Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday praised the L.A. Board of Education and Supt. John Deasy for coming to an agreement for the superintendent to remain on the job, but insisted they smooth over their strained relationship and work together going forward.
“I congratulate the board and the superintendent for being adults yesterday and coming together in the interest of our children,” Garcetti told reporters at a news conference in downtown Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, following a nearly five-hour, closed-door meeting, Deasy received a satisfactory evaluation from the board, which extended his contract through June 2016 and ended days of speculation about his future.
Last week, Deasy told some high-level district officials he would resign amid reports he was frustrated by a new school board majority that challenged his policies and philosophy and an increasingly confrontational teacher’s union.
Deasy, 52, remains at the helm of the nation’s second-largest school district even after district insiders said he presented board President Richard Vladovic last week with a proposed settlement that included his resignation in February and a consulting contract worth $440,000.
Instead, L.A. Unified retains stable leadership as it wrestles with major budget decisions, a shift to new academic standards and a $1-billion iPad project, among other challenges.
Garcetti said that progress in the district will depend on more than just Deasy and the board. “It is time to make sure that we work closely with this superintendent and this board to get our kids college and career ready,” he said.
Garcetti’s comments, while supportive of Deasy, also urged more collaboration with teachers -- and perhaps their union, which has repeatedly clashed with Deasy. Last week, United Teachers Los Angeles issued a statement that looked forward to a post-Deasy era.
“It’s very important to me that we prioritize a collaborative approach, that the school board works well together with the superintendent, and importantly, with teachers, who often feel that they’ve been neglected from this, and parents, who sometimes are shut out of this conversation,” he said.
UTLA President Warren Fletcher said Tuesday after the meeting it was “unbelievable” the board would give Deasy a satisfactory evaluation.
"It's a sad day when political maneuvering trumps the needs of students and schools," he said.
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