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Wednesday, February 23, 2005 | The Blueprint for Student Success: salvation for public education or diabolic madness? Deliverance or disaster?

Recent decisions by San Diego Unified’s Board of Education that appear to undermine the Blueprint have stirred up fervent reactions from both sides.

And on one thing you all agree – you are passionate about the education of our children. You may not see eye to eye on the best way to go about delivering this education, but you care. And that’s a place to start.

Unfortunately, that’s about as far as it gets finding common ground.

Many have written to say they are deeply grateful for the changes in education since the adoption of the Blueprint in 1999, and are distressed over board actions in the past few months. Others are not so supportive and are in fact relishing the plan’s demise.

But the one reaction that’s most curious is surprise. Many seem to be caught off-guard, stunned and confused over the board’s recent decisions.

The board’s actions can hardly come as a shock. One can be outraged, yes. Or gleeful, certainly. But surprised? No way.

After all, this board is comprised of three new board members who were clearly unenthusiastic during their campaigns about superintendent Alan Bersin and his programs. None of them hid their agendas from the public – people who voted were well aware of the candidates’ views.

This was especially true in the race for the board representative from Sub-District A, where Mitz Lee beat opponent Miyo Reff 58 percent to 41 percent.

Lee made no secret of her desire to buy out Bersin’s contract and send him packing. She openly stated time after time that the Blueprint was not working and that new leadership was needed. Today she says, “I never departed from what I said I’d do.” And, for better or worse, she has held true to her campaign pledges.

Who thought these board members would suddenly change their minds and become Blueprint cheerleaders once they were elected? If people had wanted to retain Bersin and his Blueprint, wouldn’t they have voted differently?

The public has spoken. These trustees are doing exactly what they were voted into office to do. No one is betraying or abandoning constituents. Everything is happening just the way the script was written after the votes were counted in November.

Those who are disappointed and troubled – even surprised – at school board developments might temper their outrage by remembering that these trustees were duly elected by the majority of voters.This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protest. But wage war with the sobering thought in mind that most of your neighbors (those who chose to vote) are not on your side and that you are going against the will of the electorate, at least this time around.

The people have spoken, and this is the school board they (we) have elected. People always get the government they deserve.

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