Turning the Corner on Condo Debacle

I am very embarrassed. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances, I have contributed to diluting the critical conversation about the quality of public education in Santa Clara County. The debate on how to ensure a high quality public education experience for every child in the county is too important to have it held hostage to a serious error of judgment. The focus of far too many articles in the San Jose Mercury News has been about a condo and contract debacle that I have tried to own for personal naivety. And not asking the right questions of legal counsel when the new superintendent’s contract was negotiated in March 2012.


De La Torre Named New Superintendent

Dr. Xavier De La Torre will be officially appointed Mar. 7 as the Superintendent of Schools in Santa Clara County, replacing retiring Superintendent Dr. Charles Weis. The announcement was made simultaneously to the leadership teams at the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas, where Dr. De La Torre is superintendent. As was made clear to him during several interviews by the SCCOE Board of Trustees, Dr. De La Torre understands the “fierce urgency of now” relative to increasing achievement for all students.

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County Can’t Miss on New Superintendent

The Santa Clara County Board of Education is nearing completion of its most important statutory responsibility: the hiring of a new county superintendent of schools. The new county superintendent must be willing to encourage the utmost in school district transparency relative to the dollars expended, the test results, the grades, etc. Without transparency, public education can continue to obfuscate rather than improve.

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Shaky Math Doesn’t Help Local Schools

Next Tuesday, Jan. 31, is the deadline to apply to be hired as Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. This new leader must have courage to identify and publicize real solutions to our county’s ethnic and socioeconomic gaps in math and English student proficiency and to support those solutions with verifiable data.

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