An open letter and call to action to our LAUSD community and national education experts like Professor Ravitch regarding the urgent search for a new LAUSD Superintendent
UPDATE August 2014
Dubious PhD, felonious Felner, SAP round 2, DIBELS, AGT, PSO/iPadGate, MiSiS cRiSiS, and more! Three strikes? Deasy is way past that. #LAUSD— Robert D. Skeels (@rdsathene) August 24, 2014
If the union is sound and the teachers voted of their own free will, then the relationship between the school superintendent and the teachers is not simply bad, but dysfunctional of historic proportions. — Professor Bill Tierney
When John Deasy was proffered by Eli Broad and Mayor Villaraigosa as the sole candidate to replace the retiring Ramon C. Cortines, there was no attempt to consider the appropriate superintendent for the community. Even the typically equivocating Los Angeles School District (LAUSD) Board Member Steve Zimmer voiced serious concerns:
"We didn't have a process — internal or external — for the most important job in public education in the United States right now," he tells the Weekly. "It has nothing to do with John Deasy. I'm a big fan. ... But I can't be sure that I got the best person for the job if I didn't get to even talk to anybody else."
Democracies depend on processes. There was no process with Deasy. No vetting. No considering the pro and cons of multiple candidates. The only words that could begin to describe his installment are coronation and ordination.
Far more corporate executive than educator, Deasy's reign as LAUSD Superintendent been an abject exercise in neoliberalism. Marked first by a rash of school closures, reconstitutions, and new school giveaways to private institutions, Deasy made it clear to Los Angeles that he would indeed put his ideology derived from his stints at at the Broad Superintendents Academy and the Gates Foundation before the needs of students and community. There's a litany of complaints against Deasy, most of which are related to callous cuts to vital programs, wasteful and inappropriate spending priorities, adoption of discredited and unproven policies, defiance towards our publicly elected schoolboard, and open hostility towards the very educators tasked with teaching our community's children.
However, this isn't the space to discuss Deasy's glaring shortcomings and myriad failures as superintendent. Given that his only supporters are billionaires, nonprofits that are funded by those selfsame billionaires, and the disgraced former Mayor, there is no longer any reason for this individual to continue his neoliberal project of dismantling our public commons. Instead we are commencing the search for a new superintendent now so that we don't end up in the same situation as we did when Deasy was crowned.
To that end, we are soliciting a list of viable superintendent candidates we feel will best serve the students of Los Angeles. We are also soliciting a list of attributes the community wants our next superintendent to have. Some starter items are here, but it's important that this is a community project, so we want people to submit their suggestions here. Both of these lists will be continually updated. Join us. We can identify the next superintendent candidates who will serve our community. ¡Venceremos!
Candidates for LAUSD Superintendent
Responses to the campaign have been both encouraging and overwhelming. Over the weekend dozens of candidate names have been submitted, and we haven't even reached out to local grassroots groups for their suggestions. There is now a easy to fill out form at the bottom of this post.
Qualities we want in our next superintendent
Either enter qualities wanted in the comments below or email suggestions. If necessary, we'll create another form, but will continually update this list as needed.
- Believes in educating the whole child
- Believes in educating the children of every community.
- Determined to listen to the community
- A professional educator who has had at least some classroom teaching experience
- Understands the relation between poverty and test scores, and advocate to ameliorate the devastating effects of poverty outside as well as inside schools
- Bilingual or multilingual a big plus, but openness to openness to learning the languages of the community
Social media campaign
We intend to launch a social media campaign in support of this historic community project to find the right superintendent for our community. Stay tuned for details.
- Twitter Hashtag #LAUSDHOPE
- Shortlink to this page http://j.mp/LAUSDHOPE
- QRCode Image