The Los Angeles Unified School District said Thursday, October 21 that its search for a permanent superintendent had entered a “new phase” with the release of a community engagement report detailing the views of some 30,000 students, parents, staff and community members. about what they’re looking for in a new district manager.
According to a district statement, respondents had “clear preferences” for qualifications – including experience as a teacher and / or administrator (90% of those surveyed); experience working in and with diverse communities (90%); and experience managing a very large organization (89%).
The LAUSD board of directors will incorporate the results of the community’s contribution into later phases of the selection process, including the full job description and selection criteria, the district said.
No deadline has been announced.
LAUSD has been operating under the direction of Acting Superintendent Megan K. Reilly since July 1, following the resignation of Austin Beutner after his three-year term.
According to LAUSD’s statement on Thursday, nearly 30,000 people participated in an online survey available in eight languages, with outreach also including eight focus groups with organizations and unions in the education community, 14 listening sessions community organized virtually across the board’s seven districts and direct engagement with nearly 1,000 community members at 129 school sites.
Of more than 28,500 respondents, 47% identified themselves as parents, 10% as students and 23% as employees of LA Unified (19% certified, 14% classified), the district said.
When asked to prioritize a variety of qualities and characteristics, respondents most often selected: listening to the community, educational / administrative experience, problem solver, fosters transparency and effective communicator, said the district.
Collaborate, Inc., the company hired to solicit comments and compile the report, shared initial information with the board’s community and family engagement committee last week, with the full report released on Thursday.
The district said that, based on the listening sessions and focus groups, the other preferred qualifications were someone who:
– Will fight for more funding for LA Unified;
– Is a “bridge builder” and supports all schools to increase their performance;
– Is concerned with virtual learning and ensures that students in special education receive adequate resources;
– prepare students to be part of the future workforce; and
– Understands the importance of fairness and representation.
Beutner’s decision not to extend his three-year contract with LAUSD was announced in April. As he left, he said that future district leaders should first and foremost “keep the schools and the students they serve at the center of the work.”
He said the district has successfully transitioned from a one-off top-down bureaucracy to a more agile organization led by local teams, and he hopes it will stay that way.
The full report on community engagement can be viewed at reach.lausd.net/suptsearch2021.