by Emily Alpert / Voice of San Diego / October 17, 2010
Most sitting school board members talk up how the school district has improved on their watch. Not John de Beck. As he campaigns for another four years on the board, de Beck sounds more like an upstart, complaining that San Diego Unified hasn’t tackled its biggest problems.
His frank talk has won de Beck fans and a reputation as a politician who says what he thinks, like it or not. He raises prickly questions and grills school district staff, even when it comes to ideas he likes. “John is a renegade,” said Pat Hom, who sits on the oversight committee for the bond to renovate local schools. Her youngest child recently graduated from Mission Bay High. “He’s not owned by anyone.”
After nearly two decades on the school board, his reelection hinges on whether voters believe de Beck is a vital critic or just a curmudgeon.
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