Tuesday, June 22, 2010


By Connie Llanos Staff Writer  | LA Daily News

06/22/2010 | The Los Angeles Unified school board today could appoint a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation director as the district's No. 2 man, possibly setting him up to succeed schools chief Ramon Cortines when his contract expires.

The board is scheduled to vote in closed session on the appointment of John Deasy, the deputy director of education at the Gates Foundation, where he has worked since 2008.

For months, top district officials have searched for candidates to fill the No. 2 post, which has remained empty since Cortines vacated it in late 2008. Cortines took over leadership of the district after the school board bought out former Superintendent David Brewer's contract.

Several high-level district officials confirmed Monday that Deasy was the only one being considered for the position.

The appointment vote comes amid rumors that Cortines, a spry 77-year-old who colleagues say has the energy of a man half his age, is thinking about leaving the district. Cortines, who has made school reform the hallmark of his administration, denies any talk of an exit before his contract expires in 18 months.

But he concedes he could use a right-hand man who could step in at a moment's notice.

"This district is a $12 billion business, and a business this size should always be looking at a succession plan ...," Cortines said. "You never know when an act of God is going to happen.

"There is nobody on Earth that could walk in here knowing all of the answers to all of the issues we face here every day."

District officials did not release details on the deputy superintendent contract, including the salary.

●●smf’s 2¢:  Curiouser and curiouser.

  • This executive search for a new #2 – how transparent+accountable has that been?
  • Mr. Cortines predecessor had a No. 2 who could step in at a moment’s
  • notice. How did that work out?
  • Cortines himself has said ‘succession plan’. Is this it?
  • Is Mr. Deasy some sort of a ‘player-to-be-named later’ in a trade for Yolie Flores  - the LAUSD boardmember exiting to become part of another Gates owned-and-operated educational venture next July – and for whom she's already working 'part time' for $144,000 a year per the LA Times/http://bit.ly/964oLj 
  • Mr. Deasy was once the Superintendent of Santa Monica-Malibu USD – just west of LAUSD down the 10 freeway.  He had a reputation of trying to control his school board. How did that go?
  • Mr Deasy left SMUSD to go to the Prince George’s County Public Schools superintendency in the metro DC area. How did that go?
  • While you’re Googling+Wikipediaing – there was some alleged funny business about Mr. Deasy becoming Dr. Deasy in record time. But in the end the allegations weren’t funny enough to merit a stint on Saturday Night Live.
  • From the wonderful people who brought you Windows Vista and Bing!:  The Gates Connection. Read about the dubious philanthropy of the Billionaire Boys Club (Gates/Broad/Walton) in chapter 10 of 'The Death and Life of the Great American School System' by Diane Ravitch.  Do we really want to go there?

1 comment:

D. C. Russell said...

The current elected school board in Prince George's County was apparently less happy with Deasy than the former appointed board that hired him.


will give you some links to stories about Deasy's stint there, but it is not complete because I reduced my coverage of education during his last few months. His name appears on PG-related blogs or mailing lists once in a while, generally in negative comments.

My personal opinion was that he did a good job and was pushed aside for reasons generally unrelated to school performance.

D.C. Russell
PG-Politics blog and mailing list