March 3, 2022

Carl J. Petersen: I Hope Our New Superintendent Is Smart Enough To See Past This

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Carl J. Petersen keeps an eye on the Los Angeles school system. Here he suggests that the new superintendent needs something other than carefully orchestrated visits to school sites.

Whenever an executive from my employer’s corporate office schedules a tour of our facility, an email is sent out to ensure that the plant is cleaned up appropriately. I have never understood the value in this as the interested party is not seeing how the plant operates, only that the employees know what condition it is supposed to be kept.

At least in this example, there is no downside to the action. While some resources may be diverted from production, the plant is being brought up to the condition that it should be in, even when a VIP is not visiting. The same cannot be said for how LAUSD’s army of bureaucrats prepared for visits to school sites by the new Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, during his first week on the job.

According to a report from one school that was on Carvalho’s itinerary, “They watered the grass nonstop for a week, mopped the floors of the rooms he was gonna be in, they put new tables in those rooms too then removed them the next day.” Another parent responded that “They decorated it all nice for him to come and removed it the next day! They literally put down bark to make it look nice and threw it in trash bags after he left!

To temporarily replace tables for a visit by the Superintendent is insulting to the students who spend every day in that classroom. The fact that they would put in temporary landscaping for a visit and discard it after the Superintendent left should offend every taxpayer whose money was literally thrown away.

It is also interesting to note which schools were selected for the itinerary. While the community at Pio Pico has been trying to get representatives from the district to discuss the scheduled closure of their campus, this school was not visited by the incoming Superintendent. Instead, he visited GALA, the school that will take its place on the campus. This reinforced the feelings at Pio Pico that their voices did not matter as they were being pushed from their campus with zero transparency.

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