Patt Morrison for June 20, 2012

Big Man on Campus: Supt. Deasy weighs in on issues facing LAUSD

Deasy talks teacher evaluations

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

Superintendent John Deasy talks about teacher evaluation with about 70 L.A. Unified teachers at an Educators 4 Excellence gathering June 13, 2012.

Just because the school year is over doesn’t mean John Deasy and the LAUSD have had time off.

Today on the show, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy joined Patt to talk about the issues facing L.A. schools, including the recent court ruling that LAUSD must incorporate student test scores into teacher evaluations.

The teachers union UTLA has proposed its own plan, based on the California Standards for the Teaching Profession issued by the Department of Education, but it will be up to the superintendent to persuade the UTLA to get behind its chosen method of teacher evaluations.

We also checked in on the misconduct at Miramonte Elementary School and Deasy’s subsequent order for principals to send any unreported misconduct from the last 40 years to LAUSD headquarters. So far, the district has received over 8,000 files and the deadline has been extended to this Friday.

Finally, in a tentative agreement between LAUSD and the UTLA last week, teachers will be required to take 10 furlough days – a move that cuts the school year by five days – in exchange for 4,000 rescinded pink slips.

Deasy’s reactions to listener call-ins and Patt’s questioning below:

ON INCLUDING TEST SCORES IN TEACHER EVALUATIONS:
"Where I stand on this issue is that ultimately we take money in the form of tax dollars from people and we run a public school system with that. And the promise is that all students will graduate college/work force ready. And they do that by being able to demonstrate they know something, and get better at that every year. To hold us accountable, anybody in the system, by any measure except how students do over time strikes me as not balanced."

ON THE 10 FURLOUGH DAYS:
"Having a shorter school year in a state that already has a shortened year, in a country that has a shortened year, is not a good thing. What would be worse of course would be no teachers to teach the students. It's a terrible choice and that is would you like to have a full year but not actually have teachers, counselors, nurses, custodians, social and psychological support staff, librarians, art teachers, I could go on all of those were saved, preschool, adult education."

ON THE REORGANIZATION OF MIDDLE MANAGEMENT:
"We trimmed a substantial number of those jobs. And we hired a large number of new talent, kept some of our previous talent."
*Read reporter Tami Abdollah's detailed story on this topic here

ON THE CLOSING OF 15 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CENTERS:
"We have kept the same number of seats but we have consolidated the centers. This is all strictly state funded"

ON THE UNREPORTED MISCONDUCT CASES UNDER REVIEW:
"Some of it was [sexual], some of it was failure to comply with laws, some of it was failure to appropriately discharge your duties, these are the things that were documented but were raised to the level of serious. That's exactly why we did the file review so that this would never happen again where I discover something. Those files go through the process of multiple reviews."

ON HEALTH EDUCATION IN LAUSD:
"It's not a requirement by state, it's a requirement by LAUSD. As an independent course there are topics that have to be covered according to the state. There are some of our small and autonomous schools that cover those topics by merging it with biology and they have been in the past granted the opportunity to do that. "

*Many listeners and commenters expressed confusion about this policy. Below is the June 6, 2012 memo from Superintendent Deasy on the Health Education requirement within LAUSD

Board Informative - Health Graduation Requirements 6-6-2012

Guest:

John Deasy, Superintendent, LAUSD


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