Morning Report: What Drives the Teacher Experience Gap - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: What Drives the Teacher Experience Gap

Desks inside a Perkins Elementary School classroom / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Teachers choose to leave a school for a complex variety of reasons. But the result of their leaving tends to have one pronounced result: Schools with less poverty end up with the most experienced teachers, both in San Diego and many parts of the country. 

In other words, the best teachers end up where they are needed the least, as we revealed earlier this week. 

Will Huntsberry explained what’s driving this trend: a labor provision known as “post and bid.” It allows teachers with the most seniority to get priority when applying for open positions in the district. 

Some argue that post and bid inherently disadvantages low-income children. But others say the law is perfect as it is. They argue that the way to attract experienced educators to high-need schools is by improving the climate and leadership within those schools. 

Some states and cities have experimented with increasing a teacher’s pay to draw them to high-need schools. Richard Barrera, one of San Diego Unified School District’s longest-serving board members, said that’s not a policy the district has any interest in enacting. 

Beiser Isn’t Running for City Council After All

San Diego Unified Trustee Kevin Beiser is not running for City Council after all, reports Times of San Diego.

Four men accused Beiser of sexual abuse or harassment earier this year. One man filed a lawsuit that has since settled.The local Democratic Party, teachers’ union, Beiser’s fellow board members and virtually every major Democratic elected official in the county called for his resignation. He has refused to step down, but went on paid leave from his teaching position in the Sweetwater Union High School District, pending an investigation.

But he had never terminated his bid for the City Council’s District 7 seat, filing a campaign disclosure for the first six months of the year that showed he had raised $20,000, though donations largely stopped coming in after the allegations, and he had begun refunding some donors.

He told Times of San Diego’s Ken Stone he won’t pull papers to appear on the ballot. After 2020, he could be removed from the school board, too. 

A City Council committee approved a measure for the November ballot that would let the City Council remove a school board member from office if they were in dereliction of their official duties. The full Council still needs to put the measure on the ballot. 

San Diego DA Loses Challenge to New Felony Murder Law

A state appellate court has sided with state lawmakers who approved a law that went into effect earlier this year amending the so-called felony murder law. Under the new law, people can no longer be convicted of murder if they didn’t actually kill anyone or play a major rule in a felony in which a murder took place. The new law also allows people who were convicted and sentenced under the old felony-murder rule to petition the court for resentencing.

As inewsource reported just after the law went into effect, San Diego Assistant District Attorney David Greenberg argued the law was unconstitutional. 

California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal disagreed this week.

The DA’s office had argued that the new law illegally amended earlier propositions passed by voters. 

But the court found that “the voters who approved Proposition 7 and Proposition 115 got, and still have, precisely what they enacted” and that “by enacting Senate Bill 1437, the Legislature has neither undermined these initiatives nor impinged upon the will of the voters who passed them.”

Speaking of San Diego Pols Challenging State Laws …

The County Board of Supervisors voted to file an amicus brief supporting the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s so-called sanctuary state laws, in the hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue.

Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit largely upheld the legality of the three state laws being challenged (for a refresher on what those laws are, click here).

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher blasted the board’s decision Wednesday, and tweeted a link to a 2017 Washington Post article about research that refutes the administration’s contention that sanctuary cities are hotbeds for crime.

That research was conducted by University of California, San Diego professor Tom Wong. 

Which brings us to …

Tom Wong Makes it Official: He’s Running for Congress

Last week, a congressional campaign website popped up for Tom Wong, a UCSD professor, suggesting he was joining the scrum in CA-53, the seat to which Rep. Susan Davis has decided not to seek re-election.

Wednesday, Wong made it official, announcing that he would be the “first undocumented AAPI” congressman.

His announcement said he’d focus on immigration reform and highlighted the multiple lawsuits he’s filed against the Trump administration as proof of his commitment fighting for DACA.

San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, who this weekend won the state Democratic Party’s endorsement, welcomed him to the race, saying the more people get into the race, the more she stands out as the best option.

Other Democratic contenders include Sara Jacobs, who ran a competitive campaign in CA-49 last year; Janessa Goldbeck, a queer woman who joined the military after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed; Jose Caballero, who had staged a leftist challenge to Davis before she decided to retire; and Joaquín Vázquez, a policy adviser and community organizer. Famela Ramos, a Republican and hospice nurse, is also running.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby, Will Huntsberry and Andrew Keatts.

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