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September 19, 2011 @ 9:53 am - The start of the school year brought major announcements from the LA Unified School District. About half of the district’s 430 library aides may be laid off, and more could have their hours cut. Next year, school will be back in session from Summer break three weeks earlier than usual, in mid-August. Of the library lay-offs, recently seated Superintendent John Deasy mixed regret with justification saying in part, “[s]tudents learn to read through their classroom teacher, not through the library.” Deasy also expressed hope that a longer school year will boost student scores on standardized tests. During a speech given at Occidental College last week, he called LA a national leader in education policy saying, “Los Angeles is America—only sooner.” What does it mean, then, for the nation that Deasy is one of a growing legion of graduates from education reform focused management training programs around the country? John Deasy is an alumnus of the Broad Foundation, which is a private, non-university institution, training non-educators for high-powered positions. A report by Julianne Hing at Colorlines.com suggests that with Deasy at the helm of the LAUSD, LA education policy is on the same per-programmed path as New Orleans, Chicago, Rhode Island, and the many other districts where Deasy’s fellow graduates have served. The Broad Foundation is a self-described, “venture philanthropy” organization, and its school reform agenda expressly strives to bring corporate culture into public education. Its Urban Education Residency program seeks applicants with experience in “functional business areas.” A recent press release on its graduates boasts, “[p]articipants have an average of 8 years experience, typically from a Fortune 500 or other major company.” Hing will be filing ongoing reports on this nationwide trend for Colorlines.com.
GUEST: Julianne Hing, Reporter for Colorlines.com.
Read Julianne Hing’s story, Who’s Running Your School District here: http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/09/broad_academys_reform_school.html
“Deasy also expressed hope that a longer school year will boost student scores on standardized tests.”
No one is suggesting that this new calendar creates a longer school year, just an earlier starting-and-ending one. If Deasy suggested otherwise he either misspoke or mislead the listener. The truth is that under the Cortines/Deasy/Garcia/Villaraigosa regime the school year is has grown shorter.
This shorter year is not their doing …but it is certainly with their acquiescence. As a group – when faced with hard choices – they invariably elect to choose the worst one for kids.