Mayor names his schools team

On January 1 Mayor Villaraigosa becomes responsible for three clusters of L.A. Unified schools — three high schools and the elementary and middle schools that feed students to them. It's the only part of AB 1381 that kinda sorta represents "mayoral takeover" of actual classrooms. But the Los Angeles mayor's office has never run any schools before, so today Villaraigosa named a high-powered team to oversee his corner of education reform. Release after the jump (with misspelling of the mayor's name left in.)


LOS ANGELES - With legislation poised to take effect on January 1 granting the Mayor of Los Angeles oversight over three clusters of low-performing schools, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced the selection of a Mayor’s Partnership for School Excellence leadership team.

“These are five world-class leaders in the field of education, each of whom has served as a bold change agent at every stage of their careers,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Together with my distinguished Deputy Mayor Ray Cortines and the entire education staff in the Mayor’s office, this team will bring highest caliber of experience and talent to this critically important challenge.”

Named today were Marshall Tuck, current President of Green Dot Schools, who will direct the Partnership’s reform efforts; Dr. Gretta Pruitt, who will oversee the development of primary curriculum; Dr, Sylvia Rousseau, who will oversee the development of secondary curriculum; Nike Irvin, President of the Riordan Foundation, who will manage implementation of Partnership initiatives; and Dr. Lynn Winters, who will serve as a consultant responsible for developing and tracking performance metrics and targets.

The Mayor’s Partnership for School Excellence is charged with working collaboratively with parents, teachers, and the community to plan and manage the school clusters.

“The hands-on knowledge this team brings to the Mayor’s Office spans curriculum development, school management, assessment and evaluation. Collectively, this team brings nearly 100 years of experience in the area of education to the Mayor’s Partnership,” Mayor Villaraigosia [sic] said.

In addition to the new team, the Mayor’s office announced that it work with California State University Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California to improve education and reduce the achievement gap in the LAUSD. The purpose of this partnership is to work collaboratively with educators, parents, and the community to ensure that we meet the needs of students and families within the Mayor’s School Partnership for Excellence.


Marshall Tuck joined Green Dot Public Schools in July 2002 as Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to President in fall 2004. Prior to joining Green Dot, Marshall was the General Manager of the Strategic Accounts group at Model N (an enterprise software company) where he led a division focused on opening new markets for the company. Before Model N, Marshall worked at Salomon Brothers as an Investment Banker focused on both Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance in a variety of different industries. He also spent time as a volunteer Math and English teacher in Zimbabwe and Thailand. Marshall graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and received an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Nike was appointed President of The Riordan Foundation in January 2000. Nike was directly responsible for partnering the Foundation with other donor organizations to help raise money for Rx for Reading, The Riordan Foundation's funding initiative. Prior to this post, Ms. Irvin served as executive director of The Riordan Programs at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Ms. Irvin is the recipient of the 2001 Women Aware Emerging Leaders Award and the 2002 American Marshall Memorial Fellowship. A Los Angeles native who earned her undergraduate degree in economics/political science from Yale and her MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School, Ms. Irvin is an advanced SCUBA diver and avid reader who speaks Spanish, Italian, Swahili, Portuguese, and studies French.

Dr. Pruitt has been involved in the field of education for the past 51 years. She is currently an instructor at the USC Rossier School of Education where she has been teaching Sociological Foundations of Education for the past 5 years. From 1995 to 2001, she served as Director of Urban Learning Centers (ULC), a New American Schools Design. This model project consisted of Elizabeth and Foshay Learning Centers, both K-12 sites within LAUSD. While at Urban Learning Centers, she helped build a small group of highly committed and capable educators to investigate national scale-up of the ULC design. She received her Ed.D. from University of Massachusetts, her M.S. from University of Southern California, and her B.A. from California State University, Los Angeles.

Dr. Rousseau was appointed LAUSD's District 7 superintendent in 2001. She previously served as assistant superintendent of secondary instruction and school services in the district. From 1993 to 2000, she was the principal of Santa Monica High School, which under her leadership achieved one of the largest API gains in California. She reduced the school's drop out rate and increased graduation and college entrance among African American and Latino students. She is currently a professor of Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School, focusing on leadership, organization and the K-12 concentration. She received her Ed.D. from Pepperdine University, her M.A. in education from California State University, Los Angeles, and her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and Wake Forest University.

Lynn Winters recently retired as the Assistant Superintendent of Research, Planning and Evaluation for the Long Beach Unified School District. Her major responsibilities were the development of a standards-based assessment and accountability system for the district’s content standards in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. Previously she was a project director at UCLA-CRESST. Other K-12 educational experience includes Director of Research for Palos Verdes Schools, Consultant to the Los Angeles County Office of Education Test Development Center and 12 years as a high school teacher. Dr. Winters earned her undergraduate degree and doctorate in education from UCLA.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Villaraigosa stories on LA Observed:
Villaraigosa marries in weekend ceremony in Mexico
DNC: Garcetti and Villaraigosa to speak
Villaraigosa acting more like a candidate
Villaraigosa to host Clinton funder in Beachwood Canyon home
Friday news and notes: Police, politics, water and more
Villaraigosa buys in Beachwood Canyon for $2.5 million
Villaraigosa opts out of Senate race -- and now it gets interesting
Villaraigosa's day and more politics notes
Previous story: Weekend sendoff

Next story: Bart disses 'The Envelope'


LA Observed on Twitter