The protracted search for a new principal at Lincoln High amplifies the sense of disruption and disorganization that parents have repeatedly vocalized. Members of the school’s parent-teacher organization say their voices have been dismissed.
A closer look at data from individual high schools reveals a trend that might seem contradictory at first glance: Schools whose graduation rates are rising are simultaneously losing a significant number of students to charter schools and schools in other parts of town.
Each new story about missteps at Lincoln High School brings a new round of questions from readers who ask what can be done, if anything, to set the school on a path for success. Let’s take a look at several potential solutions that are often floated.
The last semester of Lincoln High School’s Middle College program was so plagued with problems it ended with school district officials brokering a deal with the San Diego Community College District to withdraw dozens of students in order to avoid Fs on their transcripts.
There may be no harder task for a school district than turning around a struggling school. What options does a parent have if the district isn’t up to the task?
Many district officials have been speaking in lofty, optimistic terms about Lincoln High’s future, despite the challenges the school is facing. One former principal, Mel Collins, agrees Lincoln has the makings of a great school — so long as it gets an effective leader who can put it all together.
Lincoln High has come to represent everything that troubles large urban high schools: continuous staff turnover, lagging test scores, eruptions of violence and students segregated by race, poverty and language. This year, Lincoln will get a new school board trustee and a new principal. Both leaders will face the improbable task of reversing decades of low performance and low expectations for students at San Diego Unified’s most embattled campus.
The STEAM Middle College, a program that allows Lincoln High students to take college classes, has been reduced to one remedial course that won’t count for college credit. District officials say the Middle College is simply in transition and that it plans to add more staff to support the program.
Next year John Ross, who was appointed to lead Lincoln in 2014, will move to the district’s Placement and Appeal Department, where he’ll work with students who’ve been incarcerated or are facing expulsion. Ross becomes the third principal to leave Lincoln since 2007, when the school reopened with a $129 million campus.
If San Diego Unified has its own police force, why is SDPD handling the criminal investigation into the Lincoln fight?