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LA Schools Chief Leaves – No Performance Objectives?!

David Brewer, Los Angeles Schools Superintendent, will be leaving his $300,000 / year job (plus $45K expenses plus $36K housing allowance) with a $500,000 severance package. Hired as a retired Navy Vice Admiral with virtually no experience in the education sector, Brewer has been under fire for most of his two years in this role, with the School Board and other political leaders largely unhappy with his performance.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this story is the statement made by one of Brewer’s advocates on the School Board, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who said it was unfair to fire Brewer without having established clear, specific goals and giving him an opportunity to live up to them.

No goals, after two years on the job? After $700,000 in compensation and expenses were paid, and on the threshold of paying out another $500,000? All when the LA Schools have shown minimal progress?

I advise my clients to set clear, specific goals before the executive is hired. The time to ask this question is NOT two years into the game, when the person is about to leave under fire!