LAUSD: John Deasy Vs. Mike Bloomberg
The NYT's Jenny Medina weighs in with a new story about the LAUSD school board race, whose primary day is tomorrow. And, while much of the material is familiar, the story reminds us that LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy has been less much divisive a personality than, say, Joel Klein in NYC or Michelle Rhee in DC.
Indeed, though they oppose Deasy at nearly every turn -- threatening to block a proposal to make student achievement 30 percent of teacher evaluations is the last example -- the teachers union and many of its endorsed candidates have been very careful not to try and run against him.
Running against NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is much easier -- and in fact has become the union's main talking point. Medina reports that Bloomberg has only given to an unspecified handful of local school board races in the past, and that StudentsFirst has only given to two (West Sacramento and Burbank).
However, the most useful part of the NYT story is that it reminds us that this year's race is part of a long-running series of conflicts between reform-minded mayors and UTLA going back at least to 2006-2007, when Villaraigosa tried to gain direct control of the school system.
For more on the history of this conflict, look at the $7 million showdown between the Mayor and UTLA in 2007, the last time the school board was up for grabs (and direct contributions were unlimited). For more about the rise in outside spending nationally, read about the DC mayoral primary in which AFT spent $1 million to get rid of Michelle Rhee (and was smart enough not to brag about it ahead of time).
Want the really nitty-gritty stuff? Read about an uncomfortable encounter between former allies Steve Zimmer and Joan Sullivan (Mayor Villaraigosa's education deputy). And check out the nasty and largely deceptive mailers that are being sent out (including the one pictured here). You can follow all the latest via @laschoolreport.