Parents protest at Lincoln High School

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Parents protest at Lincoln High SchoolSan Diego–  There’s a growing debate over how to get the most out of students at Lincoln Park High School. Some parents say the teacher’s union is blocking progress, while some teachers say the administration is going in the wrong direction.

You could say there are three sides to every story and that seems to be le case in Lincoln Park.

You have concerned parents like Francine Maxwell who say, ““my children aren’t receiving a proper education.”

There are teachers like Danny Blas who say, “we just want a professional climate that allows all voices to be heard.”

And you have administrators like Superintendent Cindy Marten say, “this is about a community coming together as a whole family and saying ‘what do we want for our students and why do we want it.’”

A handful of parents held a protest in front of the high school Friday morning. The parents are calling on the district to remove teachers they say are ineffective.

“The teachers want to run the school and they forget that this is a public community school,” Maxwell said. “It’s my community and so we’re here to just let them know… our children deserve quality teachers.”

Of course it’s not that simple  just ask teachers like Blas.

He says they’re trying to give their students the best education they can, but the administrators aren’t being flexible and cutting classes like that students enjoy.

We need quality programs, we need a variety of programs for students,” Blas said. “One of the things that makes students successful is (when you) give them a variety. Give them arts and give them the programs like social justice.”

This is all part of a bigger debate going on in public schools all over the country.

A few years ago San Diego Unified School changed the curriculum to focus more on college prep, but that meant getting rid of programs that many students in this neighborhood enjoyed.

Now parents like these are blaming teachers for not responding and administrators have the difficult task of getting everyone on the same page.

“It’s not about somebody standing in the way or not standing in the way,” Marten said.  “There are different sides to the story (and) this is about what is the common vision for Lincoln and do we all understand that common vision.”

17 comments

  • concerned parent

    Good teachers have left for schools north of 8 because of the negative climate, lack of professionalism and poor democratic schooling practice at Lincoln. These protesters, like Maxine Maxwell which are only a handful and do not represent the majority of the community, do not even have children at Lincoln and only have a special interest. I don't think is the teachers trying to run the school, but is the hundreds of parents and students that are dissatisfied with the current incompetent administration. We do need quality teachers at Lincoln so lets keep them.

  • Wes baker

    Teachers are hired help and should not be making any decision beside a safe working environment. Parents and administrators need to make a good working environment, and that means taking responsibility for your own child. unless you make a better enviroment teachers don’t have to stay her, but if the want to work then they will have to follow the rules. Union power is killing our school system

    • Demographics

      The teachers at Lincoln follow the rules and are very dedicated to the students. Read the WASC report on Lincoln. Lincoln was given a six year extension by WASC, which is excellent. If the group that is protesting is what represents the community, then it is very sad. Francine Maxwell doesn't even have a student at Lincoln.

    • twosides4

      Hired help?! Really?! You obviously have no idea of the value of a good teacher or of the fact that teachers are required to finish at least 5 years of school beyond high school and most of them complete a lot more than that. Don't you think the teachers would have some valuable input regarding subject matter, scheduling, assessment, and how to teach? If a plumber or a doctor or an architect or a nurse or a lawyer has 5 to 10 years of 'on the job' experience, would you not agree their expertise in their respective areas would be worth listening to before you made a major decision in that area? Parent input is extremely important as well. Administrator input is good too, especially if they have experience running a school and know how to listen to all stake holders.

    • Demographics

      Whoever Wes Baker is, you are clueless!!!!!!!!!! Calling professionals hired help. Prior to the new lead principal arriving, the parents, teachers and administrators worked together as a team. Now it's top down leadership. The teachers don't have a say and are not a part of the decision process. But, teachers are hired help. Get a clue, Wes Baker.

  • Guest

    “It’s not about somebody standing in the way or not standing in the way,” Marten said. “There are different sides to the story (and) this is about what is the common vision for Lincoln and do we all understand that common vision.”

    What a stupid statement! That is coming from the Superintendent!

  • Realist

    Clearly, the author of this article is a product of public education. Also, there will never be quality education unless unions are disbanded.

  • LaLucha

    The teachers are working hard and trying to follow the lead of some VERY incompetent administrators here. Blaming teacher’s unions undermines public education, and parents who blame teachers and the teachers union are failing their kids. THEIR kids are the most difficult students to teach because their parents have ALWAYS blamed the teacher. How can you expect a teacher to be a professional when you treat teachers like slaves here in San Diego? Teachers in this city get ZERO respect and if it weren’t for their union they would be paid minimum wage by now. The pay is lousy when you consider the education and work it takes to become a teacher. Get your kids to school on time. Make sure they have a backpack with lunch and the supplies they need. Try and work with the school a little so your child can be successful. BACK OFF THE TEACHERS and let them teach.

