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Grier Considered “Frontrunner” for Houston School District Top Seat

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Aired 8/20/09

The San Diego Unified School District could find out as soon as today whether Superintendent Terry Grier is the top pick to takeover the Houston Independent School District.

— The San Diego Unified School District could find out as soon as today whether Superintendent Terry Grier is the top pick to takeover the Houston Independent School District.

San Diego Unified School Superintendent Terry Grier praises teachers and students for making big gains on state tests scores.
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Above: San Diego Unified School Superintendent Terry Grier praises teachers and students for making big gains on state tests scores.

There had been hints the superintendent was looking elsewhere for a job -- but Grier himself has downplayed those concerns. He's consistently declared his intention to stay in San Diego for the long haul.

Grier became superintendent in San Diego Unified last year in March. He was almost immediately confronted with shoring-up the district's budget deficit caused by California's money problems -- which only got worse.

Even so, the superintendent has pushed reforms forward. He established a virtual high school where students can retake classes or make up coursework, which is credited with improving the district's overall high school dropout rate. Grier has also streamlined the district's central office, coming up with millions of dollars in cost savings.

Just this week state standardized test scores showed San Diego school students are posting the highest gains ever in English. Math and science scores also went up.

But there's always been tension between Grier and the teachers union. Union leaders have publicly blasted the superintendent for his reforms and management style. Grier has also been dealing with a school board that is largely backed by the teachers union.

Houston is a bigger city and the school district there is bigger than San Diego Unified.

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