There’s a crack in the wall at Hoover High that $923 million hasn’t been able to fix.
Rainwater pools onto a flat surface near the business education building. With nowhere to drain, it seeps into the ceiling tiles until they bulge with water, and give way to the classroom below.
“We usually just stick a broom through it and catch the water in a bucket,” said Michael Shefcik, Hoover’s head custodian. “It’s OK – until the next time it rains. Then we go out and do it again.”
He’s not exaggerating. This is during a rainstorm in 2014 in Room 1005 at Hoover High School.
Shefcik said an internal beam is now so rotten he can poke his finger through it.
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Now go take a picture of Crawford and compare it to Kearney, UC and MBHS. What a dump of a facility students and the El Cerrito community have to be active.
Kudos to SDUSD for modernizing public athletic facilities.
@Dennis It should be noted that Crawford fields are not "Joint Use" fields hence they are not "public athletic facilities". They are school athletic facilities being upgraded using bond money approved via Prop S and Z by voters who were willing to tax themselves for the purpose spelled out in each ballot measure. Nothing more. Yes, the Civic Center Act does apply to the use of the facilities once the project is complete but the project should not be designed and built for the purpose of accommodating 3rd party use which we are finding out is above and beyond what is "necessary" for school use.
It sounds like the whole school district needs to be sent to the unemployment line! Sure, stadia are income generators, but building sports facilities when water is collecting in the ceilings and school buildings (except for the gym) are deteriorating.
The district has priorities, but they are badly twisted around. This is why I vote 'no' on bonds. They've taken that money and squandered it at the expense of academic studies.
Yet attendance is still mandatory, no matter how poor the quality of the school.
How much does it cost to rebuild the whole school? For 15 million, they should be able to accomplish quite a bit. Should be is the key phrase. I love how corrupt politicians always respond to criticism with, why didn't you run for office? That's not the point. Very few people can win even if they do run so that kind of response is unethical. There are only so many board seats, and whoever wins is expected to do a good job. The fact that some have admitted that the stuff about asbestos was nonsense ought to tell parents that it is time for a clean sweep the next time around. I've been asking that for years. How many times can they sell a bond proposal on a false premise and get away with it? Quite a few times. Perhaps an engineer, doctor, lawyer, or other professional should have to give up their six figure salary and run for school board to fix the mess. I don't see that happening anytime soon. According to this clown on the school board, don't complain if you don't win the election.
@shawn fox Lincoln High School cost nearly $130 Million to rebuild (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_High_School_%28San_Diego%29#cite_note-lhs001-2). We can't really afford to rebuild every school
Here is another example of why voters should vote against each and every bond issue that any level of government puts on the ballot. The politicians continually waste our money and then say they need more.
@Bob Gardner Whoa...let's not go that far. "Each and every bond issue" is a pretty extreme position. Stay focused here Bob.
This is not a reason to vote against bond measures. Our schools are falling apart and we desperately need more funding for education. This is a reason to attend BOE meetings, get involved, and vote in school board elections.
@SherryS Apparently our schools aren't falling apart. They have $5B to fix everything. Instead, they built new stadiums with the money. So what is falling apart? By the way, I do vote in elections, every election. I don't remember Cindy Marten, Andy Berg, and Lee Dulgeroff on the ballot.
Did you read the article? Schools are in desperate need of repairs DESPITE the fact that they spent the money on stadiums. The Board of Education is responsible and they ARE on the ballot.
Board of Ed (BoE) is elected by the people (divided geographically into five areas). It is a non-partisan election. The BoE hires the Superintendent. The Superintendent directs all the other staff (Berg, Dulgeroff, et al.). The Superintendent also negotiates with the teachers union (SDEA).
Your only voice in this matter is the BoE.
Agreed ... and the next bond measure!
The communication link is really broken. SDUSD and SDEA are very "old school". They project population growth and want to merely propagate the status quo of educational delivery. They need to understand that they need to communicate with voters in order for voters to approve salary increases, bond measures for capital improvements, and bond measures for staff salaries.
Remember, a bond measure is a good idea when you have something expensive that needs to be amortized over many years - like taking out a loan. In particular, it works great when the economy is growing; borrow money when interest rates are low (like now) and pay it back when either the economy is growing fast and/or when there is inflation and the future dollars are not worth as much as they are today.
