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New L.A. schools chief has Rhode Island ties

January 21, 2011

The new head of the sprawling and troubled Los Angeles Unified School District is a former Coventry superintendent.

John Deasy was named to the L.A. post this month. He led the Coventry schools for five years, according to his bio.

But Deasy’s Rhode Island ties do not stop there.

His mentor and doctoral advisor at the University of Rhode Island was Robert Felner, a professor who recently pled guilty to pocketing funds from the research institutes he set up at URI and the University of Kentucky.

According to the LA Times, Deasy followed Felner to Kentucky, where Felner allowed him to complete his doctorate after just one semester at the University of Kentucky in Louisville. School officials later upheld the granting of Deasy’s degree.

The appointment did not come without contoversy, according to the LA Weekly, including questions about the accuracy of Deasy’s resume.

At the helm of L.A. Unified Deasy is sure to face challenges, among them teachers who were stunned and angered by the LA Times release of teacher ratings based on student test scores. Just this week, two students were seriously injured after a gun went off, apparently accidentally, at a high school.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 5:16 pm

    Ten years later, Deasy’s career is the only clear outcome of the $20 million Gates put into RI.

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