Education Matters

  • Education Matters: School shootings: The tipping point?

    The 2012 Sandy Hook massacre had to be the tipping point. How can a nation do nothing when six adults and 20 kindergarten and first-grade children, babies all, were slaughtered by a madman? But I was wrong. Since then, we’ve had mass murders at so many events and venues … and more school shootings....

  • Education Matters: The Hamilton effect on education may make classrooms of the future ‘The Room Where It Happens’

    Education Matters: The Hamilton effect on education may make classrooms of the future ‘The Room Where It Happens’

    An illegitimate, orphaned immigrant born in the Caribbean rises to become one of the most brilliant of our Founding Fathers. We all know by now the basic biography of Alexander Hamilton, thanks to the genius of “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda whose lyrics and musical production have captured...

  • Education Matters: Today’s Martin Luther King Day

    Eighteen years ago, I wrote in The San Diego Union-Tribune of my struggle to answer my then 4-year-old son’s questions about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and why we have a day to honor him. I remember squirming, trying to sort out my thoughts and translate my words into preschool-level understanding...

  • Education Matters: Enrollment numbers, SOUL, and new Prop. AA priorities

    At a San Dieguito Union High School District facilities workshop last fall, demographics indicate that enrollment at La Costa Canyon High School will continue to decline, from 1,936 in the fall of 2014 to 1,684 in 2023. Capacity at LCC is nearly twice that, at 3,172. Enrollment at Torrey Pines...

  • Education Matters: Of raises and deficits

    In back-to-back items on the Dec. 14 San Dieguito Union High School District school board agenda, a raise was awarded to teachers just after district staff revealed its projection for a large deficit in 2017-2018. “We have a deficit,” SDUHSD superintendent Eric Dill told board members, in response...

  • Education Matters: Mapping the future in San Dieguito school board elections

    Big changes are coming to San Dieguito Union High School District’s school board elections in 2018. SDUHSD is transitioning to by-trustee elections, which means citizens will vote for school board candidates who reside in their particular sub-area, rather than at-large elections held district-wide....

  • Education Matters: SOULful beginnings

    Education Matters: SOULful beginnings

    At Conscious Meal Time, otherwise known as lunch, students at the School of Universal Learning (SOUL) gather in a circle to socialize and eat quietly, all together as a group. No cliques, no bullying, no isolation of students. Afterwards, the children have time before afternoon classes to play...

  • Education Matters: Only 17, but leaving his mark on the school board

    Education Matters: Only 17, but leaving his mark on the school board

    When Isaac Gelman took the oath of office on Sept. 14 for a third year as a San Dieguito Union High School District student board member, it was unprecedented. SDUHSD Superintendent Eric Dill said he’s never had a student board member serve more than one year, so Isaac “is unique in that regard.”...

  • Education Matters: A time for reflection

    For Jews, this is the season for reflection, atonement, forgiveness and renewal. In that spirit, I wish to apologize to anyone I’ve offended through my personal contact or written word. My passion for education issues sometimes overrides my sense of decorum and respect for others, others who also...

  • Education Matters: Congratulations premature on start times resolution

    Yes, it was purely symbolic. Nevertheless, San Dieguito trustees missed a perfect opportunity at the Sept. 14 board meeting to take a courageous stand in support of later school start times. San Dieguito Union High School District Superintendent Eric Dill asked trustees to consider adopting a resolution...

  • Education Matters: News of all kinds

    First, the happy news. At the Sept. 14 meeting of the San Dieguito Union High School District’s Board of Education, trustees are being presented with a resolution recommended for approval by the district to support Senate bill 328, which mandates that school start times for middle and high schools...

  • Education Matters: Comic-Con’s hidden education gems

    Comic-Con is about more than costumes, movie stars and sci-fi television and film. Attendees looking for the education component at this year’s mega-convention in San Diego were treated to a variety of panels covering a range of topics. Many themes centered on how comics and graphic novels can...

