Despite rumors that he will resign early next year, Superintendent John Deasy will remain head of the Los Angeles Unified School District through the end of his recently renewed contract, the city's board of education decided Tuesday.
The future of the nation's second-largest school district and its leadership were at stake Tuesday when the school board mets behind closed doors for Deasy's annual performance review.
The meeting comes after last week's reports that Deasy may resign in February, just shy of three years after accepting the top job with the nation's second-largest school district. Deasy told NBC4 last week that he has not submitted a resignation letter and will release more information after Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.
The meeting began about noon. Nearly seven hours later, the board released its decision to retain Deasy and extend his contract -- for the second time this month -- through June 2016.
Deasy received a one-year contract extension in October, extending that contract through June 2015, according to a report in the LA Times that was confirmed to NBC4 by a school district source. The extension is automatic, provided that Deasy received a positive review by the end of October.
Deasy and the school board have the right to terminate his employment at any time with 30 days' notice.
The Times, citing unnamed district sources, reported Thursday that Deasy planned to resign in February. Deasy responded to the report, saying he has not submitted a resignation letter.
Since succeeding Ramon Cortines as superintendent in April 2011, Deasy has backed a revamped teacher-evaluation system that includes the use of students' standardized test score. He changed the seniority system to limit the impact of school job cuts with less-experienced instructors -- usually the first to be laid off.
The moves made him a target for the teachers' union and placed him at odds with some Board of Education members. UTLA President Warren Fletcher has said Deasy's leadership "was not taking the district in the right direction."
The troubled rollout of a plan to deliver iPads to LAUSD students also drew criticism. The "debacle has been especially troubling," the United Teachers Los Angeles union said in a statement.
Deasy's defenders include Gary Toebben, president/CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, who said Deasy "has the unique skills and commitment necessary to move the district forward" on student achievement and technology in the classroom."
Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, called Deasy "a true champion of at-risk students... whose leadership has yielded increased test scores and graduation rates.
Supporters from several community groups gathered Tuesday morning outside district headquarters.
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