Education

LAUSD board wants superintendent candidates with teaching experience

FILE: Los Angeles Unified Board President Steve Zimmer and other members of the board approved a list of traits that it wants in the next district superintendent.
FILE: Los Angeles Unified Board President Steve Zimmer and other members of the board approved a list of traits that it wants in the next district superintendent.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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The Los Angeles Unified school board on Tuesday took another step in its march toward hiring the next district superintendent by detailing the kinds of candidates it wants to interview.

"These characteristics are meant, as I read them, our aspirations and where we reach to and our goals and where we’d like our district to move for all children," board member Steve Zimmer said as the board began a 70 minute debate about the list of characteristics the superintendent search firm gave the board earlier this month.

The nineteen traits approved by the board include what you’d expect in a superintendent candidate: a deep understanding of teaching and learning, an ability to be a strong partner with the school board, and the skills to plan long-term for the school district’s needs.

But the board members also agreed they want specific kinds of backgrounds and approaches. They said candidates should have experience as teachers and principals in an urban school — and they should see public education as a tool for social justice, one that can address the struggles of students of color.

The list reflects some of the same traits sought by members of the public in meetings held this month. 

Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the firm hired by the district to help in the superintendent search, will now take the board’s list and call qualified candidates to ask if they’re interested in heading the country’s second largest school district.

The board plans to interview candidates next month and make a selection by Jan. 1.