Good Schools For All by Voice of San Diego

Good Schools for All is a podcast about education. Hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn from the Education Synergy Alliance cut through the jargon and debate to get to the news and ideas that matter. Good schools are at the heart of our democracy and economy. We are about good schools for all kids.
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Good Schools For All by Voice of San Diego


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Now displaying: August, 2016
Aug 25, 2016

We need a lot more teachers.

Fewer folks want to be teachers, even as the demand increases. In San Diego County, about 32 percent of teachers are 50 years old or older. As more teachers retire, we have to replace them.

On this week’s podcast, Heather Lattimer, associate professor at the University of San Diego's School of Leadership and Education Sciences, joined host Laura Kohn to talk about ways to recruit students into the teaching profession.

Lattimer said the education field is in a battle to attract students – despite financial concerns and stigma surrounding the career choice.

"The larger issue that I hear over and over is, 'Why do you want to become a teacher?' I hear that from students," she said. "I also hear it from students' parents. Often the students that we encounter who are interested in teacher education and becoming teachers have to combat their parents who are concerned that, 'Hey, this isn't going to be something where you'll be able to A, earn the money, but B, have the respect that we think you deserve.'"

Only about 5 percent of nationally surveyed college-bound high seniors say they're interested in entering the education field, the lowest percentage in decades, Lattimer said.

Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn also discuss the 30 percent decline in teacher credentials by San Diego County's higher education institutions between 2010-2011 and 2014-2015 fiscal 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.

Number of the Week

22,000: The total statewide teacher shortage California school districts anticipate for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

What’s Working

The San Diego Unified School District created a teacher pipeline task force a few years ago to improve teacher recruitment, retention and evaluation methods. The pipeline is designed to encourage and support students in the district to enter the education field and return as teachers.

Aug 11, 2016

Superintendents don't stick around for long.

2014 analysis by EdSource, a nonprofit advocating for public school improvement, found that two-thirds of superintendents at California's largest public school districts served three years or less.

Increasingly, though, it's up to these newbie superintendents to persuade more students and their families to stick around at traditional schools, and resist the urge to transfer to one of the growing number of charter schools in the state.

On this week’s podcast, Luis Ibarra, superintendent of Escondido Union School District, joined host Scott Lewis to talk about competition between traditional and charter schools. The Escondido Union School District serves about 17,000 students, down from previous years. Ibarra is in his second year as superintendent.

"We're starting to look at, 'What are we doing systemically throughout our district to make [traditional schools] more appealing, reach our students more and make education innovative and creative for our students?'" Ibarra said.

The district recently created a task force to find out why parents are taking students from traditional schools and enrolling them in charter schools.

Lewis and co-host Laura Kohn also discuss an interview with Louis Freedberg, executive director at EdSource, about the huge turnover rate of superintendents and whether those changes impact students' quality of education.

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.

Number of the Week

11: The number of San Diego County school districts that will have new superintendents in the 2016-2017 school year.

What’s Working

Superintendents Kevin Holt of the San Marcos Unified School District and Francisco Escobedo of the Chula Vista Elementary School District are long-serving superintendents in the county. Holt began in 2008, Escobedo in 2010.