  • twosides4

    I agree with concerned parent and LaLucha above. Politically placed lead principal with no high school experience has been very bad for the school; lowered student enrollment from 2,000 to 1,400 because students are being pushed out, dismantling of successful programs such as Fire Pro Academy and Computer classes and labs; no input from stakeholders regarding major decisions such as leaving the 'small schools' theme Lincoln was built for; teachers harassed to the point of leaving and never coming back. The adults here say they want the public back in public education but Teachers and their Unions are the ones who UPHOLD public education! They are not the ones leading Lincoln in the direction of privatization. Is that the intent of the current leadership? making yet another socio-disadvantaged school be taken over by privatization hounds? for shame

  • Guest II

    Lincoln was designed to be four small schools: Center for Science and Engineering; Center for the Arts: Center for Public Safety; and the Center for Social Justice. Until this administration, the students spent most of their day in their assigned center. The centers were full of life and you could see the students in the classroom, during lunch, and during passing period, going to each class. Now, the centers are in name only. In the Center for Public Safety, you only have four science teachers, the fire program and the computer technicians that keep our computers running. The rest of the classrooms and office are empty. The Center for Science and Engineering has math and science teachers; the Center for the Arts has english teachers; and the history teachers are in the Center for Social Justice.
    The students don't stay in the centers; once the students finish a class, the teacher doesn't see them again, but head to another center for their class. These centers once thrived full of life, but are now a shell from when they were full of life. But when 300+ student disappeared over the course of the 2012-2013 school year, that can be expected. The news story blamed the union and teachers, but take a look at the group protesting against the teachers. They have an agenda for Lincoln, which is for it to be a charter school. Students who graduated from Lincoln last year are attending: UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, UC Riverside, UCLA, SDSU, UCSD, and many other universities and community colleges. We also have students going into the military. There are a lot of positives happening at Lincoln, but this so called community group (which is small, vocal and has an agenda), refuses to see the positives. They want Lincoln to fail, so it can be a charter school.

  • Demographics

    Lincoln is 65% Hispanic. The demographics are changing in the community and there is a group in the African-American community trying to keep control of Lincoln. This has nothing at all to do with the students. It's purely politics and about control. I pray that the silent majority (Hispanic Community) for Lincoln will speak out. Time to hear from the Hispanic community leadership.

  • john smith

    To Francine Maxwell: Teacher evaluations should be done PROFESSIONALLY.
    NO FORMAL TEACHER EVALUATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS were ever completed for last year for teachers at Lincoln however, FORMAL TEACHER EVALUATIONS were still filed. According to the current administration, all of the teachers evaluated last year MET COMPETENCY-even though NO FORMAL EVALUATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS were completed. How can the current administration get away with filing false documents?

    • RaiderNation

      Apparently Stull evaluations were signed AFTER the dates they were due (in the summer), and it's my understanding very, very few–if any–were actually completed with fidelity to the process. For an administration to claim there are "bad" teachers at Lincoln, the administration are to blame. Teachers in need of further development are identified by the Stull evaluation process, and this administration did not do it properly last year.

      There are bad teachers at Lincoln, and the Ms. Omogbehin supports this. There is a revolving door of substitute teachers, and these subs are giving grades to Lincoln students. The administration is complicit in this, and communicated this new subs-grading-students policy to the entire staff at a staff meeting today. It's okay to this administration.

      This administration is not accountable for anything. If anything negative happens, it's always somebody else's fault. Which principal from the past is responsible for something going wrong this time? Ana Alvarez? Ana Shapiro? Mel Collins? Wendell Bass? Abraham Lincoln? it's a farce.

      And then to have four "parents" protesting on Friday? Really? That's all you have? C'mon Francine Maxwell, admit it: YOU DON'T HAVE A CHILD ENROLLED AT LINCOLN. PERIOD. You're like Sally Smith more and more each day.

      This is one lazy administration. Monitoring at lunch? They can't be bothered. They're too busy in their hiding place, the 100 building, using up air conditioning our tax dollars pays for. The ONLY time they come out of their nest is when the area superintendent or superintendent visits.

    • Guest

      Francine Maxwell is unqualified to evaluate teachers. She does not understand test data that should be the exclusive domain of administration. If Omagbehin thinks a teacher is ineffective she has an obligation to act on it. Sending a surrogate into the community to mislead the press is poor leadership. Lincoln deserves better.

  • Demographics

    Water Morris the reporter on this story now has to do some real investigative reporting, instead of going for the drama with a few protesters carrying signs. Read these posting Walter, and get to the truth. It's all been put in front of you. If you want to know the real mission for Lincoln when it opened in 2007, talk with Ana Alavarez at Crawford, Joe Wiseman, and now retired executive principal Mel Colins

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