The recent process to approve funding for the implementation of an academic curriculum in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) revealed a worrisome dynamic in the new structure of the district’s board.
Changes in the school board as a result of the latest election led to a drastic turn in the board’s position of supporting the pro-reform agenda of School Superintendent John Deasy. Although there has always been divisiveness among members of the board, it now seems to be hindering the process.
There is no other way to explain the unnecessary intervention of Mayor Eric Garcetti in calling for cooperation between the school board and the superintendent. At the same time, the mayor strongly supported Deasy when he expressed concern about having a culture that stifles innovation and discourages the school leader.
Rightfully so, because among the bickering, Deasy has had a good track record at LAUSD, improving test scores and raising graduation rates during his administration.
There was also the resignation of Deputy Superintendent Jaime Aquino, who complained about the board supposedly micromanaging the leaders of LAUSD. Ironically, the board later basically approved Aquino’s plan to begin implementing the new curriculum in the areas of math and English.
This experience leaves much to be desired about how LAUSD is being run. We have repeatedly said that people are losing sight of the interests of students in the debate about adults and their priorities. That is a luxury we can’t afford.