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Good Schools For All
30 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 7 - Breaking Down Barriers for Homeless Youth
The San Ysidro School District in Southern California has reported as much as one-third of its students are homeless — the highest concentration in its region. In 2019, the district kicked a homeless student out of school over a paperwork issue. Voice of San Diego reporter Lisa Halverstadt got a tip and followed the story. This is our last episode of the season! Thanks for listening. You can keep up with other Voice of San Diego podcasts at vosd.org/pod Follow us on your favorite social media platform @voiceofsandiegoSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 6 - School Safety in the Age of Gun Violence
The mindset around school shootings is changing. They were once so horrific to comprehend that they seemed like freak occurrences – not events that would happen regularly. In this new normal, schools and students must ask difficult questions: Not if a next school shooting will occur, but when and where. This week, we hear from students, a parent and a VOSD reporter on how things are changing in the age of gun violence, what's working in local schools — and what's not. vosd.org/learningcurve vosd.org/schoolspodSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2 minutes | a year ago
Teaser - In the Age of Gun Violence
We're working on our next episode about school safety in the age of gun violence. It'll drop next week and you still have a chance to help us make it. If you have experienced a shooting incident, taken part in a school shooter drill, or have a related story to share, here's how you can do that: Email producer Nate John at firstname.lastname@example.org Leave a voicemail at our podcast line, 619-354-1085See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 5 - How To Choose A School in 10 Days
One parent found out that she could choose a different school for her child just two weeks before the deadline. This week, we hear how she scrambled to make the best decision for her family in time. You can follow all of our school stories at vosd.org/learningcurve. Talk to us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 4 - A Charter School Empire
We break down the story behind an alleged charter scam that cost California $80 million. In this episode of Good Schools for All, Will Huntsberry sits down with host Scott Lewis to unveil the culture and mechanics behind A3 Education. You can follow all of our school stories at vosd.org/learningcurve. Talk to us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 3 - How Predatory Teachers Stay in the Classroom
Voice of San Diego has been investigating sexual misconduct in schools for two years now. It all started with one teacher at one school in La Jolla. Kayla Jimenez and Ashly McGlone, who've been reporting the series, sit down with Will Huntsberry to talk about the case that kicked things off. You can follow all of our school stories at vosd.org/learningcurve. Talk to us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 2 - Universal Pre-K Is Still Far From a Reality
Pre-K is more important than ever. But access to it remains elusive for many parents. In this episode, Will Huntsberry visits a preschool and its parent organization to try to get some answers about the future of universal pre-K. You can follow all of our school stories at vosd.org/learningcurve. Talk to us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | a year ago
S2 Ep 1 - The Problems Plaguing Porter
This year, Will Huntsberry revealed some serious problems plaguing an elementary school in San Diego's South Bay. We take a close look at the school after it was put on a list of California's lowest-performing schools. You can follow all of our school stories at vosd.org/learningcurve. Talk to us onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2 minutes | a year ago
Season 2 Trailer
We're back! In this new season of Good Schools For All, Voice of San Diego's Scott Lewis and Will Huntsberry dig in to the biggest stories our team has uncovered in the last year. Plus, we're accepting your ideas for new episodes. Tell us your story — or what you want to hear — at vosd.org/goodschools New episodes start Sept. 25. Subscribe now.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
A Back-to-School Crash Course
Schools are back in session. Good Schools for All hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn introduce Voice of San Diego’s new education reporter Will Huntsberry, and the trio unpacks the latest education news you might have missed over summer break. Huntsberry discusses the misuse of Associated Student Body funds in San Diego Unified schools, new developments in the district’s 2016 graduation rate controversy and offers his take on what makes education reporting in San Diego unique. The crew also discuss teacher misconduct and the slow-moving state system that allowed two Poway Unified teachers to continue working in education even after being forced out of schools for having romantic relationships with students. What's Working Immediate Access: It's a new program at San Diego State University that allows students to access course material, such as e-textbooks, for free by the first day of school. If students decide to stay in the class for the rest of the semester, they can buy the material at a reduced price. SDSU officials estimate the new program could save students close to $2 million. Number of the Week 10 percent: That's the percentage of educators who rent out their homes on Airbnb. In San Diego alone, educators reportedly made $2.7 million using Airbnb. Got thoughts, opinions or experiences with this? Call 619-354-1085 and leave your name, neighborhood and story so we can play the voicemail on future episodes.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
46 minutes | 3 years ago
Districts Struggle to Stay Afloat Despite Increased State Funding
