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NEWS RELEASE: Student Achievement at San Diego Unified School District Outperformed Similar Students Statewide

NEWS RELEASE: Student Achievement at San Diego Unified School District Outperformed Similar Students Statewide
Posted on 09/10/2019

San Diego Unified School District

News Release

Student Achievement at San Diego Unified School District Outperformed Similar Students Statewide

San Diego (Sept. 10, 2019) - Superintendent Cindy Marten joined researchers, policymakers, and top education practitioners in Sacramento to discuss the results of the Learning Policy Institute's (LPI) new report, Closing the Opportunity Gap: How Positive Outlier Districts in California Are Pursuing Equitable Access to Deeper Learning. San Diego Unified is highlighted in the report as a “Positive Outlier District” for gains made by African-American and Latino/a students, who have demonstrated achievements at higher-than-predicted levels when compared to other districts with similar demographics. The report also recognizes San Diego Unified's comprehensive professional development offerings made available to teachers throughout the district, which contributes to long-term stability among teachers. San Diego Unified is the largest of seven districts identified in the LPI report for closing the gap on a range of outcomes, including graduation rates. This report is a companion to California's Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds, which was released in May 2019.

The briefing will feature a deep dive into San Diego Unified's vision, initiatives, and practices. At the briefing, LPI will release its new report and researchers will discuss how California can build upon and expand the promising practices from San Diego Unified and the six other districts. Topics will include:

  • Student outcomes in seven “positive outlier” districts and the factors associated with their success,
  • The innovative practices and initiatives that districts are using to support learning across a diversity of students,
  • Key policy and practice considerations for scaling promising approaches throughout California.

The LPI report highlights San Diego Unified's commitment to professional leadership by providing professional learning communities, principal institutes, professional labs and instructional coaching for educators at schools across the district. The professional leadership programs offered by San Diego Unified are used as development tools “to support students in their academic, social, and emotional development.” The LPI report recognized that San Diego Unified has created structures designed to assist teachers and school leaders “in providing deeper learning opportunities for all students in ways that promote greater equity”.

The research finds that San Diego Unified put in place systemic “equity levers” that positively impact student outcomes. San Diego Unified identified five equity levers - literacy, staff collaboration, meaningful student engagement, relational leadership, and integrated multi-tiered systems of support. San Diego Unified continues to be a progressive district that has adopted practices and policies to support the whole student that include rigorous graduation requirements, the establishment of a Restorative Justices Practices Department, anti-bullying policies, a Family Engagement Department, an Integrated Youth Services Department, and the Wellness initiative and related policies.

“The study validates the work San Diego Unified has done with academic rigor, commitment to professional leadership, and educating the whole student,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “The district's Local Control Funding Formula Plan (LCFF) outlines our vision of greater student equity by providing added resources where they are needed the most.”

CONTACT: Maureen Magee, Communications Director, (619) 381-7930.