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Grier Says Critics Living in District’s “Rear-View Mirror”

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San Diego Unified School Superintendent Terry Grier says the district needs to stop living in the past in order to help struggling students today and in the future. He says that's one reason why Houston’s job offer is more attractive than staying in San Diego.

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Above: Reporter Ana Tintocalis discussed the impact to the San Diego Unified School District if Superintendent Grier leaves.

— San Diego Unified School Superintendent Terry Grier says the district needs to stop living in the past in order to help struggling students today and in the future. He says that's one reason why Houston’s job offer is more attractive than staying in San Diego.

Grier, speaking on KPBS Radio's These Days program, says San Diego Unified is too focused 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 education.

Grier says adults in San Diego Unified 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.”

School trustee Shelia Jackson says today's San Diego school board does put kids first, but simply has a different approach to education reform compared to Grier. She says different schools need different reforms -- and those reforms should be tested and talked about with teachers and parents before they're implemented.

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