By Dr. John Lee Evans, Ph.D., Trustee, San Diego Unified, District A
As we approach the 2016 election voters need to decide who will best lead the San Diego Unified School District for the next four years. As a former classroom teacher, a child psychologist and a parent I have led the effort to truly reform San Diego public schools through Vision 2020 for Quality Schools in Every Neighborhood. Candidates often make general promises, but I am running on my record and what we have accomplished.
- We made a high school diploma more meaningful with more rigorous requirements. Even with these tougher standards the district high school graduation rate has risen from 78% ten years ago to about 92% in 2016. In Mira Mesa the number was 97%.
- Test scores across the district continue to rise. Among California’s largest districts we rank #1 in English Language Arts and tied for second on Mathematics. We are consistently above the state average. We recently ranked among the top four urban districts in the nation.
- We have streamlined administration and sent more money to the classroom.
- We have a nationally recognized technology program, as well as national awards for music and the arts.
- I led the effort for more stringent ethical guidelines for board members to avoid conflicts of interest.
- We encouraged greater parent and community participation through cluster school councils. We have a very active cluster council in Mira Mesa.
- In Mira Mesa I led the effort to overcome the 30 year delay in constructing Salk Elementary and it opened in September 2016. We have a construction program that has resulted in 96% of our school facilities rated by the state as good or excellent. The taxpayers’ money is being well spent. Upgrades are coming to the high school stadium and the general campus, as well as modernization of the other campuses
- We continue to have strong music and athletics programs. The district is paying for new uniforms for the famous Mira Mesa high school band after their Rose Parade performance.
We continue to have some of the highest performing schools of the district in Mira Mesa. My leadership as vice president and president of the Board of Education has brought attention and resources to Mira Mesa. I am committed to accelerating these reforms and improvements in the next four years. In Mira Mesa we can be proud of our neighborhood schools.
Voters will vote for all open seats on the school board. I am also enthusiastically endorsing Dr. Sharon Whitehurst-Payne to stay on the board representing District E. As a former classroom teacher and administrator her experience has served her well in her first year. She has already made a great contribution to our schools. Be sure to go down the ballot and vote.