Cities News Roundup
Robert R. Wheeler has resigned as superintendent of the Kansas City (Mo.) School District but will continue to work as a consultant with the district through the 1984 school year at his current salary of $74,000 per year.
A spokesman for the district said the 61-year-old Mr. Wheeler, whose three-year contract expires this year, has already resigned as superintendent and will hold a senior consultant's post in which he works on community relations and financial matters.
The school board criticized Mr. Wheeler in an evaluation in August, but he claimed the method of evaluation was unfair.
"Generally, the board agreed he was exactly what the district needed four or five years ago, but that things had changed," the spokesman said.
Mr. Wheeler took the job in 1977, shortly after a seven-week teachers' strike in the district.
An audit by New York City's comptroller's office has found that the city's school system overestimated the progress students have made in a new remedial reading program.
The school system had reported that test scores for students forced to repeat 4th grade last year under a new "promotion gates" policy showed they had advanced by six months in proficiency after one semester in the remedial program, which uses small classes.
Students required to repeat the 7th grade under the city's new promotion policy gained the equivalent of nine months of instruction during the same period, according to the school-system figures.
The audit report, however, says 4th graders actually gained only three months and 7th graders gained five months. "Nor is it clear that these gains are attributable to the program [and not] simply gains that the students would have made under any circumstance," the report said.
A spokesman for the school system was quoted as saying that the systems's initial report "went out of the way to say that no report can make any statements about the effectiveness of a program only half way through."
The New York City comptroller's office has also criticized the performance of the school system's office charged with monitoring the city's bilingual-education programs.
An audit of the Center for Program Planning and Development of the Office of Bilingual Education found the "mission [of the office] unclear, the role of program specialists poorly defined, staff productivity low, and program specialists receiving more vacation than they are entitled."
The audit focused on the performance of the office's 13 "program specialists." It also cited "a chronic pattern of lateness," insufficient time spent monitoring the school system's 570 bilingual-teaching sites, and lax time-keeping procedures.
Vol. 02, Issue 07