Analysis: Board Candidate Changes Position on Deasy (Again)
Alexander Russo | April 22, 2013
The LA Times‘ most recent education story tells you several things you already know about the District 6 (East Valley) School Board runoff, including recent contributions to the Coalition for School Reform account and the stalemate over the dual UTLA endorsements of Monica Ratliff (pictured) and Antonio Sanchez that “helps Sanchez by keeping UTLA on the sidelines.” (LA School Report noted all of these things last week.)
But there are also a handful of new tidbits, such as the news that Ratliff held a fundraiser last week (attended by Board members Marguerite LaMotte and Bennett Kayser), mentions by name of a few more of the wealthy contributors who have given to the Coalition in support of Sanchez, use of the word “referendum” to describe last week’s poll/survey of UTLA teachers about Superintendent John Deasy — and the claim that it’s not clear how much the race matters to Deasy’s longevity or effectiveness. (Obviously, the Coalition doesn’t think so.)
Perhaps most interesting of all, the LAT story describes Ratliff’s latest articulation of her views on Superintendent Deasy. She tells the Times she doesn’t want to fire him or re-open the search process but rather she wants to “evaluate Deasy with an open mind based on his record, his working relationship with the board and other relevant factors.”
If accurate, this represents a dramatic softening of Ratliff’s official position on Deasy.
Deasy is just finishing his second full year as Superintendent, and served as a Deputy Superintendent for a year before that. Earlier this school year, the Board voted 6-0 to extend his contract.
Last month, when it was still a possibility that UTLA might strip Sanchez of his endorsement and enter the District 6 race with a clear preference for her, Ratliff told LA School Report that she would “terminate [Deasy’s] contract.
In February, Ratliff told voters at an East Valley forum that she didn’t have a clear view of his performance one way or the other and declined to say whether or not she would give Deasy another year on the job when asked by LA School Report afterwards.
LA School Report has contacted the Ratliff campaign to verify the Times’ account and will let you know if and when she responds.