Psychotherapists say that talk is at the core of the therapeutic process. Language is a linear system, they argue, and through talking we untangle what's been nagging us.
Get people involved with the San Diego Unified School District talking and you're in for a lengthy conversation. That all's not well with the district is no new story; in fact, at times it seems as if the problems surrounding the district have developed their own mythology--stories that verge on unbelievable except for the fact that you've heard them repeatedly: that kindergartners are no longer allowed to use crayons because crayons encourage coloring and not writing; that teachers who oppose district reforms are referred to as 'contaminants' who need to be 'enhanced' by the new system; that doctors treating a large number of district teachers coined a new term for the proliferation of stress-related health problems 'Bersinitis,' after district Superintendent Alan Bersin.
Within the larger dysfunctional picture, however, those facts seem like odd quirks in a complicated web of issues. School board infighting, allegations of Bersin's involvement in private land-development deals and a state investigation into misspending of federal money earmarked for underprivileged students might fill columns in a newspaper, but they create, to borrow words from school district Trustee Frances Zimmerman, a complicated 'political overlay' for a public entity that taxpayers hope would steer clear of politics.
At the heart of the issue is the Blueprint for Student Success--a sweeping education reform that's overhauled distric literacy programs under the theory that uniformity is more efficient. Though literacy-focused in its first two years, this year the district's Institute for Learning, which oversees Blueprint implementation, introduced math and science programs to the curriculum despite criticism from teachers that no one consulted them about what's best for their students, just as no one had consulted them about the literacy program. San Diego Education Association (SDEA) President Terry Pesta said he thought he was on the committee for the new math program adoption, though no committee meetings were ever held--at least none that he was informed of.
Opponents argue that the Blueprint is a narrow, one-size-fits-all curriculum controlled by a top-down hierarchy in which teachers are expected to follow guidelines to the letter or risk criticism. 'At any point in the day, every single teacher is supposed to be doing the same thing,' said one teacher who asked that her name be withheld. 'We don't feel valued at all; what you knew before isn't worth anything.' Also at issue is the Blueprint curriculum, which, for elementary students, comprises a three-hour literacy class followed by an hour and 15 minute math class, leaving little time, say opponents, for a balanced curriculum.
Supporters, on the other hand, say that what was in place before the Blueprint was a jumble of ineffective reading, writing and math programs that not only put San Diego schools on a seven-year decline in state standardized test scores, but rendered a student population unable to think for themselves, oftentimes barely able to decipher the words on the page.
District Chancellor of Instruction Anthony Alvarado can rattle off the numbers like they're second nature: according to state standards, only 11 percent of San Diego students are in the advanced category for language arts; 23 percent are proficient; the remaining 66 percent are below basic standards. Additionally, only 38 percent of students meet the University of California admission requirements, leaving 62 percent who aren't on track for college.
'These are very high standards,' said Alvarado. 'If lots of people think that their students are doing fabulously, then they are not looking at the data even for the highest performing schools.
'That's a big change that has to occur,' he said. 'If people are satisfied with [current achievement levels], then it's not good for the kids and it's not good for the city and it's not good for the state of California.'
Recent articles by both The New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor describe a new breed of school superintendent--the 'outsider,' as one journalist put it, with no experience in education, but rather significant experience in areas that emphasize rules, regulations, structure: the military, big business, the law. Billionaire real estate developer Eli Broad, in fact, has channeled a considerable amount of money into a 'boot camp' for prospective superintendents who lack experience in education, grooming them to take the helm of problematic urban districts.
(Notably, the Broad Foundation recently awarded the San Diego School District a $1.5 million grant to be used toward a three-year staff development program centered around the Blueprint. The grant, however, explicitly states that if district leadership at any time changes--specifically Bersin and Alvarado--remaining funding will be withdrawn.)
Whether the new trend in superintendents sans classroom experience is a panacea for the nation's failing academic record or rather, as some argue, the latest stepping stone for those aspiring to higher political office, it's drawn the ire of those who believe a school shouldn't be run like a business. Bersin, indeed, has revised the district leadership hierarchy, putting in place a layer of highly paid administrators, many with a military background. SDEA Executive Director Robin Whitlow said that in her work with more than 200 school districts, she's never seen a structure quite like the one under Bersin.
'It's the 'corporatization' of education,' said one teacher, 'and the truth is, kids aren't widgets.'
