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Letter to the editor: McKenna responds to our coverage

LA School Report | May 29, 2014



letters to the editor Mckenna
Editors Note: This letter from George McKenna, candidate for school board in District 1, is in response to an article published on May 16, entitled, “McKenna, leading in school board race, won’t commit on Deasy.”

LA School Report stands by our reporting, as well as the accuracy of the excerpted transcript of a taped interview conducted with McKenna after a candidate forum.

May 27, 2014

Ms. Jamie Alter-Lynton

LA School Report

Ms Alter-Lynton:

Your May 16, 2014 article in LA School Report included inaccuracies, exaggerations and fabrications related to our brief conversation following the LAUSD school board candidates’ forum at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church on May 14. You quoted an anonymous source stating that I said, “The first thing I would do is fire Deasy.” This is a total fabrication as I never said that or ever conveyed such sentiments. Your “anonymous” source is either deceiving you or there is no such source.

Following several attempts by you to solicit negative responses regarding the Superintendent you stated, “Well it seems that you don’t like the Superintendent,” to which I clearly stated that I have never felt any personal animosity towards Mr. Deasy or stated such. I asked that you not try to put words in my mouth or draw your own conclusions to satisfy your personal opinions and preferences. Several persons were witness to our conversation.

Despite your repeated attempts to engage me in negative responses about Mr. Deasy, I clearly stated that as a candidate the performance of the Superintendent is not a part of my campaign. My responses on this matter are well-documented, courtesy of my on-the-record statements in numerous candidate forums, many of which were recorded and are accessible to any journalist seeking to write an unbiased report based on fact and not what you wrote for LA School Report on May 16th.

At the numerous forums in which I have participated, parents, voters and other stakeholders have conveyed that their primary concern is the adequacy of resources in District 1 schools, which is related to the performance of our children and teachers, not whether to hire or fire Mr. Deasy.

In our conversation I clearly stated that as an elected Board member I would be supervising the Superintendent and until that time my opinion of him is neutral. You did not find the space in your article to mention such. I am the only candidate who has worked directly under Mr. Deasy and my relationship and opinions related to his past or future leadership are not relevant to my platform.

I have always given the Superintendent my best and honest counsel, even when I disagreed with his position, yet I always carried out his directions. The Superintendent is obligated to implement the directives of the Board. It is the Board who sets policy and supervises the Superintendent. Furthermore, Board members are privy to information and performance metrics not available to myself or the public. Accordingly, until such time, my critique of the Superintendent’s performance would be inappropriate.

No one can prevent you from supporting the Superintendent, despite your occupation as a journalist. However, as a private citizen and candidate, I prefer to remain objective. Objectivity, along with unbiased reports, free of fabrications, alleged unnamed sources, and misrepresentations is what the public should also expect from journalists.

Sincerely,

George McKenna
Candidate, School Board District 1

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