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School & District Management

Academic Chief for LAUSD Resigns; Blames Board Meddling

By Lesli A. Maxwell — September 16, 2013 1 min read

The top academic administrator for the Los Angeles school district—and key executor of Superintendent John Deasy’s reform agenda—announced his resignation late last Friday, saying that the school board is getting in the way of the efforts he has been leading to raise student achievement.

Jaime Aquino, who has been the chief academic officer in Los Angeles since 2011, told the Los Angeles Times that he would step down by the end of the year. Aquino has been in charge of the district’s transition to the Common Core State Standards, as well as its implementation of a major overhaul of programs and instruction for English-language learners.

In interviews with Los Angeles media, Aquino made no bones about why he’s departing. He laid all the blame at the feet of the school board, which he described as micromanaging. The composition of the board has shifted in recent months after two well-financed candidates who were seen as staunch backers of Deasy and his reform agenda were defeated. The board also has a new president, Richard Vladovic, who has reportedly not been as agreeable to Deasy’s priorities for the school system.

Deasy, along with two school board members who have been aligned with the superintendent and his agenda, expressed deep regret at Aquino’s decision to leave. Vladovic also released a statement thanking Aquino for his service to the district.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.