If Bersin, a former U.S. attorney and most recently border czar for the Southwest, is exemplary of the new breed of superintendents, his predecessor was his polar opposite. Bertha Pendleton, a black former educator from Southeast San Diego served as district superintendent from 1996 until 1998. To her credit, says former teachers union president Marc Knapp, Pendleton created a mutual relationship between the school board and the teachers union--something that's a rarity in large urban districts.
'In 1996 we went on strike,' said Knapp. 'We hadn't been on strike for 25 years. After the strike [Pendleton] and I sat down and we said, 'We can't behave like this; this isn't good for anybody. We have to start working together collaboratively.' And in the two years between '96 and '98 there was a very good collaboration going.'
During those two years a new contract was settled without animosity--'the first contract we settled before the current contract had expired,' Knapp noted--and teachers and the administration worked together on a school accountability plan that later became a model for the state's current accountability plan. All in all, things were looking up for the district.
But, said Knapp, the positive working relationship between the union and the superintendent made the business community wonder if Pendleton was playing favorites with the union. When rumors spread that she was considering offers from other school districts, Pendleton was forced to retire and the school board hired a headhunter to find her replacement.
A five-person external panel was charged with the task of evaluating candidates. The panel came up with two hopefuls: Peter Negroni (then-superintendent in Springfield, Mass.) and Bersin. With those two choices, the school board voted what? now become their infamous 3-2 split: Zimmerman and Trustee John deBeck in favor of Negroni; Trustees Ed Lopez, Ron Ottinger and Sue Braun in favor of Bersin. Hiring a superintendent, however, requires a 4-1 vote.
'We asked for a third alternative,' said deBeck, a 12-year board member and former teacher with more than 40 years of classroom experience, 'but the five-member committee wasn't going to give us more than two.' DeBeck sat down for an additional interview with Bersin. 'I asked if he'd work collaboratively with the teacher community and listen to the people who had experience in education. He said yes.'
DeBeck cast his vote for Bersin, a decision he says he now regrets. Within the first few months of his tenure, Bersin fired 15 principals and, as a security measure, sent police to escort them off campus--a move that later resulted in a lawsuit that the district lost.
'I voted for [removing them],' said deBeck, 'but it was too early in the honeymoon of the new superintendent for me to catch on. At least that's my excuse. I came back the next day and I was furious. There were some of them that were good, some I would have moved, but none of them I would have treated like they were treated.'
The forced removal of principals is only the first in a long list of grievances deBeck and many others have compiled against Bersin, who declined to be interviewed for this story.
Take a look at the local daily news archives from the past 10 years and you'll find a marked difference in the frequency of district-related news before and after Bersin was hired. However, it isn't until the spring of 2000 that reportage really picked up pace.
On March 14, 2000 the school board approved, with a 3-2 majority vote, the full implementation of the Blueprint with an initial attached price tag of $49 million (the total cost of the Blueprint so far comes to around $250 million).
The Blueprint was the brainchild of Alvarado, the former superintendent from New York City, for whom Bersin created the Institute for Learning, a district department that oversees all facets of instruction. Alvarado brought with him a history of facilitating innovative, yet controversial, education reforms that focused intensely on improving literacy, especially with students reading below grade level. A recent Atlantic Monthly article attributed the nearly 40 percent jump in reading test scores between 1974 and 1988 in East Harlem's District 4 to the instructional foundation set by Alvarado.
Upon his arrival in 1998, Alvarado instituted a district-wide literacy framework to supplant what was deemed an inconsistent system of literacy instruction. Along with it, said Knapp, came a promise to raise test scores by 50 percent.
It wasn't until Dec. 14, 1999 that the school board was given its first look at the full scope and intent of the Blueprint. And what a quick look it was.
'By March  we had passed it,' said deBeck. 'Now this includes a whole holiday season and meetings at three schools where the people were against it. Community feelings were not to support it. Let's go slow, they said. It was a sweeping reform in really only two months--not much time to set up an analysis and talk about the provisions that should be in and shouldn't be in.'