At first glance, California schools seem to be doing well. The state plans to steadily increase education funding through 2022, giving school districts with higher numbers of low-income students, English-learners, foster youth and homeless children more money and control over how to spend it. But despite the cushion of financial support, school districts across the state, including San Diego Unified, are preparing to make big budget cuts to stay afloat. Jason Willis and Kelsey Krausen, education researchers at WestEd, say the rising cost of pensions, declining enrollment and increased special education costs are some of the reasons why school districts are being forced to cut back. They joined the Good Schools for All podcast to discuss their recent study. “While the state of California has made significant strides over the last four or five years to make investments in K-12 education … it's making it more and more difficult for school districts to continue to stay focused on investments that will enhance the education of kids,” Willis said. In the first part of the podcast, hosts Laura Kohn and Scott Lewis go over San Diego Unified's pitch for a new $3.5 billion bond. If approved, the measure will be the school district's third multi-billion bond in 10 years. Got thoughts, opinions or experiences with this? Call 619-354-1085 and leave your name, neighborhood and story so we can play the voicemail on future episodes. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
23 minutes | 3 years ago
The After-School Care Gap
After-school programs are crucial for many families. From the time school gets out around 2 or 3 p.m. to the time most parents get off work at 5 or 6 p.m., after-school program providers offer kids expanded academics and enrichment activities like arts or physical education. But while the need is clear, many state and federally funded after-school programs are struggling to survive. Almost all of the quality after-hours programs in the county are have long waitlists, and not every family can access them. On the latest Good Schools for All podcast, Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk with Brad Lupien, CEO of after-school program provider arc, and the San Diego County Office of Education's Daymon Beach about the importance of such programs and the issues impacting them. Also on the podcast: an update on local school board election results and a quick look back at Cindy Marten’s five years as San Diego Unified’s superintendent. What’s Working Proposition 49: Prop. 49 is a California law passed in 2002 that set aside funding for after-school programs. While many of the programs need more funding, the state was still rated No. 1 in the country for its after-school offerings by the Afterschool Alliance. Number of the Week 8.8 percent: That's the state’s increase, from $7.50 to $8.16, in the daily reimbursement rate for each student in after-school programs. If the number kept up with inflation, it should be $9.32.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | 3 years ago
Good Schools for All: Serving San Diego’s Most Vulnerable Youth
The San Diego County Office of Education has its hands in lots of things. But one of its biggest tasks is making sure the regions's most vulnerable students don't slip through the cracks. On the latest podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk to Paul Gothold, the new superintendent of the San Diego County Office of Education, about efforts to get underserved students the tools they need to succeed. Also the podcast, Lewis and Kohn discuss San Diego Unified's recent decision to move forward with deleting all emails older than a year and the upcoming Board of Education races. Number of the Week 15 percent: That's the percentage of public schoolchildren in San Diego who attended charter schools this school year. That's an increase from 12 percent in the 2014-2015 school year. What's Working Superintendent Paul Gothold: He's only held his post for a year and has already started to repair broken trust between the county office and school districts across San Diego.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
54 minutes | 3 years ago
A Lincoln High Success Story
Lincoln High is a struggling school. A string of administrative problems and increasing violence between students at Lincoln continues to prompt many families to send their kids to schools outside their neighborhood. But Karly Van Holten saw something she liked about Lincoln. Despite having other high school options, she told her mom she wanted to stay in her neighborhood and go to Lincoln. "Everything about Lincoln screams community," she said. "I learned how to be in a community and how to be one with others rather than just being a high school student." The Lincoln High senior has excelled at the school. She's been accepted to more than 30 colleges. Van Holten joins Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn to talk about her experience at Lincoln High and how it shaped her for success. Also on the podcast, Gina Gianzero, executive of Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership, joins Lewis and Kohn to talk about how the nonprofit is helping kids in southeastern San Diego stay in the educational pipeline. "We emerged with a common understanding of the problem," she said. "Which we say are leaks in this pipeline that runs from cradle to college to career. And we focus on stopping those early leaks." She said one of the common hurdles families face is the months of learning students lose during summer break. More commonly known as the "summer slide," research shows kids from low-income communities usually suffer the most during this time. That’s why every summer, DEEP gives students from southeastern San Diego the opportunity to continue their education outside of school by offering literacy support, field trips, arts activities and more. “The research shows that all these kinds of enrichment activities are pretty critical to making this an experience for these children that will ultimately empower them,” Gianzero said.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
53 minutes | 3 years ago
'I Found a Way to Keep Reporting'
