The Los Angeles Unified School District dumped a heap of trouble on its schools this fall when it rolled out a new student records system.
The breakdown was the most severe at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles. Seniors couldn’t get courses they needed to graduate. Others had to sit in classes they had already passed. Hundreds waiting for a complete class schedule crammed into the school auditorium for up to three weeks.
In this moment of crisis, L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy came up with a novel response, one that positioned him where he had been many times before: flying solo, beyond the control of his elected bosses on the school board, campaigning for reform on a high-profile platform.
Without the knowledge of board members, Deasy prepared a sworn statement in a court case that attacked scheduling practices in L.A. Unified and other districts, citing Jefferson as an example of what was going wrong.
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