Title I funds--federal money designated to help low-performing schools--were reallocated and 600 classroom aides laid off to free up money for the purchase of curriculum materials and to fund intensive staff development under the guidance of consultants flown in from as far away as New Zealand, though most often New York. Despite the controversy surrounding its initial implementation, the Blueprint had the support of the community that it, theoretically, sought to help: students of color reading significantly below grade level. Both the San Diego County Latino Coalition on Education and the United Front for the Education of African American Children expressed support for the Blueprint, but with the caveat that the district allow for, as United Front put it, independent 'watchdog' groups to oversee the implementation of the plan. Both groups advocated for open communication between district leadership and parents of kids with the most at stake.
However, in a letter dated Dec. 28, 2001, Latino Coalition co-chair and SDSU Professor of Education Alberto Ochoa wrote, 'For 18 months we tried to work with Superintendent Alan Bersin and Chancellor of Education Anthony Alvarado with little success. Our attempts to participate were symbolically allowed and our input was ignored and disrespected. As a consequence, on Oct. 9, 2001 we presented the Board of Education a statement of No Confidence in the 'Blueprint for Student Success' and in Alan Bersin's stewardship of the San Diego City Schools.'
What critics and proponents of the Blueprint will, understandably, keep coming back to is what really matters: the students.
What do San Diego Unified School District kids look like? They are 40 percent Latino. One-third are in the process of learning English. Sixty-two percent qualify for free or reduced-price meals (too often a standard used to measure student potential and, likewise, to explain student failure). Of 6,500 high school graduates last year, only one-third met requirements of the California State University and University of California systems. The average verbal SAT score is 481, the average math score 49--numbers that have remained relatively stagnant for the past 10 years.
The four-year high school dropout rate stands at 13.8 percent, 2.8 percent higher than the state's. San Diego's 182 public schools are held responsible for the futures of more than 140,000 of the city's kids.
Two-thirds of the district's students qualify for federally-doled out money under a 1994 revision to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965--an act that, as part of the Civil Rights movement, sought to level the playing field for disadvantaged students of color by giving low-performing schools extra money. Nearly forty years later, the necessity for additional funding hasn't lessened: in some parts of San Diego, especially south of the I-8 dividing line, the percentage of kids reading at or above grade level is in the teens.
The district spent the past two years battling the state over whether it was fair to funnel Title I money into the Blueprint ($60 million annually) after a parent advisory committee complained that the money is earmarked for needy kids and not for funding a district-wide reform program that hasn't yet proven itself.
Early last month, however, the district was given a one-year waiver to continue using Title I money to supplement Blueprint implementation, state officials citing recent test score gains as reason enough to allow the continued use of funds. Still in the works, however, is another complaint filed by the advisory committee, this time with the U.S. Department of Education.
Clearly, when it comes to the efficacy of an education program and the progress of kids involved, it's a numbers game. Right or wrong, in the battle between qualitative and quantitative, quantitative will win out for the sake of objectivity--numbers, as the saying goes, don't lie.
Early in September, the school district released the 2002 results for both the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT 9) and the California Standards Tests (CSTs). District statisticians collated the results into a well-package presentation that highlighted student gains in reading and math, a narrowing of the achievement gap among racial and ethnic groups, and an overall upward trend in scores.
However, within a couple of weeks, critics of the Blueprint crunched the numbers with their own set of statisticians and came up with some strikingly different conclusions: compared to other large urban school districts, the district's gains were meager. For example, the percentage of students reading at or above grade level improved only one point between 2000 and 2002 while Los Angeles Unified showed a gain of five percentage points in the same time frame. SAT 9 math scores remain unchanged between 2000 and 2002 while L.A's scores improved by 7 percent. And, as deBeck argued at a recent meeting, San Diego's improvement virtually mirrors the state in an overall upward trend in test scores. 'How big a gain is a $200 [million] to $300 million investment supposed to get you?' he asked.
Looking at school-by-school CST test results, there's no doubt been improvement: at Ericson Elementary in Mira Mesa, 9 percent more fifth graders are reading at or above grade level. Yet, at the same school, fourth grade test scores fell 7.1 percent. Similar inconsistencies appear across the board. At Hawthorne Elementary in Clairemont, last year 57.9 percent of third grade students were proficient in language arts; this year, only 28.6 percent of third graders scored proficient or better. And when it comes to high school students, the numbers show little, if any, improvement.