Voice of San Diego education reporter Mario Koran is leaving his post. His reporting on San Diego schools over the past five years has pulled back the curtain on several policies and practices that affect local families. He’s tackled everything from school discipline, graduation rates, administrative scandals, bilingual education and more. Koran sits down with hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn to look back at some of his most impactful work and the hurdles he had to overcome to report those stories. Koran said one of the biggest challenges education reporters face is access to students and faculty. Having a good idea of what happens inside classrooms isn’t just essential to knowing how a community can improve their schools, but it keeps those in power accountable. When local school districts start denying reporters access, transparency fades. After Koran unveiled a series of scandals involving former board trustee Marne Foster, the San Diego Unified School District began shutting out Koran, making it difficult for him to get the information he needed. “That was the moment where I had to sort of chart my own course,” he said. “I think that took me some time to try to navigate that, but eventually I think I found a way to keep reporting, to keep doing my job." Koran went on to break important stories, including the district's practice of sending parents to collections when they don't pay school bus fees, he covered an alleged rape of a student at Lincoln High and the torment it caused a teacher there, and he dug into how San Diego Unified counseled some struggling students to transfer to charter schools.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | 3 years ago
Good Schools for All: Reaching Out to Disconnected Kids
Adulting can be hard. Many kids have difficulties navigating the transition from high school to the "real world." Lots get stuck in limbo. There's a snappy new term for these 16-to-24-year-olds who don’t attend school or have a job — "opportunity youth." On April 12, the San Diego Workforce Partnership is hosting a summit to talk about why there's an estimated 41,000 young people in San Diego county who aren't in school or working. The hope is to come up with solutions about how to make a dent in that number. On this week’s Good Schools for All podcast, Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn, who works for the Workforce Partnership, talk with Jahir Castelo and Ana Lomeli, two members of the Workforce Partnership's Opportunity Youth Leadership Council. Castelo and Lomeli discuss their personal struggles transitioning into independent adults. Both are DACA recipients, or Dreamers, who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents, a status they said adds an extra layer of distrust and instability to their transitions. "Walking around and going to school was a bit of a challenge because you're so used to hearing that people got picked up from Border Patrol and taken back," Castelo said. Castelo wants to go to college and get a job, but he said he is still trying to find a stable place to live and he's building his interview and resume skills. He said even when he's offered an opportunity, sometimes he has a hard time believing it's real, or that he deserves it. Lomeli is working and going to school, but she said it took a lot of support from her high school teachers and others to get to where she is now. She said she, too, often had a hard time taking advantage of opportunities because she felt they either weren't real, or weren't meant for her. "When you come from a place where you haven't been given a lot, sometimes things sound way too good to be true," Lomeli said. Castelo and Lomeli are still working on building their own lives, but both said they want to get to a place where they can help kids like themselves find better lives. "As I start getting enough money, I want to be able to open up my doors to ... opportunity youth and open a bookstore, a tattoo parlor and a barber shop and offer that opportunity to teach them skills, Castelo said. "Give them a little bit more hope." What’s Working Cuyamaca Community College: The school's rate of student success in college-level math shot up to 68 percent after it decided to slash its placement exams. Cuyamaca now uses a student's high school records to decide whether they're ready for college-level math classes. Number of the Week 41,000: That's the number of opportunity youth in San Diego who don’t attend school or have a job. That's 9.4 percent of all 16-to-24-year-olds in the region.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31 minutes | 3 years ago
The Raging Demand for More Computer Science Education
Tech jobs abound. Our education system isn't churning out enough students with computer science training to meet the voracious demand for high-skilled tech workers. But schools in San Diego are trying to catch up. Locally, only 10 percent of San Diego County high schools offered computer science courses as recently as 2011. This year, closer to 40 percent of high schools here have computer science curriculum. Behind that jump in numbers are educators like Art Lopez, a computer science teacher at Sweetwater High School and a curriculum specialist for the Sweetwater Union High School District. In the podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk to Lopez about local and state efforts to get computer science education to more — and more diverse — students. Seven years ago, a student asked Lopez why La Jolla High had computer science courses and Sweetwater High didn't. Meanwhile, the number of jobs requiring tech skills was exploding. “We wanted to change that landscape," he said. He wasn't alone in his effort. In 2015, the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego was awarded a three-year, $1 million National Science Foundation grant to help Sweetwater and two other local school districts develop and sustain up-to-date computer science courses. Now, more than 1,000 Sweetwater students are enrolled in computer science courses. Lopez's work, though, is far from done. He said he's continuously working to get more girls interested in tech, and he'd eventually like to see computer science education offered to kids starting in kindergarten. Currently, he's a member of the Computer Science Standards Advisory Committee, a group appointed by the State Board of Education that's working to get all California schools on the same page when it comes to computer science mandates. "I think that computing and computer science is just as important for kids to learn as it is for them to learn how to read, write and do math," he said. "They're going to use these devices all the time." What’s Working TechHire: In collaboration with the city, the San Diego Workforce Partnership is leading TechHire San Diego, a program that pairs people who are underrepresented in the tech field with local tech jobs. Employers in the region can get a paid intern at no cost to them. Number of the Week 10 percent: That's the percent of students in the world who have gone through Code.org's "Hour of Code" program giving kids a taste of computer science education.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
