Pass / Fail | So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

UPDATED: LAUSD superintendent Deasy 'saddened' by deputy's resignation

John E. Deasy, superintendent of LAUSD, said he was
John E. Deasy, superintendent of LAUSD, said he was "saddened" by his deputy's departure, but refused to comment on the circumstances surrounding the resignation.
Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to

Download this 0MB

2:30p.m: In an interview with KPCC, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy expressed regret over Friday's sudden announcement that his top aide over classroom instruction, Jaime Aquino, would be leaving the district.

"I'm very sad to see Jaime leave," said Deasy. "He's a brilliant leader and an unbelievably talented man. His leadership has been tremendously important." 

Deasy and school board members and staff reached by KPCC have declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure, but Aquino told the Los Angeles Times that the seven-member board has been riddled by paralysis and micromanages day-to-day operations.

"The current political climate does not allow me to lead an agenda that is in the best interests of the kids," he said.

On Tuesday, the board put over for the second time a vote on how to spend new money coming to the district from the state to transition to new standards called the Common Core.

Deasy declined to comment on whether he agrees with Aquino's bleak assessment of the board, only stating that he hopes the board can be productive in the future.

"I look forward to the board supporting the initiatives that have gotten the results for students," Deasy said. 

Deasy said he will miss working with Aquino, who he called a good friend.

Attempts to reach Aquino were unsuccessful.

-Ben Bergman

EARLIER: Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Jaime Aquino has notified the Los Angeles Unified School District that he plans to resign from his post at the end of the year, a district spokesman said. 

The departure comes as a surprise to many as the district prepares to enter the first year of new learning standards called Common Core — an initiative Aquino is spearheading. 

The Common Core standards, championed by the U.S. Department of Education, emphasize teaching critical thinking skills over rote memorization.

Aquino has encountered some friction since he joined L.A. Unified. Much of that has come from his role in making classroom use of iPads a cornerstone of Common Core adoption.

Scott Folsom is a member of the independent committee overseeing the money for district’s purchase of iPads. 

“I need to know that after he is gone, there is going to be somebody in place who also believes in this and this district wraps itself around that mission," said Folsom. 

Earlier this week, the school board voted to delay Aquino's budget to implement the Common Core. Some  members cited concerns over the number of positions the district had requested to train teachers in the new standards. 

Aquino assumed his current position in July, 2011. He oversees local district superintendents, curriculum and instruction. He plans to leave the district at the end of the year.