Sunday, January 23, 2011

SD4 wants to take control of San Diego Unified from voters

The thing I like about Voice of San Diego's Morning Report is that it contains summaries with lots of links. Click on the link below to see what I mean:

Morning Report
...Fake Name, Fake Pitch:

He said his name is "Jeff Smith." That's not true, and neither was the professional petition gatherer's claim about a proposal to expand the size of the San Diego school board and bypass voters.

According to the U-T, "Smith" offered this to passersby at the Target in Mission Valley: "Want to help San Diego schools? Get more accountability on the board? Get more teacher voices on the school board? Sign here."

San Diego Fact Check says his claim about teacher voices is misleading.The petition gatherer later fessed up to giving a fake name to the U-T reporter: "'This is very competitive, people are cutthroat. People get up at 3 a.m. to stake out a place to work,' said the worker, who declined to disclose his real name. 'This place is a gold mine, but I don't want to mess things up. I'm not trying to give anyone bad information, I'm just doing my part to get this to a ballot so the people can decide.'"

Two of our commenters are unhappy with our Fact Check story. One says "the fact that a paid signature gatherer gave misleading information to get a signature (that's how he gets paid) isn't newsworthy," while another complains about slamming a guy who's "trying to earn a living for his family." Reporter Emily Alpert, who wrote the story, responds: "It's appropriate for us to let people know the facts."

The school board ballot measure is in the news at City Hall too. City Council President Tony Young wants the council to discuss it.

Other big cities mingle city politics and education (New York and L.A. come to mind), but San Diego doesn't. The mayor and council have tended to stay out of school affairs, although the mayor has visibly thrown his support behind the new measure.

The proposed measure would force the council to pay attention to education. It would change the city charter and require the council to hold an annual hearing on student performance.

CityBeat, meanwhile, urges readers to not sign petitions supporting the measure. It says several provisions are "non-starters" and attacks backers for their union-bashing: "The teachers union at times puts its members' interest over the interests of students, as was the case when the union opted to shorten the teaching year in lieu of a pay cut. But blaming the union entirely for the state of local schools is nutty."...

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