East St. Louis Principals, Six Others are Demoted Over Special
by Donald E. Franklin, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Friday,
Dec. 05 2003
For more articles like this
East St. Louis principals whose students did not take mandatory
special education tests have been demoted on the recommendation
of Superintendent Nate Anderson.
The School Board voted 5-1 Friday to discipline the principals,
the director of special education and members of her staff at a
special board meeting. The demotions were effective Friday.
The disciplined principals are:
Deborah Wright, principal of Lucas Elementary School.
Rowena Lewis, principal of Officer Elementary School.
Darlene Morgan, principal of Miles Davis School.
Terrence Curry, principal of Wyvetter Younge Middle School.
Anderson said the principals would be reassigned immediately to
classroom teaching positions. He said the principals would
report to School Board offices Monday because specific
assignments were not in place.
The board also demoted Mary Bobbitt, director of special
education; Ann Chism-Williams, assistant director of the
program; and four other special education supervisors.
Anderson recommended that the special education program be
reorganized under new leadership and Bobbitt and Chism-Williams
be assigned to nonsupervisory positions or the classroom.
The vote follows a hearing earlier this week in which the
principals and supervisors were asked by Anderson and board
members why more than 100 special education students were not
tested last spring. Such testing is required by state and
federal regulations under President George W. Bush's "No Child
Left Behind" program.
On Wednesday, Anderson downplayed the severity of the
principals' failure to test the students. He said they had
missed the deadline for the tests, but "there was no cheating."
George Mitchom, a board member, cast the only vote against
Anderson's recommendations. Mitchom said the punishment was too
"Why punish these people when the state is not completely on
track with the president's program?" Mitchom said. "Fairness
should be practiced on all levels. To me, this is wrong"
Mitchom said he agreed with some of the principals who contend
that the instructions for administering the tests were confusing
and contradictory. He said some of the disciplined principals
were among the most respected educators in the district.
"I don't think we can afford not to have these people in
leadership roles at this particular time in the district,"
Mitchom said. "They should have been handed less severe
back to the top ~
back to Breaking News
~ back to