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L.A. schools chief John Deasy to remain

October 29, 2013|By Teresa Watanabe
  • Supt. John Deasy will stay at L.A. Unified until 2016, district officials announced.
Supt. John Deasy will stay at L.A. Unified until 2016, district officials… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

L.A. schools chief John Deasy will continue to lead the nation's second-largest school district until 2016, the district's legal counsel announced Tuesday, ending days of rumors that he would resign.

Deasy, 52, received a satisfactory evaluation from the Los Angeles Board of Education after a nearly five-hour performance review behind closed doors. Last week, he told some district officials that he would resign and delivered a proposed settlement to board President Richard Vladovic on Friday amid reports that he was frustrated by a new school board that challenged his policies and philosophy.

But Deasy thanked the board Tuesday for a "good and robust evaluation" and "excellent and honest conversation so we can continue to lift youth out of poverty."

Vladovic said the board and Deasy had completed a "long journey" and would continue to "focus on the children."

The decision ensures that the district will retain stable leadership as it wrestles with major budget decisions, a shift to new academic standards and a $1-billion iPad project, among other challenges.

Earlier Tuesday, about a dozen students, teachers, parents and community activists urged the board to retain Deasy, saying that he had particularly reached out to students struggling with English and poverty. Hundreds of supporters rallied outside district headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, but the school board sharply limited the number of speakers prior to its closed-door meeting.

Under Deasy, students have continued to progress with higher test scores and graduation rates, fewer suspensions, better attendance and more college-level course enrollment.

But he has drawn fire from some board members and United Teachers Los Angeles, whose members overwhelmingly gave him a vote of no confidence earlier this year.


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Twitter: @TeresaWatanabe

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