Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008| I agree entirely with San Diego Unified School Board candidates Richard Barrera and John Lee Evans that the brand new self-imposed school district gag order on board members’ public criticism of Superintendent Terry Grier and staff are : 1) backwards and 2) that “respect and dissent are not mutually exclusive.” If there are to be restrictions written into governance, there ought to be a prohibition on the hired superintendent from engaging in overt politics to undermine elected board members who are community representatives.

An educator whom I respect, former Superintendent Carl Cohn, came down here for two years’ rest from a long, almost regal, tenure in Long Beach, says there is a “culture of conflict” in San Diego. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because San Diego public schools were for eight years the crucible of a radical, business-backed, one-size-fits-all, top-down authoritarian, regressive, failed experiment — an outspoken school board minority along with teacher and community support, finally put an end to it.

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