Thursday, October 16, 2014

Disciplinary process continues against Louisville Male High School principal, staffers

This story out of Louisville describes a long disciplinary process for school personnel charged with ethical violations in Kentucky.

Fayette County folks have inquired repeatedly, for example, about the status of the case against FCPS Special Ed Director Kathy Dykes. As of the most recent meeting of EPSB, which was Monday, action is still pending. Like Mr. David's case, EPSB found probable cause to proceed with a full investigation of Dykes. Numerous Fayette County parents complained to the standards board about Dykes' behaviors. KSN&C raised concerns over her failure to reveal a conflict of interest, as required by regulation in KDE administrative hearings, in a handful of due process hearings. The process has been ongoing for a year and a half now.

This from WDRB:
David Mike
Louisville Male High School Principal David Mike and two other school staffers continue to face potential disciplinary action after the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board did not dismiss cases brought against them during an initial review of the facts on Monday.

Because the so-called “probable cause” proceedings were not open to the public, it's unclear exactly where the cases involving Mike, counselor Rhonda Branch and former teacher Debbie Greenberg stand. The three are being investigated involving allegations of cheating on a standardized test.

But according to EPSB's guidance as to how cases proceed, the action Monday means either the cases were deferred for additional training of the educators, or referred for a full investigation and hearing.

The board had the option of dismissing the allegations or providing a written admonishment, but that did not happen since all three cases were still pending on Tuesday, said Alicia Sneed, the board's director of legal services.
If the cases were referred for a full investigation, that process could take  six months to a year, with an additional 3-6 months between the completion of the investigation and another hearing. The EPSB then has to up to 90 days to make a decision, she said.

If the three were recommended for training, the board could have decided to defer consideration to offer the educators an opportunity to complete the suggested training.

Under state law, the Education Professional Standards Board is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all cases of educator misconduct. It has the power to revoke teaching certificates in the most egregious cases.

The case was opened in July following an investigation by the Kentucky Department of Education that found that several violations occurred as a result of Mike and the other staffers' failure to “ensure the security” of ACT Compass exams given during the fall of 2013.

According to the state report, students “received assistance from teachers and (other) students” while taking the test.

Those violations “increased the number of students” attaining test scores designating them as “college ready ” – thus, improving Male's standing for state accountability purposes, the department of education found.

In addition to referring the case to the Education Professional Standards Board, the Kentucky Department of Education recommended that Mike, Greenberg and Branch receive “ethics training.” The three are also “not to have any involvement” in administering ACT tests, according to the report.

The report also said Greenberg was “no longer allowed to access, oversee or administer” any state-required assessment without written approval from the department.

Greenberg retired from Jefferson County Public Schools on July 1, while Branch remains employed but has been reassigned to central office duty pending the outcome of a district investigation.

Mike was also reassigned to administrative duties in the central office, while the district conducts its own investigation into the ACT Compass situation.

Mandy Simpson, a JCPS spokeswoman, said Tuesday "no final determination has been made" in the investigations involving Branch and Mike.

Ballard High School principal Jim Jury had been serving as a dual principal at Male and Ballard at the start of the 2014-15 year, but went back to Ballard full-time last month.

Male's assistant principals are running the school while the district investigation continues, Simpson said.
William Walsh, an attorney representing Mike, did not return calls or an email Tuesday for comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In FCPS, Kathy Dykes remains Director of Special Education, despite investigation into numerous ethical complaints. Tom Shelton was evasive and minimizing about her actions. Rodney Jackson remains Financial Director, despite the audit revelations of numerous ethically questionable actions. Tom Shelton was minimizing and defended Jackson as not deserving all the blame. Shelton himself was found in the audit to act in ethically questionable ways with contracts and budget information. No one loses their job. Shelton makes only minor changes. Still, the majority three board members stand behind Shelton. Why? What do they have to gain by supporting him? What am I missing here? Can the constituents of those board members do anything about their support of Shelton, should large numbers feel the opposite? The community seems disgusted, enraged, aghast at the lose ethics and incompetence in these three high level administrators. So how is it that the school board could renew Shelton's contract? That is, does the community have any recourse to challenge board decisions? To remove board members? To beg for state intervention? It seems extreme to me that department heads are found out for ethical problems and face zero consequences from the superintendent. It seems negligent of the superintendent. And negligent of the school board to let Shelton remain if he cannot make tough decisions or take actions that make a few of his employees unhappy.