When the San Diego Unified School District announced its official graduation rate this week, it did something unusual.

It also released a page of “important facts” about what goes into graduation rates, organized into a series of questions a concerned citizen might ask about the numbers.

It was intended as a response to the last few months of reporting by our Mario Koran on the things that are and aren’t included in the news that the district had a 91 percent graduation rate in 2016. The district doesn’t mention VOSD or Koran directly or indirectly, but it’s pretty clear.

On the podcast this week, Sara Libby and I go through some of Koran’s most significant findings, and break down how the district chose to obliquely respond to them. It was an interesting maneuver, to say the least.

We also broke down Ashly McGlone’s latest findings in her months-long investigation into FieldTurf, the company that makes artificial turf fields that a bunch of local schools have purchased. The fields have been failing way ahead of schedule, and upgraded fields that schools bought to avoid those problems are now having their own problems too.

Plus, the lead proponents for and against San Diego’s major pension reform initiative from 2012 joined the show to break down this week’s big from a state appeal court upholding the city’s reform plan. Michael Zucchet, head of the city union that challenged the initiative, and April Boling, a lead proponent of the citizens’ initiative, joined the show to analyze the ruling and game out its implications.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

Hero of the Week: Steve Fisher, who retired as the San Diego State University’s head basketball coach this week after an 18-year career in which he transformed the program into a national player.

Goat of the Week: the city of Oceanside, for seemingly backpedaling on a plan to pursue a road diet on Coast Highway. We gave the city hero status a year ago for the same project, but promised at the time we’d make the city a goat if it lost its nerve. We had no choice.

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    This article relates to: Education, Government, Must Reads, News, Pensions, School Performance, Voice of San Diego Podcast

    Written by Andrew Keatts

    I'm Andrew Keatts, a reporter for Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at andrew.keatts@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0529.

    Michael Russell
    Michael Russell subscriber

    We can't afford another layer of astroturf education.

    Everyone should listen to this podcast. SDUSD is becoming a laughing stock. Stop "spinning" the Graduation Rates, unless you are honest about the problem you can't start to solve it. (The reason we have such an ignorant and illiterate electorate is because of this kind of gaming the education system.) You are either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem.

    You can't change the goal posts, by moving them closer (the 25-yard line), and then say that you're making progress. SDUSD cheated to create an unreal number, and that robbed these students of an education.

    Thanks to VOSD, and Mario Koran especially, for the GREAT REPORTING on San Diego Education. (I'm sure Scott's Vacation has nothing to do with the level of discourse, Andrew) Here for your edification is the San Diego Unified School District's EXCUSES to explain their magic Graduation Rates ( https://www.sandiegounified.org/newscenter/important-facts-about-district-graduation-rate ).