Group Says City Has 'Failing School System'

By Rory Devine
|  Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010  |  Updated 9:21 PM PDT
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Group Says City Has 'Failing School System'

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Group Says City Has 'Failing School System'

San Diegans 4 Great Schools, said on Tuesday that a study conducted at the University of San Diego shows that over a sustained period of time, tens of thousands of local children are failing in school.
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"Now is the time for bold moves in education" -- so says one leader of a community group seeking solutions to what the group calls "a failing school system."

Scott Himelstein, the organizer of the group called San Diegans 4 Great Schools, said on Tuesday that a study conducted at the University of San Diego shows that over a sustained period of time, tens of thousands of local children are failing in school. He said the study points to a governance issue as part of the problem.

The group -- which is made up of parents, educators, business leaders and philanthropists -- is asking for the public's input on how to change the way the board of the San Diego Unified School District is chosen.

Members of the organization said Tuesday that it is time for a change in the way the school board is structured, insofar as, they say, it is susceptible to special interest influences that help board members get elected. They also said that in San Diego, that has meant a revolving door of superintendents over the last five years, bringing about a lack of leadership and lack of stability.

"This is not unique to any particular school board," Himelstein said. "Our history in this city is that our boards certainly are susceptible to influence, no matter which side you come from. That's a fair statement, so it's reasonable, in our opinion, to take a look at that system and say, 'Is there something we can do about that that is in the best interests of students and improved achievement over the long haul?"

But what is the group suggesting? It has ideas, but no definitive proposal. It first wants to seek input from the public.

To give your input or view the study, log on to the group's website.
 

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