The REAL State of the District


November 19, 2019

The Honorable Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Dear Mr. Thurmond,

Thank you so much for attending the San Diego Unified School Districts “State of the District” meeting at Lincoln High School.  I am pleased to see you so involved in our schools. 

As a community member of District “E” and a very vocal citizen of our school district, I need to inform you of just some of the more egregious areas where our superintendent and her board have failed our students.  

While you may read in the paper or hear in the media about her successes and triumphs as superintendent, I must inform you of the “Real State of the District” with the following factual information:

The Real State of the District

  1. The largest reorganization of the district has taken place this year and was hidden from the public which is why the 19-20 organizational chart does not exist. 
  2. San Diego State just published a report highlighting data exposing the fact that African American children are suspended at higher rates than their peers in SDUSD schools. 
  3. The district had nine significant violations regarding English Learner instruction on the Federal Program Monitoring Review and some items were impossible to correct so the state had to allow one-year accommodations.
  4. There are more special education due process filings this year than have averaged in prior years due to lack of support for students with IEPs.
  5. Community collaboration is only welcome when it serves a narrative that suits the district. The treatment of the special education CAC chair and DELAC chairs during their yearly updates to the board speak for themselves. 
  6. AP test rates and passing test rates have declined over six years—especially for vulnerable subgroups. 
  7. “Students aren’t a test score” unless Cindy likes the test. That’s why we pay attention to NAPE scores but ignore the fact that over six years SBAC scores have declined under Cindy’s leadership. 
  8. We know Cindy’s priorities—she’s her priority. That’s why without fail there is a media summary issued to staff everyday highlighting Cindy’s photo ops—but sites can’t get the staffing or support needed to operate. 
  9. Despite this and many other cries for support that we have seen in the news—this board of education just turns a blind eye—and this is the state of the district. 

While I have only listed a few areas of deficit for our students, it is most important that you understand the conditions that not only our students, but employees, are facing daily.  Superintendent Marten has reigned the past six years with terror tactics with employees that do not agree with her. Just ask the Human Resources Officer for a list of qualified, hard-working individuals within her cabinet that have left the district because of her bullying.   Her genocide of qualified African American Male administrators and cabinet members occurred because of her racial intolerance to people of color.  

I urge you to take a closer look behind the scenes at Superintendent Marten’s real story.   It is not what she spews to the public.

I am happy to meet with you and discuss this further.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Kind Regards,

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President
NAACP San Diego Branch

If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit

ACT-SO Creative Writing Workshop

12pm – 2pm November 30, 2019

ACT-SO Creative Writing Workshop

ACT-SO is hosting a unique crash course designed to challenge your thought process and make writer’s block a thing of the past. Though our scholarship program targets African-American high school students, people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to join us!

ACT-SO is hosting a unique crash course designed to challenge your thought process and make writer’s block a thing of the past. Though our scholarship program targets African-American high school students, people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to join us! Don’t worry about materials; all supplies will be provided and distributed after a quick lunch to start off the class.

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April 4th, 2020

Hanging Display in Graduate Housing at UCSD


We at the NAACP San Diego Branch were deeply disturbed to hear that there was a display depicting a hanging person in Graduate Student housing at UC San Diego.

We call upon UCSD to take this incident very seriously.

The NAACP San Diego Branch is ready to assist the UCSD administration in responding to the incident, and making their campus more welcoming to African-Americans and other minorities.  This is especially important as UCSD looks to open a new facility in the East Village that it hopes will be of use to a diverse community.

Francine Maxwell, First Vice President
NAACP San Diego Branch

P.O. Box 152086 · San Diego, CA 92195-2086
(619) 263-7823 Phone • (619) 431-1633 Text

Watch: STEM Camp on News 8!

We are so pleased that KFMB took such and interest in this summer’s STEM Camp!

NAACP tech camp boosts STEAM learning

News 8 is honoring the NAACP San Diego’s 100th anniversary and its efforts to pursue racial justice and equality in our community. The NAACP is committed to mentoring our county’s next generation of innovators through its technology camp. Students at Bell Middle School showcased a robot that packs a suitcase and the app that programs its every move.

Read the article on >

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

We were recently approached by Supervisor Cox, who wanted to honor the Branch on its 100th Anniversary. At our October 3rd General Membership Meeting, we voted to decline the honor, due to longstanding issues with the Board of Supervisors treatment of African-Americans and other people of color, including the essentially broken CLERB, the resolution opposing AB-392, their failure to adequately address the housing crisis and other issues of interest to our Membership.

We plan instead to present a letter to the Board, outlining our complaints over their actions and policies.

However, we are aware that only a small part of our Membership is able to attend the General Membership Meetings, and we want to give everyone an opportunity to make their concerns known or give us feedback on the letter.

So, please, if you have input on what we should tell the supervisors, let us know by sending us an email!

Racial Harassment Has No Place in High School Athletics


Chris Carter, San Clemente High School Principal
Kirsten M. Vital, Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent

On the evening of September 13, 2019, the Lincoln High School football team played San Clemente High School at the invitation of San Clemente.  This game was sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), and was subject to its rules and regulations, which mandate respect for all participants.

During the game, multiple spectators heckled the Lincoln players and cheer squad, repeatedly using racial slurs include the “n-word.”  Furthermore, cheer squad members were racially harassed in restrooms, again including the “n-word.” This harassment came not only from high-school-age youth, but also from adult fans.

Four different Lincoln parents appealed to adults in San Clemente gear, attempting to get contact information for San Clemente administrators.  While they were assured that administrative staff would be contacted, they received no response. There was no attempt to correct the situation over the public address system.  The cheer squad, closer to the spectators and therefore in more direct contact with the racists in attendance, were advised to leave the game, and did so.

We are shocked and disgusted that such blatant racism would occur in 2019 at an athletic contest for high school students.  Athletics are part of the educational system, and all of the anti-discrimination law and policy that applies in the classroom applies on the field and on the premises of an athletic contest.  Furthermore, CIF prohibits discrimination and commands respect for all players and personnel.

While we are shocked and disgusted at the harassment itself, we are outraged and the lack of response shown from the San Clemente administration.  You may be sure that we, along with our colleagues in the NAACP Orange County Branch, will be pursuing all avenues to see that this sort of harassment does not occur again.

We call on San Clemente High School and the Capistrano Unified School District to take the following actions:

  1. Institute a program of implicit bias training for all their athletics staff, including coaches and administrators.
  2. Provide an administrative contact to each opposing team who will be responsible for addressing such activity the moment it occurs at any future athletic contest.
  3. An announcement over the public address system at all remaining 2019-2020 athletic contests reaffirming that respect is to be shown to all visiting athletes.

We stand ready to assist with bias training and other resources to improve the attitude and response of the staff of such athletic events.

We are considering further action, including seeking forfeiture of the game and suspension of SCHS from the CIF, as well as filing formal complaints with CUSD, the Equity Office of the California Department of Education, and the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Education.  We also refer you to the August 28th Collins v. Torlakson (Case No. F075781) decision reaffirming our right to pursue remedy in court over incidents such as these.

We invite you to have a serious discussion with us.


Clovis Honoré, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Stephanie Brown, Lincoln High School Principal
Cindy Marten, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent
Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, San Diego Unified School District Trustee
NAACP Orange County Branch
California Interscholastic Federation