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 […]