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JCPS Board Chooses Restaffing for Low Performing High Schools

The Jefferson County Public School Board will replace up to half the teaching staff at three high schools with low test scores. At its meeting last night, the board voted 5-2 for the option.

Superintendent Sheldon Berman recommended restaffing for Iroquois, Southern and Waggener high schools, telling the board it will be the least disruptive. The board chose restaffing over an alternative that would have linked teacher evaluation and pay to academic performance. All the teachers who are replaced are guaranteed another job in the district.

The state designated the three schools as “persistently low achieving” last year because of low reading and math scores.

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Local News Politics

JCTA President Says Shakeups At High Schools Is The Wrong Tactic

The head of the teachers union in Louisville says replacing the principals and teachers at three underperforming schools will not solve the schools’ problems.

This week, state auditors declared that the principals at Iroquois, Waggener and Southern high schools must be replaced. Teachers at the schools could also be moved.

Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim says that’s unnecessary. While he disagrees with the methods used to declare the schools low-achieving, he says the state should try to improve training for teachers, and not simply move them around.

“You take teachers who are working their hearts out to make a difference for these kids, and instead of celebrating their dedication and trying to help them do even better, I feel like the government is pointing a finger at them, blaming them,” he says.

McKim echoes statements made by the principal of Iroquois High School, saying the shakeups are demoralizing. The three schools were among six in Louisville on a recent list of ten persistently low-performing schools.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Three JCPS High School Principals To Be Replaced

The principals of three Jefferson County public high schools will be replaced following a state leadership audit.

State education assessors visited Iroquois, Southern and Waggener high schools after they were listed among the state’s lowest performing, based on test scores.

JCPS Assistant Superintendent Joe Burks says all three principals will be reassigned within the district. He says before the audit, the district was not planning to replace the principals, and the action does not mean they failed in their duties.

“These particular principals have carried the ball, gained yardage, done great work, but happen to be at a time in education where if this is where they have taken it and the policies are such that they need to contribute another way in the district, then that’s what we do,” he said.

An undetermined number of teachers could be replaced at the schools, two of which will also have their school councils disbanded.

The audit process is the result of a new state law under which the state intervenes at struggling schools.

A similar shakeup is underway at Doss, Seneca and Fairdale high schools, which underwent audits in December.