Inglorious Board

Just five years ago, San Diego was high on the list of districts most likely to become a national model. Alan Bersin had a great Blue Print and worked aggressively to improve existing schools and open innovative new schools. After firing Bersin, driving off decent superintendents that followed, and cutting ridiculous deals with employee groups, they are a national disgrace and an example of how bad urban education is in America—we have a system we can’t fix, at least not with this structure.

Terry Grier, a capable superintendent, was the latest to make a stop in SD. The Voice of SD speculates on his move to Houston While Duncan is leading a Race to the Top, SD (and CA) is leading the race to the bottom.

Despite hostile conditions, high costs, and low reimbursements, Southern California has a vibrant network of charter schools. If you want to experience an interesting contrast, visit High Tech High and then your pick of San Diego high schools.

Without the unusual alliance of business interests and minority parents, employee groups will continue to elect self-serving boards. The revolving door will continue and kids will pay the price.

Good luck in Houston Terry (they used to have a good board too).

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment

Marc Share

And SD make LAUSD look like an exceptional working model.
LAUSD has tried so many reorgs and restructures that the band-aids are now the actual infrastructure and there is no real foundation an longer.
Every time LAUSD failed to meet its obligations under the Chandra Smith decree, instead of declaring LAUSD incapable of managing itself and recommending dismantling of the district, the "Independent Monitor' kept watering down the Chandra Smith decree until the 'requirements were all about reporting and ended up having ABSOULTELY NO CONNECTION to actual delivery of services to students. There ended up being no relationship to improvement of student performance, no direct relationship to any assessments and the provisioning of services, no evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of services, their delivery or the qualification of those delivering them. And in then end, it is just a money grab for the district to push Special Ed kids thru the system, grabbing the funds supposedly earmarked to provide FAPE according to IDEA and ADA and instead LAUSD is spending more than all the rest of the district in California combined to force parents into Due Process, just to get what the law REQUIRES them to provide.
This district should be dismantled and broken up into districts no larger then 50K kids so that control and accountability is local. Any advantages that could have been gained by the size that LAUSD would gain in numbers is completely overshadowed by inefficiency, ineffectiveness, callous disregard for the wellbeing for students, an over bloated union with too many old guard teachers and administrators and an out of touch administration that feels NO RESPOSNIBILITY toward the future of our kids and no ethical or moral obligation to do what its right

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