The Los Angeles Unified School District has selected its new superintendent after a nationwide search for an outside hire to help fix the nation’s second-largest school district. Michelle King, a product of the LAUSD system and an executive within the district, is the first Black woman to hold the post.
The Los Angeles Times writes:
Officials eyed nationally known school leaders in Miami and San Francisco. They even talked about high-profile politicians like such as Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles).
Michelle King, the school district’s second-in-command, was also a candidate but initially seemed a long shot. King had worked her entire career at the district, and just 15 months earlier, had been passed over to serve as a interim superintendent. There was a sense that King had risen as high as she would go, that if she wanted to become superintendent, it would be elsewhere.
But over the next few months, the dynamics changed. Some of the big names the LAUSD wanted demurred. Others looked less promising on close review.
And in the end, King impressed. Several sources close to the search said she persuaded school board members that she was more than a cautious career bureaucrat and could lead the troubled district.
King’s hire was also made easier after top candidates, such as a former superintendent of the often lauded Montgomery County school system in Maryland, turned down the job and called the LAUSD a “total mess” in an earlier Los Angeles Times report.
Despite the troubles she faces in correcting the troubles of the district, King sees herself as a trailblazer and hopes to serve as an inspiration.
LAUSD board president Steve Zimmer sees King as critical component in healing rift between the various communities within the district.