Setting the Standard in Education

Posts Tagged ‘LA’

The Road More or Less Travelled

In LA, Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I am happy to report that as expected, I will be moving to New York City. I should be there by the middle of the month. This may or may not mean fewer posts over the next couple of weeks, as you’ve seen this past week. I will do my best to blog as often as I can, but I can’t guarantee anything. Right now, I am waiting to find out what information I am allowed to disclose about my job, as I will be working for an education-related organization. I would love to be able to comment on relevant topics, but I need to make sure I don’t step on any toes or go over any boundaries. As such, I’m going to stick to non-New York-related topics until I find out what I am and am not allowed to say. I have lots of packing, cleaning, and selling of possessions to do in the next few days, so I’m going to go head off and do those things. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to get in a post comparing the education platforms of the two major candidates for California governor, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. Both have some solid ideas and some inconsistencies. It should be a treat.

I will be seeing a lot of this on my drive from LA to NY.


Back on track

In California, LA on June 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

If you hadn’t noticed, it’s been a few days since my last post. Aside from applying for jobs in NYC (anyone have any leads?), I’ve been spending the week trying to catch up on all the articles I was behind on. I subscribe to 19 education news sources to get you the best tidbits from around the blogosphere and further, so after being in Israel for 3 1/2 weeks, I was behind by about 700 articles. I’ve managed to finally catch up, so I figured it’s time to get back to my article every day or two that I had going before.

There are a few  topics that I would like to cover. Tomorrow’s post will be about the recent selection of organizations that won grants to develop assessments aligned with the new CORE standards. Very exciting. I’ll also give you my thoughts on the scalability of the Locke High School turnaround, a school to which I have a personal connection.

Tonight, we’ve got  a local LA headline (from yesterday): John Deasy, deputy director of the Gates Foundation’s education division, has been hired as the new deputy superintendent for LAUSD. Not only that, but with a salary of $25,000 more than what Ray Cortines (the current superintendent and his boss) is making, there is speculation that he will take over for Cortines within two years. Before his stint with the Gates Foundation, Deasy was superintendent for Prince George’s County Public Schools from 2006-2008 and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District from 2001-2006.

Deasy has been picked as the new deputy superintendent for LAUSD.

What does this mean for LAUSD? First of all, it could possibly be a strong step in the right direction. Under Cortines, the district has by-and-large bent to the will of UTLA, not wanting to ruffle any feathers. While I am sure Deasy intends to work with the union, rather than against it, his track record shows he is a big proponent of some policies that they have adamantly fought against. Most notably, he arranged a bargain in his Maryland district to incorporate performance pay into the teacher contract. Other policies he has advocated include data-based decision making, staff development, fair evaluations for both teachers and administrators, and revenue sharing by richer sections of the district with poorer ones.

Of note is his performance in his previous districts. While Deasy made large gains with Prince George’s County, he left after less than three years with the district still the second worst in Maryland. I doubt he’d leave so quickly from such a big project as this, but you never know. There is certainly a lot on the line for him if he is to step in after Cortines, who at the age of 77 is expected to retire within the next two years. One thing is for sure, it will be no easy task with so much dysfunction and so many budget problems both at the district and state levels.