The Los Angeles Unified School District is a mess. IMO, the best action the board can take is to break it up into several smaller districts so that students in contrasting areas can learn in the way that best suits them.

But that break-up is not likely to happen as it goes against the number one rule of a bureaucracy, which is to protect the status quo.

In the meantime, the district is looking for a new superintendent. A recent story in the Los Angeles Times gave capsule reviews of 43 potential candidates for the job. (N-MUSD superintendent Fred Navarro was not among them.) One common thread running through several candidates is their record of academic improvement and in a few cases, of turning around underperforming schools.

Gee, what a concept.

In one case, the lack of academic success was a handicap:

“Odds: A perfect resume, but not universally seen as successful in Santa Ana, which makes her a long shot. Was probably a stronger contender when L.A. Unified opted to go with John Deasy instead.”

We need our superintendent to have the academic success focus they seek in Los Angeles. We need our superintendent to be less focused on the success of the State of the Schools breakfast than he is in improving many of Costa Mesa’s schools. Improving those schools should be numbers 1-10 on his “to do” list. Everything else should wait or be delegated.

That’s not too much to ask of someone who will be getting about a million tax dollars over the next three years.

Steve Smith

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