Friday, September 13, 2013

AQUINO IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR: Broad Academy Class of ’08, Pearson employee, Teacher of the Year, Chapter Chair

More on Dr. Jaime Aquino, who resigned from the #2 post -  “LAUSD’s Highest-Ranking Instructional Leader” - at LAUSD today.

Aquino was the point person on the transition to Common Core and the Common Core Technology Program (iPads for All Initiative)

  • This material is edited/word-butchered from a piece in California’s Children – ironically an article announcing the departure of Aquino’s predecessor, Dr. Judy Elliot  |

Deputy Superintendent Jaime Aquino was hired in April for $250,000, less than two weeks after Deasy took over. Even before Aquino assumed Elliott’s job Elliott reported to Aquino.

Aug 29, 2011 :: Judy Elliott (left), chief academic officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District, resigned at the behest of Superintendent John Deasy. Elliott, who had been an appointee of Deasy's predecessor Ramon Cortines, Elliott was hired by LAUSD in June 2008.

The buyout of Elliott's contract was paid for out of a reserve fund "for such purposes" that some members of the LAUSD school board didn't know existed, according to Howard Blume's story in the Times.

Elliott was instrumental in adopting a new reading program and pushing for rapid and more tailored intervention for struggling students. She also spearheaded a new homework policy that Deasy shelved, according to the Times.

In a letter to board members, Elliott wrote that, “at the request of Supt. Deasy, I have resigned to allow him to assemble his own team.”


As Howard Blume reported in the LA Times on Thursday, August 25, Deasy, in a back-to-school speech before LAUSD administrators, "...made it plain he would push principals and other managers out of comfort zones, demanding that they take responsibility as never before for hiring teachers and evaluating their performances. He will also direct principals to take greater responsibility for whether individual students are on track for graduation and college.

As the Santa Monica Daily Breeze then reported when Aquino came on board:

Some union leaders expressed concern that the district is adding well-paid administrators while struggling with a $408 million deficit.

"These hires come at a time when more than 5,000 teachers and health and human services professionals have been (notified of potential layoffs) and when teachers are being asked to give up furlough days," said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Union leaders also expressed concern over the district's increased reliance on outside funding.

Since 2009, the district has accepted millions in grant funding from philanthropic organizations to pay for executive positions.

Grants have included at least $4.4 million from The Wasserman Foundation, founded by entertainment mogul Lew Wasserman, and at least $1.2 million from the Walton Foundation, started by Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and his wife, Helen.

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad has also paid for the salaries of key district staff and he contributed $775,000 for Deasy's transition work, including $500,000 for an audit to find budget efficiencies at LAUSD.

Aquino (right) was chief academic officer for the Denver Public School system from 2005-2008; in 2008, he was a participant in the [Eli] Broad Center for the Management of School Systems's Superintendents Academy. Below is Aquino's CV as published the Denver Public Schools in 2005. Since 2008, he has been affiliated with America's Choice, a "new kind of educational organization...a solution provider...the creator of research-based school improvement solutions." America's Choice is owned by UK-based Pearson, "the world's leading learning company."

Following is Aquino's CV as published by Denver Public Schools.

Jaime Aquino as Denver's Chief Academic Officer.

A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Aquino has extensive experience as a teacher and administrator in English Language Acquisition, math and science. Jaime is coming to Denver from New York City, where currently he serves as Local Instructional Superintendent for New York City Department of Education Region 9, an area that covers lower Manhattan, midtown, Harlem and the South Bronx.

This past school year, Aquino's region increased by 12 percent the percentage of students scoring at or above standard in reading and decreased by 6.7 percent the students scoring at the intervention level. In mathematics, the region increased by 8.3 percent the number of students scoring at or above standard and decreased by 7.1 percent the students scoring at the intervention level.

Prior to taking his current position in New York, Aquino served as Deputy Superintendent in Hartford, Connecticut, a school district of approximately 23,000 students. He also served in Hartford as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction from 1999 to 2001. During Aquino's tenure in Hartford, the number of students scoring at or above the proficiency level increased by 10 percent in reading, while the number of students at the intervention level decreased by 13 percent. In mathematics the number of students scoring at or above the proficiency level increased by 15 percent, and the number of students at the intervention level decreased by 17 percent.

Originally recruited in 1987 by the New York City Board of Education as a bilingual teacher, Aquino has since occupied a number of positions in New York City public schools. He has been Deputy Executive Director within the Division of Instructional support, supervising and coordinating programs and services in Early Childhood Education, literacy, mathematics, science, technology, arts, library services, multicultural education and social studies.

As the Director of Bilingual, ESL, Foreign Language and Multicultural Education for Community School District Six (Washington Heights and upper Manhattan) Aquino planned, coordinated and conducted professional development programs in bilingual education, ESL and foreign language acquisition. He conducted workshops for administrators, teachers and parents in the areas of first and second language acquisition.

As the Director of Mathematics for Community School District Six, Aquino coordinated all aspects of the K-8 mathematics program in the district. He planned, coordinated and conducted staff development programs in mathematics; evaluated mathematics textbooks and educational software for adoption for the district; and assisted in the development of district-wide annual assessments.

Aquino also has served New York City as a Bilingual and Science Teacher and was named New York State Bilingual Teacher of the Year in 1990. He also served as a Chapter Chairperson for the United Federation of Teachers, New York's teachers union.

Aquino has a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Teaching with a specialty in Language, Learning and Literacy from Fordham University; a Master of Science in Bilingual Education, also from Fordham; and a B.S. in Psychology from the Instituto Tecnologico de Santo Domingo, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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