I wish voters had the option of electing school board members who aren't controlled by people entrenched in power. The education establishment (on both the right and left) wants to guard its power, and that means maintaining the status quo. Given that fact, I think Bill Kowba is a good choice to keep things from falling apart any more than they already have.
Of course, a better choice would be to get more bang for our education bucks by reforming how teachers function. We could pay more for effective teachers and end up with better results for less money.
Superintendent Finalist Has Strengths, Weaknesses
By Ana Tintocalis
June 23, 2010
...Critics say the board could have done a better job at recruiting top talent.
But the trustees stand by their decision, saying the school board is not looking for a big personality or school reformer.
They also say a team of academic leaders are already in place to begin the work of getting more students to achieve.
Trustee John Evans downplayed any rumors that the board made up its mind a long time ago.
“There are five independent-minded people on the board,” Evans said. “These decisions are not taken lightly or reached easily.”
Kowba would not be the first superintendent in San Diego without an academic background. Bersin, the district's most infamous superintendent, was an attorney.
Supporters say San Diego Unified needs a budget-minded leader right now. The district has suffered more than $300 million in state budget cuts over the past few years. The district is looking at another big deficit for next school year...
Slashed budget for schools all but OK’d
By Maureen Magee
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
June 22, 2010
San Diego Unified School District has cut about $300 million since 2008. Next year’s proposed $100 million in cuts include:
• Five districtwide furlough days, which will trim the school year by a week in each of the next two years
• Cuts to magnet school funding, which could force staff reductions
• Eliminating most adult education offerings
• Cuts to central office personnel
• Eliminating support programs for new teachers
Deep cuts to next year’s San Diego school district budget were all but approved by the Board of Education on Tuesday.
No relief is in sight for the San Diego Unified School District in the coming years.
Millions of dollars in preliminary cuts to the 2011-12 budget, including layoffs, were also announced Tuesday.
To offset an estimated $134 million deficit to next year’s $1.1 billion operating budget, trustees have approved cuts that include trimming the school year by five days, cutting some bus routes and personnel reductions.
Preliminary proposals for the 2011-12 year include a call to cut the district work force by 10 percent, close small schools, eliminate vice principals, raise class sizes and revert to half-day kindergarten classes...