One aspect of the region that SDUSD / SDEA is missing is competition. They behave like they deserve all students and that families are "stuck" in the district. They're wrong. People move out of San Diego to get away from SDUSD. People start charter schools to get out of SDUSD. People use the CHOICE program to go to schools other than their neighborhood schools. Window dressing won't bring them back.
SDUSD / SDEA need to communicate the value to the voter. They need to go on a public relations campaign, listen to voters, and explain the landscape of a modern education to voters to convince them to provide funds to do what SDUSD / SDEA think is best for San Diego's children. Actions like the ones reported in the VoSD only serve to undermine confidence in SDUSD / SDEA.
Another great article - true to the point.
It is window dressing and to some degree it is what the community wants, but not necessarily what the students need.
i21 whiteboards came in with great functionality - software, sample curriculum, ability for students to interact and do work on the electronic whiteboard. However, there was no training and no support. Is a teacher supposed to take a 40 hr course and then re-write their curriculum for this whiteboard?
Ask the parents at a school what they want (I did when I led a community group to do this exercise) and they all place academics at the top! All the right things - great teachers, good learning environment, challenging and broad curriculum.
Ask these same parents (I did!) to then put those priorities into practice and what do you get: let's get a new stadium! How about a pool! Let's repaint the school! All these children should have iPads!
All fluff and no substance.
In this case, SDUSD is a reflection of the community - all window dressing and no meat.
@bcat "i21 whiteboards came in with great functionality - software, sample curriculum, ability for students to interact and do work on the electronic whiteboard. However, there was no training and no support."
There was/is training and support.
There are a lot of things that schools could do to get students really excited, but will these things cause the students to leave school better educated? If we handed out to students what is spent on building and maintaining stadiums, I bet they'd love that, but will it better prepare them for life? And it's ironic that this is happening as we are getting a better understanding of the risk to young people when they play these sports, such as concussions. I have friends who pressured their son to play football, though he didn't want to because he wanted to be a surgeon and feared injury. I don't understand these values.
@Janet Shelton This artificial turf they're touting...what do you suppose grows under there in the warm, moist darkness?
Good article. Look at the abuse by San Diego Unified School District towards charter schools on district property. Under the law, prop.39, charter schools are to receive "like" facilities. The SDUSD hasn't even afforded these charters and San Diego students simple air-conditioning for their schools. Last year, some of these charter classrooms reach 105 degrees. I understand many of these charters have minority students; is this why there is no up-roar? SDUSD "for the children", really?
@David I was wondering if you personally were in the classroom that you say was 105* and made the temperature measurements?
How many of these charters that you say are deprived of facilities are for profit charters? And of course you played the race card very quickly.
Charters were invented to do two things: drain money away from the public schools and to break up the teachers union.
It's ironic to me that the lead into charter schools was that they were going to find new and effective ways to educate the students. Yet, after all these years there is very little difference in standardized test scores between charters and public schools. Please don't sing the praises of the Preuss school as all of their students tested at the highest level even before they are allowed to apply to the school. I'm not saying that Preuss is not a good school whose students score high on tests. But don't you think they should score high since their students are the best and the brightest in the county.
@richard brick Everything you said is wrong.
Charter schools were an effort to find another way other than the classic public education. They come in many flavors. Some escape bureaucracy by administering schools in a different way. Most cater to "special" needs: social justice, serving the under privileged, foreign language immersion, project oriented learning.
Charter schools are supposed to enroll like a public school - agnostic to race, ethnicity, wealth, religion. They are supposed to get a fair shot at public facilities that are not being used. They are supposed to get the same public funding as the "standard model" public school. What Charters can really offer is an environment where a community of students, teachers, and parents can really make the rules that they want - like an old fashioned mid-West local school as opposed to the megalith of SDUSD (14 High Schools / 130,000 students).
Unfortunately, the practice is different than the theory.
Preuss is discriminatory. If the parents went to college, then the child cannot enroll.
Preuss and others garner monies from donors, increasing the spending per pupil beyond the State reimbursed amount that SDUSD receives.
Charters don't get a fair shot at public facilities. I've heard administrators and BoE members literally plot to "poison" their vacant classrooms to prevent a charter from moving into an unused facility. Several campuses are under utilized (30 - 50%). So there is a lot of extra, quality space available. Charters should get Proposition S money to fix what SDUSD offers them.
