Newly freed from the shackles of running the second largest school district in the country, former LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy took part in a conference call this morning, answering reporters' questions for the first – er, second, if you count his Morning Edition interview he did earlier.
See also: LAUSD Chief John Deasy Resigns
Asked about his own plans for the future, Deasy said he hadn't made up his mind yet, but he saw three possibilities: working in “youth corrections,” working to support “the development of superintendents,” and… “A third would be running for political office.”
Deasy resigned in the wake of two technological controversies – his aborted plan to give every student and teacher in the district an iPad, and the so-called MISIS crisis, a disastrously bungled student information system that led to, among other things, students in Jeffeson High School sitting idly in the auditorium for weeks, not going to class.
When asked what role the two tech disasters played in his resignation, he said: “I think they played no role… My opinion is that they were strategically used to actually not have the conversation about what was making some folks uncomfortable.”
The headstrong New Englander always thought the problematic iPad rollout was a distraction from real issues like student achievement and teacher accountability, that criticisms over the technology project's bidding process were his opponents' way of taking him down a peg.
In a way, it's an insight into how he never really took his critics seriously. And it wasn't just his critics who questioned the iPad program – plenty of his allies, as well as observers that were generally sympathetic to him (like the L.A. Times' Steve Lopez) wondered why Deasy pursued the iPad program so obstinately.
And yet it's undeniable that Deasy had enemies, like the UTLA teachers union and various board members, who were indeed looking to get rid of Deasy, for his support, among other things, of charter schools, using test scores to evaluate teachers and a system that would make it easier to fire underperforming teachers.
Nevertheless, Deasy took full responsibility today for his early exit, saying it was a “consequence of my leadership style… in my failing to modify and adopt a [different] style. I wish I could have found a better balance between my feeling of urgency and the ability to have built a more unified will to move quickly to do that. I was not successful in that piece. I think I own a great deal of that. You own that and you own the results.”