California Educator

November 2015

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billion, and was eventually canceled after students found a way to hack into the tablets. After a rocky three-and-a- half-year reign as chief of LA's schools, Deasy resigned. He landed at the Eli Broad Academy, training future superin- tendents in Broad's management style, which dismisses teachers' rights and pushes unproven reforms such as evaluating teachers on test scores, or "value-added mea- sures." Broad recently announced a highly publicized plan to move half of all LAUSD students into unregulated, non-union charter schools. (For story, see page 40.) Deasy's severance package was $60,000, roughly equal to two months of his salary. But many departing super- intendents receive much more in compensation and exit pay. (See sidebar, page 36.) Ramon Cortines, 82, came out of retirement in Octo- ber 2014 to replace Deasy, but announced in June that he would retire in six months. He had served as super- intendent of LAUSD twice before, and also served as superintendent in San Francisco, Pasadena and San Jose, as well as New York City schools chancellor. Revolving door in Oxnard In Oxnard, superintendents exited for various reasons. Superintendent Rick Miller, who Lefkovits says was the most labor-friendly, left after five years for a higher-paying job in Riverside, and now is the superintendent in Santa Ana. Lefko- vits adds that some of the "interims" were difficult to work with, and some were downright hostile to teachers. In 2010, the district hired Anthony Monreal from the California Department of Education. He was put on admin- istrative leave and ousted after just seven months, receiving a settlement of $116,629. He became su p e r i n t e n d e n t of t h e D e l a n o Union School District, but was fired from that position in May 2015. Next was Julian Lopez from Mon- tana, an interim superintendent who lasted a year and was replaced by Jeff Chancer, who retired after l e ss t h a n tw o ye a r s . S o m e s ay Chancer was planning on a short stay so he could retire at a higher pay scale. Current Superintendent Cesar Morales has been with the district for nearly two years. Lef kovits says, "Each superin- tendent has had his own agenda," s u c h a s c h a n g i n g g r a d u a t i o n requirements, altering school discipline policies, redoing the English Learner Master Plan for the second time in four years, switching intervention strategies for struggling students, and changing timelines for school construction. "All we want is somebody good who cares about students, and who will treat school employees with respect." Superintendent shuffle in Santa Ana A bulletin board inside the Santa Ana Educators Association (SAEA) office, decorated with names inside squares, looks like somebody's family tree going back generations, but it's actually a chart showing the many super- intendents and other high-ranking administrators who have come and gone in recent years. "Since I became president in 2009, Santa Ana has had three superinten- dents, two interim superintendents, three assistant superintendents of human resources, two deputies of educational services, and three deputies of business services," says Susan Mercer, president of the association and creator of the chart. When Jane Russo retired as superintendent in 2011, the school district hired elma Melendez, whom Mercer describes as a "marquee" superin- tendent because she served as the principal adviser for U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. She was not a good fit in Santa Ana and left two • Aer five years, Millbrae Elementary School District Superintendent Linda Luna resigned this year to become superintendent of Washington Unified School District in Sacramento. Luna had a tumultuous relationship with the Millbrae Education Association, which passed a vote of no confidence in her performance in 2014. • Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Ruben Frutos resigned in May 2014 aer 20 months on the job. His tenure was marked by hundreds of people attending school board meetings and picketing the district office to demand his ouster. • Pauline Winbush, assistant superintendent of Palmdale School District, was fired in February for child abuse and her role as head of a dog fighting ring. She and her boyfriend were charged with four felony counts of dog fighting, 17 counts of animal cruelty, one felony count of child abuse, and health and safety violations. • Members of Burbank Teachers Association opposed the hiring of Matt Hill as superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District last spring, asserting that Hill had never worked as a teacher or a principal, and was involved in the much-maligned iPad rollout at Los Angeles Unified School District. • Parlier Unified School District Superintendent Gerardo Alvarez came under fire in July for wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, including excessive pay hikes for administrators, trips for school board members, and unnecessarily hiring consultants. He was put on leave aer a scathing report issued by the Fresno County Grand Jury. Edward Lucero is now acting superintendent. Nomadic and traumatic times for local superintendents "All we want is somebody good who cares about students and treats school employees with respect." — Robin Lef kovits, Oxnard Educators Association 35 November 2015

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