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School board President Shelia Jackson sent a memo this morning to San Diego Unified staff just before Grier was officially named Houston’s schools chief:

Regardless of the decisions made by Dr. Grier and the Board during the coming days, I want to encourage all of our staff to continue our work to prepare for the best ever school year in our history. Our students depend on all of us to help them prepare for successful futures, and that needs to remain our primary focus.

I remain positive and optimistic about our future. We can all look back at the 2008/09 school year with great pride in what we have accomplished for our students. This week we announced the most significant gains in STAR test results that we have seen in years. We can also be proud of the decline in our district dropout rate, the increases in students taking AP courses, and several other initiatives we have launched to improve student achievement.

Again, thank you for your hard work and your commitment to our children. We will keep you closely informed of any developments with this matter in the days ahead.

Jackson is holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the situation.

EMILY ALPERT

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