A leading member of the bar and a member of the California Board of Regents is urging the Los Angeles school board to retain Superintendent John Deasy, who recently threatened to resign. The letter was signed by George Kieffer, a Schwarzenegger appointee to the state Board of Regents in 2009. Business leaders are working hard to hold on to Deasy, despite his poor relations with the educators of Los Angeles and the recent iPad fiasco. Even the mayor weighed in to support Deasy.

Clearly, the power structure wants Deasy. And they don’t care what educators think about his leadership.

The letter read:

Dear Members of the Board of Education:

This letter is to inform you of the tremendous sense of disappointment, approaching anger, that the Los Angeles community is feeling today because of the inability of the School Board to develop a plan with Superintendent Deasy to move forward together for the benefit of the students of the Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”).

LAUSD has seen important gains across the board in student achievement over the last few years. Under LAUSD Superintendent Dr. John Deasy’s leadership, the District has improved student test scores and other student success indicators such as the number of students accessing college preparation courses. It has also seen decreases in student drop-out rates and truancy rates.

The District is embarking on a massive roll out of professional development and technology tools that will prepare teachers and students to implement the new, and highly more rigorous, state education Common Core standards and student assessments. Further tests to Dr. Deasy’s leadership will be presented as the District prepares to develop its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), as part of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) that was passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor earlier this year. The LCFF is a much needed step in the right direction to ensure that all California schools receive equitable funds from the state.

All of these and other important initiatives are crucial to ensure students are succeeding academically and graduating prepared for college and 21st century competitive careers.
We believe that John Deasy has the unique skills and commitment necessary to move the district forward on each of these topics. The leadership of the business community and the non-profit community strongly supports Superintendent Deasy and we encourage the School Board to meet with him immediately to work out a plan to continue his tenure as our Superintendent of Schools.

In the next few months, and for the first time in several years due to an increase in funding, the Board will make critical decisions about the budget and technology programs. It will be very difficult to make good decisions for our children if we do not have a strong and experienced leader in the Superintendent’s office.

Firing Superintendent Deasy, or making his life so miserable that he has no choice but to leave, is not in the best interests of the students of Los Angeles. We urge you to pull the board together and make every effort to retain one of the top Superintendents in the country.


Sent by: Lucy Smith
Secretary to George Kieffer
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP