As we continue to dig into San Diego Unified’s record-setting graduation rate of 91 percent, one question we’ve raised is why so many students are leaving the district’s high schools and signing up for charter schools instead. Close to 600 students students lept from the district to charter schools in the 2015-2016 school year, and Mario Koran reports on how the number of students who leave a district school for a charter school can dramatically affect that district school’s graduation rate. “Schools whose graduation rates are rising are simultaneously losing a significant number of students,” Koran reports.
Take Lincoln High, for example. It recently posted a 84.7 percent graduation rate — the best rate since the school re-opened in 2007. But an analysis of student data shows 60 percent of the 2016 Lincoln High class who started as freshmen in 2012 left Lincoln for other schools before graduating. The district tells us that families in San Diego move in and out. Others, however, believe unprepared students are a big part of the problem, such as ninth-graders reading at a second-grade level. “Cindy Barros, head of Lincoln’s parent-teacher organization, suspects most students are leaving Lincoln because they’re behind in credits,” Koran reports.
Culture Report: Beer Space Embraced, Arts Spurned
Ever since it was announced that UCSD would take over the space currently occupied by the outdoor arts, beer and dog space Quartyard, patrons of the space have been fretting over whether the community built around Quartyard will be disbanded. In our most recent Culture Report, Kinsee Morlan writes with good news that Quartyard will live on, in a new space nearby its current location at Park and Market. “On Monday the group announced they’d found a new home on a vacant lot just a block away, at 13th and Market streets,” Morlan reports.
Morlan also reports on how San Diego’s art community is responding to a proposed drop in funding from the city. The program called A Penny for the Arts is turning out to be more like Less Than Half A Penny for the Arts in the current budget, which would slash arts and culture funding by $4.7 million if approved. If the city made good on its penny promise, the budget for arts would be $22 million this year. “But we’ve been allocated so far $10.4 (million),” said Todd Schultz of the San Diego Symphony.
• NBC 7 has some additional details on the new space for Quartyard.
Opinion: Arts Cuts Hurt City
Dalouge Smith, CEO of San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory and a member of the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, is also worried about whether cutting the city’s art budget by 31 percent is the right way to go. From Trolley Dances, to The Old Globe, to the Fleet Science Center, Smith argues such deep cuts will undermine city efforts to draw in tourists.