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OPINION
April 21, 2011
Cortines as a leader Re "Cortines leaves mark on district," April 16 Like the soldiers who served under Army Gen. George S. Patton and called themselves "Patton's men" in honor of the general who got them through World War II, I am grateful to have served Ramon C. Cortines. The former superintendant of the L.A. Unified School District got us through some very tumultuous times; he was a disciplined professional who provided a playful smile, an attentive ear and a quick kick to the rear.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2012 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A settlement with the employee who made allegations of sexual harassment against former L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines threatened to unravel Tuesday over disputed terms of the agreement and its disclosure by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The allegations also have had fallout at the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, which sent a delegation Tuesday to meet with Board of Education President Monica Garcia over changing the downtown school's name.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2010 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A top official with the influential Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was chosen Tuesday as second in command in the Los Angeles Unified School District, raising speculation that he would be a top candidate for superintendent within two years. The Board of Education hired John Deasy as deputy superintendent in a 6-0 vote in closed session. Board vice president Yolie Flores abstained because she has accepted a job funded by the Seattle-based Gates Foundation. Deasy, 49, has deep experience in local and large school systems and, more recently, worked in the forefront of the foundation's nationwide efforts to change the way teachers are evaluated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously overrode its own procedures as well as objections from some parents and teachers to name its downtown arts high school after Ramon C. Cortines, who retired as the district's superintendent in April. Although Cortines was universally praised, school representatives asked that L.A. Unified follow its own process, which was updated in January 2010, when Cortines was superintendent. That process requires participation by students, faculty, staff and parents as well as a survey.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2006 | Duke Helfand and Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writers
Moving to bolster his sway over Los Angeles' embattled public school system, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will name former schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines today to the post of deputy mayor for education, youth and families. Cortines, a veteran educator who has led some of the nation's largest and most politically volatile school districts, including Los Angeles Unified for a brief stint, is expected to serve as an important buffer between Villaraigosa, the school board and the teachers union.
SPORTS
July 29, 2010 | Eric Sondheimer
Just days after the Los Angeles Unified School District authorized sports teams to collect a $24 voluntary contribution from students to help pay for a $650,000 cut in transportation funding, Supt. Ramon C. Cortines announced Thursday that he had rescinded the request. Cortines said in a statement, "Although this district is in a financial crisis, I am asking for other financial options to cover the $650,000 needed for the district's athletics transportation budget." District spokesman Robert Alaniz said Cortines had been unaware of the request for $24 and was concerned that those who could not afford to contribute would be singled out. "He didn't want that stigma attached to kids," Alaniz said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2012 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
A settlement with the employee who made allegations of sexual harassment against former L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines threatened to unravel Tuesday over disputed terms of the agreement and its disclosure by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The allegations also have had fallout at the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, which sent a delegation Tuesday to meet with Board of Education President Monica Garcia over changing the downtown school's name.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2010 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Amid persistent budget woes and increasing political pressure, Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines confirmed Thursday, his 78th birthday, that he plans to step down next spring as head of the nation's second-largest school system. The news was not unexpected: Cortines had said he expected to serve two to three years when he took the job in December 2008, but this week he became somewhat more specific. Cortines, whose high energy and endurance frequently outlasts that of his staff, had talked recently of being tired and said the political intrigues and public battles sometimes get to him: "Yes, I get frustrated.
OPINION
July 22, 2010
The Los Angeles Unified School District was in crisis mode. The school board had hired a superintendent, expecting great things, but was unimpressed with his performance. It needed a rescuer, and found one in Ramon C. Cortines, an education veteran who could be counted on as an able administrator in difficult times. That was in 2000. And in 2008 too. Supt. Cortines confirmed this week what he has been hinting at for months: He plans to retire in the spring after seeing the district through terrible budget cuts, partly successful attempts to bring about change at the worst-performing schools and a wave of new reform demands from the federal government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2011 | By Jason Song and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles school district leaders announced Wednesday that they will split low-performing Jordan High School into three small schools that will be run by outside groups. All current employees will have to reapply for their jobs or work elsewhere. It marks the second time the Los Angeles Unified School District has targeted a campus for such a forced makeover. Fremont High School, located in Florence south of downtown, was also "restructured" last year, a move that drew fierce criticism from the teachers union and resulted in the departure of most teachers.
