Morning Report: New Findings on High Poverty Schools and Teacher Turnover - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: New Findings on High Poverty Schools and Teacher Turnover

Students at Fulton K-8 participate in a 2015 ceremony. / Photo by Dustin Michelson

Schools with less experienced teachers also tend to have higher poverty rates and poorer academic outcomes. 

That’s according to a new data analysis by VOSD and education researchers at UC San Diego. Millennial Tech Middle School and Fulton K-8 stood out as some of the schools struggling the most, both to keep teachers and to help their students. 

Both schools scored the lowest on the state’s math assessment compared to other schools with similar poverty levels in San Diego. And 38 percent of teachers in both schools were in their first or second year teaching.

On average, teachers in San Diego Unified have 16.5 years of experience, above the national average. However, our analysis showed wide discrepancies among district schools. At Horton Elementary, for instance, the average teacher has worked less than 10 years. The school was placed on a list of worst performing in the state last year. 

We also found positive outliers: At Edison Elementary — which has a poverty level of 97 percent — teachers have 18.3 years of experience on average. Edison performed very well on last year’s state assessment compared to all district schools and especially those with similar levels of poverty last year. 

Convention Center Nerds: We Got Some New Product

In March, San Diegans will consider a hotel-tax increase that’ll pay for an expansion of the Convention Center and set aside funds for homeless services and road repairs. You should really listen to the debate that we hosted at Politifest. It was good, thoughtful, and you’ll find the video here

For a while now, Scott Lewis has been wondering aloud about whether the convention business is growing and whether investing a ton of public money is worth it. Two members of the Convention Center Corp. board of directors in recent days have given us their take. 

Also in this week’s Politics Report: Kristin Gaspar’s political consultant explains why she so strongly opposed the county’s plan to open four offices meant to ease voter registration on Election Day. 

More Politics

This is a slow time of the year around the California capitol. But in the Sacramento Report, we got a sense of what topics will attract San Diego lawmakers’ attention in the next session. For instance, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, the Republican caucus leader, plans to move forward with a bill requiring SANDAG to hold public meetings before making substantial changes to the allocation of transit funding.

Recommended: The former governor, and San Diego mayor, Pete Wilson, was the subject of a big podcast series by the LA Times looking back at his legacy specifically with regard to Proposition 187, the doomed ballot measure that would have restricted unauthorized immigrants’ access to public services. It has been 25 years since the measure and its backlash, which many credit with transforming the state’s politics. The face of the podcast, Gustavo Arrellano, ended up getting an interview with Wilson and published a column about it Sunday.

On our podcast: Jesse Marx and Sara Libby unpacked a series of investigations into members of law enforcement who’ve been convicted of crimes. VOSD joined dozens of newsroom to figure out how those officers are treated by the same system that employs them. Some lawmakers responded last week by saying it’s time for the state to consider revoking the badges of convicted cops.  

Also on our podcast: Libby, Lewis and Andrew Keatts talked about the state of the mayor’s race, a new rent-control law that could be causing … rents to go up. And they mark the end of an era: San Diego’s solid run of stadium renderings has probably come to an end.

More Problems With ‘Remain in Mexico’ Revealed

Former and current governor officials have been raising the alarm on the so-called ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy that requires asylum seekers to await their U.S. asylum proceedings in Mexico.

Heads up: The Sheriff’s Department is expected to describe how it works with federal immigration officials, with an update on how many people have been transferred into ICE custody over the past year. As the U-T noted, a 2016 law requires these types of public forums every year. We wrote about how at last year’s meeting the sheriff’s data showed a peculiar trend: Though the 2016 law allows people in local jails to refuse interview requests from Immigration and Customs officials, more people in San Diego agree to be interviewed without a lawyer than the number who refuse.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Maya Srikrishnan, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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