  • Education Matters: San Dieguito’s watershed moment

    Watching San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD) parents rise up in defense of their children and fight back against the unfair placement of the district’s Adult Transition Program (ATP) was electrifying and inspirational. After so many years of inaction and unfulfilled promises, parents...

  • Education Matters: Reviewing San Dieguito’s missteps

    The most recent misstep at the San Dieguito Union High School District centers on the lack of planning for adequate facilities for the Adult Transition Program, which serves special education students ages 18-22. But there have been others. Besides the ones listed last week, no recitation could...

  • Education Matters: Adult Transition Program the latest in a series of district missteps

    What’s left to say about the San Dieguito Union High School District’s Adult Transition Program debacle? Given the administration’s track record this past year, it’s no surprise that this program, which serves special education students ages 18-22, got bungled. No vision, no leadership, no planning,...

  • Education Matters: Democrats and the teachers union

    The strong ties that have historically bound members of the Democratic Party to teachers unions appear to be loosening. When steadfast Democrats in Sacramento resist the unions and sponsor bills like Anthony Portantino’s (later school start times) and Shirley Weber’s (teacher tenure), it indicates...

  • Education Matters: Setting the record straight

    A complimentary email from a reader about my recent columns concluded with a P.S. that surprised me: “I know you’re Republican but …” Then there was a critical reader who wrote anonymously online that my columns should be dismissed because I’m a “biased conservative” journalist. Biased I own. I’m...

  • Education Matters: Odds and ends

    More high schools are focusing on end-of-the-year portfolios “as indicators of whether students have acquired the skills they will need to succeed after graduation,” according to a recent article in EdSource. Titled “High schools turning to student portfolios to assess academic progress,” the article...

  • Education Matters: Test return policy; counselors per student; teacher salaries; donations vs. fees

    As the end of the school year approaches, before it’s too late I want to circle back and follow up on the test return policy at the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD). In my April 27 column titled “Reviewing your child’s tests at home,” SDUHSD administrators made it clear that teachers...

  • Education Matters: San Dieguito’s special relationship with its teachers union

    With the retirement of San Dieguito Faculty Association (SDFA) teachers union president Bob Croft this June 30, after 37 years in the San Dieguito Union High School District, SDUHSD has an opportunity to embark in a new direction. Every year since 2010, Croft – whose salary is $125,797 – has not...

  • Education Matters: Betting on hope

    The San Dieguito Union High School District projected a $9.2 million deficit at its March board meeting. At the May board meeting, the projected deficit was recalculated at about $8.5 million. Some might consider that a positive trend. But $8.5 million in the hole is nothing to smile about, with...

  • Education Matters: Revisiting money issues

    This year’s $9.2 million deficit continues to loom large for the San Dieguito Union High School District, which is good reason to revisit the December 2015 teachers’ contract and the subsequent raises given to all other SDUHSD employees in 2016. The union contract approved 3-2 by the school board...

  • Education Matters: Bill on later school start times advances; Islamophobia and getting rid of hate

    San Dieguito Union High School District trustee John Salazar has asked SDUHSD superintendent Eric Dill and board president Amy Herman to place on the May 11 board agenda the proposed state bill that would require all public middle and high schools to start school no earlier than 8:30 a.m. “Let’s...

  • Education Matters: Reviewing your child’s tests at home

    Although last year’s court ruling on what’s known as the test-return policy came down in favor of the San Dieguito Union High School District, parents are still able to have their child’s tests sent home for review. So says Michael Grove, SDUHSD’s associate superintendent of educational services....

  • Education Matters: SOUL charter school on track to open this fall

    With approval granted by the San Diego County Board of Education in January, the School of Universal Learning (SOUL) Charter School is on its way to opening this fall within the boundaries of the San Dieguito Union High School District. Co-founders Marisa Bruyneel and Michael Grimes say the response...

  • Education Matters: Leaving our mark on the world

    I stare into the fire, jabbing it with my poker. It’s been a long holiday week. My kids came home from cities far away, I turned another year older, and caught a vicious cold. Why I’m so content as I poke among the embers I can’t explain. It’s so unlike me. With laundry running for four days straight,...

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