I just got a copy of the letter sent by an ad hoc group of parents, politicians and business and community leaders to San Diego Unified school board members pleading for them to find a way to keep Terry Grier as their superintendent. Here’s an excerpt (with a few links added by me):
Perhaps he has made it look too easy. Perhaps all of the budget controversies of these last few months have made his accomplishments seems trivial. Perhaps, at the end of the day, he is too modest. But we have noticed a difference and we encourage you to consider some of the dramatic accomplishments in the mere 18 months of his leadership:
- Largest test score increases in three years, particularly in science.
- Real data to support teachers in a responsive learning environment.
- System-wide and effective efforts to decrease the dropout rate.
- Innovative early college programs that keep students engaged.
- Breakfast in the classroom for disadvantaged students.
- Credit recovery classes that allow students to rebound.
- Dramatic increases in advanced placement courses for all students.
- Equitable evaluation systems to bring the best employees forward.
- Commitment to service and parent involvement.
- Streamlined and more effective business operations.
- Passage of Prop. S with 68% support and $2.1 billion to upgrade schools.
- Upgraded computer systems on multiple levels to support education.
- Transparency and better communication about our schools.
- Broader community outreach.
What matters is our children’s education. As you frequently say yourselves, children are the future of our community, our society, and our San Diego.
It’s not too late. Houston cannot appoint a superintendent for 21 days. Please talk with Dr. Grier and find a way to continue his leadership on behalf of the teachers and students of San Diego. Give him the support he needs as superintendent. He is effective, hard working and his values are in the right place. We need that steady leadership in the coming months and years ahead. The future of all of our children depends on it.
The signers include parent leader David Page, Dean Paula Cordeiro from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, County Superintendent Randolph Ward, retired state Sen. Dede Alpert, Chamber of Commerce CEO Ruben Barrales, and Cecil Steppe, the retired president of the San Diego Urban League who now sits on the board of Gompers Charter Middle School.
Attorney Tyler Cramer sent the letter to me via e-mail and wrote:
Even if the letter is signed by thousands of San Diegans, I cannot imagine any circumstances under which Terry would decline an expected offer from Houston and stay in San Diego. But such a letter hopefully would encourage the board’s majority to rethink their roles as board members, especially when they face the daunting task of selecting and overseeing the district’s next superintendent.
The group is still gathering signatures for the petition until noon today.