The future of the Los Angeles Unified School District's leadership could change dramatically Tuesday when the school board meets privately to discuss the performance of Superintendent John Deasy, who has been tight-lipped about reports he plans to resign as head of the nation's second-largest school system.
The Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed district sources, reported Thursday that Deasy was planning to step down in February. In response to the report, Deasy told multiple media outlets that he had no comment, but he insisted he has not submitted a letter of resignation. He said, however, he might have more to say on the topic after Tuesday's board meeting.
Deasy received a one-year contract extension in October 2012, carrying his contract through June 2015, with an annual salary of $330,000, The Times reported.
Under the terms of Deasy's contract, the extension was automatic provided that he received a positive evaluation by the end of October. The school board and Deasy retained the right to terminate his employment at any time with 30 days' notice.
Deasy became superintendent in April 2011, succeeding retiring Superintendent Ramon Cortines. Deasy joined the district in August 2010 as Cortines' chief deputy.
Deasy previously served as deputy director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and Prince George's County Schools in Maryland.
During his tenure, he has championed a revamping of the teacher-evaluation system to include the use of students' standardized test scores. He also altered the seniority system to limit the effect of job cuts at schools with large numbers of less-experienced instructors, who are generally the first to be laid off.
His actions have frequently made him a target of criticism by the powerful teachers' union, United Teachers Los Angeles. Deasy has also found himself occasionally at odds with members of the board of education, including now-board President Richard Vladovic.
Deasy has also taken heat in recent weeks over the troubled rollout of a program to provide iPads to students and teachers.
Coincidentally, during the same meeting when Deasy's employment will be discussed, board member Tamar Galatzan will formally introduce a resolution calling for the public censure of Vladovic, who has been the target of allegations of intimidation and harassment of district employees.
The resolution calls on Vladovic to publicly "take responsibility for his actions and commit to abiding by district policies and behaving in a professional manner."
Vladovic has denied harassing or bullying anyone, but he acknowledged violating what he called the board's "civility code," the Daily News reported. He also said he has sought treatment for anger issues, the paper reported.
Prior to the board's meeting, a group of Deasy supporters plan to hold a rally outside the LAUSD headquarters, including former board member Yolie Flores.
A variety of community and business leaders, meanwhile, came to Deasy's defense Monday, with some sending letters to school board members encouraging them to keep the superintendent.
Gary Toebben, president/CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said Deasy "has the unique skills and commitment necessary to move the district forward" on student achievement and technology in the classroom.
"The leadership of the business community and the nonprofit community strongly supports Superintendent Deasy and we encourage the school board to meet with him immediately to work out a plan to continue his tenure as our superintendent of schools."
UTLA President Warren Fletcher said, however, that Deasy's leadership "was not taking the district in the right direction."
"Deasy has ignored the concerns of the district's teachers and health and human services professionals for a very long time," Fletcher said.
"UTLA is hopeful that the school board and the entire LAUSD community will take this opportunity to refocus the district back to its most basic mission -- providing every student with a well-rounded education."
- City News Service