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In his resignation letter to the LA Unified school board, out-going Superintendent John Deasy used most of his words to describe a school district that is far better off today than the one he took over in 2011.
“I am overwhelmed with pride in what this administration has accomplished for the youth of Los Angeles over the last 4 plus years,” he wrote, adding, “By every single measure of our work, the youth have a significantly better education today than they did more than 4 years ago. Measures of achievement, access, outcomes, agency, climate, and success are all substantially better than when we started this work. Graduation rates, achievement rates in math and English language arts, reclassification rates, AP course takers, safety, suspension, attendance, and so many others clearly point to a better life for students in our care.”
Deasy also praised his staff for working “ceaselessly to ensure a better outcome for youth,” and he alluded to the issues of the past months that have pulled so much criticism his way, specifically the iPad program and its’ tumultuous introduction.
Referring to a forthcoming report from the district’s Inspector General, who is examining emails between Deasy and the companies involved in the iPad program, Apple and Pearson, he wrote that he “look(s) forward to his conclusion and findings that will determine that there were no missteps on my part in the process whatsoever.”
While Deasy was known to have grown weary of friction with the board and his challenges in convincing members follow his vision, for the first time publicly he mentions the impact his job has had on him personally.
“Needless to say this has been hard work, in fact exhausting work,” he wrote. “I have neglected my family, my health, and my parent’s heath. We all carry the ball for a while, and then give it to others to continue. I have had this amazing opportunity and privilege. I am proud and honored, but it is time for a transition.
In a concluding thought, he thanks his ever-growing list of critics “for they have helped us see where we can do our work better, and that is what we do with each opportunity to improve. I also wish to thank my supporters. You have enabled us to move quickly to right wrongs in the lives of youth, but please do not be satisfied, there is so much more we need to accomplish.”
The entire letter is available here.