L.A. Unified’s Deasy sounding a bit greedy on new tests

In the give-him-an-inch category, could L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy really be refusing to support a new testing bill solely on the grounds that he wants the state to pay for both English and math testing this year? The bill calls on the state to pay for only one, districts’ choice. Districts that want both subjects tested can do that, but they have to pay for the extra.

In the case of gargantuan L.A. Unified, that would come to a one-time payment of $1.7 million. Under the bill, the state would be trying out the new Common Core tests this year, before they become official in 2014-15. At that point, the state will start paying for both.

According to a report by my colleague Howard Blume, Deasy says he’s withdrawing his support for the bill solely over the money. It’s his job to look for more funding for his schools, and $1.7 million isn’t chump change.

But the state is giving L.A. Unified $113 million in one-time funds solely for the purpose of implementing Common Core. Deasy is welcome to use $1.7 million of that -- well under 2% of the funding -- to have students take both kinds of tests.

The complaining seems a bit greedy, if not somewhat unseemly. The state budget sets aside more than $1 billion for districts across California to get ready for Common Core. Would Deasy rather the state kept more of the money to pay for the tests? It could have given the L.A. Unified $110 million in one-time funds, paid for both kinds of tests and had more than $1 million left in its pocket.


This way, Deasy gets a very impressive sum of money to use as he wishes, with plenty to pay for whatever additional tests he wants. And he’s complaining why?

The Time’s editorial board will be weighing in on the bill in a couple of days. It finds plenty to applaud, though it has its own reservations about the legislation, which will transform the testing landscape in California. But none of those concerns has anything to do with Deasy or his schools not getting enough money.


No longer swearing by cursive writing

School dress codes: Miniskirt madness

‘My Dinner with Assad’ haunts John Kerry