Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Leadership Profile

Ramon Cortines, Superintendent, LAUSD

May 2009

Job: Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school system.

Salary: $250,000 (Cortines voluntarily took a salary $50K less than his predecessor in acknowledgement
of the district’s budget woes.)

Resume Highlights: From 2006 to 2008, he was the deputy mayor for education, youth, and families for the city of Los Angeles. He was an independent education consultant from 2001 to 2006. Since 1956, Mr. Cortines has served six school districts, including as superintendent of schools for Pasadena (11 years), San Jose (2 years), New York City (2 years), San Francisco (6 years), and Los Angeles (6 months).

Age: 77. “I’ve retired seven times—actually, I’ve flunked retirement seven times. I decided in fourth grade that I was always going to be a teacher. I still am a teacher. Educators need to constantly be learners, need to constantly be engaged. That is who we are.”

Philosophy: “The success of any school is never about an individual. If a school is successful, it’s about the ‘we.’ The ‘we’ has to include teachers, parents, community leaders, and our students.”

Biggest Challenge: The LAUSD has a budget shortfall of $718 million. In March, the board sent more than 8,800 pink slips to district teachers and employees. “I will be recommending sending notification to a great many employees,” Cortines told the board of education. “And I don’t want us to confuse notification with losing a job. Notification is because funds have been cut. Notification is for reorganization ... [it’s] for living within our budget.”

The upside: “I see the economic downturn as an opportunity to think differently. Not the same-old, same-old. We should ‘scheme’ as to how things might be better. If it fits neatly, you aren’t taking a risk.”

His goal for his district
: “We have to find new ways of providing services to parents, working with teachers,  working with administrators, and working with the community. We must put the students first—not special interests. And so there will be change and change will be good for all of us.”                         

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Writing

    What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Writing

    by Ruth Culham

    Discover practical strategies for supporting and assessing writing instruction in all content areas while equipping teachers with instructional practices that emphasize this critical skill, which students need to adapt to the demands of the CCSS and thrive in the 21st century. This guide offers the pedagogical expertise every administrator needs to serve as an effective leader.

    • Assess the teaching and learning of writing in your school or district.
    • Acquire best practices for step-by-step assessment to evaluate students and staff.
    • Align your current practices with the Common Core State Standards.
    • Understand the importance of writing for students' academic and lifelong success.
    • Explore the link between reading skills and students' writing skills.

    $18.71 You save: 25%
    Professional Book | Grades K-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Writing
    Grades K-8 $18.71
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Information in Action (Grade 5)

    Information in Action (Grade 5)

    by Nell K. Duke

    This professional learning resource is packed with tools to help teachers develop expertise in project-based instruction and teaching key informational text types. Step-by-step guidance from Nell K. Duke supports instruction so students can build reading, writing, and researching skills. Print and digital supports include a professional book and PLC study guide, professional learning videos, and interdisciplinary model units that show teachers how to put research into practice and guide students through the research and writing process in purposeful and engaging ways.
    Information in Action model units target key informational text types:
    • Informative/Explanatory
    • Persuasive: Opinion
    • Procedural/How-to
    • Biography
    • Nonfiction Narrative

    The 5th grade kit contains print and digital materials for teaching 4 teaching units
    Program components:
    • New professional book by Nell K. Duke: Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text Through Project-Based Instruction
    • Teacher’s Guide: Contains step-by-step instructional guidance for four classroom-tested, project-based learning teaching units, assessment forms, and links to standards
    • Launch Texts (1 title per unit, 1 copy each, 4 texts total): Read-aloud texts for kicking off each unit to build students’ interest in and knowledge about the topic
    • Mentor Texts (1 title per unit, 6 copies each, 24 texts total): Books that provide models of the text type in which students are writing in each unit
    • Source Texts (1 title per unit, 30 copies each, 120 texts total): A set of information-filled articles students use as research sources
    • Student Research Notebook (30 copies each): A consumable work text containing graphic organizers, data-gathering charts, and drafting sheets
    • Online access to a range of resources, including a PLC study guide for Inside Information, a video clip suite featuring Nell K. Duke with footage from classrooms engaged in project-based units, screen-ready digital versions of the texts used in the model units, assessment tools, and other downloadable resources
    Grade 5 Units:
    • Survive-That-Habitat Travel Cards (Informative/Explanatory)
    • How to Make Money Book (Procedural/How-to)
    • Save a Local Ecosystem Proposal (Persuasive: Opinion)
    • “One Small Step…” Books (Nonfiction narrative)

    $594.15 You save: 15%
    Book Collection | Grade 5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Information in Action (Grade 5)
    Grade 5 $594.15
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.