Los Angeles Unified School superintendent John Deasy submitted his resignation this morning, after more than a year of turmoil and conflict with the seven-member elected school board. Deasy reportedly cut short a trip to South Korea to negotiate the terms of his departure.
Deasy took over from former Superintendent Ramon Cortines three and a half years ago, when Cortines retired. In an unexpected turn of events, the board named Cortines, now 82, as interim superintendent to replace Deasy, beginning on October 20. Cortines is one of the most experienced school chiefs in the nation, having also served as superintendent in Pasadena, San Jose, San Francisco, and New York City, the nation’s largest school district. He also served as assistant secretary for education in the administration of President Bill Clinton.
In a statement issued jointly by Deasy and the board, the board stated that “at this time it does not believe that the superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts.” Deasy has been at the center of a controversy regarding a $30 million contract awarded to Apple computer that distributed iPads to students. According to the statement, Deasy will remain “on special assignment” with the district until the end of the year.
The following is the full statement released by Deasy and the board :
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.
Here is a link to Deasy’s resignation letter.