Only in education could a local group, in this case the teachers’ union, be rebuffed multiple times in their efforts to do in a superintendent and tirelessly stick with it long enough to prevail. At least in the short run, concentrated and focused power will usually prevail over a general interest only loosely organized and represented. Last night the Board of Education in San Diego came to an agreement with schools sup’t Alan Bersin to buyout the remainder of his contract, he leaves in June. Ignore the shallow coverage from the local paper, the real backstory on all this is here (pdf).
Here’s an excerpt from Bersin’s note to school district staff, it’s really useful that they’re running guys like this out (and at taxpayer expense no less…):
The revised data issued this week in Sacramento shows that 107 of our schools (60 percent) now score at or above 700 on the statewide API compared to 75 schools in 1999. In 1999, 53 schools (fully 37 percent) of our schools placed under 600 on the API; today only 16 schools (less than 9 percent) of our schools operate at that unsatisfactory level. We have narrowed the academic achievement gap dividing our students based on factors of race, ethnicity and class. We are one of only two districts in California (the other is Long Beach) to meet all 46 Adequate Yearly Progress performance indicators for two years running under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). San Diego City Schools tests more than 98 percent of its students and ranks second among urban districts in the state (slightly behind San Francisco) in the number of students performing at proficient or advanced levels on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts and third in mathematics (tied with Sacramento).
Yet it was this sort of nonsense that won out in the end.