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Payzant Wants to Put Data From Report to Work at City Schools

July 22, 1987|DAVID SMOLLAR | Times Staff Writer

The yearlong study released last month on how to prepare San Diego's schools for the year 2000 and beyond will not gather dust on neglected bookshelves if schools Supt. Tom Payzant has his way.

Payzant recommended Tuesday that three specific steps be taken immediately to begin tying key points in the Schools of the Future Commission report to projects and plans either under way or contemplated by district teachers and administrators.

"I'm really excited about (carrying through) the report," Payzant told the Board of Education Tuesday. "I think the report ties into a lot of things we are doing."

The report said that the future success of San Diego city schools requires far stronger community support, a freer hand for teachers and principals to try new ways of teaching, and a better use of technology. The commission was made up of prominent San Diego educators, business officials, and public representatives, including those from area military commands.

Payzant on Tuesday suggested that increased community involvement can initially be spurred through the already-planned "San Diego Compact," a merging of schools, private business and public institutions to bring more community expertise into schools. Payzant said that the existing program for partnerships between individual schools and a private business should be expanded to include participation by all schools.

Payzant also proposed setting up a leadership group of district and community officials to consider how to link pilot programs for new teaching methods to ongoing programs for drop-out prevention, for greater parent involvement, and for a common core curriculum that would challenge more students to take demanding courses.

"We should build on the successes that we have already in the district," Payzant said. "There is no need to start from scratch." Payzant strongly urged that pilot programs involve teacher and community involvement from the start at individual schools, saying that the key to future education will increasingly be qualitative, not quantitative successes.

Payzant said that an advisory committee on technology should be set up to develop a clear technology use policy for the district, in both systematically using computers and other devices to improve teaching and to simplify administrative functions.

The board will vote on the recommendations next week. While supportive of Payzant's ideas, members Jim Roache and Dorothy Smith cautioned that innovative programs, if successful, must be applied equally to all students in the district and remain subject to board oversight.

Use of $18 Million Is Targeted

Staff plans to spend an additional $18 million now available for next year's San Diego Unified School District budget were given tentative approval Tuesday by the board of education.

Supt. Tom Payzant recommended that $8.2 million be reserved for pay raises for the district's 11,817 employees. The remaining money would go to meet either government-mandated or unavoidable costs, with no money recommended for restoration of $10.6 million in educational programs cut earlier this spring.

Payzant said that a token restoration of some funds across the board for the programs would be "symbolically a statement of good faith" but would be less beneficial for students over the long run than other uses.

Board members agreed, saying that the final state budget simply does not provide enough money to carry out required and long-overdue maintenance and reserve needs and to fund all educational needs.

A final version of the $438-million budget for 1887-88 will come up for a public hearing on Aug. 31 and adoption is expected Sept. 1.

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