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Continuing on with the stories to watch for in 2008, we get to No. 8:

8. The Search for a New City Schools Superintendent

As Carl Cohn, movie star, moves on to the national political scene, San Diego Unified School District is at a crossroads. What does it do? Is the board an active overseer of the superintendent, or a big gooey rubber stamp of his or her initiatives? Does it embrace charter schools and reform efforts, or focus on funding and improving existing systems?

My work here is done.

The housing market slump and state’s fiscal crisis will hardly be unnoticed at district headquarters. Will the district continue to try to hide its financial state behind a dizzying array of numbers or will it produce a budget — however bleak — that the public can debate and discuss?

Cohn’s post is being filled temporarily by a manager. The board seems committed to finding a visionary. What they decide on and how they answer these important questions about the district’s future will be a big 2008 story.

SCOTT LEWIS

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