Grier Explains Why He Likes Houston’s Top Job
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
San Diego Unified School Superintendent Terry Grier says he likes Houston's superintendent job because he would be working in a district that's open to tough reforms.
Grier says San Diego’s school board is currently considering a move toward a more decentralized model of school governance. School board president Shelia Jackson confirms that, saying school trustees and school-based panels would take on more responsibility.
Grier says he respects that idea, but it’s not for him. He says that's why Houston is more attractive than San Diego.
“Give me goals, set those goals and hold me accountable for achieving them,” Grier said. “That's the culture in Houston. And there's a huge component of your salary (in Houston) that's based on that type of pay -- if you produce results, you get paid. If you don't, you don't.”
Grier also says he’s been frustrated in San Diego Unified because too many people focus on the needs of adults, not children.
While he doesn't elaborate much, Grier does say some San Diego school board members and teachers union leaders have been more concerned with blocking his district-wide reforms because they're similar to those pushed by former superintendent Alan Bersin.
Bersin was hated by union leaders and some trustees because of his top-down, one-size-fits all approach to reforms.
Grier says adults are spending too much time living in the district's “rear view mirror.”
“It's good to have a historical perspective, you certainly don't want to make mistakes, but hope is tomorrow and the future,” Grier said. “Hope is not in yester-years. Our teacher organization, they’ve got to get over Alan Bersin at some point in time.”
Meanwhile, San Diego's school board president and teachers union leader say they are open to tough reforms and goals, but believe teachers and parents also have a say.
Jackson says different schools need different reforms. Zombro says those reforms should be tested and talked about with teachers and parents before they're implemented.
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