So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Teachers look to more collaboration in wake of Deasy resignation

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

File: United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl (left) outside a downtown L.A. court house after the Vergara v. California decision earlier this year.

Striking a conciliatory tone, UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl called Thursday’s resignation of Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy an opportunity for a “shift towards a more collaborative management style.”

Addressing reporters at the teachers union headquarters, Caputo-Pearl criticized the outgoing superintendent for “autocratic decisions,” which he said had consequences for students and learning.

Referring to the iPad “fiasco” and the MISIS student data system “crisis,” Caputo-Pearl said: “John Deasy championed those decisions even when consequences hit students in the face.”

The union president’s harshest criticism came in his description of Deasy’s “corporate driven model” of education, which he said “undermines equity and access.”

Deasy has been unavailable for comment since his resignation was announced. While he steps down as superintendent, he will serve on "special assignment" with the district until the end of the year.

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LA Unified superintendent John Deasy resigns; Cortines named interim replacement

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AFP/AFP/Getty Images

File: Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2012.

Embattled superintendent John Deasy resigned Thursday from the Los Angeles Unified School District, ending his nearly four-year tenure as head of the nation’s second-largest school district. Former superintendent Ramon C. Cortines will replace him on an interim basis, the Los Angeles Board of Education announced. Colleagues and detractors have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts and concerns. What do you think of Deasy's resignation? Let us know in the comments below.

John Deasy's resignation letter | Social media response

Updates

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State may step into 2 more troubled LA high schools

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Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

File: Jefferson High School students stage a walkout in August 2014 to protest a broken scheduling system that doesn't allow them to take the classes they need to graduate.

Hours after the Los Angeles Unified superintendent announced his resignation Thursday, civil rights attorneys called on the California Department of Education to intervene in two more Los Angeles high schools where they allege students are being deprived of adequate learning time.

"It's an educational oxymoron to have a class that has no content," said Mark Rosenbaum, an attorney for Public Counsel, at an L.A. Unified school board meeting Tuesday. 

Judge George Hernandez Jr. ordered state and local officials to intervene at Jefferson High School on Oct. 8. Less than a week later, Los Angeles Unified officials presented a plan to reschedule students, add more classes and lengthen the school day a half hour so students could catch up on lost time. 

The school board on Tuesday approved $1.1 million to pay for the fixes.

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LA school board: iPad investigation to remain confidential

ipad lausd tablet

Photo by Robert S. Donovan via Flickr Creative Commons

In a split vote, the Los Angeles Unified school board decided late Tuesday against releasing the an initial investigation into the $500 million purchase of iPads and educational software.

Board members Richard Vladovic, George McKenna, Monica Garcia and Tamar Galatzan voted down the motion, outnumbering board members Monica Ratliff, Bennett Kayser and Steve Zimmer, who voted in favor of the release. 

"The District should release the report in order to lay to rest certain questions and avoid any suspicion generated by lack of transparency," board member Monica Ratliff, who wanted to make it public, said in a statement Wednesday. "In light of the substantial investment of voter-approved bond funds in this project, I am disappointed that my colleagues have chosen not to publicize this report so many months after its completion.” 

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Frustrated LA school board backs $3.6 million 'bailout' of faulty data system

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Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC

In this August 2014 file photo, Jefferson High School students walk out from classes to protest a broken class scheduling system.

The Los Angeles Unified board Tuesday night approved  the purchase of 3,340 computers costing $3.6 million for school sites struggling to properly schedule classes, take attendance and track student needs in a new data system.

Ron Chandler, the district's chief information officer, said old desktops in schools offices cannot properly run the new data system, MISIS. The L.A. Unified Bond Oversight Committee recommended against the purchase, citing little evidence that there's need for them. The board nonetheless approved the purchase.

Earlier on Tuesday, the board also approved $1.1 million to fix scheduling problems at Jefferson that left some students without necessary classes or assigned to courses they had already passed.

Officials said to expect a request for new teacher computers next month, as well as proposals for more system trainers and developers in the future.

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