Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009 | It looks like the revolving door at San Diego Unified may keep spinning, to the horror of parents and employees who thought it might have finally slowed.
Less than a year and a half after Superintendent Terry Grier took over the second largest school district in the state, the school chief is talking to the Houston Independent School District about a new job as its superintendent. And though Grier was long rumored to be shopping for another superintendency, it didn’t dull the shock that the assertive reformer with a Southern accent could be leaving so soon.
“I’m at a loss for words,” said school board member Katherine Nakamura, a staunch supporter. “I think it’s a black eye for San Diego. We can’t keep a superintendent for longer than 18 months.”
The Houston Chronicle broke the news Wednesday morning that Grier was the frontrunner for the Houston gig. A growing chorus of union leaders and school board members echoed the headlines as the day wore on. Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston teachers union, called it a done deal. School board members in San Diego assumed that he would take the job and began eulogizing his tenure.
Grier did not return calls or e-mails Wednesday. School district spokesman Bernie Rhinerson said the superintendent had not been offered a job and could not confirm whether he was a finalist.
The Chronicle obtained a draft employment agreement between Grier and the Texas district that offers him a heftier salary with bonuses. And that isn’t its only lure. Houston is larger than San Diego Unified and is already using test scores to reward teachers, a favored approach for Grier that has fallen on deaf ears in San Diego.