Thursday, Jan. 06, 2011

John Deasy: The Superintendent

Forget for a moment the hubbub in New York City about whether a non-educator like Cathie Black can lead the nation's largest school system. Perhaps a more pertinent question is whether an experienced education leader and creative reformer like Deasy can make a dent in the massive, balkanized Los Angeles school system. Currently the deputy superintendent, Deasy — whose experience includes running other urban school systems as well as time in the foundation world — is widely expected to take the helm of the troubled Los Angeles school system this year. Though smaller than New York City, L.A. is arguably more complicated. The challenges? Tortuous politics across the sprawling system, one of the most hidebound teachers' unions in the country, and a state that is completely broke.