Miller, Cortines, Romer, Thompson, Brewer, Anton, and Handler. Not a basketball team, but the names of the LAUSD Superintendents over the last 30 or so years.
Why so many? They tried a former governor with limited educational knowledge. They tried an admiral with almost no educational knowledge and his buyout was expensive.
Is the District truly governable? It is large and unruly stretching from Chatsworth to San Pedro, from East Los Angeles to Pacific Palisades. It takes in students from cities and county areas: Gardena, San Fernando, Carson, West Hollywood, Marina del Rey and more. At some schools parents are involved and truly act as stakeholders, yet at other schools parents are just trying to survive in this world.
The Superintendent has to get along with a publicly elected Board of Education that is accused of micromanaging, and generally is composed of political office seekers seeking higher political office.
He or she must get along with the top Administrators downtown and the local Administrators throughout the District. The information coming to the Superintendent and the Board is presented in such a manner as to maintain the bureaucratic excess and budgets of the people who gather and present information.
The Superintendent must get along with the City Council of Los Angeles, and the other cities, the mayors, and all other elected officials.
The Superintendent must cooperate with the various media who portray all the negatives of the district to the public and who rarely cover the positives.
The Superintendent must get along with a diversity of people and schools: Schools rich with parental support and schools begging for a dime, schools which children walk to, and schools where children hear gunshots regularly, schools where test scores remain high and schools where children speak a different language at home, schools where the students are enriched by music, dance, computer instruction, science labs, and enlarged libraries and schools where lockdowns are a normal occurrence.
There are already more challenges. Next year the budget shortfall may be very big!
What to cut? Who to cut? What about the human costs when people lose their jobs, their future, and maybe their dignity?
It all comes back to the question: Is it best for the students?
Would you want to be Superintendent?