John Deasy speaks out after resigning as LAUSD superintendent

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Less than 24 hours after resigning as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, John Deasy spoke out about being pushed out of the district.

The ousted superintendent said that students are in trouble and they need help from highly effective teachers and protection from adults organized in special interest groups. He did not use the words "teachers union," just "adults."

Deasy spoke in a teleconference with two other former superintendents who also were pushed out.

"My concern was, is and remains that youth well-being be paramount and that their rights come first," Deasy said.

Deasy said he and other California superintendents faced a growing tide of opposition after testifying in a landmark court case.

"Vergara v. California" asserted that statutes failed to provide equal access to quality education for poor and minority students. Deasy testified about the difficulty of firing ineffective teachers. He wanted policies that assessed teacher performance and held instructors more accountable.

UTLA, the teachers union for the Los Angeles school district, says that Deasy's proposal was unfair and was based too much on standardized testing. Other critics denounced his management style, calling it unilateral.

The union also knocked Deasy for his plan to provide iPads to students. The tablets were quickly hacked and misused. The union denounced his response to a technology failure that messed up students' schedules at Jefferson High School. Hundreds waited for weeks with no classes at all.

Deasy says he wishes he had done a better job of getting teachers to feel his same sense of urgency about education. He also talked about why the technology issues became a political football.

"My opinion is that they were strategically used actually to not have a conversation about what was making some folks comfortable or uncomfortable," said Deasy. "I wish I could have found a better balance between my feeling of urgency in my observation of overwhelming peril and poverty for kids and the ability to have built a more unified will to move quickly to do that."

Deasy says he has not decided what he wants to do next, but may consider running for public office.

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