HISD About To Hire Its Superintendent, And Some Critics Emerge

We have word from HISD spokesman Norm Uhl that the district might officially name the new superintendent at 2 o'clock. If the choice is Terry Grier, as it's been reported, some people are already unhappy. (Update: It is.)

"I'm very disappointed in the board," State Sen. Mario Gallegos, who serves on the state's Committee on Education, told Hair Balls. "It makes me wonder what kind of kool-aid they're drinking over there when they interviewed him."

Gallegos says that Grier's history at his previous jobs is the cause for concern. His contract with school districts in Amarillo and Sacramento were terminated. At the district where he served as superintendent in North Carolina, residents made bumper stickers that said, "Get Grier Out of Here" and "I've been Grier-ended."

"I have dear friends in Amarillo, and when I asked them about this guy, they said that if he re-applied, they'd say, 'Thanks, but no thanks," Gallegos said. "That's pretty strong, and it didn't take long for me to find all kinds of red flags and whistles."

Uhl wouldn't comment because the hiring hasn't officially been announced.

We also contacted the Houston Federation of Teachers, because we were interested in what it thought about the possible hiring. At Grier's last job in San Diego, he cut $250 million from the district's budget, eliminating more than 350 positions, according to his biography.

Gayle Fallon, the president of the federation, told us via e-mail, "We have concerns but we will be willing to work with any new superintendent. The superintendent will determine that relationship. We will be more than willing to work with him, but we will always defend the interests of our members."

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