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

LA Unified superintendent John Deasy resigns; Cortines named interim replacement

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy  sp

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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



State may step into 2 more troubled LA high schools


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.


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.” 


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


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.


Update: LA Unified school board approves $1.1M plan to fix Jefferson High class issues

LA Unified's Tommy Chang at Jefferson High meeting

KPCC/Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

Los Angeles Unified instructional superintendent Tommy Chang speaks to parents at Jefferson High on Oct. 13, 2014 about a plan to fix class scheduling problems at the school.

Less than a week after a judge ordered the state and Los Angeles Unified to fix problems at Jefferson High, the district board unanimously approved a plan to reschedule students, extend the school day and hire more staff.

L.A. Unified officials said as many as 200 Jefferson students will be interviewed and, if necessary, placed in correct classes by Monday. Officials will also examine scheduling at every middle and high school to ensure students are getting the classes they need to graduate.

The board members agreed to spend $1.1 million to carry out the improvements.

The court order stems from a lawsuit brought by ACLU and Public Counsel on behalf of students at schools across California. Last Wednesday, Judge George Hernandez directed state and local officials to devise a plan to fix Jefferson's scheduling woes and present it to the school board.