Turnaround twist: Principals fired, rehired

Firing the principal is the most popular way for low-performing schools to qualify for federal turnaround money, reports AP. But many fired principals have been rehired, sometimes to supervise the turnaround of their old school or to take over another school that fired its principal.

After Red Lake High School was labeled one of Minnesota’s worst schools, its board moved quickly to dismiss the principal. It didn’t take long for Ev Arnold to land on his feet, though: The same district now pays him the identical salary to oversee the school’s turnaround.

A Red Lake elementary principal who was fired replaced a fired principal at a neighboring district’s high school. The former high school principal was hired to run the middle school.  It’s not just Minnesota, AP finds.

In West Virginia, where 15 schools applied for the grants, eight principals got waivers to stay, two were hired to oversee the turnaround of their former schools, four were reassigned to other jobs in the district and one retired, according to the West Virginia Department of Education. Similarly, four of the seven Nebraska principals affected were hired as turnaround officers for their former schools . . .

The federal government is putting much more money into School Improvement Grants for the worst 5 percent of schools. Districts can close the school or convert it to a charter, but rarely choose those options. More than 90 percent choose to replace the principal and at least half the teachers, or replace just the principal and change the curriculum.