During 22 years in Coronado, my wife and I have paid extraordinarily little attention to the operation of the Coronado Unified School District (CUSD). However, with two granddaughters (ages 4 & 1) who will be starting school in in the next 1 to 4 years, we decided to take notice and learn more about the Coronado Schools. Being a numbers-oriented guy, I decided to check some databases about Coronado USD. Examining the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress database revealed that in Coronado USD 83 percent of students “met or exceeded” grade-level standards in English Language Arts/Literacy.  Examining the data base for mathematics revealed that 62 percent met or exceeded grade-level standards. In addition, examining the total enrollment for CUSD revealed that total CUSD enrollment had decreased by 16 percent between Spring 2020 to Spring 2021.

Based on nearly 38 years’ experience doing Research, Evaluation, & Assessment studies of K-12 & University programs in the United States and some African countries, I would say that students in CUSD are doing quite well in terms of Academic Success in English Language Arts. However, students are achieving at a lower level than I would have expected (62 percent meeting grade level standards) in mathematics. To put a fine point on the mathematics achievement, nearly 4 of every 10 students are performing at below grade level standards. Also, I feel the drop of 16 percent in enrollment in one year should be cause for concern. Enrollment was down from 3,035 (Spring of 2020) to 2,549 (Spring of 2021).

With the data presented, I would have thought a prudent approach might have been to be planning and promoting programs to improve a higher level of academic success in mathematics to maintain the fine level of academic success in English Language Arts, and to encourage parents who took their children out of the CUSD during the Pandemic to re-enroll. After talking with some parents with children in the CUSD, I have found no one who is aware of any program to increase academic success in K-12 mathematics or to encourage parents to re-enroll their children in CUSD.

However, I did hear about a couple of programs focused on “Social Engineering” of students’ views and thoughts that were being actively promoted. One social engineering program, “No Place For Hate,” has apparently been in use in Coronado USD during at least the past school year (2020-2021). Another social engineering program was conducted during the past school year with a committee of parents, teachers, and students led by San Diego County Office of Education consultants to create equity for all. The San Diego County Office training sessions are referred to as “The Equity Launch” and alternatively “Equity Sessions.” These Equity Sessions sound a lot like Critical Theory jargon.

What bothers me most here is that, based on my professional experience in studies of educational programs of all kinds including “social engineering” programs, I have never found any statistically significant effects relating “Social Engineering” participation and improved academic success.

To reiterate, nearly 40% of Coronado students do not achieve at grade level standards in mathematics. However, the CUSD (probably the administration) has made the decision to devote staff time and money for two “social engineering” programs. These programs rarely accomplish anything and never improve academic success. Stop implementation and save time and money. 

In conclusion, if you are a parent or close relative of students in CUSD, let me respectfully suggest that you check what is happening with instruction in the CUSD. Visit classrooms, review homework, attend or watch a Board Meeting, etc. Future board meetings for 2021are scheduled for June 17, Aug. 19, Sept. 9, Oct. 21, Nov. 18, and Dec. 14.

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