The last few weeks of the school year are upon us, and it has been a year full of progress, learning, and tests—in the classroom and in the Boardroom. I just finished hosting seven forums around my district to gather feedback from parents, teachers, principals, and students about communities’ visions for the future of their public schools. I am excited to build on these conversations as we look toward the future of this District.
As we have begun working toward a more transparent and accountable foundation that uses our dollars most effectively and prioritizes graduating all students college- and career-ready, the Board culminated our months-long search for the next Superintendent. This week, we selected Austin Beutner, whose experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors will help identify new, creative solutions for some of L.A. Unified’s oldest, most intractable issues. As former Superintendent Michelle King hand-picked Austin to head an advisory task force last year, he has already begun to tackle chronic absenteeism, under-utilized real estate, and increasing transparency. With both an outside perspective and inside knowledge, I am confident that Austin is uniquely qualified to take on this role.
I am excited to work with our new Superintendent to set our district on a path toward financial stability so that we can get more dollars back in the classroom and usher in a much-needed emphasis on local control. Our local districts are all run by career educators who know what is best for their schools and communities. I believe that they should have the power to educate, without the burden of top-down, one-size-fits-all District decisions. I want our schools to succeed because of our District leadership, not in spite of it.
And so, as I get out to the last few schools in my district this month, all these visits and forums about community visions, our superintendent search, and more have provided my office with a vital trove of stories, data, and context. I am grateful for this dynamic lens that is critical to forging a new path toward success for all kids.
Nick Read on for more about our new Superintendent, recent community conversations, and upcoming events at L.A. Unified!
Community Conversations: Looking to the Future in a Series of Settings
I held several community forums over the past two months to better understand the visions that our families, teachers, employees, and community members have for the future of our public schools. These conversations provided important input to think strategically and plan thoughtfully for the diverse needs of each of our school communities. Thank you to all who joined me and I look forward to sharing our learnings and continuing the conversation in our next round of forums!