MBA Summer Internship Subsidy

USC Marshall MBAs Doing Good

Archive 2010 | 2009

Each year, the USC Marshall Society and Business Lab (SBL) awards subsidies to MBA students who intern at nonprofit and social enterprise organizations. Follow their adventures.

Aug 24 '11

Lunch with the LAUSD Superintendent After researching the teacher pay-for-performance models of some high-profile districts, I began to think about potential recommendations for LAUSD. I found myself feeling excited about the potential impact, but frustrated when the roadblocks came to mind. The district is currently in the middle of negotiations with UTLA and depending on the outcome, many of my potential recommendations may not be possible to implement. As I was in the middle of building out incentive models, the Education Pioneer Fellows had a lunch scheduled with Dr. John Deasy, Superintendent of LAUSD. What a great opportunity to get his perspective, I thought. It was an “informal” lunch, as informal as you can get, knowing you’re eating with the Superintendent. As I sat beside the other fellows at the conference table, Dr. Deasy spoke about the challenges that lay ahead, how he leads and his conviction around improving student achievement. I was eager to inquire about teacher compensation. “I feel like one of the common threads across the four LAUSD strategies is accountability, could you speak to the lack of accountability in the teacher compensation structure. As he responded, he walked over to his desk and pulled out a paper. He said it was a copy of the op-ed piece that would run in the local newspaper the following week and then proceeded to read the piece to us. It spoke about some of the very items I have been researching, I thought to myself. A sigh of relief came over me. Up to this point, I had thought that my line of reasoning, my perspective on teacher compensation was too far-fetched for LAUSD. My mid-summer heat map deliverable highlighted the extent to which LAUSD’s components of teacher compensation are not aligned with teacher effectiveness, but to improve it would necessitate drastic changes. After listening to Dr. Deasy read his Op-ed, however, I began feeling more hopeful, even optimistic about the level of change that is feasible for LAUSD. Jessica Salazar