UTLA statement on new LAUSD superintendent selection process

January 11, 2011 -Below is the text of a letter presented by UTLA at the LAUSD January 11, 2011 school board meeting in response to the board’s proposed action to approve a new superintendent without a nationwide search.

January 11, 2010

Dear Board of Education:

As representatives of the 45,000 credentialed district employees, we urge the LAUSD Board of Education to pursue a transparent process in the hiring of the new superintendent. At a time when public education faces unprecedented challenges, the current closed‐door decision‐making process for selecting the education leader of the second‐largest district in the country does a disservice to the students, parents and employees of LAUSD.

We join with parent leaders and numerous community‐based organizations in urging a process for selecting the superintendent that respects the interests and concerns of the broad Los Angeles community. During this period of profound public mistrust of elected leaders and government institutions, the district’s closed‐door decision‐making process further deepens community cynicism and fosters the idea that school board members prefer to operate in secret rather than respecting and engaging their constituents in an open and transparent selection process.

We urge you to delay the selection of the new superintendent and immediately begin a national search that respects the integrity of the Los Angeles community. The students, parents and employees of LAUSD deserve no less.

Joshua Pechthalt
UTLA‐AFT Vice President On Behalf of UTLA