Harvesting efforts now include sunshine and water

    Farmer D: Harvesting efforts now include sunshine and water

    A nationally known farmer, Daron Joffe serves as the development director of the Leichtag Foundation’s 67-acre property on Saxony Road. Clean water and sunshine have been the most vital ingredients for growth and energy since the beginning of time. Basic as this sounds, it’s easy to take these...

  • Education Matters: No boundaries for neighborhood school

    Education Matters: No boundaries for neighborhood school

    At a board workshop that attracted nearly 200 people on Monday, San Dieguito Union High School District staff was directed by a divided board to make no changes to its current high school boundary and enrollment policy. This is a bitter defeat for the communities in Cardiff and Encinitas who desperately...

  • Right plantings will help attract hummingbirds, butterflies to garden

    Right plantings will help attract hummingbirds, butterflies to garden

    We all love to sit in our gardens and watch the monarch butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds sipping nectar from our flowers. Planting the right plants in the right place is the secret to attracting both. Knowing just which plants are right is a challenge. Marcia Van Loy, master of butterfly...

  • A word from the publisher about Encinitas Advocate

    By now, everyone in San Diego must know that Tribune Publishing Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, has agreed to acquire the U-T San Diego. You might not be aware, though, that the Encinitas Advocate is owned by the U-T and thus will become part of the Tribune Co.’s portfolio of newspapers next...

  • Testing, testing...1, 2, 3

    Testing, testing...1, 2, 3

    For most of us, the month of May brings to mind images of flowers, sunshine, relaxing beach time and the coming summer. For students, May is anticipated about as much as spring allergies and pollen. May is the month of testing, and it’s not a happy time in classrooms. High school students are...

  • SDUHSD Superintendent Rick Schmitt’s Monthly Update: Bond, enrollment, more

    Superintendent Rick Schmitt regularly updates the greater San Dieguito Union High School District community through local media with a monthly update. Topics will include curriculum, facilities, budget, enrollment, safety, and other specific and special interest topics. Today’s topics: our second...

  • Jewish farmers gather to ignite the field of community agriculture

    Jewish farmers gather to ignite the field of community agriculture

    For the first time, a group of leading Jewish Community Farmers from the U.S., Israel and Canada convened in Encinitas recently for an in-depth field development workshop. They chose Encinitas for two reasons: We at the Leichtag Foundation invited them, and because they are an integral part of...

  • SDUHSD Superintendent's monthly update: new tests, school enrollment

    Superintendent Rick Schmitt plans to update the greater San Dieguito Union High School District community with a monthly update. Topics will include curriculum, facilities, budget, enrollment, safety, and other specific and special interest topics. Today’s update focuses on new California assessments...

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