"We will miss his wise counsel and his deep understanding of the critical issues we face as a nation in our efforts to improve the quality of education for all children," Scholastic Chief Executive Richard Robinson said in a statement.
Cortines and Scholastic officials said his oversight duties had nothing to do with pursuing business opportunities with individual clients, such as L.A. Unified.
Over the last week, however, Cortines' critics have been quick to perceive a damning link between Cortines' corporate connection and district decisions, including the one to force the entire staff at Fremont High to re-interview for jobs as part of an improvement plan that the superintendent is overseeing.
"It's not cynical to think that part of the reason for the reconstitution at Fremont was to bring more Scholastic programs to L.A. Unified through Fremont High," said Mat Taylor, a regional teachers union leader who teaches English there.
"There's a financial agenda that people are afraid to talk about that guides what happens in public education."
Cortines said he wants to put an end to such talk: "I made a decision. I have it behind me, and I'm moving forward."