It's not to say, however, there's no proof that the Blueprint works. For the district's 10 focus schools--under-performing schools into which a considerable amount of time and money was channeled, nearly double the spending per pupil than other schools--there's been some pretty remarkable results. At Brooklyn Elementary in Golden Hill, the percentage of students scoring in the top achievement quartile has more than doubled since 1998 and even Blueprint foes say focus school improvements look good; but, they counter, why should 10 schools get all the attention when there's plenty more low-performing students in need of attention.
The first thing you notice at Gompers Secondary school in City Heights are banners, signs and posters advocating reading. Even the staff have become walking billboards, on one recent day sporting purple t-shirts with white lettering that reads 'Gompers Biblioholic Support Team.'
The second thing you notice at Gompers is the calm. Kids walk quietly in pairs and trios to their next class, caught up in discussion. Between bells it's rare to find stragglers and during lunch (divided into two periods since the school spans seventh through 12th grades) students are free to roam around the campus only because Principal Don Mitchell trusts they won't disrupt other classes in session. And the campus is immaculate.
In no way does this sense of order seem forced or unnatural. It's not what one would expect from an inner-city school. It's not what one would expect from any school, for that matter.
Before the Blueprint, Mitchell had $1.5 million in 'magnet' and Title I money to spend on his kids--90 percent of whom are children of color; the same number qualify for free lunch. The extra money paid the salaries of classroom aides and allowed Mitchell to hire extra teachers to reduce class sizes. Now, under the Blueprint, that money still belongs to the school, but how to spend it is no longer at his discretion.
'I was not happy when money was redirected,' Mitchell recalled. But then he wasn't thrilled about student progress either. 'We had a seven-year decline [in test scores] prior to the Blueprint. We were using the money but not getting results.'
Now a lot of that money buys books--stacks and stacks of books. Not just textbooks, but books you might find in any bookstore; and most significantly for Mitchell, books that speak directly to his students and what's going on in their lives.
'We lost two kids,' said Mitchell, referring to students who died in a gang fight just two miles from school.
'We used books to get our kids through the grieving process,' he explained. 'We used writing. The best healing tool was the print material so kids would learn and understand.'
This is one of the key strategies of the Blueprint--to engage students in reading not only books at their reading level but also books that they can relate to 'just right' books, as the Blueprint calls them. Of the stacks of books in Mitchell's office, divided neatly into grade-appropriate piles, subject matter touches on hard subjects in provocative, yet sensitive ways: juvenile delinquency, self-mutilation, single parenting, living in poverty. It's not to say all books are so heavy--there's plenty of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to meet the demand and nonfiction tomes as well. Furthermore, his students have had the chance to meet the authors of some of the books they've read--an opportunity not afforded to many inner-city schools.
There's a statistic Mitchell likes to cite: read to a child for five minutes a day, five days a week and that child will start kindergarten with a 25,000-word vocabulary. The Blueprint advocates teachers read to their students for a half-hour each day. Perfect, says Mitchell, because very few of his students started kindergarten with 25,000 words at their disposal.
English teachers make up one-third of Gompers's instructional staff and Institute for Learning Literacy Administrator Ginny LaRowe is their supervisor. On any given morning she and Mitchell tour the campus, checking in on classrooms to see how things are going. Constant monitoring has drawn criticism at other schools, but at Gompers it doesn? seem to be a problem. When LaRowe and Mitchell walk into a classroom, nothing stops; the teacher and her students might glance up to see who just walked in, but there's no sense of anxiety, no sudden need to perform.
(When told of this, Alvarado was delighted. 'What happens in teaching,' he explained, 'is that it has to go from a private profession to a public profession. One of the problems of teaching...is that we close the door and put a piece of paper over the window. Professions don't develop in that kind of environment. Isn't that wonderful that we have students so engaged and they're experienced with people coming in that it doesn't interrupt the lesson.')
LaRowe, a former classroom teacher, said her goal isn't to police teachers but rather to build community and collaboration. She acknowledges that Gompers teachers are given a little more freedom than teachers at other schools. 'But,' she notes, 'it's freedom within a structure.' Last spring LaRowe and her teachers put together an instructional template that follows Blueprint guidelines but at the same time gives teachers space to be creative. One of the teachers she's most pleased with is Sonja Taylor.
Taylor teaches advanced-placement English at Gompers; she also teaches a Blueprint-mandated two-hour literacy block for ninth graders reading below grade level.
