Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gates’ Boy Deasy to Run LAUSD

Bill Gates protégé John Deasy is set to replace Ramon Cortines for superintendent of LAUSD. Deasy has a sleazy history of associating with felons. He has a bogus doctorate degree. He flees from low income districts when the going gets tough. And best of all, gets cushy jobs working for greasy billionaire philanderers, er philanthropists, which help him rise quickly to become boss of the nation’s second largest school district.  

Mike Klonsky says this about John Deasy: A look at my 2008 post on Deasy's jumping ship in Prince Georges County, Md., will show you what to expect from him in the way of leadership. He was touted as a “superstar” and the great white hope of the power philanthropists, when he came into this predominantly poor, African-American district from Santa Monica. He bailed out when the district went broke and criticism in the black community began to mount.

EdNotesOnline compared him to Cathy Black, but with a phony degree.

Susan Ohanian had this to say:   

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."

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 of
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.

In 2010 Felner was sentenced to 5 1/4 years for misappropriating funds from a research grant and from contracts with urban school districts.

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.


And LAUSD teachers should brace themselves for another rough year, assuming Deasy lasts that long.


  1. How long has it been since Deasy was a teacher? Will he be just like the others blaming the teachers for everything and enhancing the us (School Board, Superintendent, Administrators,) versus them (teachers)?

  2. Deasy will be like the others, or worse. As a Gates protege, LAUSD should be prepared for more value added, more charters, more harassment of teachers, and a slashing of local programs and services. Keep in mind that LAUSD is likely to incur as much as $1 billion in cuts next year, if Brown can't get voters to approve his tax hikes.