Supt. John Deasy threatens to resign

Jul 7, 2013 by

all about meSupt. John Deasy threatened to resign over the election of board President Richard Vladovic. Now the two must find a way to work together.

The private warning from Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy was clear: If Richard Vladovic became president of the Board of Education, Deasy was poised to resign and cause a maelstrom in the nation’s second-largest school system.

Vladovic became board president regardless last week — elected by colleagues on the seven-member body. It was a testament to political skills honed during decades in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

And Deasy, who had made his threat known to civic leaders and district officials, backed down.

The episode affirms how Vladovic, 68, has become a central figure in a school system entering a period of risk and opportunity. The district is preparing for new state curriculum standards and planning to give iPads to all students. Teachers and principals face new, detailed job evaluations based in part on student test scores. And for the first time in several years, the district won’t face substantial budget cuts. But tough decisions loom on how to spend funds that aren’t sufficient to redress all the recent cuts.

A coalition of civic leaders and philanthropists consider Deasy, a national figure, crucial to rapid, continued progress in L.A. Unified.

Critics accuse him and his allies of pushing too hard too fast and of favoring an unproven brand of reform that relies too much on standardized test scores while placing too much pressure on teachers.

Deasy took the job in 2011 knowing he had the influential support of then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and an allied board majority. That backing has dissipated.

Deasy’s current agenda includes pay increases, with larger bumps for teachers that are tied to measurable results or leadership roles. Vladovic, in contrast, leans toward restoring staffing levels to reduce class sizes, for example, or provide more counselors for students. That position aligns closely with the teachers union’s.

The relationship between a board president — who has mostly ceremonial powers — and a superintendent matters. The president works closely with the superintendent, establishing the meeting agenda and setting a tone for the entire board, said former L.A. school board president Marlene Canter.

“You have to have a relationship to work through the problems together,” she said. “It doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything.”

via Supt. John Deasy faces rocky relationship with new LAUSD president –

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