Education Matters

  • 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,...

  • Education Matters: Strumming through the ABCs

    Education Matters: Strumming through the ABCs

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  • Harvesting food awareness in Encinitas, Part Two

    Harvesting food awareness in Encinitas, Part Two

    When developers were granted permits to build new housing in Encinitas in the 1990s, they were required to reserve land for schools to serve the children of the new homes. A 10-acre parcel on Quail Gardens Drive was set aside for this purpose and was deeded to the Encinitas Union School District...

  • Education Matters: Harvesting food awareness in Encinitas

    Education Matters: Harvesting food awareness in Encinitas

    People talk about the need to teach future generations about the environment, conservation and food justice. But most schools are doing little more to educate kids to the growing needs of our planet than teaching from a textbook, if that. The Encinitas Union School District is a huge exception....

  • Education Matters: Time for term limits

    Too many school board members regard their elected positions as full-time careers and have served on school boards far longer than is reasonable.  Term limits have been supported by citizens for many elected posts, including the president of the United States, state and federal office holders,...

  • Education matters: Money for nothing

    By a vote of 4-1, San Dieguito Union High School District trustees in December approved offering stipends to any employee –teacher or not – who gave notice before Feb. 1 of their intent to retire by June 30, the end of the fiscal year. The rationale, according SDUHSD superintendent Eric Dill, was...

  • International Baccalaureate coming to San Dieguito

    One of the most exciting developments in years for the San Dieguito Union High School District is the advent of an International Baccalaureate program at La Costa Canyon High School.  Beginning in the fall of 2018, LCC will offer the two-year IB Diploma Programme, starting with 11th-graders and...

  • Education Matters: Education gets a little SOUL

    There’s a new kid on the block in the San Dieguito Union High School District.  Coming to a location near you this fall, the School of Universal Learning – SOUL – is the first approved charter school in San Dieguito’s history. After being denied authorization by the SDUHSD board last October, SOUL...

  • Education Matters: Kid stuff – for grown-ups

    No matter how old they get, when you take your kids to a Science Museum, it’s like they’re 10 again. I was very excited to see the Fleet Science Center’s Art of the Brick exhibit over the winter break and asked my 20-year-old son and his 18-year-old girlfriend if they’d like to join us.  Legos...

  • Education Matters: When foundation appeals cross the line

    Every few months, a parent tells me that their school’s foundation is fundraising in a way that feels punitive.  Through strong-arm tactics and coercive language, foundation flyers and pleas for money often convey a sense of intimidation. They do not make clear that no child can be excluded from...

  • Education Matters: Stop the hate

    It’s as if the floodgates have suddenly been opened. Hate is flowing freely in schools across the nation since Donald Trump was elected. This tweet from a parent sums it up: “Passive racism is quickly turning into open harassment now that Trump won the election.” In our nation’s high schools, middle...

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