At a recent San Diego Unified school board meeting, Superintendent Cindy Marten stepped forward and unceremoniously dropped a bomb: The district has broken the promises of equity it made to schools and children, she said. To make it right, San Diego needs a three-pronged approach to closing the achievement gap.
In its most basic sense, the achievement gap refers to students who are making it and those who are not. Cut the term open, however, and questions of race, poverty and equity spill out.
Marten said that unlike doctors who hope to find a cure for cancer, the district already has the solution to the problem. The trick is finding out how to deliver the medicine with the district’s limited resources.
Marten didn’t just float the idea — she presented bold strategies. While it’s still too early to call them part of a plan — there are details yet to iron out — the proposal would allocate additional resources to students at every level, from preschool to high school.
The district would expand and increase its focus on early childhood education. More resources would go to middle schools to support long-term English learners. And the district would try to close the so-called school-to-prison pipeline by revamping disciplinary practices and preventing drop-outs.
The call-to-action seems like a sudden shift from the back-patting and positive messaging the district has bullhorned since it became a finalist for the Broad Prize this fall, or after it ranked as a top urban district in the Nation’s Report Card.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Unbelievable. Was the word Parent used anywhere in this article? The answer appears to be take more money from taxpayers to fund pre-school, take kids out of their homes at an earlier age to let the state mold them into good citizens, and to close the achievement gap by transferring funds from high-achiever programs to low-achiever programs. As long as all 8th graders can read at a 6th grade level-instead of some at a high school level and some at an elementary school level-we should be satisfied with that? God forbid we should expel willfully disobedient brats in any ratio other than the strict proportion of society as a whole. Wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. If kids drop out of high school, we'll just spend more money on job training programs once they realize they have to earn a living. Anything to keep the little tax deductions and food stamp bonus babies off the street.
No learning occurs in a classroom where a disrupter is returned to class and allowed to continue to disrupt. They should be transferred to a program more in tune with how to deal with them, where they receive more intensive positive reinforcement. This is true of all grade levels.
It is no coincidence that the "best" teacher have the "best" students.
Must have the support and buy-in from the parents, teach the parents English and require participation in the schools . . .
Let's first look at acheievement with the SDUSD. First, they wanted to inprove their test score so they allowed charters schools to open in areas that were economically depressed - S.E. San Diego. This allowed the SDUSD to take those children out of their data baseand remarkably show academic growth(to the SDUSD surpise, the charters did well). Now, that the new funding modle is coming into play, the SDUSD wants to help the economically depressed areas, why? They understand by getting back these students their per-pupul ratio increases tremendously. The childen are more than just a pawn to the SDUSD; they are an instrument to keep buracratic wealth. Somebody please think of the children.
The 3 steps seem designed to make the education cartel bigger and get more money rather than improve academic outcomes.
All the data says government run pre-school does not improve long term academic outcomes. Headstart has spent more than $1 billion so you'd think after that much money there'd be positive results to point at.
Changing the disciplinary steps is just vapor. Disruptors need to be removed the classroom - regardless of their sex or race. The notion that SD teachers are racist and don't treat all kids the same is shockingly insulting.
More money for kids that don't speak English won't help. There's no data that more money improves outcome. Does the Superintendent believe that if the existing teachers got a raise they'd teach better?
@Michael Robertson The evidence about Head Start shows that, relative to their peers, Head start kids have a higher High School graduation rate, are more likely to go to college, as adults, they are more likely to own a home, they are less likely to get arrested.
@Jim Jones @-P @Michael Robertson "...children who were in Head Start are about 22 percentage points more likely to complete high school than their siblings who were in some other form of preschool, and about 19 percentage points more likely to attend some college."
"In a study conducted in Florida,girls who had
not attended Head Start were three times more likely to
have been arrested by age 22 (15% vs. 5%) than similar
girls who had participated in Head Start."
"Taken together, these impact estimates suggest that Head Start as it operated in the 1960s
through 1980s seems to have generated benefits in excess of program costs, despite fade-out in
initial achievement test impacts, with a benefit-cost ratio that might be at least as large as the 7-
to-1 figure often cited for model early childhood programs such as Perry Preschool. Currie
(2001) notes that the short-term benefits of Head Start to parents in the form of high-quality child
care together with medium-term benefits from reductions in special education placements and
grade retention might together offset between 40 and 60 percent of the program’s costs. Ludwig
and Miller’s (2007) estimates imply that each extra dollar of Head Start funding in a county - 20 -
generates benefits from reductions in child mortality and increases in schooling attainment that
easily outweigh the extra program spending."