Closing the Beckworth Library

May 4, 2020

Council President Gómez
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Bry
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Kersey
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Sherman
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campbell
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Ward
City Administration Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Re: The Beckworth Library

Dear Members of the San Diego City Council,

There is a proposal to close the Beckworth Library, near the Educational Cultural Complex.  We understand why you might close it, as it is not the busiest of our libraries.  

However, that library serves a community that desperately needs access to information, be it printed or online.  Many families in the communities it serves, including Lincoln Park, Mount Hope, Chollas View, Mountain View, Southcrest and Shelton, are under stress in the best of times, let alone during COVID-19 and its aftermath.  They NEED a library to provide the books Internet access, and quiet workspace that a Library provides.

Like so many facilities in Southeastern San Diego, it is small, sited inconveniently, and lacks many of the latest amenities.  Perhaps THAT is why it is under-used.

We call on you to find a way to keep the Beckworth Library open AND to begin to investigate siting a new library to serve the District 4 and District 9 communities.  Once we have a modern, convenient, upgraded library for our communities, you may have our blessing on closing Beckworth.

Perhaps, if funds are tight, the City could unload one or two of its unprofitable golf courses.  We fail to understand why an additional $15M needs to be spent to renovate these courses, when 2020 revenues were already projected flat and costs up by $1M, before the impact of COVID-19.  We realize that the three courses taken together have eked out a meager profit, but all that profit is from Torrey Pines.  Surely one of the two money-losers could go.  Not only would we stop sending good money after bad, but we would receive a new infusion of property tax revenue that could be used to foster learning and working for community residents.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Teachers Needed for Study on Expulsions

PARTICIPANTS FOR RESEARCH ON THE IMPACT OF EXPULSION ON EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS

I am seeking volunteers to take part in a study as part of a requirement to complete my doctoral program at Walden University.  I am interested in understanding how teachers in the California public school system perceive the impact of expulsion from high school influenced the post-expulsion education decision of minority males of color as compared to their White male counterparts.  

PARTICIPATION:  Voluntary and there will be a $10 gift card for compensation for participation in this study whether you complete or do not complete all or part of the surveys, or you decide to discontinue participation entirely.  You do not have to provide any personal identifying information outside of your email address and phone number and data will only be reported in a consensus aggregate.  Your participation is confidential, and no one will know you participated or be able to connect any response to a specific participant. 

ELIGIBILITY:

Participation Criterion

  • Currently a credentialed teacher in a California Public High School (grades 9-12)
  • 5 years or more experience teaching in one or a combination of those grades
  • Personal experience talking with/counseling expelled students about the pros and cons of not completing their education

As a prospective participant, once you contact me, I will provide additional information on the study, answer any additional questions you may have, verify your eligibility, ask for contact information (i.e., telephone and email), and send you a Consent form to the email provided.  If you elect to participate, please return the Consent form with the words “I Consent” and it will be used to document your voluntary participation and understanding of your meeting the eligibility.  Once the Consent form is received, I will send you the survey link which means that you have been accepted as a participant.   This study will use the Delphi technique and will involve three iterations of surveys. The initial survey of 6 questions, will be followed by two follow-on surveys that you will be asked to complete. The three surveys are estimated to take a combination of approximately 40 minutes each. You may withdraw and not complete the survey(s) at any time. 

 For more information about this study, or to volunteer, please contact: Melvin Shepard (Walden University Doctoral Student in Public Policy and Administration) at 619-942-3448 or Email: [email protected]

COVID-19 and Educational Civil Rights

10am May 7th

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: COVID-19 and Educational Civil Rights: A Rising Tide of Litigation Issues. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

COVID-19 has wreaked unprecedented havoc on families, schools and school districts across the nation. Above all, it has magnified racial and ethnic inequities not just in schools, but also across communities and states. While states and school districts have physically closed many schools, they still have duties to deliver a quality education to every child and to deliver that education in an equitable and meaningful manner.

