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Los Angeles Skips Search, Names New Leader

Los Angeles dispensed with a superintendent search process, naming deputy superintendent John Deasy as head of the 678,000-student district today.

The announcement, which according to the Associated Press was made by Board President Monica Garcia at a news conference, comes as little surprise. The current superintendent, Ramon Cortines, hired Deasy as his deputy in August, then vacated his office and moved to a smaller workspace to make room for his deputy. Cortines is expected to retire sometime this spring.

Prior to joining Los Angeles, Deasy served as the deputy director of the education division for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. Before that, he was superintendent of the 128,000-student Prince George's County district, in Maryland.

The Los Angeles Times, anticipating the leadership change, wrote an article yesterday noting that Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the city was "lucky" to have Deasy. However, the president of the teachers' union in the district said that Deasy's involvement in efforts to revamp teacher evaluations was "disappointing."

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