noun: denouement; plural noun: denouements; noun: dénouement; plural noun: dénouements
the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.
"the film's denouement"
John Deasy resigns; Ramon Cortines named interim head of L.A. schools
By Howard Blume, LA Times | http://lat.ms/1qICN02
Oct 16, 2014 11:15 AM :: The Los Angeles Unified school board on Thursday officially accepted the resignation of Supt. John Deasy and voted to appoint his predecessor, Ramon Cortines, to fill the post on an interim basis.
The board voted 6 to 1 to ratify Deasy's separation agreement, with Monica Ratliff voting no.
In a joint statement released after the vote, the school board thanked Deasy for his 3½ years of "devoted service."
"In that period of time, academic achievement rose substantially despite severe economic hardships, and the students of the district have benefited greatly from Dr. Deasy’s guidance," the statement read.
Deasy met with senior staff earlier in the morning to inform them of his plans. He then met with district legal staff to work out details of the transition. Deasy told the Los Angeles Times he could make no comment when he was reached by phone Thursday morning.
The vote to appoint Cortines was 7-0.
In an interview with The Times, Cortines said he planned to meet with senior staff on Monday "first thing."
"I’ve been asked to help them and others in the district solve the issues that confront the district at this time," he said. "Some of these issues cannot be solved overnight."
As head of the LAUSD, Deasy, 53, oversaw a continued rise in student performance during a period of financial cuts. But he could not overcome election day setbacks, poor relations with teachers and two back-to-back technology debacles.
Beleaguered Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. John Deasy announced Thursday that he had tendered his resignation.
Referring to the district's investigation into the questionable circumstances surrounding Deasy's initiative to provides iPads to students and faculty, the school board said in its statement that it "does not believe that the superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts."
As part of the separation agreement, Deasy will remain on paid "special assignment" with the district through the end of 2014. Under that arrangement he will receive more than 60 days' pay based on his salary of $350,000 per year. His contract, which was set to run through June 2016, requires a severance payment of only 30 days' pay.
Deasy had expressed reservations in recent weeks about his ability to remain effective in the job. But as of this week he had not said publicly that he planned to quit, and it was not clear that a majority on the school board would be willing to move against him.
Critics have also faulted Deasy for what they call an autocratic, punitive leadership style that they say has demoralized teachers and other employees.
Cortines, 82, said he planned to listen to a wide range of stakeholders about how to address issues confronting the district, while also restoring lines of communication.
"One of the problems has been that there’s been a lack of transparency or communication between the board and the superintendent," Cortines said.
Asked how long he expected to stay on, Corintes said the subject had not been discussed.
"I don’t think there is a timeline," he said.
This is Cortines' third stint as leader of the school district. He retired as superintendent from L.A. Unified in April 2011.
At LAUSD, John Deasy is out, Ramon Cortines is back
By Sarah Favot, Pasadena Star-News and Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1sZ097t
Posted: 10/16/14, 11:22 AM PDT :: Newly named interim superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Ramon C. Cortines, who has led the district twice before, is no stranger to crises and said he is looking forward to tackling pressing issues at the nation’s second-largest school district.
“I think that the board said they are facing some major issues and would I work with them and help them and work with the staff to solve some of the issues the district is facing,” Cortines said in an interview. “I said that they should look elsewhere and they kept coming back to me.”
Cortines, 82, lives in the Pasadena area. He will begin work at the district Monday. He retired from the district in April 2011 amid claims of sexual harassment of a male employee.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who supported Deasy, thanked and praised the outgoing superintendent for his service and said he looks forward to working with Cortines.
“I look forward to working closely with the board and with Ray Cortines, a steady hand and experienced leader who can continue to focus the district on its critical work,” Garcetti wrote. “Our kids need education and opportunities that prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow, and I will continue working with the board and the new superintendent to continue the forward progress the district has made.”
Cortines served as interim superintendent at LAUSD for about six months in 2000. He was appointed by former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as deputy mayor for education, youth and families from 2006 to 2008. In May 2008 he was appointed deputy superintendent at LAUSD and promoted to the top spot in 2009.
Cortines has served as superintendent of schools in Pasadena, San Francisco, San Jose and as chancellor schools in New York City from 1993 to 1995. He also served as an adviser to former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley.
He has faced his share of crises while in charge of some of the state’s and nation’s largest school districts.
While at Pasadena Unified in the 1970s and early 1980s, he was superintendent during the district’s court-ordered busing controversy. Pasadena was one of the last school districts in the country to implement desegregation. While serving as interim superintendent at LAUSD in 2000, he faced a budget crisis and tough economic times due to the housing market crash.
Cortines said he met with parents when making those cuts. “I didn’t send somebody,” he said. “I went and met with parents hundreds of meetings across the city.”
Cortines retired from LAUSD amid allegations he sexually harassed Scot Graham, who Cortines had hired as the district’s leasing chief.
Graham filed a workplace harassment lawsuit against Cortines in July 2012 alleging sexual battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Graham said he was hired without being interviewed or submitting credentials and that when Cortines proposed that the two have sex, Cortines said “it was the least (Graham) could do” in exchange for the job, according to court documents.
Graham also alleged other incidents of sexual assault against Cortines, including a weekend trip in July 2010 to Cortines’ vacation home in Tulare County.
Cortines has denied Graham’s allegations but has said the two engaged in a single incident of “consensual spontaneous adult behavior” and said Graham had never indicated the behavior was unwelcome.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2013 saying the statute of limitations had expired. Graham appealed and a state appeals court affirmed the ruling in favor of Cortines, according to LAUSD’s General Counsel Dave Holmquist.
Reporter Rick Orlov contributed to this story.
