N.Y. Schools Chief Suggests Eliminating Principals' Tenure

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Chancellor Rudy F. Crew has called for replacing tenure for New York City principals with renewable multiyear contracts.

"If they foster success, principals should be rewarded," Mr. Crew said in a speech late last month. "But if they cannot provide educational leadership, they must be removed."

The Council of Supervisors and Administrators, which represents the district's 1,160 principals, denounced the idea, saying the existing system offers adequate safeguards against poorly performing principals.

Under the state's tenure law, principals receive tenure after five years. After that, they can be fired only if found guilty during an administrative process of incompetence, unbecoming conduct, or neglect of duty.

A provision replacing principal tenure with contracts is included in a bill before state lawmakers that would give Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani greater control of the school system.

Immunization Dispute: A 16-year-old Wisconsin sophomore spent a night in jail after school officials said his mother failed to provide proof of his immunization.

Officials in the 4,100-student Mequon-Thiensville district said they sent repeated letters to Janet Kallas asking for proof that her son, Jacob, had received required immunizations against childhood diseases. They then turned to the Ozaukee County Juvenile Court, according to the county's corporation counsel, Dennis Kenealy.

After the Kallases failed twice to appear before a circuit court judge, a warrant was issued, and Jacob Kallas was arrested April 23. "He wasn't arrested for not having his shots, he was arrested for ignoring two court appearances," Mr. Kenealy said.

Ms. Kallas said her son has had the required shots and that she called Homestead High School, which the boy attends, about the matter after receiving the letters.

A judge has given Ms. Kallas until May 14 to file the required papers or face a possible fine, Mr. Kenealy said.

Test-Score Tampering Alleged

Educators have wondered for years why students at Stratfield Elementary School in affluent Fairfield, Conn., did so much better than their peers at the town's other schools on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.

A recent audit provided one reason: Someone cheated.

The answer sheets completed by Stratfield's 3rd and 5th graders in January had more than three times as many erasures as those from two other district elementary schools. In addition, the number of erasures that changed an answer from incorrect to correct was much higher at Stratfield.

When the test was given again in March under strict security, both students' scores and the number of erasures at Stratfield dropped significantly. The audit by the Riverside Publishing Co., which publishes the widely used achievement test, concluded: "The evidence clearly and conclusively indicates that tampering occurred."

Officials in the 7,031-student Fairfield district are investigating.

Vol. 15, Issue 33

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