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Indianapolis Administrators To Be Reassigned or Demoted

Four Indianapolis principals will have to reapply for teaching positions, and more than a dozen others will be relocated to different schools this fall.

The shake-up is part of a broad effort by Superintendent Esperanza Zendejas to inject a strong dose of accountability into the management of the 44,000-student district. (See Education Week, May 22, 1996.)

"When you look at how far we have to go and what we have to do, these changes seem reasonable," said Michael Rodman, the president of the school board, which approved the shake-up.

The board also approved demoting some district administrators by moving them from the central office to principalships.

One of the principals who lost his job said the administration judged the schools too harshly. "You give your sweat and life to the system, and that's your thanks," said the principal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

District Ordered To Rehire

An outside arbitrator ruled correctly in directing the Wilkinsburg, Pa., school district to rehire teachers who were laid off because of a privatization venture, the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas has ruled.

The May 29 ruling was the most recent round in the court battle between the suburban Pittsburgh district and the teachers it released when the school board hired a private company to manage an elementary school. The judge ordered the district to rehire the remaining six teachers of the 14 who had been furloughed. The school district had reassigned the other teachers over the course of the year.

The board has a month to decide whether or not to appeal the decision, John Haase, a lawyer for the district, said.

Supporters of the privatization effort last October won a round in a separate legal challenge to the venture. In that ruling, the state supreme court decided Alternative Public Schools Inc. could continue operating in the district while a lower court examined the issue. That case has yet to be settled. (See Education Week, Jan. 24, 1996.)

Athletic Authority Upheld

The authority granted to the governing body for school sports in Kansas does not run afoul of the state constitution, the state supreme court says.

In a May 31 ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court nullified a district court decision last summer that said state lawmakers may not delegate legislative powers to private groups such as the Kansas State High School Activities Association. (See Education Week, Aug. 2, 1995.)

The association sets rules for interscholastic sports, trains officials, and organizes tournaments, in addition to overseeing other student activities.

The high court did not, however, rule on whether the association could restrict the number of student athletes from the same high school team playing in summer leagues. The court referred that decision to the district court.

Principal Reprimanded

The former principal of Pensacola (Fla.) High School will receive a letter of reprimand in the wake of a grand jury report that charged he withheld allegations of sexual abuse by members of the school's football team.

Horace Jones, a former National Football League player, will be reassigned to teaching duties and may later be considered for another administrative post, William L. Maloy, the superintendent of the 45,000-student Escambia County district, said in a statement released last week.

In addition, the school's two assistant principals and the football coach will receive reprimands and reassignments, Mr. Maloy said.

The reprimands stemmed from an Oct. 17 incident in which at least 20 members of the football team allegedly had sex with a learning-disabled female student. The grand jury report harshly criticized Mr. Jones, saying he withheld information in an attempt to preserve the team's chances of winning a state championship. (See Education Week, May 15, 1996.)

"In complex systems, very good people who otherwise do very good things, will sometimes make decisions that have a very bad effect upon their organization," Mr. Maloy said.

Vol. 15, Issue 38

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