After three years as Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent, John Deasy resigned from his position on October 16 after criticism over his actions and policies. His resignation has raised debates about whether he benefited or harmed LAUSD.
According to Fox News, supporters of Deasy credit him for increases in test scores and graduation rates, a reduction in student suspensions, the introduction of classroom breakfast programs to combat malnutrition, and efforts to make the evaluations of teachers and principals more rigorous.
Deasy recently implemented the Common Core curriculum, which set standards on what students should know about in subjects and also included students taking standardized tests on the computer. While that program has been controversial nationally, North Hollywood High School sophomore Steven Son told JSR that he approves of it.
“I think it would help me concentrate much better on standardized tests if I could take it on the computer since I don’t have to bubble in the problems,” Son said in an interview.
Deasy came under fire during his tenure for a $1 billion plan to give every student in the LAUSD an iPad.
“It’s the obligation of LAUSD to provide students with high quality technology,” the superintendent said in an interview to Fox News.
“Because of the technical advances, every student should have access to some sort of technology,” sophomore at Van Nuys High School Esther Choe told JSR.
Yet another student interviewed for JSR disagreed with the program, which was canceled earlier this year amid accusations that Deasy was too closely tied to Apple and an LAUSD report of “major problems with the process and the implementation” of the policy.
“Having access to such technology will still distract students, despite the district’s attempt to prohibit things like Facebook,” freshman at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies Helen Kim said. “I think we could have better [education] without that policy.”
Former LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines will take Deasy’s position as the new interim superintendent for the third time, while Deasy stated he may run for public office. Deasy will remain with the district on “special assignment” until December 31 and will receive the remainder of his 2014 salary of $350,000.