African-American Student Success

We found this virtual townhall interesting. There is much follow-up material:

Dear Attendee, 

Thank you for joining our virtual townhall: A Conversation with Policymakers and Practitioners on African American Student Success. We had over 1,000 in attendance on Zoom, and more than 100 on YouTube. For a recording of the webinar, click on the following link: https://bit.ly/CCCBlackStudentSuccessRecording. In addition, here are the webinar materials:

As a next step, we are pleased to announce African American Student Success Week, April 27-May 1, 2020. African American Student Success Week is an effort to share research insights and provide support services for improving student success among Black and African American students at California Community Colleges. A series of webinars will be held throughout the week to inform participants of how best to advocate for and support this student population. You can register using the links below:

This week is supported by A2MEND, Umoja Community, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, the Campaign for College Opportunity, The Education Trust-West, the Community College League of California, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Thanks,

Staff
Community College League of California

The Forgotten Ones

April 20, 2020

During this Covid-19 epidemic, the San Diego Unified School District has been touting its accolades via every social media outlet that will listen.  The desired effect is for our communities to believe that Superintendent Marten and the school board really do care about our students. This seems unbelievable based on several factors that have been brought to my attention.  SDUSD has forgotten:

Students:  The district and the teacher’s union created an MOU immediately to protect the rights of the adults working with students.  This was finished in record time while a plan of action for student learning is still really not firmly secure by any means.  The priority of the district is made abundantly clear…adults first, student learning next.

Adolescent Girls:  The district has finally created several food distribution centers at a variety of school sites.  This has been very helpful to our families that live below the poverty level. There is a major group of students who have been forgotten…our young adolescent girls.  Schools meeting the 40 percent pupil poverty threshold are required to provide free feminine hygiene products to students in grades 6-12.  

Education code 35292.6 states: 

(a) A public school maintaining any combination of classes from grade 6 to grade 12, inclusive, that meets the 40-percent pupil poverty threshold required to operate a schoolwide program pursuant to Section 6314(a)(1)(A) of Title 20 of the United States Code shall stock at least 50 percent of the school’s restrooms with feminine hygiene products at all times.

(b) A public school described in subdivision (a) shall not charge for any menstrual products provided to pupils, including, but not limited to, feminine hygiene products.

(c) For purposes of this section, “feminine hygiene products” means tampons and sanitary napkins for use in connection with the menstrual cycle.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 687, Sec. 1. (AB 10) Effective January 1, 2018.)

It would be great to take the products from the schools and distribute them to the students at the school food distribution sites.   Our school nurses have these supplies provided to them at no cost and the supplies are just sitting at the school sites. Our young girls rely on this service and we need to provide this immediately.  There are some sites that actually have a pantry and could bring those supplies to the food distribution sites as well.   

While these important factors have been brought to my attention, I am asking the media to inquire from our district if and when they will assist our young girls to give them the necessary items needed that were provided for them prior to this epidemic.  I cannot imagine young men being forgotten in this way!

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

April 9th Newsletter

  • EMS Contract
  • Vehicle Habitation and COVID-19
  • Law Enforcement and COVID-19
  • Taxes, Cash Flow and COVID-19
  • Update on Section 8 Lawsuit
  • Domestic Violence?  Get Help?
  • ACT-SO will go on!
  • SDG&E Energy Assistance
  • Trusted COVID-19 Information
  • May General Membership Meeting will be online
  • Resources; Member-owned businesses, food, education and legal

Read the newsletter!

Rebuttal: SD Unified’s Online Learning Plan is Terrible

April 6, 2020

In the most recent article in the Voice of San Diego, April 3, 2020, the superintendent and the board and begin to explain the new on-line process of education for the San Diego Unified School District.  Well, better yet, they do NOT explain the process because every other paragraph contradicts what they said in the previous paragraph. The article, like the actors on the school board, states that a “soft launch” of on-line education will begin after spring break and the “actual” on-line learning will begin April 27th.  This is ludicrous. Students technically have had no formal education since March 13th…roughly 5 weeks of wasted time.

It behooves one to ask the question of why our school board and its one employee did not elicit the guidance from a school in the SD Unified district, iHigh, that ALREADY HAS on-line learning from K-12?  Why didn’t they just work with iHigh and get the information in a unified way and distribute that information to all teachers? This way the already stressed teachers would at least have a guideline to follow and could add their own information for further clarity of the lesson being taught.  Doesn’t it just make sense to not re-invent the wheel?

The issue of “grades can only go up” leaves one speechless.  Our students from all sectors of the district will suffer greatly from this ridiculous idea. Can you imagine a student that already has good grades will do nothing and even worse, LEARN NOTHING for the remainder of the school year?  The students whose parents are not home all day and are having difficulties learning the information, will only become frustrated, quit, and just keep the mediocre grade they have earned up until now. Again, NO LEARNING will take place.  Our school board is famous for not following rules and regulations set up by the state and this is clearly an example of another rule they intend on breaking. Article 3, of the Ed Code 49066, states: “teachers, NOT the school district and/or superintendent of such district shall not order a student’s grade to be changed”.  Therefore, ONLY teachers can give grades. Why would a teacher want to give an exemplary student a mediocre grade because the student decides to just “opt out” of learning until the end of the school year? Teachers, by design, want ALL of their students to do the best they can in all circumstances. Taking the easy way out is not acceptable in any way, shape or form. 

