Parents Fret After a Sea Change at San Marcos Elementary
The dynamics at San Marcos Elementary have changed dramatically in a short period of time. Voice of San Diego reports the school lost nearly half its teachers in a single year, leaving students with a mostly new and less experienced staff of educators.
The mass exodus began with a shakeup in leadership. In spring, the school’s longtime principal was reassigned. That followed the selection of a new superintendent for San Diego Unified, Carmen Garcia. She brought both a new principal and assistant principal on board.
Parents have protested the changes and accused the new superintendent of nepotism. They’re particularly worried about the impacts on learning outcomes, given the inexperience of some of the newcomers.
The school has 15 new teachers on campus this year, out of 33. Twelve of the newcomers are beginning their teaching careers for the first-time, according to their online school biosand school officials. In 2018, the school had two first-year teachers and three second-year teachers, and teachers on campus had an average of nine years of experience, just below the district average of 10 years, state data shows.
Superintendent Garcia says not to worry.
“All districts go through attrition. Ours is no different. People leave for promotions or other opportunities,” Garcia told Voice of San Diego. “All hires are in alignment with our board policies and procedures. … Throughout my career, every decision I have made has been in the best interest of our students, your children and mine.”
Parents don’t seem persuaded.