OPINION
April 21, 2011
Cortines as a leader Re "Cortines leaves mark on district," April 16 Like the soldiers who served under Army Gen. George S. Patton and called themselves "Patton's men" in honor of the general who got them through World War II, I am grateful to have served Ramon C. Cortines. The former superintendant of the L.A. Unified School District got us through some very tumultuous times; he was a disciplined professional who provided a playful smile, an attentive ear and a quick kick to the rear.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2011 | By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Unified School District officials are reviewing personnel and curriculum at Widney High School, which serves developmentally disabled children, because staff members are doing a poor job of teaching the students and automatically giving overtime to workers who leave early and arrive late, according to documents and interviews. During a recent visit to the Jefferson Park campus, Supt. Ramon C. Cortines observed instructors watching a soap opera during class time. "They didn't even make an effort to turn it off when I was there," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2011 | By Jason Song and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles school district leaders announced Wednesday that they will split low-performing Jordan High School into three small schools that will be run by outside groups. All current employees will have to reapply for their jobs or work elsewhere. It marks the second time the Los Angeles Unified School District has targeted a campus for such a forced makeover. Fremont High School, located in Florence south of downtown, was also "restructured" last year, a move that drew fierce criticism from the teachers union and resulted in the departure of most teachers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2011 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday to appoint John Deasy as the next superintendent of the nation's second-largest school district, sources said Thursday. Deasy would replace Ramon C. Cortines, 78, who announced last year that he would retire this spring from the system he has headed since 2008. No Los Angeles Unified School District officials or administrators were willing to publicly discuss Deasy's presumed hiring. Employees said they had no authorization to do so, and elected officials said it would be improper to discuss the board's private deliberations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2010 | By Jason Song and Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines on Friday threatened to retire by the end of the year because he was upset that some board members want to restore workers to elementary schools, a move he thought would be too costly. "It is obvious that the majority of the Board does not practically and realistically recognize the situation that the District is in," he wrote in a letter to the school board obtained by The Times. Cortines, 78, who has already said he would step down from his post next spring, later rescinded his threat.
SPORTS
July 29, 2010 | Eric Sondheimer
Just days after the Los Angeles Unified School District authorized sports teams to collect a $24 voluntary contribution from students to help pay for a $650,000 cut in transportation funding, Supt. Ramon C. Cortines announced Thursday that he had rescinded the request. Cortines said in a statement, "Although this district is in a financial crisis, I am asking for other financial options to cover the $650,000 needed for the district's athletics transportation budget." District spokesman Robert Alaniz said Cortines had been unaware of the request for $24 and was concerned that those who could not afford to contribute would be singled out. "He didn't want that stigma attached to kids," Alaniz said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2010 | By Howard Blume
Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines earned more than $150,000 last year for serving on the board of one of the nation's leading educational publishing companies, a firm with more than $16 million in contracts with the school district over the last five years. Scholastic Inc. provides the main reading intervention curriculum for the Los Angeles Unified School District, a program that is part of the company's fast-growing educational technology business. Cortines has disclosed his relationship with the New York-based company, and officials say he has avoided any decisions on Scholastic contracts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2009 | Howard Blume
Parents in Los Angeles this week will receive a one-page report card that will provide a less varnished and more accessible picture of how well their child's school is doing. For high schools, the report card will provide more accurate dropout figures and display, for example, how many students are proficient in English and math -- and whether that number is going up or down.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 23, 2010 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Amid persistent budget woes and increasing political pressure, Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines confirmed Thursday, his 78th birthday, that he plans to step down next spring as head of the nation's second-largest school system. The news was not unexpected: Cortines had said he expected to serve two to three years when he took the job in December 2008, but this week he became somewhat more specific. Cortines, whose high energy and endurance frequently outlasts that of his staff, had talked recently of being tired and said the political intrigues and public battles sometimes get to him: "Yes, I get frustrated.
OPINION
July 22, 2010
The Los Angeles Unified School District was in crisis mode. The school board had hired a superintendent, expecting great things, but was unimpressed with his performance. It needed a rescuer, and found one in Ramon C. Cortines, an education veteran who could be counted on as an able administrator in difficult times. That was in 2000. And in 2008 too. Supt. Cortines confirmed this week what he has been hinting at for months: He plans to retire in the spring after seeing the district through terrible budget cuts, partly successful attempts to bring about change at the worst-performing schools and a wave of new reform demands from the federal government.
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