Incoming superintendent to fight for children’s rights
Deasy speaks at Urban Issues Forum
“Kid’s rights—that’s what my administration is going to be all about.” That’s the word from John Deasy, Ph.D., who spoke at a recent Urban Issues Breakfast Forum that focused on the education of African American children in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
Deasy is currently a deputy superintendent with the LAUSD, and was tapped in January by the board to be the district’s next superintendent. He will replace Ray Cortines, who is retiring. The Massachusetts native has won the support of former LAUSD Superintendent David L. Brewer III, who was also at the forum.
“We need to give a vote of confidence to Mr. Deasy. He came out of Prince George’s County, and he gets it,” Brewer said.
A former state superintendent of the year, Deasy went on to stress that the LAUSD needs to stop the schoolhouse-to-prison pipeline, and one of the non-negotiable tenets in this effort is that all teachers must believe that all youngsters in the district are capable of learning.
“If you don’t believe 100 percent of the kids can graduate, I can’t have you near my kids,” said Deasy.
Among the other concepts the in-coming superintendent intends to push are ensuring that students take more rigorous courses and making sure that every single young person in the district has access to the A-G courses that put them on track to attend university.
And Deasy is not simply talking about having the courses available at the campus, although that is a key part as well.
“People no longer have the right to prevent access to these courses. We are going to be deliberate about who we are hiring,” said the educator referring to the fact that some in the position of making sure students get the right classes actually act as gatekeepers to exclude some young people.
Deasy also urged parents to be proactive and persistent, to go up to the school and demand that their children be given A-G courses and to not leave until this happens. Parents must also show up and demand at school board meetings. That, contends the educator, will help move and change policy.
Prior to his appointment in July 2010 as deputy superintendent, Deasy was deputy director of education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and prior to that he was superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. LAUSD is the 18th largest school district in the country.
The Providence College graduate is known nationally as an education reformer who effectively narrowed the gap between low-achieving students and their higher scoring peers in Prince George’s County schools.
He will take over as LAUSD superintendent on April 15.
In addition to Deasy, the forum’s education panel also featured Brewer, who stressed the need for a community-based initiative that focuses on children and not politics and includes a prisoner-education component; David James H. Shelton III who is with the U.S. Department of Education and is assistant deputy secretary for Innovation and Improvement; former NBA star Jalen Rose, who talked about the leadership academy he started; Blair Taylor of the Los Angeles Urban League, who spoke of the need to integrate community and educational improvements; and Tyrone Howard, Ph.D., associate professor in the UCLA School of Education, who reminded the audience that it is time to make sure Black children and their needs are not forgotten.
The Urban Issues Forum is presenting s special “all-star week” forum to discuss the strategy for educational success in African American youth. James Shelton III, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement with the U.S. Department of Education, former NBA star Jalen Rose, and LAUSD Superintendent (in waiting) John Deasy, will join join successful public school operators and advocates to discuss how to fast-track educational success in the Los Angeles Black community.
GARDENA, Calif.—Two more teens from Gardena High School were arrested for allegedly helping a classmate who brought a gun to school that discharged and injured two students, including one who was shot in the head, police said.
An official with Los Angeles School Police confirmed that two more arrests were made in the aftermath of the shooting, but they would not provide details.
The superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) believes that student test scores should be part of teachers’ evaluations.
Ramon C. Cortines, who is retiring next year, told administrators recently that the district will develop a new evaluation system, and he wants at least 30 percent of a teacher’s evaluation based on the scores. Currently, pupils’ California Standardized Test (CST) scores do not figure in the instructors’ evaluations.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles Unified School District board voted unanimously today to continue the Breakfast in the Classroom program, which has faced some criticism for cutting into instruction time and causing some unsanitary conditions at schools.
“Every program … has problems with its implementation,” board member Steve Zimmer said. “That’s what happens. It’s not breaking news. Our obligation is to work out the problems. That’s what we do.”
View Park resident and retired Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) police officer David Anthony couldn’t believe his eyes when he entered the Lock n’ Load gun and ammo store in Henderson, Nev.
But there it was right in plain view, a pristine 60mm machine gun positioned high on a shelf for sale; a weapon, he feels, that kept him and his platoon alive during his tour of duty as a 19-year-old machine gunner in 1968 in the Vietnam War.