THE BLOG

Collaboration and Innovation at the LAUSD

01/13/2011 05:29 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This morning, I toured one of LA's most innovative campuses with LAUSD's new Superintendent-designate Dr. John Deasy.

At Synergy-Quincy Jones Elementary Schools, we had the chance to count with kindergarteners, sing along with grade-schoolers, and meet with dedicated teachers. It was an inspiring way to start the day.

Dr. Deasy, School Board President Monica Garcia and I chose Quincy Jones Elementary and Synergy Charter Academy because, together, they are one of our most unique and progressive education models.

Co-located on the same campus, the traditional public school and charter public school operate collaboratively, sharing spaces, resources, and best practices. This innovative model is exactly the kind of partnership among various education stakeholders that we're trying to promote as we push forward with important education reforms.

Synergy-Quincy shows that charter and traditional public schools don't need to be at odds, but can work together and learn from one another. Indeed, collaboration is the very key to Synergy-Quincy's success.

Dr. Deasy, Board President Garcia and I visited the Synergy-Quincy Jones campus to show that we have an incredible success model right here in our own back yard. The kind of thought, innovation and collaboration that went into building this school is exactly what we hope to see flourish at LAUSD under Dr. Deasy's leadership.

As a former teacher, principal, coach, superintendent, and deputy director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Deasy understands the unique challenges LAUSD faces as the second largest school district in the nation.

And as Deputy Superintendent for the past six months, has already benefited from on-the-job training. Dr. Deasy has experience in nearly every facet of public education, and he's demonstrated a tremendous commitment to educating English language learners and low-income students, who respectively account for 32% and 77% of LAUSD students.

In these difficult times of revenue shortfalls, budget cuts, and increased layoffs, it is most important than ever that we have excellent leadership in place at LAUSD. We need smart, compassionate educators who will push through the reforms necessary to ensure that all Los Angeles students receive the world-class education that they deserve.

I look forward to working with Dr. Deasy to promote increased innovation and partnership that will give LAUSD students and families better and more choices.

Dr. John Deasy is the right person for this job. Los Angeles is lucky to have him.