Posted on October 16, 2014 10:19 am by LA School Report | http://bit.ly/UXHVhZ
Here’s the statement:
“Today, Superintendent John Deasy tendered his resignation as General Superintendent of Schools from the District. We thank Dr. Deasy for over three years of devoted service to the District and its students. In that period of time, academic achievement rose substantially despite severe economic hardships, and the students of the District have benefitted greatly from Dr. Deasy’s guidance.
“We look forward to jointly celebrating all of the successes of our students that have occurred during Dr. Deasy’s tenure as Superintendent.
“While the District’s investigation into the Common Core Technology Project has not concluded, the Board wishes to state that at this time, it does not believe that the Superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts, and the Board anticipates that the Inspector General’s report will confirm this.
“We further jointly desire a smooth transition in leadership. Towards that end, Dr. Deasy has agreed to remain on special assignment with the District until December 31, 2014.”
Posted on October 16, 2014 10:43 am by LA School Report | http://bit.ly/UXHVhZ
LA Unified has confirmed that the district’s former superintendent, Ray Cortines, will return to the post on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found for John Deasy, who resigned today.
Here’s the statement:
“The Los Angeles Board of Education has appointed Ramon C. Cortines to serve as Superintendent of Schools pending a search process for a successor superintendent to Dr. John E. Deasy. The District appreciates Mr. Cortines agreeing to serve in this capacity.
“Mr. Cortines will begin his tenure on Monday, Oct. 20.”
LA Unified superintendent John Deasy resigns; Cortines named interim replacement
by KPCC staff | http://bit.ly/1rHSKD0
Audio from this story: 3:05 Listen
October 16, 05:30 PM :: Embattled superintendent John Deasy resigned Thursday from the Los Angeles Unified School District, ending his nearly four-year tenure as head of the nation’s second-largest school district. Former superintendent Ramon C. Cortines will replace him on an interim basis, the Los Angeles Board of Education announced. Colleagues and detractors have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts and concerns.
Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement via email:
Earlier at the district headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, a swarm of news crews bordered the building’s southeast side. More than 10 news cameras were set up – many awaiting the news conference in front of a makeshift podium.
Longtime district watcher Scott Folsom, who is a member of the district’s bond oversight committee, was standing by as news of Deasy’s resignation came in over email. He said his phone hasn’t stopped ringing since news of the superintendent’s departure leaked last night.
“I think this is good for kids,” Folsom said, reflecting on Deasy’s tenure. "I don’t think that Dr. Deasy was a bad man, but I do think some bad things happened while he was superintendent.”
Folsom pointed to the Apple-Pearson contract, a story KPCC broke earlier this year that revealed district officials, including Deasy, had been in talks with both companies a for year before they won the bidding process. Folsom said he wasn’t convinced wrongdoing didn’t take place and called for a further investigation at a higher level.
“This is public money, the taxpayers money being spent,” he said. “We need to know the answers to that.”
Folsom added that he sees today as a positive step for kids in the district — a long needed shift in tone.
"I think Deasy’s superintendency has been marked by a lack of morale among all the district staff,” he said. "I do think that in the end, that kind of malaise, the kids sense it."
Cheryl Ortega, a substitute L.A. Unified teacher for four decades, told KPCC she's glad to see Deasy go.
"Teaching by it’s very nature is collaborative and John Deasy wasn’t a collaborator. He didn’t want to talk to anybody," she said. "He made unilateral decisions that very often weren’t in the best interest of teachers or students or parents and the community."
She said his tenure brought with it an "aura of fear."
"Teachers were afraid to utter the slightest criticism because they would lose their jobs," Ortega said.
She said Cortines is "more of a collaborator."
But supporters said Deasy wasn't as much of a lone wolf as some say.
"No one person can take all the blame or all the progress for what’s happened at the school district," said Alicia Lara, Vice President for community investment for United Way L.A. "We're grateful for the work that he’s done under his leadership — and under the leadership of our new interim superintendent — a lot of progress has been made and nobody can deny that."
Graduation rates are up, out-of-school suspension rates are down and the number of college-required courses increased, she said.
But she didn't dwell on his departure.
"What I’m optimistic about is the board will engage and should engage in a collaborative process that involves the community on the selection of the new superintendent," Lara said.
— KPCC staff
During difficult years, Deasy worked to expand the free breakfast program to 300,000 students daily, pushed to change punitive discipline policies, and helped to cut the number of days students lost to suspension by nearly 75 percent.
Deasy supporters, including charter school advocates and self-described education reformers, defended Deasy’s policies, saying they benefited the district’s 650,000 students. His supporters faulted the school board for stifling Deasy’s reform efforts.
But criticism of the superintendent had grown more intense in recent months.
His contacts with Apple and Pearson software executives prior to bidding began on a student tablets program raised questions. Emails published by KPCC show Deasy communicated about project specifications before the project went out for public bid. Deasy said the process was fair.
A rocky rollout of the district’s digital student data system generated more scrutiny. The new system failed to schedule students for classes, record attendance and input grades, angering teachers.
Deasy sided with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that contends students in l0w-income schools have lost class time and failed to receive a quality education because of district’s bungling. Deasy positioned himself against his own district, without approval from the board and further alienated some board members.
Board members then criticized Deasy for not being more forthcoming about the scheduling issues before the problems were brought before the court.
Last week, a judge ordered state and local officials to step in with immediate fixes to class scheduling problems at Jefferson High School. A plan for improvements was approved by the school board Tuesday at a cost of $1.1 million. The board also approved a $3.6 million request for more computers to help schools use the new data system.
School board member Tamar Galatzan, who had called for an investigation of the faulty software system, described the $3.6 million request as a "bailout."
Deasy has not been available for comment. A possible interim replacement for the superintendent has yet to be announced.