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Home / News / Education / LAUSD releases community engagement report on superintendent search

LAUSD releases community engagement report on superintendent search

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The Los Angeles Unified School District said Thursday that its search for a permanent superintendent has entered a “new phase” with the release of a community engagement report detailing the opinions of some 30,000 students, parents, staff and community members on what they’re looking for in a new district leader.

According to a district release, 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 Education will integrate results of the community input into subsequent phases of the selection process, including the full job description and selection criteria, the district said.

No time frame was announced.

The LAUSD has been operating under the direction of Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly since July 1, following the resignation of Austin Beutner after his three-year tenure.

According to Thursday’s LAUSD release, nearly 30,000 people participated in an online survey that was available in eight languages, with outreach also including eight focus groups with education community organizations and unions, 14 community listening sessions hosted virtually across all seven board districts and direct engagement with nearly 1,000 community members at 129 school sites.

Of more than 28,500 respondents, 47% self-identified as parents, 10% as students and 23% as L.A. Unified employees (19% certificated, 14% classified), the district said.

When asked to prioritize among a variety of qualities and characteristics, respondents most frequently selected: listens to the community, teaching/administrative experience, problem solver, promotes transparency, and effective communicator, the district said.

Collaborate, Inc., the firm hired to solicit input and compile the report, shared initial toplines with the board’s Community and Family Engagement Committee last week, with the full report released Thursday.

The district said that, from the listening sessions and focus groups, other qualifications preferred were someone who:

  • will fight for more funding for L.A. Unified;
  • is a “`bridge-builder” and support all schools to increase performance;
  • is concerned with virtual learning and ensuring special education students receive adequate resources;
  • will prepare students to be a part of the future workforce; and
  • understands the importance of equity and representation.

Beutner’s decision not to extend beyond his three-year contract with LAUSD was announced in April. Upon leaving, he said future district leaders need to first and foremost “keep schools and the students they serve as the center of the work.”

He said the district has successfully transformed from a top-down, one- size-fits-all bureaucracy to a more nimble organization led by local teams, and he hopes it will stay that way.

The full Community Engagement Report can be viewed at achieve.lausd.net/suptsearch2021.

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