Remember John Deasy? He was at the center of some of the Robert Felner scandal several years ago. A scandal so broad the University of Louisville is still paying for it all these years later.
He’s the man Los Angeles Unified School District hired to be its superintendent. A man half the board freaked out about… because some of those board members sneakily flew to Kentucky to talk to me about the Felner mess. But he was hired anyway, despite their fears and concerns.
And hoo boy, did he ever cause drama in LA. Mess after mess. Hundreds of millions of dollars squandered. Federal investigations. Just the kind of crap you’d expect from someone who learned from and is extremely similar to Felner.
Well… He finally resigned and this is how the LA Times summarized his tenure:
After John Deasy, LAUSD faces a tough choice: Play it safe or take another risk?
When the school board chose John Deasy as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2011, it knew what it was getting: an outsized personality with a national reputation as an advocate for school reform.
And in his 31/2 turbulent years at the helm, Deasy proved to be just that. He courted wealthy donors who helped subsidize a robust travel schedule, and he spent about 200 days on the road as he attempted to raise the district’s profile and promote his agenda.
At key moments of tumult in the district, the records show, Deasy was simply not in town.
The beginning of the end came a year ago, just before the school year started. Deasy was in New York to discuss challenges threatening education reform.
Back at home, the city’s public schools were in disarray. By the time Deasy returned for the first day of classes, a malfunctioning scheduling system had forced students into gyms and auditoriums to await assignments. Some of them ended up in the wrong courses, putting their path to graduation in jeopardy.
Two months later, in October, a Superior Court judge ordered state education officials to meet with Deasy to fix the scheduling problems that he said deprived students of their right to an education. But Deasy flew to South Korea the next morning to visit schools and meet government officials. A week later, he resigned, under pressure, as head of the nation’s second-largest school system.
Deasy was a bold choice nearly five years ago, an outsider with a background in educational foundations but also earlier experience as a public school administrator. He soon surprised union leaders and school board members with his aggressive and sometimes polarizing actions.
Deasy, who was paid $350,000 a year as superintendent, took more than 100 trips, spent generously on meals as he lobbied state and national lawmakers and wooed unions, foundations and educational leaders, according to credit card receipts, calendars and emails obtained under the California Public Records Act.
Test scores and graduation rates rose incrementally, and dropout rates fell during his tenure. While total enrollment decreased at Los Angeles Unified during his term, enrollment in charter schools grew from about 70,000 students to more than 101,000.
Yet Deasy’s signature effort to provide iPads to all students failed, and the cost of untangling the troubled student records system has now topped $200 million.
[B]oard President Steve Zimmer said Deasy’s confrontational approach reached a breaking point for him when the superintendent became a star witness for the plaintiffs in Vergara vs. California.
Who could have predicted all of that???