OVERSIGHT OF SCHOOLS' WEBSITES LACKING, GRAND JURY FINDS

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By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (San Diego)—San Diego Unified School District should require all schools to use its website content system, a San Diego Grand Jury report titled “Can we please get on the same page?”  issued today advised.

The report concluded that many San Diego city schools have set up independent websites outside of the school district's management structure, leaving the San Diego Unified School District little or no say on the websites' content or how they are used. In fact, private foundations control many of the sites, acting as school website administrators who do all of the on-line updating of the content. Foundations operate autonomously outside of the District's established policies and procedures, even accepting commercial paid advertising on the school sites. In some cases advertisers have solicited the students’ for personal information, the Grand Jury report revealed.

The San Diego Unified School District provides access to a content management system known as Schoolwires Centricity for all of its schools free of charge. However, not all the SDUSD schools utilize the system.

The Grand Jury recommends that the District require all schools to use the District-endorsed content management system and not permit advertising on the school websites.