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Pick the right LAUSD supt. for the job, not the one everyone likes

To the editor: I hope the Los Angeles Unified School District's Board of Education does not spend too much time with a "lengthy process" just to appease myriad social groups when hiring a credible candidate for superintendent. ("L.A. Unified begins search for next long-term superintendent," Aug. 1)

Yes, outgoing Supt. Ramon C. Cortines has been an exceptional educational leader inside and outside the district. Moreover, the school board has the talent to select a new leader for the school community. After all, the school board is smart enough to own the proverbial store, and the superintendent runs it.

The board should streamline the process because the average Joe and Josephine in the trenches trusts it enough to pick the right person to take care of business. As the old saying goes, too many cooks (too many groups) spoil the broth.

Perhaps the salient words of Margaret Thatcher are apropos: "If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing."

Tom Kaminski, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: Taking a year to find a new superintendent for Los Angeles Unified leaves more than 600,000 students in a holding pattern.

I have a better idea. In June, hundreds of district teachers like myself retired. The school board should randomly pick a former teacher from an elementary, middle and high school to run the district. Pay them on a month-to-month basis.

We retired teachers know precisely what works and what doesn't. We know precisely how to fix it for the benefit of all students.

This would be a breath of fresh air for school board members because they rarely ask for or get input from teachers.

Bob Munson, Newbury Park

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