Federal officials will audit California and Alabama’s graduation rates. But as we’ve found, even when districts play by the reporting rules, the numbers don’t always tell the whole story.
VOSD education reporter Mario Koran joined the podcast this week to walk hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts through all the wacky details he unraveled in his story about the San Diego Unified School District’s costly and unfruitful investigation into former board trustee Marne Foster.
When the San Diego Unified school board opened an investigation into then-trustee Marne Foster, it capped the cost of the probe at $40,000. In the end, the district never made the report public — but it paid $228,000 for the effort.
San Diego County’s public schools funneled tens of millions of dollars to an artificial turf company that spent years installing a defective product, and then demanded schools pay more money for a sturdy replacement.
Voice of San Diego has launched a new reporting project we’re calling Storyboard, an effort to convene people with a stake in bilingual education and examine the most pressing questions facing English-learners.
FieldTurf USA managed to convince several public school districts to give all their turf jobs to the company, claiming it offered a superior product and warranty – all while grappling with a defective product installed at as many as 3,000 schools.
San Diego Unified had at least six FieldTurf fields fall apart before the warranty was up, and two were replaced with the same defective product. Still, district officials have such confidence in the company, no other turf manufacturer has been allowed to compete for jobs within the district.
FieldTurf USA turned failure into opportunity when dozens of its artificial turf fields quickly fell apart at public schools across San Diego County. No one held the turf company line and wrung more money from local customers than regional FieldTurf salesman Tim Coury.
Defective FieldTurf fields are rapidly falling apart all over the country, including in San Diego County, where more than 20 fields needed replacement while still under warranty. A sweeping review of public records obtained by Voice of San Diego reveals that as FieldTurf’s fields failed prematurely, the company demanded more money from local schools wanting a sturdy replacement.
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.