The students of the LAUSD have started this new school year amid chaos. First, the district ignored warning signs that it was not ready and pushed through the implementation of the MiSiS student management system. This resulted in the disruption of education for thousands of students. The district then showed an ignorance of the seriousness of the situation by continuously publicising the talking point that “only” 1% of the students were affected by this error. Even if this statistic had been accurate, and the facts show that it was not, this talking point created the impression that the education of 6,400 students was insignificant.
Even as the problems with MiSiS continued, the district was rocked by a new scandal involving the $1 billion purchase of iPads using construction bond money. Publicly, Superintendent John Deasy said that he was recusing himself from negotiations for this purchase to avoid a conflict of interest since he owned stock in Apple. However, recently released emails show that he was actively involved in behind-the-scenes negotiations and that these negotiations had started before the the bid had been publically released. Moreover, the companies involved were included in internal district e-mails where the pros and cons of the program were discussed.
As the person in charge, the Superintendent needs to be held responsible for both of these scandals. He has presided over a system of institutionalized bullying where the district has taken actions to silence teachers, parents, bond oversight committee members and even a member of the school board for daring to criticize the Superintendent’s policies. This has created a culture of fear where people are afraid to step up and warn the district that actions that are being taken will end up negatively affecting the students of the district, other stakeholders and the taxpayers. To put an end to this fear, the person causing it must be removed. We, the undersigned, therefore, call on the board to fire Superintendent John Deasy.