It was last June when L.A. Supt. Ray Cortines declared that public schools needed to be run by a "benevolent dictator." My guess is that he wanted the dictator to be benevolent just in case he got caught double-dipping. Maybe things would go easier on him.
Well this week the other shoe finally dropped. L.A. Times reporter Howard Blume revealed that uber-reformer Cortines has been quietly pulling down $151K/yr. (on top of his $250K salary) working as a do-nothing consultant for Scholastic--the world's largest publisher of children's books and a major contractor with the district.
Today, under heavy criticism, Cortines left his job with Scholastic to "avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest." I guess he just didn't anyone to get the wrong idea.
The company has earned more than $5.2 million from the L.A. Unified School District since Cortines joined the school system as its No. 2 administrator in April 2008. He became superintendent in December 2008.
Yes, that's the same Scholastic that publishes Russo's TWIE blog and told Russo to censor Dean Millot's expose of conflicts-of-interest at Race To The Top.