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L.A. Schools Superintendent John Deasy’s Uncertain Fate

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy told Board of Education members that he planned to resign in February, according to high-level district officials, the Los Angeles Times reported in late October. The news sparked debate about Deasy’s leadership in the nation’s second-largest school district, but it wasn’t clear whether the LAUSD leader would actually depart.

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Los Angeles schools chief John Deasy’s contract was extended through 2016 on Tuesday, several days after sources told the Los Angeles Times that he planned to leave his post in February.

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John Deasy, superintendent of LAUSD, appears at a board meeting before his review on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

After a closed-session performance review with the Board of Education that lasted more than four hours, Deasy was given a “satisfactory performance evaluation, which extends his contract through June 30, 2016,” LAUSD said on Twitter.

The announcement in the board room came with almost no comment from board members or Deasy, who said he would not be giving news media interviews on the subject.

Deasy thanked the board.

Earlier in the day, outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters near downtown L.A., parents and students protested, chanting, “Don’t be crazy, keep John Deasy.”

United Teachers Los Angeles, the 17,500-member teachers’ union, had also planned to rally. The union has been critical of Deasy and stated “it’s about time” that he depart.

The board’s review, contract extension and the protests came after high-level sources last week told the Los Angeles Times that Deasy planned to depart in February, following fewer than three years leading the nation’s second-largest school district.

Deasy would not comment on the report, saying only that he had not submitted a letter of resignation and would speak on the matter after his Tuesday meeting with the seven-member board.

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Sign-waving protestors chanted outside a board meeting at LAUSD headquarters Tuesday in support of Superintendent John Deasy.

Deasy had offered to resign in a proposed settlement that had been presented last Friday to board President Richard Vladovic, The Times reported Tuesday as the board went into closed session. Under the agreement, Deasy would resign on Feb. 1, 2014, but could be a consultant to the district until June 30, 2015, according to The Times.

That settlement offer was apparently discarded during the closed-session performance review. No vote tally for board members was given once they returned to open session.

A high-profile figure in the world of education, Deasy, 52, has come under fire for his plan to include student test scores in teacher performance evaluations, a troubled initiative to give an Apple iPad to every student and an ongoing scandal over alleged sexual abuse at schools.

For the first time, Deasy’s annual review Tuesday came before a board that included newly elected members who are less favorable of him than past board members.

The annual performance review for Deasy, who has a contract that pays him $330,000 annually, had already been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon before the news  broke of his possible departure.

A late addition to the closed session agenda was a discussion with legal counsel over potential litigation related to the “superintendent’s separation.”

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy would not comment Friday on reports that he plans to leave the nation’s second-largest school district after less than three years in charge.

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File photo: LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy speaks to a KTLA reporter.

Deasy’s potential departure was reported Thursday evening by the Los Angeles Times, which said “high-level district officials” in the Los Angeles Unified School District confirmed the superintendent had told school board members he planned to leave his post in February.

Board of Education President Richard Vladovic had spoken with Deasy Thursday, the newspaper reported Friday, noting that two other board members said they had not heard from the superintendent.

Reached by KTLA on Friday via text message, Deasy responded that he was not discussing the topic.

“For the record I have not submitted a letter of resignation,” Deasy wrote in a text message. “Glad to talk next week.”

Deasy has his annual review with the seven-member Board of Education scheduled for a closed-door meeting Tuesday.

The LAUSD leader — a high-profile figure in the education field nationally – had not made a public appearance by midday Friday.

Deasy took his current role in April 2011 and has a contract that brings him $330,000 annually.

He and the 650,000-student district have come under fire for security problems with a $1 billion initiative to give an Apple iPad to every student.

Disagreements with the teachers union over the evaluations process, as well as a continuing scandal over sexual abuse of students, have also marred Deasy’s reign.

In April, 91 percent of the union’s 17,500 members who were polled supported a “no confidence” finding on Deasy’s leadership.

“Under John Deasy’s leadership, teacher morale was at the lowest point that any of us could remember,” UTLA Warren Fletcher said Thursday night. “I’m a 29-year teacher and I don’t remember teacher morale being ever as low as it has been.”

KTLA’s Eric Spillman contributed to this report.

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy, who has led the nation’s second-largest school system since 2011, has told some top district officials that he could be leaving in coming months.

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Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Dr. John Deasy speaks to administrators last summer. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Deasy declined to discuss his intentions Thursday evening, saying that he has not submitted a letter of resignation and that he would have more to say after his job evaluation Tuesday.

But the office of Board of Education President Richard Vladovic said Vladovic was among those who’d spoken with the superintendent Thursday.

Click here to read the full story on latimes.com.

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy has told Board of Education members that he plans to resign in February, according to high-level district officials, including some who asked not to be named.

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Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Dr. John Deasy speaks to administrators last summer. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

The reaction from the office of board President Richard Vladovic left little doubt. “We are shocked,” said Mike Trujillo, a spokesman. “Dr. Vladovic is shocked, saddened and surprised.”

Deasy, 52, was not immediately available for comment, but his departure would end the relatively brief tenure of a leader who made his mark with aggressive, sometimes controversial policies in L.A. Unified, the nation’s second-largest school system.

His major initiatives included revamping teacher evaluations 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. And the school system recently embarked on a $1-billion effort to provide iPads to every student and teacher.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.

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