Taylor says that at first it was tough to keep students engaged for two hours and she's heard plenty about how difficult it is for teachers to come up with creative ways to fill the time.
'Sure, I was there, too,' she said, 'I had to figure out a way to bring creativity in.' This year she came up with a lesson plan focused on rap music, something Mitchell admits he was a bit wary of at first, until he saw the scope of Taylor's idea.
Throughout Taylor's classroom are large sheets of white paper detailing what? been discussed in class (the Blueprint advocates putting the process of idea development on display). In one corner, the paper reads, 'Use of the 'N' word debate, pro/con.' Another page lists themes pertaining to rap music that Taylor's students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of: misogyny, patriarchy, imagery, feminism, censorship, artistry vs. smut, popular culture--terms one might expect in a college class, much less a class of ninth graders deemed low-performing by state standards. Propped up around the room are books on rap music that Taylor's been able to purchase using $5,000 earmarked for her classroom library--everything from a biography of Eminem to academic texts analyzing rap culture. It's all to show students the depth and complexity of the topic
Rap music, said Taylor, is opening the door not only to discussions of issues but is paving the way for more intense poetry studies. The first step in understanding poetry, she said, is getting kids to recognize the power of language.
Mitchell admits that test scores still aren't much to brag about--only 9 percent of Gompers ninth graders scored proficient or above in reading--but it's the qualitative improvements, not the quantitative that he focuses on. On a recent tour of classrooms with LaRowe, a seventh grader pulled a thick paperback from under her desk and caught Mitchell's eye, 'Great book!' she mouthed the words so as not to disrupt class, Thanks!'
And then there are the four kids from Gompers who have earned a full ride to Harvard during the past two years.
Mitchell is anything if not innovative. He's taken a district mandated structure and manipulated it to best fit the needs of his kids. 'What you'll learn about me is I'll ask for forgiveness rather than permission,' he said. 'I have to do what's best for my kids.'
This past summer, as part of a summer school art class, students painted murals throughout the school detailing not only the Gompers community, but also notable historical figures. To make the class fit within Blueprint requirements, the students not only painted history but also read about it and wrote papers describing the scope of the project and what they had learned through the process.
Mitchell admits that the Blueprint isn't a perfect program and he'll admit there's been some 'consequences,' involved with it, but he chooses not to focus on those.
Has the district recognized Gompers as a model for Blueprint implementation? Mitchell said there's been a few teachers from other schools who've been over to Gompers to see how they're doing things, but for now the school's success, Mitchell guesses, is a well-kept secret.
One of the biggest arguments against the Blueprint is that Alvarado's Institute for Learning relies on highly paid outside consultants to tell teachers how to teach. So far, for the current school year the tab for consultant fees stands at $989,290. Staff development is a significant part of any district but, some argue, goes a bit overboard in San Diego. According to district figures submitted to the SDEA, midway through the 2001-2002 school year, there had already been 116,000 classes filled by substitute teachers.
'And that doesn't even tell how many days classes weren't covered,' said Pesta, the teachers union president, referring to complaints that janitors have been brought in to oversee students or else teachers would double up classes for the day.
Alvarado admits that perhaps teachers could benefit from checking out schools like Gompers where the Blueprint seems to be working. And perhaps Blueprint naysayers would benefit from the experience as well.
'I think it would be useful for more people to see, have evidence of the reform in progress so they can feel it, touch it, smell it [and] see it as opposed to hear about it, because when they hear about it, they think it's something that it's not,' he said. 'As the reform is getting deeper and more thoughtful and more comprehensive, many of the teachers who thought it was a narrow reform understand that its expectations are really very comprehensive and deal with the essence of good teaching and learning.'
Early on, Alvarado made a habit of not being around much. Teachers, in fact, dubbed him 'the invisible man' and board members insisted he be required to make an appearance at biweekly meetings. (In fact, he promised CityBeat he'd make an appearance at the Sept. 24 school board meeting. Sadly, he was a no-show.) It's unfortunate because he could probably convince a Harvard English Literature professor to throw out her curriculum and embrace the Blueprint. Unquestionably charismatic, with a heavy East Harlem accent, Alvarado becomes animated when talking about public resistance to his reform efforts. He'll clutch his head, wave his arms, literally trying--and failing--to shrug off his sheer disbelief that anyone would question the program's effectiveness; that anyone would question the validity of the program's overarching, simply stated goal of improving student success.
