LAUSD'S MATT HILL CONTINUES TO FAIL UPWARD AS BURBANK UNIFIED'S NEW SUPERINTENDENT DESIGNANT
In opposing the choice of LAUSD's Matt Hill as the new superintendent of the Burbank Unfied School District (BUSD), the Burbank Teacher's Union regrettably missed its strongest argument when it only faulted Mr. Hill for his not having ever been a teacher. While it has always been conventional wisdom that teaching experience is an absolute prerequisite for even being considered as a superintendent, the reality of that job shows that nothing could be further from the truth in handling the day to day running of what in the final analysis a more than 6 billion a year business.
The superintendent as fiduciary of the district in reality should have a normal adversarial relationship to the vendors of goods and services whose exclusive interest is in maximizing profit, which is clearly antithetical to that of the district. It Is Hill's lack of business acumen, along with that same deficit in Cortines, Deasy, and other prior LAUSD superintendents that continues to see the district being constantly raked over the financial coals with iPad, student records, and other very expensive scandals attributable to a culture of institutionalized bad business practices.
Where Hill has failed in the past and is likely to fail in the future is not because he was never a teacher, but rather because he is a bad businessman without the independence necessary to put LAUSD's or BUSD's interests above those of charter proponent and public school privatizer Eli Broad who initially artificially inseminated Hill into LAUSD back in 2009 during a prior tenure of the present LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines. At the time, Eli Broad was even willing to pick up the cost of Hill's salary, which I am sure that Broad viewed as a small cost for owning Hill in much the same way he clearly owns John Deasy, who predictably went to work for the Broad Foundation after finally being unloaded by LAUSD.
The clearly disengenuous nature of three-time and present LAUSD Superintendent Cortines is attested to by his reaction to his being told about Hill's being chosen as superintendent at BUSD: Cortines salutes Hill for "his ability to think out of the box," when it is clear when one looks at the involvement of Cortines, Deasy, and their subordinate Hill that they all live in a "box" where the interests of the Eli Broad Foundation, charters, and highly profitable privatization are always put above the interests of the district, students, teachers, and parents. I take a very different meaning when Cortines says about Hill, "There isn't anything he isn't willing to try and 'no' was not in his vocabulary," even when we now look at the iPad, student records system, and other fiascos that Hill was deeply involved in where his lack of any independent judgment lead to a blind following of Cortines and Deasy to the profound financial and consequential academic detriment of LAUSD.
If the experience of now three-time-loser ex-teacher Superintendent Ramon Cortines or his equally no business savvy predecessor John Deasy are any indicator they show again and again a business naivete that makes it easy for them to be hoodwinked by LAUSD's vendors who are not adverse to taking advantage of an LAUSD administration comprised of ex-teachers with little or no knowledge of either business or finance. In fact, I would argue that the main reason present three-time-LAUSD-loser Superintendent Ramon Cortines has never been successful in any one of the NINE SCHOOL DISTRICTS he has headed in his long and anything but illustrious public education administrative career is precisely the fact that he and his successor John Deasy were teachers with little or no business expertise required to run an 6 billion a year plus public education business, where such business acumen is far more important than whether a Cortines or Deasy had teaching experience.There is a certain sick irony to school districts targeting teachers at the top of the salary scale on fabricated charges of incompetence, while ignoring clear and convincing evidence of systemic corruption of administrators.
In writing about Matt Hill for the L.A. Times Broad-party-line reporter Howard Blume seems hard pressed to find anything positive that Hill has done during his tenure at LAUSD, so he tries in a rather tenuous manner to allude to questionable "academic gains over [Hill's] time." But what Blume and other reporters seem to have no curiosity about in light of the recent test cheating scandals coming out of Atlanta, Georgia- that is putting some administrators behind bars for many years- is how is it possible that "academic gains" somehow don't show up when LAUSD students go to junior colleges, where 75% wind up taking remedial classes and where the majority ultimately drop out. These students somehow passed the Caifornia High School Exit Exams (CAHSEE) and get valid high school diplomas at LAUSD, but nonetheless wind up finding 75% of them taking remedial classes in complete derogation of any claim of real "academic gains" at LAUSD or elsewhere. Could some administrators at LAUSD be cooking the academic books in much the same manner as was done in Atlanta? It seems if we have to wait for reporters like Howard Blume or the Daily News Barbara Jones, we've got a long wait- even longer when one takes note that Barbara Jones is no longer reporting but went to work for LAUSD Board member Tamar Galatzan. They say incest begins at home.If you or someone you know has been targeted and are in the process of being dismissed and need legal defense, get in touch:
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