Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles is sending his new education team to New York City this week
Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles is sending his new education team to New York City this week (via Flickr)

Yesterday, sitting at the Broad Prize lunch, I met Marshall Tuck, who, fresh off being Steve Barr’s partner at Green Dot, is heading up a new effort by Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take control of some public schools. (Villaraigosa tried to get control of all the schools, but he failed.) Turns out the MoMA lunch was just stop one on a whirlwind tour that Tuck and his team are taking around the city. Their main destination is Tweed Courthouse, where they are meeting with at least seven top Department of Education officials.

Tuck’s trip is an example of the “edu-tourism” that UCLA professor William Ouchi talked about earlier this school year at a CEI-PEA lunch. I just got off the phone with one of the people Tuck already met with, Eric Nadelstern, the CEO of the Empowerment network. Nadelstern told me that already this year Tweed has hosted visitors from Sao Paolo, Brazil; Guatemala; San Francisco, and Clark County, Nevada. He said the stream suggests DOE is “asking the right questions,” but not necessarily that they have all the answers. “In a school system where four out of 10 kids aren’t graduating, we can’t get too complacent,” he said.

An interesting part of the schedule, which I’ve reproduced below the jump, is what isn’t on it. Tuck is checking out a Rolodex of major initiatives (school support organizations, the accountability office, the Leadership Academy, Fair Student Funding), but he has not been scheduled for a briefing on the $80 million ARIS project to connect every classroom and parent with student test score data.

UPDATE: Department of Education spokesman Andrew Jacob wrote to say that ARIS was a sub-topic in the tour; Jim Leibman discussed it as part of his accountability presentation, Jacob said.

Marshall Tuck’s schedule:

October 14, 2008

  • School visits
  • Meet with Eric Nadelstern, CEO of the Empowerment network. Presentation: “School Support Organizations”
  • Meet with Jim Leibman, chief accountability officer. Presentation: “Student Performance and Accountability”
  • Meet with Garth Harries, chief portfolio officer. Presentation: “Small School Transformation”

October 15, 2008

  • Meet with Marcia Lyles, deputy chancellor for teaching and learning. Presentation: “Intervention with a Focus”
  • Meet with Sandra Stein, CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy. Presentation: “Leadership Academy”
  • Meet with Stephanie Keating, director of administration. Presentation: “Fair Student Funding”
  • Meet with Christopher Cerf, deputy chancellor for operational strategy, human capital and external affairs. Presentation: “Bureaucracy/Operations Streamlining”
  • School visit, PS 5 in Brooklyn; principal: Lena Gates