Then there is of course, the school board begging for more money!  When will there be enough money to stop you from asking for more? Our households are now struggling to deal with this surreal situation we find ourselves in and yet you have the nerve to ask for more money?  Seriously? The state gave you money. Use it wisely. The question still unanswered is where is the excess money you already received for the ADA per student until the remainder of the year? What did you spend all that money on?  Because the daily use of the school is significantly less since NO one is on the campus. Bills will be less, etc. Where is that excess money going?  

Time and time again SD Unified School District under the leadership of Cindy Marten, has proven how incompetent it is through all the mishandling of money, personnel and student needs.  The current crisis situation only intensifies the need for the community to demand a better plan for our students than this hodge-podge of ideas put together by these incompetent so-called educators.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit

SD Unified’s Inappropriate and Inadequate COVID-19 Response

March 30, 2020

Our country is facing one of the worst pandemics in history.  As we come together as a community, there are some egregious behaviors by the Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District and her leaders that have insulted the community in Southeastern San Diego.  The NAACP San Diego Branch finds these behaviors unacceptable and in need of addressing. They include:

  1. The Principal of Porter Elementary School, Ms. Graciela Chavez, invited her staff to a “Virtual Social Hour, It’s Wine Wednesday” on the District-paid Zoom conference forum.  Not only was alcohol in the title, but photographs of wine and alcohol graced the invitation.It is illegal to use district funds, including district paid-for e-mail AND district paid-for conferencing, for anything including alcohol.  The complete lack of morals, scruples and ethics shown by Ms. Chavez should be a reason for her dismissal. Her Area Superintendent, Mr. Bruce Bivins should also be scrutinized for allowing this egregious behavior of Ms. Chavez.  This completely Title I school demands teachers who are giving assignments and instruction to the best of their ability at this critical time. The “leader” of this school has complete disregard for her students and staff by sending out such a horrendous invitation to her staff.  These people are still getting PAID to do their jobs–not to have a happy hour at the expense of our students’ education. We call for her resignation now!
  2. The distribution of greatly needed food supplies are appreciated by all.  However, there are not enough schools opened to distribute food in the Southeastern San Diego areas.  The NAACP calls for the San Diego Unified School District to open more sites for our parents and community members during this critical time.  The District’s Food and Nutrition Services has ample help and supplies to meet this need. If Superintendent Marten had included parents from Southeastern San Diego, she would have known where to open sites to meet the needs of our children.  Her racial bias against our community continues to rear its ugly head, at a cost to our children.  
  3. San Diego Unified School District has received all of its ADA (Average Daily Attendance) money for the remainder of the year.  The money is usually spent on the educational needs of the students.  Because the schools are not “open” where is the money going that is being saved at sites for the daily operations of the school?  The on-line learning is a minimal cost to the district.  Superintendent Marten and the SDUSD Board are famous for mis-appropriating funds at their discretion.  Knowing that the district is $73Million dollars short for this school year, it behooves ones to believe that they will use the money saved from the school operations to help pay for their ongoing mismanagement of funds.  The NAACP is calling for an audit as to where this money is going. 
  4. The Superintendent bragged about “giving” 40,000 computers to our students.  Although this is newsworthy, the reality is that the computers she is giving out are ones that are already at the sites and will be obsolete once the new computers are given to sites in the fall.  And… will 40K computers meet the needs of all the students who do not know how to use the computers or do not have internet access at their homes? Again, if the Superintendent would invite our parents to her meetings, have us give her input on our reality, these egregious measures would not occur.  She continues to exclude her most needy clients, and thus proves over and over her complete lack of understanding of at-risk students. 

These are only a few examples of the Superintendent’s lack of understanding the population she claims she cares about so dearly.  It also shows the complete lack of leadership by the personnel that she has hired to care for our most needy students. A complete investigation on these issues must occur so our children will not be forced to endure one more day of behavior that would never be tolerated in the communities north of Interstate 8.

Regards,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch

Founded in 1919 after a visit by renowned author, activist and NAACP co-founder, W.E.B. DuBois, the NAACP San Diego Branch is celebrating a century of standing sentry over the civil rights of the people of San Diego. If you need more information about the NAACP San Diego Branch, please visit sandiegonaacp.org/presskit