Thursday, September 25, 2014


by Michael Janofsky, LA School Report |

Monica Ratliff LAUSD School board

Monica Ratliff, LA Unified board member representing district 6

September 25, 2014 12:27 pm  ::  The LA Unified school board’s sudden decision to hold a closed door session next week grew out of a Sept. 17 email request from Monica Ratliff to Board President Richard Vladovic, in which she expressed her desire to “discuss the current personell (sic) matter.”

The reference was to Superintendent John Deasy, whose performance evaluation is scheduled for Oct. 21. The purpose of a closed meeting is to give members the opportunity to debate what issues are fair game for the annual review.

“My interest is simply that it happens soon — with all of us able to ask any questions, receive information, and discuss information as a Board, as allowed by law,” said the email, which was read to LA School Report by someone with access to a copy of it.

Repeated efforts to reach Ratliff for comment were unsuccessful.

Next month will afford Ratliff her second opportunity to cast a vote on Deasy’s performance. Last year, her first on the board, the members voted 5-1, to give him a satisfactory review, with the late Marguerite LaMotte casting the dissent and Ratliff abstaining, for reasons she never explained publicly.

With a positive review, Deasy’s current contract would extended a year, to 2017. Without one, it would remain in effect until 2016 unless the members then decided to vote to dismiss him. They have the right to fire him at any time.

By terms of his contract, Deasy can be evaluated on such criteria as graduation rate, attendance and academic performance but also on more subjective measures based on the board’s confidence in him, his compatibility with board members and their level of satisfaction with his leadership.

While many of the more objective metrics would show positive gains for the district’s 650,000 students, it remains to be determined how much weight the members would place on his handing of the iPad program and the student-tracking computer system, both of which had endured considerable challenges in their rollouts.

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