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LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy resigns

Darienne Driver is first woman and one of youngest to be named superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy increased academic achievement and graduation rates but faced criticism over technology programs.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy increased academic achievement and graduation rates but faced criticism over troubled technology programs.

Superintendent John Deasy of Los Angeles USD resigned in October after reaching a settlement with the city’s school board. His 3 ½-year tenure included increased academic achievement and graduation rates in LAUSD despite economic hardships, the district stated.

But he faced criticism over a troubled districtwide iPad plan and malfunctioning digital student records system. Deasy also testified against teachers’ unions this year in a lawsuit, saying rules that made it difficult to remove bad teachers hurt students. Deasy said in a recent statement he is considering running for public office.

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña replaced 15 of 42 superintendents in October. The change came after she told superintendents they would have to reapply for their jobs and meet new minimum requirements of at least 10 years of experience in schools, including three as a principal. Fariña also announced then that she would no longer give schools A through F grades, and she would implement a new rating system.

Darienne Driver is the first woman and one of the youngest individuals to be named superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. She had been working as interim superintendent since June, but began her position as official superintendent in October.

Driver joined the district in 2012 as its first chief innovation officer, and has led efforts to improve truancy and graduation rates. She also led the district’s implementation of the Common Core.

Principal Jayne Ellspermann of West Port High School, part of Marion County Public Schools in Florida, was named 2015 National Principal of the Year in October by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In the past three years, school graduation rates rose 15 points, and student participation in extracurricular activities increased seven-fold to nearly 70 percent.

Her school boasts the highest test scores in the district. Students can also graduate high school with an associate’s degree in an on-campus college program that Ellspermann spearheaded.

Superintendent Rocky Killion of West Lafayette Community School Corporation was named 2015 Indiana Superintendent of the Year in October. He received the award from the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents for leading a public campaign to raise more than $200,000 to save five teaching positions in the district, and producing a documentary called “Rise Above the Mark” to illustrate the challenges facing public education in recent years.