Bakersfield City Schools has a new superintendent who has a controversial past, but says he's focused on the future and on tackling a struggling district with more than 30,000 students.
Harry Doc Ervin says he's ready to take on the largest elementary school district in the state, where 70 percent of students are reading below grade level and 80 percent are behind in math.
He tells 23ABC it's all about quality instruction and parental involvement.
Ervin’s experience doesn't come without some controversy, as 23ABC first reported in March, he was removed as principal at Colton High school in 2005 after hundreds of students walked out after Ervin made some policy changes at the school. He still stands by that decision today.
The superintendent has already created a parent advocate at all 43 schools to help parents get more involved and he says if scores don't go up, it's back to the drawing board.