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New LAUSD chief named

December 27, 2019

first_img“I look forward to learning about Admiral Brewer’s qualifications, record and educational philosophy. It is my hope that the admiral will be committed to bringing fundamental reform to our schools, putting students first, and building a genuine partnership with the council of mayors.” Brewer has been responsible for recruits undergoing remedial classes as well as for building schools in Guam, Canter said. The Farmville, Va., native who now lives in Florida began his decorated naval career in 1970, and his last assignment was overseeing the Military Sealift Command, which operates 124 ships and employs more than 8,000 people around the world, according to an official biography. Romer, who has led the district since 2000, gave the thumbs-up sign and said, “Great choice,” after the board’s vote, but said he would comment further at a press conference scheduled at the district’s headquarters today. Canter said her first phone call after the vote was to Villaraigosa’s education adviser, Deputy Mayor Ray Cortines, and when she couldn’t reach him, she contacted his chief of staff, Robin Kramer, to allow the mayor to speak to Brewer. United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy echoed the mayor’s disappointment, saying he knew nothing about Brewer other than he’s a high-ranking officer in the navy. Duffy said he had directed researchers to dig up information on Brewer, an Orlando, Fla., resident. “We are very disappointed that the district did not consult us before making this appointment, since the key component of the educational system is the teacher,” Duffy said. “I have concerns because I’ve heard that he was involved in some sort of education, but he has no grounding in K-12, adult education or career and tech education. “At least with Roy (Romer), he had a background in education.” The announcement came after weeks of sniping between the mayor and the school board. The mayor’s education reform plan, Assembly Bill 1381, which was signed into law, would shift a great deal of authority from the school board to the superintendent and would give the mayor significant authority over running the district – particularly in directly overseeing three clusters of the lowest performing schools. Villaraigosa asked the board to acknowledge the spirit of the law – that he would eventually be working closely with the new superintendent – and allow him a say in picking Romer’s successor. But the school board insisted that under the current law, it was their duty to select the next superintendent. Also, the future of AB 1381 is uncertain. The district filed a lawsuit this week against the state of California, challenging the law’s constitutionality. Villaraigosa had said that he would torpedo the appointment of anyone he felt didn’t share his vision to reform the 727,000-student district. But officials at the Mayor’s Office clarified that in order for Villaraigosa to use his power to veto a superintendent hiring – bestowed upon him under the new law – some portion of the superintendent’s contract has to be up for the board’s discussion after Jan. 1. Otherwise, the mayor’s only opportunity will be during contract renewal talks. Brewer will begin contract negotiations with the district and was expected to start within a month or two, Canter said. The school board has been criticized for choosing from a lackluster list of finalists and rushing through the process, but Canter defended their pace, saying they started the process in March with the goal of finishing in mid-October. naush.boghossian@dailynews.com (818)713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! School board members praised Brewer, who said the first thing he’ll do as superintendent will be to listen, learn, assess and act, board President Marlene Canter said. “I’ve always said I’m looking for a giant to stand on Roy Romer’s shoulders. This man has leadership and education oozing out of him. He’s been surrounded by educators all of his life,” Canter said. Brewer would become the district’s second African-American superintendent. Sid Thompson headed up the district from 1992-97. Villaraigosa, who will assume a greater role in overseeing the district on Jan. 1 and will be working closely with the superintendent, expressed disappointment that the board selected Brewer without his input and while he was away on a trade mission to Asia. “I am deeply disappointed that the school board made this decision without the meaningful inclusion of parents, teachers, the council of mayors or the broader Los Angeles community,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. Los Angeles Unified on Thursday named a retired navy admiral to lead the 727,000-student district, disappointing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who is set to begin sharing power with the district but had no say in the critical decision. David Brewer III, 60, will take command of the nation’s second-largest school district as it braces for a new power structure that gives more control of public education to the superintendent and the mayor. Brewer has broad administrative experience but no background in running a school district. After a full day of discussion and interviewing three finalists behind closed doors, the school board voted unanimously Thursday evening to enter into negotiations with Brewer. last_img

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