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An Insider Or Outsider As Next Head Of L.A. Unified?

Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school system, now finds itself at a crossroads. Does the system go with a leader from the inside who knows the system and its players? Or does it go with an outsider who would be charged with making rapid progress and difficult decisions while working to understand a byzantine bureaucracy?

For decades, leading L.A. Unified has involved managing factions vying for leverage, including the teachers union, administrators and civic leaders. The job has become further complicated by competing visions of the best way to improve schools — a debate that has raged nationwide.