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Opinion

Readers React: What to do with LAUSD Supt. Deasy

To the editor: It is time for The Times to get off the “yellow brick road” of support for L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. (“John Deasy’s future,” Editorial, Oct. 2)

As Dorothy and friends discovered, the power of the “wizard” to do good is an illusion. Deasy has done far more harm than good.

His autocratic style has caused some of the very best teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District to take early retirement. His deceptive use of school bond money to buy iPads will lead to school bond defeats for decades. The lack of accountability in the district has caused tremendous confusion every time new computer software is introduced.

What the next superintendent needs most is courage and a heart.

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Mark Elinson, Los Angeles

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To the editor: You can’t bring change to any bureaucracy without creating controversy, and the LAUSD is certainly a world-class bureaucracy. Deasy is creating controversy because he is pushing forward against forces heavily invested in the status quo.

While one sympathizes with the district’s employees (teachers in particular), who work in difficult conditions with limited funding and jobs continually subject to changing political forces, the status quo is clearly not acceptable. The district has to deliver a better education to improve the economic prospects of the student body.

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Progress is never perfect. There will always be mistakes along the way. The choice is between progress with controversy or no progress at all.

If Deasy has to leave, one hopes that his successor will be equally controversial.

O’Donnell Iselin, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: How about parents? Does anyone care what we think?

Our schools are stripped and starved, our students are disengaged, our teachers are scared, our principals are completely overworked, our libraries are closed and more than $1 billion will go to private for-profit companies for faulty technical programs.

All I ever hear about is management style. We need an educational leader, not a business CEO. What is the pedagogical vision for our schools?

Karen Wolfe, Venice

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