@bcat @richard brick @David Not sure why there's so much anti-Preuss school sentiment here. Calling them "discriminatory" is a bit misleading. Their aim is to better educate the children of parents who did not receive such college education. It's a clearly stated, and by most accounts, a noble goal. Looking at their metrics, they are succeeding in that mission. Calling that discriminatory is like calling homeless shelters discriminatory (of course people who have homes are not allowed...but that's sort of the point).
Preuss does receive donor money, but so does La Jolla HS and numerous other public schools. I think VOSD's reporting has made that clear. Scripps Ranch HS receives very little (maybe least?) donor money, but by most measures it is also a high quality school. So Preuss receiving donor money is neither unique nor superbly advantageous.
Preuss IS discriminatory. No other public school in the City of San Diego is allowed to discriminate like Preuss. Not even SPCA is allowed to turn down students that don't have the performing arts ability that meets their standards. The question remains as to whether or not this discrimination is good or bad social policy. While I laud their efforts to improve education amongst those with less, I am frustrated that those with some don't have similar opportunities.
Preuss won't let my children attend. My children have less opportunity to succeed than a Preuss student. There are students with less opportunity than my children that will not be offered the opportunities at Preuss (take a look at Waiting for Superman http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1566648/ ). It is heartbreaking that opportunity is handed out randomly and in such scarcity. What is the right distribution of opportunity?
The AP and IB programs are not widely distributed across SDUSD. What is the child of college graduate supposed to do to get their child an education that will enable them to compete for enrollment at top colleges?
True, LJHS and many other campuses have fund raising efforts. No school in San Diego compares in fund raising to the LJ Cluster where $250,000 per year is not uncommon. However, break it down a bit. At $90,000 per teacher (salary + benefits), that adds only three teachers to LJHS. Hardly enough to bring classroom sizes down below 36 pupils per classroom. That is nowhere close to the 24 - 25 pupils per class at Preuss (http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/general/12-07PreussRanksTop10PJ-N.html). That seems "unique" and "superbly advantageous" by almost any definition.
My issue is not specifically with their discrimination. For example, I admire Stuyvesant of NYC (http://stuy.enschool.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=126615&type=d). Students can only matriculate once they pass an exam! Their alumni include several Nobel Laureates.
The problem I have is that Preuss is shown as an example of a great school. More schools could be great like Preuss if they collected students that were focused on college and had class sizes of 24 - 25 pupils. To call Preuss a public school is a travesty. It is not a bastion of equal opportunity. It is a lottery for a small group of students. If you either don't fit the demographic or don't win the lottery, your opportunities are severely diminished. That seems counter to the concept of public education. It should be privately funded or it should be non-discriminatory.
Waa! They won't let me join the party. Poor me. A college educated parent who can't eat at the poor kids table. Keep crying...maybe those poor families will take pity on you and let your kids in. Those social-economically disadvantaged kids are so mean to me. Waa!
The implication of what you have so inelegantly stated is that if you have a college education and a decent income, you should not expect your children to get an excellent public education. Unfortunately, your attitude seems to be shared by the San Diego Unified Board of Education and the Superintendent who focus exclusively on "focus groups" of foster children, English learners and the underprivileged. Yes, I could afford to pull my kids out of public school and send them to a private school with small class sizes and adequate facilities. They could go to school with privileged children like themselves. But I don't believe that's what this country is about. I believe we should fight for an excellent public educaton for everyone.
@Mike The implication of what you have so inelegantly stated is that if you have a college education and a decent income, you should not expect your children to get an excellent public education. Unfortunately, your attitude seems to be shared by the San Diego Unified Board of Education and the Superintendent who focus exclusively on "focus groups" of foster children, English learners and the underprivileged. Yes, I could afford to pull my kids out of public school and send them to a private school with small class sizes and adequate facilities. They could go to school with privileged children like themselves. But I don't believe that's what this country is about. I believe we should fight for an excellent public educaton for everyone.
I try not to use "Waa" as guidance for good social policy. I try to get informed, use facts, and apply ethics.
The point is that inconsistent policy is like a random reward. Positive reinforcement produces strong behaviors. Negative reinforcement often reinforces negative behavior. Random reward creates random behavior.
Eliminate the lottery approach to "good" education and we'll all benefit from better results.