Did Los Angeles superintendent's Vergara testimony lead to his resignation?
- John Deasy resigned as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District last week, and on Friday, he spoke about the controversies that led him to leave the job.
- Deasy was at the district's reins through its troubled $1.3 billion iPad rollout, which was canceled in August, as well as the contentious Vergara v. California decision that deemed the state's teacher tenure laws unconstitutional. Deasy's testimony in that case, Reuters reported, was particularly polarizing.
- In his testimony, Deasy rubbed the teachers union the wrong way by saying tenure made getting rid of bad teachers harder, resulting in negative impacts on students. His Friday conference call was arranged by Students Matter, an education reform group that had a hand in Vergara.
Deasy was in charge of Los Angeles schools since 2011 and despite weathering the aforementioned iPad storm, his testimony against tenure was too much. During the conference call, he cited the resulting escalation of "a polarizing debate around leadership and my own leadership" as leading him to step down. The Vergara decision is still on hold due to a pending appeal.
According to LAUSD school board member Steve Zimmer, however, Deasy's testimony didn't lead to his exit despite the tension it created. Zimmer also added that initiatives begun under Deasy, like using student test scores in teacher evaluations or phasing out "zero tolerance" discipline methods, would still be pursued.
As of Monday, former city ed chief Ramon Cortines took over as interim superintendent and will assist with the transition through the end of the year.
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