John Deasy , ( former ) Los Angeles Unified Schools Superintendent , just resigned . He was ” under some pressure ” , as they say . He says he now might work in the field of youth detention , or perhaps support superintendents , or maybe run for political office .
A columnist for the local paper says that although Deasy was autocratic and unresponsive to his bosses and overreaching in his goals and implemented policies without input and combative with teachers , and that some of his policies became disasters , he was just what LA schools needed . He pushes reform , she said . Although the interim superintendent is , and will have to be , a peacemaker , the columnist said , she hopes that another troublemaker is ” waiting in the wings “. Yikes !
I used to listen to that kind of thinking when I was teaching . Change is good ! the administrators told us . They meant , of course , any of their changes . They didn’t mean your changes .
When Ada got a new director at her workplace , the woman told all of the employees to read ” Who Moved My Cheese ” , a silly little book that tries to say , I think , that change is good , that change will happen so learn to accept it . (Again , the Director’s changes , of course , not the employees’ changes . )
Things change , of course , and some change is for the better , of course . And some change is stupid and makes things worse .
Some change is well intended but not well implemented . The LAUSD is an expert at this kind of stuff . Deasy meant to put an I-pad in every student’s hand . Funds intended for school construction and maintenance were used to buy I-pads . From the start things ” went sideways ” , as they say . The school Board put language into Deasy’s buyout paperwork to the effect that the Board didn’t think that he did anything illegal when buying the I-pads and software . A couple of the Board members said that the ongoing investigation , however , would tell the tale in the end .
Meanwhile , at Jefferson High , the computer system that the school district bought for how many millions of dollars to program students doesn’t work . The administration , subsequently , couldn’t figure out how to programs students into appropriate classes . Week after week they couldn’t do it . Students sat around waiting . The courts got involved and a judge ordered LAUSD to fix the problem immediately . Deasy cheered the judge’s ruling . Deasy , the Superintendent , was in charge , so shouldn’t he have fixed the problem ? Instead , he went to Korea to visit Korean schools . He wanted one last trip on the taxpayers’ dime , I guess , before putting in his resignation .
Maybe Deasy was a great superintendent . It’s easy to criticize a guy trying his best . The fact that the teachers’ union president says that teacher morale is the lowest in years due to Deasy may be irrelevant . Maybe a guy who jumps in with both feet and stomps on those reform-resistant folks is just what is needed . I don’t think so , but I’m not always right .
Deasy says he might run for political office . I have to roll that one around in my skull for awhile . He thinks , maybe , that he’s just now getting out of a political office and so he’s got experience . But he should consider the fact that wasn’t elected . Supervising superintendents ? He should think that one over , too . Maybe the youth detention plan would be best for him . At least he’d have a captive audience .