San Diego Unified officials made big promises to hire local workers when they adopted a project labor agreement for the district’s bond program. But so far just 38 percent of the workers who built bond projects have been residents of the school district. Two members of the independent group that oversees the bond program work for the unions contracted with the district to supply the work force in the labor deal.

A few years ago, San Diego Unified launched pilot program aimed at incorporating a new approach to school discipline, called restorative justice. It’s well received where it’s implemented, and the district has touted its use following high-profile incidents of violence on school campuses. But the program has only been implemented at a small handful of schools.

Public school students are allowed to opt out of mandated state tests. But Kevin Beiser, a middle school teacher in the Sweetwater Union High School District who is also a member of the San Diego Unified board, violated a state policy that prevents school employees from explicitly encouraging students to opt out.

Earlier this year, a UCSD researcher examining San Diego Unified’s data said the district would need “a miracle” to hit a 90 percent graduation rate this year. A miracle is what the district must have gotten, because it’s about to pull it off. Here’s a look at how it got here — and at what the numbers don’t tell us.

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