34 minutes | 3 years ago
A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools
Finding the right school for your kids just got a little easier. Voice of San Diego has launched an inaugural issue of A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools. On the podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk about the guide and arm parents with the information they need to find a good school. Last year, we released a map of San Diego County schools with crucial data about each. Our print guide features an easy-to-read version of that map and builds on the data by including explainers about topics like charter schools and transitional kindergarten, a roundup of the region's most innovative schools, a list of the key questions to ask when looking at schools and more. Look for A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools at your local library or download a copy in English or Spanish.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
56 minutes | 3 years ago
Poway Unified's New Leader
The Poway Unified School District is one of the highest regarded school districts in the state. Its schools are good and its students are high-performing. But the district's sterling reputation has a few big dings. Poway Unified's leadership has been under a cloud of suspicion since 2011 when Voice of San Diego broke a story about a strange bond that allowed the district to immediately borrow $150 million, but then required it to pay back $1 billion by 2035. That financial scandal shook the school and resulted in lots of negative attention from the media and the families inside the district. California lawmakers changed laws preventing other districts to do what Poway did, and the San Diego County Grand Jury scrutinized the deal. But former Poway Unified superintendent John Collins downplayed the whole issue and kept his job. But in 2016, he was fired amid another financial scandal. This time, Collins was charged with five felony charges for allegedly misusing public money, vacation, sick and leave time − charges he denies. As that case plays out in the courts, Poway Unified has moved on, naming Marian Kim-Phelps as its new superintendent. She's the district's first women and the first person of color to serve in that role. On the podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk to Kim-Phelps about her leadership style. She said transparency is extremely important to her and that being open moving forward is the only way to leave the past turmoil behind. “I believe that I am a transparent leader,” she said. “People forget, we’re public education. Nothing's private. Nothing's a secret.” Kim-Phelps also talks about how she wants to find funding to expand the district's multi-language programs, she discusses the innovation relationship between the Poway teachers' union and the school leadership, the district's innovative Design 39 school, the big change in school board elections and more. Also on the podcast, Lewis talks about how his 5-year-old daughter, who just barely missed the cutoff dates for transitional kindergarten, is already advocating for universal TK for all 4-year-olds. What's Working Dual-language programs in Chula Vista: An education think tank recently released a report report showing how, despite legislation that made bilingual education difficult to implement, the Chula Vista Elementary School District has successfully built 21 Spanish-English dual-language immersion programs that now reach over 4,000 students. Number of the Week 95 percent: A new report shows that 95 percent of Latino youth in California were born in the United States. Latino students continue to face barriers in our country's education system that make it harder for them to succeed. These are American children, and the educational system needs to get better at educating them.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
67 minutes | 3 years ago
The Future of Teachers Unions
It's a particularly important time for unions. Locally the San Diego Education Association, the teachers union at the San Diego Unified School District, does not have a contract. It is working on contract negotiations with the district right now. They may support a measure to raise taxes and bring more money into the district while also pushing for wage increases. They're also working with the county on a new evaluation system for teachers that they may consider putting into those negotiations in the future. And nationally, there's a huge Supreme Court decision coming that could end forced union fees for government workers. It would have a major impact on teachers unions and politics at all levels. On the podcast, Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn lead a roundtable discussion about the future of teachers' unions. What are the role of unions? What is the best way to evaluate teachers? Are administrators and unions necessarily adversarial? What goes on during contract negotiations and bargaining? Both union representatives and a superintendent who negotiates with unions joined the show. Guests: Christopher Prokop, president of the Cajon Valley Education Association David Miyashiro, superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District Lindsay Burningham, president of the San Diego Education Association Matthew Schneck, a teacher and member of the San Diego Education Association See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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