Following the buggy launch of a student record software, MiSiS, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has lost another executive -- CIO Ron Chandler resigned abruptly on Oct. 31 after nearly five years of service.
Earlier in the week, LAUSD terminated the contract of Bria Jones, program manager of the troubled MiSiS. A report released Oct. 13 identified MiSiS as the source of wide-ranging problems at more than 200 LAUSD schools.
Former LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy resigned on Oct. 16, and told the press shortly thereafter that he had been pushed out after testifying in landmark court case Vergara v. California. Deasy testified that the school district struggled to fire ineffective teachers and said he wanted policies that assessed teacher performance to create accountability. Deasy has been criticized for relying too heavily on standardized testing, while others characterized his management style as unilateral.
In a short letter on LinkedIn, Chandler said he plans to take a week off to regroup before he decides what to do next.
“Most of you know that I poured my heart and soul into this job,” he wrote. “I’ve worked 12-14 hours almost daily since mid-August. I’m spent and need a little mental and physical health break. I don’t know what is next for me but am open to all opportunities. I’m still a technologist and I am renewed daily with the promise of how we can move this world to a better place by leveraging technology.”
The inside story of what happened with MiSiS and the departure of Chandler is not clear. Interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines said he’s not interested in pointing fingers, but in solving the problem and getting back on track.
Some accounts of the failed and premature MiSiS launch blame Chandler and Deasy. Cortines said he will listen to the staff members who will be using MiSiS as they attempt to fix the system.
“We did not listen to teacher administrator and counselors," Cortines told the Los Angeles Daily News. "I’m making sure they’re involved."
As CIO, Chandler oversaw 575 employees and a $475 million budget. He will receive two months of a $212,274 annual salary before being taken off the payroll on Jan. 1.