The O’Farrell Charter School sees a fraction of the fights as Lincoln High, two miles west. Based on surveys area principals conducted with parents, violence is a big part of the reason why 70 percent of southeastern San Diego families opt for charters or schools in other neighborhoods.

While other nearby district schools are figuring out how to attract students from the neighborhood, students are clamoring to get into Gompers Preparatory Academy and The O’Farrell Charter School. If traditional schools want to compete, they’ll have to look to charters to see what they’re doing right.

Superintendents don’t stick around for long. A 2014 analysis by EdSource, a nonprofit advocating for public school improvement, found that two-thirds of superintendents at California’s largest public school districts served three years or less. Increasingly, though, it’s up to these newbie superintendents to persuade more students and their families to stick around at traditional schools, and resist the urge to transfer […]

San Diego Unified is pushing Innovations Academy out of its space in Scripps Ranch and dropping $20 million in bond money on a new facility for the school. It plans to lease the Scripps Ranch space to a developer who will build apartments. The move that makes good on the school board’s commitment to generate revenue off district property. But to Scripps Ranch residents, the decision is illogical: Why push out a charter school just to spend $20 million building a new one?

San Diego County has been ground zero for legal fights over where charter schools can open satellite campuses, or so-called resource centers. Both school districts and charter schools argue the other is driven by profit instead of what’s best for kids. The conversation is so loaded that it’s easy to lose sight of the actual legal point in dispute. So let’s unpack it.