From the L.A. Times by Howard Blume:
Los Angeles school district officials are expected next week to name a high-profile East Coast arts education leader to head the flagship arts high school in downtown Los Angeles, a move that substantially involved billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, sources close to the decision told The Times.

The switch at the top is the latest in a series of controversies around the 2-year-old, $232-million showcase Grand Avenue campus.

Kim Bruno, currently head of the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, the setting for the movie "Fame," is expected to be the new principal; a contract has not yet been signed.

Her arrival could bring stature and valuable experience to the fledgling L.A. campus, but it also has resulted in the forced removal of the school's current principal, continuing a revolving door of management.

The action comes as the Board of Education is poised to give a permanent name to L.A. Central High School No. 9, a sweeping metallic modern structure with a tower that looms over the Hollywood Freeway. Officials want to name the school after recently retired Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, one of the nation's leading educators and a longtime patron of the arts who was instrumental in developing the high school.

Cortines said Wednesday he was humbled by the gesture but wasn't sure he wants the honor.

Cortines objected to the removal of current Principal Luis Lopez, who is a candidate for a promotion, according to the district. Cortines also expressed concern that the decision to honor him wasn't fully vetted with parents, community members and school staff. Both top-down moves might be violating the district's commitment to run the school in collaboration with faculty and parents, he said.

"Dr. Lopez has done an outstanding job," said Cortines, who retired in mid-April. "What is wrong with that school?"

The campus suffered rocky moments even before it opened in the fall of 2009. Two principals, including Bruno, tentatively accepted jobs, then backed out. Two executive directors also left. And the school had an initially shaky accreditation review. More recently, students led a protest over a dance teacher's departure under pressure. Another long-standing dispute has been over whether students should have to audition for admission.

Currently, no audition is required and neighborhood students have an admission preference, a policy that troubled Broad, who was instrumental in advocating for the school's construction. He has said he'd prefer the school to be run outside of district control.

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