When I first landed in San Diego in fall 2013, the first San Diego Unified school board member I met was Scott Barnett.
Barnett, who left the board in 2014, was impolitic, always quotable and often right. And he told me something that day that has stuck with me: San Diegans, he said, are great at making plans, having lunches and creating task forces. They’re just terrible at actually getting anything done.
Year after year, district officials point out that black and Latino students perform worse on tests than their white and Asian peers. And, year after, officials pledge to tackle the problem with tenacity and laser focus. (“Laser focus” has been an especially popular slogan for current school board members.)