In John Deasy, the Los Angeles Board of Education selected a new superintendent who is seemingly a man of contradictions.
He was raised in a strong union household yet challenges work rules fiercely defended by unions. He supports making it easier to dismiss teachers but also insists that a school system cannot fire its way to success.
He's going to be accused of being a tool of the Gates Foundation, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — he has associations with them all — but his career also encompasses a quirky independent streak.
That's one way to spin it. Deasy's career path is unusual, but mostly because he went from being superintendent of a rural/suburban district in Rhode Island where he brought in $2,967,640 in Gates money in 2000, to superintendent of Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in 2001. That's not a typical career path.
And when things got hot for Deasy in Prince George's County, Gates gave him a nice safe exit path and time to rehabilitate his image.
If Deasy isn't a made man to Gates, who is?