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School’s Out for LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy

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John Deasy is gone. According to City News Service, the Superintendent of Schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), “submitted his resignation today, ending his three-year tenure as head of the nation’s second-largest school district.  Although he is stepping down as superintendent, he will remain with the district on ‘special assignment’ until Dec. 31.”

Deasy’s resignation letter, posted on LAUSD’s website, concludes:

I will transition from this job to another way to serve. In allowing me to do that, I hereby submit my resignation. I will work with your council to close out my employment contract.

In closing, let me thank my critics, for they have helped us see where we can do our work better, and that is what we do with each opportunity to improve. I also wish to thank my supporters. You have enabled us to move quickly to right wrongs in the lives of youth, but please do not be satisfied, there is so much more we need to accomplish.

Deasy took the superintendent’s post in 2011 amid high hopes and good will. The position had for years been a consistent lightning rod of controversy and confrontation, but the New England transplant seemed to represent a nonpartisan, technocratic solution to the city’s perennial problems of budget cuts, overcrowded classrooms and teacher evaluations. However, he soon revealed himself to be part of a self-described education reform movement that includes wealthy individuals and pressure groups that favor the privatization of public schools.

That movement scored a major triumph last June, when a judge ruled in its favor in the Vergara v. California lawsuit, which effectively gutted long-established job protections for the state’s public school instructors. When the decision was announced in Los Angeles Superior Court, Deasy publicly rejoiced.

Although Deasy’s policies had many critics, his Waterloo was an ill-fated, $1.3 billion program to equip every Los Angeles student with an Apple iPad.

See summary of the LAUSD’s iPad contract with Apple

According to the Los Angeles Times, former LAUSD schools head Ramon C. Cortines will act as a caretaker superintendent until Deasy is replaced.

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