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Deasy to LAUSD Administrators: I’m Staying on the Job

Hillel Aron | August 8, 2013



IMG_3595John Deasy isn’t leaving.

In his annual address to LA Unified administrators, the LASUSD Superintendent addressed head-on recent reports that his rocky relationship with the school board may lead to his resignation or removal.

“A lot of chatter this summer, if you read blogs or read newspapers,” he said, “So let’s clear that up really quickly: I and this administration are going nowhere. I and this administration can’t wait to work for this Board of Education.”

Referring to the new board president, Richard Vladovic, with whom he is said to have a testy relationship, Deasy said, “I personally find it a privilege to think that I’m going to work with a board president — and I do believe this is accurate — in LAUSD, for the first time, we have a president of the board who’s been a teacher, a principal and a superintendent.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the audience earlier in the program and called for an end to the walls that separate the city bureaucracy from the school district bureaucracy, as well as idealogical walls that separate the “pro-union” crowd from the “reformers.”

“The things that divide us too often are the things we spend 95 percent of the time on,” he said.

Mayor Garcetti, at the podium, with Deasy, Steve Zimmer and Richard Vladovic sitting behind him

Mayor Garcetti, at the podium, with Deasy, Steve Zimmer and Richard Vladovic sitting behind him

Garcetti also praised the district’s plan to provide every student and teacher with iPads by the end of 2014.

“How quickly can we change, how quickly can we adapt, sometimes is more important than the exact place we want to adapt to,” he said.

Deasy, who spoke for just over half an hour, addressed some concerns, by teachers and administrators, about the transition to the Common Core curriculum, which the district will begin when school starts next week.

“People are going to be very nervous,” he said. “Stay calm. We will do it as a team. We will learn together, we will grow together, and we will make mistakes together. We will fail together and learn from those, and not fail the same way again, so that we can lead. It is nothing short of what we ask you to do every single day in school.”

The school board’s newest member, Monica Ratliff, sitting in the front row, liked this section of the speech especially.

“I appreciated his focus on adults being able to learn publicly without fear,” she said afterward, “that these are challenging times, and they’re not expected to be perfect out of the gate.”

Teachers union President Warren Fletcher, also sitting in the front row, declined to comment on the speech, saying afterward that he was “on the run.”

Administrators union President Judith Perez said, “I think his speech was a call to all the administrators wanting to collaborate. We are always willing to collaborate, and we’re hopeful that he will follow through.”

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