New LA Superintendent “Blasts Culture of Low Expectations”

Howard Blume & Joel Rubin:

The L.A. schools chief tells administrators ‘we’re going to teach you how to change.’ They’ll get leadership training and will be held accountable for student achievement, he says.
In his first formal speech to administrators, Los Angeles Schools Supt. David L. Brewer told principals and managers Friday that they must change both themselves and a pervasive culture of “low expectations for brown and black children,” adding that they would receive mandatory leadership training and support but also would be held accountable for student achievement.
Brewer, a devotee of management books, set out eight principles — including creating “a sense of urgency,” “building a team” and “communicating a vision” — that he expects principals and others to follow.
In a later interview, Brewer said the Los Angeles Unified School District would launch a pilot management-training program, with courses shaped by input from universities, outside consultant firms and corporations.
“We’re going to teach you how to change,” Brewer told his audience, promising “world-class leadership and management training” as well as real support from higher-ups. “You’re going to need it,” he said.
Many of the roughly 1,500 administrators in attendance took notes on stationery provided free by a credit union that was trying to drum up business. After Brewer’s morning speech at a hall in the Los Angeles Convention Center, “inspirational” was the adjective of choice for many.