What's driving criticism, he believes, is simply a resistance to change.
'This is very sophisticated teaching,' he said of the methods the Blueprint advocates. 'To try to get that kind of teaching in a school system requires a significant shift in beliefs and practices. And lots of people will be unhappy with that.'
Despite her criticism of Bersin and the Blueprint, Fran Zimmerman is a fan of Alvarado. 'Tony is a very thoughtful, reflective, deeply committed educator,' she said. 'He has good values.
'But,' Zimmerman continued, 'None of that has translated over in the process of putting the Blueprint in place.'
Alvarado readily admits community outreach needs to be stronger, and he? the first to take the blame.
'I take some responsibility for not being able to make it clear to people what is actually going on and I would ask people to visit their schools. That it is in their schools that they will see what the reform looks like.
'Some people's perception of what is happening is not correct,' he said. 'Part of my responsibility is to communicate to everyone what is actually going on and I would say to everyone who thinks they can make a judgment about what's going on that they also have a responsibility to look at it before they can say that this is A, B, C. Perhaps we both have a responsibility.'
However, it's become the mantra of both Bersin and Alvarado that unless you have a better plan, put up or shut up.
'We are always listening to what people say and we are desperately asking them for additional knowledge and ideas and additions and deletions to the Blueprint and to our thinking that will improve the quality of the education we offer. I need to hear from all those people that are telling you they are disagreeing with this. Where is the input we are asking for?'
Themika Mayasa Hailey, a parent from Johnson Elementary, says her school did just that--reached out to the Bersin administration to request that they tailor Blueprint curriculum to fit the needs of Johnson's kids. Prior to the Blueprint, Johnson had a reading program in place called Direct Instruction that worked remarkably well, illustrated by a dramatic rise in test scores between 1995 and 2000. Despite documented statements from the district acknowledging the effectiveness of the program, and a promise by Alvarado to 'make this work,' attempts by Johnson faculty to keep Direct Instruction in place have been undermined.
'Since the Blueprint and the Bersin administration, their objective has been to dismantle the reading program despite its success,' said Hailey. 'Over the last three years there's been no financial resources to maintain the program.
'Change is not a bad thing,' Hailey continued, 'but change needs to happen with all the stakeholders at the table, included in the shared decision-making process. We're arguing for maintaining a program that's proven effective.'
Nov 5, as everyone knows, is election day. DeBeck is up for re-election and Sue Braun has opted not to run for another term. The election outcome will potentially eradicate the board? notorious 3-2 split and put the future of the Blueprint at risk. Running against deBeck is Clyde Fuller, a former FBI agent who've been characterized as pro-Bersin. Running for the vacant District B seat is Jeff Lee and Katherine Nakamura. Lee is an ardent Bersin critic; Nakamura, while not completely behind the Blueprint, has, like Fuller, been aligned with Bersin.
To complicate matters, the district is stumbling into some bad economic times. This year's budget came up $33 million short and at the Sept. 24 board meeting, district staff revealed that they might have to borrow $30 million to cover delayed state funding--money that the state ultimately may not be able to reimburse.
Then there's the nagging issues surrounding the Blueprint that keep coming up at board meetings.
Last month, both Zimmerman and deBeck were highly critical of the board's decision to introduce admissions standards for kids bussed to magnet schools. The board majority argued that the two- to three-hour literacy block required of students reading below grade level precluded those students from fully participating in magnet programs. Zimmerman and deBeck countered that the admission requirement would likely affect students of color since those students are not only the ones most often bussed in, but also the ones who fill the literacy block classes.
'Under the Blueprint, we're narrowing opportunities for kids,' said Zimmerman. 'You remediate people until they're insensate with boredom and a feeling of failure and you call that success?'
So what will happen to the Blueprint if the board majority turns? With a 4-1 vote, the board could buy out Bersin's contract.
'We will be making significant changes and I hope that we will salvage the sections of the Blueprint that are strong,' Zimmerman said. 'We need to reinstate art and music and put a serious focus on math. We should be getting more for our money. I'm willing to spend if we're spending wisely.
'Under a new board majority, I assume Mr. Bersin and Mr. Alvarado will adjust,' she added, 'and accommodate our wishes and work with us; or they'll decide to go elsewhere.'
Kelly Davis' e-mail address is email@example.com