I haven't even been able to write about all the interesting stuff going on around the closing schools - keep an eye on the GEM blog for now.
In case you didn't hear, Los Angeles is replacing Ray Cortines with sleazy John Deasy -
Here is some stuff from Susan Ohanian.
I've been following John Deasy since 2003. Conclusion: His associate ends up in jail. Deasy ends up at the Gates Foundation and then as Los Angeles schools chief.
John Deasy first appeared on my site in 2003, back in his Santa Monica days. When Deasy moved from Santa Monica to become schools chief in Prince George's County, Stanford University education professor Michael Kirst remarked that he had a "zest for politics." The record shows that Deasy carefully notes which side of the bread is buttered. Follow the money.
As schools chief in Prince George's County, Deasy hooked up with Jon Schnur of New Leaders for New Schools, who insists that if you can lead an Army unit in Iraq, you can turn around a failing school in a large urban district.
In an ugly 2007 Associated Press story about school restructuring under NCLB, Deasy's position was quoted about Arrowhead Elementary in Prince George's County:Superintendent Deasy acknowledges the atmosphere at Arrowhead is more intense than at schools that aren't facing restructuring. He said lessons at schools missing testing goals have to be very targeted, and he says there often isn't time for electives and free play like at other schools.Rich kids can play. Poor kids (90% African American, 52% poverty) need to stick to the scripts.
At a 2008 Aspen Institute Education Summit, Deasy appeared on a panel with comfortable bedfellows, Kati Haycock, President, The Education Trust and Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers.
Here is the link to Susan's comments followed by the Rich Gibson and Amber Goslee piece at
It is worthwhile to consider the stated mission [ED NOTE - THE PLAN TO UNDERMINE PUBLIC ED LAYED OUT] of this Summmit:The missions of the Summit are to:Critics said Deasy got out of Prince George's County just ahead of the trainwreck, moving on to the Gates Foundation, where he became assistant director of education. The Gates press release is pure puffery, ending with the statement that in all of his tenures as school superintendent Deasy "championed fair teacher and administrator evaluations, pay-for-performance, staff development and training, and data-based decision-making."
*build broad public awareness of the critical
weaknesses in American education today in
relation to other industrialized nations, and
an understanding that every American has a
shared responsibility and stake in the solution
build recognition that a high quality,
effective education is vital to the success of
every American and the future health and
prosperity of our nation
*develop a national consensus that immediate
action is needed to sustain and build on the
essential principles of accountability,
transparency and high expectations for every
*develop a process to grow this consensus and
achieve lasting educational reform
establish common ground and chart the bold
steps necessary to quicken the pace of reform
and mobilize the support needed to create a
public education system that helps every
student succeed and assures a more hopeful and
prosperous future for our country.
That reads like the tombstone inscription for the death of childhood.
In the Winter 2009 issue of Philanthropy,Deasy termed his Gates work on pay-for- performance "responsible philanthropy." Interestingly, this puff piece mentions his education: Deasy received a master's degree in education as well as a well as a bachelor's degree in chemistry and education from Providence College in Rhode Island.
No mention of a Ph.D.
The Gates Foundation puff piece on his hiring avoids any mention of his education or degrees. The president of the University of Louisville defended Deasy's Ph.D. here.
I was interested in the fact that the scandal over Deasy's PhD hit the headlines at the same time he was hired by Gates. His financial connections with Robert Felner date back to his Santa Monica days:A year after taking over as superintendent ofIn 2010 Felner was sentenced to 5 1/4 years for misappropriating funds from a research grant and from contracts with urban school districts.
the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
in 2001, Deasy recommended that his school
system pay $125,000 for a survey performed by
the National Center on Public Education and
Social Policy, which is run by Felner. The
survey was later extended for two more years at
the same price, for a total of $375,000.
Deasy stayed at the Gates Foundation only a year and a half, practicing that"responsible philanthropy," which amounts to handing out money with one hand while throwing a bomb with the other. Many speculate that the Gates job was just a holding pattern for the Los Angeles appointment, which will give him the opportunity to turn LA in to the Gates model district.
Conclusion: Felner's in jail. Deasy continues to have his bread buttered side up.
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.