Houston School Superintendent Terry Grier has announced that he will step down March 1, midway through his seventh year leading the district.
The Houston Chronicle reports that some board members have been unwilling to extend Grier's contract. His contract expires in June 2016, and the school board had not yet moved to extend it. He took the Houston job in August 2009, after serving as superintendent of the San Diego school system. Grier, who is 65, says he does not plan to retire.
Prior to taking the Houston superintendency, Grier served about 18 months as the top administrator in San Diego. Before that he led the Guilford County (N.C.) School District for eight years.
Grier has been a polarizing figure in Houston, partly because of his fast-paced rollout of initiatives designed to accelerate achievement among Houston's students. The district won the Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2013, but scores on state and national exams generally have stagnated in recent years.
Successes in Houston during Grier's tenuire include significantly expanding the number of students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams, raising the high school graduation rate and overseeing passage of a $1.9 billion bond issue,